Source: Haymarket Books
Abstract: While Washington justifies "first strikes" against those nations unilaterally identified as the "Axis of Evil," this controversial and timely book proves that the United States itself has been the most notorious practitioner of chemical and biological warfare since blankets laced with smallpox were given to Native Americans 250 years ago.
The editors of this book, William Schaap and Ellen Ray, are two prominent U.S. authorities on the CIA. This well-documented book backgrounds several cases of development and use by the United States of chemical-biological warfare, from Agent Orange in Vietnam to the Gulf War syndrome of the 1990s.
In their introduction, the editors offer an analysis of current events concerning the issue of biochemical weapons and the "war on terror."
Among the contributors are: Robert Lederer (WBAI/Pacifica Radio journalist), Tod Ensign (director of Citizen Soldier and veterans' rights advocate), Dr. Meryl Nass (expert on anthrax and biological warfare who has testified several times to U.S. Congress)William Schaap and Ellen Ray were co-founders of Covert Action Quarterly, the authoritative magazine which has been a multiple award-winner of "Project Censored" prizes for its decades of groundbreaking investigative reporting. William Schaap is a New York attorney, who has worked with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and has testified as an expert witness on the CIA and intelligence matters in Congressional and UN hearings, as well as federal, state and foreign courts. Ellen Ray is an independent documentary filmmaker and was a consultant for Oliver Stone's JFK (Haymarket Books, 2003).
Title: Bioterror: Manufacturing Wars The
American Way (Excerpts)
Source: Third World Traveler
Abstract: The hypocrisy and dissembling of the U.S. Government is evident today not
only in such actions and its language - "Weapons of Mass Destruction"
(WMD) being the new, more militaristic buzzword - but also in the fact that the
United States has been the only nation ever to have deployed the most lethal of
WMDs, nuclear bombs, against civilians. Moreover, the United States has also
been the most notorious and prolific practitioner of chemical-biological warfare
(CBW) since World War II ...
Although such military research was highly classified, by 1975 concern over revelations of myriad intelligence abuses led to a comprehensive investigation by the U.S. Senate's Church Committee, which published a CIA memorandum listing the deadly chemical agents and toxins then stockpiled at Fort Detrick. These included anthrax, encephalitis, tuberculosis, lethal snake venom, shellfish toxin, and half a dozen lethal food poisons, some of which, the committee learned, had been shipped in the early 1960s to Congo and to Cuba in unsuccessful CIA attempts to assassinate Patrice Lumumba and Fidel Castro.
In the wake of its unconscionable and devastating use of CBW during the Vietnam War, Washington repeatedly claimed that its enemies were either using or on the verge of using CBW. In the 1980s, the United States accused Vietnam of dropping so-called "yellow rain" in Cambodia; it accused the Soviet Union of using lethal chemicals in Afghanistan. It accused Iraq and Iran, at different times, of using nerve gas against each other. It similarly accused North Korea, Libya, Syria, and recently Al Qaeda of CBW/WMD capabilities. Many of these accusations were later shown to be outright intelligence disinformation hoaxes or to have involved substances the United States itself had supplied to one side or the other.
Although the United States is a signatory to the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, the Bush administration refused to accept 1997 protocol on verification of compliance. While Washington demanded that Iraq and any other country accused of CBW capacity open its doors to inspectors, it rejected the protocol because it would grant foreign inspectors too much access to U.S. installations and companies. It might expose, they argued, legitimate U.S. military and commercial secrets.
Rarely is it acknowledged that during the 1980s, when relations between the United States and Iraq were restored, it was Washington that supplied Iraq with more than a dozen biological and chemical agents with military potential, almost all of the material now suspected of use by Iraq in bioweapons research. At the same time the United States went so far as to veto a UN resolution condemning chemical warfare there. Donald Rumsfeld, now Secretary of Defense, was President Reagan's personal envoy who reestablished those relations and who oversaw the resumption of such chemical munitions trade, in an effort to prevent Iran's victory in the Iran-Iraq War. Rumsfeld was in Baghdad with Hussein the day that veto was cast. Under President George Bush (Snr.) U.S. support for Iraq intensified, (as described in Jack Colhoun's article)only to terminate abruptly with lraq's invasion of Kuwait and the commencement of the Gulf War.
It is further irony that the only people ever in history to use smallpox as a weapon are the Americans whose colonial forebears, as early as the 1760s, gave blankets laced with smallpox to the indigenous inhabitants of the land they were rapidly expropriating. Thousands of Native Americans were killed by this virulent disease, to which they had never before been exposed. The tactic was repeated by the U.S. Army in the Indian Wars of the mid- and late-19th century.
The History of U.S. Bio-chemical Killers
The involvement of the United States with chemical-biological warfare] began in 1763 when blankets poisoned with smallpox were presented as gifts to Indians who sought only friendly relations with the colonists. It reached its peak 200 years later when the U.S. Air Force blanketed the countryside of Indochina with poisons whose effects are still being felt.
Germ Warfare and Nuremberg
The United States and Britain, in 1944 or earlier, planned to attack six major German cities - Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Wilhelmshafen, and Aachen - with anthrax bombs that would have killed half their populations. The bombs were ordered to be produced at a factory in Vigo, Indiana, but the hazards of production delayed start-up, and the war was over before the bombs could be manufactured.
After World War 11
The next reasonably well-documented instance of germ warfare occurred during the Korean War, in February 1952, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the People's Republic of China charged that U.S. pilots had dropped "germ bombs" on North Korea. They offered as evidence the testimony of captured U.S. Air Force officers and intelligence agents, and Koreans who told of finding large quantities of fleas and other insect pests shortly after U.S. planes had flown over their areas. The U.S. Government strenuously denied the charge, but a respected group of scientists believed the evidence was convincing proof that the United States had employed biological weapons.
"The International Scientific
Commission for the Investigation of the Facts Concerning Bacteriological
Warfare in Korea and China" included scientists from Great Britain,
France, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, and the Soviet Union. One of the most renowned
scientists of the 20th century, Joseph Needham of England, sat on the
commission. Its 700 page report described a whole array of germ weapons:
feathers infected with anthrax; lice, fleas, and mosquitoes dosed with plague
and yellow fever; diseased rodents; and various implements contaminated with
deadly microbes - toilet paper, envelopes, and the ink in fountain pens.
The Vietnam War
When the bicentennial of U.S. chemical-biological warfare came in the early 1960s, the U.S. Government marked the occasion with the most massive chemical war waged by any power in world history. Even today the people of Indochina are suffering the long-term effects of those chemicals on their land, crops, livestock, and persons. Ironically, a large number of U.S. military personnel involved in the Indochina war have also suffered serious harm from those same chemicals, especially Agent Orange.
The use of chemical defoliants
was approved by President Kennedy on November 30,1961, following a
recommendation by Secretary of State Dean Rusk that the way to win a war
against a guerrilla army is to destroy crops. General William C. Westmoreland
also considered crop destruction an important aspect of U.S. strategy, pointing
out in a secret report that spraying 13,800 acres would destroy "crops
which if allowed to grow until harvest might feed 15,000 soldiers for a
year." By the end of the war, 55 million kilograms of chemical defoliants
had been dropped on Indochina, mainly Agent Orange (a mixture of two herbicides
plus small but toxic amounts of dioxin, a substance considered 100 times as
poisonous as cyanide ...
The use of chemical weapons in Indochina was more open than the germ warfare waged against North Korea, but it was still deceptive. In 1971, Major General Bernard Rogers wrote to Senator J. William Fulbright that defoliation operations in Vietnam "are of limited scope and are subject to the same regulations applied to herbicide use in the United States." General Rogers, now NATO commander, must have known this was a lie. Five million acres, 12 percent of South Vietnam, were sprayed at an application rate that averaged 13 times the amounts recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Few details of this war would have become public, but for its immense scale. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara wanted the spraying disguised as a program conducted by South Vietnamese civilians, and his Deputy Undersecretary U. Alexis Johnson proposed that "U.S. aircraft be used to conduct a major defoliant spray program in South Vietnam, although the aircraft would carry South Vietnamese markings and the pilots would wear civilian clothes." The actual scope of the chemical attack against Laos, opposed even by then U.S. Ambassador William H. Sullivan, was kept secret until this past January , and some of the details are still classified. In fact, the joint Chiefs of Staff noted in a 1961 document that "care must be taken to assure that the United States does not become the target for charges of employing chemical or biological warfare. International repercussions could be most serious."
Although the main victims of
these weapons are the people of Indochina, thousands who suffer the results of
dioxin poisoning - weakness of the eyes and some actual blindness, muscle
weakness, liver damage, cancer, and a high rate of miscarriage and infant
malformation, including hundreds of babies born without eyes - the harmful
effects would probably have vanished from the pages of the [U.S.] press were it
not for the vast number of former GIs, 60,000 of them, who are suffering the
same symptoms. But even their plight, which ought to serve as a monument to the
horrors of chemical/biological warfare, is not deterring our government from
embarking on its third century of germ and chemical warfare with all the
attendant lies and deceit.
U.S. Biological Warfare: The 1981 Cuba Dengue Epidemic
For more than 20 years Cuba has been the victim of American attacks, overt and covert, large and small, unrelenting. Ships and buildings have been bombed; cane fields have been burned; invasions have been launched; and planes have been blown out of the sky. But many of the attacks have been even less conventional. Cuba has seen its share of chemical-biological warfare - some of which has been proved, some of which has not. If the Cuban charges are true - and we believe that this article will help demonstrate that they are - then the dengue fever epidemic of 1981 was only the latest in a long line of outrageous, immoral, and illegal chemical-biological warfare attacks against Cuba.'
The History of Attacks
Many studies have been written on the chemical-biological warfare capabilities of the United States. Some have discussed specifics; some have mentioned Cuba. John Marks, Victor Marchetti, Philip Agee, and Seymour Hersh have all discussed various specifics. Shortly after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, during the early 1960s, food poisoning attempts were common, often at the same time that crop burnings were being carried out. A Washington Post report (September 16,1977) confirmed that during this time the CIA maintained an "anticrop warfare" program. Both the CIA and the army were studying biological warfare, primarily at the facilities of Fort Detrick, Maryland. Dr. Marc Lappe noted in his book, Chemical and Biological Warfare: The Science of Public Death, that the army had a biological warfare agent prepared for use against Cuba at the time of the Missile Crisis in 1962; it was most likely Q fever.
Throughout the 1960s there were occasional biological attacks against Cuba, sometimes, according to Cuban allegations in 1964, involving apparent weather balloons. And in 1970 the CIA engineered the introduction of African swine fever into Cuba, a successful operation carried out by Cuban exile agents .2 It led to the forced destruction of more than a half million pigs. The same groups attempted unsuccessfully a few months later to infect the Cuban poultry industry. These operations were first exposed in Newsday (January 9, 1977), and later appeared in the Washington Post, Le Monde, the Guardian, and other papers.
Then, in 1980 - the year of the plagues - Cuba was beset with disasters. Another African swine fever epidemic hit; the tobacco crop was decimated by blue mold; and the sugarcane crops were hit with a particularly damaging rust disease. As The Nation put it, this was "a conjunction of plagues that would lead people less paranoid about the United States than the Cubans to wonder whether human hands had played a role in these natural disasters..."
It is against this backdrop that the Cubans found themselves facing, in the spring and summer of 1981, an unprecedented epidemic of hemorrhagic dengue fever.
As noted above, the arsenal of chemical-biological warfare is unlimited. The U.S. military and the CIA have experimented with diseases which merely make a person uncomfortable for a few hours, with toxins which kill instantly, and with everything in between. John Marks describes a few in his study of MKULTRA, the CIA's mind control experiment, The Search for the "Manchurian Candidate." Staphylococcal enterotoxin, for example, a mild food poisoning, would incapacitate its victim for three to six hours; Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis (VEE) virus would immobilize a person for two to five days and keep its victims weak for perhaps another month; brucellosis would keep its victims in the hospital for three or more months, killing some. Even the deadly poisons were prepared with variations: shellfish toxin kills within a few seconds; botulinum, however, takes eight to 12 hours, giving the assassin time to get away.
Dengue fever is one of some 250 arthropod-borne viruses, or arboviruses," diseases transmitted from one vertebrate to another by hematophagous arthropods - blood eating insects, usually mosquitoes. Dengue is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same insect which transmits yellow fever. There are four types of dengue, numbered one through four, depending on the type of antibody which the virus induces. Normal dengue fever begins with the same symptoms as a severe cold or flu, watery eyes, runny nose, headache, backache, fever, insomnia, lack of appetite, and weakness. The bone pain is incapacitating. Indeed, dengue was once known as "break bone." Its characteristic symptom is pain at the back of the eyes, most noticeable when looking from side to side. All types of dengue can give rise to the hemorrhagic form, that is, accompanied by internal bleeding and shock. This form is the most dangerous, especially to children, for whom it is often fatal.
Dengue and other arboviruses are ideal as biological warfare weapons for a number of reasons. Dengue, especially hemorrhagic dengue, is highly incapacitating; it can be transmitted easily through the introduction of infected mosquitoes; it will spread rapidly, especially in highly populated and damp areas. The Aedes mosquito bites during the day, when people are more active and less protected; moreover, in favorable winds, Aedes mosquitoes can travel hundreds of miles before landing, none the worse for wear. And, of course, since dengue fever is found in nature in many parts of the world, a human role in its spread is hard to detect. This is the inherent advantage of biological over chemical warfare.
The 1981 Epidemic
Although dengue fever is much more common in the Far East, there have been many outbreaks in the Caribbean and Central America during the past century. All four types have been found during the last two decades. In 1963 there was a dengue-3 outbreak in Puerto Rico and Antigua; in 1968, dengue-2 was found in Jamaica; in 1977, dengue-1 was found in Jamaica and Cuba; and in 1981, dengue-4 was found in the Lesser Antilles.
The epidemic which hit Cuba in May 1981 was of type 2 dengue with hemorrhagic shock. Except for the type 1 epidemic reported in 1977, this was the first major dengue outbreak in Cuba since 1944, and, most importantly, the first in the Caribbean since the turn of the century to involve hemorrhagic shock on a massive scale.
From May to October 1981 there were well over 300,000 reported cases, with 158 fatalities, 101 involving children under 15. At the peak of the epidemic, in early July, more than 10,000 cases per day were being reported. More than a third of the reported victims required hospitalization. By mid-October, after a massive campaign to eradicate Aedes aegypti, the epidemic was over.
The history of the secret war against Cuba and the virulence of this dengue epidemic were enough to generate serious suspicions that the United States had a hand in the dengue epidemic of 1981. But there is much more support for those suspicions than a healthy distrust of U.S. intentions regarding Cuba.
We reviewed the reports on the epidemic of the Pan American Health Organization and of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, and interviewed a number of health officials. There are indeed indications that the epidemic was artificially induced.
The epidemic began with the
simultaneous discovery in May 1981 of three cases of hemorrhagic dengue caused
by a type 2 virus. The cases arose in three widely separated parts of Cuba:
Cienfuegos, Camagiiey, and Havana. It is extremely unusual that such an
epidemic would commence in three different localities at once. None of the
initial victims had ever traveled out of the country; for that matter, none of
them had recently been away from home. None had had recent contact with
international travelers. Moreover, a study of persons arriving in Cuba in the
month of May from known dengue areas found only a dozen such passengers (from
Vietnam and Laos), all of whom were checked by the Institute of Tropical
Medicine and found free of the disease. Somehow, infected mosquitoes had
appeared in three provinces of Cuba at the same time. Somehow, the fever spread
at an astonishing rate. There appears to be no other explanation but the
artificial introduction of infected mosquitoes.
Gulf War Syndrome: Guinea Pigs and Disposable GIs
What has become known as the "Gulf War Syndrome" may actually result from a combination of factors, including:
1. Smoke and pollution from some 600 oil-field petrochemical fires that burned in Kuwait for as long as eight months after the U.S.-led forces attacked Iraq.
2. Two vaccines, pentavalent botulinum-toxoid and anthrax, and a medication, pyridostigmine bromide, which were designed as antidotes for biological or nerve gas weapons.
3. Aerial spraying of pesticides over U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia.
4. Spraying of diesel oil to control dust around U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia.
5. Radiation exposure from depleted uranium used in some high velocity shells fired by M1A1 Abrams tanks and A-10 Thunderbolt fighter bombers.
6. Portable heaters that used leaded gasoline and diesel fuel inside unventilated tents.
7. Wholesale detonation of Iraqi ammunition depots without first determining whether or not they held toxic materials.
8. Leishmaniasis - a parasitic infection spread by sand-flies.
Possible War Crime
The most controversial of the possible causes of the syndrome are the two drugs - pyridostigmine bromide and pentavalent botulinum toxoid vaccine - neither of which had cleared the required Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review for new drugs.
Some Americans are vaguely aware that this country signed the Nuremberg Charter, which provided the legal basis for prosecuting Nazi leaders at the end of World War 11. Fewer know of its companion treaty, the Nuremberg Code, aimed at preventing future human experimentation of the sort practiced by some German physicians. It is "absolutely essential," the code states, to obtain informed and voluntary consent for any medical treatment. There is no exception for wartime conditions or because soldiers are involved (Third World Traveler, 2003).