January 2002


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Sam Anderson <[log in to unmask]>
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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 11 Jan 2002 13:06:54 -0800
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            The U.S. Government's Secret Experimentation with
Biological and Chemical
            Warfare (Part One)
            by Mitchel Cohen

            The mass-spraying of dangerous insecticides on the
entire population and
            environment of New York City for the last two years,
brought on,
            supposedly, by infected mosquitoes, smacks more and
more of a military
            operation than a public health program. Coordinated
by the Office of
            Emergency Management from the now destroyed “bunker”
on the 28th floor of 7
            World Trade Center (which also housed the CIA's office
in New York), the
            spray program sought to integrate federal, state
and local emergency
            management teams -- the same teams that were established
in response to
            anti-New World Order protests in Seattle, Boston,
Washington, Philadelphia
            and Los Angeles.

            The government has been using those protests as an
opportunity to
            experiment with new weapons and configurations of
command. The
            demonstrations, such as the Seattle anti-WTO demonstrations
in Nov. 1999,
            have served as large “field tests” of purportedly
“non-lethal” weapons on
            protesters, just as the hysteria around the West
Nile virus was
            orchestrated to gain acceptance among large numbers
of people for the
            indiscriminate spraying of Malathion and pyrethroid
pesticides over the
            largest urban population center and ecosystem in
the country. Is it a
            coincidence that dozens of military agencies in Seattle
-- operating
            domestically under a new joint command structure
for the first time --
            sprayed mixtures of malathion-like cholinesterase
inhibitor pesticides as
            part of the tear-gas? The spraying in New York and
the repression of
            anti-globalization demonstrators used the same materials
for completely
            different purposes. They define a new phase in the
systematic development
            of US biological and chemical warfare techniques
and their use on domestic
            civilian populations.

            The covert U.S. biological and chemical warfare program,
much of it
            developed at Fort Detrick, Maryland, has historically
tested its weapons on
            U.S. soldiers, American Indian reservations, ghetto
populations, colonies
            (like Puerto Rico), and prisoners -- in other words,
controlled and bounded
            populations. Widescale testing on OTHERS is now becoming
            frequent and aggressive -- albeit, shrouded in secrecy
and disinformation.
            The military’s Psychological Operations manuals describe
ways to control
            large populations and gain compliance, if not acceptance:
Create and
            exaggerate a “threat,” which makes it relatively
easy to whip up panic; and
            divert attention from the real culprits onto scapegoats.
In a crisis
            everyone rallies around those in charge, however
illegally or
            illegitimately they have attained or used their position
of authority
            (George Bush and Rudy Giuliani are two current examples).
The orchestrated
            but controlled hysteria can then be directed against
other countries, as
            well as used in taming domestic opposition.

            During the military build-up to the Gulf War in 1990-91,
            George Bush condemned the threatened use of chemical
and biological weapons
            by Saddam Hussein, who was depicted as “worse than
Hitler.” The U.S.
            military, under the guise of fearing an Iraqi attack
with biological and
            chemical weapons, inoculated hundreds of thousands
of U.S. soldiers with
            experimental anthrax and nerve gas remedies that
had never before been
            tested on people in field conditions. (Hundreds resisted.
Many were
            court-martialed.) It’s not as though Iraq could surprise
the U.S. with
            unknown biological and chemical agents. The United
States government knew
            full well the extent of Iraq's biological and chemical
arsenal, for it was
            George Bush himself, in his former capacity as head
of the CIA (and later
            as Vice President and President), who had approved
U.S. shipments of
            material needed to make biological and chemical weapons
to Iraq.

            Bush approved shipping to Iraq toxic varieties of
E.coli and Salmonella
            bacteria, and organisms causing anthrax, gas gangrene
and brucellosis.(1)
            At the same time, various anthrax antitoxins were
sent to Israel, a
            practice that continued into the Clinton/Gore administration.
The U.S. had
            been experimenting with antitoxins for these diseases
and, as in the case
            of the massive insecticide spraying over New York
and in using new weapons
            against the anti-globalization protesters, these
new weapons and
            counter-weapons had yet to be tested in the field.

            And so it was the U.S., not Iraq, that used new shells
and armor made from
            depleted uranium which aerosolized as it heated,
irradiating huge swaths
            of land and water, and dramatically increasing the
ecological as well as
            human catastrophe there. These weapons were used
again by Clinton/Gore in
            Yugoslavia, and still again in Afghanistan along
with America’s full
            complement of cluster bombs -- supplemented by releasing
various gasses --
            whose only function is to shred living tissue with
tiny razor-sharp
            fragments. Other anti-personnel weapons such as air-fuel
explosives were
            deployed to burn up all oxygen as a means of killing
all life in a
            particular area.

            How much of this is intentional experimentation and
how much is just
            stupidity and/or callous disregard for human life
-- that is, business as
            usual? And does it matter whether the recent spate
of chemical and
            biological weapons use is intentional or not? Either
way, the effects are
            just as deadly.

            As a society we have become so steeped in the chemicalization
of all
            aspects of our lives -- and the cancers and immune
compromising ailments
            that it brings -- that when we learn, for instance,
that the military
            repeatedly sprayed U.S. soldiers in the Gulf with
extremely high levels of
            pesticides, and that the use of these pesticides
may be one of the
            precipitating factors in a person developing Gulf
War Syndrome, we don’t
            even ask: Who gave such an order? We sort of accept
it as “collateral
            damage” regardless of whether or not the sprays were
            experimentally, having never been properly tested
for use on human beings.
            And, when it turns out that U.S. military Gulf War
uniforms had been
            pre-soaked in permethrin, one of the family of pyrethroid
compounds sprayed
            over New York City in 1999-2001, we may find this
shocking but
            “understandable,” as is each piece isolated from
the overall pattern.

            The fact is that pesticides and nerve gas are intimately
            Pesticides (like Malathion) were developed from organophosphate
nerve gas
            used in World War 2. Gulf War Syndrome, suffered
by tens of thousands of US
            soldiers, is likely the result of pesticide, anthrax
vaccine, nerve gas
            “antidote” and depleted uranium exposure interactions.
Contrary to prior
            government claims that Gulf War Syndrome does not
exist, new studies are
            finding that, in fact, brain scans of veterans who
became ill after serving
            in the Gulf War “show evidence of significant brain
cell loss.”(2)

            Using new MR spectroscopy scanning techniques, which
detect changes to the
            brain at the chemical and molecular levels, some
researchers have now
            succeeded in linking Gulf War soldiers’ exposure
to pesticides and nerve
            gas to debilitating brain damage.(3) Sick Gulf War
veterans, when compared
            with healthy veterans, had 20 percent fewer brain
cells in the brain stem,
            a structure that links the brain with the rest of
the body, allowing normal
            motor and organ functions. The sick veterans also
showed a 12 percent loss
            in the right basal ganglia and five percent loss
in the left basal ganglia.
            The basal ganglia are associated with the control
of motor functions.(4)

            I argue in this essay that we should look at recent
events as part of a
            pattern of intentional experimentation on human populations
            environments in furthering the development of biological
and chemical
            weapons, and the psychological control mechanisms
needed to obtain mass
            compliance with increasingly dangerous and repressive
measures. The
            mass-spraying in New York City for West Nile Virus,
like the current
            anthrax panic, needs to be seen in that context.

            1. Conn Hallinan, “Using CBW at Home and Abroad,”
People's Daily World,
            April 6, 1989.

            2. Cat Lazaroff, “Brain Damage Found in U.S. Gulf
War Syndrome Victims,”
            Environmental News Service, May 25, 2000,
   05 25 07.html.
When we combine these
            vectors with the administration of experimental,
genetically engineered
            vaccines and a field of radiation from Uranium 238
weapons, the assault on
            the immune system is heightened far beyond even the
sum of each of those
            causes taken separately. (This is known as a “synergistic”

            3. Ibid. The study outlined three interrelated but
separate causes for
            brain deterioration found in many Gulf War veterans.
Some soldiers in the
            Gulf War wore flea collars meant for pets, exposing
them to toxic levels of
            pesticides. In 1997, Dr. Robert Haley, UT Southwestern
chief of
            epidemiology and lead author of the study, and his
colleagues defined three
            Gulf War syndromes. Syndrome 1, commonly found in
veterans who wore
            pesticide containing flea collars, is characterized
by impaired cognition.
            Syndrome 2, called confusion ataxia, the most severe
and debilitating of
            the syndromes, is found among veterans who said they
were exposed to low
            level nerve gas and experienced side effects from
anti nerve gas, or
            pyridostigmine (PB), tablets. Syndrome 3, characterized
by central pain, is
            found in veterans who wore insect repellent with
high concentrations of
            DEET, a common ingredient in many mosquito and tick
repellents. Veterans
            with Syndrome 3 also experienced severe side effects
from PB tablets. (cf.
            paper by Dr. James Fleckenstein at the Radiological
Society of North
            America's annual meeting, November 1999. The findings
were to be published
            in the June, 2000 issue of the journal “Radiology.”)

            4. Ibid. These brain cell losses are similar to those
found in patients
            with brain diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
(ALS, or Lou
            Gehrig's disease) and multiple sclerosis, as well
as dementia and other
            degenerative neurological disorders, although the
brain areas affected are


            Mitchel Cohen is an organizer with the NoSpray Coalition,
and a member of
            the Brooklyn Greens/Green Party of New York.

            Financial contributions to help Mitchel continue
this (and other) work is
            needed, and greatly appreciated.

            Mitchel Cohen
            2652 Cropsey Avenue, #7H
            Brooklyn, NY 11214
            (718) 449-0037
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