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Old 09-25-2002, 08:58 AM   #1
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US also developing chemical weapons?

Hello,

I saw this on the site of the Sunshine Project ( http://www.sunshineproject.org ), a non-profit organisation against the use of biotechnology and chemical weapons by the military.
Their press release states that at this moment the USA is trying to develop chemical weapons, violating the Chemical Weapons Convention. Here is the full press release:

Quote:

US Military Operating a Secret Chemical Weapons Program
Sunshine Project provides evidence for US violation of international law

(Austin and Hamburg, 24 September 2002) - The Sunshine Project today accuses the US military of conducting a chemical weapons research and development program in violation of international arms control law. The charges follow an 18 month investigation of the Department of Defense's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD). The investigation made extensive use of the US Freedom of Information Act to obtain Pentagon records that form the primary basis of the allegations. An array of documents, many of which have been posted on the Sunshine Project website, demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that JNLWD is operating an illegal and classified chemical weapons program.

Specifically, the Sunshine Project accuses the JNLWD of:

1. Conducting a research and development program on toxic chemical agents for use as weapons, including anesthetics and psychoactive substances, in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention;

2. Developing long-range military delivery devices for these chemicals, including an 81mm chemical mortar round, that violate the Chemical Weapons Convention.

3. Pursuing a chemical weapons program while fully cognizant that it violates the Chemical Weapons Convention and US Department of Defense regulations;

4. Attempting to cover up the illicit program by classifying as secret even its own legal interpretations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and attempting to block access to documents requested under US information freedom law.


These charges are detailed in the attached Annex to this news release, in the accompanying map and fact sheet, and the Sunshine Project's JNLWD documents web page, which has full text of more than two dozen documents. Specific citations are in footnotes below.


The Weapons: JNLWD's secret program is not focusing on highly lethal agents such as VX or sarin. Rather, the emphasis is on "non-lethal" chemical weapons that incapacitate. JNLWD's science advisors define "non-lethal" as resulting in death or permanent injury in 1 in 100 victims.(1) JNLWD's Research Director told a US military magazine "We need something besides tear gas, like calmatives, anesthetic agents, that would put people to sleep or in a good mood." (2) These weapons are intended for use against "potentially hostile civilians", in anti-terrorism operations, counterinsurgency, and other military operations.

The major focus of JNLWD's operation is on the use of drugs as weapons, particularly so-called "calmatives", a military term for mind-altering or sleep inducing chemical weapons. Other agents mentioned as militarily useful in the documents are convulsants, which are dangerous cramp-inducing drugs, and pharmaceuticals that failed development trials due to harmful side-effects. (3) This interest in so-called "calmatives" has been discussed in previous Project publications. (4)

New documents prove the existence of an advanced development program for long range delivery devices for the chemicals, in particular a "non-lethal" 81mm mortar round with a range of 2.5 kilometers and which is designed to work in standard issue US military weapons (the M252 mortar) (5). Photos of testing of this round and a gas generating payload canister are posted on the Sunshine Project's website. (6) JNLWD has recently asked the company building the gas canister, General Dynamics, to develop methodologies to characterize the aerosols it generates, and to calculate the ground area coverage of gas clouds created by an airburst at different altitudes. (7) A chemical mortar round with a 2.5 kilometer range has solely military applications, and cannot possibly be justified for a US military domestic riot control purpose.

The Solutions:

1) UN Inspectors into the US: The Sunshine Project, while urging the United States to immediately halt this chemical weapons program, also announces its intention to take its allegations and evidence to the 7th Session of the Conference of the States Parties of the Chemical Weapons Convention, scheduled to start in The Hague on October 7th. There, the Sunshine Project will present its case to governments and request tthe Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons send a UN weapons inspection team to the US to investigate.

2) US Oversight: The Sunshine Project calls upon the US Congress to investigate JNLWD's arms control violations, to conduct public hearings, to hold JNLWD and its superiors responsible for their actions, to freeze all JNLWD funding, and to immediately declassify all JNLWD documents.

Says Edward Hammond, director of the Sunshine Project US, "We can present hard evidence for an illicit and shameful chemical weapons program in the US. If the US invades Iraq and uses these weapons, we may witness the depravity of the US waging chemical warfare against Iraq to prevent it from developing chemical weapons."

Jan van Aken, Director of the Sunshine Project in Germany says "The US administration 'names names' of alleged violators at arms control meetings. We have written documentation that the British government told JNLWD that its program violates the CWC in private talks. (8) However, Europe must publicly denounce American chemical weapons violations in The Hague. Those who remain silent will bear part of the guilt."

Escalation danger: JNLWD's chemical weapons program not only violates international law, it presents an escalation threat. Any use of chemical weapons in a military situation - even if the agents are purported to be "non-lethal" - carries the inherent danger of escalation into an all out chemical war and heightened violence. If attacked with a chemical of unknown nature with a fast incapacitating effect, victims may assume that lethal chemicals, leading to heightened violence or even retaliation in kind. This rapid escalation danger is one of the key reasons why the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the use of even tear gas or pepper spray as a method of warfare.

The Road to a Chemical Arms Race: In addition, JNLWD's program might easily be used to disguise lethal chemical weapons development. Deadly chemicals are the former specialty of JNLWD's partner in the program, the US Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground. Long range delivery devices may easily be converted to use biological agents or other chemicals, including lethal nerve gas. Design and development of new delivery devices, production facilities or delivery experiments - all key parts of a lethal chemical weapons program - might easily be performed by the US or other countries if the buzz-word "non-lethal" is used as a cover. If non-lethal chemical warfare programs are not banned, the basic principles of the CWC could fall apart, resulting in new full blown chemical arms race even before Cold War stocks are destroyed.
So now the UN weapons inspectors also have to go to the USA to check and dismantle these chemical weapons. Should this be the case then the USA can give a good example to Iraq by letting the weapon inspectors in without restrictions. But somehow I don't think it'll get this far, as the USA has veto power in the UN Security Council...

Marty
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:12 AM   #2
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Interesting article, Marty.
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:22 AM   #3
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Great. If they start wafting across the border, I'm screwed.
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Old 09-25-2002, 12:04 PM   #4
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Cute, but you have missed the point. The dismantlement of chemical and nuclear weapons ("weapons of mass destruction") was a term for ending the Gulf War, along with the U.N. weapons inspectors to ensure its enforcement.

The question, for me, is whether the U.S. ever agreed to the Chemical Weapons Convention, hence making this argument mute, assuming the U.S. never ratified it. However, I do not know the answer to this question.

Melon
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Old 09-25-2002, 01:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Cute, but you have missed the point. The dismantlement of chemical and nuclear weapons ("weapons of mass destruction") was a term for ending the Gulf War, along with the U.N. weapons inspectors to ensure its enforcement.

The question, for me, is whether the U.S. ever agreed to the Chemical Weapons Convention, hence making this argument mute, assuming the U.S. never ratified it. However, I do not know the answer to this question.

Melon
FACT SHEET: SIGNATORIES AND RATIFIERS OF CWC
(The following fact sheet on countries that have signed and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention was issued by the White House on April 4.)

Signatories and Ratifiers

The Chemical Weapons Convention will ban the development, production,
acquisition, stockpiling, retention and direct or indirect transfer of
Chemical Weapons. It also prohibits the use or preparation for use of
CW and the assistance, encouragement or inducement of anyone else to
engage in activities prohibited by the CWC.

Key allies have deposited instruments of ratification, including most
NATO members. Within a month of the Sarin gas attack in the Tokyo
subway, Japan's Diet ratified the CWC.

Signed by 130 countries in Paris on January 12, 1993, the CWC will
enter into force on April 29, 1997, 180 days after the 65th
ratification. As of March 3, 161 countries have signed the CWC, of
which 70 have ratified it. See attached list of countries.

Chemical Weapons Convention Signatories/Ratifiers
As of March 3, 1997
Total: Signatories - 161; Ratifiers - 70

Afghanistan
Albania (Ratified 5/11/94)
Algeria (Ratified 8/14/95)
Argentina (Ratified 10/02/95)
Armenia (Ratified 1/27/95)
Australia (Ratified 5/6/94)
Austria (Ratified 8/17/95)
Azerbaijan
Bahamas (Signed 3/2/94)
Bahrain (Signed 2/24/93)
Bangladesh
Belarus (Ratified 7/11/96)
Belgium (Ratified 1/27/97)
Benin
Bolivia
Bosnia-Herzegovina (Ratified 2/25/97)
Brazil (Ratified 3/13/96)
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria (Ratified 8/10/94)
Burkina Faso
Burma (Myanmar)
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon (Ratified 9/16/96)
Canada (Ratified 9/26/95)
Cape Verde
Central African Rep.
Chad (Signed 10/11/94)
Chile (Ratified 7/12/96)
China
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Cook Islands (Ratified 7/15/94)
Costa Rica (Ratified 5/31/96)
Cote d'Ivoire (Ratified 12/18/95)
Croatia (Ratified 5/23/95)
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic (Ratified 3/6/96)
Denmark (Ratified 7/12/95)
Dijibouti (Signed 9/28/93)
Dominica (Signed 8/2/93)
Dominican Republic
Ecuador (Ratified 9/6/95)
El Salvador (Ratified 10/30/95)
Equatorial Guinea
Estonia
Ethiopia (Ratified 5/13/96)
Fiji (Ratified 1/20/93)
Finland (Ratified 2/7/95)
France (Ratified 3/2/95)
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia (Ratified 11/27/95)
Germany (Ratified 8/12/94)
Ghana
Greece (Ratified 12/22/94)
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana (Signed 10/6/93)
Haiti
Holy See
Honduras
Hungary (Ratified 10/31/96)
Iceland
India (Ratified 9/3/96)
Indonesia
Iran
Ireland (Ratified 6/24/96)
Israel
Italy (Ratified 12/8/95)
Japan (Ratified 9/15/95)
Kazakstan
Kenya
Korea (Rep of)
Kuwait (Signed 1/27/93)
Kyrgyzstan (Signed 2/22/93)
Laos (P.D.R.) (Ratified 2/25/97)
Latvia (Ratified 7/23/96)
Lesotho (Signed and Ratified 12/7/94)
Liberia
Liechtenstein (Signed 7/21/93)
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives (Ratified 5/31/94)
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius (Ratified 2/9/93)
Mexico (Ratified 8/29/94)
Micronesia
Moldova (Rep of) (Ratified 7/8/96)
Monaco (Ratified 6/1/95)
Mongolia (Ratified 1/17/95)
Morocco (Ratified 12/28/95)
Namibia (Ratified 11/27/95)
Nauru (Rep of)
Nepal (Signed 1/21/93)
Netherlands (Ratified 6/30/95)
New Zealand (Ratified 7/15/96)
Nicaragua (Signed 3/9/93)
Niger
Nigeria
Norway (Ratified 4/7/94)
Oman (Ratified 2/8/95)
Pakistan
Panama (Signed 6/16/93)
Papua New Guinea (Ratified 4/17/96)
Paraguay (Ratified 12/1/94)
Peru (Ratified 7/20/95)
Philippines (Ratified 12/11/96)
Poland (Ratified 2/15/95)
Portugal (Ratified 9/10/96)
Qatar (Signed 2/1/93)
Romania (Ratified 2/15/95)
Russian Federation
Rwanda (Signed 5/17/93)
Samoa
San Marino
Saudi Arabia (Ratified 8/9/96)
Senegal
Seychelles (Ratified 4/7/93)
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovak Republic (Ratified 10/27/95)
Slovenia
South Africa (Ratified 9/13/95)
Spain (Ratified 8/3/94)
Sri Lanka (Ratified 8/19/94)
St. Kitts & Nevis (Signed 3/16/94)
St. Lucia (Signed 3/29/93)
St. Vincent and The Grenadines (Signed 9/20/93)
Swaziland (Ratified 11/20/96)
Sweden (Ratified 6/17/93)
Switzerland (Ratified 3/10/95)
Tajikistan (Ratified 1/11/95)
Tanzania (Signed 2/25/94)
Thailand
Togo
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan (Ratified 9/29/94)
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates (Signed 2/2/93)
United Kingdom (Ratified 5/13/96)
United States
Uruguay (Ratified 10/6/94)
Uzbekistan (Ratified 7/23/96)
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen (Signed 2/8/93)
Zaire
Zambia
Zimbabwe
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Old 09-25-2002, 02:48 PM   #6
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hmmmm....The Sunshine Project" that certainly is an unbiased, objective, a-political organization. Funny how the military spends money to develop non-lethal weapons and the people that rail against the US government for having weapons of mass destruction come up with this crap. By their arguement, a women who uses pepper spray to prevent herself from being raped is as guilty as Saddam Hussain gassing civilians.
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Old 09-26-2002, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
hmmmm....The Sunshine Project" that certainly is an unbiased, objective, a-political organization. Funny how the military spends money to develop non-lethal weapons and the people that rail against the US government for having weapons of mass destruction come up with this crap. By their arguement, a women who uses pepper spray to prevent herself from being raped is as guilty as Saddam Hussain gassing civilians.
Try to be a little more accurate.
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Old 09-26-2002, 02:22 PM   #8
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I think I was as accurate as the Sunshine club or whatever.
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