excerpts from the book
Manufacturing Wars the American
Edited by Ellen Ray and Willam
Ocean Press, 2003
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
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
The History of U.S. Bio-chemical Killers
by Ken Lawrence (1982)
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
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
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
by William H. Schaap (1982. 1984)
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
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
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
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
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
by Tod Ensign (1992-93)
Possible Causes Identified
What has become known as the "Gulf
War Syndrome" may actually result from a combination of factors,
* 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.
* Two vaccines, pentavalent botulinum-toxoid
and anthrax, and a medication, pyridostigmine bromide, which were
designed as antidotes for biological or nerve gas weapons.
* Aerial spraying of pesticides over U.S.
military bases in Saudi Arabia.
* Spraying of diesel oil to control dust
around U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia.
* Radiation exposure from depleted uranium
used in some high velocity shells fired by M1A1 Abrams tanks and
A-10 Thunderbolt fighter bombers.
* Portable heaters that used leaded gasoline
and diesel fuel inside unventilated tents.
* Wholesale detonation of Iraqi ammunition
depots without first determining whether or not they held toxic
* 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.