2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 10 Oct 2002 14:41:00 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Pentagon Releases Reports on '60s Toxic Tests
Pentagon Releases Reports on '60s Toxic Tests
Thursday, October 10, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon conceded Wednesday that it may not have fully
informed some soldiers in the 1960s that they had been part of secret
tests of chemical and biological weapons, including those in Utah.

The Pentagon released 28 declassified reports at a House hearing
Wednesday detailing open-air testing of chemical and biological agents
on U.S. troops during the Cold War era.

The House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health is investigating a
series of secret tests conducted at sea and in five states during the
1960s where toxic substances -- such as VX, the military's deadliest
nerve agent -- were used on soldiers to test their vulnerability in
unconventional attacks.

Thousands of civilians in Hawaii and Alaska also probably were unaware
they were sprayed with relatively mild bacteria meant to simulate germ
weapons such as anthrax, the Defense Department's top health official

William Winkenwerder, assistant defense secretary for health affairs,
said there is no evidence anyone died as a result of the classified
tests, which were part of biological and chemical warfare programs the
United States abandoned in 1970.

Four people at the military's Deseret Test Center program in Utah,
overseen by the Dugway Proving Ground, were infected during biological
weapons work, but all recovered, said Michael Kilpatrick, another
Pentagon health official. Records do not show who the people were or
what germs infected them, Kilpatrick said.

At a news conference, the Pentagon released declassified summaries of
the tests, showing for the first time the scope of open-air testing of
chemical and biological agents on U.S. soil. About 5,500 service members
participated in the tests.

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