From 1940 to 1970, the United States was a giant bio-laboratory because the U.S. Army wanted to assess how vulnerable we were to a biological attack, so it spread clouds of microbes and chemicals over populated areas nationwide.
In August 1949, the Army Special Operations Division operatives infiltrated the world’s largest office building and sprayed bacteria into the Pentagon’s air handling system, which then spread them throughout the structure. (the bacteria were reportedly harmless).
The operatives moved to larger scale testing, releasing clouds containing Serratia marcescens, supposedly a harmless bacteria from Navy ships off Norfolk, Virginia, in April 1950, and the San Francisco coast in September 1950. The San Francisco experiments showed exposure among almost all of the city’s 800,000 residents. Had the bacteria released been anthrax bacteria or some other virulent pathogen, the number of casualties would have been immense. The bacteria floated over 30 miles, spread through the city, and may have caused one death. These tests were fairly routine, where it was also conducted at Washington’s National Airport and the New York subway system. One of the participants commented “I think it spread pretty good because you had a natural aerosol developed every few minutes from every train that went past.”
During Operation DEW, the U.S. Army released 250 pounds of cadmium sulfide off the Carolina coast, which spread over 60,000 square miles. The military didn’t know that cadmium sulfide was carcinogenic, nor did it know that it could cause kidney, lung, and liver damage. An assessment report can be found at Toxicologic Assessment of the Army's Zinc Cadmium Sulfide Dispersion Tests.
Project 112 / Project SHAD or Shipboard Hazard and Defense, was a test series conducted by the Department of Defense from 1962 to 1974. Service members participated in conducting the tests. The purpose was to determine the potential risks to U.S. warships and American forces from chemical and biological warfare agents. Military personnel were exposed to nerve agents like VX and sarin as well as bacteria like E. coli without their knowledge. At least 134 similar experiments were performed.
To date, there is no clear evidence of specific, long-term health problems associated with participation in Project SHAD. VA is sponsoring a follow-up to the Institute of Medicine study, expected to be available in 2014.
President Nixon ended offensive tests of the US biological weapons program in 1969, but the American public did not learn of this testing until 1977. Relatives of one elderly man Edward Nevin who had died of a nosocomial infection six months after the San Francisco tests sued the government in 1981, arguing that the supposedly harmless Serratia marcescens bacteria used in that test had in fact caused his death. In the event, the courts ruled against them, the main reason being that the plaintiffs could not prove that the bacteria used in the test were the same as those that killed Mr. Nevin.
Negotiations on an international treaty banning all biological weapons intensified, and after the Soviet Union dropped its opposition, in April 1972 the Biological Weapons Convention was completed and became open for signature by the nations of the world. The U.S. Senate ratified the convention in December 1974, and it went into effect in March 1975, the same year the Senate also finally ratified the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning the wartime use of bacteriological weapons. The Biological Weapons Convention was a historic accomplishment, not merely restricting biological weapons but pledging their complete elimination. Unfortunately, one of its key signatories, the Soviet Union, continued a secret biological weapons program in direct violation of the treaty’s terms, a fact that would only become known after the Cold War.
NOTE: Here is an interesting article from Poland...a suspected modern-day germ-bombing (2009) - Pneumonic Plague Symptoms, Aerosol Spraying Reported In Poland. There are many people who believe that the U.S. Government continues to test microbes and chemicals over the American population...Lon
PBS: The Living Weapon
An Introduction to Biological Weapons, Their Prohibition, and the Relationship to Biosafety
Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Comprehensive Survey for the Concerned Citizen
Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World--Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran It
Plague Wars: A True Story of Biological Warfare
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