The US Wanted to Test Sarin on Aussie Soldiers?

by Kevin Jon Heller

Okay, I really, really hate the Wallabies.  But not this much:

The United States planned to gas Australian troops in experiments with two of the most lethal nerve gases ever devised, newly declassified files have revealed.

Previously top secret documents have shown that even as the world was outlawing chemical weapons at the height of the Cold War, Washington sought Canberra’s permission to test sarin and VX gas on diggers in remote Queensland.

The documents, shown on Channel Nine’s Sunday programme yesterday, indicate that US military scientists wanted to bomb and spray 200 "mainly Australian" troops with the deadly nerve agents in the 1960s.

Shaken by the request, the plan was rejected by Liberal Prime Minister Harold Holt, despite Canberra’s deep concern to keep the US engaged in the western Pacific.

[snip]

Sarin and VX gas are now classified as weapons of mass destruction and are outlawed under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.

Kind of puts a new spin on Oz’s baffling — and domestically unpopular — decision to support the US invasion of Iraq…

http://opiniojuris.org/2008/07/16/the-us-wanted-to-test-sarin-on-aussie-soldiers/

One Response

  1. Well if it is any comfort to the Aussies, please note that the US was perfectly willing to let black Americans at Tuskegee go without treatment for venereal diseases for decades as a “control group”. And American troops were exposed to nuclear blasts back at the beginning of the atomic age. So – truly transnational cannon fodder for perverse experiments.
    Best,
    Ben

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