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Military plans use of chemical weapons on demonstrators

Military plans to use chemical weapons on demonstrators.
Pentagon Discusses Chemical Weapons To Calm Rioters
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Pentagon Discusses Chemical Weapons To Calm Rioters
Critics Say Idea Is Illegal
Posted: 6:44 p.m. EDT September 25, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military is exploring ways to use drugs such as Valium to calm people without killing them during riots or other crowd control situations where lethal weapons are inappropriate.

Some critics say the effort violates international treaties and federal laws against chemical weapons, an allegation the military denies.

"It's a rotten idea to drug rioters," said Edward Hammond of the Sunshine Project, a chemical and biological weapons watchdog group that is the program's chief critic. "Beyond being a horrible idea, it's illegal."

The Pentagon has long tried to develop nonlethal weapons that would incapacitate or repel people with little risk of killing them. The effort intensified in the 1990s after hostile mobs confronted U.S. troops during peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in places like Somalia, Bosnia and Haiti.

Officials in the military's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate began discussing whether it would be possible to develop drugs for use as "calmatives," or chemical peacemakers. Those discussions continued at a seminar with British military officials in 2000, according to a joint report on the meeting.

"During war game scenarios, numerous participants expressed the desire to have a NLW (non-lethal weapon) that could quickly incapacitate individuals with little or no aftereffects," the report said.

Researchers at a Pentagon-funded institute at Pennsylvania State University prepared a 50-page report that year saying that developing calmative weapons "is achievable and desirable" and suggesting drugs like Valium for further research.

One hurdle for using such drugs for riot control, the researchers wrote, is finding a way to deliver the substances to large groups, such as in a spray or mist. Another problem would be figuring out how to prevent other injuries, such as by people falling down if they are knocked unconscious, the researchers wrote.

That's as far as the military went, spokesmen for Pennsylvania State and the military said. University spokeswoman Vicki Fong said the researchers initiated the study themselves, not under a request from the military.

"We decided to step back and make sure the use of calmatives would not violate the Chemical Weapons Convention," said Marine Capt. Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate. "There are still questions, and until those are worked out, we're not going to put any funding into it."

Hammond said the research itself may have violated the anti-chemical weapons treaty and any use of calmatives would be illegal.

"If the U.S. is going to denounce countries around the world for violating chemical and biological arms control treaties, it better make sure its own house is in order first," said Hammond, whose group obtained the Pennsylvania State study and hundreds of pages of other nonlethal weapons documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

The chemical weapons treaty allows military and police forces to use riot control agents, such as tear gas and pepper spray, that produce temporary irritation. The treaty bans use of chemicals that incapacitate people, however.

The report of the U.S.-British meeting said the American participants agreed that research into calmatives "must be conducted in a manner consistent with our obligations under international law, including the law of war."


Can this be real? 25.Sep.2002 18:11

Sick already

Drugging dissenters. Brought to u by the people who brought u the WAR ON DRUGS.

It's much worse than you think 25.Sep.2002 18:40

clabber grrrl publiceditor@news.oregonian.com

go to the source site for this,


Here are their current top stories:

24 September - News Release
US Operates Secret Chemical Weapons Program
The case against JNLWD to be taken to the UN.

19 September - Review
Pharmawar: MCRU Calmatives Study and JNLWD
A Review of the (Public) Facts.

12 August - News Release
US Special Forces Seek GM Bioweapons
Bioagents would secretly tag and destroy materials.

1 July - News Release
US Psychopharmacological Weapons Research
Psychoactives under research are dangerous and illegal.

24 May - News Release
Pentagon BW Proposals at US Attorney's Office
Action requested under Bioweapons Anti-Terrorism Act.

GWB, don rummy and the military 25.Sep.2002 18:59


'"riots or other crowd control situations"'

--riots might necessarily 'need' to be controlled, but during what other situations would crowds require controlling? when a few people are "mouthing off" to the gesta/po/lice? or is it just cuz *they* want to control a crowd, even if the crowd has the 'right' to crowd around/in somewhere.

riots tend to be illegal in a major way; blocking traffic--by today's judicial standards--might be considered to be a "violation", not a "crime" (see language on this page:


"In this case we are not concerned with different penalties for the same conduct, as in Dollarhide, or with the same penalty for somewhat different conduct, as in Lodi and Jackson. (3) Rather, the question is whether the city may make a crime of conduct that is of the same kind but not identical to conduct that the state treats as a non-criminal violation. Twenty-five years ago the legislature established a clear state policy that minor traffic infractions, including those jaywalking offenses that are the subject of state law, should be treated as violations, not as crimes. We hold that, because of that state policy decision, the city may not make a violation of this jaywalking ordinance a crime punishable by imprisonment.")

should protestors be handled like 'criminals', especially given the circumstance of many recent protests where orders aren't given by police or can't be heard by people? blah blah
crap, just did a search and ran across this stuff



" For purposes of this order, the term "State" includes any State, district, territory, or possession of the United States" (excerpted from this nutty military order allegedly drafted by the pResident, all by himself)
 http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2001/11/bush111301.html as linked from

council for a livable world

It's a Brave New World 25.Sep.2002 20:25

Chris Pangle fan_letters@hotmail.com

Maybe people should start reading Huxley as reference material in addition to Eric Blair...