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Will the US use Chemical Agents?

Both of tonight's guests, Steve Quayle (first hour) and David Hagberg, have studied the global situation as it relates to potential warfare. Yesterday a report(1) was published in the Independent UK detailing how the US military is preparing to use chemical and gas compounds in Iraq.

Specifically they named the toxic riot-control agent CS gas(2) as well as pepper spray. CS is a kind of tear gas, 0-chlorobenzalmalononitrile in powder form, which is usually mixed with a dispersal agent, like methylene chloride. It can be used to force people out of a building and its symptoms include extreme burning in the nose and throat, vomiting and nausea. While it's not fatal, its use had been banned along with other agents in the Chemical Weapons Convention that the US signed in 1975.

The Independent also wrote that "internal Pentagon documents...show that the US is developing a range of calmative gases, also banned for battlefield use." These could be similar to the chemicals used in the Moscow theater stand-off, and would likely entail at least a 9% death rate. Additionally, the US could face criticism for maintaining a double-standard if they used such weapons while ostensibly condemning Iraq for their chemical stockpiles.

--L.L.(3)

1. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=383006
2. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/waco/csgas.html
3. http://archive.coasttocoastam.com/info/about_lex.html

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