Nov. 6, 2005

"No WMD's Here!" The Pentagon has gassed us all

Decades of dumping chemical arms leave a risky legacy BY JOHN M.R. BULL Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - In the summer of 2004, a clam-dredging operation off New Jersey pulled up an old artillery shell. The long-submerged World War I-era explosive was filled with a black tarlike substance. Bomb disposal technicians from Dover Air Force Base, Del., were brought in to dismantle it. Three of them were injured - one hospitalized with large pus-filled blisters on an arm and hand. The shell was filled with mustard gas in solid form. What was long feared by the few military officials in the know had come to pass: Chemical weapons that the Army dumped at sea decades ago finally ended up on shore in the United States. It's long been known that some chemical weapons went into the ocean, but records obtained by the Daily Press show that the previously classified weapons-dumping program was far more extensive than ever suspected. The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels. A Daily Press investigation also found: These weapons of mass destruction virtually ring the country, concealed off at least 11 states - six on the East Coast, two on the Gulf Coast, California, Hawaii and Alaska. Few, if any, state officials have been informed of their existence......Cont

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