World War I in Color
is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Oct 31, 2013 -
"The military’s secret Cold War experiment to fight enemies with clouds of psychochemicals. Decades after a risky Cold War experiment, a scientist lives with secrets." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Dec 10, 2012 -
Halabja chemical weapons:
A chance to find the men who armed Saddam?
"Nearly 25 years ago, Iraqi forces killed thousands of their own civilians using chemical weapons on the Kurdish town of Halabja. Now steps are about to be taken to discover which country - and possibly which factory - supplied some of the chemicals."
posted by marienbad
on Dec 4, 2012 -
The WMD was discovered, quite by chance, lying by the side of a Bridgeville road in late July by a Delaware state trooper on an unrelated callout. Jutting out of the ground, the 75mm shell was encrusted in barnacles and pitted with rust; barely recognisable as a munition at all. The trooper called in his find and a military team took the bomb to Dover Air Force Base for disposal. As with most conventional rounds, a small charge was placed on the side of the shell and detonated to trigger the vintage munition’s own explosive. But something went wrong, and the bomb failed to explode. When the two staff sergeants and technician walked over to inspect the failed detonation, they found a strange black liquid seeping out of the cracked mortar. Given that the shell had been under the sea for the better part of fifty years, the men thought little of the foul-smelling substance until hours later, when their skin began to erupt in agonising blisters. All three were rushed to Kent General hospital, where two were released later after minor treatment. A third, more seriously injured serviceman was transported to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, where he remained in serious but stable condition with what were only described as “burns or blisters” in a statement issued by the Army later that week. A scientific team were sent to Dover to collect soil samples from the area. The results were clear: the shell had been filled with mustard gas.
posted by Blasdelb
on Sep 20, 2012 -
- Now It’s a Chemical Weapon, Now It’s Not; was used
by US forces in the siege of Fallujah. Now Haaretz
has questioned if White Phosphoros is being used against Gaza. Here
is apparent video proof. Willy Pete has a strange legality
; but whether legal or not is certainly one of the nastiest chemicals
used in warfare.
posted by adamvasco
on Jan 16, 2009 -
There is a killer
lurking in your local auto wrecking yard. Sodium Azide
, the chemical used in automobile air bags, is available to anyone who asks for it. Conceivably anyone could obtain several pounds of this poison, yet it takes only a few grams to kill
. A late model SUV will have enough in it's air bags to kill a couple of hundred people
It explodes. It kills
on contact with the skin. It kills via air, food, or water. It is odorless and colorless
. There is no antidote. Even minor exposure will result in permanent damage to brain cells.
University of Arizona atmospheric scientist Eric Betterton
was one of the first to expose the hazards of this unregulated material in 2000. The author J. A. Jance used it as the poison of choice in her book 'Partners in Crime
The perfect terrorist weapon
? It would seem so, but the Federal government doesn't regulate it's post-manufacture distribution. Got a grudge? Go pick up a few hundred pounds
posted by altman
on Dec 1, 2006 -
Where did those chemical and biological weapons come from?
”According to the December declaration, treated with much derision from the Bush administration, U.S. and Western companies played a key role in building Hussein's war machine. The 1,200-page document contains a list of Western corporations and countries -- as well as individuals -- that exported chemical and biological materials to Iraq in the past two decades.”
I’ve always been surprised that this type of report doesn’t get more attention. During the UN hearings I half expected the Administration to level with the world and simply say: ”We know they have the stuff because we sold it to them.”
posted by peebo
on Mar 26, 2003 -
Maybe there are no weapons, after all...
"On February 24, Newsweek broke what may be the biggest story of the Iraq crisis. In a revelation that "raises questions about whether the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist," the magazine's issue dated March 3 reported that the Iraqi weapons chief who defected from the regime in 1995 told U.N. inspectors that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles, as Iraq claims...." This is the same defector cited by the Bush administration numerous times as a reliable informant on the scope of Saddam's long-term WMD plans.
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Feb 28, 2003 -
A War Crime or an Act of War?
But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story. ..
This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.
And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. (NYT)
posted by y2karl
on Jan 31, 2003 -
Canada's forgotten weapons of mass destruction.
Shortly after the end of World War II, the Canadian navy began to dispose of its surplus chemical weapons by dumping them off the shore of Atlantic Canada. Large quantities of chemical agents, including mustard gas, were loaded onto barges and scuttled at undisclosed locations.
Over 50 years later, some of these military dumpsites have become lost due to poor record keeping. With increasing offshore oil exploration and a commercially successful shellfish industry, there's a possibility that these forgotten chemical agents could return
to the coasts of "Canada's Ocean Playground".
posted by Caffine_Fiend
on Jan 13, 2003 -
The new tapes obtained by CNN
are somewhat disturbing. Has anyone else been able to catch some of them, either online, or on CNN Live? The chemical testing on the dogs is particularily interesting. Suddenly, experts are wondering if Al Qaeda has more technological capability then was previously estimated. Do you think that they have indeed made it past the stage of torturing dogs, and could pose a serious chemical threat? What is the likelihood that these weapons will be used?
posted by dgt
on Aug 19, 2002 -
Beyond the Axis of Evil
- The United States has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to its "axis of evil" - nations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons. The Under Secretary of State also warned that the US would take action.
posted by Stuart_R
on May 6, 2002 -