Mention chemical and biological warfare and the average person will tell you that President Nixon made a statement outlawing it a couple of years ago. And if the individual is scanning current news reports, chances are be will even tell you that germ warfare weapons are being destroyed in accordance with the President's pledge.
The President's CBW policy statement (lid not outlaw CBW. Most aspects of this
country's CBW program were unaffected by the President's statement. The CBNV
program continues today in much the same manner as before. And although it's
too soon to tell‑it usually takes a year or two for the light of truth to
penetrate the Army's national security smokescreen‑many observers are convinced
that the widely publicized destruction of germ warfare agents at the
the Life magazine article, "Destroying the Germs of War," in the
The careful reader might have been intrigued by Life's cryptic statement that the Army will retain a portion of the germ warfare stockpile for what it terms "defensive research." The agents and the quantities were riot specified. The meaning of the term "defensive” was not defined. The fortunate reader of the Bee was spared considering the implications of' the continuing "defensive” program; it wasn't mentioned.
When it comes to CBW, unanswered questions are nothing new. The Cold War buildup of the CBW arsenal was effected with a curious admixture of duplicity and publicity. What is surprising is that the press still hasn't learned to examine the Army's press statements on CBW very carefully before presenting them as an accurate refection of the situation.
A few definitions may prove useful to the reader at the outset:
The Army groups chemical, biological, and radiological operations together under units designated CBR (sometimes NBC, for nuclear, biological, and chemical). Because this study is concerned with the chemical and biological aspects of' CBR activities, as distinct from nuclear operations, CBW is the term generally used throughout this book. Army communications quoted here often use the term CBR.
branches of the armed forces participate to some extent in CBW activities, but
the Army’s program is by far the largest. The C13W incidents that have come to
public attention in
I would like to thank Lyle Harris, Gordon Scott Harrison, and Sarah Isto for laboring through the manuscript; their suggestions contributed immeasurably to the quality of the text. I am also indebted to Thomas Morehouse and Dianne Jacobson for reading parts of the text, and Wendy Warren and Barbara Peterson for their help in typing chapters of the manuscript.
I am especially grateful to Marianne Evans, editor at McNally and Loftin, for her encouragement, patience, and cooperation throughout the preparation of this book.
grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism made it possible for me to
attend the CBW public health defense course at
Portions of chapters 6, 7, and 8 originally appeared in the Anchorage Daily News.
Without the confidence of servicemen and former military men who provided much of the information subsequently corroborated by the Army, this book would not have been possible. Although responsibility for errors in fact and interpretation rests solely with me, in a very real sense this is their book.
RICHARD A. FINEBERG.