US Navy Sprayed
On Its Own Ships And Men
CBS News says thousands of Navy personnel were subjected, without their consent or knowledge, to biological-warfare experiments back in the 1960s.
Based on Navy documents and CBS News interviews with sailors involved at the time, the network is reporting that:
Two secret tests - one code-named 'Autumn Gold, 'conducted off Hawaii, the other, 'Copper Head,' off Newfoundland - were carried out 35 years ago to test the vulnerability of Navy ships to germ-warfare attack.
Navy documents refer to the vessels as "target ships" and the sailors on them as "test subjects."
Nine times in one month, jet aircraft would spray clouds of a biological-warfare agent, used to simulate the deadly anthrax germ, in the path of the vessels.
Then, other planes on the same path would fly over, spraying particles of zinc cadmium oxide, thought to be harmless.
However, after a researcher warned that the compound was "highly toxic," the military ceased spraying it.
Only eight of the men who made up the "control group" wore gas masks. Other crewmen were ordered to give throat swabs or gargle samples.
The Pentagon now says the sailors "were not exposed to any harmful chemical and biological compound" and all "were fully informed about the details of each test."
Those Navy personnel interviewed by CBS dispute that, saying they never gave their consent, were never even told what the experiments were about.
Harmful or not, the tests appear to have violated government policies of half-a-century standing that: "The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential."
CBS did not say whether any of the sailors involved in the experiments had reported ill effects.
This Site Served by TheHostPros