US 'Mood-Altering' Weapons
Program Claimed Abandoned


(AFP) -- The United States made an attempt to develop mood-altering weapons similar to the gas used in a recent hostage crisis in Moscow but abandoned the program because it was difficult to reconcile with international law.
The disclosure is contained in a 250-page report on non-lethal weapons issued yesterday by the US government-sponsored scientific panel, the National Research Council.
The council urged the Pentagon to take another look at them now that US forces face a greater chance to get involved in urban combat as part of the war on terror.
According to the document, research into mood-altering weapons was sponsored by the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Command, at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, 10 to 15 years ago and involved fentanyl-based chemicals known as "calmatives".
The council described the program as "significant" but stopped short of revealing its details because they remain classified.
However, possible use of calmatives has been discussed on a number of occasions at the office of the secretary of defence and by the Joint Staff, which has eventually concluded that in their current form, these agents would be illegal under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), according to the report.
"The physiological effects of all calmatives that have been examined occur as a result of depression of the central nervous system, accompanied by mood alteration and respiratory depression," the council said.
But the scientists also discovered that it was very easy, particularly in combat situations, to cross the line beyond which calmatives could become lethal.
To solve the problem, the researchers tried to add components that would soften the effect of the main agent. But it all came to naught.
"The principal effect was still unconsciousness, which is unacceptable under most interpretations of the CWC," the report said.
At least 120 people were killed in Moscow last month when Russian security forces pumped a fentanyl-based gas into a theatre taken over by Chechen rebels seeking independence from Russia.
The gas knocked out many of the more than 800 hostages held in the theatre as well as most of their captors.
c. 2002 Agence France-Presse,4057,5428924%255E13762,00.html
From Kim
It just keeps coming and coming at us. If you believe the mood-altering weapons program has been abandoned because we couldn't 'reconcile it with international law' are sadly mistaken. The various and sundry chemtrail projects, for instance, violate EPA, state, U.S. and international laws but you don't see them stopping, do you?


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