Making One's Illegal Self at Home

Believe it or not, Big Brother is alive and well at the lake Jackson library and the Brazoria County criminal attorney’s office is in charge of defending the software used to censor access to various websites on Brazoria County computers. One wonder’s why it is that the criminal attorney’s office would be in charge of such matters, it certainly might intimidate anyone considering challenging the county’s embrasure of policies and procedures that in effect violate the Second Amendment. I went to the Lake Jackson library the other day and immediately became aware of the fact that Brazoria County residents aren’t allowed to access certain websites. No, I’m not talking about pornography and/or gambling websites, I’m talking about websites that allow access to historical archives, and websites that offer alternative news, and commentary.

When I first noticed this I assumed that it could be remedied fairly quickly – I figured a request, a letter, a phone call, and the censorship of these websites would end. Initially I attempted to do this through the library staff, no luck. I then wrote assistant librarian Larry White and asked him if he’s been assigned the role of “morality cop,” and requested that several websites be unblocked. A few days later I received a letter from the Criminal District Attorney’s office. Can you imagine???

In the letter Assistant District Attorney Trey Picard informed me that “certain internet material,” could not be accessed on Brazoria County computers because of “certain mandates of federal law,” which presumably authorize various morality cops in our fine county to prevent you and I from accessing incredibly important information, vital for the formation of an educated opinion. The ambiguous letter didn’t bother to actually define what “certain material,” meant, or exactly what “certain mandates of federal law,” were involved or who imposed these mandates upon the citizenry of Brazoria County as opposed to residents of Kleberg County, Texas who are not affected by similar legislation and whose library allows access to the internet sites Brazoria County doesn’t. Attorney Picard was kind enough to enclose with the letter an Internet Use and Policy Guidelines form which only reinforced the fact that none of the websites I was concerned with should be censored and/or filtered out as they could in no way be considered pornographic, illegal, and/or websites that encourage people to commit illegal acts. Nonetheless, weeks after having initially requested these websites be “unblocked,” most still remain blocked by the filtering software identified as WebSense.

On May 12, 2006 I received a letter from Brazoria County’s assistant librarian Larry White who assured me that all of the requested websites I had submitted for “unblocking,” had in fact been “unblocked,” and then inexplicably added the caveat, “to the best of our capabilities we have verified this was accomplished.” I followed this letter up by calling Mr. White, to tell him the sites remained blocked, in my opinion, White was not very happy to hear from me, I was pretty much given short shrift and treated as a nuisance, rather than one of the many taxpayers that provide Mr. White with a job and paycheck.

Please call the library and/or the Brazoria County Criminal Attorney’s office and request that they end censorship of non-pornographic/non-illegal websites on County computers. In this day and age, when we no longer have any reason to trust the national media establishment or federal government we need access to websites that will provide us with information that will truly enable us to develop an objective and informed opinion, rather than one reliant on the subjective views of an elite few.

C.B. Maynard

Selective Distortion at Northwestern University's student newspaper

February 21, 2006

"Selective Distortion at Northwestern University's student newspaper the Daily Northwestern."

By Curtis Maynard

I felt compelled to write this piece after monitoring the ongoing anti-Butz campaign proceeding at the Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper at Northwestern University in Illinois. Of course the Butz I am referring to is Arthur Butz, an electrical engineering professor at NU that wrote a book entitled The Hoax of the Twentieth Century back in the 1970s and has been a controversial pariah ever since.

The reason I feel compelled to follow up on this developing story is because a bit of deceptive propaganda is already at work. I can say this as I have some experience with propaganda in that both my of my Masters degrees followed theses on the subject, my psychology thesis is entitled “A Study Focusing on the Formation of Opinion, and the Knowledge Associated with its development,” and concluded that the average American college student is likely to develop intense opinions on matters in which they know very little. This would seem to be a no-brainer, and it is in a sense, but the most important finding was that a certain psychological paradigm was quietly and perniciously at work behind the scenes so top speak and was revealed when survey respondents [College students] answered certain specific questions.

The survey administered to these college students revealed that many of their opinions were the result of indoctrination rather than education; this is common today and is the result of the psychological phenomenon of “selective distortion,” which is well understood in advertising circles. “This phenomenon can occur in two primary ways. If an individual wants to believe something is not true, then even in the face of an overwhelming amount of information disputing their original contention, they will still reject what they do not want to believe. Likewise, this can happen in the same manner with an individual that wants to believe something is in fact true, no matter the amount of material refuting that belief.” The imperative ingredient in creating this “selective distortion” is of course early access to the target, the individual, and the way this is generally achieved is through the indoctrination processes offered by the media and the early educational process, this is a veritable “cradle to grave,” process.

In order for this process or “program,” if you will to succeed however, the target must not be exposed to contradictory stimuli, at least not initially. Once the phenomenon has congealed however, those so exposed to it will inevitably develop what is known as “brand loyalty,” which is another advertising term relevant here because the “traditional macroeconomic view of advertising ‘holds that the main purpose of advertising is to manipulate or persuade’”
So how does this all apply to what is being said and written about professor Arthur Butz?

The Daily Northwestern should be given a modicum of credit for publishing an article written by one of NU’s controversial professors, but on the other hand, that’s exactly what student newspapers are supposed to do, print articles that inform their readers about various issues of importance on campus. In any case, the Daily printed an article written by Butz entitled “Iran has the US’s Number,” in which the engineering professor suggested that people shouldn’t be arrested and jailed for their beliefs – wow what a concept! Butz then proceeded to breach every bond of common social etiquette by suggesting that recent European concern for freedom of speech as it relates to anti-Islamic cartoons contradicts Europe’s past [and present] record as it relates to those that question history. Consider this – The Austrian government has strenuously defended the Austrian press’s right to print the now infamous Mohammedan cartoon caricatures, but just yesterday, February 20, 2006, Austria convicted a man named David Irving of “holocaust denial,” and sentenced him to three years in prison. Now – how is that for contradictory?

But now back to the point of this article, the surreptitious and negative anti-Butz message in NU’s student newspaper, the Daily. The paper then published a counter article two days after Butz’s contribution entitled “Only Fair to give Butz a Platform,” in which whoever wrote it [nobody took credit] takes the alleged high/moral road and states, “For more than a week The Daily has run stories, cartoons and letters to the editor questioning the views of McCormick Prof. Arthur Butz. The Daily asked Butz to write a column in the interest of fairness. Whenever a person is criticized, we seek their comment. We believe a balanced perspective is always in the community’s best interest.” That’s awful nice of the Daily to pay objectivity some lip service, that is after all what newspapers are theoretically supposed to do, provide a measure of objectivity for their readers. But in fact, the Daily, or at least the author of this particular article has only subjectivity in mind, he or she then suggests, once again in a most altruistic fashion, that the student newspaper took some heat for allowing Butz the privelege of expressing hius views, the author writes, “The Daily has since received massive criticism, calling our actions “an embarrassment.” So it’s important to provide our reasoning for giving Butz a forum.”

In writing this article the Daily has apologized for doing exactly what a student newspaper is supposed to do, and for this the student body at NU should be up in arms. Who dares criticize a University student newspaper for informing the student body? That should be the question. The problem with the cited sentence above, i.e. that the Daily has received massive criticism is that it’s simply – the Daily has NOT received massive criticism, in fact it has received very little quantitatively that is. This fact is reflected quite clearly by the overwheming support Butz receives in the commentary section below the articles on the Internet. This fact reveals quite clerarly that the Daily is not being entirely honest, the daily is in essence saying, “Who are you going to believe, us or your lying eyes?” Well, I know who I’m going to believe anyway.

Even an article by Deborah Lipstadt, an alleged “holocaust expert,” entitled “Revisionists are full of holes,” receives far more pro-Butz comments than it does those supportive of the status quo. This is an excellent example of how propaganda works, the fact of the matter is, Americans overwhelmingly support freedom of opinion and expression, even if that encompasses “holocaust denial,” they simply don’t distinguish between holocaust denial and anything else, it’s all the same to them. Lipstadt and the Daily would like you to believe that Americans support their views, which is an absolute lie, they don’t, they never have and they never will. However, herein is where the problem exists, Lipstadt and the Daily represent the establishment media/academia, and they and their kind have a virtual stranglehold on the MSM and they aren’t about to let that monopoly go. As long as they maintain that monopoly they will be able to dictate what you see, hear, and even feel via the television, newspapers, media in general and thus maintain the effcetiveness of “selective distortion,” in the development of the public’s opinion.

Whoever it was that wrote the Daily’s piece “Only Fair to give Butz a Platform,” knows very well what I am talking about and they know they have NOT received a “massive amount of criticism.” What they also know but aren’t about to admit to, is that Butz has received a massive amount of support!

Curtis B Maynard

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Letter by Ernst Zundel January 6, 2006

An Ernst Zundel letter from the German Gulag

This letter was written to Yvonne, sister of Dr. Robert Faurisson of
France, both long-time intimate friends of Ernst's who understand
certain topics without having to have them spelled out.

For a more general audience, it needs to be explained that when Ernst
writes of forbidden topics, he is of course referring to topics
pertaining to the Holocaust - a word he is apparently not allowed to
mention critically in « democratic » Germany!

The « footnote in history » comment refers to a comment by French
nationalist leader Le Pen, who found himself in very hot political
water a few years ago for this disparaging description of the

Here is Ernst's letter, as always edited and slightly shortened by me
to sharpen readability:


Ernst Zündel
JVA Mannheim
Herzogenriedstr. 111

6 Jan. 2006

As to letters - one Christmas letter, which came just a few days
before Christmas, was confiscated. I do not know its content - it
was signed R.F. During the second week of Christmas, 31 letters or
pieces of mail were received at the prison in one day! I was given
11 pieces, most of which were greeting cards. Only two were what I
call substantial letters, one from my brother and one from Ingrid, my
brave wife - the rest were just two, three words, a few sentences at
most, Christmas greetings, New Year's wishes. All enclosures of any
mentally stimulating or interesting nature are rigorously withheld
from me. That tells me more about the German mind-set than could a
thousand treatises about the state of human freedom in my pitiful

Here is my answer, emphatically stated: Whatever else you do, do not
come to Germany, not under any illusion of safe conduct! This
entity, and its population, has had 60 years to free itself from its
mental shackles. [The Germans] are not in this situation for lack of
knowing what the facts are - they are, to one degree or another,
willfully blind out of cowardice, not out of ignorance of the facts!
More truth will not make me, or them, more free - it will only make
them more afraid, increasing their cowardice exponentially! Fear and
cowardice have their own rules. Fearful people are in a labyrinth of
terror, usually of their own making!

The Americans have a very deep, meaningful saying: «The coward dies
a thousand deaths - the brave man only once.»! I have often wondered
about my own people, out of whose [midst] I was born. Why this fear?
How can one explain the heroism of these people in war - and their
abject and continued cowardice when confronting the facts of their
own history?

I have no degree in psychology, I have no files here and no medical
books to prove my theory, but I am sure that there must be a medical
condition called «Schuld-und-Sühne Complex». [Transl. : A craving
for guilt and redemption.] Like any such affliction - like gambling
addiction, alcoholism, drug dependency - the patient first has to
admit that he has a problem - if he does not, all therapies will
fail. No amount of sacrifice [on my part] for decades, almost a half
century, has generated a ground-swell of meaningful self-liberation -
I am afraid that to expect any change in this situation would be a
cruel self-delusion.

How do I know? How can I be so sure? That's easy to answer. I was
afflicted by the same condition. I also know how difficult it is to
heal oneself through auto-detoxification or self-deprogramming. I
remember what terrible withdrawal symptoms I had to cope with - and,
yes, I had numerous relapses along the way. And I was young - my
«Weltbild», my picture of the world and history, was not yet very
deeply engrained, as it would be with others who by now have had 61
years of this incessant bombardment with only one version of an
event, to which ever fewer remaining eyewitnesses exist. Our
witnesses, that is!

I want you to understand that I will not discuss the topics that will
activate a Pavlovian response because I want you to receive this
letter. All letters are highly scrutinized, analyzed and mined; all
are combed for things I may express, which then will be used in court
against me. But one thing is really already clear - a spin-off side
effect to my persecution has started, unforeseen by my pursuers! It
surprises even me in its scope - and especially in its intensity.
That is far more important and far more fundamental, and that
spin-off side effect is [the scrutiny of] the legitimacy of the
system - never mind the legitimacy of the process [in my court case]
being employed!

Internationally, very few people outside a very, very narrow
specialty in international law, paid much attention to the «footnote
of history» as J. M. Le Pen would say, of just how this entity came
into being, who were its fathers, mothers. (We know the midwivesŠ)
This «footnote in history» is one of the founding myths [of post-war
Germany] which is now suddenly being examined - in the full light of
the publicity of [my court] proceedings. It's almost like future
doctors sitting in an amphit theater watching a forensic pathologist
or a professor of anatomy dissect a corpse or cadaver - this time a
state - to see what its background and political history are! And
that process was very rarely discussed or examined by a larger public
- now it is!

That's the last thing these forces [in the background] would have
liked to take place - for it is an issue which is fraught with a
comet's tail of judicial, legal, political and diplomatic
implications. Compared to that problem, the other issue is
peripheral. It really has been settled in 1988 [with the Leuchter

So I am looking forward with interest as to how this «wild card» in
the game will be dealt with. This surprise spin-off result is a bit
like a steel ball in one of the old American arcade pin ball
machines. Once the lever is pulled, the ball becomes unpredictable
as to where it will hit, what bells and lights it will set off, as it
winds itself through that confined [court room] where the action will
take place!

Suddenly, what [used to be] an obscure topic of a few specialists in
international law and international affairs becomes the subject of
heated discussions on websites the world over. Tens of millions of
visitors to websites like, and
others are awash in a debate everybody thought had been settled a
long, long time ago!

This debate is [our] victory! And my role in all this is to be
quietly sitting in the eye of the hurricane and watch in amazement as
the fireworks go off all around me!

Amazing development!

That's a short overview of what's up! My own fate is of peripheral
interest only to Ingrid, me, and my friends. There are few variables
possible, because [the outcome] is really only a matter of routine
performance to a foregone conclusion. But since I had no illusions,
only the naive and the uninformed will be surprised. I am not, and
will not be!

That brings me to the comments coming out of Iran in the last few
weeks and months. I was utterly stunned, but not by what was
allegedly said. What surprised me far more was the absolutely, out
of all proportions to the content, reaction in the Western world.
Nowhere else!

Please note - nowhere that I am aware of did anybody say anything,
much less do anything, to rein in their friend or ally, Iran.
Putin's Russia, a big arms supplier and trading partner, did not say
a peep! China, which has signed an enormously big oil exploration
resources agreement with Iran, worth between 35 to $50 billion, said
nothing, not a word of criticism. Neither did India, Pakistan, any
Arab (Moslem) country, Africa, or Latin America.

I think the deafening silence from around the world from the most
populous states and regions to the Iranian leader's outburst spoke
very loudly. In politics it is very often not as important what the
facts of any issue are - far more important is the perception of the

«In politics», Charles de Gaulle was fond in saying, «Nations know
no friends - only interests.»

The erosion of the old world order is accelerating. New power
centers, new super-powers with vast populations are forming. They
could not care less about a «footnote to history», a mere blip on the
radar screen of their ambitions! Oil is an interest of great
importance. So are markets for arms and industrial goods. Of what
worth, real worth, or strategic value are the temper tantrums of a
spoiled beggar client state on a small sliver of rocks and dust in
that area of the world?

I was, and am, like the biblical Samson!



"Many have made a trade of delusions and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitude” --Leonardo da Vinci

What are we exactly seeing, experiencing or living through? How many of the world's population actually cares or is aware of what is happening to not only their own nations but to others and to be more exact, to the world at large? Just who or what is benefiting from the drastic altercations in our political, religious and social lifestyles - "qui bono" a question we really must ask over and over again as each new event transpires? Why are wars being waged in this day and age in the modern 21st century? What are we all fighting for and who is gaining from all this tragic bloodshed with untold loss of innocent lives? Is it really for democracy and freedom and just what do these words really mean to each and every one of us, with our different classes, cultural, racial and political ethos and persuasions?

One man’s freedom may be another’s man’s enslavement; one man’s democracy may indeed be another man’s oppression; war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, wealth is poverty. While one nation lives through a delusional world of so called love and a free for all, living in their pretend world with a certain amount of free will and free movement, another nation is subjected to violence and torture through the inhuman actions of war and occupation, and even in our modern times, slavery. Are we really free and what are we supposed to be free from? Colonialist Armies are free to invade, kill and occupy free people, but is this freedom for the occupied and the oppressed? Freedom, therefore, for one Nation, maybe slavery for another.

"Every nation has a right to govern itself internally under what forms it pleases, and to change these forms at its own will; and externally to transact business with other nations through whatever organ it chooses, whether that be a King, Convention, Assembly, Committee, President, or whatever it be. The only thing essential is the will of the nation.” --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Pinckney, 1792. ME 9:7

Freedom of speech is yet another part of our delusional world where we feel we can voice our disapproval at the despots and tyrants that threaten their citizens.

“It was Orwell’s conviction that “political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectful.”

But for the Colonialists and Tyrants, these very people expressing their "free" supposedly democratic voices, are deemed as dissidents or smeared with false labels, such as anti Semitic, for daring to speak their minds in opposition to their leaders, masters/occupiers. If the citizens of an occupied nation try to speak out, or defend their nation, they are threatened, incarcerated, tortured, raped or even assassinated, in order to silence their voice, depriving them of their very democratic rights for which these wars were and are allegedly waged; and if these same people take measures to regain, assert their free will and demand their freedom from oppression, suppression and dictatorship, they too are smeared with false labels and name calling – ‘insurgents’, fanatical fundamentalists or the latest popular tag- ‘Terrorists’. They are not seen as the patriotic Resistance Fighters that they are, defending their Nation, and demanding their liberty and democratic Human Rights, basic rights that each and every one of us is entitled to, a right that is written in the Geneva Convention for Human Rights and in our Divinity’s Law.

"Nations of war expend all their energies in the destruction of the labor, property & lives of their people” - Thomas Jefferson

Just why and who are these ‘Nations of war’ who are depriving mankind of their basic Human Rights and how long is it going to last?

"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence — I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens - the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”-George Washington.

Are we living in some kind of Time Warp, Parallel Universe or a devised matrix world in which our world has been programmed? Are we exercising our free will or are we all unconsciously doing the bidding of our programmers? Are we living our lives as free spirits or are our actions, values and morality being controlled by covert alien forces that are determining and cunningly manipulating our belief systems, lifestyles, creating their vision for our world through our collective lives?

“Patterning your life around other's opinions is nothing more than slavery.”-Lawana Blackwell

This begs the ultimate question- when do we all awake from this programming, this state of stupor, a mythical fantasy? When do we stop being the brain washed cells of our technicians, and more urgently, when will we come to the realization that our world is actually a delusionary, unbalanced Kingdom, a mythical fantasy, so far removed from the realities where the trusted values of democracy, freedom and moral civilized forms of behaviour never really existed due to the stifling stranglehold of Colonial and Imperial Agendas- a stranglehold that has kept Mankind enslaved, shackled and divided into social, political, religious, racial and class based structures and sects.

"We have 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation, our real job in the coming period is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality; we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of living standards and democratisation.” -George Kennan, US strategic planner, 1948- a figure that has steadily increased since 1948)

At the pinnacle of this dominant pyramid -like structure is the “Elite” 2% of the world’s population which dominates 85% of the world’s wealth; and rules with an iron fist, cold, calculating, merciless in its power which terrorizes, tortures and bullies at an alarming and shocking rate. Does this 2% minority have a name and what percentage of the rest of mankind knows of its existence and manifest power over us?

“To me, I confess that countries are pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.” -Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India 1898

To confuse us further, leaving us in perpetual limbo, in order to instill fear, confusion, mayhem and bewilderment, they choose to give themselves different titles/names- Zionism that is influenced by Talmudic Judaic dogma, Illuminati, Bilderbergers, run by the Rothschild dynasty, "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes her laws”- Meyer Rothschild. We must also not forget the Nazis, Communists, Marxists, Fascists, Extreme “Religious” Fundamentalists, using faith as their power base; Liberals, Conservatives, New Labour, Republican, Democrat, Christian Democrat, Green Party, etc, etc, the list goes on and on, ad infinitum.

But if truth be told, all these different “persuasions” are all in fact working to the same agenda, New World Order, controlled for the very same programmed prime factor-World Domination - a power Idol that will enforce absolute control of Mother Earth’s natural rich resources, its Governments, its puppet Leaders, north , south, east, and west of the globe; control its military and police, its judicial systems, religions, its media, social and racial structure and of course total control of its population, which they will greatly reduce through manufactured and induced calamities such as wars (WW1, WW2, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine) using the very latest Weapons of Mass Destruction- e.g. Napalm, Phosphorous bombs, Depleted Uranium, mini-nukes;” terrorist” acts such as in Iraq, the USS Liberty incident, 9/11 in the USA, Madrid bombings, Bali bombings, 7/7 in London.

We have also had scientific and technological disasters creating climatic disturbances, catastrophes such as we have sadly witnessed in recent years with sudden tidal waves- Tsunami, earthquakes in Iran and Pakistan and vicious hurricanes in New Orleans,- possibly all caused by geological weather manipulations, taking advantage of existing weaknesses in the respective regions’ Tectonic plates through “HAARPS” technology. Then we have the various so called “suicide” bombings in Israel, and beyond, in many cases perpetrated, in the most part by Israeli agents (Mossad) but blamed on Palestinians and other Muslim Arabs who have now been turned into the new scourge by the Chosen Ones.

We have also faced the health methods, in our food chain, Aspartame, Fluoride, MSGs, GM Foods; scientific methods through Laboratory grown pandemic diseases and virus cultures such as AIDS, which was covertly spread in Africa through the use of vaccines; Ebola, SARS and the latest “germ”, man-made virus threatening our existence- Bird or Avian Flu- in carefully selected well populated areas, targeted specifically to decimate their large populations, such as in S.E. Asia- China, which the officials are warning us will take many lives. They encourage us all to take their advised precautionary methods/deterrents, namely vaccinations, which they fail to tell us, contain harmful ingredients detrimental to our health, with their intended side effects, and as a secret means of injecting us with micro chips. Naturally, Corporate Pharmaceutical Companies will rake in a huge profit, at our expense and well being! For them, there are far too many people to worry about in case of a mass revolt. Large populations seriously threaten and jeopardize these Controllers’ world agenda.

“Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries. The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” - Henry Kissinger, Nat. Sec. Study Memo. 200

It is after all, far better to have a drastically reduced number; the smaller the crowd, the easier to control, police and put under surveillance and so at some future date, approaching ever so near, implanting us with micro chips, their modern day shackles, in order to maintain their absolute control over our movement and lifestyle, programming us into subjugated subjects- walking, living zombies influenced and subdued by drugs, alcohol abuse, promiscuity, pop and sport culture and celebrity distractions etc, and at a later date, incarcerated into new concentration camps/gulags, building huge concrete walls to keep us out and keep them mightily tucked into their secure power bases..

Even those from deep faith based nations have been suitably taken care of via suppression, mind control, hijacking and demeaning and discarding pure, moral and ethical principles passed down to us by Our Divinity, via His chosen Messengers, Abraham, Christ, Mohammed, and engaging in acts terrorizing peoples’ sound beliefs with their pagan secularism, neatly packaged in its varying Cult cultures/Secret “religious” societies, that corrupt the mind, thought patterns and promotes in its place degradation, prostitution, homosexuality, Child sacrifice, immorality and other perverted evil practices, so far removed from God’s teachings, and which divert mankind’s true path into a hell of darkness where only one belief system, promoted by their Beast, can ever flourish- Satanism, to whom they owe their absolute allegiance to, along with all its varying offshoots- Skull and Bones, Freemasonry, Moonies, Kabala and other Judaic Cults, Fundamentalist Evangelism, Jesuits, Muslim Brotherhood, and other vile secret societies and cults that exploit and brain wash their followers, suitably named as the Sheeple.

Mankind is travelling through a 21st century living, hairy and deeply disturbing nightmare, a hellish journey that we have travelled time and time again, reaping so much destruction and threatened by the same Imperialist Satanic forces that existed back in Biblical times which destroyed Empires then, successive ones and will possibly, as history tends to repeat itself as we never learn from our past mistakes, will destroy future Empires:

“Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.” Kissinger

The big difference to then and now is that Man has evolved into a far more dangerous animal, and with its supreme knowledge, developed far more lethal technological, scientific and military capabilities and destructive devices, which if left unchecked, and not tightly secured under safe and trusted lock and key, can open up the gates of hell and see the virtual reality of not only the destruction of many specifically targeted nations, e.g. Syria, Iran, China, Venezuela, Cuba, and others, along with their indigenous populace, but tragically, as prophesied in the Holy Books, lead to the complete annihilation of Mother Earth, and possibly, beyond our universe if the Nuclear threat, Star Wars becomes a frightful entity.

Too many illegal Laws are being passed to protect the guilty criminals and bestial wars are being waged against the world’s weak and most vulnerable, poor and starving nations, all coincidentally by the same aggressor/perpetrator- a traitor to Mankind, such as has been happening in the Third World, in the Middle East- a prime Real Estate for these blood thirsty World Gangsters seeking a bulging bank balance through exploiting indigenous peoples and seeking autocratic omnipotence.

“Oil is much too important a commodity to be left in the hands of the Arabs.”-Henry Kissinger- Cited in Halliday and Sponneck 11/29/01)

A long running war has been perpetrated against the long forgotten Nation of Palestine these last six decades, the longest conflict of modern 20th/21st century, which has endured countless massacres, assassinations and thousands of deaths of innocent souls, especially children; and as we have also, so tragically, witnessed in Afghanistan and Iraq, with plans already firmly in place to extend their belligerent tentacles and bombs onto further nations, such as Syria and Iran, thus causing more trouble and strife, more heartache and trauma, bringing with it death and destruction in its evil path:

"Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it politic? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular- but one must take it simply because it is right.” Martin Luther King Jr. 1929-1968

In modern times, Mankind has faced endless wars, violent “Terrorist” attacks, geological climatic catastrophes through earthquakes, hurricanes, tidal waves, unseasonable increases in rainfall that cause devastating floods etc..

What power will it take to awaken us from our comatose nightmare? Will it be our own self realization, our conscience, free spirit awakening and our hungry yearning to love, cherish, nurture and protect our Universal World, or will it take something far greater than our own Consciousness to extricate us from this hellish path to possible Armageddon- a power that will, guaranteed, slay the avaricious multi headed-Beast and all its devilish disciples, and steer us into a world of light where truth, justice, freedom, true democracy and love will reside, in unison and equality, for all to share and savour- Our Divinity, in whose realm Racism, Supremacist grandeur and arrogance will never rear their ugly heads.

When and how long will it take for us to remove our buried heads from the deep sand, stand up and be counted and for the voices of our universal consciences to unite and our souls to declare in moral defiance 'You are not the master of the Earth, Sir” and that we will no longer tolerate the world of our present bestial controller, with its problem, reaction, solution agenda, whose vision for our world is totally unacceptable, beyond belief, and to reject this mythical Entity that goes beyond all realms of decency, love, and respect for all Human Life which is sacrosanct, for the vast majority of us.

“Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind. We love the land of our nativity, only as we love all other lands. The interests, rights, and liberties of American citizens are no more dear to us than are those of the whole human race. Hence we can allow no appeal to patriotism, to revenge any national insult or injury” William Lloyd Garrison, Declaration of Sentiments, Boston Peace Conference, 1838

When will we, as united members of the Universal Family of Man, reject the self appointment, by the “Chosen Ones” to be our judge, jury and executioners; denounce their wars, illegal racist self serving hate laws, their genocide, massacres, torturers, concentration camps, prison guards and gate keepers, and their holocaust against the entire world’s population. No more deaths, no more burnt offering, no more sacrifices to their tyrannical agenda.

“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do." - Samuel P. Huntington

“Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.”

When will we all awaken to the true horrors of our present delusional 'reality' and demand a change that will guarantee our freedoms and our rights to justice, morality, basic human understanding, respect and tolerance??


references An international network of gangsters and criminals has taken over the world)

'Israel will take out Iran's nuke facilities if US does not''We_Could_Destroy_All_European_Capitals'.html ) - Exposing the Project for the New American Century: Comment on 4 years before 9/11, plan was set :

NAZI BUSH REGIME's ENVIRO/HAARP-REICHSTAG FIRE: seize Aceh oil militarily as "rescue" - Forums powered by Reason and Principle

Excerpts: When Victims Rule.

Below is a compilation of excerpts from the book "When Victims Rule." Bear in mind while reading them, that most of them come from Jewish and/or contemporaneous [Of that time period] sources.

By 1907-08 Jews had a conspicuous presence in the corporate sector of the German economy. Despite representing only one per cent of the German population, 20 per cent of the largest companies had a "substantial" Jewish involvement. A further 16 per cent had "significant' Jewish management. [MOSSE, W., 1987, p. 273] Examing the very largest companies, W. E. Mosse notes that over two-thirds of such firms had a "significant Jewish component." Of the most powerful corporate organizations in Germany, only 7.7 per cent were "without some degree of Jewish participation." [MOSSE, p. 273, 274] In 1913, fifteen Jews held 211seats on boards of German banks; by 1928 this number was 718. In that same year Jews represented 80% of the leading members of the Berlin stock exchange. Five years later the Nazis expelled 85% of all stockbrokers because of "race." [GORDON, p. 12]

In the pre-World War II Weimar Republic of Germany that fell to the Nazis, 11% of Germany's doctors were Jews, and 16% of its lawyers. [MOSSE, p. 26] By 1909-10, about one-fourth of the teachers at German universities were of Jewish descent. [GORDON, p. 13] As elsewhere, an expediential prerequisite for advancement was at least superficial conversion to Christianity. "Those who were baptized," says Nachum Gidal, "were then eligible to be appointed to professional chairs." [GIDAL, p. 17] "In the spring of 1933," notes Anthony Heilbut, "Hitler shocked the world by dismissing from their jobs the titans of German scholarship, the vast majority of whom were Jewish." [HEILBUT, p. 23] (Adolf Hitler's family doctor had been Jewish. Hitler's sister was even once employed by the Mensa Academica Judaica in Vienna. Hitler was awarded a medal of honor for his deeds in Wold War I; the award was reportedly expedited by a Jewish army officer, Hugo Gutmann.) [GOLDBERG, M., 1976, p. 38-39]

Almost 80% of department and chain store business in pre-war Germany were Jewish, 40% of wholesale textile firms, and 60% of the wholesale and retail clothing business. By 1895, 56% of German Jews were involved in commerce; correspondingly, only 10% of non-Jewish Germans were in this field. [TRAVERSO, p.15] By the 1930s, Jews controlled 90% of the world's fur trade, reflected in an important yearly auction in Leipzig. [BLACK, p. 131] "Jews were also important in the wholesale metal business and retail grocery business." In Upper Silesia more than half of the local industry -- coal, iron, steel, petroleum, et al -- was owned or directed by Jews before 1933. [NIEWYK, p. 13-14] "The coal and iron industry of Upper Silesia," says Sidney Osborne, "-- the second largest in Germany -- was almost the exclusive creation of a handful of Jews." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 18]

This area included the Jewish-owned iron company owned by Mortiz Friedlander, Sinai Levy and David Lowenfeld; the "well-known iron and steel works, Bismarkshutte" which was founded by two Jewish merchants; an "extensive iron pipe and tube works" owned by Mortiz Hahn and Simon Huldschinsky; the Upper Silesian Iron Industry (with branches Tubenhutte and Baildonhutte); "one of the largest enamel works" in Germany; Ferrum, and iron and steel firm; the Upper Silesian Zinc Foundries company; the "coke-oven industry Gluckauf; the Upper Silesian Coke and Chemical Works; and coal mining (Otto Friedlander). [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 18] "Other important industries in Jewish hands," adds Sidney Osborne,

"were leather, textiles, and cigarette factories, the Portland cement and
lime industry, and important iron and lumber interests. This account
of Jewish enterprise in Upper Silesia is given with some particularity
because it was more or less typical of what was going on in other
industrial regions of Germany." [OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 19]

"The Hirsch copper works in Halberstadt ...," notes Nachum Gidal, "[became] the most important copper and brass works in Europe. The works was still owned by the Orthodox family until 1933. In the basic materials industry, Fritz von Friedlander-Fuld (1858-1917) was outstanding with his Silesian enterprises ... [comprising] a group of major firms. Friedlander-Fuld was responsible for building up the coke industry in Germany ... Closely linked with the coke industry was the petroleum industry, led by general director M. Melamid ... The founder of the Silesian iron industry (Caro-Hegenschedt) was George von Caro ... His brother Oskar Caro ... is regarded as the founder of the German enamel industry. Mortiz von der Porten ... spearheaded the aluminum sector in Germany." [GIDAL, p. 266] Wilhelm Von Gutmann's Gebruder Gutmann Industries "was the largest single factor in the coal industry of the Austro-Hungarian empire." [GREENBERG, M., p. 70] Philip Rosenthal founded "the most famous porcelain factory in Selb in Bavaria." [GIDAL, p. 267] Albert Balin "played an outstanding part in the building up of the German merchant fleet ... Under his guidance [the Hamburg-America line] developed into Europe's leading shipping company." Walter Rathenau was president of the "Siemens works, the largest electricity company in Germany." [GIDAL, p. 266-268]

In the 1930s, notes Ian Kershaw, during Nazi efforts to politicize the German peasants against Jews in the Alzenau district,

"Jewish-owned cigar factories dominated local industry ... Jews in fact
owned most of the twenty-nine factories, with a combined work force
of 2,206 women and 280 men ... In the countryside ... the main issue
was the remaining dominance in many areas of the Jewish cattle
dealer, the traditional middle-man and purveyor of credit for untold
numbers of German peasants ... [As late as 1935,] the wholesale
cattle trade in Ebermannstadt was ... still 'to a good ninety percent'
in Jewish hands." [KERSHAW, p. 241-242]

Jews were likewise dramatically over-represented in every sphere of academic enterprise, from philosophy to science. "Jews were also the most influential critics of drama, art, music, and books as well as the owners of the most important art galleries and theatres." [GOLDBERG, p. 26] In the Berlin of 1930, 80% of the theatre directors were Jewish and they authored 75% of the produced plays. [MACDONALD, p. 125] Many prominent actors, actresses, and moviemakers were Jewish. Some Jewish scholars, like Walter Laquer, have even went so far as to claim that without Jewish influence the culture of the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic "would not have existed." [TRAVERSO, p. 12] "Jews," says Laqueur, "were prominent among Expressionist poets, among the novelists of the 1920's, among the theatrical producers and, for a while, among the leading figures of cinema." [LAQUER, p. 73] "Jewish names," notes Nachum Gidal, "were numerous among the pioneers of film and the film industry," [GIDAL, p. 370] including Paul Davidson and Herman Fellner who founded "the first German film company." [GIDAL, p. 370]
Frederick Grunfeld romanticizes the Jewish road from an economic base to enormous influence upon German popular culture:

"The shoe-factory generation regularly produced and nurtured a brood of
scribes, artists, intellectuals. Else Lasker-Schuler was the daughter of an
investment banker, Carl Sternheim the son of a banker and newspaper
publisher, Walter Benjaim of an antique dealer, Alfred Neumann of a lumber
merchant, Stefan Zweig of a textile manufacturer, Franz Kafka of a
haberdashery wholesaler, Herman Bloch of a cotton-mill owner; Theodore
Lessing and Walter Hasenclver were sons of doctors and grandsons of
manufacturers, and so on, in an orderly and predictable procession from
the department store into the library, the theatre and the concert hall. " [GRUNFELD,
F., 1996, p. 28-29]

If you are interested in the book "When Victims Rule," I am happy to tell you it doesn't cost a dime, it's online at

A patriotic Italian speaks out!

The below critique was written by a good friend of mine from Rome, named Alfio Faro. Alfio is also a good friend of Ernst Zundel and therefore a friend to us all.


of a letter of protest in relation to an article published by a Catholic magazine' titled "RADICI CRISTIANE" (Christian Roots ) edited by ACIES s.r.1. Via di Torre Argentina 44, Rome
July 2005
(Article: "The Fall of Insanity")
Also translated

Rome, 21st July 2005 Dr. Roberto de Mattei
Direttore di "Radici Cristiane"
Via di Torre Argentina, 44
00186 Roma.

Dear Sir,

I am in possession of the periodical above mentioned, sent by you, I believe, for publicity purposes. I agree, no doubt, on certain issues, I find it rather interesting.

But... when I reached page 90, the review of the film “The Fall of Insanity", I was rather disillusioned.
Once again, a Catholic Magazine becomes accomplice of the lie. I explain myself. Dating back to sixty years up to now, the life and the creation of Adolf Hitler, the Third Reich, are the objective of vilification, abuses, without, of course, indicating factual charges. "The only (remaining) Myth is the one negative, as a malignant prophet, protagonist of the absolute evil.” Going on: "Here you have Hitler crazy, perverted, magician, in a word, incomprehensible monster". And then, citing Joachim Fest and the producer Hirschbiegel, the article affirms that "they have taken away the heroic mask applied by his defenders. Goes on the article saying that Magrelli rebuffs the film for "avoiding to demonize the Germans", claims the innocence of the German Volk, WHO WAS NOT AWARE.

Dear Sir - I would certainly have a wrong idea of your knowledge of culture if I were to believe that you have never read, only two of them, the greatest historian David Irving and the other, equally important, Robert Faurisson. Irving, former enemy of Germany because he is British. In his masterpiece, Hitler’s War, he depicts a portrait of Germany' s chief, by far away from the picture presented by his bitter detractors, as a man absolutely averse from bad habits (quite a difference from "perverted'! ), whose inexhaustible love for his Germany was shared by the immense majority of Germans.

Asserts Irving, that NEVER any Jew was killed on his orders. Irving’s piece of history can be found in Italy. It is a deeply felt homage rendered to the strategic genius of Hitler, an acknowledgement without reservations of his humanity. And openly states that, since the beginning of the war- and continuously throughout the whole conflict, Hitler and his main collaborators, in vain looked after an appeasement with Great Britain, and even offered a military alliance; Rudolf Hess took an airplane, supplied it with an extra fuel tank, went over Scotland, parachuted, looking for high British authorities in order to open peace talks. There were contacts, but Churchill was stubborn looking for the destruction of Germany and to this effect was seeking the intervention of United States in the war. But Roosevelt had to overcome the opposition of his public opinion, contrary to an intervention, until the Pearl Harbor trap resolved the obstacle and caused fifty million deaths and immense destructions. In 1978, if I remember correctly, Rudolf Hess was compensated for his desperate efforts to save peace by the Secret Service of Her Gracious Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II after 46 years incarceration in solitary confinement in the Spandau fortress, just to make sure that Hess would not "talk" too much. On the other hand, it seems most probable that Mussolini was assassinated by the partisans, but on request of the British secret services. Here again, just to make sure he wouldn't talk about the contacts with Churchill throughout the war, and, most of all, to seize the briefcase containing most secret documents he was carrying until his capture, which disappeared.
May I add to the above - Churchill wrote five books titled "The Second World War" - NEVER he mentions in his books anything like a nonsense named "Gas chambers"!

Well then, where is the "blond beast, wild and hallucinated, I people led to slaughter? The German Werhmacht fought most brave_ against enemies overwhelming twenty times its strength.
The "extermination camps" were, in fact workshops, many workers were receiving salaries, replacing the German youth at war on the various fronts.

The real Holocaust, Sir, and you know pretty well, was that of the elderly, mothers with children, under the rain of bombs (humanitarian) Anglo-American and Soviet, that made the German soil an immense weeping desert of Death and Devastation.
Shameful fate, awful destiny!

Yours sincerely

Alfio Faro

Bari Revisited; Part II

The first commonly held belief behind the level of this secrecy associated with Bari is Allied fear of Axis retaliation. The Allies were concerned that should the Germans learn that the Americans had transported gas munitions to the European Theatre of Operations that the Germans might be more likely to either prepare chemical defenses, or use chemical weapons offensively themselves. On the surface, this makes a great deal of sense. After all, it seems plausible that the U.S. military would be sensitive about protecting American troops against the terror of gas warfare. There is a problem, however, with positing this premise as one of the primary reasons behind the secrecy; the United States military brought poison gas to the European Theatre of Operations to act as a deterrent. In order for a deterrent to work effectively, one’s enemy must be aware of its presence, or its purpose is lost. In fact it is mystifying as to why the Allies would not have wanted the Germans to be aware of its presence, yet, according to Infield, the Allied concern lay in preventing the Germans from knowing about the presence of gas at Bari, thus preventing a potential response. The historian John Lienhard was equally perplexed by this seemingly incomprehensible use of a deterrent as well, and stated as much in an article entitled “Engines of our Ingenuity.”

There were other potential reasons for keeping the events at Bari secret. Embarrassment of the President of the United States may well have been a second reason. Franklin D. Roosevelt said of chemical weapons in a public speech just prior to the events at Bari, “I have been loathe to believe that any nation, even our present enemies, would or would be willing to loose upon mankind such terrible and inhumane weapons. Use of such weapons has been outlawed by the general opinion of civilized mankind. This country has not used them. I categorically state that we shall under no circumstances resort to the use of such weapons unless they are used by our enemies.” To be sure, the Allies never did use chemical weapons against an enemy during World War II. But it could be argued that it would have been even more embarrassing should the world have learned that the Allies were perhaps more prepared to use poison gas than were the Nazis, especially after the American President described them as “outlawed by the general opinion of mankind.”

Another strong argument behind keeping the incident secret during the war, but not after, was public opinion in the United States. Certainly this would have been a major concern for the government and military, and was cited as such by Butcher in his book My Three Years with Eisenhower. Infield also acknowledges the importance of popular opinion, and suggested that the government lacked confidence in the American public, which caused it to become suspicious of its own people necessitating changes in the conduct of war.

Of the three commonly accepted reasons behind the secrecy attached to Bari, concern about public opinion seems to the most likely one. The Nazis were well aware of the fact that the Americans had gas munitions in the European Theatre of Operations, as revealed in the wake of the Bari incident when a German propagandist, “Axis Sally,” sarcastically commented on her radio broadcast, “I see you boys are getting gassed by your own poison gas.” If Axis Sally, a radio propagandist, was aware of the fact that poison gas was killing Allied soldiers in Bari, Italy in 1943, one can safely assume that the Nazi leadership was aware of it as well.

The cover-up could not have been exclusively related to concern about public opinion during the war, however, as the secrecy continued long afterward. Nor could it have been completely related to trepidation, and the fear of a Nazi retaliatory strike. It may have been more likely associated with a general inability to tell the truth, a sort of pathological fear that one truth might lead to another, and so on. There is no doubt that the Nazis were capable of retaliating in kind, should the Americans use gas. In fact, the Nazis possessed an extremely lethal, and then entirely new type of gas termed nerve agent, which the Allies were completely unfamiliar with, and ill equipped to defend against.

The disingenuous fear of Nazi retaliation

Skeptics might ask if there ever was a cover-up to begin with. The very fact that the air raid at Bari was second only to Pearl Harbor in severity for American shipping losses during World War II, and so very few people have even heard of it, is a significant clue. Infield’s book Disaster at Bari was essentially the American public’s first opportunity to learn the details associated with this major calamity, and it was published nearly three decades after the fact. Immediately following the war, hints of what took place there surfaced, but reports were not entirely forthcoming; in fact they were misleading. Efforts to cover-up the events at Bari might actually have gone so far as to include the intentional, albeit deceptive censorship of a high-ranking Nazi’s memoir.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander mentions the attack at Bari in his memoirs Crusade In Europe saying, “On December 2, 1943 a most regrettable and disturbing incident took place at the port of Bari…The port was subjected to a raid and we suffered the greatest single loss from air action inflicted upon us during the entire period of Allied campaigning in the Mediterranean and in Europe. We lost sixteen vessels, some of them loaded with extremely valuable cargo.” Eisenhower then proceeds to mention, almost as an afterthought, “One of the ships was loaded with a quantity of mustard gas, which we were always forced to carry with us because of uncertainty of German intentions in the use of this weapon.”

Captain Harry C. Butcher, Eisenhower’s Naval Aide, mentions the attack at Bari as well in his memoirs, My Three Years With Eisenhower, stating cryptically “The enemy aircraft found the harbor lighted, the ships closely packed together, and had the good fortune to hit an ammunition ship, and when it blew up a total of seventeen ships were destroyed.” Butcher, unlike Eisenhower, never even bothered to mention the mustard gas release, but this may have had more to do with the fact that his memoirs were published in 1946, two years prior to his commander’s belated admission of the gas present at Bari. Butcher does provide us with a glimpse into possibly one of the greatest reasons a cover-up was initiated concerning the events at Bari, when he hints that public opinion may have been the larger concern, rather than a Nazi response. When commenting on the embarrassing fact that twenty-three American planes were shot down during the Sicilian campaign by friendly fire, Bucher mentions that this fact “eventually reached the press,” adding “When this news broke, it added to the apprehension of the professional public relations people who think that because of this, the Bari disclosure, and the Patton incident, the public has lost confidence in the armed forces.” Butcher did state in his memoirs that if the Germans used gas, that the Allies would have no trouble responding as they had “lots on hand.”

The idea that the Allies were compelled to bury the truth for fear of Nazi retaliation, seems to be quite plausible, but it does not have a great deal of support in light of an array of evidence indicating Allied awareness of Nazi intentions with respect to chemical weapons and Butcher’s memoirs. Butcher’s comment about the Allies having no trouble in responding to a German gas attack, as they had “lots on hand,” indicates that fear of Nazi gas retaliation was not necessarily a major Allied concern, or at least not an unprepared for eventuality. Eisenhower’s admission that the United States carried gas along with them at all times being unaware of German intentions also rings false.

After all, the Allies were in possession of a German Enigma machine, and had broken the German code. This fact had a profound effect on military operations throughout the entire war, and most likely provided the Allies with all the information necessary to deduce that gas would not be used during the war. An example of this can be found in what Eric Croddy refers to as an “intelligence report” that was intercepted in 1942 regarding the alleged German consideration of employing poison gas against the Soviets. The result of this “intelligence report,” was that Winston Churchill broadcast a message to the Reich stating that the British would “treat the unprovoked use of poison gas against our Russian ally exactly as if it were used against ourselves and, if we are satisfied that this new outrage has been committed by Hitler, we will use our growing air-superiority in the west to carry gas-warfare on the largest possible scale far and wide upon the towns and cities of Germany.”

The decryption of Enigma was perhaps the most significant advantage that the Anglo-Americans had over the Germans during the war. In fact a prominent American historian of cryptography called it “the greatest secret of World War II after the atom bomb.” The secrecy employed by the Allies to prevent the Germans from knowing that their code had been broken was unbelievable. It even went so far, according to William Stevenson, that Churchill allowed the English city of Coventry to be severely bombed at great loss of life, rather than evacuate the city prior to the expected bombing, and reveal to the Germans that their code had been compromised. David Kahn, in another book entitled Seizing the Enigma, reaffirms “Churchill’s anxiety about the secrecy of Ultra (the secret Allied decryption of the Enigma codes) was constant, rules in all of the armed forces forbade any action to be taken on the basis of Enigma intercepts unless some cover, such as air reconnaissance, was provided.” In other words, the armed forces were prevented from acting on information provided by intelligence intercepts because they might give away the fact that the British had successfully decoded the German codes, unless another plausible explanation, such as aerial reconnaissance could explain their early notification. Ultra was so effective, that often the Allies intercepted and translated secret German communications before German field commanders. Another strong indication that the Allies did not consider it likely that the Germans would employ gas weapons on the battlefield, could be interpreted from the fact that out of an entire chapter devoted to the Medical Service’s preparation for the Normandy landing, The Office of the Chief of Military History devoted only a single sentence to the Service’s preparation for chemical warfare.

One entry in Joseph Goebbels’ diary seems to hint that the Nazis may have been aware of the fact that the Americans were in some way involved with gas munitions. On 7 April 1945 Goebbels wrote,

Our werewolf activity is now being taken extraordinarily seriously in Anglo-American circles, so seriously that Eisenhower is said to be toying with the idea of using gas against werewolf detachments. That would be entirely in line with the Anglo-American conduct of war but it would not deter us in the slightest since we should then use appropriate counter measures against Anglo-American soldiers.

The above entry seems to hint at some precedent, possibly Bari. What in effect appears to be a benign comment by Goebbels in his diary may in fact be quite revealing in the sense that it brings to light awareness on the Nazis’ part that the Allies may have been more likely, or at least more prepared to initiate gas warfare than were the Germans, quite an uncomfortable thought. The entry also supports the idea of Allied readiness to use gas as a deterrent, undercutting any need for a cover-up at Bari.
Churchill and the Bari cover-up

Churchill was a remarkable individual, and complicated to a fault. He will be remembered by history for a variety of reasons, but mostly because he was an effective Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II. He displayed strength when the country was questioning the timidity of their former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Churchill could be inspiring, but also extremely secretive. One could say that he was sensitive about his own image, and thought highly of himself, as evidenced in much of his prolific writing. Eisenhower noted this in Crusade in Europe when he “could not escape a feeling” that Churchill’s views were “unconsciously colored” by a desire to vindicate himself from the embarrassment and humiliation associated with the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, and associated strategy of World War I, a campaign in which the Prime Minister had been a “principle exponent.”

In order to understand the British position as it related to Bari, and perhaps the Prime Minister’s as well, it is important to remember that the British were in command of Bari, harbor and that they knew what kind of cargo the Harvey was carrying, as evidenced by a British “Most Secret” report documenting the contents of the Harvey, and dated 24 November 1943. This is significant because the British consistently denied knowledge of the Harvey’s cargo and the lack of action in expediting the unloading of the deadly gas from that ship. After the war, Prime Minister Winston Churchill continued to deny that mustard gas was present at Bari. He ordered that “all British records be purged of any mention of mustard and refer to the burns (sustained by the victims of the attack) as dermatitis ‘due to enemy actions.’” Perhaps it was not the present that Churchill was concerned about, but the future, and how it would interpret the disaster at Bari, and those associated with it. There is no doubt that Churchill was aware of history, and its importance to future generations; the Prime Minister was a historian himself, having written many books on the subject, even before his tenure as the British Prime Minister.

When one considers the many instances of apparently deceptive statements made by the Prime Minister, one could conclude that Churchill was not above deceiving the public, or fabricating a specific image designed to enhance his historical legacy. After all Churchill is the man who apparently said, “truth is the first casualty of war.” Churchill, the man, was not adverse to stretching the truth when necessary, or at least when he felt it necessary. One must take these facts into consideration, when approaching the subject of Bari, and what actually happened on 2 December 1943. What is known for certain is that Allied soldiers and merchant marines died as a result of exposure to a toxic gas. Churchill, despite the overwhelming amount of evidence suggesting otherwise, refused to believe, or at least admit, that mustard gas had killed anyone in Bari.

When exactly Churchill became aware of the air raid on Bari and the toxic aftermath is not known for certain, but based upon correspondence between Brigadier Leslie C. Hollis and General Sir Ian Jacob, a member of Churchill’s personal staff, it was sometime before 29 December 1943. Jacob wired the following to Hollis:

On December 29 the Chiefs of Staff belatedly informed Churchill that one vessel hit during the Luftwaffe attack on Bari on December 2, had been carrying no less than 540 tons of mustard gas; the disaster had led to a number of casualties among British seamen; as it was not at first realized that poison gas had escaped, the casualties were greater than they might have been.

One inconsistency that leaps out of this document is simply the significant differences associated with the quantity of mustard gas on the John Harvey, one hundred tons versus five hundred-forty. In fact this source is the only one in which anything more than one hundred tons appears. In any case, another wire, which is in fact Hollis’ reply to Jacob states:
Churchill had already been informed of this by General Alexander, who shared his astonishment that a ship with such a cargo should have been sent to Bari…Churchill was now awaiting the results of the inquiry with the greatest interest.

What is not specifically mentioned in either of these letters is when exactly Churchill was first informed of the mustard gas release at Bari. In the first letter we are told that the Chiefs of Staff “belatedly” informed him, and then Hollis clarifies this by informing Jacob that the Prime Minister was already aware of it. What is known for certain is that Churchill denied the existence of any mustard gas at Bari. Additionally, not a single mention of Bari appears in Churchill’s postwar memoirs. Winston Churchill published a compilation of history related to World War II in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Historians consider them to be in many respects a definitive history of the British struggle during WW II. The late historian Sir John Plumb even said “Churchill the historian lies at the very heart of all historiography of the Second World War and will always remain there.” The volume that would have covered the period of 2 December 1943 is entitled Closing the Ring. There is absolutely no reference to Bari, Italy at all in the volume, and only one reference to poison gas. In it the Prime Minister suggests to General Ismay that because there was enough poison gas in reserve, personnel associated with it could be significantly reduced.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Churchill was aware of the release of poison gas at Bari immediately after it happened. Based upon U.S. Military documents, we can safely assume that Churchill knew about the presence of gas in the ETO prior to its release at Bari, and in fact may have contributed to the number of casualties through his repeated denials. In a report dated 24 March 1944 it was established that as early as October 1943 the British and Americans had determined that stockpiling chemical munitions in the ETO would be advantageous. The Port Commander at Bari was in fact British, not American and was well aware of the presence of mustard gas aboard the John Harvey; in fact, he warned military personnel of its presence within hours after the attack. R.C.T. Chichester Constable confirmed in a report that the Port Commandant and Dock Superintendent at Bari were both British. These facts support the conclusion that the Prime Minister of Great Britain was in all likelihood informed of the presence of gas at Bari earlier, rather than later.

It must be reemphasized that the documents obtained for the purposes of developing this thesis were headed by both the “Top Secret” label associated with Americans, and the “Most Secret” label associated with British documents, therefore, they were shared, and should have been available to Infield when he conducted his research at the British Archives. Instead the author was met by a “great deal of reluctance,” and little cooperation. In this respect, research experiences even today would seem to support an argument for a continued pathological inability to tell the truth.

The above information relating to the British decryption of German codes and Churchill’s concerted efforts to bury the facts associated with Bari should strengthen the argument that the Allies were not entirely unaware of German military intentions on the battlefield, nor were they ignorant of what actually happened at Bari. Rather, Allied actions reveal an obvious effort to conceal the facts, and for other reasons than trepidation of a German retaliatory gas attack. After all, there is no point in continuing the deception after the war, if Nazi retaliation was the greatest concern.

Embarrassment of Allied leadership

It is highly unlikely, in fact ridiculous, to accept the idea that embarrassment of either the president of the United States or the Prime Minister of Britain played a significant role in burying the event either. Despite the fact that Roosevelt was “loathe to believe” that America’s enemies would use poison gas, both he and Churchill were on record stating that either nation would not hesitate to use poison gas, if in fact they were first used by the Germans, or for that matter, by the Japanese. Churchill himself was actually quite an advocate of gas warfare during the First World War. In fact, Winston Churchill’s wife had at least on one occasion lovingly referred to him as her “mustard gas fiend.” Embarrassment of Allied leadership was of no concern at all to either Churchill or Roosevelt in respect to gas warfare. If it would have shortened the war by a single year, Churchill was more than willing to “drench German cities in poison gas,” as revealed by a recently discovered June 1944 memo from Churchill to General Hastings Ismay.

Poison gas, used on the German population in order to speed up the war, was not the only toxic agent taken into consideration either. Today we know that a bio-weapon facility named Vigo existed north of Terre Haute, Indiana. If Mathew Meselson, a professor of molecular biology at Harvard and American notable in the area of chemical and biological warfare, can be believed, the American government constructed the Vigo plant in order to begin developing 500,000 four-pound anthrax bombs monthly. The destination of these bombs was Germany, presumably German cities. The Vigo plant was scheduled to begin producing hundreds of thousands of four-pound anthrax bombs in 1945. Information on this plant is extraordinarily hard to obtain, even today. Requests for information about the Vigo plant submitted by this author to the National Archives and Department of Defense have resulted in submissions to declassification committees, and lengthy delays, despite the fact that it has not produced any weapons since 1945. In fact, as of this writing, no additional material other than the obligatory FOIA response has been received by this author.

The problem with this of course is that for the most part, people would tend to reject information like this out of hand, and deny that the American government would ever do such a thing. Unfortunately, this revealing information concerning the production of anthrax bombs was credited to a rather reputable individual; Mathew Meselson, a man the U.S. government itself considered an expert in the area and had relied on many times in the past to investigate various issues dealing with biological warfare. Corroborating Meselson’s 1999 disclosure, Robert Harris, a British television news producer, and later author of the best seller Fatherland, produced a BBC documentary in 1981 claiming that Churchill had indeed seriously considered using anthrax against the German civilian population. Amid howls of protest he defended himself in a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a well known British paper, stating in effect that he stood by what he had said, and referred doubters to the documentary evidence. Taking this information into consideration dispels the notion that either Roosevelt or Churchill were abhorred by the idea of using gas or biological weapons on a civilian population, in fact they, by their very actions, seemed to advocate it. The United States military did consider the use of gas against the Japanese and a number of polls were launched in 1944 in order to assess public opinion on the matter, but in the end, like the British, the United States decided against it. This is not to say that either man wanted their respective populations to be aware of their true feelings on the matter, and at least in the case of Churchill, who went to extraordinary measures to prevent it, were willing to covertly avoid any embarrassment related to Bari.
Weight of public opinion

What all of this would seem to suggest as a motivating factor behind the secrecy applied to Bari, is that public opinion, not only during the war, but after as well, was more than anything else responsible for the actions of the British and American governments. Without question the Allies were willing to go to great lengths to keep their respective publics ignorant of the events of 2 December 1943. These lengths included the intentional, and deceptive censorship through editing of the Nazi Reichsminister of Propaganda’s diary, something that would not be known today if not for the opening of the former Soviet Union’s archives. Without the work of historians Elke Frohlich and David Irving, who conducted research in the former Soviet Archives in Moscow, there is the distinct possibility that we would not be privy to the uncensored and unedited thoughts, ideas, and words of Dr. Joseph Goebbels today.

Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment, carefully documented his activities as well as the German military situation on a daily basis in his memoirs, which were published in America in 1948 under the titles of The Goebbels Diaries and Final Entries. Both of these tomes conspicuously lack any mention of the air raid on Bari. In December 1943 Goebbels was desperate for a German victory of any kind whatsoever. He felt compelled to provide the German people with some kind of positive news from the Front. Many of his entries published in The Goebbels Diaries concern themselves with this need. Strangely, the incredibly successful attack on Bari, and its subsequent effects with respect to Allied losses goes entirely unmentioned in the propaganda minister’s memoirs. One would think that the air raid on Bari was exactly the kind of victory Goebbels was so desperate for. It is absurd to believe that such a significant event like Bari would have been unintentionally edited out of the final version of Goebbels’ diaries when the mundane, day-to-day activities of Goebbels were translated verbatim, and included. At the same time, it is fantasy to embrace the notion that Goebbels would have somehow missed the air raid or forgotten to mention it. Untranslated entries obtained by the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte from the recently opened Soviet Archives show that Goebbels did mention Bari on no less than three occasions. The obvious conclusion is that these entries were edited out to prevent people from finding out details about the air raid on Bari.

Goebbels’ diaries were first published in German in 1945 under the title of Tagebucher 1945, and later in 1948 when Louis Lochner, an American journalist translated earlier entries and compiled the book entitled The Goebbels Diaries. This edition carried the caveat, “No representative of the interested agencies of the United States Government has read the original manuscript or the translation of excerpts therefrom,” Lochner’s translation conspicuously lacks the entries for December first through the third, the time that the attack on Bari might have been initially planned, and prepared for. Louis P. Lochner, the editor/translator for the Goebbels diaries attempts to explain this discrepancy by saying only, “There is a gap of three days at this point in the diaries.” The diary begins again on 4 December 1943 but continues only until 9 December 1943, and then, if we are to believe contemporaneous accounts, all of the entries between the latter date, and 27 February 1945 were either lost, or recycled by German entrepreneurs following the defeat of Germany in May 1945.

For more than four decades the idea that Lochner may have intentionally edited out mention of Bari was pure conjecture, however in the early 1990s the Soviet Union opened its archives to the west, and a veritable goldmine of information resulted, including the entire unedited diaries of Dr. Joseph Goebbels, which today seem to support the notion that Lochner did exactly that. The unedited diaries do not correspond exactly with Louis Lochner’s 1948 translation. Any mention of the attack at Bari is absent in Lochner’s version, but present in the version acquired from the former Soviet archives. Irving himself did not seem particularly suspicious of Lochner, stating recently that he thought Lochner’s translation was “pretty good,” and that he was not provided with Goebbels’ diary in its entirety. David Irving’s opinion cannot be dismissed easily, although it seems to defy logic, as he is a recognized expert on the Third Reich.
It would seem reasonable to conclude that if Goebbels were to mention the Bari attack, he would have mentioned it on either 2 December or 3 December. In the Lochner version Goebbels’ diary picks up again on 4 December, but ends again on 9 December. At no point in the Lochner translation is Bari, Italy mentioned, which is ridiculous considering what a tremendous victory it was for the Germans, and as already mentioned the worst naval disaster for America second only to Pearl Harbor. As an example, the unedited 4 December 1943 entry acquired from the former Soviet Archives includes the following information in regards to the Luftwaffe attack on Bari:

Our Air Force undertook with almost one hundred fighter planes, a heavy attack on Bari that came to full effect because the city was illuminated. Two freighters were sunk, an ammunition ship and a tanker were exploded. Besides these, there were a total of twenty-seven hits on other ships.

The 1948 publication of Goebbels’ diaries included 4 December 1943, but conspicuously neglects to mention anything whatsoever about Bari, Italy. The same holds true with the entry dated 5 December 1943. The recently acquired unedited version from the Soviet Archives clearly has Goebbels documenting that:

According to the latest determinations, the attack on Bari had an even bigger success than it was originally thought…it is already certain that ten units were hit with 66,000 tons in total. Those sunk were a tanker of 10,500 tons, an ammunition ship of 4,500 tons, a cargo ship of 10,000 tons and one of 6000 tons. Badly damaged were five cargo ships of a total of 30,000 tons as well as a warship from about 5,500 tons. In addition extensive fires in the harbor area were achieved.

Once again, the 1948 publication fails to mention anything about Bari, despite the fact that the same date appears in the Lochner translation. In the complete and unedited version 18 December 1943, an entry completely absent from the Lochner translation, as there were no other entries after 9 December 1943, includes additional information related to Bari. According to Goebbels:

The American Secretary of War Stimson has issued a sensational explanation over our last air attack on Bari. He had to admit large losses of the Allied Merchant fleet. In all 17 ships were sunk there within a few minutes. The big success can largely be attributed to our new weapons. In any case the American and English public is very indignant about it.

The entire Bari episode caused a great deal of consternation among the Allies, when questioned about the events at Bari in 1943, Secretary of War Stimson angrily dismissed the reporter questioning him, verbally lashing out with, “No! I will not comment on this thing.” Infield’s account includes the fact that Stimson informed the American people about Bari, but excluded any details, saying only that “Damage was done. There were a number of casualties.” Presumably Goebbels’ entry followed the preceding statements after Stimson had some time to regain his composure. The new weapons mentioned in the last Goebbels entry, according to Irving, were the innovative glider bombs dropped from Luftwaffe aircraft and then guided toward their target with a joystick control.

What all of this information should indicate is that yes, there was some surreptitious editing of Goebbels’ diary, and that this editing in no way could possibly be construed as something necessary for the Allies to have done in order to maintain positive public opinion, at least not during the war itself, as the Lochner translation was published in 1948, three years after the end of World War II.

Army report inconsistencies

Thus far three primary reasons behind the secrecy involved with the attack on Bari have been introduced, investigated and dismissed for lack of evidence or credibility as being the true cause behind the continuation of secrecy. This is where another reason, not considered before in connection with Bari, might be considered. A pathological inability to tell the truth in regards to the British and American chemical warfare programs may have played the greatest role in burying the details associated with Bari. The poison gas accidentally released as a consequence of the air raid on Bari was positively identified at the time by Lt. Colonel Stewart Alexander as mustard gas, but it may in fact have been another toxin altogether, and one that had only been used in the past by the Japanese: Lewisite.

Alexander was dispatched to Bari in order to investigate what actually happened at Bari on 2 December 1943, something that was already known thanks to the British port commander’s warning a few hours after the attack, and days before Alexander appeared on scene. Despite this, Alexander conducted his investigation and concluded that the agent responsible at Bari was sulfur mustard:

The point should be clearly made that these exposures were to mustard and not to other agents. It was not a new agent, but a new, and rather unique, method of applying an old agent.

Although the above statement is not a smoking gun, one may wonder why the Lt. Colonel stressed the fact that mustard was the agent responsible and not a “new agent.” Without any doubt the agent responsible was a vesicant, as the symptoms strongly suggested. What is curious however is that the report highlights what would seem obvious; the finding is remarkable because it seems to overstep Alexander’s mission.

What is being argued here, simply, is that the report, one written specifically for the military leadership at the time, and possibly for historical posterity, was superfluous considering the Port Commander’s knowledge of the cargo, if in fact mustard was the cargo. It seems that there may have been another reason, perhaps one more concerned about the future rather than the present.

Inconsistencies in government and military reports about the transportation and disposal of chemical agents, as well as the essential differences in the physical properties of various forms of mustard gas, support the conclusion that a cover-up was intentionally conducted. Secrecy with respect to chemical and biological agents of warfare seems to be an inherent feature of the Chemical Warfare Service and the United States government.

The United States Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program’s report out of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland has a number of these inconsistencies relative to the time period under consideration. It concerns itself with the reporting of transportation of chemical agents in the United States and around the world. The Chemical Stockpile Disposal documents themselves are not entirely complete according to the admonition sent along with the report. The report states that this is primarily related to a general feeling that since the transportation of these agents had become so common, that they no longer warranted special attention. Fortunately, these omissions are more prevalent in the 1950s, than the years immediately following the war.

The U.S. Army’s Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program report names one specific unit responsible for the escort of all chemical weapons to and from production facilities and depots. This unit was known as the U.S. Army Technical Escort Unit, and according to the report had been in existence since 1943. But this unit is not mentioned at all in the Reminick and Infield texts. Both Disaster at Bari and Nightmare in Bari mention the Chemical Warfare Service specifically, but not any Technical Escort Unit related to transportation of chemical munitions. Infield identifies several individuals responsible for the transportation of the mustard gas aboard the John Harvey, including a Captain Knowles affiliated with the 701st Chemical Maintenance Company. This unit trained at Camp Sibert, Alabama, a facility solely established for the training of chemical troops. Captain Knowles was in fact specifically trained for escorting chemical munitions, but was not affiliated with the Technical Escort Unit specified as being responsible for monitoring all chemical munitions transportation since 1943 according to the Army’s Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program study. In fact, there is not a single mention of a Technical Escort Unit in three volumes of military history related to the Chemical Warfare Service provided by the Office of the Chief of Military History concerning World War II.

Despite this inconsistency the report itself is interesting and provides a great deal of information related to the transportation of chemical munitions. The transportation section of the report is entitled “moves” and lists several pertinent facts associated with the movements of these munitions, including origin, destination, dates, and types of transportation used, cargoes, and quantities. Unfortunately, the quantities are not documented in tonnage or specific munitions, but rather by indicating the ship used, or the number of rail cars employed to transport the agents. The vast majority of transportation is documented as occurring in 1946, immediately following the war.

What exactly was on the John Harvey is difficult to know with any certainty, because according to Reminick, “copies of the [John Harvey’s] manifest were received and signed for by the Docks Superintendent at Bari on November 25, but subsequently vanished without any evidence that it was distributed to anyone.” There is no evidence that the manifest was destroyed in the air raid, or that it was not, it just inexplicably vanished. A “Most Secret” British report reveals that a total of 2574 bombs described as “Bomb. Gas-HS, M47A2,” which is the proper nomenclature for mustard filled gravity bombs, were aboard the John Harvey. HS is the specific CWS symbol for Sulfur mustard or common mustard gas.

Despite the voluminous documentation provided by the Army concerning the transfers of chemical agents after World War II, inconsistencies abound. For example, despite the fact that HS was said to be the agent at Bari, the U.S. Military never moved any mustard gas, nitrogen or sulfur out of Italy. It does not seem realistic that the mustard gas lost aboard the John Harvey was the only mustard gas in theatre, yet out of more than one hundred-forty “moves” documented in 1946, only nine are listed as originating in Europe. Out of those nine “moves” only three are listed as transferring “American” chemical agents, while the other six are designated as “German.” This would tend to suggest that there was not a considerable amount of American chemical agents in the European theatre, which counters what Captain Butcher said about having “lots on hand.”

On 1 April 1946 the Army’s chemical disposal report documents an “unspecified” amount of Lewisite, not mustard, leaving the port in Auera, Italy and being dumped at sea. The Lewisite must have been of American origin, as the report did not specify that it was German or Italian. In the only other case of chemical munitions leaving Italy in 1946, a load of Phosgene was designated to leave for the U.S. from Bagnoli, Italy on 22 May 1946. This cargo was placed on the Merchant Marine vessel S.S. Francis Newlands. The U.S. Army’s report provided an explanation for the presence of phosgene, and the purpose of bringing it back to the United States. The Army brought the phosgene back to the United States to be sold to private industry, as it is essential component in the chemical industry in the production of plastic and fertilizers.

The Lewisite is another inconsistency associated with the report. Since the report excludes the amount of Lewisite dumped at sea, as well as the type of vessel used to carry it there, it is difficult to discern how much exactly left Auera, Italy on 1 April 1946. Reminick provides an incredibly detailed account of Allied dumping of toxics in several locations including the Baltic, Skagerrakk Strait, the North Sea, and the Adriatic. A recent study commissioned by the Italian government has unearthed evidence that there are at least 20,000 bombs off the Italian coast, and possibly as many as 200,000, leading Edo Ronchi, the Italian environmental minister to say in 2000 that he would be sending those countries responsible a bill for clean-up measures.
Reminick’s account corresponds nicely with the Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program report in that he also states that an unspecified amount of mustard and/or Lewisite was dumped off the Adriatic coast, on the same dates documented by the U.S. Army’s Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program’s report, but the Army’s report mentions only Lewisite, not mustard (Italics mine). This seemingly innocuous admission on the part of the military report may actually represent the smoking gun behind the secrecy at Bari. Perhaps the agent aboard the John Harvey was not mustard after all, but was in actuality Lewisite.

Nowhere in the entire Army’s disposal report is there any documentation of dumping any agent except Lewisite at sea in either 1946 or 1947. The Army’s report failed to reveal a single transport of any American mustard gas leaving Italy after the war. This is very peculiar indeed, because the bombs aboard the John Harvey were said to be mustard, and not Lewisite! The Army’s report does however indicate that the Lewisite departing Auera Italy on 1 April 1946 to be dumped at sea was in the form of “bombs.” According to the definitive history of the Chemical Warfare Service provided by the Office of the Chief of Military History there were only a few bombs capable of delivering chemical weapons. It must be remembered that the Army’s report specifically cites the origin of the munitions, whether it be British, German or Italian. Omission of any of these three names indicates that the cargo is American. The CWS employed the M47 100-pound bomb, M47A1 100 pound-bomb, and later the M47A2 100 pound bomb for the delivery of toxics. Two thousand of the M47A2 100-pound bombs were aboard the Harvey on 2 December 1943.

In this respect the Army’s report along with the Office of the Chief of Military History’s biography of the CWS seem to corroborate that possibly the M47A2 100-pound bombs, which were nothing more than a slight improvement over the M47A1s, aboard the John Harvey may in fact have contained Lewisite, and not mustard, which would go a long way in explaining why the U.S. Military would have deployed a weapon system whose full potential could not be realized in cold weather.

Physical properties of Lewisite and sulfur mustard

A closer look at the distinctions between mustard and Lewisite is necessary at this juncture. Both agents are vesicants, or blister agents, and are persistent, in that they do not quickly evaporate once they have been employed in an area. Lewisite, however, has the distinct advantage of being effective in cold weather, whereas mustard freezes at the relatively high temperature of 58 degrees F, rendering it ineffective in colder weather.

This fact would have made Lewisite an extremely advantageous toxin in December 1943, so close to the coldest months in Italy. In fact the average Italian temperature generally falls below 58 degrees F in January, which incidentally was expected to be the time of year in which the Allies would be engaged in some of the heaviest fighting. A survey of the average temperatures of the Italian cities of Turin, Milan, Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples reveal that none have an average temperature exceeding the freezing point of mustard in January. Although this study is not related to hydrography or oceanography, it must be noted here that the average annual temperature of the Adriatic Sea is 11 degrees Celsius or 51.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The average temperature of the Adriatic Sea in the winter is a chilly 7 degrees Celsius or 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures would indicate that possibly some of the efficacy of mustard gas would be lost because of the low water temperature, but not necessarily that of Lewisite. But the agent that blistered and killed those at Bari was dispersed in the cold harbor water, and did not seem to be rendered in the least bit ineffective. Considering this, one can see that Lewisite would have been the better choice for operations in Italy at that time of the year. It is irrational to believe that the military would not have been aware of this advantage Lewisite had over sulfur mustard.

The U.S. military had 20,000 tons, or forty million pounds of Lewisite on hand by the end of 1943. Taking this fact, and everything else covered within this chapter into consideration, is it possible that the Allies had other reasons for covering up the incident at Bari? Was it possible that the United States government was anxious to cover up the fact that they had introduced a chemical agent that had never previously been used in combat? The United States military rushed Lewisite to France during World War I in order to test its effectiveness on the battlefield, but undoubtedly to the chagrin of some in the CWS, were unable to employ it before the Armistice.

The casualties stemming from chemical exposure at Bari were enormous and according to Infield “unusually high,” especially when compared to the casualties associated with mustard during World War I. Infield suggests that this may have been related to the mustard-in-oil combination, and the prolonged periods of exposure the victims were subjected to. In the Final Report submitted by Alexander, he concludes that the victims at Bari suffered a significantly higher percentage of fatalities than had mustard victims during World War I. Additionally, Alexander affirms that systemic effects manifested by the victims were severe, and of greater significance that had been associated with mustard in the past. This would once again seem to spport the idea that perhaps what was aboard the Harvey was in fact Lewisite.

What Alexander is essentially acknowledging, is that the mustard gas casualties at Bari were not entirely what one would expect them to be, nor did they manifest the same signs and symptoms as mustard casualties had in the past. Alexander attempts to explain these discrepancies by suggesting that prolonged exposure to the agent in its oil-water mixture enhanced its effects. Is it possible that Alexander’s initial skepticism was justified? Perhaps Churchill was not being entirely dishonest when he stated that based upon the symptoms he had heard from witnesses caring for the victims in Bari, “The symptoms do not sound like mustard exposure.” The Prime Minister was in a position to know. After all he was very familiar with gas warfare from his experiences during World War I. He also was in a position to know exactly what was unleashed at Bari on 2 December 1943, and perhaps it was not mustard.

Eric Croddy, the author of Chemical and Biological Warfare, A Comprehensive Survey for the Concerned Citizen, surmised that possibly the mustard at Bari may have been mixed with organic solvents like tetrachloroethane or chlorobenzene in order to reduce its freezing point and make it a viable weapon during the Italian Winter. Subsequent investigation revealed neither agent being documented as used by the U.S. Army in connection with lowering the freezing point of sulfur mustard.

Lewisite itself has the ability to actually bring the freezing point of mustard down to “- 24 F, or even less,” which is incredibly advantageous in an environment in which cold temperatures are prevalent. Unfortunately the Office of the Chief of Military History and the Chemical Warfare Service were not clear as to the compound employed by the United States Military in respect to reducing the freezing point of mustard, but did cite the agents used by the Germans and Japanese. The Japanese relied on a 50/50 mixture of mustard and Lewisite, while the Germans employed “Arsenol, a mixture of arsenic compounds, mainly diphenylchloroarsine.” Incidentally Lewisite, or dichloro (2-chlorovinyl) arsine is also an arsenical or arsenic compound, so essentially both the Germans and Japanese used arsenic compounds for reducing the freezing point of mustard. Therefore it seems plausible, even highly likely, that the United States did as well. The Chemical Warfare Service recognized the importance of adding a “thickening agent” to reduce the freezing point of mustard for use in cold weather, but allegedly sent unadulterated sulfur mustard to Italy in the cold of December to be used on the Italian front. It is safe to assume however, that the United States Military did take the need to decrease the freezing point of mustard seriously, and did make use of some compound, and Lewisite fits the bill.

Dr. Henry Boyter, Jr. an expert in chemistry and director of environmental health and safety and analytical services at the Institute of Textile Technologies, affirmed the fact that both mustard and Lewisite are highly reactive in water. Neither can remain viable for long when exposed to it. Dr. Boyter stated that he would likely prefer, if given the option, to be dunked in a solution containing mustard rather than inhale it. This confirms that the mustard should have quickly hydrolyzed, or been rendered benign in water. The historically accepted view of why it was not is that the agent was mixed with oil in the harbor waters immediately after the attack, but this does not take into account the low temperature of the Adriatic waters in December. Lewisite, like mustard, is unstable in water, but unlike mustard it retains its potency in low temperatures.

Lt. Colonel Alexander’s assertion that sub-lethal blast injuries, in combination with minor amounts of mustard vapor, caused the disproportionate number of casualties at Bari is intriguing and worth closely considering. This does not explain the discrepancy in the greater percentage of soldiers dying from the effects of mustard gas at Bari as compared to World War I. During the First World War soldiers were exposed to artillery barrages of both high explosive and chemical varieties. One would think that studies conducted during the Great War would have taken into account the effects of sub-lethal blast injuries, and mustard exposure, as both examples would have been plentiful. Croddy emphasized that quickly differentiating between thermal and chemical burns is not necessarily a simple task. Quickly differentiating between chemical burns caused by Lewiste or mustard would be impossible.

Another possible argument favoring Lewisite rather than mustard as the agent present at Bari is that Lewisite has an LD50, or a lethal dose in half those exposed to it of 2.8 grams total. Mustard has an LD50 considerably higher than Lewisite, meaning that it requires a higher concentration to obtain the same effect. In the case of sulfur mustard, a lethal dose, in half the cases of those exposed to it is 100 mg/kg, or approximately 7 grams in an individual weighing 154 pounds. This may explain why the percentages of those that died as a result of exposure to the vesicant, assuming it was in fact Lewisite, were higher at Bari than in World War I. It also goes far in explaining how, considering the immense volume of water in the harbor, and its low ambient temperature, the agent responsible was so effective.

Although there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Lewisite rather than mustard was the suspect agent at Bari, concrete documentary evidence is lacking. Dr. Boyter dispels the idea that Lewisite would have been any more stable in water or oil than mustard itself and Croddy doubted that a Lewisite-mustard mixture was the culprit only because he had not heard that this combination was part of U.S. stockpiles at the time. However, neither man could say for certain that it was not. One can only point out that the Department of the Army’s Chemical Stockpile Disposal report on chemical munitions transportation does not list mustard as an agent transported out of Italy either to be relocated or dumped, but it does list Lewisite. Additionally, despite the depth of the Office of the Chief of Military History’s account of the Chemical Warfare Service and its activities, it does not specify what agent the U.S. military used to reduce the freezing point of mustard gas, although it does acknowledge that one was necessary, and one can safely assume that in fact some agent was utilized.

Mustard gas was a chemical weapon that had been employed by all belligerents during World War I. There was not much secret about it, or its effects. Lewisite however, had not been used in combat with the possible exception of some limited Japanese use in China. Had the agent released at Bari been mustard gas, the Germans could not condemn the Allies for that as the Germans were stockpiling it too. The extent of the secrecy surrounding the Bari incident raises too many questions. Deterrence cannot work if it is secret. Also, there was no need for secrecy concerning the incident since Axis Sally was taunting the Allied personnel at Bari during her daily broadcasts about becoming casualties of their own “poison gas.” Could it be that the Allies were more concerned about the potential repercussions that might be faced as a result of introducing a previously unused chemical weapon into Europe? Today, the preponderance of evidence seems to suggest so. The presence of Lewisite rather than mustard explains why there was so much secrecy behind the entire incident. The introduction of a poison gas that had not been used before in combat may have been enough to instigate a preemptive chemical strike by the Nazis; it certainly appeared to contradict President Roosevelt’s public position on chemical weapons.


During World War I physicians first became aware of the strange side effects of vesicant agents, specifically mustard gas. They noted when caring for mustard gas casualties that the patient’s blood specimens manifested lower white blood cell counts than what would be normally expected. The effects of mustard gas cause severe burns, which blister and rupture leaving an area open to the bacteria filled environment. Generally, under these circumstances the body reacts by producing white blood cells, or leukocytes, in large numbers to combat infection. This in fact is a necessary immunological response, and is generally manifested in all patients suffering from either a localized or a systemic infection with the exception of certain individuals suffering from diseases like lymphoma or leukemia. At the time this phenomenon was first noted, it did little more than pique the curiosity of a few physicians caring for gas casualties during the Great War. Later however, physicians began to study this phenomenon more closely and even treated some patients with vesicants experimentally prior to World War II.
The casualties arriving at the medical facilities immediately following the air raid at Bari began to manifest signs and symptoms of mustard exposure within hours of being admitted. As time passed the medical personnel noted changes in their patients’ blood chemistry similar to those associated with casualties from World War I. In the case of the casualties associated with Bari, the symptoms were excessively severe, so severe in fact that they were dissimilar to mustard gas exposure in some respects.

Lt. Colonel Alexander noted the earliest signs that something was amiss in his medical report:

The first indication of unusual proceedings that evening was noted in the resuscitation wards. Men were brought in supposedly suffering from shock, immersion and exposure. Pulse would be imperceptible or just barely palpable, blood pressure would be down in the realm of 40 – 60 mm hg. And yet the cases did not appear to be in clinical shock. There was no worried or anxious expression or restlessness, no shallow rapid respirations, and the heart action was only moderately rapid, 110-120, considering the condition of pulse and blood pressure, these cases did not complain chest pain, have altered respiration, injured ear drums, or blood tinged sputum as in typical blast injuries. They were rather apathetic. Upon being spoken to they would sit up in bed and would state that they felt rather well at a time when their pulse was barely perceptible and their systolic blood pressure perhaps 50.

The medical personnel could tell immediately that their patients were not responding well physiologically to the treatment they were receiving. These specific casualties did not reveal evidence associated with blast injuries that do not necessarily have outward physical signs. As Alexander noted, they did not have “ruptured eardrums” or “blood tinged sputum.” Yet they were definitely doing poorly, and appeared to be getting quickly worse. In his report Alexander mentions that signs and symptoms of mustard exposure began to manifest themselves within six hours after the attack. Gladys May Rees Aikens, the Q.A Reserve nurse, first noted signs a few hours after dawn the following day. Whenever the signs of mustard exposure initially developed is irrelevant, but it is worth noting that there was clearly something drastically wrong with these individuals within twenty-four hours of exposure. In fact according to Alexander’s report, “the first death occurred 18 hours after exposure. Several other deaths occurred at 24 hours. There were 14 deaths within the first 48 hours.” Alexander remarked on the highly unusual nature of the deaths associated with mustard exposure:

Individuals that appeared in rather good condition, save for hypotaia, conjunctivitis, and skin erythema, within a matter of minutes would become moribund and die. There was no respiratory distress, marked cyanosis, or restlessness associated with their deaths. Cases that were able to talk and say they felt well, would die within a few minutes after speaking, and there were no prognostic signs of this possibility noted. Some cases just rapidly went down hill, as for example: one case was pulseless but warm, and able to talk; though still with a clear sensorium- the next was pulseless but cold; and soon his heart stopped beating. Their hearts, lungs, abdomens, and CNS (Central Nervous Systems) showed no or very minimal findings at these times. They did not complain of chest pain or have any blood-tinged sputum.

Alexander was a trained Medical Doctor and undoubtedly received excellent training at both the university where he attended medical school and with the U.S. Military. Why he would write in his report that pulseless individuals spoke, or were warm is a mystery however, as both examples are a physical impossibility assuming that the pulse is in fact absent. A pulse is the heartbeat that can be palpably assessed, generally around the radial aspect of the wrist. If the heart is not beating then blood is not perfusing throughout the circulatory system. If blood is not being sent to the body’s cells, including the brain cells, then one would be unable to speak, or for that matter do anything, as they would for all intents and purposes be clinically dead. Without a pulse, or a heartbeat, blood would not get to the surface of the body, into the capillaries of the integument or skin. Therefore the blood, which maintains its temperature through circulation, part of the process of homeostasis, would not warm the skin.

Despite this curiosity Alexander’s report is both informative and relatively thorough. The Lt. Colonel plotted the deaths of fifty-four individuals and noted two distinct peaks in the death curve, or the time intervals in which the majority of victims died. Alexander noted that respiratory symptoms did not appear until the end of the first week, something unexpected considering the damage mustard gas is known to cause in human lungs. Alexander surmises that the best explanation for this fact is that the victims were exposed to the mustard while in the water/oil mixture of the port after the attack, in some cases for extended periods of time. So rather than breathing in the fumes of the mustard, which as previously noted would have had its efficacy reduced by the cold ambient temperature of an Italian November evening, the victims bathed in it, and absorbed the toxin through the skin, and as later determined through the mucus membranes of their mouth and throat.

A few of the burns were related to vapor only, as the individual had not been in the water. However, the vast majority was burned with the mustard-oil preparation. Mustard can form a true solution in crude oil up to 20%, but the strength of mustard in the oil must have been far less than this. The concentrations in different areas must have varied considerably but, on the whole, were very dilute. The burns sustained depended on the amount of mustard in the oil that contaminated the man and the length of time this oil remained in contact with the skin. As there was no thought of toxic agent in the oil, no attempt was made to wash or decontaminate the men. Many men in oil contaminated clothing were wrapped in blankets, given warm tea and allowed to lie with the oil on their skin all night. The opportunity for burn and absorption must have been tremendous.

This fact is significant in that during World War I, the vast majority of those exposed to mustard gas had breathed it in, rather than absorbed it through the skin, especially in minute and diluted amounts. Prior to Bari, it had been assumed that the systemic effects of mustard were insignificant in its usual battlefield concentrations. In the cases associated with Bari however, the individuals were dipped into a solution of mustard-in-oil, and then wrapped in blankets, given warm tea, and allowed to absorb the toxin over an extended period of time.

It is the systemic effects that Alexander concentrated on in his report and summary. He concluded that the systemic effects were far more significant than had been associated with mustard in the past. This he attributed to prolonged periods of exposure over a large body surface area.

Alexander’s observation in this respect was very perceptive. One of the systemic effects noted by Alexander in his report, and one which later would pique the interest of medical research, was the effect mustard gas had on the white blood count (WBC). It did not take researchers long to tie in the effect mustard had on the WBC before they realized the promise it might hold in treating cancer. They realized that sulfur mustard suppressed the body’s immune response. The body’s normal immune response actually works against the cancer patient, and must be suppressed, in much the same way that an organ recipient must take immuno-suppressant drugs in order that their bodies not reject their new organ. In regards to the blood samples Alexander noted that the WBC was initially high, but after a few days dramatically dropped to a level that could not be explained. In all of the cases involving a dramatic drop in the white blood count the patient soon died. By evaluating this type of information, physicians were able to extrapolate that by controlling a vesicant dose, one could suppress the body’s immune response to a level that would prevent the immune system from working against the cancer patient, but not so much to cause death.

Stewart determined that in all likelihood, those that experienced the dramatic drop in their white blood count died as a result of a massive systemic infection. This is in fact a virtual certainty, given the hospital environment. Many of the Bari victims had already been injured in the attack, and may have had open wounds. Compound this with the presence of serious burn injuries and their tendency to become easily infected. The hospital environment is always susceptible to nosocomial infections, or infections brought into the hospital, and then transmitted within that environment to the immuno-compromised patient.

Alexander’s report emphasized the systemic effects that mustard had on the victim’s bodies. He stressed the damage done to the patient’s liver, but this was contradicted by autopsy findings. One certainly would expect a vesicant agent like mustard, especially if ingested or absorbed into the circulatory system to have a dramatically negative effect on the liver. The liver is an organ that literally processes and detoxifies blood. Since sulfur mustard is a toxin, one would expect that the liver would be more severely affected than any other internal organ with the possible excepti

A Study Focusing on the Formation of Opinion, and the Knowledge Associated with


A Study Focusing on the Formation of Opinion, and the Knowledge Associated with its


(December 2002)

Curtis B. Maynard, B.A.A.S., Texas A&M University Kingsville

Chairman of Advisory Committee: Dr. Eric Reittinger

It has been posited in this study, that one variable in opinion formation is over reliance on televised media, and the belief that it can exclusively provide enough information for the development of an informed opinion. The major research hypothesis is interrelated with the above contention, in that it posited a correlation would manifest itself among a selected group of survey respondents deemed to be more “uninformed,” than their “informed” peers, in regards to whether or not biological terrorism represented a serious danger in the United States today. One hundred-three University students participated voluntarily in the survey revealing that some strong correlations did exist supporting the major research hypothesis, as well as an indication that the minor research hypothesis may have some relevance as well. ANOVA, Pearson’s Correlations, and Factor Analysis were all used in order to evaluate the data as effectively as possible.



Human beings tend to develop attitudes about a variety of issues, without a great deal of information, often leading to an uninformed opinion. These opinions are held dear, and frequently are embraced tenaciously regardless of whether or not additional information might suggest that they are incorrect, or skewed. Occasionally these uninformed opinions can have dire consequences, especially where they may spill over into government policy that effect the lives of many people
Uninformed opinions are opinions none-the-less, and Americans tend to believe strongly that everyone, no matter their knowledge level on an issue, has the right to their own opinion. This mindset is for all practical purposes accepted as an inherent right afforded all citizens of the United States of America. In fact, it is provided for in the U.S. Constitution under the Bill of Rights (First Amendment). Attitudes are an interesting aspect of our opinion formation and development. Passion plays a role in our ability to accept, organize, analyze and then either employ, or reject new ideas resulting from new information available to us. The social sciences have determined that attitudes can be measured. Two of the earliest tools used in the social sciences to measure attitude are the Thurstone, and Likert scales (Petty, Cacioppo, 1981). Both are considered to have a substantially high rate of reliability, and the Likert scale will in fact be employed in this particular survey.
The issue, or variable to be used in this particular study are bacterial agents, or biological weapons, that have recently obtained much attention in the mass media. Biological agents like anthrax should be a topic that will elicit all of the attitudes, opinions, and informational deficits, as measured by a fact and opinion based survey, necessary for supporting the hypotheses within this thesis. Innumerable other topics could be used, but biological agents causing disease have several advantages that the others don’t, most significantly the fact that it has been in the news of late, and has caused a tremendous amount of anxiety in the population. Biological terrorism also represents a feasible threat in the future, and therefore it is anticipated that this study may in fact be beneficial in that it will point out a very real shortcoming on the part of the American people, government, and the mass media.
The primary problem to be studied
The primary problem to be studied by conducting this survey, and extrapolating the associated data is to what extent are attitudes related to ignorance. Is there a measurable correlation between the intensity of an attitude, and an informational deficit? Why are people emotionally, or passionately occupied with a specific position on an issue when they in fact may lack fundamental acquaintance with the information necessary in the formation of an educated opinion? Another problem requiring insight is, to what extent is the south Texas college student acquiring further information on the topic of anthrax, if at all, and where is the majority of this information coming from? Once again, the fact of the matter is that anthrax could potentially be used as a terrorist weapon, and Congressional studies indicate that a very small amount could cause the deaths of millions of people, making this study that much more significant. A Congressional Office of Technology Assessment study, conducted in 1993 declared that 100 kilograms, or 220 lbs of anthrax could potentially kill upwards of 3 million people, more than a typical hydrogen bomb.
In this particular circumstance, an educated public is in a better position to influence the political process, and insist, if so desired on a more coherent, and tangible National Security policy in regards to events that may directly affect them.
Purposes for conducting this research
The purposes of conducting this research are many, but the primary purpose is to explore the connection between knowledge and attitude formation. Secondly, it is hoped that this survey will illuminate possible sources of an informational deficit in the formation of opinion. Thirdly, it is believed that this survey will support the contention that the typical south Texas college student is woefully uninformed of the danger anthrax actually represents, and therefore equally unprepared to propose, or support policy changes that could make a difference.
Lastly, it is hoped that this survey will support the contention that people tend to believe that the American mass media is the least biased, and most accurate source of news information available in the world today.
Major research question (Hypothesis)
The major research question, or hypothesis is “will respondents deemed to be uninformed intensely believe that biological agents are not as serious a threat as those deemed to be informed?” Additionally, does the uninformed student strongly, or furtively believe that the threat is not as significant as it is in actuality? In short, has the student developed an intense opinion without the information necessary on which to build that opinion? It is further hypothesized that the more informed the respondent, the more likely he or she will have a strong opinion reflecting the seriousness of a biological threat.
Minor research questions (Minor hypotheses)
Minor hypotheses include the accurate identification of a measurable correlation between a respondent considered to be uninformed, and their proclivity of identifying televised news sources as their primary source of information on the topic of anthrax, and other lethal bacteriological agents.
It is believed that there will be strong evidence supporting the contention that the typical south Texas college student lacks fundamental knowledge associated with the topic of biological agents like anthrax, and that there will be a correlation between this deficit and the respondent’s position on the significance anthrax represents as a threat.
Will the college student surveyed have even a fundamental understanding of biological agents like anthrax, what they are, where they come from, what they do, and how they could possibly represent a danger to themselves and others?
Significance of this study
The significance of performing this study is profoundly understood when one considers the possible consequences of being uninformed on the dangers that bacteria could possibly represent. The level of knowledge held by the population as a whole across this nation concerning the potential dangers associated with anthrax and other weapons of mass destruction is deplorable, and could constitute a real tangible danger to our National Security and the future of our republic. The extent of this ignorance will be explored in the literature review within this thesis. Certainly our government has responded in some way to protect the United States population from the dangers so inherent in this threat, but few know how it has done so, or if it has actually done so at all. This fact represents a level of uncertainty that may not be in our best interests as citizens of this country.



A wide variety of sources have been employed in this literature review in an effort to encompass as many pertinent facts related to biological agents as possible. An exhaustive study is not practicable, but a comprehensive review will suffice in providing the information necessary for one to develop an informed opinion on the issues broached in this work. In order to summarize what this literature review hopes to explore, an outline will best illustrate its purpose. It is believed that this review will provide enough information for the reader to be able to understand, and ultimately concur with the following concepts.
· Biological agents do represent a serious danger if released or used against human beings.
· The government has not reliably provided the American population with accurate information concerning biological agents, all of the time.
· The news media has proven fallible in it’s reporting of the history, research, development, and dissemination of biological agents.
· Experts generally agree that a large economic, scientific, and industrial infrastructure is not a prerequisite for the development of certain biological weapons, including anthrax.
· Experts, and the government itself believe that there is no “realistic” defense against the use of biological agents.
· The majority of Americans (subjectively) believe the media is influential, and in some cases too influential.
· The majority of Americans (subjectively) believe that the United States will experience a biological attack, but apparently do not necessarily feel that they them selves will be directly affected.
· Television news is the primary source of information concerning world events as they relate to bio-terrorism for the majority of Americans.
· Americans (subjectively) believe that their government, and government officials are not always honest, and often lack integrity.
These points should reinforce the major and minor hypotheses associated with this thesis. It should also help the reader identify other areas in which an “informational deficit” may in fact contribute to the formation of uninformed opinions. In order to identify disinformation, both intentional and unintentional, a relatively short historical summary of biological weapon research and development is necessary. The following literature review will also explore other topics concerning biological agents, including their lethality, availability, and future implications.
The dangers associated with biological agents
Dr D.A. Henderson, a man associated with the World Health Organization’s smallpox eradication program suggests that the implications behind the use of biological weapons are “every bit as grim and foreboding as that of a nuclear winter” (Osterholm & Schwartz, 2000).
Michael Osterholm is a recognized authority in the area of infectious disease, and has conducted a number of studies concerning infectious disease across the globe. He holds a PhD, has served as an Epidemiologist for the state of Minnesota, has received a number of awards from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and currently teaches as a professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health.
Osterholm and Schwartz (2000) describe the consequences of the use of biological weapons as a “potential hell” that Americans are in no way prepared for. Osterholm’s co-author, John Schwartz concurs with this sentiment by adding, “in my discussions with Mike Osterholm and the people we interviewed and dealt with in putting this book together, I realized that this was a topic (bioterrorism) worth getting scared about”(p. x). Schwartz’s opinion on this matter will be shown to have a great deal of validity within the next few pages, and will reveal that certain disease agents like smallpox constitute the “nightmare to end all nightmares” as the authors contend (Osterholm & Schwartz, 2000, 15).
Mathew Meselson a professor of molecular biology at Harvard, and American notable in the area of chemical and biological warfare, in a speech delivered before the American Academy of Arts and Sciences said,
“A world in which these technologies (biotechnology) are widely employed for hostile purposes would be a world in which the very nature of conflict had radically changed. Therein could lie unprecedented opportunities for violence, coercion, repression, or subjugation. Movement towards such a world would distort the accelerating revolution in biotechnology in ways that would vitiate its vast beneficial application and could have inimical consequences for the course of civilization” (Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1999).
In the same speech, Meselson reinforces the fact that the United States government has extensively researched and developed biological weapons in the past. Meselson described an American facility, north of Terre Haute, Indiana, built in 1944 that would have produced 500,000 four pound anthrax bombs monthly once in full operation. Professor Meselson’s notable achievements in the field of biological weapons research include being part of teams that proved the accidental release of anthrax at a Soviet facility in 1979, disproved charges of biological warfare in Laos and Cambodia in the late 1970s, and Meselson was a driving force behind popularizing the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1994 (Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1999).
Senator Bill Frist in testimony before a Senatorial Committee in 1999 asked, “If experts are correct in their belief that a major bioterrorist attack is a virtual certainty, that it is no longer a question of if, but rather when, this raises several crucial questions which we will discuss today” (Senate Health, Education, Labor, Pensions, and Bioterrorism Committee.1999). One could possibly conclude from Senator Frist’s statements, that the bioterrorism associated with the infamous anthrax letters sent out by an unknown terrorist in late 2001 was not entirely unexpected. Whether or not the anthrax letters constitute a “major bioterrorist attack” is conjecture.
The United States Government also concurs with the scientists, politicians and authors thus far noted, albeit in a more subdued, but equally certain stance. A Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) study conducted in 1993 ascertained that one hundred kilograms, or a mere two hundred and twenty pounds of anthrax could under optimal conditions, kill as many as three million residents of Washington D.C (Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress. 1993)
In academic circles, the word “optimal” might stand out as a word reducing the true significance of the potential anthrax represents to Americans, but if one considers a reduction in the efficacy of said biological agent, and perhaps investigates a sub-optimal release with only a three or four percent total potential, then one must still grasp the fact that 90,000 to 120,000 people would still die.
In contrast to the killing capacity to weight ratio of anthrax, Peter Burgasov, former Chief Sanitary Physician of the Soviet Union, admitted to the Courier, a Russian newspaper in November 2001, that the Soviet Union had been testing smallpox as a weapon since at least the 1970’s and described one particularly disturbing test conducted on an island in the Aral Sea “A research ship of the Aral fleet came within 15 kilometers away from the island (it was forbidden to come any closer than 40 kilometers) The lab technician of this ship took samples of plankton twice a day from the top deck. The smallpox formulation-400 grams of which was exploded on the island -“got her”- and she became infected.” (House International Relations Committee, on Bioterrorism, 2001).
The aforementioned OTA study focuses on what is to be expected immediately after an attack, and does not take into account the fact that anthrax spores will continue to represent a viable threat for decades as it would thoroughly contaminate the soil, and leave the entire area under quarantine for generations. An example of anthrax’s longevity can be seen even today, from afar, on the Island of Gruinard off the coast of Scotland. The British conducted experiments with anthrax there during World War Two, and the entire area has been closed to the public since, and more than five decades later still represents a threat to human life despite the fact that the British government has attempted in every scientific way to make the area safe (Hersh, 1968; Alibek, 1999).
Tom Brokaw supported this inability to sanitize an area of anthrax when he quoted an expert speaking before a Congressional Committee on November 8th, 2001. “An expert in germ warfare told a congressional committee today that there is no guarantee that an area exposed to anthrax can ever be completely decontaminated” (NBC Nightly News, 2001).
A former top-level Soviet scientist involved at the highest echelons with research on biological agents named Ken Alibek discloses in detail an incident that occurred in Sverdlovsk Russia in the late 1970s. Much of the incident was known about already through an investigation conducted by U.S. analysts, but the full details were not known until Alibek defected to the United States and told the entire story. In March 1979, a Soviet technician accidentally forgot to replace a vital filter in the anthrax production facilities ventilation system resulting in a release of anthrax into the surrounding community. Dozens of people died, a local communist party chief immediately ordered a cleanup, which disturbed the already settled anthrax spores, and re-infected people through secondary aerosols (Alibek, 1999).
Predictably, the Soviet government initiated a cover-up, and all the facts weren’t known until 1993. The American Defense Intelligence Agency published a report in 1986 outlining what it knew about the accident at Sverdlovsk, and pointed out some significant facts about the attempts on the part of the Soviet government to decontaminate the area after the exposure. Incidentally, the Defense Intelligence Agency also emphasizes the fact that only twenty-two pounds, approximately ten kilograms was accidentally dispersed into the atmosphere. The following observations were noted in the report, demonstrating the fact that decontaminating an area contaminated by anthrax spores is difficult at best, and impossible overall (Defense Intelligence Agency report: 1986, Pp, 4-7).
· Initial disinfection and decontamination procedures were largely ineffective.
· The extraordinary efforts to clean up were inconsistent with the Soviet explanation.
· The reported aerial spraying activity and disinfection with steam and hypochlorite, a bleach solution around the military installation are clear attempts to decontaminate areas affected by infectious aerosol.
The governments unreliable reporting on biological weapons
Recently the U.S. government has claimed that the source of anthrax used in a letter mailed to Thomas Daschle, the Senate Majority Leader, was of a strain known as the Ames, indicating its origins in Ames, Iowa. The Ames Iowa strain was identified in the 1950s, thus safely putting its research in an era prior to the signing of the Biological Weapons Convention in 1975 (Brune & Povich, 2001). Unfortunately for the government, additional facts concerning the strain of anthrax in Daschle’s letter came out implicating the actual source as a ranch in Texas (Broad, 2002). A military scientist working at Fort Detrick Maryland, the former headquarters of the U.S. governments bio-warfare program, obtained this strain from said ranch in the early 1980s (Broad, 2002).
By the time February 2002 had arrived, the newspapers were commonly referring to the misidentified origin of the anthrax bacterium as the Ames strain anyway, completely disregarding the fact that its origins were no longer considered to be in Ames Iowa, nor its appearance in the 1950s
Bacterial strains are identified much in the same way cells are identified using modern DNA techniques. How a mistake of this magnitude could have been made given the advancement of this technology will probably never be known (Hathaway, 2001).
The Times questioned this as well in an article citing the fact that “subtleties in the genomic sequences are relatively easy to determine by DNA sequencing. So why is it taking so long to sub-type the Ames strains from all government and academic labs?” (Perlin, 2002). The possibility remains that the government’s efforts to explain the Daschle anthrax letter and its lethal potential were either intentionally vague, or perhaps erroneous simply out of ignorance. “But health specialists say that a complicating factor for the Bush administration is its diminished credibility due to the governments often conflicting or erroneous statements during the first three weeks of the crisis”(Mishra & Donnely, 2001). “Non-scientists such as the Health and Human Service Secretary Tommy Thompson spoke for the administration, relying on even less knowledge than the Federal governments already strapped researchers” (Mishra & Donnely, 2001).
Despite the fact that the U.S. signed the Biological Warfare Convention in the early 1970s, and agreed to abide by the rules concerning biological agents, research continued unabated. Lelve G. Gayle, director of the Texas Veterinary Medial Diagnostic Lab in College Station, presumably part of the Texas A&M system, admitted in January 2002, “we isolate a lot of anthrax here” (Broad, 2002).
Apparently, despite the fact that the true origins of the anthrax sent to Daschle was not Iowa State University, the school for whatever reason maintains a sizable library of anthrax specimens. This particular library shouldn’t be confused with one related to the storage of lexicon, but rather actual frozen samples of anthrax spores. According to the New York Times the history of the misnamed Ames strain actually started in 1980 when a biologist named Gregory B. Knudson, working for the biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick Maryland, “was searching for new anthrax strains to use in tests of the military’s vaccine.” Fort Detrick Maryland was the headquarters of the U.S. Army’s biological warfare research and development program since the 1940s (Broad, 2002).
In addition to these events and locations, dozens of other Universities across the nation have at one time or another been employed in researching biological agents for a number of reasons, including the weaponization of the bacterium (Hersh, 1968). The University of Connecticut is mentioned in an article as a storage facility for anthrax, where apparently graduate students have in the past diverted samples in order that they not be destroyed (Hathaway, 2001). Such unfettered access to such a devastating agent should not be taken lightly.
Expert opinion on the need for a large infrastructure and bio-agent production
Osterholm and Schwartz (2000) argues that a fairly remedial background in biology is all that is necessary to produce significant quantities of anthrax in one’s basement, completely countering the Federal Bureau of Investigations contention, as emphasized by the media, that a massive infrastructure, knowledge, scientific, and economic resources are necessary. An example of this belief can be found in the following article, alongside a most erroneous statement suggestive of the fact that the authors hadn’t done their homework. “Militarized anthrax spores are so difficult to manufacture that only a handful of countries with large military-industrial establishments have ever developed the capacity”(Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). “There has never been a confirmed use of anthrax spores, anywhere, by anyone, in a military or terrorist attack” (Department of Health and Human Services, 2000).
This report was indeed written prior to the anthrax letters to Daschle and various media representatives, but it was written more than fifty-years after known Japanese military use of anthrax in Manchuria during World War Two (Eitzen & Takafuji, 1997). The Japanese use of biological agents in warfare was cited by Osterholm and Schwartz (2000, p. 70), Alibek (1999, p. 36-37), and Hersh (1968, p. 12-18). In short, it was a fairly well known fact, and should not have been missed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The idea that bacterial growth and dissemination requires advanced technology and/or weapon systems is equally nonsensical, and is dismissed by Osterholm and Schwartz as well as other experts within the pages of their book on the topic (2000, p.112-117). “One government analyst some years ago determined that $1,500 of nuclear killing power would set an anthrax assailant back by only a penny” (Osterholm & Schwartz, 2000, p. 8). Leonard Cole (1988) supports this by citing expert information provided to the United Nations in 1969 stating that a square kilometer of ground costs approx $2000 to take with conventional weapons, $800 with nuclear, $600 with nerve agent, and a single dollar with Biological agents.
This would seem to cast some doubt on the governments position that a large economic base is essential, thus effectively ruling out a rogue individual, or loose knit terrorist organization. In fact, one encounters the experts differing from this line of thinking all together. Kenneth Alibek stated clearly on October 24th, 2001, in response to the question, “is anthrax really that hard to get your hands on,” “In my opinion, it’s not very hard” (The Money Gang, October 24th). In another televised interview Alibek detailed the fact that there is an island in the Aral Sea completely contaminated with anthrax spores, and that if anyone wanted to acquire them, there were no guards, and that “it wouldn’t be a big problem.” The former Soviet scientist added the fact that the anthrax spores that could be found on this island were also genetically engineered, making them antibiotic resistant (48 Hours, 2001,October 19th).
Living Terrors (Osterholm & Schwartz, 2000) provides a scenario within its pages, not describing what a rogue nation like Iraq might do with anthrax, but what a disgruntled American citizen with little conscience and a lot of determination might in fact do with it. The scenario provided in the book, written by Osterholm, a well-known expert, internationally known for his expertise in the area of infectious disease, illustrates the story of an individual that produces large amounts of anthrax in his basement, and then disseminates it over a football stadium in a rented crop-duster. The results are horrifying, and in Osterholm and Schwartz’s scenario fifty thousand are infected, and twenty thousand die within three weeks.
The mass media and its limitations
Despite the available opinions of experts, the mass media has not provided the public with all of the essential information on the subject of biological warfare, and when it has, the information has often been erroneous, like the following comment made on a popular television program, “anthrax must be ingested” presumably to be fatal (Hannity & Colmes, 1998).
The above only confirms that the media is not infallible, which should be taken seriously into consideration when one forms an opinion on such an issue of importance as biological weapons and their use.
Is defense against biological agents realistic
Where would one acquire anthrax if so inspired? Prior to the recent terrorist attack associated with the anthrax letters sent to Daschle and various media figures, one could actually order it from labs across the country. It was in this manner that a well-known racist named Larry Wayne Harris, associated with fringe elements in the political arena, acquired both plague samples and anthrax samples. He was dismissed as a threat by the government when this fact was exposed, because it was said that the strains he obtained weren’t exceedingly virulent (Osterholm & Schwartz, 2000). .
Perhaps the government wished to get the case out of the public’s mind as quickly as possible because Harris obtained the plague samples through the mail simply by writing to the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and requesting it. Essentially, luck played a role in his capture, and law enforcement officials were able to confiscate the bubonic plague sample from his glove compartment. According to congressional testimony provided by Representative John R, Kasich “what he (Larry Harris) did was not a crime,” and at least in 1996, “the law currently treats the improper disposal of motor oil by a service station more severely than what Harris did” (Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 1996, March 6). Harris is not the only example of someone acquiring lethal biological agents through the ATCC. Iraq also acquired their anthrax by mailing requests to the ATCC, as did a religious cult in Oregon who used their easily acquired bacteria to infect the town of The Dalles, in Oregon with a strain of salmonella in the 1980s (Miller, Engelberg, & Broad, 2001).
When one considers these disturbing facts, one might conclude that perhaps the government, its analysts and experts have forgotten that bacteria’s primary mission is to grow, and in anthrax’s case encapsulate itself indefinitely when the environment proves too hostile to proliferate. Another unique quality, perhaps forgotten by the government, is bacteria’s ability to mutate, and in many cases this mutation can be easily manipulated by using animals as incubators. Progress on the phenomena associated with mutations and bacteria was well developed by 1968, allowing for an increase in virulence, longevity, resistance, and a variety of other adaptations (Hersh, 1968).
By the early 1980s, mutation and DNA recombinant techniques had reached a point where at least one (Harris, 1982) author felt that “ethnic germs” or ethnically selective bacteria might be a possibility. Additionally, genetically engineered viruses affecting the way an immune system responds to infection were thought to also be under research. The author also asserts that such a germ may already have been developed by 1982 (Harris, 1982). Joshua Lederberg, a Nobel Laureate, Professor, and pioneer in the fields of genetic exchanges in bacteria, and microbial genetics also acknowledges the theoretical likelihood that “ethnic germs” are on the horizon (Miller, et all, 2001).
Alibek (1999) details the fact that an accidental release of anthrax into a city sewer system in the Soviet Union exposed rats to anthrax, killing them. However, before they died some of the rats unwittingly participated in an incubation process that increased the virulence of the original strain. Soviet scientists proceeded to weaponize the new deadlier strain, calling it anthrax 836.
Other areas in which inclined individuals might obtain samples of anthrax are literally in the back yard. The United States isn’t thought to be a large reservoir for naturally occurring anthrax, but it is here, and could be located if one were to do some research, and be so inclined to look. The probable status of anthrax occurrence in the United States is said to be “sporadic” by the World Health Organization. Prior to 2001, there were only three cases of anthrax infection in humans, within the borders of the U.S. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies prevalence of naturally occurring anthrax into three categories, sporadic, enzootic, and hyperendemic/epizootic, each representing an increase in the prevalence of the bacterium in the natural environment.
The heaviest concentrations of natural anthrax, according to the WHO, occur in several countries once composing the Southern U.S.S.R. Three of these countries border on Afghanistan, which also has a fairly significant amount of naturally occurring anthrax. In 1997 Tajikistan reported 114 cases of anthrax infection among its population. Iran reported 370 cases in the same year. Iraq reported more than 200 cases between 1976 and 1980. Any one of these cases, or the far more numerous cases among animals, could be a source for the acquisition of anthrax spores. The interesting, and perhaps relevant point of mentioning this naturally occurring phenomena, is simply that individuals, or organizations living within these areas, aren’t likely to need biological weapon material samples from the stores of America, despite its apparent ease of access, or the former Soviet Union. The anthrax source literally lies at their feet.
If in fact a terrorist organization did want to acquire samples of anthrax, or knowledgeable individuals from the labs of the former Soviet Union, this too may in fact not be difficult. Alibek, (2001) mentions that several of his former colleagues employed at one time within the Soviet Biological Warfare apparatus are now working in nations like Iraq and Iran. In addition to this travesty, former Soviet warehouses, storage and scientific facilities are not well guarded, and offer another way in which biological agents could be acquired.
In a personal interview, Dr. Osterholm found out from an internationally known senior scientist at the army’s Medial Research Institute Of Infectious Diseases named Dr. Peter Jahrling that the Russian smallpox sample is not secure. Jahrling stated, “There is no doubt in my mind that the smallpox sample is not secure. I saw the site. The only apparent security was one pimply faced kid with a kalashnikov rifle” (Osterholm & Schwartz, 2000). This review will not go into the devastating potential of smallpox at this time, other than to say it represents a far worse threat than does anthrax, as smallpox is extremely contagious. In fact some estimates have placed the number of deaths caused by smallpox, prior to its alleged eradication in the twentieth century alone, at half a billion (New York Times, 1999, June 15).
In their book Living Terrors, Osterholm and Schwartz (2000) provide a scenario in which an individual releases a small amount of smallpox, being all that is necessary, in a crowded mall. Eventually this small amount begins a horrendous epidemic resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
The Federal Government admitted in a study conducted in the 1960s, that biological warfare scientists concluded that an, “Attack with disease was possible, indeed terrifyingly simple”. They further concluded that the United States was, “Highly Vulnerable,” to a germ warfare attack (Harris, 1982).
Nearly forty years later, little has changed. The government is still unprepared to meet the challenges associated with a biological attack. In 1960 “the head of the Army Chemical Corp warned congress that a potential enemy could perhaps kill or perhaps seriously disable 30 percent of the American population by mounting a biological warfare attack with ten aircraft” (Hersh, 1968, Pp. 68).
The author Richard McCarthy also emphasized the fact that the American government had “no defense” against biological warfare in 1969 (McCarthy, 1967).
In a Center For Civilian Biodefense Strategies (CCBS) report, the center revealed, “there are currently no atmospheric warning systems to detect an aerosol cloud of anthrax spores. The first sign of a bioterrorist attack would most likely be patients presenting with symptoms of inhalation anthrax” (CCBS, 2000). According to the same CCBS report, those presenting with symptoms of inhalation anthrax are most likely to die, reinforcing the fact that those who have developed symptoms will in ninety percent of cases expire. Additionally, the report then acknowledges a little known fact, “U.S. vaccine supplies are limited and U.S. production capacity is modest. There is no vaccine available for civilian use” (CCBS, 2000).
As mentioned previously, a 1993 Congressional Office of Technology Assessment report indicated that a release of 220 pounds of anthrax could potentially kill three million Americans (Congressional OTA, 1993). In another report submitted by the World Health Organization in 1970, it was assessed that 50 kilograms of anthrax released “along a two kilometer line, upwind of a population center of 500,000 could lead to 95,000 deaths and 125,000 incapacitated (CCBS, 2000). These are “conservative estimates” according to Dr. Edward M. Eitzen, Jr., of Fort Detrick Maryland (Osterholm & Schwartz, 2000).
In a report submitted to a Congressional hearing on March 3rd 1999, a CIA official named John A. Lauder stated that at least a dozen terrorist organizations have expressed the desire to obtain biological weapons (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 1999, March 3). This is an increase from the ten nations former CIA director William Webster mentioned in an address before the World Affairs Council of Washington in 1988 (World Affairs Council of Washington, 1988).
According to John Deutch, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, “if the device that exploded in 1993 under the world trade center had been nuclear, or had effectively delivered a deadly pathogen, the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe.” “The United States might respond with draconian measures.” “Belatedly Americans would judge their leaders negligent for not addressing terrorism more urgently (Osterholm & Schwartz, 2000).
These statements provided by a man that held the highest security position in the United States government should be carefully analyzed. He certainly seems to imply that the results of a dispersal of pathogens would be catastrophic. By insinuating that the U.S. government might respond to this kind of event with draconian measures, Deutch supports Osterholm and Schwartz’s thoughts that quarantining individuals at gunpoint might become a reality one day (2000).
“As few as 50-100 cases of smallpox would likely generate widespread concern or panic and a need to invoke large scale, perhaps national emergency control measures” (CCBS, 2000). The same report highlighted unpleasant details including the fact that less than nine million smallpox vaccinations are available in the U.S. currently, and that additional doses aren’t expected until 2004. From the medical standpoint, little else other than quarantining by force would in fact prevent the spread of a contagious virus like smallpox from city to city.
In fact, the United States Government should be exceedingly familiar with many scenarios involving biological agents, and possible consequences, perhaps more so than any other nation in the world. The U.S. government has sanctioned the exposure of its own population to various, allegedly benign, bacterial agents including serratia marcens, and bacillus subtilus. In the end these agents weren’t entirely benign, and caused the deaths of American citizens submitted involuntarily to experiments conducted without their consent or knowledge (Cole, 1988).
As recently as 1996 the integrity and honesty of the United States government was called into question concerning American soldiers that had developed symptoms during the Gulf War that could not be explained. Patrick Eddington, a one-time CIA analyst, allegedly was fired by the agency for claiming it was covering up the fact that the Iraqis had actually used chemical weapons on U.S. soldiers during the war. David Martin, a CBS reporter, interviewed Eddington asking him, “Would you call it a cover up?” Eddington responds by saying, “yes, I would describe that as a cover up.” Eddington then concludes the interview by stating, “the culture of the CIA is one that does not really welcome those who rock the boat, who question prevailing assessments, who question prevailing views” (CBS Evening News, 1996, October 30).
Two days later, the CIA came out with its official response to Eddington’s accusations, stating in effect that the agency “continued to conclude that Iraq did not use chemical or biological agents during the Gulf War” (Slatkin, 1996, November 1).
The U.S. Army did subject the New York City population to an experiment in the 1960s concerned with measuring “saturation rates,” or the amount of bacteria one would inhale at certain times, and in specific locations after the initial release. Light bulbs containing eighty-seven trillion bacilli each were dropped onto ventilation grates above the New York City subway system. It was deduced that within minutes exposed individuals were inhaling a million bacilli per minute, and were entirely unaware of it. Additionally, the subway trains created a vacuum of sorts that conveniently spread the bacilli throughout the system with little effort (Cole, 1988).
The implications of the New York subway system experiments are truly horrific. People breathing in a million bacilli per minute were not aware of it in any way. If government reports are accurate concerning the lethal dose of anthrax being in the neighborhood of eight thousand spores in total, which incidentally is in dispute in some scientific circles, then one might conclude that anthrax represents a serious threat today.
Bacillus subtilus is similar to anthrax in that it is a sporalating gram-positive rod bacterium, and aerosolizes, as would anthrax. If a light bulb can contain eighty-seven trillion bacilli, if filled with anthrax it would represent enough to kill the entire human population on terra firma more than twice over, with approximately 10,875,000,000 individual lethal doses, with eight thousand spores representing a lethal dose. This fact becomes especially frightening when one considers the Soviet Union always maintained a stockpile of hundreds of tons of anthrax at all times. In fact, according to Ken Alibek (1999) anthrax production at one facility alone could be as much as 500-600 kilograms daily.
One of the more frightening scenarios encountered in the research of this thesis was whether or not anthrax could be passed through currency. Certainly everyone is now familiar with the fact that it traveled rather nicely inside envelopes. On the issue of whether or not anthrax can be carried on currency, there is a great deal of contention among different sources. Ted Koppel admitted on Nightline, “the possibility is scaring me to death. Please tell me it’s not possible.” In response to Koppel’s concerns the Department of Health and Human Services replied, “highly unlikely,” “highly improbable,” “almost impossible.” The Treasury Department, in their apparent expertise, stated that, “there is no way to embed anthrax in the currency” (Nightline, 2001, October 17).
Oddly enough a study conducted in 1972 and reported in a Discover magazine article determined that staphylococci, micrococci, diptheroids, and propriobacteria, were present and viable on randomly tested bills of various denominations (Discover, 1998).
A second study conducted in 1997 found that 3% of coins, and 11% of all bills tested were positive for bacteria. In 1998, another study conducted by the University of California at San Francisco found in 113 examples of currency samples that most of the bills grew “harmless bacteria” but 18% of coins, and 7% of bills manifested pathogenic bacteria, including E-Coli, and Staphylococcus Aureus (Discover, 1998).
Shirley Lowe, a microbiologist credited with conducting the study on behalf of the University stated that “half the money,” she obtained from a doughnut shop grew Staphylococcus Aureus (Discover, 1998). I think the gist of this article, Filthy Lucre, is that money, especially currency with its 75% cotton, 25% linen composition is a more than suitable vector for bacteria.
Also mentioned in the same article was the fact that bacteria can’t live on the dry acidic surface of money forever, as it requires a moist warm environment to grow. This is very true with most bacteria, but untrue in respect to anthrax spores, as the spores themselves are nearly impervious to the environment, and when introduced into a receptive environment, will then proliferate.
Possibly the most significant aspect of this entire article devoted to money is not the revelation that bacteria can survive on currency, but that cocaine hydrochloride was known to cross-contaminate currency at the counting-sorting machines used in banks and at the Federal Reserve as early as 1997.
The article Filthy Lucre proceeds to mention that a study conducted at the Houston Advanced Research Center in Texas found that 70-80% of all currency had trace amounts of cocaine hydrochloride on them. In older bills that had been in circulation for some time, 90% had cocaine traces (p.82). The Journal of Forensic Sciences conducted a study in May 1998 that concluded that more than 93% of all bills tested had trace amounts of cocaine hydrochloride present. In 1997 Tom Jourdan, chief of the Materials and Devices unit at the FBI lab in Washington D.C. found that 90% of bills tested were positive for cocaine.
Tom Jourdan stated that it is his belief that “mechanical currency counters are homogenizing money.” According to Jourdan, “one contaminated bill brushed through the counting machine at the bank can contaminate the entire stack”(p.84). The last paragraph in the article Filthy Lucre states exactly, “So money isn’t exactly squeaky clean. But it isn’t exactly going to do us in either. If there’s a lesson here, it is that money reflects whatever activity, and mischief, that human hands get up to-and the activity and occasional mischief of all the microscopic organisms along for the ride on our skin”(pg 84). This last statement could prove to be more prophetic than the author ever intended, with the exception of the “isn’t exactly going to do us in” part, which may prove one day to be overly optimistic.
It would certainly seem feasible that if cocaine hydrochloride could “homogenize” money, then anthrax ought to be able to as well. Perhaps the greater concern here is not the possibility that anthrax can cross-contaminate money, but that the FBI was apparently unable to deduce the commonalities between currency, and envelopes.
American subjective opinion on the influence of the mass media
On February 11th, 1999 a Louis Harris Associates telephone poll surveying 1,007 individuals found that 81% of the respondents felt that the media had too much influence on Washington, when asked, “Do you think that the news media has too much or too little influence on Washington?” The respondents also were able to choose “about right” as an answer, however only 6% took advantage of this choice, while another 3% either refused to answer or didn’t know (Louis Harris and Associates, 1999).
Three years later, a national adult poll reflected that the sentiment had not changed a great deal, with 72% responding, “too much,” 14%, “too little, and 15% either not sure, refusing to participate, or believing that the amount of influence was in fact, “about right” (Harris Interactive, 2002). Harris Interactive conducted an earlier survey in 2000 with the same questions. At that time, 77% felt the media had “too much” influence (Harris Interactive, 2000). Again in April of 2000, Harris conducted the same survey with the same question, and the results were identical concerning “to much” influence with 77% of respondents reaffirming previous results (Harris Interactive, 2000).
Perhaps supportive of these last five polls, a survey sponsored by the Pew Research Center found that 87% of those surveyed felt that members of the media allow their own political preferences to influence the way they report the news, at least “sometimes” (Princeton Survey Research Associates, 2000). According to Bernard Goldberg, an Emmy Award winning, former CBS insider, and one time Nightline correspondent, bias is reflected in the media, and is done so by individuals that allow their own perspectives to contaminate their allegedly “balanced reporting.” Goldberg was so adamant about this fact, that he wrote a book about it entitled Bias (Goldberg, 2002). In it, he says concerning certain elements, “the sophisticated media elites don’t categorize their beliefs as liberal but as simply the correct way to look at things” (Goldberg, 2002, Pp. 24). Goldberg’s example would seem to support the subjective views of the above poll.
Perhaps this is a relatively benign matter, but if there is an actual “liberal bias” in the mass media as Goldberg insists, then perhaps various conservative views are unlikely to get any exposure. Pat Buchanan, a conservative, and one time presidential candidate would agree with Goldberg, and devoted a large part of his most recent book The Death Of The West to liberal bias, and its prevalence in the mass media (Buchanan, 2002).
A Roper Starch Worldwide survey polling 1,014 over the telephone concluded that 58% of those polled felt that the media had “a great deal” of influence on who becomes president. Less than 9% of those polled felt that the media had no influence at all, or only a little (Roper Starch Worldwide, 2000, A).
Asked whether or not, “the media had more, less or about the same amount of influence on presidential policy as they did forty or fifty years ago,” respondents identified, “more influence today,” by a vast majority (Roper Starch Worldwide, 2000, B).
In a very revealing study, Roper Starch Worldwide found that 73% of the respondents to the question, “who do you believe has more influence on what goes on in this country, the media or the president?” responded the “media” (Roper Starch Worldwide, 2000, C). Since it is the politicians and not the media that we elect, it seems clear that the media, at least as subjectively viewed by the population, has perhaps more influence than it should.
If the above surveys can be taken to be an accurate representation of public sentiment in the United States, then one could conclude that if the media does not in fact influence the viewing public, at least the viewing public believes the media in fact does.
As a possible example of the media’s ability to influence the public, a small chronological demonstration might be in order. On September 11th 2001 America experienced a terrorist act of great magnitude. The world’s attention was focused on the aftermath at the World Trade Centers, when the media first reported that a man in Florida had contracted inhalation anthrax. At first this event did not draw much attention, as the media reported that there was no evidence to suggest that it was anything else but naturally occurring. Of course other letters were later identified as harboring the anthrax spore, and the fact that a terrorist was mailing letters impregnated with anthrax became a reality. The point being that an inhalation anthrax case proceeding immediately after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center buildings was highly unusual, and suspect, yet was initially presented by the media as nothing out of the ordinary.
American subjective opinion on the personal risk associated to bio-weapons
It was not until October of 2001 that any attention was given to smallpox, a much more contagious disease, considering it can be spread through the air. This attention was the result of expert opinion given to the news media by such notables as Kenneth Alibek, Michael Osterholm, and Mathew Meselson. What in fact is interesting about this progression is that it can be seen in public opinion polls concerning smallpox, and the perceived effect it might have on individuals and society as a whole.
Firstly, if the following poll is any indicator, it seems safe to say that prior to September 11th, 2001 Americans did not have that much knowledge about smallpox. When one thousand people were asked, if “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is more contagious than smallpox,” 56% answered true, while 4% did not know (Louis Harris and Associates, 1987). Once again, smallpox unlike the Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a disease that can be spread through the air, and is therefore far more contagious.
On February 18th, 1999 1,203 Americans were surveyed and asked, “What are your main fears and worries about the countries future?” One percent responded “biological germ warfare” (Princeton Survey Research Associates, 1999). After September 11th, 2001 the sentiment had changed. One survey asked on October 18th, 2001 “In your opinion, how likely is it that large numbers of Americans will be killed in the near future as a result of a biological warfare attack with smallpox?” Twenty-two responded “very likely,” 33% responded “somewhat likely,” and 41% responded either “not likely,” or “not at all likely”(Princeton Survey Research Associates, 2001). Certainly, September 11th had an impact on the American population, and one would expect that a heightened sense of awareness would be the result, but as the following poll suggests, that sense of awareness does not always include personalization.
Americans seemed sure that a biological attack might cause “ a large number of Americans to die,” but not so sure that they would themselves be individually affected. This is a rather naïve and perhaps fantastic position to take, but it was revealed by the following poll. In October 2001, 1,015 respondents were asked, “how likely do you think it is that you, or someone in your immediate family will contract smallpox in the next twelve months?” 88% said, “not likely,” or “not at all likely”(International Research Studies, 2001).
Osterholm and Schwartz (2000) noted similar survey results in their book Living Terrors citing one survey indicating that a resounding two-thirds of those surveyed believed that a serious terrorist attack implementing biological agents would be conducted against the United States within the next fifty years. The other survey found that 81% of the respondents maintained feelings of general optimism about the future. Osterholm was astounded by the results and said, “they must assume that someone else will be hit with the killer bug” (Osterholm, Schwartz, 2000, Pp. xviii).
Hart and Teeter (2001) conducted another survey sponsored by NBC News, and the Wall Street Journal, in which those surveyed were asked, “In the next several months, how likely is it that smallpox may be used as a biological weapon?” 25% responded “very likely,” 36% responded, “fairly likely,” 21% “fairly unlikely,” and the remaining 18% were either unsure, or thought it “very unlikely.”
The Associated Press (2001) found that 11% of Americans were “very worried,” about the future concerning biological weapons, 42% were “somewhat worried,” 26% were “not too worried,” and 21% were, “not worried at all.”
It seems apparent that the media made the public more aware of biological weapons after anthrax was identified as an agent being sent to individuals in the mail. Smallpox seems to have been illuminated as a result too. If this is true, and the media was most responsible for enlightening the American population about biological agents, is it not therefore possible that it might become most responsible for widely disseminating erroneous information as well, and leaving us, the American population with a false sense of security?
Television as a primary source of information for Americans
Subjectively, Americans are basically in agreement that the media is influential, and occasionally too influential as represented by polls. Polls are essentially simple surveys, but can be extremely insightful in many respects, especially in areas that require simple answers to complex problems. A minor hypothesis in this study is that respondents will identify television as a primary news source, as opposed to other sources like books, newsmagazines, and the Internet.
According to a Pew Research Center study begun in April of 2000, a majority of Americans turn to the television for news. It has been shown already, that the media does not have all the answers to the issues presented to the American people, and this proclivity to run to the television may in fact be detrimental in a crisis. To cite an example, one television program suggested “Anthrax must be ingested,” presumably to prove fatal (Hannity & Colmes, 1998).
Another study, (Van Eijck. Koen, Van Rees, Kees, 2000) published in the journal Communication Research showed conclusive evidence that reading had declined overall, as a result of television viewing. The study conducted in Europe emphasized that people that once read for gratification purposes in 1975, had generally turned to the television by 1995 for the same purpose. However those that read for informational purposes in 1975 employ television for purposes other than acquiring serious information (Van Eijck et all, 2000). This study effectively indicates that television has become a more dominant source of entertainment among the majority of the Dutch population since 1975. However, according to the research, those that sought serious information in 1975 by reading still sought sources other than television in 1995.
In April 2000, respondents were asked whether they watched television news programming regularly, to which 75% responded affirmatively (question # 5). When asked how much time they had spent watching television yesterday, excluding news programming, 57% responded that they had spent more than an hour watching television. Sixteen percent admitted to watching between two and three hours, 11% watched three to four hours, and 8% watched more than four hours of television programming (question # P.2). In 1998 Pew found that 13% of Americans regularly watched daytime talk shows like Jerry Springer or Rikki Lake (question # 16U).
One 1997 poll conducted by Hart and Teeter (1997) revealed that 79% of those polled admitted watching more than seven hours of television weekly, 24% watched more than twenty-nine hours weekly. A Scripps Howard News Survey (1993) revealed that 77% of those responding said that their television was on at least 3 hours daily, with 26% admitting that their television was on for longer than six hours daily.
In contrast to the amount of time Americans spend before the television, and the frequency in which they watch television news programming, only 15% of Americans stated that they listened to public radio regularly. In the same year 35% admitted to watching news magazine programs like Dateline regularly. Eighteen percent watched television programming like “Cops.” Ten percent of respondents admitted to watching programming like Oprah Winfrey regularly, and 12% watched Judge Judy regularly as well.
Pew found that 12% of the respondents indicated that they read news magazines like Time, U.S. News and World Report, or Newsweek regularly. All three of these magazines are owned by huge media corporations. In the case of Time, AOL Time Warner also owns NBC and cable news networks as well. Newsweek is owned by The Washington Post Company, and U.S. News and World Report is owned by the media giant CMGI. The point is that it may be difficult to get different perspectives from different news sources if they are owned by the same corporations.
This is not an entirely new concept. Spiro Agnew, former vice president of the United States delivered a speech in Des Moines Iowa in November 1969, in which he stated, “No medium has a more profound influence [than television news] over public opinion- nowhere in our system are there fewer checks on vast power (Speech delivered in Des Moines Iowa, November 13th, 1969).
In a relatively recent interview, Nicholas Johnson, (1995) a former Federal Communication Commission (FCC) official, commented on the developing media monopoly in mass communication. “At the time of the Time-Warner merger, when company executives were asked why they were merging, Time-Warner said that according to their calculations, it would not be long before there would be five firms that control all the media on Planet Earth, and that they intended to be one of them.” Johnson later acknowledged that, “it is true that most people get most of their information from television. It is also true that fewer and fewer people, particularly young people, are reading the newspapers.” To summarize the article, the media is already monopolized by a few powerful companies, but if trends continue eventually Time-Warner’s calculations may in fact be correct.
If the above surveys are any indication of where Americans spend a good part of their time, and where they acquire the majority of their news from, one must conclude that television represents a large element.
American subjective views on the honesty and integrity of their government
Polls suggest that Americans also view the honesty and integrity of their government with some suspicion. Certainly polls indicate that Americans spend an inordinate amount of time before the television,
In 1976, not long after the Watergate affair, Americans seemed to be very concerned about the honesty of their government. In a poll conducted by CBS News and The New York Times, it was found that the majority of those surveyed chose the restoration of honesty to government as the number one reason they liked Jimmy Carter (CBS News, 1976). By 1978 inflation was taking its toll in America, and issues that might reflect a society experiencing high inflation, like unemployment, and crime had taken some precedence over honesty. Civic Service (1978) conducted a poll on February 23rd, 1978, asking “Which of these items do you think is the most important facing our nation today?” The possible answers provided included, high prices/economy, unemployment, world peace, crime, honesty in government, energy crisis, and air and water pollution. Thirty-eight percent responded that high prices and the economy were the number one issue, 12% unemployment, 14% crime, and 11% still claimed honesty in government
A Gallup survey (1986) found that the majority of Americans surveyed felt that the overall level of ethics and honesty had fallen over the last ten years. In 1988 according to a Gallup poll, 79% of Americans felt that “honesty” was likely to be a more important issue, than in previous presidential elections (Gallup Organization, 1988).
Unfortunately a follow-up survey was not conducted by Gallup to assess how Americans felt, after George Bush reneged on his, “read my lips” promise.
A particularly interesting and informative poll sponsored by Time, and the Cable News Network, in September of 1992 revealed that the vast majority, 75% believed that there was less honesty in government than ten years previously (Yankelovich, Clancy, Shulman, 1992). This particular poll was divided up into specific demographics, allowing for a closer look at public opinion. African-Americans by a wide margin, 81% felt that there was less honesty in government. The two groups representing the greatest proportion of those believing that there was actually more honesty in government than ten years previously were College graduates, and post graduates. However, it must be said, that only 22% of each identified more honesty in government, rather than less, or “not sure” (Yankelovich, et all, 1992).
When asked, “Would you rate the level of ethics and honesty in politicians, excellent, good, not so good, or poor?”, Americans responded by and large with “not so good, and poor.” Less than 3% felt excellent was an adequate description, and 16% identified with “good.” Despite the fact that there was a Democratic president in the White House, Republicans and Democrats nearly equally agreed that the level of honesty among politicians was “not so good,” with Republicans slightly edging out Democrats 51% to 44%. This is all that more interesting, when one takes into account the fact that in 1995, when this poll was conducted, the Republicans had a majority in the house (ABC News, 1995).
In another poll comparing the honesty of Democratic and Republican office holders, it was found that the majority of those Americans surveyed felt that their politicians were of “average” honesty (Gallup Organization, 1998a, 1998b). In a more recent poll, it was revealed that American opinion concerning the level of honesty of their public officials had not changed a great deal in that the results showed that 60% of the respondents felt that it was either low, or very low. Only 3% identified a “hi

Bari Revisited


Remaining Unanswered Questions Related to the German Air Raid at Bari.

(May 2003)

Curtis B. Maynard, B.A.A.S., M.S. Texas A&M University Kingsville

It has been posited in this study that much of what we have come to learn about the shrouded history surrounding the infamous air raid on the Italian coastal city of Bari is not accurate. The air raid left seventeen Allied ships on the bottom of the harbor in the second worst disaster to ever befall the American navy, yet it is almost unheard of for one reason, one of those Allied ships carried a poison gas that affected hundreds and killed dozens. In order to cover this embarrassing fact up the Allies went to great lengths, including the surreptitious editing of one high ranking Nazis memoirs in an effort to prevent disclosing to the public the full details. But there may have been another more insidious reason for the lengths gone to in order to close the lid on Bari, the United States Military may have been trying to hide the fact that they had introduced a toxic agent into the European Theatre of Operation that had never been used before in Europe, even during the First World War, when nearly every horrible gas conceived of had been released in hellish clouds designed for no other purpose than to kill anyone who breathed its fumes or came into contact with its droplets. This thesis seeks to answer many of the questions left unanswered after nearly sixty years of relative obscurity.



This thesis will delve into unanswered questions related to an event that occurred in Bari, Italy during World War II involving the release of a toxic vesicant agent said to be mustard gas from an American merchant marine vessel anchored in the city’s harbor. The event itself occurred on 2 December 1943 when one hundred German bomber aircraft surprised the Allies in an attack that ultimately left more than fifteen merchant marine vessels at the bottom of the harbor. This incident represented the second worst naval disaster suffered by America during the war, superceded only by the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. Despite this, many Americans remain completely unaware of it to this very day. This may be due in some part to the fact that the American military leadership under General Dwight D. Eisenhower covered the incident up for more than a decade, primarily because of the controversial nature of the cargo carried on the merchant marine vessel John Harvey.

This cargo reportedly consisted of more than one hundred tons of mustard gas, a lethal vesicant also known by its chemical name dichloroethyl sulfide. Mustard gas was first used in combat during World War I, when in July 1917 the Germans unleashed it on the battlefield in France. As a vesicant it not only attacks the respiratory system, but also the skin. The French referred to this agent as Yperite, as it was first used at Ypers, France; the Germans referred to it as either Lost or Gelb Kreuz, the former a derivation of the names of the two scientists that first developed it, and the latter meaning yellow cross, in reference to the painted markers on the outside of the shell casing identifying it as mustard gas. Mustard is an oily brownish liquid that evaporates slowly, giving off a vapor five times heavier than air. It is almost odorless in field concentrations, but smells of garlic or mustard in high concentrations, hence the name. The liquid is incredibly persistent and has been known to cause burns after more than twenty years under certain circumstances. It was this agent that the American military transported to the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) via the merchant marine. Unbeknownst to the Allies Bari would fall prey to a German Luftwaffe attack on 2 December 1943, resulting in a horrific accident that inevitably caused the deaths of at least sixty-nine men, and the exposure to mustard of another six hundred and twenty-eight. It is an accepted fact today that the true death toll will never be known for several reasons, among them the fact that many Italians, including physicians at local hospitals, were never informed that mustard gas had been released over the city, and that the pernicious and persistent nature of mustard would affect the region over the decades to come. Mustard is a carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent, and it is thought that many Italians may have succumbed to its effects years after the fact.

This incident is extremely significant for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it has not been thoroughly researched by historians, and is nearly unknown to the majority of American citizens. Many Americans are of the opinion that gas or toxic agents were not used during World War II, which is true for the most part, but these agents were available for use, should it have been determined that they would be necessary. The Germans possessed gas weapons, including three particularly terrible nerve agents known as Tabun, Sarin, and Soman. These nerve agents were far more potent than anything the Allies had, including mustard and Lewisite, but fortunately were never used.

The nerve agents were an entirely new concept completely unknown to the Allies until after the war. They were never used in combat by the Germans in an about face from their aggressive use of other gas agents during World War I; some believe this to be because Hitler abhorred gas as a result of being gassed himself during World War I. For whatever reason, the Nazis chose not to use these highly efficient chemical munitions during the war.

The incident at Bari also represents how history can be distorted in times of war. The incident happened, yet it was suppressed by order of General Eisenhower for years after the fact. At the time, it could be argued a certain level of secrecy was necessary for security purposes. It would not have been beneficial for the Allies to provoke a German response with their own gas should it have been discovered that the Allies were stockpiling chemical munitions in Italy. Additionally it was thought that the Nazi propaganda ministry might be able effectively to use this incident against the Allies, and perhaps sway world opinion against them. It was for these reasons that Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower acted in concert to bury the truth. Perhaps it was uncomfortable facts like what happened at Bari that motivated Churchill to once say, “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

Unfortunately the details surrounding Bari were never fully divulged following the war, possibly for political purposes, or to avoid embarrassment, or a combination of the two. In any case the facts were buried and were not released until many years later.

The concept that embarrassment may have played a role is not without some merit. Captain Harry C. Butcher, Eisenhower’s Naval Aide stated in his memoirs that the professional public relations people might be causing the public to lose confidence in the military for several reasons including the “Bari incident.” At no point in his memoirs however, does Butcher mention mustard gas in connection with Bari. According to Glenn B. Infield in his book about the incident, Disaster at Bari, he mentioned that Axis Sally, a Nazi radio propagandist, sarcastically stated soon after 2 December, “I see you boys are getting gassed by your own poison gas.” This would seem to indicate that the Nazis were already aware of the fact that the Americans had transported gas to Italy, and after 2 December, were dying of exposure to it.

When events associated with Bari are closely scrutinized, many perplexing questions arise. Why, for example, was something as simple as the origin of the mustard gas so difficult to discern? Why were there irregularities or inconsistencies in the wounds suffered from the exposure to mustard gas at Bari? The wounds were generally of a more serious nature than those formerly known to be associated with mustard gas exposure and the mortality rate was considerably higher at Bari than in any known cases of mustard gas exposure during World War I. What was not investigated in Infield’s Disaster at Bari was the possibility that sulfur mustard was not the culprit, or agent responsible for the casualties, but something else altogether.

The thesis is divided into six chapters, each considered necessary for a better understanding of chemical weapons and how they then relate to Bari. The introduction devotes itself to laying out the military background associated with Bari as well as the possible reasons behind the secrecy attached to the incident. Chapter II explores the military events leading up to the Italian campaign and the importance of the port of Bari. Chapter III provides a relatively brief overview of the history of chemical weapons and the American Chemical Warfare Service. Chapter IV describes the actual German attack on Bari and its immediate aftermath. Chapter V investigates the numerous potential reasons behind the cover-up and why it is likely that the purported explanation is erroneous. Chapter VI follows up on some of the information derived from the Bari incident and how that actually helped advance medical science in the areas of oncology and chemotherapy. Chapter VII concludes the thesis and posits that the true reason for the cover-up was not related to public opinion, administrative embarrassment or fear of a retaliatory German gas attack as much as it was an inherent and consistent cult of secrecy within the Chemical Warfare Service and the United States government in relation to chemical weapons in general, and specifically the introduction of a chemical warfare agent that had never before been used by any of the belligerents in Europe even during World War I.

Numerous sources will be employed in this thesis. These sources include the autobiographical accounts of Dwight D. Eisenhower himself, who stated that Bari was the single greatest loss from air action inflicted on the U.S. during the entire period of Allied campaigning in the Mediterranean and in Europe. The memoirs of Harry C. Butcher, Eisenhower’s naval aide will be closely examined, as well as government documents provided by the National Archives and specifically related to Bari. Former major, Air Force pilot, and author Glenn B. Infield’s book Disaster at Bari is possibly the most definitive study of the incident at Bari to date, and will act as a foundation in some respects for this thesis. Government documents provided by the Chemical Warfare Service, and recorded by the Office of the Chief of Military History, as well as documents provided by the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command will additionally complement this work. Government documents out of the Department of the Army’s Biological Chemical Command in Aberdeen, Maryland are revealing in that they divulge more than one thousand one hundred and fifty-five individual transfers of chemical warfare agents between associated facilities in the years between 1946 and 1986. Various other sources including the autobiographical accounts of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Reich minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment, and William Shirer, the American journalist who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, will also be utilized.

The government documents obtained through the National Archives on the incident at Bari are extensive and provide enough information for an informative paper on the issue, but in order to put some of the points into their proper context, this author feels that the incorporation of other sources will be necessary for a detailed analysis. All of the documents directly related to the aftermath of the air raid at Bari and received from the National Archives were stamped secret or most secret indicating that they were shared with the British who exercise the latter terminology to indicate the level of security prescribed to a document.

It is expected that this thesis will augment known historical facts associated with the incident at Bari on 2 December 1943. Additionally, it is this author’s hope that this thesis and the information provided within will enlighten the reader to the fact that the United States Government developed chemical weapons in the past, transported them to Europe, and made preparations to use them against human beings in combat, and in direct violation of the chemical weapons exclusions provided for within the Geneva Gas Protocols of 1925. It is this author’s belief that this uncomfortable fact should be better understood by the American public as it may encourage us to learn even more, and perhaps one day eliminate these agents altogether.

Many people are under the false impression that America never developed chemical weapons after World War I, despite the fact that America only recently ratified the Chemical Weapon Treaty in the last decade of the twentieth century. In 1994 the U.S. military still maintained 30,000 tons of chemical munitions.


In 1942 the National Socialists dominated Europe, and with the Italian Fascists in firm control of Italy itself, the Mediterranean was at great risk. The German Afrika Korps, in combination with Italian troops, was a force to be reckoned with in North Africa. Should the German-Italian African front progress as far as the Suez Canal, there was a distinct possibility that the sympathetic Arabs might join the Axis, and therefore put a great deal of Arab oil, the lifeblood of war, in the hands of Germany. Stalin was on the advance in Asia, but the Wehrmacht was anything but defeated, and the Soviet Union was desperate for relief. Stalin believed that if the United States and Great Britain were to open a second front in the west, the Soviet Union could regroup, and continue the offensive drive into Central Europe. The second front concept was accepted by the Allies, but instead of a direct invasion of Europe as envisioned by Stalin, they preferred a steppingstone approach beginning in West Africa and proceeding into Italy by way of Sicily. This waffling on the Allied part infuriated Stalin, but there was little he could do about it, other than wait. The defeat of the German sixth army at Stalingrad early in 1943 provided the Soviet Army with some respite until Field Marshall von Manstein stabilized the front, inflicting huge losses on the Red Army and putting the Soviets once again on the defensive. At this point Stalin was frantic, and requested that the Anglo-Americans open a second front immediately in Europe. This second front was envisioned as a landing in France, but for lack of landing craft it could not begin before May 1944.

The first step began on 8 November 1942, with the invasions of Casablanca on the Moroccan coast, and Oran and Algiers on the Algerian coast. Despite Vichy French resistance, the landings went well for the most part. Through a variety of strategic maneuvers the Allies were able to get the Vichy French to surrender, and cease their fighting against the Anglo-Americans. Confusion was the rule following the French capitulation, and “in this state of doubt and indecision, the Germans began to make landings in the Tunisia area. The first German contingent reached the area by air on the afternoon of 9 November.”

Despite a number of military setbacks, the Anglo-Americans eventually drove the Axis forces east, and forced them to surrender in May 1943, a victory in which the Allies took 240,000 prisoners. Comparatively, the loss was every bit as bad as that suffered by the Germans at Stalingrad earlier that year. The Allied invasion of North Africa was known as Operation Torch, the subsequent invasion of Sicily and Italy became known as Operation Husky.

Operation Husky had one significant advantage, especially considering its timing. Nazi Germany had committed itself on 4 July to a huge offensive in the Soviet Union, operation Citadel, or the battle of Kursk. For two weeks the Germans struggled to close a Soviet salient and trap a significant portion of the Soviet Army in a pincer movement. The offensive petered out, and resulted in the “turning point on the Eastern-Front as the German Army was never able again to take more than a local initiative.”

On 10 July 1943 the first airborne units parachuted onto the island of Sicily, directly across from the Italian mainland, separated only by a narrow strip of water known as the Strait of Messina. The Supreme Allied Commander had this to say about the savagery of combat encountered by the Anglo-Americans in Sicily:

By the end of July the Italian garrison, except for a few small elements under the direct domination of their German overlords, had entirely quit, but along the great saw-toothed ridge of which the center was Mount Etna the German garrison was fighting skillfully and savagely. Panzer and paratroop elements were among the best we encountered in the war, and each position won was gained only through the complete destruction of the defending elements.

The Italians realized the futility of continuing the war against the Allies, but desired to protect themselves from the excesses expected of the Germans should their European ally capitulate to the Anglo-Americans. The Italians therefore conducted secret negotiations with the Allies, and conspired to allow an uncontested landing of Allied troops on the Italian mainland.

On 3 September 1943, two divisions of Allied troops were transported across the Strait of Messina, and meeting no resistance the Allied invasion of Italy had begun. The big push came on 9 September, when the Allies landed in force at Salerno, Taranto, and Reggio Calabria. By 1 October 1943 General Mark Clark’s troops had captured Naples, an important port utterly destroyed by the retreating Germans, but quickly rebuilt by the Allies. The stubborn resistance of the Wehrmacht frequently stalled the Allied advance north. Eisenhower observed when inspecting the front that “operations in Italy would be accompanied by the utmost hardship and difficulty.” From the German perspective, the loss of Sicily and the presence of Anglo-American troops on the Italian mainland was an unmitigated disaster. The Allies would soon be able to launch serious air strikes against the Reich from airfields in southern Italy. The Reichsminister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels was well aware of this fact, and bitterly remarked in late September 1943, “The Americans and British are making a lot of fuss about the capture of the southern Italian airport of Foggia. They hope to use it as a jumping off place for targets in southern Germany.” The real danger in Allied control of the Foggia airbase was not so much that they could hit southern Germany, but that they could endlessly bombard the Reich’s primary source of petroleum at Ploesti in Rumania, “the only source of natural oil for the German armies.” After the fall of the Italian Fascist Regime under Benito Mussolini in July 1943, and the subsequent capitulation of the Italian military, developments quickly worsened for the Nazis in the Balkans as well as in Italy.

The diary entries of Joseph Goebbels covering the periods of October and November 1943 are rife with examples of what effect the Allied airbases in Italy were having on the overall war situation in Germany. The loss of the Italian airfields in southern Italy was creating havoc in the Fatherland and the German satellites, and there did not appear to be a reprieve in sight.

The Germans eventually formed a defensive line in northern Italy known as the Gustav Line. At this point the Germans were able to somewhat stabilize their defensive situation, and bring up reinforcements. Fighting followed that was some of the bitterest, and most violent of the entire war. Ernie Pyle, a well-known American war correspondent, described the fighting in his book entitled Brave Men. Pyle depicts the American soldier as a conglomeration of human beings with a single collective goal, the destruction of Nazi Germany. “We had a couple of slightly wounded Puerto Ricans… There were full-blooded Indians, and Negroes, and New York Italians, and plain American ranch hands, and Spanish Americans from down Mexico way.” In short, Pyle illustrates the fact that the American fighting man came from many diverse backgrounds.

By January of 1944 the Germans were essentially reduced to defending the Gustav line in northern Italy. During the entire offensive, beginning in Africa, the Allied commanders were always acutely aware of the fact that poison gas could potentially be introduced into the equation at any time. This situation was somewhat moderated by the fact that the Anglo-Americans had broken the German code, and had acquired an Enigma machine from a German submarine unbeknownst to the German Navy, and thus were able to decipher German intentions, often before German field commanders could. The Enigma box, or the machine itself was essentially a tool used to encrypt and decipher encoded messages, and was incredibly complicated for a piece of equipment built in the 1930s.

The progress of Operations Torch and Husky, the invasion of Italy, were dependent upon many variables, including air supremacy and supply. Supply was an integral part of United States military operations, and absolutely essential for Allied victory in the European Theatre of Operations. It was in this context that the use of the port at Bari was vital to Allied commanders, and for the same reason, the port attracted the attention of the German Luftwaffe.

After the successful completions of Operations Avalanche and Baytown, the capture of the ports of Naples, Bari and Taranto, and the important air centers at Naples and Foggia, the Allies were in the enviable position of being better able to attack the Germans in Italy, than were the Germans in being able to defend against or expel the Allies. By occupying these ports, the Allies were able to bring in 200,000 troops, 100,000 tons of material supply, and 30,000 vehicles in the earliest stages of the Italian operations. The ports supplied the entire Allied war machine including the vital airfields. The airfields were incredibly important because they were within range of the entire German “communication, industrial, and economic” centers. Forty-four percent of Germany’s crude oil production capacity was within a 600-mile range of the Foggia airbase. In order to understand the significance of the port at Bari, one must consider that four of the most important German military leaders in the Italian operation in 1943 concurred that the port of Bari was possibly the key to stalling the Allied advance.

In short, the harbor at Bari was strategically significant, and attracted the attention of German Field Marshals like Kesselring and Freiherr von Richtofen because of the fact that it could supply the Allies, and the very survival of the German war effort depended on taking away this Allied advantage. Eisenhower’s aide Captain Butcher illustrated the significance of Bari, and how it related to air operations by commenting that the loss of material aboard the ships sunk at Bari “will slow the development of Foggia and perhaps the advance of the Eighth Army.” Eisenhower himself described the loss of material at Bari as a “serious blow.”


The history of chemical weapons is not exclusively limited to the twentieth century; in fact they were used more than two thousand four hundred years ago during the Peloponnesian War when Greek soldiers added certain chemicals, primarily sulfur, to fire in order to create fumes that asphyxiated their enemies. It is said that around A.D. 660 a Greek engineer by the name of Callinicus developed “Greek Fire,” a highly flammable mixture of unknown composition that was successfully used to repel the Saracens and Rus from the city port of Constantinople. According to legend, whatever liquid was thrown on the fire in an attempt to put it out only caused it to burn that much more fiercely.

It is likely that many variations of chemical weapons were used throughout history in one way or another, but for the most part today’s modern chemical weapons are a product of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Edwin Stanton, secretary of war for the Union is said to have considered the use of chlorine gas during the Civil War, but rejected the idea. The British used artillery shells loaded with picric acid during the Boer War (1899), but abandoned the practice when it was determined that the results were ineffective.

Modern chemical weapons truly saw their introduction, and thus far zenith, during the World War I. On the afternoon of 22 April 1915 the German Army introduced an agent onto the battlefield that shocked the Allies, and caused massive confusion all along the front. After a tremendous artillery barrage near the Belgian village of Ypres, troops noticed a yellowish-green haze drifting across the landscape in front of them, and quickly rolling into their positions. Being entirely unprepared for a poison gas attack, the Allied troops fell into a state of panic, and many died from inhaling lethal chlorine gas.

According to the Office of the Chief of Military History, the “gas enveloped a French colonial regiment. Some soldiers emerged from the cloud blinded, choking, and coughing, but other soldiers, incapacitated, dying, or dead from the effects of the gas were left in the trenches. German gas breached the Allied lines for four miles, and the German soldiers captured fifty French guns.”

With that, the era of modern chemical warfare had begun. The gas used at Ypres was liquid chlorine, and had been released not from artillery shells, chemical mortars, Levin’s projectors, or bombs, but instead from what appeared to be relatively benign cylinders. The cylinders had been filled with liquid chlorine under pressure behind enemy lines, and then brought up to the front and buried under the trenches of the German soldiers. When wind conditions were deemed to be appropriate, the valves of the cylinders were opened, and out poured their deadly contents. Chlorine gas forms a highly toxic vapor that “attacks the lungs and bronchial tubes, stripping them of their linings and producing large amounts of fluids to block the windpipe. The effect was to virtually drown the victims in their own fluids.” The effects of chlorine gas are truly horrific, and the terror created by exposure to it may be best summed up by the words of an English poet-soldier that fought in the trenches during the Great War, and died on Armistice Day:

Gas! Gas! Quick boys! An ecstasy of fumbling. Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, but someone still was yelling out and stumbling. And floundering like a man in fire or lime. Dim through the misty panes and thick green light. As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams before my helpless sight he plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

Gas is an incredibly horrible weapon, dedicated in an almost inhumane manner to asphyxiating its victim. Chlorine gas was neither the first nor the last chemical weapon used against men in battle, but it was the first chemical used in combat during World War I, and its effects were encouraging, at least in the beginning, against unprotected soldiers. “The German gas attack on 22 April took the Allied forces by complete surprise, and, what is more astonishing, its success was a surprise to the Germans.” The Germans failed to exploit their advantage created by the gas attack, and “instead of achieving a major victory, the Germans had to settle for merely straightening their line.” The Germans estimated that the French suffered 15,000 casualties, including 5,000 deaths on 22 April, an incredible number considering the static nature of trench warfare, and certainly encouraging for the Germans.

Since mustard gas is a primary focus of this work a short explanation of what it is may be necessary. In July 1917 the Germans developed a new poison, mustard gas, with the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) symbol, H. This new and extremely lethal agent was a vesicant, or an agent that caused severe chemical burns in both the respiratory system and the skin. It quickly became the “king of battle gases,” and was particularly effective early on, in that it would penetrate the gas masks employed by the Allies. The agent itself, a mixture of approximately 70 percent dichloroethyl sulfide and 30 percent of sulphur and other sulphur compounds, is a viscous brown liquid that evaporates slowly releasing a vapor five times heavier than air. It is essentially odorless in concentrations that would typically be used in wartime, but has a strong odor of garlic or mustard in high concentrations, especially in its impure form. It is an irritant and poisons body cells, and generally first manifests signs and symptoms several hours post exposure. Distilled mustard, or the same agent in a more concentrated form, has the Chemical Warfare Service designation of HD.

According to the Chemical Warfare Service, a branch of the United States Military devoted to toxic gas and biological agent research and development, mustard gas had some advantages in combat. The Chemical Warfare Service was an organization that saw its birth in the trenches of World War I. In the beginning, the United States Military had to be sold on the idea that chemical weapons would benefit them if they were used offensively. “The United States was a latecomer to World War I and did not declare war on Germany until April 1917. By September 1917, a “Gas Service” had been established as a separate branch of the American Expeditionary Force in France, but it was not until June 1918 that the Gas Service became the newly formed US Army Chemical Warfare Service, or CWS. Because of the risk inherent with poison gas as far as the inability to control which way the wind blows the toxins and the fact that using chemical weapons drew a disproportionate amount of enemy attention, U.S. Army officers resisted engaging in gas warfare. Major General William L. Sibert, the first commanding general of the CWS, stated in effect that the CWS actually had to go out and sell gas to the Army. In essence, the CWS had to convince the Army that gas warfare was more beneficial than detrimental.

The CWS was originally given the responsibility of advising the military on matters related to poison gas. It had no authority of its own, and could not issue orders, or directly affect policy. Major General Sibert then proceeded to organize the service, so that President Wilson approved the service’s induction into the National Army. It was not until after the First World War that a clear definition emerged of what the role and responsibilities of the CWS would be. After a great deal of debate it was decided in 1922 that the service would concentrate on defensive measures related to gas warfare, the development of superior gas masks, antidotes and countermeasures. During a war in which chemical weapons were used however, the role of the CWS would dramatically change, as it was assigned the responsibility of research, development, production, transportation, and assignment of chemical weapons in all theatres of war. Fortunately, gas was never used during World War II, and the CWS never realized its full war powers.

Mustard gas’s strategic significance lay within the agent’s ability to provide countermeasures for preventing a concerted enemy advance or retreat. This is an important point because it will later support a couple of assertions established in the introduction.

Since mustard evaporated slowly and thus remained effective from several hours to several days, depending on the weather and terrain, its use was indicated on strategic targets or on enemy positions that would not be taken immediately by American troops. Thus it could be used to “seal off” an enemy area into which American troops were advancing, and to hamper enemy lines of communication, airfields, landing beaches, artillery emplacements, and observation points. In withdrawals it could be used to contaminate the routes of enemy advance.

The preceding information is also crucial for understanding the true purposes of a vesicant agent like mustard gas. It cannot be used to strike at enemy soldiers on the front lines. It could theoretically be used, but in application, friendly troops would undoubtedly fall victim to the toxin as well. Mustard gas is best used on “strategic targets,” or in other words, the enemy’s rear. The best way to do this is by dropping bombs containing mustard on various targets. In some cases, even during World War II spray tanks were considered for spraying the toxin on troop concentrations. In fact the United States Military had procured 92,337 M10 30 gallon airplane spray tanks for exactly this purpose. An airplane flying at an altitude of 100 feet and carrying four of these tanks could spray mustard over an area 75 to 80 yards wide and 600 to 800 yards long. One can see the advantages mustard gas could potentially exploit.

In addition, the Chemical Warfare Service procured over 1,100,000 chemical bombs including the M70 and M70A1 115-pound bombs and the M47A1 and M47A2 100-pound bombs. The bombs aboard the John Harvey were M47A1s according to Infield’s meticulous research. And there were 2000 of them. According to the Chemical Warfare Service the M47A1 was “slightly over 4 feet long, and 8 inches in diameter, and contained a cylindrical burster. The bombs held from 60 to 70 pounds of mustard, and when dropped contaminated an area of from 15 to 40 yards in diameter, depending upon the altitude of the plane, hardness of the ground, thickness of the vegetation, and so on.”

The original M47 bomb was thin-walled, and it was soon found that the walls would occasionally rupture in transport. The redesigned M47A1 doubled the thickness of the bomb casing, and increased the strength of the welds, thus preventing ruptures related to the buildup of pressure inherent in mustard filled bombs.

At this point a short history of some of the other chemical agents developed by the Chemical Warfare Service is worth investigating. In 1943 the Chemical Warfare Service had chemical munitions with the following chemical agents inside. A short description of the agent is included.

· Phosgene (CWS symbol, CG) is a colorless liquid, slightly denser than water. The vapor dissipates in air quickly and for this reason is known as a non-persistent agent. “If a large amount is inhaled, the air cells (alveoli) become flooded and the patient dies from lack of oxygen.” The effects of the gas are generally not noticed until several hours after the exposure. The Chemical Warfare Service had thousands of tons of phosgene on hand and employed it in everything from mortars, mines, and shells to large 1000-pound bombs, containing more than 400 pounds of phosgene.

· Hydrogen Cyanide (CWS symbol, AC) also known as prussic acid and Zyklon B, is a colorless liquid which evaporates quickly at room temperature. It boils at 78 F. The toxin interferes with normal cellular processes, particularly in the respiratory system, and if present in more than a certain small concentration quickly causes death. Despite some drawbacks Hydrogen Cyanide is cheap, available, and has the desirable effect of a chemical agent. After the United States entered World War II the CWS expanded its mission and tested AC bombs ranging in size from, 100, 115, 1000, and 2000-pounds. The 1000-pound bomb, holding approximately 200 pounds of hydrogen cyanide, proved especially effective in tests. Unlike mustard, Hydrogen Cyanide was a non-persistent agent and would have been advantageous to an attacking force, rather than as a means to prevent advance or retreat by saturating and area in the enemy’s rear.

· Cyanogen Chloride (CWS symbol, CK) is a colorless liquid, denser than water. It boils at 55 F, giving off a vapor which is twice as dense as air and irritates the mucus membranes of the eyes and nasal passages. When air saturated with the vapor is inhaled the compound quickly paralyzes the nervous system and causes death. The toxicity is cumulative, meaning that if low, sub-lethal concentrations are consistently encountered the effect will be the same: death. Nearly all of the twenty-five million pounds of CK produced by the CWS went into 33,347 M78 500-pound bombs, each holding 165-pounds of agent, and 55,851 M79 1000-pound bombs, each containing 332-pounds. Cyanogen Chloride’s chief advantage was that it could easily pass through the filter of the enemy’s gas masks.

· Other agents produced in relatively insignificant amounts included Nitrogen Mustard (CWS symbol, HN), Chloroacetophenon (CWS symbol, CN) and Adamsite (CWS symbol, DA). CN is better known as tear gas, and the other two agents were never produced in significant amounts, or seriously considered as an agent to be used during the Second World War.

In addition to chemical agents, the United States Military produced biological weapons during World War II. The secrecy behind the Army’s biological weapons program can best understood when one takes into consideration that much of the information associated with this is still classified. The CWS was responsible for the biological weapons programs as well. What information does exist is essentially limited to a history of the development of a biological weapons program more than a detailed inventory of what biological agents were researched, let alone developed. The CWS considered biological weapons within its sphere of influence ever since the Geneva Gas Protocol of 1925 linked chemical, biological, and incendiary warfare together as related problems.

Briefly, the CWS was directly responsible for the military application of biological warfare, and constructed the biological warfare center at Camp Detrick in Maryland. The CWS’s production of biological weapons is a well-known fact today, and represents a sad chapter in American history. This history reflects a great deal of lies and deception on the part of the American government, that includes testing biological agents on unsuspecting Americans in order to determine saturation levels, contamination of the environment, and other devious activities.

Eric Croddy, a chemical and biological weapons expert and author employed by the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies provides a detailed picture of what the “bugs and gas” community was up to in 1944. According to Croddy, by 1944 the biological agents being studied and in all likelihood produced included, Anthrax, Psittacosis, Plague, Cholera, Typhus, Yellow Fever, Coccidioidomycosis, Typhoid, Tularemia, Brucellosis, Glanders, Melioidosis and Parathyroid. Additionally agents were being developed at Camp Detrick that were adept at killing animals including rinderpest, foot and mouth disease, and fowl plague. Various anti-crop diseases were also being researched that would destroy a variety of agricultural products like rice and wheat resulting in the starvation of the target population. The importance of familiarizing oneself with these agents is imperative, as the implications associated with their use cannot be described as anything else but horrific, even apocalyptic.

Croddy states why chemical agents are advantageous under certain circumstances. “They come at a relatively low cost considering the size of their “footprint.” When compared to the cost of conventional modern weapons, and especially when compared to the investment required for nuclear war, chemical weapons are cheap, and biological weapons are even cheaper.” This idea is further reinforced by the noted scientist Michael Osterholm in his book Living Terrors: “One government analyst some years ago determined that $1,500 of nuclear killing power would set an anthrax assailant back by only a penny.” Additionally Leonard Cole supports this also by citing expert information provided to the United Nations in 1969 stating that a square kilometer of ground costs approximately $2000 to take with conventional weapons, $800 with nuclear, $600 with nerve agent, and a single dollar with biological agents. When this fact is taken into consideration one can see why governments pursued research and development of chemical and biological agents.

In the beginning, the United States Military had to be sold on the idea that chemical weapons would benefit them if they were used offensively. There was a great deal of apprehension about using gas after World War I. However a mere twenty-six years later this was no longer the case. The Army had developed a new perspective, as had the American people, who until the Japanese threat had materialized, abhorred the idea of gas warfare. In fact, that abhorrence had extended all the way to the Executive Branch.

In June 1943 Franklin D. Roosevelt categorically stated, “We shall under no circumstances resort to the use of such weapons unless they are first used by our enemies.” This statement generally reflected public opinion concerning gas warfare at the time, however by 1945 public mood had shifted somewhat. In 1945, forty percent of those polled favored the use of chemicals against the Japanese when just a year before the number had been twenty-three percent. The shift in opinion was partially the result of difficult battles in the Pacific, which had caused tremendous American casualties, as well as some knowledge that the Japanese had used gas against the Chinese in Manchuria. Possibly influenced by the change in public opinion and the realization that the war in the Pacific was anything but over, General “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell and General George C. Marshal suggested the use of gas against the Japanese. In the end, chemical weapons were not used during World War II; instead two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Evolution of both the technology associated with chemical weapons and the psychological aversion towards them are abundantly evident between the wars. One time Chief of Military History, Major General R.W. Stephens comments on this decades later, and concludes:
General employment of toxic munitions in World War I made it necessary for the United States as a belligerent to protect its soldiers against gas attack. The post war revulsion against the use of gas in no way guaranteed that it would not be used in another war; and to maintain readiness for gas warfare, Congress therefore authorized the retention of the Chemical Warfare Service as a small but important part of the Army organization.

When considering the Major General’s words one must remember that the United States was the only belligerent after World War I that did not sign on to the specific Geneva protocols banning chemical weapons. This was not the first time the United States had rejected participation in treaties banning the use of chemical weapons. An International Conference initiated by the Russians and held at The Hague in 1899, sought to ban their use:
The proposal offered for consideration at the meeting would have bound the contracting powers to agree to abstain from the use of projectiles, the sole object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases.

The United States however chose not to commit itself to the proposal. The dubious likelihood of full commitment by other nations was given as the primary reason, which in fact was supported when Germany released chlorine gas from cylinders rather than “projectiles” during World War I, thus both conforming to the agreement and at the same time treating the spirit of it with contempt. The horrific results of gas warfare turned world opinion against it however. After the war there was widespread reaction against the use of chemical agents in future wars. The peace treaties signed by the Central Powers all contained the clause, “the use of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases and all analogous liquids, materials or devices being prohibited.” Despite this seemingly clear definition, some believed the wording applied only to the defeated nations. It was felt that subsequent agreements between the Allies and other powers were needed to insure the future universal prohibition of gas warfare.

The proposition for the outlawing of gas warfare was revived again at a conference held in 1925 in Geneva Switzerland. Here the United States introduced and obtained general agreement on what has since become known as the Geneva Gas Protocol. Despite the fact that the United States introduced the proposition, the Senate never ratified it. According to the Office of the Chief of Military History, veterans groups were one of the stronger opponents of ratification of the Geneva Gas Protocol, which is almost unbelievable, considering the terrible casualties they sustained in the Great War.

Immediately after the First World War the number of personnel involved in the Chemical Warfare Service dropped from 1,680 officers to 328, and from 20,518 enlisted men to 261. There the numbers were basically maintained for a period of nearly twenty years. During this period the CWS was left to fend for itself, and the service was suffering from neglect. The production of all chemical agents came to a halt, and storage was limited to Edgewood Arsenal, and facilities in Hawaii. The mission of the CWS was essentially limited to production of gas masks.

By September 1939, immediately following the Nazi invasion of Poland, personnel levels jumped from 742 officers in 1938 to 1,102. Enlisted ranks swelled as well, jumping by approximately 40% in the same period. Despite the public’s aversion to chemical weapons, the CWS engaged more than 66,000 officers and enlisted men by June 1944. At the same time the CWS employed more than 25,000 civilian personnel. When the Germans invaded Poland, Franklin D. Roosevelt lost no time in getting the apparatus up and functioning again, with the emphasis being placed on an “Industrial mobilization program,” which meant simply getting the plants up and operating so that toxic gas could be produced again as quickly as possible. By June 1940, Congress had passed the first of five supplemental appropriation acts for the fiscal year 1941. Congress appropriated over fifty-seven million dollars for the Chemical Warfare Service, of which over fifty-three million was for procurement and supply. By 1940 the pariah of the United States military community had resurfaced with financial backing behind it.


The attack on Bari was contingent on intelligence gathered during a reconnaissance flight piloted by Werner Hahn, a German ME-210 pilot. He had flown over Bari Harbor on the afternoon of 2 December 1943 in order to gather what information he could that would assist the Luftwaffe in the anticipated attack on the harbor scheduled for dusk that evening. Hahn found that there were a considerable number of Allied ships berthed along the docks, without any significant protection. Among the unprotected behemoths were the Merchant Marine vessels, SS Lyman Abbot, SS Joseph Wheeler, SS John L. Motley, SS John Harvey, SS John Bascom, SS Samuel J. Tilden, SS Grace Abbot, SS John Schofield, SS Louis Hennepin, as well as the tankers Aroostock, and Pumper, and British ships the HMS Zetland, HMS Bicester, Devon Coast, Fort Athabaska, Testbank, and the Lars Kruse. Most of the aforementioned vessels were to see the bottom of Bari Harbor later that evening. On his way back to the northern Italian airfields still in German hands Hahn spotted two Allied P-38 Lightnings that gave chase. After much maneuvering he successfully evaded their guns and made for home.

Upon Hahn’s landing, the pilots were briefed and they set out from many different airfields for a single target, Bari. The method of bombing to be employed was referred to as the “Swedish Turnip.” The technique required a pilot to fly at a constant 200 miles per hour, forty-five or so feet above the waves, and essentially estimate bomb release time. The airplane chosen by the Germans for the raid was the JU-88 an airplane with a solid history behind it. The “Swedish Turnip” technique and the choice of airplane was an excellent combination, as according to the Captain of the Louis Hennepin, one of the ships present that day, “hardly a bomb was wasted.”

At 1920 on 2 December 1943 approximately one hundred JU-88s approached the unsuspecting harbor with a relatively new innovation known as Duppel. Originally developed by the British, it was strips of aluminum foil cut to certain lengths and widths designed to fool radar. In an example of technology being used against its inventors, the German use of Duppel proved extremely effective, fooling Allied radar stations along the Adriatic, and providing the Germans with the initiative they needed for a successful raid.

Unloading of the many vessels at Bari was proving slow and laborious. Many of the ships had been there for days awaiting their opportunity to berth and discharge their cargo. All of the ships were carrying war material, most of which was volatile in nature. The SS John Wheeler was carrying ammunition, the SS John Bascom was carrying 8,300 tons of desperately needed food stuff along with “high test gasoline and acid,” the SS Samuel J. Tilden was loaded with 6,000 gallons of high octane fuel and over 100 tons of ammunition, the SS Lyman Abbott was laden with explosives and chemicals, the SS John Harvey, which of course was loaded with an apparently disputed amount of mustard gas, and many other ships that also met their fate at the bottom of the harbor.

According to a British Most Secret report:

The air raid started at 1920 hours on 2 Dec. Owing to a number of circumstances… practically no advance warning was given. The attacking force consisted of 30 plus aircraft and the raid was severe.

In the early stages, the oil pipe on the petrol quay was hit by a bomb and the consequent flow of petrol ignited. Ammunition and petrol ships in the harbour were hit and blew up setting fire to several other vessels and covering a large expanse of water with burning oil and petrol.

The John Harvey was hit early and it is almost certain that the ammunition on board exploded. The gas bombs were not fused, but their casings were very thin and the explosion threw some thirty casings on to the mole where a large patch of mustard gas was subsequently found.”

The raid was over by 1950 hours. Numerous fires were left burning; many ships were hit and sank, in several cases where they had drifted away from their moorings. It was therefore very difficult at the time to identify particular vessels… The Port Commandant (British) saw NOIC [Naval Operations Intelligence Center] about 2000 hours on 2 Dec. and informed him that certain ships were dangerous and that one had mustard on board and should be scuttled.

The JU-88’s came in low, and the pilots were not entirely surprised to see that the harbor had not maintained any blackout precautions. They had been briefed that even the smallest precautions against an air raid were not being implemented at Bari. Some of the pilots had been skeptical about this until they actually saw with their own eyes the lights of the harbor bright as a beacon when they came in low over the Adriatic. They could see the cranes and other dock equipment moving back and forth between the docks and ships. One pilot noted that, “Bari harbor looked like Berlin’s Unter den Linden on New Year’s Eve.”

Otto Heitmann, skipper of the SS John Bascom, who glanced at his watch the moment he first heard the warning of flares being dropped over the harbor by aircraft, noted that it was exactly 7:35 P.M. Shore anti-aircraft batteries immediately opened up, followed by gun crews on the John Bascom. The first bombs fell on the city itself. The Germans bombers quickly headed for the harbor, and began carpeting it with bombs from the south to the north. The Bascom crew noted that the Joseph Wheeler was hit and burst into flames, immediately followed by the John L. Motley. A few minutes of anxious indecision followed as Heitmann contemplated his limited options. Suddenly, the SS John Bascom was hit by several bombs, knocking Heitmann momentarily unconscious. When he awoke, he immediately sized up the situation and ordered his crew to abandon ship. After making sure that all survivors were aboard the lifeboat, Heitmann stepped in, and ordered that the crew steer for the east jetty. Fortunately they made it to the jetty where they were able to get out of the water. From their new position, the crew of the John Bascom watched in horror as several of the ships in the harbor violently exploded. The explosive concussion caused a tidal wave that enveloped the crew and even bowled some over into the harbor.

Minutes later, an odd odor wafted over some of the survivors. The ambient temperature was incredibly hot related to the burning oil and ships in the harbor. The smell of garlic was prevalent, and breathing became somewhat difficult.

The raid had gone perfectly. The JU-88’s had performed a textbook version of the “Swedish Turnip” technique. They came in low, so low in fact that the concussion of their exploding bombs often created enough turbulence to cause them to momentarily lose control of their aircraft. The only thing that prevented them from taking a nosedive into the harbor was the skill that they had developed in many other theatres over the preceding fours years of air combat. The raid lasted approximately thirty minutes, and ended at 1950 according to a British report. One German pilot participating in the raid, Oberleutnent Teuber, swung out into the Adriatic and looked back on the harbor. “It was a sight that he would never forget. Ships were burning and exploding throughout the entire harbor area. Flames were reaching upward as high as a hundred feet in some spots…Even at a distance of several miles out over the sea, the Oberleutnent could feel the violence of blasts as they rocked his Ju-88.”

Out of the one hundred bombers participating in the attack, only two were lost. Not a single Allied fighter had appeared in the skies to protect the harbor. The antiaircraft guns were not much of a threat and the flak was considered relatively light. The Luftwaffe dominated the skies over Bari on the evening of 2 December 1943.

As devastating as the actual attack was, it was the resulting explosions of the John Harvey, Joseph Wheeler and the John L. Motley, carrying high explosives, cyanide, and gasoline, which caused so much damage. The John L. Motley was loosed from its berthing during the attack, and drifted away from its moorings. Eventually it drifted into the jetty and exploded on contact. “The entire harbor seemed to empty as the tidal wave caused by the explosion of the John L. Motley washed over the breakwater.” Everyone aboard the ship was instantaneously vaporized. “The ammunition ship, SS John Motley, was only about fifty feet away from the SS John Bascom when she blew up. The resultant concussion caved in the Bascom’s entire port side, sinking her immediately.”

When the Joseph Wheeler exploded, it caused another freighter, the Fort Athabaska, to catch fire and sink within five minutes. The Athabaska was carrying two “highly prized” German one-thousand pound rocket bombs, and these may too have exploded as a result of the tremendous heat and fire emitting from the Wheeler.

When the John Harvey caught fire, there is no doubt that the mustard bombs aboard were compromised. The Harvey was loosed from its berth as well and began drifting towards the U.S.S. Pumper, a tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of fuel for the Fifteenth Air Force. In the words of the men aboard the U.S.S. Pumper “the world seemed to stand still for several moments when the merchant ship blew up. There was a whispering sound as the air around the tanker was sucked toward the center of the blast and a fraction of a moment of silence. Suddenly the violence of the explosion ripped the area. The initial crack of the sound threatened the eardrums of every man in the vicinity and seemed to vibrate every bone in a person’s body until even those that were not knocked off their feet found it difficult to keep their balance.”

The explosion of the John Harvey also caused the deaths of a number of Italian civilians that had run from the city in an effort to avoid the fires there and sought refuge near the harbor. Although ambulances came and went throughout the night carrying Allied personnel to the hospitals, the citizens of Bari, for the most part, were ignored.

It was not the explosive concussion of the John Harvey that caused the greatest damage however, it was her cargo, filling the air and saturating the oil slicks on top of the water. The mustard bombs in her hold exploded along with the Harvey itself and released vast quantities of toxin into the environment. It was the mustard that alerted the olfactory senses of the John L. Motley sailors when they noted the odor of garlic.

It was the mustard gas aboard the John Harvey that most concerned the British Harbor Master, and caused him to inform military officials of its presence, despite the secrecy attached to it within hours of the attack. It was the mustard gas mixed with dark dense smoke that eyewitnesses saw drift over the old city, and that Eisenhower stated had instead drifted out to sea. It was the mustard gas that led directly to the deaths of at least sixty-nine individuals, and hundreds of wounded, although this figure is outrageously low, and does not include any civilians. It was the mustard gas that caused at least six hundred twenty-eight casualties that Churchill insisted were victims of dermatitis. Above all, it was the mustard gas present that day that caused the Allies to place a lid of secrecy over the entire incident. Reminick states, “The loss of life was appalling. More than one thousand Allied servicemen and more than a thousand civilians were killed. The total number of deaths will never be known. Yet, to this day, few have heard of the disaster at Bari.”

Gladys May Rees Aikens, a nurse serving with the Q.A Reserve (Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve) noted:

Only a few hours after dawn following the raid we began to realize that most of our patients had been contaminated by something beyond our imagination. I first noticed it when one or two of my patients went to the sink looking for a drink of water. This was odd, because the drinks had already been taken around as usual after supper. Suddenly there were more looking for water and we could hardly control them. They were complaining of intense heat and began stripping their clothes off. Patients confined to bed were trying desperately to rip their dressings and bandages off. With what little knowledge we had, our first thought was that these boys were suffering from mustard gas burns. There were blisters as big as balloons and heavy with fluid on these young bodies.

Nurse Aikens also emphasizes the fact that fluid was drained and sent for testing, but the medical staff was “never informed of the results.” Aikens also stated something extremely relevant concerning the lid of secrecy that had almost certainly already been initiated. “The Medical Officers tried to get through to the War Office in London for information, advice and an antidote, but none was forthcoming. We were all furious. And yet, if the War Office couldn’t release the information, it must be a military secret, and if that was the case, we were certain we were witnessing the effects of a poisonous gas. Although we didn’t know it at the time, there was indeed the very worst kind of poison involved.”

Probably the two most definitive books written on the incident at Bari are Gerald Reminick’s, Nightmare In Bari and Glenn Infield’s, Disaster at Bari. Both authors stress the fact that the true number of deaths will never be absolutely known. The Italian civilians suffered seriously from both the bombing, the resulting secondary explosions in the harbor and the gas itself. Mustard gas is extremely mutagenic, i.e. it induces mutation on the genetic level. It has been used in the past to treat certain types of cancer. Medical personnel using it have always taken great care not to expose themselves to even minute and diluted amounts of the vesicant. One can see how soaking in it for hours, as in the case of the sailors waiting to be picked up from the harbor waters, can cause serious medical problems. The true effects of the mustard gas will never be fully known, but it does not take a lot to surmise that perhaps many more deaths may be attributed to the results of exposure to mustard after the war. According to Cheryl Harris a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine specializing in oncology, the effects upon one’s DNA are more serious than the effects of the vesicant upon the integument, or skin.

Alice Spinelli, an oncology nurse specialist, concurs with Dr. Harris on her description of what a vesicant is, and how it acts physiologically on the body. Additionally she describes how an arsenic agent with the trade name of Trisenox is currently being used to treat multiple myeloma, a disease effecting the blood and bone marrow. Lewisite too, is an arsenic compound, with vesicant properties that manifest themselves in the same way as other vesicants. Spinelli describes the care taken to administer vesicants in the treatment of various cancers as being tremendously significant. If the oncological agent infiltrates, or is released outside of the vein, then tissue necrosis, or destruction of tissue results. Vesicants can only be given intravenously for that very reason. Once they are infused into the blood stream they immediately become diluted, thus are less likely to have this necrotic effect on the skin, but retain their ability to destroy cancer on a cellular level.

Dr. Kevin Hahn, another DVM that works for the Gulf Coast Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging and Oncology clinic in Houston, Texas, acknowledges that vesicants including Nitrogen Mustard are used to treat cancer. Like Harris, he identifies Vincristine and Adriamycin as two contemporary vesicant agents used in chemotherapy.

Considering the words of the above professionals involved in oncology and the use of vesicants, one can easily see how even minute amounts of vesicants can have serious ramifications. Dr. Harris emphasized that she was more concerned about what even minute amounts of vesicants would do to her DNA, than what its vesicant properties might do to her skin. The victims at Bari literally bathed in a toxic body of water for hours in some cases. Harris mentions that a chemotherapy hood is implemented while handling the drug so as not to aerosolize it, risking inhalation of the particles. This suggests that medical professionals take vesicants very seriously, and strive not to expose themselves to even the smallest amounts. Therefore, once again, it does seem highly likely that many more deaths may have resulted from the effects of the mustard released on December 2 1943. The medical aspects of the mustard family will be more closely scrutinized later.



One of the more interesting issues involved with the attack on Bari are the lengths to which both the Americans and British went in order to cover it up. For decades very little was known about the event that took place on 2 December 1943 in Bari, Italy; to some degree the cover-up continues today.

There is three commonly accepted possible reasons for the cover-up of the events surrounding 2 December 1943: first, fear of Axis retaliation, secondly, presidential embarrassment, and thirdly, fear of public sentiment. But a fourth heretofore undiscussed reason seems to be more probable: the Allies were introducing into the European Theatre of Operations at Bari a chemical agent never before used in combat. They did not want to be caught crossing the line of “civilized behavior;” hence they covered-up their activities at Bari.

CONTINUED - PART II See Bari Revisited Part II articleID=96179

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