NPR just published an exposé about nine secret experiments performed by the US military on 60,000 Black, Japanese-American, & Puerto Rican enlisted soldiers during WWII. There have been previous exposés about US government human experiments, including CIA experiments, from 1940 through 1970. The WWII experiments were all racist-based–as were many of the later ones.
The WWII experiments were with mustard gas which affects a person within seconds, producing burns & irreversible damage, including cancer, chronic skin diseases, respiratory illnesses, eye problems. Mustard gas was first used as a weapon of war by the Germans in WWI so US scientists knew damn well what mustard gas did to human beings: skin blisters, vomiting, blindness, internal & external bleeding, stripping of mucus membranes in the bronchial tubes.
According to NPR, because the experiments were secret, they were not recorded on the men’s military records so they have no proof they went through them. They received no follow-up health care or monitoring of any kind. They were not volunteers but were ordered or offered incentives to participate. Rollins Edwards, a participant & the man in this photo, said he never questioned the experiments. “Defiance was unthinkable especially for Black soldiers,” he said. “You do what they tell you to do & you ask no questions,”
Participants were also threatened with dishonorable discharge or military prison time if they told & were unable to disclose the cause of their disfiguring & chronic health problems to doctors after they were discharged.
Now here’s the kicker! Given what we already know about human experiments, especially the large number of racist experiments conducted by US government scientists–(that includes Tuskegee, eugenics experiments on Black, Latina, Native American, & disabled women, & on women in Guatemala & Puerto Rico)–NPR should have felt entirely confident asserting the unmitigated racism of these experiments that rival Dr. Josef Mengele & other Nazi scientists in debasement.
Instead, showing the corporate sponsorship to which they dance, NPR pulled its punches. They said we should remember the US & its scientists were preparing for chemical warfare in WWII–as if that justified racist experiments on human beings. They claimed scientists wanted to see if there were variables between how different ethnicities reacted to chemicals & that “at the time” scientists thought Blacks were more resistant.
“At the time” has to be one of the most atrocious & banal excuses for historic crimes ever invented. At the time of these experiments, there was a major political campaign to desegregate the US military. At the time, Black & Puerto Rican soldiers were coming home in body bags, all shot up, missing limbs just like every other soldier. So they can cut the crap on that “at the time” stuff.
Rollins Edwards is here showing the scars from exposure to mustard gas 70 years ago as part of the WWII experiments. He says he has constant itching on his arms & legs which break out in rashes where he was burned. During outbreaks his skin falls off in flakes & he carries a jar of the flakes to show people what happened to him. By Mary Scully (Photo by Amelia Phillips Hale for NPR)
Here’s the recipe for a conspiracy theory: You need an event or supposed “fraud” of some kind, a group of people or alliance that caused this event of fraud, they need to have coordinated ahead of time and to have kept it secret, and you need a motive. There are a numerous times in modern history that this happened. Perhaps the two biggest political conspiracies were the President Nixon’s Watergate Scandal and President Reagan’s Iran Contra Affair. A lesser-known U.S. political conspiracy was Operation Paperclip, where President Truman recruited Nazi scientists to work on the U.S. space program after World War II ended.
There have been a bunch of conspiracies related to U.S. Intelligence gathering: MK ULTRA, exposed by The Rockefeller Commission, were a series of government-sponsored LSD experiments (which we discussed in-depth in this episode of TestTubePlus). Operation Mockingbird was the CIA’s campaign to influence the media: the CIA recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA’s views to the American Public.
And it hasn’t just been government agencies. There’s been business conspiracies like big cigarette companies actively hiding links between smoking and cancer. Asbestos manufacturers tried their hardest to prevent the public from knowing the link between asbestos and respiratory diseases in order to avoid prosecution and payouts on massive class action lawsuits. So, with all these things, you can see why conspiracy theories are so prevalent online and why so many people believe them.
Wonderful Witch Wednesday drawing! Cia may technically be a sorceress, but those two terms can be interchanged. >v> Her and Rita are having girly time while their husbanos duke it out. I’ve officially drawn Zedd more times than I thought I ever would.
Condor was a covert, multinational “black operations” program organized
by six Latin American states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,
Paraguay, and Uruguay, later joined by Ecuador and Peru), with
logistical, financial, and intelligence support from Washington.
Cold War climate of the 1960s and ’70s, when U.S. leaders and Latin
American militaries regarded popular movements and political dissidents
as “internal enemies,” any methods were considered legitimate in the
“war against subversion.” In fact, many of these new social movements
were indigenous nationalist, leftist, socialist, or radically democratic
forces fighting to represent the voiceless and the marginalized.
leftist and nationalist leaders won elections throughout Latin America
in the 1960s and early 1970s, and new revolutionary and progressive
movements gained strength, U.S. security strategists feared a
communist-inspired threat to U.S. economic and political interests in
the hemisphere. Local elites similarly feared that their traditional
political dominance and wealth were at risk. Washington poured enormous
resources into the inter-American security system, of which Condor was a
top-secret part, to mobilize and unify the militaries in order to
prevent leftist leaders from taking power and to control and destroy
leftist and popular movements in Latin America. Anticommunism and
“preventing another Cuba” were the national security priorities of the
U.S. in Latin America.
national security doctrine incorporated counterinsurgency strategies and
concepts such as “hunter-killer” programs and secret, “unconventional”
techniques such as subversion, sabotage, and terrorism to defeat foes.
Much of counterinsurgency doctrine is classified, but scholars have
documented many of its key components. Michael McClintock, for example,
analyzed a classified U.S. Army Special Forces manual of December 1960
Counter-Insurgency Operations, one of the earliest to mention
explicitly, in its section “Terror Operations,” the use of
counterinsurgent terror as a legitimate tactic. He cites other secret
U.S. army special operations handbooks from the 1960s that endorsed
“counterterror,” including assassination and abduction, in certain
situations. One March 1961 article in Military Review stated, “Political
warfare, in short, is warfare…[that] embraces diverse forms of
coercion and violence including strikes and riots, economic sanctions,
subsidies for guerrilla or proxy warfare and, when necessary, kidnapping
or assassination of enemy elites.” In short, “disappearance” was a key
element of counterinsurgency doctrine.