The Defense Department denied the tests ever took place until public pressure, notably from Democrat California Rep. Mike Thompson, began in the early 2000s, according to Stars and Stripes.
A US veteran asked the congressman in the late 1990s to look into the DoD practice of testing nerve agents on military personnel. A major issue within Washington is how veterans get health care after their service. Naturally, the DoD and the Department of Veteran Affairs would be wary about funding treatment for conditions that would implicate the DoD in using human beings as test subjects for experiments on biochemical warfare.
“For 40 years, they denied it even happened, and for the last 10 years, they’ve been dragging their feet … these veterans can’t wait any longer” Thompson told Stars and Stripes.
Nerve agents and E. Coli are among the materials suspected to have been used on US personnel.
Thompson and two Republican Congressmen, Don Young of Alaska and Walter Jones of North Carolina, introduced an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
Projects 112 and “Shipboard Hazard and Defense” (SHAD) were conducted in Hawaii and Panama, according to Pentagon records cited by the Nautilus Institute. The “Defense Department sprayed live nerve and biological agents on ships and sailors” in Project SHAD, “and sprayed a germ toxin on Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands” as part of Project 112, the Berkeley-based security and sustainability think tank posted.
These may be just one component of a larger research probe into the impact of chemical weapons.
Deadly substances may have been tested by the Pentagon on troops in a Queensland, Australia, rainforest as well. “Declassified Australian Defence Department and Prime Minister’s office files show that the United States was strongly pushing the Government for tests on Australian soil of two of the most deadly chemical weapons ever developed, VX and GB – sarin – nerve gas. The plan called for 200 mainly Australian combat troops to be aerially bombed and sprayed with the chemical weapons – with all but a handful of the soldiers to be kept in the dark about the full details of the tests,” Australian investigative journalist Ross Coulthart has written.