War News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on war
A US federal watchdog has criticised the US military for failing to account properly for billions of dollars it received to help rebuild Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for 96% of the money. Out of just over $9bn, $8.7bn is unaccounted for, the inspector says. Much of the money came from the sale of Iraqi oil and gas, and some frozen Saddam Hussein-era assets were also sold off. The money was in a special fund administered by the US Department of Defense, the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and was earmarked for reconstruction projects. But the report says that a lack of proper accounting and poor oversight makes it impossible to say exactly what happened to most of it. "The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss," the report said. This is not the first time that allegations of missing billions have surfaced in relation to the US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. In 2005, the inspector general criticised the Coalition Provisional Authority, the US-led occupation administration, for its management of an $8.8bn fund that belonged to the Iraqi government. A criminal investigation conducted led to the conviction of eight US officials on bribery, fraud and money-laundering charges.
Note: For a collection of major media articles showing how the US military has repeatedly failed to account for hundreds of billions of dollars, click here.
In the Department of Defense, where more than two-thirds of the intelligence programs reside, only a handful of senior officials - called Super Users - have the ability to even know about all the department's activities. Most [sources for this story] requested anonymity either because they are prohibited from speaking publicly or because, they said, they feared retaliation at work for describing their concerns. Beyond redundancy, secrecy within the intelligence world hampers effectiveness in other ways. For the Defense Department, [the] problem goes back to an ultra-secret group of programs for which access is extremely limited and monitored by specially trained security officers. These are called Special Access Programs - or SAPs - and the Pentagon's list of code names for them runs 300 pages. The intelligence community has hundreds more of its own, and those hundreds have thousands of sub-programs with their own limits on the number of people authorized to know anything about them. All this means that very few people have a complete sense of what's going on. Such secrecy can undermine the normal chain of command when senior officials use it to cut out rivals or when subordinates are ordered to keep secrets from their commanders. One military officer involved in one such program said he was ordered to sign a document prohibiting him from disclosing it to his four-star commander, with whom he worked closely every day, because the commander was not authorized to know about it
Note: To read the full text of this important article, please make sure to press the "Continue Reading" button at the end of the first webpage to access all of the fascinating information provided. For lots more on government secrecy, click here.
The Obama Administration has taken the unprecedented step of authorising the killing of a US citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. The decision is extraordinary not only because Mr al-Awlaki is believed to be the first American whose killing has been approved by a US President, but also because the Obama Administration chose to make the move public. The Los Angeles Times reported in January that Mr al-Awlaki’s name had been placed on a top-secret list of targeted killings. In the past 24 hours, however, a handful of intelligence and counter-terrorism officials have briefed Reuters and The New York Times on the decision. The authorisation ... and the decision to make it public is a high-risk strategy. Tina Foster, of the US-based International Justice Network, told The Times: “It is shocking that our Government would go to these extremes, even depriving someone of their life without a legal process.” The policy of targeted killings is controversial. President Ford issued an order in 1976 banning political assassinations. Yet Congress approved the use of force against al-Qaeda after the September 11 attacks.
Note: Obama is the first president to publicly order the assassination an American citizen. Neither George W. Bush nor Dick Cheney asserted such a power on the part of the president.
Classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff, was released on [April 5] by a group that promotes leaking to fight government and corporate corruption. The group, WikiLeaks, told a news conference in Washington that it acquired encrypted video of the July 12, 2007, attack from military whistleblowers and had been able to view and investigate it after breaking the encryption code. A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the video and audio were authentic. David Schlesinger, Reuters' editor-in-chief, said the video released by WikiLeaks showed the deaths of [Namir] Noor-Eldeen and [Saeed] Chmagh were "tragic and emblematic of the extreme dangers that exist in covering war zones." "The video released today via WikiLeaks is graphic evidence of the dangers involved in war journalism and the tragedies that can result," he said. Reuters has pressed the U.S. military to conduct a full and objective investigation into the killing of the two staff. WikiLeaks posted the video at http://www.collateralmurder.com.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Should the above video disappear, click here to view it on one of our websites. The only reason this event made news is because the two cameramen killed were Reuters reporters. US forces then fired on an unarmed van with children in it, which was attempting to bring the dead and wounded out of the combat zone. How many innocent civilians are killed like this and never make the news? Spread this important video and help others to wake up and work together to stop the creulty of some of the US forces. The Pentagon is working hard to shut down Wikileaks, the organization which secured this powerful video.
A highly unusual ruling by Lord Hutton, who chaired the inquiry into Dr Kelly's death, means medical records including the post-mortem report will remain classified until after all those with a direct interest in the case are dead. And a 30-year secrecy order has been placed on written records provided to Lord Hutton's inquiry which were not produced in evidence. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, who has conducted his own investigations into Dr Kelly's death, described the order as "astonishing". Dr Kelly's body was found in woods close to his Oxfordshire home in 2003, shortly after it was revealed that he was the source of a BBC report casting doubt on the Government's claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction capable of being fired within 45 minutes. An inquest was suspended by then Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, who ruled that Lord Hutton's inquiry could take its place. But ... the inquiry focused more on the question of how the BBC report came to be broadcast than on the medical explanation for Dr Kelly's death. Lord Hutton's report in 2004 concluded that Dr Kelly killed himself by cutting an artery in his wrist. But the finding has been challenged by doctors who claim that the weapons inspector's stated injuries were not serious enough.
Note: For a cache of illuminating reports on government secrecy, click here.
Just before Christmas, the US President, Barack Obama, signed into law one of his country's biggest aid pledges of the year. It was bound not for Africa or any of the many struggling countries on the World Bank's list. It was a deal for $US2.77 billion ($3 billion) to go to Israel in 2010 and a total of $US30 billion over the next decade. Israel is bound by the agreement to use 75 per cent of the aid to buy military hardware made in the US. For the first time the US is also providing $US500 million to the Palestinian Authority, including $US100 million to train security forces, under the strict proviso that the authority's leadership recognises Israel. For many years Israel has been the largest recipient of US foreign aid, followed by Egypt ($US1.75 billion), which also receives most of its assistance in tied military aid. The Congressional Research Service says that the US spent 17 per cent of its total aid budget - or $US5.1 billion - on military aid in 2008, of which $US4.7 billion was grants to enable governments to receive equipment from the US.
Note: Israel's population is 7.5 million. If you do the math, the US is providing the equivalent of $4,000 in aid to every man, woman and child in Israel over the next decade, with $3,000 of that to buy US military hardware. For lots more on government-facilitated profiteering in the arms industry, click here and here.
The Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing the money it spends to win what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, it is raising concerns of spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law. An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006. This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department. The biggest chunk of funds — about $1.6 billion — goes into recruitment and advertising. Another $547 million goes into public affairs, which reaches American audiences. And about $489 million more goes into what is known as psychological operations. Staffing across all these areas costs about $2.1 billion, as calculated by the number of full-time employees and the military's average cost per service member. That's double the staffing costs for 2003. Recruitment and advertising are the only two areas where Congress has authorized the military to influence the American public. Far more controversial is public affairs, because of the prohibition on propaganda to the American public.
Note: For more revealing reports from reliable sources on the realities of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.
After much delay the United States opened its new $700 million embassy in Iraq on Monday, inaugurating the largest — and most expensive — embassy ever built. The compound is six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York, and two-thirds the size of the National Mall in Washington. It has space for 1,000 employees with six apartment blocks and is 10 times larger than any other U.S. embassy. Critics have said that the embassy's fortress-like design and immense size show a fundamental disconnect between the U.S. and conditions on the ground in Iraq. “The presence of a massive U.S. embassy — by far the largest in the world — co-located in the Green Zone with the Iraqi government is seen by Iraqis as an indication of who actually exercises power in their country,” the International Crisis Group, a European-based research group, said in 2006. "The idea of an embassy this huge, this costly, and this isolated from events taking place outside its walls is not necessarily a cause for celebration," architectural historian Jane Loeffler wrote in Foreign Affairs in 2007. “Although the U.S. Government regularly proclaims confidence in Iraq’s democratic future, the U.S. has designed an embassy that conveys no confidence in Iraqis and little hope for their future. Instead, the U.S. has built a fortress capable of sustaining a massive, long-term presence in the face of continued violence.”
Note: Why would the U.S. want Iraq (estimated population 28 million) to have an embassy 10 times or more larger than that of China (over a billion people), Canada, Japan, or for that matter many other countries? And why isn't any major media besides Fox even raising this key question? Look at the AP article which has virtually nothing critical. Could this possibly have anything to do with control of oil and other precious resources there?
Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday. Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence. Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than Ł1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE. He was accused in yesterday's high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family. The threats halted the fraud inquiry. Lord Justice Moses, hearing the civil case with Mr Justice Sullivan, said the government appeared to have "rolled over" after the threats. He said one possible view was that it was "just as if a gun had been held to the head" of the government. The SFO investigation began in 2004, when Robert Wardle, its director, studied evidence unearthed by the Guardian. This revealed that massive secret payments were going from BAE to Saudi Arabian princes, to promote arms deals. Yesterday, anti-corruption campaigners began a legal action to overturn the decision to halt the case. They want the original investigation restarted, arguing the government had caved into blackmail.
Note: This report comes very close to confirming the close link between terrorist attacks and high-level policy of certain states. For many revealing clues along these lines from reliable sources, click here.
President Bush and his top aides publicly made 935 false statements about the security risk posed by Iraq in the two years following September 11, 2001, according to a study released ... by two nonprofit journalism groups. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003," reads an overview of the examination, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism. According to the study, Bush and seven top officials -- including Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice -- made 935 false statements about Iraq during those two years. The study says Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein's possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq's links to al Qaeda. The study, released Tuesday, says Powell had the second-highest number of false statements, with 244 about weapons and 10 about Iraq and al Qaeda. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Press Secretary Ari Fleischer each made 109 false statements. "It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al Qaeda," the report reads. The overview of the study also calls the media to task, saying most media outlets didn't do enough to investigate the claims. "Some journalists -- indeed, even some entire news organizations -- have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical," the report reads.
Note: These lies led to the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Why is no action being taken on this matter? For other powerful revelations of war corruption and profiteering, click here.
David Frost: Does anyone know exactly who was responsible for this assassination attempt? There is one report that said that you arranged to send President Musharraf a letter ... in the event of your death by assassination, urging him to investigate certain individuals in his government. Is that true? Benazir Bhutto: Yes it is true that I wrote to General Musharraf. I feel these are the forces that really want to stop not just me, but the democratic process and the will of the people [from] triumphing. David Frost: In terms of these three people you mentioned where they members of or associated with the government? Benazir Bhutto: One of them is a very key figure in security. He is a former military officer. He is someone who has had dealings with Jaish-e-Mohammad, one of the band [of] groups of Maulana Masood Azhar, who was in an Indian jail for decapitating three British tourists and three American tourists. And he also had dealings with Omar Shiekh, who murdered Osama bin Laden.
Note: The key statement on bin Laden's murder happens at minute five in the video at the above link. If the link fails, click here. For a Jan. 9, 2010 BBC article also suggesting bin Laden may already have been dead years earlier and that his death had been covered up, click here. Bhutto was assassinated not long after this interview on Dec. 27, 2007.
Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit ... in front of a giant "Mission Accomplished" banner. He was hailed by media stars as a "breathtaking" example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House's claim that the war was won. How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? In the run-up to war, skepticism was a rarity among journalists inside the Beltway. The [PBS "Buying the War"] program analyzes the stream of unchecked information from administration sources and Iraqi defectors to the mainstream print and broadcast press. While almost all the claims would eventually prove to be false, the drumbeat of misinformation about WMDs went virtually unchallenged by the media. "Buying the War" examines the press coverage in the lead-up to the war as evidence of a paradigm shift in the role of journalists in democracy and asks, four years after the invasion, what's changed? "More and more the media become ... common carriers of administration statements," says the Washington Post's Walter Pincus. "We've sort of given up being independent on our own."
Note: You can view the highly revealing documentary "Buying the War" or read the transcript at the link above.
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy. Constant reference to a "war on terror" did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue. America today is not the self-confident and determined nation that responded to Pearl Harbor; nor is it the America that heard from its leader, at another moment of crisis, the powerful words "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Fear-mongering, reinforced by security entrepreneurs, the mass media and the entertainment industry, generates its own momentum. The terror entrepreneurs ... are necessarily engaged in competition to justify their existence. Hence their task is to convince the public that it faces new threats. "Security" procedures have become routine, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and further contributing to a siege mentality. Government at every level has stimulated the paranoia. The record is even more troubling in the general area of civil rights. The culture of fear has bred intolerance, suspicion of foreigners and the adoption of legal procedures that undermine fundamental notions of justice. Innocent until proven guilty has been diluted if not undone, with some -- even U.S. citizens -- incarcerated for lengthy periods of time without ... due process. There is no known, hard evidence that such excess has prevented significant acts of terrorism.
Note: This is an amazingly deep and powerful analysis of the use of fear by politicians, big business, and the media to promote their own agendas. Amazingly, the article was written by Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Carter. This is the same man who wrote in his book The Grand Chessboard, that U.S. global primacy is not likely to be achieved "except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." Strange, but the article is well worth reading in its entirety. For more, click here.
The largest government contractor you’ve never heard of [is] a company known simply by the nondescript initials SAIC (for Science Applications International Corporation). It is larger than the departments of Labor, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development combined. No contractor seems to exploit conflicts of interest in Washington with more zeal. And no contractor cloaks its operations in greater secrecy. SAIC has displayed an uncanny ability to thrive in every conceivable political climate. It is the invisible hand behind a huge portion of the national-security state—the one sector of the government whose funds are limitless. SAIC represents, in other words, a private business that has become a form of permanent government. Civilians at SAIC used to joke that the company had so many admirals and generals in its ranks it could start its own war. Some might argue that, in the case of Iraq, it did. 9/11 ... was very, very good for SAIC. In the aftermath of the attacks ... SAIC was ready. SAIC executives have been involved at every stage of the life cycle of the war in Iraq. SAIC personnel were instrumental in pressing the case that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq ... and that war was the only way to get rid of them. Then ... SAIC secured contracts for a broad range of operations in soon-to-be-occupied Iraq. When no weapons of mass destruction were found, SAIC personnel staffed the commission that was set up to investigate how American intelligence could have been so disastrously wrong.
Note: SAIC changed its name to Leidos in 2013. Lockheed Martin, which already ran a breathtakingly big part of the United States, and was reported in 2015 to be “engaged in deep and systemic corruption" including paying off a Congresswoman, merged with Leidos in 2016. The hidden war machine is consolidating. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.
Robert Gates will face ... the enormous task of cleaning up the Pentagon's tangled finances, which outside auditors lambaste as so chaotic that no one knows how much money is being spent on defense at any given time. The White House's Office of Management and Budget believes the Pentagon's financial management systems are in such a mess "that independent auditors still cannot certify the accuracy of the financial statements." David Walker, the U.S. Comptroller General, issued a devastating assessment of the Pentagon's finances, which include an annual budget of over $500 billion. The Pentagon's financial problems "are pervasive, complex, long-standing and deeply rooted in virtually all business operations throughout the department," Walker told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Financial problems like the Pentagon's "would put any civilian company out of business," said Kwai Chan, a former GAO auditor ... and author of a report entitled "Financial Management in the Department of Defense: No One is Accountable." Winslow Wheeler, a former national security expert for the Senate Budget Committee, called the Defense Department "the worst-managed agency in the federal government, (that) can't account for the half-trillion dollars it spends each year, and seeks to produce weapons that are irrelevant or ineffective, or both."
Note: For major media articles showing that more than $1 trillion of taxpayers money have gone missing at the Pentagon, click here. For the deeper reasons behind this, a top U.S. general's explanation is available here.
While the Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence. Page 1, Chapter 1 ... lays out Iraq's importance: "It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves." The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. Recommendation No. 63 ... calls on the U.S. to "assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise." This is an echo of calls made [by] the U.S. State Department's Oil and Energy Working Group, meeting between December 2002 and April 2003. Iraq "should be opened to international oil companies as quickly as possible after the war." Its preferred method of privatization was a form of oil contract called a production-sharing agreement. These agreements are ... rejected by all the top oil producers in the Middle East because they grant greater control and more profits to the companies than the governments. For any degree of oil privatization to take place ... Iraq has to amend its constitution. Recommendation No. 26 of the Iraq Study Group calls for a review of the constitution to be "pursued on an urgent basis." Petroleum Economist magazine later reported that U.S. oil companies considered passage of the new oil law more important than increased security. Further, the Iraq Study Group would commit U.S. troops to Iraq for several more years to ... provide security for Iraq's oil infrastructure. We can thank the Iraq Study Group for making its case publicly. It is now our turn to decide if we wish to spill more blood for oil.
Note: For more on corporate complicity in fomenting war exposed by a top U.S. general, click here.
Despite a huge and costly effort by the media, the public still has an incomplete picture of what really happened during the [war in Afghanistan] and of how Osama bin Laden survived it. Gary Berntsen's Jawbreaker provides a valuable new account by a major participant that fills in many blanks. Berntsen was a top CIA field commander in the most critical sector of a new kind of war; at various times, the CIA veteran had elements of the Delta Force, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and tactical air units reporting to him. Crown Publishers has chosen unnecessarily to position it as a diatribe that the CIA tried to suppress. In fact, while the CIA dragged its feet in reviewing the manuscript for classified material and redacted plenty of specifics, the book is hardly an attack on the CIA. In fact, the overall picture of the CIA here is far more flattering than that in The 9/11 Commission Report. Still, to portray Jawbreaker as "the book the CIA doesn't want you to read" (as the cover puts it), the publisher has displayed the redactions throughout the book as large black lines. Contradicting Bush administration denials, Berntsen writes that his teams discovered bin Laden and the remnants of his entourage in the now famous Tora Bora Mountains along the lawless, rugged Afghan-Pakistani border. Berntsen recounts very credibly how he and others pleaded with Gen. Tommy Franks and the Pentagon brass to put in blocking forces so that bin Laden and the remnants of al Qaeda's leadership could not flee into Pakistan. But for reasons that remain unclear to Berntsen ... the Bush administration or Franks decided to depend instead on local Afghan warlords rather than put U.S. forces on the ground to block bin Laden's escape.
Note: To read a concise summary of reliable news reports that raise serious questions about what really happened on 9/11, click here.
A federal appeals court yesterday backed the president's power to indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen captured on U.S. soil without any criminal charges, holding that such authority is vital during wartime to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. The ruling, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, came in the case of Jose Padilla, a former gang member and U.S. citizen arrested in Chicago in 2002 and a month later designated an "enemy combatant" by President Bush. Padilla has been held without trial in a U.S. naval brig for more than three years, and his case has ignited a fierce battle over the balance between civil liberties and the government's power to fight terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. A host of civil liberties groups and former attorney general Janet Reno weighed in on Padilla's behalf, calling his detention illegal and arguing that the president does not have unchecked power to lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely. In its ruling yesterday, the three-judge panel overturned a lower court. Avidan Cover, a senior associate at Human Rights First, said the ruling "really flies in the face of our understanding of what rights American citizens are entitled to." Opponents have warned that if not constrained by the courts, Padilla's detention could lead to the military being allowed to hold anyone who, for example, checks out what the government considers the wrong kind of reading materials from the library.
Note: For many disturbing reports from major media sources on government threats to civil liberties, click here.
During the 2004 presidential campaign, George W. Bush and John Kerry battled about whether Osama bin Laden had escaped from Tora Bora in the final days of the war in Afghanistan. Bush asserted that U.S. commanders on the ground did not know if bin Laden was at the mountain hideaway along the Afghan border. But in a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that ... bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora ... and could have been caught. Asked to comment on Berntsen's remarks, National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones passed on 2004 statements from former CENTCOM commander Gen. Tommy Franks. "We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001," Franks wrote in an Oct. 19 New York Times op-ed. [CIA Commander] Berntsen says Franks is "a great American. But he was not on the ground out there. I was." In his book—titled "Jawbreaker"—the decorated career CIA officer criticizes Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department for not providing enough support to the CIA and the Pentagon's own Special Forces teams in the final hours of Tora Bora. Berntsen ... has sued the agency over what he calls unacceptable delays in approving his book. "They're just holding the book," which is scheduled for October release, he says. "CIA officers, Special Forces and U.S. air power drove the Taliban out in 70 days. The CIA has taken roughly 80 days to clear my book."
Note: For a concise summary of reliable, verifiable information questioning the official account of 9/11, click here.
Serratia is a bacterium that some doctors and residents of the [San Francisco] Bay Area have been familiar with for many years. In 1950, government officials believed that serratia did not cause disease. That belief was later used as a justification for a secret post-World War II Army experiment that became a notorious disaster tale about the microbe. The Army used serratia to test whether enemy agents could launch a biological warfare attack on a port city such as San Francisco from a location miles offshore. For six days in late September 1950, a small military vessel near San Francisco sprayed a huge cloud of serratia particles into the air while the weather favored dispersal. Army tests showed that the bacterial cloud had exposed hundreds of thousands of people in a broad swath of Bay Area communities. Soon after the spraying, 11 people came down with hard-to-treat infections at the old Stanford University Hospital in San Francisco. By November, one man had died. The outbreak was so unusual that the Stanford doctors wrote it up for a medical journal. But the medics and [the dead man's] relatives didn't find out about the Army experiment for nearly 26 years, when a series of secret military experiments came to light. Some people now speculate that descendants of the Army germs are still causing infections here today. The secret bio-warfare test might have permanently changed the microbial ecology of the region.
Note: The military regularly used humans as guinea pigs in experiments in the decades before and after WWII. For a list of these sometimes lethal experiments, click here. For reliable information on government mind control experiments which also used unsuspecting civilians, click here.
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