Today comes yet another story of the incredible cruelty that the US government is willing to inflict on totally innocent people, sacrificing them to its militaristic goals. NPR had a shocking story about how the US Army tested chemical weapons on 60,000 of its own soldiers during World War II. They picked out black, Puerto Rican, and Japanese-Americans to test out a theory that their skin might have greater resistance to chemical weapons.
As a young U.S. Army soldier during World War II, Rollins Edwards knew better than to refuse an assignment.
When officers led him and a dozen others into a wooden gas chamber and locked the door, he didn’t complain. None of them did. Then, a mixture of mustard gas and a similar agent called lewisite was piped inside.
“It felt like you were on fire,” recalls Edwards, now 93 years old. “Guys started screaming and hollering and trying to break out. And then some of the guys fainted. And finally they opened the door and let us out, and the guys were just, they were in bad shape.”
Readers will immediately recall the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment where the US military again used black people as guinea pigs and destroyed their lives in the process.
One should note that despite the large numbers of people involved, this was kept quiet for over 70 years. Who knows what other horrors we will learn about in the future.
You can listen to the NPR story.