U.S. & Canada Held Radioactive, Biological and Chemical Tests at Home & Abroad

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U.S. & Canada Held Radioactive, Biological and Chemical Tests at Home & Abroad



While the Canadian federal government appears not to have known of the use of radioactive material in tests carried out by the U.S. in 1953, it was part of other projects involving radioactive, chemical, and biological experiments with the United States carried out in Canada and Panama from the 1940s to the 1960s, mostly under Liberal governments based on when these tests and experiments were done. 

The U.S. Army secretly dumped a carcinogen on unknowing Canadians in Winnipeg and Alberta during the Cold War in testing linked to weaponry involving radioactive components meant to attack the Soviet Union, according to classified documents revealed in a new book. Between July 9, 1953 and Aug 1, 1953, six kilograms of zinc cadmium sulfide was sprayed onto unsuspecting citizens of Winnipeg from U.S. Army planes. The Army returned 11 years later and repeated the experiments in Suffield, Alta. and Medicine Hat, Alta., according to Lisa Martino-Taylor.

Local governments had no knowledge of these experiments, according to documents obtained by Martino-Taylor, a professor of sociology at St. Louis Community College and author of “Behind the Fog: How the U.S. Cold War Radiological Weapons Program Exposed Innocent Americans.” Instead, they were fed a cover story by the Pentagon. “In Winnipeg, they said they were testing what they characterized as a chemical fog to protect Winnipeg in the event of a Russian attack,” Martino-Taylor said. “They characterized it as a defensive study when it was actually an offensive study.”

Even in Canadian and U.S. documents, the tests were referred to as biological and chemical, when documents suggest they actually involved combining the two with radiological components to form combination weapons. The zinc cadmium sulfide acted as a fluorescent tracer which would help the U.S. Army determine how radioactive fallout from a weapon used on the Soviets would travel through wind currents, Martino-Taylor said. Canada participated in the open-air experiments as part of a tripartite agreement it held with the U.S. and England. The Pentagon, however, never informed the federal government that it would be spraying a carcinogen (cadmium) on Winnipeg, a city with approximately 300,000 people in 1950, according to Martino-Taylor’s research. ...

It was in Suffield where the U.S. Army suggested advancing some of its experiments to include phosphorus-32, a radioactive material, and VX, a nerve agent which was recently used to assassinate Kim Jong Nam, the brother of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. The U.S. was working on producing a radioactive nerve agent out of the two properties. Internal memos make note of plans to have 100 pounds of VX delivered to Suffield.Another 1964 memo from Suffield mentioned the U.S. Army wanted to visit Suffield to “discuss the use of radioactive tracer techniques in chemical weapons trials.” In preparation for other tests involving BG, a bacteria that is supposed to be harmless, the U.S. Army outlined the number of hospitals and hospital beds available in the area. ...

On their own soil, the U.S. Army experiments were even more severe. Radioactive material was injected into hospital patients without their consent and pregnant women in Nashville were given a radioactive cocktail to ingest so that researchers could determine if it could be passed on to their babies. Children were fed radioactive oatmeal as part of a “science club,” Martino-Taylor said, and were given Mickey Mouse watches and baseball tickets for their continued participation. ...

Canada has a long history of subjecting its people to questionable and dangerous experiments. During the Second World War, mustard gas tests were conducted on 3,000 volunteers at a military base in Suffield. In the 1960s, CIA experiments conducted in Quebec on unknowing subjects analyzed whether it was possible — with the use of LSD and electroshocks — to eliminate memories and build them back up. Decades later, it’s still unknown what effect the spraying had on people. In 1994, Manitoba’s Chief Medical Officer found a “negligible risk to the general population.” In her research, however, Martino-Taylor found that Phillip Leighton,the open-air radiological weapons expert who designed the experiments, called the compound “toxic” and said it came in a box with a poison label. ...

One St. Louis woman told The Associated Press that she remembers being sprayed with a fine powder by an airplane. She’s suffered from breast, thyroid, skin and uterine cancer. Another said she was born in a St. Louis building where the powder was dispersed from the rooftops. Four of her 11 siblings later died from cancer.

Three Democratic members of Congress, who represent the areas where testing took place in Missouri, California and Tennessee have demanded answers since the book’s release. None have been given, Martino-Taylor said. 



Furthermore, the current Liberal government has refused to pay or take part in the cleanup of the contamination created by a joint U.S.-Canada mustard gas test bombings of a Panamanian island during WWII, even though the United States is in the process of cleaning up some of the 30,000 bombs dropped on the island, some of which are still active. 

The U.S. has agreed to destroy chemical bombs left over from a secret U.S.-Canadian test program that conducted mustard-gas experiments on various ethnic groups during the Second World War. The eight bombs were discovered on San Jose Island, the site of an extensive wartime chemical weapons test program and, later, the location for several seasons of the Survivor reality TV series. The weapons on the Panamanian island will be destroyed in September.

Canada’s Department of National Defence had warned years ago that Canadian-made mustard gas and other chemical weapons might still be found on the island, according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen through the Access to Information law. ...

The failure by the U.S. and Canadian governments to commit to cleaning up the contaminated island has angered Panamanian officials for years. The chemical bombs were discovered in 2002 but it has taken until now to get the U.S. to agree to dispose of the weapons.

More than 30,000 chemical bombs were detonated on the island during the U.S.-led program. One report indicated that there could be up to 3,000 bombs still intact and scattered in the jungles on San Jose.

Canadian DND scientists also noted in one report that in 1974 a worker at a construction site on the island suffered burns from a mysterious substance. 

Still, a Panamanian company developed a small resort on a portion of the island. San Jose was temporarily closed down in 2001 after chemical weapons were found. ...

Canada is not participating in the disposal of the bombs, a Global Affairs Canada official said Monday. But in the past, Canadian diplomats have tried to either deny Canada’s involvement in the Second World War testing or have claimed that Canada never left any weapons behind.




The Canadian government also jointly funded CIA experiments involving LSD by Donald Cameron at McGill University that resulted in the government settling with a class action lawsuit in 2007. 

A Montreal senior who survived Cold War-era brainwashing experiments picked up a cheque for compensation from the federal government on Tuesday.

Janine Huard, 79, accepted an offer to end her class-action lawsuit against the federal government, which jointly funded the experiments with the Central Intelligence Agency.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, but Huard says it will allow her to live out her days in peace, with some peace of mind.

"I was really so exhausted from fighting for so many years,'' Huard told The Canadian Press in an interview.

"I don't think it's enough after having been hurt so much, and my kids and family. . . but at least justice has been done a little bit.''

Huard was a young mother of four suffering from post-partum depression when she checked herself into McGill's renowned Allen Memorial Institute in 1950.

On and off for the next 15 years, she was one of hundreds of patients of Dr. Ewan Cameron subjected to experimental treatments that included massive electroshock therapy, experimental pills and LSD.




Cameron's experiments were part of the CIA's Project MKUltra program. Sadly, Cameron was a member of the Nuremburg Medical Tribunal.

Project MKUltra, also called the CIA's mind control program, is the code name given to a program of experiments on human subjects, at times illegal, designed and undertaken by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.[1] Experiments on humans were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations and torture, in order to weaken the individual to force confessions through mind control. Organized through the Scientific Intelligence Division of the CIA, the project coordinated with the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Army's Chemical Corps. ...

Canadian experiments

The experiments were exported to Canada when the CIA recruited Scottish psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, creator of the "psychic driving" concept, which the CIA found particularly interesting. Cameron had been hoping to correct schizophrenia by erasing existing memories and reprogramming the psyche. He commuted from Albany, New York, to Montreal every week to work at the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill University and was paid $69,000 from 1957 to 1964 ($603,580 in 2017 dollars) to carry out MKUltra experiments there. These research funds were sent to Dr. Cameron by a CIA front organization, the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, and as shown in internal CIA documents, Cameron did not know that the money originated from the CIA. ...

During this era Cameron became known worldwide as the first chairman of the World Psychiatric Association as well as president of the American and Canadian psychiatric associations. Cameron had also been a member of the Nuremberg medical tribunal in 1946–47. ...

Naomi Klein argues in her book The Shock Doctrine that Cameron's research and his contribution to the MKUltra project was actually not about mind control and brainwashing, but about designing "a scientifically based system for extracting information from 'resistant sources.' In other words, torture."[60] Alfred W. McCoy writes that "Stripped of its bizarre excesses, Dr. Cameron's experiments, building upon Donald O. Hebb's earlier breakthrough, laid the scientific foundation for the CIA's two-stage psychological torture method," which refers to first creating a state of disorientation in the subject, and then second creating a situation of "self-inflicted" discomfort in which the disoriented subject can alleviate their pain by capitulating.




"During her research, Smith found that scientists conducted race-based chemical warfare experiments on San Jose Island. Scientists monitored how mustard gas affected the skin of Puerto Ricans and Caucasians, during the tests. Other tests in the U.S. focused on blacks and Japanese. Smith noted that all individuals, no matter what their ethnicity, suffered extensively from the mustard-gas exposure."

This is sickening.   No matter how racist individual Americans may be, it takes a military industrial complex to really do racism right.