So, take a wild guess what was uncovered here.. 44 replies

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I'm way cooler than n0e (who isn't though?)

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27th May 2004

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#1 10 years ago

The US Government planned to test nerve gas on Diggers, Australian soldiers. Don't believe it? Read on..

Newly 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 — better known as Sarin — nerve gas.

The plan, which is disclosed for the first time on tomorrow’s SUNDAY program on Nine, 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.

A former senior official with then Prime Minister Harold Holt, Mr Peter Bailey, tells the program that as far as he knows the tests never went ahead but the planning was very advanced. He admitted the whole operation was to be kept secret because use of such weapons was almost certainly illegal under international law at the time.

"The idea that we could actually… that the Australians could countenance such an activity is …unacceptable," University of NSW toxicologist Professor Chris Winder said.

He says even a fraction of a drop of either chemical on exposed skin could have been fatal and Cold War fears that communist Chinese or Russian attackers might have used such weapons in a third world war "doesn’t justify it now and I don’t think it justified it then".

The files show that in July 1962 the then-US defence secretary Robert McNamara wrote in secret to the Australian Defence Department suggesting joint testing of chemical weapons "on a classified basis without a public release by either country".

In early 1963 a survey team of Australian and US scientists reviewed sites in Australia for chemical warfare tests, suggesting the remote Iron Range rainforest near Lockhart River in far north Queensland as one such location. The request caused consternation in Canberra, with senior Defence bureaucrats clearly opposed to the use of nerve gas, but, as former senior Prime Ministerial policy advisor Peter Bailey recalls: "I heard that many times in Cabinet meetings that if they weren’t pretty good and pretty faithful to the Americans we would be dumped.

"We had already been dumped with the British east of Suez pullout so ministers were pretty aware this was our one main support and the red peril thing was still in people’s minds."

In October 1964 the Americans pushed the request again, this time insisting that the public should be fed a "cover story" to conceal the real nature of the tests: the documents show the public was to be told the tests were to test equipment or land reclamation in a jungle environment. Low-flying military aircraft and spraying was to be explained away with the false claim that low-risk herbicides and insecticides were to be used in the testing but the cover stories were clearly untrue — he real chemicals to be used were two of the most deadly man-made substances, VX and GB nerve gas.

Former Democrat Senator Lyn Allison, who became aware of the existence of references to secret chemical weapons tests in Australia during her support of sick former veterans of the Maralinga nuclear bomb tests, told SUNDAY that her own attempts to get the full story on what went on with proposed testing were rebuffed several years ago.

She said Government files on the issue were still classified even now and the revelations in the new documents obtained by SUNDAY underlined the need for the Defence Department to finally disclose all that went on during the Cold War.

"To understand that Australia was still prepared to consider this proposal because of its relationship with the US I think needs proper examination," Senator Allison told the program.

"So all those documents should be released, there shouldn’t be any pussy footing around — t’s time for us to know what went on."


Since we're still on our Saturday here, a wider variety of the populace won't have heard of this. But the majority of people here aren't fond of America for one reason or another, if this doesn't bring an uproar I don't know what will.

It makes me fucking sick. Those soldiers were living breathing human beings not fucking test rats. I know it says that we 'agreed' to it, but quite simply, it was the Government made the choice with minimal information disclosed to those being affected. And as the article says "was a violation of international law at the time".

I just don't want to believe it. The sad thing is, I'm willing to bet that the Government does worse things these days, not just the American one, but those around the world.

"We have this awesome new weapon." "Have we tested it yet?" "No, but things are underway to fuck over closest ally."

The only reason Australia joined the Vietnam war was because of a forged Government document requesting assistance..


90% sarcastic

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8th July 2003

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#2 10 years ago

So what do we have here:

Crimes against international law? Check

Crimes against an allied nation? Check

Crimes against humanity? Check

Yes, I don't see the government making new friends any time soon. Is human life losing its value to these cunts or something?


I didn't make it!

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#3 10 years ago

The guys who run our government have no morals. Which is why I think tat an Apache helicopter should start bombing the capitol building when all the politicians and government officals are there. And then mow em down with a .50 cal machine gun as they try to run. It's my sick little fantasy. And most of them deserve it anyways


I'm too cool to Post

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17th July 2003

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#4 10 years ago

You mean the US government was going to test toxic poisons on Allied troops?

Its not like the US Government exposed the civilian population to radiological elements to test hiow it would spread in the wind and affect peoples health.

Its not like the US government would expose its own troops to hard radiation from a nuclear weapons detonation to test the affects on troops and equipment?

Oh wait the US Government really did all that. So did the Soviets.

Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

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26th May 2003

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#5 10 years ago

Politicians tend towards being fucked up kids who never stopped playing Risk and wanted a larger board. Of course they do things like this, we're just insects to them, or at best playing pieces.

Roaming East

Ultima ratio regum

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7th November 2005

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#6 10 years ago

Wow, some of the comments in here make it seem as if this didnt occur 40 years ago with an entirely different adminstration during the Cold War but is being pursued by the current administration tomorrow.

Yeah, the US also exposed US troops to Nuke radiation for shits and giggles. choose your poison i guess.

Serio VIP Member

The Dane

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11th November 2006

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#7 10 years ago

Woops, now Russia and NATO is going to be heated up. Both seem to have something going on with Chemicals. I could understand if it was on the prisoners they wanted to test it, but on loyal, serving soldiers? That is equal to if EU sent a chemical warhead to the Middle East now with a virus big enough to eradicate all the nations down there, without alerting US first.

It's not different. The US government is the same, it's just EU standing infront of the US, stopping it from attacking whoever knows. Heck, if EU hadn't existed, US would probably already have glassed the Middle east.

Crazy Wolf VIP Member

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22nd March 2005

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#8 10 years ago

Wait, are you suggesting that during the Cold War, the government would test chemical, biological agents, or nuclear weapons on human beings? That's nonsense, complete nons-oh, um... Yeah, this is old news. I'm just surprised that they'd think thy could get another government to use their citizens as lab rats. I'll just list stuff form Cold War on. Testing veterans in VA hospitals for various purposes. Dosing human subjects with radioactive material. Giving LSD to unsuspecting soldiers and civilians. Detonating nukes and then seeing how the fallout affects downwind populated areas Fuck it, I can't list all this shit.

Serio, we didn't have enough prisoners to test all this on. Plus, it is probably a war crime. Countries that only harm their own people tend to be left alone, remember?



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28th August 2006

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#9 10 years ago

1963? who cares. Remember Germany?,German troops tied pregnant womans legs together.

I compare this to anti depressants and dishing out ritilin to our kids, same difference to me.

Crazy Wolf VIP Member

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22nd March 2005

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#10 10 years ago

Totally right, Quetron.

I mean, when I think "behavior modification", I think "Sarin gas".