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Pentagon admits using 60,000+ soldiers, mainly of color, in horrifying military experiments


African Americans
(NaturalNews) Tens of millions of Americans are put off by so-called "Black Lives Matter" protests and other racially-charged demonstrations that have sprung up – largely in response to police shootings of black suspects, some of whom were unarmed. But the reality is, the U.S. government, as well as the Democratic Party that dominated elected and appointed offices in the 19th and 20th centuries, both have an undeniable history of discriminating against, and abusing, U.S. citizens of color.

That includes the military, reports True Activist, which noted recently that during World War II, the War Department (the predecessor to the Defense Department) used black troops as guinea pigs in dangerous experiments.

Though the Pentagon said in the early 1990s that enlisted troops during the war were used unwittingly as test subjects in military-led experiments, officials have since noted that some 60,000 troops – mostly soldiers of color – were used in chemical warfare experiments that have had lasting effects.

As NPR reported in June 2015, young U.S. Army soldiers like Rollins Edwards, who was black, were subjected to horrifyingly painful "tests" involving mustard gas and other similar chemical agents.

'We were being tested to see what effect gases had on black skin'

Edwards recounted his story to NPR, stating that he and about a dozen other troops were led into a wooden gas chamber, the door locked behind them, when suddenly toxic mixture of gases permeated the room.

"It felt like you were on fire," Edwards – then 93 – said. "Guys started screaming and hollering and trying to break out." He said others fainted outright.

Finally, when the doors were opened, "guys were just, they were in bad shape."

But why would the military do this? Why would they test chemical weapons that were banned after World War I?

The military's official reason was to see if mustard gas and other agents had different effects on different skin colors, as unbelievable as that sounds.

"They said we were being tested to see what effect these gases would have on black skins," Edwards said.

But, as NPR discovered, it wasn't just African-American troops involved in this "research." Japanese-Americans were also used as test subjects, sort of stepping in as proxies for enemy soldiers so researchers could determine whether mustard gas would have a different effect on their skin. In addition, troops of Puerto Rican descent were also singled out.

Meanwhile, white enlisted men were utilized as scientific control groups, and their reactions were gauged to determine what was "normal." They were then compared to minority troops.

All of these experiments using mustard gas were done off-the-books, so to speak – in secret. None of them were recorded in test subjects' official military records. Most of them, thus, do not have any direct proof of what they were made to endure, and they were afforded no follow-up healthcare or health monitoring.

Remember the 'syphilis' experiments on poor African-Americans?

What's more, all troops involved were sworn to secrecy under threat of a dishonorable discharge and prison in a military facility. That meant that they could not receive adequate civilian medical care either, since they could not tell their civilian doctors what they had endured.

In an interview with NPR, Army Col. Steve Warren, the Pentagon's director of press operations, confirmed the news agency's findings, but was quick to point out that the military does not conduct or condone such testing today.

"The first thing to be very clear about is that the Department of Defense does not conduct chemical weapons testing any longer," he said. "And I think we have probably come as far as any institution in America on race. ... So I think particularly for us in uniform, to hear and see something like this, it's stark. It's even a little bit jarring."

But for those soldiers of color and of a different ethnicity, that explanation is probably of little consequence – especially after learning that the U.S. government performed a "syphilis study" on poor, black Alabama residents beginning in the 1930s.

Sources:

TrueActivist.com

NPR.org

Exhibits.HSL.Virginia.edu

NPR.org
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