The Center for Cooperative Research
U:     P:    
Not registered yet? Register here
 
Search
 
Current timeline only
Advanced Search


Main Menu
Home 
History Engine Sub-Menu
Timelines 
Entities 
Forum 
Miscellaneous Sub-Menu
Donate 
Links 
End of Main Menu

Volunteers Needed!
Submit a timeline entry
Donate: If you think this site is important, please help us out financially. We need your help!
Email updates
 



  View mode (info):
  Ordering (info):
  Time period (info):

General Topic Areas

Weaponization of space
Pentagon's power
Covert operations

Key Events

Key events

Specific cases and issues

War Net
napalm
Click here to join: Suggest changes to existing data, add new data to the website, or compile your own timeline. More Info >>

 

Biological weapons

 
  

Project: US Military

Export to XML Printer Friendly View Email to a Friend Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size


1941

       President Roosevelt orders the establishment of the US Biological Warfare program. [Fort Detrick website, n.d.]
People and organizations involved: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
          

1956-1958

       The US Army releases swarms of specially bred mosquitoes in Georgia and Florida as part of an experiment aimed at determining if disease-bearing insects could be used as carriers of biological weapons. The mosquitoes are of the Aedes Aegypti type, which is a carrier of dengue fever. [Blum, 1995]
          

Sometime between 1962 and 1973

       The US government performs biological and/or chemical weapons tests in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The civilian population is possibly exposed to these dangerous weapons. [Reuters, 10/10/02]
          

Sometime between 1962 and 1973

       The US government performs biological and/or chemical weapons tests in Florida, possibly exposing the civilian population to these agents. [Reuters, 10/10/02]
          

1965

       As part of Project 112, the US military sprays a biological agent on barracks in Oahu, Hawaii. The agent is believed to be harmless but later shown to infect those with damaged immune systems . The program is coordinated by the Desert Test Center, part of a “biological and chemical weapons complex” in the Utah desert. [Associated Press, 10/9/02] Civilians may have been exposed to the gasses. [Reuters, 10/10/02]
People and organizations involved: Red Oak, Phase 1
          

1967

       Science magazine reports that at Fort Detrick, Maryland, where the United States' offensive biological program is headquartered, dengue fever is among those diseases that are “objects of considerable research and that appear to be among those regarded as potential BW [biological warfare] agents.” [Blum, 1995] The biological warfare program is overseen by the US Army's Chemical Warfare Service. [Fort Detrick website, n.d.]
People and organizations involved: US Army Chemical Warfare Service
          

1968

       The US government sprays two types of bacteria, one of which is E. coli, on a Hawaiian rainforest hoping to determine how long the bacteria will remain on the vegetation. The project is known as “Blue Tango.” [Associated Press, 7/1/03]
People and organizations involved: Blue Tango
          

1968

       The US government sprays bacillus globigii from a submarine “over part of Oahu, Hawaii, and over several boats off the coast to gauge how Venezuelan equine encephalitis would be carried by wind.” The project is called, “Folded Arrow.” [Associated Press, 7/1/03]
People and organizations involved: Folded Arrow
          

1987

       The US government conducts tests for the purpose of establishing methods for deploying biological weapons from submarines. [Associated Press, 7/1/03]
          

February 1987

       The Foundation for Economic Trends sues the US Department of Defense and forces it to acknowledge the existence of its chemical and biological weapons programs. The Pentagon admits that it is operating 127 chemical and biological warfare research sites in the US. Science magazine reports that the suit reveals that the “DoD is applying recombinant DNA techniques in research and the production of a range of pathogens and toxins including botulism, anthrax and yellow fever.” [Science Magazine, 2/27/1987 cited in Wake-Up Magazine, n.d]
          

(Between 1993 and 1995)

       The US Energy Department, Defense Department, and the CIA begin conducting classified biodefense programs. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,]
          

September 10, 2001

       The US Army applies for a patent on a new rifle-launched gas grenade which is purportedly meant for non-lethal crowd control. It is designed to release aerosols “selected from the group consisting of smoke, crowd control agents, biological agents, chemical agents, obscurants, marking agents, dyes and inks, chaffs and flakes.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 6/9/2003; Global Security Newswire, 5/28/2003 Sources: United States Patent 954282] The patent is approved in February (see February 25, 2002) .
          

Fall 2001

       It is learned that the United States is developing weapons that undermine and possibly violate international treaties on biological and chemical warfare. For example, the CIA is “building and testing a cluster munition, modeled on a Soviet bioweapon, to spread biological agents.” [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1/2003] And in the Pentagon, the Defense Intelligence Agency is planning to genetically engineer a Soviet strain of Bacillus anthracis (the causative agent of anthrax) that is thought to be antibiotic-resistant. [Guardian 10/29/2002; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1/2003] Other biological and chemical weapons projects include the development of a rifle-launched gas grenade (see September 10, 2001) as well as non-lethal gases designed to knock people out such as the hallucinogenic BZ gas and fentanyl. [Guardian 10/29/2002; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1/2003; Independent, 2/16/03] Fentanyl was the gas used in October 2002 by Russian Special Forces against the Chechen rebels who were holding civilians hostage in a theatre. In that incident, the gas was responsible for killing most of the 120 people who died during the rescue operation. [Independent, 2/16/03; Scotsman, 10/30/2002; Christian Science Monitor 2/14/2003] The US claims that these weapons are for defensive and “law-enforcement” purposes only. For instance, calmative agents might be used by US troops for defensive purposes when confronting hostile crowds, fighting in cave systems, or taking prisoners. [Guardian 10/29/2002; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1/2003; Independent, 2/16/03]
          

April 2002

       Two leaks of Anthrax spores are detected at an Army biodefense research building at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. [The Washington Post, 4/24/2002]
          

Late 2002

       Scientists with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and a microbiologist from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York genetically reconstruct the “Spanish Flu” influenza virus that killed 20-40 million people in 1918. [Sunshine Project, 10/9/2003 [a]; Sunshine Project, 10/9/2003 [b]]
People and organizations involved: Sunshine Project
          

2003

       A team of scientists, headed by Mark Buller of the University of St. Louis and funded by the US government, develops an extremely deadly form of mousepox. In experiments, the virus proves 100 percent lethal—even for mice that have been given antiviral drugs as well as a vaccine that would normally protect them. Bullers says his work is necessary in order to anticipate what bioterrorists might do. [New Scientist, 10/29/2003; Miami Herald, , 10/31/2003]
People and organizations involved: Mark Buller
          

June 2003

       When the United States' patent on a rifle-launched gas grenade (see September 10, 2001) is publicized, it creates a controversy because the development of any “delivery system for use as a weapon” that contains “biological agents” is a violation of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the US Biological Weapons Antiterrorism Act of 1989 which prohibit developing devices for delivering biological weapons agents. Miguel Morales, the public affairs officer for the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Aberdeen, Md., who oversaw development of the grenade, claims that the inventors and patent attorney had wrongly described the invention when they said it could release chemical and biological agents. “The attorney and the inventors were simply trying to claim their invention as broadly as legally entitled,” Morales claims, adding, “It is clear now, in hindsight, that inserting the term chemical or biological ‘agents’ was unfortunate. ... There was never any intent to use this for chemical or biological warfare agents.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 6/9/2003; Global Security Newswire, 5/28/2003]
People and organizations involved: Miguel Morales
          

June 2003

       Department of Defense spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Don Sewell asserts in an email to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The Army and all other components of DOD have no plans, programs, or intentions to develop chemical or biological weapons prohibited by statute or treaty.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 6/9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Don Sewell
          


Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under the Creative Commons License below:

Creative Commons License Home |  About this Site |  Development |  Donate |  Contact Us
Terms of Use