America's broken promise to veterans who survived race-based chemical weapons testing in WWII

I’ve read it. I have to say Clark makes some comments on the crazy things that were tried, and they are not complimentary.

Without a biochemical model, histological differences were largely guesswork. They might be diagnostic, they might not, but it is hard to see what these very crude experiments brought to the table that couldn’t have been done by small area tests. Having people crawl through areas soaked in mustard gas? That isn’t an experiment; it’s a perversion.

Could easily be tested without human or animal subjects.

Goodman and Gilman were already investigating possibly therapeutic effects of chemical warfare agents. Alexander’s work may have hastened progress a bit, but an accident is an accident - it did not arise from an experiment.

I normally tend to agree with your posts, but today you seem to be trying to justify irresponsible experiments carried out on unwitting human subjects. We will have to disagree. The apparently pragmatic approach of “the end justifies the means” can lead to a society I wouldn’t want to live in.

1 Like

Is this what actually happened though? It seems foolish that they would do that, if the intention was to determine if chemical warfare affected minorities differently from whites. I’ll admit that I couldn’t make it through the whole article (it’s quite long), but I couldn’t find anything along those lines when I started skimming (and I was specifically looking for that).


[quote=“kupfernigk, post:13, topic:60470”]
Some completely crazy US researchers were allowed to experiment with propellants that included large amounts of beryllium, a very nasty substance indeed,[/quote]

Uhm, I’m right here, OK? “Completely crazy” is not what you normally say to a person’s face. You say “charmingly eccentric” or “deeply misguided”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not in any research I was involved in, we were all civilians. OK, then, those guys were completely crazy (since they aren’t here to defend themselves).

Metal X (beryllium) has awesome specific impulse. The gain was not tiny, it was titanic! We controlled the toxic exhaust with a water curtain, which made it as safe as rocket exhaust normally is, if not safer. You’re correct that experiments proved soldiers shouldn’t use it in the field, where the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, but it’s great for space-based weapon systems. We were looking at it for laser-ignited satellite-based kinetic energy weapons aka “flying crowbars”.

A man’s gotta eat! And they backed a dump truck full of money up to my house! I’m not made of stone!


Especially if you are doing it to squaddies. The theory is that in a citizen army soldiers give up the right to disobey orders in exchange for the Army doing its best not to expose them to unnecessary risk.

Correction duly noted.

Your point is taken. See above.

1 Like

:joy: rotfl

Suppose you’re facing a series of thousands of trolley problems, but you can risk people in a series of trolley tests to better understand the details of the trolley problems…

Well, at the very least, if you’re in this position, you should realize this is frakked up, you should try to get willing informed volunteers, you should try to arrange full compensation, and you should try to get the most useful information with the least risk…

A lot of these experiments were unethical because they didn’t do that, some didn’t even try to do any of that, and some doctors took the opportunity to perform experiments they wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere because they couldn’t possibly get volunteers, some doctors took the opportunity to get off on cruelty, and some doctors took the opportunity to protect people by choosing them for lower-risk experiments.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.