TBR News March 7, 2018

Mar 07 2018

The Voice of the White House  

Washington, D.C. March 7, 2018:” The Crusades were a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims started primarily to secure control of holy sites considered sacred by both groups. In all, eight major Crusade expeditions occurred between 1096 and 1291. The bloody, violent and often ruthless conflicts propelled the status of European Christians, making them major players in the fight for land in the Middle East. Now, given the growing attempts on the parts of the Israeli government to expel Christians and Moslims from Jerusalem, there are plans being formulated for a Ninth Crusade dedicated to liberating the Holy Land from alien forces i.e, the Ashkenazi Jews, Turkic converts to Judaism, who seized the land in 1948 by acts of terror and who have been killing Muslim Palestinians and stealing their land since that time.

The concept of another Crusade apparently has been formulating for some time and parties known to have knowledge or it or participating in it are Opus Dei, a well-connected group of Russian Orthodox people, two Christian groups in Italy, one in Germany and one in the United States and two Muslim groups.

Opus Dei, it should be noted has members are in more than 90 countries.

The concept of this movement is that the current Israelis are 95% Ashkenazi with no previous ties to the Holy Land and whose activities from 1948 onwards are savage and brutal and who have used their associates in the United States to support them against all resisters.

Reference:Timeline for the Crusades and Christian Holy War to c.1350: United States Naval Academy.”


Table of Contents

  • How Many Terms ’til You’re a Tyrant?
  • AIPAC panics over progressives abandoning Israel
  • Governor says Trump administration waging war against California
  • The White House revolving door: Who’s gone?
  • Stop Pretending America and Turkey Are Allies
  • Ex-Russian spy poisoned by nerve agent, police say


How Many Terms ’til You’re a Tyrant?

March 7, 2018

by Ted Snider


Donald Trump caused a lot of concern in early March when he seemed to praise Chinese President Xi Jinping’s removal of term limits on the president from the Chinese constitution, clearing the path for him to become “President for life,” as Trump called him. Trump said, “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great.” He then added, “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”

The text reads differently than the audio sounds. The text is shocking; the audio sounds like Trump may have been joking. But the difference is less important than it seems. Perhaps Trump was joking about China’s removal of presidential term limits from the constitution. But, America wasn’t laughing when removing Presidential term limits from the Honduran constitution was being considered. They backed a coup instead.

How many consecutive terms turns a president into a dictator? Many parliamentary democracies lack term limits. In Britain, Robert Walpole was prime minister for almost 21 years. William Pitt the Younger served for almost 19 and Thatcher and Blair served for 12 and 10 respectively. Washington never called Thatcher or Blair a dictator. In Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie King served as P.M. for more than 21 years. Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, served for almost 19, and Pierre Elliot Trudeau, father of the current prime minister, served for 15.

Term limits became a constitutional issue early in America. Many of the framers backed lifetime appointment for presidents. Alexander Hamilton and James Madison both supported lifetime terms. So did others. One person would have swung the vote as it was defeated by a margin of only six votes to four.

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 did not impose term limits on the president. And, despite Washington declining to run for a third term, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson all sought third terms. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won a third term. And a fourth. It wasn’t until the middle of the last century that the twenty-second amendment ensured that “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice . . ..”

That is a sentence that has come up for consideration in other countries too recently: none more troublingly than Honduras as far as America’s reaction goes. Trump was, at most, full of approbation for China’s removal of presidential term limits and, at least, able to laugh about it. The States was also full of approbation for Honduras’ removal of term limits.

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Honduras removed the one term limit on the president, clearing the way for Juan Orlando Hernández to run for a second term in office. The States has supported Hernández’ bid for a second term though it is not clear the Honduran court had the authority to make that constitutional amendment without a vote by the people. It is also not clear that the court did legitimately make that amendment since a five-member panel and not the full 15-member court voted on the change.

The same support was not offered to the previous Honduran president, the popularly elected Manuel Zelaya, though he went much less far than Hernández. Zelaya did not touch the constitution, he did not change presidential term limits and he did not run for a second term. He merely opened the constitutional change for discussion. Zelaya only had to announce a plebiscite to see if Hondurans wanted to draft a new constitution for the hostile political establishment to falsely translate his intention into an intention to seek an unconstitutional second term and oust him in a coup. Zelaya had never declared the intention to stand for a second term: only to open the constitutional ban on presidential re-election to discussion. But, the Supreme Court declared the President’s very plebiscite unconstitutional. On June 28, 2009, the military kidnapped Zelaya, and the Supreme Court charged Zelaya with treason and declared a new president.

Though the U.S. backed Hernández, who actually did change term limits and actually did run for reelection, it not only did not back the far more innocent Zelaya, it backed the coup against him. Rodolfo Pastor Fasquelle, the minister of culture in the Zelaya government, said on Democracy Now that “I know for a fact that CIA operatives and military personnel of the United States were in direct contact with the conspirators of the coup d’état and aided the conspirators of the coup d’état.” Latin American expert Mark Weisbrot at least partially corroborated that claim in a correspondence when he told me that “the Obama administration acknowledged that they were talking to the [Honduran] military right up to the day of the coup, allegedly to convince them not to do it”. But, he added, “I find it hard to believe that they couldn’t convince them not to do it if they really wanted to: the Honduran military is pretty dependent on the US”.

After the coup, then Secretary of State Clinton has admitted that she aided the coup government by shoring up the coup government blocking the return of the elected government: “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico. We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

The US did all this while being in full knowledge that what was unfolding in Honduras was a coup. By July 24, 2009, less than a month after the coup, the White House, Clinton and many others were in receipt of a cable called “Open and Shut: the Case of the Honduran Coup” that was sent from the US embassy in Honduras. The embassy cable says “There is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup . . . “And just in case there were any objections, the cable adds that “. . . none of the . . . arguments [of the coup defenders] has any substantive validity under the Honduran constitution”.

The US backed a coup in Honduras that removed a popular president for merely considering removing term limits. So, it should have been surprising when it backed a president in Honduras for actually removing term limits and seeking reelection But, it was never about term limits. Term limits have become a weapon in America’s silent coups. Removing term limits in China is funny. It might even be desirable in Trump’s America. It was fine for Juan Orlando Hernández because he never served the interests of the people of Honduras: according to State Department cables,” he has consistently supported US interests.” But, it was not fine for Manuel Zelaya because he dared to serve the interests of the people who elected him instead of the interests of America. So, when America’s servant removed presidential term limits in America’s backyard, the US embassy in Honduras certified his reelection, saying it was “pleased” with its “transparency”; when a president who served his own people just considered doing the same, the US helped prevent his reelection by removing him in coup.


AIPAC panics over progressives abandoning Israel

March 5, 2018

by Philip Weiss


The Israel lobby group AIPAC kicked off its annual policy conference in Washington on the weekend, and speaker after speaker expressed fears that progressive Democrats are abandoning Israel. The speakers urged progressives to stay in the bipartisan fold of support for the Jewish state; they insisted that Israel is a progressive cause. But many also embraced Donald Trump and Nikki Haley– evidence of the rightwing character of Israel support, which is driving the partisan divide in our country.

Here are some of those voices.

Avi Gabbay, head of the Labor Party in Israel, said that Israel’s security is threatened if the Israel lobby fails to keep both parties together in their support.

“We must keep the support for Israel bipartisan,” he said. “This is a strategic asset for Israel’s security, and your work here today is more important today than ever before.”

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog made a similar point. Israel must fight partisanship in the U.S. and “make sure that Jews of all beliefs and all strains and all denominations are working together.”

Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat and former Michigan governor, devoted much of her speech to an effort to maintain progressive support for Israel. She said she had fallen in love with the country on three visits– and cited Israeli government policies that are still progressive causes in the U.S.

“As a progressive, I saw a nation that provides universal health care, a nation that protects women’s rights and LGBT rights,” she said. “It’s a progressive’s paradise.”

Granholm went on that, “I am not blind. I won’t argue that Israel is perfect.” The country struggles to get better every day, she asserted, but she said nothing about occupation or settlements of discrimination against Palestinian citizens.

Jane Harman of the Wilson Center, a former congresswoman, said that Democrats were taking risks for support for Israel by enabling very public fights amongst themselves– witness the “jungle primary” between California Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman in 2012– both of them Israel supporters– that resulted in the loss of Berman from the House.

Dems need to stay vigilant in support of Israel, she said, to counter the popular “fatigue about all the wars we’re in” — so that Americans “focus on the war we need to be fighting on many fronts, against malign behavior by Iran.” (A militant approach to Iran is the big policy push of the conference.)

Howard Kohr, the executive director of AIPAC, spoke angrily about the progressive defection from Israel, documented in poll after poll. Kohr suggested that anti-Zionists are homophobic and bigoted.

We welcome all who want to be part of this amazing cause, and if someone says to you, you can’t be yourself and a Zionist, if someone says to you that your Zionism makes you unwelcome in any other political movement, don’t be afraid to call that what it is. It’s bigotry, it’s discrimination, and it’s wrong.

And know this: We in the pro-Israel movement, we will ask you to do many things, but we will never demand that you change anything about yourselves. We want you the way you are. So whatever your politics or your struggle, the color of your skin, the language you speak, the faith you hold close, no matter whom you love, we want you.

Kohr spoke after a video featuring testimonials from eight Democratic congresspeople, including at least two women of color. “The best is yet to come!” said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, who represents Wilmington, Delaware.

AIPAC’s new president, Mort Fridman, issued an appeal to progressives.

The Progressive narrative for Israel is just as compelling and critical as the conservative oneBut there are very real forces trying to pull you out of this hall and out of this movement and we cannot let that happen. We will not let that happen.

Fridman is a supporter of an illegal Israeli settlement.

Daniel Gordis, an Israeli author, acknowledged that Israel had failed to treat Palestinians as equals, so that it’s not an easy fit for progressives. The U.S. has a “universalist” political culture, as indicated by the Declaration of Independence, which speaks of mankind. For progressives, Israel is “strange.”

“We are not a liberal democracy, we’re an ethnic democracy… Israel is in the business of perpetuating a certain people and a certain religious community. That’s its goal. That’s its business.”

Progressives are drawn to Palestinians because Palestinians are the underdogs, because of intersectional politics that link Palestinian oppression with oppressed people in the U.S., and because of the “virus” of anti-Semitism, Gordis went on. But focusing on the conflict with Palestinians is a very narrow lens with which to consider Israel, he said. The U.S. has been at war every year since World War II, but progressives manage to put those conflicts out of mind and work at other causes because they have “other fish to fry.” If progressives used the same standard when they measure Israel, he said, they would see that Israel has outstripped the U.S. in many of their dearest causes, including gun control, health care, and women’s rights (where Jews have led a “revolution”), he said.

Many of the appeals to progressives at AIPAC had the air of “pinkwashing” — a strategy of citing gay freedom in Tel Aviv in an effort to get attention off of apartheid conditions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

More than one AIPAC speaker warned that if Israel becomes a partisan issue, the cause will be out of luck when the other party gets into the White House.

The we-are-progressive theme continues this morning at AIPAC.

“I am a progressive and I am a Zionist… working for a just and shared society,” said Rami Hod, the head of a liberal Israeli organization, the Katznelson center. He went on to attack the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which targets Israel for denying human rights to Palestinians. He said, “BDS shrouds itself in social justice language” thereby allowing progressive causes to “mistakenly” support BDS.

Some snark from Ron Kampeas on Hod’s message:

“We should do the exact opposite of what bds supporters advocate, we should provide a space for the multiplicity of voices,” Rami Hod says at @aipac where virtually every progressive breakout is closed press. #AIPAC2018

Even US progressives were on board for AIPAC. “This is this beacon of democracy… in a really tough.. neighborhood,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said of Israel. She ascribed her support for Israel to the attentions of Minnesota advocates for the state who had brought her out to Israel when she was running for the Senate.

Klobuchar deplored the growing partisan divide over Israel. We need to “stop people from injecting partisanship into the Israel-American relationship and push back,” she said. “If you’re a Democrat reach out to Republicans.” To reach young people, she said, Israel advocates should cite the politics of climate change, immigration reform, and standing up for refugees.

Klobuchar voiced no criticisms of Israel.


Governor says Trump administration waging war against California

March 7, 2018

by Sharon Bernstein


SACRAMENTO (Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday accused President Donald Trump’s administration of declaring war on the most populous U.S. state after the Justice Department sued to stop policies that protect illegal immigrants against deportation

The Democratic governor made the charge shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a speech in the state capital, intensified the Republican administration’s confrontation with California. Sessions accused California of obstructing federal immigration enforcement efforts and vowed to stop the state’s defiance.

Sessions addressed a law enforcement group in Sacramento a day after the Justice Department filed suit against California, Brown and the state’s Democratic attorney general over so-called sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants.

“California absolutely, it appears to me, is using every power it has – powers it doesn’t have – to frustrate federal law enforcement. So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them,” Sessions, the top U.S law enforcement officer, said in his speech.

Brown called the attorney general’s trip to California a political stunt and his description of California’s laws a lie.

“Like so many in the Trump administration, this attorney general has no regard for the truth,” Brown told reporters, adding that the laws were crafted with input and support from California police chiefs. “This is basically going to war against the state of California.”

Brown in October signed into law a bill that prevents police from inquiring about immigration status and curtails law enforcement cooperation with immigration officers.

Sessions said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents carry out federal law and that “California cannot forbid them or obstruct them in doing their jobs.”

“In recent years, the California legislature has enacted a number of laws designed to intentionally obstruct the work of our sworn immigration enforcement officers, to intentionally use every power the legislature has to undermine the duly-established immigration law of America,” Sessions told a California Peace Officers Association conference.

The lawsuit, filed late on Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento, takes aim at three state laws passed last year that the Justice Department contends violates the U.S. Constitution and the supremacy of federal law over state law.

Trump has made fighting illegal immigration and cracking down on illegal immigrants already in the United States a signature issue, first as a candidate and now as president. Part of that effort involves a Justice Department crackdown on primarily Democratic-governed cities and states that Sessions calls “sanctuaries” that protect illegal immigrants from deportation.


“Immigration law is the province of the federal government,” Sessions said.

“There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land,” Sessions added.

Other leading California Democrats also blasted the Trump administration.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein said the administration is simply looking to score points with Trump’s political supporters. “ICE should not be targeting parents who have lived in this country for decades, arresting them as they take their children to school,” Feinstein said in a statement.

Sessions singled out Democratic Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, accusing her of actively seeking to help illegal immigrants avoid ICE.

Last month, Schaaf issued a statement alerting local residents that ICE was preparing to conduct an operation in the area, saying it was her moral obligation. A few days later, ICE announced the arrest of more than 150 people for immigration violations in the San Francisco-Oakland area, saying about half had additional criminal convictions.

The White House has called Schaaf’s actions “outrageous” and said the Justice Department was reviewing the matter.

“Here’s my message for Mayor Schaaf: How dare you. How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement officers to promote your radical open-borders agenda,” Sessions said on Wednesday.

Sessions also called Democratic California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom an embarrassment for supporting the mayor’s actions.

Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Dan Levine in San Francisco; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Will Dunham


The White House revolving door: Who’s gone?

March 7, 2018

BBC News

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is the latest in a long line of senior officials who have quit, been fired, or eased out by the White House.

Here is a run-down of what they did, and why they left, starting with the most recent.

Gary Cohn, Chief Economic Adviser – 6 March 2018

The former president of the Goldman Sachs bank was appointed as head of the National Economic Council as Mr Trump took office, so becoming the president’s top economic adviser.

In his time at the White House, he helped push through sweeping reforms on taxes, one of the most significant policy achievements of the administration.

But the two were not reported to be close, and rumours of Mr Cohn’s departure continued to swirl.

Why did he leave?

A staunch globalist, Mr Cohn had reportedly vowed to quit if Mr Trump pressed ahead with plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports to the US.

According to US media, Mr Cohn initially planned to resign after Mr Trump blamed “both sides” for violence at a deadly far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

Time in post?

Fourteen months.

Hope Hicks, White House Communications Director – 28 February 2018

Ms Hicks served as Mr Trump’s press secretary and handled media requests during his campaign.

She became his fourth director of strategic communications for the Trump White House after Anthony Scaramucci was fired after just 10 days in the job.

The fashion model-turned-spokeswoman previously worked as a publicist for Ivanka Trump’s fashion label before entering politics with Mr Trump’s bid for the White House.

Why did she leave?

Her resignation came a day after she testified to a congressional panel investigating Russian influence on the 2016 election, telling them she had occasionally told “white lies” for her boss.

Her departure came only weeks after another top aide to Mr Trump, Rob Porter – with whom Ms Hicks was reported to have been in a relationship – quit amid allegations by two ex-wives of abuse.Time in post?

Six years in the Trump Organization, and three years with Mr Trump during his campaign and presidency.

Rob Porter, White House Staff Secretary – 8 February 2018

Mr Porter, who had been described as Mr Trump’s “right-hand man”, resigned after two of his ex-wives publicly accused him of physical and emotional abuse.

One woman said he had kicked her during their 2003 honeymoon, and punched her in the face whilst on holiday a few years later.

He denies all the accusations.

Explaining Trump’s Rob Porter problem in three simple ways

Why did he quit?

The White House, and Chief of Staff John Kelly in particular, were feeling increasing pressure to dump Mr Porter after the accusations of violence were first published in the Daily Mail.

Questions quickly arose over how early Mr Kelly had been made aware of the accusations by the FBI, and whether that was whyt Mr Porter was forced to operate with only an interim security clearance.

Time in post?

One year.

Andrew McCabe, FBI deputy director – 29 January 2018

Andrew McCabe resigned as deputy director of the FBI, where he served under current director Christopher Wray and former FBI director James Comey.

He was reportedly forced to step down ahead of his official retirement date in March, according to CBS News. His resignation came a week after a report that Mr Trump wanted him out.

The career agent became the FBI’s acting director for nearly three months after the president sacked Mr Comey. He returned to his post after Mr Wray was appointed.

Why was he sacked?

The attorney has faced repeated criticism from President Trump, who claims his ties to Democrats made him impartial in the ongoing Russia investigation.

His wife, Jill McCabe, ran a failed Democratic bid for a state senate seat in Virginia in 2015, during which she received $500,000 (£355,000) from a political action group allied with Hillary Clinton – a move which Mr Trump apparently found unforgiveable.

Time in post?

Two years as FBI deputy director, including a year under Mr Trump’s administration.

Tom Price, health secretary – 29 September 2017

The former Georgia congressman was a long-standing opponent of the Affordable Care Act – known as Obamacare.

Mr Price was confirmed by the Senate along party lines, amid allegations of insider trading while he worked on healthcare laws – which he denied.

As health secretary, Mr Price was involved in President Trump’s repeated failures to push through bills repealing Obamacare.

Why was he sacked?

An analysis of transport spending by Politico discovered that Mr Price had, between May and late September, spent more than $1m on flights.

Some $500,000 of that was on military flights approved by the White House, but private charter flights made up at least $400,000 where commercial flights were available. Mr Trump said he was “not happy”.

Time in post?

Almost eight months.

Steve Bannon, chief strategist – 18 August 2017

Steve Bannon joined the Trump campaign after leading the right-wing Breitbart News website, which rose to prominence through its attacks on mainstream Republicans, as well as those on the left.

The website helped to elevate the so-called “Alt-right”, which critics label a white supremacist group.

Like other aides to Mr Trump, he made his fortune as an investment banker, but later turned to financing film and television programmes such as the popular 90s sitcom Seinfeld.

Why was he sacked?

Some of Mr Trump’s most influential advisers, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, had been pushing for his departure for months.

His firing came amid a public backlash to Mr Trump’s response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which an anti-racist protester was killed by a 20-year-old man with Nazi sympathies.

Time in post?

Fired one year after being named campaign chief.

Anthony Scaramucci, communications director – 31 July 2017

The brash, Wall Street bigwig has known President Trump for years, and defended him in TV interviews.

While in the job, he appeared to accuse then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of being responsible for White House leaks in a tweet (later deleted) that also appeared to threaten him.

Mr Scaramucci then attacked Mr Priebus and President Trump’s senior adviser Steve Bannon in an expletive-filled rant on the phone with a reporter from the New Yorker magazine.

Why was he sacked?

Although he had boasted of reporting directly to the president, Mr Scaramucci’s outbursts may have cost him any post alongside President Trump’s new chief of staff – retired Gen John Kelly.

Mr Scaramucci’s departure was announced hours after Mr Kelly was sworn-in to replace Mr Priebus.

Time in post?

Ten days (although his official start date was 15 August – so possibly minus 15 days.)

Reince Priebus, chief of staff – 28 July 2017The former Republican National Committee chairman was one of few Washington veterans given a top role in the Trump White House but was unable to assert his authority.

He grappled with competing powers in an administration where Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, played key roles.

Why was he sacked?

President Trump lost confidence in him and clearly wanted a shake-up in the White House, opting for a general to replace the Republican Party operative, who was seen as weak.

The announcement also came as the Republicans failed in their efforts to repeal Obamacare in the Senate.

Time in post?

Six months.

Sean Spicer, press secretary – 21 July 2017

Mr Spicer famously kicked off his tenure as White House press secretary by defending a seemingly indefensible claim about the crowd size at President Trump’s inauguration.

Over the course of his time behind the podium he became – unusually for a press secretary – a household name, and was parodied on Saturday Night Live.

Why did he leave?

Unlike most others on this list, Mr Spicer appears to have left on seemingly good terms with the president.

He stepped down after Mr Scaramucci was appointed to a role he had partially filled, saying he did not want there to be “too many cooks in the kitchen”.

Time in post?

Six months.

James Comey, FBI director – 9 May 2017

Mr Comey played a dramatic and controversial part in the closing stages of the election when he announced, a week before the vote, that the FBI had reopened an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

He was criticised first by Democrats for the timing, then by Republicans when he said a week later that no charges would be brought.

The president grew less appreciative of him as the FBI director led an investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Why was he sacked?

The Trump administration first claimed Mr Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation rendered him no longer able to credibly lead the bureau and that Mr Trump had acted on the deputy attorney general’s recommendation.

However Mr Trump soon contradicted this, calling him a “showboat” in a TV interview and saying he was thinking of the “Russia thing” when he made the decision to sack him.

Time in post?

Three years, eight months. Less than four months under Mr Trump.

Michael Flynn, national security adviser – 14 February 2017

Technically, Michael Flynn resigned, but he was asked to do so by the president.

His departure followed weeks of deepening scandal in which it emerged that he had misled White House officials, including the vice-president, over his contact with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

Mr Flynn is said to have discussed US sanctions against Russia with Mr Kislyak before Mr Trump took office.

Why was he sacked?

It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy, and once it was established that Mr Flynn had lied about his contact with Mr Kislyak there was no question that he had to go.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the president needed the time to investigate Mr Flynn and establish his guilt, but the scandal prompted fierce speculation over what the president knew of Mr Flynn’s contacts with Mr Kislyak.

Time in post?

23 days.

Sally Yates, acting attorney general – 31 January 2017

The president fired Sally Yates after she questioned the legality of Mr Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.

Ms Yates, who was appointed by Barack Obama, believed it discriminated unconstitutionally against Muslims, and ordered justice department lawyers not to enforce the president’s executive order.

Why was she sacked?

A White House statement said Ms Yates had “betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States”.

It also described her as “weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration”.

Time in post?

10 days.

Preet Bharara, New York federal prosecutor – 11 March 2017

It is not uncommon for prosecutors appointed by the previous administration to be replaced as the White House changes hands, but the widely-respected Preet Bharara had been told specifically by the Trump administration that he would be kept on.

At the time of his sacking, he was overseeing several high-profile cases, including allegations of sexual harassment at Trump favourite Fox News.

Why was he sacked?

Mr Bharara was one of 46 prosecutors asked to resign by the Trump administration, which contended that it was part of a simple changing of the guard.

But there was speculation among Democrats and others that Mr Bahara’s jurisdiction, which included Trump Tower, may have concerned the president.

Time in post?

Seven years, seven months. Less than two months under Mr Trump.

Paul Manafort, Trump campaign manager – 19 August 2016

Paul Manafort, a long-time Republican political operative, was supposed to marshal some of the chaos around Mr Trump but ended up falling prey to it.

He was sacked after five months with Mr Trump’s campaign, three of those as campaign chair.

Why was he sacked?

The Trump campaign didn’t give a reason for Mr Manafort’s departure, issuing only a statement wishing him well.

But a wave of reports in the week before the announcement alleged that Mr Manafort had received secret cash payments from a pro-Russian political party for representing Russian interests in Ukraine and the US.

Time in post?

Three months.


Stop Pretending America and Turkey Are Allies

March 5, 2018

by Doug Bandow

The National Interest

Washington officials routinely call Turkey a vital ally, yet Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government have threatened U.S. forces cooperating with Kurdish militias in northern Syria. After American military spokesmen warned that U.S. troops would defend themselves, Erdoğan promised the famed “Ottoman slap.” Alas, doing so probably would increase his popularity with Turkey’s highly anti-American public.

While no one quite believes the two governments will come to blows, U.S. policymakers are deluded or lying when they assert America’s and Turkey’s unity of purpose. After visiting Ankara, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared: “We’re going to act together from this point forward. We’re going to lock arms. We’re going to work through the issues that are causing difficulties for us and we’re going to resolve them.”

However, the threat of open conflict between the two governments is real, and demonstrates the extent to which they have diverged. The differences continue to grow with every new day and military operation. Rather than sacrificing American values and interests, Washington should drop its fantasy expectations and establish a more realistic relationship with Erdoğan.

Successive administrations have been denied Turkey’s evident estrangement. Ankara remains in NATO and the U.S. Air Force remains at Incirlik Air Base, but little else binds the two governments together. The relationship is but a ghost from the past.

The Cold War is over, and Russia isn’t going to attack Turkey—or any other NATO member for that matter. Indeed, after tumultuous relations with Moscow over the shootdown of a Russian aircraft, Erdoğan has steadily improved ties to Vladimir Putin. Ankara even is purchasing S-400 antiaircraft missiles from Moscow, undermining alliance efforts to improve interoperability among members. It would be foolish to assume that Turkey would live up to its alliance commitments if Russia ended up at war with America or Europe.

Moreover, Ankara has actively thwarted U.S. objectives in Syria. Focused on ousting the Assad regime, for years Erdoğan’s government allowed Islamic State personnel and materiel to cross the Turkish border. There even were credible accusations that Erdoğan’s son was involved in the illicit oil trade with ISIS. Only after the group staged terrorist attacks in Turkey did Ankara take a more actively adversarial role, and even then it prioritized countering growing Kurdish influence over opposing the “caliphate.”

In launching the ironically named Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish military forces that were allied with Washington against the Islamic State, Turkey wrecked Trump administration plans to create a Kurdish “border security force” to police Syria’s north. A cavalcade of Turkish officials lamented their lack of trust in Washington, and threatened to attack American personnel stationed alongside Kurdish forces. U.S. officials whined that Ankara’s policy was not “helpful,” as if that were the Erdoğan government’s objective.

Turkish foreign policy has also turned hostile elsewhere. Under Erdoğan, Turkey’s relations with Israel turned sharply negative. And the Turkish leader once promoted rapprochement with Greece, and some observers hoped for a similar approach to Cyprus, which Ankara invaded in 1974, occupying more than a third of the island to create an ethnic Turkish state. But the Erdoğan government has increased tensions with Athens over nearby Greek islands that it covets, and declined to make concessions to end the Cypriot standoff.

Erdoğan’s interest in joining the European Union, assuming it ever was real, has ebbed; with Syria’s collapse, he turned refugees into a weapon of extortion against Europe. He shifted from protecting the liberty of Islamic faithful in public to pushing Islamism on the public in a region where Islamist extremism is a threat. After seeking to end the Kurdish conflict at home, he helped reignite the fighting, which continues to ravage Kurdish areas in Turkey. He blockaded Iraqi Kurds after their independence referendum last fall and, most recently, launched military multiple operations against Syrian Kurds.

Finally, slowly at first but rapidly after the failed coup in July 2016, Erdoğan constructed an electoral dictatorship. He began his premiership as an ally of liberals seeking to eliminate Atatürk’s authoritarian trappings dating back to creation of the Turkish republic. Kemalism enshrined nationalism and secularism, and was ruthlessly backed by the military.

However, Erdoğan long ago tossed aside concern for anyone’s rights but his own. Freedom House judges Turkey to be unfree. Ankara leads the world in imprisonment of journalists, with more than seventy in jail. The State Department published a seventy-five-page report on the government’s human-rights abuses, including unlawful killings, torture, lack of due process, mass imprisonment, infringement of free expression, inadequate protection of civilians in military operations, prison overcrowding and more.

Of the state of emergency, which remains nearly two years after the attempted putsch, observed Amnesty International, “Dissent was ruthlessly suppressed, with journalists, political activists and human-rights defenders among those targeted.” Most recently, the government jailed critics of military operations against the Kurds; at least thirty activists were arrested for their comments on social media, which were termed “propaganda for armed terrorist organizations.” Academics, opposition politicians and schoolchildren also have been targeted for the mildest of criticism of the man who would be sultan.

Torture continued as security forces enjoyed impunity. More than fifty thousand people were detained, many on the most ludicrous grounds, such as possession of a U.S. dollar bill, supposedly a sign of membership in the alleged conspiracy operated by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. Others were arrested for having an account at a public bank owned by the Gülen organization. Among those detained were Taner Kılıç and İdil Eser, the chair and director, respectively, of Amnesty International Turkey. Erdoğan essentially admitted that American pastor Andrew Brunson had been arrested in an effort to force a trade for Gülen, who resides in Pennsylvania. Europeans have been detained for similar purposes.

Observed Hugh Williamson of Human Rights Watch, “Everywhere you look, checks and balances that protect human rights and rule of law in Turkey are being eroded.” Some 140,000 people have lost their jobs, private as well as public, and many have been made unemployable. Numerous critics have had their passports seized, turning Turkey into an open-air prison. Abuses continue to worsen.

Erdoğan took his brutal tactics to America, personally unleashing his security detail on peaceful protesters near the Turkish embassy in Washington. Protected by diplomatic immunity, his thugs injured several demonstrators, some seriously. Far from being apologetic, Erdoğan blamed the Trump administration for allowing people to criticize him.

Tillerson acknowledged that bilateral relations were “in a bit of crisis.” Actually, more than “a bit.” Despite conciliatory language between Tillerson and Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and an agreement for a dialogue over policy differences long evident, neither values nor interests continue to hold the countries together.

The electoral calendar makes conciliation even less likely. Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party has lost public support of late, and therefore entered into an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party for next year’s parliamentary contest. The latter is secular, but even more committed to a brutally aggressive foreign policy. Erdoğan can ill afford to make concessions to America, which already is hated at home.

Amanda Sloat of the Brookings Institution advocated fixing the bilateral relationship “before it’s too late.” But it is already too late. Better for the nations to separate, with Ankara leaving NATO. Then the two governments could forge a more practical and transactional relationship, focused on areas of cooperation. There would be no lectures on human rights, fantasies about shared objectives and complaints about the failure to agree. Just an effort by the two governments to work together when possible, despite their many differences.

Turkey no longer is an ally. The bilateral relationship never was vital. It barely survives today. There’s no need for Ankara and Washington to be adversaries. But everyone concerned would benefit if the two governments dropped the pretense of friendship that now camouflages their vast differences.


Ex-Russian spy poisoned by nerve agent, police say

A nerve agent is suspected to have poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, UK authorities said. Russia has denied any involvement the incident.

March 7, 2018


Police said a very rare nerve agent was suspected to be behind the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter, which has prompted speculation of Moscow’s involvement.

Police said on Wednesday that they were investigating the incident as an “attempted murder.”

“This is being treated as a major incident involving attempted murder by administration of a nerve agent,” Mark Rowley said in a statement. “I can also confirm that we believe the two people originally who became unwell were targeted specifically.”

Investigators said they would not be releasing additional information about the exact type of nerve agent they believe left Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, slumped over a bench outside a shopping center in the southwestern town of Salisbury on Sunday. They remain critically ill in the hospital. At least one police officer was also receiving treatment for exposure to the agent.

A British medical official said the agent poses a “low risk” to the general public.

“We need to keep a cool head and make sure we collect all the evidence we can,” UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said after chairing a government emergency committee meeting. “We need to make sure we respond not to rumor but to all the evidence that they collect. And then we need to decide what action to take.”

The investigation is likely to take time, Rudd added.

Widening probe

Police are asking to speak to any witnesses who visited a pizza restaurant or pub where the two were seen on Sunday.

The area in and around Salisbury has been cordoned off.

The Times newspaper reported that investigators are also looking into the deaths of Skripal’s wife and son. His wife died of cancer in 2012 and his son of liver problems last year in St. Petersburg.

Speculation is rife that Russia attempted to assassinate the former military intelligence double agent.

Britain blamed Russia for the 2006 poisoning of former Russian spy and Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested Sunday’s incident had “echoes” of the Litvinenko assassination.

Moscow has denied any involvement and blamed anti-Russian bias from the media and politicians for trying to harm relations between the two countries.

“It’s very hard not to assess this as provocative black PR designed to complicate relations between our two countries,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.

Skripal divulged the identities of Russian agents in Europe to Western intelligence and was imprisoned in 2006.

He was freed in 2010 as part of a spy swap that saw the United States hand over 10 members of a Russian spy cell in exchange for four Russians convicted of spying for the West.




Chapter I


  1. Background

The threat or use of CB weapons is a possible condition of future warfare and could occur in the early stages of war to disrupt United States (US) operations and logistics. In many of the regions where the US is likely to deploy forces, potential adversaries may use CB weapons. Potential adversaries may seek to counter US conventional military superiority using less expensive and more attainable, asymmetrical means. To meet this challenge, US forces must be properly trained and equipped to operate effectively and decisively in the face of NBC attacks. Additionally, US forces could be confronted in an environment where TIC present a hazard to US forces.

  1. Use of CB Weapons. Adversaries may employ CB agents and other toxic materials to achieve specific effects. In addition to the physical effects, there exist psychological effects, both in the immediate target area and in other vulnerable areas that may be potential targets.

(1) Chemical agents have effects that can be immediate or delayed, can be persistent or nonpersistent, and can have significant physiological effects. While relatively large quantities of an agent are required to ensure an area remains contaminated over time, small- scale selective use that exploits surprise can cause significant disruption and may have lethal effects.

(2) Biological agents can produce lethal or incapacitating effects over an extensive area and can reproduce. The delayed onset of symptoms and detection, identification, and verification difficulties for biological agents can also confer important advantages to adversaries who decide to use biological agents.

(3) The means available to adversaries for delivery of CB weapons range from specially designed, sophisticated weapon sy stems developed by nations to relatively inefficient improvised devices employed by terrorists and other disaffected individuals and groups.

  1. US Policy. 3 This paragraph contains brief descriptions of treaty, legal, and policy strictures on chemical and biological warfare (CBW ).

(1) The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating,

Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare,” also known as the Geneva Protocol of 1925, prohibits chemical and bacteriological methods of warfare. Most parties interpret the protocol as a prohibition only of the first use of these agents in war. It did not ban the development, production, or stockpiling of these weapons. In 1974, the US Senate gave advice and consent to ratification of this protocol, subject to the reservation that the US would not be bound by the provisions with respect to an enemy state or its allies who fail to respect the prohibitions of the protocol. On 22 January 1975, the US ratified the protocol subject to this reservation. The protocol entered into force for the US on 10 April 1975. The relevance of the Geneva Protocol is largely superseded by the more restrictive Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and

Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (also known as the Chemical Weapons

Convention [CWC] and by the Convention on the Prohibition of Bacteriological and Toxic

Weapons (also known as the Biological Weapons Convention [BWC]) summarized below.

(2) The Presidential Statement on Chemical and Biological Weapons,

November 1969, renounced the US use of lethal biological agents and weapons and confined biological research to defensive measures such as immunization and safety. Und er the terms of the BWC, parties undertake not to develop, produce, stock pile, or acquire biological agents or toxins “of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective and other peaceful purposes,” as well as weapons and means of delivery. The BWC does not establish a specific verification regime. The US ratified the BWC on 29 March 1975.

(3) Executive Order No. 11850, 8 April 1975, Renunciation of Certain Uses in

War of Chemical Herbicides and Riot Control Agents, renounced first use of herbicides in war (except for specified defensive uses) and first use of RCAs in war except for defensive military modes to save lives.

(4) The CWC, which entered into force on 29 April 1997, bans the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, or use of chemical weapons. It provides for the destruction of all chemical weapons stocks within 10 years after entry into force. It contains a vigorous challenge regime to ensure compliance. The US ratified the CWC on 25 April 1997.

  1. Threat
  2. Changes. Countries with chemical weapons programs are adding agents and more sophisticated delivery systems. Similarly, the sophistication of CBW capabilities is increasing. Proliferation of weapons technology, precision navigation technology, and CBW technology in developing nations presents the US with a complicated national security challenge. Intelligence efforts include collection and analysis of nations’ dual-use, CB industrial capabilities, and development of the indications and warning of adversarial use of dual-use capabilities.
  3. Challenges. The US faces a number of regional proliferation challenges. Many of these are detailed in the January 2001 report published by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Proliferation: Threat and Response. At least 25 countries now possess—or are in the process of acquiring and developing—capabilities to inflict mass casualties and destruction: NBC weapons or the means to deliver them.
  4. Proliferation. Proliferation of CBW technology also raises several important issues. Vaious nations could export a wide array of chemical products, including Australian group-controlled items to numerous countries of proliferation concern. The controlled items include specific chemical agent precursors, pathogens with biological warfare (BW) applications, and dual-use equipment that can be used in both CBW programs.
  5. Increases in Proliferation. In the next several years, the threat from the proliferation of CBW may increase. This could result from the development of CB agents that are more difficult to detect and from the adoption of more capable delivery systems. States with existing programs may master the production processes for complete weapons development and will be less dependent on outside suppliers.

Any nation with the political will and a minimal industrial base could produce CBW agents suitable for use in warfare. Efficient weaponization of these agents, however, does require design and production skills usually found in countries that possess a munitions development infrastructure or access to such skills from cooperative sources.

(2) On the other hand, almost any nation or group could fabricate crude agent dispersal devices. Such weapons might be capable of inflicting only limited numbers of casualties; nevertheless, they could have significant operational repercussions due to the psychological impact created by fears of CBW agent exposure.

(3) Genetic engineering gives BW developers the tools to pursue agents that could defeat the protective and treatment protocols of the prospective adversary.

Genetically engineered microorganisms also raise the technological hurdle that must be overcome to provide for effective detection, identification, and early warning of BW attacks.

(4) Numerous characteristics need to be controlled for a highly effective BW agent. Historically, the accentuation of one characteristic often resulted in the attenuation of one or more other characteristics, possibly even rendering the modified agent ineffective as a weapon. Advances in biotechnology, genetic engineering, and related scientific fields nprovide ever-increasing potential to control more of these factors, possibly leading to an enhanced ability to use BW agents as battlefield weapons.

  1. Novel BW Agents. Advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering may facilitate the development of potentially new and more deadly BW agents. The ability to modify microbial agents at a molecular level has existed since the 1960s, when new genetic engineering techniques were introduced, but the enterprise tended to be slow and unpredictable. With today’s techniques, infectious organisms can be modified to bring about disease in different ways. The current level of sophistication for many biological agents is low, but there is enormous potential—based on advances in modern molecular biology, fermentation, and drug delivery technology—for making more sophisticated weapons. The BW agents may emerge in two likely categories: man-made manipulations of classic BW agents and newly discovered or emerging infectious diseases. An example of a recent new pathogen (though not necessarily ideal BW agents) includes streptococcus pneumonia S23F, a naturally occurring strain of pneumonia resistant to at least six of the more commonly used antibiotics.

The potential types of novel biological agents that could be produc through genetic engineering methodologies are listed below. Each of these techniques seek to capitalize on the extreme lethality, virulence, or infectivity of BW agents and expl potential by developing methods to deliver more efficiently and to control these agents on the battlefield.

(a) Benign microorganisms genetically altered to produce a toxin, venom or bioregulator.

(b) Microorganisms resistant to antibiotics, standard vaccines, and therapeutics.

(c) Microorganisms with enhanced aerosol and environmental stability.

(d) Immunologically altered microorganisms able to defeat standard identification, detection, and diagnostic methods.

(e) Combinations of the above four types with improved delivery systems.

2) The future likelihood of infectious agents being created for BW purposes will be influenced by technological trends such as—

(a) Genetically engineered vectors in the form of modified infectious organisms may become increasingly available as medical tools and techniques become more widely available.

(b) Strides will be made in the understanding of infectious disease mechanisms and in microbial genetics that are responsible for disease processes.

(c) An increased understanding of the human immune system function and disease mechanisms will shed light on the circumstances that cause individual susceptibility to infectious disease.

(d) Vaccines and antidotes will be improved over the long term, perhaps to the point where classic BW agents will offer less utility as a means of causing casualties.

(e) Many bioengineering companies (both US and foreign) now sell all-in–one kits to enable researchers to perform recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) experiments. The availability of free online gene sequence databases and analytic software over the Internet further amplifies and disseminates this capability. It is now possible to transform relatively benign organisms to cause harmful effects.

  1. Militarily Significant Aspects of Toxic Chemical Agents
  2. Classification. A toxic chemical agent is any chemical which, through its chemical action on life processes, can cause death, temporary incapacitation, or permanent harm to humans or animals. For the purpose of this manual, chemical agents are further divided into chemical warfare (CW) agents and military chemical compounds. The terms “persistent” and “nonpersistent” describe the time chemical agents remain in an area and do not classify the agents technically.

(1) CW Agents. The CW agents are toxic chemica ls and their precursors prohibited under the CWC. These agents include choking, nerve, blood, blister, and incapacitating agents. Their physiological actions are as follows:

(a) Choking Agents. Choking agents cause damage to the lungs, irritation to the eyes and the respiratory tract, and pulmonary edema (“dry-land drowning”).

(b) Nerve Agents. Nerve agents inhibit cholinesterase (ChE) enzymes. This inhibition permits acetylcholine (ACh), which transmits many nerve impulses, to collect at its various sites of action.The body’s muscles and glands become overstimulated due to excessive amounts of ACh. At sufficient doses, this can lead to an inability of the body to sustain breathing.

(c) Blood Agents. The blood transports these agents to all body tissues. Hydrogen cyanide (AC) and cyanogen chloride (CK) are cellular poisons, and they disrupt the oxidative processes used by the cells. Arsine (SA) is different. It causes hemolysis of the red blood cells. The central nervous system (CNS) is especially vulnerable to lack of oxygen rega rdless of the etiology, and respiratory and cardiovascular collapse resulting from AC and CK poisoning. In the case of SA poisoning, the proximal cause of death is myocardial failure.

(d) Blister Agents (Vesicants). Blister agents are noted for producing reddening and blistering of the skin, but the eyes and respiratory tract are more sensitive than the skin. Eye exposure results in reddening of the eyes and temporary blindness or permanent effects. Inhaled mustard damages mucous membranes and the respiratory tract.

(e) Incapacitating Agents.Used in a military context, incapacitation is understood to mean inability to perform one’s military mission. Since missions vary, for the purpose of this manual, incapacitation means the inability to perform any military task effectively. An incapacitating agent is an agent that produces temporary physiological or mental effects, or both, which will render individuals incapable of concerted effort in the performance of their assigned duties. Medical treatment is not essential but can facilitate a more rapid recovery.

(2) Military Chemical Compounds. Military chemical compounds are less toxic and include materials such as respiratory irritant agents, RCAs, smoke and obscurants, and incendiary materials. The term excludes CW agents. Their physiological actions are as follows:

(a) RCAs (Lacrimators). The RCAs are chemicals that rapidly produce in human’s sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.  They are local irritants that, in very low concentrations, act primarily on the eyes, causing intense pain and tearing. At high concentrations they irritate the respiratory tract and the skin. They sometimes cause nausea and vomiting.

(b) Respiratory Irritant Agents. These agents were previously called vomiting agents. Their primary action is irritation of the respiratory tract. In addition, these agents cause lacrimation (tearing), irritation of the eyes, uncontrollable coughing, sneezing, nausea, and a general feeling of bodily discomfort. Usually symptoms disappear in 20 minutes to 2 hours, leaving no residual injury.

  1. Duration of Effectiveness. Several factors determine the time a chemical agent remains effective. These include, but are not limited to, the method of dissemination, weather and terrain conditions, and the physical and chemical properties of the agent.

(1) Method of Dissemination. Chemical agents are usually disseminated in the field in the form of vapors (gases), aerosols, or liquids. When a chemical agent is disseminated as a vapor from a bursting munition, initially the cloud expands, grows cooler and heavier, and tends to retain its form. Aerosols are finely divided liquid and/or solid substances suspended in the atmosphere and behave in much the same manner as vaporized agents. Liquid agents can be absorbed (soaked into) and adsorbed (adhered to) by surfaces. They can then be evaporated or desorbed (off-gas) from surfaces, causing a vapor hazard.

(2) Weather and Terrain Conditions. Many weather factors and terrain conditions influence the duration of effectiveness of chemical agents. Most important weather factors include temperature, temperature gradient, wind speed, relative humidity, and precipitation. Important terrain conditions include vegetation, soil, and terrain contours.

(3) Physical Properties. Some of the important physical properties are vapor density, vapor pressure (VP), volatility, freezing point (FP), and melting point (MP). Vapor density determines whether the agent is lighter or heavier than air, thus determining whether the agent will settle to low areas or float away and dissipate in the at mosphere. Vapor pressure is used to determine the volatility of an agent. The volatility has an effect upon the vapor concentration. It also affects the duration of an agent hazard after dissemination. The boiling and freezing points of chemical agents influence their operational use and the means of disseminating them.

(4) Chemical Properties. The chemical properties of an agent include its stability and reactivity with water and other substances.

  1. Potency and Physiological Actions. Factors that contribute to the adverse human health effects of chemical agents include toxicity, route of exposure (ROE ), dosage, exposure duration, minute volume (MV), temperature, endpoint, physiological stressors, rate of detoxification (ROD), and rate of action (ROA). Note that not all factors are applicable to all exposure scenarios. For example, MV is not applicable to a percutaneous liquid exposure. Dosages are given for a 70-kilogram (kg) male with an MV of 15 liters per minute (L/min). Additional toxicological data are required to determine if the toxicity estimates can be applied to women. Emphasis is placed on acute toxic effects. Acute toxic effects are those occurring within moments to a few days of the toxic exposure. The toxicity estimates provided are not applicable to the general population.
  2. CWC Chemicals. There are, by conservative estimates, 25,000 or more chemicals subject to the CWC regulation—listing each chemical by name is not practical. Chemicals covered under the CWC are divided into three categories as follows:

(1) Schedule 1 chemicals have little or no use in industrial and agricultural industries. They pose a high risk to the object and purpose of the CWC by virtue of their high potential for use in activities prohibited under the CWC.

(2) Schedule 2 chemicals may be useful in the production of chemical weapons; however, they also have legitimate uses in other industrial areas. They pose a significant risk to the object and purpose of the CWC.

(3) Schedule 3 chemicals have legitimate uses in industrial areas and pose a risk to the object and purpose of the CWC.

  1. Dual-Use Precursors. Precursors for CW agents also have civil uses in industrial and agricultural industries.
  2. Agent Mixtures. Mixing chemical agents with each other or with other materials can alter the characteristics and effectiveness of the agents. Mixtures may lower the freezing point, increasing agent effectiveness over a wider temperature range. The addition of thickeners or thinners to agents will in crease or decrease persistency: for example, soman (GD) mixed with thickeners will increase persistency; RCAs mixed with thinners will decrease persistency. In addition to changing the physical properties, mixing agents together will create special problems through their physiological effects. These problems can produce difficulty in identification, immediate and delayed effects, or contact and vapor hazards occurring simultaneously. Some mixtures would make it difficult to maintain the seal of the protective mask. Mixing some agents can also increase the toxic effects, either by a synergistic effect or by an improved absorption through the skin.
  3. Militarily Significant As pects of Biological Agents
  4. Classification. A biological agent is a microorganism that causes disease in personnel, plants, or animals or causes the deterioration of material. Biological agents can be classified as pathogens, toxins, bioregulators, or prions.

(1) Pathogens. Pathogens are disease- producing microorganisms, such as bacteria, rickettsiae, or viruses. Pathogens are either naturally occurring or altered by random mutation or recombinant DNA techniques.

(2) Toxins. Toxins are poisons formed as a specific secreting product in the metabolism of a vegetable or animal organism, as distinguished from inorganic poisons. Such poisons can also be manufactured by synthetic processes.

Toxins are produced by a variety of organisms, including microbes, snakes, insects, spiders, sea creatures, and plants.

(3) Bioregulators. Bioregulators include biochemical compounds that regulate cell processes and physiologically active compounds such as catalysts and enzymes. Although they can be found in the human body in small quantities, introduction of large quantities can cause severe adverse effects or death.

(4) Prions. Prions are proteins that can cause neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals. Proteins have a unique, genetically defined amino acids equence that determines their specific shapes and functions. Normal cell proteins have the same amino acid building blocks but they fold differently than prions. When prions enter brain cells, they apparently convert normal proteins into prions. Ultimately, the infected brain cells die and release prions into the tissue. These prions enter, infect, and destroy other brain cells. Prions entered the public’s consciousness during the mad cow epidemic that hit England in 1996. Transmission of the prions from cows to man is suspected to cause human illness. There are no known therapies effective against prions.

  1. Uses. Biological agents can be disseminated and used against personnel, animals, plants, or material. Food and industrial products can be rendered unsafe or unfit for use by contamination or by the effects resulting from contamination with biological agents. The US military forces are deployed throughout the world. Associated with the movement of troops are risks of introduction of exotic agri cultural pests and animal disease agents through soil contamination and transportation of regulated items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products, other food items, and animal products (e.g., trophies) The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APH IS) oversees the entry of cargo, personnel, equipment, personal property, mail, and their means of conveyance into the US.

(1) Antipersonnel. Biological antipersonnel agents are those that are effective directly against humans. The threat would select these agents on the basis of the agents’ability to cause death or disability. Potential biological antipersonnel agents include toxins, bacteria, rickettsiae, viruses, and toxins.

(2) Antianimal. Biological antianimal agents are those that could be employed against animals to incapacitate or destroy them through disease. The purposeful spreading of infectious agents that attack cattle or other domestic animals can lead to serious consequences for a country’s food supply or export of animal products (hides, wool, fats, and biological medicinal products such as adrenalin, insulin, pituitary extracts, cortisone, vaccines, and antisera).

(3) Antiplant. Biological antiplant agents are organisms that cause disease or damage to plants. These agents may be used intentionally by an enemy to attack food or economically valuable crops, thereby reducing a nation’s ability to resist aggression.

(4) Antimaterial. Antimaterial agents are organisms that degrade or break down some item of material. For example, fungi may damage fabrics, rubber products, leather goods, or foodstuffs. Some bacteria produce highly acidic compounds that cause pitting in metals; these agents could create potential problems with stockpiled material. Some bacteria can use petroleum products as an energy source and cause residues that might clog fuel or oil lines.

  1. Duration of Effectiveness. The duration of effectiveness of a biological agent refers to the persistency of the agent in the environment. It depends on the characteristics of the agent and environmental factors.

(1) Biological agent characteristics such as encapsulation (natural, such as bacterial spores, or manmade protective coverings), addition of dyes to the spray fluid, or possibly genetic engineering (of pathogens) may protect some agents from sunlight and other destructive natural forces. Bacteria that are resistant to environmental extremes frequently produce spores to allow survival during adverse conditions. Spore formation is not a method of reproduction inasmuch as each vegetative cell forms only a single spore and each spore germinates to form a single vegetative cell. The bacterium (vegetative cell makes a copy of its DNA. The DNA becomes surrounded by a series of membranes that accumulate calcium, dipicolinic acid (heat-resistant factor) and protein layers. The resistant spore might remain dormant for years without requiring nutrients or water and might survive under extreme ranges of temperature. When conditions become favorable, the spore develops into an actively growing vegetative cell.

(2) Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, relative humidity, wind speed, and temperature gradient are important weather factors in determining duration of effectiveness.

  1. Methods of Dissemination. Biological agents may be disseminated as aerosols, liquid droplets (toxins only), or dry powders.

(1) Biological agents may be delivered in either wet or dry form. Dry powders composed of very small particles tend to have better dissemination characteristics and have advantages in storage. Dried agents require an increased level of technological sophistication to produce, although freeze-drying and spray-drying technologies have been available in the industry for a number of years.

(2) The BW agents might be released against our forces or against civilian populations by means of sprays, explosive devices, and contamination of food and water. Most commonly, delivery methods use aerosolized agents.

(a) A BW agent can be released as a line source. A line source would be released perpendicular to the direction of the wind, upwind of the intended target area.

(b) A second type of aerosol source is a point source, which is a stationary device for aerosolization of the agent, such as a stationary sprayer. A modified point source would be a group of spray devices, such as specially designed bomblets dispersed in a pattern on the ground or a missile or artillery shell designed to release such bomblets.

  1. Physiological Aspects. Employment considerations for BW agents include the following:

(1) ROE. The important portals of entry are the respiratory tract, the exposed mucosal surfaces (moist surfaces of nose, mouth, and eyes), and the digestive tract.  In a biological attack the respiratory route would be the primary route of entry.  The respiratory system is much more susceptible to penetration. The body is more resistant to invasion by microorganisms through the skin; however, penetration across the skin can occur. This is particularly true of abraded (broken) surfaces and some toxins such as mycotoxins. Toxins absorbed through the respiratory tract can produce signs and symptoms different from those acquired through natural occurrence. For example,staphylococcal enterotoxin B when ingested in food causes acute gastrointestinal ( GI) illness; however, when delivered via aerosol to the respiratory tract, it produces respiratory disease. Personnel can encounter biological agents by natural routes, such as in water and food or by vectors.

(2) Dosage. The BW agents are inherently more toxic than CW nerve agents on a weight-for-weight basis and can potentially provide broader coverage per pound of payload than CW agents.

(a) Infective Dose. The infectivity of an agent reflects the relative ease with which microorganisms establish themselves in a host species. Pathogens with high infectivity cause disease with relatively few organisms.

(b) Lethal Dose. Some pathogens produce toxins that can result in disease (for example, anthrax, botulinum, choler a, diphtheria, and typhus). The extreme toxicity of many toxins causes the lethal dose to be much smaller than that of chemical agents. Hence, units of micrograms (µg) or even nanograms (ng) may be used instead of milligrams (mg) in expressing toxicity. Human toxicity estimates are based on an imaldata, and the ROE for the animals is not always what would be expected on the battlefield.

Some human toxicity data are based on accidental contact, ingestion, or inhalation of these natural poisons.

(3) ROA. The rate of reaction to toxins varies widely. Rapid-acting toxins generally incapacitate within minutes. Delayed-acting agents may take several hours to days to incapacitate. The time for maximum effects for pathogens is normally more than 24 hours (unless the pathogen produces a toxin). However, the incubation periods of microorganisms used in BW may be far shorter than those expected by examining the natural disease.

  1. Requirements for a Weaponized BW Agent. The key factors that make a biological agent suitable for an attack include availability or ease of production in sufficient quantity; the ability to cause either lethal or incapacitating effects in humans at doses that are achievable and deliverable; appropriate particle size in aerosol; ease of dissemination; stability (while mainta ining virulence) after production in storage, weapons, and the environment; and susceptibility of intended victims with nonsusceptibility of friendly forces.

(1) Availability or Ease of Production .Many replicating agents (bacteria and viruses) can be produced in large quantities with modern fermentation and viral production technologies. Some toxins, like ricin, are widely available because their source in nature is ubiquitous and the process necessary to harvest the toxin is technically straightforward. On the other hand, some replicating agents are very difficult to grow in quantity, and many toxins are produced in nature in such low quantities that harvesting them is impractical (shellfish toxins are a good example).

(2) Incapacitation and Lethality. BW agents are likely to be selected for their ability to either incapacitate or kill the human targets of the attack. A BW agent does not necessarily have to be lethal to be useful as a military weapon. An agent such as Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus could cause incapacitation among large numbers of unit personnel. If lethality is desired, agents such as anthrax have high case fatality rates once infection is established in unimmunized hosts.

(3) Appropriate Particle Size in Aerosol. An effective weaponized BW agent is of a particle size that would allow it to be carried for long distances by prevailing winds and inhaled deeply into the lungs of the unsuspecting victims. The size range of particles that meets both of these conditions is 1 to 5 microns in diameter. Particles larger than this would either settle out into the ground or more likely be filtered out in the upper respiratory tract of those who inhale them. Particles in this size range are invisible to the human eye; thus, a cloud of such particles would not generally be detected by those attacked, even if such a cloud were to be carried through their position. It is worth noting, however, that particles outside this size range are still dangerous and able to cause deadly illnesses, even though their transmission efficiency is less.

(4) Ease of Dissemination. An effective weaponized BW agent is easily disseminated in the open air by using off-the-shelf devices such as industrial sprayers or other types of aerosol-producing devices. These could be mounted on an airplane, boat, car, or other moving vehicle, or even placed in a stationary position. An alternative method would be to disseminate the agent in an enclosed space (e.g., a building) where it could more efficiently infect or intoxicate humans living or working in the area.

(5) Stability after Production. Once an adversary produces a BW agent in quantity, it must be fairly stable—either in bulk storage or once put into a weapon or delivery system. It must, therefore, retain its viability and virulence or toxicity during production, storage, transportation, and delivery.

(6) Susceptibility and Nonsusceptibility. An effective BW agent is one to which the target force is known to be susceptible (i. e., not immunized against), but to which the adversary possesses high levels of immunity, usually via vaccination.

  1. Militarily Significant Aspects of Toxic Industrial Chemicals
  2. Classification. The TIC are chemicals that are toxic to plants, animals, or humans.
  3. Uses. The TIC are found in abundance in all countries, and are used in chemical manufacturing processes, agriculture (pesti cides), water treatment (chlorination), and many other areas. Each year, more than 70,000 different chemicals amounting to billions of tons of material are produced, processed, or consumed by the global chemical industry. A large portion of these chemicals may exhibit characteristics or be sufficiently hazardous to be a threat in a military situation.
  4. Characteristics of TIC. The TIC of military concern may exist as soli ds, liquids, or gases. For many cases, release of a TIC may involve a change of the state of the chemical, therefore mak ing protection difficult. Like CW agents, TIC include many lethal compounds.

(1) Toxicity. Many TIC, due to their toxicity, can cause incapacitation or death.

(2) Corrosiveness. Many TIC are highly corrosive. Special equipment containers and procedures are necessary to ensure safe handling.

(3) Flammability. Many TIC are highly flammable and present a major fire hazard.

(4) Explosiveness. Unlike CW agents, TIC can be highly explosive and present a serious threat when handled.

(5) Reactivity. Many TIC react violently with water or other materials, and thus present dangers upon contact with other materials, including air.

(6) Byproducts. When burned, mixed, or exploded, many TIC produce additional highly toxic byproducts.

(7) Quantities available. The sheer volume and widespread availability of TIC present a serious danger in the event of a release.

  1. Duration of Effectiveness. A number of factors determine the amount of time a TIC would present a danger after release. Factors include the physical properties of the TIC as well as weather, terrain, and conditions at the release site. These factors affect TIC in the same manner as that for chemical agents.
  2. Physiological Aspects. Exposure to TIC affects the body in a variety of ways. Generally, they disrupt bodily functions. The effects are dependent on the routes of entry, toxicity of the chemical, and the concentration to which exposed.

(1) ROE. The TIC can enter the body through inhalation, ing estion, dermal absorption, or a combination of these methods. The primary concern for exposure is that of the inhalation of a TIC as a gas.

(2) Exposure Concentration and Levels of Concern. The type and seriou sness of effects from exposure to TIC, lik e any chemical is dependent upon the concentration and length of time one is exposed. This concentra tion and time relationship is unique to every chemical. The dosages of TIC are expressed in parts per million (ppm) In general, TIC tend to be at least one order of magnitude less potent than nerve agents and tend not be rapidly lethal in small quantities. Standards have been developed for industry for different exposure scenarios.

(a) Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH):  The definition of IDLH that was derived during the Standards Completion Program (SCP) was based on the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) definition stipulated in 30 CFR 11.3(t). The purpose for establishing an IDLH value in the SCP was to ensure that a worker could escape without injury or irreversible health effects from an IDLH exposure in the event of the failure of respiratory protection equipment. The highly reliable breathing apparatus providing maximum worker protection was permitted. In determining IDLH values, the inability of a worker to escape without loss of life or irreversible health effects was considered along with severe eye or respiratory irritation and other deleterious effects (e.g., disorientation or lack of coordination) that could prevent escape. As a safety margin, the SCP IDLH values were based on the effects that might occur as a consequence of a 30- minute exposure. However, the 30-minute period was not meant to imply that workers should stay in the work environment any longer than necessary. In fact, every effort should be made to exit immediately.

(b) Refer to the United States Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (USACHPPM) Technical Guide 230, Chemical Exposure Guidelines for Deployed Military Personnel, for obtaining the military exposure guidelines for assessing exposure concentrations for TIC.

  1. TIC Hazard Assessment. As part of the IPB process, a planner must assess the likelihood of a release or exposure as well as the actual TIC material. Some example considerations are –

(1) Accidents in civilian operations significantly increase when technically trained personnel flee an area, such as a combat zone (CZ). Civilian personnel remaining may be pressured to operate equipment beyond their training/technical expertise in an area of combat.

(2) Pipelines can offer a very attractive target for terrorists because actions can be planned well in advance of execution and pipelines do not rely on shipping or transportation scheduled.

(3) Storage yards, ports, airfields and rail yards often contain significant amounts of transiting TIC. This not only presents opportunities for improvised use against US forces, but also presents increased possibility of accidents and targets for those who want to destroy the TI C (such as ammunition precursor chemicals).

  1. Pesticides. Large stockpiles of obsolete pesticides have been accumulated in virtually all developing countries over periods sometimes exceeding four decades. The term “pesticides,” as used by US forces include insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, and herbicides. The health effects of pesticides depend on the type of pesticide. Some, such as the organophosphates and carbamates, affect the nervous system. Others may irritate the skin or eyes. Some pesticides may be carcinogens. Others may affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body.The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the dangers of many pesticides and publishes lists of those pesticides that are either banned or severely restricted in their use. Applicable service personnel (e.g., Army preventive medicine (PVNTMED), Air Force civil engineering, public health) can provide information on specific pesticides that could be used in specific areas of operation (AOs).

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