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Chemical Weapons

NEWS
By MARK MATTHEWS | April 23, 1997
The Senate begins debate today on a treaty that would ban the development, production and stockpiling of chemical weapons. But it has been a long time coming: Treaty negotiations began under President Ronald Reagan in 1984, and the agreement was signed by 130 countries (including the United States) at the end of the Bush administration, in 1993.Members of the Senate must decide whether to ratify the agreement, formally guaranteeing that the United States will abide by its terms.The Senate is expected to vote tomorrow night, but the outcome is too close to call.
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NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | November 13, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon announced yesterday a sweeping expansion of its investigation into whether U.S. soldiers were exposed to Iraqi chemical weapons in the 1991 Persian Gulf war and suggested that it would resist calls to turn over the inquiry to outside investigators.The announcement came after a draft report of a White House panel described the Pentagon's investigation as "superficial" and recommended that the inquiry be taken away from the Defense Department and given to independent investigators.
NEWS
By Will Englund and Will Englund,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | April 6, 2000
MOSCOW -- The research institute where Russian scientists spent decades perfecting ever more deadly chemical weapons consists of a ramshackle collection of laboratories crammed into a triangular plot off the Highway of the Enthusiasts in the heavy-industry belt of eastern Moscow. The buildings, some apparently abandoned and most in poor repair, are linked by battered above-ground pipes that weave in and out, over and along the muddy alleys. This was a top-secret place, and it was only six years ago that security officials were prosecuting a Russian chemist for daring to talk about what went on inside.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 15, 1997
A new government report has harshly criticized the Pentagon and a White House panel over their investigation of the illnesses reported by veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf war and has found "substantial evidence" linking nerve gas and other chemical weapons to the health problems seen among the veterans.The report, by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says the Defense Department should not rule out the possibility that Iraqi biological weapons, especially aflatoxin, a liver carcinogen, might be responsible for some ailments reported by the estimated 80,000 gulf war veterans who have sought medical checkups from the government.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | March 23, 2003
WASHINGTON -- In the opening hours of the war against Iraq, American and Australian forces flew deep into the country and seized or destroyed specific command posts to prevent officers there from ordering the use of chemical and biological weapons, said officials with the coalition forces. The outposts were selected for urgent, risky attacks because intelligence agencies had reported that the field commanders had operational control of those weapons and might have been given authority by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to use them even if he were killed or could no longer communicate his orders.
NEWS
By Craig Gordon and Craig Gordon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 6, 2002
WASHINGTON - Preparing to face chemical and biological weapons for the first time in 85 years, U.S. troops sent into Iraq will carry equipment that leaves them vulnerable to an attack. Facing this risk, the Pentagon has come under fire for making slow or insufficient progress in protecting its troops against gas and germs, despite advances in protective gear and detectors since Desert Storm. Congressional analysts, outside experts and defense planners and even some Pentagon officials have pointed to these problems: Biological weapons detectors don't register an attack until about a half-hour after exposure, meaning soldiers would first know they were being attacked with anthrax or botulinum toxin only after the fact.
NEWS
By Liz Sly and Liz Sly,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | December 19, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The ex-general known as "Chemical Ali" because of his alleged use of chemical weapons appeared before an investigating judge yesterday to answer questions about his involvement in crimes against humanity, marking the start of judicial proceedings against the former Baath Party regime. Ali Hassan Majid, a cousin of Saddam Hussein, was ushered in chains into a bare courtroom before the Iraqi Special Tribunal set up to try members of the former regime, alongside Sultan Hashim Ahmad, who served as Iraq's defense minister, according to video released by the court.
NEWS
By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | June 22, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon revealed for the first time yesterday that American soldiers may have been exposed to Iraqi chemical weapons during the weeks after the close of the gulf war.Several hundred men from a North Carolina-based Army engineer battalion were in an area where a demolition team blew up a bunker that may have contained Iraqi rockets tipped with the nerve agent, sarin, and a mustard blistering agent.Pentagon spokesmen said U.N. inspectors reported five years ago to the U.S. government that the area may have contained chemical weapons, but the report was not assessed and verified until last month.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | February 9, 1997
HOUSTON -- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright received strong backing yesterday from former President George Bush for a treaty to ban chemical weapons, as well as for an increase in spending on foreign affairs and a plan by the Clinton administration to repay the United States' debt to the United Nations.Appearing with Albright after breakfast at his home here, Bush said the United States needs to approve the treaty banning chemical weapons before it goes into effect in April. More than 60 nations have already ratified it, but the Senate has resisted bringing it to a vote.
NEWS
By Adil Shamoo and Bonnie Bricker | September 23, 2013
It took chemical weapons to make the deaths of Syrian civilians matter to the rest of the world. Prior to the sarin gas attack near Damascus in August, more than 100,000 had died in the civil war, including many innocent civilians. After the chemical weapons attack, the deaths continued to mount - with more than 1,000 deaths during the recent week of negotiations between Russia and the U.S. to stop the use of chemical weapons on Syrians. President Barack Obama has rightly singled out the use of chemical weapons as beyond any acceptable limits because of the great suffering these weapons inflict on victims.
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