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Biological Warfare in Korea: A Review of the Literature

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41 Following the initial in-retreat BW attack with infected chicken feathers of NovDec. 1951, both the PVA and the KPA tightly controlled BW casualty data, thus limiting the US capability to assess the effectiveness of its germ war campaign. General Sams' mission to kidnap a sick KPA soldier from a North Korean field hospital near Wonson harbor was an attempt to garner needed casualty data. While Sams' mission was lauded as heroic by the Army, it was in fact incredibly foolhardy for such a senior BW operative as Sams (who was a doctor, not a combat soldier) to put himself at risk of capture. Sams and his plague ship were quickly dispatched south to Koje Island, and a professional behind-enemy-lines reconnaissance officer was brought in. Major John K. Singlaub, later of Iran Contra notoriety, was assigned "By Direction of the President" to the task of "CIA deputy station chief in Korea with the mission of deploying military intelligence, espionage, and resistance agents in North Korea." Singlaub states he was never able to establish the information gathering networks in North Korea to the extent he had in occupied France. John K. Singlaub, with Malcolm McConnell, Hazardous Duty: An American Soldier in the Twentieth Century, Summit Books, New York 1991, pp. 181184.

42 The 1972 Convention on the Prohibition and Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons, and on their Destruction, consists of fifteen articles and was signed by 79 nations.

43 Ed Regis, op. cit., p. 219.

44 Seymour M. Hersh, Chemical And Biological Weapons: America's Hidden Arsenal, Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, 1968.

45 The Defense Dept. argued for dropping charges so its secret BW activities would not be revealed. The State Dept. was determined to prosecute this "renegade American", and the Justice Dept was caught in the middle. The compromise by the State Dept. was to instruct the Passport office to provide A.L. Wirin with an unrestricted passport to travel to China to collect depositions. See: O'Brien, op.cit., pp. 274279.

46 John W. Powell, "Japan's Germ Warfare: Cover-up of a War Crime", Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, Vol. 12, No. 4, OctDec. 1980, pp. 217.

47 Barenblatt lists many Unit 731 alumni who went on to prestigious careers. Daniel Barenblatt, A Plague upon Humanity: The Secret Genocide of Axis Japan's Germ Warfare Operation, Harper Collins, New York, 2004, pp. 232235.

48 John W. Powell, "Japan's Biological Weapons, 1930-1945", Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, October 1981, pp. 4353.

49 Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxton, A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare, Hill & Wang, London, 1982.

50 Ibid., pp. 103104.

51 Ibid., p. 104.

52 Ed Regis, op. cit., pp. 7879.

53 This disingenuous claim has been made by both Milton Leitenberg and John Ellis van Courtland Moon. "Operational capacity" means that a weapon system is fully developed and integrated with other weapons and personnel into battlefield tactics, and can be used regularly and repeatedly. This is very different than using a weapon on an experimental or trial basis in combat which is how US BW appears to have been used in Korea.

54 Peter Williams and David Wallace, Unit 731: The Japanese Army's Secret of Secrets, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1989.

55 The significance of this 1950 chicken feather incident revelation is that chicken feathers as carriers of disease was a pet discovery of Shiro Ishii of which he was very proud. Independent invention by US bio-weaponers is possible, but direct exchange seems the more likely explanation. See John W.Powell," Japan's Biological Weapons: 19301945", op. cit., p. 51 and fn #9.

56 For a discussion of this private censorship see: Dave Chaddock, This Must Be the Place: How the US Waged Germ Warfare in the Korean War and Denied It Ever Since, Bennett and Hastings Publishing, Seattle, 2013, 6769.

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Biological Warfare in Korea: A Review of the Literature

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