Advanced Biological Weapons
The Plight of Animals in the Military
Slavery. Prison camps. Strip mines. Clearcuts. “Sport” hunting. Rape. Wars. The brutality humans are capable of can be truly overwhelming. US foreign policy is full of such examples.
The images of Iraqi newborns deformed by exposure to depleted uranium, Palestinians crushed by US-made tanks and immigrants dying along the US/Mexican border are never far from my mind when I see the star-spangled banner of red, white and blue. The recent and ongoing manipulation of other species by military powers is one more stark illustration of humanity’s ability to commit acts of unthinkable cruelty, cowardice and arrogance in the name of patriotism. During the most recent US war, in addition to the ranks of low-income youth and people of color, the military sent pigeons, chickens, dogs, dolphins, beluga whales and sea lions to participate in the imperial conquest of Iraq and its oil fields.
The chickens and pigeons were stuffed into cages that sat on top of military Humvees. Their function was to “test” the air for chemical weapons—never mind that the military has spent dumbfounding amounts of taxpayer money on state-of-the-art chemical detection equipment. Just how well did the gas detection program work? Without the help of any chemical weapons, 41 out of the 43 chickens deployed to the region died within a week of arrival—probably from the stress of the trip.
The Navy also trained dolphins, beluga whales, orcas and sea lions to retrieve lost objects underwater (including dropped nuclear warheads), deliver equipment to divers, guard boats and submarines and conduct underwater surveillance with cameras strapped to their mouths. A combination of rewards, incarceration, physical abuse and starvation was utilized by the Navy to teach these animals such tricks.
Many dolphin specialists and trainers balk at the notion of using dolphins to kill. The altruism of these animals and their cooperative nature toward humans and each other has been recorded for centuries.
Between 1965 and 1975, several dolphin trainers resigned after the Navy sent five dolphins to Vietnam, ostensibly to perform non-lethal activities. However, Dr. Michael Greenwood, a former military cetacean trainer and neurophysiologist, claims that during the Vietnam War, dolphins were taught to kill enemy swimmers by using hypodermic syringes to inject them with pressurized carbon dioxide. This would cause the humans to literally explode. It is speculated that the deaths of 40 Vietcong divers and two US servicemen were the result of this top-secret program. It is now well-documented that the Soviet Union’s dolphin program—which developed in parallel to the one in the US and ended in the 1990s due to lack of funds—included such “killer dolphins.” Greenwood also said that the Navy trained orcas to deliver explosives, including nuclear warheads, to enemy shores. The US government has denied these allegations.
Recently, up to 20 sea lions were deployed to the Persian Gulf during the Iraq war. According to the Navy, both dolphins and sea lions—who are deployed by land, sea or air—are taught to attach a restraining device to the legs of enemy swimmers. “The clamp is connected to a rope and signal buoy that humans with guns would then reel up, presumably pulling up a human on the other end,” an ABC News story reported. A BBC article left more room for the imagination when it reported that sea lions, who can swim as fast as 25 miles per hour, “can even pursue a suspect onto dry land.”
During the 1980s, former military dolphin trainers announced that Navy dolphins were capable of planting mines 100 times faster than humans. In 1985, Ken Woodal, a former US Navy SEAL, said that he had worked with three dolphins in Vietnam and that they were “quite effective in attaching light mines to enemy wharves and piers.” The Navy continues to deny allegations that any cetaceans have ever been used to plant mines or bombs.
In 1987, during the Iran-Iraq War, the US sent five dolphins to the Persian Gulf to protect Navy ships and locate mines in the harbor. At the time, it was reported that Iranian patrol boats machine-gunned every dolphin they saw, fearing the rumors that “American animals” were laying mines and spying with cameras.
Official government documents released in 1990 admitted that 13 dolphins had died in Navy custody between 1987 and 1990. More than half had suffered from starvation or stomach disorders. Testimony from a former military animal trainer, Rick Trout, exposed the military’s use of starvation and physical violence as a routine part of training animals. “My second day on the job, I saw a sea lion kicked in the head for refusing to eat,” he revealed. “I also saw a dolphin punched in the face.”
The military has forced these gentle mammals into acting as war machines by using electronic stimulation to manipulate the animals’ brains. During the 1990s, there were many stories of how the Navy was fitting dolphins with neck harnesses that pressed small electrodes into their skin. Supposedly, the harnesses transmitted electronic signals that allowed human monitors to track and control them. An explosive charge was planted on the underside of the dolphins’ necks that could be detonated if their captors lost control over them.
In February 1998, 22 dolphin carcasses washed up along the coast of France. Sixteen of the 22 were reported to have a fist-sized hole on the underside of the neck. In a London Observer article, accident investigator Leo Sheridan noted that the strange neck wounds were “consistent with a small detonation.”
In March, an Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin named Tacoma “went AWOL” while being used by US Marines to locate mines in the Umm Qasr port of Iraq. Unfortunately, Tacoma had been fitted with an acoustic monitor on his fin and was located in less than three days. The military also ties the snouts of dolphins shut with a strip of velcro when the animals are let into the open sea. The military calls this an “anti-foraging device” and claims that its function is not to control the dolphins but rather to safeguard them from ingesting harmful objects. Unable to eat, runaway dolphins are likely to return to their captors.
Like Tacoma, who was captured from his home in the Gulf of Mexico, all of the marine mammals used by the military were either stolen from their natural habitats or born into captivity. When wild dolphins are captured for human use, they are chased down by motor boats until they are exhausted. The young are then stolen from their mothers and sent to chlorinated aquariums or military bases to live a life contrary to their instincts.
Naturally, it is important for us to oppose the military’s practice of using animals in war and apply public pressure to end this perversion and disgrace. However, we shouldn’t stop there. The military’s exploitation and disregard for living beings should come as no surprise. Ultimately, no human, animal, tree or rock will be safe from missiles or corporations until the US empire and war machine is dismantled.
After working as an editor at the EF! Journal for almost a year, Puck is running away to become a bandit.
Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS ) and dolphins|
Navy's anti-sub frigates to fire shots
as warnings to dolphins
The Guardian, Tuesday August 21, 2001
Royal Navy anti-submarine frigates are to fire "warning shots" to encourage
whales and dolphins to get out of the way before operating long range sonar
Navy Sonar Blamed for Dead Whales
SoundNet,The Cetacean Freedom Network
US Navy's Misinformation To Congress |
About LFA (Low Frequency Active) Sonar
(As of 6/7/2000)
Dolphin site: Navy hacked us|
By John Motavalli, Yahoo! Internet Life, May 14, 1998
Is the U.S. Navy trying to disrupt Web sites
that report unflattering things about them?
That's the allegation made by Merchant Technology Ltd., of Bath, England, a Web-hosting service that hosts a site for The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. www.wdcs.org/ According to Andy Fisher, marketing director at Merchant Technology Ltd., "WDCS has previously commented on US Navy activities, including the use of Low Frequency Sonar trials off Hawaii, ship collisions with endangered whales, and the use of dolphins by Soviet military personnel in the Black Sea region.
WDCS is about to publish a report on the export of military dolphins from the Black Sea to foreign facilities, this will be available on the main WDCS web site in the near future."
Fisher says that at 9:45 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time on April 28, "an attempt by persons unknown to breach secure areas of the web server www.wdcs-shop.com/ was recorded in the server access log. The complete history of this person's movements around the directory structure was recorded, and several failed attempts to access private information alerted the site Webmaster. All instances of this nature are investigated by the relevant Webmaster as a matter of course and the end user could be identified as donhqns1.hq.navy.mil. The domain in question was www.hq.navy.mil, the Department of Navy (US) Headquarters (Located within the Pentagon - Washington DC)."
Why would the Navy want to hack into a site like this? Chris Stroud, WDCS Director of Campaigns, doesn't know for sure. But he says, "Whilst one hears that such activities may still happen after the end of the Cold War, I think whoever it was within the US Navy facility would have better things to do rather than try and hack into our computers. If they were seeking reports on the Black Sea we shall be freely publishing these in the near future anyway." Fisher surmises that "presumably they thought it a soft target, or a 'back door.'"
Merchant Technology's Andy Fisher says that the Navy has not been forthcoming with an explanation to them. However, he adds, "a spokesperson for the Navy confirmed that a call was made from the Pentagon, to our site at the time in question, but they did not know who or why it had happened. I believe there is an internal investigation underway at the moment." Fisher also claims that they still have not contacted him with any additional information or explanation of the event.
But another Navy spokesperson -- a Naval officer claiming to be the "official Navy spokesperson" and the only person commenting on this alleged event, says that "The Navy has not received the official complaint" and is therefore unable to confirm that any hacking attempt was made. In both an e-mail to Double Scoop and a live phone conversation, the spokesperson would only clarify that "donhqns1.hq.navy.mil is a server -- not an end user. Until we receive the actual complaint there's really nothing we can do. All I have now is words from a newspaper...the only information is from the media...I do not yet have the actual complaint. We need to find the details of their complaint before we can proceed."
According to this "official" Navy spokesperson, "The Navy has servers of that nature, but I can't comment further until we've seen the complaint and an investigation has been launched. The Navy hasn't received a formal complaint yet." Sources said that Merchant Technology's complaint had gone first to the U.S. Embassy in London, had been forwarded to the U.S. Naval attache there, and was making its way through channels in the Pentagon. A statement from the Navy is expected soon. But our "official" spokesperson also claims that "Since the complaint went to the American embassy - unless otherwise directed by the embassy - we will provide our response back to them"
Interestingly, a BBC story on May 6, entitled "Dolphin charity hacked by the Pentagon" reports that "The group (WCDS) claims American navy was trying to get detail s of a report on how dolphins trained for military use in the former Soviet Union have been sold off since the end of the Cold War" and quotes Stroud as promising to "give them the report, but they just have to wait like everybody else." The story was similarly reported on May 8 by Kristi Essick for InfoWorld Electric.
According to Fisher, the report will be released September 5, 1998.
Philip Breeden, a press officer at the U.S. Embassy in London, was unavailab le for comment at press time.
Copyright C 1999 ZD Inc.
All rights reserved.
UK: Dolphin charity |
'hacked by the Pentagon'
Wednesday, May 6, 1998
U.S. Navy caught hacking |
into British marine charity Web site
By Kristi Essick