US rejects taking responsibility for it’s own use of chemical weapons

aimed at destroying the forest and jungle cover used by enemy North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops fighting against U.S. and South Vietnamese forces in the Vietnam War. U.S. aircraft were deployed to spray powerful mixtures of herbicides around roads, rivers, canals and military bases, as well as on crops that might be used to supply enemy troops. During this process, crops and water sources used by the non-combatant peasant population of South Vietnam could also be hit. In all, Operation Ranch Hand deployed more than 19 million gallons of herbicides over 4.5 million acres of land.

The most commonly used, and most effective, mixture of herbicides used was Agent Orange

Effects on US war veterans

In 1979, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 2.4 million veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during their service in Vietnam. Five years later, in an out-of-court-settlement, seven large chemical companies that manufactured the herbicide agreed to pay $180 million in compensation to the veterans or their next of kin. Various challenges to the settlement followed, including lawsuits filed by some 300 veterans, before the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed it in 1988. By that time, the settlement had risen to some $240 million including interest.

Effects on Vietnam

In addition to the massive environmental impact of the U.S. defoliation program in Vietnam, that nation has reported that some 400,000 people were killed or maimed as a result of exposure to herbicides like Agent Orange. In addition, Vietnam claims half a million children have been born with serious birth defects, while as many 2 million people are suffering from cancer or other illness caused by Agent Orange.

In 2004, a group of Vietnamese citizens filed a class-action lawsuit against more than 30 chemical companies, including the same ones that settled with the U.S. veterans in 1984. The suit, which sought billions of dollars worth of damages, claimed that Agent Orange and its poisonous effects left a legacy of health problems and that its use constituted a violation of international law. In March 2005, a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, dismissed the suit; another U.S. court rejected a final appeal in 2008. 

http://www.history.com/topics/agent-orange

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The CIA about al Qaidas capability to use chemical weapons

“Al-Qa’ida and associated extremist groups have a wide variety of potential agents and delivery means to choose from for chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attacks…however, most attacks by the group—and especially by associated extremists—probably will be small scale, incorporating relatively crude delivery means and easily produced or obtained chemicals, toxins, or radiological substances…Analysis of an al-Qa’ida document recovered in Afghanistan in summer 2002 indicates the group has crude procedures for making mustard agent, sarin, and VX.”

http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/opinion/musa-algharbi-toxic-discourse-on-chemical-weapons_17457

Does the US have “100% evidence” that the Syrian Army used Sarin?

“American intelligence officials have still not been able to determine a chain of custody for the blood samples supplied by Syrian rebels that reportedly tested positive for sarin.  That is, they have not been able to establish who exactly handled the principal piece of evidence establishing “proof” of chemical weapons use by the regime.  A rather remarkable admission given that it took two full weeks for the blood samples to reach Western intelligence agencies from rebel hands.”

“Indeed, as McClatchy reported, independent chemical weapons experts maintain that “they’ve yet to see the telltale signs of a sarin gas attack, despite months of scrutiny.””

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/17/the-chemical-weapons-pretext-for-war-on-syria-2/