23 June 2006

The Memory Hole uncovers Pfizer's Chemical/Biological Weapons Report

This news from the invaluable Memory Hole, which exposes the deeply entrenched connections between government and industry concerning one of Uncle Sam's chief talents: producing Weapons of Mass Destruction:

Back when the US had an openly acknowledged, offensive chemical-biological-radiological weapons program (as opposed to the secret, illegal one it has now), many pharmaceutical and chemical corporations developed these weapons for the military. Among them was drug giant Pfizer, whose better-known products include Viagra, Zoloft, Rogaine, and Rolaids.

In this 1964 report, the company (then called Chas. Pfizer & Co., Inc.) discusses its first year of research under its contract to create incapacitating agents, which produce tremors, dysphoria, confusion, muscle fatigue, pain, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing or swallowing, hypersensitive skin, dangerously low blood pressure, and/or - most intriguingly - retrograde amnesia. Despite the absence of the word biological from the report's title, Pfizer also discusses its work with microbes in addition to chemicals.

The report was declassified on 16 April 2001, although it doesn't appear to have made it to the general public until now. After seeing it listed in a bibliography I requested from the Defense Technical Information Center, I filed a FOIA request for it.

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