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US chemical weapons in Panama for removal

san-jose-ila-620x264.jpg
Contamination remains

A PLAN  for the destruction of chemical weapons left by the US army  on Panamas San Jose Island, has been endorsed by the  Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

In a technical inspection carried out by the OPCW in 2002, it detected eight chemical weapons left on the island by the US Army.

The destruction work will be carried out by North American specialists and members of the Technical Explosives  Unit of the National Police.

The destruction must be done between September and November.

The destruction of the chemical weapons is the result of a cooperation agreement between the Republic of Panama and the United States of America, based on Article IV, paragraph 12, of the Convention on the prohibition of development, production, and use  of c hemical weapons and their destruction.

The bilateral agreement includes the financing and execution of the operation by the US.

The operation is subject to monitoring and verification by the OPCW.

The plan for the destruction of chemical munitions and its subsequent verification was presented to the 85th Executive Council of the OPCW by the Representative of Panama to The Hague, The Netherlands, Willys Delvalle, and was publicly acknowledged by Argentina, Chile, Mexico And Guatemala.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/us-chemical-weapons-panama-destruction

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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to US Chemical Weapons in Panama Being Considered for Destruction

The U.S. has budgeted $13 million to destroy chemical weapons which they left behind on Isla San José in the Pearl Islands off the coast of Panama. The work is supposed to take place in September and October.

It's taken Panama over 15 years to get the U.S. to look after this.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford
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Read the book:

Emperors in the Jungle   Author: John Lindsay-Poland    Duke University Press.  The hidden history of the U.S. in Panama. This is investigative journalism at it's best. Among other topics it uncovers the US Army's decades long program of chemical weapons tests in Panama.  It is well worth a read.  Amazon.com has it.

If you read this expose' you'd come to the conclusion that a heck of a lot more than 8 weapons are left.....deteriorating in the tropical jungles of Panama in various locations. 

51I4ScS1MPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Edited by Brundageba
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3 hours ago, Brundageba said:

Read the book:

Emperors in the Jungle   Author: John Lindsay-Poland    Duke University Press.  The hidden history of the U.S. in Panama. This is investigative journalism at it's best. Among other topics it uncovers the US Army's decades long program of chemical weapons tests in Panama.  It is well worth a read.  Amazon.com has it.

If you read this expose' you'd come to the conclusion that a heck of a lot more than 8 weapons are left.....deteriorating in the tropical jungles of Panama in various locations. 

 

There was a lot going on in Panama during the Vietnam years. Some of it still hasn't been written about, maybe never will be. Panama was a "proving ground" for projects due to its similar environment.  Probably not our finest hours.

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The country was used for proving grounds for the durability of chemical weapons in a tropical environment.  Panama was quick to oust the US without firm demands that immediately all the chemical weapons that were left be taken with them.  US left and left all the nasty stuff behind to rot in fields, forests and islands all around Panama. That only 8 chemical weapons were identified as needing removal by the U.S is a mere drop in the bucket methinks. That the months of September-November were the months designated as the ones that this job was to be done on San Jose island in the Pearls puzzles me.  This is when the weather is the very worst here and the swells ( waves) and currents are the very nastiest.

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Not if you are a surfer here in Panama Pacific coast J & N !  Winds are predominantly very strong onshore almost daily with very large ocean swells driving towards the land mass. It's not like those containers are new...they have been rotting in the jungle for a long time.

surfing-RADIATION-CALIFORNIA.jpg

Edited by Brundageba
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On 7/22/2017 at 8:53 AM, Brundageba said:

If you read this expose' you'd come to the conclusion that a heck of a lot more than 8 weapons are left.....deteriorating in the tropical jungles of Panama in various locations.

Canada is not without involvement in these exercises and their leftovers.

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Opinion:

DOUG SAUNDERS

Let’s not forget Canada’s legacy of gas warfare

The Globe and Mail 

Published Saturday, Jul. 22, 2017 8:00AM EDT

On a blustery night in 1917, a group of bone-weary Canadians crouched in a trench in northern France, rose to check the wind, issued a terse order and reached down to open valves on the steel tanks buried in the mud.

Over the hours that followed, Canada’s release of chlorine and phosgene gas would kill or badly injure more than 700 people, mostly their own comrades, who slowly suffocated on their inflamed lungs or were shot by Germans as they writhed in agony.

The horrifically botched gas raid on Vimy Ridge, weeks before the better-remembered battle there, was the first significant use of weapons of mass destruction on the battlefield by the Canadian Corps. It would not be the last: Canada would make heavy use of gas, including during the Battle of Vimy Ridge itself, throughout the war, and mass-produce it and test it on human subjects for decades after.

A century ago this month, soldiers were first exposed to the blistering agent known as mustard gas. It would become Canada’s signature product over the decades that followed. As University of Alberta historian Susan Smith discovered in research for her new book, Toxic Exposures, Canada enthusiastically embraced these weapons in the years before and during the Second World War and turned itself into a nexus for the production and testing of mustard gas, including experiments in Alberta that exposed 2,500 Canadians to the ghastly chemicals.

Canada’s shift from a country staunchly opposed to weapons of mass destruction, then almost overnight into a key user and producer, and then back again, is a lesson in how quickly we can abandon our most closely held principles if we do not firmly protect them in law. At a moment when mustard and nerve gases are once again killing people at the hands of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, we should take this lesson to heart.

It was not, as some would say, that values were different in those days, or that we’re applying today’s standards to yesterday’s decisions. Quite the contrary. Gas warfare had been outlawed by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. Canadians knew the consequences better than anyone: They had been victims of gas warfare when Germans unleashed chlorine for the first time in April, 1915.

In the wake of that atrocity, the military historian Tim Cook writes, “soldiers [in the Canadian Corps] from the lowest private to the highest field marshal were vehemently opposed to the use of chemicals to suffocate men who had no chance of defending themselves.” The decision two years later to turn Canada into a gas-warfare country was opposed by many officers: “Gas was not the weapon of choice, but of desperation,” Dr. Cook writes. “Ill-placed faith created delusions which outweighed all logical assumptions.”

Once untethered from the bonds of morality and the laws of war, Canada could not let go of its new weapon.

A century after it began, Canada’s gas-warfare legacy hasn’t ended. This week, the United States announced that it would clean up the 3,000 unexploded Canadian-made mustard-gas shells that litter the Panamanian island of San Jose, occasionally causing burns to workers who dislodge them. Those shells are the legacy not just of Canada’s large-scale manufacture of gas-warfare agents during the Second World War, but also of a series of experiments in the 1940s, when Canada and the United States exploded more than 30,000 gas shells on the island to expose hundreds of soldiers to the gas to test “racial” theories of chemical-weapon resilience that even at the time were considered dubious.

In the decades since, Canada has become a key player in international efforts to ban and restrict the use of inhumane weapons – and has sometimes tried to hide its embarrassing past. This week, David Pugliese, a writer with the Ottawa Citizen, found out using Access to Information requests that Ottawa, in 2001, had declined Panama’s request to clean up its mustard-gas sites. Canadian diplomats had warned of the image problem this would create: “At present, we see considerable risk of a public-affairs failure if we were to proceed,” one diplomat reported at the time.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/lets-not-forget-canadas-legacy-of-gas-warfare/article35759816/

 

Edited by Keith Woolford
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Canada’s role in Panama’s abandoned WMDs

AS THE US prepare to spend $13 million on ridding Isla San Jose of chemical weapons left behind after the hand over of the canal, revelations in a major Canadian newspaper shows that its peace loving neighbor to the north played its part in the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Panama.

Canada joined the US in exploding 30,000 Canadian made mustard gas shells on the island during experiments in the 1940’s.

In 2001 Canada turned down a request from Panama for the removal of the 3000 unexploded shells

A book review by Doug Saunders  in the Globe and Mail, recounts Canada’s checkered past in dealing with poisonous gas starting with the botched use of chlorine and phosgene by the Canadian Corps in 1917.

It killed or badly injured over 700 mostly Canadians “who slowly suffocated or were shot by Germans as they writhed in agony,” in front of  Vimy Ridge weeks before the better-remembered battle there. It was the first significant use of weapons of mass destruction on the battlefield by the Canadian Corps. It would not be the last: Canada would make heavy use of gas, including during the Battle of Vimy Ridge itself, throughout the war, and mass-produce it and test it on human subjects for decades after.

A century ago this month, soldiers were first exposed to the blistering agent known as mustard gas. It would become Canada’s signature product over the decades that followed.

As University of Alberta historian Susan Smith discovered in research for her new book, Toxic Exposures, Canada enthusiastically embraced these weapons in the years before and during the Second World War and turned itself into a nexus for the production and testing of mustard gas, including experiments in Alberta that exposed 2,500 Canadians to the ghastly chemicals.

Canada’s shift from a country staunchly opposed to weapons of mass destruction, then almost overnight into a key user and producer, and then back again, is a lesson in how quickly we can abandon our most closely held principles if we do not firmly protect them in law. At a moment when mustard and nerve gases are once again killing people at the hands of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, we should take this lesson to heart.

gas-1-300x225.jpg

German soldiers  in 1915 gas attack 

It was not, as some would say, that values were different in those days, or that we’re applying today’s standards to yesterday’s decisions. Quite the contrary. Gas warfare had been outlawed by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. Canadians knew the consequences better than anyone: They had been victims of gas warfare when Germans unleashed chlorine for the first time in April, 1915.

In the wake of that atrocity, the military historian Tim Cook writes, “soldiers [in the Canadian Corps] from the lowest private to the highest field marshal were vehemently opposed to the use of chemicals to suffocate men who had no chance of defending themselves.”

The decision two years later to turn Canada into a gas-warfare country was opposed by many officers: “Gas was not the weapon of choice, but of desperation,” Dr. Cook writes. “Ill-placed faith created delusions which outweighed all logical assumptions.”

Once untethered from the bonds of morality and the laws of war, Canada could not let go of its new weapon.

A century after it began, Canada’s gas-warfare legacy hasn’t ended. This week, the United States announced that it would clean up the 3,000 unexploded Canadian-made mustard-gas shells that litter the Panamanian island of San Jose, occasionally causing burns to workers who dislodge them. Those shells are the legacy not just of Canada’s large-scale manufacture of gas-warfare agents during the Second World War, but also of a series of experiments in the 1940s, when Canada and the United States exploded more than 30,000 gas shells on the island to expose hundreds of soldiers to the gas to test “racial” theories of chemical-weapon resilience that even at the time were considered dubious.

In the decades since, Canada has become a key player in international efforts to ban and restrict the use of inhumane weapons – and has sometimes tried to hide its embarrassing past. This week, David Pugliese, a writer with the Ottawa Citizen, found out using Access to Information requests that Ottawa, in 2001, had declined Panama’s request to clean up its mustard-gas sites. Canadian diplomats had warned of the image problem this would create: “At present, we see considerable risk of a public-affairs failure if we were to proceed,” one diplomat reported at the time.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/canadas-role-abandoned-wmds

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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Chemical Weapons and WMDs in Panama Being Considered for Destruction

Yes.....I had read both.   Panama has been messed up by both the USA and as well Canada.  In one article the number of weapons was 3000 which seems more in line than the 8 earlier mentioned.   In another article I read there was a photograph of one.  I was fairly blown away at how large each one is.....like the size of a torpedo, covered in mud and overgrowth.   It strikes me as serious business cleaning this up.

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  • Admin_01 changed the title to US and Canadian Chemical Weapons and WMDs in Panama Being Considered for Destruction
On 7/22/2017 at 8:19 AM, Keith Woolford said:

The U.S. has budgeted $13 million to destroy chemical weapons which they left behind on Isla San José in the Pearl Islands off the coast of Panama. The work is supposed to take place in September and October.

I don't think that will cut it...$13 million.

Read the process to get rid of them:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_of_chemical_weapons

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http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/chemical-weapons-from-secret-canadian-u-s-mustard-gas-program-in-panama-to-be-destroyed/wcm/576223a7-52c7-48e9-bf57-406bb91776cb

http://www.mire.gob.pa/index.php/en/noticias-mire/10472-opaq-endorses-plan-for-the-destruction-of-chemical-weapons-on-san-jose-island-panama

In the last article it was stated:

"A group of specialists from the United States will train personnel of the Technical Explosives Unit of the Panamanian National Police in the process of destruction and verification, which will give Panama an installed human and technical capacity to address these types of contingencies. The logistics includes the equipment, facilities and measures to guarantee the safety of the personnel involved and of the environment.

Opting for bilateral collaboration, and with the technical support of the OPCW throughout the process, Panama will achieve the results it has sought for decades. In addition, the demarche of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and collaboration between the Ministries of Security, Health and Environment will finally allow Panama to take concrete actions to dispose of chemical weapons in its territory."

To me this sounds like the US will send some experts to teach Panamanian National Police how to remove these weapons. In this way Panama would become independent in removal of the dangerous material themselves in the future.  Sounds like a real deal ( eyes rolling)  USA will fund, teach, build facilities then skedaddle and leave Panama to do the job?...am I ready this right????

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52 minutes ago, Brundageba said:

http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/chemical-weapons-from-secret-canadian-u-s-mustard-gas-program-in-panama-to-be-destroyed/wcm/576223a7-52c7-48e9-bf57-406bb91776cb

http://www.mire.gob.pa/index.php/en/noticias-mire/10472-opaq-endorses-plan-for-the-destruction-of-chemical-weapons-on-san-jose-island-panama

In the last article it was stated:

"A group of specialists from the United States will train personnel of the Technical Explosives Unit of the Panamanian National Police in the process of destruction and verification, which will give Panama an installed human and technical capacity to address these types of contingencies. The logistics includes the equipment, facilities and measures to guarantee the safety of the personnel involved and of the environment.

Opting for bilateral collaboration, and with the technical support of the OPCW throughout the process, Panama will achieve the results it has sought for decades. In addition, the demarche of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and collaboration between the Ministries of Security, Health and Environment will finally allow Panama to take concrete actions to dispose of chemical weapons in its territory."

To me this sounds like the US will send some experts to teach Panamanian National Police how to remove these weapons. In this way Panama would become independent in removal of the dangerous material themselves in the future.  Sounds like a real deal ( eyes rolling)  USA will fund, teach, build facilities then skedaddle and leave Panama to do the job?...am I ready this right????

Why not have the manufacturers of these weapons involved in destroying them?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2017-07-22 at 9:53 AM, Brundageba said:

Read the book:

Emperors in the Jungle   Author: John Lindsay-Poland    Duke University Press.  The hidden history of the U.S. in Panama. This is investigative journalism at it's best. Among other topics it uncovers the US Army's decades long program of chemical weapons tests in Panama.  It is well worth a read.  Amazon.com has it.

If you read this expose' you'd come to the conclusion that a heck of a lot more than 8 weapons are left.....deteriorating in the tropical jungles of Panama in various locations. 

51I4ScS1MPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Unfortunately, it isn't jus the jungles of Panama. Nearly half of Washington State is permanently contaminated with plutonium, and the storage site is right beside the Columbia River. It seems that no body in the last 100 years paid any particular attention to what these chemicals and substances might do in the future. 

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Okay, you got me. It isn't half the state, it is 540 square Kilometres, and it is called the Hanford Site (I'm sure you have heard of it)?

I guess my feeling on the matter, having worked in both mineral exploration and mining administration is that if Wiki says that ALL the groundwater under those 540 square kilometres is contaminated, then it would only stand to reason that a lot more groundwater is contaminated that what they will admit to. Water flows it doesn't just stay in one place.

The Hanford site has been the ugly duckling of remediation effort for decades, and now the containment vessels (that were designed to last 20 years maximum) are being breached and plutonium contamination is seeping into the space between the two walls. What happens next is anybody's guess.

And don't forget, with Plutonium, it only takes a few grains and your done for. 

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Click Here to visit a Wikipedia article about the Hanford Site. There are many other websites discussing Hanford.

Just a friendly reminder. While this diversion into the nuclear waste materials in Washington State is interesting, it is also beginning to go off-topic. Remember that this website is about life in the Chiriqui Province in particular, and Panama in general.

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US  chemical weapons in Panama destroyed

arma-495x264.jpg 
Prohibited chemical weapons destroyed

THE LAST of the chemical munitions left on a Panama island by the US military have been destroyed says  a Thursday, October 5 announcement.

Munitions have been on the San Jose island since WW II   when a lease agreement was signed in1942. committed to its destruction.

Ammunition had been identified in 2002, during a technical inspection by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)  and The United States committed to the its destruction.

The process included advice from the OPCW and the UN  which carried out monitoring and verification work from September 13 to 25 this year 2017. The destruction of chemical weapons was planned for September 14 until October 6.

150 specialists participated, including personnel from the US Southern Command,  The United States and members of the Technical Unit of Explosives of the National Police.

The Department of State, Department of Defense and the United States Embassy in Panama represented the United States in diplomatic negotiations and technical advice. with Panama’s  Ministry of the Presidency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Public Security, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment.

No damage to human health or safety or the environment has been reported during the destruction process. The United States and Panama are now committed to ensuring the objectives of the Convention on the OPCW Prohibition of Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/us-chemical-weapons-panama-destroyed

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