Pentagon accused of race-based chemical weapons experiments on US troops during second world war

The US Department of Defense (DOD) acknowledged decades ago that mustard gas experiments were performed on American troops during the second world war, but National Public Radio (NPR) has uncovered evidence that these test subjects were divided by race.

According to the NPR, thousands of African-Americans, Puerto Ricans and Japanese soldiers fighting for the US were enrolled into these mustard gas studies because the DOD wanted to determine how the agent and other chemicals affect different races. The DOD was particularly interested in the effects of chemical weapons on US soldiers of Japanese extraction to learn how they might affect Japanese troops.

DOD documents reveal that more than 100 experiments were conducted in Panama to gather data on ‘the behaviour of lethal chemical agents,’ according to the NPR. The DOD says it cannot confirm the reports but has no reason to doubt their accuracy. It adds that it is also working with veterans’ organisations to provide care for those affected by the testing.