Monday, Feb 9, 2009
Is the Army missing some nerve gas?
Pentagon auditors concede that is a remote possibility because of discrepancies in records between how much chemical weapons agent was initially stored and how much of it was later destroyed at Utah’s Deseret Chemical Depot and other bases nationwide.
But officials believe all the nerve agent in question was destroyed, according to a partially censored U.S. Army Audit Agency report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Auditors list in it several reasons that could have caused apparent-but-unreal variances in those records.
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But auditors concluded, “The (Army Chemical Materials) Agency didn’t have complete assurance that amounts recorded in the system were accurate, which increased its chances for heightened levels of program scrutiny by federal, state and international organizations that have a vested interest in the elimination of chemical weapons.”
Such words can cause shivers among Utahns who remember such things as the death of thousands of sheep in Skull Valley in 1968 that were blamed on nerve gas tests that went awry at nearby Dugway Proving Ground, and Skull Valley residents who have blamed mysterious illnesses on exposure to tiny amounts of nerve agent from such tests.
This article was posted: Monday, February 9, 2009 at 11:22 am