Island News Service ---
Men dressed as New York City police and Homeland Security agents released lethal gas into New York City subways tomorrow. Terrorists express gratitude to the police and HLS for showing them the best way to unobtrusively gas mass transit riders. They say they never thought that it would be as easy as putting on some fake uniforms and just walking in and doing it. The terrorists claim they received assistance from Transit Authority personnel who 'thought they were helping the cops.'
Film at 11.
The thing about a number of chemical weapons is that you don't know that they are there until you are affected by one. We used to be told by Chemical Warfare instructors to whip out our gas masks and put them on immediately when we saw our friends flopping around for no apparent reason. All fine, all good but would not we also be flopping around at that point? True said they but then you inject yourself with a couple of wizzbang drugs to counteract the effect of the chemical agent. A lot of chemical warfare agents affect you through your skin.
So the thing about a gas attack on a subway is that there really is no defense against it. It says a good deal positive about man's humanity to man that while chemical warfare agents were used extensively by both sides in WWI and maintained as full up weapons for the next 85 years, no civilized nation has used them since their widespread battlefield use in France in 1918.
The attacks on subway systems by terrorists in Japan in 1995 should have been impetus enough to force first responders to learn how to deal with mass casualty situations in a chemical environment. I don't think that happened.
In re: the NAAK link. I see things have improved since my day... when we only had atropine injectors. Back in the Bad Ol' Days we used to have annual chemical warfare exercises while I was stationed in the UK, where we'd go about our duties in full chem gear for an hour or six. It was bad enough in the UK (considerin' the mild weather); I cannot imagine what it would be like to wear that get-up in SW Asia.ReplyDelete
In all the years I was in the middle east we never once went to full chemical protection. I know they did during ODS and perhaps OIF but we never saw the point. Using those kinds of weapons on ships at sea is darned hard. In SOCAL we tried gas masks for training but never more, as you say, than an hour or so.ReplyDelete
In Korea everybody was issued a gas mask, spare cartridges and maybe even a chemwarfare suit but as you'd expect they all left them at home or in their office. It was mandatory to arrive on peninsula with the gear but they couldn't make anybody carry it.
We don't really believe people will use chemicals again. Silly us.