Tuesday, September 03, 2013

(Chemical) blast from the past - 2

While the US and the world was keeping silent about Iraqi use of chemical weapons 1983-1988,  it was different about the Soviets.  The NYT, March 9, 1982:
WASHINGTON, March 8— The Reagan Administration asserted today that Soviet forces had killed at least 3,000 people in Afghanistan with poison gas and other chemical weapons in violation of an international treaty the Soviet Union signed.

Deputy Secretary of State Walter J. Stoessel Jr. told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the information came from Afghan Army defectors who had been trained by the Soviet Union in chemical warfare and from refugees in Pakistan who purportedly were victims of chemical attacks.
''As a result of chemical attacks, 3,042 deaths attributed to 47 separate incidents between the summer of 1979 and the summer of 1981 have been reported,'' Mr. Stoessel said. He said the number was based on conservative analyses and was reliable. 

Number May Be Higher 

A State Department intelligence official, Deputy Assistant Secretary Philip H. Stoddard, who accompanied Mr. Stoessel to the hearing, said, ''We think the actual total of numbers killed by chemical weapons was considerably higher.'' 

In his testimony, Mr. Stoessel said, ''Analysis of all the information available leads us to conclude that attacks have been conducted with irritants, incapacitants, nerve agents, phosgene oxime and perhaps mycotoxins, mustard, lewisite and toxic smoke.''
The UN conducted an investigation and found the evidence to be inconclusive.