ALERT: Army to burn NERVE GAS in OREGON.

   The following is a section of a message that from the net that was forwarded to me and my reply to it. As a general rule for this style of commentary, the message that I am commenting on will be in this typeface and my comments will be in the typeface you are reading now.

  Jackie, I knew about this. A member in my survival group lives in that area. Currently he is stocking up on gas masks, military surplus MOPP suits, water, etc. He is ex-military and this has him worried. I guess the community has raised their voices in protest, but to no avail. Even Oregon legislators tried to stop by demanding an Environmental Impact Study, but the EPA said it wasn't necessary. Everything that the people have tried has failed. What is real frustrating is that the efforts of citizens and their leadership is going unheard by the press. It is interesting to note, that if a bird or a fish or a frog or a bug habitat is threatened the ECO-TERRORISTS rise en-masse to prevent it (by blocking various construction, logging shows, dams, etc.), but we haven't heard one ECO-TERRORIST cry out in angry over this. No one seems to care of the dangers to human health. Once again the people's concerns are ignored and the POWERS-THAT-BE prevail. Roxy

I have two comments on this:

(1) This stuff does legitimately need to be disposed of, and burning at extremely high temperatures is supposedly one of the best ways to do it. Given potential problems with the containers holding the nerve gas, it makes more sense to do this on site in a relatively unpopulated area than shipping them somewhere else. To attempt to ship the containers outside the site they are currently stored at could potentially expose even more people if some sort of accident occurred. While there are a whole bunch of things that the government and the military are doing that warrant getting bent out of shape over, IMHO this is not one of them.
Look at it this way, bearing in mind the potential problems with transporting the stuff any significant distance from where it is now. If they don't dispose of it by burning it on site at temperatures high enough to neutralize the toxic effects of the agents in question, then how do you want them to dispose of it? Or do you want them to try to sit on the stuff forever? Bearing also in mind that the last option effectively doesn't exist. In fact, the last option simply postpones the day that a leak will occur, and possibly magnifies the severity of it due to the fact that both the containers and the systems designed to handle the gases will doubtlessly have deteriorated more with age than they are now.

(2) If you really want the eco-terrorists on your side, you're going about it all wrong. Don't tell them about how many thousand humans might die. They don't care. Instead point out that any nerve agent that will kill people will do a bang up job on spotted owls and other endangered critters. However, given the analysis that I have presented in (1), I think that the best thing to do is to simply let the Army go about the business of trying to dispose of the stuff properly on site.
My advice, for what you think it's worth, is not to directly butt heads with the Army over this and tell them not to do something that logically needs to be done. Instead focus on educating the people living in the general area on the sort of civil defense procedures that they need to know to deal with the potential problems that might arise. Try to get the local governments involved in setting up the monitoring stations that they would need to detect a problem and get timely warning to the populace.
Because in the final analysis, the gas is there now. Unless it gets shipped somewhere else, which is a very risky proposition in some respects, it will always be there. Unless it is destroyed, which puts and end to the problem forever.
Why can I say that, given that the Army will always have some chemical agents in it's arsenal somewhere? Because the new agents are binary. That means that as opposed to using one container of poison gas, which can kill people the instant any gets out, the new agents require two containers. The contents of neither container are poisonous in and of themselves. It is only when the contents of the two containers are combined that a chemical reaction will take place which will create the poisonous agent. Thus the stuff is much safer to store and transport.

- Mike/North Central Florida Regional Militia
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These  are the personal views of Mike Johnson. He is the elected spokesman of the North Central Florida Regional Militia. They are neither endorsed nor supported by Citizens For Better Government. They are presented for informational purposes only. 

Last Revision: August 25, 1997