Thursday, September 09, 2004

Massively Destructive Weapons Destruction...

If you don't live in the Pacific Northwest, you might not be aware of the chemical weapons stored at Umatilla, Oregon at the U.S. Army's Chemical Weapons Storage Depot.

From a
July 2000 press release, from Rep. Peter DeFazio's (D) office:

"On September 15, 1999, 34 workers were sent to the hospital after suffering symptoms such as vomiting, chest pains, and difficulty breathing. The Army, and Raytheon, the military contractor for the Umatilla depot, investigated the area where the workers were afflicted and denied that there was any release of Sarin or Mustard nerve gasses. Under the Freedom of Information Act, a group of the affected workers obtained reports of the incident from the Federal and State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). According to those documents, the Army and Raytheon's own data shows the release of Sarin and Mustard gas on multiple days from September 13-18, 2000."

They've tried to figure out how to safely get rid of the stuff...But it turns out that's pretty tricky to do--oh, and the
incinerator designed for the purpose doesn't work quite right, either. There are more than a few safety concerns about the whole process.

yesterday they incinerated the first chemical rocket. Seems they drill a little hole, drain the Sarin--or Mustard gas, or what-have-you--into another container, then cut the rocket up and cook it. After they've collected enough liquid, they incinerate that too.

Yeah...that's right. They burn it all. The army assures us that this is a very safe process.

Who the fuck thinks this is a safe thing to do (besides the army-powers-that-be)? I'm sure glad I'm not living just downwind from Umatilla, Oregon. Apparently, they project it will take at least
six years to dispose of this particular stockpile of weapons.

Oh--one other question: If they really had found any chemical weapons in Iraq, what the bleeding hell did they propose to do with them? We don't even know how to get rid of our own chemical weapons without risking the health of our citizens.


Alex said...

I’m inclined to agree with you that the optimal word is "fear" which probably stems from mankind’s insecurity. I read somewhere that these toxic dumps also leak like crazy. Isn’t fire (and brimstone) the universal cleanser??? In about 1 - 2 billion years as the crow flies the sun is due to run out of fuel, become a red giant and incinerate the rest of us unless we find a way to get the hell out of here!!

Mac said...

Yeah...but where are we gonna go?

Alex said...

Who knows???? We can't even find a habitable planet. I guess it is the old dinosaur thing again unless we get our ass into gear!!