Robert Burns (definitely NOT the poet) has dropped yet another non-story on the public via the AP titled “US Considered Poisons for Assassinations”. James Taranto could file this under ‘Breaking Story From 1948’, only the joke in this case would be the fact that the story IS from 1948.
It is full of fun factoids that are harmless enough up front where the article establishes early that radioactive poisons were only one possible weaponization option under consideration, and in the end were NOT given a high priority nor were they slated for implementation:
Work on a "subversive weapon for attack of individuals or small groups'' was listed as a secondary priority, to be confined to feasibility studies and experiments.But deep in the article, the author drops a juicy quote from a one ‘Barton Bernstein’.
Now normally I could (and would) let that little bit of nauseous hand-wringing at the end of the quote slide on by without comment, but......
Barton Bernstein, a Stanford history professor who has done extensive research on the U.S. military's radiological warfare efforts, said he did not believe this aspect had previously come to light.
"This is one of those items that surprises us but should not shock us, because in the Cold War all kinds of ways of killing people, in all kinds of manners - inhumane, barbaric and even worse - were periodically contemplated at high levels in the American government in what was seen as a just war against a hated and hateful enemy,'' Bernstein said.
Barton Bernstein is to my mind a ‘serial historical revisionist’. Professor Bernstein earned a special place in the Air Force Association’s archives on the controversy surrounding the Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian back in 1995 as part and parcel of his apparent quest to convince the world that dropping the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was anything but neccessary. He has also revealed himself to be quite a delightful Reagan ‘denier’ (2002 transcript and audio here). Just add today’s article to Bernstein’s revisionist ‘pile’ and resist the temptation to ask the good professor in what way the 'hated and hateful enemy' might not have been anything BUT hated and hateful. Two words prof'.....Joe and Stalin.
As to the article's author....
IMHO Robert Burns has made a career out of writing disparaging and slanted articles on the military and defense with lots of puff pieces in between as filler. I consider him a ‘Military Writer’ only in the same manner as General Schwartzkopf regarded Saddam Hussein a ‘Military Strategist’.