The Return of Willy Peter

or The State Department doesn't know what its Defense Department is doing (see posting below denying any use of chemical weapons titled What was the talking point on Saddam Hussein..."

From Daily Kos -- quoting from the March edition of Field Artillery Magazine in an article entitled "The Fight for Fallujah":

"'WP [i.e., white phosphorus* rounds] proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out..."

* White phosphorus -- ignites on contact with air, attaches stickily to skin and quickly burns its way in, ultimately to the bone, prevents wound healing...

From EPA's Air Toxics Network:

White phosphorus is extremely toxic to humans, while other forms of phosphorus are much less toxic. Acute (short-term) oral exposure to high levels of white phosphorus in humans is characterized by three stages: the first stage consists of gastrointestinal effects; the second stage is symptom-free and lasts about two days; the third stage consists of a rapid decline in condition with gastrointestinal effects, plus severe effects on the kidneys, liver, cardiovascular system, and central nervous system (CNS). Inhalation exposure has resulted in respiratory tract irritation and coughing in humans. Chronic (long-term) exposure to white phosphorus in humans results in necrosis of the jaw, termed "phossy jaw." EPA has classified white phosphorus as a Group D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity.

Nasty stuff, definitely not nice at all.


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