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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
US defends use of white phosphorus weapons in Iraq
WASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Wednesday acknowledged using incendiary white-phosphorus munitions in a 2004 offensive against insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja and defended their use as legal, amid concerns by arms control advocates. Army Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. military had not used the highly flammable weapons against civilians, contrary to an Italian state television report this month that stated the munitions were used against men, women and children in Falluja who were burned to the bone. "We categorically deny that claim," Venable said. "It's part of our conventional-weapons inventory and we use it like we use any other conventional weapon," added Bryan Whitman, another Pentagon spokesman. Venable said white phosphorus weapons are not outlawed or banned by any convention. However, a protocol to an accord on conventional weapons which took effect in 1983 forbids using incendiary weapons against civilians. The protocol also forbids their use against military targets within concentrations of civilians, except when the targets are clearly separated from civilians and "all feasible precautions" are taken to avoid civilian casualties. The United States is a party to the overall accord, but has not ratified the incendiary-weapons protocol or another involving blinding laser weapons. White phosphorus munitions are primarily used by the U.S. military to make smoke screens and mark targets, but also as an incendiary weapon, the Pentagon said. They are not considered chemical weapons. The substance ignites easily in air at temperatures of about 86 degrees F (30 C), and its fire can be difficult to extinguish. 'APPROPRIATE OR NOT' Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, questioned whether the U.S. military was using the weapons in a manner consistent with the conventional weapons convention. "White phosphorous weapons should not be used just like any other conventional weapon," Kimball said. Kimball called for an independent review of how the United States was using the weapons and possibly an investigation by countries that are parties to the convention "to determine whether their use in Iraq is appropriate or not." U.S. forces used the white phosphorus during a major offensive launched by Marines in Falluja, about 30 miles (50 km) west of Baghdad, to flush out insurgents. The battle in November of last year involved some of the toughest urban fighting of the 2-1/2-year war. Venable said that in the Falluja battle, "U.S. forces used white phosphorous both in its classic screening mechanism and ... when they encountered insurgents who were in foxholes and other covered positions who they could not dislodge any other way." He said the soldiers employed a "shake-and-bake" technique of using white phosphorus shells to flush enemies out of hiding and then use high explosives artillery rounds to kill them. The Italian documentary showed images of bodies recovered after the Falluja offensive, which it said proved the use of white phosphorus against civilians. "We don't target any civilians with any of our weapons. And to suggest that U.S. forces were targeting civilians with these weapons would simply be wrong," Whitman said.
White phosphous generates toxic smoke Inhalation of the smoke causes immediate scarring of the lungs and subsequent suffocation the body of the person is then burned from the inside out.
For more details of what it can do check out this Wiki

Firing WP at people from the air is considered targeting civilians
 

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Experenced But New User
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God, what will be next. Is this not concidered a biological weapon?
 

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Coffee Demon
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It's easy to talk about things you don't really know about. Willy Pete (White phosphorus) has been used in wars since well before the Vietnam War. The military employs it as an obscurant or an incidiary attack against heavily armored vehicles.

Why this story is bull:
Because the harmful effects to humans and animals, WillY Pete is only deployed against armored vehicles and only under ideal weather conditions (wind can disipitate the effectiveness or blow the agents off target). It is usually deployed via airstrike (they used mortars back in the day, but wind changes proved damaging)

In a war where US troops would use precision airstrike technology in order to reduce the possibility of harming civilians, Why the F would they use willy pete in potential civilian areas? Why weren't reports more rampant? The US didn't (and still doesn't) have much favor in this war...Don't you think more news casters would jump on this story just to undermine the US Military? There is no validity to this story...thats why

We do have rules in regards to the use of weaponry. For example...50 calibur rounds are powerful antitank / ant-iaircraft and cannot be used against enemy troops. If an enemy soldier runs in the path of a 50 cal thats firing on a tank, would you ban the use of 50 calibur rounds?
If willy pete is used against armored enemy vehicles, and the enemy jumps out of the vehicle..you cannot claim it was deployed solely on that soldier.

Oh...just to clarify...Yes Willy Pete drops like a gas agent, but once ignited by oxygen it flares up and burns out. Kind of like lighting a fart on fire..Once it ignites it is gone. It doesn't just hover like a poisonous cloud (which would define a biological agent)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Somehow this story are on many other news sources using living microorganisms to cause damage to the enemy is considered using a biological weapon, toxic clouds are considered chemical weapons, weapons that burn people or other objects are considered incendiary weapons
 

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The Nexus of a Crisis, and The Origin of Storms
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Greetings,

Just thought I would drop my 2 cents into the bottomless vat of political opinions.

Starting with American politics, I think that a lot of people can realize that Democrats and Republicans are two sides to the same coin. Sure, each face is different and represents something distinct, but in the end they are both of equal value. It is however necessary for the ruling policial faction to be ursurped every now and again to make way for the opposing faction, so that a sense of balance is struck regarding the descions those in power make. It just so happens that Republicans are coming to the end of thier run and, barring any incredible mistakes, the Democrats will step in for thier turn.

As for war, war is a bloody nasty ****ing mess. As "civilized" people, we like to cover up the reality of war with nifty terms and words like "surgical strikes" and "collateral damage". In war, your object is to kill anyone who provides resistance to your objectives, and in most cases that resistance comes in the form of someone trying to kill you. The whole idea of Geneva Convention always struck me as absurd. We can agree to kill each other using only LEAD and FIRE, but we can't agree to settle this **** like the civilized humans we claim to be? It doesn't really matter how a person is killed, once they are dead. Which brings me to my next point.

How is a Phosphorus round any different than napalm? You think the dying man with his guts on fire thinks to himself "Damn, why did they kill me with a White Phosphorus round, this hurts, I would much rather have been killed with a good old fashioned bayonet to the gut"? It still hurts, and he is still going to die.

I will be the first to tell you that I don't want to be killed by a burning, vomit-inducing, suffocating cloud of mustard gas. But you know what? I don't want to be ****ing shot by a hole creating, organ removing, heavy metal poisoning-inducing piece of lead either. It's all relative in that respect.

Because I like to try and be as factual as possible, I would like to include the following from the Merck Index at the Chem. Dep. at my university:

"Caution: Ingestion of even small amounts of white phosphorus may produce severe G.I. irritation, bloody diarrhea, liver damage, skin eruptions, oliguria, circulatory collapse, coma, convulsions, death. The approx fatal dose is 50 to 100 mg. External contact may cause severe burns. Chronic poisoning (from ingestion or inhalation) is characterized by boney necrosis, especially of the mandible, spontaneous fractures, anemia, weight loss."

So yea, if you inhale white phosphorus before it catches fire and burns you to death, your going to die a horrible death. Too bad, and catching a .45ACP slug to the abdomen and then bleeding to death is so clean and painless.

EDIT: This is quoted directly from the Wikipedia link posted by Player-X:

"Exposure and inhalation of smoke
Burning WP produces a hot, dense white smoke composed of particles of phosphorus pentoxide, which are converted by moist air into phosphoric acid.

Most forms of smoke are not hazardous in the kinds of concentrations produced by a battlefield smoke shell. However, exposure to heavy smoke concentrations of any kind for an extended period (particularly if near the source of emission) does have the potential to cause illness or even death.

WP smoke irritates the eyes and nose in moderate concentrations. With intense exposures, a very explosive cough may occur. However, no recorded casualties from the effects of WP smoke alone have occurred in combat operations and to date there are no confirmed deaths resulting from exposure to phosphorus smokes."

Make of it what you will. It looks to me like it is better that the WP is already combusted/combusting, as its pure form is far more poisonous.

Sincerely,
TastEPlasma

PS Although I don't pick sides in politics, I only make choices regarding my own opinions on a per-issue basis, I am certain of one thing. George Bush Jr. is one of the dumbest, misleading, poor-at-communicating morons I have ever had the displeasure of watching on national television ... and I once saw an episode of Dr. Phil at the barber shop. oO
 

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Well said, TastEPlasma.

The use of white phosphorus (WP) and other incendiary weapons such as napalm against civilians is prohibited. However. There's an inquiry undergoing to check for exactitude of facts and responsibilities for any military mistakes regarding use of WP.

A timeline of the assault on Fallujah is available here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Phantom_Fury
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
U.S. citizen is indicted as terrorist

U.S. citizen is indicted as terrorist
Charges propel Padilla to center stage in fight over detention of Americans



Washington -- Jose Padilla, the alleged "dirty bomber" who has been at the center of fierce legal and political struggles for more than three years, has been indicted on charges that he conspired to murder people overseas and to provide support for terrorists, according to federal court documents unsealed Tuesday.

The indictment abruptly moves Padilla's case out of the shadows of his confinement in a U.S. Navy brig in South Carolina, where the Brooklyn-born former gang member has been held since President Bush declared him an enemy combatant in 2002. The indictment, handed up by a federal grand jury in Miami last week, names four other defendants.

The Bush administration hopes that the indictment will effectively derail the possibility of an adverse ruling in the case by the Supreme Court, which could decide to limit the government's ability to detain U.S. citizens as enemy combatants.

But Padilla's lawyers said they will continue to pursue their legal challenge with the high court, and legal experts said the outcome is far from clear.

"The indictment is doubtless a strategy by the Bush administration to avoid a Supreme Court ruling that would likely hold that U.S. citizens cannot be detained incommunicado as enemy combatants if they are detained on U.S. soil," said I. Michael Greenberger, a former Justice Department official who teaches law at the University of Maryland.

Padilla was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in May 2002 after the government alleged he was plotting a radiological "dirty bomb" attack. But the 31-page indictment unsealed Tuesday makes no mention of such a plot. It also does not include separate allegations, outlined by the Justice Department in 2004, that Padilla had plotted with al Qaeda operatives to blow up U.S. buildings using natural gas.

Instead, Padilla is charged with being part of a terrorism conspiracy rooted in North America but directed at sending money and recruits overseas to murder, kidnap and maim, according to the indictment.

"The indictment alleges that Padilla traveled overseas to train as a terrorist with the intention of fighting in violent jihad," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said at a news conference in Washington. "Those trained as terrorists engage in acts of physical violence such as murder, maiming, kidnapping and hostage-taking against innocent civilians."

The new charges rely on evidence gathered separately from Padilla's confinement and interrogation in military custody, meaning the government does not have to worry about the admissibility of such evidence in civilian courts, Justice officials said.

Padilla could face life in prison if convicted of taking part in a conspiracy to murder. Each of the two other charges against him, which involve providing material support to terrorists, carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Padilla's lawyers argue that his military confinement is unconstitutional under a 2004 ruling by the Supreme Court, which found that another U.S. citizen held as an enemy combatant, Yaser Hamdi, had a right to contest his incarceration. Unlike Hamdi, who was detained in Afghanistan, Padilla was arrested on U.S. soil.

The lawyers filed an appeal last month asking the high court to limit the government's power to hold indefinitely U.S. citizens such as Padilla, and the Justice Department is due to submit legal arguments in the case by Monday. Gonzales said the criminal case should make Padilla's appeal irrelevant, since he was seeking to be charged or released.

But Jennifer Martinez, a law professor at Stanford University who is helping defend Padilla, said the appeal remains valid -- in part because his status remains unclear and because other U.S. citizens could still be declared enemy combatants.

An order signed Sunday by Bush transferring Padilla into Gonzales' custody does not address his enemy-combatant status. Justice Department officials declined to comment on the issue, saying only that Padilla is a criminal defendant for the purposes of the indictment.

"There is nothing in the order that says he is not an enemy combatant anymore so ... I'd say he still is," Martinez said.

Three of the four defendants named in the indictment along with Padilla were previously charged with conspiracy-related crimes. Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi are in federal custody in Florida; a third, Mohamed Hesham Youssef, is in prison in Egypt. The fourth, Canadian national Kassem Daher, is believed to be overseas, Justice Department officials said.

The case against Jayyousi, a Jordanian-born U.S. citizen, gained notoriety in the Washington area because he worked from 1999 to 2001 as chief of facilities for the Washington, D.C., public schools. The indictment unsealed Tuesday indicates that Jayyousi, along with Hassoun and Daher, were under U.S. surveillance at least since 1995.

In dozens of conversations, prosecutors allege, the defendants used code words and phrases -- such as "green goods," "soccer game" or "football match" -- to refer to money, terrorist training and jihad or holy war. There are two unexplained references to buying "zucchini."

The indictment portrays Padilla as being recruited into a terrorist support network run by the other defendants, who, starting as early as 1993, raised money and identified operatives for deployment in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Egypt, Somalia and elsewhere. The document does not identify specific attacks arranged by the group and does not name Padilla as an al Qaeda member, as authorities have alleged.
And thus American freedom draws it's last breath
 
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