USA Today reports on a new book called Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten
, by 75-year-old James Ketchum, a former Army shrink who participated in efforts to try to weaponize drugs like LSD and marijuana. I haven't read the book yet, but the article about the book is perhaps unintentionally humorous. USA Today's reporting style just seems to clash with anecdotes such as these:
Soldiers under the influence of hallucinogens ate imaginary chickens, took showers in full uniform while smoking cigars and chatted with invisible people for two to three days at a time. One attempted to ride off on an imaginary horse while another played with kittens only he could see. Another described an order of toast as smelling "like a French whore."
At any rate, the book is about Army experiments on volunteer subjects, not evil CIA experiments on unwitting victims, but it still looks to be an interesting read. Did the Army ever succeed? Not really; LSD and pot were too unpredictable. However:
The program did yield one hallucinogenic weapon: softball-size artillery rounds that were filled with powdered quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ, a deliriant of the belladonnoid family that had placed some research subjects in a sleeplike state and left them impaired for days. Ketchum says the BZ bombs were stockpiled at an Army arsenal in Arkansas but never deployed. They were later destroyed.
Suuuuuure they were.