The story of United States research into and use of biological weapons remains a huge blank spot in the known history of this country. There have been attempts to document this history, but much remains classified or has been destroyed. The use of biological weapons dovetails with U.S. research into drugs and mind control against prisoners, as the revelations about MKULTRA or the Edgewood Arsenal experiments make clear (see this fascinating story by Michael Ignatieff in the New York Times Magazine, April 2001).
This posting is the first in a series I hope to publish over time looking at the controversial question of U.S. use of biological weapons, and its links to MKULTRA and other covert CIA or military programs. It examines the origins of the U.S. program in biological weapons research, as it grew out of the ashes of the horrific program in the same, started by the Japanese Imperial government in the 1930s. It is best known by its bureaucratic moniker: Unit 731.