NBC Weapons: March 3, 2003

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American troops in Kuwait take the Iraqi chemical threat very seriously, and everyone has to have their gas mask and chemical protection kit (antidote for nerve gas) with them at all times. But the CIA does not follow as strict a routine for protection from chemical attacks. Recently, two CIA agents were inside a U.S. Marine base in Kuwait to attend a meeting with about a dozen Marine officers. Suddenly, the chemical attack alarm went off and everyone in the camp thought it was the daily chemical attack drill and began putting on their masks. Then came an announcement over the camp PA system, "this is not a drill." Suddenly the masks were going on rather more quickly. Meanwhile, the two CIA agents, who at first appeared bemused when the chemical alarm went off, now began to look a little anxious. One asked a masked Marine, "Is this a real chemical attack." The Marine replied, "We'll know for sure when you two guys fall over dead." It was a false alarm. A construction vehicle unearthed an unexploded shell from the 1991 war and crushed it, releasing a plume of white smoke. This led to the chemical alarm, which was canceled after about ten minutes when the truth of the matter was determined. Thereafter, you couldn't always spot the CIA guys by looking for Americans in uniform who were not carrying a gas mask. 

 


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