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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Judge Approves Navy Spraying Banned Chemicals in Eyes of Recruits

United States Navy Training - 2009 Style

Pepper spray is banned for use in war by Article I.5 of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The "spray may contain water, alcohols, or organic solvents as liquid carriers; and nitrogen, carbon dioxide, or halogenated hydrocarbons (such as Freon, tetrachloroethylene, and methylene chloride) as propellants to discharge the canister contents," the North Carolina Medical journal wrote in a study. "Inhalation of high doses of some of these chemicals can produce adverse cardiac, respiratory, and neurologic effects, including arrhythmias and sudden death."

But that doesn't stop our Navy from spraying it in the eyes of recruits for "training purposes" and it didn't stop Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from deciding that he wasn't in a position to overrule the Navy's decision to continue the practice. He ruled on Friday that the Navy can spray recruits in the eyes with pepper spray, even though it has been linked to death and is banned during warfare by international law.

The use of direct-impact [pepper] spray indisputably risks injury, but the agency decided that this risk was offset by the benefits of training,” Leon wrote. “Plaintiffs allegation that the action was ‘clearly not the product of reasoned thought,’ is little more than a legal conclusion and provides insufficient support for its claim that the agency decision was arbitrary and capricious.”

The decision, revealed by the blog of Legal Times, is in response to a case brought by naval officers, who argued that the practice of "
subjecting trainees to a direct shot of pepper spray was dangerous and deprived them of their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. They said the Navy could rely on less intense training methods, such as smearing a small amount of the spray on the skin beneath the eyes, or forcing trainees to walk through a room that had previously been sprayed."

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, there have been 27 deaths among people sprayed in California alone since 1993, although the deaths were not directly linked to the chemical. In particular, it can be fatal for individuals with asthma. 

America was once a great country.  I now feel ashamed.

source:  RAW STORY

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