The last of the chemical weapons stockpile at the U.S. Army's Umatilla Chemical Depot has been successfully incinerated.
For nearly 50 years, it was the deathtrap next door: 3.7 tons of nerve gas and blister agent, a big part of America's chemical weapons arsenal, stored at a depot near the little town of Hermiston, Ore.
On the last Tuesday of every month, 76 large sirens mounted on 50-foot poles across three counties would emit a blast of sweet-sounding Westminster chimes, followed by a reassurance that this was only a drill -- if not, a loud blare would have sounded instead and residents would have known that a plume of some of the deadliest poison on Earth was headed their way.
On Tuesday, the sirens sounded for the last time -- only hours after the final chemical agents there were destroyed. The end of the three-year disposal effort marked one of the closing chapters for the United States' once-massive buildup of weapons of mass destruction.
The last ton of mustard agent at Umatilla was successfully torched at 9:17 a.m., leaving the U.S. with just three of nine original chemical weapons storage sites, the last of which is scheduled for full disposal by 2023. Even deadlier caches of VX and sarin nerve agent were destroyed earlier at the northern Oregon facility.
TVNL Comment: Why has the US always been allowed to produce and stockpile weapons of mass destruction and, at the same time, have the audacity to call other nations 'terrorists' and 'bad guys' for even being suspected of doing the same? Oh yes, American 'exceptionalism'..