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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Father Raymond Decker

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Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

Abstract

Memo from To: JOSHUA LEDERBERG M Father Decker BW The US has strongly supported this gjroposal. The USSR has refused, demanding instead a vague? and uninspected, unenforeeable prohibition against H~~XK~B~~KH~XH~~X~ the production and stockpiling of all biological and chemical weapons. Is a tank car of chlorine gas, for indystrial use, a 'weapon'? It is quite clear this is just a stalling tactic. Meanwhile, they have made no commitments whatever (beyond ehe no FIRST use implied by the Geneva protocol) in response to Pres. Nixon's policy statemen on BW. Since the Geneva protocol has had explicit reservetmons universally attached that limit it to FIRST use, i.e., that would lagitimize C or BW in retaliation, it is no inhibition whatever against stockpiling C or BW munitions. Knowing that they in- deed have such stockpiles, what weight should you gave to their mere pledge that they do not intend to use such weapons? I fear that any arrangements that giue them a further advantage to the pursuit of clan- destine work will also give further leverage to the already powerful totalitarian element of what is now the penultimate of a police state. ---------se Needless to say, the historic (<1970) tion of the US on the Geneva protocol an insufferable blot. posi- was

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