"Gay Bomb": What Would James Holsinger Say?


Our tax dollars and our brilliant military minds at work. This is precious.

From The Washington Post

“Sunshine Project Uncovers US Military ‘Gay Bomb’: Pentagon Examined Sexual Warfare Proposal From Air Force’s Wright Laboratory”

By Emil Steiner

In my job I come across a lot of strange stories, but this is one is almost too wild to believe. In December 2004, The Sunshine Project, a watchdog group based in Austin, Tex., and Hamburg, Germany, that opposes biological weapons, uncovered a “U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.” The story got some press in early 2005, but quickly vanished into that great internet junkyard of forgotten URLs, the only memory being a lonely wikipedia entry.

There it lay, all but dead until one week ago when The Huffington Post resuscitated the tale with a tongue-in-cheek entry asking: “[i]sn’t it always the best ideas which fall by the wayside?” A CBS news affiliate in California adopted it last Friday and since then this offbeat classic has experienced a viral rebirth across the blogosphere. Here are the broad-strokes:

The proposal came from the Air Force’s Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, which requested $7.5 million to develop a so-called “gay-bomb.” Using the Freedom of Information Act, Edward Hammond, director of the U.S. office of the Sunshine Project, obtained a copy which was “part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons.” If completed, the bomb would release a chemical aphrodisiac “and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical… soldiers would become gay.” This would cause their units to break down as the troops “became irresistibly attractive to one another.” In addition to a “gay bomb” the proposal also mentions using chemicals which could make bees angry so that enemy forces would be attacked not only by our troops but also swarms of stinging insects.

Defense Department officials have acknowledged that such ideas were proposed by the Air Force in 1994, and then “quickly dismissed.” They played down the significance of the Sunshine report, stating that many proposals come their way that are rejected for ethical reasons. But Hammond disputes their dismissal as “absolutely incorrect.” He contends, that “if [the ideas] had been summarily rejected I would never have found them.” He went on to state that the Joint Non-lethal Weapons Directorate, based out of Quantico, actually used the “gay-bomb” idea as a marketing tool in a CD-ROM from 2001-2002 and that “the Pentagon… submitted it to the highest scientific review body in the country.”

So, much like the media’s coverage of this story, the original “gay bomb” idea may have been proposed, dismissed and then resurrected by a different branch of the military (in media terms, think print to blog to TV). Now the gay and lesbian communities, which are already suspicious of the U.S. military, have yet another reason to shake their heads in disbelief. And they are not alone. Leave aside the “Kids In The Hall” absurdity of “attack bees” and “gay bombs.” The fact that The United States Air Force asked for $7.5 million for a project that assumes a) sexual orientation can be altered through chemicals and b) homosexuals are more interested in sex than duty is certainly worthy of a second life in the blogosphere.

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"Gay Bomb": What Would James Holsinger Say?

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