SUMMARY: The Pentagon once looked into making a weapon that would render enemy troops sexually attracted to one another, according to a document obtained by a watchdog group.
The Pentagon briefly looked into making a weapon that would render enemy troops sexually attracted to one another, according to an official document uncovered by a watchdog group that monitors research into biological and chemical weapons.
The proposed aphrodisiac was part of a weapons development plan circulated in 1994 at the U.S. Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio. An outline of the plan was discovered by the Sunshine Project and posted on its Web site.
The six-year plan included development of several "non-lethal" chemical weapons, including one that would inflict "severe and lasting halitosis" in enemy combatants and a "sting me/attack me" chemical that would cause bees to become more aggressive.
The aphrodisiac chemical would be designed to make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. The resulting widespread homosexual behavior, the proposal suggests, would cause a "distasteful but completely non-lethal blow" to morale.
A spokesman for the Department of Defense stressed that the 1994 outline was strictly a proposal that was never approved.
"None of the systems, including the alleged sex bomb, have been developed, nor were they ever considered up for development," Lt. Col. Barry Venable told the PlanetOut Network on Friday.
The proposal estimated that the cost of the project over six years would top $7 million.
Edward Hammond of the Sunshine Project said he has seen several dozen similar military weapons proposals, but this 1994 Air Force plan was the only one he knew about that specifically addressed an anti-gay weapon. He added, however, that the sentiment behind the proposed weapon is not uncommon in the military.
"Humiliating your enemy with gay sex sounds a lot like what happened at Abu Ghraib," Hammond said, referring to the prisoner abuse scandal that was uncovered last year in Iraq.
Steve Ralls, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), said, "It is a homophobic and delusional proposition for the Pentagon to assume a gay opponent is any less formidable than a straight one."
Ralls also said that the SLDN, which is fighting the U.S. military's ban on openly gay military personnel, would look into the matter and would consider asking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to repudiate the proposal.