The Shape of Everything
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February 27, 2010

This is just crazy, and the first time I have ever heard of this: The Chemist's War, The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences.

Here's a quote:

'The results were immediate, starting with that horrific holiday body count in the closing days of 1926. Public health officials responded with shock. "The government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol," New York City medical examiner Charles Norris said at a hastily organized press conference. "[Y]et it continues its poisoning processes, heedless of the fact that people determined to drink are daily absorbing that poison. Knowing this to be true, the United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes, although it cannot be held legally responsible."'

The whole read is good, and nuts. It's amazing what folks will allow to happen in the name of "upright behavior".