Biological Attack? By Who? Against Whom?

Ken AshfordHealth Care, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

I blogged about it here, but there was little national attention to it.

But Salon is picking up on the story.  From Sploid:


It is the most perplexing "non story" of the American terror era: For the first time ever, a half-dozen of the bioweapons air sensors installed around Washington, D.C., all set off alarms. Over a single 24-hour period, each had collected evidence of airborne quantities of the deadly bacteria francisella tularensis.

The bacteria is "one of six biological weapons most likely to be used against the United States," according to the federal government. It causes a deadly disease known as tularemia, which responds to treatment with antibiotics but otherwise kills half of its victims … many of whom would assume they had common flu until it was too late.


Today, revisits the possible bioweapons attack on the nation’s capital. Experts are bewildered by the lack of government concern, and raise a question that should have sent the American news media into a frenzy:

Another possibility is that somebody was testing U.S. biological weapons defenses. How sensitive are the sensors? How quickly and effectively can the government react?

"The Department of Homeland Security would have to consider the possibility that it was neither natural nor an attack, but that it was a testing of the system," says Alan Pearson, a former DHS official, who is now the biological and chemical weapons director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a nonpartisan organization. "Was somebody trying to see what would happen?"

"Somebody" testing U.S. biological weapons defenses … on Washington’s Mall, on the very day an estimated 300,000 Americans gathered to protest the White House’s endless war. If somebody within the government was running an experiment to "see what would happen," were they satisfied that the news media would all but ignore the event if not directed to cause hysteria?

The Bangor (Maine) Daily News seems to be the only other publication to revisit what could have been either the biggest biological terror attack in U.S. history or a government "drill" using live bioweapons on citizens who oppose the nation’s wars.

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While government health officials say it’s all fine, as nobody got tularemia, people did get sick at the Mall. Some of those who spoke to say they were treated with antibiotics for flu-like symptoms, the same medicines that would be used to kill tularemia.