Why does the “Guardian bring you this news first?”. Because it’s not news, * per se *. The Guardian is using it to score a few rhetorical points is a snide, Nelson Muntz, “ha ha!” sort of way. But they seem to have missed the part about the US having dismantled their biological warfare program in 1969.
Granted, it might be worthwhile for a muckracking reporter to write some stories about what a crummy job the military has done disposing of their toxic wastes, but this is pretty irrelevant to the state of things in Iraq. The U.S. wasn’t required under the terms of a surrender agreement to destroy and document the destruction of these substances.
Ft. Detrick Unearths Hazardous Surprises -Washington Post, May 27, 2003.
The threat posed to Americans by this “not-news” is greater than anything from Saddam’s mythical germ bombs. Perhaps we should spend a couple hundred billion removing the threat.
-Neener Neener !
Finagle. Why is this not news? We’ve just engaged in a “war” to rid the world of this kind of thing. We have had people exposed to Anthrax in the mail.
We find a big “lost” cache of the stuff here in the States and it is not news?! I don’t think it would have to be a “muckraking” reporter to report on this. I think it is very significant, especially with what is going on now.
I guess one mans news is anothers “snide rhetorical point”
Do any of you folk read, or do you just skim for headlines?
Squink – the cost so far is $25 million, not “a couple of hundred billion”. And unless they find something fairly dreadful in one of those test tubes, the major threat was PCE and TCE in the ground water.
The Great Unwashed – The anthrax found here is a non-virulent form. But the US does keep strains of anthrax around so that it can develop vaccines.
quixotic78 – In 1991, Iraq was told, “destroy all your WMDs and document it”. We have lists of what they had and what they destroyed. They don’t match up. This has little or nothing to do with the failures of the US military in their record keeping.
As near as I can tell from the article, the U.S. did at Fort Dietrich what was SOP for the time with toxic chemicals – they took it out back and dumped it. Most of what they’re finding (and what initiated the cleanup) is trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene – solvents and degreasers known to be carcinogenic. (Almost every military base from that era has a similar toxic waste problem.)
Look, I’m not saying that it was responsible to dump this shit off the back porch, but the drawing of parallels to the WMD situation in Iraq is pretty ingenuous.
Actually, didn’t someone examined the corpses of the Iraqi Kurds and concluded they died from cyanide poisoning, which Iraq never possessed? Whereas Iran, Iraq’s long-time enemy next door, happened to have a lot of cyanide at the time…?
I vaguely recall reading something along these lines; if someone has more detail, I’d appreciate it.
I’m confused, and I admit I might not have been paying full attention.
Was the anthrax that was being posted of American military/military research origin?
When you say “non-virulent”, what does that mean? The best I could find to a definition was: “non-virulent, meaning it is incapable of causing disease, or it is not easily transmitted to people” – so does that mean not contagious or without symptoms?
TGU-- I am not a microbiologist, but: There are lots of strains of anthrax around. Depending on where you live, it might even be in the soil. But it’s primarily regarded as a danger to livestock and those people who work in professions that bring them into close contact with livestock. In other words, anthrax in its natural state is sufficiently hard to catch that it’s quite rare to become infected.
I imagine different strains vary in their virulence and preference for certain hosts. Weaponized versions have been selected for virulence, purified and might have been bred for antibiotic resistance. From the descriptions of the stuff that was mailed out, I think it was also processed so that the spores were of the correct size to become airborne.
As the article in the OP stated, the US did keep some strains of (I assume) weaponized anthrax around so that they could develop vaccines. DNA testing can (and I guess did) determine whether the strain that was mailed out was related to one of those strains. But no one claimed that the stuff found in test tubes at Fort Dietrich is of that strain.
Sezyou – no one said this was a big lost cache. The article said “100 tiny test tubes”. My * guess * is that when they closed down the lab, people took shortcuts and dumped some of the less scary stuff (like unmodified anthrax) down a big hole. This, incidentally, is what you’re supposed to do with an anthrax-infected animal – either burn it completely or bury it deep.
Ms. Cora Jean DuPree
127 Javelina St.
Well, guess by now you hear the news! We found some! Yessiree!. The CIA came through again. Little late maybe, and more than a dollar short, but still… Nuclear anthrax labs from Mobile!
Gotta say, the pictures ain’t much. Looks kinda like that ol’ tractor out back of Uncle Franks house, just not as rusty. I don’t have any pictures myself, but you can go to Uncle Franks and see 'em on Fox News, they’ll be showing 'em ever five minutes for the next week or so.
So you can tell that smartass at the Dew Drop that America can prove that we aren’t 100% full of bullshit (sorry, Mom. Won’t happen again), not more that 97-98%, tops. Walking tall, walking proud now! What other country can lie out of both sides of thier mouth, in six languages while chewing gum and dribbling a basketball? Sure as hell not France! Nosir!
Next thing, I hear, is go next door and kick butt on them Sh’ites. (No, Mom, thats what they call themselves! God only knows why…)