Re: BIOTERRORISM: Our heads in the sand...

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Tue Oct 16 2001 - 00:59:51 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> I'm in the middle of a paper on what the gradual evolution
> of bioterrorism might look like (and scaring myself silly in the
> process). Unfortunately it isn't going to be a public paper.
> You know the "crop duster" idea? It turns out that was developed
> by our own theorists as a good way to attack Washington with
> Anthrax spores and published in an Office of Technology Assessment
> report in 1994. [Stupid, stupid, stupid...]
> A good source is a collection of articles from the CDC:
> Particularly the Tucker, Davis and Olson articles.
> Samantha, I'd like to particularly suggest that you read them.
> Lets assume the Iraqi's still have 1/10th of the 84,250 liters
> of anthrax spores they were supposed to have produced. Lets
> assume that 100 kg (@ 1kg/l) can kill the low end of the 130,000
> to 3 million people estimated in the OTA assement. That quantity
> of spores would kill more than 10 million people if they could
> find a way to deliver it effectively.

"Supposed to have produced" is the operative phrase. The other
operative phrase is "if they could .. deliver it". If they have
it, they can't deliver it and if they did they know their
country would be a radioactive dustbowl soon thereafter. So
where exactly is the huge worry comming out of Iraq?

> Hussein has already demonstrated a willingness to use such
> weapons. The only thing stopping him is the knowledge that
> we wouldn't hesitate to erase him from the planet if he did.

How has he demonstrated this? You refer perhaps to his use of
against Iranians in the war? The war that we encouraged him
in? Yes, he also used some of those same weapons we gave him in
ways we weren't so happy with. Espcially when many of the gas
shells had US markings on them.

But if, and it is a big IF, he is desperate enough to use these
supposed weapons now, then what part did we ourselves play in
making him that desperate? We created this guy and largely
supplied him.

> Heed these words:
> > "Too many times in the past we have failed to anticipate future
> > developments; refused to think the unthinkable and expect the
> > unexpected. Too many times we have been out maneuvered by those who
> > take the time to think and plan and do not simply rely on reacting
> > to events. We must learn to think like our potential adversaries
> > if we are to avoid conflict or blunt an attack, because only superior
> > thinking and planning (not just better technology) will enable us to
> > survive biological warfare."

This is true. But the best way to avoid dying in a war is not
to get into one. The second best way is not to prolong one
unnecessarily or push more and more people into the enemy camp
and increasingly inflame them.

- samantha

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