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Headlines US army plans to bulk-buy anthrax


THE US military wants to buy large quantities of anthrax, in a controversial move that is likely to raise questions over its commitment to treaties designed to limit the spread of biological weapons.

A series of contracts have been uncovered that relate to the US army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. They ask companies to tender for the production of bulk quantities of a non-virulent strain of anthrax, and for equipment to produce significant volumes of other biological agents.

Issued earlier this year, the contracts were discovered by Edward Hammond, director of the Sunshine Project, a US-German organisation that campaigns against the use of biological and chemical weapons.

One "biological services" contract specifies: "The company must have the ability and be willing to grow Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain at 1500-litre quantities." Other contracts are for fermentation equipment for producing 3000-litre batches of an unspecified biological agent, and sheep carcasses to test the efficiency of an incinerator for the disposal of infected livestock.
Major concern

Although the Sterne strain is not thought to be harmful to humans and is used for vaccination, the contracts have caused major concern.

"It raises a serious question over how the US is going to demonstrate its compliance with obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention if it brings these tanks online," says Alan Pearson, programme director for biological and chemical weapons at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington DC. "If one can grow the Sterne strain in these units, one could also grow the Ames strain, which is quite lethal."

The US renounced biological weapons in 1969, but small quantities of lethal anthrax were still being produced at Dugway as recently as 1998.

It is not known what use the biological agents will be put to. They could be used to test procedures to decontaminate vehicles or buildings, or to test an "agent defeat" warhead designed to destroy stores of chemical and biological weapons.
Highly provocative

There are even fears that they could be used to determine how effectively anthrax is dispersed when released from bombs or crop-spraying aircraft. "I can definitely see them testing biological weapons delivery systems for threat assessment," says Hammond.

Whatever use it is put to, however, the move could be seen as highly provocative by other nations, he says. "What would happen to the Biological Weapons Convention if other countries followed suit and built large biological production facilities at secretive military bases known for weapons testing?"

A spokesperson for Dugway said the anthrax contract is still at the pre-solicitation stage, and the base has not yet acquired the agent. They refused to say what it will be used for.


Why are they wasting their money on this....:( They should be using it to help rebuild the destroyed towns and cities (hurricanes) not buy anthrax. America is one stuipid country.


Chaotic Neutral
Disadvantaged-c said:
Why are they wasting their money on this....:( They should be using it to help rebuild the destroyed towns and cities (hurricanes) not buy anthrax. America is one stuipid country.
America itself is not stupid (well maybe 51% stupid), but you can blame Bush and its administration of neocons.


Thats what i mean :). I know there is alot of intelligent people in america and I know there is alot of retarted hicks, as you said 51% is a good estimate.


Soul Doubt
If you ever get a letter from the US government, my advice is to Return to Sender... Take that, Bush! Anthrax ya right back!


Banned - What an Asshat!
Boycott said:
If you ever get a letter from the US government, my advice is to Return to Sender... Take that, Bush! Anthrax ya right back!
I got a letter from the government
The other day
Opened it and read it
It said they were suckers
They wanted me for their army or whatever
Picture me givin’ a damn, I said never

public enemy..


a.k.a. FuckTheBullShit
Well, some of that is fairly frightening. But there are plausible reasons why the military would be buying these items.

We've seen in recent years that anthrax has been used as a weapon against citizens of the US. Granted, it was probably one or two nuts mailing it around. But it does raise the question that if some joker can get enough to use in that way, could a country or terrorist group get enough to make a viable weapon of mass destruction? What are the chances that such a weapon could be used against US troops in places like Iraq?

From what I read, they're buyin a non-virulent form of the virus. To me, that sounds like it would not be used to make weapons but rather for research or vaccines. Chances are if the military wanted a vaccine they'd have just ordered it. But they could be looking into safer or more effective vaccines.

The also ordered sheeps carcasses for incineration tests. Soooo... hmmm... we have a non-weapon form of the disease and sheep to be used for incineration. Reading between THOSE lines it's plausible that the US military is looking for a safe way to decontaminate a battle field.

As far as testing in crop dusters etc... that's purely conjecture. Howerver, testing delivery methods would also be vialb research in trying to determine the most productive way to defend troops and civilians from contamination. It's not like our enemies (many of whom we've created) are going to step up and say "Yeah, dude we're gonna put this shiznit in a plane and fly it around your troops and stuff."

I'm not normally a huge fan of our government. Ok, I think from my past posts we can all get the idea that I pretty much hate Bush, the war in Iraq and most Conservatives. But from what I read in the article Jung provided, there are some pretty plausible reasons this would be happening. That or they're just gonna snort it for shits and giggles.