By Janet C. Phelan
The Center for Disease Control has declined to confirm or deny allegations that the United States government is stockpiling biological and/or chemical weapons at Sierra Army Depot, a military base in Northern California.
According to a biomedical engineer who worked at the medical clinic at Sierra Army depot in the seventies, the base at one time contained a stockpile of nuclear weapons that have been replaced by large vats of liquid. In an interview the CDC declined to confirm or deny the existence of biological safety labs level 4, called BSL-4.s that handle the most dangerous germs known to man, some of which have no known treatment or cure and pose a grave threat to human life.
Following 911, and particularly following the anthrax letters which came fast on the heels of the Twin Towers attacks, these “biological safety” labs started to proliferate as silently and quickly as mushrooms. At this point in time, Congress is allocating over one billion dollars a year to fund biological defense research. But is it really defensive research going on in these labs?
According to the Sunshine Project, an international non-profit working against the hostile use of biotechnology, the institutional safeguards put into place to ensure that these labs are doing the appropriate kinds of research are almost nonfunctional and the mandated research was not taking place. Non-authorized research is occurring instead.
The Pentagon did not respond to queries concerning BSL-4’s on two military bases. The possiblepresence of these weapons at Sierra Army Depot augurs the likelihood that these weapons are being stockpiled on other bases, as well.
The apparent “secret” presence of BSL-4s on military bases, coupled with indications of biological and/or chemical stockpiles at Sierra and elsewhere, point to the likelihood that the U.S. is engaged in developing biological warfare agents. This is a violation of the international Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The U.S. signed the convention in 1972 and is a repository of this international arms treaty, along with Russia and Great Britain. Unlike many other arms treaties, which come with a host of inspection regulations and repercussions for violators, the BWC has no teeth. There is no investigatory capability and no oversight body to assign penalties. In this sense, the BWC is merely window dressing.
It has recently come to light that the United States violated this treaty, at least on paper, through the passage of the Expansion of the Biological Weapons Statute, which is published as Section 817 of the U.S. Patriot Act. This statute largely reflects the language of the BWC, which restricts the development, production, and stockpiling of biological weapons. However, there is a caveat at the end of 817 which releases the United States government from culpability for violating the restrictions: “ (c) Whoever knowingly violates this section shall be fined as provided in this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both, but the prohibition contained in this section shall not apply with respect to any duly authorized United States governmental activity.” It is through this caveat that the U.S. violated both the letter and spirit of the BWC. What the U.S. has accomplished, through the passage of the Expansion of the Biological Weapons Statute, is to give itself a “blank check” for the deployment of these weapons.
The anthrax attacks themselves belie the declarations that the U.S. is not engaging in this research. It has been generally acknowledged that the anthrax contained in the several letters was cooked up in a government lab. The FBI’s contention that they “had their man” in Dr. Bruce Ivins seemed to be both confirmed and put into suspension by Ivins’ alleged suicide. The mainstream media played down the fact that Ivins, who allegedly overdosed on Tylenol, began to gain strength in the hospital. While waiting for a kidney transplant, he was subsequently removed from life support.
Recently, the National Academy of Sciences released their long awaited report concerning the FBI investigation, which nailed Ivins as the anthrax mailer. The National Academy did not endorse the methodology used by the FBI to determine that Ivins was culpable and was unable to support and endorse the Department of Justice’s conclusions concerning Ivins’ guilt.
The affixing of responsibility to Dr. Ivins, who was a researcher at Ft. Detrick, does have its political perks. The identification of a suspect (conveniently, now dead) removes suspicion from anyone else lurking in these labs. It certainly derails any concerns of a larger, government conspiracy concerning the anthrax letters, which were received by liberal Congressmen and members of the media right before the vote on the U.S Patriot Act. Viewed through this lens, nagging doubts may surface, in which a biological warfare agenda emerges into the foreground as a dark and ominous possibility. And are these toxins being stockpiled on military bases and if so, why?
Categories: Iraq/Military, Politics
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