INFINITE TERROR – A CASE FOR CALMgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
INFINITE TERROR – A CASE FOR CALM
Bio-terrorism and Bio-chemical attacks seem to be the words of the day, with panic scenarios being forecast daily across the pages of the press around the world. Many of these stories are exaggerated attempts to sell copies and serve only to frighting people.
Firstly, there is no evidence from any source that such attacks are going to happen. They remain a possibility, along with a host of others. Statistically, a person has a better chance of being killed by a falling flower pot than by anthrax, Sarin, or botulism.
Secondly, any such attacks that might happen would take place on an extremely limited scale in a small, restricted area. It would be more a question of being unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the time. Thirdly, it is necessary to separate biological weapons from chemical weapons, because they are two completely different entities.
Biological weapons are extremely difficult to produce on a scale massive enough and not to have alerted the secret services of all the players in the current crisis management scenario; none of the so-called “rogue states” has anywhere near the capacity to mass produce biological agents for weapons. In the highly improbable event that such an attack might occur, the three most likely agents to be used would be anthrax, botulism ,or smallpox, the latter being the more probable in this case, according to a British intelligence expert. Smallpox (Lat. variola) is a disease that was eradicated in the 1970s through the adoption of mass inoculation programs with Jenner’s vaccine. The panic buying of gas masks in recent days around the world is understandable, however this equipment is useless against biological agents.
Far easier to produce and use are chemical weapons. They are cheap to manufacture in large qualities and relatively easy to deploy. All that is needed is the chemical agents/reagents to produce the final product. Again, these weapons would only be effective in a city if used in a crowded space, such as was demonstrated in Tokyo with the Sarin gas attack. However, once again, the logistical problem of spreading these materials over a wide enough area to make a great impact on a large scale would be extremely difficult. If the Al-Qaeda terrorists are aiming at eye-catching dramatic strikes, neither biological nor chemical weapons would be easy to deploy with efficiency.
The current panic might have been exacerbated by the fact that the World Health Organization brought forward its paper "Health Aspects of Biological and Chemical Weapons" by a few weeks.
With the right security measures adequately carried out, the scenario of a “bio-chemical attack” will be relegated to its rightful place, the pages of science fiction stories. What needs to de done is introduce strict control over the movement of potentially dangerous chemicals and tight security around areas where there is a large concentration of people. Grounding crop-dusting aircraft seems to be a sensible short-term measure, as does a state of maximum alert among the health services, such as hospitals and civil-contingency services.
The problem is how patient the terrorist groups are and how long they are able to remain anonymous by lying low and by not attracting attention. Sooner or later, a crop-dusting aircraft will have to take off, a packet will be left unattended on a metro train platform, and a single man will be allowed to scale, unaccompanied, up to the roof of a high building near an airport to perform maintenance work on a chimney. It will be hoped that in his bag are tools and not a shoulder-launched heat-seeking missile.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), September 29, 2001
Interesting that Pravda ("Truth") made this claim
Smallpox (Lat. variola) is a disease that was eradicated in the 1970s through the adoption of mass inoculation programs with JennerÂ’s vaccine
The Soviet Union apparently made TONS of this virus. See
"The Demon in the Freezer": http://cryptome.org/smallpox-wmd.htm "The Bioweaponeers": http://cryptome.org/bioweap.htm http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/plague/ http://seercom.com/bluto/smallpox/ http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol5no4/davis.htm http://www.emergency.com/1999/alibek99.htm http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=006WHI http://www.homelanddefense.org/darkwinter/index.cfm
If you read through all of these, go do something afterwards to balance your emotions!
-- dont believe pravda (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 2001.
There are many different deadly viruses in existence, which are highly contagious. Furthermore, there are methods of "weaponizing" reservoirs of some such viruses that I can think of, which don't require much technology; although the releasing terrorist may become infected in the process. This is no obstacle for "suicide" terrorists. I don't want to detail explicit methods, so as not to give terrorists any ideas. Suffice it to say, there is NO reasonable case for "calm" in the face of this threat.
-- Robert Riggs (email@example.com), September 29, 2001.
Im more worried about Red China using our focus on Arab terrorists to release bio agents and let the arabs get blamed. They might infect people getting themselves smuggled into the US without telling the hopeful refugee why he was getting a "shot". The whole scene nowdays scare the hell out of me.
-- ainitfunny (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 30, 2001.