Bracing for Armageddon?: The Science and Politics of by William R. Clark

By William R. Clark

Considering September eleventh, the specter of a bioterrorist attack--massive, deadly, and unpreventable--has hung within the air over the United States. Bracing for Armageddon? deals a vividly written primer for the overall reader, laying off mild at the technological know-how at the back of power bioterrorist assaults and revealing what may well occur, what's more likely to take place, and what potentially won't take place. the tale opens with a riveting account of a bioterrorism state of affairs commissioned by means of the U.S. govt. utilizing this doomsday tableau as a springboard, Clark reports a bunch of bioterrorist threats (from agroterrorism to a poisoning of the water offer) and examines not just the worst-case threat of genetically engineered pathogens, but additionally the deadly brokers at the CDC's reputable bioterrorism checklist, together with Smallpox, Anthrax, Plague, Botulism, and Ebola. His review of tried bioterrorist assaults to date--such because the failed Aum Shinrikyo makes an attempt in 1995 in Japan and the Anthrax assault within the US following 9/11--bolstered through interviews with quite a number experts--shows why nearly all of those makes an attempt have failed. certainly, he demonstrates winning bioterrorism assault is awfully not going, whereas an enormous flu epidemic (such because the lethal epidemic of 1918 that killed hundreds of thousands world wide) is a digital simple task. Given the lengthy odds of a bioterrorist assault, Clark asks, has the greater than $40 billion the USA has devoted to the security opposed to bioterrorism relatively been good spent? Is it time to maneuver directly to different priorities? unlike the alarmist fears stoked via the preferred media, William Clark right here presents a reassuring review of what we actually have to fear about--and what we do not.

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They could as easily blow back into the faces of the troops having to use them. 42 • B R ACI N G F O R A R M AG E D D O N? After an additional two years of domestic and international discussions, in April 1972 President Nixon signed an international agreement commonly referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), slated to come into full effect in 1975. Eventually, over 150 countries would sign it. During this interim period, the United States began systematic destruction of existing stockpiles of biological weapons and converted its major research facility at Fort Detrick to studying ways to protect American military and civilian populations against biological weapons in the future.

Those they felt were responsible for their manifold failures in life. They set out to amass various weapons, including bombs—and a potent plant-derived toxin called ricin. Highly purified ricin is, on a gram-for-gram basis, probably a hundred times more deadly than sodium cyanide, and a lot more toxic than cobra venom. They obtained the ricin by responding to an advertisement in a white-supremacist magazine published in Oregon. The ad sketched the virtues of an “assassination kit” based on ricin, which turned out to be a dozen or so castor beans (the natural source for ricin, which they were offering for one dollar per bean) plus instructions for extracting and purifying the toxin.

They had purchased salmonella essentially over the counter, from a Seattle scientific supply house. S. Attorney Charles Turner, the top federal prosecutor in Oregon. He was to be spared infection with salmonella. Cult members planned to shoot him. They failed. But they also intended to use their cultured salmonella to poison the Dalles water supply in the days before an upcoming election. The grand plan, as it turned 28 • B R ACI N G F O R A R M AG E D D O N? out, was to reduce the number of Wasco County citizens able to vote, thereby increasing the influence of Rajneeshees.

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