CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Archive for December 30th, 2010

* Dugway Proving Ground … a major U.S. Army resource for bio-defense research and testing … how has Dugway’s budget been impacted by the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 30, 2010

the sun sets at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah

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see previous posts

* who benefited from the 2001 anthrax attacks? … $50 billion to the biodefense industry … > $6 billion for biodefense research and facilities

* who benefitted from the FBI failure to solve the 2001 anthrax mailings case? … first to benefit … the Bush/Cheney plan to invade Iraq

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from the Dugway Proving Ground web site …

http://www.dugway.army.mil/index.php/index/content/id/20

Dugway Proving Ground covers 798,214 acres: an area approximately the size of Rhode Island. It is the Army’s largest land mass facility, and thus is an ideal environment to be the Defense Department’s leader in chemical and biological defensive testing, environmental characterization, and remediation technology testing. Such tests evaluate the reliability and survivability of all types of military equipment in a chemical or biological environment.

Life Sciences Division  – Mission

  • To design, perform, and report results of biological defense testing in support of the West Desert Test Center (WDTC) mission
  • To safely test our warfighters future equipment to the highest standards within cost and schedule.
  • Testing is performed in the field with biosimulant aerosol challenge materials.
  • In Bio-Safety Level II (BSL2) and Bio-Safety Level III (BSL3) laboratories, respectively, biological simulants and select agents are aerosolized to test detection, decontamination and protection systems.
  • Additionally, the division provides materials and a staff of scientists as expert support for testing at Dugway Proving Ground (DPG), as well as biological defense worldwide.

Aerosol Technology Branch – Functions

  • Acts as the aerosol center of expertise for Dugway Test Activity, maintaining expertise in the areas of aerobiology, aerosol instrumentation, characterization, dissemination and calibration and aerosol physics.
  • Maintains and operates aerosol science laboratories up to Bio-Safety Level III (BSL3), including the Aerosol Characterization Facility, Aerosol Simulant Exposure Chamber and Containment Aerosol Chamber.
  • Is responsible for the management and operation of outdoor field trials utilizing biological simulants.
  • Prepares test chambers and support equipment for simulant and pathogen aerosol testing. Responsible for the characterization (particle size and concentration) of aerosols utilized for testing to include the operation of test fixtures and aerosol generation and sampling equipment.
  • Identifies methodology shortfalls dealing with aerosol issues. Develops and executes methodology investigations to remedy deficiencies.

Bio-Technology Branch – Functions

  • Provides expertise in testing and evaluation of biological defense systems and equipment with applications spanning multiple disciplines including microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, metrology, aerosol science, materials science, and environmental science.
  • Produces bacteria, fungi, viruses, toxins, agent-like organisms, biological simulates, and environmental interferents for joint CBDP developmental and operational testing and evaluation.
  • Operates fully capable Bio Safety Level III (BSL3) laboratories employing personnel certified in Biological Personal Reliability Program and Special Immunization Program.
  • Conducts rigorous qualitative and quantitative analysis of biological test materials from government and civilian programs utilizing techniques such as: ELISA, qPCR, RT-PCR, MicroSeq, VNTR, ECL, MIDI, Biolog, API Test Strips, BCA Protein Assay, ProteomeLab PF 2D, GC-MS, HPLC, gradient centrifugation, gel electrophoresis, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and optical spectrophotometery (FTIR, UV-VIS, fluorescence, and backscatter), as well as practices traditional microbiological, small mammalian, and chemical techniques.
  • Designs and implements testing protocols for point- & standoff-detection systems, individual protection and collective protection equipment, decontamination reagents and materials, stability and survivability studies.
  • Carries out regular technical readiness evaluations and validation/accreditation studies of acquisition technologies.

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Carol Ezzell wrote in Nature (1988) …

http://www.foet.org/past/documents/NatureSeptember291988.pdf

  • Yielding to pressure from local residents and anti-biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin, the US army last week announced that it will drop its plans to build a high-containment weapons laboratory at its Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.
  • Instead the army intends to construct a less sophisticated facility that would not be suitable for testing the microbes which most worry opponents: genetically engineered microbes and those which cause incurable diseases.
  • The army has contended that the tests it plans to conduct at the Dugway facility do not require the highest containment level (biosafety level 4), but that it would prefer to build such a facility in case its needs change, and as an added degree of safety.
  • It played down the option of building a lower-containment biosafety level 3 laboratory on these grounds in the environmental impact statement on its biological defence activities. That impact statement was produced as a result of a lawsuit brought by Rifkin in 1985 (see Nature 331, 647; 1988).

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Leigh Dethman wrote in the Deseret Morning News (5/26/2005) …

  • Nobody really knows everything that happens at Dugway Proving Ground.
  • The military base in Utah’s west desert where defenses against deadly biological and chemical weapons are tested is a constant target of rumors and speculation.
  • But one thing is certain — Dugway’s mission is valuable to the Department of Defense.
  • The facility received top rankings from the Pentagon in a report released to the Base Realignment and Closure commission.
  • Dugway’s primary mission is to test chemical and biological defense systems. The facility also performs nuclear, biological and chemical survivability testing on defense gear.
  • Utah’s congressional delegation believes Dugway’s mission will increase dramatically, but that it will be funded through the Department of Homeland Security.

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LMW COMMENT …

I have been trying to get Dugway’s budget numbers for bio-defense work in the years since 2001, so far without success. Does anyone have a source for that information?

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I don’t claim to know who committed the 2001 anthrax attacks.

But I have written a novel which tells a story that many readers, including a highly respected member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, say is “quite plausible.”

what do readers say about CASE CLOSED?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/case-closed-reader-comments/

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *


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* who benefited from the 2001 anthrax attacks? … $50 billion to the biodefense industry … > $6 billion for biodefense research and facilities

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 30, 2010

LMW COMMENT …

It has been amply demonstrated on this blog that the FBI’s publicly revealed case against Dr. Bruce Ivins is bogus.

Let’s assume for the moment that the FBI does not have more evidence to prove that Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks. Let’s further assume that, after the largest investigation in its history, the FBI has in fact solved the case.

This raises the possibility that the FBI knows who did it but they’re not telling.

If so, who is the FBI protecting? And why?

In pursuing answers to these questions, it is perhaps useful to consider … who has been a beneficiary of the 2001 anthrax attacks and the FBI’s failure to solve the case?

A recent post on this blog suggested that the Bush/Cheney decision to invade Iraq was aided in large measure by the clear (and false) message they put out that Saddam Hussein had anthrax and the means to deliver it to the U.S.

Secretary of State Colin Powell at the UN on Feb 5, 2003

See this previous post at … * who benefitted from the FBI failure to solve the 2001 anthrax mailings case? … first to benefit … the Bush/Cheney plan to invade Iraq

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Who else has become awash in cash

as a result of the 2001 anthrax attacks?

 

biodefense and biodefense research are big business

the Biodefense industry …

  • The major contemporary bioterrorist event which has opened up programs of research and development in pharmaceutical countermeasures and treatments was the anthrax mail attacks which occurred in October 2001.
  • Since then the biodefense industry has grown massively, with the US releasing around $50 billion in biodefence funding in 2001-2009.

http://www.marketresearch.com/product/display.asp?productid=2445038

  • In the years since anthrax-laced letters were sent to members of Congress and news organizations in late 2001, killing five people, almost $50 billion in federal money has been spent to build new laboratories, develop vaccines and stockpile drugs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/us/03anthrax.html?_r=1&hp

bioterrorism research …

  • Nature 2002prompted by the recent anthrax scare in the US, the Bush administration is to enhance bioterrorism research programs at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v8/n1/full/nm0102-6a.html

  • Forbes 2010 … The government has spent $5.6 billion during the last six years under one program, HHS’s Project BioShield. The FY2011 budget calls for $6.48 billion in bio-defense spending across many agencies.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/21/bioterror-vaccines-manufacturing-technology-breakthroughs-biodefense.html

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I don’t claim to know who committed the 2001 anthrax attacks. But I have written a novel which tells a story that many readers, including a highly respected member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, say is “quite plausible.”

what do readers say about CASE CLOSED?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/case-closed-reader-comments/

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

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