PEJ News - C. L. Cook - More than a week after massive protests against the Iraq war and occupation in Washington, public health officials informed the media of their detection of an unusually high occurrence of the biological pathogen, francisella tularensis, a bacteria also known as tularemia. Revelations of the discovery of tularemia was passed from the Department of Homeland Security, who operate biological agent sensors in the Capitol.
Biological Weapon Used Against
C. L. Cook
October 4, 2005
Waiting a week before raising the alarm of the possible infection of possibly thousands of the hundreds of thousands of Anti-War demonstrators and D.C. citizens exposed over the September 23-24 weekend, many of whom by that time having long departed, dispersed far and wide to their various home states across the nation, is not the strangest thing about the story, run in the Washington Post's Saturday, Oct 1 edition, and since broadly picked up.
The source informing the story, The Department of Homeland Security, lay it out roughly this way: Sensors placed around Washington, specifically designed to detect trace amounts of considered biological weapons agents, were examined and determined to contain unnaturally large amounts of tularemia. The samples where then, apparently, rigorously tested, and retested, the results kept underwraps for almost a week. Only then was the Center for Disease Control alerted, and in turn, D. C. health officials. Those officials were upbeat, saying that the normal gestation period, the time before doctors can expect to see the symptoms of an epidemic manifest, had passed without producing evidence of a significant nature.
The bacterium, francisella tularensis, also called 'rabbit fever' is naturally occurring, but has a long history of manipulation for the purpose of weaponization. Imperial Japan is noted for its groundbreaking experiments on tularemia's effects on human physiology. They are estimated to have sacrificed more than 10,000 prisoners to science during their occupation of China.
The results of Japanese efforts were not lost on the American government, and by the late 1960's Biological Weapon (BW) tularemia was a component of both the vast U.S. arsenal of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, and that of their arch Cold War nemesis.
Officially, the sensor readings have been deemed normal levels of background bacteria, possibly amplified by the many thousands of feet stirring the earth enough to create particulate clouds, that in turn set off alarms. Weaponized, biological agents are generally aerosolized for deployment; so, defensive measures are directed toward air-borne particles.
Could be. But, if that's the nuts of it, why release this report?
Contrite perhaps, there have been mumblings from the administration of attempts to now track, and presumably contact people identifying themselves as having attended the anti-administration rallies to see if they're okay.
The implications of this are, in themselves furtile ground enough for plantations of conspiracy speculation. But, there's a still more worrisome aspect to all this.
The only informtion so far released to back up Homeland Security's claims is their word. Considering the past record of the agency, and its rainbow hued terror alerts, many conspicuously convenient to the Commmander-in-Chief's political aims, determining whether this event is real, or another invention of the myriad black and psy-op disinformation campaigns, the ones Donald Rumsfeld announced as initiated, then cancelled, is an open question. Which is of course the exact mandate of those extant but non-existent programs designed to confound with info-noise.
And the squawk levels seem to be increasing.
Bird flu has been on the lips of various news disseminators for weeks. So far, the flu has proven a hard sell - hardly on par with SARS - but the season's changing, and once the sniffles and annual ague begins, it's signifigance should grow in the public mind, raising too its stock on the "Disaster Index Market" (DIM). That the dread pandemic promised has killed an approximated 100 persons throughout all of Asia, it's reputed home, is overshadowed by dire media reports that it has proven to be a fatal illness in 50% of those so far afflicted; hardly the kind of numbers to qualify an expert statistical survey.
Ever ahead of the curve, G.W. Bush pitched Bird flu today, outlining the kind of powers he thinks his office should be granted, extra-constitutional to be sure, to handle the plague to come. Being DIM-minded and thinking the timing right, George now suggests the army be mobilized in such a scenario, rather than State agencies, etc., much as they were in the aftermath of Katrina and the "draining of the New Orleans swamp," to "handle" the forced quarantine of potentially thousands.
Oddly enough, the symptoms of 'rabbit fever' ape those of the common flu: muscle aches, repiratory difficulty, fever, etc. It's beginning to seem as though the Bush administration is moving away from the well-worn "War on Terror' to ever more mundane "threats" to the American people to justify his grab for total power and the further militarization of that society.
Imagine; all of us just a sneeze away from the Q-Camp.
Chris Cook is the recently elevated Senior editor of PEJ News. He also hosts Gorilla Radio, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.