United States developing illegal bioterror weapons
WASHINGTON (23 December 2006) RHC -- THE George W. Bush administration is spending more U.S. taxpayer money -- in violation of U.S. Code and international law -- to develop illegal, offensive germ warfare than the $2 billion spent during World War II on the Manhattan Project to make the atomic bomb.
According to Francis Boyle, a professor of international law who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by the Congress, the Pentagon "is now gearing up to fight and 'win' biological warfare" pursuant to two Bush national strategy directives adopted "without public knowledge and review" in 2002.
The Pentagon's Chemical and Biological Defense Program was revised in 2003 to implement those directives, endorsing "first-use" strike of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) in war, says Boyle, who teaches at the University of Illinois, Champaign.
Terming the action "the proverbial smoking gun," Boyle said the mission of the controversial CBW program "has been altered to permit development of offensive capability in chemical and biological weapons!"
The same directives, Boyle charges in his book Biowarfare and Terrorism, published by Clarity Press, "unconstitutionally usurp and nullify the right and the power of the United States Congress to declare war, in gross and blatant violation of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution."
For fiscal years 2001-2004, the federal government funded $14.5 billion "for ostensibly 'civilian' biowarfare-related work alone," a "truly staggering" sum, writes Boyle.
Another $5.6 billion was voted for "the deceptively-named 'Project BioShield,'" under which Homeland Security is stockpiling vaccines and drugs to fight anthrax, smallpox and other bioterror agents. Boyle says that protection of the civilian population is "one of the fundamental requirements for effectively waging biowarfare."
The Washington Post reported December 12 that both houses of Congress this month passed legislation "considered by many to be an effort to salvage the two-year-old Project BioShield, which has been marked by delays and operational problems." When President Bush signs it into law, it will allocate one billion dollars more over three years for additional research "to pump more money into the private sector sooner."
"The enormous amounts of money" purportedly dedicated to "civilian defense" that are now "dramatically and increasingly" being spent," Boyle writes, "betray this administration's effort to be able to embark on offensive campaigns using biowarfare."
By pouring huge sums into university and private-sector laboratories, Boyle charged, federal spending has diverted the U.S. biotech industry to biowarfare.
Academic biowarfare participation involving the abuse of DNA genetic engineering since the late 1980s has become "patently obvious," Boyle said. "American universities have a long history of willingly permitting their research agendas, researchers, institutes, and laboratories to be co-opted, corrupted, and perverted by the Pentagon and the CIA."
"These despicable death-scientists were arming the Pentagon with the component units necessary to produce a massive array of ... genetically-engineered biological weapons," Boyle said.
While such programs "are always called defensive," King said, "with biological weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely." Boyle contends the U.S. is "in breach" of both the Biological Weapons and Chemical Weapons conventions and U.S. domestic criminal law. In February 2003, for example, the U.S. granted itself a patent on an illegal long-range biological-weapons grenade.
Boyle said other countries grasp the military implications of U.S. germ-warfare actions and will respond in kind. "The world will soon witness a de facto biological arms race among the major biotech states under the guise of 'defense,' and despite the requirements of the Biological Warfare Convention."
Francis Boyle warns: "The massive proliferation of biowarfare technology and facilities, as well as trained scientists and technicians all over the United States, courtesy of the Neo-Con Bush Jr. administration will render a catastrophic biowarfare or bioterrorist incident or accident a statistical certainty."
As far back as September 2001, according to a report in the New York Times titled "U.S. Pushes Germ Warfare Limits," critics were concerned that "the research comes close to violating a global 1972 treaty that bans such weapons." But U.S. officials responded at the time that they were more worried about understanding the threat of germ warfare and devising possible defenses.
The 1972 treaty, which the U.S. signed, forbids developing weapons that spread disease, such as anthrax, regarded as "ideal" for germ warfare.
According to an article in the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel of last September 28, Milton Leitenberg, a veteran arms-control advocate at the University of Maryland, said the government was spending billions on germ warfare with almost no analysis of threat. He said claims terrorists will use the weapons have been "deliberately exaggerated."
In March of the previous year, 750 U.S. biologists signed a letter protesting what they saw as the excessive study of bioterror threats.
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