Mailed Anthrax -
Finally The Truth?
By Jim Rarey
Medium Rare

It has too often been the case in the last decade or so, the truth about important events is first published either on the Internet or in a foreign newspaper. And it usually is in direct contradiction to the (authorized) leaks from "knowledgable" but unidentified government officials propagated by the "mainstream" media. The subject of mailed anthrax has followed this pattern.
Many (too many) Americans will only accept "facts" when they see them on the eleven o'clock network news or read them in the establishment newspapers, e.g. The New York Times, Washington Post or Los Angeles Times. One of the earliest bits of misinformation that probably resulted in several deaths was the assurance that those not in the vicinity where the envelope containing the anthrax spores was opened had nothing to worry about.
That had to be revised when victims hundred of miles from the capitol came down with anthrax poisoning. Cross contamination was finally acknowledged, but the danger was downplayed contending that treatment with Cipro (and later other antibiotics) was 100% effective in those cases.
We were told that inhalation of anthrax would require a concentration of eight to ten thousand spores in the lungs to be potentially fatal. We were told initially that the anthrax mailed was "crude" in form and could easily have been used by foreign terrorists. This was reinforced by repetitive showings of the crude lettering on the envelopes on TV.
As test results began to filter out, the focus of the media changed to the "weaponization" of anthrax spores, i.e. milling them down to a diameter of one to three microns. (A micron is one millionth of a meter.) This required a degree of expertise beyond that of a single individual without access to a fairly sophisticated laboratory.
After a spate of "speculation" in the media that a "right wing fanatic" might have been responsible, the FBI released a "profile" of its suspect. Predictably, they postulated a "loner" who may have worked in a laboratory and acquired a couple of test tubes of anthrax he kept in his basement for all these years. After the 911 tragedy this person, for his own reasons might have mailed the anthrax.
As test results confirmed the (Ames) strain of anthrax used in the mailings, attention began to focus on the army's top-secret bioweapon laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The Ames strain is one of the most virulent (deadly) strains available and was in high demand both for developing weapons and vaccines to protect against all strains. Ft. Detrick's records are incomplete but it is known to have furnished the Ames strain to Britain's Porton Down laboratory, a number of university and private labs and probably to Iraq.
During the cold war, Ft. Detrick, Britain's Porton Down, Russia and South Africa produced and stockpiled large amounts of toxic biological and chemical weapons including anthrax. In 1969, in contemplation of a treaty signed in 1972, President Nixon ordered Ft. Detrick to cease production and destroy the stockpiles. Although research and development was done at Ft. Detrick, the actual production and storage was at the army's facility in the Pine Bluffs Redstone Arsenal in Arkansas.
Now, some thirty years later, the U.S. Government appears to be relying on the expertise of two cold war bioweapon veterans, Dr.'s William C. Patrick III, and Kenneth Alibek, President and CEO of Advanced Biosystems Inc. (ABS).
Patrick was in charge of the anthrax "weaponization" program at Ft. Detrick. He developed a process that resulted in anthrax far more potent than that known to have been produced by Britain or Russia. He holds five secret patents on the process. The army's anthrax comprised up to one trillion spores per gram, double the amount other programs reached. To put that in perspective, if 10,000 spores is a lethal dose, then the two grams said to have been in the envelope addressed to Senator Daschle had enough for 200 million lethal doses. A gram is just one-twenty-eighth of an ounce.
But even the 8 to 10 thousand spore number is misleading the public according to Edgar W. "Bud" Larson, one of several other Ft. Detrick veterans who granted on the record interviews to Scott Shane of the Baltimore Sun. Larson says that number (which he helped develop) is an average for lethal doses. Depending on several factors, 100 spores or less could be fatal. Larson was head of the aerobiology division at Detrick. Another veteran of the biowars, Norman M. Covert, adds that their experiments showed that spores of one to four microns easily escaped from ordinary envelopes, which have pores of ten microns.
Another former Detrick expert is Manuel S. Barbeito who was in charge of decontaminating 75 to 100 buildings at Ft. Detrick after the program was shut down. He has doubts about the chlorine dioxide cleanup method that the EPA has chosen for the Hart Senate Office building. Barbeito says he experimented with many methods before settling on formaldehyde gas.
All three experts are puzzled as to why the government has only contacted Patrick and not taken advantage of other expertise available.
Patrick has been a long time consultant to the government on bioweapons and bioterrorism. When the First Deputy of the USSR's bioweapons program (Kanatjan Alibekov) defected to the U.S. in 1992, Patrick was called in by the intelligence agencies to help debrief him.
Alibekov, now known by his Americanized name of Kenneth Alibek has become a colleague of Patrick as President and CEO of Advanced Biosystems a wholly owned subsidiary of Hadron, Inc. Hadron, a large defense contractor describes itself as, "specializing in developing innovative technical solutions for the intelligence community, analyzing and supporting defense systems (including intelligent weapons systems and biological weapons defense)."
Alibek's Advanced Biosystems has received more than $3 million in government grants (including one for $800,000 this October) for work on defenses against anthrax. Yesterday (Wednesday Dec. 5, 2001) Alibek testified before the House International Relations Committee. An Associated Press dispatch quotes him as saying of the mailed anthrax, "It was a primitive process, but it was a workable process. I would say that they are not very highly trained professionals," Alibek said of whoever sent the anthrax letters.
Alibek's statement is in direct contradiction to the opinion of Dr. Richard Spertzel, former head of the U.N. weapons inspection program in Iraq and experts cited by the New York Times in a Dec. 3 article this week. Spertzel supported those experts contention that the mailed anthrax was top quality saying, "(This) is not the kind of thing you mess around with in a university lab." Spertzel, who also testified at the hearing, said the FBI's profile of the anthrax killer as a deranged loner "is a lot of hokum."
Lab experts cited by the New York Times say the mailed anthrax reached the one trillion spores per gram threshold and could only have been made using Patrick's patented process.
While no other countries are known to have duplicated Patrick's process, there is an interesting sidelight involving one of the pieces of equipment involved in it.
Charlie Trie, the Little Rock restaurant owner, long time friend of, (illegal) fund-raiser for Bill Clinton, and member of a Mafia-like Chinese Triad, according to the FBI, helped the Chinese germ warfare program obtain a 132-gallon medical fermentation tank. The equipment is an integral part of the process of producing toxic bacteria and export to China required a permit from the Department of Commerce.
Trie met several times in China with Zhang Jianming, director of China's germ warfare program. He later arrange a trip to the United States for Zhang and accompanied him in his travels. One stop was Little Rock, Arkansas where Zhang was introduced to an American scientist.
In a February 26th article last year, WorldNetDaily's Paul Sperry revealed that the American scientist named Peter Fu had invested $40,000 in a shell company set up by Trie to obtain the equipment for transshipment to China. Fu's wife worked for the company for a short time but dropped out after a few weeks. When interviewed by the FBI, Fu claimed the $40,000 was a loan to Trie.
This sidebar is not meant to imply that China was the source of the mailed anthrax. Rather, its possible significance lies in the fact that Peter Fu (at that time) was the Deputy Director of the FDA's Division of Biochemical Toxicology in its National Center for Toxicological Research. The center is located on the grounds of the Pine Bluffs Redstone Arsenal, the site of anthrax production and storage. Fu's first loyalties may not lie with the U.S. According to his biography on the FDA website, Fu is still at that location as a research chemist.
Are there dots to be connected in this mystery of the mailed anthrax? At the very least, there are a number of questions that need to be asked--and answered.
Permission is granted to reproduce this article in its entirety.
The author is a free lance writer based in Romulus, Michigan. He is a former newspaper editor and investigative reporter, a retired customs administrator and accountant, and a student of history and the U.S. Constitution.
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