- It has too often been the case in the last decade or
so, the truth about important events is first published either on the
or in a foreign newspaper. And it usually is in direct contradiction to
the (authorized) leaks from "knowledgable" but unidentified
officials propagated by the "mainstream" media. The subject of
mailed anthrax has followed this pattern.
- Many (too many) Americans will only accept
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
- We were told that inhalation of anthrax would require
a concentration of eight to ten thousand spores in the lungs to be
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
- 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
- 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
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
After the 911 tragedy this person, for his own reasons might have mailed
- 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
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
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
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
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
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.
says he experimented with many methods before settling on formaldehyde
- All three experts are puzzled as to why the government
has only contacted Patrick and not taken advantage of other expertise
- Patrick has been a long time consultant to the government
on bioweapons and bioterrorism. When the First Deputy of the USSR's
program (Kanatjan Alibekov) defected to the U.S. in 1992, Patrick was
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
contractor describes itself as, "specializing in developing innovative
technical solutions for the intelligence community, analyzing and
defense systems (including intelligent weapons systems and biological
- 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,
was a primitive process, but it was a workable process. I would say that
they are not very highly trained professionals," Alibek said of
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
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
- In a February 26th article last year, WorldNetDaily's
Paul Sperry revealed that the American scientist named Peter Fu had
$40,000 in a shell company set up by Trie to obtain the equipment for
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
- The author is a free lance writer based in Romulus,
He is a former newspaper editor and investigative reporter, a retired
administrator and accountant, and a student of history and the U.S.
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