Friday, October 13, 2006


The tragic events of September 11, 2001 are a wake up call to how vulnerable we are to terrorist attacks. Antiterrorism experts warn, however, that crashing jet planes into large buildings isn’t the easiest or most effective way to cause panic and destruction. Biological agents can be a greater threat.

Using pathogens as weapons isn’t a new idea. More than 2000 years ago, Sythian archers dipped their arrowheads in rotting corpses to increase their deadlines. During the fourteenth century, Tartar soldiers hurled plague victim’s corpses over the walls of besieged cities in an effort to start epidemics. In 1763, British General Jeffrey Amherst ordered smallpox –infected blankets distributed to Delaware Indians during the French and Indian War. During World War II, the Japanese dropped paper bags filled with plague-infested fleas on Chinese cities, killing thousands of people.

At the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union embarked on massive biological and chemical warfare research programs. Using molecular biology techniques, these research labs combined genes and created new and more dangerous organisms than ever found in nature. Among the most lethal agents known to have been tested are anthrax.

In 1999, the Department of Defense ordered that all 2.5 million military personnel be vaccinated against anthrax, regardless of duty stations or responsibilities. Members of the military were to be vaccinated under threat of court martial. The vaccine is administered in a series of six shots.

Former Air force security specialist Jenny Enoch was diagnosed in February 2000 with fibromyalgia. “I’m in constant pain,” Enoch said, “I have chronic fatigue, I have serious concentration problems and memory loss. I was healthy and active, absolutely prior to that third shot of the anthrax vaccine.”

Army pilot Rhonda Breneman was noticed by superiors for her boundless energy and outstanding physical fitness. But weeks after her third shot for anthrax, she developed extreme gastroparesis, or paralysis of the stomach. She now lives in a state of chronic nausea, has lost 45 pounds, and has memory loss.

Army Specialist Sandra Larson had her immune system collapse in a virulent case of aplastic anemia 31/2 weeks after her sixth anthrax vaccination shot. She died two months later.

Because anthrax vaccines have never been used on a mass scale, their use by the Armed Forces is thought to be an instance of medical experimentation. The entire stockpile of anthrax vaccine is owned by the Department of Defense.

Captain John Buck is a 32-year-old emergency room doctor at Keesler Medical Center who refused the vaccine. He claimed that the germ warfare vaccine is an experimental and potentially hazardous drug that was unlawfully forced on soldiers. He was court-martialed in May 2001.

Marine spokesman, First Lieutenant Vincent Vasquez says –

“ We in the Marine Corps don’t have the luxury of deciding which order to obey and which to refuse. We obey all lawful orders, period. That’s the issue here. It’s our obligation to make sure our marines go into a combat zone with every weapon at their disposal, and the anthrax vaccine is our best weapon against this deadly threat.”

(Quoted from “Principles of Environmental Science” by W.P. Cunningham and M.A Cunningham and “Second Thoughts” by Wanda Teays)



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