Bush “Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons” for Offensive Use


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

    Bush "Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons" for Offensive Use
    By Sherwood Ross
    t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor
    Wednesday 20 December 2006

In violation of the US Code and international law, the Bush administration is 
spending more money (in inflation-adjusted dollars) to develop illegal, 
offensive germ warfare than the $2 billion spent in World War II on the 
Manhattan Project to make the atomic bomb.

So says Francis Boyle, the professor of international law who drafted the 
Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by Congress. He states 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!" [Original italics.]

The same directives, Boyle charges in his book Biowarfare and Terrorism (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, 
Boyle wrote.

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, wrote Boyle. Protection of the 
civilian population is, he said, "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 $1 billion 
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 

By pouring huge sums into university and private-sector laboratories, Boyle 
charged, federal spending has diverted the US biotech industry to biowarfare.

According to Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright, over 300 
scientific institutions and 12,000 individuals have access to pathogens suitable
for biowarfare and terrorism. Ebright found that the number of National 
Institute of Health grants to research infectious diseases with biowarfare 
potential has shot up from 33 in 1995-2000 to 497.

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.

In a forward to Boyle's book, Jonathan King, a professor of molecular biology at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote that "the growing bioterror 
programs represent a significant emerging danger to our own population" and 
"threaten international relations among nations."

While such programs "are always called defensive," King said, "with biological 
weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely."

Boyle contends the US is "in breach" of both the Biological Weapons and Chemical
Weapons conventions and US domestic criminal law. In February 2003, for example,
the US granted itself a patent on an illegal long-range biological-weapons 

Boyle said other countries grasp the military implications of US 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."

"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," Boyle warned.

As far back as September 2001, according to a report in the New York Times 
titled "US Pushes Germ Warfare Limits," critics were concerned that "the 
research comes close to violating a global 1972 treaty that bans such weapons." 
But US 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 US 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 US biologists signed a letter protesting what
they saw as the excessive study of bioterror threats.

    The Pentagon has not responded to the charges made by Boyle in this article.

Sherwood Ross is a Virginia-based free-lance writer on political and military 
issues. Contact him at •••@••.•••.

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