Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Some of the top anthrax experts in the world say that the killer anthrax was weaponized:
- William C. Patrick III, top U.S. bioweapons expert, who holds numerous patents on the weaponization of anthrax, and former chief of the Product Development Division of the Agent Development and Engineering Directorate for the Army's Biological Warfare laboratories at Fort Detrick and consultant to the C.I.A., stated of the anthrax in the Leahy and Daschle letters:
"It’s high-grade. It’s free flowing. It’s electrostatic free. And it’s in high concentration. It appears to have an additive that keeps the spores from clumping."
- Dr. Byron Weeks, a former Air Force doctor and retired colonel who has studied infectious diseases and bio warfare for decades, stated:
"Yes, of course it was weaponized anthrax. There's no question."
- Dr. John Ezzell, a top expert who has published some 60 articles on anthrax, tested the letter and concluded that, in his many years of researching anthrax, he had never seen anthrax spores so potent.Dr. Ezzell characterized the anthrax in the Daschle letter as being "weaponized."Indeed, the anthrax spores were so potent that, when Dr. Ezzell opened the Daschle letter to test it, some of its contents aerosolized instantly.
- The Chief of Biological Planning and Operations at the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, Dr. Kay Mereish, reported that the letter anthrax had in fact been prepared with a charge, according to a 2006 lecture at a CBRN meeting by D. Small, who had worked with the anthrax
- Dr. Richard Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins at the Fort Detrick lab, stated to CNN that there was "no way" a lyophilizer could have created the fine anthrax spores used in the attack letters. Spertzel stated:
"Apparently, the spores were coated with a polyglass which tightly bound hydrophilic silica to each particle. That's what was briefed (according to one of my former weapons inspectors at the United Nations Special Commission) by the FBI to the German Foreign Ministry at the time.
Another FBI leak indicated that each particle was given a weak electric charge, thereby causing the particles to repel each other at the molecular level. This made it easier for the spores to float in the air, and increased their retention in the lungs.
In short, the potential lethality of anthrax in this case far exceeds that of any powdered product found in the now extinct U.S. Biological Warfare Program. In meetings held on the cleanup of the anthrax spores in Washington, the product was described by an official at the Department of Homeland Security as 'according to the Russian recipes' -- apparently referring to the use of the weak electric charge.
*** The FBI spent between 12 and 18 months trying 'to reverse engineer' (make a replica of) the anthrax in the letters sent to Messrs. Daschle and Leahy without success, according to FBI news releases. So why should federal investigators or the news media or the American public believe that a lone scientist would be able to do so?”
Spertzel also wrote: "In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them. And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good.”Many other scientists say the same thing, including a leading expert on infectious diseases who notes that anthrax usually only causes skin infections, while the letters to Leahy and Daschle caused inhalation infections, due to the small particle size and special properties. He also noted the presence on high levels of silica (or "Si") in the killer anthrax, and who wrote:
"The FBI has failed to reproduce the Si levels, which would have been trivial had the Si appeared because of Si in the nutrients or water. The failure to replicate the levels, coupled with the frequency of inhalational cases in the DC mailings [as opposed to the less serious cutaneous infections], strongly support weaponization"See also this statement by a PhD in physiology.