Bush Developing Illegal Bioterror
Weapons for Offensive Use
by Sherwood Ross
In violation of the U.S. 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 blatant violation of the United States
For fiscal years 2001-04, 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, Boyle wrote. Protection of the civilian population is,
he said, "one of the fundamental requirements for effectively
The Washington Post reported Dec. 12 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 is now "dramatically
and increasingly" being spent," Boyle writes, "betrays
this administration's effort to be able to embark on offensive
campaigns using biowarfare."
By pouring huge sums into university and private sector laboratories,
Boyle charged Federal spending has co-opted and diverted the U.S.
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
the number of National Institute of Health grants to research
infectious diseases with biowarfare potential 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 DNA genetically engineered biological weapons," Boyle
In a forward to Boyle's book, Jonathan King, a professor of molecular
biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote "the
growing bioterror programs represent a significant emerging danger
to our own population" and "threatens 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 U.S. is "in breach" of both the Biological
Weapons and Chemical Weapons conventions and U.S. domestic criminal
law. In Feb., 2003, for example, the U.S. granted itself a patent
on an illegal long-range biological weapons grenade.
Boyle said other countries grasp the military implications of
U.S. 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 (BWC)."
"The massive proliferation of biowarfare technology, 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 New York
Times article titled, "U.S. Pushes Germ Warfare Limits,"
critics were concerned "the research comes close to violating
a global 1972 treaty that bans such weapons." That treaty
forbids developing weapons that spread disease, such as anthrax,
regarded as "ideal" for germ warfare. The Pentagon did
not respond to the charges made by Boyle in this article.
Sherwood Ross is a Virginia, USA-based writer. He can be reached