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US Building Germ Warfare Center

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    U.S. biodefense lab raises concerns United Press International 07/30/2006 http://www.arcamax.com/newsheadlines/s-99016-359542 FORT DETRICK, Md. (UPI) -- The
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2006
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      U.S. biodefense lab raises concerns
      United Press International
      07/30/2006
      http://www.arcamax.com/newsheadlines/s-99016-359542


      FORT DETRICK, Md. (UPI) -- The Bush administration is building a
      massive biodefense laboratory in Maryland that will simulate
      calamitous bioterrorism attacks, it was reported Sunday.

      But much of what the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures
      Center in Fort Detrick, Md., does may never be publicly known because
      the White House intends to operate the facility largely in secret, the
      Washington Post reported.

      In an unusual arrangement, the building itself will be classified as
      "highly restricted space," from the reception desk to the lab benches
      to the cages where animals are kept, the newspaper said.

      Not even nuclear labs operate with such secrecy.

      The covertness has some arms-control specialists concerned that U.S.
      biodefense policy, as carried out by the Department of Homeland
      Security, the center's creator, could "skirt the edges" of an
      international treaty outlawing the production of even small amounts of
      biological weapons, the newspaper said.

      The administration insists the center's work is purely defensive and
      thus fully legal. It has rejected calls for oversight by independent
      observers outside the department's network of government scientists
      and contractors.

      ===

      US begins building treaty-breaching germ war defence centre
      Julian Borger in Washington
      Monday July 31, 2006
      The Guardian
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1833795,00.html#article_continue


      Construction work has begun near Washington on a vast germ warfare
      laboratory intended to help protect the US against an attack with
      biological weapon, but critics say the laboratory's work will violate
      international law and its extreme secrecy will exacerbate a biological
      arms race.

      The National Biodefence Analysis and Countermeasures Centre (NBACC),
      due to be completed in 2008, will house heavily guarded and
      hermetically sealed chambers in which scientists simulate potential
      terrorist attacks.

      To do so, the centre will have to produce and stockpile the world's
      most lethal bacteria and viruses, which is forbidden by the 1972
      Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. Three years before that
      treaty was agreed, President Richard Nixon halted the production of US
      biological weapons at Fort Detrick in Maryland. The same military base
      is the site for the new $128m (£70m), 160,000 sq ft laboratory.

      The green light for its construction was given after the September 11
      attacks, which coincided with a series of still-unsolved anthrax
      incidents that killed five people. The department of homeland
      security, which will run the centre, says its work is necessary to
      protect the country. "All the programmes we do are defensive in
      nature," Maureen McCarthy, director of homeland security research and
      development, told the Washington Post. "Our job is to ensure that the
      civilian population of the country is protected, and that we know what
      the threats are."

      The biological weapons convention stipulates that the signatories must
      not "develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or retain"
      biological weapons, and does not distinguish between offensive and
      defensive intentions.

      A presentation given by Lieutenant Colonel George Korch said the NBACC
      would be used to apply "red team operational scenarios and
      capabilities" - military jargon for simulating enemy attacks.

      Some analysts say the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the project
      will heighten suspicions of US intentions and accelerate work on
      similar facilities around the world.

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