Pox Americana

Daily Dose - December 19, 2003

Dr. William Campbell Douglas MD

Developing death in the name of life

Strange things can happen in the wake of a war.

In the more than two years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, there has been an unprecedented tide of legislation and regulation against our personal liberties and freedoms, including some nullifications of privacy and personal property rights that would have Jefferson and the other framers of the Constitution rolling over in their graves. And all in the name of national security. But even scarier than that...

According to New Scientist, we've also been developing DEADLY VIRUSES.

No, this isn't an excerpt from the latest Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum thriller. I'm talking about real scientists funded by your tax dollars whose sole goal is to produce ever-more deadly strains of pox-type viruses - ostensibly so that we can figure out ways to combat them.

Some of these viruses (among them not only the cowpox and monkey-pox you may have heard of, but also new mouse-pox and rabbit-pox varieties), are so well engineered that they have proven themselves to be 100% lethal - even among subjects who have been vaccinated and fortified with antiviral drugs.

While this may seem vitally important to some in the new post-9/11 world (especially to the Fools on the Hill), it scares me more than a little. Why? Because weaponized viruses and other agents of biological warfare have a nasty habit of falling into the hands of the wrong kinds of people. How else do you think someone - a crazoid who's still at large, by the way - was able to paralyze our nation's capital with innocent looking envelopes of weapons-grade anthrax in the autumn of 2001?

If this can happen, clearly the security at our bio-warfare labs leaves something to be desired. I look at it this way: It's most certainly far easier to steal already-developed biological weapons than it is to make them from scratch.

So why are we doing the hardest part of terrorists' jobs for them?