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The Military Biotech Government

GovernmentAttic Publishes Declassified Survey of Worldwide Bio-War Research 62

Posted by timothy
from the stuff-of-nightmares dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The GovernmentAttic website has just published a dossier of reports produced by the Defense Intelligence Agency describing biological weapons development in nations throughout the world. The 16 reports were released by the Department of Defense in response to declassification request submitted five years ago. Although the sensitive bits were removed, the remaining portions of the reports demonstrate the prevalence of research, development and deployment of bio weapons worldwide, despite an international treaty prohibiting such activity. The same website has also published a Thesaurus of Biological Warfare terminology (PDF) and a listing of pre-1946 reports on biological and chemical warfare (PDF) from the Army."
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GovernmentAttic Publishes Declassified Survey of Worldwide Bio-War Research

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  • by shaitand (626655) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @11:22AM (#44536115) Journal
    Bet you'll get a plus 5 informative.
    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)
      Unfortunately, the summary oversells the issue. First, the reports are from 1972-1983. Not as relevant now, I'd say! Certainly no mention of al qaida or muslim theocratic countries, which would be the most relevant issue. it focuses on communism. Second, there are sixteen different reports, but each looks at a group (asian communist countries, eg), rather than calling out specific countries.

      still, i imagine it would be interesting fodder for a john lecarre cold war spy novel!
  • by the_povinator (936048) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @11:25AM (#44536133) Homepage
    They have a section on "European Communist Countries" but it does not include Russia. I guess that part of the report was not released? That was the only thing I was interested in as there are some scary rumors out there about what they have (ebola/smallpox hybrids, etc.)
    • I haven't read the report. But it's pretty obvious that biological warfare is the poor mans "H-Bomb" in terms to inflicting loss of life. There's extremely smart people all over the world that calculates latency, mortality, and contagion rates for all sorts of nasty stuff. Now with modern computers and genetic programing, God know what kinda of shit has been made. Honestly, I don't want to know!!! If it's going to be doomsday level stuff, ignorance is bliss being that we can't stop its development anyways.

      • by jkflying (2190798)

        Unlike nuclear weapons it is much harder to prevent it from spreading to areas we want to keep.

      • http://www.pdfernhout.net/recognizing-irony-is-a-key-to-transcending-militarism.html [pdfernhout.net]
        "... Biological weapons like genetically-engineered plagues are ironic because they are about using advanced life-altering biotechnology to fight over which old-fashioned humans get to occupy the planet. Why not just use advanced biotech to let people pick their skin color, or to create living arkologies and agricultural abundance for everyone everywhere?
        These militaristic socio-economic ironies would be hilar

        • by kermidge (2221646)

          Reminds me of "If a felon commits felony, then God is an iron." (Um, Spider Robinson, maybe, although I'd long thought it to be Harlan Ellison.) I'm trying to remember a sci-fi story where ridicule was the weapon of choice against terrorists and hard measures were used only as needful. Also, of the two or three large studies on classification I recall, done by the government itself, one of the recurring findings was that the bulk of items marked secret were to prevent embarrassment of high-ranking people

          • Thanks for the idea about solar power space satellites; I'll update the essay with that. I used to be a Senior Associate at the Space Studies Institute who looked into the feasibility of solar power space satellites in the 1980s. Personally, I think such systems won't fund they development of space habitats like SSI hoped because solar panels are now rapidly falling in price to grid parity. But once we are in space, SPSS may make sense to beam power down to factories, or space launch sites (like for laser l

            • by kermidge (2221646)

              I've long had my own ideas, gleefully stolen from wherever found, about some nifty things to do once out of the huge limiting gravity well of Earth. But to me the argument for SPSS (or whatever the acronym du jour is) is simply the essentially limitless potential for assuming base power load for the planet. It's not all easy and still the need or at least utility of maintaining a sensible blend of hydro, biomass (methane - also viz. CO2 balance), and I've a soft spot for LFTR.

              I read a few hours ago that M

              • Great points. Because we can always make solar panels and windmills, I'm not too worried about space expansion being impossible from running out of fossil fuels from Peak Oil or whatever. And I agree that with enough energy, pretty much all resource issues become easy to solve.

                On making it into space, see my comments here on self-replicating space habitats:
                http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4080869&cid=44543237 [slashdot.org]

                On energy in general, as Amory Lovins an others have said, if fossil fuels and older nuclear

                • by kermidge (2221646)

                  Jeez, Paul, you just don't stop with all the things you write that, due to my own failings to be sure, require me to read and try to think about.

                  I'm not so sanguine (now that's a strange word to come to have this use) about "renewables", principally solar, viz. reality of utility (yes, I like bad puns) in U.S. Oops, nevermind; I just looked at this:

                  http://www.americanenergyindependence.com/solarenergy.aspx [americanen...ndence.com]

                  I read it through but only quickly checked a few of the sources; I get the impression this is legit.

    • Sometimes Russia is considered European, sometimes Asian.

    • by wiredog (43288)

      Russia isn't in Europe, it's part of Asia.

  • by arcite (661011) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @11:29AM (#44536171)
    It's for duck hunting.
    • by dmbasso (1052166)

      If you had said it's for quail hunting I would say we've found an evil ex-vice-president /. account.

  • "demonstrate the prevalence of research, development and deployment of bio weapons worldwide, despite an international treaty prohibiting such activity."

    As if America in its adventures around the globe doesn't violate the Geneva Conventions regularly. Countries are afraid. Very afraid.

  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Sunday August 11, 2013 @11:52AM (#44536305)
    Or ar least vaccinate me against small pox... As it stands, only a few countries have the capability of all out world wide nuclear war, and I would like to believe those nations are smart enough to not start pressing big red buttons. An un-winnable end of all life as a deterrent scenario and all that. But any idiot country could potentially develop bio-weapons of mass destruction, and any idiot country is potentially short-sighted enough to unleash something they might not even fully understand. With nukes you can stop pressing buttons, but the right bio-weapons could potentially yield an unstoppable runaway process of slow, agonizing, world wide death.
    • by smash (1351)
      At least one idiot country already did. The USA has heaps of bioweapons.
      • by wjcofkc (964165)
        No less than that, we are (supposedly) one of two idiot nations that still keep small pox around, the other being Russia. Although it stands to reason that the UK and Israel probably have some too. I was thinking more along the lines of North Korea, Iran, anything ending in "stan", any state that could be called rogue, or any other bothersome nation with self-esteem issues combined with unstable\irresponsible leadership looking for a power trip over western, or at least westernized nations.
        • by mrbester (200927)

          UK has not has any smallpox in any lab for well over two decades. No, I'm not going to tell you how I know that.

        • by smash (1351)
          The USA is a rogue state with irresponsible leadership and ego issues.
          • by wjcofkc (964165)
            Busted. You got me. It is true.
          • by wjcofkc (964165)
            However, myself as an American, don't think for one second that I am not right now in the process of being radicalized against my own nation. Because I'm sick of so much shit, and I am. If the NSA is reading this: come get me motherfuckers, and prove my point.
    • by jmd (14060)

      Or ar least vaccinate me against small pox... As it stands, only a few countries have the capability of all out world wide nuclear war, and I would like to believe those nations are smart enough to not start pressing big red buttons. An un-winnable end of all life as a deterrent scenario and all that. But any idiot country could potentially develop bio-weapons of mass destruction, and any idiot country is potentially short-sighted enough to unleash something they might not even fully understand. With nukes you can stop pressing buttons, but the right bio-weapons could potentially yield an unstoppable runaway process of slow, agonizing, world wide death.

      The US has already detonated nukes. The US has loads of chemical weapons. The US appears to be the loose cannon (idiot country) on the world stage today.... invading another country(s) without provocation.

      just my $.02

      • by wjcofkc (964165)
        No doubt about any of that, however, I find it unlikely that we would use nukes or bio-weapons in our pathetic, disgraceful, misguided attempts to kill terrorists and "nation build". The day we do, if we do, I'm moving to Norway if at that time they're not smart enough to prohibit the immigration of US citizens. The nations that would use bio-weapons are the nations that don't have a large enough army to roam the world like a big dumb giant with a huge club, playing whack-a-mole, like the US and it's allies
        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          At the moment most of the countries that appear desperate to develop, and most likely to use, weapons of mass destruction are doing so because they're on the US's next to invade list. The US spent a few decades on such a list, from a much less overwhelming adversary, and was quite ready to use nukes.

          Maybe if the big dumb giant stopped invading places the little guys would be less paranoid.

          • by wjcofkc (964165)
            "Maybe if the big dumb giant stopped invading places the little guys would be less paranoid."

            Agreed. Although I suspect my own government (USA) is too naive to see it that way. I wish we would take a more isolationist approach. After all, we personally trained Bin Laden in the early 80's to use as a tool for meddling in the affairs of other nations. That one act pretty much set the stage for the substantial majority of the violence we have in the world today. I often wonder what things would be like now if
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by WindBourne (631190)
            Yup. Our invasion of Iraq was just so wrong. The fact that they invaded kuwait and the UN troops (with USA) stopped it has nothing to do with anything.
            Likewise, when Afghanistan launched an attack on USA, we should have turned the other cheek and allowed Afghanistan/AQ to continue attacking us.
            And we should just pull out of the Mid-east and allowed all of those dictators to continue wiping out their citizens.

            Its funny. France and italy pushed America to help with Libya to stop the slaughter, but we are
            • by ceoyoyo (59147)

              I don't think very many people quibbled with the first US invasion of Iraq. You know, the one done under the auspices of the UN, with the purpose of liberating Kuwait, where the US withdrew afterwards. The second one - the one done unilaterally for made up reasons - that one concerned people.

              Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Libya, maybe not that worrying. The sabre rattling against Iran and North Korea, well, if I were a citizen of either I'd be a little worried about being invaded by the world's sole superpower

              • First off, you will notice that almost everything that you mentioned to was pretty much 50's and somewhat the 60's. That was from when i was a kid. The ONLY exception, was W's invasion of Iraq. You mention the coup de'tat but forget to mention that France and Britain had been the lords in Bahrain and had rigged elections to get al-Quwatli into power. Now, WRT south America, oh yeah. America has played HORRIBLE games. Most of it was 50-60s, with the exception being reagan (who also played games). But comp
                • First off, I'll just mention that I agree with the general thrust of your comment, but a couple points of note:

                  1) The states are somewhat unique in their demonstrated and stated interest in being the world-police. So much of the perhaps-unbalanced criticism against the US and not against various other imperial nations should be seen in light of that image. If you tell everyone you're the saviour of the world, then proceed to rape and pillage, you actually look worse than if you'd just gone ahead with the
              • by kermidge (2221646)

                A small quibble, if you will.

                "Iran? They took over our embassy in the 70's, didn't they? Never mind that the embassy was taken over by citizens angry at the US for overthrowing their government."

                Long memory, those students, who in summer of '79 took the embassy in retaliation for what we and the Brits engineered by way coup d'etat over Mossadegh in 1953 so's to put Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in power. I reckon they were far more angered at the predations of SAVAK, the Shah's secret police, and thus us by e

      • by mrbester (200927)

        The US continues research into biological and chemical weaponry purely for mitigation should it be attacked by them. Allegedly.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        If you were paid 2 cents for that dribble, then you were paid 2 cents too much.
    • by cusco (717999)
      Fun thing about bio-weapons is that it doesn't have to be a country to produce them. You can buy used gene manipulation equipment, set it up in the basement of a random building, and do some seriously nasty work with the help of a couple of post-grads. This is in the budgetary realm of the trust fund kids.
    • by kermidge (2221646)

      Unless someone comes up with a bio true grey goo, no, not really. Weaponizing stuff is hard; getting something energetic enough to spread well, slow enough to have a long enough incubation to let carriers pervade the target, and with a high enough mortality to reduce your target as required, is just not that easy. Generally it's really more a terror weapon, not a WMD (although using the guidelines of law enforcement, fire crackers qualify - tremendously brain-dead stooopid, but it sure grabs headlines and

      • by cusco (717999)
        In the '90s the Clinton Administration did an exercise with FEMA, DOD, NIH, and the state of Colorado, modeling the release of pneumonic plague into the ventilation system of a concert hall in Boulder. Within a week the healthcare system of Colorado had collapsed, and within another week that of several adjoining states had followed suit. IIRC the disease had spread as far as Singapore in only 6 days. The study's findings horrified the president, who rammed through funding for National Institute of Healt
        • by kermidge (2221646)

          Thanks for the reminder; I followed that bit at the time and recall being horrified also. We carry the conceit that "truth will out" but against ideology there is really no counter, for a true believer cannot be reasoned with, unless maybe you can show direct threat to their wallet or their offspring.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 11, 2013 @11:59AM (#44536331)

    When I attended University of California, in the early '90s, the UC system received a full third of their funding through the military.

    There were research programs into mutated pathogens with the stated goal of vaccine research, but the pathogens were not naturally occurring, and were cataloged, preserved, etc. A thin veil of legitimacy to hide a very large bio-weapon research program behind.

    A physics professor at UC Berkeley was so bothered by the weaponization of research from the UC system, that he began publicly speaking about the suspicious programs. It is from him that I learned the 1/3 of funding from the DoD figure. Of course, UC managed the nuclear weapons national laboratories too.

    • Yup. THat was true all over the USA university system. That is what reagan brought us. I got my first degree in microbio/genetics and did research in one, but it was later converted into DARPA work. Back then, I had ethical issues with what I was working on. Now, as I look at the world situation, I do not. Hopefully, my work was continued.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I looked at the 1983 document and it's a complete manual on how to make all these agents.

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