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The Forum > Article Comments > Bioterrorism only beaten by preparation and understanding > Comments

Bioterrorism only beaten by preparation and understanding : Comments

By Peter Curson, published 25/6/2007

No one really knows what became of the tens of tonnes of modified smallpox virus that was part of the Soviet biological warfare program up until the early 1990s.

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I feel sure the Government should need arise will rise to the occasion with much might, rather as they have over the child abuse issue. No not Aborigines, child abuse has much more political power. Sure like possible bioterrorism the issue of abuse/ alcohol has been highlighted in the past and sure somebody else did not do enough previously. Better wait for the opportune moment when Governments can gain electoral advantage rather than create the hysteria to which you refer.
In the event we will be assured the Government, of any shade, has the problem in hand and it is only those whose culture has been denied sinking to time filling waste with perverted taste, who will suffer most.
So I feel sure any honest patriotic citizen, we will need man power, will seek vaccination at the earliest moment, seek to understand the aetiology of disease and to otherwise inform themselves. Naturally the undeserving who failed to advantage of the education on offer or who make little effort on their own behalf will be a problem for Government but they can be labelled as deviant un Australian in fact. So problem solved Professor.
Oh dear just one item if we are all vaccinated and thus safe, the Government must find another fear hyping issue. Might they need to analyse the why of bioterrorism , the who, the psychology of those indulging, including of course the leaders who use such issues as fear promoters for the purpose of achieving their goals, in the National interest of course.
Posted by untutored mind, Monday, 25 June 2007 11:24:56 AM
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i wouldn't mind an outbreak of smallpox, except it would not get as far as parliament house.

still, the verbal sigh of satisfaction over eliminating smallpox appears to be a little premature. government disease control centers could have all kinds of surprises behind those 'secret' signs.

the understanding that i get from this article is that governments are just as tricky and incompetent on close inspection as they appear in the 6 o'clock news.
Posted by DEMOS, Monday, 25 June 2007 3:34:05 PM
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Rather than worring about smallpox (modified or common), I would suggest a focus on a bioterrorist pandemic in general.

INDIVIDUALS CAN NOW CONSTRUCT HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS EXTREMELY LETHAL VIRUS. In my opinion, it is easier than is commonly understood to start a bioterrorist pandemic.

I suggest reading the CIA paper "The Darker Bioweapons Future"

In my opinion, individuals, not states, are the most likely to start a bioterrorist pandemic. Perhaps eco-terrorists, or jihadists, or just misantrophics.

For a better understanding of what a bioterrorist pandemic would be like, I suggest reading the article "Preparing for the next pandemic" by Dr Osterholm

One final thought: pandemics are the antithesis of globalization. It may be more efficient in general to specialize economically, then trade, but such a system is vulnerable to disruption. Furthermore, no place on earth is more than a day's airplane ride away now.
Posted by dobermanmacledo, Monday, 25 June 2007 3:38:21 PM
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The Japanese Aum (Supreme Truth) sect purchased Banjawarn, a sheep property in the WA outback during 1993.

Chemicals were found secreted in their luggage such as hydrochloric acid, perchloric acid, nitric acid, gas masks and respirators. Two crates of chemicals and lab equipment were confiscated at the airport.

It has been suggested that they had experimented with sarin nerve gas on the sheep. Some 29 dead sheep were discovered, interestingly, in a circle.

Some 35 days later, the Kalgoorlie Miner reported that a meteor fireball from south to north between Leonora and Laverton had been witnessed.

Many observers reported that the fireball passed overhead, making a pulsed roaring noise, similar to a very loud diesel train.

This sighting was followed by an earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale at 23 different seismic receivers. A subsequent 2 more fireballs occurred passing over Banjawarn. The fireballs lit up the sky as if it was daylight and observers could see more than a 100 kilometres in every direction at ground level.

After the seismic wave hit, observers reported hearing a huge, long, drawn-out explosion. Aboriginal people have no previous memory of such an event.

Geologist, Harry Mason, who subsequently investigated the area was surprised to find no impact crater or ground anomaly.

Ed Paul, a geophysicist, thought that a nuclear explosion had occurred. The underground damage to the Alycia gold mine was significant, shearing 3 inch pipes underground and collapsing drives and shafts, when in quakes, induced by seismic ground waves, damage is usually limited to surface building collapse.

The Aum sect had shown great interest in electromagnetic weapons and their power to induce earthquakes. Uranium ore samples were also discovered on the property.

Whatever the sects intentions were at Banjawarn, their plans were thwarted by refusal for re-entry into Australia.

It cannot be shown whether this sect had anything to do with the fireballs, however, I trust our national security is now a little more secure than it was during the 90's.
Posted by dickie, Monday, 25 June 2007 8:14:13 PM
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