The story detailed a new bioweapons research facility the Feds are building on the grounds of the Army's existing Fort Detrick bio-research facility near DC. This new lab will study ways of defeating germ warfare attacks.
Apparently the beginnings of the "NBACC" were secretly commissioned after the anthrax letter attacks that followed 9/11. In a fit of irony, as the mew Homeland Security folks were putting together the NBACC the FBI was across town pointing the finger at Steven J. Hatfill as a 'person of interest' in the attacks.
But that wasn't the only bizarre business going around in late 2001. Odd things were happening to noted bio-researchers all over the world, including one strange event here in Memphis. From Front Page Mag in 2002:
Are these coincidences like what followed France’s announcement decades ago that it would develop H-bombs, when within weeks thereafter 14 of the top people in France’s nuclear program died in mysterious airplane crashes?The WaPo wasn't interested in that angle. Their five page expose focused almost entirely on privacy concerns, escaped virus potential and whether the lab represents a violation of existing bio treaties. There was a passing mention of the anthrax letter attacks, but it passed pretty fast.
But it's hard to argue against sharing at least some of their concerns. Although the entire building will essentially be a secure clean room, and although we need research facilities to study ways of defeating bioterrorism, at the same time--damn. Try reading John Nance's "Pandora's Clock" and you'll catch my drift.
Oddly enough, this didn't appear to be another leaked story. On the contrary, the article quoted officials with the facility, therefore it seems the govmint might have wanted this story on the streets. That should probably tell us something.
But what? Was the creation of the facility evidence the letter attacks were from terrorists and not a lone mad scientist? Are we still at risk from those perpetrators, or do we have the threat contained? Is the facility itself designed to serve as a deterrent, or is it yet another example of Bush's drunken sailor fiscal policy?
Hard for a peon like myself to say, but based on today's terrorist mindset I feel much better having it there than not. As long as they don't spill anything.