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Sending live anthrax to random labs around the world 'was not human error,' Army general assures the public


Anthrax

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(NaturalNews) The military's explanation for sending live anthrax from a lab in Utah to another lab at an air base in South Korea recently is not very reassuring.

According to Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army's chief of staff, his branch's shipment of live anthrax samples to a number of U.S. government and commercial labs overseas and in the United States probably wasn't human error.

In a press conference following news that the live samples had been mistakenly shipped in place of dead ones, Odierno said there might have been some sort of failure during the technical process of deactivating the samples. In this case, the process "might not have completely killed" the samples as was intended prior to shipment.

No one's fault?

As further reported by The Associated Press:

Odierno said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating that aspect of what went wrong at Dugway Proving Ground, the Army installation in Utah that sent the anthrax to government and commercial labs in at least nine states across the U.S. and to an Army lab in South Korea.

The general said he was not aware that such a problem had surfaced previously at Dugway.


"The best I can tell, it was not human error," said the Army chief, who added that normal procedures had been followed and he is confident that "nobody is in danger."

First of all, if "normal procedures" had been followed, live anthrax would not have mistakenly been sent all over the world. What is the process for ensuring that samples have been deactivated before shipment, and do humans manage the process? Is there even a process?

Secondly, to assert that this wasn't "human error" begs the question: were live samples sent on purpose? If so, why?

Since the non-human-error was exposed, the Pentagon has said that at least one of the nine labs in the United States that received anthrax from the Utah center got live bacteria rather than the dead variety. The Defense Department has yet to identify any of the U.S. labs, saying only that they are in nine states: Texas, Maryland, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California and Virginia.

Jason McDonald of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters that 18 labs in the U.S. that are believed to have gotten samples from the suspect lot originating at Dugway have all been asked to submit those samples to the CDC for testing to determine if they, too, are live. He also refused to identify the labs by name, which many observers view as an indication that the government has something it likely wants to cover up.

Why? Perhaps it is because what the Army just did happened in 2014 as well as in 2006.

Do you see a pattern developing?

"The incident involved exactly the same chain of errors as the CDC shipments of live anthrax bacteria in 2006 and 2014," Richard H. Ebright, professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, told Britain's Guardian in an email.

He went onto say that technicians failed to "inactivate a sample, followed by a failure to confirm inactivation before shipping the sample, followed by ... a failure to confirm inactivation upon receiving the sample."

"This seems to be a problem that happens pretty regularly," added Gigi Kwik Gronvall, a senior associate at the Center for Health Security at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, the Guardian reported.

"Even if people are not following the protocol ... then perhaps the protocol should be modified to make sure it's easier to follow, and more likely to bring about compliance. It's more, to me, that not enough is known about the situation."

What would happen to someone associated with the alternative media or some conservative group if they had done something like this? They would likely have been brought up on bioterrorism charges.

However, since there was no "human error" involved, no one in government is going to be blamed. Moreover, as the pattern suggests, Americans can expect "accidental" anthrax releases to continue.

Sources:

http://www.philly.com

http://www.theguardian.com

http://www.cbsnews.com

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