Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fourth Dispatch from Carol in Geneva

From the
Bio-Weapons Treaty Sixth Review Conference
Fourth dispatch from Carol Urner at the United Nations, Geneva, 11/24/06
NOTE: Contact me with questions or comments at carol.disarm@gmail.com.

Today the lunch time seminar was presented by the Center for Biosecurity. The presenter gave good basic information on the civilian high containment laboratories (like the controversial Level-4 lab opposed so vigorously by Boston WILPF) but glossed over the questionable aspects. She was young, personable and, I think, sincere, but her presentation reminded me of the upbeat promotion of Three Mile Island I heard from their public relations specialist just a few days before a nuclear accident shut down the plant. She was willing to answer my questions, however. Check DISARM UPDATE at http://disarm.wilpf.org/NovDec06/BWCconference1.htm for more details. I regret I didn't ask her about BARDA, the new legislation that now exempts bio-defense research from inquiries under the Freedom of Information Act. Our government has been moving in the direction of much greater secrecy, rather than transparency, and that trend must be reversed if we are ever to rid the world of bioweapons.

Here is the URL for the Verification Matters text which I reported on so enthusiastically yesterday. Explore it yourself. I was pleased that Kathryn Nixdorff of the INES Working Group on Biological and Toxic Weapons Control sought me out to provide a better answer to my question two days ago about genetic specific weapons. She clarified that specific gene markers do exist in some ethnic populations that could be targeted. They usually appear in less that 10% (or as little as 1%) of the population but that could be enough to disrupt a society and sow terror in the populace. We agreed that this is the kind of research that should not be allowed to happen. It reminds me of that telltale sentence in the New American Century Rebuilding America's Defenses Report (page 60): And advanced forms of biological warfare that can "target" specific genotypes may transform biowarfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.


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