CIA and DHS Stepping up Bio-Warfare Research? Into the Botulinum Toxin?!

In back to back months, the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Central Intelligence Agency’s investment arm, In-Q-Tel, have made significant investments in a company called Quanterix for research and development in detection of harmful bio-agents.

Quanterix makes a device dubbed SiMoA, or Single Molecule Array Technology.  Previous to the involvement of these two Government agencies, SiMoA was used in life sciences and in-vitro diagnostics (testing of a sample in a test tube to gain information on that sample).  The DHS and IQT say that they are hoping Quanterix’s SiMoA, which can detect pathogens at a level of sensitivity previously unmatched.

CIA’s IQT is looking for this technology to be able to look at nucleic acids and proteins simultaneously to detect various pathogens while DHS is looking for it to detect botulism toxins in a sample down to as little as one molecule of toxin.

These would be good things…except that the DHS and CIA are not in the business of solving the world’s problems. They are in the business of waging and counter-waging domestic and international overt and covert wars…including executing and responding to bio-warfare threats.  The fact that both departments are beefing up their counter-bio-terror arsenal to  “address a number of challenges currently faced by DHS for identifying active agents of bioterrorism.”; presumably including the detection of biological weapons on US Soil, is slightly troubling.

This is especially true when you consider both groups research overlaps at the Botulinum toxin; a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, and is considered the most powerful neurotoxin ever discovered.  It is the most acutely toxic substance known, with a median lethal dose of about 1 ng/kg when introduced intravenously and 3 ng/kg when inhaled. This means that, depending on the method of introduction into the body, a mere 90–270 nanograms of botulinum toxin could be enough to kill an average 90 kg (200 lb) person, a single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, would kill more than 1 million people and four kilograms of the toxin, if evenly distributed, would be more than enough to kill the entire human population of the world.

It’s possible that the United States Government has had plans to use this agent domestically since 2001. There was an incident at the White House where then Vice President Dick Cheney called President George W. Bush over a secure line and said:

“The White House detectors have detected botulinum toxin, and we were all exposed (President Bush, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Chief of Staff Andy Card) – and those of us who exposed are going to die.”

It turned out to be a “false alarm”. Quite a strange false alarm, no?  Much like the anthrax attacks of post 9/11, these things don’t just happen by accident.  Anthrax wasn’t just available to the average joe. It was impossible to get by anyone other than certain individuals inside the Government. Likewise, Botulinum isn’t available at Chemicals-R-Us. Therefore, the threat would have to come from a Government power, foreign or domestic.

Given the treasonous acts of the US Government lately, it is not completely unreasonable to assume that the same Government that labels it’s own citizens as potential enemy combatants, denies them their rights to due process and true liberty, lies to them about the affairs their own elected officials are involved in etc, could also be behind a false-flag bio-terror attack on it’s own people.  Iran could conveniently be the scapegoat…or…a “lone wolf terrorist”, which has become a popular fear and propaganda tool of the Government lately.  These Quanterix SiMoA detectors could be but one tool in an expanding arsenal that would prevent cross contamination into critical Government infrastructure, personnel and food supplies.

Of course, there is always the chance that there may be a legitimate threat from “outside” of the United States. Certainly, no matter who is responsible, all will claim an outside actor to be the culprit. Interestingly enough, in February 2001 (just 7 months before 9/11) the US Government tasked the Journal of American Medicine Association and the Working Group on Civilian Biodefense to develop consensus-based recommendations for measures to be taken by medical and public health professionals if botulinum toxin is used as a biological weapon against a civilian population.  They determined that the most effective delivery methods that would be airborne (aerosol) and food borne. Mentioned in the study was the history of Botulinum being used as a bio-weapon and a specific mention of Iraq producing both weaponized Botulinum (19000L) AND Anthrax, much of which cannot be accounted for today. There are many reports of Iraq’s bio-weapons being transported to the United States and stored in underground facilities in places like Alabama where they are slated to be “destroyed”, but who can be sure of the exact location of every drop of a substance so dangerous that a gram can kill a million people?  It remains to be seen if anything will become of this.  Stay tuned.

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