Biowar on a Budget

Danny Oper dannyoper at aol.com
Sun Dec 21 00:36:18 EST 1997


Perhaps this can be expanded into "how-to" manuals, such as
"Biowar Made Simple" or "Biowar for Dummies".  I hope to
counter arguments that we could not possibly have had technology
to create new viruses, such as AIDS.

I was previously speculating how even the 1918 flu epidemic could
conceivably have involved biowarfare.  Just tonight, I noticed a
reference saying that "The modern history of biowar began in
1918 with the formation of a special section of the Japanese Army
(Unit 731) dedicated to biowar" (from "Biological Warfare and
the Implications of Biotechnology" by Scott McCulloch).  It didn't
say anything about what, exactly, they worked on, if we even
know this  (hmm...).   How blind can people be?  Don't answer 
that, many of you are already doing a fine job.

When people argue that AIDS could not have been "from scratch",
it shows naivete concerning how viruses can be created.  When
the same people pretend to have reviewed all the available literature,
and to be highly informed on the subject, then it suggests that they
are deliberately lying, being cute with phrasing, because this point
has come up and been refuted so many times- no one is saying that
it is necessary to create a new virus "from scratch".

I would argue that it is currently improbable to create viruses
from the raw elements, with precise specifications as to the
desired product, and knowing exactly what you are going
to get.

I do believe that there is a great deal that could have been
done to direct production of new viruses, with less precise
methods.  This is a more technically involved discussion
for the future.  For now, I want to argue on an even more
basic, common-sense level, concerning approaches that
are even more crude, but still effective.

What approaches can you use to obtains weapons of
biological warfare, without a lot of money or


Did the Aum Shinri Kyo cult of Japan have a team of
microbiologists to create Ebola?  No, they simply heard
of an exotic new disease in Africa, and they made a journey
to try to get their hands on it (luckily, they didn't, this time).

Skeptics of biowar tell us all the time- weird diseases exist
and hide for long periods of time in confined areas, escaping
our notice until they suddenly escape.  Fine, let's suppose that
AIDS and Ebola existed since ancient times.  If a remote
village in Africa gets hit, the epidemic stops in its tracks when
the small, remote village gets wiped out.

Governments can do the same thing that a cult can do.  They
keep their eyes and ears open, for every exotic virus in every
remote corner of the world.  They can seize samples, culture
it, spread it without needing to know much at all about it,
helping along a potentially natural process, many-fold.


Sometimes, the establishment propagandists trip over their
own contradictions.  On one hand, we are told that creating
new viruses was far beyond our capability.  On the other
hand, we are assured that AIDS is natural, because 
"Nature is a laboratory where new viruses are created all
the time."  Therefore, it is nothing suspicious, to see a new

Wait a minute, though.  If Nature is such a fine, natural
laboratory, then why can't a human laboratory
find ways to exploit Nature's own laboratory?

You know how antibiotics and antibacterial soaps help to
create new, more resistant strains of bacteria.  Bacteria
and viruses can sometimes adapt to environmental 
challenges, adapt to new hosts.  Similar phenomena can be
consciously exploited in a lab, to encourage new development.


You don't need to know how to clone a baby in a test tube,
from raw materials, in order to create a deformed baby
(as we found with thalidomide).  Lots of agents can induce
mutation- chemicals, radiation.

Some scientists speculate that "directed evolution", and
rapid bursts of evolution might be assisted by a gene that
turns on and increases the frequency of mutation.  An
animal species does not know in advance what the end
result will be.  Natural selection simply favors the most
suitable mutations.

A scientist can do the same: induce mutations, any 
mutations, through a wide variety of simple means,
then also define the criteria for the selection process,
rejecting the majority, keeping the desired result when
it occasionally comes from random chance.


This is a theme that is coming up, constantly.  Ebola,
AIDS, hanta, mad cow, even the 1918 flu strain,
all supposedly jumped a species barrier, from monkeys,
or cows, or mice, or birds.

The establishment propagandists again tend to contradict
themselves.  On one hand, they often claim that "viruses
cannot easily be made to jump the species barrier", at
least when the context involves human laboratories or
possibly contaminated vaccines.

On the other hand, they will act as if one stray monkey
bite, one child eating a piece of bad chicken, and whoops,
a whole new epidemic is underway.  Of course, it is such
a natural occurrence, that we should not be suspicious.

You can't have it both ways.  One of the simplest things
for a biowarfare scientist is to experiment, taking
every animal virus imaginable, and injecting it to large
numbers of human guinea pigs: prisoners of war,
criminals, people in mental institutions, etc.

Pump them with blood of diseased animals, pus,
feces, force feed them raw meat of diseased animals-
types of contact that we would normally avoid,

You can sometimes create a new virus simply
by culturing it in a new type of tissue.

One of the first recorded examples of biological
warfare is the ancient Romans using dead animals
to foul the enemy's water supply  ("Biological 
Warfare and the Implications of Biotechnology").

If the ancient Romans can manage to cook up such
ideas, so can Allied, German, or Japanese scientists
in 1918, and so can DOD, CIA, or Russian scientists
in the 60's and 70's.


Kathleen Bailey, a former assistant director of the U.S.
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency declared that
she was "absolutely convinced" that a biological
arsenal could be built with $10,000 of equipment
in a 15x15 room.  

It is the "poor man's nuke".  To "affect"  a 1 square
kilometer area requires $2000 with conventional weapons,
$800 with nuclear weapons, $600 with chemical weapons,
$1 with biological weapons (same source cited previously).

Biowarfare on a Budget.

Tom Keske
Boston, Mass.

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