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Why Does The Pentagon Keep Anthrax Around? — ‘The Why’

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why does the Pentagon keep anthrax around?” you ask? Good question.  Timely too. (Besides, it gives us yet another chance to avoid discussing why folks name their private parts, ya know?)


No! Not THAT Anthrax!/Image: SkullAngel

In case you’ve been living or perhaps hiding under a rock, the latest government screw-up is an anthrax-filled “doozy” as “they” used to say. The anthrax spore can cause serious injury when inhaled of course and just the other day the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. accidentally mailed out live samples of anthrax spores to nine states in the US and even the country of South Korea.

Obviously in order to accidentally send the stuff out the Pentagon must have been stashing anthrax somewhere, right? So the obvious question is why does the Pentagon keep anthrax around anyway?

Well, the only reason the “good guys” do stuff like that is so they can research it and find a way to deal with it if the “bad guys” try to use it for their nefarious purposes. Now for those of you who don’t follow such golden age comic book simplicity, we 9as always) have a guest journalist today.


THIS anthrax!/Image: Familymedicine

Our guest today is Kelsey D. Atherton, contributor to Popular Science online. Atherton first notes that the anthrax “specimens mailed this week came from the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground”.  This fact confirms that one reason they have anthrax on hand is because the Army researches “Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives” under the acronym CBRNE.

Atherton reminds us that just last month, “Dugway announced the test of a ‘system of systems’ for biological weapons detection.” He believes the anthrax “samples mailed out were supposed to be used to test other in-field detection systems.”

In fact, the Pentagon has been stocking up on such nasty stuff as anthrax since 1941. Atherton report that “for about 30 years, the United States actively maintained a bioweapons program geared towards attack.”


Anthrax/Image; CDC

He adds that “President Nixon halted the program in 1969 and the United States signed the International Biological Weapons Convention in 1972.” He concludes that “American military research on threats like anthrax has been largely focused on how to stop them and survive them.”

(See? We’re the “good guys.” We just keep it around so we can learn how to survive anthrax so we can stop the “bad guys” from using it.)

Why does the Pentagon keep anthrax around? Now you know.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

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About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.