Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just Something to Keep You Awake

In 1995, a man named Babrak Kamal, one of Iraq’s leading bioweapons scientists, defected to Jordan. Fearing what he would reveal, the government of Iraq admitted some of its biowar planning, particularly at the Al Hakam and Al Manal plants (which had previously been identified as vaccine making facilities). Al Hakam was a factory for manufacturing anthrax, and is estimated to have created more than twenty tons of anthrax. None of the anthrax made by the Al Hakam plant was ever recovered or destroyed, and unlike most toxins, anthrax can be stored indefinitely in powder form. The Al Manal plant was even scarier, as it manufactured botulism toxin, a poison over one hundred thousand times more toxic than Sarin. A dot of bot tox the size of the one over this i can kill between eight and fifteen people; the Al Manal plant produced over nine thousand cubic yards, at twenty times weapons-grade concentration. None of the bot tox made at the Al Manal plant was ever recovered or destroyed. What’s more, in a deal made between the UN and the Iraqi government, the Al Manal plant was neither destroyed, seized, nor closed. There is no report on what was done at Al Manal and similar plants between 1995 and 2003, when Coalition forces invaded Iraq.

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