GAO: Pentagon sold biolab gear
October 6, 2003 4:09 PM   Subscribe

GAO: Pentagon sold biolab gear "The Defense Department sold equipment to the public that can be used for making biological warfare agents, according to a draft report by the General Accounting Office. " Next: Anthrax on EBay?
posted by Postroad (14 comments total)
Who needs the Pentagon when the backyards of America are full of botulinum.
posted by homunculus at 4:52 PM on October 6, 2003

Biological warfare agents don't kill people; people kill people.
posted by boaz at 4:59 PM on October 6, 2003

I didn't realize, but I've been doing the same thing.

I will immediately stop selling tweezers and dental picks. Thanks Postroad!
posted by shepd at 5:14 PM on October 6, 2003

Malaysia?!? My god! My shoes were made by terrorists! I was wondering why they kept lighting on fire.
posted by shepd at 6:33 PM on October 6, 2003

Based on this firm evidence, the U.S. should invade itself - and quick!
posted by troutfishing at 8:03 PM on October 6, 2003

Now, wait a cotton pickin' minute. We're selling WMD producing gear to false front companies? Why pray tell then are we----

At least we have green, yellow and red color coded domestic airline passengers is all I can say. Is it just me or is everything meant to be a farce which I've only recently become privy?
posted by crasspastor at 8:37 PM on October 6, 2003

I really hate when the sum of an article is "something bad happened" and no facts on exactly what happened are provided. The article doesn't list the specific items or include the regular commercial availability of an item. Was the DoD selling something I could go to Industrial Supply Inc and buy any day of the week?
posted by rudyfink at 9:20 PM on October 6, 2003

I don't know Rudy. Cos if any of this shit is as easy to buy as it is to turn in to a "weapon of mass destruction". Then WTF is the point?

Also, articles can't be all things to all people. What do you think about the way it was presented?
posted by crasspastor at 11:26 PM on October 6, 2003

The article mentions "evaporator, incubator and centrifuge equipment" as well as a number of (possibly defective) "protective suits". To me, those all sound like pretty generic lab equipment I ought to be able to buy anywhere. Shrug.
posted by hattifattener at 12:47 AM on October 7, 2003

Pretty generic equipment ... which of course would constitute absolute proof of wrongdoing if it were to be found in Iraq. Remember when early on in the war the fact that protective suits were found in abandoned Iraqi positions were shown as proof that something was amiss? I do.
posted by magullo at 8:06 AM on October 7, 2003

I'm not too bothered by the sale of these items:

Much if not all of the equipment sold to GAO investigators is available to the public at full price on the open market,

However, the fact that they were reselling bio-hazard suits that had been previously determined faulty is a serious issue.

(Though I would tend to think that if there is anything you wouldn't want to buy second-hand, it would be a bio-hazard suit.)
posted by obfusciatrist at 8:49 AM on October 7, 2003

"(Though I would tend to think that if there is anything you wouldn't want to buy second-hand, it would be a bio-hazard suit.)"

- no, it would be a condom.
posted by Pericles at 9:33 AM on October 7, 2003

I'm with hattifattener. Evaporators, incubators, and centrifuges can be found in scores of laboratories--both teaching and research--in hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the country. The only thing even moderately uncommon is the protective suits.

Or, if you prefer the sensationalism: Water is required to produce bioweapons!! The culture media commonly used for growing deadly anthrax bacteria is 98% water!! And the city of New York makes water available to millions of people without any requirement for a background check, or even identification!! The federal government has done nothing to stop the flow of water through vast channels known as "rivers," accessible to anyone, which we have found to be active in all fifty states!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:33 PM on October 7, 2003

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