RealNews

Censored Study on Bioterror Doubts U.S. Preparedness

Two years after a report on the 2001 anthrax attacks was completed, the Pentagon has released parts of the unclassified document, which concludes that the nation is woefully ill-prepared to detect and respond to a bioterrorist assault. In a sweeping assessment, the report identifies weaknesses in “almost every aspect of U.S. biopreparedness and response.” But perhaps equally significant is the two-year battle over the Pentagon’s refusal to release the study. That struggle highlights the growing tension between public access to information and the government’s refusal to divulge anything it says terrorists could use to attack Americans. The dispute has pitted the Pentagon against the center that released the study, advocates of openness in government like the Federation of American Scientists, public health officials and even current and former emergency response officials of the Bush administration. The dispute revolves around a 44-page analysis titled “Lessons from the Anthrax Attacks: Implications for U.S. Bioterrorism Preparedness.” Full Story

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