DEAD SILENCE: Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail (Counterpoint; June 2009; Hardcover; $25.00; 288 pages; 978-1-58243-509-1) is the untold story of the 2001 anthrax attacks and an investigation into the secret world of today’s horrifying germ-war arms race.
Award-winning filmmakers and journalists Bob Coen and Eric Nadler detail their seven-year global journey on the trail of anthrax, littered with dead scientists, billions in cash, and the scariest new germ arsenals known to humankind.
The authors conclude that the U.S. anthrax attacks must be examined as part and parcel of what they identify as a shadowy international bio-weapons mafia immersed in a sea of secret programs, human experiments, mysterious deaths, and cover-ups.
The story dates back to Cold War America, and takes place on a big historical canvass that spans the globe from the Brezhnev-era USSR and the struggle against apartheid in southern Africa to the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) inspections in Iraq.
Coen and Nadler speak to those directly involved—an array of corporate officers, diplomats, and germ-war experts. Many warn that we are nearing the cusp of a bio-apocalypse and argue that a citizens’ movement must fight back against this new terror.
The bio-war buildup is one of the world’s most secret and serious stories.
Attention must be paid.
What is revealed in Dead Silence . . .
* The 2001 anthrax attacks—despite the FBI’s claim that the case is closed—remain fundamentally unsolved to this day.
* Experts are split on evidence linking Bruce Ivins to the attack powders and say he lacked the skill set and equipment necessary to produce the anthrax sent to Senators Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle. Because Ivins killed himself before being formally charged, the evidence against him will never be tested in court.
* Citing “national security” grounds, the FBI has refused to tell Congress which U.S. laboratories are capable of making weaponized anthrax, which Senator Leahy has publicly criticized.
* Wouter Basson, a.k.a. Dr. Death, headed the apartheid-era germ war program in South Africa, which provided germ weapons to assassination squads. He received key assistance from U.S. and U.K. bio-defense establishments. Anthrax stocks from that program may be for sale on the black market today.
Suspicious sudden deaths: Bruce Ivins, David Kelly, Vladimir Pasechnik—all anthrax specialists who may have known too much.
* Dead Silence is the first to link the deaths of these key germ-war experts, dating back to the 1953 demise of scientist Frank Olson, who was working with the CIA and fell from the 13th floor of a New York hotel, and was almost certainly murdered.
Since the anthrax attacks, “biodefense” has become big business. What used to be the work of a handful of top-secret government labs is now a cash cow—with private enterprise reaping big contracts in “anti-terror” programs worth more than $50 billion.
* This money has flowed to politically connected corporations and foundations associated with the highest levels of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.
* Emergent Biosolutions has government contracts worth nearly a billion dollars for the anthrax vaccine—mandatory for U.S. soldiers deployed overseas. In recent years, the company has hired as lobbyists top aides to former Vice President Dick Cheney. Many soldiers say the vaccine is making them sick and is linked to Gulf War Syndrome diseases.
* Southwest Foundation for Bio-Medical Research (SFBR) runs the world’s only privately held Bio-Safety 4 laboratory where the most dangerous pathogens in the world are handled. Until recently, the president of the foundation was John Kerr, a close personal friend of former President George W. Bush. SFBR refuses to say what research they are conducting for the U.S. government.
* Human Genome Sciences Corporation recently received a $1.8 billion contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help the government stockpile anti-anthrax antibodies. One of its directors is Richard Danzig, former Secretary of the Navy (under Bill Clinton) and a national security advisor to President Obama. He is rumored to be next in line as Secretary of Defense.