The Army laboratory identified by prosecutors as the source of the anthrax that killed five people in the fall of 2001 was rife with such security gaps that the deadly spores could have easily been smuggled out of the facility, outside investigators found.In theory, the United States hasn't had a program for offensive biological weapons since the Nixon Administration. But when Nixon officially discontinued them, there were still laboratories research defensive measures against biological warfare. Those stocks are where the anthrax spores came from that were used in the 2001 attacks. Since 2001, the amount of defensive research on biological weapons has expanded considerably. Hopefully, the government's security measures are appropriate for the expanded research.
The existing security procedures _ described in two long-secret reports _ were so lax they would have allowed any researcher, aide or temporary worker to walk out of the Army bio-weapons lab at Fort Detrick, Md, with a few drops of anthrax _ starter germs that could grow the trillions of spores used to fill anthrax-laced letters sent to Congress and the media.
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