No NBAF in Kansas

Real Biosecurity for the Heartland

Archive for August, 2008

Is Tom Thornton an expert?

Posted by Dale on August 21, 2008

In recent media reports, both in the Manhattan Mercury and on KTKA (and elsewhere), Tom Thornton has been given the opportunity to rebut statements made by members of No NBAF in Kansas. I decided to peek behind the curtain to see who Mr. Thornton is and how qualified he is to make such statements.

As I expected, Mr. Thornton is neither an expert nor is he qualified to utter unsubstantiated claims such as these:

It’s actually terrorists looking to develop the very pathogens that the NBAF is trying to defeat. This is actually a justification of the NBAF. We need counter measures, we need vaccines.

The result has been overwhelming public and private support from scientists, elected officials, farmers, ranchers and many others. Kansas wants to protect the American food supply.

How can someone who is neither a scientist nor privy to intelligence data know these things? He can’t, of course, he’s just parroting things others say in a slick and disingenuous fashion. He’s also hoping that if you state such things often enough, they become truth. Well, they don’t.

Mr. Thornton is a businessman who currently spends his days heading a lobbyist organization. Lobbyists don’t have a very good reputation these days, for good reason. They are about putting government money in the hands of those who least need it. Before his current work, he was also engaged in mergers and acquisitions and venture capitalism (read his bio here). Oh, he also had a stint on the staff of the now discredited Dennis Hastert, where he surely learned a thing or two about the private/public money nexus, since Mr. Hastert is a true expert in that area.

What annoys me is that his word is taken at face value by the press, when in fact he’s really just spouting off just as people who are against NBAF sometimes do. He doesn’t know what terrorists are doing, how safe these facilities are, nor what Kansans want any more than you or I do. He’s living proof that you don’t have to right or particularly bright to be in the spotlight; all it takes is a fistful of dollars. I don’t want people like this making decisions about my community.

Posted in Fact Check | Comments Off on Is Tom Thornton an expert?

Press catching on, sort of

Posted by Dale on August 20, 2008

KTKA ran a segment on No NBAF on Kansas yesterday. I appreciate the coverage, even if I wish they had done a little more fact checking.

Check out the comments on this segment, however. Several proponents of the NBAF have left comments calling us fearmongers and fools. Please take a moment, register for their site (it’s easy and painless) and leave a comment. Let’s flood the page with No NBAF in Kansas comments and use it to get our message out and show our numbers!

Posted in Do Something! | 2 Comments »

Next Action: Public Demonstration

Posted by tmanney on August 20, 2008

About 70 people showed up for the meeting last night to continue our ongoing discussion, planning and actions in opposition to the Department of Homeland Security building a deadly germ lab anywhere on the US mainland, and especially in the heartland.

Our exposure in the media is rapidly expanding with letters to the editor, advertisements, and news coverage in regional print and broadcast media.

Our immediate action plan is to begin public demonstrations (highly non-violent, of course). 

Posted in Do Something! | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Listen to “No NBAF in Kansas” on Community Bridge

Posted by Dale on August 19, 2008

Thursday, Aug. 14

Listen to the podcast from the Community Bridge radio show.

Posted in Do Something! | Comments Off on Listen to “No NBAF in Kansas” on Community Bridge

Quotation of the day ….

Posted by tmanney on August 18, 2008

The following is taken from Final Selection Memorandum For Site Selection for the Second Round Potential Sites for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) from the Science and Technology Directorate of the DHS.  It refers to the evaluation of the   Heartland BioAgro Consortium which submitted the local proposal.

“Additionally, the consortium demonstrated a continuing commitment to NBAF and has garnered and maintained significant community acceptance and public support for the program. Support is strong and broad from political, business, agricultural, and academic stakeholders. The coherent and persistent messaging and continuous outreach from the consortium on the benefits of placing the NBAF at this location continues to foster public support. There is no known public opposition to locating the NBAF at this site.” (Emphasis added).

Posted in >Department of Homeland Security (DHS), >National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF), Do Something! | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

What can you do to stop this?

Posted by tmanney on August 16, 2008

What can you do to stop the Department of Homeland Security from building a dangerous, secret, deadly germ lab in the heartland?

Get informed.

Don’t rely on the mainstream press for your information. Most of the information that has been published comes from people who have something to gain from having the lab build here. The blogs on this site will help you find independent sources of information. You can also share information, and have your own concerns heard. See what is in the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) prepared by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS). Read why the Government Accountability Office testified to congress thatDHS Lacks Evidence to Conclude That Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Can Be Done Safely on the U.S. Mainland.”

Speak up.

The Department of Homeland Security is required to record your comments until August 25, 2008.

Toll-Free Voice Mail: 1-866-501-NBAF (6223)

Toll-Free Fax: 1-866-508-NBAF (6223)

Online: e-mail nbafprogrammanager@dhs.gov

U.S. Mail: U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Science and Technology Directorate; James V. Johnson; Mail Stop #2100; 245 Murray Lane, SW; Building 410; Washington, DC 20528

Tell your legislators.

The Department of Homeland Security cannot build anything unless Congress appropriates the money. Click on Government Contacts in the menu bar above to learn how to contact them. Use email, phone, or FAX because postal mail to legislators is still experiencing long delays because of the 2001anthrax attacks.

Meet with your neighbors.

The No NBAF in Kansas protest group will hold a public meeting:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Riley County Senior Service Center

412 Leavenworth

Manhattan, KS 66502


Posted in Do Something! | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on What can you do to stop this?

Have any accidents occurred at BSL-4 or BSL-3 labs in the United States or from international labs?

Posted by nonbafks on August 13, 2008

Accidents and other safety and security problems have resulted from expansion of research involving biological defense (weapons) agents. These include laboratory-acquired infections in people working with biological weapons agents, unauthorized persons handling biological weapons agents, failure to account for stocks or biological weapons agents, and other problems.

<http://www.semp.us/publications/biot_reader.php?BiotID=464&gt;

<http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-oi-hrg.100407.Hammond-testimony.pdf>;

Draft EIS, Appendix B, June 2008;

“High-Containment Biosafety Laboratories, KSH Lacks Evidence to Conclude That Foot-and-Mouth Disease Reasearch Can Be Done Safely on the U.S. Mainland, GAO May 22, 2008.

Key Words: accidents, biodefense labs, BSL-4 labs, BSL-3 labs

Category: Accidents at BSL-4 and BSL-3 Labs

Posted in >Accidents, Facts & Definitions | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

How could disease agents escape containment within or from the NBAF?

Posted by nonbafks on August 13, 2008

·      From human error, most commonly.

·      A mechanical failure, electrical outage, fire, explosion or other accident at the lab.

·      A natural disaster such as a tornado or earthquake.

·      An enemy or terroist attack to the facility.

·      Spread into the community from an infected lab worker.

·      A malicious act by someone within the lab.

Information on vulnerability to tornados, seismic activity, or floods at the six possible NBAF sites is described in the Draft EIS, June 2008.

Keys words:  Human error,terrorism,accidents,natural disasters and bio-security.

 

Posted in >Risks | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on How could disease agents escape containment within or from the NBAF?

Who has oversight of biological defense (weapons) agent research and what are the requirements for reporting accidents?

Posted by nonbafks on August 13, 2008

No single federal agency mandates reporting of accidents, knows how many bio defense labs there are, or what disease agents are being studied.

“ It should be initially noted that the public’s right to know about lab accidents is largely ignored, and information on them is very difficult to acquire.

<http://www.semp.us/publications/biot_reader.php?BiotID=464&gt;

<http://energycommerce.house.gov/cmte_mtgs/110-oi-hrg.100407.Hammond-testimony.pdf>

PROLIFERATION OF LABORATORIES HANDLING BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS AGENTS

Submitted to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on

Energy and Commerce for the Hearing: Germs, Viruses, and Secrets: The Silent Proliferation of

Bio-Laboratories in the United States, 4 October 2007.

 

Posted in >Accountability, >Oversight, >Proliferation, >Transparency, Facts & Definitions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Who has oversight of biological defense (weapons) agent research and what are the requirements for reporting accidents?

What is the difference between biological defense research and biological weapons research?

Posted by nonbafks on August 13, 2008

There is really no difference because the agents involved are the same as are the methods used to study them.  In  both cases the germs are easily disseminated or spread person to person, are highly lethal to animls and/or humans, cause serious public health effects, and are capable of causing great panic and social disruption.  This quandry between bio-defense and bio-weapons is referred to as the “dual use dilemma” and was the topic of a book/report in October 2004, Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism, authored by the Committee on Research Standards and Practices to Prevent the Destructive Application of Biotechnology.

Reference, “A GNAT Whitepaper:  The  National Bio Agro Defense Facility’s ‘Dual Use’ Research; a Threat to our Nation’s Security” by Judy Winters. http://butnerblogspot.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/the-national-bio-agro-defense-facilitys-dual-use-research/

Key words:  dual purpose, biological defense, biological weapons.

Posted in >Definitions, Facts & Definitions | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on What is the difference between biological defense research and biological weapons research?