No NBAF in Kansas

Real Biosecurity for the Heartland

Archive for the ‘Documents’ Category

Included here are links to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the May 22, 2008 GAO Testimony entitled “High Containment Biosafety Laboratories: DHS Lacks Evidence to Conclude That Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Can Be Done Safely on the U.S. Mainland.”

NRC Meets at KSU to Review DHS Risk Assessment

Posted by tmanney on January 31, 2012

Members of the National Research Council held a public hearing on the risks associated with National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility Friday morning in Manhattan, where the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is building the $650 million lab near Kansas State University. As part of the project’s funding, Congress has required the National Research Council to conduct a risk assessment on the lab. An initial risk report was released in 2010. That report raised questions that led to further review of the lab and the plans for security measures to protect livestock and humans if pathogens are released. The NRC held an information gathering hearing prior to the release of the DHS revised risk assessment.

The first hour of the meeting was a question and answer session between four members of the NRC committee and selected members of the KSU Veterinary Medicine faculty and administration. The second hour was public comment.

Following are written comments submitted to the NRC committee elaborating on comments

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No “credible information” from the DHS

Posted by Dale on December 15, 2009

Via Wikileaks I recently came across a Department of Homeland Security PowerPoint presentation that was inadvertently posted on November 22, 2007 and removed within days. It is unclassified information, but nonetheless provides some interesting insights into the thought processes prevalent in the DHS during the Bush administration (and perhaps still).

After scrolling through many slides on the risks to oil and gas facilities and military missions in Iraq (one sees here the nation’s priority when it comes to protecting the US from terrorists), one reaches on the 12th of 27 slides a discussion of threats to the “homeland.” At the 15th slide, the discussion turns toward risks to food and agriculture.

The first statement on the topic is

DHS lacks credible information to indicate planning for an attack against the Food and Agriculture sector, but continues to pay great attention to this threat

which seems to be something of a mild smoking gun with regard to NBAF. Much has been made by its supporters of the threat, which is typically described as imminent and real, while perhaps not using those terms. Is is really worth the expense and the risks to build an NBAF when even the DHS cannot present any credible information pointing to a threat?

Perhaps even more disturbingly, the next slide analyzes the danger represented by domestic “animal rights extremists” and “environmental extremists.” While I find the tactics of groups such as PETA and Greenpeace (and smaller groups with similar and perhaps more action-oriented agendas) off-putting, I think we have room in our nation to tolerate a bit of antisocial behavior. If they commit criminal acts, which some do, we have laws against such acts (theft, wanton destruction of property, disturbing the peace, etc.), so why the need to label them extremists and terrorists? Unless something has been hidden from the public, the only “extreme” domestic acts one reads about in the paper are fairly frequent shooter incidents and, of course, the Oklahoma City bombing, none of which have anything remotely to do with animal rights nor the environment.

This is, put simply, making enemies out of thin air. The mindset behind this slideshow frightens me, frankly, as a citizen of a democratic nation. I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, but if PETA et al. already rank as “terrorists” and “extremists,” who will be next?

Posted in >Department of Homeland Security (DHS), >Risks, Documents | 3 Comments »

Government Contacts Updated for New Administration

Posted by tmanney on February 9, 2009

Click on GOVERNMENT CONTACTS in menu bar above for contact info for Departments in Obama Administration.

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