Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Poisoned Plum

A January 31, 2007 press release from the University of Wisconsin, Madison announced that Thomas McKenna, director of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Plum Island, N.Y., where he has worked since 1995, has been chosen to head the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory which includes a self-contained Biological Safety Level 3 laboratory, where work with highly infectious organisms and other potential bioterrorism agents will be performed.

The release, disseminated as original writing in a local newspaper, quoted Daryl Buss, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine: “We are highly impressed with Tom's leadership skills, his scientific credentials and his ability to manage a resource that is vitally important to Wisconsin citizens.”

I attended a presentation by dean Buss and others at the November 30, 2006, Town of Dunn town hall meeting. A select group of purported university experts went to Dunn to explain why the University had offered a 160 acre parcel of land it owns in the township to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a site for a new Biological Safety Level 4 laboratory.

A Biological Safety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory studies the most deadly, most contagious diseases known. The new lab, wherever it is finally built, will be called the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NABF).

During the Dunn town hall meeting, dean Buss explained that the new facility would be a replacement for U.S. government owned Plum Island. He explained that Plum Island was an exemplary laboratory, but that it was deemed too old to fully renovate, so Homeland Security was trying to find a location to build a new laboratory.

During the Q&A, an elderly woman stood and asked the panel of university experts whether any of them had read the book she was holding, Lab 257. The experts looked around at each other, no, none of them was familiar with the book. Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York, may have been prescient when he worried that if someone didn’t force the government to do something about Plum Island, that the author’s “brilliant work will have been wasted and we may be the victims, once again, of government inadvertence.”

There is something contradictory in dean Buss’s praise for Thomas McKenna’s leadership during his twelve years at Plum Island and the problems at Plum Island revealed by Michael C. Carroll’s Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory.

There is something disturbing about dean Buss claiming that McKenna is impressive without, apparently, having familiarized himself with well researched criticisms of Plum Island’s history of germ research.

There is something nefarious in the fact that the university is trying to convince the Town of Dunn that it has nothing to worry about if Homeland Security builds a BSL-4 lab replacement for Plum Island in its back yard. Now, another expert will be able to say that he worked at Plum Island and the people of Dunn and nearby Madison should feel perfectly safe.

Understandably, getting information from Plum Island has proven to be as difficult as getting information from the UW. What has emerged from a large body of evidence, circumstantial and factual, is the likelihood that Plum Island is responsible for a number of disease outbreaks that have proven to be national public health and agricultural nightmares.

There is compelling evidence that Plum Island is responsible for the introduction into the United States of Lyme Disease, West Nile virus, Dutch duck plague, and the reintroduction hoof-and-mouth disease. Plum Island’s biocontainment mechanisms were allowed to deteriorate and remained non-functional for many years. Security was lax. Accidents were common. Plum Island’s apparent catastrophic failure to protect the public must be borne in part by Thomas McKenna.

Naming McKenna to lead a BSL-3 laboratory and likely become an advocate for the proposed BSL-4 laboratory – without fully understanding the history of Plum Island – is yet another violation of the public’s trust by the University of Wisconsin.


Steve said...

Could a level 4 facility be safe? where has a level 4 ever been shown to be safe? We as citizens seem to have only each other to use as resources on the safety issues. Ask the government and the answers are always what the public wants to hear. ask for verification of the assurances and its always classified information or it is unavailable to the public due to its complex nature.
If they want to find a safe place to do their work why not the Moon? If they go to the Moon then we don't have to wonder what's leaking out into the country side here. If these diseases are so high level dangerous to require a level 4 containment then who in their right thinking mind could ever be persuaded of it's safety in a community? We have 50 years of the nuclear industry as and example of failures to deal with the dangers being created daily in the containment and spent fuel controversy of issues. Show the public a real example of a level 4 or highly radioactive example which has never failed. Why not send the level 4 to Hanford Washington they could set among the leaking high level tanks scattered over hundreds of acres of land and leaking into the Columbia River.If they build it, it will fail, it will contaminate the nation. It is beyond understanding that a Level 4 laboratory dealing with the most deadly and contagious organisms known to man should be constructed in the midst of the populations most likely to be infected by them. The heartland of our farming community and a small community of uninformed citizenry. You can't trust any of these people and if you do, you risk everything for nothing at all. This is always so depressing to hear of.atish34

Anonymous said...

I've read 257 and coudln't agree more that a new lab is needed. Read the book and this will guide for future labs being built on US soil. (don't forget to nuke plum island when leaving)

Anonymous said...

May they all burn in hell.

Anonymous said...

This is within 2 .5 hours drive from my home and the homes of my family and friends. This is frightening. Who, in their right minds, wants one of these facilities in their backyard? If anything put it in the desert far far from major cities like Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee. And maybe it would be wise for a competent person to manage it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks,

Very astute and incredibly lenient article concerning gov'ment rubbish. Redland security does not require a laboratory for germ warfare and University of Wisconsin is incredibly inept if they are not fully investigating why Plum Island is no longer adequate. But university administrators are little more than a white washed fence, just politicians with an academic stripe and political correctness as their official mantra. This is why universities have become a sinkhole for education and rise up as pathetic propoganda indoctrination temples.

Parents, if they have any perceptions that extend beyond the major news disinfo television, paper and internet sites, would be telling their progeny to educate themselves and think entirely for themselves - about everything.

There is a simple answer for the man or woman, a mantra that every poor sap in any military or ops group learns - if you have any sense - DO NOT VOLUNTEER, EVER. This goes for a community of men and women - stop volunteering because the gerbils that claim to be some kind of leaders say you should. Leaders are well known to be sinkers in fishing - pieces of lead that go to the bottom with all kinds of hooks attached.

The poor critter Mr Buss is a front for manipulators or is himself a brain infected gerbil like McKenna. Men and women that have turned themselves into inferior genetic creatures should be ignored, never obeyed and certainly not looked up to.

BillyD said...

I've read that the "Spanish Flu" which killed 10s of millions in 1918-1920 was created by eugenicists in a U.S. Army lab at Ft. Riley, KS, and was then given by vaccination to U.S. soldiers going to Spain for training in WW I. Does anyone know of a good source on this and is there any organization fighting the establishment of Level 3 and 4 labs near populated areas?

Anonymous said...

The truth about Plum Island should be a top news story. I can't understand why the midwest was chosen instead of a low population area. Perhaps the science gurus don't want to live and work in the boondocks. I would advise the people who may be living near this facility to move as soon as they can.