"Oops!" U.S. military mistakenly ships live anthrax to nine state labs and South Korea

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“You did say SOUTH Korea, right? Well, no harm no foul then!”

Ship happens.

Anthrax, unless aerosolized, is not really That Much Threatening. (It’s when the spores go into the air, for which they have to be specially treated to not suck in the hovering and not settling early.) Otherwise you won’t get the yummy pulmonary infection but a bog-standard boring easily treatable cutaneous kind.

Edit: Also, a lot depends on the specific strain. Like E.coli can range from fairly innocent kinds to the fairly pathogenic, enterohaemorrhagic O157:H7 one.


Nothing weaselly about these statements. I’m feeling confident about this one.

“The Army’s top officer says he is confident that the accidental
shipment of live anthrax to labs in nine states and South Korea did not
endanger any lives. “I’m 99.9 percent confident that nobody’s in
danger,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Thursday during a
Defense Writers Group breakfast.Based on the initial study the
service has conducted of the incident, Odierno said standard procedures
were followed in the shipment.“Best I can tell, there was not human error,” he said.”


Hopefully that 99.9% figure wasn’t the result of a ‘lets see what really happens in the outside world when protocol isn’t followed by tracking the number of deaths that might arise in a situation like this’ test. Because, you know, that’s never happened before.

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So if online threats made by idiot teenagers are terrorism, then shipment of active biological weapons is…what? A “gaffe”? Like when they accidentally flew live nukes over US soil?

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Hey, this is the second time in a week o157:h7 has been mentioned :smile:

  1. An error was made.
  2. No error was made.
  3. ?
  4. Profit?

What this story makes me curious about is just what kind of dead-anthrax supply network are we running here?

Indeed, across enough repetitions of just abut any process, somebody will screw up enough, or enough cumulative error will accumulate, that the wrong thing happens. However, that’s more likely when it’s a relatively routine operation, less likely(though not impossible) when it’s a ‘today-is-the-big-day-everyone-is-watching-don’t-screw-this-up’ thing.

So is DoD dead anthrax a tens of shipments a year thing? Hundreds? Does it go out by the milligram? By the kilogram? On pallets?

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At least they didn’t crash them that time

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Yeah, not like this time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1961_Goldsboro_B-52_crash

One of the two nuclear bombs on board was kept from detonating by the one arming switch (of six) that did not arm itself. A quote from the article: “As far as I’m concerned we came damn close to having a Bay of North Carolina. The nuclear explosion would have completely changed the Eastern seaboard if it had gone off … the size of each bomb was more than 250 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb, and large enough to have a 100% kill zone of seventeen miles. Each bomb would exceed the yield of all munitions (outside of testing) ever detonated in the history of the world by TNT, gunpowder, conventional bombs, and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts combined.”

The second bomb? It’s still where it fell, 180 feet (55 m) underground. Anthrax, you say?

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