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By William R. Clark

Considering the fact that September eleventh, the specter of a bioterrorist attack--massive, deadly, and unpreventable--has hung within the air over the United States. Bracing for Armageddon? bargains a vividly written primer for the overall reader, laying off gentle at the technology at the back of strength bioterrorist assaults and revealing what may take place, what's prone to take place, and what in all probability won't ensue. the tale opens with a riveting account of a bioterrorism situation commissioned by way of the U.S. govt. utilizing this doomsday tableau as a springboard, Clark stories a bunch of bioterrorist threats (from agroterrorism to a poisoning of the water offer) and examines not just the worst-case risk of genetically engineered pathogens, but in addition the deadly brokers at the CDC's respectable bioterrorism record, together with Smallpox, Anthrax, Plague, Botulism, and Ebola. His evaluation of tried bioterrorist assaults to date--such because the failed Aum Shinrikyo makes an attempt in 1995 in Japan and the Anthrax assault within the US following 9/11--bolstered through interviews with a variety of experts--shows why almost all of those makes an attempt have failed. certainly, he demonstrates winning bioterrorism assault is particularly not going, whereas a tremendous flu epidemic (such because the lethal epidemic of 1918 that killed hundreds of thousands all over the world) is a digital sure bet. Given the lengthy odds of a bioterrorist assault, Clark asks, has the greater than $40 billion the U.S. has devoted to the security opposed to bioterrorism fairly been good spent? Is it time to maneuver directly to different priorities? not like the alarmist fears stoked by means of the preferred media, William Clark right here presents a reassuring review of what we actually have to fear about--and what we do not.

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Extra info for Bracing for Armageddon?: The Science and Politics of Bioterrorism in America

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This is not an easy question. Since September 11, tens of billions of dollars have been spent upgrading almost every conceivable aspect of our ability to respond to a bioterrorism attack. The underlying programs continue to be sold to the Congress and the American public largely by playing on fears of bioterrorism. 20 • B R ACI N G F O R A R M AG E D D O N? But our resources are not infinite, and hard decisions have to be made about the relative risks posed by bioterrorism in comparison to other challenges America will face in the years ahead.

And Aum Shinrikyo quickly grew to become one of the larger and more influential of the “new age” organizations in Japan. Based on absolute, unquestioning adherence to the whims and dictates of Asahara, the cult eventually had a membership in the tens of thousands. Among the many thousands who lived in Japan, about 1,400 chose to transfer all of their assets to Aum Shinrikyo and live in Aum compounds. All of the leaders of the cult were drawn from these members. 7 Even at the end, when the police finally raided Aum headquarters, they found eight million dollars in cash and twenty-two pounds of gold!

The Rajneesh commune soon grew to several thousand souls, who enjoyed various degrees of success in their search for peace and enlightenment, in an atmosphere of easy drugs and sex. But the Bhagwan clearly flourished. He accumulated ninety Rolls Royces, five private jets, and a helicopter. Not content with having built a thriving community on their own land, cult members gained electoral control of the nearby small (population 75) town of Antelope in Wasco County. They named their new town Rajneesh and quickly converted it to their own needs and ends, to the utter disgust of the mostly retired locals.

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