Invisible Threat

Invisible Threat

2013, Health  -   35 Comments
Ratings: 7.33/10 from 63 users.

It's bad enough to catch a disease naturally but to take a disease and turn it into a weapon, to enhance the disease, to make it more virulent or more contiguous or more resistant to known vaccines it just kind of goes off the charts there. It's turning Mother Nature against us. Weapons that destroy by spreading deadly diseases have a long and unhappy history. Billions of dollars have been spent by governments to create pathogens that can cause fatal illnesses. Even today some countries are stockpiling just such a deadly arsenal.

In a widely reported news conference Syria has admitted as much. The World Health Organization called the deliberate contamination of our food one of the major biological threats of the twenty first century. In the modern globalized economy where food gets transported all over the world there are a lot of opportunities for somebody to contaminate the food with biological agents. It is kind of frightening when you think of the multitude of different pathogens somebody could introduce, either in a large population or a small targeted population. There are cases in our not so distant past where people have done that.

The most serious biological attack in US history was carried out not by foreign terrorists but by the followers of a homegrown religious cult. Salad bars in ten local restaurants were deliberately contaminated with salmonella. Seven hundred and fifty one people were poisoned and forty five hospitalized as disciples of Guru Rajneeshee sought to incapacitate voters and see their own candidates win the 1984 Wasco County election.

The salmonella incident occurred in the United States but biological attacks could happen anywhere in the world and so far there has not been a coordinated global plan about how to deal with this. The word terrorism evokes images of airplanes crashing into office towers or bombs blowing up in markets. These remain real threats. So do attacks by chemicals, mustard gas, defoliants, or nerve agents, but there is something even more insidious - biological weapons.

That's the whole point of terrorism, to put enormous psychological pressure on the audience that they're trying to reach, if we're talking about biological agents. They're unseen in many cases, you can't smell them so for that very reason those kinds of weapons have a much more powerful psychological impact on target audiences. Even killing five people with a bio-agent would be scarier than killing two hundred people with an explosive device.

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35 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Eric Reinholt

    Wow, such an important documentary, but you don't care about people who can't see very well. Finish this documentary by providing English voiceovers for foreign languages.

  2. suzanne petersen

    Soviet Union sees that countries are agreeing not to produce biological weapons, so they decide in secret to produce them. Israel does the same. When this is revealed despite their wishes, they protest that is because Germany attacked them in the the past and so they must be ready to defend themselves. That
    is also what Germany thought. Netanyahoo and the like have become hitler and they are itching for an opportunity to prove their power.

  3. aman

    biological attack is a strong attack that harms urs heart as well as ur mind

  4. rada

    Biological attack is very strong effect on the psyche. The bomb went off this one-time stress. And then you sit and think, or get infected will not get infected.

  5. mikeysbro

    Its interesting that history records various thieves vinegars from both France and England. One such vinegar found in the paris pharmacologica 6th edition 1825 (from earlier times by a cardinal wolsey 1473-1530) one can read that during the plague of Marseilles thieves "plundered the dead bodies with perfect security and upon being arrested stated on condition of their lives being spared that the use of aromatic vinegar had spared them the influence of the contagion" Now I wouldn't suggest that anyone use these vinegars but rather research them on their own accord ...some terms that may assist in searching may include; four thieves, thieves vinegars, paris pharmacologica 6 edition 1825 and so forth. History is indeed filled with ancient jewels of knowledge worth looking at.

  6. systems1000

    Putting someone else under observation for your own insane mistakes will not solve your problem.IT will only make it worse.

  7. Glen

    Sad mankind is so dumb , this cold war, space race , secret Astronauts funded by CIA etc to spy on us ,spies military spending all monies that could have given all a better life.
    Once USSA goes broke things might change.

  8. dewflirt

    Only one way to protect yourself from germful weapons - stop breathing :)

  9. dmxi

    it seems that nature keeps a trump card up it's sleeve in case it
    develops a macro-organism that is ruinous to it's own health ie a
    carcinogenic entity named humanity.

  10. bonnielou

    The most serious biological attack in US history was the US government's attack on Native Americans by giving them blankets infected with smallpox!

    1. thinkagainagain

      Another myth in need of serious debunking.

  11. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

    "In the end scientific ethics and basic human good will may be the only deterrent to the proliferation of biological terrorism" Are they kidding me? In the end it is lack of ethics in scientists and their basic evil nature which has created these vile things. Their is no evidence at all anywhere that a higher education will instill ethics in people. It is always the brightest scientist who cavort with the mass murders and facilitate human cruelty and oppression. It is the scientists who now side with the government to install the drug laws guarantying tyranny at the expense of social harm for their own benefit ( to keep their status as physicians) I think that science is an inanimate concept and it can not posses ethics. Therefore the whole industrial military complex could never be counted on to hold itself to an ethical line. That would depend on individuals with courage and ethics, a rare set of traits seldom encountered in the scientists who work at weapons research

    1. diEmethyltryptamine

      'it is lack of ethics in scientists and basic evil nature which has created these vile things'.
      Incorrect. These microorganisms have been evolving for as long as we have in there own ecological niche. Humans may engineer the genetics of microorganisms (most often for novel purposes such as the production of insulin via E.coli), but to say that 'scientists' are to blame for 'creating' these things is erroneous and does little more than expose your lack of education in this field.
      For example, to produce a novel pathogen (in that it is resistant to an particular antibiotic) it takes little more than to keep exposing the pathogen to the antibiotic before you have a bacterium that has evolved the genetics to render the antibiotic useless. If you have taken a course of antibiotics before you may have assisted such genetic evolution.
      The method used for bioterrorism is (generally) the growth and collection of bacterial spores or toxin. As was mentioned somewhere in the doc, nature is the ultimate bioterrorist.
      Microorganisms are incredible machines. Botulinum toxin, mentioned repeatedly in the doc as a bioterror weapon, is also used in medicine, and even to satisfy the vanity of those who wish to paralyse the facial muscles which cause wrinkling!

    2. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

      Sorry to mislead you I meant that these natural diseases were made to more virulent and were created as to be delivered as weapons of mass destruction. Yes, nature created the diseases but it also created our naturally evolving immune system from which modern medicine is trying to wean us in favor if pharma lab created bio vaccines and chemistry. These are the Doktors true concerns: entrenchment of their authority via pretense at concerns for our health. We are their guinea pigs and they don't want to let us make our own decisions regarding our personal health.

    3. diEmethyltryptamine

      'Dokter, dokter!'. I think I prefer how they spell it in Canada!
      If you are going to engage in hyperbole and attempt casuistry, at least make sure your villain is correctly spelt. It'll definitely strengthen your argument.

      Yes, pharmaceutical firms are profit driven, so they promote there products through... Doctors of all things!

      Sure, no one should be foolish enough to take anything that is said to you by doctor (or whoever for that matter) without doing some further research (on the matter to be resolved).

      'We are there guinea pigs they don't want to let us make our own decisions regarding our personal health..'

      Well... choose not to be, and that's crap, you can make your own decisions about your health, unless you're an infant or an invalid...
      You guys get to apply for a medical cannabis at the drop of a hat. You should be grateful, the doctors seem delightful.

    4. diEmethyltryptamine

      'It is the scientists who now side with the government to install the drug laws guarantying tyranny at the expense of social harm for their own benefit ( to keep their status as physicians)'

      Physicians! Ah yes physicians are definitely there to harm the public. They're the ones doing the most bioterrorism by dispensing antibiotics that will evolve the next superbug right?

      'I think that science is an inanimate concept it can not posses ethics...'

      Here I was thinking that science was a psychopath living in a secret government base (run by the illuminati, of course) deep under the ocean! No it doesn't possess ethics, money or any other quality. Science, at its heart is a methodical way of obtaining knowledge. Whether one behaves ethically when going about applying this knowledge into technologies is altogether a separate (though not irrelevant, by any means) issue.

    5. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

      "Science, at its heart is a methodical way of obtaining knowledge." There you go can't argue with that kind of science eh? The kind of science that has a heart. Where would that be located if not within the individual? or doktors and their noble persona? Only last week we Canadians had exposed our recent historical government policies using the starvation of native children in residential schools as guinea pigs. these tests and experiments in human cruelty were set up and run by our ethical doktors at the time

    6. a_no_n

      so politicians do something bad, and your responce is to shift all blame over to the scientists who were told to do it...You must be that governments best friend!

    7. dewflirt

      I don't think you've watched enough James Bond, the best and brightest are always kidnapped by the baddies and forced to do evil things ;)

    8. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

      You're correct. I have been watching the news and of late we have had a serious security breach where the paid Canadian military analyst betrayed his country to the Russians for a paltry sum of 2000 per month.

    9. dewflirt

      Maybe he had money worries :)

    10. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

      That's what I am trying to elucidate. The whole sordid world runs not on ethical grounds, but the lowest common denominator. Not a mythical figure like James Bond, but by morally bankrupt doctors, scientists, religious leaders and last but not least politicians. These self interested pigs occupy most of the powerful positions in our society because they naturally are controllers and cheats aware of pragmatic ways that power might be consolidated.

    11. a_no_n

      more smear...precious little evidence.

      I see you have no problem with the science that allows you to use electricity to write on a worldwide ethreal platform...I suppose that was done by "Good scientists" right?

      Science has practically eradicated polio, it's made diseases like Aids and cancer into managable conditions rather than death sentences, and it's connected us all in ways we never thought possible, like we are now.

      Your alternative would have us all still living in mud huts carving crucifixes in our skulls to try and exorcise the demons of sickness away.

      I presume you think magic water and sugar pills are the answer to all of mans woes?

    12. Bill Farley

      Here in Canada we keep the price of spying at a very low rate because we're so nice!

    13. Paul Ross

      Brilliant ... well said.

    14. Bill Farley

      Shades of Dr. Mengele.

    15. southab403

      Wow! the "lack of ethics in scientists and their basic evil nature".
      You are painting a horrid black brush upon all people working hard to fight aids, malaria, cancer, viral diseases, genetic diseases, and many, many more horrible conditions. You are assuming that all scientists work for the military/industrial complex and are therefore evil.
      Science is a way to vigorously test truth from assumptions. That is what scientists do. What the results of that data prove can be used by corporations to increase profits, very true; but the science behind it is neither good nor evil.
      Without science, we'd be living in the dark, dying from common infections and food poisoning while 1/3 of women died in childbirth!

    16. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

      You should listen to Radio One CBC's "White coat, black Art." Season premiere goes into the clique of medicine and the unassailable right for everyman with a degree, no matter where they stood in the class, to f*** up because you never call out a fellow doctor for their errors. It's just not done. So there is virtually no oversight where the bottom line hits your health outcomes. Listen to the example and hear about an error that caused someone nerve damage but the role of the surgeon in causing it is always hidden, protected. Doctors are just as human as anyone else. If you want to impress me with your ethical high ground, set up a review of all doctors on a regular basis and out the thousands of errors occurring so that better practices may be established instead of hiding them behind litigation. Maybe I can tell you the story of having gone back to grade 13 in Belleville Ontario in 1990. In biology class I met a very intelligent young lady who shared her dream of a specialty in medicine. She underscored her seriousness by pointing to the little Mercedes trinket on her wrist. I am sure many doctors are like mine a caring GP. His whole talent is his examining room manners, he is a caring person in the right racket. But he still has an investment or some association with the pharmacy in the same plaza and he needs to see a whole bunch of people per hour to make it work. Almost every time I come there is a Pharma rep in the tiny office, leaving samples or holding him up. My grandmother was a mid wife and a herbal healer. she didn't lose many or she would have been scrubbing floors like all the rest of her friends. The whole medical thing is a self controlling autonomous system, a monopoly, which has no real oversight and gets to devour a huge chunk of the tax dollars. No oversight, like law enforcement, the law societies and government. We don't even see the bills to get a handle on just how much a three minute visit costs. I want some oversight everywhere and I DO NOT TRUST HUMAN BEINGS NO MATTER WHAT INITIALS THEY HAVE BEHIND THEIR NAMES. a have coined the phrase "Humans are the fraudulent apes" and that includes those who are researchers, doctors, everyone. Even Bloggers.....

    17. a_no_n

      utter rot.

      The basic principle of the scientific method is criticism.

      You have no experience of real science, you're confusing the insurance industry with the scientific one.
      For every scientific claim there are a thousand other scientists out there waiting to make a name for themselves by proving it wrong. Reputation in science is determined by credibility...I don't know where you get the idea of this boys club from, but it just isn't the case. You're parrotting unfounded anti-science propaganda that was probably invented by some fundamentalist with an axe to grind against logic and reason.

    18. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

      I have a technology certificate in the Environmental Sciences. You are the one projecting false assumptions far from the scientific method.

    19. a_no_n

      Ah the argument from Authority...another logical fallacy well done, let me counter with one of my own...for I am Titania, queen of all the fairies.
      How convenient that you have a relevant qualification considering that you don't seem to have the faintest idea on the most basic principles of the scientific method

    20. Klaus-bud Oracle-kaczor

      You resort to the classic unscientific tactic of messenger mauling. Not very good at it either.

    21. Jenni Whipple

      And now you have Bill Gates Foundation working to fund a mosquito that carries vaccines but will also have the means to assist with population control via spontaneous abortions.

  12. Dragan Ivanovic

    I would like to see a documentary made about biological weapons in possession of US. Fear and propaganda are used so well by Americans specifically when directed at American ideological opponents .

    1. Epicurus

      you know this documentary was made by AL-JAZEERA right?