Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's a small world, anthrax division

Before I leap back into the world of boycotts, a slight detour into the subject of the American anthrax attacks:

  • Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld owns a considerable number of shares in a corporation called Gilead Sciences;
  • Gilead owns the intellectual property rights to Tamiflu;
  • Tamiflu is a pharmaceutical touted by the Bush Administration as a remedy for anthrax (although in fact it is not indicated for anthrax);
  • the anthrax attacks on the United States vastly increased the demand for Tamiflu, and thus increased the value of Gilead, and thus made Rumsfeld a lot of money;
  • the anthrax for the attacks almost certainly came from an American military laboratory at Fort Detrick;
  • one of the named suspects at the lab is Philip Zack, a man who left the lab in 1991 after being involved in a racist attack against a fellow scientist of Arab origin, and a man who was observed having unauthorized access to the area of the lab containing the Ames strain of anthrax used in the attacks, around the time that some of the anthrax went missing (he had such access in 1992, after he had left the lab);
  • Philip Zack attracted a mysterious lack of official interest in the investigation of the anthrax attacks (as opposed to the completely innocent Steven Hatfill, who was hounded by the FBI, almost as if he were a distraction); and
  • Philip Zack, as neatly described here (found via here),  went on to work for Gilead (identified from a scientific paper published in December 2000).

I know it is a small world, but is it that small? 

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