Reliable Security Information


Ricin, the super-duper defense lab and out-sourcing

The trial of accused ricin mailer Matthew Buquet has been pushed off until next year. The reason? Because there is only one lab in the country, a super-duper one, that does the forensic ricin determinations needed in the case, according to the judge. But is...

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Ricin Pinup Girl Arrested

The national micro-fad of summer ricin mailing has produced a lot of firsts, not the least of which is the debut involvement and arrest of a beauty queen/actress/serial wife, Shannon Rogers Richardson, apparently intent on framing her husband. And showing a disagreeable side to the...

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Ricin Bean Pounding: Welcome to the new weird

Welcome to the new weird. The fresh batch of ricin letters has uncovered a bean-pounder, or bean-pounders, even stranger than Tupelo, Mississippi's accused ricin guru, guitarist and karate instructor J. Everett Dutschke. If you thought ricin mail was already bizarre, it just got a whole...

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Bean Pounding: Unknown violent gun nut implicated in ricin mail

Three incidents with ricin-tainted mail between April and May constitute new and uncharted territory in the US. And in two of the instances ricin mail targeting the President has been intercepted. The first, from alleged castor bean pounder J. Everett Dutschke in Tupelo, Mississippi. And...

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Bean Pounding: J. Everett Dutschke & the strange saga of outsider music and bioterrorism

It takes a very strange person to undertake bioterrorism in America. Logic says there can't be many such people. But the recent case of accused ricin mailer, J. Everett Dutschke, Tupelo's now most famous other son adds another entry in an obscure catalog of dimly-lit...

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Fraud Anniversary

Raise a toast to the Fraud Anniversary. For 99 percent of America it's been all downhill ever since, including me. The GWB administration and the mainstream media broke everything with the Iraq war....

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What it would take to intervene in Syria

The pressure for military action in Syria continues to mount: the death of Syrian Deputy Defense Minister and other members of Assad's inner circle last week, diplomatic and military defections from the regime since, an intensifying refugee crisis, and a rising death toll. The crisis...

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Syria's chemical weapons, and beyond

By James T. Quinlivan and Bruce W. Bennett A few days after the new Department of Defense strategic guidance was unveiled early this year, news reports said CENTCOM estimated that securing Syrian chemical weapons in the event of regime collapse could require some 75,000 troops....

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New Analysis of North Korean Missile

Who needs satellite images when you have ground truth? A close-up view of the North Korean long-range rocket and its new missile launch facility. Figure 1. The Unha-3 space vehicle on the launch pad as of April 8, 2012 Globalsecurity.org Photo credit: David Guttenfelder,...

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New Imagery shows North Korean Launch Site Ready

New satellite imagery shows the recently finished launch site where North Korea plans to place a satellite into orbit. The upcoming satellite launch is to mark the 100th anniversary of founder Kim Il Sung's birth, in defiance of a newly signed deal to suspend nuclear...

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Okie loons fight the lowly castor plant

Oklahoma is a place of idiotic whims. This week a Republican legislator moved to outlaw castor seed production. In talking to the local newspaper a bunch of rationalizations bearing no relationship to truth were employed to explain legislation that would ban lowly castor plant agriculture....

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Uncle Sam versus castor oil

Ever since 9/11 the United States has been in a war with castor plants. It has done this by making people believe castor seeds are a deadly horror and putting in jail everyone stupid enough to pound them. The rest of the world has shrugged....

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Scary Story: Book teaser reveals leaders as lousy as their press

Today's top news item, a whoopie cushion expose -- a memoir book teaser from Condoleeza Rich -- in which the lousiest national leadership in national history, the GWB administration, believed it was exposed to botulinum toxin. In its own words they looked an unselfconscious and...

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Fun Cult of Anthrax Deniers Deploys Word Processors for Ivins

The New York Times again did no one any favors earlier this week in pushing another story on the regular campaign, by a few from the fringe, to revise the anthrax case. It was high button publicity for the anthrax Ivins-denial-and-conspiracy crew, keeping up the...

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Ricin bomb rubbish

The weekend's most odious news came from the New York Times and concerned an alleged plot by al Qaeda in Yemen. And the plot (or ongoing plan) involved -- ricin bombs....

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First we fire all the lawyers

An idle mind is the devil's playground. That's a flip way to describe the recent intersection of stupid Dept. of Justice lawyers and the continuing mainstream media interest in anthrax mailer Bruce Ivins. Throw in the mythology surrounding the dead man's case. It will never...

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What's Next for Nuclear Modernization?

A wild fire that threatens Los Alamos National Laboratory is not the only "hot" topic regarding nuclear weapons. A fight is brewing between the president and the Congress over nuclear modernization. When pushing for the New START nuclear agreement, "Obama promised to modernize U.S. nuclear...

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Recent Research on Terrorism and Disaster Response

From the SEAL Team Six raid on bin Laden's compound to tornados ripping through American cities, there have been more than enough reminders that there is a dangerous world out there. Recent research from the Heritage Foundation offers a number of remedies for keeping America safe,...

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Russian Nuclear Strike: Asteroid or Hurricane?

An asteroid strike could devastate the nation. But the proverbial one in a million chance is actually pretty close to the mark. We know enough of previous strikes to estimate a major impact every 20 million years or so. And it has been quite a...

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Bruce Ivins, first bioterrorist/country recording artist ever?

Bruce Ivins, the best bioterrorist US taxpayer money could buy, was by all descriptions a resourceful man of many talents. Newspaper articles on him told of his fondness for playing keyboards at church and composing little humorous songs for departing colleagues at Fort Detrick/USAMRIID. But...

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Creepy Bruce Ivins was the anthrax mailer -- psychiatrists say

News broke Tuesday of a psychiatric report commissioned to evaluate the mental records and health of Bruce Ivins,' the US scientist named by the Department of Justice as the anthrax mailer. The report confirms Ivins was a creepy, mentally unbalanced man fond of harassing a...

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Friday's Mixed Nuts: Stuxnet and an amusing WikiLeaks web review

The mythology of Stuxnet is indefatigable. Too many businesses are directly interested in the lasting perception that cyberwar can accomplish anything....

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Rigor and prudence shown in NRC report on Amerithrax science

The National Research Council's report today on the science of the FBI's Amerithrax investigation upheld the value of rigorous work. It stopped well short of condemning any of the FBI's work on the case and did not particularly lend itself to cries for the exoneration...

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WikiLeaks and distortions for the sake of sensation

One problem WikiLeaks has run afoul of in dealing with dribbling cables out through the media is distortion. Some of its partners have things other then pure enlightenment in mind when they write stories on newly released cables. Like fame and fortune....

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The Exciting Story of Stuxnet and Received Wisdom

By now you have heard of or read the exciting story of Stuxnet as a joint Israeli-US cyberweapon. The first of its kind, setting back Iran's nuclear program for years, Stuxnet ushers in a new and glorious age of cyberwar, the world is forever changed....

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New START Ratified by the Senate

By a vote of 71 to 26, the U.S. Senate has voted to ratify the New START agreement. More importantly, it was a "clean" ratification, without any amendments or reservations to the text of the treaty itself. The treaty could now be taken up by...

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America's Doctor Germ Dead at 84

William C. Patrick, the father of the original US germ warfare program, has died. As this country's chief biowar scientist during the Cold War, Patrick perfected the applied misuse of rabbit fever and weaponized anthrax. Patrick was 84, as noted by an obituary today in...

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Ricin Kooks

Ricin is a poison found in castor seeds. Since 9/11, the now turned parasitic US bioterror defense industry, always sucking on taxpayer dollars, has worked hard to convince that it's a horrible threat in the hands of terrorists. It's not. And while nuts from the...

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The Graham-Talent lobbying group wants its pie saved

Bob Graham and Jim Talent, a bioterror defense lobbying duo, are the very definition of nuisance astro-turfers. For the last two years, they have regularly bashed the Obama administration with the same story: Bioterror catastrophe of biblical proportion is coming. So heed our advice and...

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The Rogue Company

Americans are used to helplessness when a corporation goes rogue. But what if you were actually helpless -- inert flesh tied to a table in a business plan run amok? Toay's post takes us to a small firm, one from the heart of the bioterror...

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NPT Review: Less Than Meets the Eye

I thought April Fools' Day was two months ago. Today we read that the 189-nation NPT review conference, after three weeks of meetings, produced a new agreement. Hurray. What does it cover? North Korea's growing number of nukes and threats? Pakistan's expanding nuclear program--in response...

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The NPT Test

On May 3 the representatives of 188 nations (give or take a few) will assemble in New York City to debate ways to revise the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The issue could not be more important. As President Obama's new Nuclear Posture Review declares, the greatest...

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Defense, Deterrence & Decline

The emperor has no clothes. The threat of massive nuclear attack which has long covered the rationale for the extensive (and expensive) US nuclear weapons program has been reduced to a small scarf, covering barely anything....

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Scorecard for the Nuclear Summit

In 2007 I joined with several others who spent many years studying nuclear arms to form a mini consensus of the opinion that the greatest threat to our security, that of our allies, and the world, was the combination of terrorists and nukes. To quote,...

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After the Nuclear Posture Review: The Next Steps

The Nuclear Posture Review has been released. Now the hard part begins: translating its recommendations into hard policy. The drafters of the report had to engage in a policy version of "jenga": where the clarification of a policy goal, a modification in position or even...

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Zero Has No Legs

President Obama's strategy to protect us from the danger of nuclear war and nuclear terrorism is about to be tested. The precept that good deeds (and fabulous speeches) beget good deeds will face reality at two major international conferences: Obama's Nuclear Security Summit in mid...

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Good News on START?

I'm happy to be proven wrong when a pessimistic prediction is transformed by good news. As people are well aware, I was not optimistic about the progress (or rather, lack of progress) in nuclear arms talks between Russia and the United States. What seemed to...

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Anthrax: From 'Science' to conspiracy

Last week, Science magazine published a news article entitled: "Silicon Mystery Endures in Solved Anthrax Case." It's here. "What about the silicon?" it muses, bringing up once again a curious element in the case, one which from the very start triggered wild claims about the...

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Iran's Counter-Strike

Iran's headstrong attempt to join the world's nuclear-weapons club is setting the stage for a military confrontation that nobody wants, but may happen anyway. The Obama administration has decided to ratchet up the rhetoric in its outreach with Gulf State partners. Israel's view on the...

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The Busted Watch of US WMD Threat Assessment

Readers of this blog and my various articles on bioterrorism, chemical terrorism and the London ricin trial over the last few years know the strong scent of intellectual bankruptcy which accompanies statements on the same from the US government. Today we have a slim report...

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Obama Message to Asia: America's Back!

"America is back!" This phrase, used by Hillary Clinton when she choose Asia as her first overseas destination after becoming Secretary of State, provides the underlying theme of President Obama's first trip to the region. "One of my important tasks," Obama said in a pre-trip...

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Finding a Solution to Iran

The revelation of a secret nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom, and the likely existence of other advanced facilities across Iran, makes more urgent the need for a quick solution to the nuclear impasse. The Obama administration appears to be following a strategy...

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Russia's Price

With all of the talk about the newfound determination of the major powers to really put pressure on Iran--including Russian president Dmitry Medvedev's admission last week that sanctions are sometimes needed--what will it really take to get other members of the P-5 process on board?...

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Latest Bombshell on Iran's Covert Nuclear Activities Explodes Hopes for Obama Administration's Engagement Strategy

The Obama Administration made a bombshell revelation on the eve of the G-20 summit about Iran's continued lying about its nuclear program. Anonymous "American officials" disclosed to the New York Times that U.S. intelligence agencies had uncovered another secret Iranian nuclear facility that Iran...

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Lee-Obama Summit: Solidifying a Joint Approach toward Pyongyang

The upcoming Washington summit meeting between ROK President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President Barrack Obama provides a golden opportunity for the two allies to send an important message to North Korea, to their other Six-Party Talks interlocutors, and to domestic constituencies in both countries regarding...

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Euna Lee and Laura Ling: Guilty as Charged!

"Guilty as charged!" So said the highest court in the land in the case of Current TV journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling vs. North Korea. The two journalists, who allegedly (and very foolishly or recklessly) wandered across the China-North Korea border on March 17...

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Ricin Kooks Are Always Jailhouse Bound

It's part of the mythology of the war on terror that jihadists and al Qaeda men are always waiting to strike with ricin. The reality is more dull. The guys who are most interested in ricin have traditionally been American kooks, most frequently from the...

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Iran-What Do We Do the Day After?

Iran's nuclear program is back in the news. The BBC reported President Obama's recent statement that, "No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons" and said Iran had the right to peaceful nuclear power." According to the Middle East Media Research...

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FAS Removes Nuke List Doc After News Fit

This morning, Steven Aftergood's Secrecy blog at FAS.ORG removed its copy of a .pdf compiled by the US government, a declaration of nuclear sites to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The action appears to be due to increasing pressure caused by mainstream media coverage of...

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Dealing with North Korea by Ralph A. Cossa

What is North Korea up to? Is it trying to undermine the Six-Party Talks in order to force Washington to deal with Pyongyang directly, as some experts claim? Or, as others maintain with equal certainty, is it sending a signal that it is not interested...

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The Loose Russian Nukes

"There can be no doubt about the fact that enough nuclear material to build more than twenty nuclear weapons was lost in the transition from the Soviet Union to Russia," wrote Harvard scholar Graham Allison. Russian officials appeared to confirm this assertion. In a...

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The Long Road to Zero

Canada has no concerns about US nuclear weapons, even though we have a very large arsenal. Japan, against whom we actually used nuclear weapons, also has no concerns about US nuclear weapons, except for the fact that they help to protect Japan against Russia, China,...

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Global Nuclear Disarmament: Too Much, Too Soon? by Ralph A. Cossa

There is no country on earth more committed to global nuclear disarmament than Japan. Ever since experiencing first hand the horrors of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese government and people have been steadfast in calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons...

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North Korea: Is a Containment Policy the Best (Only) Option? by Ralph A. Cossa

Ho-hum! Another United Nations Security Council (UNSC) pronouncement "demanding" that North Korea cease and desist all missile activities and verifiably give up its nuclear weapons program. Another "declaration of war" by the North against anyone who would dare criticize (much less enforce sanctions against) Pyongyang,...

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The Hunt for the Unha-2

It's the stuff of Tom Clancy novels, except it is probably really happening. A US submarine is probably searching the Pacific ocean floor for pieces of an ill-fated North Korean missile. The American people will probably never learn about it in our life time. And...

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STRATEGIC NUCLEAR TARGETS

The United States currently has roughly a thousand strategic launchers with several thousand warheads, a number expected to drop to roughly two thousand under the Moscow Treaty. These strategic nuclear warheads have yields ranging from 100 to 500 kilotons and are the core of the...

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THE IRAN A-BOMB SCAM

On Sunday, March 1, the U.S. chief military and civilian defense leaders spoke out on Iran's atomic weapons program. Assuming both had full access to US intelligence on this program, it is surprising that they voiced two different views. Or is it? For parochial reasons,...

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The Meaning of the North Korean Missile Launch

Musudan-ri, the small missile test pad, located on an isolated portion of North Korea's Northeast coast is one of the most photographed "secret" facilities in the world. A sparrow does not fall to the ground there without notice. It is now the focus of unprecedented...

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Are the US and Russia Playing Nuclear Games

US-Russian disagreements over the proposed deployment of land-based missile defenses in Poland and Czech Republic have renewed the debate over the impact of defenses on arms control. In an article posted on the Centre for Research on Globalization web site, former US intelligence and arms...

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Catastrophic Threats

Catastrophic threats address events which could kill tens of millions of Americans and destroy the nation. Two hundred people a year are killed by asteroid impacts. Actually, that is only a gross average, and it has not happened yet. But the geological record suggests...

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A Russian Key

U.S. foreign policy is mired in controversies. Iraq is slowly resolving as chaos spreads to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iran and North Korea both pose nuclear challenges but the nation has little leverage and few options. Nuclear nonproliferation is also strained by the India-Pakistan rivalry; by...

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