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A blog by patriotic Brandeis University students who support America, American values, freedom, and democracy world wide.

Saturday, October 04, 2003
A question

This question/thought just popped into my mind (randomly), and I'm trying to make sense of it.

What exactly constitutes a Weapon of Mass distraction (WMD)? Is it the biological (e.g. Anthrax, botulism, Filovirii), chemical (Sarin, Vx), nuclear agent themselves, or is it when the aforementioned items loaded into a munition?

That's something I've really wondered about.

Why do I ask? Because of the Kay Report which says:

One noteworthy example is a collection of reference strains that ought to have been declared to the UN. Among them was a vial of live C. botulinum Okra B. from which a biological agent can be produced

So does that count as a WMD discovery?

According to some in the State Dept. it does:

The vial of botulinum bacteria discovered in Iraq by U.S. arms inspectors – which experts call the most poisonous substance known to man – is "a weapon of mass destruction," the State Department's top spokesman announced yesterday.

"Botulinum kills people, it kills people in large quantities. Botulinum is a weapon of mass destruction, yes," said State spokesman Richard Boucher," according to an Agence France-Presse report. "Anything that destroys on a massive scale is a weapon of mass destruction."

[source WND]

So what exactly does constitute a WMD? Must it be loaded into a munition? Or can it be a "Stand alone" item.