Milton Leitenburg has this to say about the subject in the Delaware Online News Journal:
"The United States has spent at least $33 billion since 2002 to combat the threat of biological terrorism. The trouble is the risk that terrorists will use biological agents is being systematically and deliberately exaggerated. And the U.S. government has been using most of its money to prepare for the wrong contingency.
A pandemic flu outbreak of the kind the world witnessed in 1918-19 could kill hundreds of millions of people. The only lethal biological attack in the United States -- the anthrax mailings -- killed five. But the annual budget for combating bioterror is more than $7 billion, while Congress just passed a $3.8 billion emergency package to prepare for a flu outbreak.
The exaggeration of the bioterror threat began more than a decade ago after the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo group released sarin gas in the Tokyo subways in 1995. The scaremongering has grown more acute since Sept. 11 and the mailing of anthrax-laced letters to Congress and media outlets in the fall of 2001.
Now an edifice of institutes, programs and publicists with a vested interest in hyping the bioterror threat has grown, funded by the government and by foundations."
Blah blah blah and the moron goes on and on. He seems to misunderstand the whole point of terrorism - to TERRORIZE! It has nothing to do with how many people you kill. A large-scale bioterror attack may kill only a couple hundred people at most, but that isn't the goal. The goal is to frighten a population so much as to cause the breakdown of their civilization.
The thing is, this argument can be applied to any terrorist attack. They just don't result in massive death counts. The ~3,000 who died on 9/11 was a complete fluke and that large of a number will probably never be seen again. The main thing though, is to try and make sure another terrorist attack is not seen again.
And yes, the threat of bioterror has grown. Dr. Germ was released with no charges, remember? She's free to lend her services to any group looking to employ her. As long as there's still dozens of Russian biowar strains floating around on the black market, there will be the threat of bioterror. This guy is an idiot who really has no idea about the subject he's writing on.
However, is that to say that the administration hasn't been playing on America's fears to get legislation it wants put through? Of course not, the Bushies are very keen on trumping up any and all terrorist threats: that doesn't make the threats themselves imaginary or any less dangerous to the American public. Milton has a point when he argues against the governments scaremongering, but downplaying the damage a bioterror attack would cause is just irresponsible.
PS: He also makes the whole "by talking about bioweapons we are giving our enemies ideas" talking point later in the article. What a deuchebag.