Army Times reports,

The U.S. government — in particular, the Defense Department — appears to be a much larger proliferator of biological weapons materials than axis-of-evil alumnus Iraq.

Undercover investigators with the nonpartisan General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, say they were able to use phony names and a fictitious company to buy government-surplus lab equipment well suited for creating biological warfare agents.

However, in some cases, the undercover agents were outbid by private companies and individuals, many of whom then resell the equipment overseas to people in such countries such as the Philippines, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The GAO investigators were also able to buy U.S. military chemical protective suits and gear — including unexpired suits in their original packaging — even though supply shortages have been reported for some active-duty units.

The investigators bought the equipment on public auctions at the government’s Internet site.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    Maybe I just don’t get what the amazing part is. The fact that the government sells used lab equipment (that I’m sure can be bought commercially) should not surprise anyone.

    What’s the big deal? These people could also get an Edmund Scientific.

    The fact that “salmonella was unguarded” makes me wonder if the lab was making bioweapons or a pork sandwich.

    I am one of the few people I know that has a functional fractional distillation unit in my attic. Does it signal intent of a nefarious act? No.

    If I had poisoned 10 people would it be evidence? You betchya.