Science: No Germ Warfare?

After a rash of scare stories in 1949 about bacteriological warfare, the late Defense Secretary James Forrestal issued a carefully worded official statement. The dangers of germs as a war weapon had been grossly exaggerated, he said, but "an active research program on biological war fare ... is being conducted in the interests of national defense." Last week in Baltimore, Bacteriologist Perrin H. Long of Johns Hopkins Uni versity, addressing doctors interested in civil defense against atom bombs, called bacteriological warfare "bunk." Scientific knowledge of the subject at the moment, he said, does not point to its use as...

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