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June 27, 2002

Search For Anthrax Clues Raises Serious Questions

David 'Kip' Koontz

Well now, it seems that the fear of deadly diseases taking a walk outside Ft. Detrick may be - or may have been - a greater possibility than some may have suspected.

The FBI was in town this week searching the apartment of a former researcher at the fort who had possible links to those who received anthrax, which is thought to have originated at Ft. Detrick, last year through the mail.

Though it was a consensual search, in which the man is quoted as saying he agreed to it in order to distance himself from being related to the matter, it is still chilling to read and see the news accounts of his stuff being removed from his apartment and thinking, "What is really going on?" and, "What else don't we know?"

From all accounts, security at the fort has been in question since the anthrax attacks last year.

Researchers have been quoted that it was easy to take anthrax and other samples of what they were researching out of the fort.


Why would a military complex that handles such delicate material have a security plan that would prompt researchers to admit they could have easily removed materials from the base?

Is our military na´ve in thinking that the use of these materials for harm could - or would - never happen?

Was it thought that tight security was put in place, when, in reality, it wasn't?

Is there anyone who will be able to find out what, if anything else, took a walk from the fort and where it may have traveled?

Will we, the neighbors of the fort, find out what has happened?

Do we deserve some kind of explanation?

Yes, especially in light of the fact that the FBI is pulling trucks up to the backs of apartment buildings in our city looking for clues or information about anthrax we already know is missing.

No one questions the need for national security.

We must question what are we, as neighbors of a military installation that is in question, are willing to accept and ignore, including our potential safety, simply for the sake of national security.

Are we being called on to be patriots when some may know that we may be called on to sacrifice, or are we simply seeing aberrations stemming from an unusual series of coincidences?

Let us hope that as we have had a very real show that things may indeed be linked to Frederick, we as Fredericktonians are not the last to find out what is happening, or already may have happened.

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