Save the Lab from Patriotic Correctness

As exemplified by the well-publicized cases of Thomas Butler, David Kelly, and Steven J. Hatfill, the fallout from the War on Terror has been particularly hazardous for scientists. Donald A. Henderson, who was inaugural director of the US Office of Public Health Preparedness, which coordinates the national response to public health emergencies, has accused the FBI of losing "all perspective" and of being "out of control" in the Butler and Hatfill investigations.1 The dangers are summed up by

Richard Gallagher
Sep 21, 2003

As exemplified by the well-publicized cases of Thomas Butler, David Kelly, and Steven J. Hatfill, the fallout from the War on Terror has been particularly hazardous for scientists. Donald A. Henderson, who was inaugural director of the US Office of Public Health Preparedness, which coordinates the national response to public health emergencies, has accused the FBI of losing "all perspective" and of being "out of control" in the Butler and Hatfill investigations.1

The dangers are summed up by the case of Butler, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Texas Tech University. Butler has been charged with transporting plague samples from Tanzania in violation of new rules on labeling, transportation and reporting of biohazards, and with lying about the fate of 30 vials of the samples. After claiming in January that the samples had been stolen, sparking an international bioterrorism scare, he signed a statement after intense grilling...

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