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Smallpox expert decries treatment of two scientists

D.A. Henderson believes FBI conduct will sour relations with US researchers

John Dudley Miller(johmiller@nasw.org)

The scientist who led the Bush administration's first emergency response program against bioterrorism attacks is harshly critical of the government's treatment of two biowarfare disease researchers on whom the US Department of Justice has focused as possible criminals. Claiming that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has "lost all perspective" in one case and is "out of control" in the other, internationally renowned professor Donald A. Henderson calls the agency's actions inappropriate in America's democracy.

Henderson said that he is limited in how much he could do to support the two scientists, Thomas C. Butler and Stephen J. Hatfill. "I'm not really in a position to go and directly confront the attorney general," he said.

But he predicted that the FBI's conduct in these two cases will sour its future dealings with all American scientists. "I think what the FBI will get from all this, I'm sure, is going to...

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