How did francisella tularensis (tularemia), a deadly bacteria, show up on the Washington Mall precisely at the time one of the largest antiwar demonstrations in U.S. history was underway? "District of Columbia Health Director Doctor Gregg Pane told WTOP Radio late Saturday that biological agent monitors on the National Mall, an esplanade in downtown Washington, gave positive readings for a small amount of tularemia on September 24 and 25," reports Yahoo News (and here and also here). "The sensors are operated by the Department of Homeland Security, but officials were not notified of the potential hazard until Friday, according to Pane."
It's interesting how these biological threats surface at politically sensitive moments - for instance, the mailing of anthrax letters to top Democrats after the nine eleven attacks. Our ever vigilant corporate media has completely glossed over the fact the anthrax used in the mailings was traced back to the Army's biodefense center at Fort Detrick. It should be noted the U.S. military and the CIA have a long and sordid history of "testing" biological and chemical weapons on unwitting victims - from releasing mosquitoes carrying Yellow Fever in Savannah, Georgia, to dispensing a bacillus throughout the New York City subway system (see this chronology).
Of course, we have no idea how or why tularemia appeared on Washington's esplanade, but considering the long and checkered history of the U.S. military and intelligence services, a deliberate release of bacteria - possible biological warfare against critics of Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq - cannot be dismissed out of hand.