Yesterday we noticed a typical "Climate of Fear" story published "exclusively" in the tabloid newspaper The Sun, but parroted by other newspapers like the Daily Mail (without attribution) and the Daily Telegraph, and by other media around the world, without any of them bothering to do any actual investigative journalism of their own:
By ALEX WEST
Published: 19 Jan 2009
ANTI-TERROR bosses last night hailed their latest ally in the war on terror -- the BLACK DEATH.
At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages.
One security source said: "This is the deadliest weapon yet in the war against terror. Most of the terrorists do not have the basic medical supplies needed to treat the disease.
Is the anonymous "security source" implying that a biological weapon, "the deadliest weapon yet" is being used by the "authorities" in the "war against terror" ?
If these are British "anti-terror bosses", then they need to be removed from their positions of power and criminally prosecuted as soon as possible.
These mainstream media organisations have been put to shame by the excellent The Sun - Tabloid Lies group blog article by Septicisle, one the contributing editors, which de-bunks this story of an alleged plague outbreak in Algeria, and the crude attempts to imply that Al Qaida terrorists have access to viable bio-weapons.
It claims that up to 40 were killed by the plague, yet apparently only one body was actually found, and rather conveniently by the roadside, while the others are meant to be in mass graves in Yakouren forest. There are no photographs, and no confirmation of what type of plague the man had died from. The article claims that plague can kill in hours, but this is only true of the rarest form, pneumonic plague, which if not treated within 24 hours of symptoms developing greatly increases the chances of death. Bubonic plague, the most common, can be treated, and due to its longer incubation period of 2 to 6 days and well-known symptoms is often identified in time.
Moreover, plague is incredibly difficult to weaponise: the United States never managed it, although the Russians did. Famously, it has been used crudely in the past: first at Caffa and later by the Japanese, who dropped ceramic bombs filled with infected fleas on China in the early 1940s.
How long before former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair is paid to comment on this alleged "bubonic plague terrorist threat" ?