US Military Admits It "Misplaced" Black Plague Samples

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in May, the US military was forced to admit that it had done something really stupid and what’s great about the story is that it requires very little in the way of explanation and/or added color to explain why what happened can be fairly classified as an example of sheer governmental incompetence. Put differently: this story speaks for itself. Here’s a recap: 

According to CNN, “four lab workers in the United States and up to 22 overseas have been put in post-exposure treatment, a defense official said, following the revelation the U.S. military inadvertently shipped live anthrax samples in the past several days.” The army apparently thought they were shipping samples rendered inactive by gamma radiation last year, but that clearly was not the case because when a Maryland lab received their sample last Friday they were able to grow live Bacillus anthracis. The lab reported their concerns to the CDC. By Saturday afternoon, labs in Maryland, Texas, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California and Virginia were notified that the US military had accidentally mailed them the deadly bacteria. A sample sent to a US base in South Korea was destroyed on Wednesday.

That came just a few months after the CDC admitted to mishandling an Ebola sample, potentially exposing a dozen people to the deadliest virus known to mankind.

Needless to say, the story grabbed headlines across the country as Americans struggled to understand how it’s possible that the US army could possible have managed to unknowingly jeopardize dozens of lives by FedEx-ing live anthrax to nine states and one foreign country. 

Well don’t look now, but the DoD is out warning that the army might have also mishandled samples of the black plague which isn’t known to be dangerous unless you count the time it wiped out 60% of Europe’s entire population. Here’s more from CNN:

The U.S. Department of Defense is looking into possible mishandling of bubonic plague and equine encephalitis samples at its laboratories, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday.


The new inquiry is part of an investigation into the mishandling of anthrax at Department of Defense labs, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.


The department hasn't determined whether samples containing plague bacteria and specimens of the deadly virus were shipped from its labs, Cook said.


The latest investigation started after CDC inspectors found a sample of the plague in a freezer outside of a containment area on August 17 at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland, Cook said.


Investigators are working to determine whether the sample posed an "infectious threat," Cook said. Army tests found it was not infectious.


"That's the scientific work that's being done at this particular time, determining exactly what happened there, and whether or not ... there was mislabeling," he said.


Yersinia pestis, the same type of bacterium that was responsible for the plague pandemic that wiped out 60% of the European population between the 14th and 17th centuries, maintains a foothold in the United States and around the globe in rodents and the fleas that live on them.


Today, the infections are treatable with antibiotics if they're caught early enough. Since 1970, there have been anywhere from a few to a few dozen cases of plague every year in the United States, most of them occurring in Western states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Yes, only "a few to a few dozen cases of plague" per year, but that bubonic dearth is nothing the US military can't fix with a few "mislabed" samples and a FedEx account.

For their part, Fred Upton (chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee) and Frank Pallone (ranking Democrat) are incredulous: “Anthrax being mishandled is disconcerting enough, but now the mishandling also includes [the] plague." Here's a bit more from USA Today:

The Pentagon's most secure laboratories may have mislabeled, improperly stored and shipped samples of potentially infectious plague bacteria, which can cause several deadly forms of disease, USA TODAY has learned.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flagged the practices after inspections last month at an Army lab in Maryland, one of the Pentagon's most secure labs. That helped prompt an emergency ban on research on all bioterror pathogens at nine laboratories run by the Pentagon, which was already reeling from revelations that another Army lab in Utah had mishandled anthrax samples for 10 years.


Army Secretary John McHugh ordered the research moratorium on Sept. 2, Pentagon officials say, out of an abundance of caution.


The suspect specimens, which may be live despite being labeled as killed or weakened, indicate a wider range of dangerous bioterror pathogens being handled using sloppy safety practices at laboratories operated by the U.S. military. They also further illustrate the risks faced by other scientists who rely on pathogen "death certificates" to know whether or not a provided sample is still infectious and can be worked with safely without special protective equipment. An ongoing USA TODAY Media Network investigation has revealed numerous mishaps at government, university and private labs that operate in the secretive world of biodefense research prompting growing concern in Congress and among biosafety experts.

And while all of the above may look, on the surface, like cause for concern, you shouldn't worry because ignorance is bliss and the US government is doing its best to make sure that you remain in the dark about anything that might actually be important: 

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook: “We're trying to be as forthcoming as we can be right now without alarming the public.”

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El Oregonian's picture

The kind of black plague that has been militarized?

Boy, that'll work out fine now won't it?

NoDebt's picture

Eerily similar to how the news story came out about the IRS targeting scandal.  Just some rogue low-level employees in a remote branch office far from DC might have done something wrong.  No biggie, everything's OK, we apoligize for any minor inconvenience you make have experienced.  And then.....

TeamDepends's picture

Black Plague? Oh, no. How 'bouts we call it the Taylor Cracker Swift Plague? Luvin' it!

remain calm's picture

it has been incubating in Kim Kardashian's vagina

remain calm's picture

"We Black Plagued some folks"

Manthong's picture

But the good news is that they now provide free Black Death delivery  directly to your bathroom.

Rats coming up through toilets in NYC... 

knukles's picture

They're gonna get us all killed.

TeamDepends's picture

It's happened to us all: You step out for a moment, with a vial of Black Death in your pocket, and your mind starts to wander. And you think, "these crackas ain't payin' shit! So, fuck it!!! You bust that vial
on the sidewalk: "Who cares, anyway?"

Implied Violins's picture

I actually got my Master's while studying anthrax. You wouldn't believe how easy it was to 'lose' a plate or drop a tube. The freezer containing our frozen stocks was locked, but the key was kept in a drawer in the lab that anyone could access - and the lab fridge was FULL of stocks and NOT locked. During the day, the door to the lab was left open and anyone could have waltzed in and absconded with samples.

Of course, our samples were attenuated (weakened) and this was pre-2001, but still...I don't think people who work with the stuff on a daily basis have gotten any less careful, even with increased security. Especially when you have students working with it.

turtle's picture

At least the fed now has an exit strategy...

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Plague is killed by tetracyclines.  Ebola is scary, plague is not.

Paveway IV's picture

I got a strange package from some Army lab sent to my home address by mistake. Never got to open it - the dog started chewing it up. 

Now my dog is acting sick. He has explosive diarrhea and patches of his fur are falling out. No blood from his eyes or mouth - yet. I gave him a Flintstones vitamin and half a beer. He slept like a log this afternoon and now he seems to be doing better. He was licking the neighbor kid's face yesterday, and the little brat still seems healthy. I will continue to monitor him for symptoms. Do you think I should worry?

chubbyjjfong's picture

A perfect example right there of how shit can go very wrong, very quickly.  I hope your dog is ok dude, lets hope it was box of socks or something.

Boomberg's picture

I would be more concerned about what your dog picked up from the little brat.

Bananamerican's picture

I am the harbinger dressed like a crow 
i've come from the past with a cane at your door 
I'm dressed like a butcher, don't look in my eyes 
don't breathe on or touch me, don't bother to rise 

stay away, lay the man down 
send out your sinners, your men of renown 
rage rage burn it all down 

Bring Laudanum, ambergris, lavender, straw… 
camphor, rose petals and cloves of the law 
to cover the stench of injustice and greed 
bring me my leeches, they're ready to feed... 

Stay away, lay the man down 
Death rides a pale horse in a glittering crown 
rage rage burn it all down 

Looked into the future and what did i see 
black ships of contagion that rolled on the sea 
and they move just like money, wher'er the wind blows 
from nation to nation i walk down the rows 

Stay away, lay the man down 
even your helmsmen are running aground 
rage rage burn it all down 
stack up the bodies set fire to the town 
rage rage burn it all down

J Jason Djfmam's picture

This is just sick.

I got home yesterday and there were six crows sitting in my driveway.

They didn't even fly away, just moved to the side as I drove in.

Jumbotron's picture

WOW !!   What a song !    Daisy House for the win in folk rock.  A song about the banksters couched in lyrics about the Black Plague.  Pure genius !

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

re 'I actually got my Master's while studying anthrax.'

I failed mine while studying anthrax. If only i studied the disease rather than the heavy metal band...

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

" Hey this is lemonade! Where's my glass of amoebic dysentery?"


Sanity Bear's picture

The Mammy Nuns might jus' be the only thing left walking in the USA, now that the Mystery Risease - oooooooooh! - gone outta - ooooooooooh! - control!


Ain't that right, Sistah Abduallah X?

putaipan's picture

to the down voter- you obviously missed the "thingfish" reference.

TeamDepends's picture

(Gulp) Um, er, so we can opt out then, right? Surely, this is unproven science?

TeamDepends's picture

By militarized you mean safe for the public? Well, of course! Roll up your sleeve, citizen.

Cynicles's picture

Agenda 21 seen smiling in the background

SDShack's picture

Just another example of "Fear the Walking Dead Heads in Washington".

divingengineer's picture

We wanted to tell you, but we know how you can get.

HowdyDoody's picture

It has possibly been delivered to one of the many bioweapons labs the US has established in countries surrounding Russia. There are two in Ukraine, one south-west of Kiev and the other in Odessa. These will unfortunately not be up to the high standards of US labs (a feature, not a bug) so there is a chance that the pathogen may 'accidentally' escape into the wild.

TeamDepends's picture

Step right up (you have no choice), step right up (you have no choice) and get your free Black Plague vaccination. It's for the children!

Skateboarder's picture

Contemplating the implementation of mandatory vaccination, it is not quite necessary, as they can use the teevee to have it play out like a Hollywood movie: gubbamin loses samples, terrizz gain samples and unleash them, news says you got until <date> to survive without the vaccine, and fortunately vaccines are ready, and everybody lines up to get their SHOTS. SHOTS. SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS. Creating artificial necessity in your mind for something you don't need or something that is harmful to you, is a much more powerful means of control than dumb force. These motherfuckers will want us to line up on our own accord, and it will be sad to see our loved ones doing so.

omniversling's picture

Ebola outbreak hoax was a SIFMA/FEMA excercise, official doc here. Remember 'clipboard guy'? And all the reporters and other crew without protective gear?:

What's being done with 'vaccines', and update on Jade Helm/Jade2 AI rollout and interview with Jon Rappaport on CDC fraudulent studies MRR/Austism whistleblower (orange CTM logo - Caravan to Midninght embed. Episode 364)



NotApplicable's picture

Georgia Guidestone approves.

agNau's picture

I do remember an "Ebola Scare" sometime back.
Those pressure washers worked like a charm!

It's Time!

Time for the "Crisis Actors" return.

chubbyjjfong's picture

Whatever happened to the Ebola outbreak???  One minute it was world news all day every day, the next minute Ebola vanished from every platform.  Did it just go poof or something??

Skateboarder's picture

Things go poof in fictional narratives all the time!

SofaPapa's picture

All "news" in the modern west is now one big fictional narrative (do any of us know the "true" events of any covered story?  No, only the spin...).  Personally, I'm curious about the cat and cow mutilations that have been going on for years!  Good solid entertainment value there...

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Aerosol weaponisation conversion devices=pressure washers.

rubiconsolutions's picture

Dustin Hoffman, please report for duty.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

U.S. Army....Of The 12 Monkeys.

Tom Servo's picture

Hmmmm, 14 years ago didn't Rumsfeld announce that the Pentagon had lost track of 2.3 trillion dollars...

venturen's picture

2015 Obama doesn't annouce he lost track of $20 Trillion...Oh wait he happily annouced it to an audience of the richest on how stupid Democrat Voters are...that they appaul him for making the rich richer than ever!

Tom I guess you were a big Saddam fan? Tired of the retread Bush blame when 7 years of Obama/Democrats litterly ruined the country. The Treasury and Justice departments are now just arms of Wall Street and the DNC

Tom Servo's picture

What in the actual fuck are you talking about?  I am no Bush or Obama sycophant.  I'm not a total foil hatter, but there are several 9/11 inconsistencies from the "official story" that have never been explained (building 7, etc...)


Your huffpo link is about the missing cash pallates from Iraq that we shipped in during the war.  Rumsfeld announced on 9/10/2001 that there were some misappropriated funds from the Pentagon... the next day, nobody gave a shit about it...hence, stuff....


Manthong's picture

How convenient that AA Flt 77 just happened to crash directly into the Pentagon Accounting Department that was researching the missing $2.3 Trillion and that a raghead who couldn’t land a Cessna 150 executed a perfect descending 270 degree turn in a half million pound heavy airliner, skimmed the treetops and hit the relatively low building broadside.