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Coincidence?  Maybe...

My son Mark likes to quote that question:  Are you paranoid if someone's really after you?

There's been a series of coincidences too alarming for my liking.

Nile Virus isn't a big problem in the middle east, where most people have had a touch of it and are immune.   A year ago it appeared in New York.  How?  Maybe somebody illegally brought in an infected bird.  Or someone with an active case of it entered New York, a mosquito bit him or her, and then bit a bird, probably a crow, etc.   Health authorities were panicked when the first cases appeared but eventually identified the illness, realized it was spread by mosquitoes and birds, and was dangerous usually only to those with impaired immune systems or the elderly.  Most other people, if they got it, wouldn't even know it.  They also estimated that it would spread down the eastern seaboard, reaching Florida by late August or September of 2001 when birds migrated south.

A terrorist attack?  Ridiculous!  It's not that bad a disease; flu is much more dangerous.  It can be controlled by controlling the mosquito population and wearing repellent.  Just a coincidence that after several hundred years of travel between the Mediterranean and Eastern USA that the virus suddenly appeared.

Our government has been concerned for some time about biological attack, especially anthrax.  Anthrax is hard to grow and distribute, but it could be done.  The evidence that the USA suspected such an attack was more than possible is the military requirement to vaccinate against anthrax, a series of vaccines that might have side effects.  Some career military personnel have been kicked out for refusing to take them, but the military has insisted.  Did they know something?  Nah.  Just coincidence.

Something that's disappeared from the news, that happened in the month before the terrorist attacks in NYC and Washington, was that a tenant of an apartment house in a western state complained to officials about smelly seepage from a drain pipe.  Whatever inspector came out to investigate called for reinforcements, which quickly determined that the seepage was anthrax.  Not the bad kind, but a related strain used to make vaccine. Growing and distributing anthrax is difficult.  The tenants who were responsible, identified only as Arabs,  had fled, leaving behind a laboratory which authorities speculated had been used for practice runs of production and dispersion of the real thing.   I have not heard mention of this incident since.

It's a fact that several terrorists in Florida had made inquiries about operating, buying or renting crop dusters.  The assumption was made that this was to disperse some biological or chemical agent, and all such planes were grounded.  One of these incidents, and one who actually rented and took up a plane on several occasions, lived in Palm Beach County.  Does this have anything to do with the lab out west?  Nah, just a coincidence.

A single person in Palm Beach County who lives just a few miles from the lodgings of this terrorist and his cohorts, and from the said airport, comes down with a case of pulmonary anthrax, something almost impossible to catch, and dies of it.  That type of anthrax is thought to be almost always fatal.  It's been almost thirty years since the last case in the USA and that was traced to unbaling, shaking out and sorting of pelts from infected animals, shipped in from Pakistan.  This germ cannot live dormant that long.  It came from somewhere.  The authorities are playing it down as just an isolated coincidence.

Now there's evidence the terrorists are chortling about another disaster they have planned.  They've been working on the other scenarios for a couple years and can have any number of things up their sleeves.   You can bet they won't be stupid enough to try to hijack another airliner.  So what are their intentions?

What if Nile Virus was introduced on purpose?  Their biologists can estimate the spread as well as ours did, until the infected birds arrived at the many warm, mosquito-ridden swamps, lakes, rock-pits and rivers of Mid- to South-Florida.  Could this be part of their timetable?  Coincidence?  Maybe.

Spraying for mosquitoes in Florida is just about to begin for the first time in years, due to Nile Virus.   This is usually done by planes similar to crop dusters and by trucks which emit a fine foggy mist that penetrates to every cranny in populated areas.  You can't help breathing it unless you stay sealed tightly inside for quite a while afterwards.

If I were Governor of Florida or the President (thank God I'm not), I'd put a stop to this mosquito eradication program immediately.  They hijacked four passenger airlines with incredible coordination.  How much more difficult would it be to hijack a mosquito control plane or truck, substitute anthrax for insecticide and merrily spread foggy death?  Until the military can supply armed guards throughout the entire mosquito spraying operation, from start to finish, I would prefer many times over to take my chances with Nile Virus. 

The Sneaky Kitchen
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