• ThePPJ Gazette
By Janet Phelan
In the rush to pass protective legislation into law following the attacks of 911, the authors of the U.S. Patriot Act amended the previous legislation regarding biological weapons. Section 817 of the U.S. Patriot Act, otherwise known as the “Expansion of the Biological Weapons Statute,” has violated the Biological Weapons Convention, an international treaty which the U.S. signed in 1974.
The Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention, also known as the BWC, was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons. It was largely considered to be a result of prolonged efforts by the international community to supplement the 1925 Geneva Protocol.
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The language of 817 closely mirrors that of the BWC, which bans the development, stockpiling and transport of biological weapons. The violation has occured in a final caveat, which nullifies the prohibitions contained in the BWC and prior U.S. bioweapons legi
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