There are lots of attacks that don’t involve bombs–or flying jets into buildings, as happened on 911 (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these shows). One of the things we need to guard against is a terrorist attack that uses germs as a weapon.

In the October 22nd edition of the Los Angeles Times, David Willman reports that n more than 30 cities, BioWatch samplers located on top of buildings in over 30 cities–in train stations and in other public places. These sensors suck air through dry filters 24 hours a day. Once a day, the filters are taken to public health laboratories to be analyzed for traces of smallpox, anthrax, plague and other pathogens.

The Department of Homeland Security has just been discovered that, for two years, the nationwide BioWatch system, intended to protect Americans against a biological attack, operated with defective components that were unable to detect lethal germs.

The federal official who oversaw installation of the components was quietly shifted to a position with no responsibility for BioWatch, and this information was kept out of the news.

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