Thursday, January 09, 2003

Wake Up and Smell the Ricin

The deadly poison Ricin has made a return appearance in London. Understandably, the Brits are a bit more concerned than the American media which has largely ignored the story.

The New York Times reports today on page 10 that a “small quantity” of Ricin was found in Islington over the weekend.

What the Times fails to report, and the BBC does, is that the small quantity was found in a Ricin making factory which seems to indicate that a far larger quantity of the poison has not yet been found.

The Times also neglects to mention that a small quantity of Ricin is all you need to kill since it is about 6,000 times as deadly as cyanide.

Many Brits will recall that Ricin was the toxin used to murder Georgi Markov a BBC correspondent and outspoken Bulgarian anti-communist in 1978.

A tiny pellet filled with Ricin was somehow injected into Markov’s leg as he walked to work. To this day no one knows exactly how the Ricin was administered but some believe he was poked with an umbrella designed to deliver the pellet like a vaccine.

He died three days later and it was weeks before medical authorities figured it all out.

The details of the murder may never be known entirely because a key official of the Bulgarian secret police destroyed 10 volumes of files on Markov before conveniently destroying himself. Other people involved have racked up remarkably bad driving records and are for the most part dead.

I wonder how many more close calls we’ll need before the media recognizes that we are at war?

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