August 11, 2010
Herewith appended is an interesting study in political realities:”
Ryan C. Crocker
Monday, February 19, 2007
I am informed by Chief of Station that he is maintaining a humint asset codenamed STETHOSCOPE within the Pakistani secret biological weapons program. The program is highly compartmentalized within ISI, and is unknown even to members of the Musharraf government. According to STETHOSCOPE it is judged by the ISI that governments in Pakistan are so corrupt, and come and go with such regularity, that they cannot be trusted with this knowledge.
STETHOSCOPE is a medical doctor whose motives in passing us information are his devotion to Islam and his belief that biological weapons are against the precepts of the Qur’an. Being seen by his employers and colleagues to be a devout Muslim assists his cover. He hopes that we will use our knowledge and influence to prevent their use in the event of war between the countries.
STETHOSCOPE informs us that the program has two components: (1) A study and development of hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola and Marburg, and (2) Development and stockpiling of anthrax in aerosolized weapons form. The program fortunately does not have access to smallpox, which the Station Chief assures me is held only by us, Russia and Switzerland, which took the precaution of stockpiling the virus shortly before its eradication 1977, as a future resource for their drug companies, which are an important part of their economy.
STETHOSCOPE explains that the proposed deployment of a biological weapon or weapons would be at the main railroad station in New Delhi near Karol Bagh. From here 300 intercity trains depart daily to destinations all over India, which has the largest interlocking rail network in the world. The method of deployment would be via numerous operatives posing as “tea wallahs” or sweet vendors, selling contaminated cups of tea or sweets to passengers on trains waiting to depart. They could probably operate for some days until the outbreaks began all over India, at which time they would be discovered, or might even have fallen sick themselves.
It is planned that this deployment would occur only in the event of an existing war between the countries, and not as one of the ongoing annual terrorist attacks sponsored by ISI, as the use of a biological weapon as a terrorist act would be clearly not accidental or within the capability of any of the numerous terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, and would inevitably provoke India to war. In the event of a war, all travel and communications between the two countries would be suspended, thereby insulating Pakistan from contamination. The anticipated result would be civilian panic and chaos throughout India, thereby causing India to have to divert military and medical resources from the war on its western frontier to maintain order and to contain and treat the epidemic of disease.
While we are not concerned with the hemorrhagic fevers, our concern rests in the fact that ISI was given a supply of anthrax from Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD, and the technology to manufacture and aerosolize it into a deployable weapon, by the CIA under the administration of George H. W. Bush, a former Director of that entity. In the event of deployment of weaponized anthrax in India by Pakistan, subsequent genetic testing of the bacillus would reveal the distinctive profile of an American strain, which would bring worldwide suspicion and condemnation upon the United States. Our future relations with India, which features prominently in our global strategy, would be irreparably compromised.
Chief of Station asserts that he was not aware of this technology transfer at the time, not being part of the compartmentalized group which conducted it, and informs me that we cannot reveal our present knowledge of the program, as STETHOSCOPE would be compromised and probably discovered. This would remove our ability to monitor the program and the intentions of ISI. However, our planning for the future eventuality of war between India and Pakistan should include a strenuous effort to prevent Pakistan at that time from deploying anthrax within India. Our representations should include an appeal to Muslim morality (many of the ISI are fundamentalist Muslims,) an assessment that this act would provoke India to the use of nuclear weapons, and a credible threat that the United States would take the side of India in the conflict, instead of maintaining our customary neutrality.