Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Newsmax Prime | War on Terrorism | joe lieberman | bioterror | attack | threat

Joe Lieberman: US Has Been Lucky to Dodge Bioterror Attacks

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 07:25 PM

The United States has been "damn lucky" that it hasn’t been the victim of widespread bioterrorist attacks — and the nation is not ready for "the big one," former Sen. Joe Lieberman told Newsmax TV on Thursday.

"They're relatively easy to put together and move around," Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who once chaired the Senate Homeland Security Committee, told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth. He was referring to chemical weapons that could be used in an attack.

"Certainly, much more than a nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb," he said.

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Lieberman, 73, who stepped down in 2013 after 24 years in the Senate, is heading up a panel studying the nation's bioterrorism defense efforts. The blue-ribbon commission is expected to present its findings to Congress in September.

"We're finding that America is still vulnerable," he told Hayworth. "That vulnerability is really strategically significant.

"The threat grows larger. ISIS and other terrorist groups continue to talk about using weapons of mass destruction, particularly chemical and biological. As we know, traces of Sarin gas have just been found in Syria in the last month.

"Infectious diseases seem to be spreading more rapidly just as people travel more," Lieberman added. "Animals travel more, carrying disease, and we're unprepared for what might be called the big one here."

He rated the nation's anti-bioterrorism efforts a "D" — saying that a bio shield system in some parts of the country and a strong public health system have been significant in recent years — while slamming President Barack Obama's inability to move out in front on the issue.

"One of the big problems here is the lack of leadership. We saw it in the Ebola crisis. It was not clear who was in charge.

"In the end, President Obama brought in a Washington lawyer from outside to coordinate the response, but that's not where you want to be," Lieberman said.

"When people in the country are in danger of being victims of a pandemic, the most important work to be done by a leader in a bioterrorist pandemic response is between crises, not when the crisis breaks out."

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The United States has been "damn lucky" that it hasn’t been the victim of widespread bioterrorist attacks — and the nation is not ready for "the big one," former Sen. Joe Lieberman told Newsmax TV on Thursday.
joe lieberman, bioterror, attack, threat
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2015-25-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 07:25 PM
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