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Plague Scientist Causes Airport Shutdown

From an unfazed Associated Press:

Prof in ’03 plague scare sets off airport shutdown

By Jennifer Kay And Curt Anderson, Associated Press Writers Fri Sep 3, 2010

MIAMI – The suspicions airport security officials had when they saw the metal canister grew when they learned about the man who brought it in from the Middle East: a scientist who sparked a bioterrorism scare after he reported missing vials of plague samples seven years ago.

Officials shut down most of Miami International Airport overnight, roused nearby hotel guests from their beds and detained Dr. Thomas Butler until Friday morning, when he was released without charges, a senior law enforcement official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information.

Tests on the canister found nothing dangerous, according to a release from the FBI’s Miami field office. Homeland Security spokesman Nicholas Kimball said the item resembled a pipe bomb.

Butler’s former lawyer said the incident appeared to be a "fantastic overreaction."

Butler, 70, is a world-renowned plague researcher who quickly became the focus of a federal investigation in 2003 when he reported that 30 vials of plague samples possibly had been stolen from his Texas Tech University lab.

He was later acquitted of smuggling and illegally transporting the potentially deadly germ, and of lying to federal agents about the missing vials. Jurors found Butler guilty of the mislabeling and unauthorized export of a FedEx package that contained plague samples he sent to Tanzania.

He was also convicted of fraud and theft and sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding Texas Tech about illegally negotiated contracts he had with pharmaceutical companies with which he also had clinical studies contracts

Somehow, given Mr. Butler’s history, a “fantastic overreaction” is not the way would we describe this incident.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, September 4th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Plague Scientist Causes Airport Shutdown”

  1. proreason says:

    He probably means well, and has many Nobel laureate friends.

    Meanwhile, dozens of lunatic grannies were running wild in the airport.

    And anyway, who would dare to compare the damage the black palgue can cause to the the damage that evalgelical christians wreck every day. Don’t forget, you are insured! or at least, will be insured at some undefined point in the future, proveded there are enough rich people left to take care of you.

    Rather than protecting the country from grannies and evangelicals, here we have the incompetant TSA focusing on honest scientists who just happen to work for Saudi Arabia after multiple felony convictions in the US, and pious muslims.

  2. hushpuppy says:

    You nailed it on the head, pro – but one teensy detail: we can’t say ‘black’ plague. (whispering) That’s racist.

    We should be good little zombiebots and say ‘Bitter white Christian lunatic granny Tea Party-attending gun-and-Bible-hugging activist plague.’

  3. wardmama4 says:

    You both nailed the current bs status of the TSA (and the Thug Administration) on the head.

    I vote for ‘shoot to kill’. Come on people – bullets in the scheme of our current Administration are cheap – and shoot one illegal, one drug dealer, one gangbanger, one rapist, one murderer, one radical islamic terrorist who happens to be islamic, and one obviously completely nuts and treasonous faux ‘scientist’ – heck its not even a full clip – and I bet you every single illegal, drug dealer, gangbanger, rapist, murderer, radical islamic terrorist who happens to be islamic and a small percentage of the completely nuts and treasonous faux ‘scientists’ will seriously reconsider their behavior. Just tell me the caliber – I’ll supply the bullets. It would be the best money I’ve sent to my government in my entire life.

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

  4. platypus says:

    “Somehow, given Mr. Butler’s history, a ‘fantastic overreaction’ is not the way would we describe this incident.”

    Well, obviously you are NOT an attorney because in the legal system such free usage of adjectives is not only encouraged but also nurtured and praised. But only for attorneys.

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