Bush administration weighs policy on building germ weapons

The Bush administration is considering whether to restrict distribution of government documents that describe how to make germ weapons, White House officials said on Sunday.

The Bush administration is considering whether to restrict distribution of government documents that describe how to make germ weapons, White House officials said on Sunday.

US stockpiles of offensive germ warfare agents were destroyed nearly three decades ago as part of the 1972 biological weapon convention. But the government kept the blueprints for manufacturing such weapons, and continues to sell them.

“The administration is generally conscious of this issue,” John H. Marburger III, director of the White House office of science and technology policy, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “There are obviously people thinking about what to do about it.”

“The administration is likely to take action on the matter,” Marburger said, adding that he did not know what action would be taken nor when.

The New York Times first reported on the documents and the debate in Sunday editions, and said that despite their age, the manuals contain information that could help produce the kind of anthrax powder infected at least 18 people and killed five in the United States last year.

Bureau Report

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