“A particularly frightening aspect of warfare of terrorism using biological weapons is that it may be hard to distinguish from a natural outbreak of disease”. (p.42)
“This fact will cause people to panic, for no one can be sure whether or not he is a victim of a biological attack. In the event of such an attack, there will be widespread horror because ‘exposure is involuntary, the consequences are delayed, and the effects are initially invisible’.”(p.36)
“Because chemical and biological weapons are silent killers, an attack could occur at any time without warning. The first sign of a biological attack might be ‘hundreds of thousands of ill or dying patients’, a US government scientist warns.” (p.48)
“What makes biological weapons so horrifying is that their victims cannot resort to flight as an option. Once the poison of a biological agent silently gets inside a person’s body, neither the strategy of ‘flight’ nor the strategy of ‘fight’ can work successfully. This is one way that distinguishes them from conventional weapons. Because the poison of a biological agent is ‘disgusting’, one does not want to strike it, touch it, or grapple with it. Because it is frequently something that has already gotten inside of you or takes you over and possesses you, there is often no distinct other to fight anyway.” (p.37) [original source: William Miller, The Anatomy of Disgust, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1997).
As in the case of radiation, “poisons [resulting from biological or chemical agents] get inside us and inhabit us. We cannot physically remove them as we can a sword or a bullet; we cannot escape being defiled. In the aftermath of a conventional bombing campaign, we can run from collapsing structures, and we know immediately whether we have escaped. When poisons spread, we may not know whether we’ve been poisoned and we may not be able to escape no matter how fast we run.” (p.37)
“unlike conventional weapons, poisons….are ingested. They contaminate the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. Ingestion and nourishment, normally linked to life, become linked to defilement and death.” (p.37)
“…biological agents possess all the characteristics that are conductive to disproportionate dread. They can lead to spectacular catastrophe. Their long term effects on the human body and on the environment are unpredictable or unknown. They are mysterious, indiscriminate, uncontrollable, inequitable, and invisible.” (p.47)
“…these weapons would seem to be ideal for terrorists, who seek to inspire fear in targeted populations…citizens who do not trust their governments are unlikely to respond to government calls for calm. Panic is the likely result…”(p.47) “ if victims panic and attend to flee, they may spread contamination and disease still further.” (p.12)