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Project Clear Vision was a covert investigation of Soviet-built biological bomblets conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute under contract with the CIA. The legality of this project under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) of 1972 is disputed.[citation needed]


The operation

Project Clear Vision was executed between 1997 and 2000,[1] during the Clinton Administration.[2] The project's stated goal was to assess bio-agent dissemination characteristics of bomblets.[3] However, the program received criticism due to suspicions that its findings could possibly be used in a covert US bioweapons program.[citation needed]


The secret project was disclosed in a September 2001 article in The New York Times.[1] Reporters Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg and William J. Broad collaborated to write the article.[1] It is presumed that the reporters had knowledge of the program for at least several months; shortly after the article appeared the authors published a book that detailed the story further.[1] The 2001 book, Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War, and the article are the only publicly available sources[citation needed] concerning Project Clear Vision and its sister projects, Bacchus and Jefferson.[1]


As signatory to the BWC, the United States committed to not develop bioweapons. Moreover, the US had not reported the secret projects in its annual confidence-building measure (CBM) declarations.[3] The US maintains that the program was fully consistent with the BWC and that the projects were defensive in nature.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Enemark, Christian. Disease and Security: Natural Plagues and Biological Weapons in East Asia, (Google Books), Routledge, 2007, pp. 173-75, (ISBN 0415422345).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Miller, Judith, Engelberg, Stephen and Broad, William J. "U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits", The New York Times, September 4, 2001. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tucker, Jonathan B. "Biological Threat Assessment: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?", Arms Control Today, October 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2009.

Further reading

  • Miller, Judith, Engelberg, Stephen and Broad, William J. Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War, (Google Books), Simon and Schuster, 2002, (ISBN 0684871599).

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