Project Clear Vision

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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[edit]

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. ^ a b c d e Enemark, Christian. Disease and Security: Natural Plagues and Biological Weapons in East Asia, (Google Books), Routledge, 2007, pp. 173-75, (ISBN 0415422345).
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ a b Tucker, Jonathan B. "Biological Threat Assessment: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?", Arms Control Today, October 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2009.

Further reading[edit]