President Barack Obama has received a torrent of criticism for dispatching U.S. troops and National Guardsmen to the Ebola-ravaged West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to help control the spread of the highly-lethal Ebola-Zaire hemorrhagic virus. While Cuba has sent qualified doctors to the stricken region, Obama has responded with troops answering to the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
Evidence has recently surfaced in a 2009 U.S. embassy Berlin cable to the U.S. State and Defense Departments that German authorities hesitated to send hemorrhagic fever cultures to the suspected biological warfare laboratory at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland because the Germans feared the Army might «weaponize» the cultures.
The cable, classified as «Sensitive», is dated December 15, 2009 and states:
«German MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Deputy Head of Division for Export Control Markus Klinger provided the following non-paper to Econoff [Embassy Economics Officer], seeking additional assurances related to a proposed export of extremely dangerous pathogens to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.
The Army’s end use certificate provided to Germany is lacking an official seal. Klinger’s deputy, Nancy Reck, noted that Germany had made two follow-up requests to the Army seeking assurances and clarifications related to this proposed export. The GOG [Government of Germany] seeks assurances from the USG [US Government] or US Army that the end use certificate and the information contained therein are legitimate and accurate».