Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
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FTR#1191 The Oswald Institute of Virology, Part 10: “A Politically Useful Tool”

The pro­gram begins with an excerpt that comes from the con­sum­mate­ly impor­tant Whit­ney Webb arti­cle he has used on many occa­sions.

The Project For A New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry’s Rebuild­ing Amer­i­ca’s Defens­es argues that bio­log­i­cal warfare–particularly when twined with genet­ic engineering–can become a “polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.”

Indeed, as we have said so many times, if one is going to detach the sec­ond-largest econ­o­my from the world and alien­ate that coun­try from oth­ers, the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic is, indeed, “a polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool” for so doing.

(In FTR#1190, we exam­ined the PNAC agen­da, its cod­i­fi­ca­tion in nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy in a doc­u­ment large­ly craft­ed by Philip Zelikow. Zelikow head­ed the 9/11 Com­mis­sion and was cen­tral­ly involved in writ­ing its flawed report, the sys­tem­at­ic short­com­ings of which could be said to char­ac­ter­ize the com­mis­sion as “The Omis­sion Com­mis­sion.) 

Zelikow is now head­ing a com­mis­sion to exam­ine the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, includ­ing the so-called “Lab-Leak Hypoth­e­sis.”

The pro­gram ref­er­ences this excerpt, des­ig­nat­ing Covid-19 as a “polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.”

As seen below, there are indi­ca­tions that the DARPA pro­gram was, indeed, look­ing at the exploita­tion of genet­ics in the appli­ca­tion of bio­log­i­cal war­fare.

Next, we high­light an excerpt from an arti­cle that is fea­tured in FTR#‘s 686 and 1115. ” . . . . The pro­duc­tion of vac­cine against a stock­piled BW weapon must be con­sid­ered an offen­sive BW project Accord­ing to MIT sci­en­tists Harlee Strauss and Jonathan King, ‘These steps—the gen­er­a­tion of a poten­tial BW agent, devel­op­ment of a vac­cine against it, test­ing of the effi­ca­cy of the vaccine—are all com­po­nents that would be asso­ci­at­ed with an offen­sive BW program.’27 Clear­ly, with­out an anti­dote or vac­cine to pro­tect attack­ing troops, the util­i­ty of a stock­piled BW agent would be seri­ous­ly lim­it­ed. . . .”

We then review mate­r­i­al from FTR#1166, among oth­er pro­grams, look­ing at the devel­op­ment of Mod­er­na’s vac­cine, the drug remde­sivir and mil­i­tary dom­i­na­tion of the Oper­a­tion Warp Speed Covid vac­cine pro­gram.

They key con­sid­er­a­tion is: do these devel­op­ments indi­cate the dynam­ic Strauss and King cite above?

At a min­i­mum, they are no more than the prover­bial six degrees of sep­a­ra­tion from being part of an offen­sive bio­log­i­cal war­fare pro­gram.

In pre­vi­ous posts and pro­grams, we have not­ed that Mod­er­na’s vac­cine work has been financed by DARPA. We have also not­ed that the over­all head of Oper­a­tion Warp Speed is Mon­cef Slaoui, for­mer­ly in charge of prod­uct devel­op­ment for Mod­er­na!

Of great sig­nif­i­cance is the cen­tral role of the mil­i­tary in the devel­op­ment of treat­ment for Covid-19:

1.–The pro­gram notes that: ” . . . . Remde­sivir pre­dates this pan­dem­ic. It was first con­sid­ered as a poten­tial treat­ment for Ebo­la, and was devel­oped through a long­stand­ing part­ner­ship between the U.S. Army and the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. . . .”
2.–Jonathan King, who has chaired the micro­bial phys­i­ol­o­gy study sec­tion for the NIH has sound­ed the alarm about “vac­cine research” mask­ing offen­sive bio­log­i­cal war­fare research: “. . . . King, who has chaired the micro­bial phys­i­ol­o­gy study sec­tion for the NIH, believes that with­out inten­sive inde­pen­dent scruti­ny, the Pen­ta­gon is free to obscure its true goals. ‘The Defense Depart­ment appears to be pur­su­ing many nar­row, applied goals that are by nature offen­sive, such as the genet­ic ‘improve­ment’ of BW agents,’ King says. ‘But to achieve polit­i­cal accept­abil­i­ty, they mask these inten­tions under forms of research, such as vac­cine devel­op­ment, which sound defen­sive. . . .”
3.–Moderna’s vac­cine devel­op­ment was over­seen by an unnamed Pen­ta­gon offi­cial: ” . . . . Moderna’s team was head­ed by a Defense Depart­ment offi­cial whom com­pa­ny exec­u­tives described only as ‘the major,’ say­ing they don’t know if his name is sup­posed to be a secret. . . . .”
4.–The per­va­sive role of the mil­i­tary in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed (the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s vac­cine devel­op­ment pro­gram) has gen­er­at­ed alarm in civil­ian par­tic­i­pants:”. . . . Scores of Defense Depart­ment employ­ees are laced through the gov­ern­ment offices involved in the effort, mak­ing up a large por­tion of the fed­er­al per­son­nel devot­ed to the effort.  Those num­bers have led some cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials at the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion to pri­vate­ly grum­ble that the military’s role in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed was too large for a task that is, at its core, a pub­lic health cam­paign. . . .”
5.–General Gus­tave Perna–one of the prin­ci­pals in Oper­a­tion Warp Speed–has cho­sen a retired Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al to over­see much of the pro­gram: ” . . . . ‘Frankly, it has been breath­tak­ing to watch,’ said Paul Ostrows­ki, the direc­tor of sup­ply, pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion for Oper­a­tion Warp Speed. He is a retired Army lieu­tenant gen­er­al who was select­ed to man­age logis­tics for the pro­gram by Gen. Gus­tave F. Per­na, the chief oper­at­ing offi­cer for Oper­a­tion Warp Speed. . . .”
6.–The mil­i­tary will be able to trace the des­ti­na­tion and admin­is­tra­tion of each dose: ” . . . . Mil­i­tary offi­cials also came up with the clever idea — if it works — to coor­di­nate the deliv­ery of vac­cines to drug­stores, med­ical cen­ters and oth­er immu­niza­tion sites by send­ing kits full of nee­dles, syringes and alco­hol wipes. Vac­cine mak­ers will be alert­ed when the kits arrive at an immu­niza­tion site so they know to ship dos­es. Once the first dose is giv­en, the man­u­fac­tur­er will be noti­fied so it can send the sec­ond dose with a patient’s name attached sev­er­al weeks lat­er. The mil­i­tary will also mon­i­tor vac­cine dis­tri­b­u­tion through an oper­a­tions cen­ter. ‘They will know where every vac­cine dose is,’ Mr. [Paul] Man­go said on a call with reporters. . . .”

Cen­tral to the inquiry about a lab­o­ra­to­ry gen­e­sis for the virus is Ralph Bar­ic. In the con­text of some of his actions in con­junc­tion with the devel­op­ment of vac­cines and pro­phy­lac­tic mea­sures in con­nec­tion with bio­log­i­cal war­fare, we note that:

1.–Baric’s mod­i­fi­ca­tion of a horse­shoe bat virus to make it more infec­tious (in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Shi Zhengli and in an Eco­Health Alliance affil­i­at­ed project) took place in North Car­oli­na, not Wuhan. “. . . . Crit­ics have jumped on this paper as evi­dence that Shi was con­duct­ing “gain of func­tion” exper­i­ments that could have cre­at­ed a super­bug, but Shi denies it. The research cit­ed in the paper was con­duct­ed in North Car­oli­na. . . .”
2.–Baric has been using relat­ed tech­niques to text remde­sivir (in 2017) and the Mod­er­na vac­cine. This places him in a milieu inex­tri­ca­bly linked to the mil­i­tary and pre-dat­ing the pan­dem­ic. ” . . . . Using a sim­i­lar tech­nique, in 2017, Baric’s lab showed that remde­sivir — cur­rent­ly the only licensed drug for treat­ing covid — could be use­ful in fight­ing coro­n­avirus infec­tions. Bar­ic also helped test the Mod­er­na covid vac­cine and a lead­ing new drug can­di­date against covid. . . .”

The flim­sy evi­den­tiary foun­da­tion of the Trump/Biden “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy” did it charge is evi­denced by a new alle­ga­tion com­ing from David Ash­er, senior fel­low at the right-wing Hud­son Insti­tute and the for­mer State Depart­ment advis­er who co-authored a fact sheet last Jan­u­ary on activ­i­ty inside the lab as described in Kather­ine Eban’s “Van­i­ty Fair” piece.

Note that:

1.–Asher report­ed­ly told NBC News that he is “con­fi­dent” that the Chi­nese mil­i­tary was fund­ing a “secret pro­gram” that involved Shi Zhengli’s coro­n­avirus research at the WIV.
2.–Shi report­ed­ly worked with two mil­i­tary sci­en­tists at the lab. (Not sur­pris­ing giv­en that the vast bulk of BW research is inher­ent­ly “dual-use.”
3.–Asher claims he was told this by sev­er­al for­eign researchers who worked at the WIV who saw some per­son­nel there in mil­i­tary garb.
4.–IF true, the [alleged] mem­bers of this secret Chi­nese mil­i­tary biowar­fare research team appar­ent­ly didn’t think it was impor­tant to not wear mil­i­tary cloth­ing dur­ing their secret research at a research facil­i­ty intend­ed for civil­ian use only.
5.–We aren’t told the iden­ti­ty of these for­eign researchers who alleged­ly saw this.
6.–We aren’t told if Ash­er meant “for­eign researchers”–non-Chinese researchers work­ing at the WIV (so for­eign to Chi­na) or Chi­nese researchers work­ing at the WIV (so for­eign to Ash­er). 
7.–Shi’s research could be char­ac­ter­ized as fund­ed by the US mil­i­tary through the Eco­Health Alliance col­lab­o­ra­tion. 
8.–Keep in mind that this remark­able claim is based on anony­mous sources that may not exist but are are claimed by Ash­er to exist. 

Ash­er’s anony­mous­ly-sourced alle­ga­tions con­trast with infor­ma­tion from a Bloomberg News arti­cle about Danielle Ander­son, a bat-borne virus expert who worked at the WIV as late as Novem­ber 2019

Note that:

1.–Anderson would have been at WIV dur­ing the peri­od when an out­break from the WIV would pre­sum­ably have tak­en place under a lab-leak sce­nario.
2.–Anderson is described as the only for­eign researcher work­ing at the WIV.
3.–If Ander­son was the lone for­eign researcher at the WIV, who are Ash­er’s “sev­er­al anony­mous for­eign WIV researchers?”

A chill­ing arti­cle may fore­cast the poten­tial deploy­ment of even dead­lier pan­demics, as oper­a­tional dis­guise for bio­log­i­cal war­fare and geno­cide.

Note that the sub-head­ing refer­ring to the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis is fol­lowed by no men­tion of the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis, per se.

Is this a between-the-lines ref­er­ence to impend­ing bio­log­i­cal war­fare devel­op­ment and the deploy­ment of anoth­er pan­dem­ic?

Note that the Army sci­en­tist quot­ed in the con­clu­sion offers an obser­va­tion that is very close to a Don­ald Rums­feld quote reit­er­at­ed by Peter Daszak in an arti­cle we ref­er­ence in FTR#1170.

1.–From the Defense One arti­cle: ” . . . . ‘We don’t want to just treat what’s in front of us now,’  [Dr. Dim­i­tra] Stratis-Cul­lum said. ‘I think we real­ly need to be resilient. From an Army per­spec­tive. We need to be agile, we need to adapt to the threat that we don’t know that’s com­ing.’ . . .”
2.–From the arti­cle from Inde­pen­dent Sci­ence News: ” . . . . ‘There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns — there are things we don’t know we don’t know.’ (This Rums­feld quote is in fact from a news con­fer­ence) . . . . In the sub­se­quent online dis­cus­sion, Daszak empha­sized the par­al­lels between his own cru­sade and Rumsfeld’s, since, accord­ing to Daszak, the ‘poten­tial for unknown attacks’ is ‘the same for virus­es’. . . .”

We con­clude with anoth­er “look back look­ing for­ward.”

In FTR#456, we not­ed the eerie fore­shad­ow­ing the the 9/11 attacks by Turn­er Diaries author William Luther Pierce. Key aspects of that book, in turn, fore­shad­ow aspects of the 9/11 attacks.

In 1998, the author of that tome,–William Luther Pierce–explicitly fore­shad­owed the 9/11 attacks which defined and cement­ed Dubya’s admin­is­tra­tion. “ . . . . In one chill­ing com­men­tary Pierce, (after not­ing that Bin Laden and the rest of the lost gen­er­a­tion of angry Moslem youth had it with their par­ents’ com­pro­mis­es and were hell bent on revenge against infi­del Amer­i­ca) issued this stark, prophet­ic warn­ing in a 1998 radio address titled, ‘Stay Out of Tall Build­ings.’ ‘New York­ers who work in tall office build­ings any­thing close to the size of the World Trade Cen­ter might con­sid­er wear­ing hard hats . . .’ Pierce warned.’ . . . The run­ning theme in Pierce’s com­men­taries is—to para­phrase his hero Hitler—that Osama Bin Laden’s warn­ing to Amer­i­ca is ‘I Am Com­ing.’ And so is bio-ter­ror­ism.’ . . .”

In that con­text, we note that Chi­na is dev­as­tat­ed by a WMD/Third World War in Turn­er Diaries.


FTR#1190 The Oswald Institute of Virology, Part 9: Covid-19 and The American Deep State, Part 3

Con­tin­u­ing analy­sis of the prop­a­ga­tion of the “Lab-Leak The­o­ry” of the ori­gin of Covid-19 in the con­text of what Mr. Emory calls “The Full-Court Press Against Chi­na,” this pro­gram high­lights how what the bril­liant Peter Dale Scott has termed “The Amer­i­can Deep State” is pro­ceed­ing with the insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of the anti-Chi­na effort, blam­ing that coun­try for the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, in par­tic­u­lar.

After not­ing that the (pri­mar­i­ly Pen­ta­gon and USAID-fund­ed) Eco­Health Alliance cut-out has used Defense Depart­ment mon­ey to research organ­isms that can be used as bio­log­i­cal-war­fare weapons, we dis­cuss Steve Ban­non and Peter Thiel’s anti-Chi­nese chau­vin­ism with regard to the Sil­i­con Val­ley.

Even as lib­er­al com­men­ta­tors lament the spread of anti-Asian racism, the gen­e­sis of the phe­nom­e­non is not hard to fath­om.

Next, we review the insti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of the anti-Chi­na scare by Steve Ban­non, uti­liz­ing allies like the Falun Gong cult and Uighur jihadis, now main­stays of the Full-Court Press strat­e­gy.

Although Ban­non and com­pa­ny are now being dimin­ished as “crack­pots, xeno­phobes, extrem­ists” etc., the poli­cies they have ini­ti­at­ed are now being car­ried for­ward by the “respectable” Biden admin­is­tra­tion.

” . . . . Fear of Chi­na has spread across the gov­ern­ment, from the White House to Con­gress to fed­er­al agen­cies, where Beijing’s rise is unques­tion­ing­ly viewed as an eco­nom­ic and nation­al secu­ri­ty threat and the defin­ing chal­lenge of the 21st cen­tu­ry. . . .”

It is this con­ti­nu­ity, that illus­trates and embod­ies the func­tion­ing of the Deep State.

Return­ing to a very impor­tant (albeit heav­i­ly “spun”), mod­i­fied lim­it­ed hang­out arti­cle from Van­i­ty Fair arti­cle, we fur­ther devel­op the con­ti­nu­ity between the “extrem­ist” Trump admin­is­tra­tion and the “respectable” Biden admin­is­tra­tion.

Devel­oped by Trump nation­al secu­ri­ty aide Math­ew Pot­tinger and Mike Pompeo’s State Depart­ment, the Lab-Leak hypoth­e­sis was eclipsed by offi­cials wor­ried about expo­sure of the very Pen­ta­gon, USAID fund­ing of bat-borne coro­n­avirus research and gain-of-func­tion manip­u­la­tions at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy and else­where in Chi­na.

As it gains momen­tum under the “respectable” Biden admin­is­tra­tion, the sup­pres­sion of the Lab-Leak hypoth­e­sis is being spun as an attempt to avoid using that hypoth­e­sis as an extrem­ist, chau­vin­ist polit­i­cal cud­gel. (This is iron­ic, because that is pre­cise­ly what it is intend­ed to be!)

Key aspects of the Van­i­ty Fair arti­cle:

1.–Pompeo State Depart­ment offi­cials pur­su­ing the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis were told to cov­er it up lest it shed light on U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of research at the “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy!”: ” . . . . In one State Depart­ment meet­ing, offi­cials seek­ing to demand trans­paren­cy from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment say they were explic­it­ly told by col­leagues not to explore the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virology’s gain-of-func­tion research, because it would bring unwel­come atten­tion to U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of it. . . . .In an inter­nal memo obtained by ‘Van­i­ty Fair’, Thomas DiNan­no, for­mer act­ing assis­tant sec­re­tary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Con­trol, Ver­i­fi­ca­tion, and Com­pli­ance, wrote that. . .  staff from two bureaus . . . ‘warned’ lead­ers with­in his bureau ‘not to pur­sue an inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gin of COVID-19’ because it would ‘open a can of worms’ if it con­tin­ued.’ . . . . As the group probed the lab-leak sce­nario, among oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties, its mem­bers were repeat­ed­ly advised not to open a ‘Pandora’s box,’ said four for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cials inter­viewed by ‘Van­i­ty Fair’. . . .”
2.–The Van­i­ty Fair arti­cle paints Trump, Ban­non and com­pa­ny as loonies, where­as they were fun­da­men­tal to the begin­ning of the full-court press against Chi­na: “. . . . At times, it seemed the only oth­er peo­ple enter­tain­ing the lab-leak the­o­ry were crack­pots or polit­i­cal hacks hop­ing to wield COVID-19 as a cud­gel against Chi­na. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s for­mer polit­i­cal advis­er Steve Ban­non, for instance, joined forces with an exiled Chi­nese bil­lion­aire named Guo Wen­gui to fuel claims that Chi­na had devel­oped the dis­ease as a bioweapon and pur­pose­ful­ly unleashed it on the world. . . .”
3.–Matthew Pot­tinger, a Chi­na hawk in the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, head­ed up a team to inves­ti­gate the Wuhan lab leak hypoth­e­sis. Note that the gain-of-func­tion milieu in the U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment was a retard­ing fac­tor in the inquiry: ” . . . . By then, Matthew Pot­tinger had approved a COVID-19 ori­gins team, run by the NSC direc­torate that over­saw issues relat­ed to weapons of mass destruc­tion. A long­time Asia expert and for­mer jour­nal­ist, Pot­tinger pur­pose­ful­ly kept the team small . . . . In addi­tion, many lead­ing experts had either received or approved fund­ing for gain-of-func­tion research. Their ‘con­flict­ed’ sta­tus, said Pot­tinger, ‘played a pro­found role in mud­dy­ing the waters and con­t­a­m­i­nat­ing the shot at hav­ing an impar­tial inquiry.’  . . . .”
4.–Note that Lawrence Liv­er­more sci­en­tists were involved with the gen­e­sis of the “Chi­na did it” hypoth­e­sis, after alleged­ly being alert­ed by a for­eign source to look into their own files. ” . . . . An intel­li­gence ana­lyst work­ing with David Ash­er sift­ed through clas­si­fied chan­nels and turned up a report that out­lined why the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis was plau­si­ble. It had been writ­ten in May by researchers at the Lawrence Liv­er­more Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry, which per­forms nation­al secu­ri­ty research for the Depart­ment of Ener­gy. But it appeared to have been buried with­in the clas­si­fied col­lec­tions sys­tem. . . .”
5.–Note, also, that Chris Ford, a Chi­na hawk, was work­ing to sup­press the Wuhan lab leak hypoth­e­sis: ” . . . . Their frus­tra­tion crest­ed in Decem­ber, when they final­ly briefed Chris Ford, act­ing under­sec­re­tary for Arms Con­trol and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty. He seemed so hos­tile to their probe that they viewed him as a blink­ered func­tionary bent on white­wash­ing China’s malfea­sance. But Ford, who had years of expe­ri­ence in nuclear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion, had long been a Chi­na hawk. . . .”
6.–Ford spins his obfus­ca­tion of the “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy” link to the U.S. as not want­i­ng to rein­force right-wing crack­pots with­in the Trump admin­is­tra­tion: ” . . . . Ford told ‘Van­i­ty Fair’ that he saw his job as pro­tect­ing the integri­ty of any inquiry into COVID-19’s ori­gins that fell under his purview. Going with ‘stuff that makes us look like the crack­pot brigade’ would back­fire, he believed. There was anoth­er rea­son for his hos­til­i­ty. He’d already heard about the inves­ti­ga­tion from inter­a­gency col­leagues, rather than from the team itself, and the secre­cy left him with a ‘spidey sense’ that the process was a form of ‘creepy free­lanc­ing.’ He won­dered: Had some­one launched an unac­count­able inves­ti­ga­tion with the goal of achiev­ing a desired result? . . . .”
7.–The “Chi­na did it/Wuhan lab leak” hypoth­e­sis sur­vived from the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and Mike Pom­peo’s State Depart­ment to the Biden admin­is­tra­tion: ” . . . .The state­ment with­stood ‘aggres­sive sus­pi­cion,’ as one for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cial said, and the Biden admin­is­tra­tion has not walked it back. ‘I was very pleased to see Pompeo’s state­ment come through,’ said Chris Ford, who per­son­al­ly signed off on a draft of the fact sheet before leav­ing the State Depart­ment. ‘I was so relieved that they were using real report­ing that had been vet­ted and cleared.’ . . . .”
8.–Avril Haines, whom we have cit­ed in this series as a key par­tic­i­pant in the Deep State shep­herd­ing of the “Lab-Leak Hypoth­e­sis,” looms large in the inquiry into the per­pet­u­a­tion of this pro­pa­gan­da meme: ” . . . . Inside the U.S. gov­ern­ment, mean­while, the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis had sur­vived the tran­si­tion from Trump to Biden. On April 15, Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence Avril Haines told the House Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee that two ‘plau­si­ble the­o­ries’ were being weighed: a lab acci­dent or nat­ur­al emer­gence. . . .”

In what may be shap­ing up to be a dis­turb­ing reprise of Philip Zelikow’s role in the events sur­round­ing the 9/11 attacks and the result­ing inva­sion of Iraq, Zelikow is posi­tioned to pre­side over a com­mis­sion to “inves­ti­gate” the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, ” . . . . an exam­i­na­tion of the ori­gins of the virus—including the con­tentious ‘lab leak’ the­o­ry. . . .”

We note that:

1.–The finan­cial back­ers of the project include: ” . . . . Schmidt Futures, found­ed by Mr. Schmidt and his wife Wendy; Stand Togeth­er, which is backed by the lib­er­tar­i­an-lean­ing phil­an­thropist Charles Koch; the Skoll Foun­da­tion, found­ed by the eBay pio­neer Jeff Skoll; and the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion. . . .”
2.–Former CIA and State Depart­ment chief under Trump Mike Pom­peo is a pro­tege of the Koch broth­ers.
3.–Zelikow’s 9/11 Com­mis­sion presided over sig­nif­i­cant over­sights and omis­sions: ” . . . . There is now evi­dence, much of it sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly sup­pressed by the 9/11 Com­mis­sion, that before 9/11, CIA offi­cers Richard Blee and Tom Wilshire inside the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit along with FBI agents such as Dina Cor­si, were pro­tect­ing from inves­ti­ga­tion and arrest two of the even­tu­al alleged hijack­ers on 9/11, Khalid al-Mid­har and Nawaf al-Hazmi—much as the FBI had pro­tect­ed Ali Mohamed from arrest in 1993. . . .”
4.–PNAC (The Project for a New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry) called for Rebuild­ing Amer­i­ca’s Defens­es: ” . . . . ‘The process of trans­for­ma­tion,’ it report­ed, “even if it brings rev­o­lu­tion­ary change, is like­ly to be a long one absent some cat­a­stroph­ic and cat­alyz­ing event—like a new Pearl Har­bor.’ This was only one instance of a wide­ly accept­ed tru­ism: that it would take some­thing like a Pearl Har­bor to get Amer­i­ca to accept an aggres­sive war.  So the ques­tion to be asked is whether Cheney, Rums­feld, or any oth­ers whose projects depend­ed on ‘a new Pearl Har­bor’ were par­tic­i­pants in help­ing to cre­ate one. . . .”
5.–Zelikow helped draft the 2002 doc­u­ment that con­cretized the PNAC strate­gic goals: ” . . . . In 2002, the PNAC goals of unchal­lenged mil­i­tary dom­i­nance, plus the right to launch pre­emp­tive strikes any­where, were embod­ied in the new Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Strat­e­gy of Sep­tem­ber 2002 (known as ‘NSS 2002’). (A key fig­ure in draft­ing this doc­u­ment was Philip Zelikow, who lat­er became the prin­ci­pal author of the 9/11 Com­mis­sion Report.) . . . .”
6.–PNAC’s paper fore­shad­owed what we feel under­lies the pan­dem­ic: ” . . . . In what is arguably the think tank’s most con­tro­ver­sial doc­u­ment, titled ‘Rebuild­ing America’s Defens­es,’ there are a few pas­sages that open­ly dis­cuss the util­i­ty of bioweapons, includ­ing the fol­low­ing sen­tences: ‘…com­bat like­ly will take place in new dimen­sions: in space, ‘cyber-space,’ and per­haps the world of microbes…advanced forms of bio­log­i­cal war­fare that can ‘tar­get’ spe­cif­ic geno­types may trans­form bio­log­i­cal war­fare from the realm of ter­ror to a polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.’ . . .”
7.–There are indi­ca­tions that the anthrax attacks that occurred in the same time peri­od as the 9/11 attacks may well have been a provo­ca­tion aimed at jus­ti­fy­ing the inva­sion of Iraq and spurring the devel­op­ment off bio­log­i­cal weapons, as advo­cat­ed in the PNAC doc­u­ment. Ft. Det­rick insid­er Steven Hat­fill was a sus­pect in the attack, although he appears to have worn “oper­a­tional Teflon.” “. . . . Steven Hat­fill was now look­ing to me like a sus­pect, or at least, as the F.B.I. would denote him eight months lat­er, ‘a per­son of inter­est.’ When I lined up Hat­fil­l’s known move­ments with the post­mark loca­tions of report­ed bio­threats, those hoax anthrax attacks appeared to trail him like a vapor cloud. But in Feb­ru­ary 2002, short­ly after I advanced his can­di­da­cy to my con­tact at F.B.I. head­quar­ters, I was told that Mr. Hat­fill had a good ali­bi. A month lat­er, when I pressed the issue, I was told, ‘Look, Don, maybe you’re spend­ing too much time on this.’ Good peo­ple in the Depart­ment of Defense, C.I.A., and State Depart­ment, not to men­tion Bill Patrick, had vouched for Hat­fill. . . . In Decem­ber 2001, Dr. Bar­bara Hatch Rosen­berg, a not­ed bioweapons expert, deliv­ered a paper con­tend­ing that the per­pe­tra­tor of the anthrax crimes was an Amer­i­can micro­bi­ol­o­gist whose train­ing and pos­ses­sion of Ames-strain pow­der point­ed to a gov­ern­ment insid­er with expe­ri­ence in a U.S. mil­i­tary lab. . . . Hat­fill at the time was build­ing a mobile germ lab out of an old truck chas­sis, and after S.A.I.C. fired him he con­tin­ued work on it using his own mon­ey. When the F.B.I. want­ed to con­fis­cate the mobile lab to test it for anthrax spores, the army resist­ed, mov­ing the trail­er to Fort Bragg, North Car­oli­na, where it was used to train Spe­cial Forces in prepa­ra­tion for the war on Iraq. The class­es were taught by Steve Hat­fill and Bill Patrick. . . . Mean­while, friends of Fort Det­rick were leak­ing to the press new pieces of dis­in­for­ma­tion indi­cat­ing that the mailed anthrax prob­a­bly came from Iraq. The leaks includ­ed false alle­ga­tions that the Daschle anthrax includ­ed addi­tives dis­tinc­tive to the Iraqi arms pro­gram and that it had been dried using an atom­iz­er spray dry­er sold by Den­mark to Iraq. . . .”
8.–Two key Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors were tar­get­ed by weapons-grade anthrax let­ters pri­or to chang­ing their oppo­si­tion to the Patri­ot Act: “. . . . We should not for­get that the Patri­ot Act was only passed after lethal weapons-grade anthrax let­ters were mailed to two cru­cial Demo­c­ra­t­ic Senators—Senators Daschle and Leahy—who had ini­tial­ly ques­tioned the bill. After the anthrax let­ters, how­ev­er, they with­drew their ini­tial oppo­si­tion. Someone—we still do not know who—must have planned those anthrax let­ters well in advance. We should not for­get, either, that some gov­ern­ment experts ini­tial­ly blamed those attacks on Iraq. . . .”
The “Lab Leak The­o­ry” has been pro­mul­gat­ed by Michael R. Gor­don, who was instru­men­tal in advanc­ing the Sad­dam Hus­sein WMD con­nec­tion which helped lay the pro­pa­gan­da foun­da­tion for the Iraq War.

Will the “Zelikow Pan­dem­ic Com­mis­sion’s” treat­ment of the Lab-Leak The­o­ry func­tion in such a way as to pave the way for U.S. war with Chi­na, by focus­ing blame for the pan­dem­ic on what Mr. Emory has called “The Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy”?


Encore for Philip Zelikow? (UPDATED ON 6/20/2021 and 6/21/2021)

In what may be shap­ing up to be a dis­turb­ing reprise of Philip Zelikow’s role in the events sur­round­ing the 9/11 attacks and the result­ing inva­sion of Iraq, Zelikow is posi­tioned to pre­side over a com­mis­sion to “inves­ti­gate” the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, ” . . . . an exam­i­na­tion of the ori­gins of the virus—including the con­tentious ‘lab leak’ the­o­ry. . . .” Back­ers of the project include the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion and a David Koch NGO (Ex-CIA chief and Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo is a Koch Broth­ers pro­tege.) Zelikow’s 9/11 Com­mis­sion presided over sig­nif­i­cant over­sights and omis­sions: ” . . . . There is now evi­dence, much of it sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly sup­pressed by the 9/11 Com­mis­sion, that before 9/11, CIA offi­cers Richard Blee and Tom Wilshire inside the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit along with FBI agents such as Dina Cor­si, were pro­tect­ing from inves­ti­ga­tion and arrest two of the even­tu­al alleged hijack­ers on 9/11, Khalid al-Mid­har and Nawaf al-Hazmi—much as the FBI had pro­tect­ed Ali Mohamed from arrest in 1993. . . .” PNAC (The Project for a New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry) called for Rebuild­ing Amer­i­ca’s Defens­es: ” . . . . ‘The process of trans­for­ma­tion,’ it report­ed, ‘even if it brings rev­o­lu­tion­ary change, is like­ly to be a long one absent some cat­a­stroph­ic and cat­alyz­ing event—like a new Pearl Har­bor.’ Zelikow helped draft the 2002 doc­u­ment that con­cretized the PNAC strate­gic goals: ” . . . . In 2002, the PNAC goals of unchal­lenged mil­i­tary dom­i­nance, plus the right to launch pre­emp­tive strikes any­where, were embod­ied in the new Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Strat­e­gy of Sep­tem­ber 2002 (known as ‘NSS 2002’). (A key fig­ure in draft­ing this doc­u­ment was Philip Zelikow, who lat­er became the prin­ci­pal author of the 9/11 Com­mis­sion Report.) . . . .” ” . . . . In what is arguably the think tank’s most con­tro­ver­sial doc­u­ment, titled ‘Rebuild­ing America’s Defens­es,’ there are a few pas­sages that open­ly dis­cuss the util­i­ty of bioweapons, includ­ing the fol­low­ing sen­tences: ‘…com­bat like­ly will take place in new dimen­sions: in space, ‘cyber-space,’ and per­haps the world of microbes…advanced forms of bio­log­i­cal war­fare that can ‘tar­get’ spe­cif­ic geno­types may trans­form bio­log­i­cal war­fare from the realm of ter­ror to a polit­i­cal­ly use­ful tool.’ . . .” There are indi­ca­tions that the anthrax attacks that occurred in the same time peri­od as the 9/11 attacks may well have been a provo­ca­tion aimed at jus­ti­fy­ing the inva­sion of Iraq and spurring the devel­op­ment off bio­log­i­cal weapons, as advo­cat­ed in the PNAC doc­u­ment. Ft. Det­rick insid­er Steven Hat­fill was a sus­pect in the attack, although he appears to have worn “oper­a­tional Teflon.” “. . . . Steven Hat­fill was now look­ing to me like a sus­pect, or at least, as the F.B.I. would denote him eight months lat­er, ‘a per­son of inter­est.’ When I lined up Hat­fil­l’s known move­ments with the post­mark loca­tions of report­ed bio­threats, those hoax anthrax attacks appeared to trail him like a vapor cloud. But in Feb­ru­ary 2002, short­ly after I advanced his can­di­da­cy to my con­tact at F.B.I. head­quar­ters, I was told that Mr. Hat­fill had a good ali­bi. . . . In Decem­ber 2001, Dr. Bar­bara Hatch Rosen­berg, a not­ed bioweapons expert, deliv­ered a paper con­tend­ing that the per­pe­tra­tor of the anthrax crimes was an Amer­i­can micro­bi­ol­o­gist whose train­ing and pos­ses­sion of Ames-strain pow­der point­ed to a gov­ern­ment insid­er with expe­ri­ence in a U.S. mil­i­tary lab. . . .Hat­fill at the time was build­ing a mobile germ lab out of an old truck chas­sis, and after S.A.I.C. fired him he con­tin­ued work on it using his own mon­ey. When the F.B.I. want­ed to con­fis­cate the mobile lab to test it for anthrax spores, the army resist­ed, mov­ing the trail­er to Fort Bragg, North Car­oli­na, where it was used to train Spe­cial Forces in prepa­ra­tion for the war on Iraq. The class­es were taught by Steve Hat­fill and Bill Patrick. . . .” Two key Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors were tar­get­ed by weapons-grade anthrax let­ters pri­or to chang­ing their oppo­si­tion to the Patri­ot Act: “. . . . We should not for­get that the Patri­ot Act was only passed after lethal weapons-grade anthrax let­ters were mailed to two cru­cial Demo­c­ra­t­ic Senators—Senators Daschle and Leahy—who had ini­tial­ly ques­tioned the bill. After the anthrax let­ters, how­ev­er, they with­drew their ini­tial oppo­si­tion. Someone—we still do not know who—must have planned those anthrax let­ters well in advance. We should not for­get, either, that some gov­ern­ment experts ini­tial­ly blamed those attacks on Iraq. . . .” The “Lab Leak The­o­ry” has been pro­mul­gat­ed by Michael R. Gor­don, who was instru­men­tal in advanc­ing the Sad­dam Hus­sein WMD con­nec­tion which helped lay the pro­pa­gan­da foun­da­tion for the Iraq War. Will Zelikow’s inves­ti­ga­tion help prime the pump for war with Chi­na? Will this be done by point­ing blame for the pan­dem­ic on what Mr. Emory has called “The Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy”?


FTR#1189 The Oswald Institute of Virology, Part 8: Covid-19 and The American Deep State, Part 2 (The Cover-Up Obviates the Conspiracy)

This pro­gram con­tin­ues our series ana­lyz­ing the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy as hav­ing been set up to take the fall for the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, which–in our con­sid­ered opinion–is a covert oper­a­tion by the U.S. as part of the full-court press against Chi­na.

Under­scor­ing a point of analy­sis from pre­vi­ous broad­casts, we note that, of para­mount impor­tance in this con­text, is the fact that ANY virus can be made in a lab­o­ra­to­ry, from scratch as is being done for the SARS-CoV­‑2 (Covid-19) virus.

Ralph Baric–who did the gain-of-func­tion mod­i­fi­ca­tion on the Horse­shoe Bat coro­n­avirus, has been select­ed to engi­neer the Covid-19.

Note what might be termed a “viro­log­ic Juras­sic Park” man­i­fes­ta­tion: ” . . . . The tech­nol­o­gy imme­di­ate­ly cre­at­ed bio-weapon wor­ries. . . . Researchers at the US Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion (CDC) drove that point home in 2005 when they res­ur­rect­ed the influen­za virus that killed tens of mil­lions in 1918–1919. . . .”

Cen­tral to the inquiry about a lab­o­ra­to­ry gen­e­sis for the virus is Ralph Bar­ic. We note that:

1.–Baric’s mod­i­fi­ca­tion of a horse­shoe bat virus to make it more infec­tious (in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Shi Zhengli and in an Eco­Health Alliance affil­i­at­ed project) took place in North Car­oli­na, not Wuhan. “. . . . Crit­ics have jumped on this paper as evi­dence that Shi was con­duct­ing “gain of func­tion” exper­i­ments that could have cre­at­ed a super­bug, but Shi denies it. The research cit­ed in the paper was con­duct­ed in North Car­oli­na.
2.–Baric has been using relat­ed tech­niques to text remde­sivir (in 2017) and the Mod­er­na vac­cine. This places him in a milieu inex­tri­ca­bly linked to the mil­i­tary and pre-dat­ing the pan­dem­ic. ” . . . . Using a sim­i­lar tech­nique, in 2017, Baric’s lab showed that remde­sivir — cur­rent­ly the only licensed drug for treat­ing covid — could be use­ful in fight­ing coro­n­avirus infec­tions. Bar­ic also helped test the Mod­er­na covid vac­cine and a lead­ing new drug can­di­date against covid. . . .”

Next, we present analy­sis of a very impor­tant, albeit slant­ed Van­i­ty Fair arti­cle:

1.–Pompeo State Depart­ment offi­cials pur­su­ing the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis were told to cov­er it up lest it shed light on U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of research at the “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy!”: ” . . . . In one State Depart­ment meet­ing, offi­cials seek­ing to demand trans­paren­cy from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment say they were explic­it­ly told by col­leagues not to explore the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virology’s gain-of-func­tion research, because it would bring unwel­come atten­tion to U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of it. . . . . In an inter­nal memo obtained by Van­i­ty Fair, Thomas DiNan­no, for­mer act­ing assis­tant sec­re­tary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Con­trol, Ver­i­fi­ca­tion, and Com­pli­ance, wrote that. . .  staff from two bureaus . . . “warned” lead­ers with­in his bureau ‘not to pur­sue an inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gin of COVID-19’ because it would ‘open a can of worms’ if it con­tin­ued.’ . . . . As the group probed the lab-leak sce­nario, among oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties, its mem­bers were repeat­ed­ly advised not to open a ‘Pandora’s box,’ said four for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cials inter­viewed by Van­i­ty Fair. . . .”
2.–Setting the ortho­doxy in ear­ly 2020 with a Lancet arti­cle rul­ing out a lab­o­ra­to­ry ori­gin for the virus was Peter Daszak, with approval from Ralph Bar­ic: ” . . . . It soon emerged, based on emails obtained by a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion group called U.S. Right to Know, that Daszak had not only signed but orga­nized the influ­en­tial Lancet state­ment, with the inten­tion of con­ceal­ing his role and cre­at­ing the impres­sion of sci­en­tif­ic una­nim­i­ty. . . .”
3.–” . . . . In late March, for­mer Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol direc­tor Robert Red­field received death threats from fel­low sci­en­tists after telling CNN that he believed COVID-19 had orig­i­nat­ed in a lab. . . . ”
4.–Matthew Pot­tinger, a Chi­na hawk in the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, head­ed up a team to inves­ti­gate the Wuhan lab leak hypoth­e­sis. Note that the gain-of-func­tion milieu in the U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment was a retard­ing fac­tor in the inquiry: ” . . . . By then, Matthew Pot­tinger had approved a COVID-19 ori­gins team, run by the NSC direc­torate that over­saw issues relat­ed to weapons of mass destruc­tion. A long­time Asia expert and for­mer jour­nal­ist, Pot­tinger pur­pose­ful­ly kept the team small . . . . In addi­tion, many lead­ing experts had either received or approved fund­ing for gain-of-func­tion research. Their ‘con­flict­ed’ sta­tus, said Pot­tinger, ‘played a pro­found role in mud­dy­ing the waters and con­t­a­m­i­nat­ing the shot at hav­ing an impar­tial inquiry.’  . . . .” 
5.–Note that Lawrence Liv­er­more sci­en­tists were involved with the gen­e­sis of the “Chi­na did it” hypoth­e­sis, after alleged­ly being alert­ed by a for­eign source to look into their own files. ” . . . . An intel­li­gence ana­lyst work­ing with David Ash­er sift­ed through clas­si­fied chan­nels and turned up a report that out­lined why the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis was plau­si­ble. It had been writ­ten in May by researchers at the Lawrence Liv­er­more Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry, which per­forms nation­al secu­ri­ty research for the Depart­ment of Ener­gy. But it appeared to have been buried with­in the clas­si­fied col­lec­tions sys­tem. . . .”
6.–Note, also, that Chris Ford, a Chi­na hawk, was work­ing to sup­press the Wuhan lab leak hypoth­e­sis: ” . . . . Their frus­tra­tion crest­ed in Decem­ber, when they final­ly briefed Chris Ford, act­ing under­sec­re­tary for Arms Con­trol and Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty. He seemed so hos­tile to their probe that they viewed him as a blink­ered func­tionary bent on white­wash­ing China’s malfea­sance. But Ford, who had years of expe­ri­ence in nuclear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion, had long been a Chi­na hawk. . . .”
7.–The “Chi­na did it/Wuhan lab leak” hypoth­e­sis sur­vived from the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and Mike Pom­peo’s State Depart­ment to the Biden admin­is­tra­tion: ” . . . .. . . . The state­ment with­stood ‘aggres­sive sus­pi­cion,’ as one for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cial said, and the Biden admin­is­tra­tion has not walked it back. ‘I was very pleased to see Pompeo’s state­ment come through,’ said Chris Ford, who per­son­al­ly signed off on a draft of the fact sheet before leav­ing the State Depart­ment. ‘I was so relieved that they were using real report­ing that had been vet­ted and cleared.’ . . . .”
8.–Avril Haines, whom we have cit­ed in this series as a key par­tic­i­pant in the Deep State shep­herd­ing of the “Lab-Leak Hypoth­e­sis,” looms large in the inquiry into the per­pet­u­a­tion of this pro­pa­gan­da meme: ” . . . . Inside the U.S. gov­ern­ment, mean­while, the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis had sur­vived the tran­si­tion from Trump to Biden. On April 15, Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence Avril Haines told the House Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee that two ‘plau­si­ble the­o­ries’ were being weighed: a lab acci­dent or nat­ur­al emer­gence. . . .”
9.–The arti­cle con­cludes with the inter­est­ing use of the term “cut-out” to describe the Eco­Health Alliance. The term gen­er­al­ly refers to an intel­li­gence-com­mu­ni­ty front orga­ni­za­tion. Is the author hint­ing at more? Did her edi­tor take infor­ma­tion out? ” . . . . The Unit­ed States deserves a healthy share of blame as well. Thanks to their unprece­dent­ed track record of men­dac­i­ty and race-bait­ing, Trump and his allies had less than zero cred­i­bil­i­ty. And the prac­tice of fund­ing risky research via cutouts like Eco­Health Alliance enmeshed lead­ing virol­o­gists in con­flicts of inter­est at the exact moment their exper­tise was most des­per­ate­ly need­ed. . . .”

We con­clude with two impor­tant points from an arti­cle used ear­li­er in the pro­gram.

1.–Shi Zhengli has not­ed that open­ing up the WIV’s records is unac­cept­able: ” . . . . That demand is ‘def­i­nite­ly not accept­able,’ respond­ed Shi Zhengli, who directs the Cen­ter for Emerg­ing Infec­tious Dis­eases at the Wuhan Insti­tute. ‘Who can pro­vide evi­dence that does not exist?’ she told MIT Tech­nol­o­gy Review. Shi has said that thou­sands of attempts to hack its com­put­er sys­tems forced the insti­tute to close its data­base. . . .”
2.–The U.S. would not be accept­able to such a propo­si­tion, if the Chi­nese demand­ed access to Ft. Det­rick (part of which was shut down by the CDC in ear­ly August of 2019 on the eve of the pan­dem­ic). A com­menter also not­ed the Rocky Moun­tain lab in his analy­sis, which we not­ed was one of the areas where Willy Burgdor­fer appears to have worked on the devel­op­ment of Lyme Dis­ease.) ” . . . . If a dis­ease had emerged from the U.S. and the Chi­nese blamed the Pen­ta­gon and demand­ed access to the data, ‘what would we say?’ [Dr. Getrald] Keusch asked. ‘Would we throw out the red car­pet, ‘Come on over to Fort Det­rick and the Rocky Moun­tain Lab?’ We’d have done exact­ly what the Chi­nese did, which is say, ‘Screw you!’’ . . . .”


FTR#1188 The Oswald Institute of Virology, Part 7: Covid-19 and The American Deep State

This pro­gram con­tin­ues our series ana­lyz­ing the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy as hav­ing been set up to take the fall for the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, which–in our con­sid­ered opinion–is a covert oper­a­tion by the U.S. as part of the full-court press against Chi­na.

As the “Lab Leak Hypoth­e­sis” of the pan­demic’s ori­gins moves toward becom­ing a main­streamed pro­pa­gan­da theme, we note that:

1.–Anthony Fau­ci him­self set forth the “lab leak” sce­nario in his 2012 endorse­ment of a mora­to­ri­um on gain-of-func­tion manip­u­la­tions, set­ting the intel­lec­tu­al stage for the “gam­ing” of just such a sce­nario. In FTR#1187, we not­ed that Fau­ci’s NIH NIAID was among the insti­tu­tions that presided over Eco­Health Alliance’s fund­ing of exper­i­men­ta­tion on bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy. ” . . . . In 2012, Dr. Antho­ny Fau­ci, who leads NIH’s Nation­al Insti­tute of Aller­gy and Infec­tious Dis­eases, came out in sup­port of a mora­to­ri­um on such research, pos­ing a hypo­thet­i­cal sce­nario involv­ing a poor­ly trained sci­en­tist in a poor­ly reg­u­lat­ed lab: ‘In an unlike­ly but con­ceiv­able turn of events, what if that sci­en­tist becomes infect­ed with the virus, which leads to an out­break and ulti­mate­ly trig­gers a pan­dem­ic?’ Fau­ci wrote. . . .”
2.–USAID’s PREDICT project trained many of the sci­en­tists at the WIV.  From the stand­point of covert oper­a­tions, this would afford the oppor­tu­ni­ty to place one or more oper­a­tives inside that appar­ent­ly tar­get­ed insti­tu­tion: [USAID is a State Depart­ment sub­sidiary that is one of the largest fun­ders of  the Eco­Health Alliance and a fre­quent cov­er for CIA activ­i­ty.] ” . . . . . . . . Many of the sci­en­tists at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy have been trained by the U.S. government’s PREDICT project. . . .”
3.–The jour­nal­is­tic gen­er­a­tion of the lab-leak the­o­ry comes, in part, from Michael R. Gor­don, who has a his­to­ry of gen­er­at­ing dubi­ous jour­nal­ism to sup­port the plans of the nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment. Gor­don: ” . . . . was the same man who, along with Judith Miller, wrote the Sep­tem­ber 8, 2002 arti­cle false­ly assert­ing that Iraqi Pres­i­dent Sad­dam Hus­sein was seek­ing to build a nuclear weapon. . . The claim was a lie, fun­neled to the Times by the office of US Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney. . . On May 26, 2004, the Times pub­lished a let­ter from its edi­tors enti­tled ‘FROM THE EDITORS; The Times and Iraq,’ ‘acknowl­edg­ing that the Times repeat­ed­ly ‘fell for mis­in­for­ma­tion.’ . . . The let­ter notes: ‘But we have found a num­ber of instances of cov­er­age that was not as rig­or­ous as it should have been... On Sept. 8, 2002, the lead arti­cle of the paper was head­lined ‘U.S. Says Hus­sein Inten­si­fied Quest for A‑Bomb Parts.’ That report con­cerned the alu­minum tubes that the admin­is­tra­tion adver­tised insis­tent­ly as com­po­nents for the man­u­fac­ture of nuclear weapons fuel. … it should have been pre­sent­ed more cau­tious­ly . . . .”
4.–Gordon: ” . . . . On April 20, 2014 . . . co-authored an arti­cle enti­tled ‘Pho­tos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Rus­sia,’ which claimed to iden­ti­fy masked men oper­at­ing in east­ern Ukraine in oppo­si­tion to the US-backed coup regime as active-duty Russ­ian sol­diers. . . .Four days lat­er, the Times Pub­lic Edi­tor was again com­pelled to retract the claims in Gordon’s report­ing, call­ing them ‘dis­cred­it­ed.’ . . .”
5.–New York Times right-wing colum­nist Ross Douthat has high­light­ed the pro­pa­gan­da sig­nif­i­cance of pin­ning the “Lab Leak The­o­ry” on Chi­na: ” . . . . to the extent that the Unit­ed States is engaged in a con­flict of pro­pa­gan­da and soft pow­er with the regime in Bei­jing, there’s a pret­ty big dif­fer­ence between a world where the Chi­nese regime can say, We weren’t respon­si­ble for Covid but we crushed the virus and the West did not, because we’re strong and they’re deca­dent, and a world where this was basi­cal­ly their Cher­nobyl except their incom­pe­tence and cov­er-up sick­ened not just one of their own cities but also the entire globe. . . .”
6.–Pompeo State Depart­ment offi­cials pur­su­ing the lab-leak hypoth­e­sis were told to cov­er it up lest it shed light on U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of research at the “Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy!”: ” . . . . In one State Depart­ment meet­ing, offi­cials seek­ing to demand trans­paren­cy from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment say they were explic­it­ly told by col­leagues not to explore the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virology’s gain-of-func­tion research, because it would bring unwel­come atten­tion to U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of it. . . . .In an inter­nal memo obtained by Van­i­ty Fair, Thomas DiNan­no, for­mer act­ing assis­tant sec­re­tary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Con­trol, Ver­i­fi­ca­tion, and Com­pli­ance, wrote that. . .  staff from two bureaus . . . “warned” lead­ers with­in his bureau ‘not to pur­sue an inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gin of COVID-19’ because it would ‘open a can of worms’ if it con­tin­ued.’ . . . . As the group probed the lab-leak sce­nario, among oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties, its mem­bers were repeat­ed­ly advised not to open a ‘Pandora’s box,’ said four for­mer State Depart­ment offi­cials inter­viewed by Van­i­ty Fair. . . .”
7.–Setting the ortho­doxy in ear­ly 2020 with a Lancet arti­cle rul­ing out a lab­o­ra­to­ry ori­gin for the virus was Peter Daszak, with approval from Ralph Bar­ic: ” . . . . It soon emerged, based on emails obtained by a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion group called U.S. Right to Know, that Daszak had not only signed but orga­nized the influ­en­tial Lancet state­ment, with the inten­tion of con­ceal­ing his role and cre­at­ing the impres­sion of sci­en­tif­ic una­nim­i­ty. . . .”
8.–” . . . . In late March, for­mer Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol direc­tor Robert Red­field received death threats from fel­low sci­en­tists after telling CNN that he believed COVID-19 had orig­i­nat­ed in a lab. . . . ”


Encore for Michael R. Gordon

The jour­nal­is­tic gen­er­a­tion of the lab-leak the­o­ry comes, in part, from Michael R. Gor­don, who has a his­to­ry of gen­er­at­ing dubi­ous jour­nal­ism to sup­port the plans of the nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment. Gor­don: A) . . . . was the same man who, along with Judith Miller, wrote the Sep­tem­ber 8, 2002 arti­cle false­ly assert­ing that Iraqi Pres­i­dent Sad­dam Hus­sein was seek­ing to build a nuclear weapon. . . The claim was a lie, fun­neled to the [N.Y.] Times by the office of US Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney. . . On May 26, 2004, the ‘Times’ pub­lished a let­ter from its edi­tors enti­tled ‘FROM THE EDITORS; The Times and Iraq,’ ‘acknowl­edg­ing that the Times repeat­ed­ly ‘fell for mis­in­for­ma­tion.’ . . . The let­ter notes: ‘But we have found a num­ber of instances of cov­er­age that was not as rig­or­ous as it should have been... On Sept. 8, 2002, the lead arti­cle of the paper was head­lined ‘U.S. Says Hus­sein Inten­si­fied Quest for A‑Bomb Parts.’ That report con­cerned the alu­minum tubes that the admin­is­tra­tion adver­tised insis­tent­ly as com­po­nents for the man­u­fac­ture of nuclear weapons fuel. … it should have been pre­sent­ed more cau­tious­ly . . . .” B) ” . . . . On April 20, 2014 . . . co-authored an arti­cle enti­tled ‘Pho­tos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Rus­sia,’ which claimed to iden­ti­fy masked men oper­at­ing in east­ern Ukraine in oppo­si­tion to the US-backed coup regime as active-duty Russ­ian sol­diers. . . .Four days lat­er, the ‘Times” Pub­lic Edi­tor was again com­pelled to retract the claims in Gordon’s report­ing, call­ing them ‘dis­cred­it­ed.’ . . .”


FTR #1139 The Anthrax Attacks, the Invasion of Iraq and Expansion of Biological Warfare Capabilities

As the title indi­cates, this pro­gram presents polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal foun­da­tion for the expo­nen­tial expan­sion of Amer­i­can bio­log­i­cal war­fare infra­struc­ture fol­low­ing the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Impor­tant back­ground infor­ma­tion comes from the Whit­ney Webb arti­cle about DARPA spend­ing on bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es.

The Broad­cast­ing Board of Governors–a CIA “derivative”–and The Wash­ing­ton Times (owned by the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church) helped devel­op dis­in­for­ma­tion about SARS CoV‑2 com­ing from a Chi­nese Bio­log­i­cal War­fare lab. Both were instru­men­tal in hyp­ing the anthrax attacks as authored by Sad­dam Hus­sein, as well. The Wash­ing­ton Times also pre­sent­ed infor­ma­tion float­ed by Steven Hat­fill that fore­shad­owed sub­se­quent charges that Sad­dam Hus­sein was devel­op­ing bioweapons and was behind the 2001 anthrax attacks.

In addi­tion, the Project For a New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry was advanc­ing an agen­da in which genet­i­cal­ly-engi­neered bio­log­i­cal war­fare tech­nol­o­gy as essen­tial to con­tin­ued Amer­i­can glob­al dom­i­nance.

As will be seen below, a key func­tionary in the PNAC milieu was for­mer Sec­re­tary of Defense Don­ald Rums­feld, for­mer chair­man of the board of Gilead Sci­ences.

In FTR #‘s 1135, 1136 and 1137, we relied heav­i­ly on the Kris New­by’s Bit­ten: The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons. In that book, Ms. New­by net­worked with a group of expe­ri­enced, Cold War bio­log­i­cal war­fare pro­fes­sion­als whom she termed “the Brain Trust.” They were con­vinced that Fort Det­rick sci­en­tist Bruce Ivins–the “lone nut” who con­ve­nient­ly com­mit­ted sui­cide and was fin­gered as the sole per­pe­tra­tor of the 2001 anthrax attacks–was framed. ” . . . . Among oth­er sub­jects, they dis­cussed  . . . tech­ni­cal details on why they believed that their col­league Bruce Ivins had been framed as the anthrax mail­er . . . .”

Much of the pro­gram cen­ters on the 2001 attacks and the sus­pi­cion that focused on Steven Hat­fill as a pos­si­ble per­pe­tra­tor of them. Although exon­er­at­ed in the attacks, Hat­fill was the focal point of con­sid­er­able sus­pi­cion in con­nec­tion with the event. Our sus­pi­cion is that he is an oper­a­tive of one or anoth­er intel­li­gence agency, CIA being the most prob­a­ble.

We sus­pect that the anthrax attacks were a provo­ca­tion aimed at jus­ti­fy­ing the inva­sion of Iraq and spurring devel­op­ment of the U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare capa­bil­i­ty.

Of par­tic­u­lar note is the appar­ent “oper­a­tional Teflon” worn by Hat­fill. Although cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence point­ed in his direc­tion, he appeared to be alto­geth­er “off lim­its” to inves­tiga­tive ele­ments of Alpha­bet Soup. Don Fos­ter not­ed the unusu­al treat­ment accord­ed to Hat­fill by the pow­ers that be.

Of sig­nif­i­cance, as well, are the numer­ous exam­ples of fore­shad­ow­ing of the foren­sic cir­cum­stances of the anthrax attacks, as well as oth­er “false alarm” inci­dents that occurred before and after the fatal attacks. It requires lit­tle to see state­ments and arti­cles by nota­bles such as Bill Patrick and the seem­ing­ly ubiq­ui­tous Steven Hat­fill as lay­ing a foun­da­tion of cred­i­bil­i­ty for sub­se­quent events.

Note that the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health have also part­nered with CIA and the Pen­ta­gon, as under­scored by an arti­cle about a BSL‑4 lab at Boston Uni­ver­si­ty.

1.–As the arti­cle notes, as of 2007, the U.S. had “more than a dozen” BSL4 labs–China com­mis­sioned its first as of 2017. a ten­fold increase in fund­ing for BSL4 labs occurred because of the anthrax attacks of 2001. Those attacks might be seen as some­thing of a provo­ca­tion, spurring a dra­mat­ic increase in “dual use” biowar­fare research, under the cov­er of “legit­i­mate” medical/scientific research. In FTR #1128, we hypoth­e­sized about the milieu of Steven Hat­fill and apartheid-linked inter­ests as pos­si­ble authors of a vec­tor­ing of New York City with Sars COV2: ” . . . . Before the anthrax mail­ings of 2001, the Unit­ed States had just two BSL4 labs—both with­in the razor-wire con­fines of gov­ern­ment-owned cam­pus­es. Now, thanks to a ten­fold increase in funding—from $200 mil­lion in 2001 to $2 bil­lion in 2006—more than a dozen such facil­i­ties can be found at uni­ver­si­ties and pri­vate com­pa­nies across the coun­try. . . .”
2.–The Boston Uni­ver­si­ty lab exem­pli­fies the Pen­ta­gon and CIA pres­ence in BSL‑4 facil­i­ty “dual use”: ” . . . . But some sci­en­tists say that argu­ment obscures the true pur­pose of the cur­rent biode­fense boom: to study poten­tial bio­log­i­cal weapons. ‘The uni­ver­si­ty por­trays it as an emerg­ing infec­tious dis­ease lab,’ says David Ozonoff, a Boston Uni­ver­si­ty epi­demi­ol­o­gist whose office is right across the street from the new BSL4 facil­i­ty. ‘But they are talk­ing about study­ing things like small pox and inhala­tion anthrax, which pose no pub­lic health threat oth­er than as bioweapons.’ . . . The orig­i­nal NIH man­date for the lab indi­cat­ed that many groups—including the CIA and Depart­ment of Defense—would be allowed to use the lab for their own research, the nature of which BU might have lit­tle con­trol over. . . .”

As not­ed in past pro­grams, Gilead Sci­ences is very well-con­nect­ed pro­fes­sion­al­ly, with for­mer Sec­re­tary of Defense Don­ald Rums­feld (among oth­er polit­i­cal lumi­nar­ies) serv­ing on its board of direc­tors. Rums­feld was chair­man of the board from 1997 until he left in 2001 to become George W. Bush’s Sec­re­tary of Defense.

Rums­feld was Sec­re­tary of Defense dur­ing the peri­od in which the 2001 anthrax attacks occurred.

Dur­ing the post‑9/11 peri­od of explod­ing gov­ern­ment invest­ments in biode­fense pro­grams, Sec­re­tary of Defense Don­ald Rums­feld was still hold­ing onto mas­sive amounts of Gilead stock, which was increas­ing in val­ue dra­mat­i­cal­ly. What kind of rela­tion­ship did Gilead devel­op with the US biode­fense nation­al secu­ri­ty state dur­ing this peri­od? That seems like a pret­ty impor­tant ques­tion at this point in time.

The U.S. gov­ern­ment was among the cus­tomers whose pur­chas­es drove up the Gilead earn­ings and stock price: ” . . . . What’s more, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment is emerg­ing as one of the world’s biggest cus­tomers for Tam­i­flu. In July, the Pen­ta­gon ordered $58 mil­lion worth of the treat­ment for U.S. troops around the world, and Con­gress is con­sid­er­ing a mul­ti-bil­lion dol­lar pur­chase. . . .”

Sev­er­al years into his tenure at the Pen­ta­gon, Rums­feld made a killing on the sale of Gilead Sci­ences’ stock, which rose expo­nen­tial­ly in val­ue fol­low­ing its devel­op­ment of Tam­i­flu as a treat­ment for H5N1 avian flu.” . . . . The firm made a loss in 2003, the year before con­cern about bird flu start­ed. Then rev­enues from Tam­i­flu almost quadru­pled, to $44.6m, help­ing put the com­pa­ny well into the black. Sales almost quadru­pled again, to $161.6m last year. Dur­ing this time the share price tre­bled. Mr Rums­feld sold some of his Gilead shares in 2004 reap­ing – accord­ing to the finan­cial dis­clo­sure report he is required to make each year – cap­i­tal gains of more than $5m. The report showed that he still had up to $25m-worth of shares at the end of 2004, and at least one ana­lyst believes his stake has grown well beyond that fig­ure, as the share price has soared. . . .”

Don­ald Rums­feld was a sig­na­to­ry to the 1998 let­ter to Pres­i­dent Clin­ton by the Project for a New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry. That let­ter advo­cat­ed a hard­er line against Iraq. ” . . . . Rums­feld has strong ties to the Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty, as well as to the Atlantic Insti­tute, and is a mem­ber of the Bilder­berg group. He is a finan­cial sup­port­er for the Cen­ter for Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy. Rums­feld was one of the sign­ers of the Jan­u­ary 26, 1998, Project for the New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry (PNAC) let­ter sent to Pres­i­dent William Jef­fer­son Clin­ton. . . .”

DARPA and the Pen­ta­gon have into the appli­ca­tion of genet­ic engi­neer­ing in order to cre­ate eth­no-spe­cif­ic bio­log­i­cal war­fare weapons, as dis­cussed by the Project for a New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry.

In past pro­grams and posts, we have not­ed that DARPA was research­ing  bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es.  One can but won­der to what extent the PNAC doc­trine helped spawn the DARPA research into coro­n­avirus­es and, pos­si­bly, the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic.


A Lesson from History . . . .

Many have for­got­ten the reas­sur­ing prog­nos­ti­ca­tions by the George W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion con­cern­ing the inva­sion of Iraq and the boun­ty that would flow from that mis­ad­ven­ture. With Grover Norquist craft­ing much of the plan for the post-inva­sion Iraqi econ­o­my, we were assured that pro­found eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits would accrue from that oper­a­tion. Per­spec­tive can be gained on this coun­try’s (seem­ing­ly end­less) for­eign mil­i­tary adven­tures from Impe­r­i­al Japan’s addic­tion to inva­sion and war. ” . . . . Great quan­ti­ties of trea­sure came from each vic­to­ry, but quick­ly van­ished into the usu­al hid­ing places, so Japan’s rul­ing elite became very much rich­er. Mean­while, the pub­lic trea­sury was exhaust­ed by mil­i­tary expen­di­tures, and ordi­nary Japan­ese were squeezed to make up the deficit. In short, the under­ly­ing prob­lem of a cor­rupt rul­ing elite was only aggra­vat­ed by infu­sions of stolen trea­sure. . . .”


FTR #955 Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack? Not So Fast, Part 2

Sup­ple­ment­ing FTR #954, this broad­cast con­tin­ues analy­sis of the alleged Assad gov­ern­ment chem­i­cal weapons attack. Key points of dis­cus­sion include:

1. Fur­ther analy­sis by MIT expert Theodore Pos­tol, who sees the pho­to­graph­ic evi­dence alleged to sup­port the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s alle­ga­tions as ques­tion­able. ” . . . ‘This adden­dum pro­vides data that unam­bigu­ous­ly shows that the assump­tion in the WHR that there was no tam­per­ing with the alleged site of the sarin release is not cor­rect. This egre­gious error rais­es ques­tions about every oth­er claim in the WHR. … The impli­ca­tion of this obser­va­tion is clear – the WHR was not reviewed and released by any com­pe­tent intel­li­gence expert unless they were moti­vat­ed by fac­tors oth­er than con­cerns about the accu­ra­cy of the report. . . .”

2. Par­tic­u­lar­ly sus­pi­cious (laugh­able?) is a pic­ture show­ing per­son­nel exam­in­ing the pur­port­ed sarin attack site with woe­ful­ly inad­e­quate pro­tec­tive cloth­ing. ” . . . . ‘If there were any sarin present at this loca­tion when this pho­to­graph was tak­en every­body in the pho­to­graph would have received a lethal or debil­i­tat­ing dose of sarin. The fact that these peo­ple were dressed so inad­e­quate­ly either sug­gests a com­plete igno­rance of the basic mea­sures need­ed to pro­tect an indi­vid­ual from sarin poi­son­ing, or that they knew that the site was not seri­ous­ly con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed. This is the crater that is the cen­ter­piece evi­dence pro­vid­ed in the WHR for a sarin attack deliv­ered by a Syr­i­an air­craft.’ . . . . ”

3. Ques­tion­able analy­sis in the alleged chlo­rine gas attacks also attrib­uted to the al-Assad regime. ” . . . In one of the chlo­rine cas­es, how­ev­er, Syr­i­an eye­wit­ness­es came for­ward to tes­ti­fy that the rebels had staged the alleged attack so it could be blamed on the gov­ern­ment. In that inci­dent, the U.N. team reached no con­clu­sion as to what had real­ly hap­pened, but nei­ther did the inves­ti­ga­tors – now alert­ed to the rebels’ tac­tic of stag­ing chem­i­cal attacks – apply any addi­tion­al skep­ti­cism to the oth­er cas­es. In one case, the rebels and their sup­port­ers also claimed to know that an alleged ‘bar­rel bomb’ con­tained a can­is­ter of chlo­rine because of the sound that it made while descend­ing. There was no expla­na­tion for how that sort of detec­tion was even pos­si­ble. . . .”

4. A British doc­tor who was a focal point of PR cov­er­age of the alleged sarin attack has a jihadist back­ground. ” . . . . A British doc­tor who doc­u­ment­ed a sus­pect­ed chem­i­cal weapons attack in Syr­ia was con­sid­ered a ‘com­mit­ted jihadist’ by MI6 and was struck off the Gen­er­al Med­ical Coun­cil in 2016. Sha­jul Islam, 31, post­ed sev­er­al videos on Twit­ter in the after­math of the Tues­day’s (4 April) attack where he appeared to be treat­ing patients in Khan Sheikhoun. He appeared on sev­er­al tele­vi­sion net­works such as NBC to dis­cuss what he saw, but it has now emerged Islam was pre­vi­ous­ly charged on ter­ror offences in the UK. . . .”

4. The under­ly­ing strate­gic rea­son for some of the Trump/Russian inter­face, one that dove­tails with the Syr­i­an provocation/escalation: ” . . . . The Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates arranged a secret meet­ing in Jan­u­ary between Black­wa­ter founder Erik Prince and a Russ­ian close to Pres­i­dent Vladi­mir Putin as part of an appar­ent effort to estab­lish a back-chan­nel line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion between Moscow and Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, accord­ing to U.S., Euro­pean and Arab offi­cials. The meet­ing took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inau­gu­ra­tion — in the Sey­chelles islands in the Indi­an Ocean, offi­cials said. Though the full agen­da remains unclear, the UAE agreed to bro­ker the meet­ing in part to explore whether Rus­sia could be per­suad­ed to cur­tail its rela­tion­ship with Iran, includ­ing in Syr­ia, a Trump admin­is­tra­tion objec­tive . . . .”

5. George W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials are con­fi­dent anoth­er ter­ror­ist attack is com­ing appear to be con­cerned that the Trump could use ter­ror to grab and abuse exec­u­tive pow­ers. We present some of their thoughts against the back­ground of our dis­cus­sion in FTR #953 about Bernie Sanders’ paving the way for Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-linked ele­ments: ” . . . . ‘We can assume there will be anoth­er ter­ror­ist attack in the U.S. If the exec­u­tive order is in place, he will point to the attack as sup­port for the exec­u­tive order and the need to expand it to oth­er coun­tries with bad dudes (Mus­lims). If the exec­u­tive order has been struck down, Trump will blame judges and Democ­rats for the attack. . . .‘We both whol­ly believe that Trump needs a bogey­man. But, more impor­tant­ly, he needs dis­trac­tion and a blame source. In ter­ror­ists, he has his bogey­man. In his con­trol of the pre­vail­ing press nar­ra­tive via tweet, he has dis­trac­tion. And, in the judi­cia­ry, he has a source of blame for why his way was right from the begin­ning.’ . . . . ‘I am ful­ly con­fi­dent that an attack is exact­ly what he wants and needs.’ . . . .”

Where­as the Syr­i­an alleged sarin inci­dent appears to have been effect­ed by some of the West­’s al-Qae­da sur­ro­gates in the con­flict, past provo­ca­tions have involved more direct involve­ment by ele­ments of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. In May of 1963, with then South Viet­namese pres­i­dent Diem push­ing for a reduc­tion in U.S. forces in Viet­nam (against Amer­i­can wish­es), a bomb­ing occurred at a Hue radio sta­tion that was the focal point of Bud­dhist protests of the gov­ern­men­t’s pol­i­cy toward Bud­dhists. The author­ship of that attack and a 1952 Saigon bomb­ing, was not the Viet­cong.

Key points of analy­sis:

1. The May, 1963 attack in Hue: “ . . . . As Dang Sy and his secu­ri­ty offi­cers were approach­ing the area in armored cars about fifty meters away, two pow­er­ful explo­sions blast­ed the peo­ple on the veran­da of the sta­tion, killing sev­en on the spot and fatal­ly wound­ing a child. At least fif­teen oth­ers were injured. . . .”

2. Foren­sic analy­sis of the wounds of the vic­tims: “ . . . Dr. Le Khac Quyen, the hos­pi­tal direc­tor at Hue, said after exam­in­ing the vic­tims’ bod­ies that he had nev­er seen such injuries. The bod­ies had been decap­i­tat­ed. He found no met­al in the corpses, only holes. There were no wounds below the chest. In his offi­cial find­ing, Dr. Quyen ruled that ‘the death of the peo­ple was caused by an explo­sion which took place in mid-air, blow­ing off their heads and muti­lat­ing their bod­ies.’ . . . ”

3. Dr. Quyen’s con­clu­sions about the source of the vic­tims’ wounds in the 1963 attack: “ . . . . The absence of any met­al in the bod­ies or on the radio sta­tion’s veran­da point­ed to pow­er­ful plas­tic bombs as the source of the explo­sions. . . .”

4. Analy­sis of the 1952 bomb­ing in Saigon: “ . . . . Who did pos­sess such pow­er­ful plas­tic bombs? An answer is pro­vid­ed by Gra­ham Greene’s prophet­ic nov­el The Qui­et Amer­i­can, based on his­tor­i­cal events that occurred in Saigon eleven years before the bomb­ing in Hue. Greene was in Saigon on Jan­u­ary 9, 1952, when two bombs explod­ed in the city’s cen­ter, killing ten and injur­ing many more. A pic­ture of the scene, show­ing a man with his legs blown off, appeared in Life mag­a­zine as the ‘Pic­ture of the Week.’ The Life cap­tion said the Saigon bombs had been ‘plant­ed by Viet Minh Com­mu­nists’ and ‘sig­naled gen­er­al inten­si­fi­ca­tion of the Viet Minh vio­lence.’ In like man­ner, the New York Times head­lined: ‘Reds’ Time Bombs Rip Saigon Cen­ter.’ . . .”

5. In the 1952 bomb­ing, the oper­a­tional coor­di­na­tion between U.S. media out­lets and the per­pe­tra­tors of the attack is note­wor­thy for our pur­pos­es: “ . . . . Gen­er­al The’s bomb­ing mate­r­i­al, a U.S. plas­tic, had been sup­plied to him by his spon­sor, the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency. Greene observed in his mem­oir, Ways of Escape, it was no coin­ci­dence that ‘the Life pho­tog­ra­ph­er at the moment of the explo­sion was so well placed that he was able to take an aston­ish­ing and hor­ri­fy­ing pho­to­graph which showed the body of a trishaw dri­ver still upright after his legs had been blown off.’ The CIA had set the scene, alert­ing the Life pho­tog­ra­ph­er and Times reporter so they could con­vey the ter­ror­ist bomb­ing as the work of ‘Viet Minh Com­mu­nists’ to a mass audi­ence. . . .”

6. South Viet­namese inves­ti­ga­tion of the May, 1963 attack, arrived at a con­clu­sion sim­i­lar to Gra­ham Greene’s dis­cov­ery in the 1952 attack: “ . . . . Accord­ing to an inves­ti­ga­tion car­ried by the Catholic news­pa­per Hoa Binh. . . . a Cap­tain Scott . . . . had come to Hue from Da Nang on May 7, 1963. He admit­ted he was the Amer­i­can agent respon­si­ble for the bomb­ing at the radio sta­tion the next day. He said he used ‘an explo­sive that was still secret and known only to cer­tain peo­ple in the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency, a charge no larg­er than a match­box with a tim­ing device.’. . . .”


FTR #946 In Your Facebook: A Virtual Panopticon, Part 2

In FTR #718 (record­ed on Inde­pen­dence Day week­end of 2010), we not­ed that the new social medium–Facebook-might very well be the oppo­site of the lib­er­at­ing, empow­er­ing enti­ty many believed it to be.

On the con­trary, we said–it received finan­cial back­ing from the CIA, per­mits unprece­dent­ed gath­er­ing and data­bas­ing of users’ per­son­al infor­ma­tion, and might very well be a “panopticon”–a type of prison in which the interned can nev­er see his or her jail­ers, but their keep­ers can see the interned at all times.

In par­tic­u­lar, we not­ed the promi­nent posi­tion of major Face­book investor Peter Thiel in “Mon­do Zucker­berg.” Of Ger­man (and prob­a­ble I.G. Far­ben) ori­gins, we opined that Thiel was Under­ground Reich. Opposed to democ­ra­cy because he feels it is inim­i­cal to wealth cre­ation and does­n’t believe women should be allowed to vote, Thiel has now emerged as one of the most promi­nent of Don­ald Trump’s sup­port­ers, tran­si­tion team cre­ators and influ­en­tial pol­i­cy wonks.

Where­as we explored the “vir­tu­al panop­ti­con” con­cept of Face­book with a ques­tion mark in 2010, we now feel affir­ma­tive­ly on the issue.

A very impor­tant sto­ry from New York mag­a­zine sets forth Face­book’s role in the just-con­clud­ed elec­tion. ” . . . . Facebook’s size, reach, wealth, and pow­er make it effec­tive­ly the only one that mat­ters. And, boy, does it mat­ter. At the risk of being hyper­bol­ic, I think there are few events over the last decade more sig­nif­i­cant than the social network’s whole­sale acqui­si­tion of the tra­di­tion­al func­tions of news media (not to men­tion the polit­i­cal-par­ty appa­ra­tus). Trump’s ascen­dan­cy is far from the first mate­r­i­al con­se­quence of Facebook’s con­quer­ing inva­sion of our social, cul­tur­al, and polit­i­cal lives, but it’s still a brac­ing reminder of the extent to which the social net­work is able to upend exist­ing struc­ture and trans­form soci­ety — and often not for the bet­ter. . . .

” . . . . Facebook’s enor­mous audi­ence, and the mech­a­nisms of dis­tri­b­u­tion on which the site relies — i.e., the emo­tion­al­ly charged activ­i­ty of shar­ing, and the show-me-more-like-this feed­back loop of the news feed algo­rithm — makes it the only site to sup­port a gen­uine­ly lucra­tive mar­ket in which shady pub­lish­ers arbi­trage traf­fic by entic­ing peo­ple off of Face­book and onto ad-fes­tooned web­sites, using sto­ries that are alter­nate­ly made up, incor­rect, exag­ger­at­ed beyond all rela­tion­ship to truth, or all three. . . .

” . . . . And at the heart of the prob­lem, any­way, is not the moti­va­tions of the hoax­ers but the struc­ture of social media itself. Tens of mil­lions of peo­ple, invig­o­rat­ed by insur­gent out­sider can­di­dates and anger at per­ceived polit­i­cal ene­mies, were served up or shared emo­tion­al­ly charged news sto­ries about the can­di­dates, because Facebook’s sort­ing algo­rithm under­stood from expe­ri­ence that they were seek­ing such sto­ries. Many of those sto­ries were lies, or ‘par­o­dies,’ but their appear­ance and place­ment in a news feed were no dif­fer­ent from those of any pub­lish­er with a com­mit­ment to, you know, not lying. As those peo­ple and their fol­low­ers clicked on, shared, or oth­er­wise engaged with those sto­ries — which they did, because Trump dri­ves engage­ment extreme­ly bigly — they were served up even more of them. The engage­ment-dri­ving feed­back loop reached the heights of Face­book itself, which shared fake news to its front page on more than one occa­sion after fir­ing the small team of edi­to­r­i­al employ­ees tasked with pass­ing news judg­ment. . . .

” . . . . Some­thing like 170 mil­lion peo­ple in North Amer­i­ca use Face­book every day, a num­ber that’s not only sev­er­al orders of mag­ni­tude larg­er than even the most opti­mistic cir­cu­la­tion reck­on­ings of major news out­lets but also about one-and-a-half times as many peo­ple as vot­ed on Tues­day. Forty-four per­cent of all adults in the Unit­ed States say they get news from Face­book . . . ”

Symp­to­matic of Face­book’s fil­ter of what its users see con­cerns the social medi­um’s recent non-cov­er­age of the wom­en’s march:

” . . . . We don’t usu­al­ly post on Pan­do at the week­end, but this is too top­i­cal and too shame­ful to wait until Mon­day. As you cer­tain­ly know, today is the day of the Women’s March on Wash­ing­ton in protest of Don­ald Trump. The main event is in DC, where some­thing close to 500,000 pro­test­ers of all gen­ders and ages have packed the streets — but there are also major protests in Chica­go, New York and around the world. Includ­ing Antarc­ti­ca.

You cer­tain­ly know this because the protest march is the top sto­ry on every major news out­let, and because updates and pho­tos from the event are flood­ing your Twit­ter and Face­book feeds.

And yet, here’s what Facebook’s trend­ing news feed looked like at the height of the march…

And here’s its trend­ing pol­i­tics feed…

Notice any­thing miss­ing?

Like, say, a half mil­lion women? . . .

In case you think I’m see­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent from the rest of the world, be assured I’m not….”

Face­book has changed its algo­rithm, no longer fac­tor­ing in “likes” and oth­er per­son­al pref­er­ences in deter­min­ing its news feed.

This, how­ev­er, does not bode as well as Face­book would like us to believe. Face­book has pro­mot­ed, among oth­ers, Camp­bell Brown, to an impor­tant posi­tion in struc­tur­ing its news feed: ” . . . . Brown has long­stand­ing ties not just to the tra­di­tion­al news media, but also to con­ser­v­a­tive pol­i­tics, although she describes her­self as a polit­i­cal inde­pen­dent. She is a close per­son­al friend of Bet­sy DeVos, the Repub­li­can megadonor who is Don­ald Trump’s nom­i­nee for Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary, and is mar­ried to Dan Senor, a for­mer top advi­sor to Mitt Rom­ney who also served as spokesper­son for the Coali­tion Pro­vi­sion­al Author­i­ty in the wake of the 2003 inva­sion of Iraq. . . .

. . . . And along­side her main­stream media expe­ri­ence, Brown is famil­iar with the world of non-tra­di­tion­al news out­lets spring­ing up online. In 2014, she found­ed a non­prof­it news site, The 74, which bills itself as non­par­ti­san but which crit­ics have said func­tions as advo­ca­cy jour­nal­ism, tilt­ed in favor of char­ter schools and against teach­ers’ unions. The site was launched with mon­ey from donors includ­ing the foun­da­tion run by DeVos, Trump’s pro­posed Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary. When the nom­i­na­tion was announced, Brown said she would recuse her­self from The 74’s cov­er­age of DeVos. . .”

Brown is joined by Tuck­er Bounds, a for­mer John McCain advis­er and spokesman for the McCain/Palin cam­paign.

Exem­pli­fy­ing the ter­ri­fy­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties of the vir­tu­al panop­ti­con, we exam­ine the nexus of Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, its prin­ci­pal investors, Robert and Rebekah Mer­cer and Steve Ban­non, a key mem­ber of the fir­m’s board of direc­tors and a polit­i­cal guru to Rebekah. ” . . . . For sev­er­al years, a data firm even­tu­al­ly hired by the Trump cam­paign, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, has been using Face­book as a tool to build psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­files that rep­re­sent some 230 mil­lion adult Amer­i­cans. A spin­off of a British con­sult­ing com­pa­ny and some­time-defense con­trac­tor known for its coun­tert­er­ror­ism ‘psy ops’ work in Afghanistan, the firm does so by seed­ing the social net­work with per­son­al­i­ty quizzes. Respon­dents — by now hun­dreds of thou­sands of us, most­ly female and most­ly young but enough male and old­er for the firm to make infer­ences about oth­ers with sim­i­lar behav­iors and demo­graph­ics — get a free look at their Ocean scores. Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca also gets a look at their scores and, thanks to Face­book, gains access to their pro­files and real names.

“Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca worked on the ‘Leave’ side of the Brex­it cam­paign. In the Unit­ed States it takes only Repub­li­cans as clients: Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz in the pri­maries, Mr. Trump in the gen­er­al elec­tion. Cam­bridge is report­ed­ly backed by Robert Mer­cer, a hedge fund bil­lion­aire and a major Repub­li­can donor; a key board mem­ber is Stephen K. Ban­non, the head of Bre­it­bart News who became Mr. Trump’s cam­paign chair­man and is set to be his chief strate­gist in the White House. . .

” . . . . Their [the Mer­cers] data firm, Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, was hired by the Cruz cam­paign. They switched to sup­port Trump short­ly after he clinched the nom­i­na­tion, and he even­tu­al­ly hired Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca, as well. Their top polit­i­cal guru is Steve Ban­non, the for­mer Bre­it­bart News chair­man and White House chief strate­gist. They’re close, too, with Trump’s cam­paign man­ag­er Kellyanne Con­way, who also has a senior role in the White House. They nev­er speak to the press and hard­ly ever even release a pub­lic state­ment. Like Trump him­self, they’ve flout­ed the stan­dard play­book for how things are done in pol­i­tics. . . .”

Ban­non’s influ­ence on Rebekah Mer­cer is par­tic­u­lar­ly strong: ” . . . Anoth­er of the Repub­li­can oper­a­tives described Ban­non as the ‘Obi-Wan Keno­bi’ to Rebekah Mer­cer, and a third was even more point­ed: ‘Sven­gali.’ Ban­non is ‘real­ly, real­ly, real­ly influ­en­tial’ with Mer­cer, said the for­mer Bre­it­bart employ­ee. The Mer­cers, the for­mer employ­ee said, made their wish­es known through Ban­non, who would some­times cite the company’s finan­cial back­ers as a rea­son for Bre­it­bart not to do a sto­ry. Ban­non didn’t respond to a request for com­ment about this. . . .”

In turn, the influ­ence of Steve Ban­non with­in the Face­book vir­tu­al panop­ti­con is even more sin­is­ter con­sid­er­ing Ban­non’s polit­i­cal out­look: ” . . . . But, said the source, who request­ed anonymi­ty to speak can­did­ly about Ban­non, ‘There are some things he’s only going to share with peo­ple who he’s tight with and who he trusts.’

Bannon’s read­ings tend to have one thing in com­mon: the view that tech­nocrats have put West­ern civ­i­liza­tion on a down­ward tra­jec­to­ry and that only a shock to the sys­tem can reverse its decline. And they tend to have a dark, apoc­a­lyp­tic tone that at times echoes Bannon’s own pub­lic remarks over the years—a sense that human­i­ty is at a hinge point in his­to­ry. . . .”

One of the influ­ences on Ban­non is Cur­tis Yarvin, aka Men­cius Mold­bug, who has actu­al­ly opened a backchan­nel advi­so­ry con­nec­tion to the White House: ” . . . . Before he emerged on the polit­i­cal scene, an obscure Sil­i­con Val­ley com­put­er pro­gram­mer with ties to Trump backer and Pay­Pal co-founder Peter Thiel was explain­ing his behav­ior. Cur­tis Yarvin, the self-pro­claimed ‘neo­re­ac­tionary’ who blogs under the name ‘Men­cius Mold­bug,’ attract­ed a fol­low­ing in 2008 when he pub­lished a wordy trea­tise assert­ing, among oth­er things, that ‘non­sense is a more effec­tive orga­niz­ing tool than the truth.’ When the orga­niz­er of a com­put­er sci­ence con­fer­ence can­celed Yarvin’s appear­ance fol­low­ing an out­cry over his blog­ging under his nom de web, Ban­non took note: Bre­it­bart News decried the act of cen­sor­ship in an arti­cle about the programmer-blogger’s dis­missal.

Moldbug’s dense, dis­cur­sive mus­ings on history—‘What’s so bad about the Nazis?’ he asks in one 2008 post that con­demns the Holo­caust but ques­tions the moral supe­ri­or­i­ty of the Allies—include a belief in the util­i­ty of spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion that now looks like a tem­plate for Trump’s approach to truth. ‘To believe in non­sense is an unforge­able [sic] demon­stra­tion of loy­al­ty. It serves as a polit­i­cal uni­form. And if you have a uni­form, you have an army,’ he writes in a May 2008 post.‘It’s been a while since I post­ed any­thing real­ly con­tro­ver­sial and offen­sive here,’ he begins in a July 25, 2007, post explain­ing why he asso­ciates democ­ra­cy with ‘war, tyran­ny, destruc­tion and pover­ty.’

Mold­bug, who does not do inter­views and could not be reached for this sto­ry, has report­ed­ly opened up a line to the White House, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with Ban­non and his aides through an inter­me­di­ary, accord­ing to a source. Yarvin said he has nev­er spo­ken with Ban­non. . . .”

After dis­cussing Face­book’s new AI tech­nol­o­gy being employed to search users’ pho­tos, the pro­gram con­cludes with the shift of Sil­i­con Val­ley mon­ey to the GOP.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: review of Steve Ban­non’s role on the NSC; review of the mar­tial law con­tin­gency plans drawn up by Oliv­er North dur­ing the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion, involv­ing the dep­u­tiz­ing of para­mil­i­tary right-wingers; review of Erik Prince’s rela­tion­ship to the Trump admin­is­tra­tion and Bet­sy De Vos, Trump’s edu­ca­tion sec­re­tary.