Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Why Black People Cannot Trust The Pfizer Vaccine

Unrecognizable female scientist with bacteriological protection suit investigating a vaccine in the laboratory
By Wesley Muhammad, Ph.D. | The Final Call | December 16, 2020

The Pfizer pharmaceutical company beat everyone to the punch by being the first Covid-19 vaccine to be granted Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA. There is an aggressive media and government campaign to “[push] blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans to the front of the [vaccine] line, ahead of whites.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs has apparently determined that these groups will be given priority for receiving the vaccine once it is available, despite the fact that 60 percent of the Covid-19 cases and 61 percent of the deaths among veterans are White (16 percent and 22 percent are Black, respectively).

But Black people have every reason to be profoundly suspicious of Pfizer as Pfizer has a history of doing horrendous medical experiments on Black people for profit. American drug companies routinely hop across borders in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America conducting risky drug experiments with little oversight. This is a legacy of the colonial view of “The Colony as Laboratory” for the Western powers.

Foreign drug trials in the Third World are cheaper, faster, and provide huge pools of human guinea pigs for experimentation with minimal red tape or regulation. In 2006 Rep. Tom Lantos of California, the senior Democrat on the International Relations committee, cited an unconscionable Pfizer case as an example of “large pharmaceutical companies, both here and in Europe … using these poor, illiterate and uniformed people as guinea pigs.”

At the beginning of 1996 Pfizer was sitting on a new, potentially billion-dollar blockbuster drug, according to Wall Street analysts. The antibiotic Trovan was not yet approved by the FDA. Pfizer had enrolled thousands of adults in Trovan clinical trials and they wanted to debut the drug as a therapy for bacterial meningitis, but there were a number of problems. There was already an effective treatment for meningitis available, the antibiotic ceftriaxone. But Pfizer’s biggest problem was children.

In order to gain maximum market share and achieve the predicted $1 billion per year from this drug, Pfizer needed to develop an oral form that proved safe for pediatric use. But Trovan had never been tested on children, and in animal models it caused liver toxicity and joint damage. In addition, bacterial meningitis was rare in the U.S. There were thus not enough children suffering from it for a convincing clinical trial. However, as luck would have it, a ready pool of children suffering from the disease had suddenly, coincidentally, and inexplicably become available—in Africa!

In 1996 an unprecedented epidemic of cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) erupted oddly in the Muslim half (the north) of Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa. This was Africa’s worst ever CSM outbreak. Hardest hit was Nigeria’s largest northern state, Kano. “For Pfizer, the timing was oddly fortuitous.” Together with the World Health Organization (WHO), Pfizer “volunteered” to help. Vaccines and effective antibiotics were already long in use and could have tamed this epidemic, but curiously these were not made adequately available. It is believed that local health officials were paid off in order to obstruct efforts to halt the epidemic.

Pfizer officials saw in the Nigerian outbreak “a unique opportunity to test their drug without the restrictions of FDA clinical study protocols.” The Pfizer team roared into Nigeria on a chartered DC-9 and roared out five weeks later. But between April 3 and May 15, 1996, Pfizer engaged in an indefensible, illegal medical experiment in Kano using 200 gravely ill Nigerian children as young as 3 years old, who were either given the unapproved experimental drug Trovan or inappropriate doses of the alternative, ceftriaxone. Pfizer never obtained authorization from the federal government of Nigeria to conduct the experiment within its borders and was unable to produce any records documenting that the children or their parents were informed that they were part of an experiment.

“For weeks, Pfizer dispensed Trovan to Nigerian children and babies with complete disregard for all scientific research protocols.” A report on the Kano Experiment from a Nigerian federal panel concluded that the experiment violated Nigerian law as well as international law. Pfizer did no long-term follow up on the children and left Nigeria without any significant information about the final health impact of Trovan on this group. We now know that, due to this illegal and unethical experimentation, the children suffered various degrees of adverse effects and long-term disabilities ranging from deafness to muteness, paralysis, brain damage, loss of sight, and slurred speech; 11 died.

The successful operation of Pfizer’s Kano Experiment relied on the corruption of the local health care system. Nigerian healthcare professionals were paid almost double their normal salary to participate in the study. Pfizer hired Nigerian doctor Abdulhamid Isa Dutse to run the Kano Experiment. However, Dutse was chief “only in name.” Actually, the experiment was directed totally from Pfizer’s U.S. office. Publications on Trovan inaccurately listed Dutse as the lead author, when in fact he was kept in the dark about experiment results; data that appeared in papers with his name on them was actually withheld from him. Later Dutse lamented:

“I have trusted people and am disappointed. I regret the whole exercise, I wonder why on earth I did this.” However, after the Kano Experiment, Dutse ascended to the position of dean of the Kano medical school. Dutse’s role in the Kano Experiment seems analogous to the roles of Nurse Eunice Rivers, scapegoat for the U.S Public Service’s infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and possibly of Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, made the face of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Covid-19 Vaccine today. On October 5, 2020 Dr. Dutse walked into Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

During a 1997 FDA audit of the Nigerian Trovan trial or “Kano Experiment,” Pfizer produced as proof of authorization a fraudulent letterhead document granting clearance for the trial by a Nigerian ethics committee that did not exist at the time. Dutse revealed later that Pfizer instructed him to concoct and backdate the fraudulent ethics committee letter.

In 2007 the state of Kano sued Pfizer for U.S. $2.75 billion, while the Nigerian federal government sued for U.S. $8.5 billion in damages, alleging that the pharmaceutical giant “pretended it came (to Nigeria) to render humanitarian service” but in actuality “Pfizer devised a scheme under which it misrepresented and failed to disclose its primary motive in seeking to participate in giving care to the victims of the epidemic.” Nigeria even sought criminal charges against Pfizer officials, including the CEO at the time of the experiment, William Steer. To squash the case Pfizer continued to engage in unethical behavior.

In 2010 a U.S. diplomatic cable uncovered by WikiLeaks revealed that Pfizer hired investigators to look for evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general Michael Aondoakaa in an effort to persuade him to drop the legal action. The cable reported a meeting between Pfizer’s country manager, Enrico Liggeri, and U.S. officials at the Abuja embassy on April 9, 2009, discussing using leaks to the local media to pressure the Nigerian attorney general to drop the cases against Pfizer. This effort failed. In 2011 Pfizer began making payments to the victims involved in the suit as part of a $75 million settlement. In the end, an incredible and unprecedented 12,000 Nigerians died from meningitis in the curious 1996 epidemic, despite the “help” pledged by the WHO and by Pfizer.

Now, that same Pfizer is trialing a brand new, never-before seen experimental vaccine platform—the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine—and Black people are to be “prioritized” in this grand experiment! The innovative and terrifying mRNA vaccine is the brainchild of a secretive Pentagon agency, a military technology R&D operation named the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA, as it is commonly known, “specializes in turning science fantasies into realities” but for military purposes. DARPA doesn’t actually invent things itself.

Instead, it outsources its scientific tasks to universities, military labs and defense contractors, such as Pfizer and Moderna. Pfizer has been an important military contractor for decades, receiving hundreds of millions of dollars to do research and development for the Pentagon, including biodefense contracts as far back as 2013. In that year DARPA awarded Pfizer a $7.7 million contract to innovate the type of mRNA vaccine platform that is now being rolled out in “warp speed.” DARPA awarded Moderna a similar contract of up to $25 million in 2013 as well. Thus, behind both Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 and Moderna’s mRNA vaccine mRNA-1273, is DARPA. This Covid-19 vaccine is thus a piece of military technology. And Black people are being invited to cut to the front of the line.

Yeah, we should be deeply suspicious.

This would not be the first time the government would have operationalized mass vaccinations for covert military purposes. In 2012 Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta confirmed the CIA’s unethical use of the cloak of public health and medicine to advance a military-intelligence objective by making operational use of vaccination programs. For example, the Taliban of Afghanistan and Pakistan have vigorously opposed polio vaccination campaigns in their lands, charging that the U.S runs a spy network under the guise of these vaccine programs and also sterilizes Muslim children. Neither of these charges are mere “conspiracy theory” as they have been proven true.

In 2010 the CIA initiated a clandestine mission to locate (and then kill) Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan through the use of a fake “free vaccination” program targeting Pakistani women and children in areas surrounding Bin Laden’s presumed hideout. CIA agents recruited senior Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi to organize a sham hepatitis B vaccination operation and paid generous sums to health workers used in the plot. Nurses would travel from house to house looking for women ages 15 to 45 to cajole into taking their needle. Mothers were paid to vaccinate their children.

But none were given an actual Hep B vaccine. Rather, blood was drawn and then some concoction was injected into them. The aim of this vaccine ruse was allegedly the extraction of DNA from children of Bin Laden to confirm that he was in the area. Spies posing as polio vaccinators got close to Bin Laden’s home. The clandestine mission was apparently successful and on May 2, 2011 U.S. Navy Seals raided the three-story compound in the suburb of Abbottabad and killed Osama Bin Laden. The Taliban was proved correct to reject the free vaccinations of Western-affiliated campaigns as these campaigns were indeed cover for military/intelligence operations.

Thus, for reasons well beyond Tuskegee, Black people are rightly suspicious of the Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out in “warp  speed.”

Wesley Muhammad holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies and is a student minister in the Nation of Islam. He is also a sought after speaker, author, member of the NOI Research Team and the Nation of Islam Executive Council. Follow him on Instagram @wesleymuhammad. This is part one in a series of articles.

December 18, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Warp Speed Ahead: COVID-19 Vaccines Pave the Way for a New Frontier in Surveillance

By John W. Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute | December 1, 2020

Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic with its veiled threat of forced vaccinations, contact tracing, and genetically encoded vaccines is propelling humanity at warp speed into a whole new frontier—a surveillance matrix—the likes of which we’ve only previously encountered in science fiction.

Those who eye these developments with lingering mistrust have good reason to be leery: the government has long had a tendency to unleash untold horrors upon the world in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in the guise of the greater good.

Indeed, “we the people” have been treated like lab rats by government agencies for decades now: caged, branded, experimented upon without our knowledge or consent, and then conveniently discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.

You don’t have to dig very deep or go very far back in the nation’s history to uncover numerous cases in which the government deliberately conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace, making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins.

Now this same government—which has taken every bit of technology sold to us as being in our best interests (GPS devices, surveillance, nonlethal weapons, etc.) and used it against us, to track, control and trap us—wants us to fall in line as it prepares to roll out COVID-19 vaccines that owe a great debt to the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for its past work on how to weaponize and defend against infectious diseases.

The Trump Administration by way of the National Institute of Health awarded $22.8 million to seven corporations to develop artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, etc., with smart phone apps, wearable devices and software “that can identify and trace contacts of infected individuals, keep track of verified COVID-19 test results, and monitor the health status of infected and potentially infected individuals.”

This is all part of Operation Warp Speed, which President Trump has likened to the Manhattan Project, a covert government effort spearheaded by the military to engineer and build the world’s first atomic bomb.

There is every reason to tread cautiously.

There is a sinister world beyond that which we perceive, one in which power players jockey for control over the one commodity that is a necessary ingredient for total domination: you.

By you, I mean you the individual in all your singular humanness.

Remaining singularly human and retaining your individuality and dominion over yourself—mind, body and soul—in the face of corporate and government technologies that aim to invade, intrude, monitor, manipulate and control us may be one of the greatest challenges before us.

These COVID-19 vaccines, which rely on messenger RNA technology that influences everything from viruses to memory, are merely the tipping point.

The groundwork being laid with these vaccines is a prologue to what will become the police state’s conquest of a new, relatively uncharted, frontier: inner space, specifically, the inner workings (genetic, biological, biometric, mental, emotional) of the human race.

If you were unnerved by the rapid deterioration of privacy under the Surveillance State, prepare to be terrified by the surveillance matrix that will be ushered in on the heels of the government’s rollout of this COVID-19 vaccine.

Everything we do is increasingly dependent on and, ultimately, controlled by our internet-connected, electronic devices. For example, in 2007, there were an estimated 10 million sensor devices connecting human utilized electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.) to the Internet. By 2013, it had increased to 3.5 billion. By 2030, it is estimated to reach 100 trillion.

Much, if not all, of our electronic devices will be connected to Google, a neural network that approximates a massive global brain.

The end goal? The creation of a new “human” species, so to speak, and the NSA, the Pentagon and the “Matrix” of surveillance agencies are part of the plan.

Neuralink, a brain-computer chip interface (BCI), paves the way for AI control of the human brain. “In the most severe scenario, hacking a Neuralink-like device could turn ‘hosts’ into programmable drone armies capable of doing anything their ‘master’ wanted,” writes Jason Lau for Forbes.

There’s no limit to what can be accomplished—for good or ill—using brain-computer interfaces.

Clearly, we are rapidly moving into the “posthuman era.”

Transhumanism—the fusing of machines and people—is here to stay and will continue to grow.

In fact, as science and technology continue to advance, the ability to control humans will only increase. In 2014, for example, it was revealed that scientists have discovered how to deactivate that part of our brains that controls whether we are conscious or not.

Add to this the fact that increasingly humans will be implanted with microchips for such benign purposes as tracking children or as medical devices to assist with our health. Such devices “point to an uber-surveillance society that is Big Brother on the inside looking out,” warns Dr. Katina Michael. “Governments or large corporations would have the ability to track people’s actions and movements, categorize them into different socio-economic, political, racial, or consumer groups and ultimately even control them.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, control is the issue.

All of this indicates a new path forward for large corporations and government entities that want to achieve absolute social control. Instead of relying solely on marauding SWAT teams and full-fledged surveillance apparatuses, they will work to manipulate our emotions to keep us in lock step with the American police state.

Now add this warp speed-deployed vaccine to that mix, with all of the associated unknown and fearsome possibilities for altering or controlling human epigenetics, and you start to see the perils inherent in blindly adopting emerging technologies without any restrictions in place to guard against technological tyranny and abuse.

It’s one thing for the starship Enterprise to boldly go where no man has gone before, but even Mr. Spock recognized the dangers of a world dominated by AI. “Computers make excellent and efficient servants,” he observed in “The Ultimate Computer” episode of Star Trek, “but I have no wish to serve under them.”


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

December 1, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Engineering Contagion: UPMC, Corona-thrax and “the Darkest Winter”

Researchers at a BSL-3 lab tied to the organizers of the 2001 Dark Winter simulation, DARPA, and the post-9/11 biodefense industrial complex are genetically modifying anthrax to express Covid-19 components, according to FOIA documents.

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | September 25, 2020

Soon after having been fired from his post as secretary of the treasury in December 2002, after a policy clash with the president, Paul O’Neill became a trustee of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Despite having just worked under and clashed with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, it wasn’t until O’Neill began answering to UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff as a member of the Center’s board that he chose to publicly denounce a superior as “evil.”

He wants to destroy competition. He wants to be the only game in town,” O’Neill would later state of Romoff, adding that “after 18 months I quit [the UPMC board] in disgust” due to Romoff’s “absolute control” over the board’s actions. O’Neill subsequently noted that UPMC “board members who have wealth of hundreds of millions of dollars are not willing to take this guy on.” When pressed by a local reporter, O’Neill further elaborated that he had been told by other board members that they were “afraid” of Romoff because Romoff might “harm them in some way.”

O’Neill’s criticisms of Romoff are hardly an outlier, as local community activists and even a state attorney general have noted that UPMC’s board lets Romoff do as he pleases.

Jeffrey Romoff has ruled UPMC with an iron fist since his predecessor, Thomas Detre, had a heart attack in 1992. As a result of the Center’s massive wealth accumulation, at first spurred by his magic touch for receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, Detre was able to use the financial power afforded to him to consolidate control over enough of the University of Pittsburgh to create his “own personal fiefdom,” which is now the stand-alone corporation known as UPMC.

Not long after Romoff took over the Center’s reins, he made his intentions clear to faculty and staff, stating at one 1995 UPMC meeting that his “vision” for the future of American health care was “the conversion of health care from social good to a commodity.” Motivated by profit above all else, Romoff aggressively expanded UPMC, gobbling up community hospitals, surgery centers, and private practices to create a “health-care network” that has expanded throughout much of Pennsylvania and even abroad to other countries, including China. Under Romoff, UPMC has also expanded into the health-insurance business, with 40 percent of the medical claims it pays out going straight back into places of care that are owned by UPMC—meaning UPMC is essentially paying itself.

In addition, since UPMC is officially a “charitable nonprofit corporation,” it is exempt from property taxes and has special access to the tax-exempt municipal bond market. UPMC can also solicit tax-deductible grants from private individuals and organizations, as well as governments. These grants totaled over $1 billion dollars between 2005 and 2017.

Despite these perks being officially justified because of UPMC’s “charitable institution” status, the UPMC board, with Romoff at the top, have seen their own multimillion-dollar-per-year salaries continue to climb. Perhaps this perk also comes from UPMC being a nonprofit corporation, as there are no stockholders to whom Romoff and the board must explain their increasingly exorbitant salaries. For instance, Romoff made $8.97 million last year as UPMC’s CEO, a marked increase over the $6.12 million he had raked in the prior year.

UPMC’s financial chicanery is so out of control that even Pennsylvania’s attorney general has taken action against it, suing UPMC in February 2019 for violations of the state’s charity laws based on their “unjust enrichment” and engaging in “unfair, fraudulent or deceptive acts or practices.” Though UPMC decided to settle out of court, the Center and Romoff came out of the affair relatively unscathed.

Now, thanks to the crisis caused by Covid-19, UPMC is once again on the path toward growing even larger and more powerful in pursuit of Romoff’s ultimate goal, which is, in his own words, to make UPMC the “Amazon of health care.”

In this fourth installment of the The Last American Vagabond series Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex”, the “nonprofit” health-care behemoth that is UPMC is squarely placed at the intersection of post-9/11 “biodefense” public-private partnerships; corporate-funded academics who shape public policy on behalf of their private-sector benefactors; and risky research on dangerous pathogens that threatens to unleash the very “bioterror” that these institutions claim to guard against.

The Odd Trajectory of UPMC’s Covid-19 Vaccine Efforts

In January 2020, when much of the world remained blissfully unaware of the coming global pandemic, UPMC was already at work developing a vaccine to protect against the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, known as SARS-CoV-2. That month, before the state of Pennsylvania had a single case of Covid-19, UPMC formed a “coronavirus task force,” which was initially focused on lobbying the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to obtain samples of live SARS-CoV-2 for research purposes. That research was to be conducted at the Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) housed within UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research. A day after the director of UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research, W. Paul Duprex, revealed UPMC’s efforts to access the SARS-CoV-2 virus, he announced that the virus samples, containing an estimated 50 to 60 million coronavirus particles, were already en route to the university. At the time, UPMC was one of only a handful of institutions on the CDC’s short list to receive live SARS-CoV-2 samples.

UPMC later stated that they began work on a vaccine for Covid-19 on January 21st, weeks before the February 14th announcement that the virus was on its way to the university. That original vaccine candidate used the published genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, released in early January 2020 by Chinese researchers, to synthetically produce SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins that would be transported into cells by an adenoviral vector, which is commonly used in a variety of vaccines. The vaccine candidate was nicknamed PittCoVacc, short for Pittsburgh Coronavirus Vaccine.

A little over a month after the live SARS-CoV-2 samples were received by UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research, UPMC received a $5 million grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an international organization founded in 2017 by the governments of Norway and India along with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant was officially awarded to “an international academic-industry partnership” that the Center for Vaccine Research had recently formed with the Institut Pasteur in France and Austrian vaccine manufacturer Themis. Soon after, in May, Themis was acquired by vaccine giant Merck, which began recruiting volunteers for human trials earlier this month on September 11. Merck has incredibly close ties with UPMC, particularly its commercialization arm known as UPMC Enterprises.

The CEPI grant seems to have drastically altered the Center for Vaccine Research’s interest in the original adenovirus-vector vaccine candidate, PittCoVacc, as the CEPI grant was specifically aimed at funding a different vaccine candidate that instead uses the measles virus as a vector. The measles virus and the genetic manipulation of measles for use in the measles vaccine is, notably, the principal research interest and expertise of Center for Vaccine Research director Paul Duprex.

This measles-based vaccine candidate has been described as “a modified [genetically altered] measles virus that delivers bits of the new coronavirus into the body to prevent Covid-19” as well as an “attenuated [genetically modified yet weakened] measles virus as a vector with which to introduce genetic material from SARS-[CoV-]2 to the immune system.” The combination of this weakened measles virus and SARS-CoV-2, per Duprex, will produce a “more benign version of coronavirus [that] will acquaint a person’s immune system” with SARS-CoV-2. No vaccine using this modality has ever been licensed.

On April 2nd, less than a week after the CEPI award had been announced, the UPMC researchers who had developed the original vaccine candidate using the more traditional adenovirus-vector approach published a study in EBioMedicine (a publication of the medical journal Lancet) that reported promising results of their vaccine candidate in animal studies. The news that a US institution was among the first in the world to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate with promising results from an animal study was heavily amplified by mainstream US media outlets, with those reports noting that UMPC was requesting government permission to quickly move onto human trials.

This original vaccine candidate, however, was mysteriously dropped from subsequent reports and statements from UPMC regarding its Covid-19 vaccine efforts. Indeed, in recent months, Duprex’s statements on the center’s Covid-19 vaccine candidates no longer mention the once-promising PittCoVacc at all. Instead, new reports, citing Duprex, claim that the only UPMC vaccine candidates are the CEPI-funded measles-vaccine candidate and another, more mysterious vaccine candidate, whose nature has only been recently revealed by documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Equally odd is that recent media reports on the original vaccine candidate have stopped mentioning UPMC at all, instead citing only Themis, its new owner Merck, and France’s Institut Pasteur. There are no reports indicating a break-up of the original “academic-industry partnership” that had received the CEPI grant. It seems that this is what may have come to pass, as Duprex stated that the UPMC measles-vector vaccine candidate had partnered with the Serum Institute of India for mass production, first for trials and then for public use, depending on how the vaccine advances through the regulatory process. In contrast, Themis/Merck have stated that their vaccine is being produced in France. It remains unclear what the relation is between these two, and apparently analogous, vaccine candidates.

Though Duprex has been relatively forthcoming about the nature of the first UPMC vaccine candidate (i. e., the CEPI-funded measles-vector vaccine), he has been much more tight-lipped about its second vaccine candidate. In late August, he told the Pittsburgh Business Times that the second vaccine candidate that UPMC was developing “works by delivering genetic material coding for a viral protein instead of the entire weakened or killed virus as is standard in other vaccines.” Yet Duprex declined to state what vector will be used to deliver the genetic material into human cells. Recent FOIA revelations, nevertheless, have revealed that UPMC’s second vaccine candidate involves genetically engineering a combination of SARS-Cov-2 and anthrax, a substance better known for its potential use as a bioweapon.

Corona-thrax

The recently obtained documents reveal that the BSL-3 lab that is part of UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research is conducting eyebrow-raising research involving combining SARS-CoV-2 with Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax infection. Per the documents, anthrax is being genetically engineered by a researcher, whose name was redacted in the release, so that it will express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is the part of the coronavirus that allows it to gain access into human cells. The researcher asserts that “the [genetically engineered anthrax/SARS-CoV-2 hybrid] can [be] used as a host strain to make SARS-CoV-2 recombinant S protein vaccine,” and the creation of said vaccine is the officially stated purpose of the research project. The documents were produced by the University of Pittsburgh’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), which held an emergency meeting on June 22nd of this year to “discuss specific protocols involving research with the coronavirus,” which included a vote on the aforementioned proposal.

Edward Hammond, the former director of the Sunshine Project, an organization that opposed chemical and biological weapons and the expansion of “dual use” biodefense/bioweapon research, obtained the documents. Other FOIA documents recently obtained by Hammond have revealed an “explosion” of risky Covid-19-related research at other academic institutions, such as the University of North Carolina, which has already had lab accidents involving genetically engineered variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Hammond told The Last American Vagabond that the experiment, which he dubs “Corona-thrax,” is “emblematic of the pointless research excesses that often characterize the response of scientists to the federal government throwing billions of dollars at health crises.” Hammond added, “While I don’t think that Corona-thrax would be infectious, it falls into the categories of pointless and crazy. The biggest immediate risk of all this activity is that a researcher will deliberately or inadvertently create a modified form of SARS-CoV-2 that is even more difficult to treat, or more deadly, and this virus will escape the lab. It only takes a stray droplet.”

Jonathan Latham, a virologist who previously taught at the University of Wisconsin and who is the current editor of Independent Science News, agreed with Hammond that the Corona-thrax experiment is odd and said that he was “concerned here specifically about the research process and the risks of these specific experiments at Pittsburgh.” In an interview with The Last American Vagabond, Latham asserted that it is “unusual by historical standards . . . the combining of two highly pathogenic organisms in a single experiment.” He did note, however, that such studies for the purposes of vaccine research have become more common in recent years, as is made clear in a 2012 study.

Few experiments have been conducted that specifically utilize anthrax in this way. Since 2000, the studies that have examined the use of genetically modified anthrax as a potential vaccine vector have been affiliated with Harvard University. One of these studies was on the use of anthrax as a vector in a potential HIV vaccine and was jointly conducted in 2000 by Harvard researchers and the vaccine company Avant Immunotherapeutics (now part of Celldex).

Despite reporting positive preliminary results in their experiments, Avant/Celldex did not fund further experiments into a vaccine that used this anthrax-based modality, and it does not currently market or have any such vaccine in its product pipeline. This suggests that, for whatever reason, this company did not see much value in this vaccine, despite the preliminary study with Harvard claiming that the methodology was safe and effective.

The Harvard researchers involved in that 2000 study, however, continued to investigate the possibility of an anthrax-based HIV vaccine in 2003, 2004, and 2005, though without corporate sponsorship. Related yet different research has explored the use of “disarmed” anthrax components as an adjuvant in vaccines and as the basis for enzyme-linked immunospot assays.

The aforementioned Harvard researchers patented their methodology of using anthrax in this way for the production of a vaccine in 2002. This means that the anthrax-based “vaccine” currently being developed by UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research would have to develop a new method that utilizes anthrax in much the same way so as not to infringe on the patent, which is unlikely. The other alternative is that UPMC would pay the patent holders for use of their methodology if they want to commercialize it in a vaccine. Yet, given UPMC’s business model in general, as well as that of UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research specifically, this also seems unlikely.

Also odd is what sort of incentive UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research possesses for the Corona-thrax experiment. There are currently over a hundred vaccine candidates that use existing and tested vaccine platforms in pursuit of a Covid-19 vaccine, a fact Duprex himself has acknowledged. As Hammond told The Last American Vagabond, “It is perfectly obvious that there are numerous existing vaccine platforms for Covid-19 and that some of them will, sooner or more likely later, succeed. There is no serious need for some sort of quite strange bacterial platform, much less one that happens to be anthrax. It’s completely unnecessary and frankly bizarre.”

The Crown Jewel of the Biotech-Industrial Complex

UPMC

Ribbon cutting for the Center for Vaccine Research – From left: Donald S. Burke, U. S. Congressman Mike Doyle, Arthur S. Levine, Dan Onorato, Mark A. Nordenberg.

The Corona-thrax experiment is being conducted at the Center for Vaccine Research’s Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL), where the center’s work with pathogenic agents, such as anthrax and SARS-CoV-2, is conducted.

The creation of UPMC’s RBL was first announced in 2003, when the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, then and currently led by Anthony Fauci) stated it would fund the laboratory’s construction with an $18 million grant. It was originally planned to be mainly “dedicated to research on agents that cause naturally occurring and emerging infections, as well as potential agents of bioterrorism.” The plan to create the lab was part of the US government decision to dramatically ramp up “biodefense” research in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

The lab was also intended to work on “developing a vaccine program focusing on basic and translational research” related to viruses of pandemic potential that are at risk of being “weaponized,” including SARS. After the creation of the lab was initially announced, the project expanded, eventually becoming UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research, which was launched in 2007. The Center for Vaccine Research was the second such institution to be officially added to the NIAID’s “biodefense” RBL network.

The opening of both this lab and UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research was made reality thanks to the efforts of the main authors of the June 2001 Dark Winter bioterror simulation, a controversial exercise that eerily predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks as well as the initial, yet bogus, narrative that Iraq and Islamic extremist terror groups were responsible for those attacks. However, the anthrax used in the attacks was later revealed to be of US military origin. As noted in Part I of this series, participants in the Dark Winter exercise had foreknowledge of the anthrax attacks and others were involved in the subsequent “investigation,” which many experts and former FBI investigators describe as a cover-up.

Dark Winter was largely written by Tara O’Toole, Thomas Inglesby, and Randall Larsen, all three of whom played integral roles in the founding or operations of UPMC’s Center for Biosecurity, along with O’Toole’s mentor, D. A. Henderson. UPMC’s Center for Biosecurity was launched in September 2003, just days before the NIAID announced it would fund the RBL lab that would later become the UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research.

Notably, just days after the attacks on September 11, 2001, O’Toole, Inglesby, and Larsen personally briefed Vice President Cheney on Dark Winter. Simultaneously, Cheney’s office at the White House began taking the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin to prevent anthrax infection. In the weeks between that briefing and the 2001 anthrax attacks, Dark Winter participants and several associates of Cheney, namely members of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) like Donald Kagan and Richard Perle, asserted that a bioterror attack involving anthrax would soon take place.

In the aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks, Henderson “was tapped by the federal government to vastly increase the number of [biodefense] labs, both to detect suspected pathogens like anthrax and to conduct bio-defense research, such as developing vaccines,” with the announcement of UPMC’s RBL being part of the launch of the O’Toole-led Center for Biosecurity at UPMC, where Henderson was named senior adviser. In 2003, the Center for Biosecurity was set up at UPMC partially at the request of Jeffrey Romoff to be “the country’s only think tank and research center devoted to the prevention and handling of biological attacks,” with UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research being the hub of a new “biodefense research” lab network Henderson was setting up and managing at the time. That network remains technically managed by the Fauci-led NIAID.

Also noteworthy is that the Center for Vaccine Research’s director, from its opening in 2007 until 2016, was Donald Burke. Burke is a former biodefense researcher for the US military at Fort Detrick and other installations and, immediately prior to heading the UPMC center, was a program director at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he worked closely with O’Toole and Inglesby.

At the time of the 2003 announcement regarding the creation of what would become UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research, Tara O’Toole stated:

“This new laboratory will enable University of Pittsburgh medical researchers to delve further into possible treatments and to develop vaccines against diseases that might result from bioterrorist attack or from natural outbreaks.”

A few years later, after she was nominated to a top post at the Department of Homeland Security, O’Toole was slammed by experts over her excessive lobbying “for a massive biodefense expansion and relaxation of provisions for safety and security.” Rutgers microbiologist Richard Ebright remarked at the time that “she makes Dr. Strangelove look sane.” It was also noted in hearings that O’Toole had worked as a lobbyist for several “life sciences” companies specializing in the sale of biodefense products to the U.S. government, including Emergent Biosolutions – a very controversial company and a key suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

The history of the Center for Vaccine Research’s RBL, particularly the network of people who prompted the lab’s creation, raises concerns about the nature of the Corona-thrax experiment currently being conducted within the facility. This is especially true because the researcher conducting the experiment appears to be ignorant about key parts of the research he or she is conducting.

For instance, the FOIA-redacted researcher incorrectly states that a recombinant virus proposed for use in the study is incapable of infecting human cells, while the IBC members note that this is not the case. In addition, the unnamed researcher falsely claimed that one of the viral vectors for use in the investigator’s study did not express Cas9 (a protein associated with CRISPR gene editing) and gRNA (“guide RNA,” also used in CRISPR) and was unaware that handling those agents requires an enhanced BSL-2 lab (BSL-2+) as opposed to a typical BSL-2 lab.

Apparently such errors among researchers involved in Covid-19 research at UPMC is not an anomaly. During another UPMC IBC meeting included in the FOIA release, the IBC noted the following about a separate research proposal:

“In the investigator’s notes in responses to changes requested by the IBC pre-reviewers, the investigator indicates that RNA from SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 infected cells will be obtained from BEI resources. Genomic RNA isolated from cells infected with SARS-CoV-1 is regulated as a Select Agent by the Federal Select Agent Program and neither the University nor this investigator are registered for possession and use of these materials [emphasis added] (SARS-CoV-1). The investigator must NOT obtain SARS-CoV-1 genomic RNA without prior consultation with the University’s RO/AROs for Select Agents.”

This part, in particular, caught the attention of Jonathan Latham, who noted that it was odd that “a university researcher is trying to obtain approval for an experiment which no one at the university is allowed to do.” Latham added in an interview that “apparently this applicant is totally ignorant of the regulatory environment and by extension the risks of SARS-CoV, which is a highly infectious virus whose escape from a lab has already led to at least one death.”

While Latham assumed that this was a “university researcher,” it is worth noting that the use of the UPMC Center for Vaccine Research’s RBL is not exclusive to researchers affiliated with the university. Indeed, as noted on the NIH website, “Investigators in academia, not-for-profit organizations, industry, and government studying biodefense and emerging infectious diseases may request the use of biocontainment laboratories,” including the RBL managed by the Center for Vaccine Research.

In addition, the Center for Vaccine Research website notes that “scientists from outside the University of Pittsburgh can work in the RBL through a collaboration or contract. Outside scientists must comply with all University of Pittsburgh training, documentation, regulatory, and medical requirements.” This means that outside scientists using the facility are also subject to IBC review. Both the NIH and Center for Vaccine Research sites note that, for an outside researcher to use the UPMC RBL facility, approval from the center’s director must be obtained.

Since the name of the Corona-thrax researcher is redacted, there is no way of knowing if he or she is affiliated with the university or a separate institution, corporation, or government agency. Regardless of who is conducting this experiment, however, it is possible to examine the history and motivations of the man who ultimately signed off on it—the Center for Vaccine Research’s director, Paul Duprex.

Paul Duprex: DARPA-Funded Researcher and Gain-of-Function Enthusiast

Director of UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research, W. Paul Duprex

Paul Duprex is a former chief scientist for Johnson & Johnson whose subsequent foray into academia was largely funded with research grants from the NIH and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Much of Duprex’s research has focused on recombinant (i. e., genetically engineered) viruses or viral evolution.

In terms of his research funded by DARPA, Duprex was most closely associated with DARPA’s “Prophecy” program, the creation of which was overseen by Michael Callahan. Callahan’s suspect past and his ties to the origin of the current Covid-19 crisis in Wuhan, China, were the subject of a recent Unlimited Hangout article by Raul Diego.

In that article, Diego notes that the now-defunct Prophecy program had “sought to ‘transform the vaccine and drug development enterprise from observational and reactive to predictive and preemptive’ through algorithmic programming techniques” and that the program further “proposed that ‘viral mutations and outbreaks could be predicted in advance to more rapidly counter the unknown disease with preemptive drug and vaccine development.”

By all indications, Prophecy was DARPA’s first major foray into “predictive” AI-powered health care, which has expanded considerably in the years since. It also involved a component, which Duprex was particularly involved in advancing, whereby the “predictive” viral evolutions algorithms would be “validated and tested . . . by using multiple selective pressures on at least three closely related virus strains in an experimental setting.”

Such experiments, like this study by Duprex, involved the genetic engineering of three viral pathogen strains and then seeing which would become most transmissible and virulent in an animal host. Such studies are often referred to as gain-of-function (GOF) research and are incredibly controversial given that they often create pathogens that are more virulent and/or transmissible than they otherwise would be. It is also worth noting that UPMC, before Duprex joined the center, had also received millions in funding from DARPA’s Prophecy program “to develop in vitro and computational models for predicting viral evolution under selection pressure from multiple evolutionary stressors.”

Duprex has also been involved in conducting research for DARPA’s current INTERfering and Co-Evolving Prevention and Therapy (INTERCEPT) program, a successor to Prophecy that “aims to harness viral evolution to create a novel, adaptive form of medical countermeasure—therapeutic interfering particles (TIPs)—that outcompetes viruses in the body to prevent or treat infection.” TIPs are genetically engineered viruses with defective genomes that theoretically compete with real viruses for viral components in the human body but “evolve with” the viruses they are meant to protect the body against and are “susceptible to mutation over time.”

The goal of the INTERCEPT program is to use TIPs as “therapeutics” and have them injected into the human body to “preemptively” protect against the virus from which a particular TIP was developed. It is worth noting that, while DARPA frames much of its gene-editing research (including its “genetic extinction” technology research) as being aimed at promoting either human or environmental health, it has also openly admitted that these same technologies are of interest to DARPA for their ability to “subvert” the genes of human adversaries of the US military via “genetic weapons.”

Duprex led an INTERCEPT study published in February of this year in which he and his coauthors explored how to create a synthetic TIP of the Nipah virus, a deadly virus with a fatality rate of over 70 percent. In that study, they used both wild and genetically engineered strains of Nipah virus. Notably, the Clade X pandemic simulation, which will be discussed in detail in the next installment of this series, involved a genetically engineered combination of the Nipah virus and a parainfluenza disease.

Clade X took place in 2018 and was led by much of the same team that was responsible for the 2001 Dark Winter bioterrorism simulation, including former FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg and Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby of the UPMC Center for Biosecurity. Another notable participant at Clade X was Julie Gerberding, former CDC director and current executive vice president at Merck, which has close ties to UPMC as well as the Center for Biosecurity’s failed “21st Century Biodefense” project.

A few months after publishing the study funded by DARPA’s INTERCEPT program, Duprex coauthored another study on the use of synthetic “nanobodies” (i. e., bioengineered synthetic nanoparticles acting as antibodies) that was published in August. This effort mirrors other DARPA “health-focused” projects. That study was funded by the University of Pittsburgh, the NIH, and Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

In addition to his ties to DARPA programs involving the genetic engineering of viral pathogens, Duprex is a leading advocate for controversial gain-of-function research and was appointed to direct UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research less than three months after the federal moratorium on GOF research ended.

In October 2014, five days after that moratorium was first imposed, Duprex gave a talk to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity entitled “Gain-of-Function Studies: Their History, Their Utility, and What They Can Tell Us.” In the talk, he asserted that “cross-species infection studies have already helped to improve surveillance in the field, have shed new light on basic influenza virus biology, and could assist in growing vaccine viruses better” and argues against the recently imposed moratorium.

In 2014, Duprex also wrote in a paper published in Nature that “GOF approaches are absolutely essential in infectious disease research; although alternative approaches can be very useful, these can never replace GOF experiments.” He added that, in his view, there were only two reasons for GOF research, the first being to “improve surveillance or to develop therapeutics” and the second being merely to learn “interesting biology.”

In that same paper, he also argued that “genetic engineering that is intended and likely to endow a low-pathogenicity, low-transmissibility agent with either enhanced pathogenicity or enhanced transmissibility may be appropriate if the benefits are substantial.” He also suggested in this 2014 paper that it “might” be necessary “to enhance pathogenicity of coronaviruses in order to develop a valid animal model for coronaviruses.” Years later, during the current coronavirus crisis, Duprex and other officials from the UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research co-developed a Covid-19 research and development “blueprint” for the UN’s World Health Organization.

In addition, Duprex’s work for DARPA’s Prophecy program involved GOF research, as noted above, and the creator of that program, Michael Callahan – former head of DARPA’s biodefense therapeutics initiatives, is also a proponent of GOF who believes that such risky research is inseparable from “the research and development enterprise in the life sciences and for biotechnology.”

Duprex is also a founding member of Scientists for Science, a group of researchers (most of whom are involved in GOF research) who opposed the GOF moratorium and were “confident that biomedical research on potentially dangerous pathogens can be performed safely and is essential for a comprehensive understanding of microbial disease pathogenesis, prevention and treatment.” Another of the group’s founding members is Yoshihiro Kawaoka, whose controversial GOF experiments that made pathogenic viruses more deadly have garnered considerable media attention.

When the moratorium on GOF was lifted in December 2017, Duprex called it a “sign of progress,” adding that “on a personal level I’m really pleased these NIH funded scientists [conducting GOF research] get some clarity.” As previously mentioned, he became the Center for Vaccine Research’s director less than three months later, in March 2018.

The “Darkest Winter” Looms

UPMC

After a cursory examination of the background of UPMC, its Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, and the man directing its Center for Vaccine Research, the question about the nature of the Corona-thrax experiment becomes: Is this yet another ill-advised experiment by a lab led by a GOF enthusiast and fueled by a feeding frenzy over the billions of dollars thrown by the government and other entities into Covid-19 research? Or is there perhaps a more nefarious motive to genetically engineering something as bizarre as Corona-thrax?

While the latter question may appear conspiratorial, it is worth pointing out that the institutions most likely to have been the sources for the anthrax used in the 2001 anthrax attacks were conducting GOF research on anthrax funded by the Pentagon and the CIA that was justified as “improving” the controversial anthrax vaccine known as BioThrax.

For instance, Battelle Memorial Institute—a Pentagon and CIA contractor—began genetically engineering a more virulent form of anthrax “to see if the [anthrax] vaccine the United States intends to supply to its armed forces is effective against that strain.” While these experiments were going on, the embattled manufacturer of the anthrax vaccine now known as Emergent Biosolutions, entered into a contract with Battelle that gave Battelle “immediate exposure to the vaccine” it was using in connection with the genetically modified anthrax program.

As noted in Part II of this series, BioPort was set to lose its Pentagon contract for anthrax vaccine entirely in September 2001, and the entirety of its anthrax vaccine business was rescued by the 2001 anthrax attacks, which saw concerns over BioPort’s corruption and its horrendous safety track record replaced with fervent demands for more of its anthrax vaccine. Furthermore, as noted in detail in Part III of this series, Battelle was the most likely source of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks. The ties between UPMC’s Center for Biosecurity, Battelle, and Emergent Biosolutions will be discussed in the next installment in the series.

What is also notable about these Corona-thrax experiments occurring at UPMC are the ties of UPMC’s RBL and Center for Vaccine Research to another key component of the center’s “biodefense” complex, the UPMC Center for Biosecurity. As previously mentioned, the people recruited to head this center at its founding in 2003 were intimately involved in the 2001 bioterror simulation Dark Winter, namely Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby.

While leading the UPMC’s Center for Biosecurity, O’Toole and/or her successor Inglesby engaged in other notable bioterror simulations, including one that took place last year— Event 201, which eerily predicted the coronavirus crisis that began this year. Inglesby, who is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in addition to his post at UPMC, was the moderator at Event 201.

Though Event 201 has garnered considerable scrutiny in recent months, another but less well-known exercise in 2018 that involved O’Toole and Inglesby, examined how a bioterror attack involving a genetically engineered pathogen could trigger a Continuity of Government (CoG) scenario, a government roadmap for the imposition of martial law in the United States. As other investigative series of mine have noted, there have recently been a myriad of intelligence agency–linked simulations that predict the imminent imposition of martial law in the United States following the 2020 election.

It is also notable that George W. Bush’s controversial and classified update to CoG plans in 2007, known as Executive Directive 51, was directly inspired by Dark Winter, and Barack Obama’s subsequent executive orders on CoG gave near-complete control of American infrastructure to the Department of Homeland Security in a such a situation. At the time Obama issued those executive orders, O’Toole was the DHS undersecretary for science and technology and also influenced those updates to the CoG plans. O’Toole is currently the executive vice president of the CIA’s In-Q-tel.

The simulation known as Clade X will be examined in greater detail in the next installment of this series as will the numerous and recent “predictions” from US government sources, controversial billionaires such as Bill Gates, and a web of individuals tied to UPMC who have warned that a bioterror attack or related public health catastrophe is set to take place in the United States in the latter half of 2020. As one high-ranking government official put it earlier this year, this allegedly imminent event will result in “the darkest winter in modern history.”

September 29, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

COVID-19 Cold War: Will the 2nd Wave Come from Vaccine Trials?

By Dady Chery | teleSUR | June 18, 2020

If the English-language press had done its job, and not parroted press releases that promote vaccination as the only escape from the social isolation we’ve endured the last three months, the public would be asking many questions about the ongoing protests and their relation to the logistics of vaccine trials. To test a vaccine, typically a pharmaceutical company recruits healthy volunteers for several phases of a clinical trial with a defined endpoint.

I have previously noted that an FDA “fast-track” designation has essentially accorded a carte blanche to a set of vaccines that are financed by CEPI, an alliance of Bill Gates with the six biggest pharmaceutical companies, and in many cases also by the U.S. Homeland Security and Department of Defense concerns BARDA and DARPA.

In the fast-track system, a pharmaceutical company hardly examines the results of a phase one trial before moving on to phases two and three, even though phase one is supposed to identify the best dose for safety on a small group of 15 to 50 healthy volunteers, and phase 2/3 is supposed to follow up with a test of efficacy and an expansion of the test for safety to a larger group. For any vaccine worth its name, the endpoint is a dose that is not only safe in the short and long term but also protects the volunteers from the infectious agent.

Yes, this does imply that the volunteers get exposed to the infectious agent as part of the trial, even though I would challenge you to find this fact being spelled out anywhere in the news. Since the volunteers are typically young and healthy, the expectation for a vaccine candidate against COVID-19 is that, if it fails, as most vaccine candidates do, the volunteers will not become deathly ill on exposure to the virus but will merely turn into asymptomatic carriers. Enter the WHO, which declares on June 8, 2020, without any obvious prompting, that asymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be “very rare.” The WHO “doth protest too much, methinks.” This is much too convenient a discovery right now.

The WHO statement contradicts numerous observations and at least one recent review of the coronavirus literature. The review states that “asymptomatic persons seem to account for approximately 40 to 45 percent of SARS-CoV-2 infections, and they can transmit the virus to others for an extended period, perhaps longer than 14 days.” It is actually 21 days but never mind all that. The WHO has found another paper, not yet in the press, that says what it likes. A CDC-approved vaccine typically guarantees over US$1 billion in profit for its manufacturer. When it comes to that kind of money, it appears that any report may be concocted. One important reason for the WHO to make this declaration is probably to absolve from liability the manufacturers that are, as I write this article, injecting their potential vaccines into volunteers and then exposing them to SARS-CoV-2, without any provision whatsoever for a quarantine period or the facilities for one.

Some manufacturers might pretend that their endpoint is a demonstration that the volunteers have produced “neutralizing antibodies” against the virus, as determined from assays of their serum in test tubes. If so, then people are being deceived, and the supposed vaccines may offer no protection at all in a real encounter with a virus. In vitro results quite often do not hold up to their promise. After all, every drug that has failed in animal and human trials would not have been tried if it had not first worked in vitro.

The three major potential anti-COVID-19 vaccines that are in the run right now and zipping right along to phase two or three, are arguably Moderna’s mRNA-1273, Astra Zeneca’s AZD1222 (previously ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), and Sinopharm’s BBIBP-CorV.

Moderna’s project is a much-touted mRNA vaccine, for which a phase one trial began in mid-March with 45 human volunteers, and a phase two trial with 600 volunteers was approved a mere six weeks after the start of phase one. The company enjoys US$483 million from BARDA, an apparent blank check from CEPI to get its drug to phase two, plus funds from DARPA and Anthony Fauci’s NIAID. During the phase one trial, three healthy volunteers who received 250 micrograms of mRNA-1273 developed “grade three adverse effects,” meaning that they became so sick that they could not function for one day or more. One 29-year-old man vomited, fainted, and developed a more than 103 F fever that lasted about five hours. The phase two trial will presumably use 50 or 250 micrograms of mRNA-1273. It gives little confidence to know that Moderna’s top executives have cashed out US$89 million of their shares of stock as its value has climbed from US$20 in early January to US$87 on May 22. Currently, the public is being prepared for a flare-up of COVID-19 in Seattle and Atlanta, presumably because of massive anti-racism Black Lives Matter protests. No one is asking about the Moderna vaccine trials in Seattle and Atlanta that have potentially created many asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2.

Astra Zeneca has developed its potential vaccine, called AZD1222, together with the University of Oxford, although the company controls about eight percent of Moderna’s stock. Astra Zeneca got a whopping US$1.2 billion from BARDA on May 21, 2020, and is a darling of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which has promised to deliver hundreds of millions of doses of a supposedly efficacious vaccine to Americans by January 2021. Their immunization approach is to administer an injection of 50 billion particles of a chimpanzee adenovirus that has been engineered to make the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. In an initial animal study, five out of six supposedly immunized monkeys developed COVID-19 symptoms: specifically, they became infectious, with viral RNA in their nasal passages, after they were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 four weeks “post-vaccination.” Such results would normally kill a project, but not for Astra Zeneca. They spun their damning results by boasting that their injections had prevented illness because the monkeys did not get pneumonia. They are plowing through a 1,000-volunteer phase one study in southern England that started on April 23 and pushing phase 2/3 trials with more than 10,000 volunteers. Interestingly, about 10,000 protesters marched through Brighton, on the southern coast of England, on June 13 in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Might we expect a COVID-19 surge there too?

Last but not least is Sinopharm, a Chinese State project that involves the China National Pharmaceutical Group, together with the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other major health concerns based in Beijing. Sinopharm has been secretive about its plans and merely announced that it was working on a potential vaccine based on the inactivated virus, with promising results in animals and “early human tests” underway. But the group just published a paper in the journal Cell that describes the animal studies. Their potential vaccine is called BBIBP-CorV, and some aspects of it should have raised more questions with Cell. For example, the same dosage is reported to work on mice, rats, rabbits, and monkeys. Sinopharm also claims to have observed no Antibody-Dependent Enhancement of disease (ADE). In other words, it is among the first to assert that the supposedly immunized animals did not become gravely ill – worse than the controls — after they were exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Considering that ADE has routinely been observed in laboratories that have attempted to vaccinate animals against coronaviruses, the paper should have explained how Sinopharm met this challenge. Coincidentally, Beijing has so far had a surge of about 80 new COVID-19 cases. Chinese health authorities are mandating extreme lockdown and blaming the cases on the Xinfadi market, the city’s largest wholesale food market. Conveniently, all the tests of recent visitors to the market have turned up positive, though this is actually an impossibility.

We have been promised a second wave of COVID-19, and we will surely get one. I propose that it will not happen because of the popular uprisings, winter cold, or any of the other hypotheses that have been put forward to prepare us for it. Instead, it will probably be due to the free circulation of tens of thousands of volunteers from various failed vaccine trials. In the U.S., China, and several Western countries, pharmaceutical concerns are becoming an arm of the military-industrial complex. In the West, the main motivation is a desire for a piece of the large pie of military budget. In China, it is an aspiration for greater prestige in the world and conquest of the hearts and minds of citizens of other countries, particularly the global south. The supposedly greater race consciousness that has erupted from the Black Lives Matter protests could soon turn into a racist call for the mandatory vaccination of mostly black and brown low-wage workers, for their own good. Racism is alive and well, and the Vaccine Cold War is on. What we are experiencing is analogous to the fallout from the atmospheric nuclear tests of the first Cold War. We are being played like fish near a hook.

Dr. Dady Chery is an Associate Professor of Biology, Co-Editor-In-Chief of News Junkie Post, and the author of We Have Dared to Be Free: Haiti’s Struggle Against Occupation.

June 19, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 2 Comments

Pentagon’s Silent Killers

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 13.05.2020

In light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, which has caused rapid and substantial harm to many nations and lives of their citizens, analysts are reluctantly starting to look at the possibility that certain countries may resort to the use of biological weapons capable of causing mass deaths. Germ warfare is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, insects, and fungi, that are biological in origin with the intent to kill people, animals and plants. Designing microorganisms that cause disease and means of spreading them among target populations are all part of biological warfare.

In the military, the concept of weaponizing germs has existed for a long time. After all, epidemics that happened during wars resulted in substantial losses of troops, and this, in turn, had a significant impact on the way the conflict unfolded as well as its outcome. For example, during the Vietnam War, US troops lost more (approximately 3-fold) servicemen to disease than during military operations (injuries and deaths). Epidemics among civilian populations away from battlefields also had very negative consequences, resulting in serious issues in manufacturing and logistics sectors and, overall, problems in governance.

Hence, it is not surprising that the United States — responsible for unleashing more armed conflicts than any other country in recent years and for launching numerous military interventions in regions all over the world — has been constantly ramping up its research into biological warfare, mainly through the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). One of the key aims of its biological technologies branch is to conduct studies on germs.

It is worth reminding our readers that the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC) was open for signature on 10 April 1972. It entered into force on 26 March 1975 when twenty-two governments deposited their instruments of ratification of this Convention with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. To date, 163 nations signed the BWC, thus agreeing not to develop, produce or stockpile biological weapons. Although the United States ratified the Biological Weapons Convention in 1972, it did not sign an internationally binding verification protocol to the BWC from 2001. Hence, there are no mechanisms in place to check whether the USA is complying with the convention.

In any case, it is well-known that since the middle of 2016, four research teams under the aegis of DARPA have been working on a revolutionary research project aimed at protecting “the U.S. agricultural food supply by delivering protective genes to plants via insects”, called Insect Allies. American scientists “are looking at introducing genetically modified viruses that can edit chromosomes directly”, such as “using insects to transmit genetically modified material into plants”. In the summer of 2017, the research program received $27 million in funding.

In the opinion of experts from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany and the University of Montpellier in France, Insect Allies “may be widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery”. DARPA has denied such assertions “DARPA is producing neither biological weapons nor the means for their delivery”. Still, the authors of the article published in Science believe that the microorganisms in question could do more harm than good. For instance, insects “could be used to disperse agents that would prevent seeds from growing”.

“Given that DARPA is a military agency, we find it surprising that the obvious and concerning dual-use aspects of this research have received so little attention,” Felix Beck, a lawyer at the University of Freiburg, said. “The Insect Allies programme is largely unknown, even in expert circles,” Dr. Guy Reeves, an expert in GM insects at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology said. According to Silja Voeneky, a legal scholar at the University of Freiburg in Germany, the program “may be widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery”, and thus, as a violation of the BWC, which is strongly worded, banning the development of any biological agents “that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes”.

Information available to date indicates that maize and tomato plants were used in experiments, with “leafhoppers, aphids and whiteflies” employed to disperse the genetically modified material. Since maize is widely cultivated and consumed in Latin America and Africa, the fact that it was chosen for the research study also points to a potential military use of DARPA’s program. Apparently, the defense agency ensures that its scientists do not conduct experiments on plants that are not widely used by people.

Leaving your opponent without a harvest, which could lead to famine, is a much slower approach to reaching one’s aim. But it is a practical one, as the land could still be used for growing crops in the future. Such a bioweapon (an insect that introduces genetically modified material) could be deployed by an aggressor without the need for special equipment, thus leaving no trace of an attack. No means of spreading any chemicals or toxins would be found either as these could serve as indirect proof of a deliberate (far from natural) attack on plants. Filling a field with weaponized insects is all one needs.

Recent epidemics among animals (for instance, the spread of African swine fever virus among pigs in a number of countries) and the appearance of new types of insects that cause great harm, all point to a potential link to some types of foreign bioweapons. For instance, tropical insects are gaining a foothold in Germany and spreading deadly illnesses in the process. According to experts, such bugs are dangerous because they can spread infectious agents that cause tropical diseases.

Throughout the Caucasus box tree moths (native to Asia) have been spreading for unknown reasons and causing severe damage to Colchic boxwood, a rare and endangered plant.

Concerns are growing about the fact that the United States has been providing a great deal of funding for biological programs that may have dual uses, such as conducting controversial experiments with infectious agents that cause deadly diseases; testing mechanisms of dispersal; increasing the scope of military research in biolabs abroad, and others. And as there are more and more questions about the nature of research done in numerous secret biolabs of the Pentagon, an unbiased international investigation ought to be conducted into their work.

May 13, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Coronavirus Gives a Dangerous Boost to DARPA’s Darkest Agenda

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | May 4, 2020

In January, well before the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis would result in lockdowns, quarantines and economic devastation in the United States and beyond, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon were working with the National Security Council to create still-classified plans to respond to an imminent pandemic. It has since been alleged that the intelligence and military intelligence communities knew about a likely pandemic in the United States as early as last November, and potentially even before then.

Given this foreknowledge and the numerous simulations conducted in the United States last year regarding global viral pandemic outbreaks, at least six of varying scope and size, it has often been asked – Why did the government not act or prepare if an imminent global pandemic and the shortcomings of any response to such an event were known? Though the answer to this question has frequently been written off as mere “incompetence” in mainstream media circles, it is worth entertaining the possibility that a crisis was allowed to unfold.

Why would the intelligence community or another faction of the U.S. government knowingly allow a crisis such as this to occur? The answer is clear if one looks at history, as times of crisis have often been used by the U.S. government to implement policies that would normally be rejected by the American public, ranging from censorship of the press to mass surveillance networks. Though the government response to the September 11 attacks, like the Patriot Act, may be the most accessible example to many Americans, U.S. government efforts to limit the flow of “dangerous” journalism and surveil the population go back to as early as the First World War. Many of these policies, whether the Patriot Act after 9/11 or WWI-era civilian “spy” networks, did little if anything to protect the homeland, but instead led to increased surveillance and control that persisted long after the crisis that spurred them had ended.

Using this history as a lens, it is possible to look at the current coronavirus crisis to see how the long-standing agendas of ever-expanding mass surveillance and media censorship are again getting a dramatic boost thanks to the chaos unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, this crisis is unique because it also has given a boost to a newer yet complimentary agenda that — if fulfilled – would render most, if not all, other government efforts at controlling and subduing their populations obsolete.

DARPA Dystopia

For years, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has remained largely out of sight and out of mind for most Americans, as their research projects are rarely covered by the mainstream media and, when they are, their projects are often praised asbringing science fiction movies to life.” However, there have been recent events that have marred DARPA’s often positive portrayal by media outlets, which paint the agency as a beacon of scientific “progress” that has “changed the world” for the better.

For instance, in 2018, a group of European scientists accused the DARPA’s “Insect Allies” program of actually being a dystopian bioweapons program that would see insects introduce genetically modified viruses into plants to attack and devastate a targeted nation’s food supply. DARPA, of course, maintained that its intent to use these insects to genetically modify plants was instead about “protecting” the food supply. Regardless of DARPA’s assertions that it is merely a “defensive” program, it should be clear to readers that such a technology could easily be used either way, depending on the wielder.

Though DARPA’s futuristic weapons of war often get the most attention from media, the agency has long standing interests in tinkering with, not just the biology of plants, but of humans. DARPA, which is funded to the tune of approximately $3 billion a year, has various avenues through which it pursues these ambitions, with many of those now under the purview of the agency’s “Biological Technologies Office” (BTO), created in 2014. As of late, some of DARPA’s human biology and biotech projects at its BTO have been getting a massive PR boost thanks to the current coronavirus crisis, with recent reports even claiming that the agency “might have created the best hopes for stopping Covid-19.”

Most of these technologies garnering positive media coverage thanks to Covid-19 were developed several years ago. They include the DARPA-funded platforms used to produce DNA and RNA vaccines, classes of vaccine that have never been approved for human use in the U.S. and involve injecting foreign genetic material into the human body. Notably, it is this very class of vaccine, now being produced by DARPA-partnered companies, that billionaire and global health “philanthropist” Bill Gates recently asserted has him “most excited” relative to other Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Yet, key aspects regarding these vaccines and other DARPA “healthcare” initiatives have been left out of these recent positive reports, likely because they provide a window into what is arguably the agency’s darkest agenda.

“In Vivo Nanoplatforms”

In 2006, DARPA announced its Predicting Health and Disease (PHD) program, which sought to determine “whether an individual will develop an infectious disease prior to the onset of symptoms.” The PHD program planned to accomplish this by “identifying changes in the baseline state of human health through frequent surveillance” with a specific focus on “viral, upper respiratory pathogens.”

Three years later, in 2010, DARPA-funded researchers at Duke University created the foundation for this tool, which would use the genetic analysis of blood samples to determine if someone is infected with a virus before they show symptoms. Reports at the time claimed that these “preemptive diagnoses” would be transmitted to “a national, web-based influenza map” available via smartphone.

Following the creation of DARPA’s BTO in 2014, this particular program gave rise to the “In Vivo Nanoplatforms (IVN)” program. The diagnostics branch of that program, abbreviated as IVN:Dx, “investigates technologies that incorporate implantable nanoplatforms composed of bio-compatible, nontoxic materials; in vivo sensing of small and large molecules of biological interest; multiplexed detection of analytes at clinically relevant concentrations; and external interrogation of the nanoplatforms without using implanted electronics for communication.” Past reports on the program describe it as developing “classes of nanoparticles to sense and treat illness, disease, and infection on the inside. The tech involves implantable nanoparticles which sense specific molecules of biological interest.”

DARPA’s IVN program has since helped to finance and produce “soft, flexible hydrogels that are injected just beneath the skin to perform [health] monitoring and that sync to a smartphone app to give the use immediate health insights,” a product currently marketed and created by the DARPA-funded and National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded company Profusa. Profusa, which has received millions upon millions from DARPA in recent years, asserts that the information generated by their injectable biosensor would be “securely shared” and accessible to “individuals, physicians and public health practitioners.” However, the current push for a national “contact tracing” system based on citizens’ private health data is likely to expand that data sharing, conveniently fitting with DARPA’s years-old goal of creating a national, web-based database of preemptive diagnoses.

Profusa is also backed by Google, which is intimately involved in these new mass surveillance “contact tracing” initiatives, and counts former Senate majority leader William Frist among its board members. They are also partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The company also has considerable overlap with the diagnostic company Cepheid, which recently won FDA approval for its rapid coronavirus test and was previously awarded lucrative government contracts to detect anthrax in the U.S. postal system. As of this past March, Profusa again won DARPA funding to determine if their injectable biosensors can predict future pandemics, including the now widely predicted “second wave” of Covid-19, and detect those infected up to three weeks before they would otherwise show symptoms. The company expects to have its biosensors FDA licensed for this purpose by early next year, about the same time a coronavirus vaccine is expected to be available to the general public.

“Living Foundries”

Another long-standing DARPA program, now overseen by BTO, is known as “Living Foundries.” According to DARPA’s website, Living Foundries “aims to enable adaptable, scalable, and on-demand production of [synthetic] molecules by programming the fundamental metabolic processes of biological systems to generate a vast number of complex molecules that are not otherwise accessible. Through Living Foundries, DARPA is transforming synthetic biomanufacturing into a predictable engineering practice supportive of a broad range of national security objectives.”

The types of research this “Living Foundries” program supports involves the creation of “artificial life” including the creation of artificial genetic material, including artificial chromosomes, the creation of “entirely new organisms,” and using artificial genetic material to “add new capacities” to human beings (i.e. genetically modifying humans through the insertion of synthetically-created genetic material).

The latter is of particular concern (though all are honestly concerning), as DARPA also has a project called “Advanced Tools for Mammalian Genome Engineering,” which – despite having “mammalian” in the name – is focused specifically on improving “the utility of Human Artificial Chromosomes (HACs),” which DARPA describes as a “fundamental tool in the development of advanced therapeutics, vaccines, and cellular diagnostics.” Though research papers often focus on HACs as a revolutionary medical advancement, they are also frequently promoted as a means of “enhancing” humans by imbuing them with non-natural characteristics, including halting aging or improving cognition.

DARPA is known to be involved in research where these methods are used to create “super soldiers” that no longer require sleep or regular meals, among other augmented “features,” and has another program about creating “metabolically dominant” fighters. Reports on these programs also discuss the other, very disconcerting use of these same technologies, “genetic weapons” that would “subvert DNA” and “undermine people’s minds and bodies.”

Another potential application being actively investigated by DARPA is its BioDesign program, which is examining the creation of synthetic organisms that are created to be immortal and programmed with a “kill switch” allowing a synthetic, yet organic organism to be “turned off” at any time. This has led some to speculate such research could open the doors to the creation of “human replicants” used for fighting wars and other tasks, such as those that appear in the science fiction film Bladerunner.

However, these genetic “kill switches” could also be inserted into actual humans through artificial chromosomes, which – just as they have the potential to extend life – also have the potential to cut it short. Notably, it was revealed in 2017 that DARPA had invested $100 million in “gene drive” research, which is involves the use of genetic modification to wipe out entire populations, explaining why it it often referred to as a “genetic extinction” technology.

In addition, other DARPA experiments involve the use of genetically modified viruses that insert genetic material into human cells, specifically neurons in the brain, in order to “tweak” human brain chemistry. In one example, DARPA-funded research has altered human brain cells to produce two new proteins, the first allowing neural activity to be easily detected by external devices and the second allowing “magnetic nanoparticles” to “induce an image or sound in the patient’s mind.”

“Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology”

Changing human brain chemistry and functionality at the cellular level is only one of numerous DARPA initiatives aimed at changing how human beings think and perceive reality. Since 2002, DARPA has acknowledged its efforts to create a “Brain-Machine Interface (BMI).” Though first aimed at creating “a wireless brain modem for a freely moving rat,” which would allow the animal’s movements to be remotely controlled, DARPA wasn’t shy about the eventual goal of applying such brain “enhancement” to humans in order to enable soldiers to “communicate by thought alone” or remotely control human beings (on the enemy side only, so they say) for the purposes of war.

The project, which has advanced greatly in recent years, has long raised major concerns among prominent defense scientists, some of whom warned in a 2008 report that “remote guidance or control of a human being” could quickly backfire were an adversary to gain access to the implanted technology (opening up the possibility of “hacking” a person’s brain), and they also raised concerns about the general ethical perils of such technologies. Work began in 2011 on developing “brain implants” for use in human soldiers, officially with the goal of treating neurological damage in veterans, and such implants have been tested on human volunteers in DARPA-funded experiments since at least 2015.

Concerns, like those raised by those defense scientists in 2008, have been regularly dismissed by DARPA, which has consistently claimed that its controversial research projects are tempered by their in-house “ethical experts.” However, it worth noting how DARPA’s leadership views these ethical conundrums, since they ultimately have the last word. For example, in 2015, Michael Goldblatt, then-director of DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO), which oversees most aspects of the agency’s “super soldier” program, told journalist Annie Jacobsen that he saw no difference between “having a chip in your brain that could help control your thoughts” and “a cochlear implant that helps the deaf hear.” When pressed about the unintended consequences of such technology, Goldblatt stated that “there are unintended consequences for everything.”

Thus, it is worth pointing out that, while DARPA-developed technologies – from human genetic engineering to the brain-machine interfaces – are often first promoted as something that will revolutionize and improve human health, DARPA sees the use of these technologies for such ends as being on the same footing as other dystopian and frankly nightmarish applications, like thought control. BMIs are no exception, having first been promoted as a way to “boost bodily functions of veterans with neural damage or post-traumatic stress disorder” and to allow amputees to control advanced prosthetics. While these do indeed represent major medical advances, DARPA’s leadership has made it clear that they see no distinction between the medical use of BMIs and using them to exert near total control over a human being by “guiding” their thoughts and even their movements.

Such stark admission from DARPA’s leadership makes it worth exploring the state of these current “brain-machine” interface programs as well as their explicit goals. For instance, one of the goals of DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program involves using “noninvasive or minimally invasive brain-computer interfaces” to “read and write” directly onto the brain.

According to one recent report on DARPA’s N3 program, one example of “minimally invasive” technologies would involve:

an injection of a virus carrying light-sensitive sensors, or other chemical, biotech, or self-assembled nanobots that can reach individual neurons and control their activity independently without damaging sensitive tissue. The proposed use for these technologies isn’t yet well-specified, but as animal experiments have shown, controlling the activity of single neurons at multiple points is sufficient to program artificial memories of fear, desire, and experiences directly into the brain.”

Though the purported goal of N3 is related to creating “thought-controlled” weapons that react and fire based on a soldier’s thoughts, the fact that the technology is also bidirectional, opens up the disturbing possibility that efforts will be made to control and program a soldier’s thoughts and perceptions as opposed to the other way around. This may be more of the plan than DARPA has publicly let on, since official military documents have openly stated that the Pentagon’s ultimate goal is to essentially replace human fighters with “self-aware” interconnected robots “who” will both design and conduct operations against targets chosen by artificial-intelligence systems. This weapons system of the not-so-distant future seems to have little room for human beings, even those capable of “controlling” weapons with their minds, suggesting that futurist military planners see soldiers with BMIs as a “weapon” that would also become connected to this same AI-driven system. It is also worth pointing out that DARPA has been attempting to create an “artificial human brain” since 2013.

In addition, reports on DARPA’s BMI efforts have suggested that this bidirectional technology will be used to “cloud the perception of soldiers” by “distancing them from the emotional guilt of warfare,” a move that would set a dangerous precedent and one that would surely result in a marked jump in war crimes.

Of course, these are just the admitted, potential “military” applications of such technology. Once this technology moves from the military to the civilian sphere, as several DARPA inventions have in the past, their use for “remote guidance”, “thought control” and/or the programming of thoughts and experiences is more than likely to be misused by governments, corporations and other power-brokers in the U.S. and beyond for the purposes of control.

The entrance of BMIs into the civilian sphere isn’t very far away, as DARPA executives and researchers who have worked on the N3 and other DARPA-backed BMI programs have since been “scooped up” by Verily (a Google-GlaxoSmithKline partnership), Elon Musk’s Neuralink and Facebook’s Building 8 – all of which have been working to bring “neuro-modulation” devices and BMIs to market.

“Human Bio-reactors”, “Nanotherapeutics” and DARPA-funded gene vaccines

As detailed above, DARPA often frames the controversial technologies it develops as being developed to mainly advance medicine and healthcare. Aside from the technologies already discussed, it is important to note that DARPA has been very interested in healthcare, specifically vaccines, for sometime.

For instance, in 2010, DARPA began developing a class of vaccine that could “inoculate against unknown pathogens,” a component of its Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals program. The vaccine would inject thousands of synthetic antibodies, such as those developed through DARPA’s “Living Foundries” program, into the human body. These synthetic antibodies or “synbodies” would then “create an immunity toolkit that can be combined in myriad ways to tackle virtually any pathogen.”

That same year, DARPA began funding efforts to create “multiagent synthetic DNA vaccines” that would be delivered into the human body via “noninvasive electroporation” and was quickly promoted in media reports as a way to quickly produce vaccines compared to traditional vaccine production methods. This category of vaccine would involve the same type of synthetic DNA that DARPA was also simultaneously researching for the purposes of both “enhancing” and “subverting” human beings at the genetic level. It was also this year, 2010, that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also began heavily funding DNA and RNA vaccines.

DNA vaccines, which were first created in 2005, have never been approved for human use in the United States and past studies have warned that they “possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards” and that “there is inadequate knowledge to define either the probability of unintended events or the consequences of genetic modifications.” Another long-standing issue with such vaccines is mitigating “unwanted immune reactions” that result from natural immune response to the foreign genetic material they contain.

In 2011, DARPA announced its “Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics” program, which seeks to create a “platform capable of rapidly synthesizing therapeutic nanoparticles” aimed at combatting “evolving and even genetically engineered bioweapons.” DARPA’s plan for these nanoparticles, which media reports described merely as “tiny, autonomous drug delivery systems,” was to combine them with “small interfering RNA (siRNA),” which are snippets of RNA that can target and shut down specific genes. As Wired wrote at the time: “siRNA could be reprogrammed ‘on-the-fly’ and applied to different pathogens,” allowing nanoparticles to “be loaded up with the right siRNA molecules and sent directly to cells responsible for the infection.”

The creation of this program was shortly followed by DARPA’s decision in 2013 to fund Moderna Therapeutics to the tune of $25 million to develop their synthetic RNA vaccine production platform. DARPA funded the project to “develop platform technologies that can be deployed safely and rapidly to provide the U.S. population with near-immediate protection against emerging infectious diseases and engineered biological weapons.”

Then, in 2015, DARPA’s research into vaccines involving synthetic antibodies and synthetic genetic material expanded, with them giving $45 million to the DNA vaccine company, Inovio Pharmaceuticals. This same year, DARPA-funded RNA and DNA vaccines began to be framed differently by both DARPA researchers and the media – who described the technology as transforming the human body into a “bio-reactor.”

In the years since, DARPA-backed DNA and RNA vaccine companies, including Moderna, Inovio as well as Germany’s CureVac, have been unable to get their products licensed for human use, largely due to the fact that their vaccines have failed to provide sufficient immunity in human trials. Examples of these ineffective vaccines include CureVac’s attempt at a rabies vaccine and Moderna’s efforts to create a vaccine for the Zika virus (which was funded by the U.S. government).

Several workarounds for this issue have been proposed, including vaccines where the genetic material (RNA or DNA) “self-amplifies.” However, the workaround of choice to this lack of immune response and other obstacles for DNA/RNA vaccines is the incorporation of nanotechnology into these vaccines. As a result, the use of nanoparticles as the carriers for the genetic material in these vaccines has been widely promoted and studied, as well as touted as the best way to improve their stability, increase their targeted delivery ability and enhance the immune response they provoke.

The combination of DNA or RNA vaccines with nanotechnology has already become reality thanks to the companies leading that field. For instance, the DARPA-backed DNA vaccine company Inovio Pharmaceuticals utilizes what reports refer to as “DNA nanotechnology” in their line of synthetic vaccines branded as “SynCon” by the company, which uses an undisclosed computer algorithm to design its vaccines. It is an interesting coincidence, then, that the Inovio “SynCon” vaccine for Covid-19 now appears to be ahead of the rest of the pack, with backing from Bill Gates, DARPA, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and other government agencies.

DARPA – Saving us from Covid-19?

In January, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced it would begin funding vaccine candidates for the coronavirus outbreak, long before it became a major global issue. CEPI describes itself as “a partnership of public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations that will finance and co-ordinate the development of vaccines against high priority public health threats” and was founded in 2017 by the governments of Norway and India along with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That month, CEPI only chose two pharmaceutical companies to receive funding for their efforts to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 – Moderna and Inovio Pharmaceuticals.

As previously mentioned, these two companies are DARPA-backed firms that frequently tout their “strategic alliance” with DARPA in press releases and on their websites. DARPA has also provided these companies with significant amounts of funding. For instance, the top funders behind Inovio Pharmaceuticals include both DARPA and the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the company has received millions in dollars in grants from DARPA, including a $45 million grant to develop a vaccine for Ebola. They were also recently awarded over $8 million from the U.S. military to develop a small, portable intradermal device for delivering DNA vaccines, which was jointly developed by Inovio and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), which also manages the “biodefense” lab at Fort Detrick.

In addition, the German company CureVac, which is also developing a CEPI-backed RNA vaccine for Covid-19, is another long-time recipient of DARPA funding. They were one of DARPA’s earliest investments in the technology, winning a $33.1 million DARPA contract to develop their “RNActive” vaccine platform in 2011.

In Moderna’s case, DARPA financed the production and development of their RNA vaccine production platform and their RNA therapy candidate for Chikungunya virus (their first for an infectious disease) was developed in direct collaboration with the agency. Since 2016, Moderna’s RNA vaccine program has received $100 million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation has since poured millions directly into both Moderna’s and Inovio’s Covid-19 vaccine efforts.

Gates’ backing of DNA and RNA vaccines is significant, given that Gates – a billionaire with unparalleled influence and control over global healthcare policy – recently asserted that the best options for a Covid-19 vaccine are these same vaccines, despite the fact that they have never before been approved for use in humans. Yet, thanks to the emergency authorizations activated due to the current crisis, both Moderna’s and Inovio’s testing for these vaccines has skipped animal trials and gone straight to human testing. They are also set to be fast-tracked for widespread use in a matter of months. Moderna’s clinical trial in humans began in mid-March, followed by Inovio’s in the beginning of April. Thus, they are not only Gates’ favorites to be the new vaccine, but are also slated to be the first to complete clinical trials and garner emergency U.S. government approval, especially Moderna’s vaccine which is being jointly developed with the government’s NIH.

The rapid rise to prominence of Moderna’s and Inovio’s Covid-19 vaccines has resulted in several media articles praising DARPA as having provided our “best hope” for thwarting the coronavirus crisis. In addition to its backing of Moderna’s and Inovio’s own efforts, DARPA itself, specifically DARPA’s BTO, is set to have a “temporary” vaccine for Covid-19 available in a matter of weeks that will involve the production of synthetic antibodies that would ostensibly provide immunity for a few months until a longer-lasting vaccine (such as those produced by Moderna and Inovio) is available.

DARPA’s antibody treatment for Covid-19 is pursuing two routes, including the “human body as bio-reactor” approach that would involve synthetic DNA or RNA being injected in order to prompt the body to produce the necessary antibodies. Defense One notes that DARPA’s Covid-19 treatment would utilize techniques that had resulted from the agency’s investments in microfluidics (the manipulation of liquids at the sub-millimeter range), nanotechnology fabrication and “new approaches to gene sequencing.”

Persistent Concerns

While most media reports have painted these DARPA-led efforts as entirely positive, it is worth noting that concerns have been raised, though these concerns have hardly gotten the coverage they warrant. For instance, Nature recently noted some key points regarding safety issues related to the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, including the fact that all “previous coronavirus vaccines have not all proven appropriate or even safe,” with some past attempts at coronavirus vaccines having resulted in antibody dependent enhancement (ADE). ADE results in cells more rapidly taking up the virus and speeding up the virus’ replication, increasing its infectiousness and virulence.

Nature also noted that the two coronavirus vaccines for SARS that managed to pass phase 1 trials ended up, in subsequent studies, causing immune hypersensitivity in mice “resulting in severe immunopathology,” i.e. permanent defects or malfunctions in the immune system. In addition, Nature also pointed out that it is unknown how strong an immune response is needed to confer immunity for Covid-19 and coronaviruses in general, making it incredibly difficult to gauge if a vaccine is even effective.

Another issue worth noting involves concerns raised about Inovio Pharmaceuticals by investment research firm Citron Research, which compared Inovio to Theranos, the disgraced medical technology company that had initially promised to offer diagnoses for numerous diseases via a simple blood test, but was later revealed to be a sham. Citron asserted that “It’s been over 40 years since Inovio was founded, yet the company has NEVER [sic] brought a product to market, and all the while insiders have enriched themselves with hefty salaries and large stock sales.”

Citron Research went on to say that the company’s claim to have designed their Covid-19 vaccine in only 3 hours based on a computer algorithm was hard to believe, stating that “Inovio has a ‘computer algorithm’ that no one else in the world has and is arguably one of the greatest breakthroughs in vaccine discovery in the past 100 years, and yet this ‘computer algorithm’ is not mentioned once in any of its 10-K’s or 10-Q’s? Sounds like Theranos to us.” It also noted that Inovio’s partnerships with pharmaceutical companies Roche and AstraZeneca ended up failing with those two companies canceling the partnership despite claims from Inovio’s CEO that whey would “continue to thrive.”

A Not-So-Hidden Agenda

Of course, these are just concerns focused on corporate behavior and obstacles towards making a Covid-19 vaccine in general. As this report has already shown in detail, DARPA’s other experiments with the same technologies (particularly genetic engineering, synthetic chromosomes, and nanotechnology) that are being used to produce RNA and DNA vaccines for Covid-19 are arguably more concerning. This is especially true given that DARPA-backed companies that describe themselves as “strategic partners” of the agency are those manufacturing these vaccines. In addition, thanks to backing from the U.S. government and Bill Gate, among others, they are are also slated to be among the first vaccines (if not the first) approved for widespread use.

It is certainly troubling that media coverage of DARPA’s efforts and the efforts of Moderna and Inovio have thus far not included critical reporting regarding the different branches of DARPA’s research that has produced the technology involved in creating these vaccines, leaving little room for public scrutiny of their safety, efficacy and their potential for unintended effects on human genetics.

This is particularly alarming given that, over the past several weeks, efforts have been taking shape in many countries to enforce mandatory vaccinations once a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available. In some countries, it appears likely that the Covid-19 vaccine will not be made mandatory per say, but will be required for those who wish to return to any semblance of “normalcy” in terms of public gatherings, working certain jobs, leaving one’s home for longer periods of time and so on.

Would those involved in creating such a mandatory vaccine, e.g. DARPA, pass up the opportunity to utilize the same technologies involved in producing the vaccine for some of their other admitted goals? This question, of course, has no obvious answer, but the fact that the arc of DARPA’s research is aimed at the weaponization of human biology and genetics in a way that is ripe for misuse, suggests very worrying possibilities that warrant scrutiny. Indeed, if one merely looks at how the crisis has been a boon for the Orwellian plans of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) and the federal government’s current efforts to dramatically increase its powers amid the current crisis, it becomes increasingly difficult to give government agencies like DARPA and their corporate partners like Moderna and Inovio the benefit of the doubt.

This is especially true given that – without a major crisis such as that currently dominating world events – people would likely be unreceptive to the widespread introduction of many of the technologies DARPA has been developing, whether their push to create cyborg “super soldiers” or injectable BMIs with the capability to control one’s thoughts. Yet, amid the current crisis, many of these same technologies are being sold to the public as “healthcare,” a tactic DARPA often uses. As the panic and fear regarding the virus continues to build and as people become increasingly desperate to return to any semblance of normalcy, millions will willingly take a vaccine, regardless of any government-mandated vaccination program. Those who are fearful and desperate will not care that the vaccine may include nanotechnology or have the potential to genetically modify and re-program their very being, as they will only want the current crisis that has upended the world to stop.

In this context, the current coronavirus crisis appears to be the perfect storm that will allow DARPA’s dystopian vision to take hold and burst forth from the darkest recesses of the Pentagon into full public view. However, DARPA’s transhumanist vision for the military and for humanity presents an unprecedented threat, not just to human freedom, but an existential threat to human existence and the building blocks of biology itself.

Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.

May 4, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Birds with One Flu: Coronavirus Weaponized Against China… and American Dissidents

By Helen Buyniski | Helen of desTroy | February 4, 2020

By now, most people following the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak have stumbled upon Event 201, the pandemic simulation held at Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and other ruling-class heavy hitters two months before the epidemic was declared. Seemingly tailor-made to set off “conspiracy theorists” – that class of intellectually-curious thought-criminals whom the US media establishment have placed somewhere between child molesters and drunk drivers on the hierarchy of unforgivability – Event 201 was hurriedly “debunked” by that same establishment, which quickly set up and eviscerated a straw man (“No, Bill Gates didn’t cause the coronavirus epidemic!”) and convinced the group itself to issue a statement denying their exercise was meant to predict the behavior of the actual virus, 65 million deaths and all. 

But few are aware that the epidemic playing out in China and two dozen other countries, including the US, is unfolding in line with a decade-old simulation titled “Lock Step” devised by the Rockefeller Foundation in conjunction with the Global Business Network. The scenario, one of four included in a publication called “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development” in 2010, describes a coronavirus-like pandemic that becomes the trigger for the imposition of police-state controls on movement, economy, and other areas of society. The novel coronavirus is thus not merely a depopulation exercise, as some have claimed. It could be the trigger for the imposition of a global police state.

Lock Step describes “a world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited innovation and growing citizen pushback.” In “2012” (i.e. two years after the report’s publication), an “extremely virulent and deadly” strain of influenza originating with wild geese brings the world to its knees, infecting 20 percent of the global population and killing 8 million people in just seven months – “the majority of them healthy young adults.” It devastates global economies and ruptures international trade. But not everyone, the Rockefeller Foundation makes clear, is hit equally.

Countries of Africa, southeast Asia, and central America suffer the worst “in the absence of official containment protocols” – it wouldn’t be the Rockefeller Foundation if someone wasn’t licking their lips at the thought of a mass die-off in the Global South – but western “democracies” also pay the ultimate price. “The United States’ initial policy of ‘strongly discouraging’ citizens from flying proved deadly in its leniency, accelerating the spread of the virus not just within the US but across borders,” the report warns. But remove such obstacles as ‘individual rights’ and you have a recipe for surviving, even thriving in the event of a pandemic, the Foundation gushes:

“A few countries did fare better – China in particular. The Chinese government’s quick imposition and enforcement of mandatory quarantine for all citizens, as well as its instant and near-hermetic sealing-off of all borders, saved millions of lives, stopping the spread of the virus far earlier than in other countries and enabling a swifter post-pandemic recovery.”

The message is clear – police state good, freedom bad. And other governments rapidly get the message, according to the simulation. First and third world nations alike follow suit by “flexing their authority” and imposing quarantines, body-temperature checks, and other “airtight rules and restrictions” – most of which, the report is careful to note, remain in place even as the pandemic recedes into the past. “In order to protect themselves from the spread of increasingly global problems – from pandemics and transnational terrorism to environmental crises and rising poverty – leaders around the world took a firmer grip on power.”

This global power-grab is facilitated by a frightened citizenry who “willingly gave up some of their sovereignty – and their privacy – to more paternalistic states in exchange for greater safety and stability… tolerant, and even eager, for top-down direction and oversight.” Everything from tighter biometric identification to stricter industrial regulation is welcomed with open arms. It takes over a decade for people to “grow weary” of the authoritarian controls imposed in the wake of the pandemic, and hints that even the civil unrest that ultimately manifests is focused on the developed world. After all, a popular uprising in the technocratic police state envisioned by the simulation would be all but impossible – as it will be in real life once 5G makes real-time total surveillance of all cities a reality.

Pin the blame on the dragon

It remains unclear what – or who – unleashed the novel coronavirus in Wuhan. The initial claim that it originated in bats from a “wet market,” in which live animals are sold and then butchered in front of the customer, couldn’t have been more perfect from a western point of view – wet markets are reviled in the West, where consumers prefer that the animal cruelty required to put meat on their tables happens behind closed doors. While wet markets would seem to improve food safety by making it impossible to sell “mystery,” mislabeled or expired meat, time and again they are fingered as disease vectors by the disapproving West, every time followed by calls to ban them entirely. However, the Huanan seafood market hadn’t sold bats for years, meaning – if the “wet market” hypothesis is to persist – an “intermediate host” species would be required to get the virus to humans. Snakes were nominated, even though scientists weren’t sure they could be infected by a coronavirus – it was more important that they eat bats and were sold at the market. Three weeks after the Huanan seafood market was shuttered and disinfected, a Lancet study put the last nail in the hypothesis’ coffin, revealing the first several coronavirus cases had no exposure to the market at all. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has not discouraged the media from continuing to blame it for the epidemic.

Beyond the disintegrating “official story,” rumormongers have pinned the blame on the Chinese government, suggesting that through malice or incompetence Beijing released a virus cooked up in a top-secret bioweapons program operating in the city’s high-security lab. The chief purveyor of this theory is Dany Shoham, an Israeli biosafety analyst, which should raise a forest of red flags in anyone familiar with Israel’s own experiments in gene-targeted biowarfare even before taking into account Shoham’s own history of fraudulently blaming Saddam Hussein’s Iraq for the 2001 anthrax attacks. Other outlets spreading this theory cite American biosafety consultant Tim Trevan, who opined in a 2017 Nature article – published before the Wuhan lab even opened! – that “diversity of viewpoint” and “openness of information” are both critical to the safe functioning of such a high-risk lab and alien to Chinese culture. The persistence of the “lab accident” theory of coronavirus’ creation thus owes more to cultural chauvinism and sinophobia than any fact-based clues.

While many alt-media outlets have fingered Event 201 as the replica “drill” that so often coincides with a false flag event, few are aware that on the day after that simulation, the 2019 Military World Games kicked off in Wuhan, bringing 300 US military personnel to the city. Former Malaysian PM Matthias Chang, however, zeroed in on the games as the likely entry point for what he described as a biological war waged by the US against China. In an interview with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting last month, Chang placed coronavirus on a continuum of American bio-attacks which he said included deliberate infection of Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea and Cubans with dengue fever, as well as creating the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. 

As of February 4, there are over 1,000 times more coronavirus cases in China than outside of it, and the foreign cases appear to be ethnically Chinese where reported. This is not a coincidence – a recent scientific paper revealed the enzyme which serves as a receptor for novel coronavirus is produced by a certain type of lung cell found in “extremely large numbers” in Asian men compared to those of other ethnicities. Even more intriguingly, those lung cells are involved in the expression of “many other genes that positively regulating [sic] viral reproduction and transmission.” The paper’s authors stop short of suggesting the virus came out of a lab, instead drily observing that it seems to have “cleverly evolved to hijack this population of [lung] cells for its reproduction and transmission,” but one man’s clever viral evolution is another’s expert bioweapon development.

Certainly, American researchers have been surreptitiously collecting Chinese DNA for decades. A notorious Harvard School of Public Health program in the mid-1990s drafted village medics to administer “free physicals” to locals “with asthmatic symptoms.” These “checkups” were conducted as part of a genetic project that also involved the US National Institutes of Health and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, supposedly aimed at “identify[ing] and characteriz[ing] genes that play a role in causing asthma and other allergic disorders.” It later emerged that the researchers had secured the required consent forms from neither the local experimental ethics board nor the test subjects themselves. A government inquiry was commandeered by an insider and squelched. Over 200,000 DNA samples were thus collected and spirited out of the country. 

US military literature has been lusting after genetically-targeted weapons for at least 50 years. The infamous Project for a New American Century, whose members have been steering the US ship of state into a series of icebergs since the George W. Bush administration, described gene-specific bioweapons as a “politically-useful tool,” part and parcel of the “new dimensions of combat” in which the future’s wars would unfold. In 1998, the year after PNAC’s formation, reports Israel was working on just such a weapon to target Arabs while leaving Jews untouched flooded the media – part PR campaign, part warning. And it is DARPA and other divisions of the US military, not  the Chinese, that has been intensively studying bat-borne coronaviruses for years, even as their own high-security biowarfare labs are being shut down for shoddy safety procedures.

Meanwhile, the likelihood of the Chinese government unleashing a genetically-targeted virus on its own population is vanishingly low. Unlike popular attitudes of “white guilt” in the West born of a hangover from colonialism, the Chinese do not traffic in racial self-loathing – indeed, outsiders have accused the Chinese of an unspoken, unshakeable belief in their own racial superiority, and regardless of whether that belief is problematic, it is unlikely to lead to intentional self-genocide. Even if a behavior-correcting false flag was sought by Beijing in Hong Kong, where US-backed pro-“democracy” protests have raged destructively for months, such an event would not have been unleashed hundreds of miles away in Wuhan.

Never let a good crisis go to waste?

The real-life coronavirus is much less virulent than the pandemic described in Lock Step, with an official death toll of “just” 427 and a global infection toll of “only” 20,629 as of February 4, and the dead were mostly over 60 with preexisting medical issues. Economies worldwide are nevertheless in free-fall just like the simulation predicted. This drop is fueled by scare-stories percolating in establishment media and alt-media alike (the name of an actual article in ZeroHedge by a Rabobank analyst: “What if we are on the brink of an exponential increase in coronavirus cases?”) while videos of dubious origin appearing to show horrific scenes from within China keep the virus viral on social media. Adding to the fear is coronavirus’ lengthy incubation period, up to two weeks in which a carrier could be blithely spreading it to everyone they meet, creating a constant threat of a “boom” in cases just around the corner.

China’s economy, of course, is being hit the worst, and the epidemic’s timing could not have been more disastrous from Beijing’s point of view, coming on the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday. At this time, some 400 million Chinese travel around the country to see family, mostly in the high-speed bullet trains that have their hub in – you guessed it – Wuhan. With much of this travel having occurred before the city was quarantined, cases are likely in their incubation phase all over the country, making today’s numbers look like a rounding error. 

Correspondingly, the situation couldn’t be better for the American ruling class: a pandemic that targets Asians striking China just when it’s most vulnerable is a powerful blow to the rising superpower. And in case anyone still believes the circumstances of the virus’ ascendance are merely an extended string of coincidences, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross took that plausible deniability and stomped on it last month, unable to stop himself from gushing that coronavirus would “help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America” in an interview with Fox News. Prefacing his victory lap by saying he didn’t “want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease,” he pointed out that businesses will be forced to take China’s inexplicable susceptibility to deadly viruses into account when reviewing their supply chains. Unmentioned, but adding to the perfect economic storm, was Trump’s signature on the USMCA trade agreement, supposed to bring in an extra 1.2 percentage points in GDP growth

“On top of all the other things, you had SARS, you had the African Swine virus there, now you have this,” Ross said, hammering home the point by linking coronavirus to other suspect plagues. Just as many scientists concluded SARS was a manmade bioweapon, many – scientists and statesmen as well as alternative media – have raised the alarm about coronavirus. Good luck finding any of their statements on Google, however. Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have been hard at work removing coronavirus “rumors,” and Google has memory-holed hundreds of search results regarding Chinese accusations of biowarfare. Even on platforms that don’t censor on government orders, the baseless claims from Shoham and other disinfo artists about Chinese biowarfare have muscled any comments from Chinese officials out of the way. Even the former Malaysian PM’s comments are obscured behind a Farsi language barrier – his original comments inexplicably missing from English-language media and reprinted only by Iran’s IRIB News Agency (this author can no longer even find the tweet that alerted her to those comments, but would like to thank that person).

Coronavirus is not the doomsday epidemic it is being portrayed as by irresponsible media actors. But as the Lock Step scenario makes clear, one does not need massive die-off or victims exploding in geysers of blood in the streets to achieve desired social goals. It’s possible the novel coronavirus epidemic is a “dry run,” a test of both China’s readiness to handle an outbreak and of the international community’s reaction to such a plague. It’s even possible, though unlikely, that the epidemic was a mistake – that the virus escaped from a lab, likely American, by accident.

It’s also possible the plague may suddenly become more virulent. Certainly the media buzz the first week of February is that coronavirus is close to being declared a “pandemic” by the WHO, which will necessitate the type of control measures hinted at in Lock Step and described more exhaustively in Event 201. From “limited internet shutdowns” and “enforcement actions against fake news” to government bailouts of “core” industries, mandatory vaccinations, property seizures, and other police-state provisions laid out in the Model State Emergency Health Powers Acts passed in many states in the paranoid aftermath of 9/11, the totalitarian nature of these provisions is limited only by the imaginations of the regimes carrying them out. Once events proceed to that stage, it is extremely difficult to reverse them. We would be wise not to allow this to happen.

February 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Bats, Gene Editing and Bioweapons: Recent DARPA Experiments Raise Concerns Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

DARPA recently spent millions on research involving bats and coronaviruses, as well as gene editing “bioweapons” prior to the recent coronavirus outbreak. Now, “strategic allies” of the agency have been chosen to develop a genetic material-based vaccine to halt the potential epidemic.

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | January 30, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C. – In recent weeks, concern over the emergence of a novel coronavirus in China has grown exponentially as media, experts and government officials around the world have openly worried that this new disease has the potential to develop into a global pandemic.

As concerns about the future of the ongoing outbreak have grown, so too have the number of theories speculating about the outbreak’s origin, many of which blame a variety of state actors and/or controversial billionaires. This has inevitably led to efforts to clamp down on “misinformation” related to the coronavirus outbreak from both mainstream media outlets and major social media platforms.

However, while many of these theories are clearly speculative, there is also verifiable evidence regarding the recent interest of one controversial U.S. government agency in novel coronaviruses, specifically those transmitted from bats to humans. That agency, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), began spending millions on such research in 2018 and some of those Pentagon-funded studies were conducted at known U.S. military bioweapons labs bordering China and resulted in the discovery of dozens of new coronavirus strains as recently as last April. Furthermore, the ties of the Pentagon’s main biodefense lab to a virology institute in Wuhan, China — where the current outbreak is believed to have begun — have been unreported in English language media thus far.

While it remains entirely unknown as to what caused the outbreak, the details of DARPA’s and the Pentagon’s recent experimentation are clearly in the public interest, especially considering that the very companies recently chosen to develop a vaccine to combat the coronavirus outbreak are themselves strategic allies of DARPA. Not only that, but these DARPA-backed companies are developing controversial DNA and mRNA vaccines for this particular coronavirus strain, a category of vaccine that has never previously been approved for human use in the United States.

Yet, as fears of the pandemic potential of coronavirus grow, these vaccines are set to be rushed to market for public use, making it important for the public to be aware of DARPA’s recent experiments on coronaviruses, bats and gene editing technologies and their broader implications.

Examining the recent Wuhan-Bioweapon narrative

As the coronavirus outbreak has come to dominate headlines in recent weeks, several media outlets have promoted claims that the reported epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China was also the site of laboratories allegedly linked to a Chinese government biowarfare program.

However, upon further examination of the sourcing for this serious claim, these supposed links between the outbreak and an alleged Chinese bioweapons program have come from two highly dubious sources.

For instance, the first outlet to report on this claim was Radio Free Asia, the U.S.-government funded media outlet targeting Asian audiences that used to be run covertly by the CIA and named by the New York Times as a key part in the agency’s “worldwide propaganda network.” Though it is no longer run directly by the CIA, it is now managed by the government-funded Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which answers directly to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was CIA director immediately prior to his current post at the head of the State Department.

In other words, Radio Free Asia and other BBG-managed media outlets are legal outlets for U.S. government propaganda. Notably, the long-standing ban on the domestic use of U.S. government propaganda on U.S. citizens was lifted in 2013, with the official justification of allowing the government to “effectively communicate in a credible way” and to better combat “al-Qaeda’s and other violent extremists’ influence.”

Returning to the subject at hand, Radio Free Asia’s recent report on the alleged origins of the outbreak being linked to a Chinese state-linked virology center cited only Ren Ruihong, the former head of the medical assistance department at the Chinese Red Cross, for that claim. Ruihong has been cited as an expert in several Radio Free Asia reports on disease outbreaks in China, but has not been cited as an expert by any other English-language media outlet.

Ruihong told Radio Free Asia that:

“It’s a new type of mutant coronavirus.They haven’t made public the genetic sequence, because it is highly contagious…Genetic engineering technology has gotten to such a point now, and Wuhan is home to a viral research center that is under the aegis of the China Academy of Sciences, which is the highest level of research facility in China.”

Though Ruihong did not directly say that the Chinese government was making a bioweapon at the Wuhan facility, she did imply that genetic experiments at the facility may have resulted in the creation of this new “mutant coronavirus” at the center of the outbreak.

With Radio Free Asia and its single source having speculated about Chinese government links to the creation of the new coronavirus, the Washington Times soon took it much farther in a report titled “Virus-hit Wuhan has two laboratories linked to Chinese bio-warfare program.” That article, much like Radio Free Asia’s earlier report, cites a single source for that claim, former Israeli military intelligence biowarfare specialist Dany Shoham.

Yet, upon reading the article, Shoham does not even directly make the claim cited in the article’s headline, as he only told the Washington Times that: “Certain laboratories in the [Wuhan] institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese BW alignment (emphasis added).”

While Shoham’s claims are clearly speculative, it is telling that the Washington Times would bother to cite him at all, especially given the key role he played in promoting false claims that the 2001 Anthrax attacks was the work of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Shoham’s assertions about Iraq’s government and weaponized Anthrax, which were used to bolster the case for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, have since been proven completely false, as Iraq was found to have neither the chemical or biological “weapons of mass destruction” that “experts” like Shoham had claimed.

Beyond Shoham’s own history of making suspect claims, it is also worth noting that Shoham’s previous employer, Israeli military intelligence, has a troubling past with bioweapons. For instance, in the late 1990s, it was reported by several outlets that Israel was in the process of developing a genetic bioweapon that would target Arabs, specifically Iraqis, but leave Israeli Jews unaffected.

Given the dubious past of Shoham and the clearly speculative nature of both his claims and those made in the Radio Free Asia report, one passage in the Washington Times article is particularly telling about why these claims have recently surfaced:

“One ominous sign, said a U.S. official, is that the false rumors since the outbreak began several weeks ago have begun circulating on the Chinese Internet claiming the virus is part of a U.S. conspiracy to spread germ weapons. That could indicate China is preparing propaganda outlets to counter future charges the new virus escaped from one of Wuhan’s civilian or defense research laboratories (emphasis added).”

However, as seen in that very article, accusations that the coronavirus escaped from a Chinese-state-linked laboratory is hardly a future charge as both the Washington Times and Radio Free Asia have already been making that claim. Instead, what this passage suggests is that the reports in both Radio Free Asia and the Washington Times were responses to the claims circulating within China that the outbreak is linked to a “U.S. conspiracy to spread germ weapons.”

Though most English-language media outlets to date have not examined such a possibility, there is considerable supporting evidence that deserves to be examined. For instance, not only was the U.S. military, including its controversial research arm — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), recently funding studies in and near China that discovered new, mutant coronaviruses originating from bats, but the Pentagon also became recently concerned about the potential use of bats as bioweapons.

Bats as bioweapons

As the ongoing coronavirus outbreak centered in China has spread to other countries and been blamed for a growing number of deaths, a consensus has emerged that this particular virus, currently classified as a “novel [i.e. new] coronavirus,” is believed to have originated in bats and was transmitted to humans in Wuhan, China via a seafood market that also traded exotic animals. So-called “wet” markets, like the one in Wuhan, were previously blamed for past deadly coronavirus outbreaks in China, such as the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

In addition, one preliminary study on the coronavirus responsible for the current outbreak found that the receptor, Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), is not only the same as that used by the SARS coronavirus, but that East Asians present a much higher ratio of lung cells that express that receptor than the other ethnicities (Caucasian and African-American) included in the study. However, such findings are preliminary and the sample size is too small to draw any definitive conclusions from that preliminary data.

Two years ago, media reports began discussing the Pentagon’s sudden concern that bats could be used as biological weapons, particularly in spreading coronaviruses and other deadly diseases. The Washington Post asserted that the Pentagon’s interest in investigating the potential use of bats to spread weaponized and deadly diseases was because of alleged Russian efforts to do the same. However, those claims regarding this Russian interest in using bats as bioweapons date back to the 1980s when the Soviet Union engaged in covert research involving the Marburg virus, research that did not even involve bats and which ended with the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.

Like much of the Pentagon’s controversial research programs, the bats as bioweapons research has been framed as defensive, despite the fact that no imminent threat involving bat-propagated bioweapons has been acknowledged. However, independent scientists have recently accused the Pentagon, particularly its research arm DARPA, of claiming to be engaged in research it says is “defensive” but is actually “offensive.”

The most recent example of this involved DARPA’s “Insect Allies” program, which officially “aims to protect the U.S. agricultural food supply by delivering protective genes to plants via insects, which are responsible for the transmission of most plant viruses” and to ensure “food security in the event of a major threat,” according to both DARPA and media reports.

However, a group of well-respected, independent scientists revealed in a scathing analysis of the program that, far from a “defensive” research project, the Insect Allies program was aimed at creating and delivering a “new class of biological weapon.” The scientists, writing in the journal Science and led by Richard Guy Reeves, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany, warned that DARPA’s program — which uses insects as the vehicle for as horizontal environmental genetic alteration agents (HEGAAS) — revealed “an intention to develop a means of delivery of HEGAAs for offensive purposes (emphasis added).”

Whatever the real motivation behind the Pentagon’s sudden and recent concern about bats being used as a vehicle for bioweapons, the U.S. military has spent millions of dollars over the past several years funding research on bats, the deadly viruses they can harbor — including coronaviruses — and how those viruses are transmitted from bats to humans.

For instance, DARPA spent $10 million on one project in 2018 “to unravel the complex causes of bat-borne viruses that have recently made the jump to humans, causing concern among global health officials.” Another research project backed by both DARPA and NIH saw researchers at Colorado State University examine the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in bats and camels “to understand the role of these hosts in transmitting disease to humans.” Other U.S. military-funded studies, discussed in detail later in this report, discovered several new strains of novel coronaviruses carried by bats, both within China and in countries bordering China.

Many of these recent research projects are related to DARPA’s Preventing Emerging Pathogenic Threats, or PREEMPT program, which was officially announced in April 2018. PREEMPT focuses specifically on animal reservoirs of disease, specifically bats, and DARPA even noted in its press release in the program that it “is aware of biosafety and biosecurity sensitivities that could arise” due to the nature of the research.

DARPA’s announcement for PREEMPT came just a few months after the U.S. government decided to controversially end a moratorium on so-called “gain-of-function” studies involving dangerous pathogens. VICE News explained “gain-of-function” studies as follows:

“Known as ‘gain-of-function’ studies, this type of research is ostensibly about trying to stay one step ahead of nature. By making super-viruses that are more pathogenic and easily transmissible, scientists are able to study the way these viruses may evolve and how genetic changes affect the way a virus interacts with its host. Using this information, the scientists can try to pre-empt the natural emergence of these traits by developing antiviral medications that are capable of staving off a pandemic (emphasis added).”

In addition, while both DARPA’s PREEMPT program and the Pentagon’s open interest in bats as bioweapons were announced in 2018, the U.S. military — specifically the Department of Defense’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program — began funding research involving bats and deadly pathogens, including the coronaviruses MERS and SARS, a year prior in 2017. One of those studies focused on “Bat-Borne Zoonotic Disease Emergence in Western Asia” and involved the Lugar Center in Georgia, identified by former Georgian government officials, the Russian government and independent, investigative journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva as a covert U.S. bioweapons lab.

It is also important to point out the fact that the U.S. military’s key laboratories involving the study of deadly pathogens, including coronaviruses, Ebola and others, was suddenly shut down last July after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified major “biosafety lapses” at the facility.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland — the U.S. military’s lead laboratory for “biological defense” research since the late 1960s — was forced to halt all research it was conducting with a series of deadly pathogens after the CDC found that it lacked “sufficient systems in place to decontaminate wastewater” from its highest-security labs and failure of staff to follow safety procedures, among other lapses. The facility contains both level 3 and level 4 biosafety labs. While it is unknown if experiments involving coronaviruses were ongoing at the time, USAMRIID has recently been involved in research borne out of the Pentagon’s recent concern about the use of bats as bioweapons.

The decision to shut down USAMRIID garnered surprisingly little media coverage, as did the CDC’s surprising decision to allow the troubled facility to “partially resume” research late last November even though the facility was and is still not at “full operational capability.” The USAMRIID’s problematic record of safety at such facilities is of particular concern in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak in China. As this report will soon reveal, this is because USAMRIID has a decades-old and close partnership with the University of Wuhan’s Institute of Medical Virology, which is located in the epicenter of the current outbreak.

The Pentagon in Wuhan?

Beyond the U.S. military’s recent expenditures on and interest in the use of bats of bioweapons, it is also worth examining the recent studies the military has funded regarding bats and “novel coronaviruses,” such as that behind the recent outbreak, that have taken place within or in close proximity to China.

For instance, one study conducted in Southern China in 2018 resulted in the discovery of 89 new “novel bat coronavirus” strains that use the same receptor as the coronavirus known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). That study was jointly funded by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Science and Technology, USAID — an organization long alleged to be a front for U.S. intelligence, and the U.S. National Institute of Health — which has collaborated with both the CIA and the Pentagon on infectious disease and bioweapons research.

The authors of the study also sequenced the complete genomes for two of those strains and also noted that existing MERS vaccines would be ineffective in targeting these viruses, leading them to suggest that one should be developed in advance. This did not occur.

Another U.S. government-funded study that discovered still more new strains of “novel bat coronavirus” was published just last year. Titled “Discovery and Characterization of Novel Bat Coronavirus Lineages from Kazakhstan,” focused on “the bat fauna of central Asia, which link China to eastern Europe” and the novel bat coronavirus lineages discovered during the study were found to be “closely related to bat coronaviruses from China, France, Spain, and South Africa, suggesting that co-circulation of coronaviruses is common in multiple bat species with overlapping geographical distributions.” In other words, the coronaviruses discovered in this study were identified in bat populations that migrate between China and Kazakhstan, among other countries, and is closely related to bat coronaviruses in several countries, including China.

The study was entirely funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, specifically the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) as part of a project investigating coronaviruses similar to MERS, such as the aforementioned 2018 study. Yet, beyond the funding of this 2019 study, the institutions involved in conducting this study are also worth noting given their own close ties to the U.S. military and government.

The study’s authors are affiliated with either the Kazakhstan-based Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems and/or Duke University. The Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems, though officially a part of Kazakhstan’s National Center for Biotechnology, has received millions from the U.S. government, most of it coming from the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. It is the Kazakhstan government’s official depository of “highly dangerous animal and bird infections, with a collection of 278 pathogenic strains of 46 infectious diseases.” It is part of a network of Pentagon-funded “bioweapons labs” throughout the Central Asian country, which borders both of the U.S.’ top rival states — China and Russia.

Duke University’s involvement with this study is also interesting given that Duke is a key partner of DARPA’s Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) program, which officially aims “to dramatically accelerate discovery, integration, pre-clinical testing, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures against infectious diseases.” The first step of the Duke/DARPA program involves the discovery of potentially threatening viruses and “develop[ing] methods to support viral propagation, so that virus can be used for downstream studies.”

Duke University is also jointly partnered with China’s Wuhan University, which is based in the city where the current coronavirus outbreak began, which resulted in the opening of the China-based Duke Kunshan University (DKU) in 2018. Notably, China’s Wuhan University — in addition to its partnership with Duke — also includes a multi-lab Institute of Medical Virology that has worked closely with the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases since the 1980s, according to its website. As previously noted, the USAMRIID facility in the U.S. was shut down last July for failures to abide by biosafety and proper waste disposal procedures, but was allowed to partially resume some experiments late last November.

The Pentagon’s Dark History of Germ Warfare

The U.S. military has a troubling past of having used disease as a weapon during times of war. One example involved the U.S.’ use of germ warfare during the Korean War, when it targeted both North Korea and China by dropping diseased insects and voles carrying a variety of pathogens — including bubonic plague and hemorrhagic fever — from planes in the middle of the night. Despite the mountain of evidence and the testimony of U.S. soldiers involved in that program, the U.S. government and military denied the claims and ordered the destruction of relevant documentation.

In the post World War II era, other examples of U.S. research aimed at developing biological weapons have emerged, some of which have recently received media attention. One such example occurred this past July, when the U.S. House of Representatives demanded information from the U.S. military on its past efforts to weaponize insects and Lyme disease between 1950 and 1975.

The U.S. has claimed that it has not pursued offensive biological weapons since 1969 and this has been further supported by the U.S.’ ratification of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which went into effect in 1975. However, there is extensive evidence that the U.S. has continued to covertly research and develop such weapons in the years since, much of it conducted abroad and outsourced to private companies, yet still funded by the U.S. military. Several investigators, including Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, have documented how the U.S. produces deadly viruses, bacteria and other toxins at facilities outside of the U.S. — many of them in Eastern Europe, Africa and South Asia — in clear violation of the BWC.

Aside from the military’s own research, the controversial neoconservative think tank, the now defunct Project for a New American Century (PNAC), openly promoted the use of a race-specific genetically modified bioweapon as a “politically useful tool.” 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.”

Though numerous members of PNAC were prominent in the George W. Bush administration, many of its more controversial members have again risen to political prominence in the Trump administration.

Several years after “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” was published, the U.S. Air Force published a document entitled “Biotechnology: Genetically Engineered Pathogens,” which contains the following passage:

“The JASON group, composed of academic scientists, served as technical advisers to the U. S. government. Their study generated six broad classes of genetically engineered pathogens that could pose serious threats to society. These include but are not limited to binary biological weapons, designer genes, gene therapy as a weapon, stealth viruses, host-swapping diseases, and designer diseases (emphasis added).”

Concerns about Pentagon experiments with biological weapons have garnered renewed media attention, particularly after it was revealed in 2017 that DARPA was the top funder of the controversial “gene drive” technology, which has the power to permanently alter the genetics of entire populations while targeting others for extinction. At least two of DARPA’s studies using this controversial technology were classified and “focused on the potential military application of gene drive technology and use of gene drives in agriculture,” according to media reports.

The revelation came after an organization called the ETC Group obtained over 1,000 emails on the military’s interest in the technology as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Co-director of the ETC Group Jim Thomas said that this technology may be used as a biological weapon:

“Gene drives are a powerful and dangerous new technology and potential biological weapons could have disastrous impacts on peace, food security and the environment, especially if misused, The fact that gene drive development is now being primarily funded and structured by the US military raises alarming questions about this entire field.”

Though the exact motivation behind the military’s interest in such technology is unknown, the Pentagon has been open about the fact that it is devoting much of its resources towards the containment of what it considers the two greatest threats to U.S. military hegemony: Russia and China. China has been cited as the greatest threat of the two by several Pentagon officials, including John Rood, the Pentagon’s top adviser for defense policy, who described China as the greatest threat to “our way of life in the United States” at the Aspen Security Forum last July.

Since the Pentagon began “redesigning” its policies and research towards a “long war” with Russia and China, the Russian military has accused the U.S. military of harvesting DNA from Russians as part of a covert bioweapon program, a charge that the Pentagon has adamantly denied. Major General Igor Kirillov, the head of the Russian military’s radiation, chemical and biological protection unit who made these claims, also asserted that the U.S. was developing such weapons in close proximity to Russian and Chinese borders.

China has also accused the U.S. military of harvesting DNA from Chinese citizens with ill intentions, such as when 200,000 Chinese farmers were used in 12 genetic experiments without informed consent. Those experiments had been conducted by Harvard researchers as part of a U.S. government-funded project.

Hand inserts a molecule into DNA concept design.

DARPA and its partners chosen to develop coronavirus vaccine

Last Thursday, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced that it would fund three separate programs in order to promote the development of a vaccine for the new coronavirus responsible for the current outbreak.

CEPI — which describes itself as “a partnership of public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations that will finance and co-ordinate the development of vaccines against high priority public health threats” — was founded in 2017 by the governments of Norway and India along with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its massive funding and close connections to public, private and non-profit organizations have positioned it to be able to finance the rapid creation of vaccines and widely distribute them.

CEPI’s recent announcement revealed that it would fund two pharmaceutical companies — Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Moderna Inc. — as well as Australia’s University of Queensland, which became a partner of CEPI early last year. Notably, the two pharmaceutical companies chosen have close ties to and/or strategic partnerships with DARPA and are developing vaccines that controversially involve genetic material and/or gene editing. The University of Queensland also has ties to DARPA, but those ties are not related to the university’s biotechnology research, but instead engineering and missile development.

For instance, the top funders of Inovio Pharmaceuticals include both DARPA and the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the company has received millions in dollars in grants from DARPA, including a $45 million grant to develop a vaccine for Ebola. Inovio specializes in the creation of DNA immunotherapies and DNA vaccines, which contain genetically engineered DNA that causes the cells of the recipient to produce an antigen and can permanently alter a person’s DNA. Inovio previously developed a DNA vaccine for the Zika virus, but — to date — no DNA vaccine has been approved for use in humans in the United States. Inovio was also recently awarded over $8 million from the U.S. military to develop a small, portable intradermal device for delivering DNA vaccines jointly developed by Inovio and USAMRIID.

However, the CEPI grant to combat coronavirus may change that, as it specifically funds Inovio’s efforts to continue developing its DNA vaccine for the coronavirus that causes MERS. Inovio’s MERS vaccine program began in 2018 in partnership with CEPI in a deal worth $56 million. The vaccine currently under development uses “Inovio’s DNA Medicines platform to deliver optimized synthetic antigenic genes into cells, where they are translated into protein antigens that activate an individual’s immune system” and the program is partnered with U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the NIH, among others. That program is currently undergoing testing in the Middle East.

Inovio’s collaboration with the U.S. military in regards to DNA vaccines is nothing new, as their past efforts to develop a DNA vaccine for both Ebola and Marburg virus were also part of what Inovio’s CEO Dr. Joseph Kim called its “active biodefense program” that has “garnered multiple grants from the Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and other government agencies.”

CEPI’s interest in increasing its support to this MERS-specific program seems at odds with its claim that doing so will combat the current coronavirus outbreak, since MERS and the novel coronavirus in question are not analogous and treatments for certain coronaviruses have been shown to be ineffective against other strains.

It is also worth noting that Inovio Pharmaceuticals was the only company selected by CEPI with direct access to the Chinese pharmaceutical market through its partnership with China’s ApolloBio Corp., which currently has an exclusive license to sell Inovio-made DNA immunotherapy products to Chinese customers.

The second pharmaceutical company that was selected by CEPI to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus is Moderna Inc., which will develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus of concern in collaboration with the U.S. NIH and which will be funded entirely by CEPI. The vaccine in question, as opposed to Inovio’s DNA vaccine, will be a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine. Though different than a DNA vaccine, mRNA vaccines still use genetic material “to direct the body’s cells to produce intracellular, membrane or secreted proteins.”

Moderna’s mRNA treatments, including its mRNA vaccines, were largely developed using a $25 million grant from DARPA and it often touts is strategic alliance with DARPA in press releases. Moderna’s past and ongoing research efforts have included developing mRNA vaccines tailored to an individual’s unique DNA as well as an unsuccessful effort to create a mRNA vaccine for the Zika Virus, which was funded by the U.S. government.

Both DNA and mRNA vaccines involve the introduction of foreign and engineered genetic material into a person’s cells and past studies have found that such vaccines “possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards” and that “there is inadequate knowledge to define either the probability of unintended events or the consequences of genetic modifications.” Nonetheless, the climate of fear surrounding the coronavirus outbreak could be enough for the public and private sector to develop and distribute such controversial treatments due to fear about the epidemic potential of the current outbreak.

However, the therapies being developed by Inovio, Modern and the University of Queensland are in alignment with DARPA’s objectives regarding gene editing and vaccine technology. For instance, in 2015, DARPA geneticist Col. Daniel Wattendorf described how the agency was investigating a “new method of vaccine production [that] would involve giving the body instructions for making certain antibodies. Because the body would be its own bioreactor, the vaccine could be produced much faster than traditional methods and the result would be a higher level of protection.”

According to media reports on Wattendorf’s statements at the time, the vaccine would be developed as follows:

“Scientists would harvest viral antibodies from someone who has recovered from a disease such as flu or Ebola. After testing the antibodies’ ability to neutralize viruses in a petri dish, they would isolate the most effective one, determine the genes needed to make that antibody, and then encode many copies of those genes into a circular snippet of genetic material — either DNA or RNA, that the person’s body would then use as a cookbook to assemble the antibody.”

Though Wattendorf asserted that the effects of those vaccines wouldn’t be permanent, DARPA has since been promoting permanent gene modifications as a means of protecting U.S. troops from biological weapons and infectious disease. “Why is DARPA doing this? [To] protect a soldier on the battlefield from chemical weapons and biological weapons by controlling their genome — having the genome produce proteins that would automatically protect the soldier from the inside out,” then-DARPA director Steve Walker (now with Lockheed Martin) said this past September of the project, known as “Safe Genes.”

Conclusion

Research conducted by the Pentagon, and DARPA specifically, has continually raised concerns, not just in the field of bioweapons and biotechnology, but also in the fields of nanotechnology, robotics and several others. DARPA, for instance, has been developing a series of unsettling research projects that ranges from microchips that can create and delete memories from the human brain to voting machine software that is rife with problems.

Now, as fear regarding the current coronavirus outbreak begins to peak, companies with direct ties to DARPA have been tasked with developing its vaccine, the long-term human and environmental impacts of which are unknown and will remain unknown by the time the vaccine is expected to go to market in a few weeks time.

Furthermore, DARPA and the Pentagon’s past history with bioweapons and their more recent experiments on genetic alteration and extinction technologies as well as bats and coronaviruses in proximity to China have been largely left out of the narrative, despite the information being publicly available. Also left out of the media narrative have been the direct ties of both the USAMRIID and DARPA-partnered Duke University to the city of Wuhan, including its Institute of Medical Virology.

Though much about the origins of the coronavirus outbreak remains unknown, the U.S. military’s ties to the aforementioned research studies and research institutions are worth detailing as such research — while justified in the name of “national security” — has the frightening potential to result in unintended, yet world-altering consequences. The lack of transparency about this research, such as DARPA’s decision to classify its controversial genetic extinction research and the technology’s use as a weapon of war, compounds these concerns. While it is important to avoid reckless speculation as much as possible, it is the opinion of this author that the information in this report is in the public interest and that readers should use this information to reach their own conclusions about the topics discussed herein.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media & The Last American Vagabond. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

February 1, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

9/11 and the American Orwellian Nightmare

Total Information Awareness logo
By James Bovard | Future of Freedom Foundation | September 6, 2019

Next week will mark the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Politicians and bureaucrats wasted no time after that carnage to unleash the Surveillance State on average Americans, treating every citizen like a terrorist suspect.   Since the government failed to protect the public, Americans somehow forfeited their constitutional right to privacy. Despite heroic efforts by former NSA staffer Edward Snowden and a host of activists and freedom fighters, the government continues ravaging American privacy.

Two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo sent a secret memo to the Bush White House declaring that the Constitution’s prohibition on unreasonable searches was null and void: “If the government’s heightened interest in self-defense justifies the use of deadly force, then it also certainly would justify warrantless searches.” Yoo is best known for writing a harebrained memo on why presidents can order torture but he also helped sanctify the wholesale demolition of privacy.

Two of the largest leaps towards an American “1984” Orwellian nightmare began in 2002. Though neither the Justice Department’s Operation TIPS nor the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program was brought to completion, perverse parcels and precedents from each program profoundly influenced subsequent federal policies.

In July 2002, the Justice Department unveiled Operation TIPS — the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. According to the Justice Department website, TIPS would be “a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity.” TIPSters would be people who, “in the daily course of their work, are in a unique position to serve as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.” The feds aimed to recruit people in jobs that “make them uniquely well positioned to understand the ordinary course of business in the area they serve, and to identify things that are out of the ordinary.” Homeland Security boss Tom Ridge said that observers in certain occupations “might pick up a break in the certain rhythm or pattern of a community.” The feds planned to enlist as many as 10 million people to watch other people’s “rhythms.” Best of all, TIPsters could gather and report personal information on people without the nuisance of acquiring a search warrant.

The Justice Department provided no definition of “suspicious behavior” to guide its vigilantes. But the notion of recruiting millions of run-a-muk informants spurred protests; even the U.S. Postal Service briefly balked at participating in the program. Ridge insisted that TIPS “is not a government intrusion.” He declared, “The last thing we want is Americans spying on Americans. That’s just not what the president is all about, and not what the TIPS program is all about.” Ridge refrained from christening the program with the motto: “Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.”

When Attorney General John Ashcroft was cross-examined by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on TIPS at a Judiciary Committee hearing on July 25, he insisted that “the TIPS program is something requested by industry to allow them to talk about anomalies that they encounter.” But, when President Bush had initially portrayed the program as an administration initiative. Did thousands of Teamsters Union members petition 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to join the fight against fellow citizens’ “anomalies”? Senator Leahy asked whether reports to the TIPS hotline would become part of a federal database with millions of unsubstantiated allegations against American citizens. Ashcroft told Leahy, “I have recommended that there would be none, and I’ve been given assurance that the TIPS program would not maintain a database.” But Ashcroft could not reveal which federal official had given him the assurance.

The ACLU’s Laura Murphy observed, “This is a program where people’s activities, statements, posters in their windows or on their walls, nationality, and religious practices will be reported by untrained individuals without any relationship to criminal activity.” San Diego law professor Marjorie Cohn observed, “Operation TIPS … will encourage neighbors to snitch on neighbors and won’t distinguish between real and fabricated tips. Anyone with a grudge or vendetta against another can provide false information to the government, which will then enter the national database.”

On August 9, the Justice Department announced it was fine-tuning TIPS, abandoning any “plan to ask thousands of mail carriers, utility workers, and others with access to private homes to report suspected terrorist activity,” the Washington Post reported. People who had enlisted to be TIPSters received an email notice from Uncle Sam that “only those who work in the trucking, maritime, shipping, and mass transit industries will be eligible to participate in this information referral service.” But the Justice Department continued refusing to disclose to the Senate Judiciary Committee who would have access to the TIPS reports.

After the proposal created a fierce backlash across the political board, House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-Tex.) attached an amendment to homeland security legislation that declared, “Any and all activities of the federal government to implement the proposed component program of the Citizen Corps known as Operation TIPS are hereby prohibited.” But the Bush administration and later the Obama administration pursued the same information roundup with federally funded fusion centers that encouraged people to file “suspicious activity reports” for a bizarre array of innocuous behavior such as taking photos, waiting too long for a bus, having “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper stickers. Those reports continue to be dumped into secret federal databases that can vex innocent citizens in perpetuity.

Operation TIPS illustrated how the momentum of intrusion spurred government to propose programs that it never would have attempted before 9/11. If Bush had proposed in August 2001 to recruit 10 million Americans to snitch on any neighbors they suspected of being potential troublemakers, the public might have concluded the president had gone berserk. Instead, the federal government proceeded to vacuum up info like the Home Owners Association From Hell.

Total Information Awareness: 300 million dossiers

The USA PATRIOT Act created a new Information Office in the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In January 2002, the White House chose retired admiral John Poindexter to head the new office. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer explained, “Admiral Poindexter is somebody who this administration thinks is an outstanding American, an outstanding citizen, who has done a very good job in what he has done for our country, serving the military.” It was unclear whether the Bush administration chose Poindexter because of or in spite of his five felony convictions for false testimony to Congress and destruction of evidence during the investigation of the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages exchange. Poindexter’s convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court, which cited the immunity Congress granted his testimony.

Poindexter committed the new Pentagon office to achieving Total Information Awareness (TIA). TIA’s mission is “to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists — and decipher their plans — and thereby enable the U.S. to take timely action to successfully preempt and defeat terrorist acts,” according to DARPA. According to Undersecretary of Defense Pete Aldridge, TIA would seek to discover “connections between transactions — such as passports; visas; work permits; driver’s licenses; credit cards; airline tickets; rental cars; gun purchases; chemical purchases — and events — such as arrests or suspicious activities and so forth.” Aldridge agreed that every phone call a person made or received could be entered into the database. With “voice recognition” software, the actual text of the call could also go onto a permanent record.

TIA would also strive to achieve “Human Identification at a Distance” (HumanID), including “Face Recognition,” “Iris Recognition,” and “Gait Recognition.” The Pentagon issued a request for proposals to develop an “odor recognition” surveillance system that would help the feds identify people by their sweat or urine — potentially creating a wealth of new job opportunities for deviants.

TIA’s goal was to stockpile as much information as possible about everyone on Earth — thereby allowing government to protect everyone from everything. New York Times columnist William Safire captured the sweep of the new surveillance system: “Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book, and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as ‘a virtual, centralized grand database.’” Columnist Ted Rall noted that the feds would even scan “veterinary records. The TIA believes that knowing if and when Fluffy got spayed — and whether your son stopped torturing Fluffy after you put him on Ritalin — will help the military stop terrorists before they strike.”

Phil Kent, president of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, an Atlanta-based public-interest law firm, warned that TIA was “the most sweeping threat to civil liberties since the Japanese-American internment.” The ACLU’s Jay Stanley labeled TIA “the mother of all privacy invasions. It would amount to a picture of your life so complete, it’s equivalent to somebody following you around all day with a video camera.” A coalition of civil-liberties groups protested to Senate leaders, “There are no systems of oversight or accountability contemplated in the TIA project. DARPA itself has resisted lawful requests for information about the Program pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.”

Bush administration officials were outraged by such criticisms. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared, “The hype and alarm approach is a disservice to the public…. I would recommend people take a nice deep breath. Nothing terrible is going to happen.” Poindexter promised that TIA would be designed to “preserve rights and protect people’s privacy while helping to make us all safer.” (Poindexter was not under oath at the time of his statement.)

TIA was defended on the basis that “nobody has been searched” until the feds decide to have him arrested on the basis of data the feds snared. Undersecretary Aldridge declared, “It is absurd to think that DARPA is somehow trying to become another police agency. DARPA’s purpose is to demonstrate the feasibility of this technology. If it proves useful, TIA will then be turned over to the intelligence, counterintelligence, and law-enforcement communities as a tool to help them in their battle against domestic terrorism.” The FBI joined the fun, working on a memorandum of understanding with the Pentagon “for possible experimentation” with TIA. Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Security Paul McHale later confirmed that the Pentagon would turn TIA over to law-enforcement agencies once the system was ready to roll.

In response to its paranoid critics, DARPA removed the spooky Information Awareness Office logo from the program’s website. That logo showed a giant green eye atop a pyramid, covering half the globe with a peculiar yellow haze and the motto “Scientia est Potentia” (Knowledge is Power). DARPA received no credit for refraining from using a more honest maxim such as “You’re Screwed.”

In April 2003, DARPA program manager Lt. Col. Doug Dyer publicly announced that Americans are obliged to sacrifice some privacy in the name of security: “When you consider the potential effect of a terrorist attack against the privacy of an entire population, there has to be some trade-off.” But nothing in the U.S. Constitution entitled the Pentagon to decree how much privacy or liberty American citizens deserve.

In September 2003, Congress passed an amendment abolishing the Pentagon’s Information Office and ending TIA funding. But by that point, DARPA had already awarded 26 contracts for dozens of private research projects to develop components for TIA and a working protype already existed. The facial recognition software now being deployed at the U.S. border and at airports may be one legacy of that program.

While specific policies or proposals have been rebuffed since 9/11, there has been no turning of the tide against the Orwellian nightmare federal agencies have spawned. From the TSA to the National Security Agency to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, our privacy continues to be ravaged in ways that would have mortified earlier generations of Americans.  But nothing happened on 9/11 that made the federal government more trustworthy.

James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, Terrorism and Tyranny, and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at www.jimbovard.com

September 6, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Tech & Big Brother meet at Facebook HQ to discuss how to ‘secure’ US elections

RT | September 5, 2019

Security teams for Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft met with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence’s office to coordinate a strategy to win – er, secure – the 2020 elections.

The tech platforms met with government officials at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on Wednesday, the company has confirmed, boasting that Big Tech and Big Brother have developed a “comprehensive strategy” to get control of previous election-related “vulnerabilities” while “analyzing and getting ahead of new threats.”

Facebook has scrambled to get in front of the 2020 election after being blamed for Trump’s 2016 electoral victory over merely allowing the “Russian trolls” to buy a bunch of ads, most of which appeared after the vote and had nothing to do with the election. But the company insisted last week it had tightened its rules for verifying purchasers of “political” ads, for real this time, after the 2018 contest showed they could still be duped into running obviously-fake ads “paid for by” the Islamic State terror group and Cambridge Analytica.

Aside from the occasional purge of accounts accused of being linked to countries like Russia, Iran, and China on the US’ ever-lengthening enemies’ list, however, it’s hard to tell what exactly any platform has done to make itself immune to ‘manipulation’. Twitter banned state-owned media from buying ads on its platform last month, holding the move up as a victory against the dreaded “foreign meddling,” but its own founder’s account was hacked last week, suggesting it has bigger security issues than a few wrongthink-prone advertisers.

And Google’s potential to sway elections has been the subject of Senate hearings – yet the company has remained silent on addressing the problem, suggesting it doesn’t see it as a bug at all, but a feature. Subsidiary YouTube, meanwhile, conducted another round of deplatforming last month even while declaring it was an open platform for controversial ideas.

The electoral meeting of the minds came less than a week after the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) declared war on deepfakes and other potentially discord-sowing information, promising to neutralize all “malicious” content within four years – if not for this election, then certainly for the next.

Until then, there’s Microsoft’s ElectionGuard software, which the company announced in July it would provide to all the nation’s voting machines, free of charge, out of the goodness of its (and the Pentagon-owned contractor that helped develop the program’s) heart. And if Microsoft’s act of selfless charity doesn’t convince a district their democracy is worth protecting, there’s always Cyberdome, the election security nonprofit advised by half a dozen former intel agency heads who want what’s best for your vote (when they’re not authorizing torture or warrantless wiretapping).

Getting the DHS involved was a nice touch, too, after that agency was accused of attempting to hack electoral systems in multiple states thousands of times during the period surrounding the 2016 election. Unlike the “Russian hacking” allegations that remain unproven, multiple officials from Idaho, Georgia, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky claim the agency attempted to access their systems after they opposed its efforts to “secure” those systems. After initially denying any involvement, the DHS claimed the attempted breach alarms were set off accidentally, during routine “legitimate work.”

September 5, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future of the Spectacle … or How the West Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Reality Police

By CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory, Inc. | September 3, 2019

If you want a vision of the future, don’t imagine “a boot stamping on a human face — for ever,” as Orwell suggested in 1984. Instead, imagine that human face staring mesmerized into the screen of some kind of nifty futuristic device on which every word, sound, and image has been algorithmically approved for consumption by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”) and its “innovation ecosystem” of “academic, corporate, and governmental partners.”

The screen of this futuristic device will offer a virtually unlimited range of “non-divisive” and “hate-free” content, none of which will falsify or distort the “truth,” or in any way deviate from “reality.” Western consumers will finally be free to enjoy an assortment of news, opinion, entertainment, and educational content (like this Guardian podcast about a man who gave birth, or MSNBC’s latest bombshell about Donald Trump’s secret Russian oligarch backers) without having their enjoyment totally ruined by discord-sowing alternative journalists like Aaron Maté or satirists like myself.

“Fake news” will not appear on this screen. All the news will be “authentic.” DARPA and its partners will see to that. You won’t have to worry about being “influenced” by Russians, Nazis, conspiracy theorists, socialists, populists, extremists, or whomever. Such Persons of Malicious Intent will still be able to post their content (because of “freedom of speech” and all that stuff), but they will do so down in the sewers of the Internet where normal consumers won’t have to see it. Anyone who ventures down there looking for it (i.e., such “divisive” and “polarizing” content) will be immediately placed on an official DARPA watchlist for “potential extremists,” or “potential white supremacists,” or “potential Russians.”

Once that happens, their lives will be over (i.e., the lives of the potentially extremist fools who have logged onto whatever dark web platform will still be posting essays like this, not the lives of the Persons of Malicious Intent, who never had any lives to begin with, and who by that time will probably be operating out of some heavily armed, off-the-grid compound in Idaho). Their schools, employers, and landlords will be notified. Their photos and addresses will be published online. Anyone who ever said two words to them (or, God help them, appears in a photograph with them) will have 24 hours to publicly denounce them, or be placed on DARPA’s watchlist themselves.

Meanwhile, up where the air is clean, Western consumers will sit in their cubicles, or stagger blindly down the sidewalk like zombies, or come barrel-assing at you on their pink corporate scooters, staring down at the screens of their devices, where normal reality will be unfolding. They will stare at their screens at their dinner tables, in restaurants, in bed, and everywhere else. Every waking hour of their lives will be spent consuming the all-consuming, smiley, happy, global capitalist Spectacle, every empty moment of which will be monitored and pre-approved by DARPA.

What a relief that will finally be, not to have to question anything, or wonder what is real and what isn’t. When the corporate media tell us the Russians hacked an election, or the Vermont power grid, or are blackmailing the president with an FSB pee-tape, or that the non-corporate media are all “propaganda peddlers,” or that the Labour Party is a hive of anti-Semites, or that some boogeyman has WMDs, or is yanking little babies out of their incubators, or gratuitously gassing them, or attacking us with crickets, or that someone secretly met with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, or that we’re being attacked by Russian spy whales, and suddenly self-radicalized Nazi terrorists, or it’s time for the “International Community” to humanitarianly intervene because “our house is burning,” and our world is on fire, and there are “concentration camps,” and a “coup in Great Britain” … or whatever ass-puckering apocalyptic panic the global capitalist ruling classes determine they need to foment that day, we will know that this news has been algorithmically vetted and approved by DARPA and its corporate, academic, and government partners, and thus, is absolutely “real” and “true,” or we wouldn’t be seeing it on the screen of our devices.

If you think this vision is science fiction, or dystopian satire, think again. Or read this recent article in Bloomberg, “U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation.” Here’s the lede to get you started …

“Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel ‘large-scale, automated disinformation attacks’ … the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society …”

What could be more reassuring than the knowledge that DARPA and its corporate partners will be scanning the entire Internet for content created with “malicious intent,” or which has the potential to “polarize” society, and making sure we never see that stuff? If they can’t do it, I don’t know who can. They developed the Internet, after all. I’m not exactly sure how they did it, but Yasha Levine wrote a book about it, which I think we’re still technically allowed to read.

Anyway, according to the Bloomberg article, DARPA and its corporate partners won’t have the system up and running in time for the 2020 elections, so the Putin-Nazis will probably win again. Which means we are looking at four more years of relentless Russia and fascism hysteria, and fake news and divisive content hysteria, and anti-Semitism and racism hysteria, and … well, basically, general apocalyptic panic over anything and everything you can possibly think of.

Believe me, I know, that prospect is exhausting … but the global capitalist ruling classes need to keep everyone whipped up into a shrieking apoplectic frenzy over anything other than global capitalism until they can win the War on Populism and globally implement the New Normality, after which the really serious reality policing can finally begin.

I don’t know, call me crazy, or a Person of Malicious Intent, but I think I’d prefer that boot in the face.

#

September 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

DARPA unleashes anti-meme militia to fight deepfakes & ‘polarizing’ viral content

By Helen Buyniski | RT | September 2, 2019

The Pentagon has unveiled an initiative to fight ‘large-scale, automated disinformation attacks’ by unearthing deep-fakes and other polarizing content – with the eventual goal of rooting out so-called ‘malicious intent’ entirely.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking software capable of churning through a test set of half a million news stories, photos, and audio/video clips to target and neutralize potentially viral information before it spreads. In DARPA jargon, the aim is to “automatically detect, attribute, and characterize falsified multi-modal media to defend against large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.”  “Polarizing viral content,” however, includes inflammatory truths, and the program’s ultimate goal seems to be to stamp out dissent.

The Semantic Forensics program will scan news stories and social media posts with a barrage of algorithms in the hope of identifying inconsistencies that could mark a story as fake. The desired program will not just identify a meme as inauthentic – it will identify the source of that meme, the alleged intent behind it, and predict the impact of its spread.

To hear them tell it, the Pentagon just wants to even the playing field between the ‘good guys’ – the fake-hunters pursuing the cause of truth in media – and the ‘bad guys’ sowing discord one slowed-down Nancy Pelosi speech at a time. But the Pentagon’s targets aren’t limited to deepfakes, the bogeyman-of-the-month being used to justify this unprecedented military intrusion into the social media and news realm, or fake news at all. If the program is successful after four years of trials, it will be expanded to target all “malicious intent” – a possibility that should send chills down the spine of any journalist who’s ever disagreed with the establishment narrative.

To adequately test the program, the Pentagon has to spike its array of 500,000 test stories with 5,000 convincing fakes, some of which could conceivably make their way into the “live” news stream – although the mainstream media has not exactly had trouble generating false stories on its own in recent weeks. MSNBC’s wholly unverified and still incompletely-retracted “Russian cosigners” fiction and the scare story that the Trump administration would end birthright citizenship for the children of US service members born overseas both took social media by storm before the fact-checkers could boot up their computers.

And the government itself, including the Pentagon, has an extensive history of running fake social media profiles to collect data on persons of interest, including through the NSA’s JTRIG information-war program revealed in the Snowden documents. Agents regularly deploy reputational attacks against dissidents using false information. Fake identities are used to cajole unsuspecting individuals into collaborating in fake FBI “terror” plots, a phenomenon which might once have been called entrapment but is merely business as usual in post-9/11 America.

Which begs the question – how will DARPA handle the malicious falsehoods generated by “friendly” media? This, it would seem, is where the “impact” and “intent” fields come in – fakes from “trusted sources” will be let through, while fakes (and real stories) designed to “undermine key individuals and organizations” will be terminated before they have an impact. When “disinformation” is redefined to include all potentially polarizing stories that don’t conform to the establishment narrative, reality is discarded as so much fake news and replaced with Pentagon-approved pablum.

Helen Buyniski is an American journalist and political commentator.

September 2, 2019 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 2 Comments