Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

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

IRGC Chief Rules Out Possibility of US War

Al-Manar | September 29, 2020

The US is unable to take military action against Iran, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami said, warning that reconciliation would not stop the US from trying to harm the Islamic Republic.

In an address to the Iranian parliament on Tuesday, Major General Salami said there is no possibility of a US war against Iran, since the road to military action on the country is closed.

“We have prepared the capacities for military victory over the enemy, and have sometimes imposed our tactical resolve on them,” the commander said.

Pointing to the enemy’s economic and psychological war against Iranian people, the IRGC commander said the US is neither able nor willing to settle the problems in Iran.

“Even if we make up with the US, it will harm us again,” he stated, describing the notion of compromise with Washington as a “political deception”.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei has announced repeatedly that Iran will not hold talks with the US, either bilaterally or multilaterally.

“If the US backs off from its call, repents, and returns to the nuclear treaty it has breached, then it will be able to join the gathering of the parties to the deal (JCPOA) who hold meetings and talk with Iran, otherwise no negotiations will take place between the officials of the Islamic Republic and the Americans at any level, not in New York and not anywhere else,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in September 2019.

September 29, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

PLO: US puts pressure on Sudan to settle Palestine refugees

MEMO | September 28, 2020

The United States is putting pressure on Sudan to accept settling Palestine refugees on its soil, member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, Bassam Al-Salhi, was reported saying by Anadolu yesterday.

“Special sources told me that the ongoing normalisation talks between Washington, Israel and Sudan include Sudan’s possibility to resettle [Palestine] refugees on its soil as part of the deal of the century,” Al-Salhi said, in reference to the US ‘peace deal’ for the region.

He stated that “this is part of the conspiracy against the Palestinian cause,” stressing the issue between Israel and Sudan goes beyond the normalisation of ties.

The PLO official called on Sudan “to reject being dragged into these American-Israeli plans in order to maintain its interests and future.”

Resettling Palestine refugees had been raised dozens of times by Israel and the US mainly in Egypt and other host countries; however, Al-Salhi said, proposing to resettle them in Sudan is new.

Sudan did not issue an immediate comment on the remarks, but the country’s officials have several times denied reports about the possible normalisation of ties with Israel despite several meetings between Sudanese and Israeli officials.

September 28, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Dark Side of the 1991 Gulf War

Tales of the American Empire | November 22, 2019

The 1991 Gulf war is remembered as a great war. In reality, worldwide sanctions would have forced Iraq to peacefully withdraw. The Gulf war cost billions of dollars, killed or sickened a million people, left the region much worse off, assisted Iran, and caused a worldwide economic recession.

________________________________________

The creation of oil-rich Kuwait by Britain; Keesing’s; July 8, 1961; http://web.stanford.edu/group/tomzgro…

“Gulf War Documents: Meeting between Saddam Hussein and US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie”; Wikileaks/Global Research; March 5, 2012; https://www.globalresearch.ca/gulf-wa…

Stephen C. Pelletiere’s Jan 31, 2003 New York Times OpEd on the evidence that Iran was responsible for the gassing of 5000 Kurds at Halabja, not Iraq: https://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/31/op…

“Overwhelming Force – What happened in the final days of the Gulf War?”; Seymour Hersh; New Yorker; May 22, 2000; http://cryptome.org/mccaffrey-sh.htm

“Lucky War; Third Army in Desert Storm”; Richard M. Swain; US Army Command and General Staff College Press; 1994; https://history.army.mil/html/bookshe…

Video of tons of foreign munitions blown up at the Iraqi Khamisiyah storage area in 1991: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzrqj…

September 27, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

US Accuses Its Own Informant in Venezuela Case of Lying to Feds

teleSUR – September 26, 2020

United States federal law enforcement has accused a key informant on the trumped up case targeting Venezuela’s Minister Tareck El Aissami of lying and stealing US $140,000.

The Associated Press reports that Venezuelan-born businessman and pilot Alejandro Marin was arrested on September 19th in Miami on three counts of knowingly making false statements to U.S. federal agents, according to court filings.

Marin operates a chartered flight business out of Miami’s Opa Locka executive airport and conspired in the plot against Vice President El Aissami, utilizing his business.

The government of Venezuela has said that the years-long persecution of Minister Tareck El Aissami, like the recent charges against President Nicolas Maduro, are part of a permanent destabilization campaign against top officials of the Bolivarian government.

AP’s Joshua Goodman reports that in coordination with US authorities, Marin had transported millions of dollars on private jets, in violation of US-imposed unilateral coercive measures.

The US $140,000 is said to have gone missing during a US-directed operation in July 2018. Federal public defender Christian Dunham, who is representing Marin, says his client is expected to appear in court on September 30th for a pre-trial detention hearing.

According to the arrest order, the stolen funds were deposited to an account controlled by Marin over two years ago.

The US government has tried various hands hoping to generate the evidence to forge a case and a narrative of criminality within the Venezuelan government.

With the mainstream media on side with Washington, the case against President Nicolas Maduro and officials, in which a US $15 million bounty was placed by the Justice Department in March, remains dubious at best as new information regarding the corrupt and criminal nature of the Venezuelan opposition aligned with Juan Guaido comes to light.

September 27, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | | Leave a comment

US warns it is shutting down Baghdad embassy: WSJ

Press TV – September 27, 2020

The US has reportedly said it is closing its embassy in Baghdad unless Iraq prevents rocket attacks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly called Iraqi President Barham Salih and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Sunday.

“What we’re being told is that it is a gradual closure of the embassy over two to three months,” an Iraqi official was cited as saying in a Wall Street Journal report.

A State Department official also took the chance to point the finger at Iran.

“The Iran-backed groups launching rockets at our embassy are a danger not only to us but to the government of Iraq, neighboring diplomatic missions,” the official was cited as saying.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday condemned any assaults on diplomatic places, saying such attacks in Iraq must be stopped.

He touched upon attacks carried out against Iran’s diplomatic locations and highlighted the necessity of guaranteeing the dignity and security of Iranian diplomats in Iraq.

The heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, which hosts foreign diplomatic sites and government buildings, have been frequently targeted by rockets and explosives in the past few years.

September 27, 2020 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , | 2 Comments

MSM Promotes Yet Another CIA Press Release As News

By Caitlin Johnstone | September 23, 2020

The Washington Post, whose sole owner is a CIA contractor, has published yet another anonymously sourced CIA press release disguised as a news report which just so happens to facilitate longstanding CIA foreign policy.

In an article titled “Secret CIA assessment: Putin ‘probably directing’ influence operation to denigrate Biden“, WaPo’s virulent neoconservative war pig Josh Rogin describes what was told to him by unnamed sources about the contents of a “secret” CIA document which alleges that Vladimir Putin is “probably” overseeing an interference operation in America’s presidential election.

True to form, at no point does WaPo follow standard journalistic protocol and disclose its blatant financial conflict of interest with the CIA when promoting an unproven CIA narrative which happens to serve the consent-manufacturing agendas of the CIA for its new cold war with Russia.

And somehow in our crazy, propaganda-addled society, this is accepted as “news”.

The CIA has had a hard-on for the collapse of the Russian Federation for many years, and preventing the rise of another multi-polar world at all cost has been an open agenda of US imperialism since the fall of the Soviet Union. Indeed it is clear that the escalations we’ve been watching unfold against Russia were in fact planned well in advance of 2016, and it is only by propaganda narratives like this one that consent has been manufactured for a new cold war which imperils the life of every organism on this planet.

There is no excuse for a prominent news outlet publishing a CIA press release disguised as news in facilitation of these CIA agendas. It is still more inexcusable to merely publish anonymous assertions about the contents of that CIA press release. It is especially inexcusable to publish anonymous assertions about a CIA press release which merely says that something is “probably” happening, meaning those making the claim don’t even know.

None of this stopped The Washington Post from publishing this propaganda piece on behalf of the CIA. None of it stopped this story from being widely shared by prominent voices on social media and repeated by major news outlets like CNN, The New York Times, and NBC. And none of it stopped all the usual liberal influencers from taking the claims and exaggerating the certainty.

The CIA-to-pundit pipeline, wherein intelligence agencies “leak” information that is picked up by news agencies and then wildly exaggerated by popular influencers, has always been an important part of manufacturing establishment Russia hysteria. We saw it recently when the now completely debunked claim that Russia paid bounties on US troops to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan first surfaced; unverified anonymous intelligence claims were published by mass media news outlets, then by the time it got to spinmeisters like Rachel Maddow it was being treated not as an unconfirmed analysis but as an established fact.

If you’ve ever wondered how rank-and-file members of the public can be so certain of completely unproven intelligence claims, the CIA-to-pundit pipeline is a big part of it. The most influential voices who political partisans actually hear things from are often a few clicks removed from the news report they’re talking about, and by the time it gets to them it’s being waved around like a rock-solid truth when at the beginning it was just presented as a tenuous speculation (the original aforementioned WaPo report appeared on the opinion page).

The CIA has a well-documented history of infiltrating and manipulating the mass media for propaganda purposes, and to this day the largest supplier of leaked information from the Central Intelligence Agency to the news media is the CIA itself. They have a whole process for leaking information to reporters they like (with an internal form that asks whether the information leaked is Accurate, Partially Accurate, or Inaccurate), as was highlighted in a recent court case which found that the CIA can even leak documents to select journalists while refusing to release them to others via Freedom of Information Act requests.

lying, torturingpropagandizingdrug traffickingassassinatingcoup-stagingwarmongeringpsychopathic spook agency with an extensive history of deceit and depravity that selectively gives information to news reporters with whom it has a good relationship is never doing so for noble reasons. It is doing so for the same rapacious power-grabbing reasons it does all the other evil things it does.

The way mainstream media has become split along increasingly hostile ideological lines means that all the manipulators need to do to advance a given narrative is set it up to make one side look bad and then share it with a news outlet from the other side. The way media is set up to masturbate people’s confirmation bias instead of report objective facts will then cause the narrative to go viral throughout that partisan faction, regardless of how true or false it might be.

The coming US election and its aftermath is looking like it will be even more insane and hysterical than the last one, and the enmity and outrage it creates will give manipulators every opportunity to slide favorable narratives into the slipstream of people’s hot-headed abandonment of their own critical faculties.

And indeed they are clearly prepared to do exactly that. An ODNI press release last month which was uncritically passed along by the most prominent US media outlets reported that China and Iran are trying to help Biden win the November election while Russia is trying to help Trump. So no matter which way these things go the US intelligence cartel will be able to surf its own consent-manufacturing foreign policy agendas upon the tide of outrage which ensues.

The propaganda machine is only getting louder and more aggressive. We’re being prepped for something.

September 27, 2020 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

When False Flags Go Viral

False flag bioterrorism

The Corbett Report | September 26, 2020

… As it turns out, 9/11 may not prove to be the most long-lasting and world-changing false flag event to take place in the fall of 2001. The anthrax attacks that followed on the heels of “the day that changed everything” may in fact have more to say about the COVID-1984 world in which we find ourselves.

Viewers of my recent work on COVID-911 will already know about one of the remarkable “coincidences” linking the anthrax attacks of 2001 with the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. Namely, that both events were preceded by a “simulation” that mirrored the real-life incident—Dark Winter in the case of the anthrax attacks and Event 201 in the case of the current scamdemic—complete with fake news segments dramatizing the real-life emergencies that would unfold on our tv screens months later. As you will also know, those events weren’t just co-hosted by the same organization (the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security), but actually featured some of the same players who would go on to lay the groundwork for and participate in the US government’s COVID-19 response.

But those “coincidences” really only scratch the surface of the anthrax false flag. The real story of the anthrax attacks is much bigger than we can do justice to here, but it includes:

  • The revelation in the pages of the New York Times that the US government was running an illegal biological weapons program that was working to—among other things—genetically engineer weaponized anthrax (a revelation that was published on September 4, 2001, but quickly overshadowed by other events).
  • The death of Vladimir Pasechnik, a microbiologist who had worked on the Soviet germ warfare program weaponizing anthrax and other biological agents before defecting to Britain in 1989, who was hired by Britain to conduct his own research into anthrax antidotes at the UK’s secretive Porton Down bioweapon laboratory, and who died just weeks after the anthrax attacks took place.
  • The murder of Dr. David Kelly, who debriefed Pasechnik after his defection and offered him the job at Porton Down, and who had told his friend that he was going to write a book exposing what he knew about the bioweapons program before “killing himself” on Harrowdown Hill.

. . . and much, much else besides.

But for today, it serves merely to note that the anthrax attacks were indeed a false flag attack. In those first chaotic days of the attack, ABC’s Brian Ross began reporting from his “anonymous well-placed sources” that the anthrax spores contained traces of bentonite, a “troubling chemical additive” that just happened to be a ” a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program.” Of course, this turned out to be a complete lie (a lie that Ross has never clarified or retracted to this day).

As was later confirmed, the spores in question were actually derived from the Ames strain, a strain of anthrax whose virulence makes it the “gold standard” for research into the bacterium by the biological warriors at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. This made the attack almost certainly an inside job (although, it should be noted, the Ames strain is available to researchers in a number of laboratories around the world, including Porton Down).

Inevitably, the FBI “Amerithrax” investigation into the deadly anthrax letters—the largest investigation in the history of the Bureau—set its sights on a series of “lone wolves.” After failing to even bring charges against “person of interest” Steven Hatfill—a bioweapons expert who was awarded nearly $6 million in taxpayer money after years of harassment—and ultimately landed on Bruce Ivins, a patsy who conveniently killed himself before ever even being charged for the monumental crime that was ultimately blamed on him.

The anthrax false flag killed multiple birds with one stone:

  • It associated the terror attack of 9/11 with a subsequent bioterror attack that was quickly connected to Saddam Hussein and Iraq. That association was still strong in the minds of many Americans (some who may still have erroneously blamed Iraq for the attack) during the build up to the Iraq War in 2002 and 2003.
  • As Whitney Webb points out in her exhaustive report on the event, the anthrax attack also saved Bioport, the crony-connected DoD contractor that supplied the US military with the highly controversial Anthrax vaccine. Facing growing concerns about the safety and efficacy of their vaccine, Bioport faced financial ruin . . . until the anthrax attacks happened and demand for their questionable product skyrocketed. Later rebranding as Emergent Biosolutions, the company benefited from the largesse of the Gates-backed Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, and, as Webb notes, the company “is now set to profit from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.”
  • And, it also gave a gigantic shot in the arm to another major wing of the military-industrial complex: the “biodefense” sector. With the signing of the Biological Weapons Convention in 1972, biological weapons development was forced underground. Of course, it still went on, but now it was carried out under the mantle of “defense.” After all, one could never trust that those damn *Insert Bogeyman Here* would really get rid of their bioweapon stockpiles, and one needed to create bioweapons in order to understand how to protect against them. But such research was necessarily sidelined and shrouded in secrecy.

Before the anthrax attacks, bioweapons research had been sidelined and shrouded in secrecy. After the attacks, however, the US government—and indeed every government in the world—had a perfect excuse to vastly expand its biological weapons programs in the name of “biological security.” As Jonathan King, a professor of microbiology at MIT, explains:

“[The] response to the anthrax attacks and the bioterrorism initiative has been to launch a nationwide, billion-dollar campaign to ‘defend us’ from unknown terrorists. But the character of this program is roughly as follows: You say, ‘Well, what would the terrorists come up with? What’s the nastiest, most dangerous, most difficult-to-diagnose, difficult-to-treat microorganisms that we can think of. Well, let’s go bring that organism into existence so that we can figure out how to defend against it.’ The fact of the matter is, it’s indistinguishable from an offensive program in which you would do the same thing.”

Thus we get such innovations as the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology’s reconstruction of the 1918 Spanish flu from the tissue of a victim buried in the Alaska permafrost. Or the USAID-funded 2015 research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that weaponized bat-derived coronavirus in experiments that even other molecular biologists warned was presenting the world with a “clear and present danger.” (Oh, and the USAID funding for the research was technically illegal at the time, but who’s keeping track, hey?)

The long story short is that we have indeed arrived at another, potentially even more dangerous era of false flag attack. At this point it isn’t the scary bearded Muslim suicide bombers who we are supposed to be afraid of, though. It’s scary bearded Muslim biologists. Or something like that. Maybe it’ll be the Russkies. Or the ChiComs. Or some shadowy terror group that arises from nowhere and starts claiming responsibility for Bill Gates’ threatened “Pandemic II.”

The point is that bioterrorism is now very much on the table and don’t think for a second that the globalists won’t resort to more spectacular bioterror attacks to keep the current biosecurity hysteria going.

The ridiculous Skripal affair and its even more absurd low-budget sequel (the Navalny hoax) are just a taste of what we are likely to see in the near future. We may scoff at the amateur theatrics of these false flag test runs, but it would be the same as someone in 1993 dismissing the first World Trade Center bombing as a ridiculous, bungled FBI op, instead of the first taste of much bigger attacks to come.

Conclusion

They say forewarned is forearmed, and I think that adage is especially apt when it comes to the subject of false flag attacks. The entire reason that these operations have been used by country after country for centuries is that they are so effective. And they are only effective because throughout those centuries the general public was unable to wrap their minds around a trick so devious and downright evil.

“But why would the government attack itself?” is not just the question of a brainwashed simpleton; it’s the question of an innocent and trusting soul who could never in a million years imagine doing something so underhanded.

But this is not 1800. It’s not even 2000. It’s 2020. The world has cottoned on to the trick.

Now we have to completely break the spell that governments have cast over the public. In the event of every spectacular terror attack (biological or otherwise), we have to take the history of false flag operations into account and put the government at the top of the list of suspects. When enough of the population has adjusted their thinking in this way, the trick will have lost its effectiveness and the globalists will have to abandon it altogether.

The only question is: Can we wake enough of the public up to these false flag tricks before Gates and his ilk get their “Pandemic II?”

This weekly editorial is part of The Corbett Report Subscriber newsletter.

To support The Corbett Report and to access the full newsletter, please sign up to become a member of the website.

September 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Pennsylvania legislator quoted in Atlantic story about Trump rigging election claims his words were twisted

‘I never said that’

RT | September 26, 2020

A recent story in The Atlantic suggested Donald Trump was working to appoint his supporters to the Electoral College so they can help swing the election his way, but one of the interviewees is now slamming the story as fake news.

“The story is pure conjecture,” Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman told the Washington Examiner.

Corman says he spoke to Atlantic writer Barton Gellman last month and the conversation turned to a handful of hypothetical scenarios regarding the Electoral College.

The story insinuates that Trump’s campaign is working with Republican state legislators to appoint electors who support him to the Electoral College, so that even if people vote one way, the electors could go against them.

“The genesis of the story is that, despite Pennsylvania voting one way with the voters, that the Legislature could step in and thwart that and appoint their own electors. I never said that.”

Corman claims the entire basis of the article doesn’t stand up to fact since, in Pennsylvania, the legislature has nothing to do with picking electors.

“To the best of my knowledge, looking through election code law, there is not a role for the Legislature in this. And so, the premise of the story is false. I think it was done to inflame individuals, which certainly has spurred a lot of phone calls to my office. So, I guess the writer’s intention was successful, but it’s not accurate,” he said.

Corman also said he had had “zero conversation” with the Trump campaign or administration officials about appointing electors. Electors, the senator said, are appointed by individual parties and submitted to the Department of State. Once a winner in the race is chosen, the department appoints said electors.

The Atlantic said in an editor’s note that the story, which will be part of its November print issue, was rushed to publication online because of its “urgency.” The story suggests Trump could use any means necessary to refuse to accept the results of the election if he loses, bringing the US to a dangerous “precipice.”

The author argues that if the election results are in doubt for weeks, which some have suggested could happen because of the influx of mail-in ballots, then states with Republican-led legislatures will take charge and simply appoint their own electors, who will then presumably elect Trump.

What Corman does say in the article, however, is that if the election controversy drags on and “conspiracies are created” then the legislatures may “have no choice but to appoint electors.”

The Atlantic also stoked controversy recently with a disputed story claiming that Trump frequently insulted veterans. The magazine is now being slammed once again over theories about electors in light of Corman’s comments.

“Oops. Another Atlantic fantasy story implodes,” writer Rita Panahi tweeted in reaction.

Though the basis of the lengthy ‘what if’ story is being disputed now, it had already been shared numerous times by Trump critics, who theorized that the president rigging the Electoral College or simply refusing to concede could be “completely plausible.”

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Palestine professor narrates his suffering inside US jails

Abdul Halim Al-Ashqar [Twitter]

Palestinian professor Abdul-Halim Al-Ashqar, 7 June 2019 [Twitter]
MEMO | September 26, 2020

Palestinian professor Abdul-Halim Al-Ashqar, originally from the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, narrates his suffering inside US jails during his 15-year detention.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Al-Ashqar, who ran for Palestinian presidential elections in 2005, disclosed that he spent a total of about 15 years inside US prisons over “baseless” accusations related to supporting Hamas.

Al-Ashqar started his career at the Islamic University of Gaza in 1985 and became the head of the Public Relations Office, noting that Israel exerted much efforts to close it over allegations that it was run by Hamas.

Al-Ashqar obtained a Fulbright scholarship in 1989 to complete a PhD in the US. “In the beginning, Israel prevented me from travelling, claiming I was an activist in Palestine and I would go to America to bring them more troubles,” according to Al-Ashqar.

“In the end, they allowed me to travel, but did not stop making troubles for me,” he said, noting that the Israeli occupation authorities were in contact with his university in the US in order to put pressure on him. Due to Israeli pressure, the supervisor of his thesis and dean of the faculty where he was studying, issued him with several warnings.

The professor alleged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asked him to give information about Palestinians he knew before arriving in the US, promising him a US passport and money.

“I refused because I knew no guilty people,” Al-Ashqar explained, “so they filed a complaint against me in 1998 accusing me of supporting Hamas. I refused to stand before a court and therefore they sent me to prison.”

“I went to hunger strike and after 11 days, I was admitted to hospital and force-fed. They promised to help me should I have changed my mind, but I continued my strike which lasted six months. I think it was the longest in US history. However, Hamas was branded by the US as a terrorist group in 1995, but they detained me over claims before that date. I am not Hamas, but an activist who believes in the Palestinian cause and I said this to Americans from the first day.”

In 2000, the professor had a three-year work contract with Howard University, which refused to renew the contract in 2003 over claims of having no valid visa or residence clearance.

Consequently, Al-Ashqar applied for political asylum because, according to him, Israel wanted to punish him, but he faced imprisonment in the US over the same claims. “I stayed in prison for two months and I spent them on hunger strike,” indicating that the US authorities asked him to withdraw his asylum application and leave the country within two months.

As he had no place to go, he remained and a US court sentenced him to 135 months in prison for claims related to perverting the course of justice. However, such charges usually carry between 24 to 40 months, according to US law. He spent around ten years in prison and was released in 2017. Following this, he began to look for a country that would not hand him over to Israel.

“After a short time on my release, the immigration office summoned me. However, I was sick. I was obliged to go. By my arrival, I was immediately sent to prison and spent 18 months there. That was a stark violation of their laws,” Al-Ashqar recounts.

Al-Ashqar claims that the FBI attempted to deport him directly to Israel after he was released in June 2019. “I applied for political asylum. The FBI did not wait, the court deported me in a plane to Israel, but when the plane was in the sky, a senior judge decided to grant me asylum and ordered my return immediately.”

He was then placed under house arrest and had a tracing tag put on his leg. He was obliged not to leave his town of residence without prior permission.

Concluding his interview with Anadolu Agency, he remarked that Turkey would be the best place for him because: “It is the only state where its people and its president still sympathise with the Palestinian people, and its leader is strong enough to defy Israel.”

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

US asks Sudan to normalize ties with Israel in return for coming off terror list

Press TV – September 26, 2020

The United States is pressing Sudan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel in return for removal of the Northeast African country from a US list of states that sponsor terrorism.

Three Sudanese government officials familiar with the matter, however, told Reuters news agency on Thursday that Khartoum is resisting the linkage of the two issues.

“Sudan has completed all the necessary conditions” an official said on condition of anonymity. “We expect to be removed from the list soon.”

Back in 1993, the US designated Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, cutting it off from financial markets and strangling its economy over allegations that the government of former longtime leader Omar al-Bashir was supporting “terrorism.”

Sudan’s interim government took power last year after Bashir was overthrown by the army following mass popular protests. It is set to remain in office until elections in 2022.

Sudanese officials argue that their country’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism is now undeserved as Bashir’s regime has been toppled, and Sudan has cooperated with the US on counter-terrorism ever since.

Earlier this week, US officials indicated during talks with Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, that they want Khartoum to follow the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain in establishment of ties with the Tel Aviv regime.

“Sudan made clear to the American side that there is no relationship between removing Sudan from the terror list and exploring relations with Israel,” another Sudanese government source stated.

Even if a normalization deal is struck between Sudan and Israel, the US Congress must still pass a necessary legislation to restore Sudan’s sovereign immunity.

Sudan wants the legislation passed before it reaches a $335 million financial settlement with victims of al-Qaeda terror attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Sudan’s lawyers in the United States said it had already paid an additional $72 million to victims of the families of 17 US sailors, who were killed during an attack on the USS Cole while it was docked in Yemen’s Aden Port in 2000. The attack was apparently sponsored by slain al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden who was living in Sudan prior to the attack.

“We want to ensure the passing of the immunity law so that we can put an end to the settlements matter,” a Sudanese official said.

In February, Sudan’s ruling council head Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda, sparking anger among politicians and public at home, where anti-Israel and pro-Palestine sentiments run high.

Sudan has been widely tipped to be the next Arab country that would normalize ties with Israel after the UAE and Bahrain agreed to do so as part of US-brokered agreements.

Netanyahu signed agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by US President Donald Trump at the White House on September 15.

Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital view the deals as betrayal of their cause.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas protested the normalization deals with Israel, saying they will be fruitless as long as the United States and the Israeli regime do not recognize the rights of the Palestinian nation and refuse to resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees.

Kuwait reiterates unswerving support for Palestinian cause, nation

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid Al Sabah highlighted on Friday that his country firmly supports Palestinians in their struggle to achieve their inalienable rights and to establish an independent sovereign state with Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Addressing the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sabah emphasized that “the Palestinian cause still has a central, historical and pivotal place in our Arab and Muslim worlds.”

He noted that Kuwait’s principled and firm position is to support the Palestinian people in their struggle to obtain their legitimate rights.

The Kuwaiti prime minister then underscored the significance of resumption of so-called peace negotiations between Palestinians and the Israeli regime, stating that the talks should bring an end to the Israeli occupation and lead to creation of an independent Palestinian state on the borders before June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Bahraini regime forces arrest poet critical of normalization with Israel

Separately, Bahraini regime forces have arrested a literary figure after he criticized the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom’s normalization with the Israeli regime.

Bahraini activists said the forces arrested the poet Abdul Hussein Ahmed Ali, days after he published a poem in condemnation of the deal, the Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website reported.

“I am not flattering to those who speak this day … Let them hear my words far and wide … Bahrainis are proud, honorable and noble, and do not accept the pledge of allegiance to a criminal and a perpetrator,” a part of the poem read.

September 26, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Joe Biden isn’t a foreign policy guru. He’s a Stepford wife repeating ‘War Party’ talking points

By Rachel Marsden | RT | September 25, 2020

There’s a trope emerging that credits Biden with being a bona fide foreign policy expert. Alongside this delusion is the expectation that he will eat Trump’s lunch during the upcoming election debates. I wouldn’t bank on that.

When it comes to foreign policy, Biden is little more than a Stepford wife who has simply repeated the talking points of the faction that truly runs Washington and American foreign policy. If this faction had an actual name, it might be called the War Party, and it would consist of both Republican and Democratic Party members.

It’s hardly surprising, for example, that the wife of late Senator John McCain, who rarely if ever encountered a war that he didn’t support (despite being taken prisoner and tortured himself during the Vietnam War), said that she would back Biden. The fact that Biden is a Democrat and McCain was a Republican is beside the point when their worldview is virtually identical.

Like a wind-up doll constantly spewing whatever its makers programmed into it, Biden tweeted this week: “As Juan Guaidó speaks about the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis and the crimes against humanity perpetrated by Maduro, I reaffirm my commitment to stand with the Venezuelan people. A Biden-Harris administration will always champion democracy and human rights around the world.”

How about starting with championing democracy in Venezuela by allowing the Venezuelan people to choose their own opposition to President Nicolas Maduro? Juan Guaido was simply handpicked by the US to play President of Venezuela in the hope that they’d fool the rest of the world into believing that it was true. It doesn’t seem to be getting the traction they had hoped. So now Guaido is resorting to doing online Zoom chats, in which he delivers a speech pretending to address the United Nations Assembly in parallel to President Maduro’s actual UN speech.

It wasn’t the first time that Biden had violated the democratic values that he purports to uphold by attempting to impose his worldview on the people of a foreign country. During his Democratic National Convention address last month, Biden said: “We cannot elect a man who belittles our closest allies while embracing dictators like Vladimir Putin.”

Well, actually, Joe, America could indeed feasibly re-elect Trump, in the same way that the Russian people have repeatedly chosen Putin over the main Communist Party opposition in Russia. A voting result that delegitimizes the worldview of Biden and fellow neoconservative global master planners isn’t a dictatorship. What is dictatorial is trying to impose a foreign agenda on the citizens of nations that happen to be led by officials who refuse to prostrate themselves before US interests.

And it’s not just America’s foes who bear the brunt of Biden’s policy self-centeredness. He even appears oblivious to the interests of US allies when they fall out of step. In an op-ed earlier this month, Biden had the audacity to dictate how he’d offer Iran a “credible path back to diplomacy” – by unilaterally adding a series of pre-conditions for Iran to rejoin a multilateral agreement that was breached not by Tehran but by Washington. It was the US that let down its allied partners in the deal – Britain, Germany, and France – all of which have been keen to see US sanctions dropped so they can finally normalize relations with Iran via increased commercial ties.

To be fair, Trump’s foreign policy has also left a lot to be desired. Many of his failures can be summed up in five words: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In the heat of a presidential campaign, Pompeo spent last week smack-talking Cuban and Venezuelan leaders in Latin America in an attempt to drum up votes for Trump among the Venezuelan and Cuban diaspora in Florida. Pompeo’s comedy routine consists of visiting foreign countries and meddling in their domestic affairs by telling them who they shouldn’t be doing business with  – all the while playing the victim of alleged foreign meddling in American affairs.

And it was Trump who hired regime change aficionado John Bolton as National Security Advisor – before calling Bolton a “wacko”, a “dope”, and a “disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war.”

Trump’s no angel, but unlike Biden, at least he’s denigrated a warmonger. By contrast, Biden outright supported wars in Syria, Libya, Serbia, and Iraq. If history is any indication, he risks blindly stumbling into yet another one.

The fact that Trump is peddling the notion that Biden is a Trojan horse for progressive leftists – who tend to be knee-jerk anti-war about as much as neoconservatives are for it – is laughable. Perhaps someone could give Biden a sharp tap. The kind that you’d give to a stubborn old model television set to get it to work when the picture doesn’t display properly. Because he’s stuck spewing neoconservative talking points and refuses to change his tune.

Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and host of an independently produced French-language program that airs on Sputnik France. Her website can be found at rachelmarsden.com

September 25, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 2 Comments