Anyone who has ever read our vaccine textbook knows that this is not an anti-vaccine website. All the research on our website is in favor of any vaccines that have been proven to be absolutely safe, effective, and necessary by legitimate, verifiable third party science – research that is wholly unconnected with vaccine manufacturers and their satellites.
“This is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you to the truth.”
– Morpheus The Matrix
True to the principles set forth in the chapter Doors of Perception: Why Americans Will Believe Almost Anything, I try to avoid newspapers and TV as much as possible, mainly because it’s obvious that that is NOT what is going on in the world. Global affairs are certainly much more complicated, multilayered, with a thousand more points of view than the ridiculous Media stories that focus on one or two extremely basic “facts,” eschewing subtlety in favor of black and white.
Even so, I could not avoid watching CNN for a couple of hours on a recent Sunday. It was an interminable documentary supposedly to show what was going on in Afghanistan. But all we saw were a few shoeless Afghanis riding their mules in the mountain wastelands of Afghanistan, armed with what had to be the oldest rifles known to man. And it went on and on and I’m thinking OK we have all these thousands of UN troops and all those ships and the most sophisticated war gear in history assembled somewhere in the vicinity of Afghanistan, for the invasion, right? So, like where is the army? Where is the enemy? Why are we watching this endless footage about these ragged nomads, as if they had something to do with blowing up the WTC or something. Or like they’re our target, and killing them is going to solve everything.
So I guess we’re supposed to believe what, that our real enemy the Taliban terrorists who set up 9/11 are hiding out in caves somewhere making calls on their cell phones to their colleagues on the east coast, directing the anthrax mailings. And bin Laden is like the fox of the hunt and just as soon as we find him, America will be vindicated. And that’s why we need all these troops, and it’s going to take months to check out all the mountains, etc., right? It’s getting vaguer by the day, but I guess that’s pretty much the morning line.
And then it occurred to me to simply apply the principles from the Doors of Perception to this situation, and it came a little clearer into focus. OK so if this is the smokescreen, then what is it that’s being covered up?
How are we being distracted? We’re being distracted by what we see most of in the news. Just like always. Like Sherman McCoy in Bonfire of the Vanities, it’s not about portraying the factual truth. It’s about dinner. And these days dinner is served, and we’re having war and anthrax.
And smallpox for dessert.
In the creation of public opinion on most subjects, there is always the underlying financial upside. Propaganda – Edward L. Bernays – spin control (Doors of Perception – thedoctorwithin.com – a prerequisite to this chapter). There’s big money in the hysteria surrounding anthrax – big money for Bayer, producer of the dangerous antibiotic Cipro, and big money for Bioport the Saudi-owned holder of the exclusive contract to produce anthrax vaccine in the United States. Big money for new vaccines.
And bigger money in war.
EVERYBODY’S AN AUTHORITY
The subject of anthrax has brought all sorts of experts with columns and websites out of the woodwork, lords of hearsay and unsubstantiated conspiracy and hallucination, many working for syndicated news services, exhibiting the full spectrum of wacky contentions:
* George W engineered WTC so that a war could boost the economy
* the drug companies are sending anthrax spores to mailrooms and Congress in order to create a demand for anthrax vaccine and antibiotics
* bin Laden indirectly owns the anthrax vaccine company
* the FBI knew about 9/11 beforehand but let it happen anyway
* a few people have died from inhaling anthrax spores
* someone is trying to terrorize the American people
* no one really knows what is going on
These days anyone can claim anything. Actually anyone can prove anything now – all they have to say is that their source is speaking “on condition of anonymity.” What a ridiculous new device. Or else that they have such a great journalistic reputation that readers will believe them without references. When did all these tenured journalists become such primadonnas that they think people actually take their uncited, unsourced ruminations seriously? Fortunately, most people buy newspapers for the sports and movie sections, being as sensitized to the daily war scores as they are to advertising.
THE OLDEST PROFESSION
Crowd control. Media is the only business in the world that gets to pretend it isn’t a business. They maintain this supercilious air of selfless dedication – of uncompromising responsibility for ‘reporting the truth.’ Please! Like there are no depths to which they wouldn’t stoop to jangle just one more nerve ending from a story. To serve their advertisers, media has one focus only: to keep readers in a perpetual state of fear and uncertainty so that they will be sure to tune in tomorrow or to buy tomorrow’s paper to see if things got worse. And what kind of news sells most? Right – bad news. If it’s bad today, it’s gotta be worse tomorrow. So if nothing bad enough really happened today, then the main story will seek to foster some unformed fear about what very likely might be happening soon that will be even worse than the actual bad stuff going on now. Generally they’ll wreak the worst possible scenario from any given situation.
Leo Tolstoy nailed it over a century ago:
“All newspaper and journalistic activity is an intellectual brothel from which there is no retreat.”
– Letter to Prince V. 1871
But we digress. For now let’s consider the two new issues separately: anthrax and war.
With anthrax, what is the popular perception that has been crafted since October 2001? Well, let’s see – some white powder has been mailed to a bunch of offices and some people have died from anthrax. Because they didn’t get ahold of Cipro soon enough. And now we’re all at risk because terrorists want to kill all Americans. And more outbreaks are likely soon. And that to be on the safe side, we should take Cipro ‘just in case.’ And maybe the vaccine, if we can find any.
In this chapter we will hold a little different standard from the popular press by asking, what can really be verified about what is going on lately with anthrax? We will leave paranoic theorizing to the journalists – servants to the commandment that the primary goal of media is to perpetuate fear and uncertainty from one day to the next.
ANTHRAX THE DISEASE
Let’s start from the beginning. What is anthrax? According the most recent Merck Manual, a standard medical text, anthrax is a
“highly infectious disease of animals, especially ruminants, transmitted to humans by contact with animals or their products.”
– Merck p 1157
It is infectious, but not contagious. Causative agent: Bacillus anthracis – a gram positive anaerobic bacterium. Standard medical knowledge of the disease is sketchy. That’s probably because anthrax is so rare. Until lately, there have only been 18 cases in the past century. (Associated Press, 8 Oct 01)
Although rare as a naturally occurring disease, anthrax has been intensely studied as a bioweapon since the 1940s. FDR set up a center for developing bioweapons at Camp Detrick, Maryland. The program was headed up by none other than George Merck, drug czar. After years of experimentation with anthrax, a method for inducing spore encapsulation was invented. In this way anthrax the disease was crafted into anthrax the weapon. (Broad) And not by Islamic terrorists. We created anthrax the bioweapon. In Maryland.
In the 1950s, our scientists produced thousands of gallons of ‘weaponized’ anthrax. Operating out of Fort Detrick Maryland for two decades, a group of scientists led by Bill Patrick succeeded in:
* testing experimental anthrax on hundreds of soldiers and prisoners, with or without their consent
* killing some of their own workers in testing unknown germs
* spraying American cities like San Francisco, St Louis, and New York with experimental germs to monitor how they would spread (Cole, also Christopher)
* forcing the anthrax bacillus and smallpox virus to convert into spores, thus creating weapons that can be stored for decades
* aerosolizing germs so they could be sprayed
* developing an arsenal of germ agents, including anthrax and smallpox
These facts are referenced in Miller’s new book Germs, and in several more legitimate sources. Although this book is generally a confused, overblown narrative of drug industry propaganda, written in that style of feigned omniscience that is customary with journalists writing about scientific issues they don’t understand very well, it does point to some valuable sources.
The above listed facts did take place, and can be verified by collateral references. It is true that in 1969, for political reasons, Nixon officially brought the US bioweapons research program to a close. Although biological research went out of favor as far as lavish funding was concerned, up until the present time, we find out that stockpiles of anthrax that were supposed to be destroyed were not. And also that the research went on, disguised as “defensive” in nature. What a big surprise. Gee, you mean the army and the CIA weren’t up front with the public?
Even after the Biological Weapons Treaty was signed in 1972 by more than 100 nations, the US and Russia continued to develop and stockpile anthrax, and still do. (Germs p 63)
When engineered into a weapon, the anthrax bacillus is protected by spores which can exist in the soil or in animal products for decades.
According to the recent Merck Manual, there are 3 ways humans can get the disease: skin, eating infected meat, inhaling spores (Woolsorter’s Disease)
Funny thing is, in this medical text (Merck) the same paragraph says that inhaled anthrax is “often fatal” and “almost always fatal.” Recent events have shown otherwise.
This is typical of medicine’s approach to anthrax. Despite boatloads of ink used up on the topic of anthrax, 99% of it is from the popular press. Very little legitimate scientific research has been done about the cause and cure of anthrax, especially the biowarfare version. Even from our “experts,” estimates of how many spores are necessary to cause the disease vary so widely that it’s obviously guesswork. Dr. Meryl Nass states that the infective dose for inhaled anthrax is “a million spores.” Yet in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the estimate is between 8,000 and 50,000. (Franz) Conclusion: we really have no idea.
Let’s talk about the two supposed treatments for anthrax: antibiotics and the vaccine.
According to Merck, the following antibiotics have traditionally been the treatment of choice:
skin anthrax pulmonary anthrax penicillin streptomycin tetracycline penicillin erythromycin cipro chloramphenical
These are listed in order of preference, with the most harmful choices listed last. Now there are a couple of odd things here. First of all, notice that as of 1999, Cipro is not even on Merck’s list for the inhaled version. It was a only fourth choice for the skin version. Reason: the prodigious amount of side effects listed on p 850 of the 2001 Physicians Desk Reference for Cipro:
NVD phobia hearing loss rash intestinal perforation hemolytic anemia palpitations GI bleeding high triglycerides fainting jaundice high cholesterol hypertension damage to wt. bearing jts. seizures heart attack nephritis tendon rupture thrombosis urethral bleeding exfoliative dermatitis hallucinations nosebleeds manic rx dizziness pulmonary embolism blurred vision
Some of these can be fatal. Probably the only antibiotic more dangerous than Cipro is chloramphenicol, as any drug rep will tell you.
Therefore it seems odd that suddenly in September 2001 the media just upgraded Cipro to the #1 choice for anthrax. Why did they do that? Because Bayer, Cipro’s manufacturer is a huge patron of media advertising? Not that the media would be swayed by financial concerns, of course not… Cipro sales are up 1000% since 9/11. (New York Times 21 Oct 01)
Remember Baycol, the killer cholesterol drug that was pulled off the market earlier this year after at least 32 people had died from it? (The Baycol Recall) That was Bayer. Remember IG Farben – the German drug giant under Hitler? ( Horowitz) That’s also Bayer. A very classy company, always with the interests of human health first and foremost.
The other odd thing is that in the same PDR where the above side effects are catalogued, there’s a whole list of bacteria that Cipro is supposed to be used for. But anthrax bacillus isn’t one of them. And in fact all the ones listed are aerobic bacteria. Anthrax is anaerobic. Isn’t that odd?
Now, Cipro was only recently put on the list for inhalation anthrax by the FDA, in Aug 2000. (Enserink)
Going back to the 1991 Gulf War, each soldier was given a 5 day supply of Cipro — like that would do something. (Miller p 119) Since then, Cipro has stayed in the driver’s seat with respect to military opinions on anthrax antibiotics. In typical military tunnel vision, the terrible side effects of Cipro are not even considered. Nor the fact that efficacy has never been determined for humans younger than 18. (PDR)
But it’s only in the military that Cipro has been the preferred antibiotic for anthrax. Elsewhere it’s always been penicillin and doxycycline. So why the fanfare over Cipro?
Many scientists are wondering the same thing lately. In the 26 Oct 01 edition of the journal Science, there’s an article titled “Researchers question obsession with Cipro.” The article calls Cipro a “drug manufacturer’s heaven.” Fort Detrick official CJ Peters remembers right before the Gulf War when he was deciding which antibiotic to give to soldiers for anthrax, the decision went to Cipro because of its limited success with test monkeys, and because Cipro was the newest antibiotic. The reasoning there was that the Iraqis might have created a new strain of anthrax that was resistant to older antibiotics like penicillin. Just a hunch – no real evidence. But today, 10 years down the road, Peters says that newness has worn off and Cipro is no better than the other less harmful, less expensive antibiotics.
But whether it’s Cipro or penicillin or doxycycline, the biggest deception by the unlettered press is that people are safe taking any antibiotics just on the suspicion that they might possibly have been exposed to anthrax. This is the conventional wisdom that has been created by a hundred media pieces per day. Such a perception is erroneous, unscientific, and extremely dangerous.
Antibiotic resistance is always the Demon to be feared in any mass campaign of preventive antibiotic administration. In The Post Antibiotic Age (thedoctorwithin.com) we learned that the discoverer of penicillin himself Alexander Fleming, warned against the creation of superbugs from the very beginning. That chapter should be reviewed to understand the issues of natural selection of superbugs.
Superbugs don’t just happen naturally. Superbugs are created by indiscriminate use of antibiotics. Anthrax presents two particular dangers in this respect:
1. it’s almost a brand new disease among humans and therefore at first will be very susceptible to standard old-fashioned antibiotics, like penicillin and doxycycline. This initial effectiveness may cause undue expectations of lasting success.
2. since the anthrax bacillus is encapsulated in a spore, it can remain in the lungs for weeks after being inhaled, without escaping that protective covering. During this time the subject would not react – no immune response, no inflammatory response. Now if a patient were known to be exposed to anthrax and prophylactic antibiotics were begun and continued for several weeks, see the danger? As the millions of inhaled spores gradually come open a few thousand at a time, like time-release capsules, the same strain of anthrax would be exposed to the same antibiotic over a period of time. This is a perfect textbook scenario to encourage slight mutation of the microbe in order to survive the everpresent never-changing antibiotic. The patient becomes a walking Petri dish, and this month’s lab assignment is to evolve a superbug. Ideal set-up.
The current recommended duration of antibiotic therapy for inhalational or cutaneous anthrax is 60 days. (Lane — JAMA) The reason the course is so long is that spores may remain in the lungs for weeks before opening up. Actually the 60 days is just an estimate – we really don’t know how long the spores can remain in the lungs.
This recommended dosage does seem to have been effective, however, because there have been no cases of anthrax among those who have taken the preventive doses of antibiotics in the offices in which anthrax exposure may have taken place. But the question remains regarding the advisability of creating unnecessary antibiotic resistance. Would a life-threatening infection have taken hold in the absence of these antibiotics? In how many cases? With a 40% fatality rate, what is the wisdom of waiting till the disease manifests, weighed against creating antibiotic resistance? Nobody knows.
Remember – anthrax is a new disease. Antibiotics have their greatest effect when diseases first appear.
Many postal and government workers today are clamoring for ‘protective’ antibiotics. In all, over 30,000 people have taken prophylactic doses of antibiotics since 9/11, because of “possible” exposure to anthrax! (Lane) And because of the robotic media, there is an outcry for more millions of doses to be manufactured in case of outbreak of an bioterrorist attack. Yak yak yak.
There’s a little problem with all these individuals taking antibiotics at this time. Most of them have not even been exposed to anthrax. So if they continue to take unnecessary antibiotics, what will happen to their immune systems? Several things:
1. they will destroy all their body’s natural flora, primarily in the colon
2. by starting with the most dangerous antibiotics, the risk of side effects is much higher
3. in the unlikely even that they do inhale some anthrax spores, the above mentioned resistant mutations may be created by the constant antibiotics
In a few years or less, individual resistance to antibiotics will become species resistance. That’s why so many people are resistant to penicillin today. The infectious agents have evolved; only the mutants survive. For some of these modern germs, penicillin is like a trip to Baskin-Robbins.
A University of Flagstaff study has already been looking for Cipro-resistant strains of anthrax. The chief researcher, Dr Paul Keim, says he has a paper “ready to go” at present but that he’s holding onto it for now. Such altruism – actually puts national security before his own career. (Science, 26 Oct 01)
No matter what you read in the illiterate, pandering media, remember this fact: antibiotics have always had, and still have, only one proper application: the life-threatening infection. Not colds, not sniffles, not just-in-case anything. A life-threatening situation. Period.
Cipro is not the solution to disaster; it’s the marketing of disaster.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ANTHRAX
At present 10 people have contracted inhalation anthrax and 4 have died. (Lane – JAMA) All were treated with antibiotics – a 40% mortality rate – making new inroads in our very sketchy knowledge of this disease:
“The fact that 6 of these patients have survived provides hope that the published mortality rates of 86% to 97% for inhalational anthrax may not be accurate in the year 2001..” — J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2001;39:85-100
With this relatively rare new disease, real life is ahead of research here. So just our current experience brings the mortality rate down to 40%. Now of course this wasn’t a real clinical study and 10 people aren’t a very large sample. But this is a vivid demonstration of the difference between scientific theory and reality.
Anthrax vaccine was first developed by the US government at the Fort Detrick facility in the 1950s. (Miller, p 86) The US bioweapons program was at its peak at that time. At a facility in Lansing Michigan, millions of doses of anthrax vaccine were produced and stockpiled. The original vaccine testing at that time was done on monkeys. Results were inconclusive (Germs, p99)
Very quietly, anthrax vaccine was first licensed by the FDA in 1970 (Nass, Saga) even though it still was extremely “reactogenic.” To apply for license approval, the Michigan company used the same untested vaccine developed by Merck in the 1950s.
Then in 1969, Nixon sought political currency by proposing a treaty to ban bioweapons research worldwide. The US stated by this treaty that it would never use biological weapons under any circumstances whatsoever. (Christopher in JAMA) Looked great in the papers for a few months but the bottom line was that everybody signed the treaty and then continued to store the old stockpiles of deadly germ weapons, and to quietly research new ones. That’s when George Bush ran the CIA, remember?
Before the Gulf War, anthrax vaccine held little interest. A 1985 review by the FDA concluded that:
“Immunization with this vaccine is indicated only for certain occupational groups with risk of uncontrollable or unavoidable exposure to the organism … Inhalation anthrax occurred too infrequently to assess the protective effect of vaccine against this form of the disease.” – Nass, Saga
Then suddenly in 1988, the army wanted enough vaccine to inoculate all military personnel. The only licensed manufacturer of anthrax vaccine was still that state-owned facility in Lansing Michigan. The company promised it could produce enough vaccine in 5 years to cover all US military.
SELLING ANTHRAX TO IRAQ
Iraq began its buildup of anthrax in the 1980s. They bought their starter germs from a company in Manassas, Virginia called American Type Culture Collection, continuing to do so as late as 1988. (Gulflink.org, 28 June 88; Germs, p 88) This company had obtained the anthrax samples as a result of original research done just up the road at Fort Detrick in the 1950s. American Type Culture (phone number 703 365-2700) specialized in variants of the original diseases – stronger versions.
Now why would we sell a lethal biological agent to Iraq, you might wonder. Because up till the late 1980s we considered Iraq an “ally” more or less – a buffer power between us and Iran. In CIA-speak, Iraq was an ‘asset.’ And their money was as green as anyone else’s.
Surrealistically, it wasn’t until 1989 that the US decided to stop biological weapons to foreign countries, including Iraq. (Miller p 89)
But they could still sell to any red-blooded American. In 1995 an Ohio civilian bought 3 vials of plague bacteria for $300 from this same company. (Danzig – JAMA) Get the picture? Economics rules, as always.
Getting back to Iraq here, in 1991 during the Gulf War, the CIA and the army began to freak out because they thought that Iraq had at least 3 biological agents ready to go as weapons. (Sanctity, p 125) And where did Iraq get these bugs from? From us, of course. Yes, Iraq had the agents, but turning biological pathogens into weapons is something very sophisticated — something only an advanced nation like the US could figure out. At that time, there was no evidence that Iraq had learned how to turn these agents it had purchased from us into mass weapons. (Germs, p105)
Nevertheless, DoD (Dept of Defense) paranoia fueled the panic to force vaccines on soldiers, even though Iraqis never used germ weapons. A lot of anxiety was created and the issue of vaccines became a political issue between the generals and the FDA. There was an absurd amount of disagreement between the top brass: Schwarzkopf, Griffith, Cheney, Powell, etc. After the usual blustering, politicking, and measuring of external genitalia, the FDA finally gave DoD the OK to use the unproven, untested vaccine for anthrax, even though it was still in the experimental stage after 30 years, and even though it was known to be useless against the type of anthrax agents the Iraqis supposedly had. (Rockefeller) Moreover, the vaccine was never licensed for aerosol exposure, which is the way that bioweapons are deployed. (p190 Miller)
Result of this collective idiocy with no one driving the bus: 80,000 cases of Gulf War Syndrome. (Rockefeller)
This is the exact type of reasoning and the exact same people that are bringing anthrax vaccine back today.
After the vaccine was approved, the original dosage recommendation was 6 shots over 18 months, which remains today. Why? Nobody knows. It was complete guesswork. ( p 190, Miller)
THE SCIENCE OF ANTHRAX VACCINE
One expert on anthrax vaccine is certainly Meryl Nass, MD. Dr. Nass is an internationally acknowledged authority on biological warfare, and for the past 15 years has been extensively quoted and published in the top medical journals all over the world. From her very thoroughly documented website http://www.anthraxvaccine.org/ we find out the scientific and economic aspects of anthrax that we’re not seeing in the daily Matrix media. Anyone who expects salvation from anthrax vaccine is directed to that site for a reality check. A few of the highlights from Dr. Nass:
Before the Gulf War, the FDA permitted manufacturers to keep rotating old vaccine stocks from 1970. This includes anthrax vaccine.
Anthrax vaccine is an “investigational” vaccine. By FDA regulations, doses of investigational vaccines never expire!
The lots of vaccine produced by the Michigan facility are inconsistently powerful – some lots may be as much as 40x stronger than other lots!
The FDA did not require efficacy in humans in order to license anthrax vaccine.
The Department of Defense has spent $150 million studying Gulf War Syndrome. Buy it now of those studies even looked at the possibility of a connection between anthrax vaccine and Gulf War Syndrome even though that was one of the 3 vaccines given to Gulf War personnel.
The DoD said that it was impossible to do a study like that because “all records have been lost.”
Dr Philip Pittman of Fort Detrick found that 44% of personnel who received anthrax and botulism vaccines had systemic reactions.
Kathlerine Zoon, the Director of the FDA’s CBER, and the one who has final say in approving military anthrax vaccine recently stated:
“After these vaccines are licensed and administered, the safety and adverse reactions should be assessed.”
Appalled by this cavalier, irresponsible attitude of an FDA director, Dr. Nass states:
“Ignoring Federal law, Dr. Zoon is suggesting that biowarfare vaccines be licensed and used on humans and only afterwards should their safety profile be ascertained. Should the military be given carte blanche to field biowarfare vaccines and then determine whether they cause adverse reactions…?
“Dr. Katherine Zoon, Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at FDA, who is in charge of assuring that federal laws are followed and that public health is protected with respect to vaccines, has forgotten where her primary responsibilities lie. For advocating that vaccines be administered before their safety and adverse reactions are known she should immediately lose her job. ” – The Anthrax Vaccine Saga
In a Mar 2000 report to the DoD, the Institute of Medicine admitted that the few peer-reviewed studies on anthrax vaccine in humans did not evaluate adverse effects from multiple doses. Great news. So where are the studies substantiating the need for the current recommendation of 6 doses in 18 months? There are none!
One little item most researchers omit is the presence of a potent neurotoxin – aluminum hydroxide – in the only anthrax vaccine that now exists. (J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2001;39:85-100) The implications of injecting aluminum directly into the human bloodstream were discussed at length both in Blaylock’s book Excitotoxins as well as in The Sanctity of Human Blood. Many of the symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome correlate exactly with well-known side effects of this neurologic poison.
Another scary component of anthrax vaccine is squalene, likely a biotoxin, which was a big media issue for several weeks. Notice how all that came and went? Well the squalene didn’t. Squalene is an unapproved adjuvant discovered in the anthrax vaccine given during the Gulf War. Work done at Tulane University by virologist Robert Garry, PhD actually used squalene antibodies as a marker for Gulf War Syndrome. (Metcalf) Congressman Jack Metcalf exposed the DoD’s efforts to hide the presence of squalene in anthrax vaccine from the public. As it sparks an immune response, squalene has been correlated with arthritis and neurological problems through a mechanism of autoimmunity. (The Extra Pharmaacopeia, p 233)
Keep in mind that since 1998 one company has the exclusive license to produce anthrax vaccine for the military: Bioport.
Dr Nass points out some annoying data about Bioport’s current inventory of anthrax vaccine:
“All 6-7 million vaccine doses now held by Bioport have up till now been unapproved for human use. They fall into one of the following three categories:
1. Lots which the FDA quarantined because of significant manufacturing lapses, which include among others inadequate potency, contamination by gasket material and lack of sterility (and they may be up to eleven years old, having expired several times and been redated with only cursory testing)
2. Lots for which former Secretary of Defense Cohen ordered ‘supplemental testing’ to assure potency, purity, safety and sterility–and which failed this test battery on at least two occasions. These lots also may be up to eleven years old.
3. Lots which were produced by the pilot plant after it was rebuilt, but during a period when FDA did not approve the procedures used. This led to some vaccine being sent to Washington State for bottling, as Bioport’s bottling suite could not assure sterility. But some lots were bottled in Bioport’s unacceptable suite. These lots are up to two years old. “
– 1 Nov 01 Anthrax Bioterrorism Meryl Nass MD
Before we take a closer look at Bioport, it may be helpful to have just a brief overview of
THE POLITICS OF ANTHRAX VACCINE.
When we read the daily nonsense in the paper about the necessity for anthrax vaccine, one fact is conveniently left out: the original 1970 FDA license for the vaccine given to the Michigan facility drew no distinction whatsoever between the skin form and the inhaled form of the disease. In other words, the vaccine wasn’t licensed FOR anything; it was just licensed. (Gilbreath)
It is also inconceivable that no federal agency is doing any research whatsoever to understand what is wrong with the vaccine, nor are there any studies currently under way to learn about the post-vaccine illnesses and how they can be treated.
After the Gulf War vaccine disasters, the political controversy waved back and forth all through the mid 1990s about whether or not to keep vaccinating the armed forces. Yak yak yak. The rationale was never about health complications, side effects, or whether the vaccine worked.
In 1995 Gen Ron Griffith, vice chief of the army, was against anthrax vaccines, not because they were dangerous or ineffective but because it would make alliances with other countries more difficult – you know, ‘our guys are protected and yours aren’t’ kinda thing … (Miller p 195)
As we will see, the entire notion of anthrax vaccine has been totally political and had nothing to do with science. Why? Because in reality there has never been nor is there now an effective vaccine against weaponized anthrax. It doesn’t exist, and it almost certainly will never exist. The reason is simple, as Dr. Nass explains – the enemy can simply alter the strain of the germ agent slightly by genetic engineering. This will defeat the vaccine.
Even Congress figured that out:
“The anthrax vaccination.. is a well intentioned but overwrought response to the threat of anthrax as a biological weapon…. their reason for the inadequacy of anthrax vaccine: gene splicing to create vaccine-resistant strains of anthrax.” (Burton, Apr 2000)
Six months later the Pentagon itself saw other problems with the vaccine. A 2000 study at the National Academy of Sciences, requested by the Pentagon, concluded that there was insufficient and inadequate evidence to be able to tell whether or not anthrax vaccine caused long-term health problems. All the pertinent science totaled only “a few short-term studies.” (Institute of Medicine, 30 Mar 00) The study stated that the Pentagon had been relying all this time upon incomplete research done on 1500 employees of Fort Detrick in order to decide if the vaccine were safe and effective. Suddenly they noticed after all these years that they forgot to ask the subjects questions about long-term symptoms! In addition, they didn’t question anyone who had left the company.
This fact flies in the face of the pompous claims made in a recent issue of JAMA (12 Nov 01) about the vaccine’s proven efficacy in humans: those Ft. Detrick employees are the same ones JAMA cites!
But politics never lets a little thing like physical reality stand in the way when there’s power and money involved. Since the time of Edward Jenner, vaccines have been a source of massive revenues, especially in situations involving groups of people with little or no rights, such as military personnel.
BIOPORT – THE GOLDEN GOOSE THAT LAYS NO EGGS
Let’s take a quick look at who this Bioport is, and see what kind of an outfit would buy a state-owned operation with a 7-year track record of failure. After 7 years of problems, the state of Michigan considered the Lansing facility a losing proposition, overburdened with problems. Michigan was very happy to unload it to Bioport in 1998.
Considering the facility’s past, it’s amazing that anyone in his right mind would view the production of anthrax vaccine as a good business venture. It’s more than amazing: it’s highly suspicious. For starters, the facility had not produced any vaccine since the Gulf War. Why not? Because they could never pass the periodic FDA inspections for safety, purity, and production protocols.
For example, anthrax work was supposed to be done at Biosafety Level 3. What they were doing could scarcely pass level 2. (Miller p 199) Such safety levels are illustrated in Dustin Hoffman’s 1996 movie Outbreak.
When the demand for anthrax vaccine was raised by the military in 1991, they approached every one of the pharmaceutical companies for help. No one wanted to take it on because the army would not indemnify the producer of the vaccine. This is why by 1998 the Michigan facility still held the only contract: no one else wanted it.
A 1997 FDA report on the Michigan facility shows numerous violations, including
* * rusting equipment
* * failure to clean and sanitize utensils
* * dead insects in clean room
– Nass – Saga
Exactly who is Bioport? The current CEO of Bioport is Fuad El Hibri, a Saudi national. Most of the stock of the company is owned El Hibri’s family. This is not a joke, and can be easily verified by checking the citation below wherein El Hibri identifies himself to the 106th Congress.
El Hibri is at the top of a huge Saudi conglomerate, diversified into many areas of commerce, controlling billions of dollars. So why would an internationally savvy billionaire want to take a chance on this disaster of a company, a venture that all the pharmaceutical companies themselves had turned down when pursued by the US military? Well let’s see if we can piece this little puzzle together.
The DoD decided to start vaccinating all military personnel again in 1998, using the same anthrax vaccine from the Gulf War. The exclusive contract to produce that vaccine was transferred to Bioport, just before that decision came out.
Such a contract with Bioport would generate at least $60 million over a five year period. In order for the Saudis to get wind of the amazing opportunity before it took shape, they needed an insider. In Apr 1999, ABC News ran an article that reported that the founder of Bioport was Former Joint Chief of Staff member Adm. William Crowe, who holds 13% of Bioport’s stock. (Rosenberg) Crowe obviously had connections at the Pentagon to alert him to their new decision to vaccinate for anthrax. Crowe and El Hibri – the ancient marriage of military and industry – till death do us part.
The Pentagon finally resumed vaccinating all US troops for anthrax in March 1998, after talking about it for 7 years. (p 244, Germs )
What kind of volume are we talking about? Since 1998, the U.S. military has administrated 2.1 million doses of the vaccine to 521,000 people, said Army Lt. Col. John Grabenstein, deputy director of the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program Agency. A full vaccination requires six doses administered over 18 months. Eventually, the Pentagon expects to vaccinate 2.3 million service members, Grabenstein said. (CNN, 26 Oct 01)
Now if the state-owned facility had been unproductive for all those years, and if Bioport itself has not produced any salable doses then where did all these doses come from? The scary answer: stockpiles. Old stuff. This is one reason why there have been over 400 personnel who have refused anthrax vaccine no matter what the consequences. By mid 2001 hundreds of reserve pilots quit the military rather than be vaccinated for anthrax. In addition, over 400 military personnel faced courtmartial, imprisonment and discharge rather than take the anthrax vaccine. In all there were 51 court-martials. (majorbates.com, Miller p 269)
Not that Bioport cares one way or the other about the fate of the recipients of their vaccine. A recent report by NBC news (Avila) pointed out:
“Adverse reactions to anthrax vaccine, even fatal ones, are not investigated by Bioport.”
OK, we can see the money motive for Bioport taking over. But what about the production problems? A 1998 FDA inspection at the time of purchase turned up shortcomings in every stage of production. Why did Bioport think they could succeed in meeting vaccine quotas when Michigan state had been unable to produce for all those years?
This is the brilliant part – one really has to admire Bioport’s genius and resourcefulness. They don’t have to produce. They would operate at a loss, make excuses, and get subsidies from the military to tide them over. And they could still keep all the old vaccine stockpiles from the original facility because by law, investigational drugs never expire. And since approval is only politics and not science, eventually all these pesky FDA inspections would get ironed out and they could sell the bogus lots. Hell, the vaccine can’t possibly work anyway, so what difference does it make what’s in it?
Subsidized by the government, founded by a professional troughsman, Bioport knew how government facilities should act: shuck and jive, delay, and make excuses. And ask for handouts. And that’s exactly what they did.
Since they took over, Bioport has been plagued with “production problems.” They have consistently failed to pass every FDA inspection, for reasons such as hygiene, safety, purity, efficacy. An amazing list of original FDA inspection reports can be viewed at http://www.gulflink.org/Vaers/inspection.htm
Again, since 1998 Bioport has not produced one saleable dose of vaccine. Until very recently when the shots were suspended, the military were receiving the old stockpiled doses. A 26 Oct 2001 article from CNN reported the CDC stating that Bioport’s current stock
“… of vaccine equals about 10,000 doses.” – Cohen & Garrett
That same CNN article has Bioport making the ridiculous promise to produce 1 million doses of anthrax vaccine in the next year! Considering this company’s track record, Bioport has about as much chance of meeting that quota as Michael Jackson has of winning the Preakness.
As with any unregulated organism, these “production problems” continued unabated. Finally, the total disregard for FDA protocols led to suspension of anthrax vaccine production in 2001. At that time all doses were coming from old stock – Bioport still hadn’t produced even one dose.
You keep reading all these details about anthrax vaccine in Dr. Nass’s research, in Rep. Burton’s Congressional investigation in 2000, and in Miller’s book Germs and it finally dawns on you: obviously there is some big financial motivation to keep funding this company as long as it remains unproductive. The less it produces, the more money it gets. Who would benefit from such a set -up? Gee, let’s think about it…the owners, the stockholders, the employees, the middlemen in the float transactions …it’s millions. The history of the production of anthrax vaccine since the Gulf War reads like a treatment for a new Coen brothers movie.
Administration of the vaccine is slated to resume very soon into 2002, but don’t hold your breath. It’s the standard formula with any government operation: keep emphasizing the importance of the program, the threat of disease, and that the only solution is to continue subsidizing the illusion of future production. Poetry in motion.
BIOPORT’S BOTTOMLESS TROUGH
So where does the money keep coming from? Partly from the DoD’s Joint Vaccine Acquisition program, which was set up by Congress in 1997 with an initial funding of $322 million. Since its inception, some 40 or 50 vaccines have been under discussion for military personnel – it’s big, big business. (Nass, Saga) Being one of the 3 vaccines from the Gulf War, and especially in view of its recent limelight, anthrax vaccine is at the top of the list for its share of the pie.
Back in Aug 1999, after again failing FDA inspections for numerous violations of hygiene and procedure, Bioport was given $24 million from the military to keep it afloat even though it was producing no vaccine (Miller, p 267) And at the same time the Pentagon voted to increase the price per dose paid to Bioport from $4.36 to $10.64! (Myers) Actually in the three years after Bioport took over the anthrax vacine gig, the DoD has given them some $126 million. (Avila, NBC News – 8 Oct 01
What’s going on here? Incentive to keep screwing up?
Even after that money was granted, a second FDA inspection of Bioport in Nov 1999 prevented resumption of production because of over 30 deficiencies – including inconsistent composition from lot to lot. (Germs, p267)
Just like government itself – unlimited funding with no accountability. It’s a beautiful thing.
NOT MY FAULT
Now for the mandatory excuses – de rigeur for any government subsidy. In a statement to Congress on 13 Jul 00, Fuad El Hibri was making excuses about why Bioport wasn’t producing any doses of vaccine despite the generous underwriting. El Hibri stated:
“Bioport has one customer – the Department of Defense – and one product – anthrax vaccine.” – House Armed Services Committee hearing, 106th Congress
Like a professional bureaucrat getting paid by the word, El Hibri waxes plaintively with numerous non sequiturs about production problems and whose fault they really are, closer relations with the FDA and the DoD, and hopes for a bright future, etc. Yak, yak, yak..
Sounds like a 101 course in Business, the lesson being – if you plan on running a screw-up company which plans to default on all its commitments, fail government inspections, and have no product to show after 3 years in business, make sure you get an exclusive contract from the US military. Avoid the main issues and never cop to anything. The guy is good.
It worked. Bioport is still rolling.
It’s like a company operating in the private sector has awakened from a dream by realizing how stupid and unnecessary it was to struggle with all those irksome production costs, overhead, taxes, deadlines, personnel nightmares, quotas, bookkeeping – all the concerns of any American business. Why worry about any of that when we can lock onto the gravy train – government support, with no oversight, no limits, and a guaranteed, ever-growing demand for its product, assured by the willing participation of the media, which is rabidly focusing on the imagined threats of biological terrorism. It’s a serendipitous nirvana of events, a business Valhalla.
ANTICIPATION OF TERRORISM IS WORSE THAN TERRORISM ITSELF
As it turned out, all the hysteria of the CIA and the DoD during the Gulf War was based on speculation — bioterrorism never happened. Iraq never used any of their lethal bioweapons – we don’t even know if they had them ready. CIA reports were of the unconfirmed James Bond variety. After the war US inspection teams didn’t find any biowarfare germ agents in Iraq. (Spielman – Associated Press, 19 Apr 91)
One reason why none of these scenarios ever happened is that bioweapons are too unreliable. Obviously they’re not field tested. Lethal germ agents released into the wind can affect either side in a battle situation. The results are just too unpredictable to be logistically useful. That’s why even idiots don’t use them in actual combat.
Speaking of idiots, here’s a glowing example of the level of US intelligence and the use that we make of information, that flies in the face of all of the above-cited hysteria. In the Gulf War, we identified what were supposed to be refrigerated storage areas for bioweapons in the Iraqi desert. Against any common sense, we blew up all of them despite the threat of releasing lethal pathogens into the atmosphere. (p122, 199 Germs) So it turns out that the greatest threat of biowarfare casualties in the Gulf War came from US military actions, not Iraqi. The Pentagon even admitted as much on 21 Jun 96, when they admitted that tens of thousands of soldiers may have been exposed to nerve gas after we blew up an Iraqi depot.
What a surprise.
It’s the same today. The issue is never the danger to US troops. That’s the cover – the threat of terrorism. Decisions aren’t made for the health and welfare of our personnel. Look at all the courtmartials. No, this is about the only thing that it’s ever about: money. Vaccine sales. Government funding for counterterrorism rose from $6.5 billion in 1998 to $9.3 billion in early 2001. (Miller p 277) And that was before 9/11.
Threat of terrorism vs. reality of terrorism. Only with great effort can we keep this distinction in mind. Even JAMA got it right: With all the paranoia and fear and money spent, “… there has never been a major BW terrorist attack.” (Simon) It is the threat of biological terrorism that drives huge economic forces – government spending for police and military and “security” offices, and preventative drugs and vaccines. Not to mention media imaging. The marketing of disaster – political currency – everybody’s got an angle.
Look at all the fanfare, all the money, all the posturing, all the maneuvering that has resulted from 4 anthrax deaths. Four confirmed deaths. Because of four deaths we’re throwing out the Bill of Rights, spending billions creating superfluous new government agencies, buying millions of doses of ineffective vaccines, and letting the irresponsible media whip us into a frenzy.
Chill. All this because of 4 deaths? Let’s get some perspective here. A few years ago JAMA came out with the shocking statistic that 180,000 patients die each year from medical mistakes, being injured by drugs in the hospital. At least. This is from Journal of the American Medical Association, July 5, 1995, p 29. (Bates) What action was taken after that revelation? Buy it now whatsoever! And now we’re altering our entire social structure because of 4 deaths? Shall we wake up? Perhaps this outrage about 4 deaths is a little overdramatized, a little too choreographed. This is marketing here – it’s all about spin, the creation of perception. (Doors)
Pop quiz: what is the common thread between these two completely unreasonable phenomena:
– doing nothing about an ongoing convention that kills at least 180,000 per year
– major social infrastructural upheaval because of 4 deaths
Answer: both designs have the same intention – sell drugs.
THE FUTURE OF ANTHRAX VACCINE
Keeping the above history in mind will help the reader assess the coming media phantasms:
* – US military will be protected by the “new, improved” anthrax vaccine
* – the vaccine should be available to civilians exposed to terrorist dispersions of spores
* – the vaccine will cure those who have been exposed
* – the vaccine should be mandated to the general population
* – anyone suspected of exposure to anthrax spores should be forced to get the vaccine
Notice we haven’t heard much about anthrax lately? What, are the terrorists on vacation or something?
SMALLPOX VACCINE WAITS IN THE WINGS
The second biggest media fiction today regarding vaccines is the “new” threat of smallpox. Again, it’s a marketing tool right out of Edward L Bernays ( Doors of Perception – thedoctorwithin.com)
It doesn’t matter that smallpox disappeared in 1941 from the US, except in a few cases of vaccinated people. Nor that all states but nine had individually suspended smallpox vaccine by 1929 because of its dangers. (Anderson) Nor that mass smallpox vaccination programs caused vast increases in smallpox deaths in several countries, including England, Germany, the Philippines, and South Africa. Nor that there has been no new smallpox vaccine developed since we stopped using it in 1971. Nor that smallpox is not even a threat a present: there have been no reported cases, terrorist or otherwise. Nor that the vaccine we had never worked! (Sanctity)
No, these things are insignificant. What is important is that big money can be made if people can be spooked by the possibility that this disease will be brought back by terrorists; and that we all need to be inoculated against that possibility. And where will all this money go? To a former CDC scientist from Fort Detrick – Tom Monath. And to a British vaccine company named Acambis.
Monath is the owner of OraVAx, a vaccine company vying for a Pentagon contract to make smallpox vaccine. (NY TIMES, 7 Aug 98) Acambis is a small biotech company who recently secured a share in a $428 million government contract to make enough smallpox vaccine for everyone, in the event of a terrorist action.
A ridiculous article in the 3 Dec 01 Washington Post reports that Tommy Thompson has just seen the urgency to order 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine to “protect” the entire country. This cheap, sensational piece has great value as a textbook example of propaganda, junk science, and the worthlessness of popular media.
The article starts by saying that Thompson speaks to a nation “panicked about bioterrorism.” That’s certainly not true. Despite all efforts by the media to panic people during the past months, there’s no evidence of general hysteria. Next, the article states that the government plans on diluting 20 year old smallpox vaccine stock 5 to 1 in order to save money on the first 77 million doses of the “required” 300 million doses.
First of all, we stopped vaccinating for smallpox in 1971 – so it’s likely that the stockpiled doses would be closer to 30 years old. And despite what the article suggests, the original vaccine never worked, so how will they “prove” that the 5-1 dilution will work? And by February? Please! There are no cases of smallpox to test anything on… hello?
Oddly editorializing for his masters, the journalist opines: “But the vaccine certainly worked.” Who’s reassuring whom here? He continues to sermonize:
“Vaccinia virus has been used for 200 years to induce an immune reaction that protects people against smallpox.”
This is propaganda and junk science. Smallpox vaccine never protected anyone from anything. It never worked; the disease resolved on its own. What was he before he was the health writer? Sports? Local cuisine? Excuse us if we do not defer to the expertise of this unlettered pop columnist.
And this is costing how much? Another $428 million has just been tacked onto a standing order for 40 million doses. This $428 million will pay for another 155 million doses. But all these figures are theoretical because of the low likelihood that the deadlines will be met. The original 40 million doses weren’t scheduled for completion until 2005. Which makes you wonder what had occasioned that order to be placed before 9/11 ever happened – an order for a vaccine against a disease that virtually disappeared in 1941. Something rotten in Denmark here. Also the article points out that the price just went up from the original $1.70 per dose to $3 per dose, practically overnight. The marketing of disaster, right?
Now just think about this for a minute. Beyond our wildest paranoia, beyond anything that has ever taken place in history, why would we need enough vaccine for our entire population? Even if the vaccine worked, which it doesn’t, we’re not subject to the type of epidemic that ran through Europe hundreds of years ago. Two main reasons: sanitation and geography. We’re way cleaner and less crowded.
But the main point here is that we have no evidence that terrorists are about to use weaponized smallpox. It’s never happened. No one has smallpox now. To be prepared is one thing, but to freak out and go into debt for millions of dollars over an unsafe, untested, ineffective vaccine is quite another. Following this logic, theoretically any infectious disease is a potential threat and we should be building up stockpiles of vaccines against each one of them. Which is probably in the offing. It all drains back into the same sewer: who benefits most from all this hysteria? The drug companies and their friendly policymakers.
The Clinton administration had been quietly stockpiling smallpox vaccine since 1998. There were two separate companies: one trying to produce smallpox vaccine for the military and the other for the general public. Actually neither program was going well. The military contract went to one company at $70 per dose and the civilian contract went to another company at $2 per dose. The civilian contract went to Monath. Both companies said they wouldn’t be ready until at least 2005. (Germs p 311) Looks like the same dog and pony show we saw with Bioport. Why should it be any different – it’s government subsidized. The last thing they have to do is produce, right?
“…in the Clinton years..biological defense turned into an entitlement program for federal agencies, private contractors, and government comsiultants.” (Miller, p 319 – Conclusion)
Ring a bell? This explains the current mania with smallpox — getting the people ready. Justifying these enormous new expenditures, which are beginning to line up like kids at the ice cream store.
FIRST FIND A DISEASE, THEN CREATE A MARKET
We’ve been using this time-honored formula over and over for decades, so why stop now? We saw it with cancer, bacterial infections, colds, menopause, ADD, AIDS, childhood diseases, and a host of others cited throughout thedoctorwithin.com. That is, identify a disease, magnify it with unrelenting media focus and spurious science, then take an unproven drug and claim it as the solution. With the newest wave of mindless mania, we aren’t even waiting for a disease to happen. For this new market, all we are using is the threat of disease – one which is supposedly spread by biological terrorism. The answer: prophylactic vaccines and antibiotics. Who cares if they’re untested and unproven? We haven’t got time for details like that. We’re under attack! Sound familiar? In an article in JAMA four years ago, we were warned that this might happen:
“Many if not most diseases caused by biological agents present with nonspecific signs and symptoms that could be misinterpreted as natural consequences…..The potential exists for hysteria to be confused with actual disease.” – Franz
What a God-given marketing device! We can’t tell the difference between a natural disease and one caused by terrorist germ agents. Since we invented modern bioweaponry in the 1950s, there have been many allegations of the use of lethal germs both by military and by terrorists, but far fewer have been confirmed. (Christopher) All we’re really doing now is vamping on an old theme, fueled by recent fears and uncertainty – media’s stock in trade. It goes hand in hand with the drug companies who never miss an opportunity to make false claims about the ability of organized medicine to diagnose and treat victims of these supposed attacks.
Despite the force of a thousand innuendoes in the past months, there has as yet been “no proven connection” between the events of 9/11 and the anthrax mailings. (Lane – JAMA) But that doesn’t prevent the author of the same article to add to the hysteria by making the oddly unscientific political prediction in the same article:
“There is no reason to believe this will be an isolated act of bioterrorism. In fact, it is likely that additional attacks involving B anthracis and perhaps other pathogens will occur.”
Just what we need – medical journals doubling as hawkers of doom, oracles of future catastrophe. There is no reason to believe that the current anthrax mailings will NOT be an isolated act of terrorism. This soothsaying is a little beyond the expertise of medical science, and is perhaps a bit too flagrant about representing the interests of the pharmaceutical industry, ensconced as it is between the full page drug ads. They should at least keep up the veneer of objectivity, don’t you think?
Keep this in mind: WE created bioweapons. WE brought them into existence. Not a bunch of camel-riding terrorists. And we also created the threat of biowarfare. And our latest trick is to create the necessity for the “solution” to bioweapons: vaccines. Are any other countries running around making a ton of new vaccines to protect their people? No, they’re not. To understand the agenda of mainstream media’s approach to this topic, all you have to do is ask one question: who is selling what here? And then it’ll all come into focus.
OIL CHANGES: THE REAL VALUE OF AFGHANISTAN
If we’re to be good sheep, waiting each day for our daily ration of sheepfood from the TV news, we’re supposed to believe that the purpose of the military action in Afghanistan has been to find the elusive bin Laden and avenge the American people for 9/11. Certainly makes for artistic graphics, like the one on the cover of Time, with bin Laden in the crosshairs. Fine, if it were true. But think what such a belief system has to entail: you’re telling me that with all those satellites up there that can read newsprint from outer space, and all the trillions of dollars worth of intelligence hardware and personnel that’s been rolling for all this time, with all the FBI, CIA, NSA, military, special forces, and all our secret ninja agencies, you’re telling me we can’t find one guy? A guy who keeps popping up on CNN? Come on!
So let’s take it a little further. For months and months we can’t find the guy. So there’s only one thing left to do. Invade and occupy the country, leaving no cave, camel paddock, or Holiday Inn unchecked. Scour every inch of the country for the slippery Muslim, and neutralize any resistance along the way. Now whether we find him or not, the end result will be the same: we will own Afghanistan – directly, indirectly, however you want to describe it. The media stays away from this fact, focusing on the unspeakable acts of terrorism that brought on the mobilization of all this military force. But just like Dustin Hoffman says in Wag the Dog – it’s a teaser. You don’t bring out the shark in the first reel of Jaws. Bin Laden will not be produced until we, or our new puppet, which is the same thing as we, own Afghanistan. This isn’t rocket science here.
Why not? Stay with me now. Let’s just look around and see if we can find any other reason why we might want to occupy and control all the ground in Afghanistan.
To answer this assignment, we have to go back three years to a Congressional Hearing that took place on 12 Feb 1998. Reviewing the transcripts of that Congressional hearing, we are amazed to learn that the real importance of Afghanistan has been well known all along. (http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa48119.000/hfa48119_0.HTM)
And it’s not stopping anthrax production or world terrorism or anything that abstract. No. In defining the real importance of Afghanistan in the modern world we are now talking about only one thing: the new oil pipeline.
In this 1998 meeting, Congress was told about the importance of developing the infrastructure to extract a newly discovered supply of oil in the five countries surrounding Afghanistan, an immense storehouse that may represent a whopping 5% of the world’s oil and gas reserves. So the plans to get this oil to market involve building an immense pipeline system, comparable to the Alaskan pipeline, that would carry the oil to ports on the Caspian Sea. But before the construction on this huge project gets under way, the investors want to be sure that unstable factions don’t have the opportunity to blow up the pipeline any time they take it into their heads to have a little jihad barbecue, for whatever reason. Keep in mind, the pipeline itself is estimated to cost about $2.5 billion.
The countries involved are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Because of the geography, one of the prime routes for the proposed 1000-mile pipeline goes right across Afghanistan. In this 1998 hearing, Congress stated that the US definitely supports the idea of the pipeline, but would not be in favor of moving ahead until the government of Afghanistan is “stabilized.”
To give an idea of the resources involved here, they’re talking about 236 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and as much as 200 billion barrels of oil. For this reason one of the oil reps states flatly that construction will not be started until there is a “single Afghan government.”
As long as we’re talking money here, it was also brought up in this hearing that major quantities of the world’s opium and heroin are being produced “all over Afghanistan.” Sounds like a rerun of Vietnam – though never mentioned in the popular press, the politics of opium figured heavily into the marketing of that little conflict. (Webb, also Air America)
Here’s a quote from Congressman Rohrabacher from that hearing. He’s speaking to the oil reps:
“…let me warn you that if the pipeline is constructed before there is a government that is acceptable at a general level to the population of Afghanistan …, that your pipeline will be blown up. There is no doubt about that. I have been in and out of Afghanistan for 15 years. These are very brave, courageous people. If they think they are being stepped on, just like the Soviets found out, they are going to kick somebody back. They are not going to lay down and let somebody put the boot in their face. If the government that is receiving the funds that you are talking about is a government that is not accepted by a large number of people in Afghanistan, there will continue to be problems.”
So billions and billions of dollars can be generated by stabilizing this wild country And until that stability can be guaranteed, the whole project is on hold. Bombing target areas will not stabilize an area. What is necessary is a ground invasion to wipe out any opposition to a new government which will supposedly be obedient to the wishes of the victors.
Oversimplification? Maybe not. What was the Gulf War about? Now maybe we’d be hammering Afghanistan even if they didn’t have all this oil, just because of 9/11. But this way sure works out well for everyone – we get revenge, moral vindication, and a sea of oil – all from the same invasion. Just call the arms sales an added bonus. And the opium? Well, when in history has the military been uninterested in that stuff?
What a fortunate confluence of circumstances has dovetailed these two agendas: revenge and oil. I’m sure it’s just a happy coincidence… And the fact that gas has dropped almost a dollar a gallon — that doesn’t have anything to do with anything, right? Somebody want to interpret that?
So where does domestic bioterrorism fit into all of this? Maybe it doesn’t. But it certainly is a convenient distraction to draw attention away from the occupation of Afghanistan. And in some twisted, illogical way, to justify it.
THE REAL TERROR: LOSS OF CIVIL LIBERTIES
Benjamin Franklin: “Those who are willing to give up freedom for security deserve neither.”
There is no argument that we have just witnessed some horrific events in the past few months: 9/11, anthrax mailings, and the marketing of these disasters by anyone who could find an angle. But terrible as it is, all of this will pass. And we’ll have sad memories that time will gradually mute – a human survival mechanism. What must not be muted, what must not be glossed over and dismissed, in this writer’s opinion, are the permanent legal effects that are being wrought from the wreckage.
Isn’t it weird that talking about the Constitution has become associated with extremism and wackiness? The witless, shallow columnists, like dogs barking for a biscuit, across the board rush to toe the line: they assure us of the necessity for exchanging freedom for “security.” Journalists can only advance by maintaining a consistent image, right? Original thinking, critical thinking – practically any thinking – is rarely rewarded in the field of propaganda.
Try this experiment: ask any high school senior what the Bill of Rights is. Go ahead. Tell them you’ll give them a dollar for each of the first 10 amendments they can name. Or ask any adult, for that matter. Don’t worry, your money’s safe. Talking about constitutional rights makes people nervous, perhaps because subconsciously they realize how badly we’ve screwed up.
In case you forgot, the Constitution is the contract that was drawn up between the people and the government when this country was set up. The Bill of Rights is the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, and is its foundation. Goes something like this here:
“The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
BLOOD OF OUR ANCESTORS – BLOOD OF OUR CHILDREN
Now read these over. Again. Looks like 1, 2, 4, and 6 are pretty much gone. Try assembling 1000 people in a public place to talk about anything. Try keeping Social Services out of your house if they have a shred of gossip that they “need to check out.” Try starting your own newspaper. Try driving downtown in your pickup with a shotgun in the gunrack. Try asking the policeman for probable cause the next time you are stopped in a California suburb for a “routine police inspection.” All these are basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution. I don’t remember that they ever got repealed. Paid for with the blood of our ancestors, we just let them go without a whimper. A thousand little laws, compromises, and decisions have whittled them down to a fraction of their original intent.
Do you imagine that the above Bill of Rights could pass through today’s Congress and be ratified? These are the ideals that put this country out of the reach of fascism, communism, socialism, absolute monarchy, totalitarianism and military dictatorship – in short from the types of governments that had prevailed all throughout history.
Now before you start looking for your CD of America the Beautiful, ask yourself this question: if these other types of government were to try and creep back in, are they going to advertise as what they really are? Wouldn’t it be smarter, more sophisticated for the wolf to wear wool – Italian wool if possible? Well dressed, well educated, well spoken. And what are they going to be talking about? How they are going to protect us, for our own good. How even though we give them over half our money now, they need more – to protect us from these NEW threats.
Today the government occupies far too much of our lives and our thoughts. We don’t need to be waiting till tomorrow’s news to find out what else the government plans to do for us in exchange for our personal freedom. Or to find out which part of their job they screwed up that is going to require the creation of — MORE government. Or what newly imagined threat might be coming soon. This country was originally built on a concept that is all but forgotten today: the definition of sovereignty. It just means who’s in charge. According to the Constitution, the people are sovereign – not the government. The government exists and operates by consent of the people, not vice versa. But gradually, chip by chip, law by law, things got reversed. Now we live in fear of the government, the IRS, the state government, the county government– all these 40% of the people feeding at the trough, ruling the other 60%. We’re so far out of balance — so far off our original course.
When vaccines are required by law, it mixes together groups that should be separate: lawmakers and vaccine makers. Whether it’s anthrax, AIDS, smallpox, or chickenpox – mandating untested, unsafe, ineffective vaccines weakens us physically, economically, culturally, genetically, and spiritually.
Psychiatrist and author Thomas Szasz puts it this way:
“We have become a prosperous nation by separating the economy and the state, not by making the state the source of employment, as have the communists, with the disastrous results now known to all… we can become a healthy nation only by separating medicine and the state, not by making the state the source of health care, as have the communists with similarly disastrous results.”
Most people feel that government should be concerned only with basic things: building roads, maintaining schools and hospitals, maintaining a military presence strong enough to protect us from foreign bad guys – things like that. But it got too big, too invasive, too self-serving. Now the roads and the schools and hospitals are neglected in favor of the real business of government – oil, drugs, war gear, social programs, and biggest of all: the self-replication of MORE government. And to distract the people from these operations, the power of media to shape our consciousness has become supreme. So now we have thought crimes, and crimes of incorrect attitude, lawsuits won on the basis of hearsay and circumstantial evidence from paid “experts.” And we have let the government into our homes, into our heads, into our lives.
We forgot that this is our country, not theirs. It’s a country where good people should have the right to earn a living, live their lives, and be left alone. It’s all there, in those old hemp documents.
US MILITARY TURNED AGAINST AMERICAN PEOPLE
A major transformational shift has recently occurred in which the military has become arrayed against our own people. The legal precedents now being violated were originally set forth back in Civil War times in a law called the Posse Comitatus Act. And that’s exactly what it provided: that the military could not be employed against our own people but was to be reserved for use against foreign enemies.
Lately we are hearing all about Bush’s plans to grant the police and the military sweeping powers of home entry, quarantining, occupation, seizure of property, and forcible inoculations based on the suspicion of terrorism or the possible consequences of bioterrorism. “Suspected exposure” is all that’s necessary, in the case of biological agents, to set these forces in motion. Search warrants are to be suspended, suspects held without bail, accusation alone is cause for arrest – and anyone who objects these new powers is “unpatriotic.”
This new plan was described in the 25 Nov 01 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, your typical rubberstamp newspaper. The article talks about the CDC’s instant obedience to Tommy Thompson’s request for new legislation to support this new loss of personal rights. The weird thing about it was the way the article read:
” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rushed out the proposed legislation, at the request of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson… ” – Tansey
So, when did the CDC become a lawmaking body? The Centers for Disease Control – those are the scientists whose job it is to study diseases. The top people in CDC are enmeshed with the FDA and the management of the pharmaceutical giants, an association which no one even tries to hide. So now the drug companies are going to determine social policy, with the force of law? And what’s all this talk about rounding up people into stadiums to force vaccines in the event that a “bioterrorist emergency” is declared? Besides the threats to personal privacy and sovereignty, an equal menace inherent in the new legal proposals that are being kicked around is the possibility of weakening the existing rights of exemption from vaccination, which parents currently possess in all states but two. Never before in history have so many forces been lined up against the idea that an individual’s bloodstream is personal, private, and sacrosanct.
THE GOOD NEWS
Here’s what passes for good news these days: it is highly improbable that these neo-Nazi programs for biological “defense” will ever be implemented in real life. Several reasons why not:
1. The extremely low likelihood of future incidents of mass biowarfare
2. Even sheep have limitations of how much control they’ll accept
3. The difficulty of getting individual states to comply with laws that treat the American people themselves as the enemy
4. Opposition from legal groups like the ACLU
So before we get too depressed and start checking ticket prices for Nevis and the Seychelles, we should remember that all this “prevention” and “preparation” isn’t about real life situations. It’s about spending money beforehand. That’s all they really want. A recent example is that in Jan 2001 – 8 months before 9/11- the DoD spent $143 million of your money on a program to train the National Guard how to mobilize and quarantine American cities in the event of biological emergencies. After months of snafus, the program was abandoned as a complete disaster and a waste of money, because it was totally unworkable. (DoD, Report D-2001-043 31 Jan 2001)
The point is, the money gets spent and nothing really changes much. This is practically the running theme throughout Miller’s new book Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War. Years and years of “committee work” and “research” – trillions of military, scientific, and congressional dollars, with little or no tangible results.
preview of coming attractions
We’re already in the middle of it – 9/11 has catapulted us to a new stratum of saturation with the “new” vaccine awareness. Every day you will read new articles, see new stories about how vaccines are coming to save us – just in time. It’s biggest money – $6 billion from Bill Gates, more from other private investors, and the bottomless trough tapped by the NIH, Tommy Thompson, the FDA, the CDC, and anyone else who can stake a claim. This machine will undoubtedly dominate media. So now that you’ve read this chapter, be admonished. You know the game. Vaccines don’t save anyone from anything. Is it only about money? To the extent that money is a measure of power and influence, I guess so.
We are the most vaccinated people not only in the world, but in the entire history of the world. The 40 vaccines mandated for American children by the time they’re 16 – these are just the beginning, compared to what’s coming down the pike. What can we do about it? Educate ourselves to the potential dangers, and to our remaining rights of exemption. Even those who believe in vaccines can benefit from the exemption forms – signing those documents gives the parents the power to choose which vaccines they want for their children, and when.
Buy the new vaccine sales pitch? What’s the downside if they’re wrong? What’s the track record on vaccines – the real one? Where are the studies? How important is the human bloodstream to the future of our species?
WILL TO POWER
In light of what’s being served up these days, the original contention at the end of The Doors of Perception stands: wouldn’t we be better off not watching any TV or reading mainstream news copy? It’s not a medium for information; it’s a means of distraction and control. Too bold? Well, think how the current contrived economic slump was catapulted by a thousand junior college mentality columnists in a thousand newspapers across the country every day for months on end, each one trying to come up with a slightly new spin on how bad things were going to get. Day after day, on and on they hammered, until 3 trillion dollars worth of private assets vaporized – disappeared. Most of it was after-tax dollars. People lost years of savings; for many, their life savings – the hopes and dreams for a better future. That was power.
Oh, the media didn’t cause all that, you say? They just reported it? There’s a good sheep.
Whatever you think about you bring about: thought creates reality. We must guard our brain input, because that determines our focus, and our focus determines our accomplishments. Maybe Nietzsche was right – this world is nothing more than a will to power. By sucking up the evening news, we are pushed aside by a smoothly orchestrated will to power which may not have our interests in mind.
Just consider: what would happen if we actually stopped buying newspapers and glossy magazines and watching the idiotically banal TV news shows, anchored by these simian cyborg newscasters, reading their lines? What would we really be missing if we ignored all that and just focused on personal and business goals that are of our own design – not on some knee jerk reaction to whatever newly-imagined fear in the area of business or world events MIGHT be coming in the very near future. It’s mostly lies and angles and spin and ‘framing issues’ anyway. All the energy of worrying about what if — might be turned into productive forward-planning activity. And what if everyone began to think like this, began to think that in America we still have an enormous amount of freedom and initiative to build our lives. And this freedom NOT to listen to the programmed conditioning is a real source of power.
Turn it off. Disconnect. Rent videos. Don’t bring newspapers and magazines into your home, except to line the parrot cage. Instead of wasting time reading insipid cookie-cutter newspapers and monodimensional glossy magazine articles, buy a book. Whoa. How about a classic? TV news? Fine. As long as the MUTE button is pressed. Stop listening. Stop being passively programmed. Guard your cerebral cortex input. Have a conversation. Have an idea. Play chess. Or music. Live your own life.
But how will I know what’s going on, you ask?
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