Mass Panic Over Bird Flu Experiments
Governments Remain Biggest Sponsors of Bioterror
by James Corbett
10 January, 2012
The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity made the unprecedented decision last month to call for the censorship of a pair of papers in scientific journals that describe how to make a novel, human transmissible form of bird flu that could kill unprecedented numbers of people.
The studies, conducted by two independent teams of researchers in the Netherlands, the US and Japan, concluded that it was possible to mutate ordinary H5N1 avian flu virus into an aerosol-transmissible form that could spread easily and rapidly through the air. According to Dr. Ron Fouchier at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, “We have discovered that this is indeed possible, and more easily than previously thought.”
Defenders of the research have noted that these studies could help scientists detect the early stages of the development of such a super-virus in nature. Detractors counter that the research could give bioterrorists the knowledge they need to create an extremely deadly bioweapon.
The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity shares such concerns over the findings, advising the US government to ask the journals preparing to publish the research, Nature and Science, to censor all details of the methodology used to mutate the virus into its deadly form.
What few reports on the scientific scandal have noted is that the NSABB itself was born in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks on the United States, an attack that was immediately blamed on Islamic terrorists and succeeded in shutting down the US congress for the first time in modern history. That attack eliminated all opposition to the PATRIOT Act, which was passed at the height of the scandal. It was subsequently found to have been an inside job, sourcing back to the US government’s own Ames strain, used in its own seldom-acknowledged biowarfare program. The FBI learned of the origin of the anthrax attack in the US military research program on October 5, 2001, but five days later allowed the original batch of Ames strain at Iowa State Univsersity to be destroyed, thereby making their own investigation even more difficult. After spending years falsely accusing Steven Hatfill, a bioweapons expert, with perpetrating the crime, they eventually pinned the blame on USAMRIID researcher Bruce Ivins, who supposedly killed himself with an overdose of Tylenol and codeine just two days before he and his attorney were to meet with the FBI to face the accusation that he had engineered the anthrax attack. Ivins left no suicide note, no autopsy was performed on his body, and in the immediate wake of his death the FBI pronounced the case closed.
What the entire anthrax attack and its subsequent cover-up exposed was the vast, murky underworld of government sponsored biowarfare research that had been taking place covertly, and illegally, since the signing of a 1972 treaty forbidding the development of bioweapons. The program was exposed on September 4, 2001, just one week before 9/11, in the New York Times, in an article noting how the Pentagon had used the bioweapon ban treaty’s exception for defense research to proceed with increasingly dangerous experiments, including the creation of genetically engineered, extremely potent anthrax spores. The article, entitled “U.S. Germ Warfare Research Pushes Treaty Limits,” also noted how numerous Clinton and Bush administration insiders worried that the experimentation was in fact a full-fledged biowarfare program of the kind specifically forbidden by the treaty.
Now the government is professing fear of what terrorists would do with the details of a potential bioweapon like weaponized bird flu. However, in the wake of H1N1 hysteria of 2009, a public health scare that the Council of Europe concluded was due at least in part to the professional links of their advisors to the very vaccine manufacturers who profited from the scare, the pieces were put into place to ensure that the next pandemic, whether the result of bioterrorism or random natural mutation, ensures that the government has even more power to enact what amounts to medical martial law.
Numerous state legislatures in the US passed a Model State Emergency Health Powers Act in the wake of that allows the government to enforce “invasive medical interventions” including forcible confinement and mandatory vaccinations in the event of a declared “state of emergency.” At the height of the scare, the CDC even proposed that it be given the power to appoint “workplace coordinators” at private companies to dictate business response to a declared pandemic.
Regarding the latest H5N1 super flu research, the NSABB is now debating whether to call for a voluntary moratorium on the publication of all such research until it can be decided how the scientific community should proceed with publication. The vote is expected to occur later this month.
NSABB chair Paul Keim was quoted as saying, “It is time for us to have a broad and global discussion” on the issue.