Lee Camp: How Corporate America Supports Racism, Hatred & Exploitation (in New & Fun Ways!)

By Lee Camp

Source

Corporate America Social Justice
Corporations like General Mills and ExxonMobil aren’t going to save us from white supremacist violence or climate annihilation with their piddly tweets.

modicum of attention to the world at large, you’ve noticed that white supremacists constitute a bit of a problem in America. They led an insurrection at our Capitol recently. They’ve been involved in many mass shootings. I, along with many others, was nearly killed by one a few years ago in Charlottesville, Va.after he tried to murder as many peaceful protesters as possible. Our police forces are brimming with white supremacist assholes. And I think they had a popular TV show about ducks and beards not too long ago.

So I believe we can all admit that there are large groups of racist pricks wandering around our country — usually armed, rarely friendly. Everyone knows it. I bet even the racist parents of a 32-year-old white supremacist know he’s a dick. At Thanksgiving dinner they probably tell him, “Listen, Robbie. We’re very proud of you. We love what you’ve done with hating Black people online. But the thing is — you’re kinda a dick. Can you just be more polite? Just approach people slowly and kindly ask if they would like to be racist with you. You don’t have to make such a scene — with all the guns and the camo.”

Anyways, I bring this up because I don’t think we’re going to solve America’s militant hate group problem until we get the help of Fruit by the Foot and Gushers. …You heard me.

We all know that this country will not heal without further efforts from the gummy candy community. I mean, you remember when they solved racist policing in this country, don’t you? In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Gushers literally tweeted, “Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black community and your voices. We’re working with Fruit by the Foot on creating space to amplify that. We see you. We stand with you.”

t just brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? Gushers was there for Black lives. (Although this tweet does raise the question, “If Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black Community” then what would it be? Do gummy candies taste different if there aren’t Black people around? What would be the point of that? Why invent a racist candy like that?)

Point being, after Gushers’ unprecedented alliance with Fruit by the Foot (both of which are owned by General Mills), racist police brutality in America ceased to exist (one assumes). And so, building on that success, I think we clearly need another gummy-based Manhattan Project to tackle the unnerving prevalence of extremist hate groups and racist ideology. Perhaps if they made a statement that only good little Proud Boys get Fruit by the Foot? That might do it.

Or perhaps (he writes knowingly) this could be just one of the countless examples of corporate America trying to act like they aren’t an actual negative force on community, sustainability, fairness, and equality.

Chevron and ExxonMobil and banks and credit card companies and franchise restaurants all often tell us they care about Black Lives or care about the LGBTQ+ community or are working to create a safe space for folks with disabilities or they tell us we’re all in this together.

No. We. Aren’t.

Corporations only care about you as far as they can extract profit from you. That is their only goal. The moment Black lives or white lives or Asian lives don’t make them a profit, they no longer give a shit. The moment people try to demand something from them that will benefit the community and world but not improve their bottom line, those companies are not there to listen — just look at  the current fight for unionization at Amazon. Or try going up to Wells Fargo and saying, “Hey, I saw your ad that we’re all in this together. I was so glad to hear that. Really made me feel blisstastic. Seeing as we’re all in this together, I would like to ask you to stop funding oil pipelines that are killing, um, everything. Oh, and also can you stop working with weapons contractors, too? They like to kill children and stuff. So what do ya say? ….Hello? Hello? I thought we were in this together? …Does this mean you also won’t babysit my cockatoo next week?”

Corporate America does not care about you or me or any of us outside of what they can extract from us, and that’s as true for Betty Crocker as it is for ExxonMobil. For example, it has become a problem in America that workers (the ones lucky enough to still have a job or three) are working themselves to the bone. People literally fall asleep or collapse on the job. They’re trying to work non-stop in order to afford meaningless consumer goods like, well, health care. And it’s kind of common sense that if we raised the minimum wage or gave workers free child care and more paid time off then they wouldn’t be suffering so much. So Ford Motor Company saw this problem and said, “Hold my beer.”

The good people at Ford have come out with a new answer to this tragic issue. It’s a hat that keeps you awake while you’re collapsing on the job. No, really. The commercial writes itself — “Just strap this thing to your fucking head while your subconscious brain is telling you that if you don’t sleep soon you’ll DIE, and the hat will tell your conscious brain, “NO! Fight the urge to give in to your urgent biological needs!”

’m hopeful Ford will soon come out with a version of this dystopian headgear that connects to a long tube which you just place up your backdoor so it can vacuum out any waste your body needs to expel. Once you have that device bolted into your skull and secured up your rear, you’ll actually be able to drive for upwards of 56 hours without hitting the brake pedal once. There is a small chance brain matter will ooze out your ears and your heart will explode. But if that happens — guess who’s getting Employee of the Month?!

Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed. These corporations have become largely decoupled from reality, from humanity, from sustainability, and from the environment. Any time they take a breather from their rapacious, glutinous greed to belch out some tired exclamation of care for social justice or care for environmental rejuvenation or care for ending inequality and hate — those moments are beyond meaningless. In fact, those moments are actually harmful due to the number of people who honestly believe they mean something, who think the corporate world can ever be a force for good rather than the center of our own waltz off the cliff.

If we want to end oppression, we must end inequality. If we want to end inequality, we must evolve beyond our rancid exploitative socioeconomic system and the corporations that thrive in it.

Corporations, States, and the neo-liberal symbiosis

Corporations, States, and the neo-liberal symbiosis

December 16, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

The men and women who run global corporations are the first in history with the organization, technology, money, and ideology who are attempting to structure the world as an integrated economic unit. (1)

THE RISE OF CORPORATE POWER.

Scroll down another six decades (or thereabouts) and this statement has hardened into an objective fact – and moreover has turned out worse than the above authors had ever imagined. In effect what has taken place, and is still taking place, is the massive shift of power, out of the hands of nation states and democratic governments and into the hands of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) banks, Investment banks, Commercial banks, and Central banks. It is now the coalition that effectively governs the lives of the vast majority of the people on earth; yet these new world realities are seldom reflected in the strategies of citizen movements for democratic change. All too often, strategies are aimed primarily at changing government policies, whilst the real power being exercised by TNCs behind the scenes is rarely challenged, let alone dismantled. When the operations of TNCs do become a prime target for citizen action campaigns, there is a tendency to employ a rather piecemeal and foot-dragging approach to such popular struggles to what is a deeply systemic problem – a problem for the lower orders that is.

Regardless of their nominal home bases these globe-trotting corporate Leviathans have become essentially ‘stateless’ (I use this term advisedly) juggling multiple national identities and loyalties in order to achieve their global competitive interests. Regardless of where they operate in the world these conglomerates can use their overseas subsidiaries, joint ventures, licensing agreements, and assume foreign identities and tax evasion on a huge scale – as for example in the practise of ‘transfer pricing’ – whenever it suits their purposes. In so doing, they develop chameleon-like abilities to change their identities to resemble insiders wherever they are operating. As one nameless CEO put it, When we go to Brussels, we are member states of the EU, when we go to Washington, we become an American Company. Whenever the need arises these gentlemen will wrap themselves up in the national flag of choice (or flags of convenience as in the shipping industry) to get support for tax breaks, research subsidies, or governmental representation in negotiations affecting corporate profit and marketing plans. Through this process stateless corporations are effectively transforming what were independent nation states to suit their interests.

CORPORATIONS AND STATES – PARTNERS IN CRIME

Having said this, however, I would add a qualifying disclaimer:

Namely, that nation states do not necessarily choose to prostrate themselves before their lords and masters of Finance and Industry, this was never – mirabile dictu – meant to be a one-way arrangement or an alternative to the liberal market economy. I have argued elsewhere that states and corporations are both conjoint and symmetrical. Both need each other. The state unquestionably remains the most significant force in shaping the national and world economies, despite the rhetoric of the state-denialist lobby. The state has played a fundamental role in the economic development of all countries, from the 19th century onwards, and my hunch is that it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

However, given the universality of the state-economy dualism it should be understood that a system of variegated capitalism is a feature of the contemporary state-economy partnership. In general terms this fragmentation breaks down into basic models of actually existing capitalism.

1. The liberal-market capitalism (LMC). This is generally understood to be associated with the Anglo-American economies. Rampant individualism has become the dominant characteristic, short-termist and based upon a weak industrial and a strong financial sector. Shareholder value has assumed a quasi-religious status. The banking system is oligopolistic and averse to industrial investment and fixated on the property sector. Financialization is the dominant economic form.

2. Social-market capitalism. (SMC) A premium is placed on collaboration between different actors in the economy with a broader definition of ‘stakeholders’ beyond that of solely the owners of capital. The concept of ‘social partnership’ is more prominent than the Anglo-American model, but somewhat weaker more recently. Capital markets – unlike the LMC – tend to be bank-centred and the banking industry tends to be more diffuse as instanced in the existence of the German Sparkassen. This model is characteristic of the German, Scandinavian, western European bloc.

3. Developmental Capitalism. This is a highly activist state-driven system (although not necessarily through public ownership of productive assets). The state sets substantial policies contained within an explicit industrial strategy. Capital markets tend also to be bank-centred and there is a strong emphasis on tight business networks – e.g., the Chaebol and Keiretsu. The model is exemplified by Japan, (south) Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and more recently by China.

4. Russian Capitalism. This is difficult to categorize since it is given an unbelievably bad press – for geopolitical reasons – in the western media and academia.

It is also under the cosh of western sanctions which makes development even more difficult. Moreover much of what is going on is conducted in the Russian language which makes reporting and analysis even more difficult. Both political and economic structures were liberalized after 1991 but the Russian state still exerts strong control over the economy. The jury is still out on Russia’s system and development.

Given a choice of which system works best it would seem to be the highly state-activist developmental model.

‘’We can safely predict that the Anglo-American model will become less influential … whilst … virtually all of the Asian models of capitalism involve a more active role for government. And the rise of these models is taking place as the US approach is discredited by abuse, shrivelling opportunities and a shrinking middle-class. Among listed alternatives, the US model is now the outlier.’’ (2)

Alexander Hamilton 1755-1804

These views on industrialisation and state-building could legitimately be described as a protectionist and strategic policy, this to the extent that his theories made a positive impression, and these were not lost on US President and ex-commander-in-chief of the Army of the Potomac, Ulysses S Grant. (1822-1885).

According to Grant:

‘’For centuries England has relied on protection, has carried it to extremes and has obtained satisfactory results from it. There is no doubt that it is to this system that it owes its present strength. After two centuries, England has found it convenient to adopt free trade because it thinks that protection can no longer offer it anything. Very well then, gentlemen, my knowledge of our country leads me to believe that within 200 years, when America has gotten out of protection all that it can offer, it too will adopt free trade.’’

Interestingly enough the United States did not become a great trading power and not recognisably be a free-trade nation until after WW2.

Similarly In Germany, Friedrich List (1789-1846) who also had scant regard for any ‘free-market’ nonsense along with the Ricardian corollary of comparative advantage, was instrumental in promoting a guided political economy; a system of political supervision from above as a policy for economic development. He argued that,

‘’…the first stage (of such a long-term policy) is one of adopting free-trade with more advanced nations as a means of raising themselves from a state of barbarism, and of making advances in agriculture; in the second stage, promoting the growth of manufactures, fisheries, navigation and foreign trade by means of commercial restrictions; and in the last stage, on after reaching the highest degree of wealth and power by gradually reverting to the principle of free-trade and of unrestricted competition in home and foreign markets.’’ (3)

As with Hamilton’s economic theories and their influence on Grant, so with List’s theories, on the leading figure in Germany at the time, the ‘Iron Chancellor’ and leading statesman of the day – Otto Von Bismarck (1771-1845).

These strategic, nation-building, and planned approaches were to give rise to the considerable success of the ‘mixed economies’ during the Bretton Woods era – 1944-1971 – and particularly so in the west. But this historical phase ended abruptly with the rise of the Thatcher-Reagan axis circa 1980, to the tune of TINA – there is no alternative, although such policies continued to be the chosen road to development in East Asia. If the TNC-State paradigm operates globally they do so only because the state allows and facilitates this. But the relationship between the two varies from one state’s political economy to another.

The present actually existing state-market archetype – which in its essence is neo-liberal – is such that business enterprises now seem fit to expect/demand more from their governments in order to secure markets for their products (these enterprises certainly have some chutzpah in this respect!)Trade follows the flag. This special pleading notwithstanding, the fashionable nostrums extolling the economic virtues of neo-liberalism – nostrums of an entirely theoretical nature, based upon a type of reasoning associated with the medieval schoolmen, or rolled out as if it were Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative. In this respect also such economic theory, as postulated by the marginalist school (see below) takes place before any engagement with the material world, the theory precedes practice when it should be the other way around. I believe that it was Goethe who once said “All theory is grey, my friend. But forever green is the tree of life.”

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTAL DESIDERATA

However, in spite of the neo-classical economics theological school founded in 1870 (4) the fact of the matter is that the private sector requires at least 4 principles of support and services from governments.

1. Infrastructure support. That is to say state funding of high-risk and basic research. This involves funding of universities and of vocational training systems. Subsidizing of mechanisms for the dissemination of scientific and technological transfers.

2. Providing tax breaks. Incentives, necessary for investment in industrial R&D

3. Guarantees. That national enterprises from the given country have a sufficiently stable Home Base and privileged access to the home market via public contracts (defence, telecommunications, health, transport, education, social services). Industrial policy, particularly for those in the high technology strategic sector (defence, telecommunications, and data processing), also guarantee of a certain basic scientific and technical competence, as well as protecting designated sectors of the internal market on which local enterprises may depend.

4. Provision: that is the necessary support and assistance (regulatory and/or commercial, diplomatic, and political) to local enterprises in their activities and in their fight to better survive in international markets.

The above prescriptions would constitute the absolute sine qua non for economic growth and development. But it is no longer necessarily the case that these expectations will be met. Instead of the assessment (and presence) of past economic developmental strategies with measurable outcomes we have a religious, inflexible dogma of ‘market forces’ which is not to be gainsaid, gibberish in theory, but not even workable in practice. Herewith the record.

1. Capital/Labour relations.

Promise: Deregulation will allow for full employment.

Outcome: No clear impact.

2. Forms of Competition.

Promise: Deregulation will erode oligopolistic market power and will restore free competition

Outcome: Re-regulation, less producers, increased market concentration, from one oligopolistic form of competition to another.

3. Monetary Regime

Promise: Control of Monetary Base is possible.

Outcome: Monetary Innovation prevents this control and the rise of the shadow banking system.

4. State.

Promise: Minimal state will enhance growth and productivity

Outcome: Poor levels of productivity due to lack of educational infrastructures. Finance is put before industry.

5. International Regime

Promise: Smooth currency adjustments.

Outcome: Large movements up and down of exchange rates

And so on and so forth. The state – if it so chooses – remains the most formidable institution to channel and tame the power of the markets. In the absence of powerful countervailing regulation any economic analysis shows that persisting unemployment, recurring financial crises, rising inequality, underinvestment in productive activities such as education and research, a cumulative asymmetry of information and power and overinvestment in financial activities are the outcomes of a complete reliance on market forces. This we already know, but the suffocating global impact of Anglo-American liberal globalism – in both theory and practice, and in its sphere of influence – has served to erect a seemingly insurmountable barrier, both political and ideological, to any exit from the dead-end of TINA.

DECLINE AND FALL

Sad to say, however, that the public authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have defaulted on their obligations to their electorates and to a large extent have merged with the corporate and banking sector. The US and EU remain in thrall to neo-liberal doctrine, the only ‘growth’ policy considered worthy of the name consists of eliminating organizations or institutions of any kind that are regarded as obstructing markets and competition, be they cartels, chambers of commerce and industry, trades unions or tax guilds, or minimum wages or employment protection. This is all that is meant when todays creditors expect debtor states to implement the dreaded ‘structural reforms’. The collapse of the Keynesian economics establishment and its political manifestation in both social-democratic theory and practice was unable (and even unwilling) to prevent the counter-revolutionary onrush of the neoliberal forces who now command the political and economic agenda.

‘’The historical significance of the transition from a Keynesian to a Hayekian political economy, which has been taking place since the 1970s, becomes clearer if we recall the situation at the beginning of the neoliberal turn. Whereas today with open borders, formerly sovereign states with independent central banks must pursue a rule-bound economic policy in accordance with a prescriptions of efficiency theory, the Keynesian mixed economy of the post-war decades had at its disposal a wide range of instruments for discretionary government intervention, especially in the distribution of the national product and the life-chances of national citizens … The neoliberal counter-revolution has left nothing of this. It’s objective was to trim the states of post-war capitalism as much as possible reducing them to providing for the functioning and expansion of markets and making them institutionally incapable of corrective intervention in the self-regulating enforcement of market justice.’’(5)

Returning to the global perspective of the opening passage the problems of under-development in the periphery is now being felt in the imperial centre as the centre becomes more and more like the periphery. A state cannot be emerging or developed if it is not inward rather than outward looking to the goal of creating a domestic market and thus reasserting a national economic sovereignty. This complex objective requires over all aspects of economic life. In particular, it demands policies that protects food security and sovereignty, and equally sovereignty over ones natural resources and access to others outside one’s territory. These multiple and complementary objectives are contrasted with those objectives of the internal comprador class, who are content to adapt to growth models that meet the requirements of the dominant global system (liberal globalization) and the possibilities that these latter alternatives offer. (6)

At the present time, the historical requirement for the establishment of an entirely new social and economic order based upon sound principles and respecting the environment with a goal of the fulfilment of human rights has become imperative. It hardly needs stating that this is a monumental task and the possibilities between success and failure are evenly balanced. Nonetheless it remains the greatest challenge in today’s world – moreover it is a challenge which spans both the developed and developing world and for tackling the issue of the survival of the human species and the Earth itself. Whether mankind is up for this challenge remains to be seen, but the world is running out of time and positive action needs to start very soon indeed. We shall wait and we shall see.

La Lotta Continua.

NOTES

(1) Richard Barnet & Robert Mueller -Global Reach – 1974

(2) Rothkopf – Financial Times – 01/02/2012)

(3) Freidrich List. – National System of Political Economy. P.15

(4)The Marginalist ‘Revolution’ of 1870. The term ‘marginalist revolution’ is commonly utilised to indicate the abandonment of the classical liberalism – of Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill – and posited a theoretical shift to a subjective theory of value and the analytical notion of marginal utility. The years between 1871 and 1874 saw publication of the major writings of the leaders of the Austrian marginalist school, Carl Menger (1840-1921); of the British school, William Stanley Jevons (1835-1882); and of the French (Lausanne) school, Leon Walras (1834-1910). For better or worse – pretty much the worse FL – this is the basis of the contemporary economics taught in schools and universities today. It is a toxic legacy.

(5) Wolfgang Streeck – Buying Time – pp.111/112

(6)Samir Amin – The Implosion of Capitalism – p.44

Promoting What’s Hazardous to Human Health

See the source image

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Along with other establishment media, the NYT is part of promoting the state-sponsored covid vaccine scam.

When used as directed, potential serious harm to human health may follow — why it’s essential to SAY NO!

Government officials, Pharma, and establishment media are part of a mass deception campaign that may cause serious harm to many vaxxed individuals.

In daily editions, the NYT is manipulating the public mind with a virtual blitzkrieg of state/Pharma-approved propaganda about covid and vaccines to the rescue that are dangerously experimental and high-risk.

Over the weekend, the Times featured well over a dozen covid vaccine propaganda pieces — so many I lost count.

They bombarded readers with misinformation, disinformation and Big Lies — risking serious harm to many believers.

Don’t be fooled. Ignore bad advice and stay safe.

Below are some of the Times’ propaganda headlines in its Sunday edition alone:

“Deaths (from covid) Rose in College Towns (sic)”

“First Coronavirus Vaccines Head to States, Starting Historic Effort (sic)”

“First US Vaccines Are About to Be Shipped as Virus Ravages America (sic)”

“UPS and FedEx say plans to ship the vaccine are underway”

“A CDC panel has endorsed the Pfizer vaccine for people 16 and over”

“With the first injections expected to be given as early as Monday, this is how states are preparing”

“The largest health care provider in the New York region is frantically prepping for the arrival of the vaccine”

“How Many (covid vaccine) Doses Will Your State Get?”

“This Is the Test of Our Lifetimes (sic)”

“It’s Time to Scare People About Covid (sic)”

“We Must Do More to Stop Dangerous Doctors in a Pandemic” — ones justifiably skeptical about face masks, social distancing and toxic vaccines.

On December 9, Times editors headlined: “The Coronavirus Vaccines Were Developed in Record Speed. Now, the Hard Part”

Claiming they’re safe and “95 percent effective at preventing illness” is part of an orchestrated mass deception campaign.

Operation Warp Speed is a diabolical hazardous to human health scam that promotes development and mass vaxxing with experimental drugs. 

They’ll enrich Pharma at the expense of potentially devastating consequences for many unsuspecting individuals being vaxxed for protection against covid they won’t get.

Times editors urged greater efforts by Washington and local governments to encourage, push hard for, and otherwise support harmful to health and welfare mass vaxxing, face masks and social distancing.

Will a follow-up Times editorial urge mandating all of the above?

The self-styled newspaper of record and other establishment media threw caution to the wind.

Ignoring potential serious hazards to public health and welfare, they’re promoting a widespread human experiment that may cause irreversible harm to countless numbers of people.

At a time of orchestrated mass deception, it’s crucial to be safe, not sorry.

CIA Partners with Google, Amazon and IBM in Latest Big Tech Procurement Drive

By Raul Diego

Source

The vaunted “17 intelligence agencies” that comprise the U.S. intel community will be sharing a network of private-sector cloud computing service providers which includes Microsoft, Google, Oracle, IBM, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of a 15-year contract said to be worth tens of billions of dollars.

AWS currently holds the sole contract to provide cloud computing services to a number of intelligence agencies, including the FBI and the NSA. That contract is set to expire in 2023 and this new award – managed by the CIA – will further weaken Amazon’s once privileged position in the federal money sweepstakes, which had already taken a hard hit when Microsoft was unexpectedly chosen over Bezos’ company for the Department of Defense’s own cloud services contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program.

The Central Intelligence Agency will take full advantage of its access to money without oversight to disburse the government funds at the agency’s discretion. Although speculated to rise into the tens of billions, the CIA has no plans to disclose the real value of the C2E contracts. The Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) procurement program was unveiled in February by the premier U.S. spy agency in a bid to establish a cloud computing service platform for the country’s intelligence agencies separate from JEDI, which remains enmeshed in a protracted legal contest with AWS and is two years behind implementation.

The five tech giants will compete with each other for “task orders” that come in from the multitude of intelligence agencies throughout the country and will span every security clearance level up to and including top secret clearance. The contract calls for the building of infrastructure and all other basic cloud services, as well as professional services and public-facing services.

The more things change…

Many seem surprised by the multi-contractor, ad hoc nature of the C2E awards because it “appears not to settle on a particular cloud provider” and while these dynamics do stray from the relatively recent trend of sole-contract awards and tacit monopolies many corporations have enjoyed through similar public-private partnerships, this particular practice of pitting contractors against each other for services requisitioned by the government is not new.

In fact, such practices are an intrinsic part of the military industrial complex and its historical origins at the height of the British empire. The start of the Glorious Revolution in 1688 marked the beginning of 125 years of constant war for the global superpower of the day and the slow but inexorable rise of an industry of war made up exclusively of freelancers who would make the guns, rifles, and bullets their bloodthirsty Queen required.

As the empire grew, the processes for the production of weapons underwent a dramatic change from artisanal modes to full-fledged factory-style production; all spurred by the biggest army and navy in the world, which was pillaging and extracting resources to fuel the burgeoning enterprise of capitalism.

Workers at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Liverpool, England inspect the finished Sten guns. Photo | Imperial War Musuem

This period also fine-tuned the relationship between the state and independent contractors, with the former establishing laws governing them in order to leverage their overwhelming advantage. Other strategies were also employed to both suppress the price the Crown paid for materiel and to make sure that no single contractor held too big a stake in the supply chain.

In her book “Empire of Guns,” Priya Satia details this entire process and destroys the myth that the Industrial Revolution was the result of a cotton-picking machine when even a cursory look at the history shows that it was guns and a state engaged in perpetual war that laid the foundations of our current economic paradigm.

Now, we stand on the threshold of the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” in a world that has perfected weapons of war to atomic levels. New ‘cyberweapons’ are being forged and it is only fitting that the war industry, led today by the United States, would return to its origins to maintain its own monopoly on human suffering and devastation in the name of profit.

Return to the roots

The public-private partnership has been another significant trend that also mirrors a ubiquitous trend in Victorian England. But, in today’s world, a parallel legal system has grown alongside the state’s war industry and is also now at the disposal of the corporations who wish to dispute any deal, leading to considerable delays in the execution of contracts.

Cases like the JEDI suit affect the military readiness goals of the national security state if it cannot move forward with a particular initiative due to litigation. Another recent case is holding up the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency’s (CISA) efforts to centralize inflow and outflow of data regarding cyber-threats.

In October, the Government Services Agency (GSA), awarded a $13 Million-dollar contract to a company called EnDyna to “create a centralized database that agencies can use to report, discover and take actions against cyber threat information.” A much larger competitor, HackerOne, filed a protest questioning the award on grounds of failure to meet eligibility requirements and the smaller company’s competence to carry out the work.

Technicalities like these can hold up a project in court for years, so it makes perfect sense for the state-run war industry to return to its roots and apply the tried and true principles of divide and conquer against the people making their guns, whether real or virtual. By taking the first few spots on the Big Tech pecking order and putting them in a room to duke it out for a government contract, the war establishment is recognizing the growing power of these firms and is unleashing the CIA to curb it and diminish threats to the supply chain of the twenty-first century’s permanent war economy.

US Election 2020: Illegitimate by Systemic Fraud

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Election fraud has been part of the US political landscape since the republic’s early days — at the federal, state and local levels.

There’s nothing legitimate about a political process that excludes the popular will.

Power brokers decide who wins and loses. Voting-age Americans have no say whatever.

Fantasy democracy has been the American way from inception — the real thing considered anathema by the nation’s ruling class.

Election 2020 was decided long before early voting began and polls opened on November 3.

Biden/Harris were chosen over Trump because of the predictability factor.

Biden is a longtime dirty politician since the 1970s, Harris a relative newcomer.

Trump is a businessman turned politician at age-70 in 2016, a rare anomaly in the West and elsewhere.

Based on his record as US senator and vice president — along with his current deteriorated mental and physical state — Biden is both predicable and easily manipulated by the nation’s ruling class.

In stark contrast, Trump is less controllable. He shoots from the hip, notably by daily tweetstorms and other off-script public remarks. 

Based on what’s gone on so far, Biden/Harris look almost certain to succeed Trump on January 20.

Dirty business as usual continuity won’t miss a beat with them in charge.

The wish list of the nation’s monied interests, its militarists, and other dark forces will be fulfilled across the board with full Biden/Harris regime support.

More muscular domestic and foreign policies are likely — including greater crackdowns on fundamental freedoms at home and increased aggression abroad, by hot and other means.

US relations with China, Russia, Iran, and other independent countries targeted for regime change will likely deteriorate more than already.

According to head of Moscow State Institute of International Relations Anatoly Torkunov:

“No matter who wins (US elections, its ruling authorities) will continue the policy of pressure as far as Russia goes,” adding:

“The only thing that is clear today is that Biden’s foreign policy would be more predictable, particularly as far as Russia is concerned.” 

“I certainly don’t expect any radical changes and improvements to take place in the near future, but we can expect things to be more predictable.”

Whichever right wing of duopoly rule controls the White House and/or Congress ahead, policies affecting ordinary Americans are likely to worsen more than already.

Establishment Law Professor Jonathan Turley sounded the alarm about “rising McCarthyism…and the growing threat to both free speech and academic freedom” in the US.

Major media are complicit with a diabolical scheme to silence dissent and other free expression.

Biden/Harris and other Dems threaten Internet freedom.

It’s the last frontier of free and open expression, the only reliable independent space for real news, information and analysis – enabling anyone to freely express views on any issues.

Digital democracy is threatened in America and other Western countries.

What’s essential to preserve is eroding in plain sight.

If Dems against free expression control Biden/Harris regime policymaking, a free and open Internet may die on their watch.

Turley believes they’ll “continue…assaulting against Internet free speech” — the most defining feature of constitutional law, along with open, free, and fair elections.

The former is on life support in the US, the latter an illusion in the country since established.

Election 2020 is the latest example of election rigging — this time to replace Trump with Biden/Harris, deep state dark forces deciding things like they always do.

Appearing Friday on Newsmax TV’s National Report, US Federal Election Commission chairman Trey Trainor said the following:

“I do believe that there is voter fraud taking place in (US states). Otherwise they would allow the observers to go in.”

They “have not been allowed into the polling locations in a meaningful way.”

“Our whole political system is based upon transparency to avoid the appearance of corruption.”

“State law allows those observers to be in there.” In states where it wasn’t observed, Election 2020 was “illegitimate.”

Trump campaign lawsuits are “very valid…”

Trainor believes Trump team legal challenges will end up in the Supreme Court.

I doubt it’ll make a difference because the High Court usually swims with tide.

It’s coming in for Biden/Harris and going out for Trump.

Across the board claims of an open, free and fair process by establishment media represent an orchestrated aim to whitewash election-rigging for Biden/Harris over Trump.

When major media speak with one voice on most any issue, views expressed are highly suspect.

Free and open societies are characterized by diversity, including a range of views on at least most issues.

On Election 2020, major media reports have been and continue to be virtually unanimous in supporting fraud over democracy the way it should be.

What’s going on is a dark moment in US history.

Looking ahead, things are likely to worsen politically and economically for the vast majority of Americans.

It’s the wrong time to growing up under governance of, by, and for special interests by exploiting the vast majority of others.

Opportunities that once existed long ago are gone.

Governance by plutocrats, autocrats, and kleptocrats replaced it.

Today’s America resembles Dante’s Inferno for the vast majority. 

“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”

From Assassinations to Sanctions: Emergency Powers and the Rise of the Imperial Presidency

By Raul Diego

Source

A decades-long push to concentrate power in the Oval Office through emergency response legislation has made the Office of the President more powerful than ever.

On the eve of the 2020 election, no American president has enjoyed more unrestrained power than Donald J. Trump, who has inherited decades of policies and legislation that have given the American head of state the ability to suspend all constitutional rights and habeas corpus for its own citizens, carry out assassinations, torture prisoners and impose sanctions on sovereign nations, to name just a few of the 120 discretionary emergency “powers” the office currently has at its disposal.

Trump has invoked emergency powers, at least, eight times during his administration. Simply declaring an emergency makes all sorts of constitutional violations possible. Depending on which sphere of political power requires a form of executive intervention, the president has a bevy of “emergency” options at his disposal beyond the reach of Congress or any other mitigating factors. His decision to assassinate Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, was one such example where the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, also known as the War Powers Act, was cited as a legal justification for the general’s murder.

The War Powers Act is but one of many legal “emergency power” dispositions increasingly afforded to the office of the presidency. A recent article by Andrew Cockburn in Harper’s Magazine highlights a little-known set of documents drafted by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel called presidential emergency action documents or PEADs, which detail the actions a president is unilaterally entitled to take in the event of a declared emergency. These include all the constitutional violations mentioned above as well as a president’s prerogative to “seize control of the Internet” among other measures.

PEADs have been kept from the American public, but are common knowledge among critical White House staff and other government officials. According to Cockburn, PEADs have been gradually accumulating over the years as an “integral part” of the Continuity of Government or COG program; an emergency plan hatched deep in the bowels of the post-war state to protect the edifice of power, which established a shadow government and other ’emergency powers’ justified by the threat of nuclear annihilation, incessantly propagandized during the Cold War; the ultimate emergency from which all others would spring to pave the way for the incremental concentration of power in the executive.

Mein Führer, I can walk!

At the end of Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Love the Bomb,” the crippled Nazi character after whom the movie is named, miraculously regains his ability to walk just as a nuclear conflagration engulfs the world. Fascism thrives when panic and fear reign supreme, allowing critical circumstances – whether real or manufactured – to justify the evisceration of civil liberties and human rights.

he American national security state that developed in the post-war period has found one ’emergency’ after another to drive through policies and legislation that serve its interests. The office of the president is the logical target for a vast military industrial complex that needs to steer clear of Congressional oversight or public scrutiny in order to maintain control over its hugely profitable and immoral war enterprises.

After the tumultuous 1960s, which exposed many of the darkest secrets of the American national security apparatus and all of its murderous tentacles, the establishment experienced an existential crisis as powerful, grassroots social movements emerged to put real pressure on the governing elites to answer for their actions and find remedies for patently unequal rights in America. The anti-war movement, along with the revelations of the Church Committee, Watergate, and the extent to which presidents had used so-called emergency powers to circumvent Congress and the constitution, shed the pretense of democracy.

A futile effort to curb presidential emergency powers by the Special Committee on the Termination of the National Emergency in the early 1970s, which Frank Church co-chaired, was soon followed by an expansion of these powers in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) of 1977, enabling the president to declare national emergencies based on very broad criteria of “extraordinary circumstances.”

The style council

The IEEPA allows whoever is in the Oval Office to unilaterally and without evidence of wrongdoing, impose sanctions on entire countries or single individuals. The law has since been used as the framework for other emergency authorization protocols, such as the legal device used by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to freeze any American’s bank account without any meaningful explanation.

It was this piece of legislation that George W. Bush used as a basis for Executive Order 13224, which blocked the assets of terrorist organizations. These same powers were enhanced in provisions of the Patriot Act, itself another piece of ’emergency’ legislation. Bush was the first president to actually implement the shadow government proscribed in the COG procedures after September 11, 2001.

There are currently more than 30 active declared “emergencies,” many of which go back decades. In the opening paragraph of the report issued by Church’s Special Committee on the Termination of the National Emergency, the authors conceded that “a majority of Americans alive today have lived all of their lives under emergency rule.” This sobering conclusion is far more relevant today, almost 40 years later, when each subsequent administration has done its part to expand the president’s authority. None more so than Barack Obama, who dramatically expanded presidential emergency powers with two executive orders in 2012, which decreed almost monarchical powers over the whole of U.S energy and transportation infrastructure, domestic resources like food and water, the authority to force citizens to “fulfill labor requirements for the purposes of national defense” and the takeover of private communications networks by DHS.

All of these and more powers are currently in the hands of Donald Trump, whose style may rub some people the wrong way. But, they won’t be rescinded by the next administration. Indeed, now that the office of the presidency is a de facto dictatorship, style is really all that’s left.

The COVID-19 Vaccine. The Imposition of Compulsory Vaccination with a Biometric Health Passport?

By Dr. Pascal Sacre

Source

The COVID-19 vaccine…

Is this THE final goal of this crisis, to impose a compulsory vaccination on everyone, with a biometric health passport and without it, the impossibility to move, to buy, to eat?

The near future will tell.

With time, the accumulation of side effects, the testimonies of more and more doctors, vaccination has become a subject of controversy, often passionate, sometimes violent.

This is not just a question of being for or against vaccination in general.

It is about being vigilant in the face of enormous pressure from companies and governments to inject billions of healthy people with a hastily manufactured product, using immature technologies such as DNA manipulation, with as yet unknown side effects.

The cure should not be worse than the disease.

Given the fear, the terror in people’s minds, given the enthusiasm of certain leaders and given the power of the vaccine companies and manufacturers, will we, as ordinary citizens, be able to resist, keep our cool and prevent these people from playing with our health?

Do you know what the marketing of vaccines brings to the pharmaceutical companies?

References on the Statista website, figures for the year 2019 [1] :

  1. GSK (GlaxoSmithKline): more than 8 billion euros.
  2. Merck: €7.3 billion
  3. Pfizer: €5.9 billion
  4.  Sanofi: €5.8 billion

Billions, in a single year!

Do you think that the conservation of such gains would not motivate the transgression of limits by sweeping away everything in its path, all scientific ethics, all moral values?

As Emma Kahn [2] stated to the AIMSIB (International Association for Scientific, Independent and Benevolent Medicine) website, May 3, 2020:

“Strangely enough, the three vaccines in clinical trials in the West (excluding China) against COVID-19 are being developed by start-ups and not by Big Pharma (the nickname of the pharmaceutical industry). Why haven’t the big companies (Merck, GSK, Sanofi, Pfizer) launched any clinical studies? A first reason is worrying: … industry experts already know that coronavirus vaccines are too risky, they induce facilitation and immunopathological phenomena. The phenomenon of facilitation of infection by antibodies” is crucial to understand.

Vaccines too risky!

Facilitation and immunopathological phenomena!

This is not conspiracy, nor the elucubrations of a quidam [dictionary]. It is published data, well known to scientists, virologists and published in many journals.

These facts are particularly relevant to the coronavirus family and SARS [3].

With vaccines,

the biggest problem is the fear of an ADE (antibody dependant enhancement, facilitation of infection by the vaccine, mediated by antibodies induced by vaccination): facilitation of the penetration of the virus into cells by the receptor for the Fc fragment of immunoglobulins” [4].

On March 5, 2020, Peter Hotez [5] (vaccine expert) warned the U.S. Congress about the facilitation of antibody infection and its relationship to vaccination [6] :

“We must be very careful and go slowly with clinical trials, animal trials have shown facilitation”!

So Big Pharma is cautious. This confirms the credibility of this information.

Not only will this vaccine not protect you at all or not enough, but it can make things worse by facilitating your infection with COVID-19!

The phenomenon of facilitating viral infection by antibodies (ADE or antibody dependent enhancement) has been known for a long time and exists for many viruses.

Antibodies of this type have been demonstrated in vitro in the case of SARS-CoV-2 and candidate vaccines would only aggravate this immunopathological effect!

This is even more likely if we skip the steps.

Journalist Céline Deluzarche, in an article on Futura Sciences (Futura Santé) of March 19, 2020 reviewed on June 15, said :

“Coronavirus: the dangers of a hastily developed vaccine.

Faced with the urgency, scientists call for speeding up testing procedures and dispensing with the usual animal tests. A laudable strategy, but one that could prove to be at best counterproductive and at worst cause deaths” [7].

“Normally, it takes between 15 and 20 years to obtain an effective, non-toxic and usable vaccine. The first step is to develop a formulation with the chemical and pharmaceutical prerequisites, conduct immunogenicity studies [8] in animals, evaluate the toxicity of the vaccine [9] in animals, then in humans, and finally test its effectiveness on a large scale.”

Yet some people are putting pressure on, invoking urgency.

Why do they do that?

They exploit fear to get reach their goal. It’s never good to decide anything out of fear.

What dangerous game are these people playing?

The Europe Union (EU) in particular, and its new president, Ursula von der Leyen, after organising a world telethon to fund research for a vaccine [10], is trying to impose the idea that only a vaccine can save us.

“… in the face of urgency and pressure from governments and health authorities, some are calling for the procedures to be speeded up. The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday that she hoped for a vaccine against the new coronavirus before the autumn.” [7].

One has the feeling that all this was planned in advance, when one knows that Brussels, today, has been working for a long time on a “vaccine” passport in order to put the population under total surveillance and control [11].

Is COVID-19  just a pretext for imposing totalitarian measures which would otherwise have been impossible to accept?

I ask the question.

We find Peter Hotez [5], who advises us to be very careful:

A vaccine is not insignificant: it is most often a deactivated or weakened virus, and in some cases it can aggravate the disease it is supposed to prevent. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, who worked on the SARS outbreak in 2003, found that some vaccinated animals developed even more severe symptoms when exposed to the virus because of a weakened immune system. This is called “antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)” [7].

The work and research on vaccines against CVDO 19 in Cambridge, Oxford, sponsored by the NIH (National Institute of Health in the United States, Anthony Fauci, Donald Trump’s anti-COVID czar) does not reassure me at all, and should not reassure you either [12]!

These same people are behind one of the worst vaccine and medical scandals of the last ten years by wanting already, in 2009-2010, to vaccinate the entire population for a fake pandemic (H1N1) [13-14-15].

A survey in France reports that nearly a quarter (25%) of the French population do not intend to accept the vaccine against COVID-19 [16].

I understand them and even find it surprising that this figure is not higher.

These vaccines are a race for profits [17], huge amounts of money!

Even independently of plausible and frightening ideas such as the association of the vaccine with GMOs [18], with a puçage and tracing of the population [19], the inherent danger of any vaccine and the specific danger of an anti-coronavirus vaccine (facilitation of viral infection by antibodies – ADE or antibody dependent enhancement) should make all citizens think about accepting such a measure without flinching!

Through the fear instilled by our mainstream media, fear maintained by the experts of our own governments, people would be ready to accept remedies as dangerous as they are ineffective.

Like Tony Carlucci says:

“While Covid-19 may be a true pathogen, evidence suggests it does not justify the overreactions we’ve seen around the world. Covid-19 hysteria has – by far – a far more devastating impact on humanity than the virus itself. In the midst of this hysteria, the greatest real threat to human health – a corrupt pharmaceutical industry and its partners in government – are on the verge of increasing both their profits at the expense of the public and their power over the public.” [20]

Citizens should no longer take everything they are told at face value, even, or even more so, if it comes from the official media or governments [21].

Their health, mental and physical, is at stake.

As for the vaccine, the mere fact that it can itself facilitate coronavirus infection and aggravate symptoms should put a stop to any craze for it.

The loss of time and money in the search for this vaccine prevents the population from turning to other, healthier and more realistic solutions:

  1. Return to a healthy social lifestyle with an acceptable compromise between imposing targeted and limited quarantines (for really sick people and not just RT-PCR positive), and allowing the virus to circulate among those least at risk (healthy youth and adults) protected by their healthy immunity.
  2. Give greater preference to effective NPIs (non-pharmaceutical measures) such as hand washing, physical distance and ventilation of confined spaces, rather than continuous mask wearing, which is more harmful than beneficial.
  3. Allow front-line physicians to freely prescribe hydroxychloroquine and zinc early enough at the onset of symptoms of COVID-19 under medical supervision to minimize the well-known cardiac risks of HCQ.
  4. Give priority again to the recovery of the economy, of social activity, because today, the solution against the problem of COVID is worse than the problem itself (by far).
  5. Remember that we have immunity! Innate and cell specific immunity, not just antibody-mediated immunity! That the best allies of these immunities are our lifestyles (diet, physical activity, stress management, mental management). Everything should be done, today more than ever, to improve this.
  6. To deal with the immense fear and post-traumatic stress that have been generated in recent months by the media and by our governments.

This fear alone makes us more vulnerable both to illness and to totalitarian abuses.

Provided that we wean ourselves from fear, lies and illusions, everyone can regain power over their health, their society and their lives.

Hegemon USA v. Humanity

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US rage for dominating other countries by hot and/or cold wars poses an unparalleled threat to humanity.

US drive for hegemony is in stark contrast to the multi-world polarity agendas of China, Russia and Iran — prioritizing peace, stability, and mutual cooperation among all nations.

On Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif said the following:

“To meet the special challenges of our time, we need to solidify our cooperation within the framework of CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia).” 

“We need to secure a pivotal role for the organization, to advance multilateralism, and to ensure inclusive collaboration.” 

“It is imperative for us to pool our resources to jointly tackle the enormous challenge(s)” of our time.

Days earlier, Iran’s envoy to Britain Hamid Baeidinejad slammed the US for “behaving like a bully,” its actions “isolat(ing) itself from the international community.”

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the “interdependence and interconnectedness of all states without exception in all spheres of public life is the most important” way to deal with vital issues of our time,” adding with reference to Washington’s hegemonic agenda:

“(O)ur common misfortune has failed to smooth out the differences between some states.” 

“On the contrary, it has exacerbated many of them.” 

“The very moments of crisis that we observed in international relations earlier have resurfaced.” 

“A number of countries are increasingly…look(ing) abroad to find those who are responsible for their problems at home.” 

“There are obvious attempts by individual states to use the current situation to promote self-serving and fleeting interests and to settle scores with unwanted governments or geopolitical rivals.”

“(T)he practice of imposing unilateral, illegitimate sanctions persists, (notably by the US) which undermines the authority and prerogatives of the UN Security Council.”

Again with reference to the US, Lavrov called attacks on the UN system “absolutely unjustified.”

Stressing the importance of supporting and maintaining world peace, stability and security, Lavrov’s call for permanent Security Council members to prioritize this agenda fell on deaf ears in Washington, London and Paris, nations run by belligerent regimes.

“(O)vercom(ing) the most pressing problems of humankind” is only possible by mutual cooperation among all nations, especially major ones, said Lavrov.

It’s been unattainable throughout the post-WW II period because of US-dominated NATO’s rage for endless wars by hot or other means.

On Thursday, China’s UN envoy Zhang Jun sharply criticized slanderous Trump regime attacks on his country, saying the following:

What the world needs now is global cooperation against a made-in-the-USA “political virus,” its blaming other nations for its own wrongdoing, its “unilateralism and bullying,” adding:

“(T)he US keeps withdrawing from international treaties and organizations, severely undermining the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law.”

“The US flexes its (political and military muscles (globally, unlawfully) interfering…in the internal affairs of other countries…”

It “instigat(es) ‘color revolutions,’ jeopardizing (world) peace and stability.”

Its “cold war mentality” and drive for hegemony “push(es) the world into a dangerous situation.” 

It’s “erecting protectionist barriers and destabilizing the world supply and industrial chains.”

It’s “wielding the big stick of unilateral sanctions, frantically containing and suppressing foreign (countries and) companies, and attempting to artificially cut off the international flow of capital, technology, product, industry and personnel.” 

“(T)hese (actions) pose a serious threat to world peace and development.”

Jun’s call for the US to change its unacceptable ways fell on deaf ears of its one-party state with two right wings.

In February 2019, Trump appointed Kelly Knight Kraft as Washington’s UN envoy.

A dubious figure, wife of billionaire coal-mining tycoon/large GOP donor Joseph Craft, she’s notably unqualified for the high-profile diplomatic post, shown by her remarks — sounding like right-wing extremist/geopolitical know-nothing Nikki Haley.

On Thursday, she used the world stage to bash China and Iran unjustifiably.

Falsely accusing Iran of “funding and arming terrorists around the world” — a US specialty, not how Tehran operates anywhere — she shifted her venom at China, reciting a litany of bald-faced Big Lies, sounding like Chinaphobe Pompeo.

Time and again, GOP and Dem hardliners falsely blame countries they want transformed into pro-Western vassal states for high crimes committed against them.

A “safer and more secure world” is unattainable because of Washington’s geopolitical agenda, its hegemonic aims, its war on humanity, its abhorrence of peace, stability, cooperation among all nations, and the rule of law.

Pentagon’s Top Spy Agency Turns To AI for Targeting and Operations Planning

By Raul Diego

Source

Reminiscent of the 1983 sci-fi classic WarGames, the DIA’s new MARS program aims to create a system that uses AI to scour volumes of foreign intelligence and make decisions on how to act on it.

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is getting ready for the “next battlefield” and counting on the expertise of private concerns, like Booz Allen Hamilton, to implement what it calls Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System, or MARS for short. MARS is a critical data management system for “military targeting” and operation planning.

MARS is currently the DIA’s top priority, and according to DIA director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., the aim is to replicate “the commercial Internet that everybody uses every day,” with the added functionality of providing a “foundational intelligence picture […] at speed and at scale.”

Terry Busch, chief of DIA’s integrated analysis and methodologies division, highlights the difference between the MARS program he manages and the old “stovepipe” data management technologies it is meant to replace: “What comes out of MARS at the end is not data, it’s analysis. It’s finished intelligence.”

Which kind of intelligence, specifically, will be assessed dynamically by the machine’s algorithms in a new kind of database management system using AI functionality. It will revolutionize the way data is received and acted-upon. As it scours and collects vast datasets and volumes of foreign intelligence that support U.S. military operations around the world, MARS will be equipped to handle both large amounts of data, like the storage-intensive images and videos collected by the National Reconnaissance Office and also analyze the information to produce actionable leads in the battlefield.

It is nothing less than the 1983 sci-fi classic “WarGames” come to life. A ‘machine’ that decides when to go to war based on the information it is fed. In the movie, a military drill of a surprise nuclear attack on the United States accidentally goes live after a hacker, played by Matthew Broderick, “unwittingly” puts the world on the brink of nuclear war.

MARS program manager Terry Busch doesn’t discount the possibility. “On the machine side,” Busch stated, “we have experienced confirmation bias in big data,” adding that it was a “real concern” given that they’ve had “the machine retrain itself to error”.

COVID-19, however, has given the top military intelligence department the opportunity to “prove [its] ability to deliver the capabilities of MARS”, as DIA chief of Staff, John Sawyer, said at a National Security Summit that concluded Friday. The “assumptions about the nature of our work,” he claims were challenged during the pandemic, were especially fruitful in regards to the MARS program, which can now benefit from a new modality of military intelligence propagation that will be “the future of how we are going to understand fighting”.

Privatizing war

The massive scope of the DIA’s database retooling can be glimpsed by the size of the multiple-award contract it announced in August of last year, totaling over $17 Billion in contracts to 16 different companies, from large and established military contractors to startups. The largest “individual task orders” went to companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, the long-time private military intelligence-gathering operation that once employed Edward Snowden, and the far less known – but far more significant – Harold Thomas Martin III, who pled guilty in 2019 of stealing classified material pertaining to NSA “source code to break into computer systems of adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.”

In September 2019, Booz Allen Hamilton received a $90 Million contract to deliver “services for the production, dissemination, and tracking of DIA’s finished intelligence products, including the development and maintenance of applications and tools used to perform the mission.” Other private defense contractors include aerospace giant BAE Systems, Leidos (formerly Science Applications International Corporation, SAIC), and Vencore.

At the two-day intelligence summit, Sawyer alluded to the importance of the private sector in this endeavor, stating that “We have to rely on our partners and industry,” and “have them help us understand the art of the possible and the cutting-edge technology that is out there and to provide the expertise that will allow us to maintain our qualitative edge.”

This is not a drill

The rationale behind prioritizing the overhaul of the DIA’s data management system, a system that is tasked with the “delivery of intelligence to military planners, international partners and analysts,” is the “re-emergence” of “great powers.,” according to the agency. In addition, the DIA claims that everything “the nation knows about adversaries’ capabilities, tactics and military doctrine” is no longer enough in a “more competitive, dynamic and dangerous” global environment.

Touted by the DIA as a “decision advantage for the 21st century”, MARS, represents a perilous use of artificial intelligence, and program manager Busch’s aforementioned claims regarding “finished intelligence” should be noted, again, as advances in cloud computing will allow MARS to simulate “courses of action, allowing operators to quickly and fully grasp the likely effects of proposed activities or movements.”

WarGames ends like you’d expect a Hollywood movie to end, with all the built-up suspense and danger is resolved by the hero before the credits start rolling. In the film, the human wins and manages to get WOPR, the artificial intelligence machine, to relinquish control of the nuclear trigger and avert a nuclear conflagration. The acronym chosen for its real-life manifestation, named after the Roman god of war, should remind us that real life isn’t like the movies.

A DARPA-Funded Implantable Biochip to Detect COVID-19 Could Hit Markets by 2021

By Raul Diego

Source

An experimental new vaccine developed jointly with the US government claims to be able to change human DNA and could be deployed as early as next year through a DARPA-funded, injectable biochip.

he most significant scientific discovery since gravity has been hiding in plain sight for nearly a decade and its destructive potential to humanity is so enormous that the biggest war machine on the planet immediately deployed its vast resources to possess and control it, financing its research and development through agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and HHS’ BARDA.

The revolutionary breakthrough came to a Canadian scientist named Derek Rossi in 2010 purely by accident. The now-retired Harvard professor claimed in an interview with the National Post that he found a way to “reprogram” the molecules that carry the genetic instructions for cell development in the human body, not to mention all biological lifeforms.

These molecules are called ‘messenger ribonucleic acid’ or mRNA and the newfound ability to rewrite those instructions to produce any kind of cell within a biological organism has radically changed the course of Western medicine and science, even if no one has really noticed yet. As Rossi, himself, puts it: “The real important discovery here was you could now use mRNA, and if you got it into the cells, then you could get the mRNA to express any protein in the cells, and this was the big thing.”

It was so big that by 2014, Rossi was able to retire after the company he co-founded with Flagship Pioneering private equity firm to exploit his innovation, – Moderna Inc., attracted almost a half billion dollars in federal award monies to begin developing vaccines using the technology. No longer affiliated with Moderna beyond his stock holdings, Rossi is just “watching for what happens next” and if he’s anything like the doting “hockey dad” he is portrayed to be, he must be horrified.

Remote control biology

As early as 2006, DARPA was already researching how to identify viral, upper respiratory pathogens through its Predicting Health and Disease (PHD) program, which led to the creation of the agency’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO), as reported by Whitney Webb in a May article for The Last American Vagabond. In 2014, DARPA’s BTO launched its “In Vivo Nanoplatforms” (IVN) program, which researches implantable nanotechnologies, leading to the development of ‘hydrogel’.

Hydrogel is a nanotechnology whose inventor early on boasted that “If [it] pans out, with approval from FDA, then consumers could get the sensors implanted in their core to measure their levels of glucose, oxygen, and lactate.” This contact lens-like material requires a special injector to be introduced under the skin where it can transmit light-based digital signals through a wireless network like 5G.

Once firmly implanted inside the body, human cells are at the mercy of any mRNA program delivered via this substrate, unleashing a nightmare of possibilities. It is, perhaps, the first true step towards full-on transhumanism; a “philosophy” that is in vogue with many powerful and influential people, such as Google’s Ray Kurzweil and Eric Schmidt and whose proponents see the fusion of technology and biology as an inevitable consequence of human progress.

The private company created to market this technology, that allows for biological processes to be controlled remotely and opens the door to the potential manipulation of our biological responses and, ultimately, our entire existence, is called Profusa Inc and its operations are funded with millions from NIH and DARPA. In March, the company was quietly inserted into the crowded COVID-19 bazaar in March 2020, when it announced an injectable biochip for the detection of viral respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

 A wholly-owned subsidiary

In July, a preliminary report funded by Fauci’s NIAID and the NIH on an mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, concluding that mRNA-1273 vaccine. provided by Moderna for the study, “induced anti–SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified,” and supported “further development of this vaccine.”

A month earlier, the NIH had claimed a joint stake in Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, citing a contract signed in December, 2019, stipulating that the “mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates [are] developed and jointly owned” by both parties. Moderna disputes the federal government’s position, stating that the company “has a broad owned and licensed IP estate” and is “not aware of any IP that would prevent us from commercializing our product candidates, including mRNA-1273.”

A poster is displayed in the entrance way looking for volunteers as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

The only obstacle is a delivery system, which though Moderna claims to be developing separately, is unlikely to get FDA approval before the federal government’s own DARPA-developed hydrogel technology, in tandem with Profusa’s DARPA-funded light sensor technology, which is expected to receive fast track authorization from the Food and Drug Administration by early 2021 and, more than likely, used to deploy a coronavirus vaccine with the capacity to literally change our DNA.

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is currently investigating Moderna’s patent filings, claiming it failed to disclose “federal government support” in its COVID vaccine candidate patent applications, as required by law. The technicality could result in the federal government owning a 100 percent stake in mRNA-1273.

To Capture and Subdue: America’s Theft of Syrian Oil Has Very Little To Do With Money

By Steven Chovanec

Source

WAR FOR EMPIRE

Years of US support to Al-Qaeda and ISIS and efforts to effect regime change in the country have culminated in the theft of Syria’s oil, but is that really America’s coup de gras in Syria?

Near the end of July, one of the most important recent developments in U.S. foreign policy was quietly disclosed during a U.S. Senate hearing. Not surprisingly, hardly anybody talked about it and most are still completely unaware that it happened.

Answering questions from Senator Lindsey Graham, Secretary of State Pompeo confirmed that the State Department had awarded an American company, Delta Crescent Energy, with a contract to begin extracting oil in northeast Syria. The area is nominally controlled by the Kurds, yet their military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was formed under U.S. auspices and relies on an American military presence to secure its territory. That military presence will now be charged with protecting an American firm from the government of the country that it is operating within.

Pompeo confirmed that the plans for implanting the firm into the U.S.-held territory are “now in implementation” and that they could potentially be “very powerful.” This is quite a momentous event given its nature as a blatant example of neocolonial extraction, or, as Stephen Kinzer puts it writing for the Boston Globe, “This is a vivid throwback to earlier imperial eras, when conquerors felt free to loot the resources of any territory they could capture and subdue.”

Indeed, the history of how the U.S. came to be in a position to “capture and subdue” these resources is a sordid, yet informative tale that by itself arguably even rivals other such colonial adventures.

To capture and subdue

When a legitimate protest movement developed organically in Syria in early 2011, the U.S. saw an opportunity to destabilize, and potentially overthrow, the government of a country that had long pushed back against its efforts for greater control in the region.

Syria had maintained itself outside of the orbit of U.S. influence and had frustratingly prevented American corporations from penetrating its economy to access its markets and resources.

As the foremost academic expert on Middle East affairs, Christopher Davidson, wrote in his seminal work, “Shadow Wars, The Secret Struggle for the Middle East,” discussing both Syria and Libya’s strategic importance, “the fact remained that these two regimes, sitting astride vast natural resources and in command of key ports, rivers, and borders, were still significant obstacles that had long frustrated the ambitions of Western governments and their constituent corporations to gain greater access.”

With Syria,” Davidson wrote, “having long proven antagonistic to Western interests… a golden opportunity had presented itself in 2011 to oust [this] administration once and for all under the pretext of humanitarian and even democratic causes.”

US Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman meet with Syrians at the Yayladagi camp on the Turkish-Syrian border. April 10, 2012. Umit Bektas | Reuters.

The U.S., therefore, began organizing and overseeing a militarization of the uprising early on, and soon co-opted the movement along with allied states Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar. Writing at the end of 2011, Columbia University’s Joseph Massad explained how there was no longer any doubt that “the Syrian popular struggle for democracy [has] already been hijacked,” given that “the Arab League and imperial powers have taken over and assumed the leadership of their struggle.”

Soon, through the sponsoring of extremist elements, the insurgency was dominated by Salafists of the al-Qaeda variety.

According to the DIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by 2013 “there was no viable ‘moderate’ opposition to Assad” and “the U.S. was arming extremists.” Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that “although many in the American intelligence community were aware that the Syrian opposition was dominated by extremists,” still “the CIA-sponsored weapons kept coming.”

When ISIS split off from al-Qaeda and formed its own Caliphate, the U.S. continued pumping money and weapons into the insurgency, even though it was known that this aid was going into the hands of ISIS and other jihadists. U.S. allies directly supported ISIS.

U.S. officials admitted that they saw the rise of ISIS as a beneficial development that could help pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give in to America’s demands.

Leaked audio of then-Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that “we were watching… and we know that this [ISIS] was growing… We saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, however, we could probably manage — that Assad would then negotiate.” As ISIS was bearing down on the capital city of Damascus, the U.S. was pressing Assad to step down to a U.S.-approved government.

Then, however, Russia intervened with its air force to prevent an ISIS takeover of the country and shifted the balance of forces against the jihadist group. ISIS’ viability as a tool to pressure the government was spent.

The arsonist and the firefighter

So, a new strategy was implemented: instead of allowing Russia and Syria to take back the territories that ISIS captured throughout the war, the U.S. would use the ISIS threat as an excuse to take those territories before they were able to. Like an arsonist who comes to put out the fire, the U.S. would now charge itself with the task of stamping out the Islamist scourge and thereby legitimize its own seizure of Syrian land. The U.S. partnered with the Kurdish militias who acted as their “boots on the ground” in this endeavor and supported them with airstrikes.

The strategy of how these areas were taken was very specific. It was designed primarily to allow ISIS to escape and redirect itself back into the fight against Syria and Russia. This was done through leaving “an escape route for militants” or through deals that were made where ISIS voluntarily agreed to cede its territory. The militants were then able to escape and go wreak havoc against America’s enemies in Syria.

Interestingly, in terms of the oil fields now being handed off to an American corporation, the U.S. barely even fought ISIS to gain control over them; ISIS simply handed them over.

FILE – In this April 6, 2018 file photo, shows a former farmer working at a primitive refinery making crude oil into diesel and other products, in a village controlled by a U.S-backed Kurdish group, in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria. Syrians living in government-controlled areas have survived eight years of war now face a new scourge in the form of widespread fuel shortages. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

Syria and Russia were quickly closing in on the then-ISIS controlled oilfields, so the U.S. oversaw a deal between the Kurds and ISIS to give up control of the city. According to veteran Middle East war correspondent Elijah Magnier, “U.S.-backed forces advanced in north-eastern areas under ISIS control, with little or no military engagement: ISIS pulled out from more than 28 villages and oil and gas fields east of the Euphrates River, surrendering these to the Kurdish-U.S. forces following an understanding these reached with the terrorist group.”

A man works a primitive refinery making crude oil into diesel in a U.S-backed Kurdish village in Rmeilan, Syria, April 6, 2018. Hussein Malla | AP

Sources quoted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that ISIS preferred seeing the fields in the hands of the U.S. and the Kurds rather than the Syrian government.

The rationale behind this occupation was best described by Syria expert Joshua Landis, who wrote that the areas of northern Syria under control of the Kurds are the U.S.’ “main instrument in gaining leverage” over the government. By “denying Damascus access to North Syria” and “controlling half of Syria’s energy resources” “the U.S. will be able to keep Syria poor and under-resources.” So, by “promoting Kurdish nationalism in Syria” the U.S. “hopes to deny Iran and Russia the fruits of their victory,” while “keeping Damascus weak and divided,” this serving “no purpose other than to stop trade” and to “beggar Assad and keep Syria divided, weak and poor.”

Or, in the words of Jim Jeffrey, the Trump administrations special representative for Syria who is charged with overseeing U.S. policy, the intent is to “make life as miserable as possible for that flopping cadaver of a regime and let the Russians and Iranians, who made this mess, get out of it.”

Anchoring American troops in Syria

This is the history by which an American firm was able to secure a contract to extract oil in Syria. And while the actual resources gained will not be of much value (Syria has only 0.1% of the world’s oil reserves), the presence of an American company will likely serve as a justification to maintain a U.S. military presence in the region. “It is a fiendishly clever maneuver aimed at anchoring American troops in Syria for a long time,” Stephen Kinzer explains, one that will aid the policymakers who hold “the view that the United States must remain militarily dominant in the Middle East.”

This analysis corroborates the extensive scholarship of people like Mason Gaffney, professor of economics emeritus at the University of California, who, writing in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, sums up his thesis that throughout its history “U.S. military spending has been largely devoted to protecting the overseas assets of multinational corporations that are based in the United States… The U.S. military provides its services by supporting compliant political leaders in developing countries and by punishing or deposing regimes that threaten the interests of U.S.-based corporations.”

In essence, by protecting this “global ‘sprawl’ of extractive companies” the U.S. Department of Defense “provides a giant subsidy to companies operating overseas,” one that is paid for by the taxpayer, not the corporate beneficiaries. It is hard to estimate the exact amount of money the U.S. has invested into the Syria effort, though it likely is near the trillion dollar figure. The U.S. taxpayer doesn’t get anything out of that, but companies that are awarded oil contracts do.

What is perhaps most important about this lesson however is that this is just a singular example of a common occurrence that happens all over the world. A primary function of U.S. foreign policy is to “make the world safe for American businesses,” and the upwards of a thousand military bases the U.S. has stationed across the globe are set up to help protect those corporate investments. While this history is unique to Syria, similar kinds of histories are responsible for U.S. corporation’s extractive activities in other global arenas.

So, next time you see headlines about Exxon being in some kind of legal dispute with, say, Venezuela, ask yourself how was it that those companies became involved with the resources of that part of the world? More often than not, the answer will be similar to how this U.S. company got involved in Syria.

Given all of this, it perhaps might seem to be too mild of a critique to simply say that this Syria enterprise harkens back to older imperial eras where conquerors simply took what they wished: the sophistication of colonialism has indeed improved by leaps and bounds since then.

US War Secretary’s Imperial Vision

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Mark Esper is to the Trump region’s war department what Pompeo is at State.

Both figures are right-wing extremists supporting endless US wars of aggression on nonbelligerent states threatening no one.

On August 24 in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Esper said “(t)he Pentagon is prepared for China,” adding:

Xi Jinping intends “transforming the PLA into a world-class military, one that can further the party’s agenda far beyond China’s shores (sic).” 

“His remarks serve as a stark reminder that we have entered a new era of global competition between the free and open international order (sic) and an authoritarian system fostered by Beijing (sic).”

Unsaid by Esper is that China prioritizes fostering cooperative relations with other countries, hostility toward none — polar opposite US hegemonic aims, waging war on humanity at home and abroad.

Since Nixon began the process of normalizing Sino/US relations in February 1972, followed later by the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations agreed to by Jimmy Carter and Deng Xiaoping that formally established bilateral relations on January 1, 1979, China never attacked another country.

Its geopolitical agenda is in stark contrast to endless US wars on invented enemies.

If all countries fostered relations with others as Beijing does, world peace, stability, and mutual cooperation among the world community of nations would break out all over.

China threatens no other countries. The US threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations it doesn’t control.

Trump, Pompeo, Esper, and vast majority of congressional members support endless US war on humanity.

Its hostile to peace agenda risks global war with nukes if its hardliners push things too far.

Esper falsely accused Beijing of pursuing “an economic and foreign policy agenda that is often inimical to the interests of the US and our allies” — a bald-faced Big Lie.

Xi’s plan for modernizing China’s military is with self-defense in mind — not naked aggression against invented enemies the way the US operates.

The rest of Esper’s op-ed included a further litany of Big Lies while concealing Washington’s hostile agenda.

Part of his aim is wanting trillions more dollars spent on US militarism and belligerence, including for a space force to wage future wars from the heavens.

Separately on a visit to Hawaii, Palau and Guam, Esper stressed the Indo-Pacific’s importance as “the main focus of America’s national strategy” for unchallenged global dominance.

Instead of cooperative outreach to regional countries for the mutual benefit of all, he called for Indo-Pacific leaders to ally with the US against China — falsely calling the country a regional threat, what applies to Washington, not Beijing.

Unacceptably hostile remarks by him, Pompeo, Trump, and likeminded congressional hardliners reflect how greatly Sino/US relations deteriorated with no prospect for improving things no matter which wing of the US war party runs things in Washington.

If Republicans or Dems push things too far, a Sino/US political and economic clash of civilizations could turn hot.

George Santanyana warned “(t)hose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Two global wars taught America’s ruling class nothing — neither Kellogg-Briand’s renunciation of aggressive wars after WW I ended or the UN Charter’s preamble, saying:

“We the Peoples of the United Nations Determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…”

Is another global war inevitable, the next one with super-weapons able to destroy planet earth and all its life forms if detonated in enough numbers?

What’s madness is possible by accident of design because of US rage to dominate other countries by whatever it takes to achieve its hegemonic aims.

All Vaccines Are Unsafe. Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available

By Stephen Lendman

Source

On August 11, Russia registered the first vaccine for use against COVID-19, named Sputnik V. More on this development below.

Toxins in vaccines make them hazardous to human health.

Time and again, they cause diseases they’re promoted as protection against.

Nothing in medical science indicates that vaccines are safe.

They all contain harmful to health mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, phenoxyethanol (antifreeze), MSG, and squalene adjuvants that weaken and can destroy the human immune system, making it vulnerable to many annoying to life-threatening illnesses.

Annually, the US Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS) reports thousands of serious adverse vaccine reactions, including many deaths and disabling disabilities.

Virtually none of this is reported by establishment media.

Far too often, vaccines are ineffective or not effective enough. They’re an unreliable way to prevent illness and disease.

Proper health, personal hygiene, and sanitation practices are far more effective than mass-vaxxing.

An earlier WHO report said disease and mortality rates in developing countries were closely related to hygiene and dietary practices, unrelated to immunization programs.

In the West and elsewhere, no evidence links vaccines with declines in infectious diseases.

Although vaccines stimulate antibody production, no evidence suggests that alone assures immunity.

Squalene adjuvants and other toxins in vaccines harm the human immune system, making it susceptible to numerous illnesses and diseases that range from very annoying to life threatening.

The notion of herd immunity from mass-vaxxing is Big Pharma promoted rubbish.

Numerous industry promoted “facts” about vaccines were later proved false.

Childhood disease dangers are greatly exaggerated to scare parents into getting their children vaccinated with unsafe drugs.

Following the introduction of the Salk polio vaccine, large outbreaks of the disease were reported in the US.

Years later, Jonas Salk admitted that mass inoculations caused most polio cases.

Even when no adverse reactions occur days or even weeks after being inoculated, evidence shows longer-term problems developed.

They include the disease vaxxing is supposed to protect against, chronic headaches, rashes, skin lesions, seizures, autism, anemia, multiple sclerosis, ALS, cancer, diabetes, and many other health issues.

US federal, state, and local immunization policy is driven by politics and profit potential, not science or concern for human health and welfare.

According to earlier industry estimates before coronavirus outbreaks occurred this year, the market potential for vaccines was estimated at around $60 billion annually.

If when available, a full COVID-19 vax treatment of all Americans would have a market potential dollar volume of around $150 billion of near-all profit, according to one estimate.

The global market potential is much greater — why the race is on to cash in big.

Noted vaccine expert Dr. Viera Schiebner minced no words, saying the following:

“There is no evidence whatsoever of the ability of vaccines to prevent any diseases.” 

“To the contrary, there is a great wealth of evidence that they cause serious side effects.”

Many other scientific experts agree.

Russia’s Sputnik V is the first vaccine available for use against COVID-19 — registered by the Russian Ministry of Health on August 11.

Developed by Russia’s  Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, it followed over 20 years of vaccine research, according to Sechenov University’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology director Vadim Tarasov.

Technology used to develop Sputnik V is based upon adenovirus, the common cold.

Tarasov explained that the vaccine may not entirely stop COVID-19 from spreading. He claimed it’ll make symptoms milder, adding:

“We can really talk about a breakthrough as our country has shown itself to be one of the leaders in the global pharmaceutical industry due to the fact that it has retained and developed new competencies in drug development.”

Russia’s sputnikvaccine.com website explained the following:

“In 1957, the successful launch of the first man-made satellite by the Soviet Union activated space research in the entire world,” adding: 

“Thanks to this comparison, the vaccine received the name of Sputnik V” to note another “Sputnik moment.”

Information on the website aims to dispel Western media disinformation already begun.

Will Russia’s Sputnik V prove safe and effective in immunizing against COVID-19?

The fullness of time will tell what’s very much unknown now.

A Final Comment

As expected, establishment media mocked Sputnik V.

The NYT accused Russia of  “cutting corners on testing to score political and propaganda points,” citing no evidence backing its claim.

The Washington Post accused Moscow of “jumping dangerously ahead of” larger-scale testing to make a COVID-19 vaccine available ahead of ones being developed in the West.

The Wall Street Journal said Russia registered the “world’s first Covid-19 vaccine despite safety concerns.”

Other establishment media made similar comments — demeaning Russia’s development while promoting undeveloped/yet to be available Big Pharma vaccines.

With billions of dollars of market potential up for grabs, it’s no surprise that establishment media are supporting development of Western vaccines for COVID-19 over alternatives from Russia, China, and other countries.

 

Trump Regime Theft of Syrian Oil

By Stephen Lendman

Source

According to the Oil and Gas Journal, in 2015 Syria had around 2.5 billion barrels of oil reserves.

In 2018, the BP Statistical Review of World Energy reported the same number, saying Syrian wells produced around 385,000 barrels per day in 2010 — the year before preemptive Obama regime war on the country began.

Today, US military forces illegally occupy and control most Syrian oil producing areas.

Days earlier, Pompeo confirmed that the Trump regime arranged a deal between an unnamed US energy firm (believed to be Delta Crescent Energy) and so-called Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — comprised of US supported terrorists.

Last Sunday, a statement by Syria’s Foreign Ministry denounced what it called a scheme “to steal Syrian oil…an agreement between…thieves who steal and thieves who buy,” adding:

Damascus “condemns in the strongest terms the agreement signed between al-Qasd militia (SDF) and an American oil company to steal Syria’s oil under the sponsorship and support of the American” regime.

“This agreement is null and void and has no legal basis.”

The Ministry also condemned “the hostile US position towards Syria, the theft of the Syrian people’s riches, and its hindrance of the state’s reconstruction efforts.”

On Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi denounced the US arranged grand theft of Syrian oil, saying:

“The signing of the agreement by the US, as an occupier force that is illegally present on the Syrian soil, lacks any legal validity and amounts to another step taken by (the Trump regime to) plunder Syria’s natural resources.”

The unlawful deal is another hostile US tactic in its near-decade-long war on Syria and its long-suffering 17 million people.

On Thursday, Press TV reported that “multiple missiles” struck an illegal US base in northeast Syria following the reported Trump regime’s deal with hostile to Damascus paramilitaries, terrorists, and Delta Crescent Energy to plunder Syrian oil.

Endless US aggression in Syria is all about wanting its sovereign independence eliminated and its people immiserated, along with gaining another imperial trophy.

Wherever US forces show up, mass slaughter, vast destruction, and human misery follow — what the scourge of imperialism is all about.

Separately, Turkey condemned the Trump regime’s deal with Kurdish-led SDF terrorists to steal Syrian oil, a statement saying:

“We regret that the US lends its support to this move which completely ignores international law, and the territorial unity and sovereignty of Syria, and is covered by the scope of financing terrorism,” adding:

“This position, which cannot be legitimized under any circumstances, can never be accepted.”

“With this step, the PKK/YPG terror group has revealed its intention to advance its separatist agenda by seizing the Syrian people’s natural resources. The natural resources of Syria belong to its people.”

Al-Monitor reported that the Trump regime agreed to provide facilities to refine stolen Syrian oil.

According to the Baghdad-based Iraq Oil Report, Delta Crescent Energy is led by a former US envoy, an individual connected to a security firm, and a third party who sought but failed to obtain license approval to operate in Iraq.

They’ll now pillage Syrian oil in cahoots with anti-Damascus paramilitaries and terrorists — arranged by the Trump regime.

“Charity” Accused of Sex Abuse Coordinating ID2020’s Pilot Program For Refugee Newborns

By Whitney Webb

Source

A biometric identification program backed by the ID2020 alliance will see its new “digital id” program rolled out for refugee newborns in close coordination with a charity tied to Wall Street and prominent Western politicians whose workers have been accused of sexually exploiting refugee children.

iRespond, an international non-profit organization that is “dedicated to using biometrics to improve lives through digital identity,” has begun piloting a new biometric program for newborns among the predominately Karen refugee population along the Myanmar-Thailand border, a program it soon hopes to “quickly deploy” at a greater scale and make available to the general global population. The pilot program is being conducted as part of the controversial ID2020 alliance, backed by Microsoft, the GAVI vaccine alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation, and with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit organization deeply tied to the Western political elite and Wall Street with a controversial track record of silencing numerous sex abuse and fraud allegations.

The new program, an extension of iRespond’s “voluntary” biometric identification program in the Mae La refugee camp, “will create a record of a birth, attested by a trusted clinic, with a goal of changing the life trajectory for the participants.” Through the program, “a guardianship relationship between the newborn and the mother is established and linked to digital and high security physical identity documents.”

However, iRespond’s CEO, Scott Reid, told Biometric Update that these credentials do “not carry the same weight as a true birth certificate,” but asserts that the organization’s biometric “birth attestation” program “could leapfrog the traditional barriers to establishing identity.” Despite the fact that iRespond’s quasi-birth certificates would seemingly serve little purpose in areas where actual birth certificates are readily available, the organization notes that “once the pilot is completed, iRespond is ready to quickly deploy the solution at scale” for mass use around the globe. “Product development” on adapting their platform for newborns began earlier this year and Reid notes that having an iRespond-provided biometric “birth attestation” will enable “access to vital services such as healthcare, social protection, education and banking.”

The pilot program is being conducted at the Mae Tao clinic, which is largely funded by the CIA cut-out USAID as well as the governments of Germany and Taiwan, the Open Society Foundations and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC is very active in the day-to-day functions of the clinic (financed by a USAID-funded project) and it is also intimately involved in iRespond’s digital identity program, including its new pilot program for newborns and its earlier efforts to supply Mae La’s residents with biometric identity.

Food or Sovereignty

iRespond’s work in Mae La in conjunction with IRC was first announced by the ID2020 alliance in September 2018. The ID2020-funded pilot program, the announcement states, was to be “led by Alliance partner iRespond and will be conducted in close partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC).” It aims to provide biometric identities to the approximately 35,000 individuals inhabiting the area, with the newer program aiming to ensure that babies born in the community are also made participants by default upon birth. It notes specifically that “the pilot will offer blockchain-based digital identification, linked to individual users through iris recognition, for refugees accessing the IRC’s services in the Mae La Camp in Thailand.” Having a “digital identity” would allow refugees “to access improved, consistent healthcare within the camp” with plans for the same system to eventually “electronically document both educational attainment and professional skills to aid with employment opportunities.”

Migrant workers pass the Thai-Myanmar border in an official service truck as they leave Thailand from Mae Sot in Tak province in northern Thailand. Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu

A year later, the program, featured in a lengthy profile in Newsweek, was revealed to be “just the first step in an effort that aims to equip the camp’s entire refugee population with secure and portable “digital wallets” that will hold not just their medical records but also educational and vocational credentials, camp work histories and myriad other records,” ostensibly including financial activity. This is particularly likely given that iRespond is partnered with Mastercardanother ID2020 partner that is closely allied with the company, Trust Stamp, a biometric identity platform that also doubles as a vaccine record and payment system. In addition, IRC’s strategic plans for Mae La through 2020 include “expand[ing] micro-enterprise development and village savings and loans associations,” such as those offered by ID2020 partner Kiva, among others, who link biometric identity to the receipt of loans.

iRespond’s system, not unlike Trust Stamp’s, is also slated to serve as a vaccine record. Larry Dohr, iRespond’s head of Southeast Asia operations, told Reuters in April that “a biometric ID system can keep a record of such people [who have previously tested positive for Covid-19] and those getting the vaccine.” Dohr added that “we can biometrically identify the individual and tie them to the test results, as well as to a high security document. The person then has ‘non-refutable’ proof that they have immunity due to antibodies in their system.” Dohr then refers to such “proof” as a “very valuable credential.”

Notably, in press releases and news reports, iRespond executives emphasize how their biometric identity system, based on iris scans and powered by Microsoft, will “protect privacy” and allow “control and ownership of identity data belong to the holder.” However, the Mae La project does not offer this degree of control and ownership, with Newsweek noting that“Eventually, [iRespond and their collaborators] aim to offer the refugees a level of fine-grained control over what pieces of personal information are shared with others.” In other words, such control over their personal information has not yet been made available to them, despite the public portrayal that this functionality is a base component of iRespond’s system.

What is particularly noteworthy about iRespond’s and IRC’s digital identity efforts is that, while it is a “voluntary” program, destitute refugees wishing to access healthcare and other services IRC provides in the area, including access to clean water, must have their irises scanned in order to reap those benefits. It is highly unlikely that such individuals are not only uninformed about any potential risks of providing their biometrics for use in a pilot program, but are not in a stable enough state to make an informed decision on the matter, as their precarious position would see them choose urgent healthcare needs, etc. over privacy. It increasingly seems that Mae La was chosen as the pilot project because its residents were highly unlikely to decline participation, especially when healthcare access and other basic needs provided by IRC are dangled as carrots on a stick and only accessible upon participation in iRespond’s biometric identity program.

This program is remarkably similar to the World Food Programme’s recently implemented “Building Blocks” initiative, which  is funded by the US, German, Dutch and Luxembourgian governments. Building Blocks uses a blockchain-based biometric identity system “to expand refugees’ choices in how they access and spend their cash assistance” in Syrian refugee camps within Jordan. Now, “over 100,000 people living in the camps can purchase groceries by scanning an iris at checkout” as part of the checkout. Those who do not participate are unable to access their WFP “cash benefits” since they are available exclusively through this biometric system, leaving refugees the choice between surrendering their biometric data and food.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that those financially supporting the Mae La project and similar projects, particularly the ID2020 alliance, are “hopeful” that iRespond’s efforts in Mae La will some day be rolled out on a global scale. Indeed,Newsweek noted that “many of the funders [of the Mae La project]—part of what’s known as the ID2020 alliance, which includes Accenture, Microsoft and the Rockefeller Foundation—hope the Mae La project could eventually serve as a blueprint for the world’s millions of stateless people, as well as citizens of developed nations and everyone else.”

Biometric Enclosure

According to iRespond’s rather spartan website, their biometric identity platform “primarily relies on iris biometrics, the best modality after DNA for accuracy and reliability.” It further describes its platform as follows:

“When a new participant is enrolled, an encrypted biometric template is created from their iris scan and a randomly assigned 12-digit number is drawn from a pool of 90 billion numbers. On subsequent visits, the identity of the participant is verified when their template is matched and the system returns the original 12-digit unique identifier.”

iRespond’s platform also “easily integrates into healthcare, humanitarian aid, research, and human-rights applications,” and it has been used to grant refugees and other vulnerable populations access to food, healthcare, and other forms of aid provided by foreign NGOs operating in these areas. It has also been used to keep track of participants in clinical drug trials. iRespond’s platform in the latter case was used by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in conjunction with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (both are iRespond partners), to track participants in clinical HIV treatment trials in Senegal as well as an additional Johns Hopkins study in South Africa. It has also been used to track recipients of the controversial HPV vaccine in Sierra Leone, where it was used “to track patients who have not completed their vaccination series.”

It is also being used among “vulnerable groups” in Myanmar by the NGO Population Services International (PSI) to “track demographics and the timing of positive HIV tests.” By analyzing these details, “we uncover which groups are most vulnerable to becoming infected,” according to PSI’s country representative for Myanmar.

The non-profit’s platform is powered by its main tech partner and another ID2020 member, Microsoft. iRespond’s platform “couldn’t exist without the cloud,” according to its CEO Scott Reid, and Microsoft supplies iRespond with a $60,000 grant to its Azure cloud system, allowing the organization to use it free of charge. In addition, Microsoft donated 39 tablets to iRespond that are used by the organization in the various places it operates “to enable flexibility in the field.” “The number of people we have helped has rapidly gone from the tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands, and we look forward to soon working on behalf of many millions of people. These Microsoft tools are helping to make it possible,” iRespond’s Larry Dohr stated in a Microsoft profile.

Eric Rasmussen·TEDxSanJuanIsland

Eric Rasmussen, iRespond’s president and chairman of the board, is a particularly interesting character who has been quite frank about the rationale behind the creation of iRespond. “When you understand who someone is, you understand what they’re entitled to, whether that’s national citizenship, international refugee support, or simply food distributions,” Rasmussen told Microsoft last year.

In addition to his key role at iRespond, Rasmussen is a professor at the Google-backed “Singularity University” as well as chairman of the board at InSTEDD, a “global NGO specializing humanitarian informatics, particularly around health in resource-poor economies” that is partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the CDC, Google and UNICEF. In addition, Rasmussen is also the CEO of a “profit-for-purpose” company called Infinitum Humanitarian Systems (IHS). IHS works closely with USAID and the State Department as well as U.S. military intelligence agencies and intelligence/defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to his roles at iRespond, IHS and InSTEDD, Rasmussen was the Principal Investigator in humanitarian informatics for the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and made multiple war time deployments to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Charity” of the Predator Class

More troubling than the background and associations of iRespond are those of their partner in the recently announced newborn biometric identification initiative, the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC describes themselves as responding “to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and help[ing] people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future.”

Despite the IRC framing itself as a “humanitarian” venture, its board is stuffed with a sordid mix of Wall Street criminals and war criminals. For example, its board is co-chaired by Timothy Geithner, former Treasury Secretary during the 2008 financial crisis bail-outs and current President of Wall Street titan Warburg-Pincus, and Susan Susman, an Executive Vice President at Pfizer. Its board of advisers includes war criminals Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright as well as Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. Also present are current and former leaders and top executives at McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Kroll Associates (“the CIA of Wall Street”), PepsiCo, Bank of America, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the World Bank. Another advisor is former chairman and CEO of AIG Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, a name that will likely be familiar to those who have researched the September 11th attacks and Wall Street financial crimes in general.

Since 2013, the IRC has been led by David Miliband, the Tony Blair “protégé” who Bill Clinton once called “one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time” and who worked closely with then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while serving as the U.K.’s Foreign Secretary. So close was Miliband to the Clintons, that he was being considered for a “top U.S. government job” if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election.

In the years since joining the IRC, Miliband’s salary as the group’s president has ballooned to nearly a million dollars annually (up from approximately $240,000 when he arrived at the organization in 2013). In addition, the group has been mired in scandal since Miliband became its president. For instance, it was revealed in 2018 that IRC was one of several U.K.-based charities where “workers [were] alleged to be in sexually exploitative relationships with refugee children” including through “sex-for-food scandals” where “sexual abuse was so endemic that the only way for many refugee families to survive was to allow a teenage girl to be exploited.” Reports further alleged that IRC and other charities named in the report, including Save the Children, had known of the egregious abuse for years prior to the allegations being made public and chose not to act.

Myanmar refugees, who crossed over from Myanmar to Thailand when a battle erupted between Myanmar’s soldiers and rebels, eat at the Thai-Myanmar border town of Mae Sot November 8, 2010. A clash erupted between ethnic minority Karen rebels and government soldiers in Myanmar’s Myawaddy town opposite the Thai border town of Mae Sot, Reuters witnesses on the Thai side of the border said. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom (THAILAND – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) – RTXUDI7

That year, it was also found that the IRC had “silenced 37 sex abuse, fraud and bribery allegations,” resulting in the U.K. government, which had previously funneled millions to the organization, cutting off its funding entirely. Despite the troubling revelations, no IRC workers accused of wrong-doing were ever prosecuted.

Given the fact that the IRC’s board and presidency is stuffed with professional exploiters, from Wall Street to the public sector, it is hardly surprising that this “charity” would be caught doing the same under the guise of providing “aid” to the world’s most vulnerable populations, who they apparently view as easy prey.

Foxes in the Hen House

In the several media profiles of the iRespond-IRC biometric identity effort, the initiative is described as helping to prevent the exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable, particularly forced labor and sex trafficking. However, if that really were the case, why is this program being executed by iRespond, whose president and chairman has close ties to the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and the IRC, backed by a legion of war criminals and financial predators?

The U.S. military, a close partner of iRespond’s Eric Rasmussen, is notorious for its role in the trafficking of persons for forced labor, while many of its key contractors – like DynCorp — have been the subject of numerous scandalsregarding the sexual abuse or sex trafficking of war-torn or otherwise vulnerable populations. On the other hand, the IRC’s mix of backers like Madeleine Albright, infamous for her comment on the murder by sanctions of half a million Iraqi children being “worth it,” and Henry Kissinger, notorious for his words about using food as a weapon to force populations into subservience and to reduce third-world populations, is equally anathema to the publicly professed purpose of the iRespond-IRC biometric identification program.

Not unlike the “sex-for-food” scandal in which IRC was once embroiled, this new initiative is placing refugees in the position of taking part in a massive technocratic experiment if they wish to eat or access other basic services. Though certainly not as egregious as a sex crime, it is nonetheless another means of exploiting the world’s most vulnerable populations under the guise of “helping” them, when those really being aided are the technocratic elite who aim to take this biometric identification program global in short order.

DARPA’s Man in Wuhan

By Raul Diego

Source

Michael Callahan’s career began in USAID and in the bioweapons labs of the former Soviet Union, advancing the agenda of the global bioweapons and pharmaceutical cartels. He would take what he learned there to execute a massive expansion of DARPA’s biodefense portfolio and today finds himself squarely in the center of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Dr. Michael Callahan was given a leave of absence from his senior executive role at United Therapeutics (UTHR) in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China; sent there to assist colleagues handling mass infections of the novel coronavirus under his joint appointment at a Chinese sister hospital of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where he has maintained a faculty appointment since 2005.

Soon, Callahan would be pouring through thousands of case studies emerging from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, examining patients in Singapore and briefing U.S. officials on the location of the next likely outbreak, according to NatGeo. The doctor marveled at the “magnificent infectivity” of the disease, which sits “like a little silent smart bomb in your community”.

The doctor’s strange fascination with viral infections and morbid titillation might well be attributed to the fact that he has dedicated his life to studying these microscopic killers. “Triple boarded” in internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine, Callahan, nevertheless also has a strong entrepreneurial streak, that drove him to launch no less than 11 companies and develop 8 patents.

Callahan’s nose for business came into play early on in the pandemic. After studying data from over 6,000 patient records from Wuhan, he reportedly detected a pattern that could point to a possible treatment using a low-cost and widely available ingredient of an “over-the-counter histamine-2 receptor antagonist called Famotidine”, more commonly known as the brand name Pepcid.

Simultaneously in the U.S., it is claimed, an old colleague of Callahan’s Dr. Robert Malone had been conducting a study with U.S. government-sponsored research teams. Specifically, Malone was working alongside U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) consultants to carry out supercomputer-based analyses to identify existing FDA-approved drugs that may be useful against the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Per their analyses, famotidine turned out to be the “most attractive combination of safety, cost and pharmaceutical characteristics“.

Callahan, who by then had been recruited to be Special Adviser on COVID-19 to the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Robert Kadlec, was presented the joint findings of the U.S. DTRA and Dr. Malone. Both Dr. Callahan and Malone claimed to be unaware of each other’s conclusions regarding the anti-acid, and despite agreeing to collaborate, each claims to have made the initial discovery. Malone offered a February post on LinkedIn as proof, where he asserts that he was “the first to take the drug to treat my own case” upon discovering the proper dose. Callahan, meanwhile, never provided any evidence of his ostensible breakthrough, though he claims to have told Dr. Malone himself about the discovery before the Virginia-based physician began running the sequences through DTRA computers.

Quite a Resume, Mr. Bond

In 1988, Michael Callahan started his first company called Rescue Medicine. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) bio describes the company as a charter organization that provides “emergency air medical evacuation and refugee medical care in austere developing regions”. According to their website, Rescue Medicine supports “federal government and U.S. corporations operating in remote international environments”, becoming a “global leader in disaster medicine research”.

The experience made him a shoe-in as the health director of USAID in Nigeria; a post he held for 4 years, carrying out research on pathogen infections in Africa, prospectively enrolling participants for cutaneous anthrax studies in Nigeria and monkey pox, as well as Ebola and Marburg virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.

As was the case for several individuals within a certain, tight-knit group within infectious disease and biological weapons circles, 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks changed the course of Callahan’s career, spurring his meteoric rise in both the public and the private sectors. Robert Danzig, Clinton’s Secretary of the Navy, credited Callahan with being “extremely good at connecting the military environment with mainstream public health“. Touted as one of Callahan’s “first high-level links to the military”, Danzig would only be one of many “high level” people the doctor would add to his rolodex over the next two decades.

His time with USAID would overlap with the start of his faculty appointments at Massachusetts General Hospital – appointments he maintains to this day – and his participation in biological terrorism working groups at the National Academies of Sciences, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security.

A year later, in 2002, Callahan would be tapped by the State Department’s director for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation to serve as “clinical director for Cooperative Threat Reduction [CTR] programs” at six former Soviet Union Biological Weapons facilities as part of the Bioindustry Initiative (BII) program, where he was officially tasked with carrying out the stated goals of the mission, which entailed the “reconfiguration of former biological weapons production facilities” in the former Soviet Union and the acceleration of “drug and vaccine production”. More specifically, however, Callahan would be put in charge of gain-of-function programs for viral agents at these facilities.

The CTR, better known as the Nunn-Lugar Act “to secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction in states of the former Soviet Union and beyond” was co-authored and sponsored by Senator Sam Nunn, who was none other than the “president” in the bioterror attack simulation that preceded the 2001 anthrax attacks by a matter of months, Dark Winter, an exercise covered by Whitney Webb and this author in the investigative series, Engineering Contagion. A few months prior to the Dark Winter exercise, Nunn had co-founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) with conservative reactionary media mogul, Ted Turner, serving as its CEO until 2017. The NTI would play a critical role in the repurposing the former Soviet bioweapons labs into “vaccine production facilities”, allocating millions of dollars to this end.

A full year before Callahan’s BII appointment, the Sam Nunn Policy Forum received a proposal from two Russian scientists working at the “Vector Institute” or State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in the Novosibirsk district of Siberia. The former Soviet bioweapons R&D center had been selected to serve as a model for the makeover of other former BW facilities into “open and fully transparent” laboratories after the collapse of the Soviet Union; a process that had been discussed “at length” with the U.S. Vector Evaluation Team that had visited the compound a few years earlier in 1998.

The Russian scientists aimed to create a non-profit organization called the International Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (ICERID). ICERID was intended to perform research in areas related to diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics. The project was presented to the Sam Nunn Policy Forum in 2001. While ICERID, itself, fell through, Vector would nonetheless receive a $600,000 grant from Nunn and Turner’s NTI soon thereafter.

Callahan would follow shortly in tow, under the auspices of the U.S. State Department program, leading clinical research teams at Vector and several other important Soviet bioweapons labs to aid in their transformation into profitable ventures. Callahan was also given access to the infamous Institute of Highly Pure Biopreparations (IHPB) where Soviet microbiologist, Vladimir A. Pasechnik had worked before defecting to England in 1989 and kick-starting the dreams of the international bioweapons mafia detailed in the Engineering Contagion series.

Both IHPB and Vector were part of the five principal institutes of the “Biopreparat” – the broader Soviet BW program. The State Research Center for Applied Microbiology (SRCAM), The Kirov Institute, the Research Center of Molecular Diagnostics & Therapy (RCMDT), RIHOP and Berdsk round out the six labs where Callahan was formally leading clinical research teams; though in Congressional testimony, given together with another high profile Russian defector, Callahan claimed to have worked at “14” separate facilities.

The Russian IP Party

Throughout Callahan’s travels in the former Soviet Union, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) was sharing in the research and scientific innovation taking place in the former Soviet labs as part of the consortium of Massachusetts medical research institutions. In 2004, the “number 1 research hospital in the U.S.“, Mass General was taking part in the Bioindustry Initiative (BII) program, making use of the Russian technology their faculty member, Michael Callahan was in the process of discovering.

“We took a Russian delivery system, a rocket as it were, and put an American warhead on it”, said Jeffrey A. Gelfand, a colleague of Callahan’s and international director of MGH’s Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology, referring to a drug delivery system taken from the RCMDT, one of the former Soviet facilities then under the clinical directorship of Callahan.

The RCMDT is described as a “small-molecule research facility that traditionally focused on entities the body generates, such as interferon and cytokines, to turn on or turn down the immune response system”. The former Soviet research center obtained a grant from the National Institutes of Health via BII “for a collaborative project on new approaches to disease research”. Another facility Callahan was working at, Vector, also received funding for a novel HIV vaccine and helped file patents “on the institute’s approach to hepatitis C and influenza”. The same institution obtained grants from BII for RNA-based antiviral research.

The task of transforming these former Soviet bioweapons labs into profitable ventures was hitting some cultural walls, according to the then director of the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and chairman of the board of BII precursor ISTC, Ronald F. Lehman II: “They have no experience with a market economy”, he alleged and claimed that they had to “work very hard” to make the Russians understand that intellectual property (IP) was an “economic good”.

Soon enough, the Russian scientists would be ushered into brokered meetings with Eli Lilly and Dow Chemical, among other large Western pharmaceutical companies, to commercialize their discoveries. Much of the groundwork for this had been laid by a sort of precursor of the BII, the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) – a Moscow-based “intergovernmental” organization established in 1992 to serve as “clearinghouse for developing, approving, financing, and monitoring projects aimed at engaging weapons scientists, technicians, and engineers” from the former Soviet Union and other states that were once behind the Iron Curtain.

Lehman conceded that “any kind of economic, political, or social turmoil” would complicate the process or commercializing the scientific work being done in these Eastern bloc labs. But, in the meantime Callahan, along with “BII and its partners” was doing his best “to push as much science as possible from Russian lab benches into production.”

One of the main functions of the BII was “scouting out sites and planning for business development”. At the time of Callahan’s sojourn through Russia, one of the projects that resulted from this activity by the BII and its private NPO partner, the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF), had to do with a little-known vaccine plant in the former Soviet state of Georgia.

According to James Wolfram, a senior scientist with the CRDF, the Georgia facility was “antiquated” and housed “dangerous pathogens”. The ostensible goal of converting the vaccine plant into a “feed mill” turned into an agreement between the DoD and the government of the Republic of Georgia officially titled “Cooperation in the field of prevention of the introduction of pathogenesis and experience related to biological weapons development”. That same year, construction began on the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Tbilisi, Georgia. The center was completed in 2011.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $6.5 million contract to a company called EcoHealth Alliance, Inc to carry out research on “the risk of bat-borne zoonotic disease emergence in Western Asia”. Journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva uncovered the Pentagon project, which focused on “genetic studies on coronaviruses in 5,000 bats collected in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Jordan”.

Gaytandzhieva also detailed the multiple covert activities being carried out by the USG, such as American diplomats trafficking in blood and pathogens for a secret military program, as well as an instance in which a breakout of hemorrhagic fever in the area immediately surrounding the Center was traced back to experiments being carried out by Pentagon scientists on “tropical mosquitos and ticks“.

Not coincidentally, EcoHealth Alliance had previously received a $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2014 to study coronaviruses in bats in Asia. This particular study was carried out in partnership with scientists at none other than the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Master of the Dark Sciences

After a few years bouncing from one former Soviet lab to another, Michael Callahan would return to the United States with a head full of new ideas and a brand new job at the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he could put it all to use as director of the agency’s biodefense therapeutics portfolio.

In the space of just seven years, from 2005 to 2012, Callahan would expand DARPA’s biodefense portfolio from $61 million to $260 million per year and launch eight programs that would generate nine investigational new drugs (INDs) and three new drug applications with products in market, including the injectable fungal treatment, Ambisome (Gilead), which has generated over $6 billion since approval.

Two programs in particular developed by Callahan while at DARPA would later play a critical role in his future involvement in the broader story of the SARS-CoV-2, a.k.a. COVID-19 and the vilification of China, IP and the advancement of a global vaccine regime.

The Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) program was created by Michael Callahan in 2006, barely a year after he first came on board as DARPA’s portfolio manager. Its purpose was to find technologies that could “radically accelerate the manufacturing of protein vaccines and protein-based therapeutics”, with the goal of “revolutionizing protein therapeutics and vaccine manufacture” through the private sector.

The program’s mandate dovetailed with concurrent efforts to fundamentally transform the U.S. government’s approach to vaccine manufacture and (Medical Countermeasures) MCMs. Just as Callahan was soliciting proposals and handing millions of DARPA’s money to private companies, the agency was entering into a cooperative agreement (HR0011-07-2-0003) with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to look into the challenges of this endeavor.

The seminal 180-page report that resulted from the 2-year deep dive (2007-2009) into USG procurement and manufacturing methods for MCMs, titled “Ensuring Biologics Advanced Development and Manufacturing Capability for the United States Government: A Summary of Key Findings and Conclusions” was led by Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby, two key individuals in the Dark Winter exercise and perennial participants in the course of the policy and legislative changes, that have led to the establishment of an entrenched biotech mafia in the halls of government.

The central question that this cooperative effort between DARPA and the UPMC wanted to answer was how to incentivize the private sector to manufacture products that only had one buyer, the U.S. government. To this end, the researchers probed different areas such as barriers to entry, cost analysis and several types of manufacturing options. They included one case study to demonstrate what they believed would be the most effective strategy to follow. That case study looked at a company headquartered in Rockville, MD called Novavax, which recently received a $1.6 billion grant (the largest so far) from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine.

The paper lauded the company’s “single-use [bioreactors and bags] equipment bioprocessing facility for the development of their influenza virus-like particle vaccine” and concluded that, although not all biopharma companies would be willing to transition to single-use facilities, it was nonetheless in the government’s best interest to patronize single-use manufacturing processes for MCMs, as these would lower costs and cut down production time by two years.

Several USG incentive programs were cited as successfully removing barriers to entry for private sector participants. Among these were the Orphan Products Program (OPP), tax cuts for Big Pharma, subsidies and, significantly, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) legislation, created by ASPR Robert Kadlec and which established BARDA, clearing the unique “governance” barrier faced by global pharmaceutical firms.

In 2005, just as he was getting ready to decorate his new office at DARPA, Michael Callahan testified before Congress together with Ken Alibek – former deputy director of the Soviet Biopreparat, who defected to the U.S. and became the darling of the bioterror alarmists in and out of government. In his prepared statement, Callahan concluded with a chilling statement that summarizes the general sentiment shared by many in his circle:

“The dark science of biological weapon design and manufacture parallels that of the health sciences and the cross mixed disciplines of modern technology. Potential advances in biological weapon lethality will in part be the byproduct of peaceful scientific progress. So, until the time when there are no more terrorists, the U.S. Government and the American people will depend on the scientific leaders of their field to identify any potential dark side aspect to every achievement…”

Michael Callahan

Callahan would receive DARPA’s highest commendation, the DARPA Achievement Award, for his success with the Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) program. But, it would be another program of his creation that would prove prophetic.

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Prophecy was another program created by Callahan at DARPA. It sought to “transform the vaccine and drug development enterprise from observational and reactive to predictive and preemptive” through algorithmic programming techniques. In layman’s terms, the program proposed that “viral mutations and outbreaks” could be predicted in advance to more rapidly counter the unknown disease with preemptive drug and vaccine development.

Among the grantees of Callahan’s program were at least two institutions where he himself held faculty positions. Harvard University, where he holds a clinical appointment, received a $19.6 million contract for a joint project with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Pittsburg and others. Another institution with close ties to Callahan obtaining generous funding through the DARPA Prophecy program was the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, which houses the King Chulalongkorn Medical University where Callahan is a visiting professor.

In 2009, Callahan’s old employer USAID launched PREDICT, an early warning system for new and emerging diseases in 21 countries. Thailand, known for being a “hotbed of undiagnosed illnesses and viruses” among medical experts, was among those 21 nation and a doctor described as a “giant in the field of virus discovery worldwide” was tapped by the CIA cutout to lead the PREDICT program in that country.

Dr. Supaporn “Chu” Wacharapluesadee, from the King Chulalongkorn Memorial and faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University had been conducting research on viruses in bats for years and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on bat pathogens. ” We need more Dr. Supaporns of the world”, exclaimed Callahan in a 2016 interviewwith Vice. The doctor praised his Chulalongkorn University colleague, noting that “Chu” was “at the very top of [his] list” when it came to whom he chose to work with on “virologic expeditions”.

Indeed, Callahan and DARPA had identified Wacharapluesadee as an asset in 2004 when she discovered the Nipah virus in bats, which can affect humans and pigs. Callahan and the Thai doctor worked together on several studies. One of these, funded by the USAID PREDICT project, titled “Diversity of coronavirus in bats from Eastern Thailand” was published in 2015 and carried out between 2008 and 2013, as well as a 2013 study on encephalitis funded by DARPA and the Thai government.

Callahan is not shy about crediting Dr. Wacharapluesadee with allowing the U.S. government to work on “critically important global virology projects”. His compliments could be more than simple admiration, however. It was Dr. Wacharapluesadee, after all, who would find herself at the center of the narrative built around the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China; namely that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) purposely withheld critical genomic information from the world at the outset of the pandemic in January, 2020.

According to a PBS.org story, on January 8, a Thai woman returning from Wuhan was “pulled aside” at the airport over symptoms of a runny nose, sore throat and high temperature. “Supaporn Wacharapluesadee’s team”, as claimed, discovered that the woman was infected with a “new coronavirus”. Dr. Wacharapluesadee herself had allegedly succeeded in “partially” decoding the genetic sequence of the virus by the following day and reported it to the Thai government.

That same day, a 61-year-old man became the first death in Wuhan after succumbing to a disease with a reportedly similar pathology. However, the Chinese government didn’t report it until two days later on January 11 along with the virus sequences from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its own CDC, sparking accusations against the PRC that it was delaying information about the outbreak. Dr. Wacharapluesadee compared her sequence with the one later published by the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and “found it was a 100% match”, making it the first officially recorded case outside of China and effectively dropping the first domino, which would eventually lead to the WHO declaring a global pandemic two months later.

Callahan, himself, had been stoking the fires about China’s caginess regarding its lack of enthusiasm for scientific collaboration with the West as far back as 2018: “Jeopardizing U.S. access to foreign pathogens and therapies to counter them”, declared Callahan over reports that Chinese officials had “concealed” lab samples of H7N9 (type of bird flu), which he argued “undermines our nation’s ability to protect against infections which can spread globally within days”.

A Close-Knit Cluster of Institutions

Michael Callahan would leave DARPA’s payroll and his official title of Program Manager for Biodefense and Mass-Casualty Care in 2012 and return to Massachusetts General Hospital to run a disease surveillance and antiviral clinical trials program in Africa. But, a man with Callahan’s background never quite leaves government, as he himself admitted in a UAB alumni profile: “I still have federal responsibilities to the White House for pandemic preparedness and exotic disease outbreaks,” said Callahan in 2013, “which will continue for the near future”.

Dennis Carroll, a former USAID director of emerging threats division who had led the U.S.’ response to Avian influenza (H5N1) in 2005, would go on to create PREDICT, which partnered with a non-profit called EcoHealth Alliance to carry out its 9-year effort to catalog hundreds of thousands of biological samples, “including over 10,000 bats“. The aforementioned PREDICT-funded 2015 study on “diversity of coronavirus in bats” by Wacharapluesadee and Callahan also included Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, among its participants.

Daszak, a regular advisor to WHO on pathogen prioritization for R&D, Carroll and Joana Mazet – former global director for USAID’s PREDICT – all joined together in 2016 to form the Global Virome Project; a “10-year collaborative scientific initiative to discover unknown zoonotic viral threats and stop future pandemics”. Mazet was also co-director of UC Davis’ One Health program, which recruited Dr. Wacharapluesadee and her team in Thailand to conduct a multi-year research project on bats. They are joined by Edward Rubin of Metabiota Inc, a recipient of Callahan’s PROPHECY funds at DARPA and, notably, an $18.4 million DTRA contract award for scientific research and consulting work in Ukraine and the Lugar Center in the Republic of Georgia. Metabiota was accused by the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium in 2014 of violating their contract and engaging in dangerous blood culturing work at a lab in Africa, as well as misdiagnosing patients.

EcoHealth’s Executive Vice President, William Karesh, links directly back to the very top of the U.S. biodefense establishment, as a member of ASPR Robert Kadlec’s original Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense along with Hudson Institute senior fellows Tevi Troy, Jonah Alexander and Scooter Libby, whose pivotal roles has been detailed in the Engineering Contagion series. EcoHealth Alliance is listed as a partner of the Wuhan Institute of Virology on archived pages of its website and was mentioned as a one of the institute’s “strategic partners” by the WIV’s Deputy Director General, Prof Yanyi Wang, in remarks during the visit of an official U.S. delegation to the institute in 2018.

The relationship between the WIV and the American Biodefense establishment was advanced by EcoHealth Alliance policy advisor, David R. Franz, former commander at U.S. bioweapons lab at Fort Detrick (USAMRIID). Franz was chief inspector on the three UN Special Commission biological warfare inspection tours in Iraq, which included a young Robert Kadlec as a member of the team on the ground, and currently advises Robert Kadlec as a member of HHS’ National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity.

Significantly, Franz was also part of the first “U.S.-U.K.” teams that visited the former Soviet Union’s BW facilities in the early 90’s, which led to the creation of the ISCT and subsequent BII program in which Michael Callahan served as clinical director for multiple BW facilities prior to joining DARPA in 2005.

During a visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017 as part of the “Second China-U.S. Workshop on the Challenges of Emerging Infections, Laboratory Safety and Global Health Security“, Franz outlined “possible joint project ideas”, which included carrying out joint “table top exercises” or simulations of outbreaks (e.g. exercises similar to Dark Winter), decision-making surrounding “gain-of-function” research and “overcoming barriers to sharing strain collections and transport of pathogens”. The last point would play a crucial role in the narrative emerging about the ostensible origins of the virus, which has been claimed to be the WIV, itself.

A “renowned” bat coronavirus researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Shi Zhengli a.k,a “Batwoman”, was not only the first scientist to associate the novel coronavirus with bats, but is also the original source of the claim that the virus had escaped from the WIV, when she mused in a Scientific American article published in March that the thought had crossed her mind and hadn’t “slept a wink” in days worrying about it until the lab tests results came back showing that “none of the sequences matched those of the viruses her team had sampled from bat caves”. Zhengli has been at the center of a whirlwind of rumors, including that she had smuggled “hundreds of confidential documents” out of the country and was seeking asylum with her family in France. These rumors have since been denied by Zhengli herself.

Like Thailand’s Dr. Wacharapluesadee, Dr. Zhengli has also worked with EcoHealth Alliance’s Peter Daszak on bat-related studies. As far back as 2005, Daszak and Zhengli were conducting research on SARS-like coronaviruses in bats. Several PREDICT-funded studies on SARS-like coronaviruses and Swine Flu count with both Zhengli’s and Daszak’s contributions. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these is a 2015 PREDICT and NIH-funded study she co-authored entitled: “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence”.

Predictable Outcomes

While Michael Callahan was roaming across Africa for the DoD-funded disease surveillance program at MGH in 2012, United Therapeutics came calling for his services. He joined the publicly-traded company to execute a $45 million NIH contract to develop “next-generation” antivirals and currently holds the position of President of their division of Cellular Therapeutics. True to his word, Callahan didn’t let his day job interfere with any mission the federal government might send him on.

In March 2020, Callahan was on board the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Pike on his way to a cruise ship off the coast of California to separate the sick from the healthy among the 3,500 passengers of the Grand Princess. In a few days, the WHO would officially declare the coronavirus to be a global pandemic and spur the lurch into a “new normal” where quarantines, masks and hand sanitizer would be peddled as unquestionable realities.

Days earlier, NIAID director, Anthony S. Fauci, had come on Face the Nation, in one of his first televised appearances to announce, among other things, the implementation of the 14-day quarantine for all Americans as news of infected U.S. citizens on board cruise ships was making the rounds on all mainstream media outlets. The State Department would issue a travel warning specifically for cruise ship passengers on March 8, barely three days before the WHO’s official pandemic declaration.

Callahan, ever the disaster entrepreneur, had struck while the iron was still hot in February and put on his Rescue Medicine hat – the company he had founded in the 80’s – to assist “Japanese and U.S. health authorities” tend to the sick aboard the Diamond Princess, which was being held in the Japanese port of Yokohama, near Tokyo. “There was no way this wasn’t going to show up on a cruise ship first,” Callahan told the Miami Herald. “Cruise ships are the canary for disease outbreak that reveals these diseases on a grand scale”.

Dr. Wacharapluesadee
DR. SUPAPORN IN HER OFFICE (PHOTO BY ADRIANA CARGILL/MEDILL)

But, it appears that Dr. Callahan did not need the cruise ships to alert him about the nature or scale of the problem. Already by January 4, 2020, four days before his esteemed colleague in Thailand, Dr. Wacharapluesadee, had run the genomic data and come up with a “partial” sequence and a full match had been determined after China and the WIV had released their sequences, Callahan had phoned his old friend Dr. Malone in New York with news of a new emerging disease out of Wuhan, China.

In March, ASPR Robert Kadlec, wrote to Northwell’s executive vice president of research encouraging him to draw up a contract proposal and a budget for the “Pepcid trial” with Callahan. The proposal that came back was about $20.75 million-short of what Dr. Malone, whose Alchem Laboratories Corporation would be getting the actual contract, apparently wanted.

“We stepped in to do it on behalf of Northwell (which) knows nothing about federal contracting”, Malone told AP. But, it seems that Callahan’s Pepcid brainstorm ruffled a few feathers at HHS. Former BARDA director, Rick Bright, cited the Pepcid fiasco as the prime example of how Kadlec “was inviting violations of federal procurement law” in his March 5th complaint.

For the moment, the Pepcid trials are on hold as Malone and Callahan work out who gets the credit for the “idea”. Robert Kadlec, meanwhile, remains the ASPR and – as far as we know – Michael Callahan is still advising him on matters pertaining to COVID-19.

Acknowledgements: Whitney Webb contributed with research for this article

Correction:  A previous version of this article stated that Dr. Callahan had called Dr. Malone on January 4, 2020 to suggest the possible use of Famotidine as a treatment. Dr. Robert Malone clarified to Unlimited Hangout that Callahan had only alerted him about an outbreak of the virus on that date. We have revised this article accordingly and regret the error.

LancetGate: “Scientific Corona Lies” and Big Pharma Corruption. Hydroxychloroquine versus Gilead’s Remdesivir

By Michel Chossudovsky

Source

Introduction

There is an ongoing battle to suppress Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a cheap and effective drug for the treatment of Covid-19. The campaign against HCQ is carried out through slanderous political statements, media smears, not to mention an authoritative peer reviewed “evaluation”  published on May 22nd by The Lancet, which was based on fake figures and test trials.

The study was allegedly based on data analysis of 96,032 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Dec 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020 from 671 hospitals Worldwide. The database had been fabricated. The objective was to kill the Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) cure on behalf of Big Pharma.

While The Lancet article was retracted, the media casually blamed “a tiny US based company” named Surgisphere whose employees included “a sci-fi writer and adult content model” for spreading “flawed data” (Guardian). This Chicago based outfit was accused of having misled both the WHO and national governments, inciting them to ban HCQ. None of those trial tests actually took place.

While the blame was placed on Surgisphere, the unspoken truth (which neither the scientific community nor the media have acknowledged) is that the study was coordinated by Harvard professor Mandeep Mehra under the auspices of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) which is a partner of the Harvard Medical School.

When the scam was revealed, Dr. Mandeep Mehra who holds the Harvey Distinguished Chair of Medicine at  Brigham and Women’s Hospital apologized:

I have always performed my research in accordance with the highest ethical and professional guidelines. However, we can never forget the responsibility we have as researchers to scrupulously ensure that we rely on data sources that adhere to our high standards.

It is now clear to me that in my hope to contribute this research during a time of great need, I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use. For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry. (emphasis added)

Mandeep R. Mehra, MD, MSC  (official statement on BWH website)

But that “truly sorry” note was just the tip of the iceberg. Why?

Studies on Gilead Science’s Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Were Conducted Simultaneously by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)

While The Lancet report (May 22, 2020) coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra was intended “to kill” the legitimacy of HCQ as a cure of Covid-19, another important (related) study was being carried out (concurrently) at BWH pertaining to Remdesivir on behalf of Gilead Sciences Inc. Dr. Francisco Marty, a specialist in Infectious Disease and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School was entrusted with coordination of the clinical trial tests of the antiviral medication Remdesivir under Brigham’s contract with Gilead Sciences Inc:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital began enrolling patients in two clinical trials for Gilead’s antiviral medication remdesivir. The Brigham is one of multiple clinical trial sites for a Gilead-initiated study of the drug in 600 participants with moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and a Gilead-initiated study of 400 participants with severe COVID-19.

… If the results are promising, this could lead to FDA approval, and if they aren’t, it gives us critical information in the fight against COVID-19 and allows us to move on to other therapies.”

While Dr. Mandeep Mehra was not directly involved in the Gilead Remdesevir BWH study under the supervision of his colleague Dr. Francisco Marty, he nonetheless had contacts with Gilead Sciences Inc: “He participated in a conference sponsored by Gilead in early April 2020 as part of the Covid-19 debate” (France Soir, May 23, 2020)

What was the intent of his (failed) study? To undermine the legitimacy of Hydroxychloroquine?

According to France Soir, in a report published after The Lancet Retraction:

The often evasive answers produced by Dr Mandeep R. Mehra, … professor at Harvard Medical School, did not produce confidence, fueling doubt instead about the integrity of this retrospective study and its results. (France Soir, June 5, 2020)

Was Dr. Mandeep Mehra in conflict of interest? (That is a matter for BWH and the Harvard Medical School to decide upon).

Who are the Main Actors? 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, advisor to Donald Trump, portrayed as “America’s top infectious disease expert” has played a key role in smearing the HCQ cure which had been approved years earlier by the CDC as well as providing legitimacy to Gilead’s Remdesivir.

Dr. Fauci has been the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since the Reagan administration. He is known to act as a mouthpiece for Big Pharma.

Dr. Fauci launched Remdesivir in late June (see details below). According to Fauci, Remdesevir is the “corona wonder drug” developed by Gilead Science Inc. It’s a $1.6 billion dollar bonanza.

Gilead Sciences Inc: History

Gilead Sciences Inc is a Multibillion dollar bio-pharmaceutical company which is now involved in developing and marketing Remdesivir. Gilead has a long history. It has the backing of major investment conglomerates including the Vanguard Group and Capital Research & Management Co, among others. It has developed ties with the US Government.

In 1999 Gilead Sciences Inc, developed Tamiflu (used as a treatment of seasonal influenza and bird flu). At the  time, Gilead Sciences Inc was headed by Donald Rumsfeld (1997-2001), who later joined the George W. Bush administration as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006). Rumsfeld was responsible for coordinating the illegal and criminal wars on Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003).

Rumsfeld maintained his links to Gilead Sciences Inc throughout his tenure as Secretary of Defense (2001-2006). According to CNN Money (2005): “The prospect of a bird flu outbreak … was very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [who still owned Gilead stocks] and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences”.

Anthony Fauci has been in charge of the NIAID since 1984, using his position as “a go between” the US government and Big Pharma. During Rumsfeld’s tenure as Secretary of Defense, the budget allocated to bio-terrorism increased substantially, involving contracts with Big Pharma including Gilead Sciences Inc. Anthony Fauci considered that the money allocated to bio-terrorism in early 2002 would: 

“accelerate our understanding of the biology and pathogenesis of microbes that can be used in attacks, and the biology of the microbes’ hosts — human beings and their immune systems. One result should be more effective vaccines with less toxicity.” (WPo report)

In 2008, Dr. Anthony Fauci was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom by president George W. Bush “for his determined and aggressive efforts to help others live longer and healthier lives.”

The 2020 Gilead Sciences Inc Remdesivir Project

We will be focussing on key documents (and events)

Chronology 

February 21: Initial Release pertaining to NIH-NIAID Remdesivir placebo test trial

April 10: The Gilead Sciences Inc study published in the NEJM on the “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir”

April 29: NIH Release: Study on Remdesivir (Report published on May 22 in NEJM)

May 22, The BWH-Harvard Study on Hydroxychloroquine coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra published in The Lancet

May 22Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, New England Journal of Medicine, (NEJM) 

June 5: The (fake) Lancet Report (May 22) on HCQ is Retracted.

June 29, Fauci announcement. The $1.6 Billion Remdevisir HHS Agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc

April 10: The Gilead Sciences Inc. study published in the NEJM on the “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir”

A Gilead sponsored report was published in New England Journal of Medicine in an article entitled  “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for Patients with Severe Covid-19” . It was co-authored by an impressive list of 56 distinguished medical doctors and scientists, many of whom were recipients of consulting fees from Gilead Sciences Inc.

Gilead Sciences Inc. funded the study which included several staff members as co-authors.

The testing included a total of 61 patients [who] received at least one dose of remdesivir on or before March 7, 2020; 8 of these patients were excluded because of missing postbaseline information (7 patients) and an erroneous remdesivir start date (1 patient) … Of the 53 remaining patients included in this analysis, 40 (75%) received the full 10-day course of remdesivir, 10 (19%) received 5 to 9 days of treatment, and 3 (6%) fewer than 5 days of treatment.

The NEJM article states that “Gilead Sciences Inc began accepting requests from clinicians for compassionate use of remdesivir on January 25, 2020”. From whom, From Where? According to the WHO (January 30, 2020) there were 82 cases in 18 countries outside China of which 5 were in the US, 5 in France and 3 in Canada.

Several prominent physicians and scientists have cast  doubt on the Compassionate Use of Remdesivir study conducted by Gilead, focussing on the small size of the trial. Ironically, the number of patients in the test  is less that the number of co-authors: “53 patients” versus “56 co-authors”

Below we provide excerpts of scientific statements on the Gilead NEJM project (Science Media Centre emphasis added) published immediately following the release of the NEJM article:

‘Compassionate use’ is better described as using an unlicensed therapy to treat a patient because there are no other treatments available. Research based on this kind of use should be treated with extreme caution because there is no control group or randomisation, which are some of the hallmarks of good practice in clinical trials. Prof Duncan Richard, Clinical Therapeutics, University of Oxford.

 “It is critical not to over-interpret this study. Most importantly, it is impossible to know the outcome for this relatively small group of patients had they not received remdesivir. Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Leeds.

 “The research is interesting but doesn’t prove anything at this point: the data are from a small and uncontrolled study.  Simon Maxwell, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Prescribing, University of Edinburgh.

“The data from this paper are almost uninterpretable. It is very surprising, perhaps even unethical, that the New England Journal of Medicine has published it. It would be more appropriate to publish the data on the website of the pharmaceutical company that has sponsored and written up the study. At least Gilead have been clear that this has not been done in the way that a high quality scientific paper would be written.  Prof Stephen Evans, Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

 “It’s very hard to draw useful conclusions from uncontrolled studies like this particularly with a new disease where we really don’t know what to expect and with wide variations in outcomes between places and over time. One really has to question the ethics of failing to do randomisation – this study really represents more than anything else, a missed opportunity.” Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol.

To review the complete document of Science Media Centre pertaining to expert assessments click here

April 29: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study on Remdevisir. 

On April 29th following the publication of the Gilead Sciences Inc Study in the NEJM on April 10, a press release of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Remdevisir was released.  The full document was published on May 22, by the NEJM under the title:

 Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report (NEJM) 

The study had been initiated on February 21, 2020. The title of the April 29 Press Release was:

“Peer-reviewed data shows remdesivir for COVID-19 improves time to recovery”

It’s a government sponsored report which includes preliminary data from a randomized trial involving 1063 hospitalized patients. The results of the trial labelled Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) are preliminary, conducted under the helm of Dr. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) overseeing the trial met on April 27 to review data and shared their interim analysis with the study team. Based upon their review of the data, they noted that remdesivir was better than placebo from the perspective of the primary endpoint, time to recovery, a metric often used in influenza trials. Recovery in this study was defined as being well enough for hospital discharge or returning to normal activity level.

Preliminary results indicate that patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery than those who received placebo (p<0.001). Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo. Results also suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group (p=0.059).  (emphasis added)

In the NIH’s earlier February 21, 2020 report (released at the outset of the study), the methodology was described as follows:

… A randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational antiviral remdesivir in hospitalized adults diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) …

Numbers. Where? When? 

The February 21 report confirmed that the first trial participant was “an American who was repatriated after being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship” that docked in Yokohama (Japanese Territorial Waters). “Thirteen people repatriated by the U.S. State Department from the Diamond Princess cruise ship” were selected as patients for the placebo trial test. Ironically, at the outset of the study, 58.7% of the “confirmed cases” Worldwide (542 cases out of 924) (outside China),  were on the Diamond Cruise Princess from which the initial trial placebo patients were selected.

Where and When: The trial test in the 68 selected sites? That came at a later date because on February 19th (WHO data), the US had recorded only 15 positive cases (see Table Below).

“A total of 68 sites ultimately joined the study—47 in the United States and 21 in countries in Europe and Asia.” (emphasis added)

In the final May 22 NEJM report entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report

There were 60 trial sites and 13 subsites in the United States (45 sites), Denmark (8), the United Kingdom (5), Greece (4), Germany (3), Korea (2), Mexico (2), Spain (2), Japan (1), and Singapore (1). Eligible patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either remdesivir or placebo. Randomization was stratified by study site and disease severity at enrollment

The Washington Post applauded Anthony Fauci’s announcement (April 29):

“The preliminary results, disclosed at the White House by Anthony S. Fauci, …  fall short of the magic bullet or cure… But with no approved treatments for Covid-19,[Lie] Fauci said, it will become the standard of care for hospitalized patients …The data shows that remdisivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Fauci said.

The government’s first rigorous clinical trial of the experimental drug remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment delivered mixed results to the medical community Wednesday — but rallied stock markets and raised hopes that an early weapon to help some patients was at hand.

The preliminary results, disclosed at the White House by Anthony Fauci, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which led the placebo-controlled trial found that the drug accelerated the recovery of hospitalized patients but had only a marginal benefit in the rate of death.

… Fauci’s remarks boosted speculation that the Food and Drug Administration would seek emergency use authorization that would permit doctors to prescribe the drug.

In addition to clinical trials, remdesivir has been given to more than 1,000 patients under compassionate use. [also refers to the Gilead study published on April 10 in the NEJM]

The study, involving [more than] 1,000 patients at 68 sites in the United States and around the world (??), offers the first evidence (??) from a large (??), randomized (??) clinical study of remdesivir’s effectiveness against COVID-19.

The NIH placebo test study provided “preliminary results”. While the placebo trial test was “randomized”, the overall selection of patients at the 68 sites was not fully randomized. See the full report.

May 22: The Fake Lancet Report on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

It is worth noting that the full report of the NIH-NIAID) entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report was released on May 22, 2020 in the NEJM, on the same day as the controversial Lancet report on Hydroxychloroquine.

Immediately folllowing its publication, the media went into high gear, smearing the HCQ cure, while applauding the NIH-NIASD report released on the same day.

Remdesivir, the only drug cleared to treat Covid-19, sped the recovery time of patients with the disease, … “It’s a very safe and effective drug,” said Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “We now have a definite first efficacious drug for Covid-19, which is a major step forward and will be built upon with other drugs, [and drug] combinations.”

When the Lancet HCQ article by  Bingham-Harvard was retracted on June 5, it was too late, it received minimal media coverage. Despite the Retraction, the HCQ cure “had been killed”.

June 29: Fauci Greenlight. The $1.6 Billion Remdesivir Contract with Gilead Sciences Inc

Dr. Anthony Fauci granted the “Greenlight” to Gilead Sciences Inc. on June 29, 2020.

The semi-official US government NIH-NIAID sponsored report (May 22) entitled Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report (NEJM) was used to justify a major agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc.

The Report was largely funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

On June 29, based on the findings of the NIH-NIAID Report published in the NEJM, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on behalf of the Trump Adminstration an agreement to secure large supplies of the remdesivir drug from Gilead Sciences Inc. for the treatment of Covid-19 in America’s private hospitals and clinics.

The earlier Gilead study based on scanty test results published in the NEJM (April 10), of 53 cases (and 56 co-authors) was not highlighted. The results of this study had been  questioned by several prominent physicians and scientists.

Who will be able to afford Remdisivir? 500,000 doses of Remdesivir are envisaged at $3,200 per patient, namely $1.6 billion (see the study by Elizabeth Woodworth)

The Drug was also approved for marketing in the European Union. under the brandname Veklury.

If this contract is implemented as planned, it represents for Gilead Science Inc. and the recipient US private hospitals and clinics a colossal amount of money.

 

[error in above title according to HHS: $3200]

According to The Trump Administration’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar (June 29, 2020):

“To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. [at $3200] The Trump Administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for COVID-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.”

Remdesivir versus Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

Careful timing:

The Lancet study (published on May 22) was intended to undermine the legitimacy of Hydroxychloroquine as an effective cure to Covid-19, with a view to sustaining the $1.6 billion agreement between the HHS and Gilead Sciences Inc. on June 29th. The legitmacy of this agreement rested on the May 22 NIH-NIAID study in the NEJM which was considered “preliminary”. 

What Dr. Fauci failed to acknowledge is that Chloroquine had been “studied” and tested fifteen years ago by the CDC as a drug to be used against coronavirus infections.  And that Hydroxychloroquine has been used recently in the treatment of Covid-19 in several countries.

According to the Virology Journal (2005) Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread”. It was used in the SARS-1 outbreak in 2002. It had the endorsement of the CDC. 

HCQ is not only effective, it is “inexpensive” when compared to Remdesivir, at an estimated “$3120 for a US Patient with private insurance”.

Below are excerpts of an interview of Harvard’s Professor Mehra (who undertook the May 22 Lancet study) with France Soir published immediately following the publication of the Lancet report (prior to its Retraction).

Dr. Mandeep Mehra: In our study, it is fairly obvious that the lack of benefit and the risk of toxicity observed for hydroxychloroquine are fairly reliable. [referring to the May 22 Lancet study]

France Soir: Do you have the data for Remdesivir?

MM: Yes, we have the data, but the number of patients is too small for us to be able to conclude in one way or another.

FS: As you know, in France, there is a pros and cons battle over hydroxychloroquine which has turned into a public health issue even involving the financial lobbying of pharmaceutical companies. Why not measure the effect of one against the other to put an end to all speculation?  …

MM: In fact, there is no rational basis for testing Remdesivir versus hydroxychloroquine. On the one hand, Remdesivir has shown that there is no risk of mortality and that there is a reduction in recovery time. On the other hand, for hydroxychloroquine it is the opposite: it has never been shown any advantage and most studies are small or inconclusive In addition, our study shows that there are harmful effects.

It would therefore be difficult and probably unethical to compare a drug with demonstrated harmfulness to a drug with at least a glimmer of hope.

FS: You said that there is no basis for testing or comparing Remdesivir with hydroxychloroquine, do you think you have done everything to conclude that hydroxychloroquine is dangerous?

MM: Exactly. …

All we are saying is that once you have been infected (5 to 7 days after) to the point of having to be hospitalized with a severe viral load, the use of hydroxychloroquine and its derivative is not effective.

The damage from the virus is already there and the situation is beyond repair. With this treatment [HCQ] it can generate more complications

FS Mandeep Mehra declared that he had no conflict of interest with the laboratories and that this study was financed from the endowment funds of the professor’s chair.

He participated in a conference sponsored by Gilead in early April 2020 as part of the Covid-19 debate.

France Soir, translated by the author, emphasis added, May 23, 2020)

In Annex, see the followup article by France Soir published after the scam surrounding the data base of Dr. Mehra’s Lancet report was revealed.

Concluding Remarks

 Lies and Corruption to the nth Degree involving Dr. Anthony Fauci, “The Boston Connection” and Gilead Sciences Inc.

The Gilead Sciences Inc. Remdesivir study (50+ authors) was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 10, 2020).

It was followed by the NIH-NIAID Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report on May 22, 2020 in the NEJM.  And on that same day, May 22, the “fake report” on Hydroxychloroquine by BWH-Harvard Dr. Mehra was published by The Lancet.

Harvard Medical School and the BWH bear responsibility for having hosted and financed the fake Lancet report on HCQ coordinated by Dr. Mandeep Mehra.

Is there conflict of interest? BWH was simultaneously involved in a study on Remdesivir in contract with Gilead Sciences, Inc.

While the Lancet report coordinated by Harvard’s Dr. Mehra was retracted, it nonetheless served the interests of Gilead Sciences Inc.

It is important that an independent scientific and medical assessment be undertaken, respectively of the Gilead Sciences Inc New England Journal of Medicine (NEMJ) peer reviewed study (April 10, 2020) as well as the NIH-NIAID study also published in the NEJM (May 22, 2020).

Lee Camp: The Life-Saving COVID-19 Drugs You’ve Never Heard Of (and Why)

By Lee Camp

Source

Only the ridiculously profitable drugs are worth hyping. Only the money makers deserve 80,000 commercials telling every consumer to irrationally demand them. The cheap drugs that simply – save lives – those are garbage.

The American profit-based healthcare system impacts us in more ways than just our gargantuan bill at the excretion end of an emergency room visit. Right now, our lovable idiotic inhumane healthcare system is acting as a hurdle to the manufacture and procurement of the right drugs to treat Covid-19.

One of the drugs currently trumpeted as our savior is Remdesivir. Despite sounding like the name of a Hobbit in Middle Earth, some reports from the corporate media make it sound like the drug will thrust us face-first into a fresh world of happiness — water parks and restaurants and random no-holds-barred make-outs with strangers. A world where when someone sneezes, we don’t dive under our desk with an adult diaper strapped on our face as a makeshift mask.

There’s only one problem. The big pharma company that owns Remdesivir, Gilead, has already made clear their plans to profiteer from this pandemic. As The LA Times put it –

Drugmaker Gillead says it’s doing you a favor by setting the price for its pending COVID-19 treatment, Remdesivir, at more than $2,000 for government agencies and over $3,000 for private insurers.”

How does the CEO of Gilead, Daniel O’Day, justify this disgusting price point? He claims they’re under-pricing Remdesivir. He said, “In normal circumstances, we would price a medicine according to the value it provides. …Earlier hospital discharge would result in hospital savings of approximately $12,000 per patient.”

The value it provides?? So, if a doctor saves someone’s life with heart surgery, then that guy owes the doctor the entire worth of the rest of his life? Millions of dollars? Maybe he should become the surgeon’s butler or wet nurse.

Saying something should cost even close to the value it provides ranks up there as one of the stupidest arguments ever spoken. (Second only to when the people at Mountain Dew argued that human beings would love a Doritos-flavored soft drink named “Dewitos.”) So, for a dude taking Viagra who can now get it up, he owes the makers of Viagra – what? – sex with his wife? Or does he just owe them 300 orgasms? Or perhaps he owes them the child he’s able to produce while taking the pills. (“Dear Cialis Folks, I’m emailing to ask for a mailing address to send you my 2-year-old, Robbie. Fair is fair. I want to give you the value of your goods. Just be careful – he bites a lot. And he’s already totally racist. Not sure how he picked that up so young.”)

But there’s another catch to Gilead’s price-gouging shenanigans. They didn’t create Remdesivir. We did. You and me.

Public Citizen revealed that Gilead raked in over $70 million from taxpayers. Plus, federal scientists ran the team that found out Remdesivir also worked against Coronaviruses. And, “The National Institutes of Health ran the trial that led to Remdesivir’s emergency use authorization, and public funding is supporting clinical trials around the world today.”

You and I paid for the creation and research behind Remdesivir. There is absolutely no reason we should fill the pockets of Gilead’s preposterously rich CEO and its board. Most countries realize this. Most countries don’t behave this way. Most countries have some tiny modicum of respect for the lives of their citizens. …America is not most countries.

Back to the LA Times, “Nearly all other developed countries limit how much pharmaceutical companies can charge for prescription meds. …The U.S. doesn’t operate like that. We allow drug companies to charge as much as they please…”

Perhaps prescription meds that cost the same as landing a man on Mars (in a pair of Jimmy Choo heels) are the reason 42 percent of new cancer patients have their entire life savings wiped out within two years. The average amount drained from a patient is nearly $100,000, and the entire medical costs for U.S. cancer patients per year is $80 billion. Why ever change a system that piles such bulbous mountains of cash in the vaults of those running the show?

Apparently most other national governments don’t want to ruin the lives of every cancer survivor. As to why not, one can only guess.

But this story gets crazier. Not only is Remdesivir way over-priced, we’re not even sure it does much. Some studies show it achieves almost nothing. Meanwhile, according to the Intercept 

[A]nother Covid-19 treatment has quietly been shown to be more effective. …A three-drug regimen offered a greater reduction in the time it took patients to recover than Remdesivir did. …People who took the combination of interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin got better in seven days as opposed to 12 days for those who didn’t take it.”

However, I have yet to hear of a mad rush to hoard those drugs. Why is that? Probably because those drugs don’t have colossal marketing campaigns that would make Coca-Cola blush. In fact there appears to be no marketing campaign whatsoever for the more effective drugs. To figure out why that is, one simply must follow the money.

[E]ach of the three drugs in the new combination is generic, or no longer under patent, which means that no company stands to profit significantly from its use.”

Must cut-throat late-stage capitalism always be so predictable?

Only the ridiculously profitable drugs are worth hyping. Only the money makers deserve 80,000 commercials telling every consumer to irrationally demand them. The cheap drugs that simply – save lives – those are garbage. What’s the point of saving a life if you can’t make a bundle from it? I’ve always said, “A life saved without extracting a shitload of money from it, is a life lost.”

I don’t know that this last part needs saying, but I’m going to do it anyway. When a society has a system built on profit, run by sociopaths, based on the manipulation of lizard-brain impulses, then it will always end up in a race to the bottom. With unfettered capitalism we inevitably find ourselves with the worst drugs, priced at the highest amounts, hoarded by those who need them the least.

… Unless we’re talking about recreational illegal drugs. Those are cheaper than ever.

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Firm Linked to HHS’ Robert Kadlec Poised to Become Exclusive Manufacture of COVID-19 Vaccines

By Raul Diego

Source

A pharmaceutical firm with a dark history and questionable ties to serving ASPR Robert Kadlec is poised to become the exclusive manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccines now being funded through Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

Trump’s much-ballyhooed “Operation Warp Speed” unveiled in May of this year to produce and deploy a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. is shaping up to be yet another scheme to funnel millions of dollars into a singularly corrupt pharmaceutical entity with deep ties to Robert Kadlec, the serving Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), who is in charge of the Strategic National Stockpile and is the architect of the legislative edifice which currently governs the nation’s public-private partnership (PPP) approach to health emergencies.

The task force’s latest and largest grant was awarded to Maryland-based Novavax, Inc. to cover late-stage testing and manufacturing of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Only the sixth company to receive federal funds from Trump’s program, the $1.6 billion infusion is intended to result in the production of 100 million doses by the start of 2021, according to Novavax CEO, Stanley Erck.

The other companies favored by Operation Warp Speed include AstraZeneca, which received $1.2 billion last May to develop its AZD1222 vaccine; ModernaTX, Inc. who was awarded nearly $550 million; Merck and IAVI with the relatively paltry sum of $38 million; Sanofi’s Protein Sciences got a little over $30 million and finally, Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Research & Development, LLC obtained $456 million back in February for its Ad26-based vaccine technology platform, which will ostensibly “maximize the probability of a successful vaccine and rapid deployment within the US and globally.”

Of these, the three largest award recipients have direct partnerships to manufacture their vaccines with one company. Emergent Biosolutions, who was awarded a $628 million dollar contract by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to provide “manufacturing support” for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines across the U.S., has entered into agreements with NovavaxJohnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to provide contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services.

A March article in the Washington Business Journal characterizes Emergent Biosolutions’ contract with Novavax as hitting the pharmaceutical company’s “sweet spot of teaming up with the federal government to address public health threats, with major contracts to fuel the national stockpile […].” Indeed, Emergent’s track record with the federal government goes back decades, but it is anything but encouraging. Originally BioPort, Emergent Biosolutions was formed in the late 90’s for the sole purpose of acquiring the only anthrax vaccine manufacturing plant in the United States, which was then owned by the state of Michigan.

The events that subsequently transpired after the acquisition would reveal a scandalous pattern of cronyism, incompetence and outright criminality as the company siphoned off millions of dollars in federal contracts that went unfulfilled, to the point that the Pentagon was on the verge of rescinding the relationship and revoking their exclusive license for the production of the anthrax vaccine in August, 2001.

After the infamous anthrax “attacks” later that month, their license was reinstated for good and one of the most high-profile suspects surrounding Amerithrax, Jerome Hauer, would join their board of directors where remains to this day.

Emerging Questions

Serious questions surrounding Emergent Biosolutions’ history and links to Kadlec have surfaced as a result of this author’s collaborative investigation with Whitney Webb and subsequent investigations by the Washington Post and at least two letters from Congressional leaders inquiring about Kadlec’s failure to reveal his conflict of interests with Emergent Biosolutions and his dubious actions in his capacity of ASPR in relation to recent unilateral changes to BARDA policies.

So far, Kadlec has not publicly responded to questions regarding his ties to Emergent Biosolutions founder Fuad El-Hibri, with whom he co-founded East West Protections, a company that has provided biodefense services to countries around the world. Nor have issues raised by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., been addressed about the removal of former BARDA director Rick Bright and a subsequent “wholesale shift in strategy” at the agency tasked with procurement of medical materiel, drugs, and vaccines for the Strategic National Stockpile.

Fuad El-Hibri

Among the most telling questions posed by Pascrell, Jr., and Menendez in their letter to Kadlec and acting BARDA director, Gary L. Disbrow revolves around BARDA’s role in Operation Warp Speed and whether or not any funding has been diverted from BARDA to that program.

The monies being disbursed by Operation Warp Speed shows clear signs of some sort of tacit agreement between Kadlec’s old friends at Emergent Biosolutions and the presumably independent “Manhattan Project-style” COVID-19 vaccine development program headed by the former head of research and development for the world’s largest vaccine company and a military general with expertise in logistics.

The story of how Emergent Biosolutions obtained and maintained a U.S. monopoly on the anthrax vaccine has been covered in detail in the Engineering Contagion series. It is a tale of corruption at the highest levels of both the public and private sectors, which exposes the vested interests of a shadowy cabal of global pharmaceutical firms and their agents in government who have been working in concert for decades to establish a mandated global market for vaccines and other drugs.

Kadlec’s central role in the execution of this scheme is only now beginning to be examined and the near-total grip of Emergent Biosolutions over the flow of federal dollars in relation to these biotech initiatives has been completely ignored by the media. One notable exception might be the financial press, which has been stealthily offering positive investment tips about Emergent, calling it an “under-the-radar stock,” which has “become the go-to manufacturing partner for companies looking to develop vaccines for the coronavirus.”

The Money Trail

As usual, following the money usually takes us to the center of the real action. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, Emergent’s “go-to” status is borne out by this tried and true method, and when we survey the agreements already in place with the companies most likely to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The value of Johnson & Johnson’s contract with Emergent Biosolutions, for instance, matches up almost exactly with the $456 million grant it received from the Trump administration; Emergent’s five-year manufacturing agreement with the American multinational is worth approximately $480 million.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate, which also received considerable funding from Operation Warp Speed, likewise reached an $87 million agreement with Emergent Biosolutions to manufacture its vaccine doses for the U.S. market. The contract also includes contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services to manufacture the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm’s goal of more than “2 billion doses per year by 2021.”

Together with the Novavax contract, which has been in place since March, Emergent Biosolutions has positioned itself as the only known vaccine manufacturer for three of the six companies in the running to be approved for one. Only Moderna has an agreement with a different manufacturer, while the remaining vaccine candidates are being developed by companies with their own manufacturing capabilities.

Novavax says that it is “in the process of transferring its vaccine technology to an unnamed contract manufacturer that has two large manufacturing facilities” to meet its goal of producing 50 million doses a month in the United States and that Emergent is only tasked with helping with the manufacturing of smaller late-stage testing doses.

Emergent Biosolutions, however, has a total of five manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and a $628 million-dollar contract with the federal government to scale production of the successful vaccine candidate to the tune of “tens to hundreds of millions of doses.” Given the sordid history of incompetence and corruption of the company once called BioPort, it would not be surprising if Novavax would prefer to keep the full extent of that partnership secret.

 

WHO’s Conflict of Interest?

By David Macailwain

Source

Pompeo Meets Ghebreyesus 2e5bb

Last week the French National Assembly convened an inquiry into the “genealogy and chronology”  of the Coronavirus crisis to examine the evident failures in its handling and will interview government ministers, experts and health advisors over the next six months. While we in the English-speaking world may have heard endless arguments over the failures of the UK or US governments to properly prepare for and cope with the health-care emergency, the crisis and problems in the French health system and bureaucracy have been similar and equally serious. Given the global cooperation and collaboration of health authorities and industry, the inquiry has global significance.

Judging by the attention paid by French media to the inquiry, which comes just as France is loosening the lock-downs and restarting normal government activities, it is set to be controversial and upsetting, exposing both incompetence and corruption.

Leading the criticism of the Macron government’s handling of the crisis are the most serious accusations that its prohibition of an effective drug treatment has cost many lives, a criticism put directly to the inquiry by Professor Didier Raoult, the most vocal proponent of the drug – Hydroxychloroquine. At his institute in Marseilles, early treatment with the drug of people infected with Sars-CoV-2 has been conclusively demonstrated to reduce hospitalization rates and shorten recovery times when given along with the antibiotic Azithromycin, and consequently to cut death rates by at least half.

Raoult has pointed to the low death rate in the Marseilles region of 140 per million inhabitants compared with that in Paris of 759 per million as at least partly due to the very different treatment of the epidemic in Marseilles under his instruction. The policies pursued by local health services there included early widespread testing for the virus and isolation and quarantining of cases, aimed both at protecting those in aged care and in keeping people from needing hospitalization with the help of drug treatments.

It incidentally seems quite bizarre that some countries – notably the US, UK and Australia, are only now embarking on large testing programs – and claiming a “second wave” in cases – which Raoult calls a “fantasme journalistique”. The consequent reimposition of severe lock-downs in some suburbs of Melbourne, and in Leicester in the UK is a very worrying development.

The efficacy of HCQ and Azithromycin is well illustrated – one should say proven – by this most recent review of its use on 3120 out of a total of 3700 patients treated at the Marseilles hospitals during March, April and the first half of May. Unlike the fraudulent study published and then retracted by the Lancet in May, the analysis in this review is exemplary, along with the battery of tests performed on patients to determine the exact nature of their infection and estimate the effectiveness of the drug treatment. The overall final mortality rate of 1.1% obscures the huge discrepancy in numbers between treated and untreated patients. Hospitalization, ICU, and death rates averaged five times greater in those receiving the “other” treatment – being normal care without HCQ-AZM treatment – equivalent to a placebo.

The IHU Marseilles study and its discussion points deserve close scrutiny, because they cannot be dismissed as unsubstantiated or biased, or somehow political, just because Professor Raoult is a “controversial figure”. There is a controversy, and it was well expressed by Raoult in his three hour presentation to the inquiry. His criticisms of health advisors to government include conflicts of interest and policy driven by politics rather than science. Raoult has been vindicated in his success, and can now say to those health authorities “if you had accepted my advice and approved this drug treatment, thousands of lives would have been saved.”

This is quite unlike similar statements in the UK and elsewhere, where claims an earlier imposition of lock-down would have cut the death toll in half are entirely hypothetical. As Prof. Raoult has also observed, the progress of this epidemic of a new and unknown virus was quite speculative, and its handling by authorities has failed to reflect that. In fact, one feels more and more that the “response” of governments all around the world has followed a strangely similar and inappropriately rigid scheme, of which certain aspects were de rigueur, particularly “social distancing”.

There seems little evidence that would justify this most damaging and extreme of measures to control an epidemic whose seriousness could be ameliorated by other measures – such as those advocated by Raoult’s Institute – which would have avoided the devastating “collateral damage” inflicted on the economy and society in the name of “staying safe”.

Prof. Raoult’s vocal and consistent criticism of the political manipulation of the Coronavirus crisis is hardly trivial however, to be finally excused as a “failure”- to impose lockdowns sooner, to have sufficient supplies of masks or ventilators, or to use more testing and effective contact tracing. What lies beneath appears to be, for want of a better word, a conspiracy.

As previously and famously noted by Pepe Escobar, French officials seemed to have foresight on the potential use of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 infection, with its cheapness and availability being a likely hindrance to pharmaceutical companies looking to make big profits from new drug treatments or vaccines. Of even greater significance perhaps, was the possibility – or danger – that the vast bulk of the population might become infected with the virus and recover quickly with the help of this cheap drug treatment, while bypassing the need, and possibly interminable wait for a vaccine.

Now it can be seen that in Western countries the demand for a vaccine is acute, and the market cut-throat, despite assurances from many quarters that “vaccines must be available to all” and that “manufacturers won’t seek to profit” from their winning product. (the profit will naturally be included in what their governments choose to pay them) The clear conflicts of interest between health officials, public and private interests make such brave pronouncements particularly hollow. Just one case is sufficient to illustrate this, as despite its unconvincing performance in combatting the novel Coronavirus, the drug developed and promoted by Dr Anthony Fauci and company Gilead, Remdesevir, was rapidly approved for use following a research trial sponsored by the White House.

More concerning however is what appears to be a conflict of interest in the WHO itself, possibly related to the WHO’s largest source of funding in the Gates organization. While the WHO has not actively opposed the use of Hydroxychloroquine against the virus infection for most of the pandemic, neither has it voiced any support for its use, such as might be suggested by its obvious benefits, and particularly in countries with poor health facilities and resources.

Had the WHO taken at least a mildly supportive role, acknowledging that the drug was already in widespread use and there was little to lose from trying it against COVID-19, then it is hard to imagine that those behind the recent fabricated Lancet paper would have pursued such a project. Without claiming that the WHO had some hand in the alleged study that set out to debunk HCQ treatment, it should be noted that the WHO was very quick to jump on the non-peer-reviewed “results” and to declare a world-wide cancellation of its research projects on the drug. And while it had to rescind this direction shortly afterward when the fraud was exposed, the dog now has a bad name – as apparently intended.

This stands in sharp contrast to the WHO’s sudden enthusiasm for the steroidal drug Dexamethasone, recently discovered by a UK research team to have had a mildly positive benefit on seriously ill COVID19 patients:

“The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with coronavirus to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid could help save critically ill patients.

The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19 and was not observed in patients with milder disease, the WHO said in a statement late Tuesday.

British researchers estimated 5,000 lives could have been saved had the drug been used to treat patients in the United Kingdom at the start of the pandemic.

“This is great news and I congratulate the government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the press release.”

There is something more than ironic in the WHO’s interest in a different cheap and available drug that has also been widely used for decades, but which is no use in protecting those people in the target market for the vaccine. To me, and surely to Professor Raoult and his colleagues, this looks more like protecting ones business interests and investor profits, at the expense of public health and lives.

Postscript:

It has just been announced that GILEAD will start charging for its drug Remdesevir from next week at $US 2340 for a five-day course, or $US 4860 for private patients. Generic equivalents manufactured in poorer countries will sell for $US 934 per treatment course. Announcing the prices, chief executive Dan O’Day noted that the drug was priced “to ensure wide access rather than based solely on the value to patients”.

It seems hardly worth pointing out that six days treatment with Hydroxychloroquine costs around $US 7, so for the same cost as treating one patient with Remdesevir, roughly four hundred could be given Hydroxychloroquine. If this is compounded by the effective cure rate, Remdesevir treatment costs closer to one thousand times that of HCQ. The addition of Azithromycin and Zinc doubles the cost of HCQ treatment, but also increases its efficacy considerably.

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