Alex Constantine - August 18, 2008
The anthrax mailings and the development of vaccines were inseparable projects - these involved animal and human experimentation. On August 3, 2008, USA Today explained the work that Dr. Ivins did at Ft. Detrick, specificially - terminal animal experiments:
"Ivins performed research that required exposing research animals to airborne anthrax, according to a 1998 report in the journal Vaccine. The goal was to test whether a new vaccine could guard against anthrax inhaled in a bioterrorist attack."
The strain of anthrax employed "in Ivins' vaccine experiments was a wet form sprayed into the faces of macaque monkeys through a mask."
In the cover story, crazed, conveniently suicidal Dr. Ivins was the "lone assassin." Clouds of confusion gather around the sacrificial goat and entire covert op (the famed "hall of mirrors" effect) when everyone involved points the finger elsewhere. Dr. Franz steered attention away from the lab:
"Q: Did Ivins and other researchers for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., work with dried anthrax spores?
"A: No, says Col. David Franz, the institute's commander until 1998 and now with the Midwest Research Institute.
"Q: Would Ivins have had the opportunity to make dried anthrax?
"A: Not in the lab, Franz says.
"Q: Did the lab have equipment to produce dried anthrax?
"A: No, Franz says, adding that it would be difficult for Ivins or others to carry out the work without detection."
Colonel David Franz, Ivins' colleague - another Special Forces vet - was a frightfully cheerful "counter-terrorist." (Franz served in the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for 23 of 27 years on active duty. He served as commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and as deputy commander of the Medical Research and Materiel Command. Prior to joining the Command, he served as group veterinarian for the 10th Special Forces Group, Airborne. Franz was the chief inspector on three United Nations Special Commission biological warfare inspection missions to Iraq and served as technical advisor on long-term monitoring.)
He told ABC News on April 4, 2002 that a "lot of good" had come of the anthrax attacks. Sad Sacks and Dreary Donnas may tremble because "five people have died, but we've put about $6 billion in our budget."
Dr. Charles E. McQueary, per his DoD bio, "former President of General Dynamics Advanced Technology Systems in Greensboro, N.C. He has also been President and Vice President of business units for AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and a Director for AT&T Bell Laboratories. Early in his career at Bell Laboratories, Dr. McQueary served as head of the Missile Operations Department for the SAFEGUARD Antiballistic Missile Test Program. ... Dr. McQueary is a former executive board member of the National Security Industrial Association and the American Defense Preparedness Association (ADPA) (combined to form the National Defense Industrial Association.")
A sunny disposition can carry one far in the military hierarchy. Dr. Franz was appointed to the Homeland Security Science and Technology Committee in February 2004 by Dr. Charles E. McQueary - a former president of General Dynamics, undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security.
Biological threats loomed on the horizon, the Pentagon's viral visionaries assured with psychic certainty. Peculiar, though ... read the small print on the packaging and it's clear that the newly emerging diseases and the vaccines created to repel them hung in ... CLUSTERS. Ingri Cassel comments, "Cipro and smallpox vaccine have much in common besides capturing America's urgent attention." Alas, the corporate parents of the companies that produce "these favored elixirs for anthrax and smallpox bioterrorism are linked, strangely enough, to an infamous history involving contaminated blood, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and even the Nazi [ties] that the FBI doesn't seem anxious to explore."
Cipro is manufactured by Germany's Bayer AG, and the smallpox vaccine's newly-incorporated producer is Acambis – formerly OraVax, the West Nile people. "All have jaded histories. The `Big Three' - Bayer, Baxter, and Rhone-Poulenc - are [infamous] for having infected more than 7,000 American hemophiliacs with the AIDS virus during the early 1980s. They admitted foreknowledge in selling HIV-tainted blood clotting products and settled the class action case for $100,000 per claimant."1
Two shrouded power bases of the Third Reich, Bayer and Hoechst, were spun from IG Farben following World War Two. Hermann Schmitz, president of Farben during the war (with its partial control of the Deutsche Bank) "held as much stock in Standard Oil of New Jersey as did the Rockefellers," according to author Paul Manning. He wrote that on August 10, 1944, the Rockefeller-Farben group filtered flight capital through "affiliated German/French, American, British and Swiss banks `for the new Germany.'" These reserves secured "the sophisticated distribution of national and corporate assets to safe havens" across the globe, ensuring the continuation of the "Neuordnung (New Order)" for the petrochemical, drug and banking cartels.2
An upcoming distiller of the said "elixirs," joining BioPort and Bayer, is VaxGen (owned by Genentech ((55.6%-owned by Hoffmann-La Roche (((owned by Roche AG of Switzerland, also an ally of IG Farben and the Reich))).
In November 2004 the company publicized a contract under the auspices of Project BioShield worth $877 million over five years, with the government paying VaxGen to produce 75 million doses of anthrax vaccine. In addition, the company was to receive $123 million in further payments from the government in late 2007.3
And it was just one more hyped boondoggle, if the history of AidsVax, the company's HIV drug failure, is any indication.
On October 3, 1999, the Times of London reported that before VaxGen went public, "the most important government cheerleader for AidsVax" - Dr. William Heyward, head of HIV vaccine research at the CDC - "had a secret deal to join the company." From the CDC, Dr. Heyward "lobbied policymakers and approved $8 million in grants for VaxGen. But the company had already drawn this chart on his future duties, and in January 2000, he joined ex-CDC staffer Dr. Donald Francis, VaxGen president, who also hired former CDC deputy director Dr Walter Dowdle to head its influential data monitoring board."
In US v William L. Heyward, prosecutors charged him with violation of anti-graft laws. Dr. Heyward skipped up the corporate ladder to a VP's desk at VaxGen, but eventually confessed to the flagrant conflict of interest, paid a $32,500 fine, "and escaped a high-profile criminal trial that might have proved devastating to the AidsVax project," the Times reported.
Next thing you knew, on March 17 2003, a class action suit was filed against VaxGen. The lawsuit claimed securities fraud after Dr. Heyward wrote a series of glowing reports on the potential of AidsVax that inflated the stock price but proved baseless when the drug failed in clinical trials.
A word about those "trials": As we shall see, there was little that was "clinical" about them. Testing of the vaccine was sponsored by the NIH, FDA, World Bank, UN agencies and the International Aids Vaccine Initiative.4
The tests were overseen by Dr. Donald Pinkston Francis, president of VaxGen, who, along with molecular biologist Dr. Philip Berman, founded the company in 1995. Dr. Francis, 62, was bestowed with an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Harvard in 1979. Since 1978, he has been chief of the epidemiology division at the Hepatitis Labs Division of the CDC. Under the auspices of the Agency for International Development (AID), he served as an epidemiologist in Rivers State, Nigeria (1971). He was American "epidemiological intelligence service officer" at the CDC (1971-73). In And The Band Played On, Randy Shilts's 1987 Aids book, Dr. Francis is found on no less than 76 pages, a driven, scolding, at times hysterical presence. In the movie, he's played by Full Metal Jacket's Matthew Modine."5
Dr. Leonard Horowitz, an independent authority on public health education and the origins of AIDS, writes that Dr. Francis had "intimate connections to the U.S. Government agencies, programs and people (including Max Essex and Robert Gallo) that CREATED numerous AIDS-like and Ebola-like viruses during the `Special Virus Cancer Program' of the late 1960s and early 1970s..."6
Dr. Francis is one of the instigators of Aids, as Horowitz deconstructs the history of the disease.7
The London Times detailed the "clinical trials" conducted by Dr. Francis's team in Thailand. As Dr. Heyward sees it, "only through such trials will further knowledge be gained". Thumbs up…
The "trials" followed the Farben model:
... At first glance, Thailand is a strange location to carry out medical trials.... Corruption is de rigeueur, while police are accused by Amnesty International of "extra-judicial killings". Much of its profile relies on sex: first with young women and later with children.
Since the coup, however, quick cheap, experiments on the Thai population have been added to the country's attractions. Dozens of projects are currently in progress, run by foreign pharmaceutical companies and sponsored by the CDC and WHO. With an estimated 800,000 Thais infected with HIV, Aids is the big one, with tests of drugs, immune-system stimulants, and top of the list Francis's AidsVax trial.
It makes sense to test products where the risk of Aids is greatest, but my attention was drawn to potential problems during a conference in a Bangkok hotel. The topic was Aids vaccines. Francis spoke. And a doctor pointed out that some volunteers in an AZT trial were mothers from remote hill tribes. "They come across the border from Burma." he said.
"They don't speak Thai, so there is the question of whether they can understand enough to give informed consent."
The question was brushed aside ("They keep coming back.") and might not have meant much if I hadn't also met an activist from the northern town of Chiang Mai. Despite grilling 11 people who swallowed tablets daily, he complained that he couldn't discover even the name of the product or the pharmaceutical company involved. This man was a former heroin user, so I asked him where VaxGen was recruiting. "Go to Khlong Toei," he said. "By Port Authority Building. That's where they'll get people for the trial."
Khlong Toei is a slum; a sewage-stinking wasteland; a cauldron of disease and drug use. The better-off live in concrete hutches, with wire-fenced windows and balconies. Next down in the social scale are wooden-shack coops on plots of flood-prone ground. Then there are kennels: festering shantytown alleys of plank, sheet-iron and debris sheds. The "streets" are dim corridors, with boardwalk floors, cluttered with children and dogs. At night frail figures shuffle around, suffering from Aids, tuberculosis or both.
Thailand was once praised for anti-HIV efforts in disease hot zones such as this. But evidence suggests that since the 1992 coup priorities have changed. In 1992, a health minister complained that talk about the virus had "seriously affected tourism." And now, official figures show that Aids prevention has been slashed by one third against comparable public health programmes.
The biggest cuts have been in initiatives aimed specifically at drug misusers. "There used to be a project for clean needles in the early 90s, but now it's gone," a spokeswoman for a Khlong Toei charity, the Duang Prateep Foundation, told me....
Nobody could explain the thinking, but the effect on the junkies can be measured. Blood tests reveal that HIV prevalence peaked among female prostitutes in 1993 - when 30% were positive - and has since fallen back to 21%. Among rent boys, prevalence peaked in the following year at 18%, and is now half that figure. But prevalence among heroin-injectors has leapt from 31% in 1994 to a staggering 47% now.
Were these changes evidence that the government were allowing the junkies to be put at greater risk to make them useful for experiments? (Health department officials told me that if AidsVax is marketed, they expect a billion-dollar manufacturing plant.) I couldn't find out. People wouldn't talk when I raised such contentious concerns. Even Bangkok's Medicines Sans Frontieres staff went silent when asked about the trial.
Francis is convinced that nothing is amiss, and his collaborators voice no worries. "All have assured me that this has been done ethically," he told me, when eventually we met. "We are going out of our way not to increase the vulnerability of an already vulnerable population." The trial was conducted in Thailand, he said, for scientific reasons. Different parts of the world are linked with different HIV subtypes, with their myriad subsidiary strains. B subtype strains, for instance, are most common in North America, Europe and Australasia; A, C and D in Africa. In Thailand, there's a mix of B and E strains and, for technical reasons to do with E strains, the company argues that success is more likely there "than anywhere else in the world."
But there are aspects of the project which suggest that the junkies may be involved in an unusual way. A parallel trial among gay men at American clinics is having problems finding and keeping volunteers, due to scepticism towards the venture. But at Kachit's clinics the programme has features which may help to avoid these snags. The junkies get methadone, an oral heroin substitute, plus $10 expenses for each of up to 17 visits. The risk is the appearance of offering drugs and money as inducements to this desperate group.
There's also a feature of the experiment's design that seems self-contradictory. If the methadone liquid got people off injecting heroin, the volunteers' risk of infection would slump and they would be of little use to the vaccine trial. In fact, documents drawn up with the CDC and WHO show that that 7% of clinic users are expected to become HIV-infected each year. So, despite the oral methadone, they keep injecting heroin. They may even buy it with VaxGen's money and have an increased risk of getting Aids.
The logic of the trial creates a dilemma for Francis. The moral uncertainties about using junkies as GUINEA PIGS might be offset by humanity's greater needs. But there would need to be plausible scientific grounds to think that AidsVax might work. And on that the VaxGen experiment is open to even greater doubts. ...
AidsVax cannot give volunteers Aids, but there may be something even more terrifying than the anxiety that it might accelerate their disease if they are later infected with HIV. Some scientists think that, if it works at all, the product may have a dangerous effect on the evolution of HIV. Five years ago, Los Alamos scientists declared that there was "no simple answer" as to whether Aids could become contagious through coughs and sneezes - and other researchers argue that, in much the same way as a partial course of antibiotics can promote resistant bacteria, so a poorly-effective vaccine may promote more deadly and infectious strains.
This may sound like journalistic scare, but HIV's best-understood RNA cousin is influenza virus, which produces devastating mutations every 20 or 30 years. Hepatitis B virus, meanwhile, has already produced mutant strains accepted as being vaccine-induced. "When you use a vaccine, you are introducing another selective pressure," Dr Paul Ewald, professor of biology at Amherst College, Massachusetts, explained. "It could make the problem more damaging, or less damaging, depending on the antigen you use."
Researchers told me that, compared with the potential risks to volunteers, this doomsday scenario was "unlikely". But with agencies standing by to jab hundreds of millions of people, some wondered if, for our species' safety, "unlikely" was reassuring enough. "My personal view," Dr Art Ammann, president of the San Francisco-based Global Strategy for HIV Prevention, and a former AidsVax researcher, said, "is that we could face a global nightmare." ...
1) Ingri Cassel, "Public Health Expert Says Solving The Anthrax Mailing Mystery May Be Easy: FBI Doesn't Seem Interested," news release, Tetrahedron, LLC, Nov. 12, 2001.
2) Paul Manning, Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile, Secaucus: Lyle Stuart, 1981.
3) Adam Feuerstein, "VaxGen Hits Anthrax Jackpot," TheStreet.com, November 5, 2004.
4) Brian Deer, "AidsVax: The VaxGen Experiment," Sunday Times Magazine (UK), October 3 1999.
6) Dr. Leonard Horowitz, "New Genocidal AIDS Vaccine Experiments: Don Francis, Genentech, Hoffman-La-Roche, and The Rise of the Fourth Reich," updated 11/07/02. http://www.originofaids.com/articles/experiments.htm
7) Ibid. Also see, A. Cantwell, AIDS and the Doctors of Death. 1988 (pp. 50-2, 78, 178), A. Cantwell, Queer Blood: The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot, 1993 (pp. 42, 109, 123).