Alex Constantine - August 6, 2008
By Alex Constantine
" ... Bruce Ivins ... played a lead role in helping a private company, BIOPORT, win regulatory approval to continue making the vaccine required for U.S. service personnel deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other regions.From 2000 to early 2002, Ivins and two colleagues from USAMRIID helped BioPort resolve problems related to the potency of the vaccine. Because of those and other manufacturing difficulties, production had been suspended. The efforts of Ivins and his colleagues helped BioPort win FDA approval to resume production. ...
The stock market symbol for BioPort, Inc. ought to be pi - its corruption goes on indefinitely, or so it seems when you begin to sift through the records.
The company's founder and CEO is Mr. Fuad El-Hibri, a German of Lebanese extraction and a naturalized American citizen. In 1998, El-Hibri entered into a leveraged buyout of the Michigan State-owned Biological Products Institute (MBPI). This company held the exclusive contract on the U.S. supply of anthrax vaccine ... and it wasn't all that effective against the disease, right from the start. The Wall Street Journal discovered: "While its vaccine worked well against the Vollum strain of anthrax (used by Russia), it was more problematic against the Ames strain. So it had conducted tests with the virulent Ames strain on guinea pigs, mice and monkeys with mixed results. BioPort's spokesperson confirmed that it had access to the virulent Ames strain for testing on animals."
For the sole purpose of acquiring MBPI, El-Hibri became an American citizen. He gave retired Admiral William J. Crowe Jr. a large chunk of Intervac, "one of the corporations involved in the maneuver. The controlling shareholder was the same I&F Holdings used to take control of the British biotech lab, CAMR. He then renamed the company BioPort. BioPort, which controlled America's anthrax vaccine, was apparently of some interest to scientists in Afghanistan since an environmental assessment report of its planned laboratory renovations turned up in the house of a Pakistani scientist in Kabul..."1
Crowe made no investment in either company, but owns 22.5 percent of all Intervac shares. Another 30 percent went to El-Hibri's wife. In 1999, ABC reported that the remainder of the Intervace shares were "in the hands of I&F Holdings, a company directed by Nancy El-Hibri's father-in-law, Ibrahim El-Hibri, a Venezuelan citizen, and her husband, Fuad El-Hibri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent. ... Crowe's ownership of Intervac stock gives him a 13 percent share of Bioport."2
The company's web site displays El-Hibri's bona fidés: "… helped establish regional offices in Singapore and Sydney for Booz-Allen & Hamilton..." Stop the scroll right there, because in 1990 Mr. El-Hibri also arranged "the purchase of anthrax vaccine for Saudi Arabia." Did he perform this service for Booz-Allen or the CIA? The well-connected security firm, to be sure, had extensive ties to the intelligence sector – and silky Fahd palaces, too.
Students of the CIA know Booz-Allen as a privatized branch of the Agency with Saudi defense contracts worth billions. The company trained the Saudi marine corps and operates the country's Armed Forces Staff College.3 On 14 June 2000, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the Royal Saudi Naval Forces had begun a ten year development program that drew on the services of two American contractors - SAIC and Booz-Allen Hamilton.4
The FBI's Dale Watson was a leading "investigator" of the 1993 WTC bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing, the East Africa Embassy bombings, Khobar Towers, USS Cole, the September 11 attacks and the anthrax mailings before he "retired" to work for Booz-Allen Hamilton.5 Former CIA director James Woolsey is a vice president there.
" ... As a Senior Associate and resident project manager, Mr. El-Hibri led consulting projects in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Sydney, and Wellington. Before joining Booz-Allen, he was a manager of Citicorp in New York (Mergers and Acquisitions) and in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia."
All of this is more than grounds for investigation - these financial bridges to the Middle East are, in a sensible world, an argument for impeachment:
In January 2003, Bob Fitrakis at the Free Press web site wrote: "Let's recall Bush's strange relationship with that bizarre little company in Lansing, Michigan, known as Bioport. The company, despite failing various FDA inspections and being accused of bad record-keeping, holds the only federal contract for producing the anthrax vaccine. Bush has rewarded Bioport with favors such as ongoing military protection, and within weeks of 9/11 granted them a contract that tripled the price per vaccine.
"Now, add into the mix that the Strangelovian CIA-connected Battelle and Britain's top secret Porton Down labs are partners with Bioport.... Public records and foreign press reports have linked El-Hibri to the selling of anthrax to Saudi Arabia after the Pentagon refused to. He's also a business associate of the bin Laden family. A real Congressional investigation of Bush's relationships with the bin Laden family, El-Hibri and the related drug bank BCCI would easily lead to the President's impeachment."6
The ABC report was a horror show of rampant side-effects produced by BioPort.
The bottom line was human agony:
WIDESPREAD MISTRUST AMONG THE RANKS
PFC Matthew Baker who was stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga. went AWOL after his first sergeant threatened to have him strapped to a gurney and forcibly injected with the anthrax vaccine.
MAJ Sonnie Bates, USAF, one of many pilots at Dover, AFB Del. was headed for a court martial and up to five years in prison until he went on 60 Minutes and told what was going on. Soon the Air Force scrapped their hard-line tactics and Bates was allowed to leave the service.
More than a dozen members of Bates' squadron came down sick with a variety of illnesses. Thyroid and liver damage, memory loss, bone and joint pain, fevers, dizziness, infected cysts and lesions. The only common thread was these maladies immediately followed anthrax injections.
In a letter to the Air Force, Bates stated his position was a matter of principle.
"I'm doing what I've always been trained and taught to do. If you know it's right, you stand up for it. And likewise, if you know it's wrong, you have to challenge it, no matter what the consequences.
"After 13 years of exemplary service to my country, I am willing to give up my job, my rank, and everything I have worked for to avoid taking an unsafe drug."
Army SPC Kevin Edwards started to feel sick a few weeks after his third anthrax shot. He nearly died. Bleeding sores covered the soldier's entire body. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina said he could barely keep his composure after seeing pictures taken of Edwards at an Army hospital. Jones is one of three dozen congressmen calling for a halt in the forced anthrax immunization program.
Texas Army National Guard CPT Jody Grenga, a medical operations officer with nearly 18 years service, was kicked out of the Army for refusing the anthrax shots on religious grounds. The highly respected officer said she also refused the immunizations because of her medical history of adverse reactions to medications.
PFC Jemekia Barber, an African-American Army soldier who was forced out of the service with a less-than-honorable discharge after she refused the shots, has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Colorado. Her lawyers contend the mandatory shot order violated Barber's Constitutional rights. Herbert Fenster argued that because his client is of child-bearing age, ordering her to take the anthrax vaccine injections could subject her to risk of bearing a child with birth defects.
Two former Connecticut Air National Guard pilots, MAJ Russell Dingle and MAJ Thomas "Buzz" Rempfer said they concluded the Pentagon's use of the vaccine was illegal because of serious questions about its safety and effectiveness. They said they were ordered not to talk to the press, but refused, and with seven other pilots in their unit, the 103rd Fighter Wing, resigned.
More than thirty pilots and 17 KC-10 tanker crew-members at Travis AFB in California quit rather than take the shots. So did pilots in the
Wisconsin Air National Guard. And Air Force Capt. Clifton Volpe, assigned to a VIP transport squadron at Andrews AFB Maryland, is getting the boot for refusing to take the controversial injections.
Perhaps the most eloquent of the military opponents of the mandatory anthrax inoculation program is retired Air Force Lt. Col. Redmond Handy. Named the "most outstanding officer" in 1996 by the Reserve Officers Association, Handy was a full colonel on "the fast track to stars" when he quit his Pentagon job and decided to speak out. Because he didn't have the minimum time in grade requirement as a full colonel, Handy put principle ahead of pay and left the Air Force as a light colonel.
"It is appalling that Admiral Crowe, who was a key player in the effort to let all U.S. citizens sleep better at night by leading our defenders of freedom to defeat communism, now keeps these same defenders and their families awake at night wondering if their health will be defeated by his company's product."
BRUCE IVINS AND BIOPORT
FROM: "The Anthrax Attacks: Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant," by Bill Simpich, IndyMedia, Aug 4th, 2008
Ivins's work is the focus of a 2004 book by Gary Matsumuto, "Vaccine A: The Covert Government Experiment That's Killing Our Soldiers." Matsumoto is not shy about making controversial statements, which only adds to the aura of intrigue around both Ivins and himself.
The premise of "Vaccine A" is that since the 1991 Gulf War US soldiers have been unwittingly exposed to a "second-generation" experimental anthrax vaccine designed by Ivins and his colleagues, which improperly contained an oil-based substance known as squalene. Matsumuto and others claim squalene is the main cause of the autoimmune disorder known as "Gulf War Syndrome." From 1991 to the present day, many soldiers have refused to submit to military vaccinations for anthrax for fear of contracting Gulf War Syndrome. There are strong arguments on both sides of the squalene dispute, and this is an ongoing controversy.
The work of Bruce Ivins is known to many of these vets - especially those who suffered Gulf War Syndrome, or those who were court-martialed for refusing to use the vaccine in fear it was tainted. It is intriguing that Matsumoto paid special attention to Ivins, claiming that Ivins knew that the experimental oil-boosted vaccine "can provoke toxic, allergic, ulcerative, or lethal reactions."
Matsumoto's 2004 book focuses on Ivins as the man with the motive to be pushing to get approval for the new second-generation vaccine.
"Only one paper at the workshop reported near perfect results - 100 percent protection from the Ames strain with just one or two shots ... As an old Marine Corps expression goes, this particular paper shined 'like a diamond inside a goat's ass.' USAMRIID's Bruce Ivins had reported at this very same workshop that his "one-shot wonder" - protective antigen or mere fragments of it combined with oil additives - protected every animal challenged with Ames with a single injection." Matsumoto, Vaccine A page 87.
The BioThrax vaccine was approved by Homeland Security in 2006. It is currently the only anthrax vaccine approved for use. Made by the BioPort corporation, the new vaccine is derived from Ivins's experimental second-generation vaccine - however, BioPort maintains that no squalene is involved in its manufacture. The controversy continues - and Matsumoto's role in controversy will return later on.
A little background on the origins of the anthrax vaccine dispute is helpful here. On December 15, 1997, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced that all US military personnel would be vaccinated in order to guard against the biological warfare agent anthrax, which was allegedly proliferating as a bioweapon in other nations. Rep. Christopher Shays, at the beginning of a 1999 hearing on oversight of the anthrax vaccine inoculation program, asked:
"Why would active duty, Reserve and National Guard personnel jeopardize their military careers, and even their liberty, rather than take the vaccine? ... The missing element of the mandatory anthrax vaccine program is trust. Radiation testing, Agent Orange, the reckless use of experimental drugs and mysterious Gulf War illness have made military men and women understandably distrustful of the Pentagon on medical matters."
The controversy over the anthrax vaccine among US military troops has been constant from the first Gulf War to the present. In a 2003 decision, US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled in favor of six anonymous military litigants, holding that the military's mandatory administration of the vaccine was illegal because the Food and Drug Administration had not approved its use for inhalation anthrax, only for anthrax contracted through the skin.
Judge Sullivan's ruling forced the Pentagon to suspend its involuntary program almost continually between December 2003 and February 2007, until the FDA ruled the vaccine was safe and efficient for all forms of anthrax and permitted the Pentagon to reorder. Based on this decision, another federal judge admonished the Air Force Board in April 2008, for refusing to compensate military personnel for refusing the vaccine between 1999 and 2004. ...
TO BE CONTINUED
1) Edward Jay Epstein, "FBI Overlooks Foreign Sources of Anthrax," Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2001.
http://edwardjayepstein.com/archived/anthrax.htm 2) ABC News, 20/20
(March 12, 1999.
3) Ken Silverstein, "Privatizing War: How affairs of state are
outsourced to corporations beyond public control," The Nation, July 28,
4) GlobalSecurity.org, "Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF)":
5) Tom Flocco, "Terrorist's Name On Manifest Raises Questions About Saudi Flights After 9/11," Tom Flocco web site, April 4, 2004.
6) Bob Fitrakis, "Impeach Bush," Free Press Site. http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2003/22