WHO and What is The Threat?


Bio-Terrorism - Who and What is the Threat?

In the early 1940ís it was nuclear fission, today it is biological technology, an out of control Manhattan Project hemorrhaging sinuously upon the world scene like a nuclear mushroom, caught in the winds of scientific whimsy.

Urgent U.S. defense preparations are underway to cope with this emerging technology, using strategic war plans computer systems, or artificial intelligence, to predict what the first fallout will be and where it will occur.

The discovery of synthetic lab-created retroviruses designed to attack the very nature of human immunity is in the hands of every major country in the world. So is the antidote. While the stalemate continues, people go about their ordinary lives, and governments ponder who will use it first; will it be used for good or evil? It can be used to seek out and detect cancer causing viruses, or as a biological weapon.

The technology is complicated for dissemination to the general public, civilians are not educated on the subject, thus fear of the unknown and unseen creates silent terror in a population.

The New York Times reported on April 24th that Bill Clinton, after reading The Cobra Event, a fictional book based on scientific fact about a biological attack on New York City, immediately convened a panel of experts to brief him on preparations for biological warfare. A subsequent report suggested stockpiling vaccines, antibiotics and antidotes, and setting up mechanisms to make large quantities in a hurry.

A secret drill simulating a germ warfare attack in which a small pox hybrid virus was dropped along the Mexican-American border showed the U.S. government is unprepared to deal with such a crisis. Officials who participated in the drill soon found themselves overwhelmed by a panicked population, short of antibiotics and vaccines, hampered by antiquated quarantine laws, and unable to get trained, immunized medical personnel to the scene, the Times reported.

The technology IS scary, to be sure, and that doesnít change the fact of its existence, however people can educate themselves on the options. Patrick Henry once said, (on the brink of the American revolution):


"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."


Biology of a Recombinant Virus

Genetic engineering has brought forth cures for diseases and synthetic spray vaccines, while it paradoxically spawned deadly predator viruses that mutate at will and can jump species from a spider host to a mosquito, lizard, mouse, cat, monkey or human. The new hypermutant life form can even live inside a bacteria host and multiply until it explodes out of the cell and finds its way into the bloodstream.

Weapons-related genetic engineering, in military terms, is the creation of genetically altered viruses and bacteria in order to enhance their power as weapons. This can be done by altering an organismís DNA, or its genetic code, which is found in every cell and in every virus particle in existence. In high schools in the United States today, students are taught how to do genetic engineering. They learn how to create new variants of (safe) bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics. One genetic engineering kit for high-school students costs forty-two dollars and is sold through the mail.

In 1990 and 1991, Russian scientists found a way to splice Venezuelan equine encephalitis (a brain virus) into the genome, or DNA, of smallpox. The result was a "recombinant chimera virus" called Veepox. In ancient Greek mythology, the chimera was a monster made of parts of different animals. Recombination means the mixing of genes from different organisms. Under a microscope, the Veepok looks like smallpox, but it isnít. It is a new form of life.

Understanding the biology of a deadly Level-4 (90% fatality) virus, how it was conceived, and by whom, is the first step in combatting the effects of biological warfare. The books The Hot Zone and The Cobra Event by Richard Preston, an MIT and American Institute of Physics award winning science writer, provide clear scientific data on Level-4 viral outbreaks in the U.S. and Africa, and give valuable information on bio-hazard protection against these microorganisms.

The book, Emerging Viruses, by Dr. Leonard Horowitz, a Harvard graduate with a master of arts degree in health education and a master of public health degree in behavioral science, suggests that the Ebola virus has become a biological weapon.


Spray Vaccines for Anthrax & Plague

The biotechnology revolution was launched when Dr. Joshua Lederberg, a professor at Rockefeller University, won the Nobel Prize in 1946 for discovering that bacteria can swap genes with each other. By 1970 huge bio programs, administered by the Rockefeller Foundation in cooperation with the CIA, provided experimental vaccines to millions of recipients worldwide. Today, Dr. Lederberg advises the government on biological weapons and the potential for bio-terrorism.

Currently, Rockefeller University in cooperation with SIGA Pharmaceuticals has developed a revolutionary nasal spray antidote for military defense applications. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding the research under the umbrella of the Department of Defense.

The nasal spray, called a "mucosal vaccine," is the latest breakthrough in vaccine technology. It is a rapidly deployable defense against biological warfare agents such as anthrax and plague, and can be administered by a soldier, civilian, or even a child. No needles or shots are necessary. This genetically engineered commensal delivers an antigen (stimulates the production of antibodies) from a variety of pathogens (cause of disease), viral or bacterial, to surfaces in the mouth, nasal passages, gastrointestinal and genital tracts.

By combining a specific antigen with specific commensals (harmless bacteria that naturally inhabit the bodyís mucosal surfaces), vaccines or other neutralizing agents are rapidly produced.

It is not known, when, if ever, this spray vaccine will be marketed to the general population, but someone stands to make $billions, akin to a biological Bill Gates, if a bio-war outbreak occurs in the United States.


Long Term Effects of Experimental Vaccines

Other commensal vectors may soon be used to vaccinate children against influenza in 1999. Doctors tested the vaccine, called FluMist, on 1,602 children ages 15 months to 6 years in 1996. One percent of the children receiving the vaccine spray developed influenza, compared to 18 percent in the untreated group. The long-term "fall out" effects of these experimental vaccines are still unknown.

The effects of older vaccines may only just now be surfacing in baby-boomers today as their immune systems weaken and dormant viruses emerge. According to The Health Century by Edward Shorter, Ph.D., Americans are paying a heavy price, particularly those inoculated with Sabin oral polio vaccines prior to 1964, as recipients of 40 different simian (monkey) virus contaminants, called SV40, produced by Merck Laboratories in the 1950ís.

During interviews for his book, Dr. Shorter audiotaped Dr. Maurice Hilleman, director at Merck vaccine division. Hilleman said he notified Albert Sabin of his concerns that the SV40 virus might have long-term effects such as cancerous tumors. In 1961, the SV40 contaminated polio vaccines were pulled off the shelves at Merck after studies showed it might in fact be carcinogenic to humans. No mention of the cancer connection was made in the press until 1962. By then millions of children had received both the Salk inactivated polio vaccine and Sabinís live virus vaccine, produced in contaminated Rhesus monkey kidney cells.

Years later, in December 1986, when asked why the press was silent on this issue, an elderly Albert Sabin replied, "...Thereís too much scaring the public unnecessarily. Oh, your children were injected with cancer virus and all that. Thatís not very good."

In March 1996, new evidence was presented by Dr. W. John Martin, professor of pathology at the University of Southern California, at the Twentieth Century Plagues symposium in Los Angeles and San Francisco, that SV40 gene sequences had been found in childhood choroid plexus brain tumors.

Martin noted that chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and other behavior-linked illnesses "may be an inadvertent consequence of stealth virus vaccine contaminants" derived from simian viruses. Stealth viruses are unique cell-destroying viruses that are not recognized by the human immune system. These viruses cause persistent infections because they are missing specific genes which ordinarily evoke an immune response.

In his 1997 book, Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola, Nature, Accident or Intentional?, Dr. Leonard Horowitz notes, " --- Anyone who received polio vaccines prior to 1964 is at risk of carrying SV40 and spreading it to others at home or in the community. The virus is apparently circulating now throughout the human race."

NOTE: ABC News on February 19, 1999 noted that the current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that simian SV-40 virus has been found in 10% of the baby-boomer population who received live polio vaccine prior to 1963.


Origins of AIDS & Ebola

Dr. Horowitzís book mainly explores evidence that AIDS and Ebola viruses were byproducts of a genetic engineering program, conducted by Merck and other government funded labs to develop and test effects of bio-war viruses.

One source from which his theory was derived was a five volume text entitled Virology which noted that during the late 1960ís researchers advanced a new theory of evolution - that through future research of viral evolution (retroviruses) a "genetically superior race of humans could be synthetically evolved."


AIDS For Profit

The irony of this scheme, according to Horowitz, was that the lab (Merck Department of Virus Cell Biology) allegedly responsible for the AIDS contaminated Hepatitus B vaccine injected into 1,083 New York homosexuals, may also reap billions of dollars in future revenues from developing and marketing AIDS-related drugs for T-cell disorders.


Aids-like Viruses used for pre-cancer diagnosis?

Horowitz found buried in the basement of the Davis Library at the University of North Carolina a book entitled Special Virus-Cancer Program, published by the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md. which detailed a $35 million collaborative program structured for the purpose of proving that viruses are the causative (etiological) agents of cancer - and certain AIDS-like retroviruses can be used for pre-cancer diagnosis by seeking out and detecting inactive human cancer viruses.

The text covered the period from 1970 to 1971, the critical period during which Bionetics Research Labs, a Division of Litton Industries, had created numerous AIDS-like retroviruses. Observed Horowitz:

"Litton Bionetics had not only been involved in the development of AIDS-like, Marburg-like, and Ebola-like viruses, but had been innoculating simian monkeys with these mutant horrors as early as 1962, and had shipped the infected monkeys to labs around the world, including the ones in which the Marburg and Reston [Ebola] outbreaks occurred."

(There had been an Ebola outbreak at a vaccine factory in Marburg, Germany and another at a primate quarantine unit in Reston, Virginia, owned by Hazelton Research).

A few of the collaborative labs involved in the Special Virus-Cancer Program were listed as Hazelton Research Labs; Merck Institute (pharmaceuticals); Bionetics Research Labs; and Anderson Hospital & Tumor Institute.

The 1971 text of Special Virus-Cancer Program also noted that,

"there are now over 100 viruses which are known to cause virtually all kinds of cancer in every major group of animal including non-human primates."

Through this research it was discovered that AIDS-like viruses could be used for pre-cancer diagnosis. A mouse Leukemia type-C virus which was adapted to grow in human cells, if innoculated into a human, could seek out and detect inactive human Sarcoma viruses. The down side to this procedure was that humans then became the mixers for "mutant" Leukemia and Sarcoma viruses, or retroviruses.

Horowitz suggested that the AIDS epidemicís simultaneous emergence in Central Africa and New York during the late 1970ís (and later Ebola) was the result of a mass innoculation program originating from experimental monkey-virus-contaminated vaccines supplied by the Litton and Merck network of researchers.


World Health Organization: Vaccine Tests in Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) is often at the center of these controversies. WHO helps developing countries establish national biological control laboratories and sets standards for development, manufacture, distribution and administration of essentially all pharmaceuticals used throughout the world.

In 1969 the U.S. Department of Defense requested $10 million from Congress to perform studies on immune-system-destroying agents for germ warfare defense. According to WHO records, in 1970 studies were conducted on viruses that were capable of altering the immunologic response capacity of T-Lymphocytes (immunity T-cells).

Prior to that, WHO had issued a 5-year research report on advances in virology experimentation relating primarily to the causal relationship between viruses and human cancer. The report stated that Russian and American researchers had learned how the human immune system can be "bolstered or destroyed by old and newly developed germs."

The WHO also applied administrative leadership and funding for several programs designed to evaluate specific disease vulnerabilities of minority groups - from American Indians to African natives - through collection and analysis of gene pools and blood supplies.

In 1970 the WHO and the Vaccine Development Committee endorsed an African smallpox immunization program with a budget of $14 million for use in Zaire and neighboring countries. By todayís standards, that would amount to about $70 million, a huge budget for innoculations on a faraway undeveloped continent. It is noteworthy that AIDS was non-existent in Africa prior to 1975 - and Ebola was not recorded until 1976.

Both originate from the same area in Zaire.

Moreover, noted Horowitz, Merck Laboratories, the U.S. Army, USAID, the National Cancer Institute and Litton Bionetics were all focused on,

"vaccines and studies in which cancer-causing [retro] viruses were isolated and transported from Africa to the U.S. and visa versa."


Quarantine Trials

A telling article by WHO consultants in March 1970 presciently warned of grave psychological consequences if a biological attack occurred in the U.S.:

"The response to a chemical or biological attack may require precautionary or other measures on such a scale that extraordinary means of social control will have to be introduced, and these may remain in force long after the need for them has passed. Thus an attack may lead to social changes out of all proportion to the actual damage done."

The 1993 book, The Hot Zone by Richard Preston unwittingly corroborates the WHO consultantsí prediction of "extraordinary means of social control."

During the 1976 Ebola outbreak in Kinshasa, the World Health Organization and public officials sent the Army in to enforce quarantines; roadblocks were set up, hospital staff were quarantined inside the hospital, planes and boats were not allowed in or out, communications were cut off, and anyone trying to leave the city was shot.

"Virus hunter" Dr. Karl M. Johnson, former head of Special Pathogens Branch of Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, had been Chief of the WHO team in Kinshasa during the outbreak.

At his home in Big Sky, Montana, where he now does consulting work on "hot zones," Johnson rhetorically observed,

"A virus can be useful to a species by thinning it out...."


Ebola Outbreak in Reston, Virginia

The notion that AIDS and Ebola are synthetic by-products of genetic engineering, or "black biology," is not dissuaded in The Hot Zone. During the 1989 Ebola outbreak at the primate quarantine building in Reston, Virginia, four monkey caretakers became infected with Ebola virus, yet none of those American workers became sick.

Author Preston inadvertently revealed his inner suspicions, or offered a subliminal hint, when he wrote:

" ...However, something eerie and perhaps sinister occurred. All four men eventually tested positive for Ebola Reston virus. They had all been infected with the agent. The virus had entered their bloodstreams and multiplied in their cells. Ebola proliferated in their bodies. It cycled in them. It carried on its life inside the monkey workers. But it did NOT make them sick, even while it multiplied inside them. If they had headaches or felt ill, none of them could recall it. Eventually the virus cleared from their systems naturally, disappeared from their blood, and as of this writing, none of the men was affected by it."

Why would Preston consider the immunity of the four Americans to Ebola virus "eerie" or "sinister"?

Perhaps because thousands of black Africans contracted the hemorragic virus in Africa, and died slowly while their organs liquified and blood poured from every orifice of their body. Yet the American monkey handlers, working for Hazelton Research, who received treatment at Fairfax Hospital by Fort Detrick scientists, remained healthy.

Wrote Preston:

"The workers at Reston had symptomless Ebola virus. Why didnít it kill them? To this day, no one knows the answer to that question."


Ebola Not Found in Nature

Another corroborative chapter in The Hot Zone recounts a Spring 1988 joint U.S. Kenya expedition comprised of Fort Detrick and Kenyan scientists to the Rift Valley where the Kinshasa Highway, or AIDS Highway as it is called in Africa, passes by Mount Elgin, the origin of both the Ebola and AIDS virus outbreaks.

They found no trace of the Ebola virus in any part of the natural environment.

"Exactly where the virus came from is one of the great mysteries..." noted Preston.


Ebola: A Russian Bio-Weapon

Simultaneously, on yet another continent, in April 1988, Dr. Nikolai Ustinov, a forty-four year old scientist at a virology-research facility in Western Siberia pricked his finger with a needle and contracted the Ebola virus.

He had been studying its potential as a bio-weapon that could be loaded into special biological warheads on the MIRV missiles that were aimed at the United States. At the time, the Soviet missile warheads were designed for strategic genetically engineered strains of smallpox virus, anthrax, and Black death which was resistant to antibiotics.

The deputy chief at the Biopreparat facility, Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, known today in America as Ken Alibek, attempted to obtain the special immune serum from the Ministry of Defense, but bureaucratic delays prevented its arrival in Siberia until it was too late. After moving to the United States in 1992, Alibek told American officials the Ebola strain had been obtained by Soviet intelligence, but he didnít know where it came from, maybe Marburg, Germany, he said.

The Soviets froze Ustinovís blood and body parts and kept the Ustinov Ebola strain alive and replicating in the Biopreparat lab called Vector. They named the strain Variant U, after Ustinov, and mass produced it in simple bio-reactors. They dried Variant U, processed it into an inhalable dust, resembling pink talcum powder, then tested the airborne weapon on animals in special explosion-test chambers. Just one to five microscopic particles of Variant U lodged in the lungs of a monkey was equal in lethality to eight thousand spores of weapons-grade anthrax.

Variant U was on the verge of becoming a strategic bio-weapon, ready to be loaded into MIRV warheads, when the Soviet Union fell apart and Russian scientists left to work in other countries. The Biopreparat facility had employed 25,000 people and consisted of forty sprawling research and production facilities. It worked both sides of the street: curing diseases and inventing new ones. When government funding decreased dramatically and scientists lost their jobs, Ken Alibek came to the United States.

He said other biologists may have gone to China, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya, some carrying freeze-dried Variant U Ebola with them. No one kept track of them.


Hantavirus in Russia?

In a March 9, 1998 New Yorker magazine article entitled, Annals of War - Bioweaponeers, by Richard Preston, Alibek discussed accidental contamination of the soil outside a bio-factory at Omutninsk.

Wild rodents living in the woods outside the factory had become chronically infected with the Schu-4 military strain of tularemia, a bacterium that causes a type of pneumonia, which was being developed in the plant. It was a hot, lethal strain that came from the United States: an American biological weapon that the Soviets had managed to obtain.

The mutant bacteria had "jumped species," from its natural host to rodents. People catch tularemia easily from rodents, noted Preston.

Just recently, in April 1998, health officials have begun monitoring mice populations near Colorado Springs in the United States. The Associated Press reported a 17-year-old boy who lived on a ranch west of Colorado Springs, died on April 18th of Hantavirus. The press described Hantavirus as,

"a rare pneumonia-like disease [which] is contracted by ingesting airborne dust particles of the feces, urine or saliva of tiny deer mice."


Aged: Targets of Bio-War

The worldís most serious known bio-weapon outbreak occurred in the Ural Mountains east of Moscow at Yekaterinburg.

In April 1979, the military microbiology lab there known as Compound 19, emitted a cloud of human inhalation anthrax spores that spread downwind killing 68 people and contaminating livestock and food sources. A subsequent study from Harvard University, based on research at the scene, noted the absence of any victims under the age of 24.

In February 1998, the Washington Post reported that a news conference in Moscow revealed the 1979 leak did not release anthrax, but some kind of "new biological weapon" that was designed to target middle-aged men.


Bio-Terrorism Comes in Many Forms

Establishing the truth about U.S., Iraqi, or Russian biological weapons programs is ambiguous because research on defensive means, such as vaccines, and on offensive weapons involves identical equipment.

If a scientist is developing a defensive vaccine, he must test it against a virulent agent. And even small quantities of these virulent organisms can be grown to significant quantities in a few weeks and moved around the country in portable bio-reactors.

Bio-terrorism comes in many forms:

  • a hantavirus leak into the general population from a secret bio-research facility

  • a super-mutant antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus found in hospitals

  • contaminated experimental vaccines injected into Gulf War soldiers

  • genocide in Africa

  • pharmaceutical profiteers creating retroviruses, then making millions on "miracle" cures and vaccines

  • a terrorist suitcase left in a New York subway

  • military bio-quarantine containments and social controls

  • last but not least, the threat of biological warfare.



Education is the only defense against new emerging viruses.

Even the most sophisticated predator virus is still subject to natural law. It degenerates and falls apart when exposed to sunlight (ultra-violet rays). Simple household bleach can eradicate any virus from a contaminated area. (Bleach was used by the Fort Detrick Army team to decontaminate the Reston monkey house and the bio-suits afterwards).

Human skin is virus-proof; the vulnerable areas of the body are eyelids, lips, mucous membranes and open cuts, all of which can be covered or protected with readily available bio-hazard equipment, most of which is commonly used in hospitals.

Perhaps a quote published in Richard Prestonís March 9, 1998 New Yorker article entitled Annals of War - Bioweaponeers, by Dr. Peter Jahrling, chief scientist at USAMRIID (Ft. Detrick), offers some hope --- "I donít think anyone could knock out New York City with a genetically engineered bug, but someone might be able to knock out a few people and thereby make an incredible panic."

Note: See related story: Bio-Hazard Protections



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