"A Return to Healing" Blog: Fri, 01/22/2010 - 13:14 — BBelitsos
[By Byron Belitsos with Dr. Len Saputo] As we indicate in our longer essay posted on this blog, “The Infection Deception-II,” the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax mailings became the pretext for a huge expansion of research for the production of genetically-modified bacteria and viruses for deployment as bioweapons. During the Bush era, tens of billions of dollars were appropriated for R & D including nearly $1.7 billion for new “high containment facilities” (called Biosafety Level 4 or BSL-4 facilities) for bioweapons-related research. The source of this information is congressional testimony by biological and chemical weapons expert Dr. Alan M. Pearson. Pearson testified that very little oversight or accountability was built in to these appropriations. Prior to 2002, “there were three significant BSL-4 facilities in the United States. Today twelve are in operation, under construction, or in the planning stage,” Pearson told Congress. “The number of BSL-3 labs is also clearly growing, and it is know that there are at least 600 such facilities in the US.” 1
The Baxter Case and Jane Burgermeister
In the mind of some of us, it’s a relative short step from a state-sponsored biological weaponization programs for the sake of “defense,” to biowarfare adapted to a depopulation agenda. One would expect such warfare to be sponsored by a rogue corporation linked to some elite cabal, or by trained moles planted deep inside government weapons manufacturers and health agencies. That’s why, at first glance, it seemed right that Jane Burgermeister, an Irish-Austrian jouralist and activist based in Vienna, has targeted the vaccine maker Baxter with a ambitious series of legal actions documented at her website, theflucase.com. Vaccine production is routinely contracted out by governments to a select group of manufacturers whose names we have encountered, but the intellectual property rights to the H1N1 vaccine actually belongs to Illinois-based pharmaceutical giant Baxter. Baxter is right at the heart of the 2009 swine flu debacle.
Not long after obtaining the patent in 2008—quite out of the blue, on February 24, 2009—Baxter’s Austrian subsidiary in Orth an der Donau manufactured and shipped 72 kilos of H3N2 (human influenza) material contaminated with a H5N1—pure bird flu virus—to 16 laboratories in four countries including Austria. 2
In theory, this mistake alone could have triggered a catastrophic pandemic. H5N1 bird flu is far, far more lethal than H1N1 or human flu, but not easily communicable. As reported at bloomberg.com, this massive accident was discovered when inoculated ferrets in a Czech lab died. A company spokesperson blamed “human error.” But suspecting the worst, Burgermeister went into action, and by June 10 had filed a set of highly unusual charges with the FBI as well as the Vienna State Prosecutor's Office. These documents, available at her wesbite (theflucase.com) issued sweeping criminal charges against Baxter AG, Baxter International and Avir Green Hill Biotechnology AG, for “releasing a biological weapon of mass destruction . . . with the intention of causing a global bird flu pandemic virus and of intending to profit from that same pandemic.”
The Austrian Baxter facility operates a Biosafety Level 3 (BLS-3) lab designed to be virtually fail-safe against such an error. By “inadvertently” combining H3N2 and H5N1 viruses, “Baxter produced a highly dangerous biological weapon with a 63 per cent mortality rate,” Burgermeister charged. “The H5N1 virus is restricted in its human-to-human transmissibility, especially because it is less airborne. However when combined with seasonal flu viruses (easily transmitted by air), a new flu virus is created which is unknown to the human immune system and which will have a severe impact on an unprotected population. A deadly virus of this kind could spread around the world in a short time and (potentially) infect millions (or) even billions of people.”
Burgermeister also cited a Baxter-Avir 2006 contract with Austria's Health Ministry for 16 million vaccine doses in case a bird flu pandemic was declared. (There were legitimate fears of such a pandemic at the time.) The WHO had supplied Baxter with the live bird flu virus needed to create the vaccine.
Burgermeister seemed to have a compelling case at first glance, backed by support from prominent anti-vaccine activists and conspiracists such as David Icke, Dr. Bill Deagle, and Dr. True Ott. But her credibility began to unravel as soon as both her enemies and supporters began to look more closely.
First, without specific evidence, she accused high-level Austrian Health and other Ministry officials of knowledge and support of this practice. In addition she named not only Baxter, but drug producers Novartis and Sanofi Aventis; varied world agencies, including the WHO, the UN, and the CDC; and long list of high-level officials in other European countries and in America, including President Obama; all were liable in the plot.
She insisted that she had filed charges with the FBI through the Austrian embassy, but on its face this is fraudulent; only U.S. citizens have standing to carry out such a filing. More disturbing is the fact that the FBI has no offices in any foreign embassy. When challenged on this and other consistencies by activists in the US, Burgermeister responded by threatening to file a defamation lawsuit against these one-time supporters, and by accusing them of being agents of the WHO and Pharma.
There’s a long history of this sort of disruptive in-fighting behavior before among leaders of front-line activist groups, usually induced by a single idiosyncratic player who enters the fray out of the blue. Enough said.
Corporate participation is genocidal policies is not new, but Jane Burgermeister took her case to new levels rarely seen, connecting more dots than were there—the bane of the overwrought conspiracist. She cites as evidence for Baxter’s participation in “a secret, black international bioweapons programme,” factual reports that the “bird flu” virus had been resurrected by US bioweapons scientists from the Spanish Flu virus in 1996. But this widely reported “white world” effort was a celebrated feat that brought real benefits to flu virus research; she shows no link between this and Baxter’s own research.
She notes that Baxter had patented a highly pathogenic bird flu virus mutation, calling it “something difficult to account for if Baxter is not doing research into weaponised bird flu strains.” However, this sort of activity is a routine practice in the vaccine industry; various mutations of an influenza strain are identified and patented so as to protect a manufacturer’s research on a new vaccine in anticipation of a plausible future threat.
In addition, a closer look would show that Baxter did not send the vaccine material directly to the outside labs; it was sent through a third party named in her filings, Avir, a contractor to Baxter who had purchased these materials from the company for sending out to subcontractor labs for specific processing duties. We noted that one of these subcontractors, a Czech laboratory, tested the vaccine on its ferrets, but the ferrets all unexpectedly died. How likely is it that the conspiracy for genocide would be conducted through a series of contracts and subcontractors? An even closer look reveals that the vaccine material was meant for use on developing an animal vaccination for use in veterinary medicine. It would soon be tested initially in just the way the Czech lab did. Such a routine test was going to be done, putting an end to the possibility of a conspiracy.
A Closer Look at the Lab Virus Hypothesis
When quixotic activists with assets in the five figures go to battle with the world’s largest health authorities with budgets in the billions, many leads will turn out to be wrong indeed. But it appeared to us at first that the work of Wayne Madsen, a former Naval Intelligence officer turned Jack Anderson-style investigative journalist could be an exception.3 In a series of startling articles stretching back to May 2009, Madsen offers scientific testimony sourced from a virologist who contends that 2009 H1N1 is a lab virus—an incredibly serious charge for explaining a high profile pandemic. Madsen’s unnamed source alleges that the pandemic virus was intentionally “reassorted” in a laboratory from eight genes consisting of avian, swine and human-type influenza A virus.
It is known that with the 2009 H1N1 represents the phenomenon of “triple reassortment,” that is, three genes that were somehow swapped between avian, swine, and human influenza viruses. The question is: did this exchange occur in nature, and then somehow show up simultaneously in two locations (one in Mexico, another in California), or is this indeed a “lab virus”? The unnamed virologist told Madsen: “How can you mix avian, human, and pig virus at one time? [Could these viruses] have come from Europe, America and Asia, without any detection?” The virologist added: “The virus emerged suddenly in Mexico. I can't explain how. I wish I could. For me as a virologist, it’s impossible . . . on the other hand, technology can create any kind of virus you want.”
Now, it should be noted that the reassortment of viruses does, of course, occur in nature. It can occur when two or more different viruses enter into and replicate in a single cell in a host (human or animal), setting the stage for genes to be exchanged between specimens of the invading viruses. “Wild” reassortment of this kind is a key survival strategy that enables an active virus to better adapt to its host.
Ominously, Madsen’s source goes on to claim that a human host was used—or rather, had to have been used—“as a laboratory ‘guinea pig.’” Only an advanced microbiology lab, he said, could be the setting for an unusual scenario in which (1) a host would be in a position to exchange the genes of humans, pigs, and fowl that would be (2) transmissible as a pandemic virus. In other words, a lab “slave” was intentionally infected by avian, human and swine viruses simultaneously, and these viruses exchanged genes inside the individual’s body, resulting in a “novel” reassortment that had pandemic potential. Also in the conspiracy scenario would be a plan for rapid mutation toward a strain that would eventually “outsmart” human immune system, flu vaccines, and anti-viral drugs, killing millions, as did the 1918 Spanish Flu. In yet another diabolical step, such a potent new strain would then have to be released surreptitiously, in Mexico and California. This H1N1 virus was first found in a humans in these two locations, he said; there is no evidence that it could have jumped from pigs and birds to humans as such.
Mainstream virologist Vincent Racaniello, PhD, strongly disagrees. “Technology can be used to create viruses, but no human could have created this virus, with the precise mixture of influenza virus genes from different animals, and mutations to allow the virus to transmit among humans. It could have been an accident, but certainly not intentional. We simply don’t know enough about virus re-engineering to pull off such a technical feat—especially to confer pandemic transmissibility such as what we see in the current H1N1.”
Nevertheless, Madsen believes he may have identified the likely lab source of a reingeneered H1N1 virus: the Bio-Safety Level 3 laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Bio-Safety Level 4 laboratory at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. In several articles in the series, Madsen scooped important stories about individuals linked to H1N1 research who have been caught trying to smuggle pandemic H1N1 DNA and RNA from Indonesia to Japan and from Canadian Level 4 laboratory in Winnepeg to the United States.
In an important side story, this Winnipeg laboratory figured into a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) national security investigation into the November 2001 disappearance of Harvard virologist and influenza expert Dr. Don Wiley. Wiley's body was discovered in the Mississippi River on December 15, 2001, Madsen reports.
Even more ominously, Wiley is one of eleven microbiologists who died mysteriously in 2001-2002, according to a team of investigative journalists reporting for the Toronto Globe and Mail. 4
“Some of them [were] world leaders in developing weapons-grade biological plagues,” wrote the authors of the Globe and Mail story. “Others the best in figuring out how to stop millions from dying because of biological weapons. Still others, experts in the theory of bioterrorism.” According to their report, the first three died in the space of just over a week in November. Benito Que, 52, was an expert in infectious diseases and cellular biology at the Miami Medical School. Next came the aforementioned disappearance of Don Wiley, 57, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Harvard University, an expert on how the immune system responds to viral attacks such as the classic doomsday plagues of HIV, ebola and influenza. He had just bought tickets to take his son to Graceland the following day. Just five days after that, the world-class microbiologist and high-profile Russian defector Valdimir Pasechnik, 64, fell dead. The next two deaths came four days apart in December. And the story goes on from here, to a total of eleven over a span of just five months, most of the deaths from suspicious or unlikely causes.
Was this a ruthless purge of leading microbiologists that was meant to send a message to the scientific community around the time of the Anthrax outbreak, or just a fluke of coincidence?
No one knows, but as noted earlier, US and world focus on the threat of bioterrorism has grown exponentially since the anthrax strike.
In a survey of his articles, Madsen’s secretive source from the virology community seemed to be saying, at a minimum, that: (1) the current H1N1 contains an amino acid that is “artificial,” (2) the mutation rate is “unnatural,” (3) that the virus’s appearance in Mexico could not have been a natural appearance, (4) that the original host had to be human and can’t have been a pig, and that (5) special “isolates” were used to engineer the virus.
But our research, backed by two leading virologists, Vincent Racaniello, PhD, a professor at Columbia University, and Henry Niman, PhD, president and founder of Recombinomics, Inc., shows that some of this source’s presentation may be plausible, but that most is scientifically incorrect. For example, microbiologists with access to public virology databases can vouch for the fact that it contains no ‘artificial’ amino acids; knowledgeable virologists can look up, understand, and study the H1N1 genetic sequence in online databases, and see for themselves if there has been foul play. “The are no virologists who are going to say the virus had previously been propagated in humans,” says Niman “or that there are any 1918 or H5N1 [highly virulent bird flu virus] sequences in the pandemic strain,” as is charged by some conspiracists. Further, says Racaniello, “The H1N1 mutation rate is not unnatural. In fact the mutation rate fits perfectly with what is known about swine and human influenza viruses.” The latter argument is complex, but is refuted by Racaniello (see footnote). 5
Madsen’s source depicts the virus to be a Frankenstein microbe, mutating at a unnatural rate, presumably so that an extremely virulent, vaccine-resistant, transmissible strain would emerge. The mutations of H1N1 are clearly occurring at a normal pace, and no such sequence has in any case emerged by natural or other means, though some indications closely being watched by Dr. Niman are present as of mid-January 2010 that one may be emergent in a possible second wave of H1N1. 6
One more argument between virologists: Madsen’s source says that various genes come from old “isolates” [sequences isolated and identified previously] and that a few of the genes come from somewhere between “1979 to 1980's isolates. The consensus virologist community contends that the A/H1N1 virus has been in existence for over twenty years without ever being detected.” In other workds Madsen's virologist states that it is impossible for a virus to exist for twenty years without being detected given the amount of virus medical surveillance that takes place around the world.
Racaniello grants that “the 2009 H1N1 virus is most closely related to viruses that circulated some time ago; that information is correct. To say that it is impossible that a virus existed for 20 years without being detected is flat out wrong.” He sites the example of the 1950s H1N1 virus which disappeared in 1957—just after a minor pandemic swine flu of that era known as Hong Kong flu—and that this virus was not detected again until it was discovered in 1977. “Furthermore, there are many parts of the world where influenza surveillance is poor, and the ancestors of this virus could have easily been missed.”
Triple reassortants are, according to Niman, a signature of swine viruses; combinations of human flu, swine flu, and avian flu have been circulating in swine since the late 1990’s, when two avian genes entered the picture in a “wild” triple reassortment which has been present in swine ever since. Again, none of this reassorting took place in humans or required a lab source, and the phenomenon does not require a human host. Many wild reassortment strains in swine have been noted in the last decade, but their transmissibility to human was weak or nonexistent. The 2009 H1N1 was the first to make the successful jump. Madsen’s source heads down the wrong pat when he says that, “While it is common for pigs to become infected with human and avian viruses, there are no reports that pigs shed the reassortant H1N1 virus and infected new hosts, either human or bird.” There are in fact 13 cases of such jumps of related swine flu viruses before the current one “took”—and in all cases, these happen suddenly. Dr. Vincent Racaniello adds that “2009 H1N1 is highly related to viruses that circulate extensively in swine.”
Niman establishes the clear plausibility of a wild source for H1N1, and refutes the Madsen source’s contention that H1N1 had to be hosted in humans in a lab. But has he proved that it is cannot still have a lab source? He admits a large evolutionary gap between pandemic H1N1 and previous triple reassortments, and attributes that to the fact that the swine database is not very robust, so that “these early jumps, like the pandemic strain, did not have close matches in the database, which is why most scientist are not surprised by the evolutionary gap.” He also points to one well-respect virologist, Adrian Gibbs, who points to this the gap to suggest that the virus may have escaped from a lab. However, Gibbs offers the idea of a lab escape as a possibility, not a necessity, and is well aware of the fact that most scientists attribute the gap to a poor swine flu database. (Niman points out that there are no sequences in the public database from Mexican swine, or from Central or South American swine.) And finally, Gibbs provides no data or evidence for the lab source scenario. 7
But then, one must ask—as we also state in the main article—what can mainstream scientists know about classified biowarfare research—especially if they, like most, are hopelessly naïve about the intersections of deep politics and health policy? There is no way a typical “white world” scientist can penetrate the biotechnology capacities of a deep-black Level 4 bioweapons lab in the U.S.—or in China or Russia for that matter.
Indeed, what the public and even mainstream science knows about top-secret bioweapons research always comes too late. We’ll learn about it when a bioweaponized specimen accidently escapes from a lab (likely the case with lyme’s disease), or through an intentional release, as in the October 2001 anthrax attacks that revealed a terrifying degree of weaponization heretofore unknown to scientists. The HIV virus, itself widely believed to have been lab-created, also disclosed entirely unprecedented features in viral evolution.
1) According to congressional testimony by Dr. Alan M. Pearson, Director of the Biological and Chemical Weapons Control Program at the Washington D.C.-based Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Alan M. Pearson, Testimony, "Germs, Viruses, and Secrets: The Silent Proliferation of Bio-Laboratories in the United States," House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, October 2007. See also “Biological Warfare and the National Security State: A Chronology,” by Tom Burghardt, Global Research, August 9, 2009
2) Michelle Fay Cortez and Jason Gale, “Baxter Sent Bird Flu Virus to European Labs by Error” Bloomberg (Feb. 24, 2009) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aTo3LbhcA75I
3) See WayneMadsen.com. TV interview on July 23, 2009 on Russia Today also at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14513
4) Alanna Mitchell, Simon Cooper, and Carolyn Abraham, “Strange Cluster Of Microbiologists'
Deaths Under The Microscope,” The Globe and Mail (May 4, 2002).
5) The Madsen source says that “Mutation takes time to occur, up to the rate of amino acid substitution. For example, for HA gene, or ‘duck virus,’ HA has a substitution rate about 3 x 10e-4 per site per year which is slower compare to human and swine HA (about 10e-3 per site per year). If the total nucleotide number in influenza A virus HA is 1,700, then it takes three years for making a single change in the duck virus, or 1.7 year in the case of human and swine virus.” But according to Racaniello, “is math is all wrong. 10e-3 mutations per site per year is wrong; it's 10e-3 per site per REPLICATION CYCLE. Since there are hundreds of thousands of replication cycles in each infected cell every 8 hours, you can see their math is way off.”
6) See posting at Niman’s website, where he states, “the association of D225G with a cases fatality rate in some countries of 100% and increases in reports and rations, such as the above report from Spain continue to increase concerns that the next H1N1 wave will have D225G/N at higher frequencies leading to more severe cases and fatalities.”
7) In an email to the authors, Niman states: “The human PB1 gene actually first entered swine as one of three human genes in 1993. Prior to 1993 the swine flu viruses were H1N1 “classical swine” and all 8 genes traced back to the first swine virus isolated (in 1930 from a pig in Iowa). The 1993 virus had three human genes (H3, N2, and PB1), and viruses with those three human genes are still circulating in swine (they are not circulating in humans). The pandemic H1N1 has swapped out the human H3 and human N2 for swine H1 and N1, but still has the human PB1 from 1993. Later in the 1990’s two avian genes were acquired (PB2 and PA) in swine, which is when it was called a triple reassortant. The current pandemic strain also has the same two avian genes, so it has 5 swine flu genes, one human PB1 that has been in swine since 1993, and two avian (PA and PB2) which have been in swine since the 1990’s. None of these changes involve the virus in humans. They have been in swine since the 1990’s and new versions are isolated from swine every year. Similarly, there were 13 reported instances of swine triple reassortants jumping to humans in the 3 years prior to the emergence of the pandemic. Each of these jumps to humans was closely linked to exposure to swine and transmission was limited to one case or may have spread to a few family members. These other examples involved swine reassortants growing in humans, but not in a sustained manner. Moreover, although the isolates were triple reassortants, they were distinguished from each other as well as the current pandemic strain. There are MANY different versions of triple reassortants in swine that occasionally jump to human, but the jumps are not sustained.”