PROJECT ANTHRAX & THE COVER-UP (PART FOUR): THE BIOPORT LOOP, HATFILL & SPECIAL FORCES, INTRODUCTION TO VAXGEN, IVINS REDUX & RUMSFELD
By Alex Constantine
The media concentration on the anthrax mailings has taken the heat off of BioPort and the Pentagon for the highly toxic vaccine - which, by some measures, produced a medical situation far more dire than that brought about by the 2001 mailings currently blamed solely on Bruce Ivins:
"'Our family has been through a living hell, to almost see your 23-year-old son die...' exclaims Cheryl. 'The government is wrong, and they need to take care of all these people that they've hurt.' The Department of Defense says they continue to believe that the vaccine is 'safe' ..." - Firstcoastnews.com
Fuad El-Hibri arranged investments for well-heeled Saudi clients as a broker at Citibank's Jeddah office. Tom Suber, a contributor to the Rouge Forum, a grassroots Internet think-tank, reports that the broker handled "the individual financial holdings of the bin Laden family group and the larger $18 billion Carlyle Group."
The bin Ladens and Carlyle are "reputed to have had partnership interests with Fuad El-Hibri's Porton International and Bioport investments. These embarrassing partnerships are the result of complex web of interlocking private corporate holdings and are publicly denied by the El-Hibri family."1
Carlyle Management Group, of course, is America's eleventh leading defense contractor, founded by Iran-contra's Frank Carlucci, James Baker III and George H.W. Bush.
Ties to the bin Ladens and Carlyle constituted one "embarrassing" pact with the devil.
Another was El-Hibri's acquisition of the Center for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR) at Porton Down in the UK, a government-held toxic stockpile-research laboratory privatized by Margaret Thatcher. CAMR was launched under private ownership - El-Hibri's - as Porton International in 1993.
Porton Down was the English mirror-image of Ft. Detrick. Both military laboratories conducted Auschwitz-style experiments on human subjects during the Cold War. In 2002, Express reported that scientists of the Ministry of Defense faced prosecution "over horrifying experiments on service men and women during chemical and biological weapons tests."
Subjects were duped into volunteering, led to believe that the military doctors were searching for an innocuous "cold cure." The guinea-pigs said they were "impregnated with deadly chemical agents such as sarin and mustard gas." Ronald Maddison, a volunteer airman, died after a cloth treated with sarin was wrapped round his arm. Another subject said he was coerced to participate "under threat of court martial. During three nightmare weeks at the center, he said he was stripped to his underpants and marched repeatedly into gas chambers where he was impregnated with sarin, tabin and mustard gas."2
El-Hibri inherited a horror factory, and this it remained.
By 1996, Suber says, "the rape of the public resources of Great Britain was virtually complete," speaking of the "conservative" agenda behind privatization.
The profit-lusting "interests of the Saudis and the Carlyle Group began to look to the United States for more promising plunder."
Michigan Governor John Engler was urged by fellow Republicans to privatize the state-owned vaccination lab - exactly as Thatcher had done with CAMR. It was renamed the Michigan Biologics Products Institute.
"Governor Engler gave the most respectable and profitable agency in Michigan government to Fuad El-Hibri without any individual investment whatsoever," Suber writes. The new owners "incurred no individual expense, made no investments, and did not owe any individual promissory notes or obligations of any kind for their new lab purchase. Receipt of a $180 million business for absolutely nothing. The next hand-out the company received was an unsecured, interest-free loan of $18.7 million as an advance payment from the Defense Department ..."3
All this fuss over a vaccine that didn't even work against inhalation anthrax ... it just made people sick.
But homeland defense was never the idea, as Houston attorney Linda Minor noted after scanning BioPort's directors' page: "This group is obviously an investment syndicate composed of numerous intelligence agency members representing assorted countries..."4
Bio-economic terrorism is the CIA's kind of low-intensity conflict. Dr. Edgar J. DaSilva, director of the Division of Life Sciences of the UN, says the approach is predicated on "the undermining and destruction of economic progress and stability" by "the development and use of biological agents against economic targets such as crops, livestock and ecosystems."
Germs, bacilli and viruses have certain advantages over conventional armaments - explosives and noxious gases have to be explained, but viral agents are plausibly deniable: "Such warfare can always be carried out under the pretexts that such traumatic occurrences are the result of natural circumstances that lead to outbreaks of diseases and disasters of either endemic or epidemic proportions."5 The Zimbabwe anthrax outbreak, the West Nile Virus, conceived at SAIC-USAMRIID, for instance. Add a trained provocateur – a biochemical warfare specialist hailing from a Rhodesian death squad with a parafascist history will do – a little media manipulation, and the result is anthrax psychosis.
That's exactly what the collective response was called in Argentina when a false alarm was tripped by a suspect piece of mail. "Anthrax psychosis," an Argentine newspaper reported, spread in October 2001, "when a travel brochure mailed from Miami to a Buenos Aires family initially tested positive." The spores tested inactive the second time, but "within hours, frantic citizens swamped police stations, hospitals and all kinds of government offices throughout the country with about 1,000 pieces of suspicious mail, most of them posted from the United States or Pakistan."6
The Ames strain did get around. The lethal dust was found in mail rooms ... in a Princeton borough ... in the Senate ... in Dan Rather's CBS office ... in a Kabul factory ... in New York City Hall ... in a diplomatic pouch to the US Consulate General in Yekaterinburg, Russia ... in the Supreme Court's basement mailroom ... in a letter mailed to Kenya ... at the Bureau of Prisons headquarters in Washington ... at the broadcaster's headquarters … 30 Rockefeller Plaza ... on and on.
And the FBI, by focusing on Hatfill alone, gave the impression that the perpetrator was a lone gunman. But he had accomplices, apparently ran with a death squad in the United States as he did in Rhodesia.
The West Nile and anthrax plots – as reconstructed by Leonard Horowitz, Robert Lederman and other independent researchers – began with the meeting at the White House regarding the fate of OraVax, attended by representatives of the company, the administration, and DoD officials. It was agreed that the company, facing bankruptcy, would receive a pass to inventory vaccines.
But some of those attending this meeting were active in this American Pinay Circle. One of them was William Patrick III, President and CEO of Advanced Biosystems Inc. (ABS). Patrick ran the anthrax "weaponization" program at the Ft. Detrick-SAIC lab where Hatfill worked. In 1999, Patrick wrote a study, according to the Baltimore Sun, that discussed "the danger of anthrax spores spreading through the air and the requirements for decontamination after various kinds of attacks. The author, William C. Patrick III, describes placing 2.5 grams of Bacillus globigii, an anthrax simulant, in a standard business envelope – slightly more than the estimated amount of anthrax in each of the letters that killed five people last fall..."
Stephen Hatfill, come to find out, "is a friend and protegé of Patrick, 75, a bio-weapons legend who has himself experienced the dual status of expert and possible suspect..."7
In 2002, the Washington Post reported allegations that Partick had produced a blueprint for the anthrax mailings:
"Hatfill commissioned William Patrick III, a biological weapons expert, to write a report on how to deal with anthrax sent through the mail. "It was a public service," Glasberg said, and Patrick was paid only $500. Hatfill and a colleague took Patrick's report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and submitted it to its bioterrorism preparation center. The CDC was working on the same project, Glasberg said, and produced the same findings and recommendations as Patrick. ...
"The concept of a report on anthrax mail attacks - two years before last October's mailings - intrigued the FBI. In particular, Patrick's report discussed mailing 2.5 grams of anthrax powder, about the same amount contained in the deadly anthrax letters.
Glasberg said Patrick used 2.5 grams because that was the amount of talc he poured into an envelope, as a test, to see how much could pass unobtrusively through the mails. Some media reports have called Patrick's report a "blueprint" for the fatal mailings. ...
Boris Lederer, who worked with Hatfill at Science Applications International, recalled his colleague's reaction when the anthrax mailings occurred. "It was just shock and complete disbelief that this was happening," Lederer said.8
Disbelief at a lethal domestic covert operation? The most relevant clues went unreported by the "mainstream" media, for instance, per the Washington Post:
"... Hatfill's résumé detailing those periods has created another storm. Hatfill claimed on a 1997 résumé that he served in the Army Special Forces. Army records show that he enlisted in the Reserve in 1975, served a year of active duty and attended -- but dropped out of -- Special Forces training. Glasberg declined to comment on Hatfill's military record. ... "9
The relevant corporate connections, ala BioPort, were played down. One of them was especially interesting in light of the deep history of the AIDS virus. McClatchy reported recently:
" ... Before the Sept. 11 attacks, Ivins had worked on and held a share of two anthrax vaccine patents, at least one of which was licensed to VaxGen, Inc., a California firm that later won an $877 million contract to make the vaccine for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Bioshield program. But when VaxGen failed to meet deadlines, the government scrapped the contract. ... "
Details of background of the VaxGen contract reveal a motive for one of the mailings. The motive for the overall plot centers on this pharmaceutical house - VaxGen and BioPort together had the most to gain from the patent on the anthrax vaccine, though this charge has since been widely leveled at the late Bruce Ivins:
A few months before he was targeted in the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks, then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld questioning whether the anthrax vaccine the military was giving soldiers was unsafe and should be discontinued. The letter, obtained by The Courant, was written with the help of a number of Connecticut officials. They were concerned about complaints from local National Guard members who refused to take the vaccine because they feared it would make them ill. Apart from raising the issue of the vaccine's safety, the criticism may have had an unintended effect. NBC News reported Tuesday that federal authorities today will reveal that those same complaints could be among the motives in the anthrax attacks that left an Oxford woman and four others dead. The suspected killer, Bruce Ivins, was one of the Army's lead scientists on the anthrax vaccine and was angered by suggestions that it made recipients ill, NBC reported. ...
Ivins ... was a member of a panel that the government convened to study the vaccine's effectiveness. ... The committee was formed by the Department of Defense before the anthrax mailings and was still meeting at the time the letters were mailed, according to Chairman Jack Melling. He is the former head of Porton Down
Now the anatomy of an inside job becomes apparent to anyone - even Americans reporter who have helium in their heads - there is no "lone gunman."
Donald Rumsfeld was in the loop:
"In the letter to Rumsfeld, Daschle raised concerns that the vaccine didn't work and may have made soldiers sick. He noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves drugs only after they are proven safe and effective.
"'A growing number of people believe that the use of the anthrax vaccine as currently formulated to protect humans against inhalation of anthrax spores fails to meet this test,' wrote Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat. 'We all acknowledge that the threat posed by biological weapons, including anthrax, is a real one that the Administration and the Congress have a responsibility to address.'
" The letter, also signed by then House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, was sent to Rumsfeld on June 21, 2001. The first anthrax letters were postmarked Sept. 18, 2001. The anthrax-laced letters sent to the offices of Daschle and Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy were postmarked Oct. 9, 2001.
Ottilie Lundgren, 94, of Oxford, was killed in November 2001 when she opened an anthrax-laced letter that passed through the same sorting machine in a New Jersey postal facility as the letter to Daschle. Daschle could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
"He has criticized the FBI investigation of the anthrax letters and the agency's refusal to update him and other victims on their progress. The FBI is expected to meet with the victims and their families today and might release documents that authorities say link Ivins to the crime. Daschle got involved in the anthrax vaccine issue through U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, whose office represented Connecticut National Guard members who refused to take the anthrax vaccine.
"Blumenthal said Tuesday that attorneys in his office worked closely with Dodd and Daschle to craft the letter to Rumsfeld. ... "11
TO BE CONTINUED
Also see: "Who First Wrongly Linked Anthrax to Iraq -- and Why?"
A: RUMSFELD'S PENTAGON - TO PROVOKE A WAR
1) Tom Suber, "3500 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd," Rouge Forum, February 2003.
2) Alun Reesand Cyril Dixon, "Scandal of the British soldiers 'poisoned in MoD tests,'" Express, November 7 , 2000.
2) Suber. Also see, The Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations of the House Committee on Government Reform, June 30, 1999.
4) Linda Minor, e-mail exchange with author, November 8, 2004.
5) Wayne Madsen, "Combining biological and economic warfare," Online Journal, May 3, 2003.
6) Juan Pérez Cabral, "Anthrax, Anti-Semitism and Anguish In Argentina," NOVEMBER 9, 2001..
7) Scott Shane, "Scientist theorized anthrax mail attack - FBI searched apartment of expert linked to study," Baltimore Sun, June 27, 2002. http://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-te.anthrax27jun27,0,3331733.story
8) Tom Jackman, "Ex-Army Scientist Denies Role in Anthrax Attacks," Washington Post, August 11, 2002.
10) Marisa Taylor and Greg Gordo, "After suicide, prosecutors reveal circumstantial anthrax case." http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/46642.html
By Marisa Taylor and Greg Gordon | McClatchy Newspapers
11.) Dave Alatimari, "Anthrax Vaccine Safety Complaints Part Of Ivins Case," Hartford Courant, August 6, 2008.