A small part of the book Fear of the Invisible
Robert Gallo Defends Himself
I was astonished to receive this email from Gallo while I was researching him in 2006. i had not previously been in touch with him
Date: 27 April 2006 18:06:16 BDT
Dear Ms. Roberts,
Since you obviously have a built-in bias about the causative role of HIV in AIDS and about me, I am not surprised that you didn't interview me nor find out what in the end happened to S. Hadley's report. Even Congressman Dingell ‘disavowed it', and he was going after numerous scientists during that period, and clearly not trying to find anyone free of wrong doing. Even though I'm sure you won't read it I suggest you should take a look at the history myself and Montagnier did (The discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS. New England Journal of Medicine. 349:2283-2285, 2003.).
I'm sure it also doesn't bother you that Montagnier and I have written the history of these events twice, the last being in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003. We have zero differences of views in the history, not even one comma. I think we are the ones who know the facts and not you and Ms. Hadley who had fed a reporter and some others the nonsense you willingly and I think eagerly swallow. You may not understand that Ms. Hadley is not a scientist, was bent on finding wrong doing, (note there were hundreds of millions of dollars involved in the patent we won for the U.S., and much of that money went to U.S. lawyers representing the French group). I have my thoughts about Ms. Hadley's relationships with these people. Most of us also find Ms. Hadley to be a quite unusual person. Let me leave it at that and the fact that she was ultimately disqualified as a ‘qualified' witness.
Of all your libelous, vicious untruths the most bizarre is that the Secret Service found evidence of ‘forgery' in our books. This is a Hadley fantasy. The Secret Service openly denied any significance of Hadley's putative ‘findings'. Moreover, if we were of that kind of people who would do forgery, do you believe we would be stupid enough to then hand over our books? Be aware that in those days no one was even required to keep such records, and if one did, holding on to the books was usually not longer than three years. Hadley was doing her unprofessional work some 6-7 years after those events.
I'm sure you do not care but people suffered a great deal in that period. Scientists like Nobelist David Baltimore and his associates and collaborators; the great cancer physician - Bernie Fisher; Popovic, myself, and many many more scientists during Hadley's witch hunts and, of course, our families. Needless to say medical research from many groups was stopped for 4-6 years. This is the true scandal - not the issues you consciously or unconsciously have so distorted. Your writing is as vicious and slanderous as anything I have witnessed. One hopes in vain that if you do not understand the issues or history, you would at least have some human decency and correct what you wrote.
Robert C. Gallo
Institute of Human Virology
University of Maryland Baltimore
725 W. Lombard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
I was not only amazed to receive this - I was astonished by what Gallo had chosen to object to. He did not object to what I wrote about the last minute changes he made to the Popovic paper, nor did he object to my citations from the devastating conclusions of the ORI or from the Inspector General's investigations into his work, but only to my mention of what the Secret Service had discovered in his papers.
After receiving this, I thought it best to check what the Secret Service had to say, to make sure I had not made any errors. I have previously investigated many intelligence operations. This has given me contacts I can call on when needed. Within three days, I had the former Head of the Secret Service on the phone, Larry Stewart, the man who had led their investigation into Robert Gallo's HIV research.
He confirmed that they found convincing evidence that many of Gallo's laboratory documents were ‘fixed' prior to being presented as evidence `- and were thus fraudulent.
But I was not the first to cite these Secret Service findings. They are also presented in some detail in John Crewdson's 2003 book, Science Fictions, as Gallo surely must have known. If he had solid legal objections to my brief mention of the Secret Service findings, then I am sure he would have taken it up earlier with Crewdson.
Crewdson detailed how the Secret Service's forensic laboratory had proved that laboratory records presented as evidence by Gallo were fraudulently created, not on the date stated, not when the experiment was done, but later. This was particularly obvious in one document dated 1984 that reported the use of ‘HIV' - years before the virus was given this name.
As for Gallo saying ‘Moreover, if we were of that kind of people who would do forgery, do you believe we would be stupid enough to then hand over our books? Gallo had no choice. He had to produce his records in 1985-6. He was legally forced to do so by lawyers acting for the French (thus within the three year period he mentioned); then later these same records were retrieved by the NIH and the Congressional Investigation.
But I was most surprised by his defensiveness. It seems that 23 years after he published his research, he still feels highly vulnerable to challenge.
Crewdson, John. Science Fictions (page 507-8)