extract from Chapter 9
DID AMERICAN BIOWARFARE SCIENTISTS INVENT HIV?
Barrack Obama's pastor believed that this was so, and was ridiculed for thinking so - but this hypothesis has been advocated in some widely circulated books - so it is important to see what evidence underlies this theory.
I knew HIV is said to be a ‘retrovirus' I knew little about these save that, when they were first discovered, they were thought to cause cancer. Well, cancer is not AIDS - but there was a link and a theory that I had not yet investigated. It was that the monkey retrovirus, SIV, mutated into HIV and started the AIDS epidemic; not in the polio vaccine as I thought, but during experiments with monkeys and retroviruses in Pentagon-funded biowarfare laboratories.
I soon learnt this was not so crazy an idea as it first sounded. America has possessed a secretive bio-warfare research program since May 1942 when President Roosevelt put in charge of such a program a Dr George W. Merck, the founder of the giant pharmaceutical Merck Corporation. This work was centred at the highly secretive Army Chemical Warfare Service at Fort Detrick, a large military research facility located north-west of Washington DC.
Its early research was partially documented in a 1977 two-volume report to the US Congress entitled U.S. Army Activities in the U.S. Biological Warfare Program. This told how the Pentagon funded scientists to create germ warfare weapons against crops, animals and the citizens of hostile nations, as well as protective measures against such weapons.
One of its recruits was surprisingly Dr. Bernice Eddy, the scientist who had first sounded the alarm over monkey virus contamination of the polio vaccine. Although those responsible for vaccine safety had ignored her warnings, her cancer-causing agent had gained the attention of the military. She was sent to work on military-funded experiments at the National Institutes for Health (NIH).
The NIH, in partnership with a private company, Litton Bionetics, planned to mutate SV40 for the Pentagon to make it more dangerous by infusing it with genetic codes from other species of viruses. It was hoped thus to develop entirely new species of viruses. If a virus were new, the argument went, the enemy would have no vaccines and no natural protection against it - making it a powerful weapon. However there was a problem. It might spread to friendly troops - or even create a worldwide pandemic!
But this did not deter the researchers. If such viruses were not researched, they argued in funding applications, then no protection could be developed against them. Therefore it was imperative this work be done. Of course strict biosafety would be maintained. No such virus would be allowed to escape from laboratories - or so they assured Congress.
They then gambled by trying to mutate SV40 by inserting genetic codes into it from a cat retrovirus (FELV), then codes from avian myeloblastosis virus (AMV) and from many other suspected pathogens. In this search many chimpanzees and monkeys were injected with these mutants and killed, creating a real risk of mutant monkey viruses contamination, and of these in turn mutating into new and dangerous human-infecting germs.
A significant part of this Pentagon-funded research was focussed on the theories of Bernice Eddy and Sarah Stewart that had linked viruses and cancers. Cancer cells had damaged DNA. Did viruses cause this damage? If they did, this opened the welcome possibility of anti-cancer vaccines - but also the possibility of terrifying new weapons.
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in 1969 Senator McCarthy called for the ending of biowarfare weapons research, after documenting thousands of careless and dangerous research errors.
The public pressure brought results. On Veterans Day, November 11, 1969, President Richard Nixon asked the US Senate to complete the long-overdue ratification of the 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons. On November 25 he signed an executive order outlawing offensive biological research in the United States and ordering stockpiles destroyed within five years. From now on biological research at Fort Detrick would be officially ‘defensive' in character, although there is evidence that offensive work quietly continued.
Lieutenant Colonel Lucien Winegar, deputy commander of Fort Detrick, said at the time that it would ‘be fair to assume' that they would continue to work with dangerous organisms since any defence required knowledge of those agents. For such purposes, the facility was then consuming every year some 4,000 monkeys and nearly a million rodents
By 1970 this research was developed in alarming directions. At the Department of Defense Appropriations Hearings of that year, the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Development, Charles L. Poor testified: ‘within the next five the ten years, it would probably be possible to make a new infective microorganism which could differ in certain important aspects from any known disease-causing organisms.'
Poor explained what would be so new about these germs. ‘Most important of these is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.' In other words, they were trying to design it to destroy, or critically damage, the human immune system.
Was he talking about making something like HIV? His description seems to fit. His words certainly aroused the suspicion of many. When a Dr Robert Strecker did a Freedom of Information Search, he found documentary evidence of a $10m US government grant made to develop this new immunosuppressant virus. It was estimated this development would take five years.
Some of the scientists involved, Drs. Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer, published their initial results in 1973. However their report did not mention a virus. Instead they reported success in splicing a gene into a common harmless stomach bacterium, escherichea coli, to make it immune to penicillin. They had thus created a dangerous super-bug that hospitals would find hard to fight.
Dr David Baltimore has since denied that the researchers of this period deliberately created ‘HIV,' saying they were incapable of such a feat. In a 2004 interview for WGBH's ‘Frontline' he said: ‘People have accused biological engineers of making HIV. No biological engineer could have made HIV because none of us had ever seen these capabilities before. We not only hadn't seen them in a virus; in many cases, they affected processes that we didn't even know were going on in cells at that time. We've learned a lot about cells by following what HIV is capable of doing, and we're still uncovering mechanisms that HIV has. This is now 20 years later.'
But what if cells subjected to the stress of these experiments had created retroviruses transformed by recombination? What if a cell mutated under this stress and produced malformed retroviruses? But I mostly wondered, when monkey viruses are put into human cells, or allowed to contaminate human cells, would they not try to change themselves into a form that can replicate in humans in order to survive - and if they did, could they not produce new epidemics? From what I had read, I then believed viruses had this ability. Are we not being constantly warned today that bird flu viruses might thus mutate to infect humans?
But at this point in my research I found more believable the polio-vaccine theory for the origin and spread of HIV - for this vaccine is made with cells from wild caught monkeys and we know monkey viruses got into this vaccine. For me, military research could not explain the spread of AIDS as well as did the vaccine theory, for the polio vaccine was rapidly distributed to millions around the world. If a monkey virus might have evolved to infect humans during this military research, it would have had much more opportunity to do so during the polio vaccine research.
From what I read, and what Baltimore wrote, the science of this period was only stumbling towards an understanding of viruses. If HIV evolved out of this research, it would, I though, have been by error rather than by deliberation. But if it had - then AIDS would have probably have started among military scientists and virologists - for which I could find absolutely no evidence.
But, the research that eventually linked a retrovirus, HIV, to AIDS did develop out of this hive of virology research. It began shortly after the National Cancer Institute expanded to include some of the biological warfare facilities. President Richard M. Nixon on October 19th, 1971, flew by helicopter to Fort Detrick to announce that the Fort would now house the ‘Frederick Cancer Research Facility of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)'. One of the scientists working at the NCI was a Dr Robert Gallo, a specialist on leukaemia, or cancers of the blood.
What would finally persuade me that HIV and AIDS was not spread either by biowarfare experiments or by the polio vaccine was the evidence I then came across that totally undermined the credibility of the HIV theory of AIDS.
- See next articles... - or the book
See dates of research in The Smoking Gun of AIDS: a 1971 Flowchart
December 6, 2000
It seems that the insertion of DNA into the E Coli bacteria is through holes blasted in the side of the bacteria with powerful electric pulses. What these do to a cell that naturally uses very weak currents of electricity can be imagined. See ‘Transformation of E. coli by Electroporation' UMBC University, Maryland. http://userpages.umbc.edu/~jwolf/m7.htm
This research is documented in Biological Weapons and America's Secret War: Germs by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg and William Broad. Published Simon and Schuster 2001. Page 70.
Dr Leonard Horwitz has documented this theory from government sources in his 1996 book Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola. Nature, Accident or Intentional?