Does US Comply with International Bio-Weapons Ban?
Andrei AKULOV | 12.09.2013 | WORLD

Does US Comply with International Bio-Weapons Ban?

While the issue of Syrian chemical weapons stockpile is hitting the world media headlines, little attention is paid on the problem of US compliance with its international obligations related to weapons of mass destruction. 

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) is a legally binding treaty that outlaws biological arms. In force since 1975, it currently has 165 states-parties and 12 signatory states. The BWC reaffirms the 1925 Geneva Protocol which prohibits the biological weapons use. The seventh BWC review conference was held in December 2011. The Final Declaration document concluded that «under all circumstances the use of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons is effectively prohibited by the Convention and affirms the determination of States parties to condemn any use of biological agents or toxins other than for peaceful purposes, by anyone at any time».

In 1969, US President Richard Nixon ended all offensive aspects of the U.S. bio-weapons program. In 1975 the U.S. ratified both the 1925 Geneva Protocol and the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) — the international treaties outlawing biological warfare. Recent U.S. biodefense programs, however, have raised concerns that the U.S. may be pursuing research that is outlawed by the BWC. In February, 2008, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released report GAO-08-366 titled, «Chemical and Biological Defense, DOD and VA Need to Improve Efforts to Identify and Notify Individuals Potentially Exposed during Chemical and Biological Tests». The report stated that tens of thousands of military personnel and civilians may have been exposed to biological and chemical substances through DOD tests. In 2003, the DOD reported it had identified 5,842 military personnel and estimated 350 civilians as being potentially exposed during the testing known as Project 112.

At present many reports from different sources keep on saying the US is developing a new generation of weapons that undermine and possibly violate international treaties on biological and chemical warfare... 

According to journalist Jeffrey Silverman «A number of labs, strewn across Eastern Europe, are umbilically linked to the Biological Weapon Proliferation Prevention (BWPP) program and various projects within it, which is a cover for what is most likely an offensive program. If the strains turn out to be antibiotic resistant, ongoing research into viruses that eat bacteria, and attack infections that are antibiotic resistant can be quickly accessed. Whoever has such information controls the bioweapons battleground». He says, «One of the secret weapons labs inside the Republic of Georgia supplied weaponized Sarin gas to forces fighting the Assad regime. The purpose was simple. This was the only way to put «blood enemies» like Senator’s Graham and McCain in concert with the Obama administration».

This July the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its concern in connection with the publication of the U.S. Department of State’s report «On observance of international agreements in the field of arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament in 2012» that questions Russia's compliance with obligations of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). The Ministry’s response statement says, «The evidence is not given, as always. Meanwhile, the U.S. concerns could be long and completely eliminated, if the U.S. had not blocked the creation of a verification mechanism in the framework of the BTWC. Such a mechanism would also remove many questions to the United States in connection with the involvement of a number of American organizations in a large-scale biological activity of double application. As is known, the results of such activities may be used for purposes contrary to Article I of the BTWC». The Ministry also notes, «There is no documentary evidence that all the objects under the jurisdiction or control of the United States that had earlier participated in military biological programs, were destroyed or converted to peaceful purposes in accordance with Article II of the BTWC. And biological activity of the Ministry of Defense of the United States near Russia's borders causes our serious concern».

The apprehensions expressed have a solid ground. Some of the Pentagon’s labs are situated (and even more are built) in the vicinity of Russian borders. The former Soviet space is actively involved into the orbit of US biological efforts, which also encompass the Muslim world, China and actually acquire global dimension. 

Pentagon active in Ukraine

The US has been involved in building microbiological laboratories in Ukraine. Ukrainian newspaper «2000» reported some people who live in Kharkov came to it office to express concern over the plans to build a US biological laboratory in the vicinity of suburban town of Shelkostantsia near Merefa. The newspaper reports the Pentagon is in the process of building a network of biological laboratories across Ukraine and the program is in full swing up to the borders of Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Moldova. In Ukraine the US has already built laboratories in Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Lugansk, Lviv, Vinnitsa, Ternopol, Uzhhorod, Kiev, Simferopol and Kherson. Local people express anxiety over the possible collateral damage in case there is a leak of deadly substances. All the research activities in the country are conducted under an August 2005 Cooperative Threat Reduction agreement. The Pentagon (please note - not a civil agency, but the Defense Department) is responsible for the program. Similar agreements are concluded with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The agreement on cooperation in the field of microbiology between the US and Ukraine expired in May, but the program continues to be implemented. The US insists it should be prolonged till September 2017. 

Georgia- testing ground for US biological tests

In May 2013 a sensational statement was made by the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s former American advisor, journalist Jeffrey Silverman. According to him, a laboratory on the outskirts of Tbilisi is developing health hazardous being tested on local residents. Jeffrey Silverman’s interview was published in the local «Kvela Siakhle» newspaper and was subsequently aired by all main Georgian TV stations. Before that many concerns about this lab were raised in a 2011 article by Joni Simonishvili, entitled «Bio Weapons or Bio Health Reference Lab in Tbilisi Georgia?»

The facility is located in a place called Alexeyevka, an abandoned Soviet military base, today a suburb with a few thousand people living within a mile of the new building. Mr. Silverman believes that residents of Georgia have become a target of dangerous experiments - one of the most discussed topics in Georgia now. According to him, experiments with viruses have led to the spread of such dangerous illnesses as pig flu and measles. The Georgian government denies the allegation. Silverman is ready to go further. He promised to tell Georgians the whole truth about it shortly.

The journalist further claims that effort is being made to expand the program and have weaponized agents that can be used in bio warfare, «If there is a case of emergency, Georgia will be wiped off the face of the earth. In the Tbilisi laboratory they are preparing anthrax, measles, black plague and H1N1. It is possible that an artificial spread of these viruses takes place, such as measles, which today is a serious problem for this country».

On June 4, 2013 Gennady Onishchenko, Russia’s sanitary service Russia’s chief sanitary inspector, accused the U.S. of producing biological weapons in Georgia at a U.S. Navy facility that is run in concert with the Georgian government, «The existence of a US-run military lab that studied hazardous germs in a country adjacent to Russia raised concerns and was a stumbling block in the Russian-Georgian cooperation to stave off any sanitary or epidemic threats», the sanitary service, also known as Rospotrebnadzor, said in a statement. 

According to the sanitary watchdog, the recent epidemic of African swine fever was a planned act of economic sabotage. The virus, he said, jumped over from neigbouring Georgia, causing a severe outbreak in Russia’s south. Mr. Onishchenko also said the decommissioned US lab was to be run by Georgia’s National Center for Disease Control and Prevention. «Rospotrebnadzor expects that, as soon as the Georgian government fulfills its plan, our [Georgian and Russian] sanitary services will be able to join their forces to curb epidemic threats».

Kazakhstan-home to new US lab

By the end of this August media outlets reported that the U.S. was building a high-tech bubonic plague lab in Kazakhstan. The Central Reference Laboratory in Almaty, Kazakhstan is due for completion in 2015. The $102-million project laboratory is meant to serve as a Central Asian way station for a global war on dangerous disease. There is another smaller US-controlled lab at a military base in the town of Otar in western Kazakhstan on the Caspian Sea. Is it possible, as some Russian experts have alleged, that labs like this could serve as brain trusts and storehouses for weapons research, for either the US or their home countries? «Russia sees this as… a powerful offensive potential», Gennady Onishchenko told reporters in July.

China affected by US biological effort

In April, 2013 a Chinese Air Force officer accused the U.S. government of creating the new strain of bird flu now afflicting parts of China as a biological warfare attack. People’s Liberation Army Sr. Col. Dai Xu said the United States released the H7N9 bird flu virus into China in an act of biological warfare, according to a posting on his blog. The charge was first reported in the state-run Guangzhou newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily and then picked up by several news outlets in Asia. Dai is a military strategist who in the past has been outspoken in seeking to foment conflict between China and the United States. Writing on Sina Weibo, a Chinese micro blogging site akin to Twitter, Dai stated that the new bird flu strain was designed as a biological weapon similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which he also claimed was developed as a U.S. bio-weapon, that affected the country in 2003, «At that time, America was fighting in Iraq and feared that China would take advantage of the opportunity to take other actions», he said. «This is why they used bio-psychological weapons against China. All of China fell into turmoil and that was exactly what the United States wanted. Now, the United States is using the same old trick. China should have learned its lesson and should calmly deal with the problem».

Bio-weapons against Muslim world

This August Dr. Kevin Barrett, a prominent political analyst, reported that a bio-weapon would be distributed in flu vaccines in Muslim countries. It would alter human genomic expression to produce a sort of «chemical lobotomy», destroying the part of the brain associated with religiosity and spirituality. In other words, it would reduce its victims to a state lower than that of animals, who, unlike humans, were not created with spirituality and religiosity as a central feature of their being. The information was supported by an apparent Pentagon video leaked by the hacker group Anonymous. It details US military plans to develop and deploy a biological weapon that would destroy people's receptivity to religion in targeted Muslim populations. Barrett said the proposed bio-weapon would be distributed in flu vaccines and would «alter human genomic expression to produce a sort of chemical lobotomy». He described the Pentagon project as a «clear act of genocide» under international law. «The culture of Islamic societies is an intensely religious culture. Indeed, it is strong religiosity that holds these societies together. The murder of the central feature of the culture of 1.5 billion people would be by far the worst genocide ever attempted or even contemplated», he said. 

Barrett said the Pentagon plan was a threat to all of humanity, as religion and spirituality demand work towards justice. Therefore, the US plans to erase all religious and spiritual resistance in the world in order to gain more power and invade nations. Press TV said. «If they cannot kill off the just, the Pentagon psychopaths will be happy to give everyone a bio-chemical anti-spirituality lobotomy so that nobody will ever again work for justice in this world. This would, of course, signal the end of humanity», the analyst noted.

* * *

While Syria’s chemical stockpile is on international radar screen, the wider issue of American secret labs is being suppressed. The US is actively involved in the implementation of vast biological program, including the territories of other states in clear violation of its international commitments…

RELATED ARTICLES