1 March 2006
Review: ‘Biowarfare and Terrorism’ by Francis A Boyle
Before I even begin to review this ‘weapon of critical information’, I urge you not only to buy it but when you’ve finished reading it (it’s real short, so it shouldn’t overly tax our attention-deficit culture), post it to your MP, Congressman, Senator, the UN, your vicar/priest/imam/holy man/rabbi; give it to your neighbour, teacher, workmate, brother, sister, mum and dad. In short, shout it out from the rooftops; that the US government is an international criminal of staggering proportions and the entire Bush administration should be indicted as war criminals and every last one locked up and the key thrown away.
Okay, what are we dealing with here? Boyle’s short and impassioned book deals with the US government’s illegal multi-billion dollar biological weapons programme. A programme, that as Boyle makes abundantly clear presents itself as “defensive” but of course, in order to produce a ‘defense’, requires the development of offensive bioweapons.
In fact, the penalties involved for engaging in even the research into biological weapons under US domestic law are life imprisonment and under certain circumstances, even the death penalty as well as impeachment for the president (followed rapidly one hopes by life imprisonment).
But not only does it deal with the illegal bioweapons programme initiated under the Reagan government, continued under Clinton and vastly expanded under the current regime, it reveals the linkage between the anthrax attack on Congress and 911:
By means of this little charade, the greatest political crime in the history of the United States of America since its founding on 4 July 1776-the anthrax attacks on Congress, which served not only to deliver a terrorist threat to its members, but actually to close it down for a period-may remain officially unresolved forever. Could it truly be coincidental that two of the primary intended victims of the terrorist anthrax attacks-Senators Daschle and Leahe-were holding up the speedy passage of the pre-planned USA Patriot Act after the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001-an Act which provided the federal government with unprecedented powers in relation to US citizens and institutions? (p. 49)
Could it be that what really happened in the fall of 2001 was the proverbial “one-two punch” against the American Republic and the U.S. Constitution by the Pentagon, the CIA, the National Security Council, the FBI and the rest of what the former Soviet Union used to call its “power ministries”: NSA, DIA, NRO, etc. In other words, could America have suffered-without even remarking it-a coup d’état? (p.50)
No wonder the corporate media have ignored this small but devastating indictment of US war-making (I searched long and hard for a review of it in the MSM but to no avail). It is also in passing a savage indictment of the media which has ignored the issue entirely, from the true causes of Gulf War Syndrome through to the wholesale development of biological weapons by the US government including their supply to Saddam Hussein (straight from Fort Detrick).
Much of the book is given over to the specifics of the relevant treaties and laws on bioweapons and how the US has either ignored or attempted to circumvent them and Boyle dots the ‘i’s’ and crosses the ‘t’s’ as he is responsible for much of the content of these treaties, so who better to understand how the US has played fast and loose with them!
In exploring the nature of the US bioweapons programme Boyle also reveals the complicity of the universities and of the scientists employed in bioweapons development with billions of dollars of funding being channelled into campuses not only across the US but also overseas. He even warns them that they too are liable to life imprisonment for their work on bioweapons.
What makes Boyle’s book so important is that the man, almost single-handedly was responsible for all the major legislation, both domestic and international covering the outlawing of biological weapons, in particular the Biological Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989.
The United States has had an extremely aggressive, offensive biological warfare program dating back to World War II” but for a number of reasons, in 1969 Nixon halted its bioweapons programme.
One, because it considered bioweapons “counter-productive due to “blowback”” two, because “[a] Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) prohibiting “bios” would enable the nuclear weapons states of the world to maintain, consolidate and further extend their near monopoly on WMD that had just been codified by the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.”
Furthermore, the US considered bioweapons the ‘poor man’s nuclear weapons’ and was anxious that Third World countries didn’t acquire them.
Finally, in 1972 the US ratified the BWC but this didn’t stop the CIA from continuing its research and development of bioweapons. Moreover, the BWC had a massive loophole that did not prevent “research” for “prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes.”
Neither did the BWC prohibit their “use” in warfare.
And, as Boyle states:
“ominously there lurked in the bowels of the Pentagon the remnants of the old Chemical and Biological Warfare (CBW) Unit, waiting, wishing, hoping, planning, and scheming to spring back into life.” (p. 21)
And when Reagan got elected in 1981, they got their wish and the Reagan administration began to pour massive amounts of money into researching and developing biological agents for what they alleged to be “defensive” purposes.
In fact, in constant dollars, under Reagan the US:
“expended as much money on allegedly defensive biowarfare research as it had done when the US government had on an overtly offensive and aggressive biowarfare program.” (p.22)
But worse was to come.
The BWC does NOT cover genetic engineering research, the science didn’t exist when the BWC was enacted, and the same genetic engineering research can be put to both defensive and offensive uses.
The line between ‘research’ and development is extremely blurred but according to Article 1 of the BWC, the development of bioweapons is prohibited. One way of determining whether the line has been crossed is whether the bio-agents have been aerosolized for delivery as most bioweapons are designed to be ‘delivered’ through the air.
And it was here that the role of universities and research institutes across the US came into their own, with billions of dollars of genetic engineering contracts handed out, all under the guise of dual-use, defensive-offensive “research”. The programme was called the “Biological Defense Research Programme or BDRP.”
Under Bush Jnr, the programme became the Chemical and Biological Defense Program.
Boyle points out that by the late 1980s many “life-scientists” were turning into “death-scientists” using genetic engineering to develop offensive biological agents followed by the production of the allegedly “defensive” vaccine; testing the damnable things on animals; and then handing over their “research and development” to the Pentagon.
“From there the Pentagon could easily produce, stockpile, deploy, and use biological weapons in further breach of BWC Article 1.” (p.25)
In 1988, the Council for Responsible Genetics (CRG) asked Boyle to produce an analysis of Reagan’s BDRP as a Detailed Memorandum of Law (which is included in the book).
It became clear to Boyle that the university where he worked, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus “were engaged in the development of offensive biowarfare weapons, despite their public protestations to the contrary,” and Boyle points out that “American universities have a long history of willingly permitting their research agendas, researchers, institutes, and laboratories to be co-opted, corrupted, and perverted by the Pentagon and the CIA. (p.26)
The scale of the US bioweapons programme is staggering with $5.6 billion being spent on “Project Bioshield”, over the next ten years, and this just one facet of US bioweapons development. Overall, the amount being spent on bioweapons development is at least $22 billion!
Boyle reveals one particularly and very relevant aspect of its bioweapons development programme; the use of countries such as Iraq to “weaponize” these novel biological agents; in other words, get Iraq to test the damn things out on Iranian troops! This is precisely what happened when the Reagan government supplied them to Iraq, via the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“ATCC is a large private-sector scientific institute that cultures and stores every known type of disease occurring in nature for supposedly scientific purposes. It is therefore striking to note that both ATCC and CDC went along with the Reagan administration’s wanton breach of BWC by shipping these weapons-specific bio-agents to Iraq.” (p.32)
These shipments violated Article III of the BWC:
Each State Party to this convention undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever, directly or indirectly, and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any State, group of States or international organizations to manufacture or otherwise acquire any of the agents, toxins, weapons, equipment or means of delivery specified in article 1 of the Convention.
Under the proposed CRG legislation “these biowarfare transshipments would have subjected these Reaganite perpetrators to life imprisonment, so they fought the CRG draft implementing legislation right up to the time of their (temporary) political demise, which occurred when Bush Sr. was elected President in November 1988.”(pps.32-33)
And, not surprisingly, it’s the same gang of ultra-right, anti-communists that accompanied the Reagan years who, like the bioweapons programme, had been biding their time, and were resuscitated under Bush Sr, just in time for ‘Operation Desert Storm’ and the forced innoculation of US (and UK) troops with both anthrax and botulin toxin vaccines:
“not only prior to vaccine approval by the F.D.A. but without their informed consent and thereby in clear violation of the Nuremberg Code on Medical Experimentation.” (pps. 39-40)
And no wonder, as nobody knew that the:
“Reagan administration had surreptitiously shipped these weapons-specific biological agents to Iraq, and it was felt that Saddam Hussein had weaponized the anthrax and botulin toxin.” (p.40)
Boyle makes the criminality of the US actions abundantly clear:
“As always, the first illegal misstep compelled the second, which was criminal. Accordingly, what were then only experimental medical vaccines were injected into 500,000 U.S. armed forces deployed for Gulf War I by the Bush Sr. administration, as well as into the British troops similarly designated, turning the entire project into a massive live experiment, the results of which-due to its irregularity and indeed illegality-neither the scientific research community nor the Pentagon were able to counteract, since records of the effects of the vaccines were systematically NOT kept… As of today, more than 11,000 U.S. troops have died-but not from combat-and most of the rest suffer from the Gulf War Syndrome (GWS).” (p.41)
The scale of this crime against humanity surpasses that of the Nazi medical experiments conducted on the unfortunate occupants of the concentration camps. We are talking here about almost 600,000 human beings experimented on by the US government, without their knowledge or consent. And we are not even considering the crime of the effects of depleted uranium on both ‘coalition’ forces and the Iraqi population.
Boyle sums it up as follows:
“Bush Sr., Cheny, General Colin Powell … General “Stormin’” Norman Schwarzkopf, and the rest of the U.S. military High Command inflicted a Nuremburg Crime on United States armed forces by forcing them to take these experimental medical vaccines in violation of the Nuremburg Code on Medical Experimentation.” (p.41)
And if you think the criminal acts committed under Reagan, Bush Sr, and Bush Jr excludes Clinton, think again.
“The Clinton administration’s self-styled Neo-Liberals decided to reactivate massive Pentagon funding for dual-use, simultaneously offensive-defensive DNA genetic engineering biowarfare contracts despite the fact that the Reaganite Neo-Cons and their BDRP scientist accomplices had already “researched” most naturally occurring bio-agents to death almost a decade beforehand … These Clintonite Neo-Liberal biowarfare programs violated both the Biological Weapons Convention, and the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, initiated by the Committee for Responsible Genetics.”
Boyle deals at length with the anthrax attack on Congress following 9/11 that I referred to above, buy the book to get the details.
The crimes committed by the US as laid out in Boyle’s small book are staggering and made all the more so by the fact that the MSM has ignored them almost without exception and no wonder, were the mainstream media to go for the jugular over the monstrous crimes committed by US capitalism, almost the entire government of the United States not to mention the tens of thousands of “life-scientists” who are involved in the development of these Weapons of Mass Annihilation, would have to face the reality that at the very least, they would have to serve life sentences for their crimes.
Biowarfare and Terrorism by Francis A. Boyle, Clarity Press Inc, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2005. $12.95