Pentagon sent live anthrax to Britain as well


This video says about itself:

19 July 2011

Anthrax is a serious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that forms spores. Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that is transmissible to humans through the handling or consumption of contaminated animal products.

From the Daily Mirror in Britain:

Deadly ANTHRAX samples sent to UK after high security US defence facility blunder

17:43, 9 June 2015

By Christopher Bucktin

The American Defence Department has added Britain to the list of countries with laboratories that had received the deadly bacteria

The Pentagon has admitted a high security American biodefense facility mistakenly sent live anthrax samples to a laboratory in the UK.

The American Defence Department has added Britain to the list of countries with laboratories that had received the deadly bacteria.

Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed an unidentified laboratory in the UK had been wrongly sent anthrax.

It comes less than a week after it emerged a US military base in Utah sent live anthrax samples to three other foreign nations as well as 51 laboratories in 17 American states – more than previously disclosed.

The other countries were Australia, Canada and South Korea.

At least four batches of anthrax samples shipped from the US military’s Utah Dugway Proving Ground lab contained live spores.

The anthrax was sent via Fed Ex.

Red faced Pentagon chiefs scrambled to contain the deadly bacteria last week as the Defence Department said it is testing “at least” 400 batches to see if any of it is alive.

The scandal was only discovered when an independent lab in Maryland began to cultivate live anthrax from a shipment, that began being sent in 2006, that was supposed to be dead.

Four labs have been found to be shipping anthrax although Dugway Proving Ground is at the centre of the scandal.

The Defence Department said there is no sign that the sending of the samples of the potentially lethal bacteria was the result of deliberate action. …

Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, forms spores that, if inhaled, can cause serious death.

ISIS’ weapons from the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

ISIS/Daesh terrorists armed by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE

4 October 2014

US Vice President Joe Biden openly admits at a speech in Harvard University that ISIS terrorists were armed and funded by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

The US arming of ISIS

3 June 2015

Ministers from 20 countries assembled in Paris June 2 in what was billed as a meeting of the coalition to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This alliance, cobbled together by Washington, consists largely of NATO allies together with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf oil monarchies.

Notably absent from the proceedings were three countries that have been heavily involved in the fight against ISIS: Syria, Iran and Russia. This was by US design.

At the outset of the Paris meeting, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi accused the world of having “failed” Iraq, calling attention to the recent advances of ISIS in both Iraq and Syria as well as the uninterrupted flow of Islamist foreign fighters into both countries.

For his part, US Deputy Under Secretary of State Anthony Blinken insisted that Washington and its allies are pursuing a “winning strategy,” and that it would succeed “if we remain united, determined and focused.”

Over the past several weeks, this “winning strategy” has seen ISIS capture Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province, as well as the historic city of Palmyra in Syria. In the past few days, ISIS forces have advanced into Aleppo province in Syria, overrunning rival Islamist militias and Syrian government troops as well. This offensive has proceeded without any interference from US and allied warplanes supposedly waging an air war against ISIS.

“Focused” is scarcely a word that any objective observer would use to describe US policy in the region. While claiming to be committed to a war against ISIS, Washington and its regional allies have time and again proven themselves to be its principal sources of strength.

This movement did not exist until the US launched its criminal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and stoking sectarian tensions as part of a strategy of divide-and-conquer that deliberately pitted Shiites and Sunnis against each other.

It grew stronger based on the US-NATO war for regime change in Libya, which utilized Al Qaeda-linked militias—now affiliated with ISIS—as ground troops in overthrowing and murdering Muammar Gaddafi and plunging the country into a state of chaos that continues to this day. It was further strengthened by the US-backed war for regime change in Syria, in which ISIS emerged as the most powerful faction in the bloody sectarian war to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The latest ISIS offensive has been made possible by a massive infusion of US weapons. Prime Minister Abadi admitted Monday that the Islamists captured some 2,300 armored Humvees—worth over one billion dollars—when it routed Iraqi security forces in Mosul nearly a year ago.

In a Reuters column Tuesday, Peter Van Buren, a former US State Department official in Iraq, reported that, in addition, at least 40 M1A2 main battle tanks as well as vast quantities of “small arms and ammunition, including 74,000 machine guns, and as many as 52 M198 howitzer moil gun systems” fell into the hands of the Islamist militia.

There is an inherent logic in the flow of US arms to ISIS, which, while officially branded as America’s most dangerous terrorist threat, is at the same time the most powerful military opponent of the Assad government in Syria.

It would not be the first time that American weapons were funneled to an ostensible enemy in order to further the counterrevolutionary aims of US imperialism. Thirty years ago, a similar scenario played out in what became known as the Iran-Contra affair, with a secret network in the White House organizing the sale of arms to Iran—then labeled by Washington as a terrorist nation—to fight against Iraq and, most crucially, to obtain money to secretly and illegally finance and arm the so-called contras in a CIA-orchestrated terrorist war against Nicaragua.

Whether or not similar behind-the-scenes machinations underlie the massive rearmament of ISIS, it would appear that different factions within the US government and its gargantuan military and intelligence apparatus are waging different wars in Iraq and Syria.

For a sizable faction within the US ruling establishment, the overthrow of Assad and with it the isolation, weakening and ultimate destruction of the governments of both Iran and Russia remain the overriding strategic aims. In the absence of the so-called moderate rebels that US imperialism and its pseudo-left apologists have tirelessly attempted to conjure up, they are prepared to utilize ISIS, the Al Nusra Front and similar Al Qaeda-linked elements to further these ends.

These strategic aims far outweigh any concern over terrorism, which they believe has its own uses as a means of terrorizing the American people into accepting war and police state measures.

This orientation likewise has a long history, going back to the US backing of Islamist elements in Afghanistan with the aim of giving the Soviet Union what was then described as its “own Vietnam.” That venture produced the Al Qaeda movement, which is officially blamed for the attacks of 9/11.

On the superficial level of media analysis, it becomes increasingly difficult to make any sense of American foreign policy. The apparent pursuit of inherently contradictory policies is bound up with the unavoidable difficulties that arise from attempting to exert control over the entire planet. Inevitably, this quest produces one catastrophe after another, from Afghanistan, to Iraq, to Libya, Syria and beyond.

Behind the apparent incoherence of American policy lie objectives that, at their deepest level, are wholly irrational. That is, the attempt to prop up by military means a position of global political hegemony that is already in advanced and irretrievable decline.

The bid by Washington to overcome by means of armed violence powerful objective tendencies rooted in the historic crisis of US and world capitalism yields a succession of utterly reckless and destructive interventions that together drive inexorably toward a Third World War.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged the coalition on Tuesday to allow his country to obtain weapons from Russia and Iran, both subject to Western sanctions, adding that little material aid had arrived from the US and its allies: here.

Pentagon sending live anthrax all over the world


This video from the USA says about itself:

Questionable anthrax sent to 51 labs

3 June 2015

CNN’s Barbara Starr reports that anthrax that may be alive was sent to dozens of labs across the United States.

From USA TODAY:

Number of live anthrax shipments to labs expands, officials say

Alison Young and Tom Vanden Brook

June 3, 2015

WASHINGTON — Live samples of anthrax were shipped from a military lab to 51 other laboratories in 17 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

That’s more than twice as many laboratories as previously believed, according to the preliminary results of an investigation led by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.

“We expect this number may rise,” Work said.

The Pentagon will finish by the end of June its study of why an Army lab mistakenly sent out the potentially deadly anthrax samples, said Frank Kendall, the military’s top acquisition chief.

Work has been charged with determining why the tainted vials were sent and preventing it from happening again. Also leading the investigation: Kendall, Navy Cdr. Franca Jones, chief of medical programs for chemical and biological defense, and Stephen Redd, a top official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kendall said Wednesday that his team will examine the root causes for the shipments and other military procedures. …

Potentially bad batches of anthrax date back as long as 10 years, Jones said.

The Pentagon’s probe will look into the reason its irradiation failed to kill the anthrax and why testing failed to discover it, Work said. …

The states, according to a Pentagon statement, are California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina. The three countries are Australia, Canada and South Korea.

Until Wednesday, little information had been released by the military or CDC about what may have gone wrong in the procedure used by the lab at the Dugway Proving Ground, which was supposed to have killed the specimens of anthrax before they were shipped to other facilities.

Several of the labs that received the specimens in late April were working on a project with the Department of Defense to develop a new diagnostic test to identify biological threats.

John Peterson, a microbiology professor who works with anthrax in labs at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said generally that scientists face challenges when they seek to kill anthrax spores, especially if some remnant of the pathogen is needed for testing detection equipment. Tests and sensors often are looking for certain proteins or nucleic acids associated with the pathogen, he said.

“The process of inactivating them is kind of a delicate one,” he said, noting that the method must be sufficient to kill all of the spores yet still leave something behind that’s reminiscent of the organism so the material can be used to test detection equipment.

“Spores, because of their nature, their very heavy outside coating make them resistant to drying or chemicals,” Peterson said in an interview with USA TODAY.

Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, forms spores that, if inhaled, can cause serious disease.

There is no single, best method for killing anthrax spores, Peterson said, and methods may vary between labs. Some use chemicals, others use radiation. The Dugway lab was reportedly irradiating its anthrax specimens. …

CDC and military officials would not answer USA TODAY’s questions about Dugway’s anthrax deactivation method, how long it had been in use and why problems with it weren’t identified until May 22. On May 22, an unidentified private biotechnology company in Maryland called the CDC to say they had been able to culture small amounts of live Bacillus anthracis from one of the Dugway samples, even though it supposedly had been deactivated.

The apparent verification test done by the Maryland lab launched a massive military and federal investigation that has since extended to other countries. It’s unclear why Dugway and other labs didn’t detect that the specimens were viable. On Friday USA TODAY reported that a supposedly killed anthrax specimen from 2008 was also recently found to be capable of growing, raising concerns last week that the scope of the problem was far larger than just the labs that got a few recent anthrax specimens. …

The military lab’s anthrax mistakes is the latest in a series of high-profile accidents at major U.S. laboratories that have occurred since last summer. A USA TODAY Network investigation (biolabs.usatoday.com) published last week revealed hundreds of additional accidents have occurred with little public scrutiny.

See also here.

Pentagon’s anthrax scandal spreads to Canada: here. And here.

Biosafety blunder as US sends live anthrax to labs around world: here.

U.S. Government: Oops We Mailed Potentially Deadly Anthrax Around the World: here.

Why did the US Army ship live anthrax? Here.

US Centers for Disease Control anthrax investigations reveal widespread safety issues: here.

Pentagon, kill more Syrian civilians, New York Times says


This video from the USA says about itself:

Iraq Reports Civilian Casualties in U.S. Airstrikes on ISIS

13 October 2014

Iraq has reported civilian casualties resulting from U.S. airstrikes targeting ISIS. According to the Los Angeles Times about 18 civilian casualties were found after a building was bombed in Euphrates River Valley town, Hit. The U.S. military has denied that there is any evidence of the reported casualties. Are these casualties inevitable when carrying out airstrikes in highly populated areas? We discuss it, in this Lip News clip with Mark Sovel and Elliot Hill.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

The New York Times calls for blood in Iraq-Syria war

27 May 2015

The New York Times published a major front-page critique Tuesday of the Obama administration’s military tactics in the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The article quotes several US and Iraqi military and intelligence officials, most of them unnamed, denouncing the supposed restraint on bombing due to excessive fears of killing civilians.

The article’s headline, “With ISIS in Cross Hairs, U.S. Holds Back to Protect Civilians,” gives the flavor of the piece, suggesting that ISIS could be easily crippled or destroyed if only the White House were not so squeamish.

Reporter Eric Schmitt—one of a group of Times correspondents who are regular conduits for the CIA and Pentagon—begins the article, “American intelligence analysts have identified seven buildings in downtown Raqqa in eastern Syria as the main headquarters of the Islamic State. But the buildings have gone untouched during the 10-month allied air campaign.

“And just last week, convoys of heavily armed Islamic State fighters paraded triumphantly through the streets of the provincial capital Ramadi in western Iraq after forcing Iraqi troops to flee. They rolled on unscathed by coalition fighter-bombers.”

An accompanying photograph shows ISIS fighters brandishing weapons atop an armored personnel carrier parading through the streets of Raqqa, the de facto ISIS capital in eastern Syria. The obvious implication is that what could be targeted for a photograph could also be targeted for a smart bomb or drone-fired missile.

Schmitt continues: “American and allied warplanes are equipped with the most precise aerial arsenal ever fielded. But American officials say they are not striking significant—and obvious—Islamic State targets out of fear that the attacks will accidentally kill civilians.”

According to Schmitt, “But many Iraqi commanders, and even some American officers, argue that exercising such prudence is harming the coalition’s larger effort to destroy the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or Daesh, and that it illustrates the limitations of American air power in the Obama administration’s strategy.”

And further, “A persistent complaint of Iraqi officials and security officers is that the United States has been too cautious in its air campaign, frequently allowing columns of Islamic State fighters essentially free movement on the battlefield.”

The language is provocative. The US targeting process is “often cumbersome”; critics “say there are too few warplanes carrying out too few missions under too many restrictions.” Pilots hover over targets for hours waiting “for someone to make a decision to engage or not.” US officials responded to Iraqi targeting requests by attacking “the least important 5 percent” of targets, and “either neglected our requests or responded very late.”

Schmitt quotes exactly one critic by name, a Major Muhammed al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi officer in Anbar province, who blames alleged US “restraint” for the loss of Ramadi and other Iraqi military defeats. Two other sources are described as the “pilot of an American A-10 attack plane” and an Iraqi “army commander in Salahuddin Province, of which Tikrit is the capital.” Otherwise, the critics are merely referred to in the most general terms, suggesting that the article is not the product of genuine investigation, but a semi-official trial balloon, alerting the television producers and newspaper editors who take their lead from the Times that a significant shift in US military tactics is being prepared.

When Seymour Hersh published his recent exposé of US government lies about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, he was harshly attacked by critics in the corporate-controlled media for relying heavily on witnesses whose identities had to be kept secret for their own protection.

Schmitt uses anonymous sources for the opposite purpose—not to debunk US government lies, but to spread them, putting into circulation the propaganda of the military-intelligence apparatus, backed by powerful political forces, including the entire Republican Party and significant sections of the Obama administration itself. But there will be no media pundits denouncing Schmitt and the Times for their “thinly sourced” report on the US bombing campaign against ISIS.

As Glenn Greenwald points out today in the Intercept, the Times article fails the most elementary test of journalistic objectivity, since it accepts without question the claims of the Pentagon and CIA that the US bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria has up to now spared civilians. Greenwald cites credible claims from independent observers of nearly 1,000 civilians killed by US bombing since the air war against ISIS began last summer.

The actual figures given in the Schmitt article are 12,500 ISIS fighters killed and only two Syrian children as collateral damage—ludicrous Pentagon numbers that echo CIA Director John Brennan’s claim, at one point in the drone war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that there had not been a single civilian casualty.

It is notable that Schmitt directly compares the supposedly feeble US air campaign against ISIS—only 15 strikes a day, with three quarters of planes returning without dropping their bomb loads because of restrictions on targeting—to the more aggressive campaigns in Libya (50 strikes a day), the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 (85 strikes a day), and the 2003 invasion of Iraq (a staggering 800 strikes a day), in what was described by the Bush administration as an effort to produce “shock and awe” among the Iraqi victims.

The conclusion is ominous: the US government and its Arab and imperialist allies are preparing to escalate the air war in Iraq and Syria to produce thousands, if not tens of thousands, of civilian casualties.

Schmitt’s article is a signal to begin preparing the American people to accept war crimes on the scale of the previous US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it is a demonstration that the Times, which sets the political agenda for the bulk of the American media, will play its role in justifying and covering up for these crimes.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday that the US had agreed to provide air support for so-called “moderate rebels” being trained in Turkey, once they cross the border into Syria: here.