13.05.2017 Author: Henry Kamens

BWC Violations in Georgia and Ukraine: “Two Grey Research Bio Weapons Banana Republics”

673453434There was a time when the US stood for what was right, and was willing to make the ultimate sacrifices for the public good. But those days are gone, and now we know to what lengths it is capable of going in order to maintain its position in the world.

As Gordon Duff of Veterans Today wrote last year: “Despite treaties prohibiting the use of biological and chemical weapons, treaties prohibiting the development and use of nuclear weapons and the wars, some passive through sanctions and others, wholesale slaughter such as the invasion of Iran in 2003, something entirely different is going on.”

Take biological weapons for instance, as highlighted by a recent media release. The Russian foreign ministry reported that the US is surrounding Russia with labs specialising in biological weapons.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is now making official what many insiders know is true – that there is a US “military-biological infrastructure” on the borders of Russia and this is a “real and present danger”. To add injury to insult, the MFA describes how the US is refusing to answer questions as to what is being dispatched from these alleged military bio weapons labs.

Message was published on MFAs’ web-site because of disagreements with American position, outlined in State Departments’ report towards abidance of disarmament and non-proliferation agreements by States. The MFA also writes about US imposing sanctions based on “far-fetched excuses” and intensification of NATO bases close to Russia’s borders. After follows blocking the Convention which prohibits biological and toxic weaponry. It is indicated that US blocked the researching work on compromise exactly at the decisive moment.

The first person to [openly] talk about the threat posed by the Lugar Lab was American journalist Jeffrey Silverman – who has lived mainly in Georgia for the last 25 years.

Silverman has repeated many times in the Russian and Georgian media that this lab, and the PR associated with it, are attempts to bypass the Bio Weapons Convention (BWC), which prohibits research into, and the development of, bioweapons. Basically, this treaty bans anyone from conducting further research into dangerous biological agents (substances) which can be weaponised.

The BWC is a legislative charter (binding treaty), and prohibits the existence of biological weapons and their use, and also the testing of them on humans.

The US based Veterans Today publication has identified bioweapons facilities in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Romania and, of course, the United States.

All these labs claim to be studying various diseases. However this curious and unexplained research, which seldom or never leads to any findings, is little more than a childish cover for mischief, which in Georgia, as we can read below, is now long proven.

Damage Control

One only needs to see how these allegations are reported in the US-funded media in Georgia, in which a bio weapons lab, called such in various Congressional Reports, is transformed into a medical research centre.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern over the U.S.-funded medical research facility in Tbilisi in its April 29 statement criticising America’s claims of compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).  This statement was issued in response to the U.S. State Department’s 2017 report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, which read, in part:

In 2016, the United States continued to be in compliance with all of its obligations under arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and continues to make every effort to comply scrupulously with them. When other countries have formally raised a compliance concern regarding U.S. implementation activities, the United States has carefully reviewed the matter to confirm its actions were in compliance with its obligations.

The Russian MFA responded that, on the contrary, some questions on American compliance remain unanswered, and that this was causing “growing concern” in Moscow. As an example it cited US refusal to answer questions about the dispatch of samples from its bio weapons repositories, such as the anthrax samples sent from its military laboratory in Georgia and others such as those in Ukraine. American conduct is forcing Russia to “think about the real, not publicly declared, military-biological agenda of the United States,” its Foreign Ministry said.

Meanwhile the Georgian, Ukrainian and the US governments are doing everything they can to keep this activity secret and discredit anyone who tries to expose the dual purpose research— doing everything possible to misinform the people and even prevent the deaths of foreign workers at the Lugar lab coming out.

Cat out of Bag

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s response to the U.S. report also mentioned the deployment of missile defence in Europe, perhaps one of the gravest non-observances of any contract. Describing this as having “the most unfavourable impact on the international security system” it stated that “The US continues testing using missile targets similar in characteristics to ballistic missiles” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also mentions the “far-fetched pretext” of sanctions and the strengthening of NATO at the borders of Russia.

The statement also highlights U.S. blocking of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, saying that at the decisive moment in talks on this agreement the U.S. blocked efforts to find a compromise.

All this is what Veterans Today and other non-mainstream media outlets, including Russian ones, have been discussing for years. They have done some good investigative work and let the cat out of the bag.

The damage control in Georgia has become more urgent precisely because an American, Mr. Silverman, is revealing what the U.S. is doing there. But neither Georgia nor the U.S. are actually providing evidence of the supposedly peaceful work being undertaken in this lab, instead saying that any criticism of it is the work of the Russian media, and therefore purely political.

This so-called “myth detector” site, and others which are used, are funded by USAID. This is like setting a security firm run by foxes to guard a chicken coop. In this case the foxes are the US government and the Open Society, or rather Soros, Foundation.

This Website is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) The contents of this Web site are the sole responsibility of Media Development Foundation (MDF) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States government.

The views, opinions and statements expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs only and do not necessarily reflect the position of Open Society Georgia Foundation. Therefore, the Open Society Georgia Foundation is not responsible for the content of the information material.

We are asked to believe that these websites are not controlled by their erstwhile funders. However we also remember how Voice of America, which is ultimately funded by the same sources, produced programmes a few years back attacking Veterans Today, also American, and its “collaborators” in the Georgian media, i.e., the only people then carrying the story about the lab.

They Could if they Wanted

The U.S. has invested a lot of time and resources in training operatives to counter bioterrorism and prevent the proliferation of biological weapons- related technology, pathogens and expertise at source. For instance, the US Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA) work to eliminate the BW Production Facility at Stepnogorsk, Kazakhstan back in the early nineties.

Therefore they know exactly how such facilities work. Writers with military backgrounds, such as Jeffrey Silverman, have accessed the design plans for the Tbilisi lab and spoken to victims and contractors who worked on it, who know what they are talking about. They have investigated its design flaws and the safety shortcuts made in pathogen containment.

One only needs to look the track record of the various contractors, universities and private sector companies involved to connect the dots. Cooperative Threat Reduction Integrating Contractors (CTRIC) (Bechtel, Raytheon, Black & Veatch) and even some public universities are involved in this alleged public and animal health lab, including Penn State and the University of New Mexico.

Lugar Lab progress reports, made under the Threat Agent Detection and Response Program “TADR”, which are NOT secret but nevertheless not readily available to the public and media, openly state that the work of the centre is to “facilitate transfer of EDPs, especially dangerous pathogens and data to DOD, and the US Government.”

This information in itself confirms Russian claims that especially dangerous pathogens are being transferred from such research sites. It is easy to claim that these bio labs are there to improve biosafety and biosecurity, but are the risks worth it? Their mere presence violates the BWC. It also demonstrates that as far as the U.S. is concerned, bno treaty is worth the paper it is written on. Is this the sort of world we want to live in?

Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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