Recently, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien tried to formally accuse China of allegedly collecting genetic data from foreigners to serve its own interests. At the same time, he stressed that having genetic data creates an advantage for China, and allows it to influence “certain groups and certain countries”.
It is noteworthy that Robert O’Brien said that the United States is concerned about the possibility of an “adversary” using genetic weapons, although the United States itself has been doing just that for a long time now. As far as the accusations leveled against China in Robert O’Brien’s speech are concerned, they are more evidence of Washington’s desire to divert the international community from repeated calls from Moscow and Beijing to investigate the true activities done by numerous Pentagon biological laboratories deployed by the United States around both Russian and Chinese national borders. For 20 years, Russia and most other countries, including China, have called for adopting the Protocol to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons to create a mechanism to enable verifying that countries are complying with their obligations not to create biological weapons. However, the US is the only country that opposes this initiative. Tensions surrounding this issue have escalated, and Washington’s reluctance to ensure transparency for its military biological activities in various parts of the world does raise questions about what is actually happening there, and what its real objective are.
In the former Soviet Union alone, there are 65 functioning secret American biological laboratories: 15 in Ukraine; 12 in Armenia; 15 in Georgia; 4 in Kazakhstan. In the United States itself, these kinds of activities are banned: in 1948, the US Congress banned research on the United States mainland that involves dangerous zoonotic diseases, with the exception a situation where permission has been expressly granted by the Secretary of Agriculture (21USC § 113a). Therefore, by creating a network of secret biological laboratories abroad, the Pentagon, in keeping with its own laws, is engaged in illegal activities with only one explainable purpose: creating biological weapons directed against the populations living in other countries, with the biological material luckily “within easy reach”.
It is worth reiterating that the United States, since the time of the Cold War, has possessed very advanced capabilities to develop chemical and biological weapons. The main problem with biological weapons is that they affect everyone, and are very difficult to create – for example, a virus that would infect only the Chinese, or the Aleuts, with the common cold. In addition, viruses mutate very quickly, and therefore biological weapons cannot be used without the risk of people infecting their own groups.
In human history, biological weapons have only been used a few times. For example, in 1763 white colonialists spread smallpox among the American Indian tribes using infected blankets, and in 1942 the British prepared a “Vegetarian Operation” against the Germans, which sought to infect livestock and the Germans themselves with anthrax delivered via linseed cakes (incidentally, following the “testing” done on these cakes on Gruinard Island, that island was unable to be used for over 50 years). There were also attempts to use biological weapons in Cuba, and there have been reports of these kinds of weapons used by the United States in the Korean War. For example, there was “Agent Orange”, which caused major damage and killed Vietnamese civilians, and even American soldiers. Japan also participated in testing of biological weapons, with its notorious “Unit 731” that conducted research on infecting humans with the bubonic plague.
Despite the fact that biological weapons were banned under the Geneva Protocol back in 1925, work on them was, and still is, being performed by military personnel in many countries. This is why the activity of numerous US biological laboratories abroad naturally arouses suspicions.
Concerning active collection efforts of biological material from other countries on the part of the United States itself, and the creation of biological weapons, it should be made clear that it has been doing this for a long time, and this is most likely part of a far-reaching project. It should suffice to remember the “Sea Spray” project back during the Cold War, when the US government wanted to understand which cities were the most susceptible to attacks made by biological weapons. Back then, as a “training experiment” in 1950, the US Navy sent a vessel to San Francisco with a cargo shipment of contaminated test tubes. Over the course of seven days, the US Navy sprayed a significant number of Serratia marcescens and Bacillus globigii bacteria from huge water cannons located on a minesweeper, forming an entire cloud that hovered over 800,000 residents of the bay area. The location of the operation was chosen because of its proximity to the sea, high population density, the presence of skyscrapers, and because the large cloud cover present in this area helped hide a lot of pathogenic substances, and contributed to its spread to nearby cities.
The Spanish publication Público recently told its readers in sufficient detail about that and quite a few other US experiments with biological weapons, noting in particular that the Pentagon allocated USD 300 million solely to implement a biological warfare program in the Central Profile Laboratory located in Tbilisi (Georgia), near its border with the Russian Federation.
The means that the field of modern molecular genetics has at its disposal could theoretically allow engineering pathogens that would affect the human population selectively. For example, it could afflict predominantly blond-haired, blue-eyed people, or a specific ethnic group.
In 2017, during work done by the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, President Vladimir Putin announced that “foreign experts” were collecting biological material from Russians living in different parts of the country. In July 2017, the US Air Force’s Federal Business Opportunity website even announced that it would purchase RNA samples from the synovial membrane of Russians with a European ethnic background.
Synovial fluid is the fluid that fills the cavity in the joints, and has an impact on their ability to move. It is common knowledge that arthritis in any army around the world, especially among cyber troops, is a very painful problem, since sitting for many hours in one position leads to an increased risk of arthritis, and to decreased combat capabilities for its soldiers. In the United States, for example, more than 42 million people suffer from arthritis, and every sixth person afflicted has a disability that stems from this disease. That is why studying liquids like these is required to try to create either a cure for arthritis or a vehicle that could possibly be used to have an impact on increasing the incidence rate of arthritis among a particular ethnic group, thereby inflicting damage on troop units and others with unimpaired mental capacity in an adversary country.
Taking into account that the announcement about acquiring RNA samples from Russians with a European ethnic background was made by the US military, it is quite understandable that the Pentagon by doing so did not intend to “treat Russian military personnel”. And the studies that were being compiled were clearly intended to develop a genetic weapon against a “US adversary”, meaning Russia, as the White House proclaimed.
It is noteworthy that the United States, to conceal its true intentions behind its military research, very often uses various nonprofit organizations, and even other countries, to help collect genetic material from the adversary country. In particular, in 2016 Norway was suspected of collecting biological material, which was doing it under the frankly far-fetched pretense of supposedly “studying the relationship between traffic accidents and the use of alcohol and psychoactive substances in Murmansk Region”.
And recently, under the pretext of supposedly “certifying food products”, US military biologists decided to study the genotype of Turkmen citizens. To accomplish this, at the initiative of the US Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Allan Mustard, they started to realize the concept of operating the Hill Standard microbiological laboratory, which opened in March last year with participation on the part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Along with that, regional media outlets paid special attention to the fact that immediately after quarantine measures were rolled back US military intelligence officers had planned to arrive in Ashgabat to “assist with the Hill Standard laboratory: A. Hall, M. Barnes, and M. Mitchell, whose track records have many special operations executed under the guise of various projects in many countries around the world”.
Vladimir Platov, an expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.