The US Army regularly produces deadly viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN Convention on the prohibition of Biological Weapons. The research involved indigenous insects which could be weaponized at will, in order to eliminate a specific genome, e.g. Chinese via SARS, Malays via Dengue.
WMD America: Inside the Pentagon’s Global Bioweapons Industry
By Dilyana Gaytandzhieva
21st Century Wire
The US Army regularly produces deadly viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN Convention on the prohibition of Biological Weapons.
As a result, many hundreds of thousands of unwitting people are systematically exposed to dangerous pathogens, and other potentially incurable diseases. This highly classified network of R &D and production facilities includes an array of US government private contracts, which raises additional concerns about privatised chains of command and public accountability.
While much of the mainstream discourse of this subject centres around the asymmetric threat posed by non-state actors procuring and using biological agents in ‘bioterrorism’ attacks, very little if any investigation is done into the very real threat posed by states and private companies who are involved in this highly opaque industry.
Part One: US Overseas Bio-Laboratories Network
Bio warfare scientists using diplomatic cover test man-made viruses at Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world.
These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program – Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.
Georgia is a testing ground for bioweapons
The Lugar Center is the Pentagon bio laboratory in Georgia. It is located just 17 km away from the US Vaziani military airbase in the capital Tbilisi. Tasked with the military program are biologists from the US Army Medical Research Unit-Georgia (USAMRU-G) along with private contractors. The Bio-safety Level 3 Laboratory is accessible only to US citizens with security clearance. They are accorded diplomatic immunity under the 2002 US-Georgia Agreement on defense cooperation.
(including diplomatic vehicles), working on the Pentagon program in Georgia.
Information obtained from the US federal contracts registry clarifies some of the military activities at The Lugar Center – among them research on bio-agents (anthrax, tularemia) and viral diseases (e.g. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever), and the collection of biological samples for future experiments.
Pentagon contractors produce bio agents under diplomatic cover
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has outsourced much of the work under the military program to private companies, which are not held accountable to Congress, and which can operate more freely and move around the rule of law. US civilian personnel performing work at The Lugar Center have also been given diplomatic immunity, although they are not diplomats. Hence, private companies can perform work, under diplomatic cover, for the US government without being under the direct control of the host state – in this case the Republic of Georgia. This practice is often used by the CIA to provide cover for its agents.
Three private American companies work at the US bio-laboratory in Tbilisi – CH2M Hill, Battelle and Metabiota. In addition to the Pentagon, these private contractors perform biological research for the CIA and various other government agencies.
CH2M Hill has been awarded $341.5 million DTRA contracts under the Pentagon’s program for bio-laboratories in Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan, South East Asia. Half of this sum ($161.1 million), being allocated to The Lugar Center, under the Georgian contract.
According to CH2M Hill, the US Company has secured biological agents and employed former bio warfare scientists at The Lugar Center. These are scientists who are working for another American company involved in the military program in Georgia – Battelle Memorial Institute.
Battelle as a $59 million subcontractor at Lugar Center has extensive experience in research on bio-agents, as the company has already worked on the US Bio-weapons Program under 11 previous contracts with the US Army (1952-1966).
The private company performs work for the Pentagon’s DTRA bio laboratories in Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Battelle conducts research, development, testing, and evaluation using both highly toxic chemicals and highly pathogenic biological agents for a wide range of US government agencies. It has been awarded some $2 billion federal contracts in total and ranks 23 on the Top 100 US government contractors list.
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