The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
 TeasersWhitney Webb Blogview

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter

Far from being a war against “white supremacy,” the Biden administration’s new “domestic terror” strategy clearly targets primarily those who oppose US government overreach and those who oppose capitalism and/or globalization.

In the latest sign that the US government’s War on Domestic Terror is growing in scope and scale, the White House on Tuesday revealed the nation’s first ever government-wide strategy for confronting domestic terrorism. While cloaked in language about stemming racially motivated violence, the strategy places those deemed “anti-government” or “anti-authority” on a par with racist extremists and charts out policies that could easily be abused to silence or even criminalize online criticism of the government.

Even more disturbing is the call to essentially fuse intelligence agencies, law enforcement, Silicon Valley, and “community” and “faith-based” organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, as well as unspecified foreign governments, as partners in this “war,” which the strategy makes clear will rely heavily on a pre-crime orientation focused largely on what is said on social media and encrypted platforms. Though the strategy claims that the government will “shield free speech and civil liberties” in implementing this policy, its contents reveal that it is poised to gut both.

Indeed, while framed publicly as chiefly targeting “right-wing white supremacists,” the strategy itself makes it clear that the government does not plan to focus on the Right but instead will pursue “domestic terrorists” in “an ideologically neutral, threat-driven manner,” as the law “makes no distinction based on political view—left, right or center.” It also states that a key goal of this strategic framework is to ensure “that there is simply no governmental tolerance . . . of violence as an acceptable mode of seeking political or social change,” regardless of a perpetrator’s political affiliation.

Considering that the main cheerleaders for the War on Domestic Terror exist mainly in establishment left circles, such individuals should rethink their support for this new policy given that the above statements could easily come to encompass Black Lives Matter–related protests, such as those that transpired last summer, depending on which political party is in power.

Once the new infrastructure is in place, it will remain there and will be open to the same abuses perpetrated by both political parties in the US during the lengthy War on Terror following September 11, 2001. The history of this new “domestic terror” policy, including its origins in the Trump administration, makes this clear.

It’s Never Been Easier to Be a “Terrorist”

In introducing the strategy, the Biden administration cites “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” as a key reason for the new policy and a main justification for the War on Domestic Terror in general. This was most recently demonstrated Tuesday in Attorney General Merrick Garland’s statement announcing this new strategy. However, the document itself puts “anti-government” or “anti-authority” “extremists” in the same category as violent white supremacists in terms of being a threat to the homeland. The strategy’s characterization of such individuals is unsettling.

For instance, those who “violently oppose” “all forms of capitalism” or “corporate globalization” are listed under this less-discussed category of “domestic terrorist.” This highlights how people on the left, many of whom have called for capitalism to be dismantled or replaced in the US in recent years, could easily be targeted in this new “war” that many self-proclaimed leftists are currently supporting. Similarly, “environmentally-motivated extremists,” a category in which groups such as Extinction Rebellion could easily fall, are also included.

In addition, the phrasing indicates that it could easily include as “terrorists” those who oppose the World Economic Forum’s vision for global “stakeholder capitalism,” as that form of “capitalism” involves corporations and their main “stakeholders” creating a new global economic and governance system. The WEF’s stakeholder capitalism thus involves both “capitalism” and “corporate globalization.”

The strategy also includes those who “take steps to violently resist government authority . . . based on perceived overreach.” This, of course, creates a dangerous situation in which the government could, purposely or otherwise, implement a policy that is an obvious overreach and/or blatantly unconstitutional and then label those who resist it “domestic terrorists” and deal with them as such—well before the overreach can be challenged in court.

Another telling addition to this group of potential “terrorists” is “any other individual or group who engages in violence—or incites imminent violence—in opposition to legislative, regulatory or other actions taken by the government.” Thus, if the government implements a policy that a large swath of the population finds abhorrent, such as launching a new, unpopular war abroad, those deemed to be “inciting” resistance to the action online could be considered domestic terrorists.

Such scenarios are not unrealistic, given the loose way in which the government and the media have defined things like “incitement” and even “violence” (e. g., “hate speech” is a form of violence) in the recent past. The situation is ripe for manipulation and abuse. To think the federal government (including the Biden administration and subsequent administrations) would not abuse such power reflects an ignorance of US political history, particularly when the main forces behind most terrorist incidents in the nation are actually US government institutions like the FBI (more FBI examples here, here, here, and here).

Furthermore, the original plans for the detention of American dissidents in the event of a national emergency, drawn up during the Reagan era as part of its “continuity of government” contingency, cited popular nonviolent opposition to US intervention in Latin America as a potential “emergency” that could trigger the activation of those plans. Many of those “continuity of government” protocols remain on the books today and can be triggered, depending on the whims of those in power. It is unlikely that this new domestic terror framework will be any different regarding nonviolent protest and demonstrations.

 

While more revelations about the Bill Gates–Jeffrey Epstein relationship have begun trickling out following the Gates’s divorce announcement, the strong evidence pointing to their relationship beginning decades prior to 2011 continues to be covered up by the media—not necessarily to protect Bill but to protect Microsoft.

In early May, the announcement that Bill and Melinda Gates would be divorcing after twenty-seven years of marriage shocked both those that praise and those that loathe the “philanthropic” power couple.

Less than a week after the initial announcement of the divorce, on May 7, the Daily Beast reported that Melinda Gates had allegedly been “deeply troubled” by Bill Gates’s relationship with child sex trafficker and intelligence asset Jeffrey Epstein. The report suggested that Melinda was a major reason for her husband’s decision to distance himself from Epstein around 2014 because of her discomfort with Epstein after they both met him in 2013. That previously unreported meeting had taken place at Epstein’s mansion on New York’s Upper East Side.

The Daily Beast also revealed that the details of the Gates’s divorce had been decided several weeks prior to the official announcement. Then, on May 9, the Wall Street Journal published a report suggesting that the plans for divorce went back even farther, with Melinda having consulted divorce lawyers in 2019. Allegedly, that consultation was made after details of Bill Gates’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein had gained considerable mainstream media attention, including from the New York Times.

While mainstream media outlets apparently agree that Jeffrey Epstein was a likely factor in the Gates’s recently announced split up, what these same outlets refuse to cover is the real extent of the Bill Gates–Jeffrey Epstein relationship. Indeed, the mainstream narrative holds that Gates’s ties to Epstein began in 2011, despite the evidence pointing to their relationship beginning decades earlier.

This blanket refusal to honestly report on the Gates-Epstein ties likely is due to Gates’s outsized role in current events, both in terms of global health policy as it relates to COVID-19 and in his being a major promoter and funder of controversial technocratic “solutions” to a slew of societal problems. What is more likely, however, is that the nature of the relationship between Gates and Epstein before 2011 is even more scandalous than what transpired later, and it may have major implications not just for Gates but for Microsoft as a company and for some of its former top executives.

This particular cover-up is part of an obvious tendency of mainstream media to ignore the clear influence that both Epstein and members of the Maxwell family wielded—and, arguably, continue to wield—in Silicon Valley. Indeed, the individuals who founded tech giants such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, and Amazon all have connections with Jeffrey Epstein, some closer than others.

This investigation is adapted from my upcoming book One Nation Under Blackmail, which will be released early next year and will include a more complete investigation into Epstein’s ties to Silicon Valley, scientific academia, and intelligence agencies.

The Evening Standard Mystery

In 2001, perhaps the most important article ever written about Jeffrey Epstein was published. The article, which focused mainly on Ghislaine Maxwell’s and Epstein’s relationship with Prince Andrew, was published on January 22, 2001, in London’s Evening Standard. The article, written by Nigel Rosser, was never retracted and was published well before Epstein’s first arrest and the onset of his public notoriety. It has, nevertheless, since been removed from the Evening Standard’s website and can now only be found on professional newspaper databases. I made a PDF of that article and several other scrubbed Epstein-related articles publicly available in October 2019.

The full article here can also be accessed here:Download

Key statements made in the article make it clear why it was removed from the internet, apparently in the wake of Epstein’s first arrest in Florida. Rosser introduces Epstein as “an immensely powerful New York property developer and financier,” a nod to Epstein’s past in the New York real estate market. Later in the article, he notes that Epstein “once claimed to have worked for the CIA although he now denies it,” one of several likely reasons why the article was removed from the internet well before Epstein’s second arrest in 2019.

Much of the article notes the closeness of Epstein and Maxwell to Prince Andrew and suggests that both wielded considerable influence over the prince, largely due to Maxwell’s role as his “social fixer.” It states that Maxwell was “manipulating” the prince and that “the whole Andrew thing is probably being done for Epstein.”

One line stands out, however, as the first major clue toward demystifying the true origin the of the Gates-Epstein relationship. Soon after Rosser introduces Epstein in the article, he states that Epstein “has made many millions out of his business links with the likes of Bill Gates, Donald Trump and Ohio billionaire Leslie Wexner, whose trust he runs.”

Both Wexner’s and Trump’s relationships with Epstein prior to 2001 are well known and date back to 1985 and 1987, respectively. Mainstream media, however, continue to report that Gates and Epstein first met in 2011 and have declined to follow the leads laid out by Nigel Rosser. I am personally aware of this withholding of information to a degree as a BBC reporter contacted me in 2019 for details about this 2001 Evening Standard article, which I provided. To date, the BBC has never reported on the contents of that article. Notably, the BBC has received millions in funding for years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Not only was Rosser’s article never retracted, but neither Gates, Trump, nor Wexner disputed the claims made in the article at the time, which was well before Epstein became notorious. In addition, given that Gates is named alongside two known close Epstein associates at the time—Donald Trump and Leslie Wexner—it further suggests that Gates’s ties to Epstein prior to 2001 were considerable enough to warrant his mention alongside these two other men.

 

A report published last year by the WEF-Carnegie Cyber Policy Initiative calls for the merging of Wall Street banks, their regulators and intelligence agencies as necessary to confront an allegedly imminent cyber attack that will collapse the existing financial system.

In November 2020, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace co-produced a report that warned that the global financial system was increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Advisors to the group that produced the report included representatives from the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund, Wall Street giants likes JP Morgan Chase and Silicon Valley behemoths like Amazon.

The ominous report was published just months after the World Economic Forum had conducted a simulation of that very event – a cyber attack that brings the global financial system to its knees – in partnership with Russia’s largest bank, which is due to jumpstart that country’s economic “digital transformation” with the launch of its own central bank-backed digital currency.

More recently, last Tuesday, the largest information sharing organization of the financial industry, whose known members include Bank of America, Wells Fargo and CitiGroup, have again warned that nation-state hackers and cybercriminals were poised to work together to attack the global financial system in the short term. The CEO of this organization, known as the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), had previously advised the WEF-Carnegie report that had warned much the same.

Such coordinated simulations and warnings from those who dominate the current, ailing financial system are obvious cause for concern, particularly given that the World Economic Forum is well-known for its Event 201 simulation about a global coronavirus pandemic that took place just months prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis has since been cited as the main justification for accelerating the “digital transformation” of the financial and other sectors that the Forum and its partners have promoted for years. Their latest prediction of a doomsday event, a cyber attack that stops the current financial system in its tracks and instigates its systemic collapse, would offer the final yet necessary step for the Forum’s desired outcome of this widespread shift to digital currency and increased global governance of the international economy.

Given that experts have been warning since the last global financial crisis that the collapse of the entire system was inevitable due to central bank mismanagement and rampant Wall Street corruption, a cyber attack would also provide the perfect scenario for dismantling the current, failing system as it would absolve central banks and corrupt financial institutions of any responsibility. It would also provide a justification for incredibly troubling policies promoted by the WEF-Carnegie report, such as a greater fusion of intelligence agencies and banks in order to better “protect” critical financial infrastructure.

Considering the precedent of the WEF’s past simulations and reports with the COVID-19 crisis, it is well worth examining the simulations, warnings and the policies promoted by these powerful organizations. The remainder of this report will examine the WEF-Carnegie report from November 2020, while a follow-up report will focus on the more recent FS-ISAC report published last week. The WEF simulation of a cyber attack on the global financial system, Cyber Polygon 2020, was covered in detail by Unlimited Hangout in a previous report.

The WEF-Carnegie Cyber Policy Initiative

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is one of the most influential foreign policy think tanks in the United States, with close and persistent ties to the US State Department, former Presidents, corporate America and American oligarch clans like the Pritzkers of Hyatt hotels. Current trustees of the endowment include executives from Bank of America and CitiGroup as well as other influential financial institutions.

In 2019, the same year as Event 201, the Endowment launched its Cyber Policy Initiative with the goal of producing an “International Strategy for Cybersecurity and the Global Financial System 2021-2024.” That strategy was released just months ago, in November 2020 and, according to the Endowment, was authored by “leading experts in governments, central banks, industry and the technical community” in order to provide a “longer-term international cybersecurity strategy” specifically fo the financial system.

The initiative is an outgrowth of past efforts of the Carnegie Endowment to promote the fusion of financial authorities, the financial industry, law enforcement and national security agencies, which is both a major recommendation of the November 2020 report and a conclusion of a 2019 “high-level roundtable” between the Endowment, the IMF and central bank governors. The Endowment had also partnered with the IMF, SWIFT, Standard Chartered and FS-ISAC to create a “cyber resilience capacity-building tool box” for financial institutions in 2019. That same year, the Endowment also began tracking “the evolution of the cyber threat landscape and incidents involving financial institutions” in collaboration with BAE Systems, the UK’s largest weapons manufacturer. Per the Endowment, this collaboration continues into the present.

In January 2020, representatives of the Carnegie Endowment presented their Cyber Policy Initiative at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, after which the Forum officially partnered with the Endowment on the initiative.

Advisors to the now joint WEF-Carnegie project include representatives of central banks like the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank; some of Wall Street’s most infamous banks like Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase; law enforcement organizations such as INTERPOL and the US Secret Service; corporate giants like Amazon and Accenture; and global financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and SWIFT. Other notable advisors include the managing director and head of the WEF’s Centre for Cybersecurity, Jeremy Jurgens, who was also a key player in the Cyber Polygon simulation, and Steve Silberstein, the CEO of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC).

“Not a Question of If but When”

The Cyber Policy Initiative’s November 2020 report is officially titled “International Strategy to Better Protect the Financial System.” It begins by noting that the global financial system, like many other systems, are “going through unprecedented digital transformation, which is being accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.”

It then warns that:

“Malicious actors are taking advantage of this digital transformation and pose a growing threat to the global financial system, financial stability, and confidence in the integrity of the financial system. Malign actors are using cyber capabilities to steal from, disrupt, or otherwise threaten financial institutions, investors and the public. These actors include not only increasingly daring criminals, but also states and state-sponsored attackers.”

 

CRISPR gene-editing expert Eric Lander, Biden’s director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, is awaiting Senate confirmation to serve in a new Cabinet-level position in the Biden administration. Jeffrey Epstein, the eugenicist pedophile and sex trafficker, bragged about funding Lander’s research and was photographed taking part in at least one meeting with him.

Shortly before he took office, President Joe Biden announced that he would be elevating the director Office of Science and Technology Policy to a cabinet-level position, meaning that his nominee to lead that office, geneticist Eric Lander, would require confirmation by the US Senate. Lander is currently serving as director of that office, but has yet to serve in cabinet-level capacity as he awaits confirmation.

Mainstream media reports described Biden’s move to place Lander in his cabinet as “meant to highlight his commitment to science,” which has been used to contrast his approach with that of Trump, who was accused of second-guessing “authoritative” voices from academia and the medical establishment. Lander is deemed to be one such “authoritative” voice, having previously served as external co-chair on former President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

However, Biden placing Lander in this role begs the question of exactly what type of science he will promote in his new position, as eugenicist and intelligence-linked pedophile Jeffrey Epstein bragged on his website about having “had the priviledge [sic] of sponsoring” Lander’s research via the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation. Lander’s spokesperson told the New York Times in 2019 that “Mr. Epstein appears to have made up lots of things and this seems to be among them,” regarding whether or not Lander had indeed received funding from Epstein.

In addition to the issue of funding from Epstein, Lander, who is also a biology professor at MIT, is known to have met with Epstein at least once, as he was pictured taking part in a 2012 meeting with Epstein at the office of Harvard’s Martin Nowak, a mathematical biologist who received millions in funding from Epstein. After Epstein’s 2019 arrest, Lander claimed that he had been invited to the meeting by Nowak and had been unaware of who was set to attend the event. He additionally stated that he “later learned about [Epstein’s] more sordid history” and denied having had a relationship with Epstein.

Yet, there remains the issue that Epstein himself included Lander in a list of scientists he sponsored, with the other scientists on that list having indeed been supported by Epstein in some fashion. If we are to believe Lander, it remains unclear why Epstein, before he became so infamous, would falsely claim to fund Lander and why Lander would wait to deny any association until only after Epstein’s arrest. Given that the other scientists listed alongside Lander on Epstein’s website did receive funding from his foundation, it seems unlikely that Epstein would deceptively throw in Lander’s name among a list of several other scientists he was funding at a time, particularly when he was not yet publicly controversial and did not present such a grave risk to his associates’ reputations.

However, Lander’s denials seem to have been more than sufficient for some mainstream media outlets following his nomination to serve in the Biden administration, with some outlets now claiming that Lander was not reported to have received funding from Epstein, despite Epstein’s own claims to the contrary. For instance, BuzzFeed wrote on January 19, 2021 that Lander “has not been reported to have received any money from Epstein”.

The Broad Institute, Silicon Valley and Intelligence

Despite Lander’s denials of a personal relationship, Epstein also had very close ties to Lander’s employer, MIT. Epstein donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the institution and Epstein was also used as a channel for making donations to MIT by billionaire Bill Gates. Gates has yet to explain why he would funnel his donations through Epstein as opposed to publicly donating via his well-known “philanthropic” foundation. Epstein’s funding of the MIT Media Lab in particular led to the resignation of its former director Joi Ito in September 2019 following Epstein’s arrest and subsequent “suicide.”

In addition, Epstein was particularly close to one of the biggest names at MIT, the late artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky. Minsky once organized a two-day symposium on artificial intelligence at Epstein’s private island in 2002 and Epstein victims have alleged that they were forced by Epstein to engage in sex acts with Minsky. Both Minsky and Eric Lander were corporate fellows of the Thinking Machines corporation, a DARPA contractor that made supercomputers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That company’s various components were acquired by a web of intelligence-linked companies like CIA-linked Oracle and IBM while many of its former engineers left for Sun Microsystems, where future Google CEO Eric Schmidt was then serving as Chief Technology Officer.

Lander, more recently, has again become closely associated with tech companies deeply tied to the US national security state as the founding director of the Broad Institute, an independent genomic research institution partnered with both MIT and Harvard. Incidentally, MIT and Harvard are the two academic institutions most closely linked to Epstein’s “philanthropy,” particularly in the field in which the Broad Institute specializes.

 

The devastating hack on SolarWinds was quickly pinned on Russia by US intelligence. A more likely culprit, Samanage, a company whose software was integrated into SolarWinds’ software just as the “back door” was inserted, is deeply tied to Israeli intelligence and intelligence-linked families such as the Maxwells.

In mid-December of 2020, a massive hack compromised the networks of numerous US federal agencies, major corporations, the top five accounting firms in the country, and the military, among others. Despite most US media attention now focusing on election-related chaos, the fallout from the hack continues to make headlines day after day.

The hack, which affected Texas-based software provider SolarWinds, was blamed on Russia on January 5 by the US government’s Cyber Unified Coordination Group. Their statement asserted that the attackers were “likely Russian in origin,” but they failed to provide evidence to back up that claim.

Since then, numerous developments in the official investigation have been reported, but no actual evidence pointing to Russia has yet to be released. Rather, mainstream media outlets began reporting the intelligence community’s “likely” conclusion as fact right away, with the New York Times subsequently reporting that US investigators were examining a product used by SolarWinds that was sold by a Czech Republic–based company, as the possible entry point for the “Russian hackers.” Interest in that company, however, comes from the fact that the attackers most likely had access to the systems of a contractor or subsidiary of SolarWinds. This, combined with the evidence-free report from US intelligence on “likely” Russian involvement, is said to be the reason investigators are focusing on the Czech company, though any of SolarWinds’ contractors/subsidiaries could have been the entry point.

Such narratives clearly echo those that became prominent in the wake of the 2016 election, when now-debunked claims were made that Russian hackers were responsible for leaked emails published by WikiLeaks. Parallels are obvious when one considers that SolarWinds quickly brought on the discredited firm CrowdStrike to aid them in securing their networks and investigating the hack. CrowdStrike had also been brought on by the DNC after the 2016 WikiLeaks publication, and subsequently it was central in developing the false declarations regarding the involvement of “Russian hackers” in that event.

There are also other parallels. As Russiagate played out, it became apparent that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and a foreign power, but the nation was Israel, not Russia. Indeed, many of the reports that came out of Russiagate revealed collusion with Israel, yet those instances received little coverage and generated little media outrage. This has led some to suggest that Russiagate may have been a cover for what was in fact Israelgate.

Similarly, in the case of the SolarWinds hack, there is the odd case and timing of SolarWinds’ acquisition of a company called Samanage in 2019. As this report will explore, Samanage’s deep ties to Israeli intelligence, venture-capital firms connected to both intelligence and Isabel Maxwell, as well as Samange’s integration with the Orion software at the time of the back door’s insertion warrant investigation every bit as much as SolarWinds’ Czech-based contractor.

Orion’s Fall

In the month since the hack, evidence has emerged detailing the extent of the damage, with the Justice Department quietly announcing, the same day as the Capitol riots (January 6), that their email system had been breached in the hack—a “major incident” according to the department. This terminology means that the attack “is likely to result in demonstrable harm to the national security interests, foreign relations, or the economy of the United States or to the public confidence, civil liberties, or public health and safety of the American people,” per NextGov.

The Justice Department was the fourth US government agency to publicly acknowledge a breach in connection to the hack, with the others being the Departments of Commerce and Energy and the Treasury. Yet, while only four agencies have publicly acknowledged fallout from the hack, SolarWinds software is also used by the Department of Defense, the State Department, NASA, the NSA, and the Executive Office. Given that the Cyber Unified Coordination Group stated that “fewer than ten” US government agencies had been affected, it’s likely that some of these agencies were compromised, and some press reports have asserted that the State Department and Pentagon were affected.

In addition to government agencies, SolarWinds Orion software was in use by the top ten US telecommunications corporations, the top five US accounting firms, the New York Power Authority, and numerous US government contractors such as Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, and the Federal Reserve. Other notable SolarWinds clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Credit Suisse, and several mainstream news outlets including the Economist and the New York Times.

Based on what is officially known so far, the hackers appeared to have been highly sophisticated, with FireEye, the cybersecurity company that first discovered the implanted code used to conduct the hack, stating that the hackers “routinely removed their tools, including the backdoors, once legitimate remote access was achieved—implying a high degree of technical sophistication and attention to operational security.” In addition, top security experts have noted that the hack was “very very carefully orchestrated,” leading to a consensus that the hack was state sponsored.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Hacking, Israel, Mossad, SolarWinds 

Researchers at a BSL-3 lab tied to the organizers of the 2001 Dark Winter simulation, DARPA, and the post-9/11 biodefense industrial complex are genetically modifying anthrax to express Covid-19 components, according to FOIA documents.

Soon after having been fired from his post as secretary of the treasury in December 2002, after a policy clash with the president, Paul O’Neill became a trustee of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Despite having just worked under and clashed with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, it wasn’t until O’Neill began answering to UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff as a member of the Center’s board that he chose to publicly denounce a superior as “evil.”

“He wants to destroy competition. He wants to be the only game in town,” O’Neill would later state of Romoff, adding that “after 18 months I quit [the UPMC board] in disgust” due to Romoff’s “absolute control” over the board’s actions. O’Neill subsequently noted that UPMC “board members who have wealth of hundreds of millions of dollars are not willing to take this guy on.” When pressed by a local reporter, O’Neill further elaborated that he had been told by other board members that they were “afraid” of Romoff because Romoff might “harm them in some way.”

O’Neill’s criticisms of Romoff are hardly an outlier, as local community activists and even a state attorney general have noted that UPMC’s board lets Romoff do as he pleases.

Jeffrey Romoff has ruled UPMC with an iron fist since his predecessor, Thomas Detre, had a heart attack in 1992. As a result of the Center’s massive wealth accumulation, at first spurred by his magic touch for receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, Detre was able to use the financial power afforded to him to consolidate control over enough of the University of Pittsburgh to create his “own personal fiefdom,” which is now the stand-alone corporation known as UPMC.

Not long after Romoff took over the Center’s reins, he made his intentions clear to faculty and staff, stating at one 1995 UPMC meeting that his “vision” for the future of American health care was “the conversion of health care from social good to a commodity.” Motivated by profit above all else, Romoff aggressively expanded UPMC, gobbling up community hospitals, surgery centers, and private practices to create a “health-care network” that has expanded throughout much of Pennsylvania and even abroad to other countries, including China. Under Romoff, UPMC has also expanded into the health-insurance business, with 40 percent of the medical claims it pays out going straight back into places of care that are owned by UPMC—meaning UPMC is essentially paying itself.

In addition, since UPMC is officially a “charitable nonprofit corporation,” it is exempt from property taxes and has special access to the tax-exempt municipal bond market. UPMC can also solicit tax-deductible grants from private individuals and organizations, as well as governments. These grants totaled over $1 billion dollars between 2005 and 2017.

Despite these perks being officially justified because of UPMC’s “charitable institution” status, the UPMC board, with Romoff at the top, have seen their own multimillion-dollar-per-year salaries continue to climb. Perhaps this perk also comes from UPMC being a nonprofit corporation, as there are no stockholders to whom Romoff and the board must explain their increasingly exorbitant salaries. For instance, Romoff made $8.97 million last year as UPMC’s CEO, a marked increase over the $6.12 million he had raked in the prior year.

UPMC’s financial chicanery is so out of control that even Pennsylvania’s attorney general has taken action against it, suing UPMC in February 2019 for violations of the state’s charity laws based on their “unjust enrichment” and engaging in “unfair, fraudulent or deceptive acts or practices.” Though UPMC decided to settle out of court, the Center and Romoff came out of the affair relatively unscathed.

Now, thanks to the crisis caused by Covid-19, UPMC is once again on the path toward growing even larger and more powerful in pursuit of Romoff’s ultimate goal, which is, in his own words, to make UPMC the “Amazon of health care.”

In this fourth installment of the The Last American Vagabond series “Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex”, the “nonprofit” health-care behemoth that is UPMC is squarely placed at the intersection of post-9/11 “biodefense” public-private partnerships; corporate-funded academics who shape public policy on behalf of their private-sector benefactors; and risky research on dangerous pathogens that threatens to unleash the very “bioterror” that these institutions claim to guard against.

The Odd Trajectory of UPMC’s Covid-19 Vaccine Efforts

In January 2020, when much of the world remained blissfully unaware of the coming global pandemic, UPMC was already at work developing a vaccine to protect against the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, known as SARS-CoV-2. That month, before the state of Pennsylvania had a single case of Covid-19, UPMC formed a “coronavirus task force,” which was initially focused on lobbying the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to obtain samples of live SARS-CoV-2 for research purposes. That research was to be conducted at the Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) housed within UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research. A day after the director of UPMC’s Center for Vaccine Research, W. Paul Duprex, revealed UPMC’s efforts to access the SARS-CoV-2 virus, he announced that the virus samples, containing an estimated 50 to 60 million coronavirus particles, were already en route to the university. At the time, UPMC was one of only a handful of institutions on the CDC’s short list to receive live SARS-CoV-2 samples.

 

Joining me today is Whitney Webb to discuss her recent article on the chilling 2020 election predictions being made by TIP, and how it all seems to be yet again feeding into the same, seemingly all-encompassing, technocratic agenda.

.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Conspiracy Theories 

Evidence of the corruption of the company Emergent BioSolutions has emerged yet again as the firm, set to play a key role in the manufacture of four leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates, has been caught selling the US government a biodefense product it knew was non-functional.

Internal documents and e-mails from the “life sciences” company Emergent BioSolutions reveal that the company was aware that its biodefense product for the treatment of nerve gas exposure, sold under the brand name Trobigard, was both non-functional and untested for safety or efficacy while it was actively marketing the product to the U.S. government.

The firm was well aware of the fact that Trobigard’s functionality and safety in humans had never been tested several months before it was awarded a no-bid $25 million contract in October 2017 and a subsequent $100 million contract in 2019 to supply troves of the product to the State Department. Indeed, the results of the company’s first study on Trobigard’s efficacy in treating exposure to nerve gas were not even available until six weeks after Emergent had won the contract with the State Department and, even then, those results could “not be directly extrapolated to the human situation,” per the study’s authors.

According to internal company records and emails from Emergent employees and government officials obtained by The Washington Post, Emergent’s director of regulatory affairs, Brenda Wolling, stated in July 2017 that “functionality testing has not been successful in this device [Trobigard]” and that even describing Trobigard as “a treatment of nerve agent poisoning” was inaccurate because that claim “implies that we have efficacy data showing it works.”

Emergent BioSolutions declined to answer if the inaccurate marketing claims that Trobigard had been tested for safety and efficacy had been made to State Department officials prior to the awarding of the first contract for Trobigard in October 2017. The company did, however, state that Wolling’s claims had been “taken seriously” but that they did “not necessarily represent the company’s position.”

Notably, Wolling had sent internal warnings about Trobigard to colleagues a year prior, in 2016, telling Emergent salespeople to “exclude efficacy claims” about the biodefense product when marketing it to potential buyers. She specifically stated that “we have not substantiated that this co-formulated product is efficacious or safe, and have never tested against nerve agents as an antidote.” Also in 2016, a former Emergent executive, Dan Mallon, was also found to have admitted to Emergent employees that “Emergent sales representatives had made unsupported claims about Trobigard to clients.”

Even Emergent’s spokeswoman Nina DeLorenzo has since openly acknowledged that “Emergent has not tested the safety or efficacy of atropine and obidoxime co-formulated,” meaning that the combination of the two drugs that compose Trobigard has never been found to be safe or even work.

“Emergent made clear to government agencies interested in procuring Trobigard that they were doing so based on their own determination of need, without this type of safety or efficacy data from Emergent,” DeLorenzo told The Washington Post, essentially declaring that Emergent’s policy with respect to Trobigard is that of “buyer beware.”

Yet, some of Trobigard’s issues were so glaring and obvious that they resulted in public recalls, with the company recalling 61,000 units that had been sold to the United Arab Emirate in January 2019. While Emergent’s contract with the State Department obligated them to report “any issues with the safety and efficacy of delivered or ordered products and/or manufacturing or quality of the production lines” in a timely manner, the company argued that the recall in the UAE was unrelated to the State Department’s orders of Trobigard because they were different production batches. A similar recall was later made with units of Trobigard that had been sold to Italy’s government and Emergent chose to notify the State Department on that occasion. Trobigard had also been plagued with production issues, such as that which resulted in the discoloration of Trobigard injectors following sterilization, referred to as the “red spots” issue in company records.

The end result of Trobigard’s troubles was ultimately Emergent’s quiet decision to re-list it as a product in development as opposed to a marketable product on its website and to require that all future sales of Trobigard be approved by Emergent’s medical, legal and regulatory departments. However, Emergent has maintained that the Trobigard injectors sold to the State Department are safe, despite having admitted that no safety or efficacy tests of the product in humans have ever been conducted. The company has continued to receive payments from their multi-million dollar contracts with the State Department, the last of which was made last September.

Trobigard’s numerous issues appear to be precisely why Emergent sought to market the troubled product to the State Department in the first place, as marketing the product for use by U.S. diplomats overseas allowed Emergent to avoid needing the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is necessary for the product’s sale within the United States. In order to facilitate Trobigard’s sale without FDA approval, Emergent sold Trobigard to the State Department through a subsidiary based in the U.K. and had the injectors assembled in Europe where the finished product was then sent to U.S. embassies around the world. Trobigard is not currently approved for use by the health authorities of any nation.

An Abysmal Track Record Gets Worse

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Anthrax, Bioweapons, Coronavirus 

A cybersecurity firm tied to Israeli intelligence’s Unit 8200 that simulated a series of terrorist attacks occurring on the U.S. 2020 election has announced a new hire with deep ties to the U.S. intelligence and defense communities with the goal of gaining greater access to U.S. government networks.

A cybersecurity company tied to Israeli intelligence and a series of unnerving simulations regarding cyber-terrorist attacks on the upcoming U.S. elections has recently announced a new hire who plans to aid the company in further penetrating the U.S. public sector. Last Wednesday, the company Cybereason announced that it had hired Andrew Borene as its Managing Director for its recently launched U.S. public sector business. Borene, who boasts longstanding ties to the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon, “will accelerate Cybereason’s partner and customer presence in the U.S. public sector,” according to a Cybereason press release.

“My goal is to build a strong business for Cybereason within the U.S. public sector and I am planning to recruit a group of direct support executives, veterans and alumni of the elite [U.S.] military units and agencies that have defended our nation in the information age. I’ll also work to establish a network of the best channel and delivery partners for federal, state and local governments,” Borene said per the press release.

Eric Appel, Cybereason’s General Manager for North American Sales, stated that “We’re excited about Andrew joining Cybereason and the opportunity in the U.S. public sector for Cybereason to make a profound impact on helping the nation’s federal civilian, military, state and local government agencies…”

Borene will likely be successful in his ability to recruit a sales team of prominent alumni from the U.S. intelligence and defense communities to market Cybereason’s products throughout the U.S. government. Prior to joining Cybereason, Borene was a senior advisor to the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the intelligence community’s “DARPA” equivalent that is housed within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). He served in that capacity on behalf of intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to that, Borene served as Associate Deputy General Counsel to the Pentagon and was previously a military intelligence officer for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Borene’s private sector experience is also significant, as he was a senior executive at IBM. Notably, the current Chief Information Officer for the CIA, Juliane Gallina, had served alongside Borene as a top IBM executive prior to taking her current position at the agency. In addition, Borene also boasts ties to Wall Street as a veteran of Wells Fargo’s investment banking division.

In addition, Borene has deep ties to Washington’s foreign policy establishment as a “life member” of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and to the national security-think tank nexus through his senior fellowship at the National Security Institute (NSI). NSI’s board includes former NSA directors, Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden (also a former CIA director); former Deputy Defense Secretary and “architect” of the Iraq War, Paul Wolfowitz; former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, David Shedd; and a variety of other former top intelligence and defense officials as well as Silicon Valley executives and venture capitalists.

Notably, Borene is the latest addition to Cybereason with ties to the U.S. intelligence and defense communities as the company’s advisors include Robert Bigman, former Chief Information Security Officer for the CIA as well as Peter Sherlock, the former Chief Operating Officer of MITRE corporation, a major intelligence and defense contractor connected to the Ptech-9/11 controversy.

Cybereason: a front for Israeli Military Intelligence

Cybereason’s announcement of its hire of Andrew Borene coincided with its launch of its new “U.S. public sector business,” meaning that Cybereason now seeks to have its cybersecurity software running on even more of the U.S. government’s most classified networks. Cybereason, for years, has already been running on several sensitive U.S. government networks through its partnerships with IT contractors for intelligence and defense, such as Lockheed Martin (also a Cybereason investor), WWT and Leidos. However, Borene’s hire and this new publicly announced pivot towards the U.S. public sector clearly demonstrates the company’s interest in further deepening its presence on U.S. government networks.

Cybereason’s pivot is concerning for several reasons. First, its co-founders are alumni of Israel’s Unit 8200, an elite unit of the Israeli Intelligence corps that is part of the IDF’s Directorate of Military Intelligence and is involved mainly in signal intelligence, surveillance, cyberwarfare and code decryption. It is also well-known for its surveillance of Palestinian civilians and for using intercepted communications as blackmail in order to procure informants among Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank.

In addition, all three Cybereason co-founders, after leaving Unit 8200, went on to work for two private Israel-based tech/telecom companies with a notorious history of aggressive espionage against the U.S. government: Amdocs and Comverse Infosys (the latter is now known as Verint Systems Inc.). This raises the possibility that Cybereason software could potentially be used as a backdoor by unauthorized actors, given that the company’s co-founders all previously worked for firms that have a history of placing backdoors into U.S. telecommunications and electronic infrastructure as well as aggressively spying on U.S. federal agencies.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Israel, Mossad 

By moving in “the same circles as her father” and vowing to “work only on things involving Israel,” Isabel Maxwell became a pivotal liaison for the entry of Israeli intelligence-linked tech firms into Silicon Valley with the help of Microsoft’s two co-founders, Paul Allen and Bill Gates.

This is Part II of the series “The Maxwell Family Business: Espionage” and focuses on Isabel Maxwell. Part I can be found here.

In 1992, Israel’s government created the Yozma Program at the urging of Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade – Yigal Erlich – as Erlich moved to leave that position. The Yozma Program aimed to “incentivize venture investment” by creating state-linked venture capital funds, which later spawned a myriad of Israeli hi-tech start ups with merging them with major, foreign technology companies. According to Erlich’s website, he had lobbied Israel’s government to launch Yozma because he had “identified a market failure and a huge need in Israel to establish for the first time a professionally-managed venture capital industry that will fund the exponential growth of high tech ventures coming out of Israel.” He then “convinced the Israeli government to allocate $100 million for his venture capital vision.”

Erlich’s vision would also result in the fusion of Israel’s hi-tech sector, which he helped to create, with Israel’s intelligence apparatus, with numerous Israeli hi-tech conglomerates created with funding from the Yozma program and its successors doubling as tools of Israeli espionage. Notably, not long before Erlich convinced Israel to place $100 million into this program, Israeli intelligence, thanks largely to the work of infamous spymaster Rafi Eitan, had learned the benefits of placing backdoors for their intelligence services into commercial software through the theft and subversion of the PROMIS software. As noted in Part I of this series, Israel’s bugged version of PROMIS was largely marketed by Robert Maxwell.

After the Yozma program was established, the first venture capital fund it created was called Gemini Israel Ventures and Israel’s government chose a man named Ed Mlavksy to lead it. Mlavksy, at the time, was the Executive Director of the Israel-U.S. Bi-national Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), where Erlich was Chairman of the Executive Committee. Mlavsky states that, while heading the BIRD foundation, “he was responsible for investments of $100 million in more than 300 joint projects between U.S. and Israeli high-tech companies.” BIRD’s connections to Gemini Israel Ventures and the Yozma Program in general are interesting, given that – just a few years prior – it had come under scrutiny for its role in the one of the worst spy cases in U.S. history – the Jonathan Pollard affair.

Jonathan Pollard had been a naval intelligence analyst turned Israeli spy who passed troves of documents regarding U.S. military technology (specifically nuclear technology) as well as clandestine U.S. intelligence operations to Israeli intelligence, specifically to the now defunct spy agency Lekem. Pollard’s handler was none other than Rafi Eitan, who had engineered Israel’s outsized role in the PROMIS software scandal. In the indictment of Pollard for espionage, it was noted that Pollard delivered documents to agents of Israel at two locations, one of which was an apartment owned by Harold Katz, the then-legal counsel to the BIRD foundation and an adviser to Israel’s military, which oversaw Lekem. Government officials told the New York Times at the time that they believed Katz “has detailed knowledge about the [Pollard] spy ring and could implicate senior Israeli officials.”

Journalist Claudia Wright, writing in 1987, openly speculated about whether the close ties between Katz and Pollard’s handlers meant that BIRD itself had been used to pass funds to Pollard or that BIRD funds themselves, most of which were provided by U.S. taxpayers as opposed to public claims of “joint” funding, had been used to pay Pollard for his “services” to Israel. In her article, she notes that Mlavsky had considerable discretion over the use of those funds while the U.S. official in charge of overseeing the U.S.’ interests in BIRD did “not know how investment is regulated” by the foundation. In addition, no U.S. official had access to any audit of the foundation, which were said to be conducted by an Israel-based accounting firm with no U.S. offices. The New York Times noted at the time that Katz specifically “may have knowledge of the method used to pay Mr. Pollard, who received tens of thousands of dollars from his Israeli handlers.”