Presidential Executive Order 13887 of September 19, 2019 signed by President Donald Trump Shows the President was given foreknowledge of the future Covid-19 outbreak. President Trump is a willing participant or part of the problem and is not helping anything. Anthony Fauci has more TV airtime than the President does and Trump allowed that to happen. The Executive order updates vaccine manufacturing to the updated RNA and DNA vaccines using genetic cell research for Covid-19 and many other things. President Trump signed two other executive orders related to Covid-19 that makes me think he is part of the problem also. Read the executive order click here. Michael Difensore
The Darkest Winter
By Derrick Broze
One year ago, on October 18, 2019, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the World Economic Forum on a high-level pandemic exercise known as Event 201. Event 201 simulated how the world would respond to a fictional coronavirus pandemic known as CAPS which swept around the planet. The simulation imagined 65 million people dying, mass lock downs, quarantines, censorship of alternative viewpoints under the guise of fighting “disinformation,” and even floated the idea of arresting people who question the pandemic narrative.
Coincidentally, one of the players involved with Event 201 was Dr. Michael Ryan, the head of the World Health Organization’s team responsible for the international containment and treatment of COVID-19. Ryan has called for looking into families to find potentially sick individuals and isolate them from their families.
Due to the vast web of connections between Bill Gates and nearly every organization connected to the COVID-19 fight, a growing number of researchers are questioning the motivations of Gates and the other officials involved in the Event 201 exercise.
Crimson Contagion and Clade X
Another exercise known as Crimson Contagion simulated an outbreak of a respiratory virus originating from China. From August 13 to August 16, 2019, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), headed by Alex Azar, partnered with numerous national, state, and local organization for the exercise. According to the results of the October 2019 draft report, the spread of the novel avian influenza (H7N9) resulted in 110 million infected Americans, 7.7 million hospitalizations, and 586,000 deaths.
Another simulation known as Clade X took place on May 2018. This event examined the response to a pandemic resulting from the release of a fictional virus known as Clade X. In the simulation, the virus was released by a terror group called A Brighter Dawn. As the outbreak spread through the United States, the participants asked what would be needed if the President issued a federal quarantine, noting that authorities would need to “Determine (the) level of force authorized to maintain quarantine.” The Clade X exercise also resulted in the federal government nationalizing the healthcare system.
The leaders of these controversial pandemic simulations that took place before the Coronavirus crisis have longstanding connections to the U.S. Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Defense. Even more troubling is that key players in the exercises – specifically, Event 201 and Clade X – share a common history in another biowarfare simulation known as Dark Winter.
The SPARS Pandemic, 2025-2028
In October 2017, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security released their report, SPARS Pandemic, 2025-2028: A Futuristic Scenario for Public Health Risk Communicators. The report is written from the perspective of someone in 2030 who is looking back on a pandemic which swept around the world between 2025 and 2028. The document states that the creators identified major socioeconomic, demographic, technological, and environmental trends which they believe are likely to emerge during this period. The two trends they said are likely to influence public health emergencies are “varying degrees of access to information technology” and increased “fragmentation among populations along social, political, religious, ideological, and cultural lines.”
The document states:
“Ultimately, a world comprised of isolated and highly fragmented communities with widespread access to information technology—dubbed “the echo-chamber”—was selected as the future in which the prospective scenario would take place. From this point, scenario-specific storylines were then developed, drawing on subject matter expertise, historical accounts of past medical countermeasure crises, contemporary media reports, and scholarly literature in sociology, emergency preparedness, health education, and risk and crisis communication. These sources were used to identify communication challenges likely to emerge in future public health emergencies.”
In January 11, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13528 (PDF) — right after the over-hyped Flight 253 ‘terrorist’ attack, the fraudulently engineered Swine Flu pandemic and a few other man-made disasters— that, among other things, establishes a Council of Governors, chosen by the President who, as noted by the Intel Daily, will rubber-stamp long-sought-after Pentagon contingency plans to seize control of state National Guard forces in the event of a ‘National Emergency.’
Executive Orders are orders given by the President that are generally used to direct Federal Agencies and officials in their execution of laws or policies established by Congress. In many instances, especially during this past decade, Executive Orders have been used to guide agencies in directions contrary to Congressional intent. Executive Orders are controversial since they are sometimes use to make law without the consent of Congress. It’s time for a closer look at EOs & Directives and it’s time to fix the intentional, oft illegal, subversion of laws.
In keeping with tradition, no mention was made in the corporate media of President Obama’s EO 13528 that egregiously subverts the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. A White House Press Release claims the ten member, bipartisan Council was created ‘to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect our Nation against all types of hazards.’
Once appointed, according to the White House Press Release, the council will be reviewing such matters as involving the National Guard of various States; Homeland defense; civil support; synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.
Synchronizing and integrating state National Guard units with those of the Armed Forces would place them under the control of the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) that was egregiously created in 2002, allegedly to help fight the ‘War on Terror’ — one of the largest acts of treason ever perpetrated against U.S. citizens by its Government.
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 Prohibits Using the Military for Civilian Law Enforcement
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 — which [Obama’s] EO 13528 clearly subverts — bars the use of the military for civilian law enforcement. For years Bush tried to accomplish the same thing, especially after his administration’s criminal in actions during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster.
During the height of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina crisis, Bush tried citing presidential prerogatives for using the National Guard troops under the Insurrection Act, a draconian statute that authorizes the President to federalize National Guard units when state governments fail to ‘suppress rebellion.’ The plight of Katrina victims was twisted — aided and abetted by complicit corporate media — into an act of ‘rebellion’ and a new criminal category was concocted to criminalize the traumatized New Orleans residents.
As noted by The Intel Daily, given the serious implications such proposals would have for a functioning democracy, the media’s deafening silence on Obama’s Executive Order is hardly surprising. As the cheerleaders in the illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and now Pakistan with Iran and Yemen coming soon, the censorship by the media says a lot about the state of affairs in ‘new normal’ America. As with his predecessors, Mr. hope and change will try to illegally forge ahead and invest the permanent National Security bureaucracy with unprecedented power.
Under the guise of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act — more potentially illegal ‘legislation’ — the President will establish the bipartisan Council of Governors to advise, and exchange views and information with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the White House Homeland Security Council on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions. The Secretary of Defense will designate the Executive Director of this toothless Council.
In ‘exchanging views’ with the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, the Assistant Secretary for Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas Security Affairs, the Commander, United States Northern Command, the Chief National Guard Bureau, the Commandant of the Coast Guard and other appropriate officials of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense as well as appropriate officials of other executive departments or agencies designated by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Homeland Security, the council will serve as civilian cover for political decisions made by the Executive Branch and the security apparatus.
Obama Had Previously Proposed Expanding Military Use in Domestic Disasters
Last summer Obama proposed expanding the military’s authority to respond to domestic disasters. His proposal was opposed by the National Governors Association (NGA) because it would invite confusion on critical command and control issues, complicate inter-agency planning, establish stove-piped response efforts and interfere with gubernatorial Constitutional responsibilities to ensure the safety and security of their citizens.
EO 13528 further erodes the constitutional limits on Executive Branch power, and actually has little to do with catastrophic emergency response. It is however, the latest attempt to expand the National Security state and the Continuity of Government (COG) programs that are, and have been, illegally kept secret from Congress and the American people.
Many members of Congress are not authorized to view information on COG plans, procedures, capabilities and facilities, as well as the classified annexes of National Security Presidential Directive 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20 (NSPD 51/HSPD 20), two other draconian, illegal pieces of ‘legislation.’ Despite Obama’s vows of openness and transparency, even the redacted version of those documents have been removed from the White House web site.
Reagan-era EO 12656 defines a national security emergency as ‘any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.’ The problem is, the U.S. Government has a history of terrorizing its own citizens and creating disasters and false flag attacks.
Secretive Continuity of Government Plan Raises a Lot of Questions
George W. Bush’s Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 (HSPD-8), also removed from the White House web site, established ‘a national program and multi-year planning system to conduct homeland security preparedness-related exercises.’ That program, details of which are unavailable to Congress and the American people, is to be carried out in collaboration with state and local governments and private sector entities. The secrecy surrounding the shady creation of illegal ‘law’ raises a lot of questions and concerns.
Loosely worded definitions concerning the Defense Department’s role during such emergencies leave the door open for potential abuses by unscrupulous politicians and their corporate partners. USNORTHCOM’s role in all of this is shrouded in secrecy. As the past decade has shown, the egregious amount of corruption in Washington has gotten entirely out of hand and something needs to be done to stop it. The fact that corrupted military leaders are now courting corrupted politicians also raises a lot of flags.
The timing of the deployment of U.S. combat troops as an on-call federal response force coinciding with the greatest economic emergency and financial disaster since the 1930s that was fraudulently created by Wall Street is peculiar and suspicious.
The fact that COG plans are shrouded in secrecy and kept from members of Congress and the American people is very disturbing and very revealing. It raises a LOT of questions. In keeping with the tradition of creating tyranny while destroying any semblance of law — like his predecessor — President Obama’s EO 13528 undermines the democratic rights of the American people. Mr. Obama needs to start paying attention to those that elected him, keep his promises that put him in office and quit running Bush’s third term. It’s time for accountability and it’s time to restore the rule of law.
“Dark Winter” Was The Code Name For A Scenario In Which A Biological Weapon Was Used Against The American Populace
Could it be possible that the phrase “dark winter” has some sort of deeper meaning that most of us are not meant to understand? We have heard that phrase over and over again in recent weeks, and usually it has been used in discussions regarding the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it also turns out that “Dark Winter” was also a code name for a high level simulation that was conducted back in 2001. That simulation envisioned a scenario in which a widespread smallpox attack was unleashed inside the United States. As you will see below, the simulation was “designed to spiral out of control”, and the hypothetical consequences were absolutely disastrous.
The reason why this is a concern is because so many of these “simulations” and “exercises” end up mirroring real life events that happen at a later date.
Event 201 simulates an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen and the disease it causes are modeled largely on SARS, but it is more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms.
Of course COVID-19 started spreading in China just a few weeks later.
We have seen this same pattern happen so many times, and now we are being told over and over again that a “dark winter” is ahead.
Joe Biden warned at Thursday night’s presidential debate that the U.S. was “about to go into a dark winter,” echoing the concerns of public health experts who caution about increased daily Covid-19 case counts converging with the annual flu season.
“We’re about to go into a dark winter. A dark winter,” Biden said. “And he has no clear plan, and there’s no prospect that there’s going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year.”
It is interesting to note that he repeated the phrase twice.
It is almost as if he was determined to make sure that he said it correctly.
And then he started using the phrase over and over again on the campaign trail and he kept using it even after the voting was over.
Dark Winter’s simulated scenario involved an initial localized smallpox attack on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with additional smallpox attack cases in Georgia and Pennsylvania. The simulation was then designed to spiral out of control. This would create a contingency in which the National Security Council struggles to determine both the origin of the attack as well as deal with containing the spreading virus. By not being able to keep pace with the disease’s rate of spread, a new catastrophic contingency emerges in which massive civilian casualties would overwhelm America’s emergency response capabilities.
Could it be possible that Biden and others are using the phrase “dark winter” to signal that something is about to spiral out of control?
The disastrous contingencies that would result in the massive loss of civilian life were used to exploit the weaknesses of the U.S. health care infrastructure and its inability to handle such a threat. The contingencies were also meant to address the widespread panic that would emerge and which would result in mass social breakdown and mob violence. Exploits would also include the many difficulties that the media would face when providing American citizens with the necessary information regarding safety procedures. Discussing the outcome of Dark Winter, Bryan Walsh noted “The timing–just a few months before the 9/11 attack–was eerily prescient, as if the organizers had foreseen how the threat of terrorism, including bioterrorism, would come to consume the U.S. government and public in the years to come.”
So let me try to summarize what we have learned.
Operation Dark Winter envisioned a scenario in which a highly infectious disease that causes sores on the skin spirals out of control and causes a “massive loss of civilian life”.
And suddenly Joe Biden and other elitists have begun repeating this phrase over and over again as we head into 2021.
Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can refer back to it later.
Reality is often stranger than fiction, and the table has been set for some really, really strange things to happen.
The leaders of two controversial pandemic simulations that took place just months before the Coronavirus crisis – Event 201 and Crimson Contagion – share a common history, the 2001 biowarfare simulation Dark Winter. Dark Winter not only predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks, but some of its participants had clear foreknowledge of those attacks.
During the presidency of George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, something disturbing unfolded at the U.S.’ top biological warfare research facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Specimens of highly contagious and deadly pathogens – anthrax and ebola among them – had disappeared from the lab, at a time when lab workers and rival scientists had been accused of targeted sexual and ethnic harassment and several disgruntled researchers had left as a result.
In addition to missing samples of anthrax, ebola, hanta virus and a variant of AIDS, two of the missing specimens had been labeled “unknown” – “an Army euphemism for classified research whose subject was secret,” according to reports. The vast majority of the specimens lost were never found and an Army spokesperson would later claim that it was “likely some were simply thrown out with the trash.”
An internal Army inquiry in 1992 would reveal that one employee, Lt. Col. Philip Zack, had been caught on camera secretly entering the lab to conduct “unauthorized research, apparently involving anthrax,” the Hartford Courant would later report. Despite this, Zack would continue to do infectious disease research for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and would collaborate with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) throughout the 1990s.
The Courant had also noted that: “A numerical counter on a piece of lab equipment had been rolled back to hide work done by the mystery researcher [later revealed to be Zack], who left the misspelled label ‘antrax’ in the machine’s electronic memory.” The Courant’s report further detailed the extremely lax security controls and chaotic disorganization that then characterized the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) lab in Fort Detrick.
This same lab would, a decade later, be officially labeled as the source of the anthrax spores responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks, attacks which are also officially said to have been the work of a “deranged” USAMRIID researcher, despite initially having been blamed on Saddam Hussein and Iraq by top government officials and mainstream media. Those attacks killed 5 Americans and sickened 17.
Yet, as the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks unfolded, accusations from major U.S. newspapers soon emerged that the FBI was deliberately sabotaging the probe to protect the Anthrax attacker and that the CIA and U.S. military intelligence had refused to cooperate with the investigation. The FBI did not officially close their investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, nicknamed “Amerithrax,” until 2010 and aspects of that investigation still remain classified.
More recently, this past July, the same Fort Detrick lab would be shut down by the CDC, after it was found that researchers “did not maintain an accurate or current inventory” for toxins and “failed to safeguard against unauthorized access to select agents.” The closure of the lab for its numerous breaches of biosafety protocols would be hidden from Congress and the facility would controversially be partially reopened last November before all of the identified biosafety issues were resolved.
The same day that the lab was controversially allowed to partially reopen, which was the result of heavy lobbying from the Pentagon, local news outlets reported that the lab had suffered “two breaches of containment” last year, though the nature of those breaches and the pathogens involved were redacted in the inspection findings report obtained by the Frederick News Post. Notably, USAMRIID has, since the 1980s, worked closely with virologists and virology labs in Wuhan, China, where the first epicenter of the current novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases emerged. The Chinese government has since alleged that the virus had been brought to China by members of the U.S. military, members of which attended the World Military Games in the country last October.
Such similarities among these Fort Detrick lab breaches, from the early 1990s to 2001 to the present, may be nothing more than unfortunate coincidences that are the result of a stubborn federal government and military that have repeatedly refused to enforce the necessary stringent safety precautions on the nation’s top biological warfare laboratory.
Yet, upon examining not only these biosafety incidents at Fort Detrick, but the 2001 Anthrax attacks and the current Covid-19 outbreak, another odd commonality stands out — high-level war games exercise took place in June 2001 that eerily predicted not only the Anthrax attacks, but also the initial government narrative of those attacks and much, much more.
That June 2001 exercise, known as “Dark Winter,” also predicted many aspects of government pandemic response that would later re-emerge in last October’s simulation “Event 201,” which predicted a global pandemic caused by a novel Coronavirus just months before the Covid-19 outbreak. In addition, the U.S. government would lead its own multi-part series of pandemic simulations, called “Crimson Contagion,” that would also predict aspects of the Covid-19 outbreak and government response.
Upon further investigation, key leaders of both Event 201 and Crimson Contagion, not only have deep and longstanding ties to U.S. Intelligence and the U.S. Department of Defense, they were all previously involved in that same June 2001 exercise, Dark Winter. Some of these same individuals would also play a role in the FBI’s “sabotaged” investigation into the subsequent Anthrax attacks and are now handling major aspects of the U.S. government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. One of those individuals, Robert Kadlec, was recently put in charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) entire Covid-19 response efforts, despite the fact that he was recently and directly responsible for actions that needlessly infected Americans with Covid-19.
Other major players in Dark Winter are now key drivers behind the “biodefense” mass surveillance programs currently being promoted as a technological solution to Covid-19’s spread, despite evidence that such programs actually worsen pandemic outbreaks. Others still have close connections to the insider trading that recently occurred among a select group of U.S. Senators regarding the economic impact of Covid-19 and are set to personally profit from lucrative contracts to develop not just one, but the majority, of experimental Covid-19 treatments and vaccines currently under development by U.S. companies.
This investigative series, entitled “Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex,” will examine these disturbing parallels between the 2001 anthrax attacks and the current scandals and “solutions” of the Covid-19 crisis as well as the simulations that eerily preceded both events. By tracing key actors in Dark Winter from 2001 to the present, it is also possible to trace the corruption that has lurked behind U.S. “biodefense” and pandemic preparedness efforts for decades and which now is rearing its ugly head as pandemic panic distracts the American and global public from the fundamentally untrustworthy, and frankly dangerous, individuals who are in control of the U.S. government’s and corporate America’s response.
Given their involvement in Dark Winter and, more recently, Event 201 and Crimson Contagion, this series seeks to explore the possibility that, just like the 2001 anthrax attacks, government insiders had foreknowledge of the Covid-19 crisis on a scale that, thus far, has gone unreported and that those same insiders are now manipulating the government’s response and public panic in order to reap record profits and gain unprecedented power for themselves and control over people’s lives.
A DARK WINTER DESCENDS
In late June 2001, the U.S. military was preparing for a “Dark Winter.” At Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland, several Congressmen, a former CIA director, a former FBI director, government insiders and privileged members of the press met to conduct a biowarfare simulation that would precede both the September 11 attacks and the 2001 Anthrax attacks by a matter of months. It specifically simulated the deliberate introduction of smallpox to the American public by a hostile actor.
The simulation was a collaborative effort led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies (part of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security) in collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Analytic Services (ANSER) Institute for Homeland Security and the Oklahoma National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. The concept, design and script of the simulation were created by Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center along with Randy Larsen and Mark DeMier of ANSER. The full script of the exercise can be read here.
The name for the exercise derives from a statement made by Robert Kadlec, who participated in the script created for the exercise, when he states that the lack of smallpox vaccines for the U.S. populace means that “it could be a very dark winter for America.” Kadlec, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration and a former lobbyist for military intelligence/intelligence contractors, is now leading HHS’ Covid-19 response and led the Trump administration’s 2019 “Crimson Contagion” exercises, which simulated a crippling pandemic influenza outbreak in the U.S. that had first originated in China. Kadlec’s professional history, his decades-old obsession with apocalyptic bioweapon attack scenarios and the Crimson Contagion exercises themselves are the subject of Part III of this series.
The Dark Winter exercise began with a briefing on the geopolitical context of the exercise, which included intelligence suggesting that China had intentionally introduced Foot and Mouth disease in Taiwan for economic and political advantage; that Al-Qaeda was seeking to purchase biological pathogens once weaponized by the Soviet Union; and that Saddam Hussein of Iraq had recruited former biowarfare specialists from the Soviet Union and was importing materials to create biological weapons. It further notes that a majority of Americans had opposed a planned deployment of U.S. soldiers to the Middle East, which was also opposed by Iraq, China and Russia. The script also asserts that the soldiers were being deployed to counter and potentially engage the Iraqi military. Later, as the exercise unfolds, many of those Americans once skeptical about this troop deployment soon begin calling for “revenge.”
Amid this backdrop, news suddenly breaks that smallpox, a disease long eradicated in the U.S. and globally, appears to have broken out in the state of Oklahoma. The participants in Dark Winter, representing the National Security Council, quickly deduce that smallpox has been deliberately introduced and that this is the result of a “bioterrorist attack on the United States.” The assumption is made that the attack is “related to decisions we may make to deploy troops to the Mid-East.”
Not unlike what is unfolding currently with the Covid-19 crisis, in Dark Winter, there is no means of rapid diagnosis for smallpox, no treatments available and no surge capacity in the healthcare system. The outbreak quickly spreads to numerous other U.S. states and throughout the world. Hospitals in the U.S. soon face “desperate situations” as “tens of thousands of ill or anxious persons seek care.” This is compounded by “grossly inadequate supplies” and “insufficient isolation rooms,” among other complications.
Since this exercise occurred in June 2001, the heavy hinting that Saddam Hussein-led Iraq and Al Qaeda are the main suspects is notable. Indeed, at one point in one of the fictional news reports used in the exercise, the reporter states that “Iraq might have provided the technology behind the attacks to terrorist groups based in Afghanistan.” Such claims that Iraq’s government was linked to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan would re-emerge months later in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and would be heavily promoted by several Dark Winter participants such as former CIA Director James Woolsey, who would later swear under oath that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. It would, of course, later emerge that Iraq’s connections to Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks were nonexistent as well as the fact that Iraq did not possess biological weapons or other “weapons of mass destruction.”
Notably, this insertion into one of the Dark Winter news clips was not the only part of the exercise that sought to link Saddam Hussein and Iraq to biological weapons. For instance, during the exercise, satellite imaging showed that a “suspected bioresearch facility” in Iraq appeared to be expanding an “exclusionary zone” in order to limit civilian activity near the facility as well as a “possible quarantine” area in the same area as this facility. Previously in the exercise, Iraq was one of three countries, along with Iran and North Korea, who were “repeatedly rumored” to have illicitly obtained Soviet smallpox cultures from defecting scientists and Iraq was alleged to have offered employment to a leading smallpox scientist who had worked on the Soviet bioweapons program.
Then, at the end of the exercise, a “prominent Iraqi defector” emerges who claims Iraq had arranged the bioweapons attack “through intermediaries,” which is deemed “highly credible” even though “there is no forensic evidence to support this claim.” Iraq officially denies the accusation, but vows to target the U.S. in “highly damaging ways” if the U.S. “takes action against Iraq.” It is thus unsurprising that, as will be shown later in this report, key participants in Dark Winter would heavily promote the narrative that Iraq was to blame for the 2001 Anthrax attacks. Other participants, including Robert Kadlec, would then become involved in the FBI’s “sabotaged” investigation once the Bureau began to focus on a domestic, as opposed to an international source.
In addition, as part of Dark Winter, mainstream media outlets, including the New York Times and others, were sent anonymous letters that threatened renewed attacks on the U.S., including anthrax attacks, if the U.S. did not withdraw its troops from the Middle East. In this simulation, those letters contained “a genetic fingerprint of the smallpox strain matching the fingerprint of the strain causing the current epidemic.” During the Anthrax attacks that would occur just a few months after Dark Winter, Judith Miller – who participated in Dark Winter – and other U.S. reporters would receive threatening letters with a white powder presumed to be Anthrax. In Miller’s case, the powder turned out to be harmless.
Other aspects of Dark Winter appear more notable now than ever, particularly in light of recent pandemic simulations that were conducted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (Event 201) and the Trump administration (Crimson Contagion) in 2019, as well as the federal government’s current options for responding to Covid-19.
For instance, Dark Winter warns of “dangerous misinformation” spreading online selling “unverified” cures and making similarly “unverified” claims, all of which are deemed as posing a threat to public safety. Such concerns over online misinformation/disinformation and narrative control have recently surfaced in connection with the current Covid-19 crisis. Notable, however, is the fact that the “Event 201” simulation held last October, which simulated a global pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus, also greatly emphasized concerns about such misinformation/disinformation and suggested increased social media censorship and “limited internet shutdowns” to combat the issue. That simulation was co-hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which is currently led by Dark Winter co-author Thomas Inglesby.
Dark Winter further discusses the suppression and removal of civil liberties, such as the possibility of the President to invoke “The Insurrection Act”, which would allow the military to act as law enforcement upon request by a State governor, as well as the possibility of “martial rule.” The Dark Winter script also discusses how options for martial rule “include, but are not limited to, prohibition of free assembly, national travel ban, quarantine of certain areas, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus [i.e. arrest without due process], and/or military trials in the event that the court system becomes dysfunctional.”
The exercise later includes “credible allegations” that those deemed “suspicious for smallpox” by authorities were illegally arrested or detained and that these arrests largely targeted low income individuals or ethnic minorities. In terms of current events, it is worth pointing out that U.S. Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice he leads have recently requested new “emergency powers” that are allegedly related to the current Covid-19 outbreak. That request specifically references the ability to indefinitely detain Americans without right to a free trial.
WEAVING A NARRATIVE
After examining Dark Winter, it then becomes important to examine the events the exercise seemingly predicted, namely the 2001 anthrax attacks. This is particularly crucial for two reasons: first, that the source of the anthrax was later traced to a domestic source, allegedly the USAMRIID lab in Fort Detrick; and second, the mode of attack and the initial narrative of those attacks were straight out of the Dark Winter playbook. Furthermore, key players in the government response to the anthrax attacks, including those with apparent foreknowledge of the attacks, as well as those who sought (falsely) to link those attacks to Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were also participants in Dark Winter.
Weeks before the first Anthrax case would be discovered, on the evening of September 11, 2001, then-Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff was told to start taking injections of the antibiotic Cipro in order to prevent Anthrax infection. In addition, at least one member of the press, journalist Richard Cohen – then at the Washington Post – had also been told to take Cipro soon after September 11 after receiving a tip “in a roundabout way from a high government official.” Who exactly in the Bush administration and in the Beltway began taking Cipro weeks prior to the anthrax attacks and for how long? Unfortunately, the answer to that question remains unanswered. Yet, it has since been revealed that the person who had told these officials to take Cipro was none other than Dark Winter participant Jerome Hauer, who had previously served for nearly 8 years at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC), which oversees the USAMRIID lab at Fort Detrick.
Hauer, on September 11, 2001, was the managing director of Kroll Inc., a private intelligence and security company informally known as the “CIA of Wall Street,” a company that French intelligence had accused of acting as a front for the actual CIA. Kroll Inc., at the time of the attacks was responsible for security at the World Trade Center complex, yet Hauer was conveniently not present at his World Trade Center office on the day of the attacks, instead appearing on cable news. More on the series of “conveniences” that have followed Hauer throughout his career, especially over the course of 2001, and the massive amounts of money he stands to make off of the current Covid-19 epidemic will be discussed in detail in Part II of this series.
Then, on September 12, Donald Kagan of the neoconservative think tank the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), whose members populated key posts in the Bush administration, made an odd comment (for the time, anyway) about the September 11 attacks and anthrax. Speaking on Washington DC radio, Kagan – after suggesting that the U.S. should invade Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine in retaliation for September 11 – asks “What would have happened if they had anthrax on that plane?” That same day, James Woolsey, himself a PNAC member and also a Dark Winter participant, claimed that Iraq was to blame for September 11 during a cable news interview.
A week later, another PNAC member and advisor to the Bush White House– Richard Perle – told CNN that the next terror attack is likely to involve “chemical or biological weapons.” Soon after, Jerome Hauer re-emerges, claiming that the government now has a “new sense of urgency” regarding bioterrorist threats and asserts that “Osama Bin Laden wants to acquire these [biological] agents and we know he has links to Saddam and Saddam Hussein has them.” Of course, Saddam Hussein did not actually possess these biological weapons, although he did during the fictional Dark Winter exercise in which Hauer had actively participated. Just days after Hauer made these bold claims, ABC News reported that the alleged 9/11 hijackers may have intended to modify crop dusters to disperse Anthrax.
All of this took place several days before the first anthrax victim, photojournalist Bob Stevens, would even begin to show symptoms and over a week before doctors would even begin to suspect that his condition had been caused by anthrax poisoning.
On October 2, as Stevens’ health began to rapidly deteriorate, a new book co-written by journalist Judith Miller of the New York Times was released. Entitled “Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War,” the book asserted that the U.S. faced an unprecedented bioterrorism threat from terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. It further alleged that such groups may have teamed up with countries such as Iraq and Russia. Miller, who had participated in Dark Winter months prior, had conducted numerous interviews with senior White House officials for the book, particularly Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
Libby, although he had not personally attended Dark Winter, was greatly impacted by the exercise when he learned of it, so much so that he had personally arranged for Cheney to watch the video of the entire Dark Winter exercise on September 20, 2001. Cheney took the contents of Dark Winter to the National Security Council the very next day. It would later be reported in New York magazine that, “a few days after 9/11,” the principal authors of Dark Winter – Randall Larsen, Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby – would personally meet with Cheney and members of the administration’s national security staff about the exercise.
Larsen, who worked closely with Robert Kadlec throughout the 1990s, allegedly smuggled a test tube of weaponized Bacillus globigii, “almost genetically identical to anthrax,” into the meeting, according to that report. It is unclear when this meeting took place in relation to when Cheney had watched the video of the Dark Winter exercise.
The same day that Miller’s “Germs” was released, October 2, another odd occurrence took place. A former scientist at the USAMRIID lab at Fort Detrick, Dr. Ayaad Assaad, received a call from the FBI after someone who intimately knew Assaad’s work history and career in great detail (and who also claimed to have previously worked with Assaad) had anonymously accused him of being a “potential biological terrorist” with a deep-seated hatred of the U.S. government. At the time the letter was received by the FBI, neither the public nor the FBI were aware of any anthrax cases. Assaad, who was then working for the Environmental Protection Agency, told the FBI that he believed he was being framed by former co-workers. The FBI deemed this to be credible and never contacted Assaad in connection with the case again.
It later emerged in the Hartford Courant that Assaad had been the target of extensive harassment by a clique of co-workers at the USAMRIID lab in the early 1990s. One of those co-workers who had harassed Assaad would leave the lab disgruntled as a result of the controversy over Assaad’s harassment allegations. He would later return to the lab to conduct unauthorized, late night research on anthrax and be tied to several missing specimens of anthrax and other pathogens – Lt. Col. Philip Zack.
Zack, in 2001, was working for the U.S. biotechnology company Gilead Sciences. Though he first began working for Gilead in 1999, he was “handpicked” in 2001 to lead the establishment of “a new Project Management Department in conjunction with a complete restructure of R&D [Research and Development].” Donald Rumsfeld, another member of PNAC, became the chairman of Gilead Sciences in 1997 and he served as chairman of that company up until he became George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense in early 2001.
Rumsfeld would later announce on September 10, 2001 that $2.3 trillion had gone “missing” from the Pentagon’s budget. The Pentagon’s accounting office, whose staff was attempting to locate these missing trillions, would be destroyed on September 11, 2001. Though planes being flown into the Pentagon would later be described by government officials as “unimaginable” and “unthinkable” after the attacks, a simulation of planes being flown into the Pentagon had been conducted less than a year prior to September 11.
On October 4, 2001, Bob Stevens’ anthrax poisoning diagnosis was made known to the FBI and CDC and the public was then informed via a press conference. The second anthrax case was declared soon after and was a co-worker of Stevens’, who had worked for the Florida-based newspaper, the Sun.
A day later, White House officials began to immediately pressure then-FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove that the anthrax attacks were linked to Al Qaeda, despite there being no evidence to make such a link. “They really wanted to blame somebody in the Middle East,” a then-senior FBI official would later tell the New York Daily News of the meetings.
Over the next few weeks, suspicious letters containing fine, white powder were sent to well-known American journalists, including NBC’s Tom Brokaw and The New York Times’ Judith Miller, though the powder in the letter addressed to Miller was found to be harmless. Notably, Miller and other New York Times journalists wrote a total of 27 articles specifically about anthrax and its potential use as a bioweapon between September 12, 2001 and the day before Stevens was diagnosed with anthrax poisoning.
Letters containing anthrax were also received by Senators Tom Daschle, Russ Feingold and Patrick Leahy, all of whom were – at the time – preventing the US Patriot Act from quickly passing through the Senate and who were resisting administration attempts to ram the legislation through with little to no debate. Several of the letters included the date “9-11-01” and the phrases “Death to America, Death to Israel, Allah is great” in neatly-printed block letters.
Soon after, a suspicious letter was found in the office of then-Congressman and current Vice President Mike Pence. Media Rootsnoted the following about Pence’s subsequent press conference in a 2018 podcast that examined the timeline of the 2001 anthrax attacks:
“…Mike Pence, who once hosted an AM talk show describing himself as ‘Rush Limbaugh on decaf,’ conducts a press conference outside the Capitol proclaiming revenge and biblical style justice to whoever conducted the anthrax attacks. His family–with news cameras in tow–gets tested for anthrax at the hospital after it is allegedly found in his office.
No news outlets questioned his grandstanding or odd performance of going to the hospital with his family, and unlike Senators Daschle and Leahy in their press appearances, Mike Pence alluded to the anthrax letters being connected to the larger ‘war on terror.’”
As public panic swelled, more letters continued to be found, not just in the United States but around the world, with anthrax and/or hoax letters being found in Japan, Kenya, Israel, China and Australia, among others. Simultaneously, efforts to link the anthrax attacks to Saddam Hussein and Iraq began to emerge and quickly grew in intensity and number.
The media push to link the attacks to Iraq began first with The Guardian and then was followed by U.S. media outlets like The Wall Street Journal. Those early reports cited unnamed “American investigators” and defense officials and largely centered on the false claim that alleged 9/11 mastermind Mohammad Atta had met with an Iraqi diplomat in Prague in late 2000 as well as similarly false allegations that members of Al Qaeda had recently obtained vials of anthrax in the Czech Republic.
A key person in disseminating that false Prague story was Dark Winter participant and PNAC member James Woolsey. It was also revealed in late October 2001 that Woolsey was serving as the personal emissary of Paul Wolfowitz, Iraq War “architect” and then-Deputy Secretary of Defense, in “investigating Iraqi involvement in the September 11 attacks and anthrax outbreaks.”
Beyond the Pentagon, foreign “experts” soon began to assert that there was a link between the anthrax attacks and Iraq, including former Israeli military intelligence officer Dany Shoham. Shoham recently resurfaced this past January after claiming that Covid-19 was developed by the Chinese government as a bioweapon.
These assertions were soon followed by a report from ABC News’ Brian Ross, who (again falsely) claimed that some of the anthrax used in the attacks had contained bentonite. Ross claimed that bentonite “is a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program” and that “only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons.” Ross asserted this information had come from three “well-placed but separate sources,” which later grew to four. Yet, no tests conducted during the Anthrax investigation ever found any bentonite at all, meaning the story was an invention from the very start. ABC and Brian Ross never retracted the story.
Glenn Greenwald, then writing at Salon, would state the following about Ross’ sources in 2008:
“Ross’ allegedly four separate sources had to have some specific knowledge of the tests conducted and, if they were really “well-placed,” one would presume that meant they had some connection to the laboratory where the tests were conducted — Ft. Detrick. That means that the same Government lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks on Iraq.
It’s extremely possible — one could say highly likely — that the same people responsible for perpetrating the attacks were the ones who fed the false reports to the public, through ABC News, that Saddam was behind them. What we know for certain — as a result of the letters accompanying the anthrax — is that whoever perpetrated the attacks wanted the public to believe they were sent by foreign Muslims. Feeding claims to ABC News designed to link Saddam to those attacks would, for obvious reasons, promote the goal of the anthrax attacker(s).”
Soon, media reports began noting the contradictory messaging of the U.S. government with regards to the anthrax attacks, messaging which has striking parallels to the Trump administration’s messaging on Covid-19. In one such report, written by Matthew Engel for The Guardian, states:
“Those in charge have compounded the problems by sending out confused messages. Was the anthrax weapons-grade or not? Should Americans be alarmed or relaxed? Has President Bush himself been tested? The signals keep changing. Mr. Thompson suggested early on that Bob Stevens, the first anthrax victim, might have drunk from an infected stream.”
During the 2001 anthrax attacks, there was no shortage of contradictory actions either, such as the government’s failure to mandate that postal workers take Cipro or even take the simplest precautions even though members of the Bush administration had been taking Cipro weeks before the anthrax attacks were known to the FBI and the public. Even worse, the Bush administration waited an extremely long time to close post offices for anthrax testing, waiting until numerous postal workers had already become infected and some had already died. In addition, Ernesto Blanco – a Florida mail room worker who later recovered from Anthrax poisoning – and his family were left confused about the refusal of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to diagnose him with anthrax poisoning while he was in dire condition. Blanco’s family later claimed that his diagnosis had been kept a secret for political reasons.
BASIS FOR SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL
The contradictory response of the Bush administration to the anthrax attacks and the panic that ensued was also paralleled by an equally contradictory sensor system, one which had been installed just a few months before the anthrax attacks in thirty cities throughout the U.S. despite a dubious record of accuracy.
Just as the fictional scenarios proposed in Dark Winter were being written, American scientists were developing a sensor system for the detection of anthrax and botulinum toxin called BASIS (Biological Aerosol Sentry and Information Systems). Months before anthrax would cause extreme panic and target American Senators, scientists from Los Alamos and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory were testing the biological sensing device at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, inside the Special Programs Division of what was once the site of the U.S. biological weapons program and where anthrax samples used at Fort Detrick are often produced.
It is worth noting that Dugway, not unlike Fort Detrick, has a longstanding issues with biosafety lapses that have resulted in numerous mishaps, such as their accidental shipment of live anthrax over 70 times to 86 different labs throughout the world from 2005-2015. Independent analyses conducted after the FBI closed its investigation into the attacks have suggested that Dugway may have been the source of the anthrax used in the attacks, as opposed to Fort Detrick.
Returning to BASIS, the results of the tests conducted on this new sensor system in 2001 showed that it was highly prone to generating false positives and was, therefore, worthless beyond the ability to “induce the very panic and social disruption it is intended to thwart“, according to the Livermore Laboratory, which nevertheless marketed BASIS as a tool to “guard the air we breathe.” Vice President Cheney, following his September 2001 briefing on Dark Winter, decided to install the system in the White House.
Days after Senator Tom Daschle’s press conference that revealed he had been targeted by the anthrax attacker, President Bush was in Shanghai attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit when he received a call from Dick Cheney on Airforce Two. Cheney delivered a chilling message — the President and Secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, who were with Bush in China, might have been exposed to the ultra-lethal botulinum toxin at the White House.
BASIS had returned two positive results for the deadly neurotoxin and – if the tests held true – three of the U.S.’ highest ranking officials were “toast.” Yet, once again, BASIS had lived up to its reputation as a great panic-inducing mechanism when the supposed botulinum toxin hits were determined to have been false positives. Apparently, this “unintended” feature was a real selling point, as proven by George W. Bush’s subsequent deployment of the system in thirty cities throughout the country under the auspices of the newly-minted Department of Homeland Security as part of a program called Bio-Watch.
Given the events described, it is noteworthy that BASIS relies on the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network (LRN) to identify the biological agents trapped by its sensors. The 150 state and local laboratories that make up the LRN use a polymerase chain reaction (PCR-based) analysis, which is ill-equipped to detect the aforementioned botulinum toxin. In addition, the Bio-Watch program is plagued by bureaucratic and logistical problems, which further undermine any potential public health benefits.
DHS was fully aware of the program’s limitations from the start and issued requests for proposals (RFPs) for the development of autonomous sensor technology that would eliminate the need for manual sample collection. The Bioagent Autonomous Networked Detector (BAND) program was then initiated by HSARPA (Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency) in September of 2003 and, in 2008, awarded a multi-year contract for its development to MicroFluidic Systems, Inc., a company founded by Allen Northrup. Northup is also co-founder of Cepheid, a diagnostic testing company that received FDA approval for a 45-minute Covid-19 test less than two weeks ago.
In tandem with the development of BASIS shortly before 9/11 and the 2001 anthrax attacks, DARPA was sponsoring a surveillance program to collect data on U.S. citizens without their knowledge or consent by using their medical records. The ostensible purpose of that program was to develop algorithms that could detect a bioweapons attack based on real-time data input. The Bio-Event Advanced Leading Indicator Recognition Technology, or Bio-ALIRT, is at the heart of what Dark Winter co-author, Dr. Tara O’Toole, calls the “information supply chain.”
“We need to have a disciplined flow of information during epidemics that goes to the people who need to know what they need to know,” O’Toole recently told Ira Pastor in an interview. “That’s different from this cosmic surveillance system, that captures all the possible information all the time and tells us, in advance when an epidemic is coming. We need a supply chain of information to manage the epidemic.” O’Toole, who now works for the CIA’s venture capital arm In-Q-Tel, and her longstanding promotion of mass surveillance in the name of “public health” will be discussed in a subsequent installment of this series.
DARPA’s partners in this Orwellian endeavor were, perhaps unsurprisingly, recurring actors in the arena of biological attack simulations, from Johns Hopkins to the University of Pittsburgh – the Biosecurity centers of which were both previously run by O’Toole – and defense industry giants, General Dynamics and IBM.
Hovering over these draconian innovations floats the overarching narrative, which the 2001 anthrax attacks were supposed to activate in popular consciousness. Though the attacks would be pinned on USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins, the highly questionable investigative and prosecutorial methods employed in Ivins’ case, not to mention his timely pre-trial suicide, may instead offer clues regarding a botched false flag operation that had originally been designed to bolster the creation of a new geopolitical chessboard pitting the U.S. against its same perpetual enemies.
COVERING UP THE REAL CONSPIRACY
From its earliest moments, the FBI’s “Amerithrax” investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks was clearly botched, sabotaged and even farcical. For instance, the letter sent to Dr. Ayaad Assaad would obviously have been a clear starting point for any honest investigation, as whoever wrote it had obvious foreknowledge of the attacks, connections to USAMRIID and was attempting to frame someone else for a crime that – at the time it was sent – had yet to be committed. Yet, The Hartford Courant noted in late 2001 that “the FBI is not tracking the source of the anonymous letter, despite its curious timing, coming a matter of days before the existence of anthrax-laced mail became known.” Why would the FBI not be interested in who wrote that letter, when it presents a clear lead on someone who, at the very least, knew a bioterrorism attack would soon take place and that the attacker’s profile would fit that of Assaad (i.e. Muslim and a former USAMRIID scientist).
In addition, in the early days of the investigation on October 12, 2001 – just one week after the attacks had claimed their first victim, the FBI called the University of Iowa and demanded that they destroy their entire database on the Ames strain of anthrax, the strain that would later be revealed to have been the very strain used in the attacks.
Both the FBI and the university officially claimed that the database’s destruction was ordered in order to prevent its potential use by terrorists in the future and was thus a “precaution,” despite greatly hampering the capacity of the investigation to determine the origins of the anthrax used in the attacks. Dr. Francis Boyle, an American law professor who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, later asserted that the FBI’s decision to order the destruction of the Ames strain database was an “obstruction of justice, a federal crime,” adding that “…That collection should have been preserved and protected as evidence. That’s the DNA, the fingerprints right there.”
Can the destruction of the Ames strain database and the decision to not pursue any leads related to the anonymous letter framing Dr. Assaad be written off as merely “missteps” made in the earliest and arguably most crucial days of the investigation? The fact that the Bush administration, as previously mentioned, was strongly pressuring then-FBI Director Robert Mueller to find a connection to “someone in the Middle East” at the same time these decision were made instead suggests that the investigation was highly politicized and manipulated by top government officials from the very beginning.
The FBI investigation continued to be marred by similarly obstructive actions. For instance, the anthrax sample that was in the envelope addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy had been found to contain traces of human DNA, a crucial finding that the FBI laboratory deliberately concealed from the agency’s own investigators. The FBI lab then declined to search for a match to this human DNA sample, despite the fact that doing so would – in all probability – lead to the actual attacker.
Due to all the obstruction and deliberate sabotage that took place, the investigation progressed slowly as crucial clues were ignored or outright discarded, apparently in order to keep FBI investigators off of the real trail. After coming under political and media pressure at least name a suspect, the FBI began to focus on former USAMRIID researcher Stephen Hatfill.
Despite lacking any good reason to pursue Hatfill, the FBI – accompanied by TV crews – raided Hatfill’s apartment in biohazard suits and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft later publicly named him a “person of interest” in the case. The FBI pressured Hatfill’s then-employer to fire him and refused to clear his name years after the Bureau knew full well that he had no connection to the crime. Hatfill first sued the government in 2003 and the Department of Justice settled with Hatfill five years later, paying him $4.6 million in damages.
Though it was eventually settled, Hatfill’s lawsuit initially resulted in some odd claims from FBI investigators, with Richard Lambert – the FBI official in charge of the Amerithrax investigation, claiming that the lawsuit “could jeopardize the probe and expose national secrets related to U.S. bioweapons defense measures.” He also claimed it would “make public the vulnerabilities and capabilities of U.S. government installations to bioweapons attacks and expose sensitive intelligence collection sources and methods.” Lambert would later file a federal whistleblower lawsuit where he accused the Bureau’s Washington field office and FBI headquarters of having “greatly obstructed and impeded the investigation.”
The Department of Justice, which oversees the FBI, would make a similar argument when Maureen Stevens, the wife of the first anthrax victim Bob Stevens, sued the federal government over the lax security measures in place at the USAMRIID lab where the anthrax used in the attacks was alleged to have originated. Stevens’ lawyer said the lawsuit was also filed due to “the government’s stonewalling tactics,” which included “taking months to turn over an autopsy report, denying them access to DNA tests and even denying them money from the Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund.” Citing “national security concerns,” federal attorneys sought to delay Stevens’ lawsuit, arguing that the litigation “would pose a significant risk of disclosing classified or sensitive information relating to the acquisition, development and use of weapons of mass destruction such as anthrax.”
In 2008, soon after Hatfill was cleared and the lawsuit with him settled, the FBI began to focus on another USAMRIID researcher, Dr. Bruce E. Ivins. Ivins, who had previously helped the FBI analyze the anthrax used in the letters sent to politicians, journalists and others, was aggressively targeted by the FBI through aggressive surveillance and what can only be described as extreme harassment.
As Glenn Greenwald noted in Salon in 2008, “the FBI investigation was so heavy-handed that it actually entailed showing gruesome photographs of the anthrax victims to Ivins’ adult children, telling them that their father is the one who did that, while trying to entice them to turn on him with promises of a reward.” It was also revealed that addiction counselor Jean Duley, whose restraining order against Ivins was used by the media as “proof” that he was deranged and a likely “lone wolf” terrorist, had actually been egged on by none other than the FBI to seek that very restraining order.
The FBI, as it ramped up its targeting of Ivins, leaked much of its evidence to media outlets, which – for the most part – uncritically reported it. However, it eventually became clear that the case was shoddy and would never hold up in court as it was built on circumstantial evidence and questionable scientific analyses.
It was then announced on July 29, 2008 that Ivins, whose life and career had been left in ruins by the FBI’s aggressive tactics, had committed suicide just as the federal government was set to charge him as the sole culprit behind the Anthrax attacks. Few chose to question the suicide narrative despite there being legitimate reasons to do so, such as the lack of a suicide note at the scene and the fact that no autopsy was ever performed on Ivins’ corpse.
Former FBI agent Richard Lambert’s whistleblower lawsuit would later reveal that the FBI had intentionally withheld a “wealth” of evidence that proved Ivins’ innocence and further charged that the DOJ and FBI had “crafted an elaborate perception management campaign to bolster their assertion of Ivins’ guilt” that included “press conferences and highly selective evidentiary presentations which were replete with material omissions.”
After Ivins’ suicide, questions continued to arise regarding the FBI’s case against the deceased scientist, with several journalists and even Senator Patrick Leahy – who had been sent an Anthrax letter – insisting that the FBI’s case against Ivins, particularly the charge that he had acted alone, was implausible. A former co-worker of Ivins and one of the country’s top biowarfare experts, Richard Spertzel, asserted in The Wall Street Journal that Ivins couldn’t have been the culprit because Ivins did not know how to make anthrax of the quality used in the attacks as only 4-5 people in the entire country, Spertzel being one of them, knew how to do so. Spertzel asserted that one of those 4-5 people would have needed at least a year as well as a full lab and a staff dedicate to the task in order to produce the Anthrax used.
In an attempt to mollify mounting criticism, Mueller announced in September 2008 that a panel from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) would independently review the FBI’s “smoking gun” scientific analyses that had led them to accuse Ivins. However, the FBI abruptly closed the case in 2010, well before the panel could conclude its review, and stood by its controversial assertion that Ivins had acted as a “lone wolf” and that anthrax from a flask in Ivins’ lab was “conclusively identified as the parent material to the anthrax powder used in the mailings.”
When the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) did release its review of the FBI’s scientific findings a year later in 2011, it found that the Bureau’s “smoking gun” scientific evidence against Ivins was actually very inconclusive and they also identified several still, unresolved issues with the FBI’s analyses for which the Bureau could not provide an explanation.
However, because Ivins had died before the FBI’s scientific case could go to trial, the FBI’s claims would never be challenged in court. David Relman, vice chairman of the National Academy study committee, later told ProPublica that Ivins’ trial would have been the only way the FBI’s claims “could have been weighed and challenged by experts.”
The NAS study was not the only independent report that challenged the FBI’s case against Ivins after his apparent suicide. In 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its own analysis of the FBI investigation and concluded that the FBI’s approach lacked consistency, adequate standards and precision. The GAO report ultimately supported the NAS’ conclusion that the scientific evidence did not definitely prove Ivins to be the culprit.
The conclusions of both the NAS and GAO reports show that the FBI’s “smoking gun” against Ivins – its scientific analyses – were hardly a smoking gun as they were just as circumstantial as the rest of the Bureau’s evidence against the scientist. This, of course, makes the timing of the FBI’s decision to close the case, a year before any independent analysis of its evidence against Ivins could be completed, significant.
A FAMILIAR CAST OF CHARACTERS
Key players in Dark Winter would also end up playing a role in the FBI Amerithrax investigation and Bush administration efforts to link them to a foreign, rather than a domestic, source. For instance, as increasingly desperate efforts were made to link the anthrax attacks to Al Qaeda in early 2002, an “independent” team from the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies argued that the anthrax attackers were linked to Al Qaeda, citing a diagnosis made by a Florida doctor in June 2001 that alleged 9/11 hijacker Ahmed al-Haznawi had a skin lesion that was “consistent with cutaneous anthrax.”
Yet, this team from Johns Hopkins was – in reality — far from independent, as it was led by Dark Winter co-authors Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby. However, their association with Dark Winter and their September 2001 meeting with Dick Cheney went unmentioned as media outlets ran with O’Toole and Inglesby’s assertion that al-Haznawi’s allegedly anthrax-related lesion “raises the possibility that the hijackers were handling anthrax and were the perpetrators of the anthrax letter attacks.” Other scientists and analysts as well as the FBI challenged and rejected their claims.
Another Dark Winter figure involved in the Amerithrax case was current Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Robert Kadlec, who became an adviser on biological warfare to the Rumsfeld-led Pentagon in the days after 9/11. Kadlec’s official biography states that he “contributed to the FBI investigation of the anthrax letter attacks,” though it’s unclear exactly what those contributions were, beyond having met at least once with scientists at Fort Detrick in November 2001. Whatever his contributions were, Kadlec has long been an emphatic supporter of the official narrative regarding Bruce Ivins, who he has referred to as a “deranged scientist” and the sole culprit behind the attacks. Kadlec has also used the official narrative about Ivins to assert that bioweapons have been “democratized,” which he argues means that weaponized pathogens can be wielded by essentially anyone with “a few thousand dollars” and enough time on their hands.
Notably, Kadlec isn’t the only key figure in the current U.S. government response to Covid-19 to have ties to the botched FBI investigation as current HHS Secretary Alex Azar was also involved in the FBI investigation. In addition, Azar stated at a White House press briefing in 2018 that he had been “personally involved in much of managing the response [to the anthrax attacks]” as then-General counsel to HHS.
Yet, given that the FBI investigation into the anthrax attacks and the government response to them were so disastrous and heavily criticized by independent and mainstream media alike, it is surprising that Azar and Kadlec would so proudly tout their involvement in that fiasco, especially considering that the scientific analyses used in that investigation were fatally flawed and, by all indications, led to the death of an innocent man.
While such credentials in a “normal” world would be grounds for exclusion from public service, they apparently have the opposite effect when it comes to post-2001 HHS policy and U.S. biodefense policy, which – especially following 2001 – has championed the interests and profits of corporate pharmaceutical companies and the apocalyptic vision of bioweapons held by war hawks and perpetual Cold Warriors. This latter category, of course, includes members of the now-defunct PNAC, who infamously referred to racially-targeted bioweapons as a “politically useful tool” in a now infamous 2001 document, and their ideological descendants.
As the next installment of this series will show, Dark Winter participant and 2001 anthrax attack insider Jerome Hauer epitomizes this merging of perpetual hawkishness and corporate pharmaceutical interests, as he has long held (and continues to occupy) key board positions of the very pharmaceutical company that not only sold tens of millions of anthrax vaccine doses to HHS following the 2001 anthrax attacks, but is now a partner in the development of the majority of vaccines, drugs and experimental treatments currently under development in the United States for the treatment of Covid-19.
A Killer Enterprise: How One Of Big Pharma’s Most Corrupt Companies Plans To Corner The Covid-19 Cure Market
By Whitney Webb and Diego
One of the most politically-connected yet scandal ridden vaccine companies in the United States, with troubling ties to the 2001 anthrax attacks and opioid crisis, is set to profit handsomely from the current Coronavirus crisis.
In August 2001, biopharmaceutical company BioPort faced imminent disaster. A series of company scandals, controversial federal bail-outs and severe, adverse health reactions among U.S. troops were causing both Congress and the Pentagon to reconsider its multi-million dollar contract to provide the military with an anthrax vaccine.
Formed for the sole purpose of acquiring a publicly-owned company in Michigan that held the exclusive license to manufacture the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine in the United States, BioPort sought to quickly expand the size and scope of its contracts with the U.S. military. This strategy was made possible thanks to the former head of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William Crowe, who would prove highly instrumental in the rise of BioPort’s vaccine monopoly and its subsequent, aggressive hiring of former government officials as lobbyists.
Yet, soon after scoring these multi-million dollar contracts and securing a monopoly on anthrax vaccines, BioPort would claim that they were flailing financially and would subsequently be bailed out to the tune of $24 million at the Pentagon’s request, which cited “national security concerns” as justification.
However, Pentagon auditors had found that much of the money awarded to BioPort was unaccounted for and the money they were able to trace had failed to go towards renovating their vaccine production facility, which had lost its license until numerous sanitary problems (sanitary and otherwise) were fixed. Meanwhile, scores of soldiers who had suffered ill health effects from BioPort’s anthrax vaccine, some disabled for life, began speaking out, bringing BioPort’s most critical product and chief source of income under unwanted scrutiny.
While BioPort seemingly faced imminent ruin from these and other scandals in August 2001, the 2001 anthrax attacks that followed a month later came at just the right time for the company, as demand for their anthrax vaccine soon skyrocketed, resulting in new lucrative government contracts. Their license was also quickly renewed thanks to intervention from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) despite many of the problems with its production facility persisting.
Though they were conveniently rescued by the unfortunate events of 2001, BioPort would soon lobby for larger contracts than ever before, calling for a massive increase in government purchases of their controversial anthrax vaccine. Riding the fear caused by the 2001 anthrax attacks, they pushed for the government to stockpile anthrax vaccines, not just for the military, but for civilians, postal workers, police and many more who could potentially be put in harm’s way were the anthrax attacks to repeat themselves.
One of their biggest proponents of expanding BioPort’s contracts was working for HHS at the time — Jerome Hauer, a man who not only had foreknowledge of the anthrax attacks, but had also participated in the Dark Winter simulation that would also predict those same attacks just months prior. Hauer would, months later, be appointed to a newly created position at HHS, one which oversaw the new biodefense stockpile from which BioPort would be a major beneficiary.
BioPort would be then renamed and repackaged as Emergent Biosolutions in 2004. It would then hire even more well-connected lobbyists and add several big names from government and the private sector to its board. One of these “big names” was none other than Jerome Hauer, who was added to Emergent’s board soon after leaving HHS. Hauer still remains a company director and sits on three of its corporate governance committees.
Not only did Emergent Biosolutions profit from national anthrax fears, they would also cash in on subsequent pandemic panics and later receive substantial backing from the Bill Gates-backed Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). They would then turn their attention to the still-raging opioid addiction and overdose crisis by buying rights to the only drug approved for treating opioid overdoses at the scene while also suing any and all generic producers of this crucial, life-saving treatment.
Given its history, it should come as little surprise that Emergent Biosolutions is now set to profit from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. They are particularly well-suited to make record profits off of Covid-19, as they are backing not one, but two, vaccine candidates as well as an experimental blood plasma treatment already approved for trials in New York state, thanks in part to Jerome Hauer’s old boss, New York governor Andrew Cuomo. As noted in a previous article for The Last American Vagabond, the other main companies developing Covid-19 vaccines in the U.S. are strategic partners of the controversial Pentagon research agency DARPA, which has become increasingly aligned with HHS in recent years thanks to another Dark Winter participant, Robert Kadlec.
In this second installment of the series “Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex,” Emergent Biosolution’s rise to prominence, made possible through acts of blatant corruption and the public-private revolving door, will be explored. The clear nexus between Big Pharma, Government and University-affiliated “Biosecurity Centers” offers a startling look into the Biotech-Industrial Complex that has long dominated U.S. biodefense policy and is now guiding much of the U.S. government’s response to the Coronavirus crisis.
A Bio Threat is Born
For half a century, Vladimir Pasechnik had been a model Soviet citizen, with his scientific prowess in the field of bioweapons earning him an honorary rank of general. However, having been granted such a title didn’t seem to inspire much loyalty when he made a call to the British embassy from a phone booth in France in 1989. The famed microbiologist subsequently defected to England, a decision that preceded the fall of the Berlin Wall by a matter of months. Yet, few could have provided a more riveting view behind the Iron Curtain than Pasechnik, who regaled Whitehall with shocking tales of monstrous pathogens engineered as part of the Biopreparat, communist Russia’s top secret biological weapons program.
Pasechnik’s MI6 handler, Christopher Davis, shared all of the intelligence gathered with his counterparts in the United States, including claims that Biopreparat programs had developed antibiotic-resistant strains of anthrax, tularemia and botulinum toxin. Ancient diseases like the plague had also been modified, according to Davis. When the stories ran out, Pasechnik was given a job at Britain’s own biodefense facilities at Porton Down, where he would remain for another decade before branching out and founding his own biotech firm.
The Western geopolitical establishment, however, wasted no time in cementing a new narrative of imminent, worldwide bioweapons threats following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev’s resignation in 1991 abruptly crashed the Cold War rhetoric market in the West and the massive military-industrial complex that had profited from those tensions remained revved up, yet lacking a boogeyman.
Pasechnik was just one of several Biopreparat alumni who had defected to Western countries, with another well-known example being Ken Alibek (born Kanatjan Alibekov), who defected to the US as opposed to the UK. Many of Alibek’s sensational claims and dire warnings regarding the Soviet bioweapons program in the 1990s would later be proven to be imaginative falsehoods. Despite this, Alibek retained influence in the biotechnology industry and Washington, where the ability to sell fear is often a sought-after trait.
Pasechnik, however, wasn’t so lucky, dying of a suspected heart attack in November 2001. He was one of 11 of the world’s top microbiologists to die under mysterious circumstances from November 2001 to March 2002.
In light of the claims made by Pasechnik, Alibek and others in the 1990s, a relatively small group of well-connected individuals — many of whom would later participate in the June 2001 Dark Winter simulation — asserted that Biopreparat presented an enduring threat, hypothesizing that defectors from the program might not turn to the West, but instead to rival regimes like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
Anthrax was quickly deemed to be one of the top threats by these bioweapons doomsayers and then, just months after the Soviet Union’s collapse, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a competitive bid solicitation for the production of 6.3 million doses of the anthrax vaccine. Its previous contract, only a year before, had called for merely 700,000 doses by comparison.
The Michigan Biologic Products Institute (MBPI) had been founded in 1926 by the State to serve the vaccination needs of its largely rural population, many of whom worked on farms and required inoculation against naturally occurring anthrax spores and rabies. By the 1980s, the Institute stood alone as the only anthrax vaccine manufacturer in the U.S. after 1970s-era regulations had driven most private vaccine manufacturers out of business. MBPI’s anthrax vaccine was known as Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) or BioThrax.
Aligning himself with policy recommendations issued by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy – a front for the controversial Koch brothers, Michigan’s governor, John Engler, cited the MBPI’s endemic financial losses to justify putting the nation’s only licensed anthrax vaccine manufacturer up for sale in 1996. However, upon closer examination, the real reason behind the decision had more to do with a sudden spike in demand by the lab’s only customer, the US government, and the MBPI’s inability to meet it.
The Michigan facility required massive renovations if it was to fulfill the needs of a national security establishment that had come to reconstitute itself around the threat of weapons of mass destruction and biowarfare, a threat largely manufactured by the stories of Soviet defectors. The Pentagon offered to pony up $1.8 million for the necessary renovations, but there were no takers — at least, none with a US passport.
That same year, perennial US defense contractor, Dyncorp, went into business with a shadowy group of biotech entrepreneurs from across the pond, forming the DynPort Vaccine Company, LLC., a combination of DynCorp’s name with that of its UK-based partner, Porton International, Inc. The latter company’s president, Zsolt Harsanyi, would also lead DynPort as the British firm began to lay the groundwork for its second attempt at securing a crucial monopoly within the American biotech space.
Porton International had come into existence as a result of the Thatcherite revolution that balkanized British public sector assets and distributed them among private interests that frequently had close and cozy ties with Thatcher-era officials and other UK politicians. Among these assets was the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR), a biotechnology arm of the United Kingdom’s infamous Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, commonly referred to as Porton Down, which also happened to house the UK’s own anthrax vaccine program.
Porton International began operations in 1982, when London financier, Wensley Haydon-Baillie, founded the company to develop a herpes medication invented by Dr. Gordon Skinner, which had stalled during clinical trials and never actually entered the market. In 1985, Haydon-Baillie secured exclusive rights to commercialize drugs developed by the CAMR, a sweetheart deal from the Thatcher government that drew in large investments from British Telecom and Lloyds Bank, among others, totaling £76 million. Haydon-Ballie profited handsomely from the venture, collecting annual dividends of half a million pounds and selling some of his shares for £24 million in 1986.
In 1989, Porton International acquired Sera-lab and Hazleton Biologics, Inc., providing it with an established distribution network. The following year, the company’s bid to outright purchase the 650-employee CAMR lab, would be accepted by British Health Secretary, Kenneth Clark, despite opposition from the staff who had voted against the takeover.
House of Fuad
By the time the sale closed, Haydon-Ballie — once the 50th richest man in England — was on the brink of being forced out of Porton International over accusations of illicit enrichment. Around the same time, the anthrax vaccine was set to enter a bull market and Porton International was now in a prime position to reap the full benefits.
A year earlier in 1989, Ibrahim El-Hibri, a Venezuelan citizen who had made a fortune working for US telecommunications companies, had become a silent partner in Porton International. His son, Fuad El-Hibri, was made director of Porton Products, Ltd, a Porton International subsidiary, which was the conduit by which the El-Hibri family had made a killing selling anthrax vaccines to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states at $300 to $500 a dose. Fuad El-Hibri had previously been an intelligence contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton and an executive at the Wall Street giant, CitiGroup.
The elder El-Hibri had a knack for business that ran back decades to the 1970s when he lived in Qatar, where he befriended the then-head of US Central Command, Admiral William Crowe. The career military man kept in touch with El-Hibri through the years and perhaps even gave him a few business leads at a time when Crowe was also serving on the board of pharmaceutical behemoth, Pfizer. Crowe would later pick up the phone in late 1997 (officially at least, but probably well before) to make a proposition to his old friend.
In 1997, then-US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen announced a plan to vaccinate every single member of the US Armed Forces against anthrax, which ultimately resulted in the vaccination of approximately 2.4 million troops by 2003. Admiral Crowe, who was serving as the US ambassador to the UK at the time, quickly contacted El-Hibri to discuss the US government anthrax vaccine market in light of this new Pentagon policy.
The only obstacle was getting his son, Fuad El-Hibri, a U.S. passport so that he could run the business stateside. To easily and quickly circumvent this issue, the politically-connected Admiral — with his deep ties to the Pentagon intact — was made a director of BioPort and given 10% of company stock, despite not having put a single penny into the company.
The stage was set to bring Porton International into the exclusive government contract business in the United States as BioPort, Inc. As luck would have it, Porton International’s president, Zsolt Harsanyi, had just received a ten-year DoD contract worth roughly $322 million through DynPort Vaccine Company, LLC, and — thanks to Michigan’s governor — the only licensed anthrax vaccine manufacturing plant in the country was back on the auction block.
A Steal and a Scam
In September 1998, BioPort acquired the MBPI facility through a $25 million package of loans, cash and promises to pay Michigan state more for the company in the future, promises that were later broken. It was later revealed that El-Hibri and other BioPort partners had only placed $4.5 million of their own money into this package.
As previously mentioned, the MBPI plant in Lansing, MI had come with issues and had been closed for renovations six months prior to its purchase by BioPort. However, the MBPI had received millions from the Pentagon to fix the issues identified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that had affected the vaccine’s “stability, potency and purity.”
Along with these issues, BioPort had also inherited military contracts worth nearly $8 million for anthrax vaccines. They quickly secured another contract for the same totaling more than $45 million, with an additional $16 million in cash for immediate renovations — a sizable deal likely due to BioPort’s aggressive hiring of former Pentagon and federal officials as lobbyists in addition to Crowe’s own deep ties to the Pentagon.
Despite the massive influx of cash, BioPort did not spend the money on renovating the plant and its sanitary issues, likely due to the fact that the deal required the Pentagon to buy anthrax vaccines from BioPort even if the plant and the vaccines it had produced lacked a FDA license.
With the Pentagon obligated to buy the vaccine, regardless of whether it was usable, BioPort spent millions renovating its executives’ offices, as opposed to the vaccine factory, and millions more on bonuses for “senior management.” Pentagon auditors would later find that still millions more had gone “missing” and BioPort’s staff were unaware of the cost of producing a single dose of the vaccine.
Despite the clear mismanagement and corruption, BioPort demanded to be bailed out by the Pentagon, requesting even more money to replace what they had lost and squandered. Though Pentagon auditors argued that the company should be abandoned, top military officials cited “national security” and awarded BioPort with an additional $24.1 million. They also upped the price to be paid for each dose of the anthrax vaccine, which only has a shelf life of 3 years, from $4.36 to $10.64.
Congress would hold hearings on the bail-out, hearings that went nowhere. During one of those hearings, then-Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) would state the following:
“The message seems clear: If a company wants to make millions without providing a product or service, enter into a sole-source contract with the Department of Defense to produce vaccines. BioPort appears to have the government over a barrel.”
Unsurprisingly, this would only be the first of BioPort’s federal bail-outs.
Fortune favors the corrupt
With BioPort well aware of its powerful position early on, it dragged its feet in getting its factory relicensed and up to federal standards. Meanwhile, due to the nature of the contract, the Pentagon kept buying up large amounts of vaccines that were unusable, and arguably unsafe, while also still paying BioPort for storage of the useless product.
During this time, anthrax vaccine doses made prior to these renovations were being used on U.S. troops, with many of those soldiers claiming that the vaccine produced in the troubled facility had given them permanent headaches, joint pain, loss of memory and other, more severe symptoms. Some were even disabled for life. Congress again held hearings, but they were stuffed with BioPort employees posing as “experts” as well as others who supported the Pentagon’s contract with the company.
However, in 2000, the Pentagon did finally lose patience and demanded that BioPort stop making BioThrax. BioPort obliged, but kept receiving government money to keep it afloat. By August 2001, the Lansing facility was still unlicensed and BioPort was still demanding government money to keep it from going out of business. That month, Congress and the Pentagon began to publicly discuss abandoning BioPort. The Pentagon began preparing a report, due to be released in September 2001, that would detail a plan for letting BioPort go.
Fortunately for BioPort but unfortunately for the nation, the events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax attacks led to major increases in fear and panic that anthrax attacks could become a recurrent nightmare for the American public and that radical terror groups and rival nations sought to target, not just American soldiers with anthrax, but also the country’s civilians.
The ensuing panic led the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to intervene, returning BioPort its license in January 2002 despite persisting safety concerns at its vaccine production facility. BioPort was not content to merely see its past contracts with the Pentagon restored, however, as it began lobbying heavily for new contracts for anthrax vaccines intended for American civilians, postal workers and others. They would get them, largely thanks to HHS’ then-counter-terrorism adviser and soon to be HHS’ newest Assistant Secretary — Jerome Hauer.
Jerome Hauer’s Curious Past
As BioPort secured its control over the only licensed anthrax vaccine producer in the country in 1998, New York’s emergency crisis manager and bioterrorism expert, Jerome Hauer, was busy working and making doomsday contingency plans from his “bunker” on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center Building 7.
Put on the job by then-NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1996, Hauer had previously managed worldwide emergency response for technology giant IBM. He also was an adviser to the Justice Department, had briefed President Clinton on bioterror threats and was known to “consult regularly with Scotland Yard and the Israeli military.” It was reportedly Hauer’s idea to locate the city’s emergency management office at Building 7, even though placing it there was considered controversial at the time due to the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, bombings that were later revealed to have disturbing links to the FBI.
In 1999, the New York Times would describe Hauer’s job as “sitting around all day thinking up horrifying ways for things to be destroyed and people to die.” It would also note that Hauer described his expertise regarding specific emergency situations as follows: “helicopter crash, subway fire, water main break, ice storm, heat wave, blackout, building collapse, building collapse, building collapse.” His obsession with building collapses even led him to house “trophies” of the building collapses he had overseen and responded to. How odd then that Hauer’s multi-million dollar “bunker” itself would later fall victim to building collapse, falling into its own footprint in 7 seconds on September 11, 2001.
That fateful day, Hauer was no longer with NY’s Office of Emergency Management, having left in February 2000. However, in 2001, Hauer still worked at the World Trade center complex, running security for the buildings as managing director of Kroll Inc. Informally known as the “CIA of Wall Street”, Kroll was alleged to be an actual front for the CIA by French intelligence agencies, according to the Washington Post. Though it claimed to be mainly involved in corporate security and investigations, it also frequently investigated targets of Washington foreign policy, including Saddam Hussein. Kroll was also the company tapped to “reorganize” Enron in 2002.
Though Hauer should have been at his office at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, he did not show up for work that day and instead made TV media appearances, where he claimed that Osama bin Laden had been responsible for the attacks just hours after the towers collapsed in an interview with Dan Rather.
Yet, not all Kroll employees were as lucky as Hauer. John O’Neill had just begun working for Kroll and was at the World Trade Center that day, dying in the attacks. O’Neill had previously worked with the FBI and was the country’s top expert on Osama bin Laden and his activities. He had resigned in mid-2001 after his investigations into bin Laden were repeatedly blocked by his superiors, something that happened to numerous federal investigators prior to 9/11, and was subsequently offered a job at Kroll by none other than Jerome Hauer himself.
Also on the day of 9/11, Hauer had told top Bush administration officials to start taking the antibiotic Cipro to prevent infection via anthrax and Hauer would subsequently make public hints via mass media that foreign terrorists were working with Saddam Hussein to unleash an anthrax attack on the American public. All of this took place well before the first anthrax attack victim, photojournalist Robert Stevens, would even show symptoms.
Hauer had prepared for a scenario just like the anthrax attacks as part of the Dark Winter biowarfare simulation, which occurred just months prior and at a time when Hauer was a member of the Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian BioDefense, part of what is now the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, then led by Dark Winter co-author Tara O’Toole. The Dark Winter exercise and its current relevance are discussed in detail in Part I of this series.
Also of note is the fact that, while working for Kroll Inc. Hauer was also working for the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a defense and intelligence contractor. There he became a co-worker of Stephen Hatfill, who Hauer had actually met years prior. At SAIC, Hatfill worked on developing protocols for handling “anthrax hoax letters,” a phenomenon present in Dark Winter and later during the actual 2001 anthrax attacks. Hatfill would later be accused of having committed those very attacks, but was later cleared of suspicion, winning a hefty multi-million dollar settlement from the government.
In addition to his work for SAIC and Kroll as the events of September 11, 2001 transpired, Hauer was also a national security adviser to then-head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tommy Thompson. Hauer closely advised Thompson during the 2001 anthrax attacks and after, helping to shape HHS response and subsequent biodefense policy, which focused heavily on BioPort’s anthrax vaccine.
Hauer and HHS
As the anthrax attacks unfolded, Hauer advised Secretary Thompson to establish a new office at HHS, the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP), whose first acting director was Dr. D.A. Henderson, a former official with the World Health Organization and the original founder of the Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian Biodefense, which had sponsored Dark Winter and included Jerome Hauer as well as Dark Winter co-authors Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby. In early 2002, Hauer himself would replace Henderson as head of the newly created OPHP.
In May 2002, Hauer — while leading OPHP — co-authored a report with members of the Johns Hopkins Working Group, including O’Toole and Inglesby. In that paper, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Hauer, O’Toole, Inglesby and their co-authors argued that greater production and purchase of anthrax vaccine was necessary in light of the 2001 anthrax attacks and that government funding was also needed to research a new anthrax vaccine. They also asserted that the vaccine did not cause any significant adverse effects.
Notably, just months prior, O’Toole and Inglesby had come under scrutiny in their attempts to link the anthrax attacks to Al Qaeda, several months after that possibility had been ruled out completely by federal investigators and other independent scientists.
The paper authored by the Johns Hopkins Working Group would also come under scrutiny, particularly their recommendation that the government acquire more BioThrax. This was largely because the evidence from the attacks showed that antibiotics were much more effective and less expensive in responding to anthrax attacks, with subsequent studies claiming that calls for stockpiling more BioThrax “defy medical evidence and expert recommendations” based on lessons learned during the anthrax attacks.
Then, in June 2002, the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act was signed into law by President Bush, creating the post of Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness, which was quickly filled by Hauer and gave him near-complete power over HHS’ biodefense policy and all HHS matters related to “national security.”
In July 2002, Hauer and his deputy William Raub helped push the Pentagon to restart vaccinating the troops, despite long-standing concerns over the vaccine’s safety. Per the new immunization program, the number of troops being vaccinated would “jump,” according to officials. However, the size of that increase was never made public. In addition, half of the Pentagon’s BioThrax purchases would be stockpiled for civilian use.
Though Hauer, O’Toole, Inglesby, the Pentagon and, of course, BioPort, continued to assert that BioThrax was safe for human use, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) would release its findings just months later that showed that the vaccine “caused adverse reactions in most recipients [85%] and helped prompt many Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members to transfer to other units or leave the military between 1998 and 2000.” The Pentagon and HHS rejected the GAO’s conclusions.
Despite rejections from the Pentagon and HHS, the number of veterans suffering ill effects from BioThrax continued to mount. Even mainstream sources began to report on claims linking BioThrax to over 20 deaths and over 4,000 illnesses, 347 of which were deemed to be “serious.”
As a result, in March 2003, six military service-members and Defense Department civilian contractors sued the Pentagon, HHS and the FDA over the mandatory BioThrax vaccination policy, claiming that the way the vaccine had been administered in the 1990s and in the early 2000s was experimental.
This claim was based on the fact the FDA had not approved BioThrax for use against aerosol exposure to anthrax (i.e. anthrax inhalation). However, the Pentagon was using BioThrax to ostensibly protect soldiers from exposure to aerosol anthrax, which is the form of anthrax that would be encountered by soldiers in a bioweapon or bioterrorist scenario. Thus, the Pentagon was injecting soldiers with BioThrax for a use for which it was not federally approved, rendering its use experimental. Given that the federal mandating of experimental vaccines is illegal, a federal judge ruled that the Pentagon’s mandatory Biothrax vaccination program was illegal in October 2004.
The ruling was a blow to BioPort, which had reorganized that year and took on the name Emergent BioSolutions. However, BioPort/Emergent BioSolutions would find relief in 2006, when the Pentagon decided to resume mandatory anthrax immunizations among U.S. servicemen soon after the FDA decided to approve BioThrax as a treatment for anthrax inhalation.
Just months before the Pentagon’s BioThrax vaccine program was deemed illegal, Congress passed the Project BioShield Act, an act that was largely written by Emergent BioSolution lobbyists and greatly influenced by Robert Kadlec, who was then serving as the Homeland Security Council’s Director of Biodefense. The goal of the act was to allocate $5 billion to be used to purchase vaccines, including millions of doses of anthrax vaccine, and stockpile them in the event of a future bioterrorist attack. Given that these vaccines have a limited shelf life (three to four years in BioThrax’s case), the stockpile would continually need to be renewed as its contents gradually expired.
Not long after BioShield was signed into law, Emergent BioSolutions co-founded a lobby group called the Alliance for Biosecurity as part of its strategy to easily secure lucrative BioShield contracts. That lobby group saw Emergent BioSolutions join forces with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Biosecurity, which was created in 2003 and populated with former members of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Civilian Biodefense Strategies. At the time, the University of Pittsburgh’s Center was led by Tara O’Toole.
Though Emergent BioSolutions had contacts with the key organizations and people in the biodefense-industrial complex, the Bush administration and the military, BioShield initially didn’t go as planned for the company. Instead of pumping even more money into the controversial BioThrax, HHS decided to invest in a new anthrax vaccine that involved fewer doses and fewer adverse side effects, and thus less controversy.
In November 2004, HHS through BioShield awarded VaxGen Inc. a $877.5 million contract to produce a recombinant anthrax vaccine and was the first contract made via BioShield. In great contrast to Emergent’s past BioThrax contracts with the government, the VaxGen contract did not provide the company with government money until the vaccine was approved and subsequently delivered.
The VaxGen contract greatly concerned BioPort/Emergent Biosolutions for obvious reasons. In order to avoid losing their vaccine monopoly, they invested heavily in lobbying and spent $5.29 million on lobbyists from 2004 to 2007. By comparison, over that same period, VaxGen spent $720,000 on lobbyists.
One of those lobbyists was Jerome Hauer, who was also added to Emergent’s board shortly after leaving HHS. Despite Hauer having supported a new anthrax vaccine other than BioThrax while he had worked at HHS, Hauer suddenly began to insist that BioThrax was the solution. He also demanded that his replacement at HHS, Stewart Simonson, who was ultimately responsible for VaxGen’s BioShield contract, be stripped of his authority. Other lobbyists hired by Emergent at the time included two former aides to then-Vice President Dick Cheney and former aides to influential members of Congress.
The hiring of Hauer and others well-connected to the Bush administration and Congress was just part of Emergent’s aggressive lobbying against the VaxGen contract, as the company also employed mafia-esque tactics, telling lawmakers and government officials that U.S. civilians “were at risk of death without an immediately expanded stockpile of [BioThrax] anthrax vaccine” and threatening to “stop making the vaccine if the government chose not to buy its product for the stockpile.”
The war between Emergent BioSolutions and VaxGen spread to Congressional hearings, where Congressmen who had received thousands from Emergent’s then-CEO attacked the VaxGen BioShield contract, with one calling it “highly suspect” and angrily demanding that HHS explain why it had not purchased more BioThrax. It also spread to the press, where Emergent lobbyists wrote Op-Eds in influential newspapers.
Emergent even found unlikely supporters in “progressive” journalists like Jeremy Scahill, who wrote an article for The Nation in which he praised Jerome Hauer, framing him as a champion of public health preparedness who was at odds with Bush-era neocons (despite his membership in organizations stuffed with those same neocons). Scahill also strongly criticized Hauer’s successor Stewart Simonson and the VaxGen contract.
Scahill did not mention in his report that Hauer was then working as a lobbyist for Emergent BioSolutions or was a member of its board, despite interviewing him for the piece. Scahill didn’t even mention Emergent BioSolutions (or its previous name BioPort) once in the entire article, despite it being VaxGen’s main competitor.
Finally, in 2006, HHS terminated VaxGen’s contract after the company hit a developmental snag with its vaccine, declining to offer them the type of lifelines that Emergent BioSolutions had received on numerous occasions under its previous name BioPort.
After VaxGen’s contract with HHS was crushed, Emergent BioSolution’s anthrax vaccine monopoly remained intact, at least for a time. However, PharmAthene, another biotechnology company that had co-formed the Alliance for Biosecurity lobby group with Emergent, soon announced its plans to develop its own recombinant anthrax vaccine. This prompted Emergent to end up buying the essentially bankrupt VaxGen and acquiring the very VaxGen anthrax vaccine it had spent millions of dollars over several years to discredit.
A few years later, Emergent’s competitors made inroads with the Pentagon, with the military offering contracts for the anthrax vaccine developed by PharmAthene and another manufactured by PaxVax. Emergent aggressively challenged its competitors or bought them out in order to retain its monopoly, while also developing three new anthrax vaccines (one of which was the VaxGen vaccine) to satisfy government demand for a new anthrax vaccine. Only one, dubbed NuThrax, ever made any progress.
NuThrax, a combination of BioThrax and an adjuvant, would be yet another gold mine for Emergent Biosolutions. The company received $127 million from HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for early development. Meanwhile, they began to dramatically scale up their production of BioThrax with even more grants from BARDA. Then, in 2016, it received an additional $198 million from HHS for further development of NuThrax as well as a government promise to purchase up to 50 million doses for the national biodefense stockpile. That promise was made as part of a contract valued at up to $1.6 billion and was also made before NuThrax received approval by the FDA. To date, NuThrax still remains unapproved by the FDA.
The A Team
It is worth noting that Hauer was not the only key government official that had aided BioPort and was later awarded with a position on its board of directors. A few years after Hauer became a board member of Emergent Biosolutions, the company added Dr. Sue Bailey to its board in 2007. Bailey had previously served as the Pentagon’s former top medical official during the late 1990s and played a key role in keeping the military’s anthrax vaccine program from being derailed from persistent concerns from veterans about its safety and adverse side effects.
Back in 1999, when Congress had held its hearings into the anthrax vaccine’s safety following concerns raised by affected veterans, Bailey was part of a panel of experts, which had included BioPort’s Admiral William Crowe. In her prepared statement, Bailey began by underscoring the urgency of the bioterrorist threat, claiming that “at least ten nation states and two terrorist groups“ possessed biowarfare capabilities and citing a 1958 study by Johns Hopkins University as proof that anthrax vaccinations were safe. She concluded by reassuring members of Congress that they had a “safe and effective vaccine to respond to a well-documented threat.” Neither of these statements would turn out to be true.
Another expert Dr. Katherine Zoon, who was then director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation, concurred with Dr. Bailey’s assessment regarding the safety of the anthrax vaccine in her statement. Zoon, who would subsequently hold key posts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was also added to Emergent’s board of directors.
The statements that had been made by Zoon and Bailey at that hearing were a significant divergence from the FDA’s own appraisal on the long-term safety of the vaccine, according to testimony by Kwai-Cheung Chan of the General Accounting Office (GAO). Chan practically invalidated both Bailey’s and Zoon’s testimony by revealing that the studies they had cited were carried out on a completely different anthrax vaccine that was produced by Merck, not Emergent BioSolutions, among other details. Chan’s testimony made it clear that BioThrax had no safety track record at all. Not unlike Hauer, Emergent later rewarded Bailey and Zoon for their loyalty to the private sector as opposed to public health with board positions and lucrative stock options.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste”
Though Emergent Biosolutions has enjoyed its privileged status regarding the anthrax vaccine for over two decades, it has long since branched out and profiteered from a variety of pandemic scares, including Ebola and Zika, and public health crises both globally and domestically. They have also acquired other vaccine monopolies, including the U.S.’ only licensed smallpox vaccine through their purchase of Sanofi, which came with a $425 million government contract and the promise of subsequent multi-year renewals on that contract for the ever-increasing national biodefense stockpiles.
Another drug monopoly acquired by Emergent Biosolutions has allowed them to profit handsomely off of the U.S.’ devastating opioid epidemic. In 2018, a year when the opioid crisis claimed the lives of nearly 70,000 Americans and was considered the top health crisis facing the nation, Emergent acquired the producer of Narcan, the only FDA-approved nasal spray of naloxone, which is used to treat opioid overdoses at the scene. At the time of acquisition, Emergent BioSolutions executive Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi referred to U.S. high schools and colleges as lucrative, “untapped markets” for Narcan.
Two months after Emergent completed its acquisition of the Narcan monopoly, HHS began recommending that doctors co-prescribe the drug alongside opioid painkillers. However, HHS offered no measures aimed at preventing the over-prescription of opioid painkillers like fentanyl and has remained silent regarding efforts to make opioid painkillers a controlled, schedule 1 substance. After the HHS recommendation regarding Narcan, several states subsequently passed laws requiring doctors to co-prescribe the nasal spray. Emergent’s sale of Narcan, which now costs $150 per dose, predictably spiked.
Regarding its Narcan monopoly, Emergent has long claimed that they are working to keep the drug affordable and they have even donated Narcan to public libraries and YMCAs as part of a major public relations push. However, Emergent’s same-old aggressive tactics still apply to Narcan, as they have sued any competitors aiming to market a cheaper, generic version of the drug. In addition, government promotion of Narcan as opposed to other, longer-term solutions to opioid addiction, have come under scrutiny, with some arguing that Narcan actually enables opioid addiction and may actually be worsening the crisis.
Cornering the Covid-19 market
Emergent’s history of corruption and profiteering has in no way prevented them from cashing in on the Covid-19 global health crisis. On March 10, Emergent announced a partnership with Novavax to produce a Covid-19 vaccine, a vaccine also backed by the Bill Gates-backed Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). CEPI had previously partnered with Emergent Biosolutions, giving themover $60 million in 2018. Emergent further expanded its partnership with NovaVax on March 31.
Just 8 days after partnering with Novavax, Emergent partnered with yet another producer of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, VaxArt. Unlike the Emergent-Novavax vaccine, the vaccine candidate co-produced with VaxArt will be oral and in pill form, “offer[ing] enormous logistical advantages in the roll-out of a large vaccination campaign,” according to VaxArt CEO Wouter Latoud.
While backing two of the most prominent vaccine candidates for Covid-19 gives Emergent an advantage in terms of profiting from whatever vaccines end up being approved for use by the government, Emergent’s star has risen during the current Coronavirus crisis largely thanks to its two experimental blood plasma treatments.
Announced just one day after their Novavax vaccine partnership, Emergent’s first experimental blood plasma treatment involves pooling and concentrating blood plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients, while the second uses plasma taken from horses that have been injected with parts of the virus. These treatments were slated to begin clinical trials later this year, but have been greatly aided by HHS’ BARDA, which falls under the authority of Robert Kadlec. These treatments are now expected to begin Phase II trials by late summer.
On April 3, BARDA awarded Emergent Biosolutions $14.5 million for the development of its blood plasma treatment. Though the sum is smaller than other contracts Emergent has received from BARDA in the past, the partnership allows Emergent to overcome its greatest obstacle in developing this product, a massive supply of blood plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients. Thanks to their partnership with BARDA, Emergent will gain access to blood donations made by recovered Covid-19 to public blood centers.
Emergent’s Dr. Lisa Saward confirmed this in a recent interview with TechCrunch, stating “we are overcoming [the lack of “source material” i.e. blood plasma] with the help of partnerships like that of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority within Health and Human Services, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced earlier this week.”
However, Emergent’s use of donated plasma to develop its product may prove controversial, since the plasma donated by recovered Covid-19 patients is currently being used as a treatment for seriously ill Covid-19 patients. The use of plasma to treat critical patients began late last month after New York’s state government first authorized its use in such cases, followed by the FDA’s offer to approve its use for critical Covid-19 patients nationwide on a case-by-case basis. Yet, thanks to the BARDA and Emergent partnership, a significant amount of that plasma will instead go towards helping Emergent corner yet another key market.
Head Of The Hydra: The Rise Of Robert Kadlec
Posted onSource: TheAltworld.com
By Whitney Webb & Diego
A powerful network of political operatives, a global vaccine mafia and their man in Washington.
Last Friday, a group of Democratic Senators “demanded” that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Robert Kadlec, “accurately disclose all his personal, financial and political ties in light of new reporting that he had failed to do so previously” after it was revealed that he had failed to note all “potential conflicts of interest” on his nomination paperwork.
The report in question, published last Monday by The Washington Post, detailed the ties of Kadlec to a man named Fuad El-Hibri, the founder of a “life sciences” company first known as BioPort and now called Emergent Biosolutions. Kadlec had previously disclosed his ties to El-Hibri and Emergent Biosolutions for a separate nomination years prior, but had failed to do so when nominated to head ASPR.
Though The Post does note Kadlec’s recent failure to disclose these connections, the article largely sanitizes Kadlec’s earlier yet crucial history and even obfuscates the full extent of his ties to the BioPort founder, among other glaring omissions. In reality, Kadlec has much more than his ties to El-Hibri looming large as “potential conflict of interests,” as his decades-long career in shaping U.S. “biodefense” policy was directly enabled by his deep ties to intelligence, Big Pharma, the Pentagon and a host of corrupt yet powerful characters.
Thanks to a long and deliberate process to introduce biodefense policy, driven by Robert Kadlec and his sponsors, $7 billion dollars-worth of federally-owned vaccines, antidotes and medicines – held in strategically arranged repositories across the country in case of a health emergency – are now in the hands of one single individual. Those repositories, which compose the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), are the exclusive domain of HHS’ ASPR, a post created under Kadlec’s watchful eye and tailored over the years to meet his very specific requirements.
From this perch, Robert Kadlec has final say on where the stockpile’s contents are sourced, as well as how, when and where they are deployed. He is the sole source procurer of medical material and pharmaceuticals, making him the best friend of Big Pharma and other healthcare industry giants who have been in his ear every step of the way.
Kadlec assures us, however, that the fact that he now holds the very office he worked so long to create is merely a coincidence. “My participation in the ASPR project began at that time when I was working for the chairman of the Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness…The bill was made law and the ASPR was created. It just was a coincidence that, 12 or 14 years later, I was asked to become the ASPR,” Kadlec stated in 2018.
It was all a random twist of fate, Kadlec asserts, that saw him occupy ASPR at this crucial moment in U.S. history. Indeed, with the country now in the middle of a WHO-declared coronavirus pandemic, Kadlec now has full control over the far-reaching “emergency” powers of that very office, bestowed upon him by the very law that he had written.
The story of how a former USAF flight surgeon came to have the exclusive dealer license over the single biggest stash of drugs in the history of the world is as disturbing as it is significant in light of current events, particularly given that Kadlec now leads the coronavirus response for all of HHS. Yet, Kadlec’s rise to power is not a case of an evil mastermind conquering a uniquely vulnerable point of the nation’s resources. Instead, it is a case of a man deeply enmeshed in the world of intelligence, military intelligence and corporate corruption dutifully fulfilling the vision of his friends in high places and behind closed doors.
In this third installment of “Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex,” Kadlec is shown to hail from a tight-knit group of “bioterror alarmists” in government and the private sector who gained prominence thanks to their penchant for imagining the most horrific, yet fictitious scenarios that inspired fear among Presidents, top politicians and the American public. Among those fictitious scenarios was the “Dark Winter” exercise discussed in Part I.
Some of these alarmists, among them “cold warriors” from Fort Detrick’s days of openly developing offensive weapons, would engage in unsettling anthrax experiments and studies while developing suspect ties in 2000 to a company called BioPort. As noted in Part II of this series, BioPort stood to lose everything in early September 2001 due to controversy over its anthrax vaccine. Of course, the 2001 anthrax attacks that followed shortly thereafter would change everything, not just for BioPort, but U.S. biodefense policy. With the stage set, Kadlec would quickly spring into action, guiding major policy changes on the heels of subsequent major events and disasters, culminating in his crowning as King of the stockpile.
The Accidental Madman
Robert Kadlec describes himself as having been an “accidental tourist” regarding his introduction to biological warfare. An Air Force physician who had specialized in tropical diseases, Kadlec would later say his interest in the field began when he was assigned to be a special assistant for Chemical and Biological Warfare to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), advising then-head of Special Operations Command Maj. Gen. Wayne Downing, on the eve of the first Gulf War.
Kadlec would later state that he had witnessed firsthand how the military, immediately prior to the Gulf War, had “lacked the necessary protective equipment, detectors, and medical countermeasures including vaccines and antibiotics against the immediate threats posed by Iraq,” allegedly prompting him to want to better U.S. biodefense efforts.
While holding this post at JSOC, Kadlec was privy to the advice of William C. Patrick III, a veteran of the U.S.’ bioweapons program who had developed the U.S.’ method for weaponizing anthrax and held no less than five classified patents related to the toxin’s use in warfare. Patrick, who had left government service in 1986 to become a consultant, advised the Pentagon — then headed by Dick Cheney — that the risk of a biological weapons attack by Iraq, particularly anthrax, was high. Patrick’s warning prompted the U.S. military to vaccinate tens of thousands of its troops using the controversial anthrax vaccine “anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA).” Kadlec would personally inject AVA into around 800 members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Kadlec would later note in Congressional testimony that no definitive proof of an alleged Iraqi biological weapons program was found during the war or afterwards, but nevertheless claimed elsewhere that “the Iraqis later admitted they had procured large quantities of a biological agents-anthrax and botulism toxin,” suggesting that Patrick’s warnings had had some basis in reality.
However, Kadlec failed to point out that these anthrax and botulism samples had been sold, with the U.S. government’s full approval, to Iraq’s Ministry of Education by a U.S. private non-profit called the American Type Culture Collection. Donald Rumsfeld, who was then an envoy for the Reagan administration and running a pharmaceutical company later sold to Monsanto,would also be involvedin the shipment of these samples to Iraq.
Following the war, American microbiologist Joshua Lederberg was tasked by the Pentagon to head the investigation into “Gulf War Syndrome,” a phenomenon thatstudies later linkedto the adverse effects of the anthrax vaccine. Lederberg’s task force argued that evidence regarding an association between the symptomology and the anthrax vaccine was insufficient. However, he would later come under fire after it was reported that he sat on the boardof the American Type Culture Collection, the very company that had shipped anthrax to Iraq’s government between 1985 and 1989 with the U.S. government’s blessing. Lederberg later admittedthat the investigation he led had not spent enough “time and effort digging out the details”. The taskforce’s findings were later harshly criticizedby the Government Accountability Office.
Dr. Lederberg would prove to be an early, if not seminal, influence on Robert Kadlec’s outlook regarding the subject of biowarfare. The Nobel Laureate and long-time president of Rockefeller University was one of the fathers of bioterror alarmism in the United States, alongside William C. Patrick III and other members of a tight-knit group of “cold warrior” microbiologists. Kadlec and Lederberg would go on to collaborate on several books and policy studies throughout the late 1990s and into 2001.
Years later, at a Congressional hearing, Kadlecwould saythat Lederberg’s words “resonate constantly with me and serve as a practical warning.” Aside from Lederberg, Kadlec was also writing numerous books and articles with Randall Larsen, who would later hire the Medical doctor to teach “military strategy and operations” at the National War College, where Larsen’s close friend – William C. Patrick III – also taught.
A Poisoned Oasis
Many of Kadlec’s bioterror ravings have been preserved in 25-year old textbooks, like a U.S. Air War College textbook entitled “Battlefield of the Future” where Kadlec calls on the government to create a massive stockpile of drugs and vaccines to protect the population from a biological weapons attack, particularly anthrax or smallpox. In one chapter, Kadlec argued thatstockpiles of necessary antibiotics, immunoglobulins and vaccines would have to be procured, maintained, and be readily available to administer within hours.”
Kadlec’s views on the matter at the time of writing were greatly influenced by his first tour as a UNSCOM weapons inspector in Iraq in 1994, where he was accompanied by William Patrick, among others. Kadlec would later return to Iraq in the same capacity in 1996 and 1998 in search of Iraq’s alleged stores of weaponized anthrax that Patrick had been so sure were there, but had never materialized.
After three visits, Kadlec would later confess that, despite what Kadlec called “the most intrusive inspection and monitoring regime ever conceived and implemented” by the UN, the UNSCOM weapons inspectors, including himself and William Patrick,“failed to uncover any irrefutable evidence of an offensive BW program.” Kadlec would later return to Iraq on two separate occasions following the 2003 U.S. invasion of country, again finding no proof of the program’s existence.
By 1995, Kadlec was already imbued with the bioweapons alarmism that had been championed by Lederberg and Patrick. That year, he fleshed out several “illustrative scenarios” regarding the use of “biological economic warfare” against the United States. One of these fictional scenarios, titled “Corn Terrorism,” involves China planning “an act of agricultural terrorism” by clandestinely spraying corn seed blight over the Midwest using commercial airliners. The result of the “Corn Terrorism” scenario is that “China gains significant corn market share and tens of billions [of] dollars of additional profits from their crop,” while the U.S. sees its corn crop obliterated, causing food prices to rise and the U.S. to import corn. Another scenario, entitled “That’s a ‘Lousy’ Wine,” involves “disgruntled European winemakers” covertly releasing grape lice they have hidden in cans of paté to target California wine producers.
Around this same time, in 1994, the relatively youngCongressional Office of Technology Assessment or OTA, which informed policy decisions around questions of technological and scientific complexity on matters of national security, was cut by the new Republican majority that took both houses in the pivotal 1994 midterms elections. At the time of its defunding, Lederberg sat on the OTA’s Technology Assessment Advisory Council (OTA-TAAC), along with pharma industry insiders from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lilly Research Labs and pre-merger Smith-Kline, and chaired one of its last study panels.
The defunding of the OTA and subsequent creation of PIPS transferred policy-making on what are, perhaps, the most sensitive issues of national security away from Congress and into a private foundation teeming with operators from the vast underbelly of the military industrial complex (MIC). Former military officers,DARPA scientists, NASA policy experts,FBIagents, CIA operatives and defense contractors like Northrop Grumman can all be found on their member rolls and in their boardrooms.
PIPS and its sponsors would shadow Robert Kadlec’s career in government from the very beginning and remain in close proximity to him today. One PIPS-linked individual would work particularly closely with Kadlec, Tevi Troy – a senior fellow at PIPS and an adjunct fellow at the much more polished Hudson Institute, itself a major funder of PIPS. Troy has long been integral in shaping Kadlec’s biodefense policy agenda, which would remain conspicuously static and unchanging throughout the career he was just beginning.
By 1996, talks had begun within military leadership regarding what would become the Pentagon’s mandatory anthrax vaccination program, a policy tirelessly promoted by Joshua Lederberg, who was involved in “investigating” the links between the anthrax vaccine and Gulf War Syndrome. The private talks took place in parallel with a public push to bring biological warfare to the forefront of American public consciousness. One particularly egregious example occurred when then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen went on ABC News with a five-pound bag of sugar, stating that “this amount of anthrax could be spread over a city—let’s say the size of Washington. It would destroy at least half the population of that city.”
At the same time, Joshua Lederberg was also advocating for the stockpiling of a smallpox vaccine, which the U.S. military also took to heart, giving a company called DynPort an exclusive multi-million dollar contract to produce a new smallpox vaccine in 1997. Soon after, BioPort, DynPort’s sister company, was formed and would soon come to monopolize the production of that vaccine.
By the time BioPort (now known as Emergent Biosolutions) had controversially gained control over this lucrative Pentagon contract in 1998, then-President Bill Clinton was publicly warning that the U.S. must “confront the new hazards of biological and chemical weapons,” adding that Saddam Hussein specifically was “developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them.” However, there was no intelligence to back up these claims, especially after the failed attempts by weapon inspectors, like Robert Kadlec and William Patrick, to find any evidence of an Iraqi biological weapons program.
Despite the lack of evidence regarding Iraq’s alleged “WMD” programs, Clinton’s concern over a biological weapons threat was said to have been the result of his reading of “The Cobra Event”, a novel about how a genetically-modified pathogen called “brainpox” ravages New York City. The novel’s author, Richard Preston, had been advised on biowarfare and genetically-modified pathogens by none other than William Patrick. Patrick, then an adviser to the CIA, FBI and military intelligence, also participated in closed door meetings with Clinton on biological weapons, claiming that their use was inevitable and that the deadliest of pathogens could easily be made in a “terrorist’s garage.”
It is also likely that Clinton’s alarmism over biological and chemical weapons had been informed, in part, by a roundtable hosted at the White House on April 10, 1998. This “White House Roundtable on Genetic Engineering and Biological Weapons,” included a group of “outside experts” spear-headed by Joshua Lederberg and included several other bioterror alarmists, such as: Jerome Hauer, then-serving as Director of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management (who also was advised by William Patrick III) and Thomas Monath, a vaccine industry executive and chief science advisor to CIA director George Tenet.
Discussed in-depth at the roundtable were “both the opportunities and the national security challenges posed by genetic engineering and biotechnology” as well as “classified material relating to threat assessments and how the United States responds to particular scenarios.”
Robert Kadlec, despite being a Republican, remains very fond of Bill Clinton, perhaps because the former president was so attentive to the dire predictions of the “biodefense experts” who shadowed Kadlec’s own career. Kadlec credits the former president with doing a “lot of good things” and making important contributions to the advancement of the biotech industrial complex’s policy agenda.
Clinton would issue several executive orders and Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs) during this period, such as PDD-62, which specifically addressed preparations for a “WMD” attack on the U.S. and called for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), then-led by Donna Shalala, to lead the national response to a WMD attack. Fortuitously for Kadlec, PDD-62 also called for the construction of a national stockpile of vaccines, antibiotics and other medical supplies.
At the time, Kadlec was already evangelizing the public about a seemingly imminent, doomsday anthrax attack he was certain would strike at any second. As quoted in a 1998 article from the Vancouver Sun, Kadlec speculated:
“If several kilograms of an agent like anthrax were disseminated in New York City today, conservative estimates put the number [of] deaths occurring in the first few days at 400,000. Thousands of others would be at risk of dying within several days if proper antibiotics and vaccination were not started immediately. Millions of others would be fearful of being exposed and seek or demand medical care as well. Beyond the immediate health implications of such an act, the potential panic and civil unrest would create an equally large response.”
Kadlec’s doomsday speculations about biological weapons attacks had caught the attention of Randall Larsen, the then-director of the National War College’s Department of Military Strategy and Operations, who hired Kadlec because he “had become convinced that the most serious threat to national security was not Russian or Chinese missiles, but a pandemic – either man-made or naturally occurring.” Soon after, Kadlec and Larsen would collaborate closely, co-authoring several studies together.
Meanwhile, their colleague at the National War College, William Patrick III was simultaneously working for the U.S. military and intelligence contractor, the Battelle Memorial Institute, where he was secretly developing a genetically-modified, more potent form of anthrax for a classified Pentagon program.
The Bioterror Intelligentsia
A year after hiring Robert Kadlec to teach at the National War College, Randall Larsen was also involved in the creation of a new organization called the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security (ANSER-IHS), and served as its director. This Institute for Homeland Security, first initiated and funded in October 1999, was an extension of the ANSER Institute, which itself had been spun off from the RAND Corporation in the late 1950s. The RAND Corporation is a national security-focused “think tank” with long-standing ties to the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the Carnegie Corporation.
ANSER’s expansion through ANSER-IHS was foreshadowed by the entry of “homeland defense” into popular political discourse within the Washington Beltway. The term is alleged to have first originated from a National Defense Panel report submitted in 1997 and is credited to Defense Panel member and former CIA officer with ties to the agency’s Phoenix program, Richard Armitage. Armitage was part of the group known as the “Vulcans,” who advised George W. Bush on foreign policy matters prior to the 2000 presidential election.
As journalist Margie Burns pointed out in a 2002 article, the need for “homeland defense” as a major focus of U.S. government policy, including the push to create a new “homeland security” agency, was dramatically amplified following its alleged coining by Armitage in 1997. This was thanks, in part, to a web of media outlets owned by South Korean cult leader and CIA asset Sun Myong Moon, including the Washington Times, Insight Magazine and UPI, all of which published numerous articles penned by ANSER analysts or that heavily cited ANSER reports and employees regarding the need for a greatly expanded “homeland security” apparatus.
One such article, published by Insight Magazine in May 2001 and entitled “Preparing for the Next Pearl Harbor,” heavily cites ANSER and its Institute for Homeland Security as being among “the nation’s top experts” in warning that a terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland was imminent. It also stated that “the first responders on tomorrow’s battlefield won’t be soldiers, but city ambulance workers and small-town firefighters.”
ANSER-IHS was created at the behest of ANSER’s CEO, Dr. Ruth David, who became ANSER’s top executive after leaving a lengthy career at the CIA, where she had served as the agency’s Deputy Director for Science and Technology. On ANSER-IHS’s board at the time, alongside David, were Joshua Lederberg and Dr. Tara O’Toole, then-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Bio-defense Studies who would later co-write the Dark Winter exercise.
Though first created in 1999, ANSER-IHS did not officially launch until April 2001. That same month, Robert Kadlec, at the National War College, sponsored the paper “A Micro-threat with Macro-Impact:The Bio-Threat and the Need for a National Bio-Defense Security Strategy.” That paper starts by citing several former CIA officials as well as Dr. O’Toole (who now works for the CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel) as proof that a bioterrorist attack is “perhaps the greatest threat the U.S. faces in the next century” and that such an attack would inevitably target “Americans on American soil.”
This Kadlec-sponsored report also called for the creation of the National Homeland Security Agency (NHSA), the framework for which was contained in H.R. 1158, introduced a month prior in March 2001. The paper urged that the creation of this new cabinet-level agency be enacted “quickly, so the resulting single executive agent (identified from here on as the NHSA) can begin its critical work.” It also argued that this agency include “a deputy director position … specifically responsible for preparing and responding to a bio-attack.”
Other measures recommended in the paper included greatly expanding the national defense stockpile; creating a national disease reporting system; and the creation of real-time, automated bio-threat detectors. The latter would be initiated soon after the publication of this paper, resulting in the controversial Biological Aerosol Sentry and Information Systems (BASIS). BASIS was discussed in Part I of this series, particularly its role in “induc[ing] the very panic and social disruption it is intended to thwart” during and after the 2001 anthrax attacks that would occur months later. BASIS was developed largely by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, whose national security fellow – former Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) director Jay Davis, was then-chairman of ANSER’s board of directors.
Also notable is the fact that Kadlec’s April 2001 report cites the largely discredited yet still influential Ken Alibek on several occasions, including his allegation that anyone with internet access and a few bucks could produce and unleash weapons-grade anthrax with ease. Some of the nation’s top anthrax experts would discredit this claim, with the exception of William C. Patrick III.
This is likely because it was Patrick who had been asked by the CIA to “vet” Alibek after he had first defected from the Soviet Union 1992, making Patrick responsible for determining the credibility of Alibek’s controversial claims, including his incorrect assertions that Saddam Hussein had overseen a massive biological weapons program. Regarding their meeting, Patrick would later say “I won’t say we fell in love, but we gained an immediate respect for one another.”
At the time of Alibek’s defection, Robert Kadlec – who had been assigned to the Pentagon’s Office of the Secretary of Defense for Counter-proliferation policy after the Gulf War – would later recall during 2014 Congressional testimony having “witnessed the efforts to ascertain the truth behind the former Soviet Union’s BW [biological weapons] effort” that had intimately involved Alibek and Patrick. Kadlec would also note that “the fate of these agents [related to the Soviet Union’s BW program] and associated weapons,” including those described by Alibek, “was never satisfactorily resolved.”
Alibek’s shocking yet dubious claims were often used and promoted by Joshua Lederberg (who had debriefed other Soviet bioweapons researchers after their defections), Patrick and others to support their favored “biodefense” policies as well as the need for “defensive” bioweapons research, including clandestine efforts to genetically-engineer anthrax on which Patrick and Alibek would later collaborate.
Setting the Wheels in Motion
Just a few months before ANSER-IHS’ “official” launch, another organization with a related focus was launched — the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Created by media mogul Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn in January 2001, NTI aimed not only to “reduce the threat” posed by nuclear weapons, but also chemical and biological weapons.
In announcing NTI’s formation on CNN, the network Turner had founded, Nunn stated that while “nuclear weapons pose the gigantic danger, but biological and chemical weapons are the most likely to be used. And there are thousands of scientists in the former Soviet Union that know how to make these weapons, including chemical, biological and nuclear, but don’t know how to feed their families.” Nunn continued, stating that NTI hoped “to begin to help, some hope for gainful employment for people that we don’t want to end up making chemical and biological and nuclear weapons in other parts of the world.” NTI’s mission in this regard likely came as welcome news to Joshua Lederberg, who had long advocated that the U.S. offer employment to bioweapons researchers from the former Soviet Union to prevent their employ by “rogue regimes.”
Both Sam Nunn and Margaret Hamburg of NTI, as well as top officials from ANSER, would come together in June 2001 to participate in an exercise simulating a bioweapons attack called “Dark Winter.” Nunn would play the role of president in the exercise and Hamburg played the head of HHS in the fictional scenario. Jerome Hauer, then-managing director of the intelligence-linked outfit Kroll Inc. and a Vice President at the military-intelligence contractor Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), played the head of FEMA.
The Dark Winter exercise itself was largely written by Tara O’Toole (ANSER-IHS board member) and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Bio-defense Studies as well as Randall Larsen of ANSER-IHS. Robert Kadlec also participated in the creation of the script and appears in the fictional, scripted news clips used in the exercise.
As detailed in Part I of this series, the Dark Winter exercise eerily predicted many aspects of what would follow just months later during the 2001 anthrax attacks, including predictions that threatening letters would be sent to members of the press with the promise of biological weapons attacks involving anthrax. Dark Winter also provided the initial narrative for the 2001 anthrax attacks, which held that Iraq and Al Qaeda had been jointly responsible. However, soon after the attacks, evidence quickly pointed to the anthrax having originated from a domestic source linked to military experiments. In addition, several Dark Winter participants and authors either had apparent foreknowledge of those attacks (especially Jerome Hauer) and/or were involved in the FBI’s controversial investigation into the attacks (including Robert Kadlec).
On the day of September 11, 2001, Kadlec and Randall Larsen were set to begin co-teaching a course on “Homeland Security” at the National War College. It’s course syllabus draws from quotes on the imminent threat of bioterrorism from Joshua Lederberg as well as Dark Winter participant and former CIA director James Woolsey, who called a biological weapons attack “the single most dangerous threat to U.S. national security in the foreseeable future.”
The course was also set to include its own lengthy use of the Dark Winter exercise, where students would re-enact the June 2001 exercise as part of an end-of-semester research project. However, given the events that took place on September 11, 2001, Kadlec never went on to teach that course, as he instead went to the Pentagon to focus on the “bio-terror threat” in the weeks that preceded the 2001 anthrax attacks.
The After (Anthrax) Party
Immediately after the events of September 11, 2001, Kadlec became a special advisor on biological warfare to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz. In the days that followed, Rumsfeld openly and publicly stated that he expected America’s enemies, specifically Saddam Hussein, to aid unspecified terrorist groups in obtaining chemical and biological weapons, a narrative that was analogous to that used in the Dark Winter exercise that Kadlec had helped create.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Dark Winter’s other co-authors — Randall Larsen, Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby — personally briefed Dick Cheney on Dark Winter, at a time when Cheney and his staff had been warned by another Dark Winter figure, Jerome Hauer, to take the antibiotic Cipro to prevent anthrax infection. It is unknown how many members of the administration were taking Cipro and for how long.
Hauer, along with James Woolsey and New York Times reporter Judith Miller (who also attended Dark Winter), would spend the weeks between 9/11 and the public disclosure of the anthrax attacks making numerous media appearances (and, in Miller’s case, writing dozens of reports) regarding the use of anthrax as a biological weapon. Members of the controversial think thank the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld among its ranks, also warned that a biological weapons attack was set to follow on the heels of 9/11. These included Richard Perle, then advising the Rumsfeld-led Pentagon, and Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard.
One would think that all of these well-timed warnings would have left this clique of government insiders the least surprised once the anthrax attacks were publicly disclosed on October 4, 2001. However, despite constantly warning of doomsday anthrax attack scenarios for a decade and advising the Pentagon on this very threat immediately beginning just weeks prior, Robert Kadlec wouldsubsequently claim to have yelled, “You gotta be sh*ttin’ me!” when he first learned of the attacks.
Another pre-attack anthrax prophet, Judith Miller, would recall becoming distraught and despondent upon receiving a letter that appeared to contain anthrax. Her first reaction was to call William C. Patrick III, who calmed her down and told her that the anthrax powder contained in the letter “was most likely a hoax.” Indeed, Patrick would prove correct in his analysis as the powder in the letter Miller had opened was, in fact, harmless.
Kadlec quickly began contributing to the FBI’s controversial investigation into the attacks, known by its case name “Amerithrax.” Kadlec was tasked with following up on the alleged presence of bentonite in the anthrax used in the attacks. Bentonite was never actually found in any of the anthrax samples tested by the FBI, but claims that it had been found were used to link the anthrax used in the attacks to Iraq’s alleged use of bentonite in its biological weapons program, the very existence of which still lacked conclusive evidence.
This erroneous claim was first mentioned to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz by Peter Jahrling, a Fort Detrick scientist, who claimed during a briefings that the spores “appeared to have been treated” with a “particular chemical additive” resembling bentonite. Jahrling then added that Iraq’s government had used bentonite to “suspiciously” produce bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a “nonlethal cousin” of anthrax widely used in agriculture. “Everyone grabbed on to that,” Kadlec would later remember of Jahrling’s haphazard link between bentonite and a harmless, distant cousin of anthrax.
Tasked by Wolfowitz with shoring up evidence for the bentonite “smoking gun,” Kadlec would contact a Navy scientist that had accompanied him and William Patrick to Iraq in their unsuccessful efforts to find proof of Iraq’s biological weapons back in 1994, James Burans. Burans was unconvinced of the bentonite connection and other government scientists soon agreed.
Nonetheless, media outlets continued to play up the bentonite-anthrax claim as proving Iraq’s role in the anthrax attacks, despite findings to the contrary. By late October 2001, one nationwide poll found that 74% of respondents wanted the U.S. to take military action against Iraq, despite a lack of evidence connecting the country to either 9/11 or the anthrax attacks. A month later, Rumsfeld would draw up plans in consultation with Wolfowitz regarding justifications for initiating war with Iraq, including discovering links between Saddam Hussein and the anthrax attacks and initiating disputes with Iraq over WMD inspections.
While the Kadlec-advised Pentagon was seeking to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq, the NTI – headed by Dark Winter “president” Sam Nunn – kicked its agenda into over-drive, earmarking “$2.4 million in initial grants to finance scientific collaboration with scientists who once worked in the former Soviet Union’s covert biological weapons program.” NTI also set aside millions more for transforming former Soviet Union bioweapons labs into “vaccine production facilities” and “helping identify Western drug companies willing to work with former Soviet bioweaponeers on commercial ventures.”
Closed Door Investigation
William C. Patrick III would also become involved the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation, even though he was initially suspected of involvement in the attacks. However, after having passed a lie detector test, he was added to the FBI’s “inner circle” of technical advisors on the Amerithrax case, despite the fact that Patrick’s protege, Stephen Hatfill, was the FBI’s top suspect at the time. Hatfill was later cleared of wrongdoing and the FBI eventually blamed a Fort Detrick scientist named Bruce Ivins for the crime, hiding a “mountain” of evidence exonerating Ivins to do so, accordingto the FBI’s former lead investigator.
In the 1990s, Patrick had told associates of his desire to find someone who would carry on his work, eventually finding this person in Stephen Hatfill. Hatfill and Patrick’s friendship was close, with one bioterror expert calling them “like father and son.” Hatfill traveled together often and, on occasion, Hatfill would drive Patrick to his consulting jobs at the military and intelligence contractor SAIC. In 1999, Patrick would return the favor by helping Hatfill score a job at SAIC. A year later, Jerome Hauer, a friend to both Hatfill and Patrick, would join SAIC as a Vice President.
That same year, Hatfill offered Patrick another consulting job at SAIC and commissioned Patrick to perform a study describing “a fictional terrorist attack in which an envelope containing weapons-grade anthrax is opened in an office.” The Baltimore Sun would later report that Patrick’s study for SAIC discussed the “danger of anthrax spores spreading through the air and the requirements for decontamination after various kinds of attacks” as well as how many grams of anthrax would need to be placed within a standard business envelope in order to conduct such an attack.
Patrick’s involvement in this SAIC study is particularly interesting given that he was also involved in another project involving anthrax at the time, this one managed by Battelle Memorial Institute. In 1997, the Pentagon created plans to genetically engineer a more potent variety of anthrax, spurred by the work of Russian scientists who had recently published a study that found that a genetically engineered strain of anthrax was resistant to the standard anthrax vaccine, at least in animal studies.
The stated goal of the Pentagon’s plan, per a 2001 report in The New York Times, was “to see if the [anthrax] vaccine the United States intends to supply to its armed forces is effective against that strain.” Battelle’s facility at West Jefferson, Ohio was contracted by the Pentagon to create the genetically-modified anthrax, a task that was overseen by Battelle’s then-program manager for all things bioweapons, Ken Alibek. A 1998 article in the New Yorker noted that William Patrick, also a consultant for Battelle and Alibek’s “close friend,” was working with Alibek on a project involving anthrax at the time. It would later be revealed that access to the very anthrax strain used in the attacks, the Ames strain, was controlled by Battelle.
In addition, the FBI’s supposed “smoking gun” used to link Bruce Ivins’ to the anthrax attacks was the fact that a flask in Ivins’ lab labeled RMR-1029 was determined to be its “parent” strain. Yet, it would later be revealed that portions of RMR-1029 had been sent by Ivins to Battelle’s Ohio facility prior to the anthrax attacks. An analysis of the water used to make the anthrax also revealed that the anthrax spores had been created in the northeastern United States and follow-up analyses narrowed down the only possible sources as coming from one of three labs: Fort Detrick, a lab at the University of Scranton, or Battelle’s West Jefferson facility.
After Ivins’ untimely “suicide” in 2008, Department of Justice civil attorneys would publicly challenge the FBI’s assertions that Ivins had been the culprit and instead “suggested that a private laboratory in Ohio” managed by Battelle “could have been involved in the attacks.”
Patrick’s work with Battelle on creating a more potent form of anthrax, as well as his work with SAIC in studying the effect of anthrax sent through the mail, began around the same time that BioPort had secured a monopoly over the production of the anthrax vaccine, recently made mandatory for all U.S. troops by the Pentagon. As detailed in Part II of this series, BioPort’s facility that produced its anthrax vaccine was, at the time, rife with problems and had lost its license to operate. Despite the Pentagon having given BioPort millions to use for renovations of the factory, much of that money instead went towards senior management bonuses and redecorating executive offices. Millions more simply “disappeared.”
In 2000, not long after receiving its first Pentagon bail-out, BioPort contracted none other than Battelle Memorial Institute. The deal gave Battelle “immediate exposure to the vaccine” it was using in connection with the genetically-modified anthrax program that involved both Alibek and Patrick. That program then began using the BioPort-manufactured vaccine in tests at its West Jefferson facility. At the time, Battelle was also lending “technical expertise” to BioPort and hired 12 workers to send to BioPort’s troubled Michigan facility “to keep the operation running.”
At the time, a BioPort spokeswomen stated “We have a relationship with Battelle to extend our reach for people we are trying to attract for critical positions on our technical side. They’re also assisting with our potency testing as really sort of a backup. They’re validating our potency tests.” Reports on the BioPort-Battelle contract stated that the terms of their agreement were not publicly disclosed, but also noted that the two companies had “previously worked together on an unsuccessful bid to make other vaccines for the government.”
As previously noted in Part II of this series, BioPort was set to lose its contract for anthrax vaccine entirely in August 2001 and the entirety of its anthrax vaccine business was rescued by the 2001 anthrax attacks, which saw concerns over BioPort’s corruption replaced with fervent demands for more of its anthrax vaccine.
Rumsfeld Saves BioPort
One of the post-attack advocates for salvaging the BioPort anthrax vaccine contract was Donald Rumsfeld, who stated after the attacks that, “We’re going to try to save it, and try to fashion some sort of an arrangement whereby we give one more crack at getting the job done with that outfit [BioPort]. It’s the only outfit in this country that has anything under way, and it’s not very well under way, as you point out.”
While Rumsfeld and others worked to salvage the troubled BioPort-anthrax vaccine deal, another recurrent figure in this sordid saga, Jerome Hauer, would also play a key role in pushing for increased purchases of BioPort’s most lucrative and most controversial product. In addition to being managing director of Kroll Inc. and a Vice President at SAIC, Hauer was also a national security advisor to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on September 11, 2001. It was also this same day that Hauer would also tell top administration officials to take Cipro to prevent anthrax infection.
Hauer played a key role advising HHS leadership as the anthrax attacks unfolded. After the attacks, Hauer pushed Thompson to create the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) within HHS, which was created later that year. It was first headed by D.A. Henderson, a close associate of Joshua Lederberg and the original founder of the Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian Biodefense, which included Jerome Hauer and Henderson’s protege Tara O’Toole. Hauer himself would come to replace Henderson as OPHP just a few months later.
Subsequent legislation, shaped in part by Robert Kadlec, would see OPHP give way to the position of Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (ASPHEP), a position Hauer would also fill. Hauer would use this post to push for the stockpiling of vaccines, including BioPort’s anthrax vaccine. Hauer and his deputy, William Raub, would then help push the Pentagon to restart vaccinating the troops, despite long-standing concerns over the vaccine’s safety. Soon after leaving HHS in 2004, Hauer would quickly be added to the board of directors of BioPort under its new name Emergent Biosolutions, a post he still holds today.
All Systems Go
In the aftermath of the anthrax attacks, Robert Kadlec’s doomsday predictions for bioterror incidents went into over-drive. “It’s not your mother’s smallpox,” Kadlec would tell the LA Times in late October 2001, “It’s an F-17 Stealth fighter – it’s designed to be undetectable and to kill. We are flubbing our efforts at biodefense. We don’t think of this as a weapon – we look naively at this as a disease.” As the article notes, this “stealth fighter” strain of smallpox did not exist. Instead, Kadlec – who now had Rumsfeld’s ear on issues of biodefense – expected that such a strain might soon be genetically engineered.
Of course, at the time, the only government known to be genetically engineering a pathogen was the U.S., as reported by the New York Times’ Judith Miller. Miller reported in October 2001 that the Pentagon, in the wake of the anthrax attacks, had approved “a project to make a potentially more potent form of anthrax bacteria” through genetic modification, a project that would be conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute.
This was the continuation of the project, which had involved William Patrick and Ken Alibek, and the Pentagon moved to restart it after the attacks, though it is unclear if either Patrick or Alibek continued to work on the subsequent iteration of Battelle’s efforts to produce a more virulent strain of anthrax. That project was paused a month prior when Miller and other journalists disclosed the existence of the program in an article published on September 4, 2001.
After news broke of the Pentagon’s plans to again begin developing more potent anthrax strains, accusations were made that the U.S. was violating the bioweapons convention. However, the U.S. narrowly avoided having to admit it had violated the convention given that, just one month after the Dark Winter exercise in July 2001, the U.S. had rejected an agreement that would have enforced its ban on biological weapons.
The New York Times noted specifically that the genetically-modified anthrax experiments being performed by Battelle’s West Jefferson facility were a “significant reason” behind the Bush administration’s decision to reject the draft agreement and the U.S. government had argued at the time that “unlimited visits to pharmaceutical or defense installations by foreign inspectors could be used to gather strategic or commercial intelligence.” Of course, one of those “pharmaceutical or defense installations” was ultimately the source of the anthrax used in the attacks.
On the heels of the chaos of late 2001, Kadlec’s vision for U.S. biodefense policy was rapidly coming to fruition before his very eyes. The first enabling statute for the SNS was the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2002, largely motivated by the anthrax attacks, which directed the Secretary of HHS to maintain a “Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).” The legislation had been the direct result of a process begun years earlier when Congress earmarked funding for the CDC to stockpile pharmaceuticals in 1998. The program was originally called the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS) program.
Kadlec’s role in directing subsequent developments in the SNS and other related legislative developments was considerable given that, in 2002, he became director for biodefense on the recently created Homeland Security Council. His work on the council, which he left in 2005, resulted in the Bush administration’s “National Biodefense Policy for the 21st Century,” which unsurprisingly echoed the recommendations of the paper Kadlec had sponsored at the National War College.
On March 1, 2003, the NPS became the Strategic National Stockpile program and was managed jointly by DHS and HHS after George W. Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-5). Two days before, Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge and then Secretary of HHS Tommy Thompson had presented the Project BioShield Act to Congress. It was a sweeping piece of legislation that established what would become a government money teller-window for Big Pharma, called the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), among other entities and powers, not least of which was moving control of the SNS away from DHS and closer to HHS.
Soon after BioShield was signed into law, BioPort/Emergent BioSolutions co-founded a lobby group called the Alliance for Biosecurity as part of its strategy to easily secure lucrative BioShield contracts. That lobby group saw Emergent BioSolutions join forces with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Biosecurity, which wasthen-led by Tara O’Toole and advised by Randall Larsen.
With this framework in place, the Kadlec-drafted National Biodefense Policy for the 21st Century was used as the framework for Bush’s Homeland Security Presidential Directive 10 (HSPD-10), which further expanded BioShield, the SNS and other controversial programs. Project BioShield was made law in 2004 and, one year later, Kadlec joined Senator Richard Burr’s subcommittee on bioterrorism and public health. There, Kadlec served as staff director on the committee that drafted the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), containing the specific policy directives for the roll out of Project BioShield and creating Kadlec’s future position at HHS.
PAHPA was passed the following year in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and established the statutory relationship between the various agencies enacted or included in the BioShield legislation. This includes delegating to the newly creation position of HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to “exercise the responsibilities and authorities of the Secretary [of HHS] with respect to the coordination of ”the stockpile and to oversee the advanced research and development of medical counter-measures funded by BARDA, but conducted by Big Pharma. ASPR was also given the leadership role in directing HHS’ response to a national health emergency.
Serving alongside Kadlec in the White House throughout this entire process was Tevi Troy, a Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; a role which made him the White House’s lead adviser on health care, labor, education and other issues with a special focus on crisis management. Troy, who had come up through the department of labor as deputy assistant for policywas already a Senior fellow at both the Hudson Institute and its satellite think tank, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS), where the real policy development work was undertaken.
Both Troy and Kadlec would exit the administration at the end of Bush’s first term and not return until the latter half of his second term. In the meantime, the wheels had been set in motion with the passing of Project BioShield and PAHPA and, soon after their passage, panic over a “Bird flu” outbreak began, which had spread first in 33 cities in Vietnam and then led to an outbreak of the poultry-killing disease that affected all of Eurasia, Africa and the Middle East. The outbreak sparked panic in the U.S. in late 2005, thanks in large part to over-the-top warnings made by Tommy Thompson’s successor as head of HHS, Michael Leavitt.
Despite the fact that Leavitt’s claims were wildly inaccurate, some administration officials benefited financially from the fear-mongering, such as Donald Rumsfeld, whose stock holdings in the pharmaceutical company Gilead netted him $5 million once the scare had ended. Part of the reason for Gilead’s jump in profitability resulted from the decision of the Pentagon and other U.S. government agencies to stockpile 80 million doses of Tamiflu, a drug promoted to treat the Bird Flu that was originally developed by Gilead. Rumsfeld had been the top executive at Gilead before joining the George W. Bush administration. Aside from those who benefited monetarily, the Bird Flu scare also gave a considerable boost to the biodefense “stockpile” agenda that Kadlec and other insiders supported.
Kadlec would return to the White House as Special Assistant for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Biological Defense Policy in 2007 to further solidify his eventual grip on the Strategic National Stockpile and the office of ASPR, along with his Hudson Institute/PIPS sidekick, Tevi Troy, concurrently appointed Deputy Director of HHS. This put Troy in charge of implementing the very policies enshrined in PAHPA and the departmental changes enacted as part of Project BioShield.
The Bush administration came to its inevitable conclusion as Barack Obama was elected and sworn in, early 2009. Kadlec and Troy, once again, left their government posts and disappeared into their private sector lairs. But, that same year, the first practice run for Kadlec’s freshly retrofitted SNS took place when the “Swine Flu” (H1N1) pandemic triggered its “largest deployment” ever, distributing nearly 13 million antiviral regimens, as well as medical equipment and other drugs nationally and internationally in conjunction with BARDA. Gilead (and Rumsfeld) again profited handsomely, as did other large pharmaceutical companies, which were eager to restock the SNS after its large-scale deployment.
The virus’ origins have been a matter of controversy for several years, alternatively identified as having sprung from pigs in Mexico or Asia. One of the last studies conducted in 2016 claims to have definitively traced the source to hogs in Mexico. Regardless of its true origins, interested observers were able to glean vital data from the exercise to prepare for the “next one.”
Why a former HHS official would take up the mantle to promote the use of a product known to be injurious to health can be answered by looking at Dr. Troy’s close links with PIPS and the Hudson Institute. Couched in free-market rhetoric, these institutions are vehicles for the policy initiatives their billionaire funders want to see implemented, with its subsidiary think tanks, like PIPS, serving as satellites orbiting closer to the center of power.
As an adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute and senior fellow at PIPS, Tevi Troy appears to play a pivotal role coordinating between the two. The Hudson Institute was founded in 1961 by former RAND military strategist, systems theorist and Dr. Strangelove inspiration Herman Kahn. After Kahn’s passing in 1983, the Institute was “heavily recruited” by the Lilly Endowment – the largest private foundation in the United States, by far – and became a magnet for the same radical conservative billionaire networks that patronize it today.
Among its biggest donors are familiar names like Microsoft, Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Charles Koch Foundation, Boeing and Emergent BioSolutions. In 2004, Lilly Endowment returned to Washington D.C., announcing it would “return to its roots of national security and foreign policy” as a result of the war on terror becoming an “overarching national concern”.
PIPS and the Hudson Institute would come to play a central role in Kadlec’s upcoming efforts to make biodefense a national priority with him at the helm of a vastly expanded office of ASPR. But, it would be a few years yet. Meanwhile, there was more to be done in the area of legislation, not to mention private enterprise.
Building on all previous versions of Kadlec’s original PAHPA, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) of 2013 established two more instruments that strengthened his ultimate goal. First, the PHEMCE Strategy and Implementation Plan (SIP) was codified into law, which formalized the original legislation’s ties to the budget office and secondly, it streamlined the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) facility for the FDA to fast-track drug approvals.
Show Me the Money
Soon upon returning to the private sector, Robert Kadlec helped found a new company in 2012 called “East West Protection,” which develops and delivers “integrated all-hazards preparedness and response systems for communities and sovereign nations.” The company also “advises communities and countries on issues related to the threat of weapons of mass destruction and natural pandemics.”
Kadlec formed the company with W. Craig Vanderwagen, the first HHS ASPR after the post’s creation had been largely orchestrated by Kadlec. The other co-founder of East West Protection was Fuad El-Hibri, the founder of BioPort/Emergent Biosolutions, who had just stepped down as Emergent’s CEO earlier that year.
El-Hibri has numerous business connections to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he and his father, Ibrahim El-Hibri, had once sold stockpiles of anthrax vaccine to the Saudi government for an exorbitant price per dose. East West Protection chased after the opportunity to fit the Kingdom with a custom-built biodefense system, but ultimately failed to finalize the deal despite El-Hibri’s connections. Instead, East West Protection sold its products to a handful of U.S. states.
Kadlec was the firm’s director from its founding until at least 2015, later selling his stake in the company to El-Hibri. Upon being nominated to serve as ASPR in the Trump administration, Kadlec failed to disclose his ties to East West Protection and El-Hibri and he has since claimed to only have been involved in the founding of the firm, despite evidenceto the contrary.
Robert Kadlec’s forays into the private sector during this period went far beyond East West Protection. Kadlec’s consultancy firm, RPK Consulting, netted him $451,000 in 2014 alone, where he directly advised Emergent Biosolutions as well as other pharmaceutical companies like Bavarian Nordic. Kadlec was also a consultant to military and intelligence contractors, such as the DARPA-backed firm Invincea and NSA contractor Scitor, which was recently acquired by SAIC.
Kadlec’s consulting work for intelligence-linked companies earned him the praises of spooks turned entreprenuers, including Steve Cash – a former CIA officer and founder of Deck Prism, itself a consultancy firm that retained Kadlec. Cash recently toldThe Washington Post that “Everybody loves Dr. Bob [Kadlec],” adding that he was a “national treasure.”
On Biowarfare’s Eve
Kadlec had certainly been accumulating a treasure chest of power aided by some very cozy relationships in the consulting business and, by now, the stage had been set for a big push to create an official body within the halls of the legislature; an embedded consultancy firm, of sorts, to promote the designs of the biowarfare clique.
That year, Robert Kadlec put together a Blue Ribbon Study Panel sponsored jointly by the Hudson Institute and a PIPS subsidiary institution called the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies (IUCTS), managed by Dr. Yonah Alexander. Kadlec’s Blue Ribbon Panel was chaired by Senator Joe Lieberman and included the indispensable input of Tom Daschle, Donna Shalala and other members of the biowarfare policy club.
The study panel issued a report in late 2015 entitled “A National Blueprint for Biodefense” calling for 33 specific initiatives, such as the creation of a “biodefense hospital system” and implementing a “military-civilian collaboration for biodefense.” In addition, the panel recommended that the office of the Vice President lead a White House “Coordination Council” to oversee and guide biodefense policy.
An official body called the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense would be formed shortly thereafter with all the Blue Ribbon Panel members and many others like Commission co-chair Tom Ridge and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Tevi Troy and Yonah Alexander, who serve as Ex-officio members. Alongside them is Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Chief of Staff to Dick Cheney and Senior Vice President of the Hudson Institute, which also happens to be the fiscal sponsor of the Commission.
In the acknowledgements, the panel’s 2015 report includes an homage to Robert Kadlec to whom they bestow credit for the achievement, which only “exists because of the foresight, forbearance, and perpetual optimism of Dr. Robert Kadlec. Bob understood that as much progress as had been made in the national effort to prevent and prepare for biological threats, it is not yet enough. He knew that with the right impetus, we could do much more, and he envisioned this Panel as a means to that end. We are glad he did.”
Kadlec mounted this last offensive while serving as Deputy Staff Director for Senator Richard Burr’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a position he would hold until the eve of Donald Trump’s election in 2016. Trump would then nominate him to the office of the ASPR and Kadlec would be confirmed in early August of the following year.
Only one piece of the puzzle was left, but it wouldn’t be very long before Robert Kadlec would become the biggest capo of them all with a subtle change that was introduced in the 2018 PAHPRA:
Title III – Sec 301
1) DELEGATION TO ASPR.—Subsection (a)(1) of section 319F–2 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d–6b) is amended by striking ‘‘in collaboration with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’’ and inserting ‘‘acting through the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.’’
Question Everything, Come To Your Own Conclusions.