Tag Archives: africa

Ex-Navy Seals Killed in Libya weren’t part of ambassador’s security detail but rose to occasion

Ex-Navy Seals weren’t part of ambassador’s security detail but rose to occasion, officials now confirm

BY John Solomon
Why It Matters:

The Obama administration's initial account of the Libyan consulate attack didn’t give the full story about two ex-Navy SEALs who helped repel the security breach until they were killed. Now officials are confirming those two heroes’ real jobs at the embassy along with evidence of ties between the attack and al-Qaida.

The two former Navy SEALs killed in last week's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi were not part of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ official security detail but took up arms in an effort to protect the facility when it was overrun by insurgents, U.S. officials tell the Washington Guardian.

The two former SEALS, Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, were not employed by the State Department diplomatic security office and instead were what is known as personal service contractors who had other duties related to security, the officials said.

They stepped into action, however, when Stevens became separated from the small security detail normally assigned to protect him when he traveled from the more fortified embassy in Tripoli to Benghazi, the officials said.

The two ex-Seals and others engaged in a lengthy firefight with the extremists who attacked the compound, a fight that stretched from the inner area of the consulate to an outside annex and a nearby safe house — a location that the insurgents appeared to know about, the officials said.

The officials provided the information to the Washington Guardian, saying they feared the Obama administration’s scant description of the episode left a misimpression that the two ex-Navy SEALs might have been responsible for the ambassador’s personal safety or become separated from him.

“Woods and Doherty weren’t part of the detail, nor were they personally responsible for the ambassador’s security, but they stepped into the breach when the attacks occurred and their actions saved others lives — and they shouldn’t be lumped in with the security detail,” one senior official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the State Department.

The administration has not fully described the two former Navy SEALs’ activities, characterizing their work only vaguely as being security related. “Our embassies could not carry on our critical work around the world without the service and sacrifice of brave people like Tyrone and Glen,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after the attacks.

Time and again the Seals prove their ability to persevere. Even in the midst of No Easy Day.

As recently as Sunday, UN Ambassador Susan Rice gave a similar description. “Two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them,” Rice told ABC’s This Week program.

In fact, officials said, the two men were personal service contractors whose official function was described as “embassy security,” but whose work did not involve personal protection of the ambassador or perimeter security of the compound.

The details emerged the same day that U.S. officials confirmed in public a Washington Guardian story Friday that U.S. intelligence believes al-Qaida or its affiliates played a role in the attack. “We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda’s affiliates,” Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterrorism Center, told lawmakers.

Administration officials had downplayed al-Qaida connections shortly after the attack.

Many U.S. agencies in foreign hotspots like Benghazi rely on and even share contract workers with special skills like those of retired Navy SEALs for security, reconnaissance and threat assessments.

Unlike full embassies such as the one in Tripoli, consulates like Benghazi usually don’t have a contingent of Marines to provide security, and private contractors help fulfill some of those responsibilities. The Washington Guardian reported last week concerns about the embassy security that predated the deadly attack.

Those briefed on the latest intelligence say investigators are trying to determine when and why Stevens’ official State Department security team got separated from the ambassador when the attacks occurred the evening of Sept. 11.

The separation of the team from the ambassador remains one of the more serious matters under review, the officials said.

In addition, while the administration has downplayed any link to al-Qaida, there is evidence some of the attackers were affiliated with another group that sympathizes with al-Qaida and has grown more influential in Libya and other parts of north Africa.

State Department officials did not respond to emails or phone calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The current evidence leads U.S. intelligence to believe that a band of Islamist extremists with some ties to the north African affiliate of al-Qaida had accumulated a stash of weapons and extra human muscle, performed some reconnaissance to identify possible U.S. targets, and may have even infiltrated the Libyan security forces that help protect the consulate in hopes of eventually conducting a terrorist operation somewhere in Benghazi.

However, U.S. intelligence does not believe — at present — that the attackers specifically targeted Stevens, official said. Instead, they think the attackers sprang into action when, seeing crowds forming outside the consulate on Sept. 11, they perceived an opportunity to carry out a terrorist attack, officials said.

“Yes, they were killed in a terrorist attack on our embassy,” Olsen told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “The best information we have now, the facts that we have now, indicates an opportunistic attack on our embassy.”

U.S. officials say they have some evidence at least one of the attackers had prior connections to al-Qaida’s senior leadership and that others were linked to a sympathetic spinoff group in northern Africa known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which is gaining influence in Libya.

Specifically, U.S. intelligence is investigating whether there is any connection to an al-Qaida-linked player named Sufyan Ben Qumu, who was captured by U.S. officials after the September 11, 2001 attacks and held at Guantanamo Bay for years before being released to Libyan authorities by the Bush administration in 2007. Qumu has emerged in recent months as an increasingly influential Islamist figure in eastern Libya, near Benghazi.

Fox News reported Wednesday night he might be a mastermind of the attack, but U.S. intelligence officials said such conclusions are premature.

“There’s an active effort to uncover those individuals and groups who were responsible for the attack. Any suggestion that a leading suspect or ‘mastermind’ of the attack has been identified at this point is premature. It is safe to assume that any significant extremist in Eastern Libya is going to be under a lot of scrutiny right now,” one U.S. intelligence official told the Washington Guardian.

U.S. intelligence believes part of the motivation for launching the attack was a video from al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri that surfaced the night of Sept. 10, imploring Libyans to attack Americans in retribution for the U.S. drone strike that killed Libyan-born al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in June.

The Washington Guardian reported on Friday that U.S. intelligence had intercepted and translated Zawahiri’s message imploring Libyans to attack U.S. officials the night before the consulate attack and were still analyzing its significance when the ambassador was killed. No significant changes to security countermeasures at the diplomatic mission were taken until after the compound was overrun.

SOURCE

Private Contractors Run Secret Spy Missions in Africa in search of “Kony” and providing the excuse for future enagement

Contractors run U.S. spying missions in Africa

By Craig Whitlock

— Four small, white passenger planes sit outside a hangar here under a blazing sun, with no exterior markings save for U.S. registration numbers painted on the tails. A few burly men wearing aviator sunglasses and short haircuts poke silently around the wing flaps and landing gear.

The aircraft are Pilatus PC-12s, turboprops favored by the U.S. Special Operations forces for stealth missions precisely because of their nondescript appearance. There is no hint that they are carrying high-tech sensors and cameras that can film man-size targets from 10 miles away.

272

Comments

Weigh In
Corrections?

Personal Post

Graphic
The African network
Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

The African network

More World News
The lunch blog saga
The lunch blog saga

Karla Adam JUN 16

Thousands, maybe millions, began reading about what a 9-year-old in Scotland has for lunch after local officials appeared to try to rein her in.
Assad’s rule in Syria
Assad’s rule in Syria

A look at Syria’s president through the years. His government has stepped up its offensive against rebel forces, which may predict even greater bloodshed.

READ: Embattled Assad embraces pariah status

Aung San Suu Kyi visits Eurpoe
Aung San Suu Kyi visits Eurpoe

JUN 14

The Myanmar opposition leader received the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her 21 years ago.

READ: Aung San Suu Kyi says Nobel Prize shattered her isolation

To further disguise the mission, the U.S. military has taken another unusual step: It has largely outsourced the spying operation to private contractors. The contractors supply the aircraft as well as the pilots, mechanics and other personnel to help process electronic intelligence collected from the airspace over Uganda, Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

In October, President Obama sent about 100 elite U.S. troops to central Africa to scour the terrain for Joseph Kony, the messianic and brutal leader of a Ugandan rebel group. But American contractors have been secretly searching for Kony from the skies long before that, at least since 2009, under a project code-named Tusker Sand, according to documents and people familiar with the operation.

The previously unreported practice of hiring private companies to spy on huge expanses of African territory — in this region and in North Africa, where a similar surveillance program is aimed at an al-Qaeda affiliate — has been a cornerstone of the U.S. military’s secret activities on the continent. Unlike uniformed troops, plainclothes contractors are less likely to draw attention.

But because the arms-length arrangement exists outside traditional channels, there is virtually no public scrutiny or oversight. And if something goes wrong, the U.S. government and its partners acknowledge that the contractors are largely on their own.

U.S. Africa Command, which oversees military operations on the continent, declined to discuss specific missions or its reasons for outsourcing the gathering of intelligence.

In response to written questions from The Washington Post, the command stated that contractors would not get special treatment in case of a mishap. Instead, they “would be provided the same assistance that any U.S. citizen would be provided by the U.S. Government should they be in danger.”

Perils of the job

There is precedent for the use of contractors in spying operations. The military hired private firms to conduct airborne surveillance in Latin America in the 1990s and early 2000s, with sometimes-disastrous results.

In 2003, for instance, one American was killed and three others were taken hostage by Colombian insurgents after their plane crashed in the jungle. The contractors, who were working for Northrop Grumman on a Defense Department counter-narcotics program, endured five years of captivity before they were freed in a raid by Colombian police.

Peter W. Singer, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and an expert on military contracting, said the Pentagon typically turns to the private sector for “deniability,” but he added that “it rarely turns out that way.”

“When things go bad, you can have two scenarios,” he said. “Either the contractors are left holding the bag, complaining about abandonment, or else some kind of abuse happens and they’re not held accountable because of a mix of unclear legal accountability and a lack of political will to do something about it.”

Personal Post

Graphic
The African network
Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

The African network

More World News
The lunch blog saga
The lunch blog saga

Karla Adam JUN 16

Thousands, maybe millions, began reading about what a 9-year-old in Scotland has for lunch after local officials appeared to try to rein her in.
Assad’s rule in Syria
Assad’s rule in Syria

A look at Syria’s president through the years. His government has stepped up its offensive against rebel forces, which may predict even greater bloodshed.

READ: Embattled Assad embraces pariah status

Aung San Suu Kyi visits Eurpoe
Aung San Suu Kyi visits Eurpoe

JUN 14

The Myanmar opposition leader received the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her 21 years ago.

READ: Aung San Suu Kyi says Nobel Prize shattered her isolation

Indeed, contractors knowledgeable about the central Africa mission appear to be aware that the downing of one of their planes could have far-reaching implications.

“From a purely political standpoint it is obvious the fallout of such an incident would be immense, especially if hostile forces reached the crash site first,” Commuter Air Technology, an Oklahoma defense firm, wrote in May 2010 in response to a U.S. Africa Command solicitation to expand operations. “This could turn into a prisoner/hostage situation at worst, or at the least a serious foreign relations incident highly damaging to both AFRICOM and the U.S.”

The warning was prescient. That summer, a PC-12 surveillance aircraft operated by a New Jersey contractor as part of Tusker Sand was forced to make an emergency landing in Obo, an isolated town in the Central African Republic where Kony’s forces had terrorized the population.

On board were a handful of Americans working for the firm R-4 Inc., as well as a Ugandan military officer and a Congolese officer.

The unexpected appearance of two foreign soldiers and some Americans aroused the suspicions of tribal leaders, who had been kept in the dark about Tusker Sand by their national government. They detained the crew for several hours as they debated what to do.

“We felt like we were going to prison,” said one of the American contractors involved, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive operation.

The contractor said that his group contacted State Department and United Nations officials but that they declined to intervene. It was even harder to track down Africa Command officials, whose headquarters are in Stuttgart, Germany.

“Eventually, we were able to talk our way out of it,” the contractor said. “That’s all we did over there, pay people off and talk our way out of situations.”

Dwight Turner, vice president of overseas operations for R-4, said he was not personally familiar with the incident. He confirmed that his company had been involved in Tusker Sand but declined to comment further.

A growing appetite

When Tusker Sand began in late 2009, it consisted of a single PC-12, operating out of a Ugandan military hangar at Entebbe airport. The hangar also housed a Gulfstream aircraft for the country’s president, Yoweri Museveni.

According to the contractor who worked for R-4, the presidential palace was so protective of Museveni’s plane that the Americans were required to push their PC-12 out of the hangar by hand, instead of with a tractor, to avoid inadvertent scrapes.

The U.S. military’s appetite for surveillance quickly grew. On June 11, 2010, the Africa Command participated in an “Industry Day” to drum up interest. More than 50 private contractors were invited to develop proposals to expand Tusker Sand and Creek Sand, the program aimed at al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates mainly in Mali.

Unclassified documents prepared for the event show that the military wanted contractors to provide at least a combined 44 personnel for the programs, with double that number if the Africa Command decided to “surge” either one of them. At a minimum, contractors were told that they would have to keep planes flying for 150 hours a month.

Personal Post

Graphic
The African network
Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

The African network

More World News
The lunch blog saga
The lunch blog saga

Karla Adam JUN 16

Thousands, maybe millions, began reading about what a 9-year-old in Scotland has for lunch after local officials appeared to try to rein her in.
Assad’s rule in Syria
Assad’s rule in Syria

A look at Syria’s president through the years. His government has stepped up its offensive against rebel forces, which may predict even greater bloodshed.

READ: Embattled Assad embraces pariah status

Aung San Suu Kyi visits Eurpoe
Aung San Suu Kyi visits Eurpoe

JUN 14

The Myanmar opposition leader received the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to her 21 years ago.

READ: Aung San Suu Kyi says Nobel Prize shattered her isolation

Among the jobs to be outsourced: pilots, sensor operators, intelligence analysts, mechanics and linguists. The expectation was that the personnel would be veterans; most needed to certify that they had passed the military’s survival, resistance and escape training course, because of the possibility of aircrews being downed behind enemy lines.

Contractors would have to supply the surveillance gear, including electro-optical and infrared sensors that work in the dark, and a laser-emitting sensor that can peer under the jungle canopy. All had to be concealed within the body of the plane with retractable mounting to avoid attracting suspicion.

Another document stipulated that prospective firms fly “innocuous” aircraft that would “blend into the local operating area.” In a PowerPoint presentation posted on a federal government Web site for contractors, the Africa Command warned firms bidding for the work that African countries would be “uncomfortable” with activities that might look suspicious, adding: “Don’t want covert aircraft, just friendly looking aircraft.”

In addition to expanding Tusker Sand and Creek Sand, the Africa Command said it wanted to start a drone-based program, dubbed Tusker Wing, to search for members of Kony’s militia,?the Lord’s Resistance Army.

That plan envisioned contractors using blimps equipped with cameras as well as ScanEagles, small and unmanned aircraft that can be launched with a catapult but stay aloft for 22 hours at a time, according to Gene Healey, a contractor who helped prepare a study for the Africa Command.

Healey said the Africa Command was initially enthusiastic about Tusker Wing but canceled the program, without explanation, before it got off the ground. Africa Command officials declined to comment.

Nonetheless, the number of manned surveillance flights for Tusker Sand has gradually increased. A new contractor, Sierra Nevada Corp., began operating PC-12 flights out of Entebbe in August.

Michelle Erlach, a spokeswoman for Sierra Nevada Corp., based in Sparks, Nev., declined to answer questions about Tusker Sand or the firm’s activities in Africa. “I cannot give any details on that,” she said.

The Africa Command declined to answer questions about the contract for Tusker Sand, saying it was “proprietary in nature.”

Allies on the Hill

Tusker Sand could soon receive another boost.

SOURCE

Locusts….of BIBLICAL Proportion

Locusts menace already hunger-stricken Mali and Niger

Custom Search

Mali is already bedeviled by the messy aftermath of a military coup, Tuareg rebels who’ve declared their own state, Islamists trying to impose strict religious law in the north, and waves of hunger.

Now Mali and neighboring Niger are facing swarms of locusts, which were left uncontrolled while Libya and Algeria, which normally keep local locusts from moving south, grappled with conflicts and insecurity of their own.

The swarming desert locusts, which can eat their own weight in fresh food every day, threaten to devastate crops in a region where millions of people are already menaced by food shortages. In some stretches of northern Mali and Niger, some people have resorted to eating plant leaves, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Food Program have said.

Locusts are usually managed by spraying chemicals that stop the swarms from spreading. Algeria and Libya ordinarily attack the swarms, preventing them from hitting Mali or Niger.

But in the last year, as Libya was wracked by fighting between rival militias in the aftermath of the ouster of Moammar Kadafi and Algeria suffered insecurity along its border, local teams and international experts have been blocked from stopping the swarms, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said.

Teams trying to combat the locusts had treated more than 200 square miles of infested land in Algeria and Libya as of the end of May. More than $700,000 has been dedicated to the problem, the FAO said.

But locusts have reportedly already been spotted in the northern Mali region of Kidal, as well as neighboring northern Niger. “How many locusts there are and how far they move will depend on two major factors: the effectiveness of current control efforts in Algeria and Libya and upcoming rainfall in the Sahel of West Africa,” FAO senior locust forecasting officer Keith Cressman said Tuesday.

The onslaught is especially alarming in Mali because the unrest has crippled its ability to fight them off. Bloomberg News reported Thursday that the equipment Mali needs to stop the swarms was destroyed during the Tuareg rebellion, quoting an interview with a locust control official broadcast on state radio.

Even before it was threatened by locusts, Mali has been facing its worst crisis in 50 years, Amnesty International said last month. Rebels and soldiers alike have violated human rights with executions and rapes. Tens of thousands of people have fled the region.

SOURCE

AIDS: The “Gay Plague” and THE MAN-MADE ORIGIN OF AIDS

Gay Vaccine Experiments And The American (Not African) Origin Of AIDS

By Alan Cantwell, MD

Ever since the AIDS epidemic became official in June 1981, there have been rumors that AIDS is a man-made disease. Although this theory has been discredited by “scientific consensus,” there is evidence linking the outbreak of this new disease to a vaccine experiment conducted on gay men in New York City, as well as in other U.S. cities, between 1978 and 1981.

The first epidemic cases of AIDS in America were uncovered exclusively in young, previously healthy, and mostly white gay men in Manhattan in 1979. The cause was unknown until 1984 when a virus, later named HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), was accepted as the infectious agent. How a sexually transmitted disease (STD), purportedly originating in Africa, was transferred into a so-called “gay disease” in New York City was left unexplained, except for preposterous stories like the gay Canadian airline steward Gaetan Dugas, who was demonized in the media and tabloids as “the man who brought AIDS to America.”

THE GAY VACCINE EXPERIMENTS BEFORE AIDS (1978-1981)

Beginning in 1974, workers in a bloodmobile provided by the New York Blood Center in Manhattan began soliciting 8, 906 gay men for a hepatitis B vaccine research study (Koblin et al, 1992). Over the next few years more that 10,000 blood samples were donated by gays willing to participate in the development of a vaccine that might prevent hepatitis B. This viral disease was an STD disproportionately affecting sexually-active homosexuals.

The AIDS epidemic in the U.S. directly traces back to this government-sponsored vaccine experiment! Eventually, 1,083 gay men were recruited to be injected with an experimental hepatitis B vaccine at the New York Blood Center. In the months before the actual experiment began, the vaccine underwent preliminary testing for safety and immune response on two hundred physicians at New York Medical Center, as well as on twenty-eight employees of Merck & Co, which made the vaccine.

The first group of men in the actual trial were inoculated in November 1978. The experiment was confidential. Each man was given an anonymous identification number, which would be the only way they could be identified by the investigators. Each man got an initial dose of vaccine, then a repeat one month after, and a final inoculation six months later. All were asked to donate blood samples for two years after the three injections. Over a period of months, all 1,083 men would be injected. Half the men were given the experimental vaccine; the other half would serve as the control group and were given useless placebo injections. In this double-blind study, neither the men nor the investigators knew who was getting the vaccine or the placebo.

This experiment ended in September 1980. The success rate in preventing hepatitis B in the group receiving the vaccine was 92.3%. Additional experimental hep B vaccine trials, all using gay men as the guinea pig, were conducted in 1979 and 1980 in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and St. Louis.

In May 1981, the men in the placebo group (who did not receive the vaccine) at the Blood Center were offered a chance to take the vaccine. As a result, 270 men were inoculated with the series of three shots and were asked to donate additional blood samples for two more years. Because men in the vaccine-recipient group and the placebo group were now both inoculated with the vaccine, it would no longer be possible to compare the two groups in terms of future HIV rates. Because the experiment was confidential and anonymous, the fate of the individual men in terms of acquiring HIV/AIDS in the future, could never be ascertained. In June 1981, after 41 cases of a new disease in homosexuals were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC), the AIDS epidemic became official.

THE “GAY PLAGUE” BEGINS IN MANHATTAN IN 1979

The first few cases of a new disease characterized by immunodeficiency, cancer and a previously rare form of pneumonia in young gay men, were uncovered in Manhattan in 1979. By the end of 1981 there were 160 cumulative cases from New York City; a decade later, 9,000 cases had been reported in NYC. The early cases were termed “gay related immune deficiency disease,” or GRID, for short. Privately, it was called “the gay plague,” with homosexuals dying from “gay cancer” in the form of Kaposi’s sarcoma, and/or a rapidly fatal “gay pneumonia” caused by a yeast-like fungus.

By the end of 1979, 6.6% of 378 men who had been “hepatitis B trial participants” or who had donated blood in the experiment at the Center were already HIV- positive. By 1981, it was 20%! (This was at a time when the African AIDS epidemic was unknown.) By 1984 over 40% of the trial participants were HIV-positive (Stevens et al, 1986). These infection rates were determined in 1985 when the stored gay blood samples were retested for HIV.

A different (non-vaccine) hepatitis B study, conducted from 1978 to 1980 at the San Francisco City Clinic, recruited a cohort of 6,705 homosexuals. By 1982, 41% of all reported AIDS cases in S.F. were from this cohort. By 1989, 75% of the cohort was infected with HIV-and 1,479 had developed AIDS (Rutherford et al, 1990). Activist Tom Keske has posted an essay on his website entitled: “Was AIDS in the U.S. started intentionally?” He also provides an incriminating statistical analysis linking the AIDS outbreak in San Francisco to hepatitis B vaccine experiments conducted in that city.

In 1984, the CDC was apparently oblivious to the extremely high rate of HIV/AIDS infection in gay men who participated in the hepatitis experiments and studies, particularly at a time when the African AIDS epidemic was still largely unknown. In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, dated Dec 14, 1984, the agency simply concluded the hepatitis B vaccine was safe-and that “epidemiologic monitoring of AIDS cases and high-risk groups confirms the lack of AIDS transmission.” When later studies revealed the high incidence of HIV in these men, as noted above, there was no official comment by the CDC.

To my knowledge, the CDC never tested the vaccine given to the men at the NY Blood center; and this CDC 1984 report is often cited to refute any connection between gay experiments and the AIDS outbreak. New York City quickly became the epicenter for the American epidemic, and has remained so to this day, with more that 100,000 New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.


SIMIAN VIRUSES AND GAY VACCINE EXPERIMENTS

According to Luc Montagnier in his book “Virus” (1999), the African AIDS epidemic did not begin until the Autumn of 1982 at the earliest. There is also no epidemiologic or sexual connection between gay cases and African AIDS cases.

Was HIV introduced into gay men via a contaminated vaccine? HIV is not the first simian (i.e., monkey or chimp) virus to infect mankind. Simian virus-40 (SV40) is a cancer-causing green monkey virus that contaminated the polio vaccine, and was injected into millions of people worldwide beginning in the 1950s. SV40 was also used extensively in animals to induce cancer tumors conducted as part of the largely forgotten Special Virus Cancer Program (1964-1980). For details of this Program, see my Internet article entitled ‘Blaming gays, blacks, and chimps for AIDS.’

There are strong connections between simian viruses and the experimental hep B vaccine, the gay participants, and the outbreak of AIDS. The vaccine given to gays was designed by Maurice Hilleman of Merck; and was “developed” by repeatedly injecting it into chimpanzees, as part of the safety testing of the vaccine. Could a chimp HIV-like virus have been transferred to the vaccine during the 65-week manufacturing process?

Humans and chimps have 99% of their active genetic material in common. As a result, chimps are used extensively in medical research. In 1974 veterinarians produced an AIDS-like disease in chimps by taking newborn chimps away from their mothers and feeding them virus-infected cow’s milk. As a result of this interspecies transfer of virus, the chimps died of immunodeficiency, leukemia, and pneumocystis pneumonia, later known as the “gay pneumonia” of AIDS (McClure et al, 1974). Previously, leukemia had never been observed in chimps.

Also in 1974 the New York Blood Center established Vilab II, a little-publicized chimp research lab in Robertsville, Liberia, West Africa. It contained captive chimps, all of which were purposely infected with hepatitis. In 1978 Vilab began to release some chimps back into the wild and onto several islands. The Blood Center announced the closure of the lab in 2006 and the end to chimp research. Alfred Prince, a hepatitis researcher and virologist at the Blood Center, was also the Director of Vilab from 1975 to 2000.

Maurice Hilleman was well aware of simian viruses contaminating vaccines, having personally discovered SV40 in 1960 in polio vaccines. In a youtube.com video entitled “Merck chief brings HIV/AIDS to America, ” posted by prolific AIDS origin researcher Leonard G Horowitz, Hilleman is recorded telling his colleagues, “I brought African greens [monkeys] in. I didn’t know we were importing AIDS virus at the time [i.e., between 1970-1974]. His colleagues are heard laughing. Someone says, “It was you who introduced AIDS virus in.” This shocking interview, conducted by Edward Shorter for WGBH public television, was cut from the TV documentary, based on Shorter’s book “The Health Century” (1987), due to liability issues, undoubtedly reflecting poorly on Merck where the vaccine for gays was developed. Hilleman’s assertion gives credence to the “conspiratorial” view that the most likely source of an AIDS-causing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) virus was from a laboratory, and not from the wilds of Africa.

The close timeline between the hepatitis B vaccine trials, as well as the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in the participants, and the outbreak of the “gay plague” can hardly be denied. There are few sources, outside of medical journal reports, that reveal details of the experiment. The best source is June Goodfield’s “Quest for the Killers” (1985), in a chapter entitled ‘Vaccine on trial.’ She emphasizes the dangerous aspects of the vaccine experiment, due to the pooling of the blood, as well as the concern regarding possible contamination of the vaccine. Hers is the only source revealing that some of the vaccine was made by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Was something wrong with the vaccine, possibly contamination? This was no theoretical fear, contamination having been suspected in one vaccine batch made by the National Institutes of Health, though never in Merck’s.”

THE SIMIAN VIRUS ORIGIN OF HIV

Determining the simian ancestry of HIV is not the same as determining the origin of the AIDS epidemic in America. HIV is emphatically a “new virus” in humans, although its origin in simians may be ancient. The American AIDS epidemic clearly began in the late 1970s. The purported African origin of American AIDS is largely based on the genealogy of the AIDS virus in Africa. I could never understand why scientists never looked for a simian ancestor of HIV in the various primate virus labs and primate colonies in the U.S.

The simian “roots” of HIV depend on who is doing the genetic analysis. Some researchers claim that HIV has been circulating in humans since the 1930s, others date it back a century or more. A new “phylo-geographic” study suggests monkey SIVs are ancient and date back 32,000 to 75,000 years (Worobey et al, 2010).

The public was first told that HIV originated in Africa in green monkeys. This changed in 1999 when a SIV found in chimpanzees was widely accepted as the closest ancestor virus of HIV (Gao et al, 1999). Four years later, geneticists reversed themselves again, claiming HIV “didn’t start its life in chimps” but arose through hybridization of two monkey strains of SIV that recombined in the chimpanzee host (Bailes et al, 2003). In other words, the ancestors of HIV were a mix of monkey immunodeficiency viruses transferred into chimps, which subsequently recombined to form a new hybrid virus with mixed genetic material. By the way, chimps are considered apes, have bigger bodies than monkeys, and are most closely related to humans. Monkeys have tails and are structurally closer to four-legged animals like cats and dogs.

Lost in all this conflicting genetic mumbo-jumbo, that few people can comprehend (including myself), was the fact that extensive mixing of simian viruses and the creation of hybrid viruses was going on for years in labs around the world in the years immediately preceding AIDS. This, in fact, is the basis of the AIDS “conspiracy theory,” which proposes that the ancestor of HIV most likely originated in animal species transfer experiments in a virus laboratory. Yet this explanation is never considered by scientists. These genetic studies of HIV origin, widely reported in the major media, continue to reinforce the public perception that HIV/AIDS started in Africa.

There is no attempt made here to fully explain the origin of the horrible outbreak of AIDS in Africa beginning around 1983. This will up to future medical historians to unravel. Suffice it to say that sub-Saharan Africa has been the testing ground for pharmaceuticals and vaccines for many decades, and for massive vaccine programs with reuse of needles which could also spread HIV from person to person.

In “AIDS and the Doctors of Death” (1988), I mentioned a London Times explosive front page article connecting AIDS to extensive vaccine programs in Africa, and entitled “Smallpox vaccine triggered AIDS virus” (May 11, 1987). Robert Gallo, the co-discoverer of HIV, was quoted as saying, “The link between the WHO program and the epidemic is an interesting and important hypothesis. I cannot say it actually happened, but I have been saying for some years that the use of live vaccines such as that used for smallpox can activate a dormant infection such as HIV.” The full Times story never appeared in the major media in the U.S., but is available online.

Researchers have known for a long time that the particular strain of HIV that infected American gays is “subtype B.” The prevalent strains in Africa are different, again suggesting that American AIDS cases did not come from Africa cases. Unlike some strains in Africa, which date back to the 1930s, a recent study by Perez-Losada at al (2010), indicates “subtype B” is quite new, dating back to around 1968, a decade before the hep B experiment. Max Essex claims the American B strain has an affinity for anal tissue and is more easily transmitted by homosexual contact and intravenous drug use, whereas the HIV subtypes in Africa tend to fuel heterosexual epidemics via a vaginal mucosal route.

THE LAB ORIGIN OF HIV IN AMERICA

Hilleman’s hepatitis B vaccine was intentionally made from the pooled blood of 300 highly sexually-active gay and intravenous drug abusers in Manhattan. These men were the carriers of the hepatitis virus Hilleman required to manufacture his vaccine. As mentioned, the vaccine was developed in chimps, and took 65 weeks to make. His vaccine brew was collected in 1977. The specific year is important because there are no reports of AIDS cases at that time; and no stored American blood testing positive for HIV before that year.

In “Vaccinated” (2007) Paul Offit, a pediatrician and vaccine developer who works for Merck, theorizes that although “HIV was likely present in the blood from which he made early preparations of his vaccine, Hilleman’s choice of pepsin, urea, and formaldehyde had completely destroyed it.”

In “Vaccinated,” Offit is critical of my AIDS origin research. He writes, “The publisher of Alan Cantwell’s book, Aries Rising Press, was founded by Cantwell himself to promote his uninformed views on the origin of the AIDS epidemic.” Offit claims the American blood supply was “heavily contaminated” with HIV in the mid-1970s. He offers no documentation for this statement, nor are there any studies (or epidemic AIDS cases) which document this.

The earliest HIV-positive blood specimens in the American epidemic were uncovered in 1978-they are those deposited into the Blood Center by gay participants of the hep B experiment. There is no record of any other stored blood in the U.S testing positive for HIV, with one exception. According to “Virus Hunters of the CDC” (1996), author Joseph McCormick states six hundred blood specimens from Zaire, Africa, were sent to the CDC in 1976 during the Ebola virus outbreak. When re-tested in the mid-1980s for HIV, five of the specimens were positive. One has to wonder if other labs in the U.S were also harboring HIV-infected African blood used in animal (or human) research.

Unlike Offit, I have never promoted the idea that HIV was contained in Hilleman’s blood brew in 1977. Yet Offit insists HIV first entered the U.S. a few years before Hilleman began working on his vaccine. He notes Hilleman would be “the first (and last) to use human blood to make a vaccine. He didn’t know until years later that the blood was heavily contaminated with HIV.”

Offit makes no mention of Hilleman importing HIV/AIDS via his monkeys and chimps, nor does he cite the 20% HIV infection rate of the men who participated in the trial at the Blood Center in 1981. He simply assures us the vaccine given to gay men was safe and free of HIV.

UNETHICAL MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION

The development of a hepatitis B vaccine has a dark history. Less than a decade before the gay experiment, sixty mentally retarded children at Willowbrook State School, on Staten Island, NY, were fed live hepatitis B virus. In another experiment, the serum from a patient with hepatitis B was injected intravenously into 25 retarded children with dire results. They sickened, some severely, and turned yellow with jaundice. According to Hilleman, “They were the most unethical medical experiments ever performed in children in the Unites States.”

It is indeed shameful to read the history of covert human experimentation over the past decades, which likely continues up to the present. Most appalling were “the human radiation experiments” of the Cold War era affecting millions of unsuspecting Americans, and extending into the mid-1970s. For all the morbid details, google: human medical experimentation.

I will mention only one recent revelation (2010) uncovered by Susan Reverby, quite by accident, while researching the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis study. According to the Wikipedia entry, “In a 1946 to 1948 study in Guatemala, U.S. researchers used prostitutes to infect prison inmates, insane asylum patients, and Guatemalan soldiers with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases, in order to test the effectiveness of penicillin in treating sexually transmitted diseases. They later tried infecting people with “direct inoculations made from syphilis bacteria poured into the men’s penises and on forearms and faces that were slightly abraded . . . or in a few cases through spinal punctures. The study was sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health and the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the World Health Organization’s Pan American Health Organization) and the Guatemalan government.

Further details of the experiment that recruited 5,500 people and infected 1,300 people (including orphaned children) with sexually transmitted diseases were released on August 30, 2011. In one instance, a dying woman was deliberately infected with gonorrhea bacteria in her eyes and elsewhere. Seven women with epilepsy were injected with syphilis germs into the back of the spine, resulting in bacterial meningitis in all cases. Eighty-three people died. The U.S. Public Health Service is the former name of the CDC. The fact that this government study was initiated by both the CDC and the NIH, the two leading and most prestigious health organizations in America, is chilling.

When asked about the Guatemala experiment, Harold Jaffe of the CDC was quoted as saying: “Are there other stories that haven’t come to light? We don’t want to feed on the paranoia in the media, for example, of biological warfare, or AIDS as a cooked-up infection in a foreign country, but stories like this have to remind people of these stories” (‘Presidential panel slams 1940s Guatemalan STD study,’ by Louisa Kasdon, posted on the BU.edu website, Aug 31, 2011). Jaffe has been the top officer at the CDC covering AIDS since the very beginning. However, this is the first time I ever heard a CDC official blaming AIDS on a “cooked-up infection in a foreign country.”

SIMIAN VIRUSES AND VACCINES

Vaccines are big business with worldwide sales of 25 billion; and AIDS has spawned a huge industry as well. A CBS news report (Jan 8, 2010) declared: “Got AIDS? Lifetime cost: $618,900.”

I am not anti-vaccine, although I would like to know exactly how a vaccine is produced-from start to finish-before it is injected into me. And such knowledge is impossible to obtain, due to proprietary concerns of the manufacturers. Ordinarily, I decline vaccines unless absolutely necessary. I stopped taking yearly flu shots in 1991 when I read in The New York Times that some people were testing HIV-positive after injection with the “Beijing flu” shot that year. This was deemed to be a false-positive reaction, but the CDC was not sure what was causing the peculiar result.

Childhood vaccinations are necessary, of course, to prevent certain diseases. And more and more pediatricians are refusing to treat children whose parents refuse to vaccinate them according to the prescribed schedule, which includes 11 vaccines, and as many as 20 shots by 2 years of age (Offit et al, 2002). For some of my personal negative views on vaccines, see ‘Vexing over vaccines’ on the net.

For anyone who thinks that vaccine makers are always your friend, I would recommend “The Virus and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed” by Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher (2004). They explore the history of the polio vaccine, the contamination problems with SV40 , the ensuing vaccine-related cancer problems, and the government’s cover-up of the problem over the past three decades. I discovered that federal regulations require only that vaccine manufacturers screen for viruses by observing the effects of viruses on tissue cell cultures, as viewed with an ordinary light microscope. This was surprising to me because viruses are too small to be seen microscopically. Thus, vaccines are not directly tested for virus contamination, but are tested indirectly with a light microscope. Apparently virus contamination of vaccine lots is suspected only if cells (viewed in the light microscope) undergo evidence of viral infection. If a contaminating virus in a vaccine has no effect on cells, this testing procedure would obviously be ineffective.

When the gay experiments ended in 1981, HIV was already in the nation’s blood supply. And there was no way to test for it. Within a year, the disease was no longer confined to male homosexuals. It was clearly an STD that could also be transmitted by body fluids and by blood transfusion. In 1982 the first AIDS cases in blood transfusion recipients and hemophiliacs were recorded.

So why were gay men the only sexually-active Americans originally infected with HIV? In my view, the most likely explanation is the vaccine was contaminated with an SIV that escaped detection during the long and dangerous manufacturing process, which included repeated safety test in chimpanzees. An alternate explanation is that a laboratory-derived SIV was introduced deliberately as a genocidal agent against gay people that would eventually spread to the “general population.” In other words, a covert Guatemala-type STD experiment using gays as guinea pigs.

Sometimes, despite great care in the manufacturing process, a virus will slip through and wreak havoc. Such was the case with Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, California, in 1957 with their polio vaccine that was accidentally contaminated with a live, virulent polio virus. The result was 200,000 infected people. Seventy thousand people became ill; 200 were permanently paralyzed; and 10 died, according to Offit’s “The Cutter Incident” (2005).

Once HIV was seeded into gays, it could easily spread sexually and through body fluids. A decade before the epidemic, in a lab accident involving green monkeys in 1967, a highly dangerous simian hemorrhagic virus infected 31 workers in a vaccine facility in Marburg, Germany, resulting in 7 deaths. In several instances, the virus was transferred to sexual partners. Four cases were acquired by hospital personnel caring for victims. Infection in these instances most probably was incurred through contact with the patients’ blood (Luby and Sanders, 1969).

Since 1984, gay men have been excluded from donating blood. This policy includes any man who has had sex with another man since 1977. This was the year Hilleman began work on his vaccine made from pooled blood. This also is the “accepted” year when HIV first entered the nation’s blood supply, although the source of this SIV has never been determined. However, the most likely source was close by- in primates held in laboratories and primate centers. Or in African blood samples, like those stored at the CDC.

THE MAN-MADE ORIGIN OF AIDS

There is a great deal of evidence pointing to AIDS as a man-made disease on the Internet, but the theory is routinely pooh-poohed as paranoia and conspiracy theory. See the Wikipedia page entitled ‘Discredited AIDS origin theories.’ However, it is fact that there was fear concerning the safety of the hepatitis B vaccine. When the commercial vaccine made by Abbott Laboratories became available to the public, it was unpopular. Many health professionals refused the vaccine because it was made from pooled gay blood; and they were afraid the vaccine could transmit AIDS. As a result, a new vaccine was eventually engineered using yeast cells instead of human blood.

Every African-American has heard the rumor that AIDS was engineered to kill off the black race. Thirty percent of blacks in New York City polled by The New York Times (October 29, 1990) actually believed that AIDS might be an ethno-specific bio-weapon designed in a laboratory to wipe them out.

George W Merck, president of Merck during World War 2, was America’s biological weapons industry director. According to Leonard Horowitz’s, New York University Medical Center was listed among the top biological weapons contracting labs by 1969. The NY Blood Center is affiliated with NYUMC. In 1971 a large part of the Army’s biological warfare unit at Fort Detrick was transferred over to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) by president Richard Nixon. As a result, bio-warfare experimentation went under cover at the NCI, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

As noted, Goodfield mentions that the NIH made part of the hep B vaccine used on gays, and contamination was suspected. In his later years, Hilleman himself wrote extensive articles on biological warfare, convinced that vaccines could be developed to protect people against bioterrorism.

In the Spring of 1986, Robert Strecker, was promoting his view of AIDS as a “bio-attack” against humanity. He briefly received negative media attention in TIME magazine (‘Infectious propaganda’, November 17, 1986). When I asked how it was possible for AIDS to start as a purely gay disease, when such an event was biologically improbable, he told me: “Because they put it there. Do you recall the hepatitis B vaccine trials in gay men? That’s where the virus was introduced.”

After a quarter century of study, Strecker’s explanation still makes more sense to me that any other theory of AIDS origin. Ridiculous stories like “Patient Zero” and a handful of suspected “old cases” of so-called AIDS from the 1950s and 60s were sensationalized by the media in an attempt to show that AIDS existed long before the actual epidemic. Indeed, very rare cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma (“gay cancer”) and pneumocystis pneumonia have always existed, but never in epidemic form, nor as an STD. In my view, these reports reeked of misinformation and disinformation; and they served to obfuscate the real origin connected to government experiments conducted on gay men.

Despite my intense interest in this, I have discovered over the past three decades that most people are not interested in AIDS and where it came from. The idea of man-made AIDS, I suspect, is simply too painful for people to consider. In essence, the subject is taboo. However, it seems to me that after 25 million AIDS deaths worldwide, and over 500,000 dead Americans, that some better explanation is required than merely blaming a “species jumping” monkey virus in the African jungle-or gay sex.

This was most evident in April, 2008, when the outspoken Reverend Jeremiah Wright accused the government of inventing the AIDS virus as a genocide program against people of color. As the spiritual advisor to Barack Obama, Wright almost derailed Obama’s run for the presidency. The future president quickly disassociated himself from his former pastor, and the accusation was quickly squelched by the major media without discussion. Wright had read Horowitz’s book on man-made AIDS, “Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola” (1996). He had carefully studied the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study, and he bluntly told the media. “I believe our government is capable of doing anything.”

The rumor that AIDS is a man-made disease will never go away. The reason is simple: It is the most logical explanation of how and why the AIDS epidemic first erupted as the “gay plague” among the most hated minority in America.

————–

Alan Cantwell, MD, writes frequently about the origin of AIDS. He is the author of “AIDS & the Doctors of Death” and “Queer Blood”; both published by Aries Rising Press, PO Box 29532, Los Angeles, CA 90029. His books are available from Amazon.com and through ariesrisingpress.com

SOURCE

Science Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Mindless “Zombies”

Science Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Mindless “Zombies”
Jason Mick

World Health Organization is on high alert about new Ugandan outbreak, cause is not fully known

Added commentary from Jason Oh, a Johns Hopkins Univ. public health studies student who is currently in Uganda studying the disease post-conflict transformation. Mr. Oh described some of the symptoms in more detail, and offered different perspective from the CNN reporters’ experience.

CNN has also reworded their report to tone down the suggestion of violent behavior.

It’s called the “nodding disease” and it’s a baffling illness that has struck thousands of children in northern Uganda. The illness brings on seizures, violent behavior in some (debated), personality changes, and a host of other unusual symptoms.

I. Mental Degradation: Child Victims Have no Cure, no Future

Grace Lagat, a northern Uganda native, is mother of two children — Pauline Oto and Thomas — both of whom are victims of the disease. For their safety, when she leaves the house, she now ties them up, using fabric like handcuffs. She recalls, “When I am going to the garden, I tie them with cloth. If I don’t tie them I come back and find that they have disappeared.”

Reportedly the children gnaw at their fabric restraints, like a rabid animals — or “zombies” of popular fiction — in an attempt to escape. (This is based on CNN’s commentary.)

(Jason Oh points out that the restraints are intended to protect the chidlren from harm, and from starting fires.)

The effort to restrain the children is not unwarranted. In one of the most bizarre symptoms of this tragic illness, children with the disease are reportedly setting fire to buildings in their communities. Coupled with the aimless wandering this disease provokes in victims, this is a deadly combination. More than 200 people have been killed in fires believed to be set by the zombified children.

(According to Jason Oh, there have been few reports of violent behavior. It is unclear where our primary source CNN received this information, though a reader suggested that a CDC report indicated that 10 to 15 percent of children were found to exhibit increased aggression. We were unable to locate this report.)


Nodding disease zombie child

The disease leaves child victims in an often-violent “zombiefied” state. [Image Source: CNN]

The disease is not new. It popped up in the 1960s in Sudan. From there it slowly spread to Libya and Tanzania.

The Uganda infections, though, are a new outbreak — a troubling sign. The jump into a new region could be pure coincidence, or it could indicate the disease has become more virulent or found a new transmissions vector.

Africa map
Uganda is located in central Africa [Image Source: U of Tex., Modifications: Jason Mick]

Infected children typically have regular seizures, which are proceeded by a repetitive nodding of the head. This characteristic symptom has given rise to the unofficial title for the malady.

II. World Medical Organizations Racing for a Cure

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been tracking the spread of this frightening ailment. Dr. Joaquin Saweka says the scene in Uganda is horrific, stating, “It was quite desperate, I can tell you. Imagine being surrounded by 26 children and 12 of them showing signs of this. The attitude was to quickly find a solution to the problem.”

Yet the WHO and CDC are not fully sure what is causing the illness, which cripples children and turns them into mindless, violence-prone zombies. The best clue they have is that most of the cases occur in regions inhabited by “Black flies”, which carry the parasitic worm Onchocerca Volvulus. That worm is responsible for another dangerous disease dubbed “river blindness”, the world’s second leading cause of infectious blindness.

(Jason Oh states that CNN misunderstood this reference. While it’s true the cause of the disease is unknown and the literature papers on the topic indicate an overlap with part of the river blindness afflicted regions, but he feels this reference was only intended to “state the obvious”, not hypothesize causation.)

Black Fly and worm
The illness may have something to do with Black flies (left, center) and their parasitic worm (right). [Image Source: WHO (left), Wikimedia Commons (center), Human Healths (right)]

However 7 percent of infected children live in regions not inhabited by the Black fly, so a link is speculative at best.

Children with the disease also frequently exhibit vitamin B6 deficiency, leading medical experts to believe that the disease may be nutrition related. However, infections by microbes, parasites, fungi, or even fungi/microbes carried by a parasitic host, can all lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Dr. Scott Dowell, director of global disease detection and emergency response at CDC, says the race is on to determine the cause and a cure. He states, “At first we cast the net wide. We ruled out three dozen potential causes and we are working on a handful of probabilities. We know from past experience an unknown disease could end up having more global implications.”

In the current cases children as old as 19 have been found to be stricken, with the majority of the worst symptoms being spread over the 3-11 age range.

One mystery surrounding the disease is the seizures themselves. While typically seizures are either randomly occurring or follow some singular cue/pattern, the nodding disease seems to have multiple triggers, including eating new foods, changing weather, and other changes.

(Jason Oh says CNN reporters messed up and that it’s familiar foods trigger the seizures, not unfamiliar ones like bars of chocolate.)

Seizure often leave the children soiled with urine and drooling. Local nurses are afraid to touch the infected. States local nurse Elupe Petua, “I feel, because I don’t know what causes it, I don’t even know how it transmits, when I touch them I feel that I can also get the infection because I don’t know what causes it.”

III. Medication is Ineffective

Anti-epileptic medication slows the onset of symptoms, but is unable to stop the progression of the disease. The seizures eventually leave many children unable to walk, only able to drag their bodies along the ground as flies tried to attack them.

Nodding disease
The current treatment approach of anti-epileptics has done little to halt the illness.
[Image Souce: CNN]

(Jason Oh says that the diseases offers a tragic, slow mental degradation, taking years to develop. Affected children, embarassed about the nodding and afraid of infecting classmates often drop out of school, while still mentally capable. Eventually the seizures lead to the more severe symptoms mentioned in the intro — loss of speech, partial paralysis, personality changes, and — according to CNN — violence.)

The government of Uganda has come under criticism for not being vocal enough in addressing the tragedy and demanding foreign aid/research expertise. Local politicians have taken to transporting victims from affected villages by bus to city hospitals in order to force the issue into the eyes of the more affluent city-dwellers.

(Jason Oh adds some perspective writing, “Uganda had asked the CDC to investigate in 2009. Most of the backlash against the government is because the Ministry of Health has been slow to use emergency funds that the Parliament made available. They’ve established many local centers for Nodding Syndrome, but they are under-staffed and under-equipped. The kids are being referred to and transported to Mulago Hospital (famous for being in The Last King of Scotland) so the top doctors at Makerere University and in Kampala can monitor them.”)

The issue is yet another woe for a nation in which the impoverished majority was terrorized for years by warlord Jospeph Kony’s militia, dubbed the “Lord’s Resistance Army.”

Mr. Kony is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court on multiple counts of violent war crimes, including rape and murder. These offenses are punishable by death (life in prison), if he is ever brought to trial. (Jason Oh clarified that under the new Rome Statute of 2002, the ICC is not allowed to seek the death penalty, even in murder cases.)

IV. What if the “Nodding Disease” Found a Way to Reach the U.S.?

Dr. Saweka says that for all the hand-waving by the government about using better anti-epileptics and offering more funding, he appreciates and shares in the villagers frustration. He states, “People complain that it looks like the lives in developing countries have less value than the lives in the western countries. When you know the root cause, you address the cure. Now you are just relieving the symptoms. We don’t expect to cure anybody.”

Ugandans
Ugandans, grief stricken, feel somewhat abandoned by the government and the wealthy developed “First World”. [Image Source: CNN]

While the “First World” may not be focused on — or even aware of — the zombification that is leaving children in these African nations violent (debated), crippled shells of their former selves — tied like dogs — it is an issue that must be addressed. After all, viruses, bacteria, parasites thanks to the wonders of evolution can mutate and adapt to new environments and new transmission vectors.

Thus this zombie virus While reports of violence or strange behavior — like biting — are disputed, the disease is very serious. It may seem like a foreign issue to regions like the U.S. and EU who are struggling with their own financial crisises. But if the illness finds a way to broaden its spread, this outbreak could cripple children across the globe.

(A word of clarification… CNN has reworded their report slightly to tone down the suggestion of violent behavior. The reports of fire starting stand, but in the new context it’s possible these were just innocent accidents triggered by the childrens’ loss of coordination.

Source: CNN

SOURCE

Nigeria declares state of emergency

Nigeria declares state of emergency in northern regions

‘I have …declared a state of emergency in the following parts of the federation,’ Mr Jonathan told state TV Photo: EPA

Mr Jonathan added that he would shut any borders with other nations in the northern areas covered by the decree.

“I have … declared a state of emergency in the following parts of the federation,” Mr Jonathan told state TV, before going on to list the northern local governments affected by the decree.

“The temporary closure of our borders in the affected areas is only an interim measure designed to address the current security challenges and will be resumed as soon as normalcy is restored,” he added, in a speech addressing deadly Christmas Day bombings by the Boko Haram sect a week ago.

The decree means parts of Nigeria’s border with Niger, Chad and Cameroon will be sealed until further notice.

He added that his chief of defence staff had been instructed to take other “appropriate” measures, including setting up a special counter-terrorism force.
Related Articles

Blast near mosque in northeast Nigeria kills four
30 Dec 2011

Nigeria: Christians defend themselves from extremists
29 Dec 2011

Bombers target Islamic school as fears of holy war in Nigeria mount
28 Dec 2011

Does Nigeria’s Taliban have the West in its sights?
28 Dec 2011

Nigeria’s top Muslim leader seeks religious calm
27 Dec 2011

Nigerians flee cities fearing more violence
26 Dec 2011

Militants from Boko Haram, a radical Islamist sect, set off a series of bombs across Nigeria on Christmas Day, including one that killed at least 37 people and wounded 57.

The blasts raised fears that Boko Haram, a movement styled on the Taliban and whose name means “Western education is forbidden”, is trying to ignite sectarian strife in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer.

“The crisis has assumed a terrorist dimension,” Mr Jonathan said. “I therefore urge the political leadership (in northern local governments) to give maximum cooperation to ensure that the situation is brought under control.”

The local government areas listed included parts of Niger State, Borno and Yobe, all of which have become infiltrated with Boko Haram militants.

SOURCE

Tanzania will NOT be bullied into accepting Gay Rights

Tanzania will not be bullied over gay rights issues, minister tells Britain

Jonny Payne

Tanzania will not be forced to adopt pro-gay legislation that is “against its laws, culture and regulations”, its foreign affairs minister has said, following Prime Minister David Cameron’s calls to cut aid to anti-gay countries.

Speaking at a press conference, Bernard Membe, the country’s foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, said the country would rather end its ties with Britain than adopt gay rights legislation.


“We cannot be directed by the United Kingdom to do things that are against our set laws, culture and regulations,”
he said, as reported by Tanzania-based IPP Media.


“We are not ready to allow any rich nation to give us aid based on unacceptable conditions simply because we are poor.

“If we are denied aid by one country, it will not affect the economic status of this nation and we can do without UK aid…but we are not ready to accept aid on conditions that we legalise homosexuality in this country,” he added.

The comments follow those of John Atta Mills, the President of Ghana, who said he would “never initiate or support any attempts to legalise homosexuality in Ghana”. The president’s adviser John Nagenda also spoke out, saying he is “tired of these lectures” and of Ghanaian citizens being treated like “children” by David Cameron.

SOURCE

The Peace President Goes To War…..Again

Obama Sends U.S. Troops to Central Africa to Aid Campaign Against Rebel Group

WASHINGTON — President Obama is sending about 100 U.S. troops to central Africa to help local forces battle the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group that the administration says has waged a campaign of murder, rape and kidnapping for more than two decades.

Obama said Friday the troops will act as advisers in efforts to hunt down rebel leader Joseph Kony but will not engage in combat except in self-defense, according to a letter to Congress that was obtained by Fox News.

The White House says the first troops arrived in Uganda on Wednesday. Ultimately, they will also deploy in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Congo.

A senior administration official downplayed the notion that the armed troops could be drawn into a hostile, combat situation, saying the move was sparked by Congress passing a law year urging the administration to do something to crack down on the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Long considered one of Africa’s most brutal rebel groups, the Lord’s Resistance Army began its attacks in Uganda more than 20 years ago but has been pushing westward.

The administration and human rights groups say its atrocities have left thousands dead and have put as many as 300,000 Africans to flight. They have charged the group with seizing children to bolster its ranks of soldiers and sometimes forcing them to become sex slaves.

Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court under a 2005 warrant for crimes against humanity in his native Uganda.

Obama’s announcement came in low-key fashion — a letter to the leader of the House, Speaker John Boehner, in which he said the deployment “furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”

The deployment drew support from Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican who has visited the region.

I have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by the LRA, and this will help end Kony’s heinous acts that have created a human rights crisis in Africa,” he said in a statement. “I have been fervently involved in trying to prevent further abductions and murders of Ugandan children, and today’s action offers hope that the end of the LRA is in sight.”

But Obama’s letter stressed the limited nature of the deployment.

“Our forces will provide information, advice and assistance to select partner nation forces,”
it said. “Although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will … not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.”

The troops deployed to central Africa will be mostly U.S. special operations forces. It’s likely many of these forces will be Army Green Berets, one military official told Fox News, but it’s unlikely that will be announced publicly.

Since 2008, the U.S. has provided $33 million to regional forces battling LRA, according to the Pentagon.

The Pentagon said the special operation forces are performing one of their core missions.

“Our intention is to provide the right balance of strategic and tactical experience to supplement host nation military efforts,”
the Pentagon said. “Ultimately, Africans are responsible for African security, but we remain committed to our partners to enable their efforts to provide for their own security.”

Fox News’ Ed Henry, Justin Fishel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: SOURCE

When Women Attack

Arrests in female rapists probe

DETECTIVES investigating a spate of kidnappings and sex attacks on male hitchhikers by female rapists have made three arrests.

Police seized 31 used condoms with semen after a chance breakthrough when a suspect vehicle was involved in an accident in Lower Gweru.

More than a dozen attacks, thought to be for ritual purposes, have been reported mainly in the Midlands and Masvingo provinces. A few more attacks have been reported in Harare and Mashonaland West.

Midlands police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Charles Makono said officers at an accident scene had their suspicions aroused when three women, including the girlfriend of the vehicle’s driver, approached them with an odd request.

“They wanted the officers to allow them to collect a stash of used condoms which were located in the boot of the vehicle,
” said Chademana.

The three women, named as Rosemary Chakwizira, 24, Sophie Nhokwara, 26, and Netsai Nhokwara, 24, all from Mkoba 4, Gweru, were immediately arrested along with the male driver on suspicion of multiple counts of indecent assault.

The driver also faces culpable homicide charges after the fatal accident in which a pedestrian was run over and killed.

Now police are asking for victims to come forward to an identity parade to pick their attackers. Police also hope to match the semen to some of the victims through DNA testing.

Typically, male hitchhikers on Zimbabwe’s main highways are offered a lift. The drivers are sometimes male, but usually female.

The hitchhikers are then drugged – sometimes by having a cloth with a mystery substance pulled over the faces or through an injection – before they are driven to dark spots or safe houses where the attacks occur.

The victims are forced to be intimate with the female attackers, sometimes without protection, but where a condom is used, semen is collected.
Victims are typically stripped of their possessions before being dumped by the roadside.

In October last year, police chief Augustine Chihuri was forced to address the unusual crimes, warning that the rapists would be would “professionally dealt with accordingly without fear or favour”.

“Let me warn all social miscreants who are soiling the country’s social fabric, cultural norms and values by perpetrating abominable and weird activities of women sexually molesting men, sometimes at gunpoint, to stop the practices forthwith,” he warned.

SOURCE

48 Women Raped Every Hour In Congo

48 Women Raped Every Hour In Congo, Study Finds

The African nation of Congo has been called the worst place on earth to be a woman. A new study released Wednesday shows that it’s even worse than previously thought: 1,152 women are raped every day, a rate equal to 48 per hour.

That rate is 26 times more than the previous estimate of 16,000 rapes reported in one year by the United Nations.

Michelle Hindin, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health who specializes in gender-based violence, said the rate could be even higher. The source of the data, she noted, is a survey that was conducted through face-to-face interviews, and people are not always forthcoming about the violence they have suffered when talking to strangers.

The numbers are astounding,” she said.

Congo, a nation of 70 million people that is equal in size to Western Europe, has been plagued by decades of war. Its vast forests are rife with militias that have systematically used rape to destroy communities.

The analysis, which will be published in the American Journal of Public Health in June, shows that more than 400,000 women had been raped in Congo during a 12-month period between 2006 and 2007.

COME TO FINLAND

On average 29 Congolese women out of every 1,000 had been raped nationwide. That means that even in the parts of Congo that are not affected by the war, a woman is 58 times more likely to be raped than a woman in the United States, where the annual rate is 0.5 per 1,000 women.

Previous estimates of the number of rapes were derived from police and health center reports in the nation’s troubled east where the conflict is concentrated. The authors of the study used figures from a government health survey and pooled data from across the country.

The highest frequency of rape was found in North Kivu, the province most affected by the conflict, where 67 women per 1,000 had been raped at least once.

The message is important and clear: Rape in (Congo) has metastasized amid a climate of impunity, and has emerged as one of the great human crises of our time,” said Michael VanRooyen, the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Margot Wallstrom, the U.N. special representative for sexual violence in conflict, welcomed the study.

“Conflict-related sexual violence is one of the major obstacles to peace in the DRC,”
she said in statement, using the initials for Congo. “Unchecked it could disrupt the entire social fabric of the country.”

Wallstrom said the figures in the study are higher than the U.N.’s because it covers all sexual violence — including domestic and intimate partner violence — not just from military actors.

U.N. figures tend to be conservative because they must be verified by the organization itself, she said.

Wallstrom said she consistently stresses that “the number of reported violations are just the tip of the iceberg of actual incidents.”

——

Associated Press Writers Saleh Mwanamilongo in Kinshasa, Congo, Edith Lederer in New York and Mike Stobbe in Atlanta contributed to this report.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=136213262

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

By Michael Snyder – BLN Contributing Writer

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes. Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?

Most Americans are so accustomed to supermarkets that are absolutely packed to the gills with massive amounts of really inexpensive food that they cannot even imagine that life could be any other way. Unfortunately, that era is ending.

There are all kinds of indications that we are now entering a time when there will not be nearly enough food for everyone in the world. As competition for food supplies increases, food prices are going to go up. In fact, at some point they are going to go way up.

Let’s look at some of the key reasons why an increasing number of people believe that a massive food crisis is on the horizon.

The following are 20 signs that a horrific global food crisis is coming….

#1 According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices.

#2 The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate. In fact, according to Lester Brown, “one third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes”.

#3 Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.

#4 Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples. For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.
#5 Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to “overpumping”. According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced. So what happens once all of that water is gone?

#6 In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifercould eventually turn “America’s Breadbasket” back into the “Dust Bowl”.

#7 Diseases such as UG99 wheat rust are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply.

#8 The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable. In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to beuninhabitable. Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.

#9 The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list. The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil. The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil. When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive. If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.

#10 At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage. According to scientists with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, the world is not going to have enough phosphorous to meet agricultural demand in just 30 to 40 years.

#11 Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe. For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.

#12 According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.

#13 According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.

#14 The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.

#15 The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.

#16 The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.

#17 The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.

#18 There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge ofeconomic disaster before this year even began.

#19 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War 2. Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying. None of this is good news for global food production.

#20 There have been persistent rumors of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States. The following is an excerpt from a recent “special alert” posted on Raiders News Network….

Look around you. Read the headlines. See the largest factories of food, potassium iodide, and other emergency product manufacturers literally closing their online stores and putting up signs like those on Mountain House’s Official Website and Thyrosafe’s Factory Webpage that explain, due to overwhelming demand, they are shutting down sales for the time being and hope to reopen someday.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that time is short.

For years, many “doom and gloomers” have been yelling and screaming that a food crisis is coming.

Well, up to this point there hasn’t been much to get alarmed about. Food prices have started to rise, but the truth is that our stores are still packed to the rafters will gigantic amounts of relatively cheap food.

However, you would have to be an idiot not to see the warning signs. Just look at what happened in Japan after March 11th. Store shelves were cleared out almost instantly.

It isn’t going to happen today, and it probably isn’t going to happen tomorrow, but at some point a major league food crisis is going to strike.

So what are you and your family going to do then?

You might want to start thinking about that.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/20_Signs_That_A_Horrific_Global_Food_Crisis_Is_Coming_/13521/0/0/0/Y/M.html