Washington Free Press, Jan./ Feb. 2000
Titles: Genetic Bullets, Ethnically Specific Bioweapons
Author: Roy Blake
Konformist, March 2000
Title: Ethnic Weapons for Ethnic Cleansing
Author Greg Bishop
North Coast Xpress, Fall 2000
The Human Genome Project and Eugenics
Author Robert Lederman
Corporate news coverage: Daily Telegraph (London) 7/7/00, Agence France Presse 1/21/99, The Gazette (Montreal) A-4, Baltimore Sun 1/22/99 A-18, The Salt Lake City Tribune 1/27/99 A-13, The Times Union (Albany) 2/2/99 D-2,
Faculty/Community Evaluators: Rabbi Michael Robinson, Velma Guillory-Taylor, Ed.D.
Student Researchers: Terrie Girdner, Karen Parlette, Jennifer Swift
The Human Genome Project may now open the door to the development and use of genetic weapons targeted at specific ethnic groups. This project is currently being conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Energy Department, which also oversees America’s nuclear weapon arsenal.
In October 1997, Dr. Wayne Nathanson, chief of the Science and Ethics Department of the Medical Society of the United Kingdom, warned the annual meeting of the Society that “gene therapy” might possibly be turned into “gene weapons” which could potentially be used to target particular genes possessed by certain groups of people. These weapons, Nathanson warned, could be delivered not only in the forms already seen in warfare such as gas and aerosol, but could also be added to water supplies, causing not only death but sterility and birth defects in targeted groups.
Current estimates of the cost of developing a “gene weapon” have been placed at around $50 million, still quite a stretch for an isolated band of neo-Nazis, but well within the capabilities of covert government programs.
On November 15, 1998, the London Times reported that Israel claimed to have successfully developed a genetically specific “ethnic bullet” that targets Arabs. When an Israeli government spokesman was asked to confirm the existence of ethnic weapons, he did not deny that they had them, but rather said, “we have a basket full of serious surprises that we will not hesitate to use if we feel that the state of Israel is under serious threat.”
Some scientists worry that the modified genes that corporations have spliced into fish, fowl, fruit and vegetables have permanently altered the world’s food supply. Some may be intended to reduce populations.
The U.S. has a long history of interest in such genetic research. The current home of the Human Genome Project is the Cold Springs Harbor laboratory on Long Island, NY-the exact site of the notorious Eugenics Research Office that was started in 1910 by the Harriman family. The project’s 1910 agenda included governmental imposition of sanctions on such human rights as reproduction, and on U.S. immigration, based on the alleged inferiority of particular ethnic groups. The Eugenics Research Project established medical and psychological conditions that would qualify one for sterilization or euthanasia. Prominent advocates of the program such as the Rockefeller family, Henry Ford, and Margaret Sanger helped smooth the way for the passage of forcible sterilization laws in 25 states. These laws allowed the forcible sterilization of tens of thousands of people, mostly of minority status, during the first half of the 20th century.
The November 1970 issue of the Military Review published an article entitled “Ethnic Weapons” for command-level military personnel. The author of the article was Dr. Carl Larson, head of the Department of Human Genetics at the Institute of Genetics in Lund, Sweden. Dr Larson wrote of how genetic variations in races are concurrent with differences in tolerances for various substances. For instance, large segments of Southeast Asian populations display a lactose intolerance due to the absence of the enzyme lactase in the digestive system. A biological weapon could conceivably take advantage of this genetic variance and incapacitate or kill an entire population.
Update by Greg Bishop
The ubiquitous nature of racism and the ruling power structure’s history of handling “undesirables,” as well as dealing with an enemy (almost always of different racial stock than a dominant aggressor) virtually assures us that the more powerful countries and their allies are continuing to look into new and better ways of subduing and killing whole (or major parts of) foreign populations.
When the London Times broke the story of the Israeli bioweapons project and interest in the development of pathogens that would disable or kill by ethnicity, they quoted an unnamed British intelligence source that said that these sorts of weapons were “theoretically possible.” They were not only “theoretical” but had been researched for nearly 50 years. The lynchpin of the Times article was the writer’s reliance on a specifically genetic explanation for ethnic weapons.
Bioweapons have been used since at least the Roman Empire, when armies dumped dead animals into an enemy’s water supply to spread disease. Research into ethnic-specific bioweapons was first broached publicly in 1970, when Dr. Carl Larson’s article “Ethnic Weapons” appeared in the Military Review. Larson discussed the possibility of utilizing differing races’ sensitivity or low resistance to specific compounds (such as lactose intolerance among Asians) as either a bioweapon in itself, or as a “vector” that would allow other poisons or microorganisms to more easily enter a human body when defenses were lowered or destroyed. This method was not as surgically accurate as the military might want it to be, since many populations are not completely homogenous. The strange thing about the Times coverage was that it completely ignored this history and the fact that any technology for killing more of the enemy than your own would most likely be (and has been) looked upon with interest by military strategists.
No updates have yet appeared (or I have been unable to locate any) on the subject of Israeli ethnic weapons. In this country, continuing a historic policy toward Native Americans, it has been revealed that the American Indian Health Service (IHS-funded by the Federal Government, who employ the doctors and nurses) coerced Native American men and women into forced sterilizations in the early to mid 1970s. The General Accounting Office (GAO) estimated that 3,400 people (mostly women) underwent the treatment, but their study only covered four of twelve IHS regions for four years. Activists put the estimate much higher, at 60,000 to 70,000. This, coupled with the suspicion raised by the hantavirus outbreak in the Four Corners region of Arizona/New Mexico/Colorado/Utah keeps suspicion and fingers pointed at the federal government and at least some government policies toward the American Indian population. (Hantavirus is one of many “new” diseases that have come under suspicion of having their origins in genetic engineering or biowarfare labs.) As reported in a 1994 Project Censored update, Utah’s Dugway Proving Grounds biowarfare research site was also reopened despite local residents’ protests over fears that the facility was originally closed because of safety concerns. Fort Dietrick, the site of the most notorious CIA drug and army biowarfare research in the United States now houses major research facilities of the National Cancer Institute, raising issues of conflict (or collusion) or interest.
No major press outlets were consulted about publication of the story. It was written to appear on the Konformist.com website. Public awareness spread from there. There appears to have been no followup in the mainstream media on the original 1998 London Times story.
For more information on this story:
Cole, Leonard A. Clouds of Secrecy: The Amy’s Germ Warfare Tests Over Populated Areas, Rowman & Littlefield, Totowa, N.J. , 1988.
Hersh, Seymour M. Chemical and Biological Warfare: America’s Hidden Arsenal, Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, 1968.
Murphy, Sean. No Fire, No Thunder: The Threat of Chemical and Biological Weapons, Monthly Review Press, New York , 1984.
Piller, Charles. Gene Wars: Military Control Over the New Genetic Technologies, Beech Tree Books, New York , 1988.
Spiers, Edward M. Chemical and Biological Weapons: A Study in Proliferation, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1994.
Article by Preston Peet on U.S. biowarfare testing in Puerto Rico in the 1930s. Island population was deliberately infected with cancer in a program run by Dr. Cornelius Rhodes, who went on to win seats on the Atomic Energy Commission and the Rockefeller Institute, as well as running U.S. chemical warfare programs in WWII. Many useful links.
Long and detailed article on the American Indian sterilization program.
This Center for Nonproliferation Studies site features text of threat assessment presented to Congressional subcommittee in October 1999, by Dr. Raymond Zilinskas. Includes information on bioweapons and ethnic weapons.
Genetech discussion list featuring exchanges on ethnic weapons. Concentrates on possibility of genetically engineered versions.
Update by Robert Sterling, Editor of the Konformist
Let me add personal knowledge of response to the article of which the author Greg Bishop was unaware. While the media response was predictably non-existent, I did receive numerous comments that spoke volumes. The main thrust of “Ethnic Weapons for Ethnic Cleansing” was reports of an Israeli biowarfare program targeting Arabs. One of the key groups of readers of the Konformist are Zionist Jews, courtesy of the promotion of the provocative writings of Israel’s Barry Chamish, a dedicated Zionist who has done tremendous work investigating the Rabin assassination and the suppressions involved with it. What is interesting is that, though I received quite a few Emails from the Zionist community, none denied the accuracy of the story. Instead, they brashly admitted it was true, then added it was necessary because Israel needed to defend itself from its Arab neighbors. What is most telling is that many letters included references to Arabs that were derogatory and dehumanizing. That such a destructive philosophy is accepted by so many uncritically in Israel explains much of the vicious thuggery performed against the Palestinians over the last four months (not to mention the last 33 years). This is why I submitted the story, because it underscored an important point that no group has a monopoly of hatred and oppression, and that authoritarian values of all flavors must be rejected and battled with words.
Update by Robert Lederman
While the average person has no particular interest in nor any tangible use for the
Human Genome Project it, more than the economy or whichever political party is in power in Washington, will very significantly mold the future of human life on this planet. Like its origin, Eugenics, the Human Genome Project (HGP) has been presented to the public as an effort by our government to help people live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When I first wrote the article “The Human Genome Project and Eugenics” I received a lot of correspondence from media people and scientists who felt I was unfairly associating the HGP with Eugenics and its expression in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. Since then I’ve found on the HGP’s own website an introduction to the project that makes exactly the same connection in no uncertain terms.
“Although it is easy to conceive of the Human Genome Project and genetic engineering as an entirely new epoch in scientific history, this is not our first-scale involvement with human genetics. Our current rush into the “gene age” has striking parallels to the eugenics movement of the early decades of the 20th century. Eugenicists sought an exclusively genetic explanation of human development, neglecting the important contribution of the environment. Their flawed data were the basis for social legislation to separate racial and ethnic groups, restrict immigration from southern and eastern Europe, and sterilize people considered “genetically unfit.” Elements of the American eugenics movement were models for the Nazis, whose radical adaptation of eugenics culminated in the Holocaust.”
As of this writing, the human genomes of the populations of Estonia, Tonga, and Iceland have been bought and patented by private corporations with many more such corporatized human lineages to follow. James Watson, the discoverer of the structure of DNA and the project’s first director, has spoken publicly of his enthusiasm for human germline engineering-making permanent inheritable changes in the human populations’ DNA. In the brief time since I wrote the article, insurance companies have publicly admitted that they will use prospective clients’ DNA in deciding whether to grant them health insurance. Mayors and governors across America are following NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in demanding that DNA samples be taken from every person arrested regardless of how minor their crime. Man-made transgenic organisms are being introduced into the human food supply and environment under the guise of distributing vaccines and improving nutrition with what can only be described as either reckless enthusiasm or an intent to do harm. In short, we will soon be living in a society in which Eugenics science applied by government may play a greater role in ones destiny than any other factor.
While all of this is happening the public is being misled into believing that the Project’s main purpose is to cure diseases and extend human life. Once this genie is out of the bottle, it will never be put back in. While it may seem like science fiction to most people, the Human Genome Project represents the single biggest threat to human freedom that has ever been devised.
The following websites contain a great amount of scientific, historical, and propaganda material on Eugenics and the Human Genome Project. Some of the sites are anti-eugenics and others, including a neo-Nazi site, are pro-eugenics and blatantly racist. My including them in this list should not be construed as an endorsement of any of the statements contained therein, other than those in my own articles.