Georgia has been receiving much coverage in the regional news of late, Renn TV and other outlets, especially Russian news outlets, over America's alleged biological and entomological weapons program. There are so many uncomfortable questions - what exactly is being researched and who it is being tested upon is something that few want to address - and nobody is asking this in the Western MSM-that in itself is MOST revealing.
But in the meantime flags are usually raised when such finger pointing and recriminations come from Russia, as this is more than just sour grapes and wanting to divert blame from its own problems.
Some pundits would want us to believe that such news is humdrum news; being just more of the same-not to be taken serious-and considering the source. However, now with Trump in office, and those in the shadows not happy, things are becoming more and more complicated.
What is the nexus ?
The response is far more revealing than the actual allegations, for instance, one friend from the BBC shared with the author, and let the reader judge as if this is a compliment or threat ?
This is too flat earth for me. The world is going mad and I am trying to stick to fact-based journalism. Even with my crap Russian, that film seems worthy of Goebbels - as a friend, I really think you should think carefully about getting so involved in something that is obviously politically motivated. The internet doesn't forget and I think you are being used.
Foreign and US-sponsored media outlets, counter spin doctors, are quick to dismiss the bio claims, as reported by Russia 24, as the work of conspiracy theorists and describes all media reports questioning strange outbreaks as the "Inside story of a Kremlin Disinformation Campaign in Georgia."
Ever since it opened seven years ago, it has been under attack from Russian government officials and the Kremlin's network of supportive media outlets. It is a microcosm of Moscow's wider disinformation efforts, say those tracking Russian information campaigns - using "black propaganda" about the lab to spread fear and divide public opinion in pro-Western Georgia, while also targeting the United States.
Naturally it all boils down to the core allegation of how U.S. military is doing biological weapons research on its border under the guise of civilian (public health and animal disease prevention) on its borders.
The documentary "Bacteriological Weapons at our Borders", features an exclusive interview with Jeffrey Silverman, Bureau Chief for Veterans Today, and who formerly stationed at a chemical weapons facility in the United States. It goes into detail how he manages to access information on the secret American laboratory in Georgia, funding mechanisms and design flaws.
But exactly why does he and others and the Georgian media called the Lugar Lab the "death lab," and why the operation would have Dr. ‘impressed' the Nazi concentration camp doctor Joseph Mengele."
Perhaps credence should be given to the attack on the main source of many of the articles and reports generated by Georgian and Russian media outlets, as recently described as an eccentric American living in Tbilisi, has helped feed the rumor mill, claiming that the lab is being used to test killer viruses and bacteria on humans.
"Georgians are being used as white rats," declared Jeffrey Silverman in an interview with Patrioti TV, a Georgian news outfit that advocates close ties with Russia. This article goes on to claim that he he has been widely discredited as a conspiracist, and how he has regularly been interviewed by the Russian media - including in this 2015 Rossiya 24 report - and his claims are often picked up and recycled by alternative news sites.
No mention is made that it was Georgian TV that first broke this story, both broadcast and print, or the fact that Silverman hold two science degrees, BS and MS, and works in animal health - and university labs. He first arrived in Georgia in 1991 to work with an agriculture project, growing tobacco, and was featured on the front page of the Wallstreet Journal and after 20 years on-the-ground, Silverman has as much local knowledge as to what is actually happening behind closed doors as any foreigner living in Georgia.
But aside from recriminations, there are bigger fish to fry, as the above-mentioned Russian documentaries beg the question, as why did the Pentagon calculate how much it would cost to kill 625,000 people ?
The Renn TV investigative programme goes on to explain how pharmacists created a genetic time bomb that could destroy half of the world's population, and even dives into why does a Japanese billionaire need an army of fighters with the same DNA ?
The timing of such allegations and investigations is not by coincidence. So it is the same with the counter media campaign to discredit such programs. Why did the US authorities cancel their ban on conducting experiments with the most dangerous viruses and what to expect from progress in the chemical industry ?
Is it the harmless ability of our gadgets to recognize faces and whether data about us and you flow into someone's hands to fulfill the most terrible goals ?
Jeffrey Silverman claims that the laboratories' goal is to study biological weapons at a location far from the US. In addition, [he claims] the materials from the laboratories will make it possible to:
- Circumvent the Geneva Convention's 1972 prohibition on bacteriological and toxin weapons, as well as the additional protocol to this convention, drawn up in the 1990s, that would verify efforts by the treaty's signatories to comply with its provisions (and which, by the way, the US refused to ratify in 2001).
- Test biological agents in the field, making them more virulent, tracking how they spread, and adjusting their effectiveness.
- Expand their base of knowledge; develop the technology to attack biological-weapons facilities, and improve the capabilities of the pharmaceutical industry by developing medicines and vaccines against a variety of pathogens.
- Carry out sabotage operations intended to cause economic damage to the countries near the sites of these laboratories.
Journalists from REN TV talked with those whose health was impacted by living in a dangerous neighborhood. The investigation went on to describe how the United States conducts prohibited biological weapons development, violating a treaty, the BWC, Bio Weapons Convention. More so, the account of victims as a result of American supervised experiments or so-called "accidents" at the Lugar Lab in Tbilisi Georgia are more than allegations.
Based on some of the most conservative estimates, at least 25 covertly US-funded laboratories are scattered around the world. What makes them threatening is that not animals but human subjects are literally being used as white rats. And at least of these facilities border with the Russian Federation (in Ukraine and Georgia).
Take for example, Eteri Gogitidze, who spent most of her professional life as a flight attendant in the sky and was proud of her excellent health, but now is fading. It all started when she felt an unpleasant smell from the street: a couple of breaths, and a loss of consciousness. Further - a sharp decrease in immunity, a deterioration of eyesight - to at least something to see, we need special corrective glasses.
"It was 200 days ago that the pressure was up, no matter what, just opened the window, went out onto the balcony in the evening." The wind was dizzying, it was strong that day, probably, "said the resident of Alekseyevka, the site of where a former Soviet bio facility now taken over and turned into a modern bio research facility.
Some claim more like a bio weapons facility. Locals are not alone and the allegations have been reported in the Georgia media for years. Gogitidze lives in Alekseevka - it's near Tbilisi, next to the Public Health Research Center. But the local people have long forgotten about well-being.
Perhaps a bit farfetched but locals claim that ambulances are in the streets more than are taxis. Bacteriological laboratory; it was opened in 2011 with US money, over 300 million dollars in investment. The lab and program has long been accused of secret experiments on local residents. But until now, everything was limited to rumors.
Journalists managed to find a former employee - he was in charge of security during the construction of the center. Claiming that the secrecy regime was strict and that all the Americans were in charge ... and before the official opening, he did not last on the job for long- they fired him as soon as learning that the future laboratory was guarded by a retired policeman.
As if they did not want someone with analytical experience to ask unnecessary questions. After all, the reasons were - in the neighborhood with Elvira Ratiani lived Filipinos, employees of the closed center. At which strange seizures began, and that story was first broken by Jeffrey Silverman, as local journalists were threatened not to report it.
When they came into the room, they had vomiting, they had foam from their mouths, but then they hushed up the matter, they said they got poisoned by the fish, a short time passes - they call me again, call me again." Again these two Filipinos who were poisoned the first time - they passed away, "she says.
After this loud case, a closed clinic was attached to the laboratory. Where, according to local authorities, deadly sick patients are brought. The experience in the health center really did. In 2014, they installed equipment for working with insects. And very soon in Georgia there appeared unprecedented, previously only being found in tropical mosquitoes - carriers of yellow fever and other exotic viruses, including Zika.
And then, by coincidence, perhaps to eat them - bats appeared in mass, and these are capable of spreading Ebola virus, anthrax but officially - all the work done in these grey zone is with the best of intentions" to fight these dangerous diseases and at the American taxpayers expense!
What will come next, perhaps frogs and rivers will changed to blood ?
Jeffrey Silverman is a US citizen, a former military man, Georgian Bureau Chief for Veterans Today, and now a journalist, teacher and farmer. He has been researching the laboratory for a long time and describes how Georgian special services threaten locals, including journalists, and those who try to publish and to even speak with journalists. Silverman is confident they are engaged in experiments on people, and it does-not-stop-with-the-locals.
"The most revealing thing is why this laboratory is so near the airport, whether it's a bacterium or virus, the delivery system is the airport, in human or other form, and for eventual use in Iraq, Syria, and Iran.
It comes as no surprise to him that such laboratories are either under the direct or indirect control of the Pentagon, or "its contractors,' and they have already opened in 25 countries worldwide - as to do such research in the United States, especially as the purpose of development of biological weapons is strictly prohibited under the Biological Weapons Convention.
But in spite of such international agreements, two such labs are found in Ukraine and Georgia -and by happenstance or NOT, both American proxy states border with the Russian Federation. And when swine flu was raging in Russia, many virologists called it the source of the center near Tbilisi. Even before its official opening, the virus was spreading, and this is not the first time the US has been involved with Swine Flu.
It is very unlikely and indeed unnecessary to spend $350 million only to secure old Soviet pathogens in Georgia. If this was the sole purpose such agents could have been eliminated and safely destroyed. One important purpose, as stated in various article, is it ‘aims to protect U.S. soldiers from infectious disease'. This is essentially a carte blanche to do whatever experiment considered relevant by US Military - under the cover of public and animal health, and far from the shores of the US and the eyes of its citizens.
The pandemic swine flu that emerged widely 2009 in humans originated in swine but remained well-adapted to propagate in both humans AND pigs, thus having the advantage of two hosts. Info on this virus here.
As Silverman explains in a follow up email to the first draft of this article, "the Swine flu virus that hit Georgia is endemic in Central and South Africa. I don't think it would be that difficult to get hold of infectious material. DNA fingerprint does not help much here, certainly it does not tell about the mode of introduction. My concern is based on considering the low probability of ASF getting outside Africa. It is a very unlikely event in terms of time and space, and so why just Georgia ?"
Other sources, one being a retired veterinarian specialised in animal virus diseases, also weighs in on this discussion, and raises many interesting questions:
"I have been particularly interested in the spread of a devastating virus disease of pigs termed African Swine Fever (ASF). This infection has its origin in warthogs and other indigenous pigs in Sub-Saharan Africa. ASF was introduced into Portugal and Spain around 1960 but has since been eliminated from the Iberian Peninsula. Quite surprisingly, it surfaced in Cuba and other Caribbean islands in the beginning of the '70, where it proved to be detrimental to pig farming and livelihood of poor people. It is suspected that it was introduced to cause economic damage by anti-Castro rebels supported by CIA (Mentioned in W. Blum, Killing Hope)."
In 2007 ASF appeared in Georgia and has since spread to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and most recently several Eastern EU countries (see reference list). It is currently the greatest threat to pig production in the EU because it is maintained in the wild boar population, which is expanding in Europe and in which it is practically impossible to control. Officially, it is assumed (but not proven) that the virus was brought to Georgia via swill unloaded from ships in Black Sea harbours. The fingerprints of the virus can be traced back to South-East Africa.
Having read many accounts on the activities in Georgia on biological warfare the question that comes to mind is whether the introduction of ASF was entirely accidental or not ? Looking at the research, aside from journalistic reports, I don't know the answer but having covered this beat, would beg to differ.
But little effort is being made by the Lugar Lab or anyone for that matter to answer the question. It is also eye-opening that the US and Georgia signed an agreement under which all employees of the laboratory received diplomatic immunity. There are so many uncomfortable questions - what exactly is being researched and who it is being tested upon is something that few want to address - and nobody is asking this in the Western MSM-that in itself is MOST revealing.
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".