The Secret War: Iraq War already under way
by John Pilger
December 20, 2002
THE American and British attack on Iraq has already begun. While the Blair government continues to claim in Parliament that "no
final decision has been taken", Royal Air Force and US fighter bombers have secretly changed tactics and escalated their "patrols"
over Iraq to an all-out assault on both military and civilian targets.
American and British bombing of Iraq has increased by 300 per cent. Between March and November, according to Ministry of
Defence replies to MPs, the RAF dropped more than 124 tonnes of bombs.
From August to December, there were 62 attacks by American F-16 aircraft and RAF Tornadoes - an average of one bombing
raid every two days. These are said to have been aimed at Iraqi "air defences", but many have fallen on mostly populated areas,
where civilian deaths are unavoidable.
Under the United Nations Charter and the conventions of war and international law, the attacks amount to acts of piracy: no
different, in principle, from the German Luftwaffe's bombing in Spain in the 1930s as precursor to its invasion of Europe.
The bombing is a "secret war" that has seldom been news. Since 1991, and especially in the last four years, it has been unrelenting
and is now deemed the longest Anglo-American campaign of aerial bombardment since World War Two.
The US and British governments justify it by claiming they have a UN mandate to police so-called "no-fly zones" which they
following the Gulf War. They say these "zones", which give them control of most of Iraq's airspace, are legal and supported by
UN Security Council Resolution 688.
This is false. There are no references to no fly zones in any Security Council resolution. To be sure about this, I asked Dr Boutros
Boutros-Ghali, who was Secretary General of the United Nations in 1992 when Resolution 688 was passed. "The issue of no fly
zones was not raised and therefore not debated: not a word," he said. "They offer no legitimacy to countries sending their aircraft
to attack Iraq."
In 1999, Tony Blair claimed the no fly zones allowed the US and Britain to perform "a vital humanitarian task" in protecting the
Kurds in the north of Iraq and the ethnic Marsh Arabs in the south. In fact, British and American aircraft have actually provided
cover for neighbouring Turkey's repeated invasions of northern, Kurdish Iraq.
TURKEY is critical to the American "world order". Overseeing the oilfields of the Middle East and Central Asia, it is a member of
Nato and the recipient of billions of dollars' worth of American weapons and military equipment. It is also where British and
bombers are based.
A long-running insurrection by Turkey's Kurdish population is regarded by Washington as a threat to the "stability" of Turkey's
"democracy" that is a front for its military which is among the world's worst violators of human rights. Hundreds of thousands of
Turkish Kurds have been displaced and an estimated 30,000 killed. Turkey, unlike Iraq, is "our friend".
In 1995 and 1997, as many as 50,000 Turkish troops, backed by tanks and fighter aircraft, occupied what the West called "Kurdish
They terrorised Kurdish villages and murdered civilians. In December 2000, they were back, committing the atrocities that the
Turkish military commits with immunity against its own Kurdish population.
For joining the US "coalition" against Iraq, the Turkish regime is to be rewarded with a bribe worth $6billion. Turkey's invasions
are rarely reported in Britain. So great is the collusion of the Blair government that, virtually unknown to Parliament and the British
public, the RAF and the Americans have, from time to time, deliberately suspended their "humanitarian" patrols to allow the Turks
to get on with killing Kurds in Iraq.
In March last year, RAF pilots patrolling the "no fly zone" in Kurdish Iraq publicly protested for the first time about their enforced
complicity in the Turkish campaign. The pilots complained that they were frequently ordered to return to their base in Turkey to
allow the Turkish air force to bomb the very people they were meant to be "protecting".
Speaking on a non-attributable basis to Dr Eric Herring, a senior lecturer in politics at Bristol University and a specialist on
Iraqi sanctions, the pilots said whenever the Turks wanted to attack the Kurds in Iraq, RAF patrols were recalled to base and
ground crews were told to switch off their radar - so that the Turks' targets would not be visible. One British pilot reported seeing
the devastation in Kurdish villages caused by the attacks once he had resumed his patrol.
AMERICAN pilots who fly in tandem with the British, are also ordered to turn their planes around and turn back to Turkey to
the Turks to devastate the Kurdish "safe havens".
You'd see Turkish F-14s and F-16s inbound, loaded to the gills with munitions," one pilot told the Washington Post. "Then
they'd come out half an hour later with their munitions expended." When the Americans returned to Iraqi air space, he said, they
would see "burning villages, lots of smoke and fire."
The Turks do no more than American and British aircraft in their humanitarian guise. The sheer scale of the Anglo-American
bombing is astonishing, with Britain a very junior partner. During the 18 months to January 1999 (the last time I was able to
official US figures) American aircraft flew 36,000 sorties over Iraq, including 24,000 combat missions.
The term "combat" is highly deceptive. Iraq has virtually no air force and no modern air defences. Thus, "combat" means dropping
bombs or firing missiles at infrastructure that has been laid to waste by a 12-year-old embargo.
The Wall Street Journal, the authentic voice of the American establishment, described this eloquently when it reported that the US
faced "a genuine dilemma" in Iraq. After eight years of enforcing a no fly zone in northern (and southern) Iraq, few targets
remain. "We're down to the last outhouse," one US official protested.
I have seen the result of these attacks. When I drove from the northern city of Mosul three years ago, I saw the remains of an
agricultural water tanker and truck, riddled with bullet holes, shrapnel from a missile, a shoe and the wool and skeletons of about
A family of six, a shepherd, his father and his wife and four children, were blown to pieces here. It was treeless, open country: a
moonscape. The shepherd, his family and his sheep would have been clearly visible from the air.
The shepherd's brother, Hussain Jarsis, agreed to meet me at the cemetery where the family is buried. He arrived in an old
Toyota van with the widow, who was hunched with grief, her face covered. She held the hand of her one remaining child, and
they sat beside the mounds of earth that are the four children's graves. "I want to see the pilot who killed my children," she
shouted across to us.
The shepherd's brother told me, "I heard explosions, and when I arrived to look for my brother and family, the planes were circling
overhead. I hadn't reached the causeway when the fourth bombardment took place. The last two rockets hit them.
"At the time I couldn't grasp what was going on. The truck was burning. It was a big truck, but it was ripped to pieces. Nothing
remained except the tyres and the numberplate.
"We saw three corpses, but the rest were just body parts. With the last rocket, I could see the sheep blasted into the air."
It was not known if American or British aircraft had done this. When details of the attack were put to the Ministry of Defence in
London, an official said, "We reserve the right to take robust action when threatened." This attack was significant, because it was
investigated and verified by the senior United Nations official in Iraq at the time, Hans Von Sponeck, who drove there specially
He confirmed that nothing nearby resembled a military installation.
Von Sponeck recorded his finding in a confidential internal document entitled, "Air Strikes in Iraq", prepared by the UN Security
HE also confirmed dozens of similar attacks and these are documented - attacks on villages, a fishermen's wharf, nearby a UN
food warehouse. So regular were the attacks that Von Sponeck ordered UN relief convoys suspended every afternoon.
FOR this, Von Sponeck, a senior United Nations civil servant with a distinguished career all over the world, made powerful
enemies in Washington and London.
The Americans demanded that Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, sack him and were surprised when Annan stood by his
representative in Iraq.
However, within a few months, Von Sponeck felt he could no longer run a humanitarian programme in Iraq that was threatened
both by the illegal bombing and by a deliberate American policy of blocking humanitarian supplies.
He resigned in protest, just as his predecessor, Denis Halliday, a Deputy Under Secretary of the UN, had done. Halliday called
the US and British-driven embargo "genocidal".
It is now clear from official documents that the United States is preparing for a possible slaughter in Iraq. The Pentagon's
"Doctrine for Joint Urban Operations" says that unless Baghdad falls quickly it has to be the target of "overwhelming firepower".
The resistance of Stalingrad in World War Two is given as a "lesson".
Cluster bombs, deep penetration "bunker" bombs and depleted uranium will almost certainly be used. Depleted uranium is a
of mass destruction. Coated on missiles, and tank shells, its explosive force spreads radiation over a wide area, especially in the
Professor Doug Rokke, the US army physicist in charge of cleaning up depleted uranium in Kuwait told me, "I am like most
-people in southern Iraq. I have 5,000 times the recommended level of radiation in my body. What we're seeing now, respiratory
problems, kidney problems, cancers are the direct result.
"The controversy over whether or not it's the cause of these problems is a manufactured one. My own ill-health is a testament to
THE most devastating weapon of mass destruction was briefly in the news last week when Unicef, the United Nations children's
Fund, released its annual State of the World's Children report.
The human cost of the American-driven embargo of Iraq is spelt out in statistics that require no comment.
"Iraq's child mortality rate has nearly tripled since 1990 to levels found in some of the world's least-developed countries, " said the
"The country's regression over the past decade is by far the most severe of the 193 countries surveyed. Unicef said that a quarter
of Iraqi babies were now underweight and that more than a fifth were stunted from malnutrition."
Under the rules of the embargo, Iraqis are allowed less than 100 per person with which to sustain life for an entire year.
To date, the cost of the current, "secret" and illegal British bombing of Iraq is a billion pounds.
Back to Main News Page
Mass arrests of Muslims in LA
19 December, 2002,
Families protested against the detention of relatives
US immigration officials in Southern California have
detained hundreds of Iranians and other Muslim men who
turned up to register under residence laws brought in
as part of the anti-terror drive.
Reports say between 500 and 700 men were arrested in
and around Los Angeles after they complied with an
order to register by 16 December.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is
refusing to say how many people were arrested but said
detainees were being held for suspected visa violations
and other offences.
The arrests sparked angry protests in Los Angeles by
thousands of Iranian-Americans waving banners which
read "What's next? Concentration camps?" and "Free our
fathers, brothers, husbands and sons".
Official radio in Iran also reported the arrests and
the protests, which it said were mounted by families of
the detainees who converged on Los Angeles.
Under the new US immigration rules, all male immigrants
aged 16 and over from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and
Syria had to register with authorities by Monday unless
they had been naturalised as citizens.
Immigrants from other mainly Muslim states have been
set later deadlines for registration.
Community groups said men had been arrested in Los
Angeles and nearby Orange County as well as San Diego.
California is home to about 600,000 Iranians who have
been living in exile since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
One of the Iranian-American demonstrators in Los
Angeles, Ali Bozorgmehr, told the French news agency
AFP that his community was being targeted unjustly.
"All Iranians that live in America are hard-working
people... They love this country and all... are against
terrorism," he said.
Ramona Ripston, executive director of the Southern
California chapter of the American Civil Liberties
Union, said the arrests were reminiscent of the
internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
"I think it is shocking what is happening," she said.
"We are getting a lot of telephone calls from people.
We are hearing that people went down wanting to co-
operate and then they were detained."
Islamic community leaders said many detainees had been
living, working and paying taxes in the US for up to a
decade and had families there.
"Terrorists most likely wouldn't come to the INS to
register," said Sabiha Khan of the Southern California
chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.
She said the detainees were "being treated as
criminals, and that really goes against American ideals
of fairness, and justice and democracy".
Hundreds Are Detained After Visits to INS
Megan Garvey, Martha Groves and Henry Weinstein
Los Angeles Times
Hundreds of men and boys from Middle Eastern countries
were arrested by federal immigration officials in
Southern California this week when they complied with
orders to appear at INS offices for a special
The arrests drew thousands of people to demonstrate
Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesmen
refused Wednesday to say how many people the agency had
detained, what the specific charges were or how many
were still being held. But officials speaking
anonymously said they would not dispute estimates by
lawyers for detainees that the number across Southern
California was 500 to 700. In Los Angeles, up to one-
fourth of those who showed up to register were jailed,
The number of people arrested in this region appears to
have been considerably larger than elsewhere in the
country, perhaps because of the size of the Southland's
Iranian population. Monday's registration deadline
applied to males 16 and older from Iran, Iraq, Libya,
Sudan and Syria. Men from 13 other nations, mostly in
the Mideast and North Africa, are required to register
Many of those arrested, according to their lawyers, had
already applied for green cards and, in some instances,
had interviews scheduled in the near future. Although
they had overstayed their visas, attorneys argue, their
clients had already taken steps to remedy the situation
and were following the regulations closely.
"These are the people who've voluntarily gone" to the
INS, said Mike S. Manesh of the Iranian American
Lawyers Assn. "If they had anything to do with
terrorism, they wouldn't have gone."
Immigration officials acknowledged Wednesday that many
of those taken into custody this week have status-
adjustment applications pending that have not yet been
"The vast majority of people who are coming forward to
register are currently in legal immigration status,"
said local INS spokeswoman Virginia Kice. "The people
we have taken into custody ... are people whose non-
immigrant visas have expired."
The large number of Iranians among the detainees has
angered many in the area's Iranian communities, who
organized a demonstration Wednesday at the federal
building in Westwood.
At the rally, which police officials estimated drew
about 3,000 protesters at its peak, signs bore such
sentiments as "What Next? Concentration Camps?" and
"Detain Terrorists Not Innocent Immigrants."
The arrests have generated widespread publicity, mostly
unfavorable, in the Middle East, said Khaled Dawoud, a
correspondent for Al Ahram, one of Egypt's largest
dailies. He questioned State Department official
Charlotte Beers about the detentions Wednesday after a
presentation she made at the National Press Club in
Washington. Egyptians are not included in the
Beers, undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and
public affairs, was presenting examples of a U.S.
outreach campaign for the Middle East, which includes
images of Muslims leading happy lives here. Dawoud
asked how that image squared with the "humiliating"
arrests in recent days.
"I don't think there is any question that the change in
visa policy is going to be seen by some as difficult
and, indeed "” what was the word you used?" humiliating," Beers said. But, she added, President
Bush has said repeatedly that he considers "his No. 1
... job to be the protection of the American people."
Relatives and lawyers of those arrested locally
challenge that rationale for the latest round of
One attorney, who said he saw a 16-year-old pulled from
the arms of his crying mother, called it madness to
believe that the registration requirements would catch
"His mother is 6 1/2 months pregnant. They told the
mother he is never going to come home ” she is losing
her mind," said attorney Soheila Jonoubi, who spent
Wednesday amid the chaos of the downtown INS office
attempting to determine the status of her clients.
Jonoubi said that the mother has permanent residence
status and that her husband, the boy's stepfather, is a
U.S. citizen. The teenager came to the country in July
on a student visa and was on track to gain permanent
residence, the lawyer said.
Many objected to the treatment of those who showed up
for the registration. INS ads on local Persian radio
stations and in other ethnic media led many to expect a
routine procedure. Instead, the registration quickly
became the subject of fear as word spread that large
numbers of men were being arrested.
Lawyers reported crowded cells with some clients forced
to rest standing up, some shackled and moved to other
locations in the night, frigid conditions in jail cells
all for men with no known criminal histories.
Shawn Sedaghat, a Sherman Oaks attorney, said he and
his partner, Michelle Taheripour, represent more than
40 people who voluntarily went to register and were
Some, he said, were hosed down with cold water before
finding places to sleep on the concrete floors of
Lucas Guttentag, who heads the West Coast office of the
American Civil Liberties Union's immigrant rights
project, fears the wave of arrests is "a prelude to
much more widespread arrests and deportations."
"The secrecy gives rise to obvious concerns about what
the INS is doing and whether people's rights are being
respected and whether the problems that arose in the
aftermath of 9/11 are being repeated now," he said.
Many at Wednesday's protest said they took the day off
work to join the rally, because they were shocked by
"I came to this country over 40 years ago and got
drafted in the Army, and I thought if I die it's for a
good cause, defending freedom, democracy and the
Constitution," said George Hassan, 65, from the San
"Oppressed people come here because of that democracy,
that freedom, that Constitution. Now our president has
apparently allowed the INS vigilantes to step outside
Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of
Southern California, called the detentions doubly
disturbing because "a lot of the Iranians are Jews who
fled Iran because of persecution, and now they are
undergoing similar persecution here.... This is just
Attorney Ban Al-Wardi, who saw 14 of her 20 clients
arrested when she went with them to the registration,
said that although everyone understands the need to
protect the nation against terrorist attacks, the
government's recent action went too far.
"All of our fundamental civil rights have been violated
by these actions," she said. "I don't know how far this
is going to go before people start speaking up. This is
a very dangerous precedent we are setting. What's to
stop Americans from being treated like this when they
Times staff writers Greg Krikorian and Teresa Watanabe
in Los Angeles and Johanna Neuman and Ricardo Alonso-
Zaldivar in Washington contributed to this report.
Back to Main News Page
What Is Coming
Through That Needle?
The Problem Of Pathogenic Vaccine Contamination
By Benjamin McRearden
In recent times mankind is experiencing a situation never previously encountered,
that being the threat of release of pathogens intended to kill or disable large
numbers of people. That danger has prompted certain health agencies to prepare
for possible mass vaccination of the populace. The purpose of this report is to
examine the existing scientific evidence of pathogenic contaminants in vaccines.
This summary, while making no claim of being a complete review of the subject,
will point out sufficient examples and illustrations of contamination with bacteria,
viruses, and their components, so as to enable the reader to make a more
informed decision regarding accepting a vaccination (or forcing others to receive
one). It is presented in a format intended for the public, their physicians, and their
agency or governmental representatives, and may be freely copied in its entirety.
If you as an individual are too busy to read this brief summary in one sitting,
please be aware there is ample evidence in the scientific literature that serious
viruses, bacteria; or components and toxins therefrom; as well as foreign animal
or cancer-related proteins and DNA are finding their way into the commercial
vaccines intended for humans, pets, and agricultural animals. If you are interested
in the short and long-term health of yourself and those you care about, or serve as
a public servant or medic al advisor, you do owe it to yourself to be informed.
In the production of viral vaccines on a commercial scale, the virus of concern
must be reproduced in large quantities. Viruses cannot survive or reproduce
without being introduced into cells that nourish them, which enables the viral
reproductive activity. In that sense all viruses can be considered parasitic on other
cells. Living cell types commonly used to reproduce viruses in the lab include
monkey kidney cells, chicken embryos, as well as other animal and human cells.
These cells must also be nourished with food, and are most often fed with a
nutrient mix containing in large part, bovine (cow) calf serum (usually, serum
extracted from fetal calf blood). This product can carry many types of bovine
blood-borne viruses, and is one of the primary sources of vaccine contaminants.
A journal article states, "a potential risk associated with the production and use of
biological products is viral contamination. This contamination may be present in
the source material, e.g. human blood, human or animal tissues, cell banks, or
introduced in the manufacturing process through the use of animal sera..."(1)
The viruses and other agents that can contaminate bovine calf serum are
numerous. One of the most prominent is a pestivirus called bovine viral diarrhea
virus (2). More specifically, we see in several scientific journal sources these
types of statements: "contamination of a vaccine as a consequence of infection of
fetal calf serum"(3); "many batches of commercially available serum are
contaminated with viruses such as BVD" [bovine viral diarrhea] (4); "virus was
isolated from 332 of 1,608 (20.6%) lots of raw fetal calf serum obtained
specifically for the Center and 93 of 190 (49%) lots of commercially available
fetal calf serum (5); "agents most frequently detected in CCL's [continuous cell
lines] have been bovine viral diarrhea virus and mycoplasma. Our laboratory has
consistently found that the source of bovine viral diarrhea contamination of CCLs
has been the use of contaminated fetal bovine cell culture enrichment serum"(6);
and finally, "In conclusion, most commercially available bovine sera are
contaminated with BVDV and, although there is no evidence that the virus is
infectious, bovine sera should be screened for this virusfor the development or
production of vaccine."(7)
Can this virus cause infection or disease in humans? New evidence shows this is
possible, as researchers have found a new strain that was isolated from human
cells, and it is very closely related to the bovine strains (8). One study finds that
an alarming 75% of all laboratory cell lines examined were contaminated with
pestivirus strains; of these, all of the bovine cell lines were contaminated with one
of three possible BVDV strains; cell lines from other animal sources including
primates, sometimes contained one of these BVDV strains (9).
There is now heightened concern that this virus and others can cross species lines,
creating new strains as they adapt to their new hosts, and this would include
passage of the virus to and from humans. Whether the human strain of BVDV
causes overt illness is uncertain, because physicians may be uninformed and not
even be looking for this virus. It may be useful however, to compare the infection
patterns in cattle. They can be persistently infected at a low level for their entire
life with a non-pathogenic strain of the virus. Under these conditions, they
consistently create and shed virus into the surrounding environment, which then
infects other animals. The virus can nonetheless become lethal to the animal if it
mutates, with the new form also causing "visible cell damage and death" in
cultured conditions (10). The animal succumbs to gradual or acute deterioration
of the gastrointestinal mucous lining, which produces diarrhea and its eventual
demise. However, mutated virus is not always necessary to provoke debilitating
illness and death, and ordinary virus can be isolated from the cow's pancreas,
adrenal glands, and pituitary glands (11); the virus has also been documented as
causing serious pulmonary illness (12). A study describes an outbreak of disease
among goats due to a vaccine contaminated with a bovine pestivirus; oddly, these
animals experienced reproductive failure and lesions to the central nervous system
(13). So, can these diseas symptoms in varied organs and tissues also occur in
humans when they carry this virus short or longterm?
A cursory examination of the literature indicates this may be occurring. One
revealing study tells us "faeces from children under 2 years old who had
gastroenteritis that could not be attributed to recognised enteric pathogens were
examinedfor Pestivirus antigens. Such antigens were detected in 30 of 128
episodes of gastroenteritisThe diarrhoeal disease in children excreting Pestivirus
antigens resembled that in other children except that it was more commonly
associated with signs and symptoms of respiratory inflammation."(14) There are
also concerns regarding a pattern of pestivirus infection in infacts born with
microcephaly, a condition wherein the head or cranial capacity is unusually small
Scientists from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory describe the
situation quite clearly, and give an indication of the seriousness of the problem:
"The high frequency of virus and antibody detection in individual animal or small
pool samples suggests that any large pool of unscreened sera will be
contaminated. Infection of cell cultures with BVDV can lead to interference with
the growth of other viruses. Vaccine produced on contaminated cells may in turn
be contaminated, leading to seroconversion or disease in the vaccine. The safety,
purity, and efficacy of viral vaccines require BVDV testing of ingredients, cell
substrates and final product."(17)
And here is a similar statement from a New York Blood Center: "Bovine viral
diarrhea virus, whose small virion size does not allow 100% assurance of its
removal by filtration, may potentially contaminate every lot of commercially
produced fetal bovine serum."(18)
In reality though, how much of this particular viral contaminant has trickled into
humans? Well, in spite of manufacturers and regulatory agencies claiming efficacy
of their testing procedures, one 2001 study found 13% of human MMR, polio, or
Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines tested positive for pestivirus RNA (19). And
another researcher observes, "serum antibodies against BVDV have been detected
in approximately 30% of human population who had no contact with potentially
infected animals."(16) Also, "pestiviruses adapted to human cell cultures may be
harmful because serious BVDV infections in humans have been frequently
suggestedThe BVDV persistently infected in cell cultures used for vaccine
productions have been shown to be a source of contamination in live virus
vaccines. It is, therefore, prerequisite to examine pestivirus contamination in cell
cultures to avoid secondary infections in humans as well as in animals."(20)
Continuous Immortal Cell Lines
This same scientist brings up another important issue. Because many medical-use
biological products (including vaccines) are now being cultured or produced on
what is called "continuous" cell lines (i.e., these are cell cultures consisting of
"immortal" or cancerous types of cells because they have no limits on how many
times they can divide), there is concern that viral contamination of these cell lines
with a pathogen like bovine viral diarrhea virus, could spread cancer-promoting
material into the human recipient. How could this happen? Briefly, it works like
this. The virus (which in this case has a single strand of RNA for its genome) is
capable of incorporating RNA from the cells in which it has been cultured, into its
own genome. If any contaminant RNA virus is present in a culture that contains
immortal cancerous cells, this virus can easily mutate to include unwanted
oncogenic material, which can then get passed into the biological product intended
for human medical use (16).
Were you aware that biological products, including some common vaccines (for
instance, polio and rabies), are being produced on "continuous" immortal cell
lines? Manufacturers, scientists, and agencies will often assure us that these cells
themselves are not "tumorigenic", i.e., they do not cause tumors per se. A closer
look however, shows this is not always the case. While lab culturing may indicate
that these types of cells are not immediately changing to overt tumor cells, it is
now well known in the scientific community that after these cells have been
repeatedly cultured a certain number of times, something causes them to convert
to a cancerous state (21).
This journal article summary addresses the issue in regards to Vero cells, which is
a continuous cell line coming from the African green monkey, and is commonly
used in vaccine production. It states, "One of the current criteria for evaluating
the acceptability of cell lines for use in vaccine production is lack of
tumorigenicity. Vero cells represent an example of a class of cells known as
continuous cell lines. They were derived from African green monkey kidney, and
their growth properties and culture characteristics have many advantages over
other cell substrates for use in vaccine production. We have tested Vero cells for
tumorigenicity in nude mice and in a human muscle organ culture system, and
found a significant increase in their tumorigenic potential with increasing passage
numbers. Cells at passage 232 and higher produced nodules in all nude mice
inoculated."(22) [The term "passage" in this context means the number of times a
cell line has been cultured].
There is another very important issue reported in studies that is evidently being
largely ignored as regards long-term vaccine effects and safety. There is obvious
evidence that in the lab, continuous immortal cell lines react differently between
one type of animal species and another (21, 23). As an example, tissue from one
species will allow the immortal cell to induce a cancerous change more quickly, in
comparison to tissue from a different species. These results then beg the following
questions. How extensively have these continuous cell lines been tested on human
tissues, and would the results vary from one type of tissue to another? And what
happens over the long termif an immortal cell from a vaccine culture makes its
way into the final vaccine product, does it keep dividing in the human body?
Another scenario might suggest the tumor-promoting portion of its DNA inserting
into a viral genome, which then gets injected into the bodywhat happens at that
Furthermore, given the evidence that closely-related animal species (as an
example, various species of monkeys) react differently to immortal cells, do we
also need to consider that any one vaccine intended for all humans might
ultimately react differently among the various races, ethnic groups, and sexes?
And what are the effects of the vaccine contaminants on persons with immune
depression, on the elderly, or on infants?
A letter from the FDA to vaccine manufacturers dated as recently as March 2001
shows that this issue regarding immortal cell lines is still of concern. It states, "In
general, CBER [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research] currently views
Vero cells as an acceptable substrate for viral vaccines, but has residual
concernsCBER recommends that all products derived from Vero cells be free of
residual intact Vero cells. If your manufacturing process does not include a
validated filtration step or other validated procedure to clear residual intact Vero
cells from the product, please incorporate such a procedure into your
manufacturing process."(24) It is now 16 years after the WHO gave a go-ahead
(in 1986) to use continuous cell lines for vaccine production (25), and yet there
are very basic safety questions not resolved by the manufacturers, agencies, and
scientific community, much less the finer details (26, 27). One 1991 study
reports: "Cell substrate DNA was shown to be an abundant contaminant in the
clarified preparations of the Sabin type 1, 2 and 3 poliovaccines produced on a
continuous cell line"(28). Another indicates that immortal cell lines showed
100-times greater number of DNA recombination events compared to normal
cells (29). As one researcher states, "Using neoplastic cell lines as substrates for
vaccine development could inadvertently result in viral-viral or viral-cellula r
interactions whose biological consequences are unclearviral-viral and viral-cellular
interactions can result in the generation of new retroviruses with pathological
consequences."(30). We note the term "neoplastic" means the quality of having
an abnormal growth characteristic.
There is an even stronger statement dating back to 1990. A scientist in the field
writes, "The present concern is for safety of vaccines made using transformed or
neoplastic mammalian cells that may contain endogenous contaminating viruses or
integrated gene sequences from oncogenic viruses. There is also concern for use
of plasmid vectors employing promoter elements from oncogenic viruses. The
principal concern for safety lies with retention of residual DNA in the vaccine,
especially since induction of cancer is a single -cell phenomenon, and a single
functional unit of foreign DNA integrated into the host cell genome might serve to
induce cell transformation as a single event or part of a series of multifactorial
events. Current proposed standards for vaccines would permit contamination with
up to 100 pg [picograms] of heterologous DNA per dose. This is equivalent to
about 10(8) 'functional lengths' of DNA. Total safety would seem to require
complete absence of DNA from the product."(31)
Please note that 10(8) means 10 to the power of 8, or 100,000,000 "functional
lengths" of DNA are allowed per dose of vaccine . Is there something wrong with
this picture? How long will the general public be subjected to these vaccine
products that according to this information, are nowhere near safe?
It has taken, for instance, approximately forty years for the scientific community
to finally acknowledge that we have a serious problem as a result of the
contaminatio n of polio vaccines with simian virus 40 (SV40) in the late
1950s-early 1960s. There has been previous evidence of some human brain and
other tumors containing this virus (32, 33), but the medical community has been
slow to acknowledge a definitive link between SV40 and cancer in humans.
However, two independent research teams have recently found this virus present
in 43% of cases of non-Hodgkins lymphoma (34, 35). Another study found it
present in 36% of brain tumors, 16% of healthy blood cell samples, and 22% of
healthy semen samples (36). And strangely, SV40 has now been found to infect
children (37). Considering that children of this era, are not supposed to be
receiving the virus via the vaccine contamination route, this would therefore imply
that SV40 is being transmitted from one human to another, in ways not previously
Other simian viruses may also be contaminating the (Vero) monkey cell lines used
for vaccine production. One example from the literature cites the contamination
presence of SV20, which is a oncogenic simian adenovirus (38).
Simply put, are we in a state of denial that vaccines are ultimately transmitting
viruses, DNA, and proteins into humans from foreign animal sources (and
possibly unhealthy human sources), and that this may be strongly contributing to
the incredible upsurge in cancers and serious chronic diseases? Are these foreign
animal genes altering your DNA? Furthermore, given that viral presence can
sometimes take years to manifest actual disease symptoms, and then considering
the tendencies of health-related agencies and corporations towards short-term
solutions and profits, will we ever truly know the long-term consequences until it
is too late?
Other Bovine Viruses
Another contaminating virus found in the calf serum used for vaccine production
is bovine polyomavirus (polyomaviruses are strongly associated with cancer); one
pertinent article is titled "Bovine polyomavirus, a frequent contaminant of calf
serum"(39). Other contaminants include a virus from the parvovirus family (40);
another study cites "virus-like particles" and "mycoplasma-like agents" in 68%
and 20% of the samples, respectively (41); and yet another mentions the presence
of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus (aka bovine herpesvirus 1), and
parainfluenza-3 virus in addition to the common BVDV (42). An interesting report
from 1975 not only affirms the presence of these viruses in calf serum, and
mentions the additional presence of bovine enterovirus-4, but also tells us that
25% of serum lots that were pre-tested by the suppliers and "considered to be
free of known viral contaminants" were actually contaminated with bovine viruses
(43). It should be obvious that any bovine blood-borne virus (including serious
retroviruses such as bovine leukemia virus, bovine visna virus, and bovine
immunodeficiency virus) could ultimately end up in human or animal vaccines via
the use of calf serum in the manufacturing process.
Contamination of calf serum with certain bovine herpesviruses, and the possible
implication for human health, deserves a bit of scrutiny. It is known that bovine
herpesvirus-1 replicates easily in a human embryo cell line called WI-38 (44). It is
also known that bovine herpesvirus-4 is quite "persistent" in calf serum, and has a
wide host range, including human cells (45). In fact, this particular virus strongly
replicates in two human embryonic cell lines, WI-38 and MRC-5, enough so to
prompt one author to give these details and a warning: "PCR [polymerase chain
reaction] detected a 10,000-times-higher level of BHV-4 [bovine herpesvirus-4]
DNA the supernatant indicated a 100-fold increase of infectious particles. Since
this is the first bovine (human herpesvirus 8 and Epstein-Barr virus rela ted)
herpesvirus which replicates on human cells in vitro, the danger of possible
human BHV-4 infection should not be ignored." (46)
The clincher to this possible contamination, is that these same human cell lines
WI-38 and MRC-5 are two of the most common human cell lines used to
manufacture viral vaccines, (for example - rubella, chickenpox, smallpox) and
these cell lines are of course, commonly nurtured with calf serum.
Contaminants From Chicken Sources
Some viral vaccines are produced by growing the virus in chicken eggs. Common
human vaccines manufactured by this method include influenza, mumps, measles,
yellow fever, and others. Like the vaccines that include bovine-source materials,
those derived from chicken embryo culture are plagued with some very serious
viral contamination problems.
Avian leukosis virus (aka avian leukemia virus or ALV) is a retroviral pathogen
that infects large segments of the modern poultry industry, is present in
commercial chickens and eggs, and thus exposes humans on a consistent basis
(47). An interesting virus in the sense that it can be considered a "parent", it easily
transforms into a dizzying array of related viruses by hijacking one of numerous
cancer-related gene segments from its host, and inserting it into its own genome.
Furthermore, it has the additional capability of inserting itself into the host
(including human) genome, hiding out so to speak, and causing cancerous cell
transformation from that location. There is now much scientific literature available
that describes the various active mechanisms of this and other cancer-associated
viruses (48). Viruses that originate from the "parent" avian leukosis virus, include
the potent Rous sarcoma virus, Rous-associated viruses, avian myeloblastosis
virus, avian myelocytoma virus, avian erythroblastosis virus, Fujinami sarcoma
virus, etc. One group of researchers studying the mechanism of ALV writes,
"Serial passaging of a retrovirus that does not carry an oncogene on such cultures
leads with a high frequency to the emergence of new viruses that have transduced
oncogenes"(49). In other words, given the right growth conditions, ALV can
easily transform into other closely related viruses that are known to be
Just how common is this avian leukosis virus in viral vaccines? The first evidence
of contamination came to light in the 1960s when yellow fever vaccine was found
to contain it (50).
Since that time, it is common knowledge in the industry that this virus (or
components thereof) still linger in human and animal vaccines (51). Indeed, the
respected Fields Virology text (year 2001 edition) states, "At the present time,
vaccines produced by some of the world's 12 manufacturing institutes are
contaminated with avian leukosis virus"(52). One point that researchers in this
field do agree upon, are the presence of ALV, avian endogenous virus, avian
reticuloendotheliosis virus (another poultry retrovirus), and also an enzyme called
reverse transcriptase (a component of retroviruses) in final vaccine products
intended for human use, especially the mumps, measles, yellow fever, and
influenza vaccines (53, 54, 55). What they do not agree upon are the effects on
humans in terms of transmission, infection, and possible subsequent disease. A
recent study coming out of the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control), which
analyzed frozen blood serum samples from children that had received MMR
vaccinations, reports no avian viral presence in these samples (56).
And yet, we see reports from other researchers that make us question the results
of that study.
As is often the case with viruses, some strains will show particular affinities for
certain types of tissues or growth conditions, and ALV is no exception (57). One
researcher makes the effort to explain, "Because of the difficulty in infecting
mammalian cells in vitro with these viruses, it is generally held that they do not
infect humansOur results show that exposed poultry workers and subjects with no
occupational exposure to these viruses have antibodies in their sera specifically
directed against ALSV [Avian leucosis/sarcoma viruses] Further investigation into
whether these findings mean that virus has been integrated into the human
genome is needed, to assess the public health implications of these results."(58).
He also explains in another article, that given the known behavior of these viruses
in mammalian cellular culture, a blood serum test will not always provide the
correct evidence of viral presence in the human body (47).
In other words, does the virus (or viral antibodies) need to be actively present in
the blood stream at the time of the blood draw? What if the viral particles have
retreated into other tissues? Thus, the CDC study mentioned above may not have
presented an accurate assessment of viral presence, or long-term effects from the
numerous ALVassociated "offspring" viruses. Considering that ALV can for
example, easily capture the human "erbB" oncogene (59), and that erbB as well
as the oncogene called myc are strongly associated with common forms of human
breast cancer, it seems that the issue of ALV vaccine contamination would
deserve a high level of attention! (By the way, the general reader should not feel
intimidated by the abbreviations associated with oncogeneserb refers to
"erythroblastosis", and myc refers to myelocytomatosis, which are the names of
two ALV-associated offspring viruses). A well-known microbiology text
reinforces these concepts by teaching, "Proto-oncogenes become incorporated
into retroviral genomes with surprising ease." (60)
The unintentional presence of bacterial-source toxins (called "endotoxins" or
"exotoxins") in human and veterinary vaccines has been recognized for many
years. Such toxins are originally present in source materials, or are produced as a
result of bacterial infection during the manufacturing process (61, 62). The
various methods used in attempts to eliminate viruses and bacteria from vaccines
are simply not effective in the removal of these problematic toxic proteins (63).
Several observers have expressed concern that the presence of endotoxin may be
a source of severe adverse reactions seen in some individuals after receiving a
vaccine (61, 64). Some vaccines, such as those for diphtheria and tetanus, are
specifically created to induce a protective mechanism in the body against the
bacterial toxin; however, vaccines prepared from bacteria can contain appreciable
and potentially dangerous lingering amounts of toxin, despite the steps used during
manufacture to decrease the toxic potency, as described in this comment:
"Vaccines composed of gram-negative bacteria contain endotoxin in considerable
amounts. This may result in adverse effects after vaccination of sensitive
animals." (65). It has also been reported that bacterial toxin contamination residing
in calf serum, can cause breaks in the DNA of human cells (66).
Bacterial Contamination - Nanobacteria
Nanobacteria is a recently discovered pathogen that infects humans. Now
considered to be the smallest existing bacterial form known to science, it escapes
through common filtering processes, and can easily invade other cells and cause
cell death. Nanobacteria also are classed as "pleomorphic", that is, they have the
ability the change physical form. A human variety of this pathogen has been
found to cause or be associated with a host of disease conditions, only a few of
which include atherosclerosis, coronary artery / heart disease, kidney stones and
kidney disease, arthritis, MS, alzheimers, some cancers, and other conditions
Since this species of bacteria is specific to mammals, and must be lab-cultured in
mammalian blood or serum, it is not surprising that this variety of nanobacterium
has been isolated as a contaminant from bovine calf serum, other mammaliam
bio-products, and vaccines. One study reports that 100% of serum of cattle in a
US herd showed antigens to nanobacteria, and cites another report from Europe
that, "more than 80% of commercial bovine serum lots contain Nanobacterium"
(68). Obviously, any vaccines that must incorporate mammalian products during
production (which would include cow, monkey, or human cells, blood or serum),
will be prone to nanobacterial contamination. This was indeed verified when a
group of researchers found that 2 out of 3 lots of inactivated polio vaccine, and 3
out of 6 lots of veterinary vaccines were contaminated with nanobacteria. They
also point out that the bacteria could be coming from calf serum and
contaminated culture cell lines (69). Any reasoning person with a basic knowledge
of vaccine production can deduce that nanobacteria have undoubtedly been
infecting humans in a fairly widespread manner via vaccination procedures. One
might also wonder whether it has contributed to the current prevalence of
atherosclerosis and generalized heart disease.
Bacterial Contamination - Mycoplasmas And Related Forms
If there is any one type of bacterial contamination in vaccines that warrants
particular attention, it would be mycoplasmas. These small organisms have a
structure not characteristic of most forms of bacteria, i.e., they usually contain a
thin outer membrane as compared to the more complex walls of common
bacterial forms. They are described as being capable of slipping through filtration
procedures, and can transfer to other media through the air or via routine handling
in the lab (70).
One source states that "less than 10% of laboratories actually test for infectio
n/contamination regularly"that mycoplasmas are "influencing almost every aspect
of cell biology"and that labs "which do not test for mycoplasma probably harbour
contaminated cell lines and may even have their entire stocks contaminated, as
mycoplasma spreads readily along cell lines via regents and media, the operator
and the work surface" (71). They are resistant to certain types of antibiotics used
to kill other bacteria (70, 72), and are subject to changing form under varying
physiological or biochemic al conditions (73).
The journal and industry literature is filled with references to the problems of
mycoplasma contamination in cell cultures and vaccines. Various studies cite
corrupted cell lines ranging in occurrence from 5% to 87% (71, 72, 74, 75, 76),
and as we now know, once this pathogen is in the cell culture being used to make
the vaccine, it is liable to end up in the final product (77, 78, 79,80).
One author states, "Mycoplasma contaminants can be considered important not
only because of their role as pathogens but also because they may indicate that
insufficient care has been taken during vaccine manufacture or quality control."
(81). Species of mycoplasmas that have polluted the cell cultures include
Mycoplasma hominis, M. fermentans (implicated in Gulf War illness), M. arginini,
M. hyorhinis, M. orale, M. pirum, M. pneumoniae, and Acholeplasma laidlawii
(75, 76, 82). Any reputable company that sells tissue or cell culture material, also
must test for and sell kits to detect mycoplasmas (72, 75, 76, 83, 84).
Mycoplasmas and associated variant forms have long been associated with many
disease processes, including cancer, chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue
syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, Gulf War Illness, and many others (73, 85, 86).
It would be impossible to cite all the pertinent references in this short report, on
this vast arena of microbiology that is often ignored by much of the medical
community, sometimes with tragic consequences. Mycoplasmas without question
have the capability of altering cell membranes and their antigens, disrupting DNA,
and altering cellular metabolism both in vitro and in vivo (70, 71, 72, 73, 86).
Cross-Contamination Of Cell Lines
As we recall that all viral vaccines can only be produced with the use of cells, the
purity of the cell lines an important issue. The most famous example of many cell
lines becoming contaminated from outside sources, occurred when the famous
and extremely fastidious HeLa cancer cells started showing up in labs across the
world in the 1960s. The phenomenon is well-documented (87, 88, 89, 90), and is
even the subject of an entire book (91). One study from 1976 cited a litany of
contamination in all primary and continuous cell lines that were examined - many
viruses were found, as well as HeLa cells (92). As the years progress, the reports
continue to come in: one from 1984, for instance, tells of inter- and intra-species
cell cross-contamination, that 35% of all cell lines were corrupted, and that most
of these lines were (originally) cells of human origin (93).
Let's fast-forward to 1999. A study in Germany finds that the problem is
continuing, if not worsening. In a survey of human cell lines, the most common
cross-contaminants came from "classic tumor cell lines"; that these polluted lines
had been unknowingly used in "several hundred" projects which generated
potentially false reports; and that they considered it a "grave and chronic problem
demanding radical measures" (94).
The situation is such that several scientists were prompted to write a letter to the
respected journal "Nature" in January 2000, calling for immediate action to
institute procedures that would verify the purity of cells used for research and
production of biological products, ensure freedom from mycoplasma, and include
biohazard information (95). (Did I hear that correctly - cells can be considered a
biohazard)? Has anything changed since then to remedy the situation? There is
another report from Jan. 2002, that two major cell lines used in research projects
actually turned out to be HeLa cells (96).
I ask the reader to now recall information from earlier in this report, that there are
proposals being considered to produce vaccines and other biological products
using distinctly cancerous cell lines, including HeLa (25). Does this seem
reasonable, especially since the current lines are already dangerously tainted with
HeLa and possibly other cancerous cells? Please remember the 100,000,000
allowable pieces of cell-source DNA allowed per dose of vaccine (and this does
not include the viral contaminants). Anyone care for a small, under-the-skin
serving of human cancer-cell-component soup? With maybe a few monkey cell
fragments for garnish, and viruses for flavor?
Additional Points To Consider
There are several issues the public and medical community may want to be aware
of concerning safe administration of vaccines. The human and animal body has
normal barriers that help to protect against infiltration by foreign agents, among
them are the skin, the respiratory and intestinal mucous linings, and the
blood-brain barrier. The puncture of skin by a needle breaches that barrier. A
group of researchers states, "Virus contamination of bioproducts such as vaccines,
blood products or biological material used in surgery and for transplantations also
is more hazardous because the application of contaminating virus usually occurs
by circumvention of the natural barrier systems of the bodyvirus contamination of
bioproducts should be considered as a hazard no matter which method has been
used for its detection." (97). Of even more concern, is the administration of
vaccines nasally (through the nose), or accidental passage via that route (98).
Fields Virology text (2001) says, "The olfactory tract has long been recognized as
an alternative pathway to the CNS [central nervous system]olfactory neuronsare
unprotected by the blood brain barrier." While that writer particularly addresses
the flavivirus family [i.e., "intranasal inoculation of flaviviruses may result in lethal
encephalitis" (99)], this pattern of potential danger may deserve further attention
than it currently receives, especially if there ever is consideration to use a method
of nasal inoculation for mass vaccination of the public or military, and there may
be contaminating viruses or toxins in a vaccine that have an affinity for nerve cells
Mass immunization programs often use jet injectors to save the time and
inconvenience associated with needles and syringes. However, a study published
in July 2001, found that the four injectors tested had the capability of transferring
tiny amounts of fluid and blood (and thus, viruses such as hepatitis B and C, HIV,
etc.) from one recipient to the next (100). Numerous other articles confirm the
danger, and question the safety of these devices, including one study that reported
an outbreak of hepatitis B associated with use of a jet injector (101, 102).
Some of the newest types of vaccines are called "subunit" and "naked DNA"
Without going into the intricacies of their production, they involve techniques
used in genetic engineering. Subunit vaccines generally will insert a viral or
bacterial DNA section into the DNA from yeast, which is allowed to reproduce in
large quantities. The protein intended for inclusion in the vaccine is then separated
from the yeast cells. In the case of naked DNA vaccines, the viral or DNA gene is
first reproduced, then spliced into a plasmid (which is essentially free DNA,
widely used in recombinant technology), reproduced in bacteria or cells, and then
separated from them for inclusion in the vaccine. Recombinant gene vaccines can
also be produced via these methods - for instance, hepatitis B is now an
exclusively recombinant vaccine (103, 104).
One of the major concerns with these methods is the unpredictability and
interaction of the final vaccine product with the proteins or DNA of the host. A
document from the FDA states: "Genetic toxicity: Integration of the plasmid DNA
vaccine into the genome of the vaccinated subjects is an important theoretical risk
to consider in preclinical studies. The concern is that an integrated vaccine may
result in insertional mutagenesis through the activation of oncogenes or
inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. In addition, an integrated plasmid DNA
vaccine may result in chromosomal instability through the induction of
chromosomal breaks or rearrangements." (105). Another group advises,
"Research findings in gene therapy and vaccine development show that
naked/free nucleic acids constructs are readily taken up by the cells of all species
including human beings. These nucleic acid constructs can become integrated into
the cell's genome and such integration may result in harmful biological effects,
including cancers." (106). And to reiterate the danger of tumorigenic cell lines, a
researcher says, "More recently, recombinant DNA technology has expanded
beyond bacterial cells to mammalian cells, some of which may also be
It seems obvious that there needs to be a new and open dialog regarding vaccines
among the regulatory agencies, manufacturers, research and medical community,
and the public. Many have been ridiculed for refusing vaccination for themselves
or their children, but considering the occurrences of short-term adverse events
and questionable efficacy (108), possible long-term health damage, and now also
facing the potential of wide-ranging loss of civil liberties (109), is it so surprising
that many are questioning what the actual benefits are surrounding most
vaccination protocols? Are the cases of damaged children, non-functional adults,
the huge increases in cancer rates, immune and chronic diseases to be simply and
blindly accepted by the public as "tolerable losses"?
As a citizen with a right to good health, please be advised of the following issues.
Vaccine quality in the U.S. relies for the most part, on manufacturers reporting to
the FDA. Here is a relevant statement from the CDC: "Manufacturers are
required to submit the results of their own tests for potency, safety, and purity for
each vaccine lot to the FDA. They are also required to submit samples of each
vaccine lot to FDA for testing. However, if the sponsor describes an alternative
procedure which provides continued assurance of safety, purity and potency,
CBER may determine that routine submission of lot release protocols (showing
results of applicable tests) and samples is not necessary." (110) Yes, this is the
scope of the quality-control protocol that oversees a market worth billions of
dollars, yet allowing all these contaminants into the vaccines.
It may be helpful to have an idea of the scope of the operation to understand
what we are dealing with here. We are advised that "Large-scale cell culture
operations for biotechnology products use millions of litres of complex media and
gases as well as huge quantities of organic and inorganic raw materials. These raw
materials must always be assumed to contain contamination by adventitious
agents" (111). And because there is a potentially large number of animal and
human viruses (or viral segments) that could be entering into the final vaccine
products, it would take a equally large bank of molecular probes, as well as
frequent, wide-spread testing, to screen for presence of these contaminating
agents. This would obviously add time and expense for the manufacturers. What
needs to be decided is this - is the effort and cost involved in cleaning up these
admittedly filthy medical products, worth the resultant benefit to the public
health? And since certain animal products are necessary for the production of
vaccines, it may also be necessary to clean house at several levels, including the
agricultural sector. It is no secret for instance, that commercial chicken flocks
raised for meat and eggs are often carrying infectious avian leucosis virus,
mentioned earlier in this report (112, 113, 114)
For the record, the smallpox vaccine ordered by the U.S. government from
Aventis is being produced on two types of continuous cell lines, the human
embryonic MRC-5 and the green monkey Vero cells (115). We might also be
advised of one researcher's thoughts, that "normal embryo and foreskin cells
presumably represent a state in development which is genetically unstable,
rendering them considerably more susceptible to malignant transformation."
(116). Are remnants of these types of cells something we want injected into our
The decision you make in accepting or refusing a vaccination can be a very
personal one, but whatever you decide, do try to be informed of the true benefits
and risks. Nobody should be forced to submit to any medical procedure,
especially one of questionable value.
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Back to Main News Page
Actors Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover in Havana
December 13, 2002
Hollywood is producing less inspiring films
Actors Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover in Havana .
U.S.and Latin American cinema compared . Clear anti-war position
BY MIREYA CASTANEDA
-Granma International staff writer-
WHEN two well-known actors like Danny Glover and Harry
Belafonte are in front of you, the natural expectation is to
talk about films, but these two double as social activists.
Good actors they may be, but they also know that everything
is powerfully linked.
Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte, both social activists, at
a press conference at Havana's Nacional Hotel.
Glover has come to the Havana Film Festival on two previous
occasions; he told the press that it was a wonderful
opportunity to make immediate contact with Cubans, their
culture, music and art, highlighting the truly exceptional
opening of Manuel Mendive's latest exhibition at the
capital's Fine Arts Museum.
The actor explained that here in Havana, he had understood
the need for independent filmmaking, the beauty of Latin
American cinema, and the possibility of people beginning to
unite to relate the "universality of stories that there are
to tell." To do this, he suggested we must find ways to help
these efforts because "we can't wait for Hollywood to open
its doors to us," we have to discover how to tell these
stories and get them distributed.
His friend Belafonte however has only "missed four out of 24
festivals." He confessed that the first time he came it was
out of "curiosity and fascination," wondering how Cubans had
managed to organize a festival and was moved by "the
seriousness, cinematic level and intense debates." Now he
returns "out of a sense of duty, but with the expectation of
learning something more every time."
Referring to art, the famous actor/singer commented that
U.S. festivals were like stepping back to "the dinosaur age"
; for him Hollywood produces "films that educate and inspire
less and less." In comparison, Belafonte has found the
"highest movie-making standards at festivals in Havana,
Cartagena and Brazil, where cinema is an art showing more
sensitivity than just aiming at the market."
BUSH'S WAR POLICIES
In reply to a question on the recent Artists Manifesto
against the war on Iraq, Glover answered that one of the
document's main protagonists is Mia Farrow, and that he
himself had signed it. He explained that it concerns
artists, filmmakers and writers opposed to so-called
preemptive strikes who call themselves 'Not in Our Name'.
"My position on the war is very clear, above all for the
impact that it will have on women and children in Iraq who
are already suffering the consequences of sanctions."
Glover assured that there is a growing anti-war movement in
the United States that includes trade unions, universities
and community groups, "in a battle that will continue until
our anti-war voices are heard."
In support of this idea, Belafonte stressed that in his
opinion, Bush's government is maintaining a policy "that
doesn't identify with the interests of the U.S. people," but
that the September 11 events: "that sowed fear in their
hearts" served the administration "to extend its
imperialist, economic and political domination all over the
Belafonte observed that Bush's government has mobilized all
the media into a pro-war propaganda campaign. He
specifically referred to CNN - which he called the War
Channel, remarking that if at one time it was a responsible
network then that was no longer the case - Fox News, plus
Rupert Murdoch's group.
He paused to mention cinema's effectiveness in this type of
propaganda, recalling what happened with films during the
Second World War and how "today we find the same mechanisms"
with seven corporations owning agencies, the press and the
"Many of my friends are journalists," added Belafonte, "and
they tell me that there has never been as much censorship as
now, and if they rebel then they will just lose their jobs.
"There are many reporters in Afghanistan, the Middle East
and Colombia but censorship comes from the Pentagon, the
National Security Agency, the Bush administration. The U.S.
people don't know the truth," the reason why there is an
urgent need to denounce such acts.
Nevertheless, the most promising sign for Belafonte is the
growing awareness of this problem in the United States and
that many people are beginning to raise their voices against
He believes that "the U.S. people are receiving support from
millions of people all over the world in this struggle" and
mentioned the situation in Argentina, Colombia ("where Colin
Powell arrived with a huge sum of dollars to aid government
violence"), the Caribbean states, (that are vigorously
speaking out against this policy), Mexico and young
Resistance exists, and when the press refuses to inform then
we have take every opportunity to tell the truth,"
pronounced Harry Belafonte.
Back to Main News Page
November 9, 2002
The 1972 U.S. HIV/AIDS ANTIDOTES
By Boyd E. Graves, J.D.
The HIV/AIDS enzyme is the product of many steps in the laboratory according
to all scientific criteria in every independent ‘de novo’ review that has been
conducted to date. The science history shows an ‘Aryan obsession’ with
development of ethnic biological weapons targeting people of Negroid descent. At
present it is unclear exactly when the genociders learned there was an
exploitable difference in the blood of the Negroid race. However, shortly after
the United States Congress appropriated money (for offensive biological weapons)
to the CIA and U.S. military in 1957, Negroid children on the continent of
Africa became afflicted with a “new” cancer (Burkitt’s Lymphoma). Something was
killing African children that utilized the CCR5 delta 32 positive gene,
indigenous to all people of color. The year is 2002. Something is killing people
of color that is utilizing the CCR5delta32 positive gene. There is a clear
master plan to debilitate, incapacitate, eradicate and eliminate the Black
populations of the world.
The science evidence
The science evidence reveals the United States formally undertook the venue to
develop ethnic offensive biological weapons following a 1948 State Department
review of world population (FPS-21, February 1948, written by George W.
McKennan). The United States makes it very clear for the necessity to “devise a
scheme” to deal with populations of lesser-developed countries. By 1951, people
of color were squarely in the crosshairs of U.S. genocide. A review of the
timeline on my website (http://www.boydgraves.com/timeline/) reveals the United
States was able to “continuously produce” the cervical cancer cells of a Black
woman (Henrietta Lacks), and the United States conducted its ‘first’ placebo
virus attack on African Americans. Perhaps we have forgotten the United States
has never accounted to the American people for the importation of the racist
biological scientists from nazi Germany beginning in 1946 (Project Paperclip).
These scientists brought a man made mammal wasting disease called, “visna” with
them, and now, according to the journal, Proceedings of the United States of
America, “visna” is the animal model for testing of new anti-hiv drugs (PROC NAS
VOL92, 3283 – 7, April11, 1995).
A review of the secret U.S. AIDS development program (the U.S. Special Virus
program) reveals in graphic detail the experiments and contracts the United
States issued to further enhance Burkitt’s Lymphoma’s immunodeficiency. (See,
Phase 1: Selection of Specimens and Detection of Virus or Virus
Expression—RESEARCH LOGIC FLOWCHART). It is no surprise there is a science
connection to the mystery Burkitt’s Lymphoma that ‘suddenly’ began attacking
Black African children in 1957, and the mystery HIV/AIDS that ‘suddenly’ began
attacking in 1979. Both Burkitt’s Lymphoma and HIV/AIDS utilize the CCR5 delta
32 positive gene to fuse to the genome of the Black population. It is no
surprise that nazi visna sequences are intermingled in the nucleotide sequences
of HIV/AIDS. It is also no surprise that ‘rat sequences’ are intermingled in the
amino acid sequences of HIV/AIDS. The science evidence is conclusive, HIV/AIDS
is a man made, recombinant, hybrid, chimera mosaic. Specifically, the United
States has made a hodgepodge of animal viruses, taken parts of them, grown them
in cells from the 1951 Black lady and a culture from a five year old Black child
with Burkitt’s Lymphoma. This concoction seeks out the aforementioned docking
site in the Black population and the result would be epidemic African death.
In theory, if we can devise a response to ‘block the receptor site’, then we
could very quickly put HIV/AIDS behind us. However, U.S. Public Law 91-213
implies that HIV/AID has not killed enough people yet and the United States is
remaining silent about the $550 million dollar federal virus program. Even
still, for the 40,000+ people who have the flowchart of the program, you can see
the “IMMUNOLOGICAL CONTROL” section is in your upper-right hand area. The
flowchart clearly shows that prior to placing HIV/AIDS into clinical trials (the
vaccine complements to Africa and Manhattan), the United States had thoroughly
researched the ‘inhibitors’ of their Frankenstein creation. Additionally you see
in Step 3(c), the United States knew the level of protective immune response
PRIOR to the release of HIV/AIDS:
Phase –IV-A: Immunological Control
Step 1: Determine Suitable Immunnological Control
Health Res. Inc. 72-2014 Evaluation of neuraminidase-treatment
to enhance tumor cellimmogenicity
John Hopkins Univ. 71-2109 Evaluation of methods for monitoring
immune responses of cancer patients
Meloy Labs. 72-2020 Evaluation of various
approaches to immunotherapy in model systems
Microbiological Assn 70-2068 Evaluation of viral vaccine and
interferons in the protection against chemically-induced neoplasms
Merck and CO. 71-2059 Developmental research for virus vaccine
Res.Fdn.St. of NY 71-2137 Clinical studies on enhancement of tumor
Texas, Univ. of 72-3260 Evaluation of viral vaccines in
the treatment of human leukemia/lymphoma
On page 2 of the 1971 progress report (#8) of the U.S. Special Virus program,
the United States concedes this federal program is seeking to develop one
candidate virus by “converging a leukemia and a lymphoma. According to Drs.
Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier, the original name of HIV is “Leukemia/lymphoma’
virus. See, Montagnier, L. & Gallo, R.C., “Human T-Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma Virus”
, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, 1984
Back to Main News Page
December 11, 2002
For More Information:
Boyd E. Graves 619-204-5683
United Nations Receives AIDS Lawsuit
New York, NY - Boyd E. Graves, J.D. a civil rights lawyer and lead plaintiff for
an official AIDS apology and full disclosure of the secret federal AIDS
development program began addressing AIDS with New York audiences today
beginning at the United Nations.
Early Wednesday Graves provided the UNAIDS offices of the United Nations with a
copy of the file-stamped federal complaint filed in the Southern District of
California (Docket # 02 CV 02396) urging UN oversight.
"The extreme public importance of this case requires oversight from
international bodies such as the United Nations," Graves said. "This is our best
opportunity for full disclosure and exposure of the secret federal virus
development program, the "Special Virus" (1948 - 1978). It is very clear the
antidote experiments for HIV were conducted in Phase IV-A as best identified by
the program's five section fold-out 1971 flowchart."
According to reviews of the federal lawsuit, the United States must explain the
allegations that federal officials have purposefully and intentionally blocked
further public exposure of the secret program at the heart of the genesis of
HIV/AIDS. The lawsuit was filed last Friday in the San Diego federal court.
Graves' additional public appearances are scheduled for Medgar Evers College and
the Black African Holocaust conference Saturday December 14 at the National
Black Theatre in Harlem.
Graves' judicial activism and many documents related to the current AIDS lawsuit
are available to the public on his archives at http://www.boydgraves.com
to Main News Page
Sharpton Blasts ‘Favorite Son’ Plan
Says Democrats Are Afraid of Him
BY BENJAMIN SMITH
E-mail this article
- The Rev. Al Sharpton, moving ever closer to a run
for president, yesterday blasted a leading Democrat’s
plan to steer black voters away from him in 2004.
Al Gore’s former campaign manager, Donna Brazile, says
she may push popular black officials to run for
president in their home states as “favorite sons.”
That strategy, she says, would increase black voters’
impact, while pulling the rug out from under Mr.
Sharpton in key southern states.
Ms. Brazile’s plan — and Mr. Sharpton’s response —
mark the beginning of a back-and-forth some Democratic
insiders fear will poison the party’s 2004 primaries
and undermine their chances of unseating President
Mr. Sharpton was at the center of the rancor that
enveloped the last days of Mark Green’s run for mayor,
and he is touring the country exploring a run for
president on a platform of economic populism and
racial justice. Above all, Ms. Brazile’s early
discussion of the unusual strategy reveals just how
worried Democrats are about the Brooklyn-born cleric.
“I’m sure there will be all kinds of schemes to dilute
my impact, none of which will work,” Mr. Sharpton told
The New York Sun. “The fact that it’s even being
floated by Gore’s former campaign manager shows that
they’re a lot more concerned about me than they’re
Ms. Brazile outlined her plan in Newsweek magazine
this week. She estimated that a coalition of local
African-American candidates — like Detroit Mayor Kwame
Kilpatrick, Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, and
former New Orleans mayor Marc Morial — could pick up
enough delegates to have a say in the party platform
and, potentially, a role as kingmakers.
She told the Washington Post’s George Will that
without the competition from favorite sons, Mr.
Sharpton could win states like South Carolina,
Delaware, and Maryland, where black voters play a
leading role in Democratic primaries.
“We’re looking at the rules and the legal details
right now,” she said.
Rep. Clyburn of South Carolina told the Sun the notion
of running local presidential candidates emerged soon
after the November 5 election.
“I would consider doing it myself in South Carolina
only if considerable numbers of South Carolinians,
black and white, saw it as a valuable option,” he
Mr. Clyburn denied the plan would be a direct assault
on Mr. Sharpton, who he called a “fringe candidate.”
Ms. Brazile also called Mr. Sharpton recently “to say
this is not an anti-Sharpton strategy,” Mr. Sharpton
said. Ms. Brazile did not return a call seeking
Democratic insiders say the Sharpton campaign is a
rising source of worry in Washington. And Mr. Sharpton
seems set on moving forward.
He has become a lower-profile player in New York as be
takes on national issues — like Senator Lott’s
apparent praise for a segregationist presidential
campaign — and tours the country.
Last week, Mr. Sharpton said, he was in Salt Lake City
and St. Louis; and in the next days he plans to travel
to San Bernadino, Washington, Chicago, and Boston.
“The fear among the Democratic party leadership is not
that Sharpton is going to win primaries or win
delegates, but that he’ll turn the Democratic Party
primary into a circus,” said a Democratic consultant,
A Democratic strategist in Washington, Kenneth Baer,
said Mr. Sharpton would likely change the calculus in
the Democratic primary.
“If you’re going south, it’s not a matter of winning
the white conservative Democrat vote now. It’s a
matter of winning the black vote. If Al Sharpton takes
all that off the table, he could really, really,
really disrupt some people’s campaigns.”
But an attempt to siphon black votes away from Mr.
Sharpton could backfire.
“This inside nonsense from Washington is not going to
stop Al Sharpton,” said another Democratic consultant,
Henry Sheinkopf. “What’ll stop Sharpton is a
Democratic party that talks about things that make
Ms. Brazile’s plan is still in its infancy. Two of the
candidates whose names she floated — Mr. Clyburn and
Denver mayor Wellington Webb, say they have not even
spoken to her. Mr. Kilpatrick told the Sun he was
“flattered” to have been mentioned, and that he agrees
with Ms. Brazile that “we need to concentrate on
building a base again.”
But even as Ms. Brazile looks for another way, there’s
a growing sense that Democrats have no way around Mr.
“The Democrats are looking for a savior, but there’s
no savior from Al Sharpton,” Mr. Sheinkopf said.
Copyright 2002 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC. All
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SMALLPOX SHOTS MADE STUDENTS SICK
By Derek Rose
New York Daily News
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
NEW YORK - Healthy college students injected with the smallpox vaccine in
clinical trials have developed aches, pains and fevers that laid them up for
The symptoms have been temporary, but they underscore the dangers of the
vaccination strategy under consideration by the Bush administration, experts
Unlike other vaccinations, smallpox immunizations involve injections of a
live virus called vaccina that can cause flu-like symptoms, rashes, sores
and more serious ailments. In extremely rare cases, the vaccine can kill.
"You get swelling, you get tenderness, you can get pain, you may get
chills," said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
"Getting a smallpox vaccine is not like getting a tetanus shot."
As the White House considers reintroducing the inoculations 30 years after
they were stopped, the National Institutes of Health is sponsoring a study
of the smallpox vaccine at Vanderbilt and three other research centers.
Because vaccina supplies are limited, the study is aimed at determining
whether a diluted version is still effective. The vaccination involves 15
pricks in the upper arm with a needle injecting the vaccina virus.
A pus-filled scab develops within a week that must must be kept covered to
avoid spreading the virus to other body parts -- or other people. The
dressings also must be changed daily and the scab monitored carefully.
Study participants said they developed symptoms in about a week, ranging
from nausea, fatigue, itchiness and pain where they got the shot.
"At one point I was like, 'Just cut it off, just cut my arm off! Be done
with it!'" said Elizabeth Forrester, 26, a Vanderbilt doctoral student
vaccinated Oct. 14. "It just hurts, it aches and it's not fun."
Forrester missed a day and a half of work a week after being immunized, but
others' symptoms were less severe.
"It was basically like having a really, really mild case of the flu," said
Vanderbilt biochemistry student Matthew Westfall, 31, who ran a low-grade
fever for a day.
Karen Cowdery, 24, a University of Iowa cardiology administrator, missed a
day of work but said she'd go through it again. "I was nauseous, sick to my
stomach, achy," she said.
Dr. Patricia Winokur of the University of Iowa estimated that about a
quarter of the 218 people vaccinated there missed a day of work or school. A
few missed two or three days.
"They mostly feel fatigued," she said. "It's what we expected. We were
Vaccinations are not recommended -- and could be dangerous -- for pregnant
women or people with weakened immune systems and skin disorders.
May you walk in love and light, always and in all ways!
"Rather than physical gain, my fortune increases through understanding"
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Kissinger Steps Down as Chairman of 9/11 Panel
By Ron Fournier
Friday, 13 December, 2002
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger stepped down Friday as chairman of a panel investigating
the Sept. 11 attacks, citing controversy over potential conflicts of interest with his private-sector clients.
"It is clear that, although specific potential conflicts can be resolved in this manner, the controversy
would quickly move to the consulting firm I have built and own," Kissinger wrote in a letter to President
Bush, who appointed him. "I have, therefore, concluded that I cannot accept the responsibility you
The decision was another blow for the fledging panel and the families of Sept. 11 victims. The panel's
original vice chairman, George Mitchell, resigned from the commission Wednesday, partly because of
pressures to quit his law firm.
Kissinger's resignation came one day after he tried to assure victims that his business interests would
not conflict with his duties as chairman. The White House and congressional Democrats had clashed on
whether he had to disclose his business clients, with Bush's advisers saying the law did not require such
Kissinger said he had told White House lawyers he was willing to remove the appearance of conflict of
interests by submitting "all relevant financial information" to the White House and to an independent review.
He said he could not liquidate Kissinger Associates, his international consulting firm, without delaying the
It was not immediately clear who, if anybody, asked him to liquidate his firm.
Bush issued a written statement saying he accepted Kissinger's resignation with regret. "His
chairmanship would have provided the insights and analysis the government needs to understand the
methods of our enemies and the nature of the threats we face," the statement said.
He promised to pick a new chairman to help "uncover every detail and learn every lesson of Sept. 11,
even as we act on what we have learned so far to better protect and defend America."
Kissinger wrote: "My hope is that by the decision to step aside now, the Joint Commission can proceed
without further controversy."
The commission will investigate events surrounding the attacks, examining issues including aviation
security, immigration and U.S. diplomacy. It will build on a congressional inquiry, completed this week, into
Senate Democrats say all commission members, including Kissinger, must submit financial
disclosures that would reveal potential conflicts. That view was supported by a report issued last week by
Congress' research arm, the Congressional Research Service.
But the White House contended Kissinger, as Bush's sole appointee, need not submit a report. It says
federal law does not require presidential appointees to submit disclosures if they are not drawing salaries,
as is the case with Kissinger.
But a second Congressional Research Service report said all members of the commission -- including a
presidential appointee -- would be bound by Senate ethics requirements. That report was released
Thursday by the office of Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs
The dispute is the latest involving the commission that will begin its work early next month. Family
members and congressional Democrats have questioned whether the Bush administration wants an honest
evaluation of the attacks, with its report due to come out less than six months before the 2004 presidential
Negotiations creating the commission were bogged down by disputes over its makeup and rules, with
lawmakers and the White House accusing each other of trying to manipulate it for political purposes.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who
have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational
Back to Main News Page
Camille Cosby's Speech
Camille Cosby just made a reference about the Voting Rights Act in
her most recent open letter on racism. This is extremely important. PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO AS MANY
PEOPLE AS YOU CAN!!!!!!
We are quickly approaching the 21st Century and we were wondering, and when I say we, I mean others of
us out there who wonder if everyone else out there knows what the significance of the year 2007 is to Black
Did you know that our right to VOTE will expire in the year 2007? Seriously! The Voters Rights Act signed
in 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson was just an ACT. It was not made a law. In 1982, Ronald Reagan amended the
Voters Rights Act for another 25 years. Which means that in the year 2007 we could lose the Right to vote! Does
anyone realize that African Americans are the only group of people who require PERMISSION under the United
States Constitution to vote!
In the year 2007, Congress will once again convene to decide whether or not Blacks should retain the rights
to vote (crazy but true). In order for this to be passed, 38 states will have to approve an extension. This is
ludicrous! Not only should the extension be approved, but also the ACT must be made a law. Our right to vote
should no longer be up for discussion, review and/or evaluation. We must contact our Congresspersons, Senators
Alderpersons, etc., to put a stop to this! As bona fide Citizens of the United States, we cannot "drop the ball" on
this one! We have come too far to let government make us take such a huge step backward.
So please, let us push forward to continue to build the momentum towards gaining equality. Please pass
this onto others, as we are sure that many more individuals are not aware of this.
I urge all of you that are able, to contact those in government that have your vote and make them aware of
our combined concern for this issue. One voice!...... One Vote! You cannot complain, if you do not participate ...
local, State, & national...
When I received this one I had no choice but to pass it on. Please do the same.
Back to Main News Page
For Immediate Release:
December 13, 2002
Congresswoman McKinney Calls For Permanent Extension of the Voting Rights Act
and Asks Trent Lott and the Republicans, as well as Democrats, to Support Her
"I take Trent Lott and the Republicans at their word. They should not only
extend the Voting Rights Act; they should strengthen it, too."
Dec 13, 2002 - Today, Congresswoman McKinney said that merely apologizing for
segregationist remarks is not enough for Republicans or Democrats to do. But
rather, these expressions of regret should result in sound public policy that
increases the quality of life of all Americans. Toward that end, she calls
for Trent Lott and the majority-Republican Congress, as well as the
Democrats, to support a permanent extension of all of the provisions of the
Voting Rights Act and to reaffirm its 1982 amendments.
"In 2007, important sections of The Voting Rights Act expire," McKinney said.
"We should not wait until 2007 to address this important issue. I suggest
that we learn from the unfortunate remarks of Senate Leader Trent Lott and do
something constructive: permanently extend and strengthen The Voting Rights
Act," McKinney added. "Only jurisdictions that want to backslide on voting
rights need fear an extension," McKinney concluded.
Section Five of the Voting Rights Act, which includes its preclearance pro
visions, will expire in 2007. In addition, defendants are increasingly
trying to avoid compliance with the 1982 amendments that require only a
results test of discrimination for successful litigation under Section Two of
the Voting Rights Act. Successful litigation under Section Two should focus
only on objective census and election data without reliance on intentions.
Section Five of the Voting Rights Act should be indefinitely extended and
Section Two should be reaffirmed by the Congress. Even today, the United
States Justice Department continues to deny election changes submitted by
covered jurisdictions. In the State of Georgia, the 2002 State Senate
redistricting plan was objected to on the basis that three metropolitan areas
of Georgia (Savannah, Albany, and Macon) experienced minority vote dilution.
The Department of Justice, on its website, lists its current Section Five
objections. As long as the Department of Justice and the Federal District
Court object to election plans presented by covered jurisdictions, a
continued need is demonstrated for enforcement of all sections of the Voting
Rights Act, including Section Five.
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USDA CONCERNED ABOUT SLOW PACE OF SIGN-UP FOR MAJOR FARM BILL PROGRAMS
Release No. 0514.02
Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623
Matt Lloyd (202) 720-4623
USDA CONCERNED ABOUT SLOW PACE OF SIGN-UP FOR MAJOR FARM BILL PROGRAMS
Encourages Farmers to Sign-up Quickly to Ensure Program Benefits Can Be
Distributed in a Timely and Efficient Manner
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2002 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is
concerned about the slow pace in which farmers are signing up for major farm
programs under the 2002 Farm Bill and today urged farmers to begin the
process to quickly sign up in order to receive intended benefits in a timely
and efficient manner.
"Ensuring timely delivery of program benefits is a top priority for USDA,"
said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. "As farmers wrap-up this fall's
challenges, we are hopeful that the extensive outreach, education and
training USDA has conducted throughout the country will enable producers to
quickly focus on signing up for the program, which will help prevent long
lines at the county offices next spring."
The USDA team has developed extensive new software, trained personnel
and prepared directives for the many new and existing programs. In
addition, the Department developed a new website and conducted hundreds of
outreach meetings to farmers nationwide to provide information on how to
comply with the new law and the required changes in program participation.
Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Undersecretary J.B. Penn, Deputy
Undersecretary Hunt Shipman and Farm Service Agency Administrator Jim Little
along with various state farm program directors took to the airwaves today
with farm broadcasters and reporters from across the country to help relay
the message to producers to sign-up. This is just one of many outreach
efforts to accelerate sign-up and participation.
"If producers are putting forth a New Year's resolution, we hope it is
to understand the importance of signing up early," said Penn. "USDA is
committed to working at every level to assist producers, but it is critical
they contact their local FSA office to begin processing individual program
information and updates needed to participate."
According to Jim Little, reports to date from the States indicate that
producer sign-up for the direct and counter-cyclical programs is proceeding
quite slowly. He said there are several reasons to explain the slow pace,
including the late harvest in many parts of the country that kept farmers in
the field longer than usual.
Additionally, the complexity of the new programs requires more time for
producers to gain understanding, assemble the necessary information and make
their decision, often involving several different commodities and unknown
future market conditions.
"For the sign-up process to proceed smoothly, we need a steady flow of
producers visiting their local county FSA office from now to the April 1
deadline," said Little. "We want to avoid a last minute crunch in the
county offices. Thus, the sooner producers contact their local FSA offices
and begin the sign-up process, the more our staff can be of help to them to
receive their intended benefits in a timely manner."
Little also reminded producers that they can sign-up for major programs
now and still make changes to their decisions any time until the April 1
closing date for base acreage and yield updating. Also, producers may visit
their local FSA office multiple times to review information and discuss
New computer-based tools also have been developed to help producers analyze
the economic consequences of the new Farm Bill's updating options. USDA, in
conjunction with Texas A&M University, has made available one such
calculator on the FSA web site (http://www.fsa.usda.gov/). Several other
land grant universities and commodity associations have developed similar
tools available to producers.
"All of us at USDA recognize the importance of the new Farm Bill to
America's producers, and we remain fully committed to providing them with
all the necessary information and assistance throughout the implementation
process," added Penn.
For a complete list of farm bill programs, benefits and information
needed for sign-up, please visit USDA's Farm Bill website at
http://www.usda.gov/ or contact your local FSA office or service center.
Back to Main News Page
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TASMANIAN ABORIGINES
By RUNOKO RASHIDI
DEDICATED TO DR. GRACELYN SMALLWOOD
To many, the mention of Tasmania evokes humorous
recollections of the Tasmanian devil--the voracious
marsupial popularized in American cartoons. Tasmania
is an island slightly larger in size than West
Virginia, and is located two-hundred miles off
Australia's southeast coast. The aboriginal
inhabitants of the island were Black people who
probably went there by crossing an ancient land bridge
that connected Tasmania to the continent of Australia.
The Black aborigines of Tasmania were marked by
tightly curled hair with skin complexions ranging from
black to reddish-brown. They were relatively short in
stature with little body fat. They were the indigenous
people of Tasmania and their arrival there began at
least 35,000 years ago. With the passage of time, the
gradual rising of the sea level submerged the
Australian-Tasmanian land bridge and the Black
aborigines of Tasmania experienced more than 10,000
years of solitude and physical isolation from the rest
of the world--the longest period of isolation in human
It is our great misfortune that the Black people of
Tasmania bequeathed no written histories. We do not
know that they called themselves or what they named
their land. All we really have are minute fragments,
bits of evidence, and the records and documents of
Europeans who began coming to the island in 1642.
THE BLACK FAMILY IN TASMANIA
The Tasmanian aborigines were hunter-gatherers with an
exceptionally basic technology. The Tasmanians made
only a few types of simple stone and wooden tools.
They lacked agriculture, livestock, pottery, and bows
The Black family in Tasmania was a highly organized
one--its form and substance directed by custom. A man
joined with a woman in marriage and formed a social
partnership with her. It would appear that such
marriages were usually designed by the parents--but
this is something about which very little is actually
known. The married couple seems to have remained
together throughout the course of their lives, and
only in rare cases did a man have more than one wife
at the same time. Their children were not only well
cared for, but were treated with great affection.
Elders were cared for by the the family, and children
were kept at the breast for longer than is usual in
child care among Europeans.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE BLACKS
The isolation of Tasmania's Black aborigines ended in
1642 with the arrival and intrusion of the first
Europeans. Abel Jansen Tasman, the Dutch navigator
after whom the island is named, anchored off the
Tasmanian coast in early December, 1642. Tasman named
the island Van Diemen's land, after Anthony Van
Diemen--the governor-general of the Dutch East India
Company. The island continued to be called Van
Diemen's Land until 1855.
On March 5, 1772, a French expedition led by Nicholas
Marion du Fresne landed on the island. Within a few
hours his sailors had shot several Aborigines. On
January 28, 1777, the British landed on the island.
Following coastal New South Wales in Australia,
Tasmania was established as a British convict
settlement in 1803. These convicts had been harshly
traumatized and were exceptionally brutal. In addition
to soldiers, administrators, and missionaries,
eventually more than 65,000 men and women convicts
were settled in Tasmania. A glaringly inefficient
penal system allowed such convicts to escape into the
Tasmanian hinterland where they exercised the full
measure of their blood-lust and brutality upon the
island's Black occupants. According to social
historian Clive Turnbull, the activities of these
criminals would soon include the "shooting, bashing
out brains, burning alive, and slaughter of Aborigines
for dogs' meat."
TASMANIAN DEVILS IN HUMAN FORM
As early as 1804 the British began to slaughter,
kidnap and enslave the Black people of Tasmania. The
colonial government itself was not even inclined to
consider the aboriginal Tasmanians as full human
beings, and scholars began to discuss civilization as
a unilinear process with White people at the top and
Black people at the bottom. To the Europeans of
Tasmania the Blacks were an entity fit only to be
exploited in the most sadistic of manners--a sadism
that staggers the imagination and violates all human
morality. As UCLA professor, Jared Diamond, recorded:
"Tactics for hunting down Tasmanians included riding
out on horseback to shoot them, setting out steel
traps to catch them, and putting out poison flour
where they might find and eat it. Sheperds cut off the
penis and testicles of aboriginal men, to watch the
men run a few yards before dying. At a hill christened
Mount Victory, settlers slaughtered 30 Tasmanians and
threw their bodies over a cliff. One party of police
killed 70 Tasmanians and dashed out the children's
Such vile and animalistic behavior on the part of the
White settlers of Tasmania was the rule rather than
the exception. In spite of their wanton cruelty,
however, punishment in Tasmania was exceedingly rare
for the Whites, although occasionally Whites were
sentenced for crimes against Blacks. For example,
there is an account of a man who was flogged for
exhibiting the ears and other body parts of a Black
boy that he had mutilated alive. We hear of another
European punished for cutting off the little finger of
an Aborigine and using it as a tobacco stopper.
Twenty-five lashes were stipulated for Europeans
convicted of tying aboriginal "Tasmanian women to logs
and burning them with firebrands, or forcing a woman
to wear the head of her freshly murdered husband on a
string around her neck."
Not a single European, however, was ever punished for
the murder of Tasmanian Aborigines. Europeans thought
nothing of tying Black men to trees and using them for
target practice. Black women were kidnapped, chained
and exploited as sexual slaves. White convicts
regularly hunted Black people for sport, casually
shooting, spearing or clubbing the men to death,
torturing and raping the women, and roasting Black
infants alive. As historian, James Morris, graphically
"We hear of children kidnapped as pets or servants, of
a woman chained up like an animal in a sheperd's hut,
of men castrated to keep them off their own women. In
one foray seventy aborigines were killed, the men
shot, the women and children dragged from crevices in
the rocks to have their brains dashed out. A man
called Carrotts, desiring a native woman, decapitated
her husband, hung his head around her neck and drove
her home to his shack."
THE BLACK WAR
"The Black War of Van Diemen's Land" was the name of
the official campaign of terror directed against the
Black people of Tasmania. Between 1803 and 1830 the
Black aborigines of Tasmania were reduced from an
estimated five-thousand people to less than
seventy-five. An article published December 1, 1826
in the Tasmanian Colonial Times declared that:
"We make no pompous display of Philanthropy. The
Government must remove the natives--if not, they will
be hunted down like wild beasts and destroyed!"
With the declaration of martial law in November 1828,
Whites were authorized to kill Blacks on sight.
Although the Blacks offered a heroic resistance, the
wooden clubs and sharpened sticks of the Aborigines
were no match against the firepower, ruthlessness, and
savagery exercised by the Europeans against them. In
time, a bounty was declared on Blacks, and "Black
catching," as it was called, soon became a big
business; five pounds for each adult Aborigine, two
pounds for each child. After considering proposals to
capture them for sale as slaves, poison or trap them,
or hunt them with dogs, the government settled on
continued bounties and the use of mounted police.
After the Black War, for political expediency, the
status of the Blacks, who were no longer regarded as a
physical threat, was reduced to that of a nuisance and
a bother, and with loud and pious exclamations that it
was for the benefit of the Blacks themselves, the
remainder of the Aborigines were rounded up and placed
in concentration camps.
In 1830 George Augustus Robinson, a Christian
missionary, was hired to round up the remaining
Tasmanian Blacks and take them to Flinders Island,
thirty miles away. Many of Robinson's captives died
along the way. By 1843 only fifty survived. Jared
Diamond recorded that:
"On Flinders Island Robinson was determined to
civilize and Christianize the survivors. His
settlement--at a windy site with little fresh
water--was run like a jail. Children were separated
from parents to facilitate the work of civilizing
them. The regimental daily schedule included Bible
reading, hymn singing, and inspection of beds and
dishes for cleanness and neatness. However, the jail
diet caused malnutrition, which combined with illness
to make the natives die. Few infants survived more
than a few weeks. The government reduced expenditures
in the hope that the native would die out. By 1869
only Truganini, one other woman, and one man remained
THE LAST TASMANIANS
With the steady decrease in the number of Aborigines,
White people began to take a bizarre interest in the
Blacks, whom Whites believed "to be a missing link
between humans and apes." In 1859 Charles Darwin's
book, On the Origin of Species, popularized the
fantasy of biological (and therefore social)
evolution, with Whites at the top of the evolutionary
scale and Blacks at the bottom. The Aborigines were
portrayed as a group of people "doomed to die out
according to a natural law, like the dodo, and the
dinosaur." This is during the same period in the
United States that it was legally advocated that a
Black man had no rights that a White man was bound to
William Lanney, facetiously known as King Billy, was
the last full-blood male Tasmanian. He was born in
1835 and grew up on Flinders Island. At the age of
thirteen Lanney was removed with the remnant of his
people to a concentration camp called Oyster Cove.
Ultimately he became a sailor and some years he went
whaling. As the last male Tasmanian, Lanney was
regarded as a human relic. In January 1860 he was
introduced to Prince Albert. He returned ill from a
whaling voyage in February 1868, and on March 2, 1868
he died in his room at the Dog and Partridge
public-house in Hobart, Tasmania.
Lanney, the subject of ridicule in life, became, in
death, a desirable object. Even while he lay in the
Colonial Hospital at least two persons determined to
have his bones. They claimed to act in the interest
of the Royal Society of Tasmania. On March 6, 1868,
the day of the funeral, fifty or sixty residents
interested in Lanney gathered at the hospital. Rumors
were circulating that the body had been mutilated and,
to satisfy the mourners, the coffin was opened. When
those who wished to do so had seen the body, the
coffin was closed and sealed. Meanwhile it was
reported that, on the preceding night, a surgeon had
entered the dead-house where Lanney lay, skinned the
head, and removed the skull. Reportedly, the head of a
patient who had died in the hospital on the same day
was similarly skinned, and the skull was placed inside
Lanney's scalp and the skin drawn over it. Members of
the Royal Society were "greatly annoyed" at being thus
forestalled and, as body-snatching was expected, it
was decided that nothing should be left worth taking
and Lanney's hands and feet were cut off. In keeping
with the tradition no one was punished. William
Lanney, the last Black man in Tasmania, was gone.
QUEEN TRUGANINI: THE LAST TASMANIAN
"Not, perhaps, before, has a race of men been utterly
destroyed within seventy-five years. This is the
story of a race which was so destroyed, that of the
aborigines of Tasmania--destroyed not only by a
different manner of life but by the ill-will of the
usurpers of the race's land.... With no defences but
cunning and the most primitive weapons, the natives
were no match for the sophisticated individualists of
knife and gun. By 1876 the last of them was dead. So
perished a whole people." --Clive Turnbull
On May 7, 1876, Truganini, the last full-blood Black
person in Tasmania, died at seventy-three years of
age. Her mother had been stabbed to death by a
European. Her sister was kidnapped by Europeans. Her
intended husband was drowned by two Europeans in her
presence, while his murderers raped her.
It might be accurately said that Truganini's numerous
personal sufferings typify the tragedy of the Black
people of Tasmania as a whole. She was the very last.
"Don't let them cut me up," she begged the doctor as
she lay dying. After her burial, Truganini's body was
exhumed, and her skeleton, strung upon wires and
placed upright in a box, became for many years the
most popular exhibit in the Tasmanian Museum and
remained on display until 1947. Finally, in 1976--the
centenary years of Truganini's death--despite the
museum's objections, her skeleton was cremated and her
ashes scattered at sea.
The tragedy of the Black aborigines of Tasmania,
however painful its recounting may be, is a story that
must be told. What lessons do we learn from the
destruction of the Tasmanians? Truganini's life and
death, although extreme, effectively chronicle the
association not only between White people and Black
people in Tasmania, but, to a significant degree,
around the world. Between 1803 and 1876 the Black
aborigines of Tasmania were completely destroyed.
During this period the Black people of Tasmania were
debased, degraded and eventually exterminated.
Indeed, given the long and well-documented history of
carnage, cruelty, savagery, and the monstrous pain,
suffering, and inhumanity Europeans have inflicted
upon Black people in general, and the Black people of
Tasmania in particular, one could argue that they
themselves, the White settlers of Tasmania, far more
than the ravenous beast portrayed in American
cartoons, have been the real Tasmanian devil.
INDIGENOUS TASMANIANS TODAY: SURVIVORS OF THE
The above article was written around 1997 and was a
part of an ongoing series of articles designed to draw
attention to the past and present, the history and the
current status, of Black people around the world. In
that sense I believe that it is basically a very good
article. It should be pointed out though that it was
written before my first trip to Australia. More and
more, over the the course of time, I have come to find
that travel is a wonderful educational experience
indeed, and that during the process you often come
across information not commonly found in books.
In November 1998 I was invited to speak at the World's
Indigenous Peoples Conference in Toowomba, Queensland,
Australia. During my Australian sojourn, in addition
to the Conference, I was able to travel to several
regions and three states. For the first time I
interacted with large numbers of Indigenous
Australians. The Conference itself was magnificent;
a real triumph and one of the great experiences of my
life. Even before the Conference convened, however,
I was shocked to meet for the initial time a Black
man from Tasmania! He was professor Errol West of the
University of Southern Queensland. Prof. West (a
noted scholar and an excellent poet) and I quckly
developed a close bond and soon became good friends.
We talked and socialized together a great deal and it
became readily apparent that only the full-blood
Blacks had perished in the holocaust, and that there
were Black people living in Tasmania today.
Obviously, this was in stark contrast to all of the
major writings on the subject. Prof. West also gave
me a very different and contrasting view of Truganini.
My trip to Australia gave me a great deal to think
about and a lot to reassess. Eighteen months later
I returned to Australia and saw even more of this
fascinating country, and I have since learned a great
deal more about the history and current conditions of
the original people. And the education hasn't
stopped. Several months ago I received a series of
emails from a Tasmanian sister who expressed
tremendous gratitude for the article and encouraged
and assured me that the Blacks of Tasmania "are alive
and still fighting for our rights and the recognition
that we deserve as Indigenous peoples." In 2003 I
plan to travel to Tasmania itself. And the education
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