Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Suppressing US War Crimes: 
The Cold War Denial Machine Lives On

Carrying her baby brother on her back, a war-weary Korean girl walks by a stalled M-26 tank, at Haengju, Korea, June, 1951.

By Thomas Powell

June 24, 2018

“A shadowy chapter of US Cold War history involving germ warfare allegations in 1952 recently played out in the New York Review of Books: In February, Michael Ignatieff, former Canadian politician and international political scholar, wrote a movie review of Errol Morris’s recent six-part Netflix docudrama, “Wormwood.”

“Wormwood” investigates the mysterious 1953 death of a top US germ war scientist and CIA employee, Frank Olson. Olson was bludgeoned on the back of the head and “dropped” from the 13th floor window of his Manhattan hotel room under orders from his CIA bosses, according to his son, Eric Olson.

The US government was at that time very actively engaged in an international denial effort to brand claims of widespread US biological warfare use during the Korean War as communist propaganda.

As a top scientist at the Army Chemical Corp’s biological warfare lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland, Frank Olson was in the unique position to spill the beans on this cover-up. He did not fully grasp how dangerous his CIA associates were, how freely they operated outside the law, or his own imminent peril...

The American use of bioweapons in Korea is known and accepted as fact by most Cold War scholars outside the US, but domestically, biological warfare remains one of the deepest kept secrets of the Cold War. That secret, even today 66 years after the fact, still has professional gatekeepers…

…The hidden history of the Korean War — the 4 million dead Koreans, the carpet bombing, firebombing, germ bombing, the entire built infrastructure of North Korea reduced to rubble, the prisoner torture, civilian massacres, suppression of war crime evidence, the lies and the silent forgetting — all this is now coming into the sunshine.

Going forward toward Korean unification, nobody should agree to bury these truths again.”

READ the complete story:

George Burchett’s review of “Wormwood” gives the back story not often heard of the larger Korean War germ warfare story:

Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett

JANUARY 12, 2018

“…this footage briefly appears on the screen. I recognise it. I rewind and pause the film. The man on the far right in the white shirt is my father, Australian journalist, Wilfred Burchett. 

Screenshot from “Wormwood.”

I’ve seen this footage before. It’s from a 1952 Chinese film recording “Captured U.S. airmen Kenneth L. Enoch and John S. Quinn, interrogated by the Joint Interrogation Group of Korean and Chinese specialists and News Correspondents” in which the two airmen repeat what they had already said in their “voluntary confessions”: that the U.S. was waging germ warfare in Korea and that they had personally dropped germ bombs. 

In fact, the “interrogation” looks more like a press conference and, as the voice-over says, “Wilfred Burchett, correspondent of the Paris Ce Soir, also joined the work of the group by invitation.”

Other footage, used later in Wormwood, shows the International Scientific Commission, led by one of Britain’s most distinguished scientists, Joseph Needham, a fellow of the British Academy, who travelled to China and Korea to investigate the allegations and attended the “interrogation” of the captured U.S. pilots…

My father, journalist Wilfred Burchett, was accused by the Australian conservative establishment of fabricating the germ warfare story, of torturing Allied POWs – including Australians – brainwashing them and extracting confessions. He was branded a traitor and denied Australian citizenship for 17 years. These accusations are repeated to this day…

Among many other stories, he also reported and investigated allegations made by the Chinese and North Koreans that the U.S. had used germ warfare. Just as he was the first to report on the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and just as he would be one of the first to accuse the U.S. of using chemical defoliants in Vietnam, facts no one now denies. Most people have heard of Agent Orange and its devastating effects on humans and the environment…

…scientist Frank Olson, who worked on biological weapons development for the U.S. military and secret interrogation and mind control programs for the CIA was convinced that the U.S. was conducting germ warfare in Korea. He was so tormented by this, that the CIA was afraid he’d reveal its darkest secrets. And they killed him. Dropped him out of a window and claimed it was suicide.

To this day, the US government dismisses the allegations of germ warfare as communist propaganda. Some scholars argue that the germ warfare “hoax” was concocted by Stalin, Mao and Kim Il-sung to tarnish the image of the United States and its Allies in the eyes of world public opinion.


…I’d like to quote Wilfred Burchett here: “I think that as a journalist, there’s a very great responsibility, particularly journalists reporting on international affairs, as I do, to get the facts right and to be absolutely free of any doctrine or of any ideological optical devices. To be free and really seek the truth, get the truth and publish the truth” (in Public Enemy Number One, a film by David Bradbury, 1980).

Wilfred Burchett told the truth about Nazi Germany when the Australian government was courting Hitler and helping arm Imperial Japan. He told the truth about Hiroshima, as the first Western correspondent to report from the city one month after the atomic bomb was dropped. He reported the truth about germ warfare in Korea and the use of chemical defoliants in Vietnam and the many other atrocities of both wars. None of this endeared him to the Australian or US governments of the time. He was accused of treason, denied an Australian passport, was vilified and is still vilified as a communist propagandist, KGB agent and so on.

So, Mr Hersh, I challenge you to tell us the truth about Frank Olson’s murder by the CIA, about germ warfare in Korea and the other dark secrets that led to his elimination by the CIA. You owe it to his son Eric and to the rest of us. You say you know the truth, so please share it with us.

I would like to thank Errol Morris for telling this important story in such a brilliant, masterful and compelling way (and for including my father, no matter how fleetingly, in the narrative). He is a filmmaker who has spent most of his career examining how film and photography reveal and conceal truth and reality, and in our current epoch, so obsessed with the idea of “fake” news, his work is very much of the zeitgeist.

And I want to express my admiration and profound esteem for Eric Olson’s sticking by his father, for seeking the truth about his death and for unpeeling the layers of deceit that protect the dark secret at the heart of the matter. I hope that one day the bitterness washes away, the secret is released and light prevails over darkness.”

- George Burchett is an artist who lives in Hanoi.

READ the complete story:

READ more articles by George Burchett:


How the CIA Tried to Bribe Wilfred Burchett
JANUARY 19, 2018

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The west closes its ears to Douma testimony

Jonathan Cook: “The response from the US, UK and France to a briefing on Thursday at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague was perverse, to say the least. 

Russia had brought 17 witnesses from Douma who stated that there had been no chemical weapons attack there earlier this month – the pretext for an illegal air strike on Syria by the three western states.

The witnesses, a mix of victims and the doctors who treated them, told accounts that confirmed a report provided last week from Douma by British reporter Robert Fisk – a report, it should be noted, that has been almost entirely blanked by the western media. 

According to the testimony provided at the OPCW, the victims shown in a video from the site of the alleged attack were actually suffering from the effects of inhaling dust after a bombing raid, not gas.

The first strange thing to note is that the US, UK and France boycotted the meeting… The US, UK and France are surely obligated to listen to the witnesses first, and then seek to discredit the testimony afterwards if they think it implausible or coerced. The evidence cannot be tested and rebutted if it is not even considered.

The second is that the media are echoing this misplaced scorn for evidence… There is a word for that, and it is not “journalism”

The third and biggest problem, however, is that neither the trio of western states nor the western media are actually contesting the claim that these “supposed witnesses” were present in Douma, and that some of them were shown in the video

No one, for example, appears to be doubting that Hassan Diab, a boy who testified at the hearing, is also the boy shown in the video who was supposedly gassed with a nerve agent three weeks ago.

How then do we explain that he is now looking a picture of health? It is not as though the US, UK and French governments and the western media have had no time to investigate his case. He and his father have been saying for at least a week on Russian TV that there was no chemical attack…

If there is one thing certain in all of this, it is that the video produced as cast-iron evidence of a chemical weapons attack has turned out to be nothing of the sort.”

Read the complete article by Jonathan Cook: 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Some initial personal reactions to today’s missile strikes on Syria

I woke up to the breaking news that the US, UK and France had launched missile attacks against Syria. I have not yet read the alternative news sites, so no doubt there will be more information and comments later. 

For now, here are 9 questions I would like considered and answered.

1. Why did the US, UK, & France launch missile strikes against Syria with such haste, even before the OPCW had conducted its investigation at the site of the alleged chemical attack, and before the results and evidence were published?

2. Why is only the Syrian government always blamed for alleged chemical attacks, without actual evidence, and which they deny, while the more likely possibility that it was carried out by the anti-Syria terrorists, who have both the means and the motive to do so, is always completely ignored?

3. How credible is the claim of the US, UK and France that they only targeted their missile strikes specifically at Syrian facilities allegedly involved with chemical weapons manufacture and storage, and not at other unrelated Syrian infrastructure?

4. Why have political leaders and Western media conveniently forgotten that in 2014 the Syrian government destroyed its stocks of chemical weapons, in a deal brokered by Russia and with the active participation of the US government, under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)? US Secretary of State at the time, John Kerry, acknowledged that Syrian chemical stocks had been verifiably destroyed. Syria joined the OPCW.

5. If the US, UK and France knew that such chemical weapons sites existed, and their precise locations, why did they not report these violations to the OPCW, and demand that the sites be inspected? Is that not their legal obligation?

6. There are now reports that ISIS has taken advantage of the missile strikes to launch attacks on Syria, as they have done in the past. Is this further evidence of the long history of collusion between the US-led coalition and various foreign-supported terrorist groups seeking illegal ‘regime change’ in Syria?

7. The US-led coalition has stated that there will be more missile attacks if they believe that the Syrian government uses chemical weapons in the future, presumably even without actual verified evidence. Is this not an open invitation for Islamist terrorists to stage more “false flag” chemical attacks, precisely to provoke more foreign aggression against Syria’s secular government?

8. Why did the US, UK and France launch missile attacks against Syria without legal authorization from the United Nations or even their own parliaments, when they were not under threat of attack by Syria? Is this not an illegal act of aggression, the ultimate war crime, as recognized by the UN Charter and Nuremberg?

9. In the case of the horrible war against Syria, why has the Western news media consistently reinforced the official government narratives, acting as cheer leaders for war, instead of actually doing serious investigative journalism, and seeking truth and a peaceful resolution to the conflict?

Bruce McPhie
April 14,2018

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Friday, April 06, 2018

Mass Deception and the Prelude to World War 
By Colin Todhunter

“…Part of the battle for the public’s hearts and minds is to keep people confused. They must be convinced to regard these wars and conflicts as a disconnected array of events and not as the planned machinations of empire. The ongoing disinformation narrative about Russian aggression is part of the strategy.

Ultimately, Russia (and China) is the real and increasingly imminent target: Moscow has stood in the way of the West’s plans in Syria and both Russia and China are undermining the role of the dollar in international trade, a lynchpin of US power.

The countries of the West are effectively heading for war with Russia but relatively few among the public seem to know or even care. 

Many are oblivious to the slaughter that has already been inflicted on populations with the help of their taxes and governments in far-away lands. With the reckless neoconservative warmonger John Bolton now part of the Trump administration, it seems we could be hurtling towards major war much faster than previously thought.

Most of the public remains blissfully ignorant of the psy-ops being directed at them through the corporate media. 

Given recent events in the UK and the ramping up of anti-Russia rhetoric, if ordinary members of the public think that Theresa May or Boris Johnson ultimately have their best interests at heart, they should think again. The major transnational corporations based on Wall Street and in the City of London are the ones setting Anglo-US policy agendas often via the Brookings Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, International Crisis Group, Chatham House, etc.

The owners of these companies, the capitalist class, have off-shored millions of jobs as well as their personal and company tax liabilities to boost their profits and have bankrupted economies. We see the results in terms of austerity, unemployment, powerlessness, privatization, deregulation, banker control of economies, corporate control of food and seeds, the stripping away of civil liberties, increased mass surveillance and wars to grab mineral resources and ensure US dollar hegemony. These are the interests the politicians serve…

We should not be fooled by made-for-media outpourings of morality about good and evil that are designed to create fear, outrage and support for more militarism and resource-grab wars. The shaping of public opinion is a multi-million-dollar industry.

Take for instance the mass harvesting of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica to shape the outcomes of the US election and the Brexit campaign. 

According to journalist Liam O’Hare, its parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) has conducted ‘behavioural change’ programmes in over 60 countries and its clients have included the British Military of Defence, the US State Department and NATO. 

According to O’Hare, the use of the media to fool the public is one of SCL’s key selling points. Among its activities in Europe have been campaigns targeting Russia. The company has “sweeping links” with Anglo-American political and military interests. 

In the UK, the interests of the governing Conservative Party and military-intelligence players are brought together via SCL: board members include “an array of Lords, Tory donors, ex-British army officers and defense contractors.”

O’Hare says it is clear is that all SCL’s activities have been inextricably linked to its Cambridge Analytica arm. He states: 

“International deception and meddling is the name of the game for SCL. We finally have the most concrete evidence yet of shadowy actors using dirty tricks in order to rig elections. But these operators aren’t operating from Moscow… they are British, Eton educated, headquartered in the City of London and have close ties to Her Majesty’s government”

So, what are we to make of the current anti-Russia propaganda we witness regarding the nerve agent incident in Salisbury and the failure of the British government to provide evidence to demonstrate Russian culpability? 

The relentless accusations by Theresa May and Boris Johnson that have been parroted across the corporate media in the West indicate that the manipulation of public perception is everything and facts count for little. It is alarming given what is at stake – the escalation of conflict between the West and a major nuclear power.

Welcome to the world of mass deception à la Edward Bernays and Josef Goebbels… the West’s political leaders are manipulating, subduing and distracting the public… their reckless actions towards Russia could lead towards a war that could wipe out all life on the planet.”

Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India.

Read the complete article, and read/post public comments:

Saturday, March 31, 2018

REVEALED: Pentagon’s $70 Million Chemical & Biological Program at Porton Down in UK

MARCH 28, 2018 BY 21WIRE 

In January, 21WIRE published the journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva’s previous report detailing the Pentagon’s extensive overseas biological and chemical weapons facilities in eastern Europe and central Asia and the dangers it poses to surrounding populations. 
Today we learn that this same threat is much closer to home…

By Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 
21st Century Wire

Some extracts:

The Pentagon has spent at least $70 million on military experiments involving tests with deadly viruses and chemical agents at Porton Down – the UK military laboratory near the city of Salisbury… 

Data obtained via the Freedom of Information Act gives an idea of the dimensions of military chemical and biological experiments carried out at Porton Down. A total of 122,050 animals have been exposed to deadly pathogens, chemicals and incurable diseases over the last decade (2005-2016)...

In 2016 Porton Down scientists along with their colleagues from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense published the results of a joint study Acute Gene Expression Profile of Lung Tissue Following Sulfur Mustard Inhalation Exposure in Large Anesthetized Swine

Sulfur mustard is a chemical warfare agent that was first used on the battlefield in World War I. It has been classified as a Class 1 human carcinogen, meaning that it can also cause cancer. Mustard agents were regulated under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention as substances with no use other than in chemical warfare.

The last use of Sulfur mustard in battle was confirmed in Syria in 2016. According to the BBC, Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists used mustard gas against government forces in Deir-ez-Zor. The same chemical gas was confirmed to have been used by ISIS against Kurds in Northern Iraq…

[Note: This contradicts the official narrative that falsely blames only the Syrian government for the use of such chemical weapons, when it has been the terrorists!]

According to information obtained from the US Federal contracts registry, Porton Down scientists 5 months ago completed a $2 million military program involving chemical gas experiments on animals. This program was funded by the US Department of the Army…

Tests using nerve agents VX and VM on guinea pigs were carried out at Porton Down in 2015. The project was funded by the UK Ministry of Defence. Interestingly, guinea pigs were also found at Sergei Skripal’s home in Salisbury, just a few kilometers away from the secretive chemical and biological military lab. A photo of the Skripals’ pets – a cat and guinea pigs, was posted by his daughter Yulia on Facebook…

Porton Down scientists test chemical gas on London Tube passengers

Chemical gas was released on thousands of unsuspecting commuters during a military experiment on the London Underground, documents reveal. These chemical tests were performed in 2013 by scientist from Porton Down. 

The UK government never informed the British public of the military experiment on the London Underground. Thousands of people were exposed to chemical gas without their knowledge. Nor did the Ministry of Defence ask for their consent to participate in such military experiments…

The controversial military laboratory was investigated for chemical and biological experiments on humans in the past. 

Up to 20,000 people took part in various trials from 1949 to 1989. In 2008, the UK Ministry of Defence paid 360 veterans £3 million without admitting liability…

Even recently, UK have been actively involved in the development of the lethal VX gas and have conducted numerous lives tests

Similarly, the United States has an extensive and sordid record of using both chemical and biological weapons at home and overseas. Aside from civilian deaths, a number of US serviceman deaths during field testing and other ‘live’ testing…

Powder dissemination of chemical or biological agents

Presently Porton Down scientists produce and test dissemination of biological and/or chemical agents as they did in the past, documents from the UK government contracts registry reveal. Although the information is redacted, it still raises questions as to why the UK military needs to develop a new technique for dissemination of chemical or biological agents via the inhalational route… 

Although the US and UK joined the UN Conventions on the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons, documents prove that their military programs have never ended…

US official lied in Brussels about the Pentagon biolaboratories

Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Health, categorically denied the existence of an American bio-weapons program at a seminar on the threat of biological and chemical weapons. The event was organized by the European Parliament on 7th March in Brussels. 

Asked why the information about the US military bio-laboratories in 25 countries bordering on Russia, China and Iran (the Pentagon’s main rivals) is classified, Kadlec responded: “They are not classified, they are openly available to anyone who wants to look at them.”

WATCH: Full video of my challenge to US official Robert Kadlec’s at the European Parliament in Brussels:

According to the 2005 Agreement between the US DoD and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine the Ukrainian government is prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the US program. The Pentagon has been operating 11 biolaboratories in Ukraine.

Porton Down is just one of the Pentagon-funded military laboratories in 25 countries across the world, where the US Army produces and tests man-made viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN convention. 

These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program– Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.

The Pentagon-funded military facilities are not under the direct control of the host state as the US military and civilian personnel is working under diplomatic cover. 

As the local governments and communities are prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the foreign military program running on their own territory – the full extent of the public risk will always remain unknown. 

Consequently, without being under the direct control of the host state, these Pentagon bio-laboratories put the health of the local population at risk and must be closed.”

Author Dilyana Gaytandzhieva is a Bulgarian-based investigative journalist, specializing in covering conflicts and terrorism in Middle East and Asian conflicts, and international weapons trafficking operations. An earlier version of this story was first published at the military analysis website South Front.

Read the complete report: