Sunday, January 25, 2009

KGB Propaganda About AIDS as a Biological Weapon

"[KGB foreign intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices."--Izvestia (3-19-92)

In the fall of 1987, reputable Soviet scientists disputed the KGB's propaganda about AIDS in the pages of Izvestia. The Soviet scientists didn't want their profession to be misused in the service of the anti-scientific KGB propaganda.

The New York Times (11-5-87) reported:

Soviet scientists have disavowed charges in the Soviet-sponsored press that the AIDS virus was artificially cultivated at a secret American military base.

The scientists, Roald Sagdeyev and Vitali Goldansky, publicly distanced the Soviet Academy of Sciences from the accusations about American responsibility for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. They said they had protested the appearance of Soviet articles that repeated those contentions.

The disavowal was contained in Izvestia, the Soviet government newspaper, on Friday. The timing of the article by the scientists suggested that it had been written in response to complaints raised by Secretary of State George P. Shultz in an Oct. 23 meeting with Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, about Soviet discussion of the AIDS issue...

Charles Redman, a spokesman for the State Department, said the United States welcomed ''this authoritative Soviet disavowal of the false charges that the U.S. is responsible for the creation of the AIDS virus.''

''We note in particular that this disavowal appeared in the official Soviet press.'' [See full text.]

In 1992, the KGB foreign intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov openly admitted to an audience of Russian college students who were considering an intelligence career that the KGB had circulated propaganda that falsely claimed that the U.S. Army made AIDS to kill black people. [For the motives behind Primakov's frank admission to the students see here.]

This is the same kind of lie that NAZI propagandists told when they claimed that Jews carried diseases. This lie is no different than the Medieval anti-Semitic canard that Jews poison the Christians' wells with plague.

More recently, the Russian Communist Gennady Zyuganov tried to blame bird flu on the U.S., although Russians scientists disagree. Scientific information about bird flu can be found at the Voice of America in many different languages, including Russian. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also maintains an excellent Pandemic Flu site.

The discredited former professor Ward Churchill circulated similar lies when he fabricated claims that the U.S. Army deliberately infected the Mandan Indians with Smallpox. Ward Churchill writes historical fabrications designed to discredit the FBI, too. For example, the ex-professor wrote in the KGB-sponsored Covert Action Information Bulletin that the FBI backed death squads that killed 342 Indians. More information about the history of the KGB's AIDS disinformation campaign can be found by searching AIDS, Brent Anderson, Primakov, or Rev. Wright on this blog and scrolling down.

The State Department (1-14-2005) has posted information about the AIDS disinformation campaign on its Chinese Embassy site (Dead link, but see here):

Misinformation

AIDS as a Biological Weapon

Allegations suggest that AIDS virus fabricated by United States

When the AIDS disease was first recognized in the early 1980s, its origins were a mystery. A deadly new disease had suddenly appeared, with no obvious explanation of what had caused it. In such a situation, false rumors and misinformation naturally arose, and Soviet disinformation specialists exploited this situation as well as the musings of conspiracy theorists to help shape their brief but highly effective disinformation campaign on this issue.

The Beginning of Misinformation and Disinformation

In March 1992, then-Russian intelligence chief and later Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov admitted that the disinformation service of the Soviet KGB had concocted the false story that the AIDS virus had been created in a US military laboratory as a biological weapon. The Russian newspaper Izvestiya reported on March 19, 1992:

"[Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices."

The Soviets eventually abandoned the AIDS disinformation campaign under pressure from the U.S. government in August 1987.

The Real Origins of AIDS

In the mid-1980s, there was still considerable confusion about how AIDS had developed, although scientists universally agreed that it was a naturally occurring disease, not one that was man-made. In the intervening years, science has done much to solve this mystery. There is now strong scientific evidence that the AIDS virus originated as a subspecies of a virus that commonly infects the western equatorial African chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes troglodytes. An article in the February 4, 1999, issue of Nature magazine called "Origin of HIV-1 in the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes troglodytes," explained how scientists used mitochondrial DNA analysis to determine that "all HIV-1 strains known to infect man" were closely related to a simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) found in the Pan troglodytes troglodytes chimpanzee. The article also notes that the natural range of Pan troglodytes troglodytes chimpanzees "coincides precisely with the areas of HIV-1 group endemicity." The less common HIV-2, which also causes AIDS, had previously been determined to be related to a virus infecting another African primate, the sooty mangebey.

Dr. Beatrice Hahn of the University of Alabama and her colleagues made this discovery after analyzing frozen blood and tissue samples from four chimpanzees, including a lab chimp named Marilyn, which had died in 1985. Modern tests for HIV reactivity were not available at that time, and Marilyn's tissue and blood samples were rediscovered only in 1998, making the new analysis possible.

Dr. Hahn and her colleagues estimate that SIV may have existed in Pan troglodytes troglodytes chimpanzees for as long as several hundred thousand years. Although it can not be known with certainty how the virus gained a foothold in humans, hunting chimpanzees for food, which is common in west equatorial Africa, could have provided a source for transmission from chimpanzees to humans.

Other scientific discoveries place the oldest known human case of HIV as occurring in 1959. A February 5, 1998, article in Nature, "An African HIV-1 sequence from 1959 and implications for the origin of the epidemic," reported that a plasma sample obtained in early 1959 from an adult Bantu male living in what is now Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRG) had tested positive for HIV-1.

In 2000, scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory used their powerful supercomputers to analyze the relationships among various strains of HIV-1. Their calculations showed that the main HIV-1 virus probably established itself in humans in about 1930, as explained in an article in the June 8, 2000, issue of Science magazine called, "Timing the Ancestor of the HIV-1 Pandemic Strains."

"Thus, although a simian immunodeficiency virus appears to have existed for very long periods of time in Pan troglodytes troglodytes chimpanzees, it did not lead to a pandemic in humans before the 20th century. The beginnings of modernization and urbanization in western equatorial Africa in the early 1900s may have contributed to the rise of the AIDS pandemic. Between 1900 and 1961, the population of what is now Kinshasa, DRC increased approximately 100 times, from a few thousand in 1900 to 420,000 in 1961. This exponential growth in urbanization and related dislocations of traditional rural life may have led to conditions that were conducive to the spread of AIDS. Such possibilities are explored at greater length in an article "Origin of HIV Type 1 in Colonial French Equatorial Africa?" published in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (volume 16, number 1, 2000, pp. 5-8)."

Thus, it is clear that:

-HIV-1, the virus that caused the AIDS pandemic, could not be man-made because direct evidence shows that AIDS has existed in humans at least since 1959 and scientific analysis shows that it was probably present some 75 years ago, which is long before humans had the means to genetically engineer microbes.

-HIV-1 is very closely related to a similar virus found in equatorial West African chimpanzees

-The scientific evidence indicates that the HIV-1 virus resulted from cross-species transmission, which is known to occur in other human diseases, including influenza, plague, tuberculosis, and many other diseases, especially since this species of virus has a strong predilection for frequent mutation, making adoption to humans relatively easy.

-Social and economic conditions in western equatorial Africa changed dramatically in the 20th century, which could explain why the AIDS pandemic emerged at this time and not previously.

Created: January 14, 2005

2 Comments:

Blogger hank22077 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:32 PM  
Blogger hank22077 said...

I thought that for several years scientists had denied the suspicion of ape to human contact being a possible cause of AIDS, then I read this article: http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/slideshow-aids-retrospective, on webmd; stating that it was part of the timeline. So upon Googling the theory I found this article. I know there's still alot of uncertainty, but I'm blown away by this.

3:35 PM  

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