Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli: Virginia's Rasputin

"[KGB chief 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 (3-10-92)

"[In America, attorney Theodore Strecker] imagined that traitorous American doctors, United Nations bureaucrats, and Soviet officials were involved in a gigantic conspiracy to destroy the United States with biological warfare. He wrote, 'We have allowed the United Nations World Health Organization to combine with traitors in the United States National Institute of Health to start a Soviet Union attack.'

Mr. Strecker claimed that the 'War on Cancer' led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) was a cover for developing AIDS. He wrote, 'the virologists of WHO [the World Health Organization], NCI [the U.S. National Institute of Cancer], and the NIH, have written in plain English their plan for conquest of America and are presently executing it disguised as cancer research.'"--"AIDS as a biological weapon," America.gov (1-14-05)

This is a picture of Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. He claims to be a "conservative," but Cuccinelli is actually a radical conspiracy theorist with considerable legal authority who is undermining scientific research by promoting the notorious canard that man-made global warming is a giant conspiracy perpetrated by greedy climate scientists who land generous research grants by claiming there is global warming. The Russian tabloid Pravda spreads the same ignorant garbage, so this is really troublesome.

The real scientific hoax is actually being perpetrated by Attorney General Cuccinelli, his political supporters, and his financial sponsors, who are persecuting the famous climate scientist Dr. Mann and discrediting climate science at taxpayer expense. Perhaps the Attorney General hopes to get more power and political donations by manipulating people who don't keep up on scientific research, or perhaps he is equally ignorant about modern scientific discoveries. Unfortunately, I voted for him; but I didn't know that he would oppress scientists instead of prosecuting criminals. Really, Cuccinelli seems like a political criminal to me for his false prosecution of Dr. Mann.

Cuccinelli's vicious and destructive campaign to spread pseudoscience and to discredit American researchers and scientific organizations reminds me of the Soviet KGB's AIDS conspiracy theory. Like Cuccinelli, the KGB spread lies about the "plots" of "crafty" Pentagon scientists who allegedly made the AIDS virus as an instrument of genocide.

The KGB's code name for their active measures campaign was Operation Infektion. The CIA believes that the KGB campaign actually was started by KGB officers stationed in the U.S. Read the CIA's unclassified report, "Operation INFEKTION: Soviet Bloc Intelligence and Its AIDS Disinformation Campaign."

Some American conspiracists also spread similar AIDS canards about U.S. government agencies. (See the U.S. gov document below.) Canards about the alleged "plots" of American scientists remind me of Stalin's "Doctors' Plot" and of the medieval anti-Semitic canard that Jews poison the wells of Christians.

I've had my fill of the KGB's AIDS propaganda, and I've had my fill of Attorney General Cuccinelli's wasteful and destructive, state-sponsored campaign of ignorance and defamation.

According to the Russian physicist Eduard Kruglyakov, the head of the Pseudoscience Commission at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian politicians are sometimes manipulated by pseudoscientific charlatans. Dr. Kruglyakov compares these advisors to the charlatan Gregori Rasputin, who manipulated Tsar Nicholas by pretending that he could control the Tsarevich's haemophilia.

RIA Novosti (7-8-10) recently reported Dr. Kryuglyakov's views:

Rasputin-style infiltration into the upper echelons of power remains a problem even in post-Soviet Russia. 'In the Kremlin there were whole groups of—I’m scared of calling them charlatans—but mystics, astrologists. These were prominent people—generals. The 1990s were an analogue of Rasputin’s time,' said [Eduard Kruglyakov, the head of the Pseudoscience Commission at the Russian Academy of Sciences]. Several appointments made by Boris Yeltsin suggested that he sought advice from odd sources. For instance, Yeltsin made General Georgi Rogozin, an ex-KGB officer and star-gazer, the deputy head of his Presidential Security Service. Rogozin led a team of 12 astrologers who would draw on their expertise to counsel the president.

America.gov has a good site that explains the AIDS conspiracy theory. Attorney General Cuccinelli should read this report and look in the mirror:

14 January 2005

AIDS as a biological weapon

(begin text)

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 in their media under pressure from the U.S. government in August 1987.

In addition to the Soviet disinformation specialists, a tiny handful of fringe-group conspiracy theorists also espoused the false charge that the AIDS virus had been created as a biological weapon. One of them was Mr. Theodore Strecker, an attorney in the United States, who had a brother, Robert, who was a physician in Los Angeles. Theodore wrote a manifesto, "This is a Bio-Attack Alert" on March 28, 1986 (http://www.umoja-research.com/bio-attack_doc.htm). He imagined that traitorous American doctors, United Nations bureaucrats, and Soviet officials were involved in a gigantic conspiracy to destroy the United States with biological warfare. He wrote, "We have allowed the United Nations World Health Organization to combine with traitors in the United States National Institute of Health to start a Soviet Union attack."

Mr. Strecker claimed that the "War on Cancer" led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) was a cover for developing AIDS. He wrote, "the virologists of WHO [the World Health Organization], NCI [the U.S. National Institute of Cancer], and the NIH, have written in plain English their plan for conquest of America and are presently executing it disguised as cancer research."

Mr. Strecker saw the Soviet Union at the heart of this alleged conspiracy:

"This is an attempt to exhaust America with hatred, struggle, want, confusion, and inoculation of disease. The enemy intends to control our population with disease, make us dependant upon their remedies, engineer each birth, and reduce America to a servant of the Supreme Soviet."

Mr. Strecker sent his manifesto to the president and vice president of the United States, governors of several states, and various U.S. government departments, urging them to "retake the virus labs using force is necessary" and other dramatic emergency measures. It did not have the galvanizing effect he had hoped.

Other conspiracy theorists have espoused confused theories similar to those of the Streckers.

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, "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 know 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, "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.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ani said...

There are many other things Cuccinelli should be working on than this global warming conspiracy that has been going on for what is it, 150 years or so. Who shot JFK, where are the space aliens at area 51, Sept 11 is a gov plot, etc.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

I am so ashamed that I voted for this creep.

Obama's association with that minister who claimed the US made AIDS to kill blacks really turned me off, but now here is a pseudoscientific conspiracy on the right.

Cuccinelli is really like those conspiracists you mention, except that he is a law enforcement official, so it's much worse.

A conspiracist in Australia named John Costella helped host the Anthony Watts tour in Australia. Costella wrote a book on the Climategate Emails. He is also a 9-11 truther. He questions the NASA account of the moon landing, the official account of the Kennedy murder.

Instead of using his power to educate people and help us find solutions, he is exploiting fear so he can get money and power.

These denialists often call the climate scientists communists, but really they are the ones who act like communists with their conspiracy theories about "crafty" scientists. These are the tactics of Stalin's Doctor's Plot" and of the KGB AIDS hoax. It's not really different than the old anti-Semitic canards about Jews poisoning wells.

4:17 AM  

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