By Janet Phelan
In May of 2001, six months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the anthrax letters (Amerithrax) in the US, UN Ambassador John Bolton led the boycott to protest the adding of verification measures to the toothless international Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Due to the boycott by the US State Department delegates to this proposal by the BWC ad hoc committee, verification is not a part of the international accord known as the Biological Weapons Convention.
The Biological Weapons Convention purportedly bans the development, production, stockpiling, or acquisition of biological agents or toxins of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes.
In 2011, ten years after the Bolton-led walk-out, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to the BWC, which was in its 7th Review Conference at the United Nations in Geneva. She affirmed the importance of having no verification attached to the BWC, stating that
First, we need to bolster international confidence that all countries are living up to our obligations under the Convention. It is not possible, in our opinion, to create a verification regime that will achieve this goal. But we must take other steps. To begin with, we should revise the Convention’s annual reporting systems to ensure that each party is answering the right questions, such as what we are each all doing to guard against the misuse of biological materials. Countries should also take their own measures to demonstrate transparency…” (Source: State.gov)
The concept of relying on the states who are party to the Convention to do their own reporting on their own compliance has not worked out very well. Indeed, the US has been a primary violator in complying with the self-reporting (known as Confidence Building Measures). The US failed to report its change in legislation governing its domestic biological weapons laws, passed into law as part of the USA PATRIOT Act, in 2002, changes which gave the US government immunity from violating its own bioweapons laws.
According to State Department delegate to the BWC, Chris Park, the US “forgot” to inform the Convention of this radical change, a change which in and of itself potentially constitutes a violation of the BWC. “It was an oversight,” he told me in 2011.
Due to the John Bolton-led boycott, later affirmed by Clinton, there is no way that the Convention can follow through and check whether or not the allegations made by a growing number of individuals, including Dr. Francis Boyle, author of the original (pre-PATRIOT Act) US biological weapons laws, that the Covid-19 virus is a bioweapon which may have had its genesis in part in US labs, have basis in fact and who the culpable parties would be.
If John Bolton had allowed the verification protocol to move forward, or if Hillary Clinton had appeared at the BWC in 2011 and had insisted upon one, we would be in a very different situation today. The efforts to divert official and public attention away from the US’s violations of law in its pursuit of an offensive biological weapons program are now manifesting in a crisis which is taking down whole economies, resulting in many (though we don’t know how many) deaths and increasing alarm concerning the casual violations of law and civil rights that are part and parcel of a world on lockdown. Both parties in the US are involved and culpable. While both parties are attempting to create political currency by pointing the finger at the other side, the fact remains that both have had a hand in creating the legal environment for this to take place.
As a result of the corona crisis, the world is changing and is doing so very rapidly now. Trusting one political side or another to resolve what they both had a hand in creating is frankly lunacy. More and more, we are realizing that we are pretty much on our own. Grassroots, community-based solutions are likely more trustworthy than our politicians are, at this juncture. Social distancing protocols make it more difficult to accomplish the localized communications that might help neighborhoods to find solutions. Difficult, but not impossible. It takes focus and dedicated purpose and an understanding of the forces at play to accomplish this. And it is not something we can defer to our politicians.
Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist and author of the groundbreaking exposé, EXILE. Her articles previously appeared in such mainstream venues as the Los Angeles Times, Orange Coast Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, etc. In 2004, Janet “jumped ship” and now exclusively writes for independent media. She is also the author of two collections of poetry—The Hitler Poems and Held Captive. She resides abroad. You are invited to support her work on Buy Me A Coffee here: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/JanetPhelan
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