The Biological Weapons Convention does not prohibit biological weapons.
An overlooked loophole allows development, manufacture and stockpiling for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes
Deborah G. Rosenbaum, the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological defense programs (ASD(NCB)), testified to the House subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations on April 1, 2022, that “I can say to you unequivocally there are no offensive biologic weapons in the Ukraine laboratories that the United States has been involved with.” With this testimony, the US Department of Defense has made a clear statement that there were no OFFENSIVE biological weapons that the US was involved with. Did you catch that slight-of-hand? No offensive biological weapons. Why would the US admit to such a thing? Wouldn’t that set off alarm bells in the international community? The answer is that developing and even stockpiling biological weapons is allowed under Article I of the convention on the prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC). This international convention (treaty) allows that the development, production and stockpiling of “defensive” biological weapons are perfectly legal.
In order to understand this, we have to carefully parse what the treaty actually says. To do that, one must remove the word salad from Article I above and re-write it to say what they are saying, without saying it. So, let’s examine Article 1 by breaking it down into parts IA and IB.
Article 1A: Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain:
(1) Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of procurement.
(2) Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes in armed conflict.
Article 1B: Each State Party to this Convention can develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain:
(1) Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of procurement for the justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes.
Any government could drive a train through this loop-hole. As long as a signatory of this convention is developing, stockpiling, acquiring or retaining biological or toxin weapons for PROTECTION (undefined what constitutes defensive versus offensive bioweapons), they are not breaking the convention. Wow. As someone who has spent much of my (post 9-11) professional life in this sector of biodefense, I had never examined or really thought about the actual wording of the treaty. And I have no clear idea of what a “defensive” bioweapon would be. The term seems to be a non-sequitur. If a bioweapon exists, to my mind it is intrinsically capable for offensive use. But apparently, if a bioweapon is for “prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes” then it is defensive in nature. This appears to be another case of Orwellian twisting the meaning of words by our government, but is entirely consistent with prior USG and “deep state” communications about the Ukranian biolabs that acknowledge their existence and a US DoD/DTRA role in funding them. Of course the implication embedded in this careful word parsing by ASD(NCB) Rosenbaum is that the United States Department of Defense has been developing “defensive” bioweapons in the Ukraine biolabs. And based on her resume, it appears to me that she would likely have first hand knowledge and appears to have had a hand in supervising some aspect of this activity. This is consistent with the official statement by the US Ukranian embassy that ““The Biological Threat Reduction Program’s priorities in Ukraine are to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern and to continue to ensure Ukraine can detect and report outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens before they pose security or stability threats”.
As an aside, an unconfirmed source (active Lt. Colonel, US Army) has told us that the bombing of these sites which apparently occurred soon after the initial Russian invasion of Ukraine was not performed by Russia, but rather that the bombing was “by our side”. This is consistent with the initially widely reported (but now largely internet scrubbed) “Russian” attacks of these “biolabs” during the initial wave of attack. Giving the benefit of the doubt, such action would pretty much be what one would expect, from a tactical and strategic standpoint, even if all activities at those “biolabs” were only “to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern”, lest any materials, documents or computer files become at risk for falling into Russian hands where they might be weaponized for political advantage.
Of additional relevance is that senior DoD/DTRA colleagues have repeatedly told me that it is the position of that agency that “non-lethal” or “incapacitating” biowarfare agent development and deployment is not prohibited by the BWC. Good to know, but not consistent with how I read the actual language of the treaty.
The following provisions, as described by the United Nations do not include biological weapons or toxins that are for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes (U. N. Staff). Not including such agents in the United Nations provisions of this treaty is a glaring omission and can only have occurred by intent. So, as long as a country is involved in the following activities for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes, they are not violating the convention.
So, for the purposes of prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes, a country did not need to destroy their stockpiles after signing this convention. They could transfer biological and toxin weapons, as long as they were for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes. Another loophole to the convention or at the very least, a technical flaw.
So, here we are. Now the carefully parsed wording of ASD(NCB) Rosenbaum makes a lot more sense. Decoded and paraphrased, what she is saying is that, whatever they were doing, the US DoD together with the government of Ukraine was most definitely not in violation of the biowarfare convention.
One of the fascinating aspects about the Department of Defense admitting that they were “assisting” Ukraine with their biological weapons program -using US taxpayer dollars, is the reporting on the story itself. These days, when censorship and propaganda by US and other western allies is rampant and actively defended as a necessity to “defend democracy”, the tell can be in how the propagandists at Wikipedia and the legacy media respond to a story. A basic internet search on April 23, 2022, using Google reveals that only the Washington examiner article mentioned above (Brest, 2022) comes up regarding the US biolabs. Duck Duck Go searching on the Brave browser also brings up Epoch Times coverage. Yet I have a clear recollection of reading and hearing about this in multiple main stream news sources that day of the testimony. Those articles have apparently been “disappeared” from the Internet of things. <NB: As if we needed yet another example to prove the point that we need a new internet based on decentralized blockchain peer-to-peer technology.>
Furthermore, the “factchecker” group Politifact was quick to run a “fact check,” that refutes (without any actual evidence) that “The U.S. is not developing biological weapons in coordination with Ukraine, as Russian officials and far-right media outlets in the U.S. have claimed (McCarthy, 2022)”. I do not believe it is a coincidence that this article was published on the SAME EXACT day as the Congressional testimony by ASD(NCB) Rosenbaum, who said that there are no offensive biologic weapons in the Ukraine laboratories that the United States has been involved with. Subtle but key difference, as discussed above.
Also of note is the position of Wikipedia on this topic, which covers the topic only as a “conspiracy theory” and completely neglects to mention the actual documented fact that the US DoD/DTRA was funding a broad network of “biolabs” in Ukraine prior to the recent Russian invasion.
It appears based on primary information that the US DoD, having admitted to their involvement in these biolabs to Congress, is evidently either busy erasing that admission by skewing Internet search results, or is working with US intelligence community-associated “fact checkers” (like Politifact) to re-write a public record which is the opposite of what has already been admitted by US Government employees in congressional testimony. For the sake of trying to make sense out of this tangled web, it is useful to assume (or “hypothesize”) that the long arm of the CIA or some other three letter organization is involved in the systemic removal of all evidence of US involvement in bioweapons development.
The BWC was written in 1972; that is fifty years ago. Gain-of-function research, molecular biology techniques, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are light-years more advanced relative to when the treaty was written. The famous “Asilomar Conference” that first defined ethical limits for recombinant DNA research occurred in 1975, three years later. The ability to create truly horrific new viruses is no longer “rocket science.” It is something scientists in most laboratories (and even those living in the dark world of “garage biology”), using reagents easily available world-wide, can readily achieve. The dystopian cyberpunk movie made in 1995 called “Twelve Monkeys,” directed by Terry Gilliam (whose vision was of a deadly virus that had been released upon the world with catastrophic consequences) could easily be our future. If anyone needs validation of the possibility of that vision coming to pass, the events involving SARS-CoV-2 post September 2019 has clearly provided the necessary evidence.
Of note is that Israel has one of the most advanced offensive biological warfare capabilities in the world. It is assumed that the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona is at the centre of this program, also developing vaccines and antidotes for chemical and biological warfare. Israel is not a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
But the question remains, what can be done?
The first and foremost way forward is to strengthen the BWC. There have been eight review conferences over the past fifty years to fix some of the more obvious issues of the original BWC. These have been largely unsuccessful. However, in the early review conferences a number of changes were made that enhanced the convention, these include:
Exchange data on high-containment research centers and laboratories or on centers and laboratories that specialize in permitted biological activities related to the convention.
Exchange information on abnormal outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Encourage the publication of biological research results related to the BWC and promote the use of knowledge gained from this research.
Promote scientific contact on biological research related to the convention” .
Declare legislation, regulations, and "other measures" pertaining to the BWC.
Declare offensive or defensive biological research and development programs in existence since January 1, 1946.
Declare vaccine production facilities” (Staff, 2022).
Unfortunately, these changes to the BWC have been unsuccessful as the vast majority of states-parties have consistently failed to submit declarations on their activities and facilities (Staff, 2022). The ninth BWC review conference is scheduled to be held in August 2022.
There are many ways the BWC could be strengthened. The BWC receives minimal funding from member states and has a minimal staff. There are no processes for inspection of facilities. There are no penalties or consequences for not submitting declarations of offensive or defensive biological research programs. There is evidently no method for making the public aware of where these biological weapons research programs reside.
Furthermore, human augmentation, gain-of-function research and cyber warfare are new technologies that need to be considered as part of the BWC or in a separate treaty. They have the potential to both revolutionize warfare and destroy civilizations.
As the ninth review conference of the BWC approaches, attention to these issues must be brought to the fore.
First and foremost, the propaganda regarding this treaty must be addressed. For instance, take the following two passages from Wikipedia
The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), is a disarmament treaty that effectively bans biological and toxin weapons by prohibiting their development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use (Wiki).
This is the opening statement on Wiki about the BWC. Note that there no mention in Wiki that the treaty does allow biological weapons for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes.
The BWC is considered to have established a strong global norm against biological weapons. This norm is reflected in the treaty's preamble, which states that the use of biological weapons would be "repugnant to the conscience of mankind". It is also demonstrated by the fact that not a single state today declares to possess or seek biological weapons, or asserts that their use in war is legitimate (Wiki)
This last sentence is a mis-truth or certainly a mis-representation. As discussed above, most countries are in non-compliance with the reporting requirements added later to the BWC. They have not declared such use, because they are in non-compliance. The Arms Control Association writes: “These endeavors have been largely unsuccessful; the vast majority of states-parties have consistently failed to submit declarations on their activities and facilities”, see (Staff, 2022) for more details.
I believe that all of us have a role to ensure the safety of the world in regards to biological weapons research. There is an upcoming BMC review committee meeting currently scheduled for August of 2022, and the time to apply pressure is now. Succinct and bulleted ideas for creating a more durable and updated BWC are as follows:
The public must be made aware that the BWC has significant loopholes regarding the development of biological weapons for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes, which might be used as a ruse to hide offensive weapon development.
Changes must be made to Wikipedia by editors to correct the mis-truths and misleading statements.
General public interest in this issue must be driven by writing letters to the editors of major newspapers. People writing blogs, website articles, memes and posting on social media posts will create pressure for the legacy media and the BWC review committee to respond.
Israel is not a signatory to the BWC, and they have no plans to sign. There must be consequences for this. The fact that Israel is not a signatory and the significance of this must be a priority for global information distribution. It is reasonable to infer that, due to the close longstanding relationship between the US and Israel, Israel may be acting as a surrogate for US biological weapons research.
Gain-of-function, human augmentation (a subset of trans-humanism) and cyber warfare need to be addressed in either this convention, another existing convention or a new convention or treaty.
The propaganda and censorship surrounding the BWC must be stopped. Transparency is key to good governance at the national and global level. The public has a right to know that the treaty does not cover all biological weapons and that Israel has not signed the treaty.
Pressure and legislation to stop Google and other search engines from removing content that the “deep state” or three letter agencies don’t like must be applied. Public pressure on Congress to enact legislation to keep the Internet search engines from being manipulated by big tech, government national or international intelligence community actors is critical.
The UN is complicit in not being truthful about the BWC. The UN page on this subject does not mention that the treaty does allow for biological weapons for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes (Staff, U.N.).
The BWC has neither penalties for non-compliance nor mechanisms for inspection and verification of compliance. This should be immediately addressed at the next review committee. That non-compliance includes signers to declare legislation, regulations, and "other measures" pertaining to the BWC. These signatories must declare offensive or defensive biological research and development programs in existence since January 1, 1946, and declare related “vaccine” production facilities.
The BWC does not have adequate reporting and investigative processes for infringements of the convention or the budget to do so. This should also be addressed at the next review committee. There should be an adequately budgeted standing committee that systematically inspects signer’s facilities for biological weapons development and stockpiling.
The citizens of United States and the World Community deserve more transparency about the Biological Warfare Convention, and we must insist that it be revisited and updated to cover the current threat horizon and to close the loopholes.
Brest, M. (2022, April 1, 2022). ‘No offensive biologic weapons’ in Ukrainian biolabs US assisted, Pentagon says. Washington Examiner. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/no-offensive-biologic-weapons-in-ukrainian-biolabs-us-assisted-pentagon-says
McCarthy, B. (2022, April 1, 2022). The facts behind the Russian, right-wing narratives claiming Hunter Biden funded biolabs in Ukraine. Politifact. Retrieved from https://www.politifact.com/article/2022/apr/01/facts-behind-russian-right-wing-narratives-claimin/
Staff. (2022a). The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) At A Glance. Retrieved from https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/bwc
Staff, U. N. Biological Weapons Convention. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/disarmament/biological-weapons
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