According to International Reporting Project, “A state-of-the-art medical research laboratory is under construction in a suburb of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s business capital, using U.S. funds aimed at helping reorient former biological weapons-related research under the Soviet Union to peaceful public health uses, according to officials involved with the project.”
The facility is slated to open in 2015 on the spot of a former Soviet-era anthrax laboratory. The following Salon article cautions that these dangerous diseases could fall in the ’wrong hands’, suggesting that the US and other western nations are ” keen to keep sensitive materials and knowledge in the right hands and brains.”
One needs only look to history to see that western nations are just as dangerous and willing to play with biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons as any so-called ’terrorist’ group.
Journalist Rachel Shabi reminds readers of uses of chemical weapons in light of the western push to intervene in Syria, and the inherent hypocrisy:
Was there a red line on chemical weapons when the US used depleted-uranium ammunition in Fallujah, Iraq? Was there a red line when Israel deployed white phosphorous in Gaza in 2008? Or when Saddam Hussein, then a western ally, gassed the Iranians and then his own people during the 1980s? This arbitrary and self-serving declaration of what’s acceptable is precisely what makes the US so lacking in credibility when it comes to preaching codes of warfare to the Middle East.
The new facility is claimed to become a “waystation to fight the global war on disease”. Based on how well the wars on ’famine’, ’homelessness’, ’drugs’ and ’terrorism’ have gone so far, the public should remain skeptical about any ’war on disease’.
Red Ice Creations
The US is building a bioweapons lab in Kazakhstan
By Alex Pasternack | Salon
In 1992, Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, a biologist from the Soviet Union, boarded a flight in Almaty, then Kazakhstan’s capital, for New York. When Dr. Alibekov—now known as Ken Alibek—sat down with the CIA, he had a terrifying secret to reveal: that bio weapons program the Soviet Union stopped in the 1980′s hadn’t actually stopped at all. He knew this because he had led Moscow’s efforts to develop weapons-grade anthrax. In fact, he said, by 1989—around the time that Western leaders were urging the USSR to halt its secret bioweapons program, known as Biopreparat—the Soviet program had dwarfed the US’s by many orders of magnitude. (This is disregarding the possibility that the US was also developing some of these weapons in secret, and, like Russia, still is.)
One big problem, he added, was that, like the stockpiles of nuclear weapons left in the dust of the Soviet Union, the materials and the expertise needed to make a bioweapon—anthrax, smallpox, cholera, plague, hemorrhagic fevers, and so on—could still be lying about, for sale to the highest bidder. Of those scientists, Alibek told the Times in 1998, ”We have lost control of them.”
Today, biologists who worked in the former Soviet Union—like those who responded to a case of the plague across the border in Kyrgyzstan this week—are likely to brush Alibek’s fears aside. But they’ll also tell you that the fall of the Soviet Union devastated their profession, leaving some once prominent scientists in places like Almaty scrambling for new work. That sense of desperation, underlined by Alibek’s defection to the US, has helped pump hundreds of millions of dollars into a Pentagon program to secure not just nuclear materials but chemical and biological ones, in a process by which Washington became, in essence, their highest bidder.
This explains the hulking concrete structure I recently visited at a construction site on the outskirts of Almaty. Set behind trees and concrete and barbed-wire, Kazakhstan’s new Central Reference Laboratory will partly replace the aging buildings nearby where the USSR kept some of its finest potential bioweapons—and where scientists study those powerful pathogens today. When it opens in September 2015, the $102-million project laboratory is meant to serve as a Central Asian way station for a global war on dangerous disease. And as a project under that Pentagon program, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the lab will be built, and some of its early operation funded, by American taxpayers.
The far-flung biological threat reduction lab may look like a strange idea at a time of various sequester outbreaks, but officials say it’s an important anti-terror investment, a much-needed upgrade to a facility that has been described as an aging, un-secure relic of the 1950s, and one that the Defense Dept. fears can’t keep pace in an era of WMD.
From a security and safety perspective, the new lab represents a giant leap. When documentarian Simon Reeve visited the existing facility in 2006, he saw Soviet-era buildings and security measures not likely to intimidate a determined terrorist—or a scientist—from sneaking some anthrax or plague out into the wild. Small locks on fridges were all that kept deadly vials from a fast escape.
Read the full article at: salon.com