Avian flu : Engdahl : “Rumsfeld stands to make a fortune”


Richard Moore


Is Avian Flu another Pentagon Hoax?
by F. William Engdahl

October 30, 2005

No sooner are indictments being handed down to Scooter
Libby, the Chief of Staff of the Vice President of the
United States for lies and coverup of information used
deliberately to suppress the fact the Bush Administration
had no 'smoking gun' to prove Saddam Hussein was building
a nuclear arsenal, but a new scandal is surfacing every
bit as outrageous and ultimately, likely also criminal.

Against all scientific prudence and normal public health
procedure, the world population is being whipped up into a
fear frenzy by irresponsible public health officials from
the US Administration to WHO to the United States Centers
for Disease Control. They all warn about the imminent
danger that a malicious viral strain might spread from
infected birds, primarily in Vietnam and other Asian
centers, to contaminate the entire human species in
pandemic proportions. Often the flu pandemic of 1918 which
is said to have killed 18 million worldwide, is cited as
an example of what 'might' lie in store for us.

On November 1, appropriately enough the day after
Halloween, President Bush is scheduled to visit the
National Institutes of Health in Bethesda Maryland to
announce his Administration's strategy of how it will
prepare for the next flu epidemic, whether from Bird Flu
or some other strain. The plan has been a year in the
making. On October 28 the Senate passed an $8 billion
emergency funding bill to address the growing Avian Flu
panic. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt,
in a moment of candor during the debate on the Senate bill
told the press, 'If it isn't the current H5N1 virus that
leads to an influenza pandemic, at some point in our
nation's future, another virus will.' In the meantime
taxpayer billions will have gone to a handful of
pharmaceutical giants positioned to profit. None stands to
reap more lucre than the Swiss-US pharmaceutical giant
Roche Holdings of Basle.

The only medicine we are told which reduce the symptoms of
general or seasonal influenza and 'possibly' might reduce
symptoms also of Avian Flu, is a drug called Tamiflu.
Today the giant Swiss pharmaceutical firm, Roche, holds
the sole license to manufacture Tamiflu. Due to the media
panic, the order books at Roche today are filled to
overflowing. Roche recently refused a request from the US
Congress to lift its exclusive patent rights to allow
other drug manug´facturers to produce Tamiflu with the
improbable excuse that it was in effect, too complex for
others to rapidly produce.

However, the real point of interest is the company in
California who developed Tamiflu and gave the marketing
rights to its patented discovery to Roche.

'Rummy Flu'

Tamiflu was developed and patented in 1996 by a California
biotech firm, Gilead Sciences Inc. Gilead is a NASDAQ
(GILD) listed stock company which prefers to maintain a
low profile in the current rush to Tamiflu. That might be
because of who is tied to Gilead. In 1997, before he
became US Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld was
named Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences, where he
remained until early 2001 when he became Defense
Secretary. Rumsfeld had been on the board of Gilead since
1988 according to a January 3 1997 company press release.

An as-yet-unconfirmed report is that Rumsfeld while
Secretary of Defense also purchased an additional stock in
his former company, Gilead Sciences Inc., worth $18
million, making him one of its largest if not the largest
stock owners today.

The Secretary of Defense, the man who allegedly supported
the use of contrived intelligence to justify the war on
Iraq, is now poised to reap huge gains for a flu panic his
Administration has done everything it can to promote. It
would be useful to know whether the Pentagon's successor
to Douglas Feith's Office of Special Plans developed the
strategy of biowarfare behind the current Avian Flu panic.
Perhaps some enterprising Congressional committee might
look into the entire subject of plausible conflicts of
interest regarding Secretary Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld stands to make a fortune on royalties as a
panicked world population scrambles to buy a drug
worthless in curing effects of alleged Avian Flu. The
model suggests the parallel to the brazen corruption of
Halliburton Corporation whose former CEO is Vice President
Dick Cheney. Cheney's company has so far gotten billions
worth of US construction contracts in Iraq and elsewhere.
Coincidence that Cheney's closest political friend is
Defense Secretary and Avian Flu beneficiary Don Rumsfeld?
It is another example of what someone has called the
principle of modern US corrupt special interest politics:
'Concentrate the benefits; diffuse the costs' President
Bush has ordered the US Government to buy $2 billion worth
of Gilead Science's Tamilflu.

GMO Chickens come home to roost

But Tamiflu conflicts are perhaps just the tip of the
iceberg of the Avian Flu story. There is high-level
biological research underway in Britain and presumably
also the United States to develop a genetic engineering
method to make chickens and other birds 'resistant' to
Avian Flu viruses.

British scientists are reportedly genetically engineering
chickens to produce birds resistant to the lethal strains
of the H5N1 virus devastating poultry in the Far East.
Laurence Tiley, Professor of Microular Virology at
Cambridge University and Helen Sang of the Roslin
Institute in Scotland are involved in developing
'transgenic chickens' which would have small pieces of
genetic material inserted into chicken eggs to allegedly
make the chickens H5N1 resistant.

Tiley told the Times of London on October 29, 'Once we
have regulatory approval, we believe it will only take
between four and five years to breed enough chickens to
replace the entire world (chicken) population.' The real
question in this dubious undertaking is which GMO giants
are underwriting the research and development of GMO
chickens and who will control their products. It is
increasingly clear that the entire saga of Avian Flu is
one whose dimensions are only slowly coming to light. What
we can see so far is not at all pretty.

Global Research Contributing Editor William Engdahl is
author of 'A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics
and the New World Order, Pluto Press and the soon-to-be
released book, 'Seeds of Destruction: The Geopolitics of
Gene-ocide'. He can be contacted through his website,


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