By Phil Giraldi
If one were to ask the question “Which nation in the world commits the most war crimes?” the general international response might well be Israel or the United States. The problem would be working out a methodology for defining “the most.” If Israel attacks Syria four times in a week, is that four separate war crimes or only part of one continuous war crime? As the United States has military bases in both Syria and Iraq that the respective governments have not authorized, and have in fact asked the Americans to leave, is that a single war crime of illegal invasion and occupation or a continuous one punctuated only by the occasions when U.S. troops kill a few of the natives?
In any event, neither Israel nor the United States has ever been held accountable for the war crimes they have committed, to include shooting and bombing civilians, hospitals, schools at random and occasionally wedding parties and other social gatherings. President George W. Bush even started a couple of wars in places like Afghanistan and Iraq based on fabricated “intelligence.” The greatly beloved Barack Obama did the same to Libya and Syria. Both are now regarded as venerable elder statesmen even though they should be in prison. There is, lately, some talk among Democrats of seeing wife Michelle Obama run in 2024 for the highest office in the land. And is that Hillary Clinton I see waiting in the wings for a second try?
Ironically, talking heads like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have now begun to bleat about Russian war crimes in Ukraine without a trace of hindsight. It is now a given that the U.S. government, such as it is, has developed a taste for blood and could easily do something stupid vis-à-vis Russia. The blood lust is completely bipartisan, with the few sensible voices in Congress drowned out by the drumroll in high places accompanying the avalanche of propaganda pouring out of the mainstream media. Only Tucker Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard seem inclined to challenge the basic premise, which is to raise the question: “Since Russia does not threaten us, why are we doing this? Do we really want a nuclear war over Ukraine?”
It has long been axiomatic that the first victim of war propaganda is the truth, but the United States only needs the stimulus of the possibility of war or conflict to begin its pattern of lying. And it is quite prepared to designate enemies that in reality do not threaten the country. It did so to bring about a greatly enlarged U.S. commitment in Vietnam and also, throughout the Cold War, by deliberate CIA overestimates of the power and reach of the Soviet Union. Since 9/11 there has been a succession of presidents who have lied about nearly everything relating to national security and foreign policy, leading to invasions, assassinations, other types of interventions and a “sanctions”-prone government that has denied ordinary citizens of food and medicines while leaving the leadership of the targeted countries untouched.
One of the recent lies is a replay of the old “let’s get Saddam Hussein” playbook. Remember those savage Iraqi soldiers tearing Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators and throwing them onto the floor? Of course, it was all a lie concocted by the Kuwaiti ruling family and the U.S. government’s largely neocon accomplices. Now we are learning that the vile Russians bombed a maternity hospital—except, of course, that it turned out to be completely untrue. And the media is now exclaiming that “Russia is putting the planet on the brink of World War III!” Actually, it was the United States and NATO, but one hates to dispute what is an apparently profitable and well-received story line.
But the best bit of lying has to be the ongoing propaganda war over 26 biological laboratories in Ukraine funded at least in part by the Pentagon. “Nothing to see here,” says the Biden White House, while Russia is saying, “Just a minute, folks.”
The controversy began when the U.S. government’s State Department No. 3, Victoria Nuland, recently admitted to a congressional panel that the labs exist and also added that Ukraine possesses chemical and biological weapons. She then realized her error and both backtracked and elaborated that, “Uh, Ukraine has, uh, biological research facilities [and] we are now in fact quite concerned that Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to, uh, gain control of [those labs], so we are working with the Ukrainiahhhns [sic] on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.”
The existence of the labs themselves may be linked to the legacy of the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, when, by one account, the U.S. provided assistance through its “Cooperative Threat Reduction Program” to manage the existing bio- and chemical labs lest their toxic chemicals and pathogens fall into the wrong hands. But the U.S. has actually done much more than that. Ron Unz observes how “Over the decades America had spent over $100 billion dollars on ‘biodefense,’ the euphemistic term for biowarfare development, and [has] had the world’s oldest and largest such program, one of the few ever deployed in real life combat.”
Currently, the U.S. government claims blandly that the labs, which are run by America’s Department of Defense, remain active for “peaceful research and the development of vaccines.” The U.S. Embassy in Kiev described the activity in greater detail as working “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.”
Some Ukrainians have, however, been suspicious of their purpose, particularly as their activities are secret and are managed by the Pentagon rather than some civilian agency. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who held the post under President Viktor Yanukovych, spoke about how the decision to start collaborating with the Americans was taken by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s office and subsequently implemented under President Viktor Yushchenko in 2005. It was generally believed in the government that the agreement was focused on Ukrainian biosecurity, but all its related activities were and are classified, and Ukrainian citizens were not even allowed to work together with the Americans.
There was some pushback on the labs, to include a cursory inspection in 2010-2012 and, by 2013, the Ukrainian government sent an official letter demanding that the labs be closed. The 2014 regime change intervened however, and the decision was never implemented by the new regime.
It should be noted that if one is to protect against toxins and pathogens one must first create them in order to manipulate them or prevent them. If one thinks back to the notorious anthrax scare in the United States in 2001, investigators determined that the lethal strain of the pathogen had actually been created in a U.S. Army biological weapons lab at Fort Detrick, Md. One might also consider Covid and the widely held belief that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been manipulating various coronavirus strains to make them more contagious and lethal.
Nuland clearly admitted that there were U.S.-funded bioweapons in Ukraine when she expressed concern that Russia might occupy one of the labs and be tempted to acquire the material for its own use against Kiev. And the Biden administration, clearly embarrassed by the admission, has attempted to turn the tables by rejecting Russian suggestions that the labs might be seeking to design biological pathogens that target certain ethnic groups, which is why the existing labs have been placed all around the world, including Ukraine.
As far back as 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his concerns about U.S. collection of biological material from ethnic Russians. As Unz puts it, this is “certainly a very suspicious project for our government to have undertaken.”
Biden and company are now trying to divert the public’s attention away from the biolabs story, which is in any event being ignored by most of the mainstream media, who instead incessantly repeat that Putin is a war criminal. It is all a bit of a pot calling the kettle black given the horrific U.S. record globally over the past 20 years.
If these Pentagon funded laboratories are indeed involved in propagating mutated strains of pathogens like anthrax and plague as biological weapons, like may have taken place at Wuhan, it would be a violation of Article I of the “UN Biological Weapons Convention,” making the U.S. government indisputably a war criminal, with its leaders subject to the death sentence under the Nuremberg Laws which were in large part established by the U.S. government itself in 1946.
Watching Biden’s serial blunders and war crimes continuously roll out before our very eyes, former Reagan administration Treasury official Paul Craig Roberts has sadly observed that, “The evil that resides in Washington is unprecedented in human history.”
Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.