Recently, here in Oceania, there’s been a spate of “exclusive” pieces in the national newspaper of record, The Australian, exclaiming that China deliberately released the Covid-19 virus and that they have been in preparation for years for a biological Armageddon. The opening piece of the series, “Chinese military scientists discussed weaponising SARS coronaviruses,” by Sharri Markson, begins with a breathtaking lead:
Chinese military scientists discussed the weaponisation of SARS coronaviruses five years before the COVID-19 pandemic, outlining their ideas in a document that predicted a third world war would be fought with biological weapons.
Pretty shocking stuff to view over a cuppa so early in the morning.
Many following graphs build dramatic tension: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) helped write the document; SARS represents “a new era of genetic weapons”; British and Australian intel types suggest that such inscrutable behavior accounts for “China’s lack of transparency over the origins of COVID-19”; then: product placement — Sharri’s gotta a little bundle of book coming out in September — What Really Happened in Wuhan — that promises to really dish up the dim sum details of their diabolical deedfulness. Suddenly, after we begin to think that the Chinese haven’t been this Fu Man Chu since the opium parlor days of Dr. No, we’re told to be cautious in our performance of the text:
Intelligence agencies suspect COVID-19 may be the result of an inadvertent leak from a Wuhan laboratory, a line of inquiry under active investigation since early 2020. There is no evidence to suggest it was intentionally released.
So, it might have been an accident at the lab — please don’t rush to judgement (and buy my book).
But at the same time, the nefarious machine-translated title of the 2015 “document” must be kept in mind: The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons. This is the sum of all fears for Markson, an award-winning journalist (she once won a Walkley journalism award for revealing an MP’s lovechild to an anxious constituency), who writes for Australia’s conservative version of the New York Times. It should be noted that The Australian is a News Corp publication, owned by Murdoch. The point here is that the nation’s leading newspaper was, with article and those that have followed, including the recent attacks on Dr. Fauci and his relationship to the Wuhan lab in question, was deliberately shaping public opinion with information that was sensational and uncorroborated.
The problem with Markson’s journalism, and the supporting cast of sub-editors, is that the document in question is actually a book, available to the public online. You can read it yourself — here. (Right?) I don’t know about Markson, but I can’t read or write Mandarin. (Maybe that’s part of the revelations of her book-to-come.) However, in keeping with the spirit of machine-delivered information, an English translation of the book can be found at Archive.org. So, the primary author of the book is “the former deputy director of China’s Bureau of Epidemic Prevention, Li Feng,” along with a bunch of other hush-hush highly placed mentionables that seemingly add authoritative weight to the seriousness of the project.
But, ultimately, the terror expressed by Feng, has as its source American research. Specifically, two reports figure into Feng’s analysis: US Air Force Colonel Michael Ainscough’s 2002 paper, “Next Generation Bioweapons: The Technology of Genetic Engineering Applied to Biowarfare and Bioterrorism”; and, a Nature magazine piece (listed under Letters) from 2015, “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses
shows potential for human emergence.” These seem to be the two main pieces that alarmed Dr. Feng, and out of which his book develops the scientific-seeming notion that an “enemy” could reverse engineer a virus, and that it may be that SARS itself was man-made virus.
Out of this, Markson seems to have developed the super-notion that SARS 2 (Covid-19) was man-made. In a heavily supportive June 7, 2021 editorial, “Fauci must answer hard
questions on Covid origins,” the head cheeses at the Australian open with: “So Donald Trump was right.” They go on to suggest that Dr. Fauci secretly helped the Chinese set up the Wuhan lab and knew that they were conducting gain-of-function research on the batshit-driven Coronavirus that could lead to a pandemic. The editor tells us that in Markson’s upcoming book, an internal memo reveals that the Chinese had production of Covid-19 virus in place before the outbreak. And what’s more, they recommend that Fauci himself be gain-of-functioned: “Dr. Fauci must be quizzed thoroughly to provide every possible useful insight.” Ouch.
I don’t know what Markson and the Australian are up to. It’s about the strangest one-two journo-editor combo I’ve read since Kathy Scruggs reported for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Olympic Park bombing in 1996, using so-called Voice of God reporting. Markson’s got gods aplenty on her side, and they’re all crazy. The Australian’s reports from May to now have been widely carried outside of Australia, except in fringe rightwing publications. The science-free reporting couldn’t have been more daft than if Borat’s teenaged daughter-reporter Tatar, after getting the official Trump Administration word on the origins of Covid-19 from Rudy Giuliani, had gone back to Kazakhstan and revealed, Glen Greenwald style, What Really Happened in Wuhan. And Giuliani’s irresponsible utterances (for fuck’s sake, he’s revealing sensitive, if not national security details to foreign teen!) seem to have been the product of an ICC lawsuit filed by the rightwing Freedom Watch which claims China committed genocide.
Somehow the Australian failed to note the American connection to the biowarfare threat, and that the talk thereof is not secretive but public. Last year, I wrote a piece, “The Age of Synthetic Biology: Start the War Games!” that introduces an American Scientific framework for the research and production of, among other things, gain-of-function induced novel viruses. I derived my facts from the book, Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology, put out by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The authors tell us,
synthetic biology makes it possible to synthesize genomes and use those to generate, or “boot,” copies of naturally occurring organisms in the laboratory, opening new opportunities for the acquisition of existing, regulated pathogens” and “synthetic biology tools could be used to synthesize and boot entirely new organisms, potentially incorporating genetic material from multiple existing organisms.
Such synthetic manipulation of biology (and chemistry) are terrifying to contemplate, but, so far as we know, America, not China, leads the way in such lab research. The miraculous development of a Covid-19 vaccine in record time by so many labs suggests very advanced technology at work.
Dr. Fauci is currently under MSM siege, especially from the right, for his supposed knowledge of gain-of-function activity at the Wuhan lab. His voluminous email collection is now being combed for evidence that he encouraged the Chinese to continue with the dangerous research that Obama had closed down funding for in 2014. Any continued g-o-f research, which Fauci is on the record as supporting (seeing potential for vaccine development), would have to be conducted overseas. Critics of Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), claim he snuck around Trump to get funding to Wuhan and DJ didn’t know anything about it, according to the Weekend Australian. Of course, be that as it may, the development benefits Fauci argued for seem to have come to fruition through the DARPA P3 government-private-academic coalition that made the miraculous (and under-reported) burgeoning vaccines, which happened under Trump. (And, sure, maybe behind his back, too.) Key here is that the vaccines are a military miracle.
There’s considerable tension in the Asia-Pacific region right now. Folks are worried about crackdowns in Hong Kong. Renewed tensions in Taiwan (probably amplified by the American delivery to Taipei of Covid-19 vaccines.) The threat China represents to the US with global monetary hegemony (another Wall Street meltdown could be catastrophic for Americans.) Accidental erasures of references to Tiananmen Square in search engines (Bing).
Out of this tension, it may be that the Australian chooses to present a posture of solidarity with the Americans by its reporting on the origins of the virus. But it’s hard to see how such leading invective and unsound allegations re: Wuhan help future relations between Australia and China. Again, there is no MSM publication inferring that the Chinese were preparing for WWWIII, featuring synthetic biological weapons. I guess we’ll just have on this very urgent public interest matter until Sharri Markson reveals all in her September book.
Meantime, the renewed effort to get a calm, scientific explanation for the Wuhan outbreak takes a sensationalist piece inflames emotions and politics and further drives investigators off-course from events. All in all, in the haze that follows, we forget that it’s just one more rolling pearl harbor event. Just another turd blossom in the soup of our steaming reality.