Initially, my reaction to this story was more or less a shrug of the shoulders, after all, it wouldn't be the first time the Russian government has done something, and then tried to make it look like someone else was doing it; nor would it be the first time that the Russian government would use a false story to deflect attention to other parties. It's a practice as old as Russia itself, whence springs the phrase "Potemkin village."
Yet, something about it is disturbing. Imagine, for a moment, President Trump going on nationwide television and then stating that someone is taking DNA samples of black Americans; not white Americans, not Chinese-Americans or Japanese-Americans or Hispanic-Americans or what have you, but just black Americans. The statement is made more or less in passing. It's the specificity of the alleged targeting, in other words, that raises nasty questions.
But then my interest was really piqued when this story from Zero Hedge was seen and sent by many people, for a day after Mr. Putin's strange comments, the USAF stepped up to the plate to take ownership of the story:
US Air Force Admits To Harvesting Russian Tissue
This makes it even more mysterious, for the US Air Force is making this sound like "all's normal, nothing to see here, move along", and the underlying implication is "we're doing this with the full knowledge and permission of the Russian government," which, indeed, if the assertions are true, it is hard to imagine American agents secretly traveling around Russia taking DNA samples without the Russian government's knowledge and permission. Anyway, here's the "explanation":
While some initially discounted Putin's remars as another loony conspiracy theory, as it turns out, he was right: The group responsible for the tissue collection was none other than the US Air Force, proving that yet another conspiracy theory has become a conspiracy fact.Now, hang on, because there's a curve ball coming here, and it's the centerpiece of today's high octane speculation. But before we get to that, the most obvious use of such data would be for the purpose of constructing of some sort of biologically-specific weapon, targeting just those always-byzantine-scheming-never-to-be-trusted-Russians-and-their-evil-supergenius-criminal-mastermind-Vladimir-Putin. And of course, that purpose is mentioned in the article:
A representative for the US Air Force Education and Training Command explained to Russia Today that the choice of the Russian population was not intentional, and is related to research the Air Force is conducting on the human musculoskeletal system.
Eyebrows were first raised in July when the AETC issued a tender seeking to acquire samples of ribonucleic acid and synovial fluid from Russians, adding that all samples (12 RNA and 27 synovial fluid) “shall be collected from Russia and must be Caucasian.” The Air Force said it wouldn’t collect samples from Ukrainians, but didn’t specify why.
However, some suspect that this explanation is merely a ruse, and that the Pentagon is collecting the tissue for a much more sinister purpose, according to RT.But then comes the final few paragraphs, whose implications are, if one reads them carefully, a stunner:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russian genetic material is being harvested all over the country. “Do you know that biological material is being collected all over the country, from different ethnic groups and people living in different geographical regions of the Russian Federation? The question is – why is it being done? It’s being done purposefully and professionally. We are a kind of object of great interest,” Putin told Russia’s Human Rights Council, without specifying who might be behind the activities involving Russians’ biological samples. “Let them do what they want, and we must do what we must,” he said.The fact that Russian tissue samples specifically are on the wanted list made some wonder whether the Pentagon is working on a biological weapon to target Russians. “I’m not saying that it is about preparing a biological war against Russia. But its scenarios, are, no doubt, being worked on. That is to say, in case the need suddenly arises,” Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security, wrote on Facebook. “It is also no secret that different ethnic groups react differently to biological weapons. Hence the collection of the biological material from Russians living in different geographical locations. In the west, everything is done extremely scrupulously and is verified up to the tiniest detail.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed on Tuesday that Russian special services are in possession of intelligence suggesting that NGOs are collecting the genetic material - intelligence that presumably prompted Putin’s initial speculation about who might be behind the collections.Now there's so many disturbing implications about these statements that I don't know where to begin, not the least of which is the implication that the Genome project itself was somehow tied to the US military-industrial complex. That's no surprise, of course, to readers here, for I've long suspected it, but it's strangely unsettling to have such suspicions confirmed, by Russia no less.
“Some emissaries are really carrying out such activities, representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other bodies. Such cases were registered, and security services, the president naturally have this information,” he said.
This is not the first attempt to collect samples of Russian genetic material by foreign agencies in Russia, Igor Nikulin, a former member of the UN biological weapons commission, told RT.
“Such attempts were made back in the 90s, when there was a Human Genome program, then there were various programs in the 2000s too… under different pretexts, including the most noble, but for some reason all this happens in the interests of the US military department, and this raises suspicion,” Nikulin said.
He noted that, as a rule, “samples of Europeans of the Slavic group, mostly Russians” are sought-after. “Blood samples are taken for analysis, and if an organization is foreign, what they are doing with the results is always unknown,” he said. (Italicized emphasis added)
What's supremely unsettling, however, is the linkage of DNA collection activities to NGOs (Non-government organizations). Again, we're informed that these were "registered" and their activities were being monitored by Russian intelligence.
Which brings us to today's high octane speculation: one wonders just what "NGOs" might be involved in this activity, and how widespread it is. I have no difficulty believing it is probably quite widespread, and that it might even be taking place under the guise of "other activities" such as "aiding" refugees coming into Europe, and so on. Couple this DNA-gathering activity to NGOs sponsoring "color" revolutions or "protests", and one has the perfect opportunity to "collect" DNA from people wounded as a result of these activities. Admittedly, this is very high octane speculation, but the strangeness of the Russian statements raises these disturbing prospects.