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The Fox Owns the Henhouse—When Public Safety is Governed by Private Profit

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by By José Solís, Ph.D. Posted here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Do our federal health regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies really put health before profit? Judging by the evidence, profit comes first.

 

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“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”

― Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a radio interview where the topic was safety and government oversight. I had tuned in at the exact moment when the interviewee said the following:

Well, my experience of 30 years in Washington, D.C. is the same Ronald Reagan had – you know, trust but verify. And when bad things happen, you need to verify if what he is saying is correct. I certainly question that there’s not a cozy relationship. All anyone has to do is look at the revolving door in Washington, D.C., and this agency and the industry to realize that there is a cozy relationship. Now the question is, is that cozy relationship having an adverse impact on the safety decisions being made?

The American public would be surprised, and maybe even concerned, if they knew how widespread the practice of self-regulation was.

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Before I could ascertain what they were discussing in the interview, my mind began to race. Could it be clean water, Round Up pesticide lawsuits, climate change, vaccine safety, the opioid crisis? My question was quickly answered. The forum was an interview on National Public Radio(NPR) with former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairman, James Hall, on the investigation into the recent tragedy of two Boeing 737 MAX airline crashes.  Upon a rewind of the interview, I kept hearing references to “revolving doors” and “cozy relationships.”

David Greene, host of the show, asked,

But are you saying there are documents that Boeing has showing that they’re – that the company and, potentially the FAA, knew that there were some problems, some of the very problems that may have caused these accidents, and that they certified the aircraft anyway?

Mr. Hall responded,

…the process that we presently have is a self-certification process by the manufacturer of the safety of the aircraft… what has happened is that these decisions have been made in commissions and rulemakings dominated by the industry in Washington, D.C.

As reported by NPR, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) left the safety testing of the plane to the manufacturing company (Boeing) and that this practice could be found “a lot” in the federal government. James Goodwin of the Center for Progressive Reform stated, “The American public would be surprised, and maybe even concerned, if they knew how widespread the practice of self-regulation was.” I wondered what implications this example might carry for aviation safety, agriculture, vaccine safety, and generally for the future of government oversight and scientific inquiry.

Toward the end of the interview, Mr. Greene from NPR stated that recently he had asked FAA head, Dan Elwell, some of the same questions. In one answer, Mr. Elwell responded, “the FAA is an agency that is based on data, and they very much make their decisions, including keeping those planes in the air, based on data.” Dan Elwell, is a former Vice President of the Aerospace Industries Association, representing the most powerful aerospace industry companies. There remain some very tough questions to be answered by the manufacturers of the airline industry, like Boeing, and the “cozy relationship” it and other industry members enjoy with the government agencies responsible for regulating its operations and overseeing its compliance with public safety. But, let’s move on from that thread of public air safety and pause for an overview of the opioid crisis facing the United States.

Public air safety to the opioid crisis

Earlier in March, the 13th to be precise, I saved a copy of the transcript from an interview between David Greene and Brian Mann, an NPR associate, who has been following developments in some of the lawsuits around the nation’s opioid crisis. In its introduction to the interview NPR reported,

The opioid epidemic claimed 70,000 lives in 2017. To put that in perspective, that is more than the number of people who died annually at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. And the pharmaceutical industry is going to spend much of this year answering some hard questions. Many blame pharma for our country’s opioid crisis. And this year, big drug makers, as well as pharmacy chains, are facing more than 1,500 lawsuits filed by state and local governments. Billions of dollars are at stake, and so are reputations. Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, CVS – those are just some of the companies targeted in these lawsuits.

The following are excerpts from the interview:

Greene: I mean that there are internal company documents that are being made public, and some of them have been controversial, you’ve been finding.

Mann: Purdue executives, for example, can be seen secretly acknowledging that their prescription opioids were far more addictive and dangerous than they were telling doctors. At the same time, company directives kept pushing sales, pushing the salespeople incredibly hard to get more opioids into the hands of vulnerable people, including seniors and military veterans….We’ve also learned that Purdue Pharma executives developed a secret plan they called Project Tango, which they allegedly hoped might help them profit again from the growing wave of opioid addiction. The idea here was to sell addiction treatment services to some of the same people addicted to products like their own OxyContin… Which means for more than a decade, no one in the wider public knew how serious the allegations against Purdue and these other drug companies were. But this time, states and cities suing these companies seem eager to sort of pull back the curtain… the drug industry has fought these disclosures at every turn. They describe the information in these documents as proprietary, basically arguing its corporate property. But as more and more information comes out, it’s making people angry.

On a related topic, Mr. Mann expressed:

But according to the drug company’s own documents, firms including Johnson & Johnson pushed unscientific theories about drug addiction. They did so allegedly to convince doctors to prescribe even more opioids after patients showed signs of dependency. David Armstrong, the reporter with ProPublica, says this kind of disclosure is making it harder for the industry to protect its image.

… ‘tobacco science;’ i.e. Science done on behalf of an interest defending its profits, like the science conducted by a cigarette company showing that cigarettes are safe.

Government agency collusion

Government agency collusion with different industries, to me, represented nothing short of corruption. I was reminded of the tobacco industry and how the Phillip Morris tobacco company organized its Boca Raton Action Plan in 1988, in an effort to “diffuse and re-orient” the voices and initiatives of those fighting tobacco in favor of public health. Also, how the World Health Organization (WHO) itself colluded with legal experts and doctors in the United States in favor of the tobacco industry and against public health. From this fiasco was coined the expression “tobacco science;” i.e. “Science” done on behalf of an interest defending its profits, like the science conducted by a cigarette company showing that cigarettes are safe.

And speaking of the WHO, I was also reminded of the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) “pandemic.” In the spring of 2010, the Council of Europe was investigating the role of the WHO in declaring the H1N1 pandemic. Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, an epidemiologist who at one time was head of the Health Committee of the Council of Europe, expressed concerns that the contracts for the vaccine were mostly confidential arrangements between the WHO, individual member states and the companies producing the vaccine. In fact, numerous countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain, entered into contracts with the vaccine manufacturing companies prior to the WHO’s declaration of an H1N1 pandemic. The contracts obligated these countries to purchase swine flu vaccinations under one condition: that the WHO issue a pandemic flu alert.

…undermined by the transformation of the relationship between scientists at universities, private industries with their scientists and the ‘cozy relationships’ that exist between the two

Transformed relationships

In his farewell speech to the citizenry, U. S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower poignantly expressed his concern regarding the future of science and its partnership with government, and government with industry, when he said:

…the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research…The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

I kept wondering about the revolving doors, the collusion, industrial interests, and the science that was supposed to provide a foundation upon which to rest our confidence, our trust. How did we get here? The short answer, and quite possibly the simplest, might be the privatization of knowledge, or as some have called it, the “selling of science.” Or, maybe it’s the troubled matrimony of science and technology, where an applied and economic gain becomes the foundational rationale for present and future scientific endeavor. Such an environment raises serious questions as to the future of knowledge, the advancement of the sciences, and potential impacts on our economic, social, and public health.

Aristotle reminded us that “knowledge is virtue.” It has a value unto itself; a purpose that serves no particular master other than the rational development of inquiry and respective methods for the development of that knowledge. Here resided the principles of the classic universities, places where questions were explored, answered, and questioned again. This was the meaning of science – never settled – but forever moving toward a better, safer, healthier, and more advanced state of human affairs. But what happens to science when the scientist is tied to private industry, where the principle objective of private industry is defined by its stockholders interests, investments, and profits, where the same industry that manufactures the product for profit is also the industry responsible for generating the science determining the efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of its product?

In his book, Science in the Private Interest, Dr. Sheldon Krimsky writes,

The responsibility of the scientist begins with discovery and ends with commercial applications. Universities exist mainly to provide labor for industry and to help industry turn knowledge into technology; technology into productivity; and productivity into profits.

What Dr. Krimsky refers to as “public interest science as a model of knowledge for human welfare,” has been redefined, or more crudely speaking, undermined by the transformation of the relationship between scientists at universities, private industries with their scientists, and the “cozy relationships” that exist between the two. In the book To Profit or Not To Profit, authors Walter Powell and Jason Owens-Smith state,

The changes underway at universities are the result of multiple forces: a transformation in of the nature policymakers and key constituents. These trends are so potent that there is little chance for reversing them-nor necessarily a rationale for doing so.

These changes have been referred to as characteristic of the scientist as entrepreneur, or parts of what Sheila Slaughter and Larry Leslie explore in their book Academic Capitalism. In it, they write:

We would expect that faculty as professionals participating in academic capitalism would begin to move away from values such as altruism and public service, toward market values.

Under he current science-to-market model, government oversight of any number of products, from airplanes, to drugs, to tobacco, and more, continues to demonstrate a complacency that favors market-driven profits over public safety.

The transformation of science and scientists

The transformation of science and scientists that are lured into and seek financial support from private industry for any number of research-to-market projects has become an all too familiar scenario with potentially devastating consequences.

Most recently, the parents of one of the victims of the Egyptian Boeing airline, filed suit against Boeing and the Rosemont airline parts manufacturing industry. Reuters report states that:

Thursday’s complaint accuses Boeing of putting “profits over safety” and said the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration must also be held accountable for certifying the 737 MAX.

However, reports Reuters: “Legal experts say these cases face high hurdles since government officials and agencies are generally immune from civil lawsuits.”

Under the current science-to-market model, government oversight of any number of products, from airplanes, to drugs, to tobacco, and more, continues to demonstrate a complacency that favors market-driven profits over public safety. This reality should alarm anyone and all. What if, as some of the legal experts above claim, a U.S. citizen has no right to hold industry responsible for assurances of safety because those industries are tied to government agencies, or because those agencies derive profits or “benefits” from the “cozy relationships?” If you believe that the FAA and the FDA need to come clean regarding the “revolving door” and “cozy relationships” that experts have indicated exist between both agencies and private industry, why would we not consider the same for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?

Arguably, a profoundly vivid parallel is seen in the policies and practices of mandatory vaccination and informed consent. Over the many years studying vaccination theory and practice, I discovered a disturbing similar pattern – the “revolving door” between the CDC and private pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, the conflicts of interest where different committees and their members are given waivers protecting conflicts of interest, payoffs to doctors for administering vaccines, fast-tracking of vaccines and safety studies with no use of double-blind placebo studies, and the very “cozy relationship” between members of Congress, “big pharma,” the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you believe that the FAA and the FDA need to come clean regarding the “revolving door” and “cozy relationships” that experts have indicated exists between both agencies and private industry, why would we not consider the same for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?

In 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). For years families had been suing vaccine manufacturers for injuries their children suffered at the hands of vaccines. Threatening to discontinue vaccine production, the vaccine manufacturers asked for government assurances that their products would go forward unhindered. The 1986 law took all liability away from the manufacturers of vaccines, making it impossible to sue the industry. The same law stipulated that every two years the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would submit a report to Congress on the state of vaccine safety. It was during this time that the numbers and doses of vaccines began a dramatic increase.

In 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Del Bigtree of the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) filed a suit before the U.S. Federal Court for the Southern District of New York. On July 27, 2018, HHS admitted the following before the court:

The [Department]’s searches for records did not locate any records responsive to your request. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Immediate Office of the Secretary (IOS) conducted a thorough search of its document tracking systems. The department also conducted a comprehensive review of all relevant indexes of HHS secretarial correspondence records maintained at Federal record centers that remain in the custody of HHS. These searches did not locate records responsive to your request, or indications that records responsive to your request and in the custody of HHS are located at Federal record centers.

Today in the United States, political, medical, and mass media leadership, infused by the interests of vaccine manufacturers, are currently engaged in a massive campaign to silence dialogue, ban books and websites, avoid debates, and impose that vaccines become mandatory for all with no respect to informed consent, religious beliefs, medical conditions, or personal conscience. Writing on a recent measles outbreak in Rockland County, New York, Celeste McGovern remarks,

People, like those in Rockland County, don’t avoid vaccines because they are misled by “fake” news and Facebook – but because of the real stories of corporate greed and political cover-up and vaccine-injured children that are shared on those platforms. The data bears them out. There are millions of them.

How is it possible that censorship becomes a principal upon which public policy and social interaction are defined in a democracy? Will the violation of the right to informed consent become the new paradigm applied to air travel, medications, vaccination, food and more?

The very thought that censorship would become an instrument of intimidation, humiliation, a threat, and a practice violating human rights, should make anyone shiver. But maybe more importantly, the unbridled and crass censorship we are witnessing today on the topic of mandatory vaccination, its effectiveness and safety, should leave us asking: How is it possible that censorship becomes a principal upon which public policy and social interaction are defined in a democracy? Will the violation of the right to informed consent become the new paradigm applied to air travel, medications, vaccination, food, and more?

Personally, and professionally, I see nothing edifying and positive coming from the censorship of those that question. Boeing has explaining to do, as does the FAA. Furthermore, Johnson & JohnsonPurdueCVS and the FDA, owe the people an explanation. Likewise, the HHS, CDC, and pharma owe the people many explanations about the safety of vaccines.


Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

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Investigation Shows The MMR Vaccine Was Approved Based On Small Studies Showing Disturbing Results

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A FOIA request by Del Bigtree reveals that the 8 studies supporting the release of the MMR vaccine were only 6 weeks long, used only 800 children, and led to damaging respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses to many of the children.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we ready to collectively deal with the implications of ongoing revelations of industry malfeasance with regards to vaccines that for some may require a shift in long-held beliefs?

Amidst a rash of efforts to bring forward mandatory vaccination in pockets of the United States is the recent move in New York City to declare a public health emergency Tuesday over a measles outbreak and order mandatory vaccinations in one neighborhood for people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the unusual order to address what he said was a measles “crisis” in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section, where more than 250 people have gotten measles since September. The order applies to anyone living, working or going to school in four zip codes in the neighborhood. The declaration requires all unvaccinated people who may have been exposed to the virus to get the vaccine, including children over 6 months old. People who ignore the order could be fined $1,000.

Challenging Assumptions

This kind of invasive move gives rise to several serious questions, including challenging many of the assumptions that are necessarily made to justify such a move.

Assumption #1: People who may have been infected with the measles should get vaccinated immediately. De Blasio wants people who may have been infected with the measles to get vaccinated. The assumption here is that the vaccine would actually help someone who has the virus by preventing them from getting the measles or preventing them from spreading it to others. But this just doesn’t stand to reason. If someone is already infected, getting a measles vaccine will not prevent the outbreak. That’s not what a vaccine is designed for. And while the person is going through the 2-week period it takes for the vaccine to take hold, it’s quite possible that this will weaken the immune response to the actual measles infection the person has. Quarantining people suspected of being infected would be the sensible response, not vaccinating. If they happen to have the measles, no problem. Once they recover they will then be immune for life.

Assumption #2: The MMR Vaccine Can Create Herd Immunity. There is an article in the Huffington post entitled ‘I’m No Anti-Vaxxer, But the Measles Vaccine Can’t Prevent Outbreaks,’ in which Dr. Gregory Poland, who strongly advocates for vaccines, notes that outbreaks are often initiated and spread by people who have been fully vaccinated against the measles–over 50% in the case of a 2011 outbreak in Quebec. How is this possible? While this Quebec outbreak happened within a community that supposedly had achieved herd-immunity status of over 95% vaccinated, the facts are, as the article notes, that “9 per cent of children having two doses of the vaccine, as public health authorities now recommend, will have lost their immunity after just seven and a half years. As more time passes, more lose their immunity.” Therefore, herd immunity for measles is simply impossible to achieve with this vaccine.

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Assumption #3: The MMR Vaccine, in de Blasio’s words, is ‘safe, effective, and life-saving.’ The claim that the MMR vaccine is ‘life-saving’ does not stand up to simple statistics, as we detail in our article ‘Statistics Show The MMR Vaccine Kills More People Than The Measles Does.’ Whether it is effective, we have already seen that it is incapable of creating herd immunity, wanes over time, does not work at all for some people, and in some of the latest outbreaks the majority of people infected were fully vaccinated. Is it safe? This is the important question we cover in the next section.

The Studies That Stand Behind The Approval Of the MMR Vaccine

The pharmaceutical industry, as well as governmental regulatory bodies like the CDC and the FDA, assure the public that they take the safety of vaccines seriously, and that there is irrefutable science behind the notion that vaccines are safe in terms of the studies that their approval is based on.

However, a Freedom of Information Act request by Del Bigtree has revealed absolutely startling information about the studies that supported the approval of the MMR vaccines that have been injected into our children. To begin with, only 8 studies were conducted and the total combined number of children participating in the studies was only a little over 800! Furthermore, the studies only recorded symptoms for the first 6 weeks after the vaccines were given, unlike many other drug studies that follow symptoms for 5 years or more. And finally, the study revealed serious side-effects in those receiving the vaccine, including a highly significant number of participants who suffered upper respiratory illness and gastrointestinal illness, which has been linked to autism.

In our latest episode of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, Joe, Arjun and I discussed New York’s mandatory vaccination order as well as Del Bigtree’s analysis of the MMR studies he received and the reason that Big Pharma not only does not want to do proper, large-scale studies on the safety of vaccines, but they also want to try to prevent other researchers like Dr. Christopher Exley from doing so as well.

You can watch the full episode of The Collective Evolution Show where we talk about this subject in more detail here.

You can go here to see the full episode of ‘The Highwire’ where Del Bigtree breaks down the MMR studies in question.

The Takeaway

The veils of illusion that have been masking the truth are lifting as our consciousness awakens. Transparency is coming, though how long it takes will depend on our continued efforts to dig for and spread the truth far and wide.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Leaked Wikileaks Doc Reveals US Military Use of IMF, World Bank As “Unconventional” Weapons

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Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 14, 2018. Natacha Pisarenko | AP

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In light of recent events in Venezuela Wikileaks published a revealing document that highlights the fact that financial institutions are not independent, that they are owned by, and in turn own/work together with the US government to fulfill agendas.

  • Reflect On:

    The secrecy in our world runs rampant, under the guise of 'national security' when it's really because secrets need to be kept to avoid the population waking up to the tremendous amount of unethical corruption that plagues our geopolitical world.

As most of you reading this will know, Julian Assange was recently dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy. Assange has long been subjected to ridicule and character assassination by the Deep State owned mainstream media, and for one reason, it’s the same reason they’ve been wanting to snatch him up for so long.

It’s because for years he has been sharing information that the global elite around the world did not want him to share. He’s been publishing information that threatens various elitist, corporate, and political interests around the globe as well as information showing just how much the public is deceived to, lied to, and manipulated in several different ways in order to justify actions that do not resonate with the majority of people on planet Earth.

Various media outlets have been silenced, censored, and have and their revenue streams taken away, including us. This is why we created CETV, a platform to combat the censorship we are currently experiencing.

In Episode 5 of The Collective Evolution Show, we go deep into Assange’s arrest. The purpose was to explore the deeper details behind why Assange is a threat to power structures as opposed to being a COINTEL or psy-op as some are suggesting. We understand this position, and duke it out on our episode of The CE Show, but there are areas we must discuss with this.

I also recently published an article about his arrest, and the truth behind his arrest: What Julian Assange’s Arrest Tells Us About Our World.  We’ve published many Wikileak leaks as well, the latest one being a document exposing a “Secret Us Base on the Moon.”

I recently came across an article published on MintPress NewsIt was written by Whitney Webb is, who is a staff writer for MintPress News and has contributed to several other independent, alternative outlets. Her work has appeared on sites such as Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire among others. She also makes guest appearances to discuss politics on radio and television. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

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In her article, she references a leaked military manual on “unconventional warfare” that was recently highlighted by WikiLeaks. The U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.”

She put it so well below that we have posted it below:

The document, officially titled “Field Manual (FM) 3-05.130, Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare” and originally written in September 2008, was recently highlighted by WikiLeaks on Twitter in light of recent events in Venezuela as well as the years-long, U.S.-led economic siege of that country through sanctions and other means of economic warfare. Though the document has generated new interest in recent days, it had originally been released by WikiLeaks in December 2008 and has been described as the military’s “regime change handbook.”

WikiLeaks’ recent tweets on the subject drew attention to a single section of the 248-page-long document, titled “Financial Instrument of U.S. National Power and Unconventional Warfare.” This section in particular notes that the U.S. government applies “unilateral and indirect financial power through persuasive influence to international and domestic financial institutions regarding availability and terms of loans, grants, or other financial assistance to foreign state and nonstate actors,” and specifically names the World Bank, IMF and The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as “U.S. diplomatic-financial venues to accomplish” such goals.

The manual also touts the “state manipulation of tax and interest rates” along with other “legal and bureaucratic measures” to “open, modify or close financial flows” and further states that the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – which oversees U.S. sanctions on other nations, like Venezuela — “has a long history of conducting economic warfare valuable to any ARSOF [Army Special Operations Forces] UW [Unconventional Warfare] campaign.”

This section of the manual goes on to note that these financial weapons can be used by the U.S. military to create “financial incentives or disincentives to persuade adversaries, allies and surrogates to modify their behavior at the theater strategic, operational, and tactical levels” and that such unconventional warfare campaigns are highly coordinated with the State Department and the Intelligence Community in determining “which elements of the human terrain in UWOA [Unconventional Warfare Operations Area] are most susceptible to financial engagement.”

The role of these “independent” international financial institutions as extensions of U.S. imperial power is elaborated elsewhere in the manual and several of these institutions are described in detail in an appendix to the manual titled “The Financial Instrument of National Power.” Notably, the World Bank and the IMF are listed as both Financial Instruments and Diplomatic Instruments of U.S. National Power as well as integral parts of what the manual calls the “current global governance system.”

Furthermore, the manual states that the U.S. military “understand[s] that properly integrated manipulation of economic power can and should be a component of UW,” meaning that these weapons are a regular feature of unconventional warfare campaigns waged by the United States.

Another point of interest is that these financial weapons are largely governed by the National Security Council (NSC), which is currently headed by John Bolton. The document notes that the NSC “has primary responsibility for the integration of the economic and military instruments of national power abroad.”

“Independent” but controlled

Though the unconventional warfare manual is notable for stating so openly that “independent” financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF are essentially extensions of U.S. government power, analysts have noted for decades that these institutions have consistently pushed U.S. geopolitical goals abroad.

Indeed, the myth of World Bank and IMF “independence” is quickly eroded by merely looking at the structure and funding of each institution. In the case of the World Bank, the institution is located in Washington and the organization’s president has always been a U.S. citizen chosen directly by the president of the United States. In the World Bank’s entire history, the institution’s Board of Governors has never rejected Washington’s pick.

This past Monday, it was reported that President Donald Trump nominated former Bear Stearns economist David Malpass to lead the World Bank. Malpass had famously failed to foresee the destruction of his former employer during the 2008 financial crisis and is likely to limit World Bank loans to China and to countries allied or allying with China, given his well-established reputation as a China hawk.

In addition to choosing its president, the U.S. is also the bank’s largest shareholder, making it the only member nation to have veto rights. Indeed, as the leaked unconventional warfare manual notes, “As major decisions require an 85% supermajority, the United States can block any major changes” to World Bank policy or the services it offers. Furthermore, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs banker and “foreclosure king,” Steve Mnuchin, functions as the World Bank’s governor.

Though the IMF is different from the World Bank in several respects, such as its stated mission and focus, it too is largely dominated by U.S. government influence and funding. For instance, the IMF is also based in Washington and the U.S. is the company’s largest shareholder — the largest by far, owning 17.46 percent of the institution – and also pays the largest quota for the institution’s maintenance, paying $164 billion in IMF financial commitments annually. Though the U.S. does not choose the IMF’s top executive, it uses its privileged position as the institution’s largest funder to control IMF policy by threatening to withhold its IMF funding if the institution does not abide by Washington’s demands.

Protestors hold an effigy of Captain America with a photo of IMF Director Christine Lagarde during meetings by the IMF and World Bank in Lima, Peru, Oct. 9, 2015. Geraldo Caso Bizama | AP

As a consequence of the lopsided influence of the U.S. on these institutions’ behavior, these organizations have used their loans and grants to “trap” nations in debt and have imposed “structural adjustment” programs on these debt-saddled governments that result in the mass privatization of state assets, deregulation, and austerity that routinely benefit foreign corporations over local economies. Frequently, these very institutions – by pressuring countries to deregulate their financial sector and through corrupt dealings with state actors – bring about the very economic problems that they then swoop in to “fix.”

Guaidó hits up IMF

Given the close relationship between the U.S. government and these international financial institutions, it should come as little surprise that – in Venezuela – the U.S.-backed “interim president” Juan Guaidó – has already requested IMF funds, and thus IMF-controlled debt, to fund his parallel government.

This is highly significant because it shows that top among Guaidó’s objectives, in addition to privatizing Venezuela’s massive oil reserves, is to again shackle the country to the U.S.-controlled debt machine.

As the Grayzone Project recently noted:

Venezuela’s previous elected socialist president, Hugo Chávez, broke ties with the IMF and World Bank, which he noted were “dominated by US imperialism.” Instead Venezuela and other left-wing governments in Latin America worked together to co-found the Bank of the South, as a counterbalance to the IMF and World Bank.

However, Venezuela is far from the only country in Latin America being targeted by these financial weapons masquerading as “independent” financial institutions. For instance, Ecuador – whose current president has sought to bring the country back into Washington’s good graces – has gone so far as to conduct an “audit” of its asylum of journalist and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in order to win a $10 billion bailout from the IMF. Ecuador granted Assange asylum in 2012 and the U.S. has fervently sought his extradition for still sealed charges ever since.

In addition, last July, the U.S. threatened Ecuador with “punishing trade measures” if it introduced a measure at the UN to support breastfeeding over infant formula, in a move that stunned the international community but laid bare the willingness of the U.S. government to use “economic weapons” against Latin American nations.

Beyond Ecuador, other recent targets of massive IMF and World Bank “warfare” include Argentina, which awarded the largest IMF bailout loan in history just last year. That loan package was, unsurprisingly, heavily pushed by the U.S., according to a statement from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin released last year. Notably, the IMF was instrumental in causing the complete collapse of the Argentinian economy in 2001, sending a poor omen for last year’s approval of the record loan package.

Though it was released over a decade ago, this “U.S. coup manual” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks serves as a salient reminder that the so-called “independence” of these financial institutions is an illusion and that they are among the many “financial weapons” regularly used by the U.S. government to bend countries to its will and even overthrow U.S.-disfavored governments.

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Merck’s Julie Gerberding Wins Industry ‘Woman Of The Year’ Award For Putting Profits Ahead Of Human Health

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Julie Gerberding, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association 'Woman of the Year,' is a prime example of someone who has gone through the revolving door between government regulatory agencies and the corporations they are supposed to be regulating.

  • Reflect On:

    It is becoming clear that our authorities in government and business alike are making decisions purely for their own interests, in utter disregard for human safety and well-being. How does this realization play a role in our awakening?

If you are not already clear about how the Corporatocracy that we live in is able to consistently serve their own power and wealth interests at the expense of our heath, well-being and prosperity, then the case of Julie Gerberding should provide some excellent insight. Her career path makes her the poster child for people who want to succeed in the world by embracing the corrupt, deceitful system that is currently in place.

Here is the blueprint: first, become an expert in a very specific area through a good old fashioned Western education. Use the talent and intelligence you have been blessed with to move up the ranks in your chosen industry to gain a position of power within the highest government agency in your field. Work in close collaboration with the corporations you are supposed to be the watchdogs for, and display a particular talent to get away with murder, not only deflecting obvious conflicts of interest and preventing them from materializing into lawsuits, but also demonstrating a highly developed ability–and willingness–to garner public trust around the safety and effectiveness of the products being pushed by the corporations you are colluding with.

Julie Gerberding

Julie Gerberding completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at UCSF, where she also served as Chief Medical Resident before completing her fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and Infectious Diseases. She earned an M.P.H. degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1990.

Before becoming CDC Director and ATSDR Administrator, Gerberding was Acting Deputy Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID). She joined CDC in 1998 as Director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, NCID, where she developed CDC’s patient safety initiatives and other programs to prevent infections, antimicrobial resistance, and medical errors in healthcare settings.

But it is perhaps her talent in knowing how to speak with quiet authority, and a persona that people felt they could trust, that not only helped her rise up in the ranks of the government’s regulatory bodies, but also made giants of the corporatocracy take notice and treat her as one of their own. Knowing how to appeal to people emotionally, with eloquence and persuasion, is something you cannot force, nor can you teach it. Some people just have that power. What they decide to do with it is another matter.

Less than a year after she resigned from her CDC post in in January 2009, she was hired as president of Merck’s vaccine division. Now we can look at the low-hanging fruit and remark that during her tenure at the CDC, Merck became the manufacturer of 14 of the 17 vaccines ‘recommended’ for children by the CDC, and 9 of the 10 vaccines ‘recommended’ for adults by the CDC. The conflict of interest here is beyond obvious, and one would be reasonable to assume that this appointment, which garnered over $5 million in stock options alone, amounted to payback for favors done to Merck while head of the CDC.

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But I believe Merck saw genuine value in the type of leadership Gerberding brought to the table: a cold and calculating devotion to the bottom line, covered over by a veneer of compassion-like-symptoms and a trustworthy tone of authority. In the pharmaceutical industry, these qualities are gold.

CNN Interview

During our bi-weekly broadcast on CETV, Joe Martino and I had a discussion about the ‘revolving door’ between government regulatory agencies and the corporations they serve. We look at statistics that would literally make your head spin about the hordes of people who have enjoyed the freedom to move from working on one side of the aisle to the other. Typically this pattern serves those willing to ‘play ball’ with corporate powers in their capacity as government regulators, to then be rewarded by the wealthy corporations with cushy jobs and board appointments.

In the case of Julie Gerberding, we dove deep into a CNN interview Gerberding did with Sanjay Gupta while she was at the CDC around the time that the Hannah Poling case was making headlines and getting widespread public attention. (Hannah Poling was the first child to receive money from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for her vaccine injury; in essence, the government conceded that vaccines caused Hannah Poling’s autism). Big Pharma seemed to be in need of a reassuring voice directed at the public to prevent a massive exodus of parents from the growing vaccine schedules being lined up for their children.

Joe and I talked about the various techniques Gerberding uses to deftly move the conversation from a very vague ‘admission’ of what the government had conceded to assurances that all caring parents should continue to have their children vaccinated.

By some accounts, Julie Gerberding had a significant impact at this time in preventing a complete loss in confidence in vaccine safety, which would have been a major disaster for the pharmaceutical industry. Makes you wonder why she didn’t win the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association ‘Woman of the Year’ award sooner.

The Takeaway

As difficult as it is for some of us to accept, the belief that those in authority have humanity’s best interests at heart has long run its course. It is an important part of our collective evolution that we realize we cannot count on our elected officials, corporate leaders, bureaucrats or other authority figures to make decisions that are in our best interests, because by and large we are seeing that they are only making decisions in their own interests, for the expansion and consolidation of their power. As individuals we must seek to become sovereigns, and as sovereigns to link together and awaken to our collective power to consciously create the type of world we really want to live in.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

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