Thursday, August 9, 2007

President Bush may have Lyme Disease

Today we learned that Bush may have contracted the mysterious and controversial Lyme Disease (Source: Forbes). Apparently he was treated for it last year, and now he's all better (claims the White House).

An undeniably odd -- ominous? -- coincidence surrounds the location and timing of the emergence of so-called Lyme Disease. From a letter to a US Congressman, we have a concise summary of some speculation surrounding the origins of the illness the US President has apparently contracted.

According to former Justice official John Loftus, Nazi bio warfare scientists, including Erich Traub, were hired under the top secret U.S. government Operation Paperclip,[4] and they experimented with ticks and a variety of other common bioweapons on Plum Island, which lies a few miles directly opposite Old Lyme, Connecticut, and is currently under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

Plum Island, the U.S. Military and the Department of Homeland Security Plum Island lab directors have stated to Michael Carroll, author of the book “Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Germ Laboratory”, that they kept colonies of the hard tick Amblyomma americanum, a known carrier of Borrelia Lonestari, on Plum Island. Carroll describes eyewitnesses as saying that infected animals on Plum Island were kept in open pens.[5]

Carroll also asserts that there was heavy two-way traffic between the U.S. Army’s biological weapons research lab at Fort Detrick, and researchers on Plum Island, also known as Fort Terry. One document uncovered a 1969 shipment, by military escort, of “Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis and antisera” to a Dr. J.J. Callis, from the Viral and Rickettsial Division, Army Biological Laboratory, Fort Detrick. [5]

Michael Carroll quotes former Plum Island lab director Jerry Callis talking about tick research on Plum Island: “Plum Island experimented with ticks, but never outside of containment. We had a tick colony where you take them and feed them on the virus and breed ticks to see how many generations it would last, on and on, until its diluted. Recently they reinstated the tick colony.” Carroll additionally cites a 1978 US Department of Agriculture (UDSA) document titled “African Swine Fever,” which further confirms the use of ticks as biowar vectors on Plum Island, noting that the report stated: “In 1975 and 1976 the adult and nyphal stages of Ablyomma americanum (the Lone Star tick) and Ablyomma cajunense (the Cayenne tick) were found to be incapable of harboring and transmitting African Swine fever virus.”[5]

Coincidentally, the Lyme disease outbreak was identified about the time of the Swine Fever tick study conducted on Plum Island. Also at the time of the Plum Island Swine Fever experiments, the Lone Star tick’s range was limited to Texas. Today it is endemic in New Jersey, New York State and Connecticut, and as Carroll states in Lab 257, no one can answer how the Lone Star tick migrated from Texas to New York and Connecticut.[5]

The long-suspected connection between biowarfare and Plum Island was confirmed in Cold War records declassified in 1993. According to the documents, when eliciting a biowarfare test in the early 1950s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated: “Steps should be taken to make certain adequate facilities are available, including those at Fort Detrick, Dugway Proving Ground [Utah], Fort Terry (Plum Island) and an island testing area.” [6

You can find a summary of the book Lab 257 here. I skimmed through that book in a store once; it seemed to me to have been well researched.

Perhaps the more urgent question now, is not the origins of the disease, but whether the US President may be experiencing neurological symptoms associated with severe cases of Lyme Disease. These days, I don't take any White House reassurances at face value.

Update: Bush may well have fully recovered as they claim. Perhaps the most troubling thing is that this apparently run-down and "leaky" germ research facility at Plum Island (and presumably others like it?) is now under the direction of Homeland Security, the very guys who screwed up the Hurricane Katrina effort.

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