The Internet of Bodies Ends Bodily Autonomy

by MATT via What About the Roads

internet of bodies

Our interconnected globalized world runs on the Internet. Not that long ago, connecting to the Internet required accessing a computer that was physically connected to a router. Then things went wireless and the rise of the smartphone put the Internet in everyone’s pocket. On top of this was built the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) which was comprised of things ranging from home appliances to munitions with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect to and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet wirelessly. The same technologies and concepts which underpin the IoT are entering a new arena called the Internet of Bodies where the human body itself will be online, potentially ending the concept of bodily autonomy as we know it.

In the era of vaccine mandates the subject of bodily autonomy is a hot one. One side of the argument believes that all of humanity must submit themselves to being jabbed with an experimental injection. The rest of us believe that the ability to decide for one’s self what does and does not happen to one’s body is a fundamental right and what makes this a right is self-evident. But vaccine mandates are just one battle in the war on bodily autonomy. There is a bigger fight that needs to take place against the agenda to hook the human body into the Internet.

The Internet of Bodies only recently entered the lexicon—though the idea of using the human body to generate products, resources, and data isn’t new—and it is exactly what it sounds like, “A network of human bodies whose integrity and functionality rely at least in part on the Internet and related technologies, such as artificial intelligence,” writes Atlantic Council member, Andrea M. Matwyshyn in the William & Mary Law Review. “It will challenge notions of human autonomy and self-governance.”

Another one of the first instances of its use appears to come from an obscure Romanian military journal, Land Forces Academy Review. In the Review’s October 2019 edition there is an article titled, “FROM HUMAN BODY DIGITIZATION TO INTERNET OF BODIES TOWARD A NEW DIMENSION OF MILITARY OPERATIONS” by Vasile Florin Popescu of the National Defense University of Romania. Though an obscure source, this brief report encapsulates the obvious trajectory for this technology perfectly. It should come as no surprise that from the earliest days of conceptualizing the Internet of Bodies that the military applications of such a concept were at the forefront.

So, how does one connect a human body to an internet network? Subcutaneous devices injected under the skin, of course. Popescu envisions self-assembling always-on graphene semiconductors which can be powered by the human body’s heat and electrical current, computers made of silicon oxide and magnesium oxide which dissolve in the human body, smart tattoos made from circuits with embedded antennae and sensors being created by DARPA, and Motorola’s “vitamin identification” which is swallowed and activated by gastric acid in the stomach as some of the wonderful innovations by which our bodies can be connected to this new internet. This will all be possible within the next five years in his estimation.

This make it sound like the Internet of Bodies is something still being tinkered with in labs, something still off in the near-distant future. The truth is that the first generation of this technology, in the form of externally worn devices, is already here and is being used to gather data on and alter the behavior of users. In 2018, Strava, a fitness tracking app that logs users’ movements, comically exposed U.S. military operations around the world. Heart rate data from the Apple Watch is gathered by insurance giant John Hancock to verify exercise levels while researchers at FitBit claim to be able to use data from wears to detect COVID-19 cases before symptoms emerge. Let’s not forget about those Bluetooth-enabled track and trace apps rolled out in the name of combating the so-called pandemic.

The next generation of this technology will be the aforementioned internally implanted devices. “Smart skin circuits that are capable of transforming the peripheral nervous system into an interface, cyber-contact lenses, millirobots, digital tattoos, or pay-per-view implants,” envisions Popescu, are some of the inventions that will help to merge man and machine.

Again, these aren’t concepts from a sci-fi story set in the far off future but real technologies being developed in the present.

Work on digital tattoos, delivered by sugar-based microneedles to track someone’s vaccination status, are being funded by none other than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “When the needles dissolve in about two minutes, they deliver the vaccine and leave the pattern of tags just under the skin, where they become something like a bar-code tattoo,” according to researchers at Rice University. These “digital certificates” as Gates calls them have much broader applications than just tracking a person’s vaccination status. A bar-code could just as easily be linked to a person’s biometric identification or Central Bank Digital Currency wallet which can be turned on or off at any moment by those with the power to do so and once off that body becomes disconnected from the network. “Instead of devices connected to the Internet as in the [Internet of Things], human bodies can be connected to a network, with the potential to be controlled and monitored remotely,” writes Popescu.

What about those contact lenses? The Department of Defense and Innovega iOptics have been workingon this for a decade. So has Google.

Millirobots (nanobots), which falls under the umbrella of nanotechnology, are already being created by the thousands by companies like Ginkgo Bioworks in Boston. Scores of researchers with transhumanist aspirations hope that one day soon they will be able to create a “human brain/cloud interface” with the help of nanobots. Clyde Lewis explains just how dystopian this would be:

This new concept proposes using neural nanobots to connect to the human brain’s neocortex – the newest, smartest, ‘conscious’ part of the brain – to the ‘synthetic neocortex’ in the cloud. The nanobots would then provide direct, real-time monitoring and control of signals to and from brain cells.Nanomedicine, artificial intelligence and computation will lead this century to the development of a human ‘brain-cloud interface.’

“These devices would navigate the human vasculature, cross the blood-brain barrier and precisely auto-position themselves among, or even within, brain cells,” explained Freitas. “They would then wirelessly transmit encoded information to and from a cloud-based supercomputer network for real-time brain-state monitoring and data extraction.”

Things get even wilder when you consider the fact that this could allow for a Matrix-style ability to download reams of information into the brain. The B-CI could even enable us to create a future ‘global superbrain’, according to the team, connecting networks of human brains and AI to form a hive mind.

From its inception the Internet has been a tool of the military-industrial-complex. The creation of the ARPANET, the precursor to the modern day Internet, was fostered by the Pentagon’s “needs for a command and control system that would be responsive to military requirements.” Revelations from whistleblowers like Russ Tice, William Binney, Edward Snowden, and Thomas Drake have shown how private companies like Google, AT&T, Verizon, and Facebook work with intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) to use the Internet to gather has much information as they possibly can. Former CIA head, David Petraeus spoke at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, in 2012 practically salivating over the ability to spy on people through the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Bodies will be no different. Popescu closes his article recommending that “the ability of 21st century armies to understand, predict, adapt and exploit Internet of Bodies (IoB) on the future battlefield is essential to maintaining and increasing their competitive advantage.” But don’t just take the word of a largely unknown Romanian military commander. A RAND Corporation research reportpublished in 2020 entitled “The Internet of Bodies: Opportunities, Risks, and Governance” also finds that the military will use the Internet of Bodies to “track the health and well-being of service members, enhance their cognitive and physical abilities, improve training, and enable enhanced warfighting capabilities.”

Not only will these super soldiers outfitted with their smart sensors and devices will be deployed to fight more endless wars overseas, they will undoubtedly be used at home to battle so-called domestic extremists disobeying the government’s dictates. As we reported recently, the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a new terror threat alert which warns of “racially- or ethnically-motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists” who “view the potential re-establishment of public health restrictions across the United States as a rationale to conduct attacks.” The DHS also notes their concern over “conspiracy theories on perceived election fraud and alleged reinstatement, and responses to anticipated restrictions relating to the increasing COVID cases” which are perpetuated by “Russian, Chinese and Iranian government-linked media outlets.”

If these developments are allowed to proceed then the battle for bodily autonomy will be lost. While the fight against vaccine mandates is a vital one to win we must also stop supporting the economy of the Internet of Bodies. Small and simple ways to push back include no longer using the latest “smart” devices, walking away from a medical system that wants to outfit you with implantable devices, and stopping any support for any institutions that want you hooked up to a human brain/cloud interface.

In short, we simply need to stop supporting our own enslavement.

Breaking News! Faking the Un-Vaccinated Deaths

. . . In most states, a person is only considered fully vaccinated fourteen days after they have had the full series of the vaccine.

This means that anyone coming into an American hospital who has only had one dose, or who has had both vaccines but had the second one less than two weeks prior, will likely be counted as “unvaccinated.”

So when the South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control released a report about COVID severity on July 23, 2021, they reported higher morbidity and mortality rates in the “not fully vaccinated.” Are these people who have had one vaccine and gotten sick, two vaccines and gotten sick, or no vaccines at all? Without more details, it is impossible to know what is really going on . . .

Authored by Jennifer Margulis via The Epoch Times

Romania Stops Vaccine Imports, Shutters Vaccination Centers, Transfers Vaccine Stocks to Denmark, Vietnam, Ireland, S. Korea, etc.

How Romania became a vaccine export powerhouse

Romania closes 117 Covid vaccination centres — July 7, Associated Press:

Declining demand for coronavirus vaccinations in Romania has prompted authorities to close 117 vaccination centers and to reduce the schedule at 371 others, health officials said Tuesday.

“In the previous week we re-evaluated the efficiency of fixed vaccination centers. About 80% of fixed vaccination centers vaccinate less than 25% of the vaccination capacity allocated to each stream,” national vaccination committee chief Valeriu Gheorghita said at a press conference Tuesday.

Romania halts most Covid-19 vaccine imports as people shun jabs — The Irish Times, July 1:

Romania has halted the import of most Covid-19 vaccines after a slowdown in its inoculation drive prompted the government to sell more than a million doses to Denmark and seek an extension to the validity of tens of thousands of expired shots.

Romania to start destroying expired COVID-19 vaccines as vaccination numbers drop — Romania Insider, June 25:

Romania could start destroying some of the COVID-19 vaccines received earlier this year as they are set to expire while the population’s interest in vaccination has dropped significantly. [Or more likely those who wanted it, already got it.]

As a result, Romania now holds a surplus of vaccines and will start to destroy some of the unused doses received earlier this year as they will expire soon. About a week ago, the authorities asked the suppliers to send fewer COVID-19 vaccines than planned for the same reason.

Denmark buys 1.1m Pfizer doses from Romania — The Local, June 30

Denmark has bought 1.1m doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the Romanian government, potentially bringing forward vaccinations by two to three weeks.
In a press release on Tuesday evening, Denmark’s health minister Magnus Heunicke said that the slow pace of vaccination in Romania had left the country with doses that it could not use.





Romanian PM doesn’t want different rules for vaccinated, unvaccinated —, August 28

Prime Minister Florin Citu on Saturday said he wasn’t in favor of introducing different rules for people in public places depending on whether they had had a Covid vaccine or not.

“I am not a fan of the vaccinated, the unvaccinated going separately to the mall,” he said.

“The malls were open last year when we didn’t have a vaccine. It would be hilarious and absurd to close them now, when we have this solution: the vaccine,” he said during a visit to a vaccine center in the northern city of Botosani.

Bulgaria and Romania have low vaccination rates – and low COVID rates — LifeSite News, August 27:

Contrary to the expectations heavily promoted by politicians, media, and public health establishment, Bulgarians and Romanians saw a low number of COVID-19 infections this summer as they continued to refuse to take the COVID vaccines.

In fact, Bulgaria and Romania have some of the lowest rates of COVID infections per 100,000 people in Europe, according to an August 22 statistical analysis of European countries.

“The current vaccination rate in Romania is half compared to that of Bulgaria (0.13 vaccines per 100 inhabitants on average in the last seven days) and 7.5 times lower than the EU average (0.45 vaccines per 100 inhabitants),” according to Romania Insider. “On the opposite end, Denmark has administered 0.94 vaccine doses per 100 inhabitants on average over the last seven days.” Bulgaria and Romania’s vaccination rates since the 2020 release of the jab are not significantly different.

The two countries sandwich Denmark for lowest infection rates on the continent.

While the publication said that “the number of new COVID-19 cases has risen to the highest level since the end of May,” the article fails to provide the necessary context.

Romania’s reported COVID cases peaked at nearly 60,000 in November 2020, before a vaccine was made available.

Through the summer, Romania’s 25 percent vaccination rate did not lead it to experience a surge in infections. “Officials say Romania has received more [than] 16 million doses of several western-made vaccines but less than 55 per cent have been used, as the number of vaccines administered daily has dropped to around 20,000 from 100,000 last month,” the Irish Times reported.

The publication admitted “a slowing infection rate has weakened the impetus for some in Romania to get vaccinated: only 31 new cases of Covid-19 and five deaths were reported on Thursday, adding to a national total of 1.08 million infections and 33,786 fatalities.”

For example, the week of July 5 saw a low of 285 confirmed cases.While the past several weeks of August have seen an increase to almost 4,000 cases in one week, it’s still much lower than pre-vaccination rates and the early months of 2021.

China Unveils COVID-19 Could Have Been Imported Into Wuhan

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has unveiled its own suggestion regarding how the World Health Organisation (WHO) should handle the second phase of the investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 virus. According to the Chinese CDC, WHO investigators should focus their efforts on studying cold-chain products and their logistics ahead of the detection of the first COVID-19 cases in Wuhan – specifically between September and December 2019.

The Chinese CDC epidemiologists said that samples of COVID-19 could be found on some of the cold-chain products shipped to other Chinese cities, namely to Beijing and Dalian, right before the two cities suffered limited outbreaks of the disease in summer 2020. These incidents happened after China managed to quickly end the original outbreak in Wuhan in April 2020.

Staff members in protective suits stand at Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine where members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are visiting, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 29, 2021.
Staff members in protective suits stand at Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine where members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are visiting, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 29, 2021.

Chinese epidemiologists have thus suggested that COVID-19 might have been imported into Wuhan, either from another Chinese region or from a foreign supplier of cold-chain products. Members of the country’s CDC have proposed that the WHO explore this hypothesis and track the supply chain for this type of product. The scientists stressed in their publications that there have been numerous evidence of COVID-19 being present in other parts of the world, specifically the US, Italy, Spain and France, ahead of the detection of the first cases in China and as early as March 2019.

“We conducted epidemiological investigations, nucleic acid testing, antibody detections, cold-chain food retrospection and comparative analysis of viral gene sequencing of COVID-19 patients and food packages and confirmed that the virus was imported from other countries or regions through the cold-chain transportation”, Ma Huilai, an official from the China CDC said.

The researchers from the Chinese CDC further noted that over half of the stores in the Huanan seafood market, a suspected source of the original infection, imported 29 types of cold-chain products from 20 countries and regions of China.

The Ludicrous Cost of Afghanistan War Revealed

By Alan Macleod via MintPress

WASHINGTON — The conflict in Afghanistan — for the U.S. at least — appears to be over. Essentially admitting defeat, American planes are beating a hasty and ignominious retreat from Kabul, with images of the withdrawal bearing a striking resemblance to those from the fall of Saigon 46 years previously.

As the Taliban complete their takeover, many Americans are wondering what it was all about. For what, and on what, did the United States spend more than $2 trillion? A newly published study from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) — a U.S. government body — lays bare the waste and corruption of the whole affair, drawing parallels with famous satires such as “Catch 22” and “M*A*S*H*.” Uncompromising in its frankness, the 124-page report outlines the incompetence, venality and dark absurdity of the whole endeavor. “When you look at how much we spent and what we got for it, it’s mind boggling,” one senior Department of Defense administrator admitted to SIGAR in 2015.

Congress founded SIGAR in 2008 to provide neutral and objective oversight into the U.S.’ handling of Afghan reconstruction programs. The new report is the latest — and perhaps most critical — of 13 yearly offerings analyzing U.S. efforts in the country.

Bad metrics

At no point did the U.S. truly control all of Afghanistan. But officials in Washington wanted to see quantifiable results. In a region where American troops were barely able to leave their bases without being attacked, “cash spent” became one of the few concrete metrics commanders could report back with any accuracy. As the report concluded:

Perversely, because it was the easiest thing to monitor, the amount of money spent by a program often became the most important measure of success. A USAID official told SIGAR, ‘The Hill was always asking, ‘Did you spend the money?’…I didn’t hear many questions about what the effects were.

Program budgets were massively expanded, often over the objections of USAID and others on the ground, who argued that inundating the country with dollars was not truly winning hearts and minds, and was a wasteful and ineffective strategy.

There was no incentive to report on financial excesses, fraud or abuse, and barely any oversight over where the money was actually going. Contractors, NGOs and others who were aboard the seemingly endless gravy train also kept quiet as they stuffed their pockets with billions of dollars of public money.

MintPress spoke to a person who had been a central part of this bizarre story. Matthew Hoh was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and an official with both the Department of Defense and the State Department, spending almost 12 years in the U.S. military and government focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, he resigned from his position in the State Department in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, over U.S. policy in the country. “The way to prove that you were doing your job was by spending money,” Hoh told MintPress, continuing:

Money being spent on an institutional level was a metric of success. Somehow in the minds of the U.S. political leaders, in Iraq and Afghanistan, dollars spent equated to things being constructed and effective counterinsurgency [against the Taliban]…But the Taliban themselves were taking the money! The Taliban guys were doing the construction work. It was absolutely nuts!”

Funding the enemy

By this time, the U.S. had effectively lost control of Afghanistan. One officer told Hoh that he controlled only the area “as far as my machine guns reach and the Taliban control everything else.” If that was the case, why didn’t the Taliban overrun any of the network of small U.S. bases throughout the country? One reason was that they were afraid of U.S. airpower. But an equally important factor, Hoh claimed, was that NATO outposts were handing out millions of dollars in cash to local firms and groups as part of their mission — enormous sums in a country where the majority live on less than $2 per day. “The Taliban were making a ton of money off these outposts,” Hoh exclaimed, “and everyone knew exactly where the money was going!”

Taliban fighters hold American weapons at a checkpoint previously manned by US troops in Kabul, Aug. 17, 2021. Photo | AP

While this might sound far-fetched to a lay person, the notion that the U.S. was directly paying off the Taliban has been an established fact for over a decade, the latest SIGAR report noting that Washington has been “buying” the insurgents’ cooperation, making the Taliban “unofficial subcontractors to the U.S. government.”

“We’re talking about a fountain of money that the Taliban were happy to take. Whether they took it directly or it was the Taliban commander’s cousin that was the contractor, it doesn’t matter. The absurdity of all this — and everyone knew it was going on!” Hoh exclaimed.

Flooding Afghanistan with cash

In an attempt to win hearts and minds, U.S. forces began spending vast sums of money on reconstruction and social projects. Yet the money spent was far more than Afghanistan could productively absorb and it continued to grow to the point where American agencies had no way of effectively disbursing and overseeing it. This cash-in-hand system also created widespread networks of corruption that sustained huge numbers of people, including many in Washington.

As the SIGAR study explained, the assumption underpinning the whole strategy was that ordinary Afghans were the source of the corruption and that increased spending would reduce the fraud over time. Only after years of this strategy did the U.S. realize it was the enormous cash injection itself that was causing the problems. But, “rather than revisit their assumptions when progress proved elusive, U.S. officials concluded that it would be better to power through the shortcut by adding even more money” — a decision that might lead some to question the officials’ motives.

Flooding the country with cash produced a myriad of unforeseen negative economic consequences, making some places resemble gold-rush towns. Such was the speed and ambition of reconstruction efforts in Helmand Province, for instance, that local teachers quit their jobs to become day laborers for better wages, leaving children in the lurch.

Afghanistan Bagram

A man rests in the shade of destroyed machinery sold by the US military to a scrapyard, outside Bagram Air Base. Rahmat Gul | AP

Hoh, who had been sent to Iraq to perform essentially the same function, had never seen anything like it. “Holy cow, I was living like Scarface… I was paying out anywhere between $300-400,000 per week to $5 million per week at times. All in cash,” he said.

I had $50 million in cash. The most I ever had at one point was $24 million on hand, in $100 bills, sitting in safes in my bedroom. And there was hardly any oversight whatsoever. Once we signed that money out of the vault in Baghdad, it was up to me how to document that money was spent and where the money went…I had no requirement. Literally. I am not joking. No guidance and no requirement to provide documentation about where that money went.”

No oversight

Because U.S. forces could not travel freely in Afghanistan, rarely venturing far beyond their bases, they were largely forced to take Afghan contractors at their word. This resulted in corner-cutting and shoddy workmanship becoming the norm, as Afghans had no incentive to produce quality work. SIGAR noted one particularly embarrassing instance where the U.S. paid $2.4 million for a new compound that it could never use, as it was built outside the security perimeter of the base for which it was commissioned.

Making money off American ignorance became a relatively sophisticated operation, with one Kandahar-based organization even providing contractors with doctored images of fake projects, replete with fraudulent geotags embedded in the digital photographs, helping local businesses swindle USAID. As former Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker told SIGAR, “The ultimate point of failure for our efforts wasn’t an insurgency. It was the weight of endemic corruption.”

Poppy fiasco

The heroin trade exploded under the U.S. watch. In 2001 — the year of the invasion — Afghanistan produced just 185 tons of the drug. However, that number ballooned to over 9,000 tons by 2017, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The boom turned Afghanistan into the world’s first true narco-state, according to Professor Alfred McCoy, authorof “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.”

The trade implicated almost everybody in power, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali, among the biggest and most notorious drug kingpins in the south of the country.

Attempts to crush opium production often backfired comically. Local farmers were given cash not to plant poppies. But frequently, they would simply take the money and plant the crop elsewhere, unbeknownst to the Americans. Thus, they were simultaneously getting paid to plant and paid not to plant.

U.S. Marines assigned to the female engagement team (FET) of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) conduct a patrol alongside a poppy field while visiting Afghan settlements in Boldak, Afghanistan, April 5, 2010. (DoD photo by Cpl. Lindsay L. Sayres, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

US Marines conduct a patrol alongside a poppy field in Boldak, Afghanistan on April 5, 2010. Photo | DoD

The U.S. also often paid huge sums of money to Afghan warlords to destroy poppy fields. However, local bosses — who grew the crop themselves — would simply destroy their rivals’ fields and collect the money, leaving themselves both enriched and in a dominant position to further control the trade in their area.

One notable example of this is local strongman Gul Agha Sherzai, who eradicated his competitors’ crops in Nangarhar Province (while quietly leaving his own in Kandahar Province untouched). But all the U.S. saw was a local politician seemingly committed to stamping out the illegal drug trade. They therefore showered him with money and other privileges. “We literally gave the guy $10 million in cash for rubbing out his competition,” Hoh said. “If you were going to write a movie about this, they’d say ‘This is too far fetched. No one is going to believe this. Nothing is this insane or stupid.’ But that is the way it is.”

At war with the truth

Truth, the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus noted, is always the first casualty in war. And Afghanistan is a prime example of this phenomenon. The release of the Afghanistan Papers in 2019 showed that there had been a years-long drive to deliberately deceive the public about the conflict, with officials consistently sharing over-optimistic figures and assessments they knew to be untrue, all in an effort to keep the occupation going.

The SIGAR report details how “[e]normous pressure to demonstrate progress to the Congress and the American and Afghan people distorted accountability systems into spin machines,” condemning the “utterly dishonest” handling of the war, and concluding that “[t]here was little appetite for honest assessments of what worked and what did not.” “The American people have been lied to,” concluded John Sopko, the special inspector general at SIGAR.

Has the U.S. made things better?

Images of desperate people fleeing the Taliban’s seemingly unstoppable advance have flooded Western TV networks and social media news feeds, with well-paid pundits hand-wringing about how such a retreat must never happen again, that we are abandoning our allies, and how all our good work across the country will quickly be undone.

However, it is important to soberly assess the condition Afghanistan is being left in. While things were far from fine before the U.S.-led invasion, polls conducted by American organizations show Afghanistan to be the saddest place on earth. Zero percent of respondents claimed that they are “thriving” as opposed to 85 percent who said they were “suffering,” when asked by Gallup in 2019. And while war has been good business for some, President Ashraf Ghani — who fled the country as soon as the American troops left — recently admitted that 90% of the population was living on less than $2 per day.

A US soldier looks at the body of a suspected Taliban fighter killed in a coalition missile strike in Kandahar, Oct. 10, 2010. Rodrigo Abd | AP

On the Afghanistan Papers, MintPress News contributor and founder of anti-war group CODEPINK Medea Benjamin wrote:

The debacle in Afghanistan is only one case in a fundamentally flawed U.S. policy with worldwide consequences. New quasi-governments installed by U.S. ‘regime change’ in country after country have proven more corrupt, less legitimate and less able to control their nation’s territory than the ones the U.S. has destroyed.

Before the rise of the Taliban (who, incidentally, derived much of their power from U.S. money and arms flowing to the anti-Soviet Mujahideen), half of Afghan university students were women, as were 40% of the country’s doctors, 70% of its teachers and 30% of its civil servants.

For all the talk of the advancement in women’s rights and education in the country, today, in half of Afghanistan’s provinces, fewer than 20% of teachers are female (and in many, that number is less than 10%). Only 37% of girls can even read (as opposed to 66% of boys), according to Human Rights Watch.

Fear of personal safety in the country has increased virtually every year in Afghanistan since 2005, reaching all-time highs today. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives and 5.9 million people have fled their homes. In 2018 alone, Afghans submitted 1.17 million complaints to the International Criminal Court, detailing accounts of atrocities from all groups, including U.S. forces.

Killing and making a killing

Thus, it is painfully clear that there are many losers in this conflict. But there were also clear winners. Even losing wars make money, and much of that money went to private or semi-private companies that populate the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Hoh stated that there was corruption and stealing among American officials as well as Afghan. Deals were not documented, often completed upon a handshake alone, and there is often no paper trail to explain where all this money went. “But a lot of this was just legal,” he said, noting that 40% of the “aid” money earmarked for Iraq and Afghanistan never even left the United States, going towards management and consultancy fees for the prime contractor.

One of these groups is Creative Associates International, a for-profit NGO that received $449 million worth of contracts in Afghanistan, including one to rebuild the country’s education system around a privatized model. Creative Associates redesigned the Afghan curriculum, purging any mention of the past few decades of the country’s history (including the Taliban) from textbooks. “You can’t buy that kind of thought control — unless you have a few hundred million,” wrote one American educator.

Weapons companies have also made a killing supplying the U.S. and its allies with the arms necessary to sustain a 20-year campaign. As Jon Schwarz of The Intercept noted, defense stocks have outperformed the market by 58% over the past two decades. A prime example of this is Lockheed Martin. $10,000 of that company’s stock bought in September 2001 would now be worth more than $133,000. Lockheed Martin itself today receives more in federal contracts than all weapons manufacturers put together did 20 years ago.

Hoh sardonically noted that “the one place that reconstruction was successful was in Northern Virginia.” The rest of America might be struggling, but Raytheon Acres is flourishing.

Why we fight

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the United States and its allies originally entered Afghanistan to capture Osama Bin Laden, for whom the Taliban were said to have previously provided sanctuary. Underreported at the time was that the Taliban offered to hand him over to a third country if the U.S. would provide evidence connecting him to the terrorist attacks.

The U.S.’ mission slowly changed from stamping out al-Qaeda to opposing the Taliban, to the point that, when Bin Laden was killed in 2011 (in Pakistan), there was little talk of pulling the U.S. out of Afghanistan. Highlighting the phenomenon of mission creep is the fact that in the first draft of the U.S.’ 2009 military strategy for Afghanistan document, there is no mention of al-Qaeda, because NATO believed the group was “no longer a problem.”

While President Joe Biden has been praised and condemned in equal measure for his decision to remove troops from the country, he was at pains to make clear that this was not a renunciation of violence, saying:

Today a terrorist threat has metastasized well beyond Afghanistan. Al-Shabab in Somalia, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Nusra in Syria, ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia. These threats warrant our attention and our resources.”

“We’ve developed counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the direct threats to the United States in the region, and act quickly and decisively if needed,” he added.

Therefore, it is clear that the White House has not learned the lessons that anti-war activists hoped they had. With Washington also increasingly setting its sights on China and Russia, the exorbitant costs in Afghanistan might seem cheap in comparison to any future wars dwarfing this one in scale.

Feature photo | An Afghanistan National Army soldier, left, smokes as a U.S. Army soldier from Charlie Company, sits next to him in Camp Khogyani, Aug. 5, 2015. Massoud Hossaini | AP

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

Romania and Bulgaria Have Low Vaccination Rates – And Low COVID Rates

Contrary to the expectations heavily promoted by politicians, media, and public health establishment, Bulgarians and Romanians saw a low number of COVID-19 infections this summer as they continued to refuse to take the COVID vaccines.

In fact, Bulgaria and Romania have some of the lowest rates of COVID infections per 100,000 people in Europe, according to an August 22 statistical analysis of European countries.

“The current vaccination rate in Romania is half compared to that of Bulgaria (0.13 vaccines per 100 inhabitants on average in the last seven days) and 7.5 times lower than the EU average (0.45 vaccines per 100 inhabitants),” according to Romania Insider. “On the opposite end, Denmark has administered 0.94 vaccine doses per 100 inhabitants on average over the last seven days.” Bulgaria and Romania’s vaccination rates since the 2020 release of the jab are not significantly different.

The two countries sandwich Denmark for lowest infection rates on the continent.

While the publication said that “the number of new COVID-19 cases has risen to the highest level since the end of May,” the article fails to provide the necessary context.

Romania’s reported COVID cases peaked at nearly 60,000 in November 2020, before a vaccine was made available.

Through the summer, Romania’s 25 percent vaccination rate did not lead it to experience a surge in infections. “Officials say Romania has received more [than] 16 million doses of several western-made vaccines but less than 55 per cent have been used, as the number of vaccines administered daily has dropped to around 20,000 from 100,000 last month,” the Irish Timesreported.

The publication admitted “a slowing infection rate has weakened the impetus for some in Romania to get vaccinated: only 31 new cases of Covid-19 and five deaths were reported on Thursday, adding to a national total of 1.08 million infections and 33,786 fatalities.”

For example, the week of July 5 saw a low of 285 confirmed cases. While the past several weeks of August have seen an increase to almost 4,000 cases in one week, it’s still much lower than pre-vaccination rates and the early months of 2021.

March 29 saw 38,000 confirmed cases of COVID, and infections continued to drop throughout the spring.

Romanians have continued to reject the COVID vaccines, leading the country to sell its surplus doses to Denmark and other countries.

Bulgarian political leaders have likewise not convinced their citizens to get the jab.

The country has also experienced a slow summer, with infections decreasing throughout the spring. Currently only 16 percent of its adult population is considered fully vaccinated.

“As of 14 August, 20.1% of the adult population in Bulgaria have received at least one dose of vaccine against Covid-19, 18.2% are double-vaccinated, Single Coronavirus Information Portal data show,” Radio Bulgaria reported.

Most months this summer saw fewer than 1,000 weekly confirmed cases of COVID.

High rates of vaccination do not necessarily translate to a decrease in COVID and potentially lead to a higher spread of the delta variant. Natural immunity, which comes from previous infections, has been proven to help Israelis more than the vaccine.

“Coronavirus patients who recovered from the virus were far less likely to become infected during the latest wave of the pandemic than people who were vaccinated against COVID, according to numbers presented to the Israeli Health Ministry,” Israel National News reported.

Europeans have other reasons to be hesitant about the vaccines.

“More than 2 million adverse events and 21,000 deaths have been reported to a European Union (EU) drug reaction database following the use of currently available COVID jabs,” an August 26 LifeSite analysis found.

Los Angeles Fire Department Captain on COVID Vaccine Mandate: This Tyranny Stops Right Here, Right Now

Cristian Granucci is a Los Angeles Fire Department Captain and 31-year veteran. Earlier this week he posted a video on Telegram which has since gone viral, where he states, “I’m done being silent,” in regards to the City’s COVID vaccine mandate for him and the entire Los Angeles Fire Department.

He is very angry that their union has done nothing to protect their rights, and he makes it very clear that this is NOT a political statement, as this issue is not “right versus left,” or “Republican versus Democrat.” He says it is about “Freedom of choice,” and fighting tyranny.

This tyranny stops right here, right now!

Granucci claims that only half of the department has taken the shot, and that he represents “hundreds,” and that this group is “growing by the day.” They have allegedly retained an attorney that he calls “a shark.”

I’m going to catch so much grief for this (video), but I don’t care. I wouldn’t be able to look at my wife though, and my sons in the eye as they grew up under total tyrannical law and rule, when I had a chance a chance to stop this, I had a chance to fight, but I did nothing.

And “grief” is exactly what he did “catch.” As his message went viral online, the LA Fire Department decided to take action and start an investigation.

This morning, the LAFD was made aware of the video posted on social media. While we respect the individual’s right to his opinion, he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the Department. The individual is in uniform and appears to be on duty, thereby giving the impression that he is speaking in an official capacity.

Therefore, the matter has been submitted to our Professional Standards Division for investigation, which may lead to disciplinary action. (Source.)

This had the immediate effect of being the same as throwing a bucket of gasoline on a fire, as now the corporate media has picked up the story as well, both nationally, and locally, and it is no longer just an online viral phenomenon.

This could have devastating effects on firefighting in Southern California. Because while fires rage in the north of the State of California, the infamous Santa Ana winds have not yet started in Southern California, which is when most fires break out there, and are often the most deadly fires in the state.

The video is available from Bitchute and Rumble channels.

‘This Ends The Debate’ – Israeli Study Shows Natural Immunity 13x More Effective Than Vaccines At Stopping Delta

via Zerohedge

Dr. Anthony Fauci and the rest of President Biden’s COVID advisors have been proven wrong about “the science” of COVID vaccines yet again. After telling Americans that vaccines offer better protection than natural infection, a new study out of Israel suggests the opposite is true: natural infection offers a much better shield against the delta variant than vaccines.

The study was described by Bloomberg as “the largest real-world analysis comparing natural immunity – gained from an earlier infection – to the protection provided by one of the most potent vaccines currently in use.” A few days ago, we noted how remarkable it was that the mainstream press was finally giving voice to scientists to criticize President Biden’s push to start doling out booster jabs. Well, this study further questions the credibility of relying on vaccines, given that the study showed that the vaccinated were ultimately 13x as likely to be infected as those who were infected previously, and 27x more likely to be symptomatic.

Alex Berenson, a science journalist who has repeatedly questioned the efficacy of vaccines and masks at preventing COVID, touted the study as enough to “end any debate over vaccines v natural immunity.”

Here’s an excerpt from a report by Science Magazine:

The new analysis relies on the database of Maccabi Healthcare Services, which enrolls about 2.5 million Israelis. The study, led by Tal Patalon and Sivan Gazit at KSM, the system’s research and innovation arm, found in two analyses that people who were vaccinated in January and February were, in June, July, and the first half of August, six to 13 times more likely to get infected than unvaccinated people who were previously infected with the coronavirus. In one analysis, comparing more than 32,000 people in the health system, the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 was 27 times higher among the vaccinated, and the risk of hospitalization eight times higher.

This time, the data leave little doubt that natural infection truly is the better option for protection against the delta variant, despite the fact that the US won’t acknowledge the already infected as having antibodies protecting them from the virus.

As the first country to achieve widepsread coverage by the vaccine, Israel is now in an unthinkable situation: daily case numbers have reached new record levels as the delta variant penetrates the vaccines’ protection like a hot knife slicing through butter.

Source: Bloomberg

At the very least, the results of the study are good news for patients who have already successfully battled COVID but show the challenge of relying exclusively on immunizations to move past the pandemic.

“This analysis demonstrated that natural immunity affords longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization due to the delta variant,” the researchers said.

Unfortunately, the study also showed that any protection is time-limited. Protection offered by natural infection wanes over time, just like the protection afforded by vaccines: The risk of a vaccine-breakthrough delta case was 13x higher than the risk of developing a second infection when the original illness occurred during January or February 2021. That’s significantly more than the risk for people who were ill earlier in the outbreak.

What’s more, giving a single shot of the vaccine to those who had been previously infected also appeared to boost their protection. Still, the data don’t tell us anything about the long-term benefits of booster doses.

This latest data showing the vaccines don’t offer anywhere near the 90%+ protection that was originally advertised by the FDA after the emergency authorization. Other studies are finding harmful side effects caused by the mRNA jabs are also more prevalent than previously believed.

Read the study pre-print below.

2021.08.24.21262415v1.full by Joseph Adinolfi Jr. on Scribd.

Download this PDF

New Evidence, Including a Sworn Affidavit from Prof. Luc A. Montagnier, has been Submitted to the International Criminal Court Alleging World Governments Are Complicit in Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

via Daily Expose

New evidence, including sworn affidavits from leading experts such as Professor Luc A. Montagnier, has been submitted to the International Criminal Court by lawyers in several countries alleging Government’s across the world and their advisors are complicit in genocide, crimes against humanity and breaches of the Nuremberg Code.

Attorney Melinda C. Mayne, and Kaira S. McCallum submitted a 27-page ‘Request for Investigation’ to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague back in April 2021 alleging the UK Government and its advisors were complicit in crimes against humanity in the name of Covid-19.

On the 28th of April 2021, the pair received a formal acknowledgement from the ICC and were assigned a case number – ‘141/21’. Since then the pair have been gathering new evidence to use in their ICC claim and have established connections with lawyers and research scientists from around the world.

A new press release released on the 17th August, which can be viewed here, confirms that the pair have received sworn affidavits from leading experts including research scientist and nuclear cardiologist Dr Richard M. Fleming, the Nobel Laureate virologist Professor Luc A. Montagnier, and Dr Kevin W. McCairn, a neuroscientist and expert on neurological disease.

Professor Luc A Montagnier, who won a Nobel prize for his work on the HIV virus, claimed in April 2020 that he believed the novel coronavirus was created in a laboratory. Then in May 2021 the expert virologist stated that “Mass vaccinations are a scientific error as well as a medical error. It is an unacceptable mistake. The history books will show that, because it is the vaccination that is creating the variants”.

Professor Luc A Montagnier

A new claim has also been submitted to the ICC due to the vast amount of new evidence and information that has come to light in the past few months, and the lawyers say they now have compelling evidence that “the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Covid-19 ‘vaccines’ are deliberately engineered bioweapons that have been released in two phashes on unsuspecting peoples of the world”.

Attorney Melinda C. Mayne, and Kaira S. McCallum have also confirmed that they have now be joined by lawyers who have filed similar Requests for Investigation to the International Criminal Court, in France, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Because of this a letter was sent to the ICC on the 12th August 2021 requesting they all be allowed to submit a joint claim, whilst also submitting preliminary evidence for the allegations common to everyone across the world, and requesting the right to have claims specific to individual countries also investigated by the ICC.

One request specific to the United Kingdom is an examination of genocide of the elderly and vulnerable that took place in care homes and hospitals through the inappropriate use of midazolam and morphine. Another investigation specific to this issue has also now concluded and a private criminal prosecution will proceed against the UK Government, Matt Hancock, Chris Whitty and others if the team of lawyers and experts who have carried out the investigation do not receive satisfactory answers to the extensive questions that have been forwarded to the aforementioned in an open letter sent on the 17th August 2021.

Whilst in the joint claim between lawyers from several countries they have requested that there be an immediate suspension on the entire Covid-19 injection programme and an end to the testing of asymptomatic people.

The lawyers say that they now eagerly await the decision of the International Criminal Court as to whether they will allow a joint claim by several countries to be made and accept the Request for Investigation.

They have made it clear to the ICC that due to the escalating medical apartheid, the loss of basic freedoms and rights, and the ever-increasing, very high number of deaths and serious adverse events suffered by recipients of Covid-19 injections, that there is an urgent need for the Court to act swiftly and without further delay.

To that end the lawyers have requested a meeting at the Hague as soon as is practicable.

Whilst awaiting the response Attorney Melinda C. Mayne, and Kaira S. McCallum have confirmed they are in discussions with lawyers in other countries who have not yet filed their individual Requests to the ICC, but have indicated they wish to join them, and will issue an update as and when there is further news.

China Urges WHO to Scour US Military Biolab in Search for Covid’s Origins

by Ilya Tsukanov via Sputnik News

Washington and Beijing are in the midst of a heated back-and-forth campaign of claims accusing one another of responsibility for unleashing the coronavirus pandemic on the world. US officials allege that the virus may have been leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, while Chinese officials claim it may have originated in a US military biolab.

Chen Xu, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations office in Geneva, has sent the World Health Organisation a formal request asking the global health authority to open a probe into Fort Detrick, the Maryland-based US Army laboratory once known as the centre of America’s biological weapons programme, and its possible role in the origins of the novel coronavirus.

In a letter addressed to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Chen reiterated Beijing’s position on SARS-CoV-2, which states that the Wuhan lab leak theory is an “extremely unlikely” scenario. The letter went on to ask the WHO to probe the lab at Fort Detrick, and to investigate research carried out by University of North Carolina professor Ralph Baric, suggesting that “if some parties are of the view that the ‘lab leak’ hypothesis remains open, it is the labs of Fort Detrick and the University of North Carolina in the US that should be subject to transparent investigation with full access.”

Chen accompanied his letter with an online petition signed by over 25 million Chinese nationals demanding an investigation into Fort Detrick, as well as two documents, entitled “Doubtful Points About Fort Detrick” and “Coronavirus Research Conducted by Dr. Ralph Baric’s Team at the University of North Carolina”.

The latter document, published in full by Xinhua, calls into question US epidemiologist Dr. Ralph Baric’s work into coronaviruses, including gain-of-function research, and points to his team’s research into synthesizing and modifying SARS-related coronaviruses going back to at least 2003, including bat-related coronaviruses, since at least 2008.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Fu Cong, director general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s department of arms control and disarmament, commented on Chen’s letter, suggesting that “the international community has long been seriously concerned about Fort Detrick,” and pointing to the facility’s “advanced capabilities to synthesise and modify SARS-related coronaviruses as early as 2003.”

Fu pointed to “multiple” alleged biological safety-related accidents taking place at the institute, including the mysterious July 2019 shutdown, after which “outbreaks of respiratory diseases sharing similar symptoms of COVID-19” began to be reported “in the communities near Fort Detrick.”

The diplomat further alleged that US biological research activities, including at Fort Detrick and an estimated 200+ US biological institutions abroad, were “not in line with the Biological Weapons Convention,” and “not known [about] by the international community.”

Earlier this month, China rejected a push by the WHO to continue its investigation into COVID-19’s origins at the Wuhan lab, citing their support for ‘scientific, not politicised’ theories on the virus’s roots. On 12 August, the world health authority called on Beijing to share raw data on the earliest cases of Covid.

US President Joe Biden, who spent the 2020 campaign dismissing then-president Donald Trump’s claims on Covid’s Wuhan potential man-made origins, reversed course and ordered a probe into how the virus may have spread to humans in May, giving intelligence agencies until the end of August to put a report on his desk. Chinese media have accusedWashington of using “second-hand, unreliable evidence to compile a report that tries to smear China,” while officials in Beijing continue to support the original WHO-China joint study, which concluded that a leak from the Wuhan lab was “highly unlikely”.

In addition to the ‘China did it’/‘US did it’ theories being pushed by officials in both countries, some US lawmakers, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, have hinted that both nations may be directly or indirectly responsible. In a recent Senate probe, Paul asked questions about the complex web of US government financing for potentially dangerous coronavirus gain-of-function research at Wuhan in the years leading up to the pandemic. In July, Paul grilled coronavirus czar Anthony Fauci, accusing him of backing such funding and lying to Congress about it. Fauci vocally denied the allegations and told Paul that he “did not know what [he was] talking about”.