Pentagon to Use Genetic Code to Identify Perfect Soldier?

by Joe Wolverton, II
The New American
January 24, 2011

Old soldiers never die, they just pass on their genetic code?

A report issued by a defense science advisory panel suggests that the Pentagon may begin collecting DNA from military personnel to identify the genome sequence that defines a good soldier. Findings reported by JASON, an independent group of scientists which advises the U.S. government on matters of science and technology, recommends that the Pentagon take advantage of “the rapidly falling cost of gene sequencing by preparing to engage in the mass sequencing of the genomes” of the men and women of the armed forces.

From the movie Captain America

The physicists, biologists, chemists, oceanographers, mathematicians, and computer scientists that comprise the JASON project, point out that the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have access to an untapped source of valuable genetic information and are “uniquely positioned to make great advances” in the science of genetic research in this crucial field. Specifically mentioned are the decades of archived medical records and DNA samples already on file at the VA.

A commentary on the report published by the ACLU claims:

Specifically, the report recommends that the Pentagon begin collecting [and] sequencing soldiers’ DNA for “diagnostic and predictive applications.” It recommends that the military begin seeking correlations between soldiers’ genotypes and phenotypes (outward characteristics) “of relevance to the military” in order to correlate the two. And the report says — without offering details — that both “offensive and defensive military operations” could be affected.

The privacy concerns of such a program are obvious. The threshold question that the Pentagon would have to answer would be whether the collection of such samples (whether archival, contemporary, or future) presents a thorny legal problem in that the blood or other substances derived from the body of subjects is the property of that subject and therefore protected by the Constitution’s prohibition on the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without the due process of law.

Congress has legislated in this general area. In 2008, Congress passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits group health plans and health insurers from denying coverage to a healthy individual or charging that person higher premiums based solely on a person’s genetic predisposition to the possible of development of disease. The law also bars employers from using individuals’ genetic information when making personnel decisions.

While GINA does not apply to the military, it is certainly an indication of the opposition any similar use of genome sequences would face in Congress were the Defense Department to attempt such a project.

Regardless of whether the DoD makes such use of the DNA of soldiers, airmen, and marines, there is no doubt as to the surprising amount of such data already under the control of the Pentagon.

As reported in an article published in the American Journal of Human Genetics:

Currently, DoD collects and uses the genetic information of service members in several ways. All U.S. service members, including active duty and reserve military personnel, must provide a DNA sample that may be used to identify their remains should they die in battle (see Armed Forces Institute of Pathology database online). These samples are housed in the Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Samples for the Identification of Remains. As of 2002, the United States military’s DNA repository contained 3.2 million samples.

Inarguably, the accurate identification of battlefield casualties is an appropriate use of DNA material; however, the use of that very personal data as a sample for compiling the specific genetic code of the perfect soldier is much more controversial for a few reasons.

First, there is the question of how the Pentagon would use the identification of the sequence. Would this or that recruit be placed in the infantry rather than in a support billet based solely on his genetic code?

Second, there is the irrefutable scientific fact that a person’s genetic code is only one factor is his behavior. Apart from DNA, there are cultural, education, and other influences that also affect the way a person reacts to his surroundings and to the challenges he faces.

The ACLU article makes a good point regarding the potential abuses latent in such a controversial project:

If the Pentagon has strong, nonspeculative reasons to believe that genetic research could help military effectiveness, or if it wants to make use of genetics to help with medical care just like the rest of the medical world, then let it operate in exactly the same way that civilian scientists would, under accepted scientific protocols, including meaningful informed consent, Institutional Review Boards, and other accepted standards of human-subject research.

Soldiers, having signed away many of their rights upon enlistment, should not be used for research that would not otherwise comport with our values, just because they are conveniently available.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of this report and the suggestions made therein is the uses to which this data could be put by a government intent on singling out a particular group from among its citizens. As has been chronicled many times by The New American, the government of the United Kingdom has amassed a database that is the most extensive in any developed nation. The database was established in 1995 and is the world’s largest. It contains the DNA material of over five million Britons, a figure that represents 8 percent of the population of England and Wales. The recording system was initially developed ostensibly to aid the police in the investigation of crime scenes and function as a “vital crime-fighting tool” in tracking down elusive offenders.

Should the government of the United States or any agency thereof begin cataloging the DNA of military servicemen, the balkanization of Americans may be accomplished not just by ethnicity, but also by one’s genetic predisposition to accept the tyrannical abolition of freedom.

The Year Bilderberg was Exposed Worldwide

Detractors of the secretive roundtable group saw one of their biggest wishes come true in St. Moritz, Switzerland

by Alex Newman
The New American
June 13, 2011

The amount of publicity garnered by the secretive Bilderberg conference this year in St. Moritz, Switzerland, far surpassed the coverage afforded to past gatherings of the elite cabal, with major media outlets and international news wires finally reporting on the yearly event after refusing to do so for over five decades. Protests, the alternative media, and anti-Bilderberg politicians played an important role in spreading the news.

Bilderberg, named after the Dutch hotel where members first met in 1954, brings together some of the most influential figures on Earth. More than 120 top-level officials in government, banking, media, finance, business, think-tanks, armed forces, and even European royalty attend the confab every year.

Among the confirmed 2011 European and Canadian attendees were the British Chancellor of the Exchequer (“in his official capacity,” according to the Treasury), the President of the European Central Bank, the head of Canada’s central bank, the queens of the Netherlands and Spain, the Crown Prince of Norway, a representative of the unimaginably vast Rothschild banking empire, finance ministers, heads of state, and many more.

A reporter on the scene for the U.K. Guardian said there were also individuals in attendance who were not on the official list — a regular occurrence discovered almost every year. Among them were German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen, and Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain. Microsoft founder and multi-billionaire Bill Gates was reportedly spotted as well.

A handful of non-Westerners also attended, including Turkish business moguls and members of the political class in Turkey. A senior representative of the brutal Communist dictatorship ruling mainland China was there as well. So was a Russian oligarch.

More than two dozen prominent members of the American elite attended, too. An especially interesting cadre at the 2011 event included some of the masters of the internet world: The co-founder of Facebook; the executive chairman of Google; the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn; the founder and CEO of Amazon.com; the commander of the American military’s “cyber command” (or USCYBERCOM); Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer; and others.

Representatives of the non-digital American elite were out in force as well. Among them were former Ghaddafi adviser and Bush-era neo-con extraordinaire Richard Perle; billionaire David Rockefeller, who openly boasted in his autobiography of conspiring to erect a global political and economic system; Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary and current co-chairman of the immensely powerful, world-government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations; the vice-chairman of Citigroup; TV personality Charlie Rose; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who frequently and publicly calls for what he refers to as a “New World Order”; the president of the World Bank; and others.

Top officials in the Obama administration were also there including — quite ironically — the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Keith Alexander were also on the official list, as were former Federal Reserve and military chiefs. Not on the public list but spotted at the conference, according to unconfirmed reports from correspondents in St. Moritz, was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

By any objective standard, a meeting of over 120 of the world’s most powerful individuals would seem to be extraordinarily newsworthy. But until recently, the confab rarely attracted even a passing mention in the establishment press. The eerie silence fueled deep suspicion and innumerable theories about what the group may be plotting in secret. This year, however, was different,  at least in terms of media coverage.

In a story picked up by numerous large-circulation U.S. newspapers including the Washington Post, for example, the Associated Press wire service described the June 9-12 event as a “secretive gathering of senior government officials and business executives … that some liken to a shadow world government.” CNBC, Forbes, Fox News, the Baltimore Sun, Time magazine and others also ran stories about Bilderberg.

In China, the media were buzzing with news of the conference, too. One Chinese-language report by the French wire service AFP referred to the group as the “mysterious world shadow government” in a headline, according to Google Translate. Chinese media behemoth United Daily News ran a similar headline for another Bilderberg article.

European and Russian news outlets offered unprecedented levels of coverage as well, with the Guardian newspaper and the TV network Russia Today both sending correspondents to the scene. Several alternative-media outlets including the American Free Press and InfoWars sent reporters, too. And the Swiss press in particular has been overflowing with reports on Bilderberg for over a week.

Analysts speculated that the so-called “mainstream media” establishment — which is rapidly losing its market share as news consumers increasingly turn to alternative sources — was essentially forced to cover the conference in an attempt to salvage what remains of its credibility. But despite the increased attention, in one segment of the establishment press, news of the event was conspicuously missing.

Among the confirmed 2011 Bilderberg attendees were representatives of more than a few major media firms: the editor-in-chief and two correspondents of the Economist magazine; the chief international correspondent of Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper; the editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat, Scandinavia’s largest daily subscription publication; a political columnist for the Dutch paper NRC Handelsblad; the CEO of Portuguese media giant Impresa; and more. None of those “news” outlets had covered the Bilderberg conference by press time on June 12.

There was, however, at least one notable exception. The CEO and publisher of Standard Medien AG, an Austrian media conglomerate, was also among those present at the Bilderberg summit. And one of his firm’s online portals, derstandard.at, reported the fact that Austria’s head of government, Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann, was in attendance.

A rival political party was apparently upset about the nation‘s Chancellor attending the meeting, even demanding an “intelligence” report about the conference from Faymann upon his return. So, not covering the growing scandal might have been raised serious questions about the integrity of Standard Medien among Austrian news consumers.

But even with the burgeoning Bilderberg coverage, critics still complained that the amount of media surrounding the conference was insufficient — especially considering the magnitude of the news. Other analysts noted that much of the “mainstream” coverage focused on downplaying the significance of the event or attempting to demonize critics.

But progress is certainly being made. While it would be impossible to calculate exactly how many people around the globe learned of Bilderberg’s existence over the past week, it’s safe to assume the number is in the millions — possibly tens or even hundreds of millions.

In recent years, authors, researchers, and the so-called “alternative media” have increasingly been spreading information and news about the cabal through the Internet. And not even including the new-found press coverage, the online exposure appears to have dramatically increased awareness about the confab.

Hundreds of protesters and critics from all across the political spectrum descended on St. Moritz to lambaste the elite attendees. They held up anti-Bilderberg signs and blasted their opposition through bull horns around the perimeter of the luxury Suvretta House hotel throughout the whole four-day gathering.

On the first day of the conference, along with a bogus “bomb” scare, a giant wall of curtains was erected around the edge of the Bilderberg compound. Presumably it was designed to keep protesters from looking in and conference attendees from being forced to see the growing crowd outside.

But at one point, angry protesters did get a chance to shout at some heavily guarded members of the elite in a face-to-face confrontation. During a “nature walk” outside the hotel, one activist even had a brief exchange with Thomas Enders, the CEO of Airbus. “We are just making our agendas,” Enders responded to a question about what was being discussed behind closed doors with politicians. “I don’t have to tell you, and you don’t need to know,” he arrogantly explained with a smile on his face.

Several lower-ranking members of the political class made a fuss about the event as well. Italian member of the European Parliament Mario Borghezio, for example, attempted to force his way into the conference on the first day. He was reportedly detained and roughed up by police, prompting the Italian embassy in Switzerland to demand answers.

Prominent Swiss politicians were furious about the gathering, too. Center-right Parliamentarian Dominique Baettig of the nation’s largest political party, for example, asked prosecutors to consider arresting attendees such as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for war crimes, suggesting that Swiss officials at the event should be charged with treason. Baettig, too, tried unsuccessfully to barge in on the conference in what the Guardian‘s Charlie Skelton called a “historic moment.”

Some Bilderberg opponents have also suggested arresting U.S. attendees, citing the Logan Act. That law prohibits Americans from negotiating policy with foreign officials.

Regular Bilderberg attendee and former International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, another socialist, was recently arrested in New York on unrelated sex charges. But calls to prosecute various Bilderbergers for a wide range of criminal offenses are only growing louder.

Critics of the confab are, of course, routinely derided as conspiracy “theorists” or worse by establishment apologists. The government-funded BBC recently ran a vicious smear piece against people suspicious of Bilderberg, trying to link opposition to secret meetings of global policy makers with anti-Semitism and other unsavory associations.

But leaks and public statements by attendees over the years — reported on by the BBC, ironically — reveal that the cabal was instrumental in more than a few world-changing occurrences. The continental super-state known as the European Union and the failing regional “euro” currency, for example, are just a few of the developments in recent decades attributed to Bilderberg.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests the group plays an important part in the seemingly unexplainable rise to power of national leaders. Bill Clinton, for example, attended the conference in 1991 as a virtually unknown state governor. The following year he became President. Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was reportedly there in 2008. British Prime Minster David Cameron and former PM Tony Blair both went to Bilderberg before rising to the top as well. So did a multitude of global power brokers too long to list.

Due to the tight secrecy, speculation about what may have been on the 2011 agenda is, as always, running rampant. But a press release posted on the relatively new “official” Bilderberg website cited by the AP and others offered some generalities about the topics of discussion: the euro, challenges for the EU, social networking, “security issues,” the Middle East, “demographic challenges,” China, and more. In 2007, “The New World Order” was the top item on the agenda.

“What is unique about Bilderberg as a forum is the broad cross-section of leading citizens that are assembled for nearly three days of informal and off-the-record discussion,” the group’s public statement notes, claiming that the “privacy of the meetings … has no purpose other than to allow  participants to speak their minds openly and freely.” Critics of the shadowy cabal, however, still aren’t buying it.