The problem with organizations - whether private or public, corporate or government - is that they are filled with people. People fuck up, and as such, organizations are prone to error.
Why, even hot shot organizations filled with the best of the best of the best can fuck up. So that NASAs can crash robot satellites into Mars because one team calculated in centimeters and another in inches. SRI International gave us Uri Geller. DARPA seems to have been snookered by "hearts and minds" sociologists promising to find out what makes, first the Viet Cong in Vietnam, and then, later Sunni insurgents in Iraq, tick.
What makes the Viet Cong tick?
That's a great question. It was asked by Ivy League egghead Robert Macnamara. (A similar, amnesiac's, question was later asked by the wretched Donald Rumsfeld, in the form of "What's with all these IEDs? Don't they realize we stole their country fair and square"!!?).
Actually, if you were working outside of the Defense Department in, say, 1964, that would be an easy question to answer. But, if you were working in the Defense department, and didn't like the easy answer (The Viet Cong tick because Yankee No Go Home), that was a very hard question to answer. It required reams of papers from extensive studies, and millions of dollars, and lots of self-deception, to get to the hard answer. And the hard answer was "This pesky Southeast Asian war will be over in a year. Maybe two. If we can just get the gooks to get with the program".
So, I think I've mentioned before that I have a theory, or rather an entertainment (since theory and theater share the same root word), that, from 1945 onward, the world experienced a prolonged WWIII over a fifty year period. We exploded a little more than half a gigaton in nuclear weapons tests into the atmosphere, dirtying up our air, soil, and water.
And the entertainment is that, as result, all that radiation affecting the brain development of human fetuses, anyone born after, say, 1954, is severely and profoundly retarded. And so, our parents, and older brothers and sisters, have worked feverishly to reverse the genetic damage, and when that was found to be irreversible, to work feverishly to created a Fisher-Price civilization to accommodate all of us retards.
I told this fantasy at a family gathering once, and got a laugh out of everyone except my parents. And they gave me the fish eye, and maybe even looked at each other and thought "What do you know, he's on to us".
But that's not what I want to talk about, save that puts us on the subject of post-apocalyptic armageddonal thinking. So, Biopreparat, and Ken Alibek. Were we snookered by the Soviets?
I think partly. I have no doubt that Soviet Union developed some of the most horrifying and hideous bioweapons during the Cold War. I think Ken Alibek was more or less truthful in describing the program. Oh, sure, I'm sure there was some exaggeration, a little added coloration and flair for the telling.
And why not? Because, you know, money to be made.
But yeah, chimeric superbugs and viruses loaded into cozy little room-tempature capsules, mounted SS-18 Satan missiles, to be dropped along with all the horrors of war on American cities? Sure, why not?
Gotta trust the Russkies not to pull any punches. Honestly, I'd be disappointed otherwise.
But it got me to thinking. Isn't that kind of a overly crude stratagem for chess players? I mean, downright Neolithic? Just straight out brute force in a brute force projection arms race escalation is a waste of a game. Not when the arms race of deceit and fraud is so much more interesting.
Consider: there are many instances of viruses infecting hosts and then doing nothing. They are called stealth viruses, and their DNA package is a called a silent load. So, for example, E coli bacteria can be infected with a virus, and then it just sits there. Then, some type of environmental trigger, for example and application of antibiotics, causes the virus to wake up and replicate. This has actually happened in some human patients where, receiving an antibiotic to clear up a nasty bacterial infection, suddenly come down with an even more serious viral infection. Creepy!
So, and there are instances that we know of now where, through the application of light, epigenetic or genetic changes can be triggered, and this is called optogenetics.
So, it so happens that one of the vaccines used in the anti-polio vaccination programs of the 1950s and '60s used cultures of kidney cells from African green monkeys. These cells, discovered later, contained monkey virus, simian virus 40, SV40, which eluded the quality control programs of the day.
This is a stretch, but let's assume Soviet scientists knew of optogenetics in the late 40s, and that further, they were able to produce a SV40 chimeric virus using, oh, I don't know, a common viral medium of the time like monkey kidney cells. And this SV40 chimera was set up to be activated by light, and let's say it is light produced by a cathode ray tube. And let's say that one consequence of the activation is the rendering of certain proteins within the brain to produce a thought-smothering plaque choking off the neurons.
So, 98 million TV watching Americans over time getting all Alzheimered out, producing a ball and chain drag upon the American economy.
Better buy me some Dr. Ken's broad-spectrum immune booster pills.