by Janet C. Phelan
It is a scene out of a futuristic political thriller—the Secretary of State issues secret orders for embassy officials to collect the DNA of foreign heads of state while the President, speaking at a $1,000 a plate dinner, is surrounded by a contingent of Secret Service agents wiping clean his drinking glasses and picking up stray hair follicles. They are not just protecting the President—they are protecting the President’s DNA.
If this sounds like a script treatment for a Hollywood version of a Philip K. Dick novel, consider this: The Secretary of State’s name is Hillary Clinton and her directives to embassies were uncovered in a 2010 WikiLeaks cable release. The President in this scenario is Barack Obama and the Secret Service unit pledged to protect his DNA is a group of Navy stewards, as revealed in the 2009 book by Ronald Kessler, entitled In the President’s Secret Service.
Our government’s DNA obsession was again in the news on June 2013 as the Supreme Court handed down a decision, worthy of penning by George Orwell, that law enforcement collection of arrestees’ DNA is not an invasion of privacy. The decision likened DNA to fingerprints, neatly sidestepping the fact that a person’s complete genetic makeup is contained in those drops of blood that the police can now collect with impunity and without fear of a civil rights lawsuit.
Beyond the obvious concerns that this decision violates both the Fourth Amendment and the subsequent exclusionary rule, there are deeper concerns as to why our government is so keen on collecting our DNA.
The stated aim of furthering crime solution becomes tinny when one realizes that the government is also collecting the DNA of newborns. President Bush signed
The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007, which formally codified the process that the federal government has been engaged in for years, screening the DNA of all newborn babies in the U.S.
Since we are not yet threatened with the specter of toddlers robbing banks, one must look further to discern what is the big deal about our DNA.
Back in 1997, Dr. Wayne Nathanson warned a meeting of the Science and Ethics Department of the Medical Society of the United Kingdom that “gene therapy” might be turned to insidious uses and result in “gene weapons,” which could be used to target specific people containing a specific genetic structure. These weapons “could be delivered not only in the forms already seen in warfare such as gas and aerosol, but could also be added to water supplies, causing not only death but sterility and birth defects in targeted groups.”
Decades before this 3warning, the U.S. Government was already hard at work in scientific endeavors to find gene and ethnic specific weapons. In an article entitled “Ethnic Weapons,” published in the Military Review in 1970, the author, Dr. Carl A. Larson, was found rhapsodizing about the state of technology facilitating the targeting of ethnic groups with covert weapons. Wrote Larson: “Surrounded with clouds of secrecy, a systematic search for new incapacitating agents is going on in many laboratories.”
Changing his tone, he writes that “It is quite possible to use incapacitating agents over the entire range of offensive operations, from covert activities to mass destruction.”
Larson concludes with: “The enzymatic process for DNA production has been known for some years but now the factors have been revealed which regulate the initiation and specificity of enzyme production. Not only have the factors been found, but their inhibitors. Thus, the functions of life lie bare to attack.” (emphasis added)
Dr. Wouter Basson’s research for Project Coast, the biological and chemical warfare unit under the apartheid government in South Africa, was known to be focused on developing a “blacks only” bioweapon. Basson, who was tied to intelligence facilities and labs in both Great Britain and the U.S., has been reported to have been successful in his endeavors, which were taking place back in the seventies. His research would have entailed locating substances which would attach onto melanin, which is present in high degrees in darker colored skin.
Since Basson’s work on the melanin project, the rates of hypertension and diabetes have skyrocketed in people of color—specifically those of African descent and indigenous, brown skinned populations. In some communities, the incidence of these diseases is now reported as up to 50 percent. Consonant with the reports that this substance has been leaked into processed food, the spiking rates of the “silent killers,” hypertension and diabetes, are present in the developed world, where people eat more processed food. In rural Africa, for example, where the population eats food from natural sources, the rates of diabetes and hypertension have remained constant.
Geneticists have maintained that developing an ethnic weapon is actually far more difficult than creating a gene weapon to target a specific person. The differences between groups are apparently much smaller than the differences between individuals and therefore the creation of a genetic weapon to target, for example, a head of state or a President is far less challenging than creating such a weapon to target an entire race.
The FBI admits to a database of around 13 million offenders, many only arrested and never charged with a crime. According to Twila Brase, President of Citizens Council for Health