Thursday, December 07, 2006

From the December 2005 Idaho Observer:


Congress increases agency authority to mandate medical intervention; absolve itself and Big Pharma of any liability for damages or deaths

by The Idaho Observer

In 2004 Congress passed Project BioShield giving the secretaries of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the authority to declare a national emergency, whether real or potential. Project BioShield was allocated $5.6 billion over the next 10 years to fund research and the purchase of vaccines and other pharmaceutical drugs to be used as countermeasures to chemical, biological and radiological attacks on American citizens.

This authority was already used by the DoD when, on January 27, 2005, it forced an untested anthrax vaccine on military personnel deploying to Iraq and "other high threat areas" based on intelligence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Even though these alleged weapons have not been found to exist, the emergency use of the anthrax vaccine was extended by the FDA in July, 2005.

Despite the incredible financial incentives for Big Pharma to mass produce vaccines and drugs for use on the masses (with the National Institutes of Health continuing to do the bulk of the research necessary in developing such vaccines/drugs), they continued to stall due to the lack of liability protection written into Project BioShield. Since Big Pharma has already created for itself a 100 percent pure profit business with current vaccine mandates in all 50 states, the CDC, AMA, AAP and state health departments doing all advertising and promotion, and the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program picking up all liability for vaccine injuries, why should vaccine producers settle for anything less?

S 666

As a result, a special senate hearing convened on October 6, 2004 to discuss Senate Bill 666, known as BioShield II. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) planned to introduce it in the early weeks of the 109th Congress (January 2005). Due to the outrage of thousands of activists nationwide, the bill was scuttled, but never quite died. It reemerged as S. 975 and was introduced by Senators Lieberman, Orrin G. Hatch, and Sam Brownback (R-KS) on April 29, 2005 and placed on the legislative calendar. Now that thousands of activists were onto these Congressmen’s tricks, the bill never made it to the floor for a vote. But where there is a will, evil men will find a way.

S 1873

New to Congress, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) was given the "freshman’s" project of introducing the "Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005" (S. 1873) on October 17, 2005. It was approved in the Senate HELP Committee the following day by a voice vote. The act is eerily similar to BioShield II legislation (The IO, Jan, 2005) that combined S. 666 with naturally-occurring infectious diseases (avian flu?) with the sole purpose of releasing manufacturers of bioterrorist and influenza pandemic countermeasures from liability.

Burr told the committee that S 1873 "creates a true partnership" between the federal government, the pharmaceutical industry and academia to walk the drug companies "through the Valley of Death" when bringing a new vaccine to market. It will give the Department of Health and Human Services "additional authority and resources to partner with the private sector to rapidly develop drugs and vaccines."

What Burr did not mention—and what concerns activists most—is that S. 1873 would:

*Set up a new federal agency—the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency (BARDA) to be the single point of authority for the advanced research and development of medical countermeasures in response to bioterrorism and natural disease outbreaks. BARDA, its working groups and advisory boards will be allowed to operate in secret, exempt from provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) [PL 92-463; 5 US Code].

FACA, a law not as well known as FOIA, provides that a person "suffering a legal wrong because of agency action, or adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action within the meaning of a relevant statute is entitled to judicial review thereof."

*Encourage potential researchers, manufacturers, and health care delivery partners to commit substantial resources in order to bring medical countermeasures for pandemic diseases to market more quickly by providing liability protection.

Zero liability

Sec. 6 of the bill amends the Public Health Service Act [in Title 42 of the U.S. Code] by inserting a provision that manufacturers, distributors and administrators of "a security countermeasure, or a qualified pandemic or epidemic product" (and health care providers using the product) "shall be immune from suit or liability caused by or arising out of the design, development, clinical testing and investigation, manufacturing," and so on, of the product. "…No cause of action shall exist against a person described in subsection (a) for claims for loss of property, personal injury, or death arising out of, reasonably relating to, or resulting from the design, development, sale… use" … of a product "that is a designated security countermeasure or a qualified pandemic or epidemic product by the Secretary [of HHS] in a declaration …"

Although there is no mention of forced vaccination of the entire population in S. 1873, this proposed Act is but one part of a larger picture that must be viewed in context with other "laws" already on the books—namely, the Homeland Security Act, the BioShield Act of 2004, and the Model States Emergency Health Powers Act, which is being enacted at the state level.

Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center eloquently stated this point in an interview with

"Those [laws already passed] define what the secretary of Health and Human Services can do when he or she declares a public health emergency. This piece of legislation, the Burr bill, completes the circle in that it lets everyone off the hook in terms of liability. It completes the concentration of power in the hands of the secretary of Health and Human Services who is an appointee of the administration, just like the Homeland Security Act [of 2002, PL 107-296] tipped the balance of power in favor of the executive branch.

"Where the authors of the Constitution tried to achieve a balance between the judiciary, the legislative, and the executive branches, we now have a concentration of power in the executive branch. These pieces of legislation, taken together, do not allow any oversight on what the executive branch is doing in the areas of declaring an actual public health emergency or an imminent or potential public health emergency and then setting into motion forced quarantine, forced vaccination and drug taking. There’s total immunity from liability (even in case sickness or death occurs) for anyone who is involved in that process, and there’s no judicial review."

Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) was hoping to get this bill on the Senate Floor for a vote by early November but, thankfully, thousands of activists continue to flood the congressional switchboard with phone calls opposing S. 1873 and the bill’s House version, HR 3970.

‘Tis the season for treason

As a result, and in perfect timing with end of the year legislation that is seldom scrutinized or read thoroughly as our Congressmen prepare to go home for the holidays, Senate leadership is inserting Big Pharma liability protections into a DoD Appropriations Bill. According to A-CHAMP (Advocates for Children’s Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning), "The Senate leadership has employed fear and intimidation to muscle support for their unconstitutional language that would give unnecessary immunity from liability to the drug companies. By inserting the liability protection provisions into the DoD Appropriations Conference Report, the Senate leadership will force other Senators who want Congress’s spending bill approved to vote for liability protection—even though liability protection is unnecessary, places Americans at risk and undermines the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which preserves every American’s right to a trial by jury."

A-CHAMP placed a full page "ad" that was an ‘Open Letter to Congress’ in Congressional Daily on December 11, 12 and 13, in Roll Call on December 13, and in The Hill on December 14. We can only hope that our representatives will notice these important ads and act accordingly. If not, it is clear that, with the new agency, BARDA, being created and allowed to operate in secrecy, and Big Pharma receiving blanket liability protection for the vaccines/drugs they produce, coupled with Homeland Security and Project BioShield, President Bush is entirely accurate in saying that "the Constitution is just a g-d-damn piece of paper."

A word to the wise: Be prepared for medical martial law coming to the U.S. in 2006.


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