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Washington publishes report on origin of Covid-19

More details of the intelligence report into the origins of Covid-19 ordered by the Biden Administration in May have been published. While this has received little enough attention in the mainstream media – and much of that has been of the “nothing to see here” variety – it is apparent that doubts still exist with regard to the role of human agency in all of this.

In fact the main “takeaways” highlighted at the start of the report are the same as those as from the leaked document which Gript referred to in August. At that time, there were calls from Republicans to declassify the entire report but the document reads more as a synopsis of the views of unidentified agencies.

Some news outlets chose to emphasise that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence document dismisses claims that the virus may have come about because of Chinese military research into bioweaponry. That was never the primary focus of attention from those who have expressed doubts about the claim that Covid-19 was transmitted to human via bats, apparently sold in a wet market in Wuhan which is the site of the Virology Institute where coronavirus research was being conducted.

That “natural origin” theory is the one which the western political, medical and media establishment bought into for over 18 months. People who questioned it were ridiculed, censored or even sacked from their jobs. As the Financial Times put it in its report, that dissimulation has been blown out of the water.

 

The National Intelligence Council does state that “the virus was not developed as a biological weapon,” and that most of the contributing agencies, which include the CIA, believe with “low confidence” that Covid-19 was not the consequence of genetic engineering. However, two of the reporting agencies stated that they believe that there is insufficient evidence to make a judgement, due to the refusal of the Chinese authorities to co-operate in a proper investigation.

The NIC also “remains divided on the likely origin of COVID-19.” One of the agencies believes with “moderate confidence that the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2 most likely was the result of a laboratory-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” The evidence cited in favour of this appears far stronger even in summary than the one standing over the natural origin theory which adduces no new research.

With regard to the natural origin theory, the report refers to the fact that a bat coronavirus collected in Yunnan in 2013 has a 96.2% genome match with the Covid virus and there are other similarities between coronaviruses collected from mainly bats and also pangolins, but that “an immediate precursor virus strain and animal reservoir have not been identified” (p5).

The fact that such a precursor and reservoir have not been so far identified places the current virus in a much different light to proven zoonotic outbreaks such as Ebola, the 2002 SARS and HIV-1 (p7.)

The absence to date of such research findings completely undermines the claims that definitive evidence existed to prove the bat origin. The genome matches could mean that there was a natural transmission, but equally that there might have been laboratory adaptation. As the report states, some analysts believe that there is just not sufficient evidence to make an assessment.

Significantly too, the differing assessments are attributed to factors other than those related to the paucity of evidence and the fact that much of the Wuhan records are not available. As we have referred to previously. “Variations in analytic views largely stem from differences in how agencies weigh intelligence reporting and scientific publications and intelligence and scientific gaps.”

This is more serious than some sub Le Carré falling out among crusty old intelligence officers who went to Yale rather than Harvard. As we reported in August when details of the report were leaked, nine separate agencies reported and it is fairly common knowledge that not only are there serious differences between for example the CIA and the FBI on the one hand, and the Defence Intelligence Agency on Covid, but that serious fissures exist with regard to the overall American intelligence community’s relationship with China.

These briefly came to some light back in June when it was claimed that a high-ranking Chinese intelligence official Dong Jingwei had defected to the United States with information, among other items, on Wuhan. That Dong was the “high level defector” has been called into serious question, but there have been other Chinese sources including people who were involved in scientific research before leaving.

Much of the smoke and mirrors around all of this, and the veracity of their claimed evidence would seem to be connected not only to Chinese intelligence operations and possible defections, but inter agency rivalry in Washington and radically different interpretations of whatever intelligence each is in possession of. Some observers have pointed to the similarities between the current confusion and that which reigned within the CIA in particular following the discovery of high level Soviet penetration of western intelligence in the 1960s which dated back over 20 years.

Indeed, the introduction to the NIC report makes curious reference to the fact that Chinese refusal to cooperate in a full investigation into Covid-19 may be rooted in “China’s government’s own uncertainty about where an investigation could lead as well as its frustration the international community is using the issue to exert political pressure on China.”

That almost sounds like the excuses that people who feel intimidated sometimes make on behalf of the person they fear will do them harm – in the hope that by doing so they might placate them. It is again redolent of the pathetic attitude, much of it deliberately created by Soviet assets like Alger Hiss, which persuaded Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be bullied into surrendering much of Europe to Stalin at the end of World War II.

The Chinese of course, aggressively reject any calls for a fuller investigation. Not only that – and this is worth bearing in mind given the lack of real reporting here on what the Chinese people and other receptive audiences in the developing world are being told – but Beijing itself does not accept the natural origin theory which it favours, of course, for western consumption.

Rather, the Chinese have claimed that Covid-19 was deliberately engineered by the United States military at Fort Detrick, Maryland and introduced to the Chinese population during the world military games at Wuhan in 2019. An alternative Chinese claim is that the virus originated in imported frozen food.

This is very significant because whatever the origins of Covid-19 – and they are currently unknown – the virus has always been regarded by the Chinese Communist Party as another element in a ruthless proxy war. The only ones deeply committed to the wet market natural origin theory are those like Peter Daszak who was directly involved in coronavirus research at Wuhan, and of course those who mindlessly parrot it for their own political and other motivations.

What they are one can only imagine although in the case of people with proven political and financial connections to Chinese “gangland capitalism,” – and they range from the neo-con American right to the European far left – they are pretty transparent.

Speaking of which, more light will possibly be shed on all of this when the famous Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies to the American Congress this week on funding which he approved for coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute. That money that was channelled through Peter Daszak’s company, and  he was one of the people most responsible at the beginning of all of this for successfully shutting down all debate on the origins of Covid-19 for well over a year.

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