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Guest caguama

The statement of President Bush suggests the enactment of Martial Law in the case of an avian flu outbreak. Martial Law could also be established, using the pretext of an outbreak of avian flu in foreign countries and its potential impacts on the US.

In other words, the Military rather than the country's civilian health authorities would be put in charge.

A decision to put the Military in charge of a public health emergency spells disaster, as evidenced by the intervention of the Military in hurricane relief in Louisiana and Southern Texas. (See http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...ights&newsId=29

The pandemic is being presented to public opinion as an issue of National Security, with a view to triggering the militarization of civilian institutions in blatant violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

The statement of President Bush with regard to the avian flu pandemic bears a marked resemblance to an earlier statement, also at a Press Conference, in the wake of Hurricane Rita, during which the President and Commander in Chief called for the Military to become the "lead agency" in disaster relief.

BUSH ".....The other question, of course, I asked, was, is there a circumstance in which the Department of Defense becomes the lead agency. Clearly, in the case of a terrorist attack, that would be the case, but is there a natural disaster which -- of a certain size that would then enable the Defense Department to become the lead agency in coordinating and leading the response effort. That's going to be a very important consideration for Congress to think about. (Italics added)

(Press Conference, 25 Sept 2005

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...&articleId=1004 )

The hidden agenda consists in using the threat of a pandemic and/or the plight of a natural disaster as a pretext to establish military rule, under the facade of a "functioning democracy".

What Bush's statements suggest is that Congress should enact legislation which will, in practice suspend Constituional government and allow the Military to intervene in civilian affairs in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. The latter, however, while still on the books, is in practice already defunct.

(See Frank Morales at http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MOR309A.html ).

Legislation inherited from the Clinton administration, not to mention the post 9/11 Patriot Acts I and II, "blurs the line between military and civilian roles". It allows the military to intervene in judicial and law enforcement activities even in the absence of an emergency situation.

In 1996, legislation was passed which allowed the military to intervene in the case of a national emergency (e.g.. a terrorist attack). In 1999, Clinton's Defense Authorization Act (DAA) extended those powers (under the 1996 legislation) by creating an "exception" to the Posse Comitatus Act, which permits the military to be involved in civilian affairs "regardless of whether there is an emergency".

(See ACLU at http://www.aclu.org/NationalSecurity/Natio...fm?ID=8683&c=24 )

Despite this 1999 "exception" to the Posse Comitatus Act", which effectively invalidates it, both the Pentagon and Homeland Security, have been actively lobbying Congress for the outright repeal of the 1878 legislation.

( See Michel Chossudovsky, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO504B.html )

To achieve public support for the Military to become "the lead agency", the Bush administration is not only resorting to the usual counter-terrorism justification.

Other supportive criteria are being developed to justify military rule. In this regard, at the height of Hurricane Katrina, meetings were held under the auspices of US Northern Command, involving the participation of Bush, Rumsfeld and Chertoff, to examine the role of the military in disaster relief. (See http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...4&articleId=991

Spiraling Defense Budget

According to the Wall Street Journal (Oct 1, 2005), the Bush administration plans to ask Congress for an estimated $6-10 billion "to stockpile vaccines and antiviral medications as part of its plans to prepare the U.S. for a possible flu pandemic"

This commitment of the administration has not, however, resulted in an expansion of the nation's public health budget. In fact quite the opposite. Consistent with its role as "lead agency", more than half of the money earmarked for the program is slated to be handed over to the Pentagon.

An amendment to the defense-spending bill in the Senate would earmark $3.9 billion "to prepare the U.S. for a flu pandemic".

In other words, what we are dealing with is a process of militarization of the civilian budget. Civilian social sector budgets are now being transferred to the Department of Defense. The money for a public health program is controlled by the Department of Defense, under the rules of DoD procurement.

"The US Senate voted yesterday to provide $4 billion for antiviral Dr*gs and other measures to prepare for a feared influenza pandemic, but whether the measure would clear Congress was uncertain.

The Senate attached the measure to a $440 billion defense-spending bill for 2006, according to the Associated Press (AP). But the House included no flu money in its version of the defense bill, and a key senator said he would try to keep the funds out of the House-Senate compromise version. The Senate is expected to vote on the overall bill next week.

Almost $3.1 billion of the money would be used to stockpile the antiviral Dr*g oseltamivir (Tamiflu), and the rest would go for global flu surveillance, development of vaccines, and state and local preparedness, according to a Reuters report. The government currently has enough oseltamivir to treat a few million people, with a goal of acquiring enough to treat 20 million"

(CIDRAP, http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/I...p3005avian.html )

Multibillion Financial Bonanza for the BioTech Conglomerates

The threat of the avian flu pandemic will result in multibillion dollar earnings for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

In this regard, a number of major pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis, California based Chiron Corp, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc, Novavax and Wave Biotech, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding, have positioned themselves in the procurement of vaccines in case of an avian 'flu outbreak. Maryland-based biotechnology company MedImmune which produces "an inhaled flu vaccine" has also positioned itself to develop a vaccine against the H5N1 avian flu.

(Although it has no expertise in the avian flu virus, one of the major actors in the vaccine business, on contract to the Pentagon, is Bioport, a company which is part owned by the Carlyle Group, which is closely linked to the Bush Cabinet with Bush Senior on its board of directors.)

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