Article published by Strategic Culture Foundation by
President Barack Obama has received a torrent of criticism for dispatching U.S. troops and National Guardsmen to the Ebola-ravaged West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to help control the spread of the highly-lethal Ebola-Zaire hemorrhagic virus. While Cuba has sent qualified doctors to the stricken region, Obama has responded with troops answering to the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
Evidence has recently surfaced in a 2009 U.S. embassy Berlin cable to the U.S. State and Defense Departments that German authorities hesitated to send hemorrhagic fever cultures to the suspected biological warfare laboratory at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland because the Germans feared the Army might «weaponize» the cultures.
The cable, classified as «Sensitive», is dated December 15, 2009, and states:
«German MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] Deputy Head of Division for Export Control Markus Klinger provided the following non-paper to Econoff [Embassy Economics Officer], seeking additional assurances related to a proposed export of extremely dangerous pathogens to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.
The Army’s end use certificate provided to Germany is lacking an official seal. Klinger’s deputy, Nancy Reck, noted that Germany had made two follow-up requests to the Army seeking assurances and clarifications related to this proposed export. The GOG [Government of Germany] seeks assurances from the USG [US Government] or US Army that the end use certificate and the information contained therein are legitimate and accurate».
The «non-paper» reference is to an «aide-memoire», what is known in the diplomatic world as a note without an author, source, or title that is used to prepare for negotiations. The following «non-paper», which was originally written in German, was translated by the embassy and sent to Washington:
«For Official Use Only
Against the background of our partnership in the area of non-proliferation and our excellent cooperation in the matters of export controls, we would like to bring the following issue to the attention of your government.
A German firm has applied for the approval of the export of 184 genetic elements with nucleic acid sequences of viruses for the production of recombinant viruses. The viruses will be used in optical imaging to identify host factors required for viral replication. The recipient in the USA is, according to the enclosed end use certificate, the Department of the Army ‘US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)’ Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Specifications in English about the goods, the recipient, and end use can be seen from the end use certificate. The goods are controlled by the Australia Group and are subject to compulsory export approval (List position C1C353A). This matter concerns the complete genome of viruses such as the Zaire Ebola virus, the Lake Victoria Marburg virus, the Machupo virus and the Lassa virus, which are absolutely among the most dangerous pathogens in the world. The delivery would place the recipient in the position of being able to create replicating recombinant infectious species of these viruses.