Wednesday, September 11, 2013

White House Continues Benghazi Stonewall

In memorial to Ambassador Chris Stevens, his staff, and Navy SEAL hero Tyrone Woods who died at the hands of the U.S. State Department one year ago    

The Daily Caller via Yahoo News

White House spokesman Jay Carney is successfully stonewalling media questions about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, amid damaging new revelations about security flubs, new congressional inquiries and the election-eve crash of the administration’s Muslim outreach strategy.

U.S. traitor Carney will pay for his lies
“Embassy security is a matter that has been the purview of the State Department. … So I’m not going to have very much to provide to you on the security situation on the ground in Libya,” Carney told ABC’s Jake Tapper, in response to a question about the leaked news that requests by embassy staff for increased security were rejected by officials in Washington.

So far, the administration’s defensive stonewall has helped prevent the legacy media from treating the Benghazi attack as a foreign policy scandal during the last few weeks of the 2012 campaign.

Prior to the 2004 and 2006 elections, however, legacy media outlets did not hesitate to portray President George W. Bush’s campaign in Iraq as a shambles, despite its eventual victory over anti-government gunmen.

Carney kept up the defense of Obama on Tuesday.

“It is a known fact that in the eastern part of Libya there are militant groups, and in the country as a whole, but especially in eastern Libya, a great number of armed individuals and militias — that is one of the legacies of the revolution there and the civil war,” Carney told Tapper.

“So beyond that, I’m just not going to be able to comment on what is a matter under investigation and review by both the FBI and the State Department,” he insisted, before inviting another reporter to ask a question.

Carney will be doing a lot of this from his seat in the dock at the Hague alongside Obama, Clinton, Panetta, Betrayus, et al.

The Sept. 11, 2012, attack was launched by a Libyan jihadi group, which emerged and armed itself from government armories while Obama used U.S. air power to help overthrow Libya’s dictator. The attackers killed the ambassador, an aide and two other Americans.

Since the attack, media outlets have gradually revealed that the facility was a poorly protected, walled villa, that it was defended by only a handful of Libyan and U.S. guards, that jihadis had attacked U.S. and U.K. diplomats on multiple occasions, and that officials had missed warning signs of an attack.

On Oct. 2, Rep. Darrell Issa sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seeking information about the attack.

“Multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the committee that prior to the September 11, 2012 attack the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests to increase security in Benghazi … [but] was denied these requests by officials in Washington,” the letter read.

Issa chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has spearheaded the investigation of the administration’s Fast & Furious program, which allowed guns to be smuggled to Mexican drug gangs.

Immediately after the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, White House officials tried to argue that attack was caused by people enraged at a little-viewed YouTube video that made fun of Muhammad. The California-based producer of the video was repeatedly attacked by White House officials, and has been subsequently jailed on a probation violation.

In late September, Obama deputies — but not the president — dropped the claim that enraged anti-video protestors attacked the embassy.

But the attacks and attempted cover-up have damaged his poll ratings on foreign policy, and have prompted Republican nominee Mitt Romney to repeatedly criticize his foreign policy.

The policy was built around Obama’s June 2009 “new beginning” strategy of outreach to the Middle East.

That strategy helped Islamists gain power in Egypt’s general election, and spurred Obama’s decision to overthrow Libya’s dictator in 2011.

Those empowered and ambitious Islamist leaders in Egypt, Turkey and other countries are now pushing Obama to curb Americans’ free-speech, to provide more financial aid, and to increase pressure on Israel.

Islamists are also playing a leading role in Syria’s civil war against its dictator, Bashir Assad, and they have seized control of Northern Mali.

Mali is the country just south of Libya. Islamist jihadis, armed with weapons and experience from the Libyan war, have imposed Islamist rule on the norther part of the impoverished country.

Iran is also refusing to stop its nuclear weapons program.

Despite this and the Benghazi attack, few legacy media outlets are highlighting the collapse of the president’s 2009 strategy.

During the Oct. 2 press conference, Carney fended off Tapper’s questions, and only faced a follow-up from one other reporter, who asked about the news that the FBI investigators have not reached Benghazi because of danger from local jihadis.

“Well, the president is committed to ensuring that those who are responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, including our ambassador, are brought to justice,” Carney said.

“He is committed to the investigation into what happened being full and comprehensive and uncovering all the facts that we need to know about that event,” he added, before inviting a question from another reporter.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

MERS Coronavirus : Drug Combo Helps Reduce Disease In Animal Study

Ribavirin alone has shown to slow weaponized coronaviruses without the inteferon - which is a risky and very expensive treatment under any conditions; impossible to obtain in the event of a pandemic and must be administered in a hospital, which virtually the entire world population will not have access to:  "mainstream media" now engaging in own "conspiracy theories" - float ludicrous suggestion that "camels" are now responsible, the bogus bird origin theory having collapsed    

By Helen Branswell

New research is adding weight to the idea that a combination of existing drugs may help some patients infected with the new MERS coronavirus.

The findings could prove to be important because there is no vaccine to prevent the infection and no drugs specifically designed to mitigate the damage it does in severe cases.

Infections with the new virus continue to pile up, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

On Saturday the World Health Organization put the global count of MERS infections at 114 with 54 deaths.

But since then Saudi authorities have announced eight additional cases, three of them fatal. That will push the global total to 122 cases and 57 deaths.

The new research into the drug combo shows it helps reduce the severity of disease in macaque monkeys deliberately infected with MERS. While the regimen was previously tested in kidney cells from monkeys, these findings are the first showing what happens when the drugs are used in living animals.

Yoshihiro Kawaoka and his Kobe University coronavirus weaponizers - Teridah Ernala Ginting second from left
Macaques given ribavirin and interferon alpha 2b after having been infected with the MERS coronavirus were less sick than infected animals that weren’t given the therapy.

As well, follow-up autopsies of the treated and untreated animals showed lower levels of virus in tissues and less lung damage in the treated animals.

“Everything fit together towards suggesting that treatment definitely helps lead to a better outcome than the absence of treatment,” said Darryl Falzarano, a Canadian scientist who is the lead author of the study, published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.

The work was done at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Mont. Falzarano is currently a visiting fellow at the facility.

When the new coronavirus first hit the scientific community’s radar about a year ago, several labs began trying to figure out if drugs already in the world’s medicine cabinet might help combat the disease the virus triggers.

Madman, psudo-patholigist Johan Hultin extracted the original 1918 H5H1 virus DNA from the corpse of a Native American woman he dug up in Brevig Mission, Alaska in 1997 who had died in the 1918 global pandemic
Developing a new drug from scratch can take years. Persuading a pharmaceutical company the sales potential warrants production, pushing the new compound through clinical trials and securing regulatory approval adds tens of millions of dollars in costs and additional years to the process.

If MERS starts to spread more widely among people, the world wouldn’t have that kind of time, scientists reasoned.

So they started to test old drugs, alone and in combination.

Interferon alpha 2b is a synthetic version of a protein made by the human immune system. Ribavirin is an antiviral drug used for infections like hepatitis C. It was also widely used during the 2003 SARS outbreak; MERS is from the same family of viruses as SARS.

Kawaoka and Ernala-Ginting originally weaponized H5N1 at Kobe University, Japan
While ribavirin was a natural place to start for MERS, it’s not clear the drug was actually useful in treating SARS. The explosive start and short duration of the outbreak meant there was no time to conduct clinical trials looking at whether the patients who got the drug were more likely to survive. While the macaque testing looks promising, there are some important caveats. As a result, teams like the one at the Rocky Mountain Labs are continuing to test other options looking for better tools with which to treat MERS.

One of those caveats relates to a shortcoming of the macaque model, so far the only known animal model for laboratory work with the MERS virus.

Macaques can be infected with the coronavirus, but the ensuing disease do not fully reflect what goes on in when humans contract the virus. The monkeys develop mild to moderate infections when exposed to MERS, but they do not get as profoundly ill as many human cases do.

“At the moment, this is as good as it gets,” Dr. Heinz Feldmann, chief of virology at the Rocky Mountain Labs and senior author of the paper, said of the animal model.

Of the findings, he said: “”Our job is to provide options, and this is certainly one. Whether they consider this a good one or not, it’s up to the physicians.”

As both drugs have long been in use, there are no regulatory hurdles doctors would need to clear to try the combination in MERS patients. Still, that doesn’t mean they will rush to use the regimen.

“There are doctors who don’t have much problem using ribavirin and interferon (alpha 2b), and there are physicians that have all kinds of problems to use ribavirin and interferon,” said Feldmann, suggesting side-effects of the drugs may scare off some practitioners.

The therapy has been tried in some cases in Saudi Arabia, the country’s deputy minister of health said via email.

“We have used this combination regimen on a group of patients but it’s not routinely used in all patients,” Dr. Ziad Memish said.

The cases in which the drug combo was used were severely ill, he said, with therapy starting late in the course of the disease. Because of that, Memish said, “the outcome has not been very positive.”

Another scientist working to identify drugs and develop a vaccine to use against MERS praised the work outlined in the study, but said more research is needed to see whether this drug combination should be used, especially in severely ill patients.

“I think as an initial study, it’s well done and it gives us a lot of information to start identifying what other experiments should be followed up with in future,” said Matt Friedman, a coronavirus researcher and professor of virology at the University of Maryland medical school in Baltimore.

“The leap between that data and treating a person infected with MERS who has other co-morbidities — I think it needs to be studied further,” Friedman said.

Many of the most severe MERS infections have occurred in people with “co-morbidities” — pre-existing diseases like diabetes and cancer which would influence the outcome of the infection.

Friedman suggested it would be helpful to suppress the immune systems of macaques — in essence mimicking what diabetes or cancer might do to the immune system — and then rerun the study to see if the drug combo was effective under those conditions.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.




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