“Relman agrees that in the absence of conclusive evidence, the message on origins should be ‘We don’t know.’”
– from “Did the coronavirus leak from a lab? These scientists say we shouldn’t rule it out.” MIT Technology Review. March 18, 2021
In early 1969 when Abbie Hoffman and 6 (7) others went on trial for inciting the riots that erupted during the Chicago Democratic National Convention (DNC), and led to widespread property damage and personal injuries, he declared to the world: “We are on trial for our thoughts.” The Chicago 7 were the first to be charged under the new Rap Brown law, which states that it is “a felony to ‘travel in interstate commerce…with the intent to incite, promote, encourage, participate in and carry on a riot.’” It was widely criticized for “equating political protests with violent activity.”
The trial centered on the so-called conspirators’s “intentions” leading up to their trip to Chicago to lead the protests against the Viet Nam war and the political travesty at the DNC. (LBJ had dropped out of the presidential race, RFK got murdered, and the DNC pushed Hubert Humphrey, who got nominated without any critical appraisal or negotiated platform, meaning university-aged citizens outside could still be drafted to fight in Nam but could not vote). The conspirators weren’t all Yippies, as is sometimes supposed, but also members of the Black Panthers, SDS, and MOBE. An interesting fact, often left out of MSM reporting about the 1968 Chicago events, is that 8 Chicago police officers were also charged with beating up protesters, and a later internal government investigation determined that the cops had started the rioting.
During the trial, it was revealed that undercover cops had infiltrated the group of “conspirators’ and were put on the stand to help establish the mindset (i.e.,intentions) of the defendants. Eventually, after much drama, and not a little hijinks from Hoffman and Jerry Rubin at the trial, the Chicago 7’s “thoughts” were acquitted.
Flash forward to January 6, 2021. There are some interesting parallels. President Donald J. Trump in a fiery oratory called on MAGA dog(matist)s to march with him to the Capitol to stop the legal, political process underway — to wit, the affirming of the states’s electoral college votes certifying Biden’s victory in the recent presidential election. Unlike Abbie and his fellow “conspirators,” who could not be nailed for specifically calling for violence in Chicago (the undercover cop testimony amounted to subjective interpretation). But that’s not so with Trump. During the oratory alluded to above, Trump is clearly massaging (though not directing) his followers with his speech. WaPo, aka, The Democracy Dies Darkly Daily, does a good job underlining the president’s dog whistle calls for violence. At one point he tells them, “This is not just a matter of domestic politics; this is a matter of national security.” National Security? Can you believe it? Check it out.
There are other things that DC 2021 has in common with Chicago 68. The march was planned way ahead of time; the list of leading participants largely known; the “insurrection” featured clowns and circus freaks (yes, there were sword swallowers in Chicago). But the main similarity is that in both cases the cops started the rioting. In Chicago, the cops started unleashing violence against the protesters and passersby, even beating the snot of some journalists. In DC, the cops started the riot BY DOING NEXT TO NOTHING to stop the crowd from entering the Capitol, despite the fact that an important political process was underway, and having had plenty of warning about the ill intentions of the MAGA crowd, including, no doubt, willy whistling back to the FBI by one its key informants, Enrique Terrio, head of the Proud Boys.
Most people you might ask would agree that had Blacks come toward the Capitol the MAGA way to protest their continuous voter disenfranchisement, there would have been blood, and more than Nancy’s podium would have gone missing — some seriously awesome smart TVs would have gone missing, too — and, being wireless, probably would have been showing the theft of themselves live. Pass the bong. For the few who think this is empty blatherscheissen, Michael E. Tigar, over at Black Agenda Report, lays out how the Rap Brown law was used in Chicago 68 and Seattle 69 and anticipates how it would play out with Antifa groups in 2020.
Compared to Abbie et alis, Trump’s intent to incite by calling for protesters to cross state lines and “stop” the electoral vote count — for “national security” purposes — is a slam-dunk felony conviction. Trump should never vote again, let alone waddle his way into office.
Other Plausible Charges
Without elaboration, in a New Yorker interview with Noam Chomsky, the ancient linguist tells writer Isaac Chotiner that Trump is “the worst criminal in human history,” and James Risen, over at The Intercept, referred to Trump as a murderer after his reckless sushi cruise missile took out Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Trump could plausibly be tried for manslaughter. He, with the help of his father, drove his brother X to a Gatsby-esque suicide by drink, mocking him all the time for settling for a “losers” job as airline pilot, when he should have been helping the family clear inventory in the piggy trough. Marie Brenner, in a Vanity Fair piece, quotes Trumps as asking his brother, “What is the difference between what you do and driving a bus? Why aren’t you in the family real-estate business?”
Trump can’t be arrested for helping to kill his brother, but if The Hague were operating on all cylinders, Trump could be taken for virtually declaring war on Iran by murdering its top soldier — without provocation or reason. Read Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James Risen’s piece, link above, for the argument.
Covid-19. Trump could be charged with crimes against humanity.
He reversed Obama’s 2014 order to defund gain-of-function research because his administration knew that such research could generate a strain of virus that accidentally could (it had during Ebola research) leak from a research lab and be unstoppable.
It is true that Dr. Fauci oversaw funding to the Wuhan lab that is thought to be responsible for the bat-shit crazy virus that originated there. The American taxpayer money sent there by Fauci, was not approved by Congress or known by the taxpayers at the time. Nothing nefarious here, but it’s ironic and maybe a tad disturbing to consider the possibility that we help pay for the production of the virus.
The lab specializes in gain-of-function, specifically in Corona-related bat shit — it’s right there on their site. They say so. The State department was worried enough about safety reports from the lab that embassy officials were sent audit processes. Question: How did American state officials get access to a Chinese-run facility? Me smelleth ka-ching.
In 2018, worry began, not long after the Trump administration approved gain-of-function research — overseas, because Americans, through Fauci, had declared it too unsafe to continue in the US. At least one place American taxpayer research money went to was Wuhan Institute of Virology went in China. (Maybe US officials figured China could afford to lose a few people if the virus got loose.)
Questions arise. Did Trump have a hand in pushing for a re-opening of gain-of-function research — even in China — to spite Obama’s stoppage? A pseudo-macho thing, unthinkable before Trump arrived on the scene. (Remember when he sent al-Baghdadi packing to Heaven “clutchng kids,” the whole raid scene set up like Trump was B-movie re-enacting the raid at Abbottabad, complete with staged Situation Room photo, and a wife later turning up with tranche of important terror-planning documents.) If so, why? With Trump, the answer to that question will always be ka-ching-a-ling. Did he smell an opportunity to make a buck? If so, how?
Interestingly, shortly after Trump’s 2017 inauguration, DARPA began its P3 protocol. Suddenly they went to work on being able to fast-track new vaccines in the event of a pandemic. They partnered with research universities and with Abcellera (et al), who then partnered with Big Pharma, Eli Lilly. They promised that they could develop a viable treatment for Covid-19 in 60 days or less. (They did: a monoclonal antibody solution.) Further, in May 2020 Trump announced Operation Warp Speed and its seemingly impossible promise to develop a vaccine by October (surprise!).
(A separate issue rises from this, not directly related to Trump’s criminality. Probably. Trump’s announcement in May 2020 was reported on by the NYT, the paper of record, which pessimistically noted that Trump’s vaccine development outlook was vastly out of whack with past attempts by scientists: “…the fastest a new vaccine has been developed and distributed is four years and most have taken considerably longer.” The Times does not mention the more ambitious October date. The NYT was not alone in noting this research timescale. And they were all, somehow, incredibly wrong. Though setbacks to such research were reported in October, shortly after the election Covid vaccines started sprouting like happy poppies. Now your country ain’t hip if it ain’t got a vaccine. How, given what the NYT and other MSM outlets reported vociferously in October, possible. How was it suddenly possible for the earliest vaccine development scenario to go from 4 years at best, to 1 year?)
The long-and-short of it is that Trump could probably be tried on his response to the spread of the virus — masks, distancing, scoffing at quarantine, promoting a drug and bleaching protocols that may have harmed thousands of people. But mostly, when we ask of Trump, we want to know about the money angle. Did he, or any associate, gain from his ‘incompetent’response to Corona as it spread? The cynic in me wonders whether the bastard allowed Covid-19 to get more serious so that his October Surprise would make him seem more savior-like. This sounds silly, perhaps, on the surface, but let’s remember that several members of Congress were confronted for their insider trading regarding the virus, including long-time Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. Money was made. Did Donald want in?
The Blame Game: Asian-Americans
Even if Trump and his associates didn’t actually help light up the world with a pandemic by nurturing bugaboos in the Wuhan lab that escaped, he fucked things up there when he blamed the Chinese for not only developing the virus but actually claiming, through his “lost-my-keys” lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, that the Chinese deliberately infected the world — a genocidal attack on the world — at a time their prosperity and influence is growing.
This stupid recklessness by Giuliani, probably to impress the girl, Tatar, “interviewing” him, in order to get in her pants a fe minutes later, could easily have led to catastrophic violence against Asian-Americans, such has taken place recently on the West coast and in Atlanta. Even if it turned out that there was some truth to what Trump was alleging (through Giuliani), the information imparted was surely classified — after all, if true, it was potentially grounds for war with China. If a link develops between what Trump said about China as president and the motivation of defendants in the attack cases, Trump should be charged with manslaughter. You could argue that one of his screwball kooks interpreted his words against China the same way the Son of Sam interpreted a dog’s bark as the word of God.
Maybe, in the end, the real damage Trump will have done to the nation is embodied in the State response to his words and deeds. Just a couple of days ago in a piece at MIT Technology Review, Virologist professor Nikolai Petrovsky, noted in “Did the coronavirus leak from a lab? These scientists say we shouldn’t rule it out.” that politics may have seriously corrupted the scientific investigation of Covid-19’s origins:
But in late April 2020, as Petrovsky’s group was thinking about where to publish their work, “Trump blurted out” that he had reason to believe the virus came out of a Chinese lab, Petrovsky says. And at that point, he adds, much of “the left-wing media” decided “they were going to paint the whole lab thing as a conspiracy theory to bring down Trump.”
This has hindered a sober, rational understanding of the outbreak.
For the first time, Trump makes you appreciate the craven insularity of the typical professional politician. The shit he said! Our dignity as a nation took a serious hit. It was inconceivable that we Americans would have been sane after four more years of Trump (I would have be a Lefty would have taken him down) — which is why we had to interfere in the 2020 election: We had the audacity that hope brings to COUNT ALL THE BALLOTS THIS TIME. No way, we could afford to go the disenfranchisement route this time. The election was too important to let the non-votes decide.
“DARPA, Operation Warp Speed, and the Covid-19 Ka-ching Ahead” my piece on DARPA’s role in developing a Covid-19 response is here.
“The Age of Synthetic Biology: Start the War Games!” my piece on the government program to meddle with nature under the rubric of Synthetic Biology research is here.
(No conspiracy theory, depressingly.)
This post was originally published on CounterPunch.org.