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Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
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Before we get started…
2-Where to buy the print or ebook of “The Secret Ugly”:
3-Tom has been here several times before, all worth looking at:
4-Tom’s recommended books on Japanese BW:
Peter Williams and David Wallace, Unit 731: The Japanese Army Secret of Secrets, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1989. (DO NOT read the US print. A key chapter on US BW use in Korea is censored in this version!).
Daniel Barenblatt, A Plague Upon Humanity: The Secret Genocide of Axis Japan’s Germ Warfare Operation, Harper Collins, New York, 2004,
5-Tom’s recommended books on US BW:
Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman, The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets from the Early Cold War and Korea, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1988.
Dave Chaddock, This Must Be the Place: How the U.S. Waged Germ Warfare in the Korean War and Denied It Ever Since, Bennett and Hastings Publishing, Seattle, 2013.
6-Tom’s recommended book on counterfactual propaganda to deny US BW use:
Ed Regis, The Biology of Doom: the History of America’s Secret Germ Warfare Project, Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1999.
Jeff J Brown: Good evening, everybody. This is Jeff J. Brown China Rising Radio Sinoland and I have got a good friend and a wonderful researcher and writer Thomas Powell is on tonight. How are you doing, Tom?
Thomas Powell: I’m doing well, Jeff. Thank you.
Jeff: Tom and I go quite a long way back. We met in California and the San Francisco Bay area in December of 2017, I think. I also at that same time got to meet Jeff Kaye and Frank Scott and we had lunch together. And so, we have become we have been friends and we go back to the beginning of the Bioweapon Truth Commission. And I have to say that Tom was the motivating force. He and Jeff Kaye. really pushed for it. And then Godfree Roberts and I got involved, and then also George Burchett for a while, and David Pear is still around.
And then we added Dilyana Gaytandzhieva as a member too. So, if it wasn’t for Tom, we would not have the Bioweapon Truth Commission (www.bioweapontruth.com). So, he has been a huge influence on that. Let me tell you more about him. Thomas Powell is a sculptor, writer, effigy burner, educator, curator, and art history lecturer. Tom is the lead artist of the annual El Kookooee Effigy burn in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And when he and his wife came to visit us in Normandy last year, I took it out of the frame. So, it would not reflect.
This is one of the effigies that Tom helped build in Albuquerque, New Mexico before it was set on fire. So, thank you so much for that, Tom. That’s something I cherish. He is a founding member of the Bioweapons Truth Commission and a contributor to its Global Online Library. His book, “The Secret Ugly”, has so far been a seven-year research and writing project with a planned sequel on the history of the Korean War, remembered as an act of civil disobedience due out next year. This is not the first time Tom and I have been on the show together.
We have done two shows previously. I’ve published four of his articles. And I just went back and checked over 130,000 people looked at Tom’s articles and the two shows that we did over the last few years. So, you can go back and check those out. But we’re here for this puppy right here “The Secret Ugly”. I’m so, proud to have my copy. The Hidden History of US-Germ War in Korea with a fabulous book cover by George Burchett. So, thank you so much for being on the show, Thomas.
Thomas: You’re very welcome, Jeff.
Jeff: Question number one. It is not unusual as a writer that you dedicate the secret to your parents, especially since they play an important part in the story. But you take it one step further. Beginning or ending most chapters, you share family vignettes from your childhood mom, dad, brother, and you at work, play, and traveling. The first one was a surprise for me, but I ended up enjoying them as a personal literary device to enhance your book. It is quite unorthodox in any case. What inspired you to do this, and why did you think your readers would enjoy these vignettes?
Thomas: Well, it’s not a simple question, Jeff. It’s kind of complicated but I began this project in about 2017 and I wrote six journal articles for an academic publication, Socialism and Democracy, that laid out my research over a period of about five years. And so, when I decided to write a book, I compiled these articles and kind of filled in a lot of the blanks and added material. And I ended up with a tome that was about 450 pages.
So, I tried circulating this to various publishers, and I got no interest whatsoever in it. I never even got responses back from most outlets. And so, I was a bit discouraged, and I showed it to my cousin Tom Speer, who is a retired English professor and poet. And he read it and he was very honest with me, and he said flat out that it was boring. And I was ambitious about this project. I wanted to put it in the public domain.
There was an opportunity early on to maybe find an academic publisher and Rutledge was suggested but looking at Rutledge Books, they cost if you can find them online, they cost $70, $80. And the only people who read them are other academics. They end up on library on a shelf in the University library in the basement. And I was more ambitious for this story than that. And so, Tom told me, “Hey you gotta bring in more about your family that’s the part of the book that really is interesting that I want to read.”
It was very liberating advice because it allowed me to go back and rewrite the entire book and change the voice. And so, instead of being the snooze historian, I got to be the active narrator and participant. And I could be an artist as well as a historian. And so, I was very happy with that. And I’m happy with the book, and the way it evolved. And I still have a second book now come out of that initial research, which I’m hoping to publish next year.
Jeff: Awesome. Well, your family vignettes are really nice, and it’s a great way to either begin a chapter or into the chapter. And I really enjoyed them. And I know the other fans will too. It is an unusual literary device but it really paid off in spades for the book.
Thomas: Jeff, my family is involved in this story that my father is key to this whole revelation about bacteriological warfare. And so, I wanted to make sure that the role of my parents also was acknowledged as whistleblowers, as the people who initially brought this to the public attention and to the world and suffered for it by the put-on trial for sedition.
Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. It’s an amazing story. On page 27, you say, “Most people understand that germs warfare is more about inflicting mass civilian casualties. Biological warfare is a weapon of eugenics and race war”. That’s a powerful statement. Given the gravity of the situation, why are there not a million-man marches protesting the West’s development and use of bioweapons? Is it denial, apathy, or ignorance? What do you think?
Thomas: Well, all the above, Jeff. It is about killing people. Weapons of mass destruction generally are about killing people not about armies because armies can be protected with gear and gas masks and clothing and vaccines and stuff but the civilian population is much more difficult to protect. And the whole concept of weapons of mass destruction comes from a larger concept, which is that of total war. And this is very much an American philosophy. It goes back to the Indian wars, and it goes back to General Sherman’s March to the Sea.
And it’s very much part of the imperialist model of states. And we feel that the total war theorizes that modern wars, that’s post-industrial revolution wars are not wars between kings and armies. They’re wars between nation-states. And in the nation-state, the entire apparatus and economy of the state machine is geared toward war. And therefore, any part of the state in any population that’s productive becomes a viable target and you’re going to have to kill a lot of people if you’re going against a nation-state, especially one that might be larger than you.
Jeff: Absolutely, like China. Exactly. Before the US became the global leader in bioweapon development, production, and use, this is a really key part of your story because what the Japanese did in China directly impacted America’s ability to carry on bioweapon development and use after World War Two. But in China, the Japanese 1932 to 1945 killed an estimated 400,000 Chinese using plague, cholera, and anthrax as weapons. It’s a huge story. Please give us a quick rundown on these war crimes.
Thomas: Yes, that is a huge story. And actually, there is quite a library on that. Now that many authors have taken on this topic, many Western authors have described it and your listeners can find that material fairly easily. It’s Unit 731 and Ishii Shiro, those are the best tags to search, and you will find a great deal about this story. But essentially this Japanese medical doctor Ishii could be considered the godfather of BW (bioweapons) because he certainly was there at the very beginning. And he was the promoter of it and he had a humongous sort of personality that allowed him to push his agenda.
He’s kind of the founder of scientific biological warfare using germs to kill people. He convinced upper echelon staff of the Japanese Army that if they were going to be successful as an imperial power they would need to be able to kill massive numbers of their enemy especially if their rivals were Russia and China, which were much larger nations with a lot more people that for Japan to succeed in its legitimate aims of becoming a colonial power, it would need to be able to kill a hell of a lot of people was the easiest and cheapest way to do it.
The Japanese military upper echelon agreed with him and they set him up in Manchuria after the Japanese invaded and occupied Manchuria, China, they set him up with a facility there, a big prison camp called Zhongma Prison Camp. He started butchering people there initially until that place he ran into difficulties there and they moved them to a new site and built an even bigger facility called the Ping Fang Death Camp. He operated it and ran systematic experiments with diseases innoculating people with various diseases to find out the pathology of disease.
And it was run very scientifically and it was a factory of death. It was a death machine a means of killing people on a large scale. And they did this he did this, and his colleagues and the estimate of 400,000 Chinese, I think, is a lowball estimate. It was in the hundreds of thousands of people who were killed by having their wells poisoned and having infected insects unleashed upon them, and such. And so, that’s kind of the background.
Jeff: Absolutely. And then later, of course, Ishii Shiro on page 49, became good friends with the Americans. You wrote, “The bottom line is the US government and the US Army lied, bribed, blackmailed, threatened, covered up, broke numerous international laws, and failed to prosecute major war crimes, all in order to acquire the Japanese germ warfare research. Bill Powell, (who is your father, of course), spilled the beans on this sordid deal, but it is really only the first part of our story”. Please tell us briefly what happened between the Japanese with the Americans.
Thomas: When Russia entered the Pacific War, it was on Nagasaki Day, the same day the US dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, and that for the Emperor of Japan was the final blow that Japan’s war was lost. And so, Ishii could see the writing on the wall very clearly. The Russians had crossed the border into Manchuria and were invading. And so, he and his colleagues, these other doctors dynamited their factory there at Ping Fang and took their research with them and beat a hasty retreat down to Port Arthur and commandeered passage back to Japan and were hiding out in the suburbs of Tokyo.
Most of them had gone to their hometowns to hide and awaited the American arrival and occupation. And so, one of the first, very first connections that was made between the American occupation force was scientists from Fort Detrick, Maryland. Murray was sent ashore to look for these guys. And they were right there on the beach waiting for him or at least one of their numbers was. And so, that began a negotiation process by which the US managed to make a bargain and make a deal and offer immunity and allow the Japanese war criminals because they were to escape prosecution in exchange for their secrets and their research.
This research then was eventually collected and shipped to Fort Detrick. And there were very glowing reports that were issued at Fort Detrick about the utility of this research that there were things that the Japanese had done that Americans could not ethically do experiments on live prisoners and so, that’s what happened. The US acquired the Japanese weapons program in its entirety. We already had an existing weapons program that had begun in World War two, but the Japanese program had a ten-year head start on them. So, it was really well along.
Jeff: And of course, as we know, the American military went ahead and did exactly what the Japanese did, experimenting on people. But you need to read the book to find out about it. So, be sure and buy The Secret Ugly. Next question. I loved your statement on page 61. “The opposing views cancel each other out in the news and the truth gets buried. As a result, the powerless remain disempowered. In this manner, balanced news reportage becomes a tool of class warfare.” What a great quote. Tell us what inspired you to write that.
Thomas: Well, just observing being a news consumer for years and years and years, most of us are a nerd. We just assume the news is the news and don’t analyze it. But when you start analyzing the news, it becomes very clear that you are getting the corporate news media’s point of view and the ownership of that news media’s point of view. And this concept of balanced reporting sounds great. I mean, it’s the scales of justice, right? There’s good and evil and right wrong and this and that. And if you get both side’s opinions, then you’ll get the true story in the middle.
But if you know you have some poor whistleblower or somebody whose children are dying of leukemia because of the factory next door, and then you have their word against the word of corporate lawyers or government spokespeople, they cancel each other out. And if news and nothing gets done and that’s why it is a very effective mechanism of class warfare to maintain the status quo, you know? There’s the truth, but it’s not.
Jeff: And the status quo, of course, is what is happening to the 99%. So, this is not very shall we say, optimistic. You devote three whole chapters, pages 116 to 134. So, you see guys and gals out there, I did read this book. A lot of people will interview authors. They don’t read the book. They get like a three-page summary, but mine’s all marked up. Mine’s all marked up and underlined. So, I’m not bluffing. On page 125, you mentioned that the US decided to apply an “Everything but the kitchen sink bioweapon bombing campaign, which started on December 15th” . From all of your research, are there any good estimates of how many Chinese and North Koreans were killed as a result of the US’s bioweapon attacks during the Korean War?
Thomas: Well, let me first go back to your quote. Everything but the kitchen sink is actually the words of Ed Regis, he is one of the consummate deniers of the BW allegation. And so, he’s using this in a disparaging way. But how to put this? We don’t know. The Chinese haven’t released and the North Koreans haven’t released mortality and fatality numbers from the US BW campaign. They consider it to be a military secret. So, that’s the reason they give. But I understand that there will now be research. There’s seven decades have passed and the Korean War is now open for scholarly research in China. And so, I’m hopeful that more information about this will be forthcoming.
Jeff: Question number eight. You spend two detailed chapters covering and it’s really interesting. It’s like a Perry Mason if you’re an American, remember Perry Mason, the lawyer, back in the 1960s, it’s just like a Perry Mason case. You detailed chapters covering the kangaroo show trial with the US government prosecuting your mother and father. I mean, can you imagine how many people out there get to write about something like that? It did not end until, believe it or not, US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Does that name ring a bell called Off the Dogs in 1961. Your mom and dad bravely stood firm and stuck to their guns. Tell us a little bit about this story.
Thomas: Well Jeff, I wouldn’t call it a kangaroo trial, okay? Because that implies the judge was dishonest and there was an issue about the court proceedings. And this was a very serious federal indictment that was handed down after UK investigations. So, it was a very sort of frightening time. There had been many prosecutions of people for communist activities and denouncements and many people had been fired from their jobs, and teachers had been sacked and who hadn’t taken loyalty oaths. And so, it was a terrifying time.
I was a little kid, so, I really didn’t experience it personally. But the court case had really some very serious implications for the First Amendment, the right of free speech, the Fifth Amendment right not to have to self-incriminate or confess, and also the Sixth Amendment the right to a fair trial and the right to bring witnesses and testimony in your defense. So, these were major constitutional issues at battle in this court case and that’s why the preliminaries dragged on for four years before the trial actually came to be held, and then it ended abruptly after three days with a mistrial.
And my parents had two very competent lawyers that worked for them. Al Wirin had been a labor lawyer and he worked for the ACLU. He had been in the trenches and he was a very competent cross-examiner. And he decided that his task was going to be to find witnesses that my parents were facing. My dad was facing a 13-count indictment. Each one of these sedition counts had a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine. So, he couldn’t plea bargain anyway because he was going to go to prison no matter what he did or said. So, he opted to fight.
My mother and the other person who was indicted with them Julian Schuman were facing each one count of conspiracy. And so, the strategy of the defense was to fight the indictment that they would take on every part of the indictment and challenge it and not give an inch. And so, we decided that his task would be to go find witnesses that he would bring witnesses to testify, but all the witnesses to the war crimes and the other parts of the indictment, the other charges were mostly in China.
And so, he requested to have these witnesses brought to the States to testify, and the State Department, which was very much involved in the prosecution along with the Justice Department decided that they would not allow anybody from China to come to the United States to testify since there was no agreement judicial accord between the US and China and the US didn’t even recognize the People’s Republic of China. And so, nobody from China could come to testify for their defense.
And so, Wirin said, well, in that case, I needed to go to China and collect depositions in China, but the State Department had already decided or at least the administration of Truman and Eisenhower had decided that Americans would be prohibited from traveling to China. It was off-limits. And so, Wirin went to the judge and said, hey, look, my clients have a right to have witnesses. And all my witnesses are in China and I need to go there to take depositions. And what am I going to do?
And so, the judge tossed the ball back to the State Department, said, look, you’re going to have to validate his passport to go to China to collect depositions otherwise, I’m going to have to throw this trial out. So, the State Department relented, and they had to and so, they gave Wirin a passport authorizing him to go to China. And he’s the only person and the only American who ever got a passport authorized to go to China for years and years. So, he went to China, supposedly for two weeks to collect depositions, and he ended up staying eight weeks.
And he had a great time. And he was wined and dined and he met all kinds of people and took all kinds of depositions. And he had a whole suitcase full of them when he got home. So, that was Wirin. And then Doris Walker the other defense attorney her job that she sorts of took on was to challenge all the other accounts of the indictment which was for things like claiming these are all based on things my dad had written in his news magazine, the China Weekly Review, and later the China Monthly Review which was published in Shanghai, where he and my mother were.
He had written editorials saying that the US had stalled the truce negotiations and that they had attacked the truce delegation in transit of the neutral zone with missiles and bombs and airplane strafing and stuff. And that they had engaged in numerous other activities. So, she went out and started looking for documents, and she found documents to support the defense on each of the other 12 charges of the indictment. And she subpoenaed them. They were in the records of the State Department, the Justice Department the Army, and the Defense Department.
And so, she wanted access to these documents. And so, she put together a very lengthy list of documents that she wanted that she was able to identify, that she wanted the government to produce. And essentially, this challenge of hers turned the tide of the case. It put the government in the role of defending itself rather than being prosecutorial that all of a sudden, they were going to have to defend themselves and defend these documents that existed. And so, the Army essentially refused to part with the document, said, “We’re not going to give them up”.
And they had to give up something, though. And that became this statement by the prosecutor a guy named Schnack who was the federal prosecutor since he couldn’t hand over the subpoenaed documents, he had to give up something. And so, they produced an affidavit stating that the US did have the capacity to wage bacterial war in Korea but that these weapons were stored on American soil. So, that was a major confessional concession that the United States government made that came out at this trial that in 1952, the United States did have the capacity to wage operational bacteriological warfare.
And what happened with the trial itself was that when the trial began, the trial was followed very much. The prosecutor attempted to follow very much the formula that had been laid down by the attorney who had worked for the Senate committee that had questioned and interrogated my father. This was a guy named Carpenter, and he had been very much involved in getting the Japanese war criminals excused from prosecution at the war crimes tribunal.
And he had brought in to testify in the Senate a bunch of a group of POWs from the camps that were run by Chinese in North Korea to testify, to give emotional testimony about how they’d been forced to read my father’s magazine while in a prison camp. And it was part of their indoctrination and brainwashing. And so, they gave very emotional testimony. And so, this was the plan of the prosecutor Schenacke to use these same soldiers to come in and testify and soften up the jury in order to get an easy conviction.
But as soon as he called them to the stand to testify, Attorney Walker. What do you call it? She objected and said that these events described are happening overseas. They’re not within the territorial boundaries of the United States or its maritime possessions. Therefore, this is not evidence that can be submitted because the statutes for sedition are very specific, that it needs to occur on American soil, and it can’t hurt overseas.
Jeff: Brilliant, brilliant.
Thomas: Suddenly this whole more than half of the witnesses that the prosecution had intended to interview on the stand had to be dismissed. And so, that was a major faux pas for Schenacke. So, anyway, the judge then excused the jury so that he could discuss with Schenacke in court. And so, Schenacke is standing by the bench and he and the judge are having this animated conversation. And the judge, Judge Goodman tells him, “Hey, look, you charge these people under the law. That’s the wrong statute.
So, you could get a conviction if you charged them under the treason statutes. You’re using the wrong statutes to prosecute this case”. And why the judge hadn’t spoken up before it began at trial or why Schenacke hadn’t dawned on him about this is up for speculation. There was a reporter. I mean, the courtroom was packed with reporters. And the reporter from the Oakland Tribune ran out to the lobby phone booth and called in this development to his editor.
And there was a banner headline then that was run in the afternoon papers all across the Bay area that the judge had accused my parents of treason. So, after that, getting a fair trial wasn’t really possible.
I mean, it kind of ended the trial, but the government ended up getting exactly what it wanted out of this trial anyway, as it stifled any discussion of the BW charges. So, the case lingered and it lingered for a few years until, as you said Robert Kennedy realized that there was no way of getting two witnesses which are needed for a conviction for treason or treasonous act and that it was easier to dismiss the case that the government had succeeded in its objective.
Jeff: Well, hallelujah for your mother and father and for you and your brother to get your lives back together after that. This is a really fascinating history about a number, I think 20-something US pilots who were in the Korean War and they’re detailed and these are all on the Bioweapon Truth Commission in the global online library scans of their handwritten testimony with all their drawings and designs and everything. But anyway, their detailed testimonies about attacking the Chinese and North Koreans with bioweapons and later their unfortunate return home after 1953. Please give us a rundown on this incredible story.
Thomas: Well, there were in total 25 confessions made by American pilots to their participation in germ war acts. And that that mostly is just drop bombs or aerosol spraying of disease agents in the north. What’s interesting about these confessions is that they, first of all, they’re very heartfelt. They didn’t come easy. They just didn’t spill the beans that these young men all spent months kind of mulling over their circumstances before they finally fessed up and were not tortured.
They were not deprived, starved, or put in cramped positions and stuff. They were housed in isolation and interrogated daily by the Chinese sort of deprogrammers. And eventually they kind of their own volition gave these confessions. And what’s interesting about the confessions is it confessions are something that is a big thing. That telling, sharing the weight of your soul is a really big sort of thing in human psychology and affairs.
And there are great confessional traditions, and they kind of flow through society as a wave function. They peak and trough and show up in different places. And what happened in North Korea with these pilots with the Chinese interrogators at the North Korean prison camp was that the three great confessional traditions kind of all came together at this time and kind of crested and reinforced each other.
You have to realize that these pilots were, well, most of them, 21 of them were under the age of 30. They were lieutenants. They were young white Christian men and educated, college-educated. You don’t put an uneducated man in the cockpit of a very expensive aircraft. You teach them and train them beforehand. So, these were all well-educated and well-read, guys. Then there were four pilots who were older. There were three colonels and a major who were in their 30s.
So, you have this Christian confessional tradition that you get and in Christianity, you confess in order to find peace with your soul and to redeem yourself, you’re given instructions on how to do some things, words to say and you think about it and repeat them and you absolve yourself of these sins that you carry. And that’s one confessional tradition. Another one that was at work here was psychoanalysis this had become very much studied and understood that you could help people who had serious emotional trauma by having them spill the beans on what’s going on inside of them to introspect deeply and to sort of figure out how they feel and connect the dots.
And you can help them in that way to find inner peace. And so, that was very active here because the Chinese who interrogated these prisoners were all well-educated. They were doctors and professors and they understood this tradition and had studied it and they were a lot older than the pilots as well, and had more worldly experience. And then the third tradition also is the Communist tradition of confession. And this the first two are private, Western means or private. You tell you to bare your soul privately to an individual who promises not to share it.
The communist tradition is a shared tradition where that’s not private, it’s not done quietly. It’s where you go to meetings Communist Party meetings and you acknowledge your failings, you’re failing to abide by the doctrine or to have understood things correctly, and that now you see things a little better and more clearly. It’s been explained to you and you promise to kind of move forward with a better understanding of the communist ideology. And so, anyway, that’s different but it’s also a very important and legitimate form of confession.
It also helps because the process of confessing is all about sort of healing your soul, healing something that’s very wounded within you getting it off your chest, and being able to move forward. And so, that’s what I see when I read these confessions by these pilots, is that I see men actually grappling with this with trying to atone recognize that what they’ve done is a form of evil that they were ordered to do this, and they didn’t have much choice in the matter.
But here is an opportunity to absolve themselves. And they took advantage of it. And then when they got back to the US, of course, the Army put the thumbscrews on them and said, hey, if here’s we’ll court-martial your ass if you don’t sign these confessions and these retractions, and then you look at the retractions and you contrast them to the confessions, and there’s a huge difference in the emotional content language.
And the retractions are all pretty much standardized. They go down a checklist of things that they claim happened to them that previously they had denied, like torture and starvation and mistreatment and brainwashing and whatnot. So, that’s kind of where the confessions fit in and very interesting documents in military history and in history in general that these are rather remarkable documents.
Jeff: Yeah, they’re all on. I don’t know if we have all 25 of them. We’ve got a good 20-something, maybe missing 1 or 2 in the Bioweapon Truth Commission (www.bioweapontruthcom) library. And they’re scanned. I mean, these were handwritten. That’d be a couple of them were typewritten. But when you read them, it’s just like there’s no way anybody could make this up. I mean, there’s just no way they are so detailed and so methodical and so logical. And so, it’s like explaining how to take apart a motor and put it back together again.
I mean, it’s so rational and so reasonable and so honest. I mean when you read these and see their drawings of the bombs and the drawings of how they have hooked on to the airplanes and everything else these were real confessions. And of course, as you said, they got a gun held to their heads when they got back. And if they didn’t recant, then they would go to jail.
So, they didn’t have much choice except to accept to do that which is more pressure on them when they got back. And I’m sure it was not a very pleasant experience. You are not alone in exposing America’s blatant use of bioweapons at home and abroad. And for the fans who don’t know much about these war crimes, please recommend three books that would complement each other and what each one offers.
And I’d like to point out that, I mean, this book is heavily I mean, there are some I mean, they’re just the footnotes and the books and the bibliography that he has put together, Tom has put together. It’s just unbelievable. And so, there’s many, many, many, many books. And in fact, he even has a whole chapter about the literature. So, can you please narrow it down to three of them, I’ll write these down and make sure to have all these book links available and just tell us about them and what each one offers.
Thomas: Well, I’ve had a hard time narrowing down just three, Jeff. So, after my father wrote a couple of articles in the early 1980s about Shiro Ishii and BW camp up, after his articles came out there was, it took a while for books to start coming out about the topic, but the first one was Peter Williams and David Wallace, you know and if you buy this book, be sure to get the Hodder and Stoughton edition that was published in England and not the version that was published in the United States, because that one is a censored copy that they eliminated the complete chapter.
Jeff: Peter who?
Thomas: Peter Williams, David Wallace.
Jeff: And David Wallace. And what’s the name of it?
Thomas: It’s Unit 731. And then it has a subtitle as well.
Jeff: Okay, Unit 731. Okay, great. So, that covers the whole Japanese.
Thomas: The first two I’m going to give you here are about unit seven, three one, and the Japanese. And then I like Daniel Barenblatt’s A Plague Upon Humanity that I think he tells the story concisely, and some of the other versions that are available are just a little too long and wordy and kind of tomes.
Jeff: All right. I will put all the links and I’ll make sure that the link that I provide for Unit 731 by Peter Williams and David Wallace is the British version by Hodder and Stratton.
Jeff: All right. And what’s the third one?
Thomas: Well, then there’s a couple of books that are about the US bacteriological program.
Jeff: And I’ve got my pencil and paper ready.
Thomas: So, the first one is Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman.
Jeff: Yeah. It’s a classic.
Thomas: And biological warfare. And this is when I first read this, I thought that they had made an ironclad case for this and it was kind of a shock to me years later to find out that they had what they had gone been subjected to with their book. And then I would also like Dave Chaddock’s book. This must be the Place.
Jeff: How do you spell Chaddock?
Jeff: Okay. And this must be the place.
Thomas: “How the US waged war in Korea and denied it ever since”. So, Dave, this book is good. And then for the denial literature, I’d like to recommend Ed Regis’s Biology of Doom. He really explains how the program worked and the history of Fort Detrick, and he is very gung-ho and supportive of their efforts there. And he writes a kind of glowing report. And you can tell when you read the book that he’s been fed a lot of information that he didn’t have to do any real hard work and research.
It was all pretty much given to him, and he ghostwrote it. And so, it’s fascinating because you learn a lot about the process of how you set up these experiments and how you figure out how to use birds and the South Pacific migratory birds to spread germs across the islands of the Pacific. And it’s just kind of fascinating account of the sort of a how-to a gung-ho kind of account. So, those are the books I recommend.
Jeff: All right. Great. Well, I guess I should have made the list 5 or 6, but I got them all and I will put them on the web page for all of the fans out there. So, everybody you don’t have to go, you don’t have to buy them. You can go to your library, your church, your place of worship. You can go to a local university, a college a local college, a junior college, a high school, or whatever public library.
They love for people to recommend books to put on the bookshelf so then you can check them out for free. And you talk about the establishment’s denial machine, and this is what you just talked about ushers this question very well “The Establishment’s Denial Machine”. Please tell who the hired guns are, who lie and cover up America’s use of bioweapons.
Thomas: Well, the dean of the denial lobby is a guy named Milton Leitenberg. And he’s at the Center for International Security Studies at MIT. And he’s got a chair there. And he is the one who kind of is a cover-up artist for American activities abroad. And he’s really the leader in the whole germ war denial business. He’s the first American author to claim that COVID-19, that SARS was developed in China and was a germ weapon that got away from their laboratory in China. So, he very early on finger-pointed China as a culpable party for the COVID-19 epidemic. And he also fingered the Russians for the underwater invasion of Sweden.
Jeff: Yeah, I remember that in the news.
Thomas: It’s turned out later on to be British and American submarines. And he wrote a whole book full of lies blaming the Russians for this activity. So, he’s a scoundrel. But he’s a very competent scoundrel. And he’s been doing the bidding for the US and leading this, for years now.
Jeff: Yeah. You and I have both written articles about him and I will put those links on your interview web page as well. I love your observation. You have some great quotes, by the way, Tom. You have so many good quotes, but we only have so much time. But this one I really loved. “In spy craft, the wasteland between what is true and what is credible is a minefield”. Please expand on this a little.
Thomas: Well, I was hoping that would be self-explanatory. But spy craft is all about lies. It’s all about pushing lies and disinformation as much as it is about gathering information. It’s about dispersing false information. One of the things that spy craft does now is produce a lot of fraudulent documents. As I’ve been doing this research, I’ve realized how historians are so locked into documentation that historians, for some reason, do not trust eyewitness accounts as much as testimony by people who are uneducated.
They much prefer to see a written document. So, if you have a boiler room in a basement at Langley cranking out fraudulent documents, you can flood the market and train your future historians to believe a bullshit history. Modify history by modifying documents that look real and that are totally counterfeit, and you pass them around to graduate students and people, your next generation of historians and you create a whole bogus history of U.S. foreign intervention and stuff overseas. And so, that’s essentially what I’m getting at with that.
Jeff: All right. All right. And then the climax of the book is, actually it was actually another chapter where you were basically the evidence that they presented to try to prove that the United States did not do bioweapons in Korea, actually incriminated them. I think it was Milton Leitenberg, but your last chapter is in The Secret Ugly. By the way, I’m going to show it one more time because I want everybody to go out and buy a copy of it. This was a chapter entitled “The Smoking Gun is Found”, and this is where you put you put a sledgehammer on the nail. Please tell us about it.
Thomas: Well, yes. This actually was a discovery of Jeffrey Kaye that he found. And it was amazing. It’s a very glossy folio printed by the CIA to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. And what this document does, well, let me first explain it. It’s a glossy brochure. And then in the back on the back cover, there’s a sleeve and there’s a CD in the sleeve. And this CD, once you open it and look at it, contains 1,300 documents, which were all part of what Jeff called Communications Intelligence COMINT, which is a subset of signal intelligence SIGINT, which is military terminology for types of information through specific channels.
What communication intelligence is, is information that’s gathered by listening stations of the battlefield communication between different groups of troops in the field, and their commanders back at the home base. And so, what these 1,300 documents illustrate is the communication between soldiers in the field and commanders in bunkers behind who are communicating by radio, and they’re explaining things like and asking for things like we need some DDT, we need flamethrowers, we need what should we do. We have this powder that’s been dropped, and we can’t test it.
Can you send in a crew? And so, all this information has been gathered and then summarized that what the CIA has these listening posts and then the listening post forward what they’ve got to a station chief, and then the station chief takes this information and synthesizes it and puts it in the report and sends it back to Washington. So, it sees reports from station chiefs that are around the world, not just in Asia, but all over the world.
And it’s a curated account that it’s selected. It’s not the entire body of information over this two-year period, but it’s a selective collection of ones that reference Korea. And so, ultimately, what you have is you have a document from the CIA created by the CIA which summarizes the communication, the field communication of people engaged in actual combat. And that’s what the smoking gun is. So, here we have it. There’s a direct line between the eyewitnesses of events on the ground and the publication of them from Washington DC.
Jeff: Yeah. We actually uploaded all 1,300 of those documents up to the Bioweapon Truth Commission. They’re all there I think under the under the CIA directory. Jeff Kaye did a magnificent job of going through every one of them and pulling out all of the incriminating communication that showed that the United States was, in fact, engaging in bioweapon use in North Korea and China during the Korean War. So, they incriminated themselves.
They basically published the evidence that they were, in fact, that we the United States was, in fact, doing this. And so, Milton Leitenberg and everybody else with all of their outrageous lies and scams and fake news, as you talk about that, the CIA can gin up, it all becomes meaningless because the CIA, in fact, incriminated the United States for something they’ve been denying for 70 years. So, it’s a pretty amazing find. And we have Jeff Kaye to thank for that.
Thomas: Yeah. It’s ironic it’s kind of remarkable. But the CIA is such a monstrously huge entity now, a real octopus that they don’t internally they one tentacle doesn’t know what the other is enough to pass that there’s a whole new generation of archivists that don’t know what the ugly secrets are and need to be kept under a tight lid. And so, it’s just sort of the nature of the beast, I think.
Jeff: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, listen, everybody, before closing, what writing journalism plans have you got in the pipeline? You mentioned a second sort of sequel to this book.
Thomas: Yes. That’s the project that I lopped off in order to create this book is the history of the Korean War. There are several histories of the Korean War out there. But almost all of them are either stories about soldiers and the hardships of the war or they’re academic tomes that are difficult to read and kind of well, I won’t criticize them more than that. But what I want to do is something that is much more readable, something that gives a larger sort of picture of why the war came to be, why the US invaded and got involved in this war. Do you know what were the sort of rationales behind it? I want to paint a bigger picture. And so, that’s my next project, and I think I get it done and out in a year.
Jeff: Super. Well, folks, thank you, Tom, for being on the show tonight. I’ll give you all the macro view, “The Secret Ugly”, the subtitle “The Hidden History of US Germ War in Korea” by Thomas Powell out there in Sacramento, California. It’s a fascinating read. It’s a personal read with all of his vignettes about his family. It’s a wonderful book. I encourage everybody to get out and read it. Tom, it’s available in both print and e-book?
Thomas: That’s correct.
Jeff: Okay. So, some people like to read the paper and some people like to read an e-book. You can even ask your library to order the e-book because now libraries let out books for 2 to 3 weeks. So, you can even get the eBook if you want. So, anyway, Tom, thanks a million. Fascinating read, wonderful. And I would love to come out and well, we saw each other this summer when you visited, you took a tour of Normandy and Bayeux. But hopefully, I’ll be able to reciprocate again. I saw you first in San Francisco. Then you saw us in Normandy and Bayeux and now it’s my turn to come and visit you guys back in.
Thomas: We got bedrooms, Jeff. Well, we welcome you for a couple of nights.
Jeff: All right. Thank you.
Thomas: Thank you very much.
Jeff: This is Jeff J. Brown China Rising Radio Sinoland and a wonderful show with Thomas Powell. Good night.
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