What is There Really to the Ukrainian Biolab Story?
On Tuesday, Victoria Nuland, in a halting, carefully worded answer to a question about biolabs in Ukraine, gave the unmistakable impression that research had indeed been going on.
Senate Testimony: Biological “Research Facilities” in Ukraine
In a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Marco Rubio asked Victoria Nuland, Biden’s State Department undersecretary for Ukraine — and someone you’ll remember from Trump’s first sham impeachment — if there were “chemical and biological weapons” in that country. She said this:
Ukraine has, uh [pause]…..biological ‘research facilities,’ which, in fact, we are now quite concerned Russian troops — Russian forces — may be seeking to, uh [pause]….. gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials [Editorial comment: RESEARCH MATERIALS??] from falling into the hands of Russian forces, should they approach.
As Laura Ingraham reported Wednesday, U.S. officials characterize these facilities as basically “public health labs that are owned and operated by the Ukrainians.” They say the U.S. has provided “technical support as part of a 2005 agreement on preventing infectious disease outbreaks.”
Her guest for this topic was executive director of America Matters Jim Hanson, who served in the U.S. Army Special Forces dealing with biological and nuclear weapons. He sees Putin’s using these labs as an excuse for invading Ukraine as “probably more of a threat” than the labs themselves. Putin gets to use this to justify his aggression (as if anything could). And, of course, the CCP now gets to say, “See, America does it!” and distract us from whatever they were doing with bat viruses in Wuhan.
As evidence that we had something to do with assisting Ukrainian biolabs, a State Department document from 2005 said this:
In order to assist Ukraine in preventing the proliferation of technology, pathogens, and expertise that are located at the Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene [in the city of Lviv], the Ukrainian Scientific Research Anti-Plague Institute (Odessa), the Central Sanitary Epidemiological Station (Kyiv) and other facilities in Ukraine identified by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, and that could be used in the development of biological weapons, the U.S. Department of Defense shall provide assistance to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine at no cost.
Hanson did say “the idea of [assisting a biolab] is not a bad thing,” as it addresses the risk posed by biological weapons around the world. Still, it looks suspicious to see a U.S. official uncomfortably skirting the question, especially, he said, with this administration “having a terrible track record for telling anybody the truth about any of the biological issues, with COVID or anything else, that have been going on.”
It Looks Suspicious
“…I want to believe them,” Hanson said, “but the problem is, they are, right now, by their incompetence, helping the Russians and Chinese make a bigger deal out of this than it really ought to be.” It also helps bring China and Russia closer into what he called the “Dragon-Bear alliance.”
Tucker Carlson reported Wednesday on another snippet from 2005, a media clip from the Department of Defense press center, saying:
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar applauded the opening of the Interim Central Reference Laboratory in Odessa, Ukraine, this week, announcing that it will be instrumental in researching dangerous pathogens used by bioterrorists. The level-3 bio-safety lab…will be used to study anthrax, tularemia and Q fever as well as other dangerous pathogens.
Yet USA Today offered this “fact”-check: “FALSE claim of U.S. biolabs in Ukraine tied to Russian disinformation campaign.” (Ah, would this be like the Russian disinformation campaign about Hunter Biden’s laptop?) The sources used were officials in Biden’s State Department and the Ukrainian government, so who are we to question?
The “fact”-check said that Russia had teamed up with China to amplify the false biolab claim. They said the story was also associated with QAnon, which only leftists seem to have familiarity with and talk about. Goodness knows, we’re still confused about what QAnon even is and don’t see what it has to do with being conservative and trying to get to the truth of this claim.
The British press got into the act, too, with Reuters quoting EU foreign affairs spokesperson Peter Stano as saying, “Russian disinformation has a track record of promoting manipulative narratives about biological weapons and alleged ‘secret labs.’”
It Isn’t “Misinformation” At All
But if Nuland was telling the truth (under oath) at Tuesday’s hearing, the idea that there are dangerous biolabs in Ukraine, somehow associated with the U.S., isn’t “misinformation” at all. In fact, our government is apparently quite concerned with Putin’s army advancing. So the government and the press need to stop lying about this. Again, whether it’s true or false, it does not at all justify what Putin is doing in Ukraine.
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Sen. Rubio followed up his question on the existence of bioweapons by asking Nuland, “If there’s a biological or chemical weapon incident or attack inside Ukraine, is there any doubt that 100 percent, it would be the Russians that would be behind it?”
Nuland said she had no doubt, adding, “It is classic Russian technique to blame on the other guy what they’re planning to do themselves.” The irony is, being a longtime pro-Hillary Democrat, she’s likely an expert on this technique, as she learned from the best. Pointing fingers at the other guy for what she herself does is Hillary’s superpower.
The National Pulse reported Tuesday that now-deleted web pages reveal that Obama, as an Illinois senator, spearheaded an agreement that led to construction of biolabs in Ukraine to handle “especially dangerous pathogens.” There was an article about this by Tina Redlup posted on June 18, 2010, called, simply, “Biolab Opens in Ukraine.” What it said was consistent with that video from 2005 announcing the agreement: “Lugar said plans for the facility began in 2005 when he and then-Senator Barack Obama entered a partnership with Ukrainian officials…” Important details here.
One thing Tucker reported that we haven’t yet found: that the U.S. Embassy has “a handy webpage” explaining that U.S.-Ukrainian scientists have worked on numerous experiments with pathogens such as African swine fever virus, hemorrhagic fever virus, etc., and also fact sheets about America’s support for biological research in Ukraine, but that “all those links are now dead.”
Those web pages are archived, he said, and the fact sheets show Defense Department funding went to biolabs in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby called the allegations by Russia about Ukrainian biolabs “absurd,” “laughable” and “classic Russian propaganda.” Also, “a bunch of malarkey.” Then he avoided answering a question about our specific relationship.
The State Department Carefully Words Its Spin
The State Department issued a carefully worded statement saying the DoD “does not OWN or OPERATE biological laboratories in Ukraine [emphasis mine]…” Note they didn’t use the words “fund,” “staff” or “consult with.” Here’s the complete statement, as posted on their website Wednesday, the day after Nuland’s testimony.
Here’s much more detail, including Nuland’s background at the Hillary Clinton/John Kerry State Department under Obama, in an excellent piece by Glenn Greenwald.
Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and longtime conservative commentator on issues in culture and current events. A New York Times best-selling author, he hosts the weekly talk show Huckabee on TBN.
Originally published at MikeHuckabee.com. Reprinted with permission.