Archive for December, 2012

The False Dilemma of David Petraeus

Friday, December 14th, 2012


When information surfaced linking CIA Director David Petraeus to an adulterous relationship with his biographer Paula Broadwell, the media firestorm was instantaneous. Yet another lewd scandal has broken free of the clandestine veil of the United States Government.  Moral questions immediately arose concerning how a highly respected and powerful member of the U.S. intelligence community could be involved in such a bawdy display of personal character.  Soon after, the mainstream press initiated their imprudent criticism of Petraeus’ actions and used this tabloid scandal to focus the attention of American people away from pertinent journalism.


There is no denying that what David Petraeus did is contemptible, but the constant focus of public coverage on his ethical wrongdoing is misguided.  The Petraeus scandal has become an obvious red herring, deliberately positioned to capture the attention of American people through sensationalism.  Taking an unbiased look at the role of the CIA in American government reveals the profound irony of this coverage. This issue surrounds the leader of an agency with a well documented history marred by scandal, dishonesty, illegality, and inefficiency.  The CIA has evolved into an arm of the US government willing to carry out operations without concern for public disclosure.


In the modern war on terror, the CIA is left woefully unsupervised to conduct secretive operations involving national security and defense. These operations range from illegal  civilian surveillance, to direct violations of the Geneva Convention, to the unsanctioned drone attacks that persist across Pakistan, Iran, and Yemen.  In May of 2011 the agency conducted a drone strike in Pakistan that claimed no collateral casualties in its official report.  Despite this, it was soon discovered by journalists in the area that a different story was the truth.  The strike killed 12 suspected terrorist operatives, however collateral damage included a nearby restaurant where 6 civilians were also killed.


It is profoundly disingenuous for popular news outlets to posture the Petraeus story as one of upmost concern; considering the range of more pertinent stories that could be covered.  The past  several years have revealed sensitive information that changes the view of America and its global war efforts.  Vital investigative journalism has recently become associated with whistle-blowing, and is often considered unsavory or unpatriotic.  Concern for the personal affairs of a man who also directs a government agency perpetrating war crimes on a daily basis is truly trivial.


-J. A. Young-

UNTOLD HISTORY PART II: The Incarnation Center and AZT

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012


Without question the world would be a better place if not for disease, and through tremendous advancement in medicine many deadly illnesses have been eradicated.  There are still numerous conditions plaguing humankind, one of the more prevalent being HIV.  Currently, “The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than one million people are living with HIV in the U.S.,” not to mention the throngs of suffering youth.  New York City’s Incarnation Children’s Center (ICC) was a prominent benchmark in the treatment of HIV+ children, until evidence surfaced linking infants and children to dangerously experimental HIV drug-trials.


During the late 1990s children living at ICC were subjected to a barrage of medical tests designed to study the effectiveness of HIV drugs.  Liam Scheff’s 2004 article, “The House that AIDS Built,” drew significant attention to atrocious research taking place at the Incarnation Center.  Although repeatedly attacked as slander the article recounts the sad story of Sean and Dana Newberg, two children from ICC who underwent AZT testing who were later rescued by family.  Mona Newberg, the children’s great-aunt, when asked about the horrid condition of a three year old Sean at ICC said, “The nurses fed Sean AZT, Bactrim and six cans of Pediasure a day through this tube, which stayed in his stomach for over two years.  Nobody ever bothered to change it.” The deplorable conditions of ICC go far beyond just administering drugs to infants, as many of these so called “treatments” carry unthinkable side effects.  Scheff writes, “The drugs being given to the children are toxic — they’re known to cause genetic mutation, organ failure, bone marrow death, bodily deformations, brain damage and fatal skin disorders.” Despite that most of these children have had their rights relinquished to “qualified” state officials, very little is done to protect their lives.


It is hard to justify the role that human testing has played in AIDS research, knowing the deplorable conditions endured by children at ICC.  Sean and Dana Newberg now live with lifelong consequences because of dangerous drugs like AZT.  Is there hope for a moralistic future when such blatant disregard for human rights can occur in a United States institution?  Much less one specializing in the treatment of orphaned HIV+ children.  No adult life should be spared by the torturous abuse of infants, specifically those who have had no control over the tragic circumstances determined their fate.  Many of the details of ICC are hazy but scientists and pharmaceutical giants across the board have destroyed, altered, and ultimately ended the lives of children—pushing their agenda for the “evolution” of humankind.


A radio interview with Liam Scheff, who wrote “The House that AIDS Built”