9/11, as we were told repeatedly in the days, weeks, and months after the attack, was the day that changed everything. And now a new event has come along to once again throw the world into chaos.
But whereas the post-9/11 era introduced America to the concept of homeland security, the COVID-19 era is introducing the world to an altogether more abstract concept: biosecurity.
This is the story of the COVID-911 security state.
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9/11, as we were told repeatedly in the days, weeks, and months after the attack, was the day that changed everything.
NARRATOR: In the span of one devastating morning, America changed forever.
SOURCE: Remembering 9/11: Never Quit
KATIE COURIC: Good morning. America may never be the same and this is why.
SOURCE: Today Show – September 12, 2001
LOU WATERS: American life will change forever as a result of this attack.
SOURCE: CNN on September 12, 2001
REPORTER: Nothing will ever be the same again.
JAMES ROBBINS: Nothing will ever be quite the same again.
TOM BROKAW: Life will never be quite the same.
SOURCE: Dateline NBC – Sept. 18, 2001
These were no empty words. They were plain statements of fact. The world did change on that day.
9/11 was the carte blanche for a Great Reset, the institution of a new normal in international relations and domestic affairs. From the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the militarization of the police to the multi-trillion dollar wars of aggression to reshape the Middle East, our lives today are drastically different than they were before that fateful Tuesday in September 2001.
GEORGE W. BUSH: On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. [. . .] All of this was brought upon us in a single day — and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.
TONY BLAIR: If September the 11th hadn’t happened, our assessment of the risk of allowing Saddam—any possibility of him reconstituting his programs—would not have been the same.
BUSH: For the first time, airport security will become a direct federal responsibility.
JOHN TYNER: I don’t understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying.
TSA AGENT: This is not considered a sexual assault
TYNER: It would be if you were not the government.
SOURCE: Airport Body Scans Debated
CENK UYGUR: The old fact sheet said the primary function of the FBI is law enforcement. That makes sense. That’s what we grew up with. The new fact sheet says the primary function of the FBI is national security.
JANET NAPOLITANO: If you see something suspicious in the parking lot or in the store, say something immediately. Report suspicious activity to your local police or sheriff. If you need help, ask a Wal-mart manager for assistance.
BUSH: All of this was brought upon us in a single day — and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: The Obama administration’s internal legal justification for assassinating US citizens without charge has been revealed for the first time.
RAND PAUL: I don’t know. If the president’s going to kill these people, he needs to let them know. Some of the people [who] might be terrorists are people who are missing fingers. Some people have stains on their clothing. Some people have changed the color of their hair. [. . .] People who might like to pay in cash or people who have seven days of food on hand.
DEIRDRE BOLTON: NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is warning that terrorists are using cellphone encryption and literally getting away with murder.
BUSH: Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.
But, nearly two decades later, 9/11 has gone from a touchstone event shaping all of the Western world’s national security decisions to a fading cultural memory of a trauma that took place before the newest generation of high school graduates were even born.
9/11 is no longer a driving political issue.
But, as if on cue, a new event has come along to throw the world into chaos.
Once again we are being told that the world has changed forever.
REPORTER: This is not normal. At least it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when everything we take for granted, everything moved just beyond our grasp.
REPORTER: As a global community we’ve experienced a once-in-a-lifetime event that will shift and reshape our behaviors and perceptions for quite some time.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU: This will be the new normal until a vaccine is developed.
REPORTER: . . . Meaning the new normal could last for months, even years.
NICOLA STURGEON: So return to normal as we knew it is not on the cards in the near future.
And, once again, this is no empty rhetoric. Governments, businesses and NGOs are now coordinating at the international level on a “Great Reset” to once again completely reshape the world we are living in.
KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA: History would look at this crisis as the great opportunity for reset.
ANTÓNIO GUTERRES: The great reset is a welcome recognition that this human tragedy must be a wake-up call. It is imperative that we re-imagine, rebuild, redesign, reinvigorate and rebalance our world.
JOHN KERRY: Reset cannot mean—we can’t think of it in terms of sort of “pushing a button” and going back to the way things were. [. . . ] And the normal was a crisis. The normal was itself not working.
CHRYSTIA FREELAND: I think all Canadians understand that the restart of our economy needs to be green. It also needs to be equitable. It needs to be inclusive.
MARIA VAN KERKHOVE: What we’re going to have to figure out, and I think what we’re all going to have to figure out together, is what our new normal looks like. Our new normal includes physical distancing from others. Our new normal includes wearing masks where appropriate. Our new normal includes us knowing where this virus is each and every day, where we live, where we work, where we want to travel.
ALLEY WILSON: In parts of Europe, immunity passports are being considered for people who are believed to be immune to the coronavirus. While in China, some cities have already implemented QR codes that generate a color in order for officials to enable how freely an individual may move around outdoors.
Those paying attention will have already noted the parallels between the “War on Terror” declared after 9/11 and the “War on the Invisible Enemy” that has been declared on COVID-19. In fact, the security imperatives imposed by this pandemic crisis are so similar to those imposed by the terror crisis that, in many cases, the “new” security screening tools that are being put into place to combat COVID-19 are openly acknowledged to be mere upgrades of screening tools deployed after 9/11.
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Most people know CLEAR by going to the airport. It was born after 9/11. This is another crisis with a new component that’s being born. Explain what this product is in terms of how it’s going to work relating to COVID.
CARYN SEIDMAN BECKER: So, you’re right: CLEAR was born out of 9/11 and it was about a public-private partnership leveraging innovation to enhance homeland security and delight customers. And that was really the beginning of screening 1.0. And just like screening was forever changed post-9/11, in a post-COVID environment you’re going to see screening and public safety significantly shift.
But this time it’s beyond airports, right? It’s sports stadiums. It’s retail, as Dana talked about.
It’s office buildings. It’s restaurants.
And so, while we started with travel, at our core we’re a biometric-secure identity platform, where it’s always been about attaching your identity to your boarding pass at the airport, or your ticket to get into a sports stadium, or your credit card to buy a beer. And so now with the launch of CLEAR Health Pass, it’s about attaching your identity to your COVID-related health insights for employers, for employees, for customers.
Everybody wants to know that each other is safe to start to reopen businesses and get America moving.
Yes, in some ways the coronavirus security state is merely an extension of the 9/11 security state. But even more disturbing parallels between 9/11 and COVID-19 are to be found at a deeper level of analysis.
It is true that, just like the response to the 9/11 attacks, the response to the COVID-19 “crisis” is being framed in terms of “security.” But whereas the post-9/11 era introduced America to the concept of “Homeland Security”—security from “terrorists,” individuals with identifiable intentions belonging to groups with stated political goals—the COVID-19 era is introducing the world to an altogether more abstract concept: biosecurity.
Originally employed to describe threats to the environment—the introduction of invasive species to a habitat, for instance, or the transmission of infectious diseases among crops and livestock—the term “biosecurity” was injected into mainstream political discourse when the 2001 anthrax attacks linked bioterrorism to the global war on terror. Suddenly, “biosecurity” was a pressing national security threat, and an entire architecture of national and international legislation was introduced to institute procedures for implementing medical martial law.
In the US, the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act was passed in multiple state legislatures, giving governors the power to forcibly quarantine and even force vaccinate their populations in the event of a declared public health emergency.
On the international level, the World Health Organization adopted the International Health Regulations in 2005, obligating all 196 WHO member nations to recognize declared “Public Health Emergencies of International Concern” like pandemic disease outbreaks as a global threat requiring international cooperation. Some have even argued that the legislation is broad enough to allow organizations like NATO leeway to enter countries in the interest of “controlling the outbreak.”
Once again, the tie between this biosecurity paradigm and the war on terror paradigm is openly acknowledged. In a 2002 paper on the emerging biosecurity field, two US environmental researchers noted the way that 9/11 had opened the door for biosecurity research and legislation.
“The events of September 11 and subsequent anthrax assaults have made US policymakers and the public more aware of our vulnerability to organisms released with the intent to cause significant harm,” they wrote.
In 2010, the World Health Organization issued its own information note on biosecurity, stating that “The overarching goal of biosecurity is to prevent, control and/or manage risks to life and health,” and—echoing post-9/11 declarations about the need for global cooperation in the War on Terror—that this goal can only be reached through “a harmonized and integrated biosecurity approach” based on “international standards.”
What this predictably bland language obscures is the way that “biosecurity” is used to invoke emergency powers and install new security procedures. Just as the Homeland Security paradigm used the presumed threat of terrorism as an excuse to curtail civil liberties, so, too, does the biosecurity paradigm use presumed threats to public health as an excuse to curtail civil liberties.
NARRATOR: Chinese police officers are also seen in another disturbing video nailing in wooden planks to block the front door of an apartment with people inside who had just returned home from Wuhan. Afterwards, officials are seen staking a red sign beside the front door which reads: “The people in this house have just returned from Wuhan. Don’t be in contact with them. The poor people inside are heard desperately screaming, “Open the door!”
MIKE AMOR: Melbourne is in full lockdown tonight as historic stage four restrictions take effect, forcing entire industries and shopping precincts to close. Health officials say it’s the only option to stop the second wave and we’d be looking at twenty thousand cases if we hadn’t shut down.
WOMAN: Can you, like, record this? I’m in my pajamas. I have an ultrasound in an hour.
MAN: Yeah, she’s pregnant, so . . .
POLICE OFFICER: Take it easy.
MAN: What’s this about?
WOMAN: But I have an ultrasound in an hour.
POLICE OFFICER: Let me finish and I’ll explain. It’s in relation to a facebook post, in relation to lockdown protests you put on for Saturday.
WOMAN: Yeah, and I wasn’t breaking any laws by doing that.
POLICE OFFICER: You are, actually. You are breaking the law. That’s why I’m arresting you.
WOMAN: In front of my children?
MAN: How can you arrest her? That’s—
PETER MITCHELL: Police are preparing to launch their aerial arsenal as part of a crackdown on covert rule breakers. High-powered drones will be used to find people not wearing masks and cars too far from home.
CAMERON CHELL: Dragonfly’s public health and safety system uses standard 4k cameras to provide anonymized data on social distancing, heart rate, respiratory rate and fever detection.
RODRIGO DUTERTE: My orders are for the police, the military and the villages: Shoot them dead!
MAN: Why are you surrounding my children? Please step away from my children. Please. Step away. From my children.
POLICE OFFICER: I’m just gonna take care of them, alright? Calming down, yeah?
MAN: My children are fine.
CHILD: Can we just go home?
MAN: But I’ve got cuffs that are too tight on my arms. All I was doing was shopping. I explained to you that I don’t have to have a mask on for health reasons and then three people come up to me and start twisting my arms up. For what? Can you tell me why I’m under arrest.
POLICE OFFICER: You’re not under arrest. You’re detained.
MAN: You can’t just detain me. Under what law?
CRESSIDA DICK: Well at the moment we don’t have specific powers, but they will come very shortly, I’m sure. But in the British policing model, we always start by talking to people. We always start by advising people. We can talk even more firmly to people.
MAN: Who the f*** do you think you’re grabbing? Hey, who you grabbing?
POLICE OFFICER: Off the train now!
MAN: Who the f*** are you grabbing? Get off me! I told you no!
POLICE OFFICER: Get off the train or I’ll get you off.
MAN: Now get off me. Now you’ve been told. Get the f*** off me. Oi. Who the f*** are you grabbing, mate?
POLICE OFFICER: I’ll spray you, mate.
MAN: What? You’re not spraying me for nothing.
PASSENGER: He hasn’t done nothing wrong.
ELIAS CLURE: There’s a significant police presence there. A number of these protesters chanting “freedom.”
PROTESTERS: Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!
CLURE: We can also see that crowd. Just the size of that crowd and the number of police that have gathered. There’s public order response, there’s mounted police as well. Also riot police have mobilized to try and manage this crowd.
The nightmarish police state that is coming into view on the back of this pandemic panic is not a temporary state of affairs, nor is it a haphazard set of measures thrown together on an ad hoc basis; it is the creation of a new form of governance. This new form of governance relies on the perceived sense of crisis—in this case, a public health crisis—to justify constant surveillance of the public and new powers to inhibit the travel of anyone deemed a health risk.
Famed Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has documented how this biosecurity state is being erected on the back of the panic that 9/11 and the war on terror helped induce in the public.
“We might say that once terrorism was exhausted as a justification for exceptional measures, the invention of an epidemic could offer the ideal pretext for broadening such measures beyond any limitation.
“The other factor, no less disquieting, is the state of fear, which in recent years has diffused into individual consciousnesses and which translates into a real need for states of collective panic, for which the epidemic once again offers the ideal pretext.
“Therefore, in a perverse vicious circle, the limitation of freedom imposed by governments is accepted in the name of a desire for safety, which has been created by the same governments who now intervene to satisfy it.”
The parallel nature of 9/11 and COVID-19 as catalyzing events ushering in states of collective panic and, ultimately, new forms of governance, is seen most clearly in the area where these two paradigms overlap: bioterrorism.
The molten steel on the Ground Zero pile had not even cooled before the American public and the people of the world were confronted with the specter of bioterrorism. Beginning a week after 9/11 and continuing for weeks thereafter, a series of letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to media personalities and government officials in an apparent continuation of the terrorist attack on the US. The letters were quickly tied to both Al Qaeda and Iraq in the mainstream media:
BRIAN ROSS: Peter, from three well-placed but separate sources tonight ABC News has been told that initial tests on the anthrax sent to Senator Daschle have found a tell-tale chemical additive whose name means a lot to weapons experts. It is called bentonite. It’s possible other countries may be using it, too, but it is a trademark of Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program.
TIM TREVAN: It does mean for me that Iraq becomes the prime suspect as the source for the anthrax used in these letters.
The 24/7 coverage of the event in the media ceased abruptly, however, when it was discovered that the strain of anthrax used in the attacks sourced not to Iraq but to the US military’s own bioweapons laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
But this convergence of terrorism and biosecurity did not start with the anthrax attacks. It began in June of 2001, a full three months before 9/11 and the declaration of the war on terror itself. That was when a number of ranking US military and intelligence officials took part in “Dark Winter,” a high-level exercise that simulated the US’ response to a smallpox attack on the homeland by bioterrorists. The drill, co-hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, took place at Andrews Air Force Base on the 22nd and 23rd of June, 2001, and even involved fake news reports that were broadcast to the participants as the simulation unfolded.
ANGIE MILES: On day six of the smallpox epidemic, the White House confirmed that federal government officials and military personnel are being vaccinated 300 people have died at least 2,000 are infected with smallpox. Still no group claims responsibility for unleashing the deadly smallpox virus, but ncn has learned that Iraq may have provided the technology behind the attack to terrorist groups based in Afghanistan.
SOURCE: ‘operation dark winter’ 3
In an incredible parallel, the same Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security that co-hosted Dark Winter also co-hosted “Event 201,” a simulation of a globally spreading novel coronavirus pandemic that was held in New York just months before the declaration of the globally spreading novel coronavirus pandemic that hailed the advent of the era of biosecurity. This exercise similarly involved fake news broadcasts:
FAKE NEWS REPORTER: It began in healthy looking pigs months, perhaps years ago. A new coronavirus spread silently within herds. Gradually, farmers started getting sick. Infected people got a respiratory illness with symptoms ranging from mild, flu-like signs to severe pneumonia. The sickest required intensive care. Many died.
Unsurprisingly, many of the same characters that were involved in the promotion of the bioterror scare under the old “homeland security” paradigm have been influential in promoting the COVID-19 scare under the new “biosecurity” paradigm.
The phrase “homeland security” itself was popularized in Washington in the late 1990s and capitalized on by the ANSER Institute, which formed an Institute for Homeland Security in 1999 led by Randall Larsen, a professor and department chair at the National War College. The Institute prepared a course on “Homeland Security” which was to be co-taught by Larsen and his National War College colleague, Robert Kadlec. Coincidentally, the course was slated to begin on September 11, 2001. Part of the course syllabus included a review of the Dark Winter exercise, which the Institute for Homeland Security co-created.
The name “Dark Winter” derives from a statement made by Larsen’s colleague, Robert Kadlec, credited as a “Bio-Warfare Defense Expert” during the exercise’s fake news broadcast.
ROBERT KADLEC: . . . and the problem is we don’t have enough vaccine to go around.
MILES: Meaning we don’t have enough vaccine for the United States?
KADLEC: Well, I would like to think that. But we don’t have sufficient stockpiles for the people in Oklahoma, Georgia or Pennsylvania, much less for the entire United States population.
MILES: Well, that certainly doesn’t sound encouraging. What do you mean, exactly?
KADLEC: Angie, it means it could be a very dark winter for America.
MILES: Sobering. Thank you very much for joining us, Dr. Kadlec.
SOURCE: operation dark winter’ 2
A career officer and physician in the United States Air Force, Kadlec would go on to contribute to the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks, and then serve in several key biosecurity-related roles in the George W. Bush White House. During this time, Kadlec helped draft the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. Passed by Congress in 2006, the act greatly expanded federal power during public health emergencies and consolidated many of these powers in a new office, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Then, in what Kadlec has called “just a coincidence,” Trump appointed Kadlec himself to that position in 2017.
In his role as ASPR, Kadlec oversaw a joint exercise in 2019 named “Crimson Contagion.” The drill included the National Security Council, the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security and a raft of other government agencies and simulated the US government’s response to a viral pandemic originating in China and spreading around the globe. Like Dark Winter, the “Crimson Contagion” exercise took place just months before the events it was simulating began to play out in real life. And, like Dark Winter, it gave participants like Kadlec the chance to argue that biosecurity was a pressing national security challenge that the country was ill-prepared to meet—an argument that he made to Congress with Dr. Anthony Fauci by his side just one week before the first reports of the novel coronavirus spreading in China.
DIANA DEGETTE: Dr. Kadlec, what keeps you up at night when you think about preparedness for the next big flu outbreak.
KADLEC: I mean, thank you, ma’am, I appreciate the question. I mean, I sleep like a baby: I wake up every two hours screaming.
DEGETTE: Much like me.
KADLEC: Yeah. But I think the key thing here is a pandemic. Quite frankly I have a unique background on this committee or this dais. I have served two years on the Senate Intelligence Committee and looked at the many threats that face the United States, but there is no singular threat that could devastate our country through our health and our economy and our social institutions then pandemic influenza.
KADLEC: And we had four during the last century. And even though we’ve had a mild one in this first century, I think the risk is that we’ll have another severe one and that would devastate our country.
Then there’s Donald Rumsfeld. As Secretary of Defense in the first term of the George W. Bush administration, there are few people more closely associated with the “War on Terror.” Rumsfeld, too, has been intimately associated with the emerging biosecurity state for decades. In the 1980s he personally participated in secret meetings with Saddam Hussein that resulted in anthrax, botulism, and other chemical weapons being sent from the US to Iraq. In the 1990s he was named chairman of Gilead Sciences, a California biotech company that profited handsomely from the scramble for Tamiflu during the bird flu scare of 2005 and which is currently profiting handsomely from Remdesivir as a result of the COVID-19 scare.
ANTHONY FAUCI: The data shows that Remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.
There are many others whose careers blaze the same trail, transitioning seamlessly from the homeland security state to the biosecurity state. People like Dr. Richard Hatchett, who served as Director for Biodefense Policy under George W. Bush, then as acting Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within HHS before becoming the CEO of CEPI, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-founded Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. In his position as “global health expert,” Hatchett made waves back in March for his alarmist pronouncements about the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
RICHARD HATCHETT: It’s the most frightening disease I’ve ever encountered in my career, and that includes Ebola, it includes MERS, it includes SARS. And it’s frightening because of the combination of infectiousness and a lethality that appears to be manyfold higher than flu.
That so many of the people who were there at the birth of the war on terror are currently acting as midwives to the biosecurity state should come as no surprise. After all, the biosecurity paradigm is not a replacement for the terror paradigm; it is its fulfillment.
The war on terror imagined a covert army of foreign invaders slipping through the defenses of the Homeland and commandeering the resources of the body politic to wreak internal havoc. The biosecurity state posits largely the same scenario, but now those foreign invaders are not “terrorists” possessed with a “hatred of freedom,” they are “asymptomatic carriers” possessed by a pathogen.
Just as the Homeland Security forces and border security agents were entrusted to protect us from the terrorists, now the “front line heroes,” doctors and nurses armed with the tools of the technocratic priest class, can protect us from the invisible enemy.
This speaks to an important aspect of the biosecurity state: ultimately, it is not about health. It is about politics.
Once again we find insight on this turn of events from Giorgio Agamben, who has noted that viral epidemics are
“above all a political concept, which is preparing to become the new terrain of world politics—or non-politics. It is possible, however, that the epidemic that we are living through will be the actualization of the global civil war that, according to the most attentive political theorists, has taken the place of traditional world wars. All nations and all peoples are now in an enduring war with themselves, because the invisible and elusive enemy with which they are struggling is within us.”
Governments are banning gatherings and events. Instituting new screening procedures. Quarantining healthy, functioning people against their will. Tracking and surveilling every individual. Controlling their movements. Monitoring their transactions. Make no mistake: the “War on Terror” is not over. It has just greatly expanded.
The proponents of 9/11 truth have warned for 19 years that the “War on Terror” was always a war on the public. Long pushed to the margins of the political debate, that viewpoint has been vindicated as the “terrorist” label is replaced by the “asymptomatic carrier” label and all the machinery of the police state is wielded against everyone who opposes the biosecurity takeover.
Given that those once derided as “conspiracy theorists” have turned out to be the most prescient political observers of all, perhaps it is time to learn the real lessons from 9/11 that mainstream discourse has always excluded:
- That 9/11 and the “War on Terror” was not a war at all, but a power grab;
- That the “temporary” measures brought in to deal with an alleged “emergency” will never be relinquished;
- And, most importantly, that unless everyone who cares about this—the most blatant power grab in history—rises up, refuses to cower in fear of the invisible enemy, and reclaims their inalienable rights to freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of assembly, then those freedoms will be gone for good.
This is the message of 9/11 truth: that the world was tricked into giving up their rights in the name of an endless parade of bogeymen. In reality, it was the very politicians and officials claiming to protect us from these bogeymen—the ones donning the mantle of “homeland security”—who were the greatest threat to the public. And now they are claiming we are the bogeymen, “asymptomatic carriers” of an invisible enemy,” walking and talking weapons of mass destruction who must be caged in fear forever lest the virus kills us all.
This is a lie, and it exposes what the fearmogers are themselves afraid of: free humanity. Gathering. Talking. Working. Playing. Living.
It is no small irony that this year’s 9/11 memorials have been disrupted by the COVID scare. The torch has well and truly passed, and the annual injunctions to “Never Forget” have been replaced by a litany of “Always Remembers.” Remember to wear your mask. Remember to stay 6 feet apart. Remember to avoid large groups. Remember to stay home.
After 19 years, perhaps it is time to admit that 9/11 truth failed to expose the “War on Terror” lie in time to derail the homeland security agenda. But we are entering a new era, and we have a new chance to wake from this nightmare.
Knowing this, the only question is: Will we reject the “War on the Invisible Enemy” before it’s too late?
Whatever our choice, we better make it quickly. A Great Reset is coming.
BUSH: Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment.
Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us.
DONALD TRUMP: I want to assure the American people that we’re doing everything we can each day to confront and ultimately defeat this horrible, invisible enemy. We’re at war. In a true sense, we’re at war and we’re fighting an invisible enemy. Think of that.