Liam Scheff - Writer and Journalist on Politics, History, Race, Class and Culture.
In 2004, I broke open the NIH clinical trial scandal - government researchers testing New York City orphans with combinations of toxic, speculative drugs. My research was used as the basis for the 2004 BBC film "Guinea Pig Kids."
I've been published in city weeklies in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, in the book "Tutto In Ventita" (NewWorlds Media - Italy, 2005), and in other print and web journals.
Too much at once, like the rest of you.
Liam Scheff at GNN
The Times piece is regurgitated by FrontPageMag.com, without a single fact checked.
Dear Editor FrontPageMag.com,
Your writer’s (Ryan O’Donnell’s) piece on me and the ICC story is pure garbage,
but I’m trying not to hold that against you.
The NY Times, which your writer quotes with reckless abandon, had a reason to exclude most of the important facts in their fictitious and easily-disputed report on the ICC story –
On the story they got to long after everybody else – 19 months after it broke.
The basic corrections to your screed, among many, are:
I have no relationship with Indymedia (IMC) – my piece was originally published by altheal.org – which is an independent news source to be sure, thought in no way affiliated with IMC.
When I was new to the web, I had occasionally used IMC to test run a piece, or to get it up for people to read, if it was in its genesis.
I no longer do that.
The piece was immediately front-paged by the NY Post, which did so scurrilously, without crediting me, even after interviewing me and checking out the facts – (two thing your reporter did not do),
They put in my name to the piece in a slight correction in the following edition (and have done since).
This was followed by publication of my work in the New York Press on three occaisions over the next year or so1and2 – pieces which featured citations from the medical literature, interviews with children and former workers from ICC and:
An interview with the doctor who runs the place, Dr. Catherine Painter, who told me in no uncertain terms how ‘adherence’ to the drug regimen was achieved – surgery through abdomen to stick in a tube3.
I was part of a team that worked on the BBC documentary “Guinea Pig Kids” which aired in the UK and throughout Europe begining last November.
In 2005, the Associated Press independently covered the scandal, and found that orphans were and are being used in drug trials with dangerous drugs througout the country4.
How does this stack up with the notion that no good evidence was provided?
The Times itself validated my story – that orphans were being used in drug trials,
They just decided to spin the results to benefit their advertisers and sponsors – not the least of which is Columbia University – the same organization running the Incarnation Children’s Center orphanage/trial center.
The truth is, there was an embarrasment of spot-on evidence of gross malfeasance provided in my work –
Documents from the National Institutes of Health and from ICC on the drug trials,
from the FDA, medical journals and the drug manufacturers themselves on the very toxic Drugs,
And interviews with parents, caretakers and children on the ravages of the treatment, and the force used in getting the children into ICC and onto the drugs5.
But the Times chose to exclude any and all standard medical report on the drugs that were and are being used on the orphans in ICC, even though the drugs are all black-box labels – meaning they have killed and can be expected to kill or severely damage in regular use.
No AZT study was provided by the New York Times, only a softball pitch to the doctor who set the place up – Dr. Stephen Nicholas – on his opinion of his own work.
They didn’t bother to question Nicholas, the well-funded founder of ICC, on his current Columbia University sponsored work – plying the poor children of the Dominican Republic with AZT, just as he was here in the poverty-stricken corridor of NYC.
Also excluded were:
- The methods of getting the kids to take the drugs (surgical placement of gastric tubes),
- Actual results from any clinical trial that used children from ICC, or the unadulterated results of any of these drugs in short or long term use in any children.
Instead, there is a cobbled-together, out-of-context exclamation that since HIV prevelance had decreased in some fashion, than whatever was and is happening at ICC is justified.
Excluded is the reality that through the AIDS continuum in the US, AIDS numbers decreased in every population after 1994 or 1995 –
the years in which single-use (montherapy), high-dose AZT was pulled from patients, after concerns about the increasing volume of morbidity and mortality associated with the drug, and complaints from doctors and patients about the terribly toxic effects of the drug.
The death rate had similarly skyrocketed in the short years immediately after AZT was introduced to the american market as the ‘first AIDS drug.”
The list goes on, and I’ll get around to writing something more comprehensive on this soon.
But your reporter (and editor) should really ask why the Old Gray Mare would stoop to such nasty bits of tabloid journalism – in essence, writing an ad hominem editorial as a front page news item –
Is it because there’s more at stake here than a couple brown-skinned orphans?
You bet your ass there is.
I am the reporter who broke the story because I understood something about what was going on beneath the surface of the AIDS establishment –
Get beyond the bike-a-thons and the celebrity fundraisers, and the notion that believing that there is a single cause of infirmity for all gay, black and poor people all around the world is somehow consistent with Gay or Black rights,
And you’ll find the most inept and corrupt branch of science – AIDS incorporated – religion masquerading as medicine –
The notion that clinically-defined illness in certain populations gives us the right to stick a death sentence on those poor bastards unlucky enough to be given those cross-reactive, race selective, and selectively interpretted one-size-fits-none catastrophes we call “HIV tests6and7“
And to use their little bodies to pump through a litany of chemicals that we wouldn’t have poured on the Kaiser and his troops in WW1 –
You might have bothered to read at least one drug label before writing this little screed8,
You might have bothered to contact me, the subject of your attack,
Or to read a single word I’d written –
But you didn’t.
You didn’t even read this piece, published just after the NY Times tried to rain acid over the whole thing – a 10-year insider comes out in public, and tells her story, verifying every seedy bit of corruption and degradation imbedded in what we now forgive as AIDS medicine.
You really should know better, if you’re goal is truly to take the popular culture to task.
As for my ties to the “radical Left” – look for them, and you’ll see they’re pretty weak. Most of my close friends are neither radical nor particularly Left – they are curious, open-minded, compassionate, intelligent and critical people across the political spectrum,
Who also tend to be disappointed with what passes for politics, policy and public discourse in 21st Century America,
And who are trying to do their best to make things a little better where they can.
Contact me for any further corrections,
To my knowledge, the Times has failed to publish a single letter in response to their invective, though many have been sent.
6 On HIV Tests – The Hidden Face of HIV – Knowing is Beautiful
6 and Sex Crimes