If you had told us just four days ago that the Biden administration was funding secret bio labs in Ukraine of all places, we would not have believed you. Yeah, I don't think we're going to put that on TV. No thanks.
Then, if you told us that not only did the administration fund these secret bio labs in Ukraine, but that they then failed to secure the deadly contents of those labs before the Russian invasion—an invasion they knew was coming, an invasion they helped encourage—if you had told us that four days ago, we would have dismissed you as a nut. It was just too preposterous. We will not want anything to do with a story like that. There was no way it could be true. It was too far out. In any case, we already knew for a fact that that story was false. How do we know that? Because we read USA Today, America's newspaper.
Within hours of the Russian invasion, USA Today published a rebuttal to all those crazies who were yammering on about secret Ukrainian bio labs. Here was the headline: "Fact check: False claim of US biolabs in Ukraine tied to Russian disinformation campaign."
So, if you look carefully at the story—and we did because we were interested—you notice that this fact check was sourced to Ukrainian government unnamed officials and then Biden State Department officials. These were not exactly objective sources on this subject, but still the story seemed definitive. It was totally emphatic. "Russia has teamed up with China to further amplify the false claim of U.S. labs in Ukraine."
OK. USA Today says it's Russian disinformation. Maybe it is. On to the next story, but the fact checks didn't stop. That was weird. We kept seeing the same check again and again. It was almost like despite endless official clarification, some people refused to believe the Biden administration. They preferred Russian propaganda instead and we assume they must be QAnon members. We assume that because Foreign Policy Magazine told us that. According to Foreign Policy, QAnon, whatever that is, was frantically disseminating "false claims of U.S. bio warfare labs in Ukraine."
Those labs obviously didn't exist. It was all just another lie from the Russians who lie for a living. Then the European Union... weighed in, throwing its credibility behind the same claim. These are conspiracy theories, the EU told us, they're lies spread by Putin. An EU spokesmen then reminded us that, "the credibility of information provided by the Kremlin is in general, very doubtful and low." That was good to know.
"Russian disinformation has a track record of promoting manipulative narratives about biological weapons and alleged secret labs."
Yeah. We're not going to do a segment about secret labs in Ukraine. Last thing we want to do on this show is traffic in Russian disinformation spread by QAnon, so we took a pass on that story. And that's where things stood until yesterday when we happened to tune in to a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Toria Nuland was testifying so we were interested. Nuland was one of the people who brought us the Iraq War, never apologized for that and kept getting promoted because that's how DC works. Toria Nuland is now Joe Biden's Under Secretary of State in charge of Ukraine and she knows a lot about Ukraine.
In 2014, Toria Nuland engineered a coup in Ukraine in the name of democracy, of course. So, she is a highly informed source about Ukraine. So, she was having this colloquy with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida during her testimony, and at one point, Rubio took a tack that we were not expecting at all. He asked Nuland if Ukraine had biological weapons.
We never imagined Ukraine would have biological weapons. Why would Ukraine have bioweapons? So, it seemed like a pretty strange question, but it wasn't half as shocking as the answer he got. Here's what Toria Nuland said.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Does Ukraine have chemical or biological weapons?
VICTORIA NULAND: Ukraine has a biological research facilities, which, In fact, we are now quite concerned Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to gain control of. So, we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.
Does Ukraine have biological weapons? Ugh, Ukraine has biological research facilities. What? You mean secret bio labs like the secret bio labs that Ukraine definitely doesn't have? Ukraine has those? Yes, it does. And not only does Ukraine have secret bio labs, Toria Nuland said, whatever they're doing in those labs is so dangerous and so scary that she is, "quite concerned" that the so-called research material inside those bio labs might fall into the hands of Russian forces.
Try not to use profanity on the air to describe our reaction. Our jaws dropped, let's leave it there. Under oath in an open committee hearing, Toria Nuland just confirmed that the Russian disinformation they've been telling us for days is a lie and a conspiracy theory and crazy and immoral to believe is, in fact, totally and completely true.
Woah, you don't hear things like that every day in Washington. Talk about a showstopper and a dozen questions instantly jump to mind. What exactly are they doing in these secret Ukrainian bio labs? Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe. It's hardly a hotbed of biomedical research. We're assuming these weren't pharmaceutical labs, probably not developing new Leukemia drugs. From your answer, Toria Nuland, we would assume because you all but said it, that there's a military application to this research, that they were working on bioweapons. Again, your answer suggests that.
Why would we fund something like that in Ukraine, and why didn't you secure the contents of these bio labs before the Russians arrived as you knew they would? And then why did you go out of your way to lie to the American public about all of this? If the "research materials" in these labs were to escape somehow and you seem very concerned about that, what would be the effect on Ukraine and then on the rest of the world? How can we prepare for the consequences of that, this thing that you're worried about? Shouldn't we be preparing? Because as it turns out, we've just spent the last two years living with the pathogen that began in another foreign bio lab funded by the United States government secretly.
So, this question is on our mind. It seems fair. Now that's some of what we would have asked if we were U.S. Senators, which were not. Yes, there's a time limit. Time limit be damned because this is kind of important, but Rubio did not ask those questions. Instead, he changed the subject and told us once again that Vladimir Putin is bad.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO: If there is a biological or chemical weapon incident or... attack inside of Ukraine, is there any doubt in your mind that 100%, it would be the Russians that would be behind it?
VICTORIA NULAND: There is no doubt in my mind, senator, and it is classic Russian technique to blame on the other guy what they're planning to do themselves.
OK, just get a pen. It's a classic Russian technique to blame on the other guy, what they are planning to do themselves. That's what Toria Nuland said. We almost laughed out loud. So, what you're saying, Toria Nuland, if, for example, you were funding secret bio labs in Ukraine, but wanted to hide that fact from the people who are paying for it, in whose name you were doing it, then you might lie about it by claiming the Russians were lying about it. In other words, you might mount a disinformation campaign by claiming the other guy was mounting a disinformation campaign. Is that what you're saying, Toria Nuland? It's pretty funny.
What's not funny is that this is all entirely real. We invited Marco Rubio on the show tonight to tell us what he knows about these bio labs. He declined to come. That invitation remains open. In the meantime, let's review what little we do know about this. We're going to start with a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday. Now, we would never do this. We never played anything like this on the show before because of course, we're Americans and when we want to know what's going on we ask our own officials, the people we elect and whose salaries we pay, because it's our country.
We don't go to foreign sources because we trust our own sources first. But when it turns out the people who represent us and run our government are lying to us and never apologize for it and doing horrific things in our names, then you have to open your mind a little bit and at least assess what other people are saying. So, here was the Russian claim.
IGOR KONASHENKOV: During the course of the special military operation, facts were uncovered of the key regime, mopping up traces of military biological program under development in Ukraine, financed by the U.S. Defense Ministry.
OK. So, that apparently—we hadn't seen that until this afternoon we started poking around—that may have been the root of the conspiracy theories that the fact checks told us were Russian disinformation. Let's quote it: "Military biological programs are under development in Ukraine, financed by the U.S. Defense Ministry." That's the Russian claim.
Separately, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Ukrainians were working on deadly pathogens, including plague and anthrax. Is that true? Now, obviously, we would not take Russia's word for that ever, but we don't have to take Russia's word for that. The U.S. Defense Department has a website that contains this media clip about the opening of a biological research facility in Ukraine in 2010.
"U.S. Senator 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."
Oh, OK. Then the National Pulse dug up 2011 report from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences that also explained that the Odessa based laboratory "is responsible for the identification of especially dangerous biological pathogens." So, what we're doing—this is not the first time you've heard this story—we are funding the creation of deadly pathogens so we can study them and prevent people from getting infected with them. Maybe? There are lots of examples of this. The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has a handy web page explaining that American and Ukrainian scientists have worked on a whole bunch of different experiments like this.
Some of the projects include work on African swine fever virus, hemorrhagic fever virus, and various respiratory viruses. The interesting thing, the telling thing, is that the U.S. Embassy's website also contains links to fact sheets about America's support for biological research in Ukraine, but all those links are now dead. That's weird. It's our government. We pay for it. Again, they're there in our name, in the name of American citizens, but we can no longer read their web page. How does that work, exactly? They have no right to lie to us.
The web page is archived, thankfully, and the fact sheets show Defense Department funding to laboratories in Ukraine. So that looks like proof. It's not Russian disinformation. It's totally real. Sorry USA Today, America's newspaper, it's real. You can look it up on the internet if you want. In the face of that evidence, the Pentagon is still lying about and in fact, they're repeating the same unbelievably stupid and now thoroughly discredited lies the fact checkers have told for weeks now. Here's the spokesman for the Pentagon, John Kirby, today.
JOHN KIRBY: The Russian accusations are absurd. They're laughable and, you know, in the words of my Irish Catholic grandfather, a bunch of malarkey. There's nothing to it. It's classic Russian propaganda and I wouldn't, if I were you,...I wouldn't give it a drop of ink worth...paying attention to.
REPORTER: Yeah, but can you explain to us what...has there been any relationship between the...?
JOHN KIRBY: We are not, not, developing biological or chemical weapons inside Ukraine. It's not happening.
If I were you, I wouldn't devote a drop of ink to it. First of all, you didn't get to make that decision, Mr. Bureaucrat. We have a free press in this country. You don't get to decide, but you'll notice at the end of that, Kirby refuses to answer the question. Has there been any relationship between the U.S. Pentagon and a bioweapons facility in Ukraine and if so, what is that relationship? That's Russian disinformation! What's the answer? We're not developing WMD in Ukraine right now! OK, got it, but why are we funding this and what exactly are we funding?
We reached out to the State Department separately and they provided us with this very carefully worded statement: "The U.S. Department of Defense does not own or operate biological laboratories in Ukraine." Not that anyone said they did. Continuing the quote, "Undersecretary Nuland was referring to Ukrainian diagnostic and biodefense laboratories during her testimony, which are not biological weapons facilities." What's the difference exactly? Continuing the quote, "These institutions counter biological threats throughout the country."
So that means nothing. You could describe our nuclear stockpile correctly as defensive. Our nuclear weapons are not designed to preemptively kill anybody. They're designed to prevent other people from killing us, but they're still nuclear weapons. So, when you stop lying and telling us what's going on here and why don't you more specifically tell us why you didn't secure these materials? So, yes, we're funding secret bio labs in Ukraine, but they are diagnostic and biodefense laboratories that counter biological threats.
OK, if these are purely defensive labs, why was Toria Nuland so concerned that Russians would get ahold of the materials from these facilities? Other world powers have come to the obvious conclusion. Again, we hate to do this, but under these circumstances, we asked our own spokespeople, they lied. We're going to the Foreign Ministry of China, a country we despise. Here's what they said today. They're calling on weapons inspectors to take a look at these facilities in Ukraine right away.
ZHAO LIJIAN: Over the past two decades, the United States has been blocking the establishment of a verification regime to the Biological Weapons Convention and refused to accept the inspection of biological facilities within and outside its borders. The move has further aggravated the concern of the international community. We, once again, urge the U.S. to provide full clarification of its bio militarization activities within and outside its borders and accept multilateral verification.
Oh, they're putting Russian and Chinese propaganda on the screen! Yeah, we did. We also put U.S. government propaganda on the screen and the difference is we expect to be lied to by foreign governments. We're not globalists. We believe in one country. It's this country, the United States. We do not expect to be lied to by our government and we won't accept it. But let's get to the substance of what the Chinese government just said. We never agree with the Chinese government on anything, but in this case, they make a fair point. We now know that dangerous biological agents, whether you call them weapons or not is completely irrelevant because they can be used as weapons. Is a gun a weapon? Not when you're quail hunting. When you're in a gunfight, it is. It's a ridiculous semantic debate.
Dangerous biological agents remain, thanks to the Biden administration, unsecured in a chaotic war zone. At some point we need to know how that happened, who made those decisions. We have a right to know and let's hope someone in Congress, probably not Marco Rubio, but someone else, will get to the bottom of it, but in the meantime, we pray that somewhere, in the United States government, there as an adult who cares enough to get this situation under control immediately.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the March 9, 2022 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."