Increasing Disinformation About AIDS
Moscow's yearlong campaign charging that US biological waapont researchresponsible tor AIDS hat gained momentum In recant months. The rapid spread ot these allegationsorldwide scale, even In tha conservative Western press, demonstrates tha USSR's ability to manipulate foreign media. Growing attention to the spread ot AIDS will present Moscow with additional exploitable opportunities for the foreseeable
Sinceharges that US biological weapons experiments created the AIDS virus have appeared in more thanountries in media of all politicalthe London Sunday Express, several International wire services, as well as Soviet Bloc radiobroadcasts In more thananguages. Originally designed to blame the West tor the occurrence ot AIDS In the USSR and lo sow fears that the disease may be spread by US military personnel overseas, Moscow's campaign has added racial themes by alleging that the West Is trying to shift responsibility for AIDS to African
Moscow used Ihe occasion of the recent Nonaiigned Summit In Harare to further its campaign. According to the US Embassyoviet-inspired report alleging US culpability for AIDS was distributed to those In attendance. This paper, prepared by East Germans misidentified as French scholars, claimed that the disease resulted from gene-mutation experiments at Fort Ostrich. Maryland. Variations of this allegation have appeared In the media ot aboutountries smce thej
Other countries have initiated similar efforts to manipulate fears about AIDS. For months North Korea has broadcast warnings ol an AIDS epidemic of US origin in South Korea.mmm^smm North Korean embassies have beenllegation lo d'srupt planning for6 Olympics in Seoul. South Africa may use AIDS as grounds for expelling foreign mineworkers. Demands that US military bases in the Philippines be closed toreacJo' AIDS ihere have already appearede 'oca1 press |
The Soviet propaganda campaign will probably Increase because of growing attention to the widespread Incidence of AIDS In the Third World, particularly In Africa. Success in alleging that US military personnel are AIDS carriers could lead Moscow to broaden its claims to Include other Americans overseas such as students, tourists, and Peace Corps volunteers.)- "Original document.