Washington Post Rejects Op-Ed Critiquing Charges of Communist “Hoax” on Germ Warfare

Jeffrey Kaye
7 min readMay 25, 2023
Photos of U.S. propaganda leaflet bombs modified during the Korean War to carry insects and other materials infected with biological pathogens (from 1952 report of the International Scientific Commission, from photos supplied by the People’s Republic of China)

The history of this period is a press forgery. Falsified news manipulates public opinion. Democracy needs facts. — George Seldes, as quoted in Russ Bellant’s Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party (1991, South End Press)

Democracy Dies in Darkness — Masthead of The Washington Post


I recently received a rejection email for a submission I made to the Washington Post. Rejections of submitted material is a regular occurrence for all authors, and would-be writers are well-advised to steel themselves for such an experience.

I am posting the original opinion submission here at Medium because I believe it addresses claims made recently by both the Post and the U.S. State Department in regards to seventy-year-old claims that the U.S. used biological weapons during the Korean War. These are claims I have spent years now researching and corroborating, claims that I believe have not received the critical evaluation they deserve in the public marketplace of ideas.

The State Department position was reiterated as recently as March 14, 2023, in an unsigned statement titled, “The Kremlin’s Never-Ending Attempt to Spread Disinformation about Biological Weapons.”

The relevant section is reproduced below (links are in the original):

Many experts have exposed both Russia’s and the Soviet Union’s historic dissemination of biological weapons disinformation as coordinated campaigns intended to create distrust in the United States and between our allies and partners. One particularly well-documented case occurred in 1951–1953 during the Korean War. The Soviet Union, North Korea, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) accused the United States of infecting animals with pathogens and releasing them into the PRC and North Korea. Soviet representatives raised these false charges at various international fora, including the United Nations (UN). Between mid-March and mid-April 1952, 25% of all Soviet media coverage focused on these false allegations. The intense coverage generated significant public attention on this issue, which resulted in millions of people protesting against the United States’ alleged use of biological weapons…