Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 03, 2008

Anthrax

As I have not followed the anthrax issue to the depth others did and can not add any insight, I do not plan to write about it.

But you all, if you have not yet done so, should read Greenwald's writing on it and the media cover up here and here. Emptywheel adds additional aspects.

The case, if ever solved, will go to the core of the Bush/Cheney manipulation machinery.

Please add other sources in the comments.

Posted by b on August 3, 2008 at 18:15 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Also Larisa Alexandrovna of atlargely.com is well-informed and critical on the issue, as usual.

Posted by: Cloud | Aug 3 2008 19:01 utc | 1

Anthrax is nothing to corporate frankenpharm experimentation on our body politic.

0 persons die every year in the US from terrorists, yet we have a $50B a year DHS.
5000 pedestrians are run down and killed every year, but TSA says "no sey!"
9000 people die every year from food poisoning, but CDC says 'what'r ya gonna do?'
20000 people die every year from pharmaceutical poisoning, but FDA says 'tra-la'.
195000 people die every year from medical malpractice, but AMA says "so sue me!"
Nobody even tracks how many people die from GMO, and non-food food additives!

That tells me anthrax is just DHS and CIA pimping for a larger 2009 budget number.
How many people will freeze to death this winter, so Fed can have a bigger budget?

Posted by: Liquid 88 | Aug 3 2008 19:04 utc | 2

I'd offer the question -- What does it tell you when the most significant crimes in the United States over the past fifty years have gone effectively unsolved, where perpetrators and alleged perpetrators are killed, declared mentally incompetent, or commit suicide? -- but the answer's too obvious.

Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.

Posted by: Jemand von Niemand | Aug 4 2008 1:07 utc | 3

Jemand von Niemand,

Could not agree more. It wouldn't be plausible as second rate fiction. The biggest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing everyone he doesn't exist.

Posted by: swio | Aug 4 2008 9:43 utc | 4

FBI was told to blame Anthrax scare on Al Qaeda by White House officials

In the immediate aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks, White House officials repeatedly pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by Al Qaeda, but investigators ruled that out, the Daily News has learned.

After the Oct. 5, 2001, death from anthrax exposure of Sun photo editor Robert Stevens, Mueller was "beaten up" during President Bush's morning intelligence briefings for not producing proof the killer spores were the handiwork of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, according to a former aide.

Posted by: b | Aug 4 2008 9:47 utc | 5

Conveniently, the culprit commits suicide right at the end of the current administration.
Just pointing the obvious, I know...

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Aug 4 2008 10:42 utc | 6

And don't forget about the other scientist who somehow fell and slit his wrists while supposedly restling with his conscience about the flap over that bullshit about how Saddam could kill a lot of Brits in 40 minutes just by wiggling his little pinkie and saying "Bwa-ha-ha!!!"

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Aug 4 2008 10:55 utc | 7

Sources aplenty ..

e.g. Goggle for anti-war.com coverage

Posted by: DM | Aug 4 2008 11:21 utc | 8

Sources aplenty ..

(except for what TypePad doesn't like, apparently ..)

Try google with anthrax +antiwar.com

Posted by: DM | Aug 4 2008 11:24 utc | 9

i've been following this thread at the agonist

. there's one commentator (chickadee) making very pertinent questions and pointing to interesting links, like this one where anthrax scientists offer their opinions on technical and personal matters (they knew Bruce Ivins)

Friday, August 1, 2008
An Improbable Ending: Scientist Bruce Ivins Tried and Convicted by the Media as Anthrax Letter perpetrator, after his suicide
For 7 years the Justice Department couldn't seem to get anything right about the anthrax letters. For years, it harrassed Steven Hatfill, a self-described bodyguard for South African white supremacist Eugene Terrblanche and an unlicensed physician, despite a shocking lack of evidence. He is now $5.8 million richer as a result.
[...]
...(Ivins) had no access to dry, powdered anthrax, according to Fort Detrick spokespersons, who said that only liquid anthrax was used at the Fort Detrick facility in animal aerosolization experiments. If he had been making dry anthrax, it would have been detectable: because anthrax forms a protective spore, the bacteria contaminate the facilities where they are produced.

Posted by: rudolf | Aug 4 2008 13:13 utc | 10

Just go to the antiwar.com front page for today. Lots of anthrax articles, plus an interesting commentary, The Patsy," by Justin Raimundo at the extreme upper tight. Check out the entire page since there are antrax articles in various locations.

This website has been around for years and years. Mostly links to news articles, some media opinion, and then commentary by a few of their own people.

Antiwar.com

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 4 2008 13:14 utc | 11

still scratchin' my head after reading this bit from secrecy news blog

U.S. Army personnel who act in an aggressive or threatening manner towards other people would be denied access to toxic or lethal biological agents under newly revised regulations that were issued by the Army last week.

isn't that essentially what an army does?

Posted by: b real | Aug 4 2008 18:57 utc | 12

of all the empires that have existed - the u s empire is certainly the creepiest

& it keeps on getting creepier

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 4 2008 18:59 utc | 13

paul craig roberts - anthrax

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 5 2008 18:31 utc | 14

Always been a very curious case. All of the facts have not been in contradiction with a ‘terrorist’ or nutty troublemaker attack, that is a stab at the US (*take penacilin now*, you dumb suckers) and indirectly on Israel. (*Allah* is great, star in the Lopez letter.)

Of course, the authorities exploited amerithrax to instill fear, link to muslim ‘terrorism’, to Saddam and bio weapons, AlQ, etc. in function of their plans; they took it at face value, interpretation upheld by right-wing conspiracists (Al Zawahiri, one of the 9/11 bozos with an infected leg which might have been anthrax, etc. Egyptian doctors who work in the field, etc. etc. - there are some marvellous screeds out there bringing up too much to go into.) Anthrax, as a ‘terror’ weapon has a long history, in the imagination at least, or the minds of those who produce vaccines..

However, the official FBI investigation did not go that route at all. Because of the nature of the anthrax, Ames strain, silica coating, and so on, information that came in a large part from ‘experts’ who themselves might be potential ‘culprits’ (!) it was somehow settled that the culprit must be technically terribly proficient and directly linked to one of the labs where the anthrax was to be found (which includes Porton Down, for ex.) Their early-ish portrait of a lone nut insider was forensic and stripped of motive, with the sub-text being the evil scientist (popular icon not adjusted to real life) or possibly a provocateur who wanted to up certification for vaccines, get funds for more bio-w research, etc.

A Dr. Zack, a Steven Hatfill, a B. Ivins.

That the bio-w community (or some of them at least, those who took front stage) did not contest, or even actively promoted, this kind of interpretation is not surprising. (1). It was to their advantage financially; they may have been, I think were, co-opted by the FBI; some may have just been cowed; and they could hardly come out and say, look, anyone can get their hands on this stuff.

I think the FBI may have narrowed the field artificially (eg. to the US, etc.), through incompetence, listening to the scientists, laziness, and who knows what. They got a bit in their teeth and surged forward. Therefore Hatfill; and then Ivins. They may even have been spurred on by professional pride reacting against the unadulterated BS Bushco spouted. These two official parties were thus at odds that were never reconciled; one garbage tale for the sheeples, a contra tale from the professionals who didn’t like it...

Now my knowledge of anthrax is third hand, but my strong suspicion is that stealing, buying, acquiring (or even producing) these spores in some way was not that difficult; nor is it terribly dangerous, ordinary precautions suffice.

This gets to the science of the matter; for ex. the silica coatings. There has been a lot of argument about it; the media reports are contradictory, garbled, often incomprehensible; where is the data? Which expert actually looked at what? It is a lot of smoke blowing...coming from the FBI, the experts. Of course BushCo let it run, or more, because it was to ..*their* advantage (nobody was caught, terror reigns, the Patriot Act was passed, etc.)

So what might have been (I say might) a ‘real’ terrorist attack - if performed by some individualists - became an insider attack by a lone nut evil scientist, pleasing everyone except the small group of right-wing conspiracists who had to abandon (after all, if the FBI says so!) their visions of muslims lurking with deadly bugs in ...well, wherever.

There are a few forgotten facts about Amerithrax.

It began before 9/11. (all dates 01) Many claim the mailings started right after 9/11 .. at Florida PO said to be *received* 18 sept, this date can be read in many places - and many articles mention reception ‘one week’ or ‘8 days’ after 9/11; this date become part of the official story.

However: letter posted in the US on 8 sept. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1447-first-anthrax-attack-outside-the-us-confirmed.html>new scientist

The Jennifer Lopez letter was received on 4 sept. It may have contained anthrax or not. (I think it did. Almost certain.)http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/8/14/165224.shtml>newsmax- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3067576/>msnbc - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/10/medicalscience.september11>Guardian, just for a mix of media.

The date shift forward to after 9/11, was, I think, more than negligence; the mailings beginning before 9/11 could seem to imply foreknowledge. But by whom? Not, of course, of Moham. Atta and his cohorts. Not to forget that even mailings around 15 Sept. required very lengthy prep.

Second, there were many hoax, inoffensive letters. Some were written with the same hand as the ‘full’ ones, others, later ones, were copy-cat spoofs. It was a real broad campaign, and the recipients (there may even have been unnoticed letters, intercepted not announced, etc. one guesses) were really pretty random, generic - basically, US MSM and elected etc. (2) I don’t set much store by the ‘democrats were targeted’ meme.

I can’t be certain; it appears that all the ‘full’ letters were posted from Trenton, NJ. If that isn’t the case I’d be interested to hear it.

For anyone interested in this mystery, watch the FBI/ mainstream, raise, or not, struggle with, or not, two questions:

How / why did Ivins go (accomplice, or have sent, etc.) so that the letters to were posted in Trenton? Some lunatic stuff already: hold your hats:
http://www.nj.com/news/times/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-14/121790915266590.xml&coll=5> nj times - so yes, an explanation has to be constructed.

Who wrote the notes and the addresses on the envelopes?

I guess we will never know who organized it. It is more of the same old, complicity between elements of the PTB, crazy plots, controlled media, fear, alarm. Cooperation between different parties, in this case maybe just a very few ppl. It is entertainment, propaganda, publicity for terror, for fear, bio war, enslavement. These are TV spectaculars, shifted to real life. As was, in part, 9/11. It will keep the media and bloggers going for months, 7 years on. And then what? Nothing much. Remember Valerie Plame and Fitz on the white horse?

This case could have been solved in 3 months. Nobody wanted it solved.

Posted by: Tangerine | Aug 6 2008 16:00 utc | 15

footnote to my comment that couldn't be posted:

1. This result was obtained, see the lengthy saga of anthrax vaccines (began about 1998) for US soldiers, and one upstanding judge, in John Doe vs. Rumsfeld. Left-wing conspiracists pointed out various VIPs links to this lucrative industry (Rumsfeld, most often; others too; certainly their gulping down Cipro before the fact was a red flag of monstrous size.)

snippet: “The anthrax attacks on the U.S. East Coast last fall may have silenced some critics. "I think the attacks last fall brought home the point that this is a real threat and that it's possible to manufacture this kind of bioweapon, and it's not altogether difficult to disseminate it," Winkenwerder said. "This is something that's not just in people's imagination. It is real."

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=43702>defense link; see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthrax_Vaccine_Immunization_Program>wiki; and http://benfrank.net/patriots/anthrax_timeline>short timeline

2 - NBC, NY Post, National Enquirer, ABC, Judith Miller, Troxler, Daschle, Leahy; Brokaw assistant recalls two letters; AMI and more. (mix of hoax and real)

Posted by: Tangerine | Aug 6 2008 16:04 utc | 16

@Tangerine - according to this timeline the pre 9/11 letters were "threatening letters" that did not include any anthrax. The first wave of low power anthrax was postmarked on 9/18, the second wave with lethal anthrax to Daschle and Leahy was postmarked October 9.
---

It is funny to read all the non-denial denials by various folks on Suskind's story. Now Rice is out: talking

In an interview with Politico and Yahoo! News, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says there were no documents forged by the White House.
Of course not. Suskind says the White House ordered the CIA to forge or get a forged letter.

Posted by: b | Aug 7 2008 17:46 utc | 17

Suskind to Release CIA Interview Transcripts on 'Forged' Document

Author Ron Suskind says he will release transcripts of his interviews with a top CIA official that will confirm his story that in 2003 the White House ordered the agency to fabricate a phony document linking Iraq to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

The letter, written by an Iraqi intelligence official under the control of the CIA, according to Suskind, ...

Posted by: b | Aug 8 2008 6:57 utc | 18

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