The Anthrax Attacks
F.B.I., Laying Out Evidence, Closes Anthrax Case
February 20, 2010, New York Times
"More than eight years after anthrax-laced letters killed five people and terrorized the country, the F.B.I. [has] closed its investigation, adding eerie new details to its case that the 2001 attacks were carried out by Bruce E. Ivins, an Army biodefense expert who killed himself in 2008. A 92-page report, which concludes what by many measures is the largest investigation in F.B.I. history, laid out the evidence against Dr. Ivins.
The report disclosed for the first time the F.B.I.’s theory that Dr. Ivins embedded in the notes mailed with the anthrax a complex coded message, based on DNA biochemistry. Whether the voluminous documentation will convince skeptics about Dr. Ivins’s guilt was uncertain.
"Representative Rush D. Holt, a New Jersey Democrat and a physicist who has sharply criticized the bureau’s work, said the case should not have been closed. He said the F.B.I. report laid out “barely a circumstantial case” that “would not, I think, stand up in court.”
Some of Dr. Ivins’s colleagues at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, including several supervisors who knew him well, publicly rejected the F.B.I.’s conclusion. They said he was eccentric but incapable of such a diabolical act, and they questioned whether he could have produced the deadly powder with the equipment in his lab.
Important Note: The FBI's "closure" of its anthrax investigation won't put an end to the unanswered questions about who the perpetrators of the attacks were. As described in this key Wall Street Journal report, the specific formulation of the anthrax used in the attacks was beyond Ivins' capabilities.
Here's another take on the anthrax story:
THE ANTHRAX ATTACKS
by Allie, 2004
While it's generally admitted that the anthrax was produced by the US military or the CIA, that doesn't tie it to Bush. Someone could have stolen it. Someone at the highest levels of the CIA or DOD could have ordered it made and sent.
What ties the anthrax to Bush is the targets. They speak to motive. A few other people in the world, say in a CIA/Military cabal, might have had access to the cultures, to Level 3 or 4 Biosafety containment, and even to the classified information and anthrax bacteria necessary to make this form of weaponized anthrax but only Bush would have the motivation to hit these specific targets. The anthrax letters to the media are generally considered peripheral to political targets. I don't believe they were. I think the letters to the media show how personal the targets were.
Let's look the targets and their timing.
Sept. 18, 2001: Trenton Mailing of anthrax letters to NBC and NY Post and probably to the National Enquirer.
Oct. 9, 2001: Trenton Mailing of anthrax letters to Daschle and Leahy.
There were only five real targets. Everyone else who got sick, who died, did so as a result of cross contamination in the mail stream. The other victims were not targets. They were collateral damage. I believe their deaths were just as unimportant to Bush and the people around him as the deaths of innocents in Afghanistan or Iraq. They just don't matter to someone like him.
To identify a murderer the police concentrate on method, opportunity and motive. Other members of the right wing/intelligence community/military cabal might have had the method and opportunity, but only Bush had the motive to hit these particular people. They say a serial murder's first victim tells more about him than any subsequent killing so let's examine that first killing.
Florida anthrax letter: postal traces show that a letter containing anthrax must have been sent to the National Enquirer at its previous address, then forwarded to the AMI office.
The trail of anthrax spores in postal machinery and equipment shows the letter was originally sent to The National Enquirer at its previous address, then forwarded to the AMI building, which contained offices for both The Enquirer and The Sun, and ended up in the hands of The Sun's photo editor, Bob Stevens, 63. Later investigations indicate he might have opened the letter while sitting at his computer, spilling spores over the keyboard.
FBI Ignored Letter in Anthrax Probe
By now, there should be no dispute as to where the anthrax that killed Bob Stevens and nearly killed Ernesto Blanco came from. If you follow the spores found by the EPA in the samplings it took at the AMI building, even the most obtuse investigator would have to conclude that they arrived by mail.
Begin at the Boca Raton, Fla., post office that serviced AMI. Anthrax spores matching those found at AMI were found there.
Once in the AMI building, the mail was sorted. Either because the letter was addressed to the Sun tabloid, or because Blanco determined that it should go to the Sun even if addressed to the National Enquirer, he put it on his cart and began his regular route.
That route is marked by a trail of anthrax spores. It begins at the mail room, wends its way up to the second floor and ends up at the Sun offices on the third floor, where it is given to a Sun employee. Anthrax spores found on Bob Stevens' computer keyboard show that he handled the letter.
It seems likely the letter that killed Bob Stevens was addressed to Photo Editor, The National Enquirer. But the address for the Enquirer was no longer current. They had moved to the American Media Building and so it was that the letter came into Bob Stevens hands. Was he the only photo-editor in the building that day? Did he sub for The Enquirer photo editor? Who would have had a grudge against the tabloid and the photo-editor? Well, probably a lot of people, but none of them with this particular weapon at their disposal. No one in the putative CIA/intelligence cabal seems likely to have had any grudge against The National Enquirer either. Except for one. Except for George W. Bush. The Enquirer had published the picture of Jenna Bush, falling down drunk and looking like she was "humping" another girl's leg.
For Bush it was personal. A picture of his drunken daughter made him look bad and brought up all his drinking, drugging and partying issues. And who knows, maybe he loves his daughter and was angry about the publication of a picture that made her look like a drunken whore. But I doubt Bush is capable of love, except self-love. This picture might have been an attack on that self-love, Jenna being an extension of himself, the child most like him, the party girl, not bright but fun, while daughter Barbara is the good child, the good student, the smart one. She represents Jeb in this equation. But even Barbara couldn't be attacked with immunity.
The next target was at The New York Post. It's addressed to Editor, New York Post, 1211 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10036.
Why would he and the Post be a target? If you go to their search page and do a search for Jenna what you come up with is a plethora of articles on the Boozing Bush Twins. More and worse than anything published in The National Enquirer. I believe the NYPost's many articles on the boozing Bush twins made them a target.
BOOZING BUSH TWIN NEARLY IN THE CLEAR
Deborah Orin; New York Post; Sep 7, 2001; pg. 015
BUSH TWINS' BOOZE SERVER OFF THE HOOK
AP; New York Post; Jun 24, 2001; pg. 012
BUSTED BUSH BABES MAKE DIFFERENT BOOZE PLEAS
MARILYN RAUBER Post Correspondent; New York Post; Jun 9, 2001; pg. 002
REIN IN THESE BUSH LEAGUERS
LINDA STASI; New York Post; Jun 3, 2001; pg. 002
DOUBLE SHOT: BUSH TWINS BOTH NAILED
Jordan Smith in Austin, Texas and Deborah Orin in Washington; New York Post; Jun 1, 2001; pg. 005
JENNA COMES 'CLEAN': BEER-BUST BUSH KID FACES GARBAGE DUTY
Clemente Lisi; New York Post; May 17, 2001; pg. 003
DELAY IN JENNA'S BREW-HAHA
Post Wire Services; New York Post; May 3, 2001; pg. 026
W'S FATHERLY ADVICE: DON'T YOU DARE MISTREAT MY DAUGHTERS
Deborah Orin Bureau Chief; New York Post; Jan 19, 2001; pg. 008W.'S
Abstract: [Bush]'s warning came a day after The Post revealed that Comedy Central is doing a hasty retreat from plans to paint the Bush twins as "hot and sexy" and maybe lesbians in a new sitcom satirizing the first family.
So instead of another threat like the one aimed at Comedy Central, Bush went for the kill. They were making fun of him and his drunken daughters and they would be punished for it. And some of them died.
When it comes to revenge think of Valerie Plame.
"THE VENGEANCE AND VILE WORK OF BUSH WHITE HOUSE ARE PLAIN TO SEE
By Bill Gallagher
The message to Joseph Wilson was abundantly clear and brutal: If you deviate from the script, if you defy our power and might, serious consequences will result. Woe betide those who cross us, and going public will cost you dearly. Mess with us and you are going to pay a severe price.
The message was especially intended for the intelligence community -- the career government employees who know the White House exaggerated, misrepresented, misused and abused legitimate intelligence reports to fit its already determined political conclusion that Iraq was an "imminent threat" to U.S. security.
As Joseph Wilson told Reuters in August, "The reason for it was not to smear me or to even smear my wife. ... The reason was to intimidate others from coming forward.
"Karl Rove is notoriously vindictive and his temper is volcanic. While preparing an "Esquire" magazine profile, Ron Suskind, a Pulitzer prize-winning writer, had an appointment for a rare interview with Rove, and was sitting in an outer office waiting to be summoned.
Suskind heard Rove erupt, speaking to an aide about a political operative who displeased him. Rove spewed the f-word, vowing to stick it to whomever crossed him. "We will ruin him like no one has ever f----d him," the president's "brain" bellowed.
Maureen Dowd, the New York Times columnist, got it right on the mark as usual, writing, "Unable to find weapons of mass destruction, the Bush team has turned to weapons of personal destruction.
"That's what the president and Karl Rove's boys did to Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. It's a vicious crime and reflects the fact that George W. Bush will do anything to stay in power and punish anyone who challenges his regime."
The next target was Tom Brokaw. Brokaw had scheduled the broadcast of an interview with Clinton for September 18 on the NBC Nightly News. When the White House got wind of it they called NBC to rant and complain. The interview was still broadcast and that very evening an anthrax letter to Tom Brokaw hit the mailstream.
White House whitewashers
On the same day last week that "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw sat down to interview former President Clinton, executives for the program received unexpected phone calls from senior communications staffers at the White House, expressing disappointment about the decision to spotlight Bush's predecessor.
While not asking the network to refrain from running the interview, they expressed the feeling that the Sept. 18 interview with Clinton would not be helpful to the current war on terrorism. Neither NBC nor the White House would comment on the phone calls, but sources familiar with the calls confirmed that they happened.
The personal nature of these three targets is deeply disturbing. In some ways even more disturbing than the next targets and Bush's successful attempt to get the Patriot Act, the most repressive bill ever introduced, passed by Congress and passed without it even being read. Was it part of his still unsuccessful attempt to close down Congress and assume budgetary power? Not since the Magna Carta has a ruling monarch in an English country or colony had such power but it nearly happened in the days after the anthrax attack on the US Congress.
Certainly Daschle and Leahy were political targets but the media was just as much of an objective. Bush was sending them a message that if they did not support him unconditionally then they might get another package of death. If the anthrax attacks on the media were supposed to bring them into line, it totally worked. Now no major media will cross Bush and they put the most minor of his appearances on TV and avoid any negative coverage of him. You have to go to the web to get any real reporting.
US anthrax attackers aimed to assassinate Democratic leaders
Citing interviews with lab personnel, the newspaper concluded: "the emerging details are consistent with the increasingly popular hypothesis that last fall's bioterrorist attacks were the work of a current or former Fort Detrick scientist.
"In other words, the leaders of the Democratic Party were targeted for assassination by right-wing elements that have some connection to the military. This staggering fact, however, has been met with a strange silence by the media, government officials and the Democrats themselves, including the two senators who were targeted.
Investigators have determined that the letters contained weapons-grade anthrax, which an FBI microbiologist said was designed for "overkill." Two postal workers at the mail facility where the tainted letters were processed died after being exposed to up to 3,000 times the lethal dosage of the bacteria, while scores of Senate office workers were only spared because they were quickly treated.
The anthrax powder has been genetically traced to a single US military source: the Army's Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, the only facility known to have processed anthrax into the highly lethal powder form found in the letters. The spores in the letters to Daschle and Leahy were identical to those sent from Dugway to the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRID) at Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, and to a CIA lab in Langley, Virginia.
Within political and media circles it is generally conceded that the assassination plot was hatched by right-wing elements in the US. In a barely reported comment last month Senator Daschle told a CNN interviewer, almost in passing, that he believes the most likely suspect in the attacks was someone related to the US military. But neither Daschle, Leahy, nor any other Democratic Party spokesman has sought to make an issue of this attempted political murder. Anyone who thinks it is preposterous that elements within the state apparatus and the backers of the Bush administration could actively be involved in an assassination attempt or could have condoned such an act should consider recent history in the United States.
From the series of shutdowns of the federal government in 1995-96, to the impeachment drive against Clinton and the theft of the 2000 election, the Republican Party has shown it no longer plays by the traditional rules of bourgeois democracy. After being thwarted by popular opposition during the 1990s, the right has concluded it can only achieve its agenda through extra-parliamentary and illegal methods. That these forces will resort to violence was demonstrated during the 2000 election when a Republican mob attacked officials recounting votes in south Florida. At the time the Wall Street Journal urged Bush to use an "iron fist" against his opponents.
In the face of such attacks the Democrats have proven their unwillingness and incapacity to wage a genuine struggle against these fascistic forces. They respond with cowardice even as leaders of their party are targeted for assassination. At the same time the Democrats have concealed from the American people the extent of the danger posed by the ultra-right.
Government By Anthrax by Richard J. Ochs (revised June 9, 2002)
Cabal - a number of persons secretly united to bring about an overturn or usurpation, esp. in public affairs (Websters).CONSIDER THESE "COINCIDENCES"
· The anthrax attacks were concurrent with the debate of Bush's Patriot Act by Congress and the media.
· The Senators who received anthrax letters were trying to amend the Patriot Act to protect civil liberties and the innocent.
· Two Senate democratic leaders received anthrax letters mailed the same day that Senator Feingold blocked an attempt to rush the bill through without discussion or amendments.
· Senator Leahy received an anthrax threat after he expressed reservations about the Bill. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he managed the debate on the Bill.
· Senate Majority Leader Daschle received the first Senate anthrax letter as he led the opposition to the original version of the Bill.
· After receiving the anthrax letter, Daschle switched from supporting a 2 year limit on the Bill, later defending a 4-year sunset clause as the "appropriate balance."
· No Republican received an anthrax letter.
· The House and Senate buildings were closed and not reopened until after the Patriot Act was passed.
· The Supreme Court was shut down with an anthrax scare the day after the constitutionally-challenged Patriot Act was signed by President Bush.
· All the contaminated letters contained the Ames strain of anthrax, the DNA of which is traced to the original batch preserved in a university lab in Ames, Iowa. This strain was "weaponized" in Utah into a potent powder with an elaborate secret technique developed at Fort Detrick, Md.
Who had a motive? Who had a grudge against The Enquirer and The New York Post? Who had a grudge against Brokaw? Who wanted to frighten or manipulate Congress? First to get it to adjourn indefinitely, leaving Bush with the power of the purse. Second to get the Patriot Act Passed in all its fascist glory, without even being read. Who?
It's as plain as the nose on your face. Why is the major media pussyfooting around it? Are they still terrified? The anthrax attacks were almost certainly an attempted Operation Northwoods/Media Attack/Political Coup and its targets, as group, would only have been chosen by George Bush.
© Alllie, 2004
Distribution: This article is copyrighted by Alllie, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, or web media so long as you tell me where via email (allie at newsgarden dot org), this credit is attached, as well as a link back to this page.
Labels: Anthrax Attacks