July 27 - BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAD ACUTE KNOWLEDGE OF IRAQ'S MILITARY INDUSTRIALIZATION PLANS
http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/congress/1992/h920727g.htm [Congressional Record]
"Today I will show that the highest levels of the Bush administration, including the President himself, had specific knowledge of Iraq's military industrialization plans, and despite that knowledge, the President mandated the policy of coddling Saddam Hussein as spelled out in National Security Directive 26 (NSD-26) issued in October 1989. This policy was not changed until after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, by which time the Bush administration had sent Saddam Hussein billions of dollars in United States financial assistance, technology and useful military intelligence information."
February 20 - US COMPANY SOLD ANTHRAX BACTERIA TO IRAQ
US COMPANY SOLD ANTHRAX BACTERIA TO IRAQ
By Frank Morales"Anthrax is news" -- (Nightline, ABC-TV, 2/20/98)
"For the first time, some Persian Gulf War veterans have a government study that backs up what they have said all along. They're sicker than people who weren't there. What is making them sick is still a mystery." -- (Associated Press, 2/27/96)
From 1985 to 1989, the United States government approved 70 shipments of anthrax and other disease-causing pathogens to Iraqi scientists. The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), a 73-year old nonprofit company based in Rockville, Maryland, was the supplier-exporter of the anthrax and other "cultures" to Iraq. These shipments were approved by the US Commerce Department's Technical Advisory Committee, whose membership included Robert Stevenson, then chief executive of ATCC. This was reported by New York Newsday in a November 27, 1996 article written by Patrick J. Sloyan, entitled, "Undisclosed Connection." Sloyan revealed that ATCC's role as a supplier of anthrax to Iraq became known on February 9, 1994, when Sen. Donald Riegle (D. Mich.) delivered a Senate speech criticizing ATCC's actions.
ATCC products, all 60,000 cultures in stock, can be grown to produce bio-war munitions, although, according to Sloyan, "UN Special Commission investigators in Iraq found no evidence that Bagdad used biological weapons or even succeeded in developing the pathogens into usable battlefield munitions." Nevertheless, "150,000 frontline US combat troops got anthrax vaccine injections." In other words, American soldiers were shot up with anthrax, supposedly immunizing them against anthrax poisons, supplied earlier, in some quantity, with the consent of the US government itself! Dispersed as an aerosal, anthrax spores can produce high fever, breathing difficulty, chest pain and eventually, blood poisoning and death. Areas that are hit with anthrax can remain lethal to humans for decades. The question is, were "our boys" subject to these spores during Operation Desert Storm, and possibly even used as guinea pigs in some kind of bio-war scenario? In any case, by 1993, two 75,000 US Gulf War veterans have complained of illness, fatigue, sore joints, sleeping difficulty, chronic diarrhea, memory loss and depression, all of which they claim are related to their military service. Eventually, veterans groups brought sufficient pressure to bear, forcing President Clinton to act. As expected, the president appointed a commission to study (read: cover up) the issue. He "ordered" the Pentagon itself to study the problem and to determine whether any link exists between anthrax and sick American soldiers.
The Pentagon, in turn, set up the Defense Science Board Task Force on Persian Gulf War Health Effects. The results of their study, released in 1994, dismissed any links between chemical and biological weapons and Persian Gulf War related illnesses. Despite this predictable Pentagon denial, coming from a task force that pre-emptively ruled out biological weapons as a cause of "Gulf War syndrome," thousands of Gulf War veterans have participated in class action suits. According to Newsday, they are "seeking damages from ATCC and other firms that exported
products that could have been used in Iraq's chemical and biological warfare program." The Newsday article goes on to state that "one possible source of a low level exposure to biological weapons may have been the destruction of Iraqi biological facilities by US warplanes."
Considering that "renowned geneticist" Joshua Lederberg headed the Pentagon study, it was no surprise to some that it reached the conclusion that it did. Lederberg, born May 23, 1925, is a former President of Rockefeller University in Manhattan, a 1958 Nobel laureate for medicine and a member of the Defense Science Board. He was chosen to head up the Pentagon study by then Deputy Defense Secretary John Deutch, later head of the CIA. Deutch had no problem with Lederberg, nor with the fact that at the time of the 1994 Pentagon study, Lederberg was also one of 10 directors on the board of American Type Culture Collection! Later, Deutch claimed that he didn't know of Lederberg's connections to ATCC or that the firm shipped anthrax for four years, to Iraq.
The Pentagon Task Force took seven months to issue its report. In it, Lederberg devoted only a half-page to biological weapons. He stated that "there is no scientific or medical evidence that... there were any exposures of US service members to chemical or biological warfare agents in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia." Actually, a week after Senator Riegle's February 9, 1994 attack of ATCC on the Senate floor, Lederberg wrote Riegle, as head of the Pentagon Task Force, on "Office of the Secretary of Defense" stationary. With frothing innocence, Lederberg stated that he was "intrigued by your recent suggestion that the medical problems being exhibited by some Gulf War veterans might be related to biological warfare, specifically, to the list of biological materials sent to Iraq from the American Type Culture Collection." He requested a "briefing" by Riegle's staff, who then later testified before Lederberg's panel on February 25, 1994, supplying them with this information. None of the testimony or details about ATCC's shipments were contained in the final report.
The American Type Culture Collection, for whom Lederberg served as a director from 1990 to 1994, is according to Newsday, "a repository of bacteria, fungi and other products used by the global scientific community as a standard of reference for research." Author Sloyan notes that a Ms. Kay Sloan-Breen, "an ATCC spokeswoman," defined ATCC as a "collection of scientists wearing white hats." The direct predecessor of ATCC was the creation, in 1911, of a repository of living bacteria at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
ATCC was officially formed in 1925 by a committee of scientists and others spearheaded by the National Research Council. Relocating a number of times, ATCC settled in Rockville, Maryland in 1964, although it is scheduled to move once again to a "state of the art" facility at Prince William County, Virginia, some time in early 1998. (ATCC is currently located at 12301 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20852. Telephone: (301) 881-2600.)
According to an ATCC promo, they are "a global bioscience organization that provides biological products, technical services, and educational programs to private, industry, government and academic organizations around the world. The mission of the ATCC is to acquire, authenticate and maintain reference cultures, related biological materials, and associated data, and to distribute these to qualified scientists in government, industry and education." ATCC "culture distribution policy" reads as follows: "ATCC distributes cultures only to qualified organizations and scientists. Indication of adequate facilities and expertise must be demonstrated to receive cultures from ATCC. Government Permits, or Compliance Agreements, or other forms may be required for the receipt of certain cultures. Shipments to countries outside the US, or their agents, are regulated by the US Department of Commerce. Certain countries, specified by the Department of Commerce, are prohibited from receiving cultures from ATCC." It is not difficult for the intelligent reader to discern the loop-holes in this "policy."
According to published reports, ATCC shipped Bacillus anthracis twice--in May 1986 and September 1988. There were also two shipments of Clostridium botulinum--a bacterium used to make botulinum toxin--on the same dates. The batches, frozen in tiny vials, were shipped to Bagdad's Ministry of Education. The CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency knew in 1986 (or at least this is implied in a recently declassified CIA document) that quite likely there existed a "strictly controlled" area at Salman Pak which served as some kind of bio-weapons facility in Bagdad. Again, according to Sloyan, "the main production facility, Salman Pak, was bombed from the outset of the war after an extensive debate between George Bush and his military commanders. They feared fallout from the air strikes could pollute the battlefield." In other words, by 1991 and Operation Desert Storm, the generals and others knew full well the consequences of bombing such a bio-weapons facility, in effect waging a chemical war.
Recently acquired documents related to the American Type Culture Collection state that they are an "archive of living cultures and genetic materials" in the business of developing "biological model systems." ATCC is extensively involved in the Human Genome Project, busily "analyzing the entire human genome," according to Raymond H. Cypess, ATCC's CEO and President. ATCC is extensively involved in genetic engineering and other areas, including cloning.
One should not expect ATCC to mention their policy regarding bio-warfare, counter-insurgency or the murder of innocent people. These are medical people who expect us to trust in their objectivity, compassion and skill. But like in Germany 502D years ago, have the healers become the killers? Doctor Lederberg has refused interviews on this subject. And again, there is no mention of utilitizing a "culture" like anthrax in the massive genocide of people. The first allegations of the use of biological agents in war were made in response to attempts by the Germans to employ such agents during World War I. At one point in 1916, the Germans were accused of inoculating horses with anthrax in Bucharest. World War II produced more accusations against Germany. According to the record of the Nuremberg Tribunal, one of those involved in germ warfare experimentation during the war was Dr. Walter P. Schrieber, who was at the time head of the Scientific Department Group C of the Military Academy in Berlin. In March 1952, Time Magazine reported: "Dr. Schrieber, it developed, had been brought to the US in a Defense Department scoop-up of German technical men known as Operation Paperclip. His job: consultant to the (US) Airforce in a division with the grandiloquent title Global Preventive Medicine." Fort Detrick, near Frederick, Maryland, is one of the main centers of biological warfare research in America, set up in 1943. The facility, comprising some 1500 acres, wields a large budget, employing hundreds of "scientists." In part, its efforts are directed toward breeding into pathogenic (harmful) organisms with precisely the characteristics--such as resistance to antibiotics--that real medical researchers would like to see eradicated. Anthrax disease is the object of considerable research at places like Fort Detrick. Finally, among other institutions that come within the influential sway of Fort Detrick, are the National Academy of Sciences and the American Society for Microbiology. The latter group, originally called the Society of American Bacteriologists back in 1925, helped establish, as a charter founding member, the American Type Culture Collection.
It's true. Anthrax is "news".
New York Newsday, 11/27/96, "Undisclosed Connection", Patrick J. Sloyan, pg.A4.
A Survey of Chemical and Biological Weapons, Cookson and Nottingham, Monthly Review Press, 1969.
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, April 1985, "US Cover-up of Nazi Scientists", Linda Hunt, pg.16ff (on Operation Paperclip)
World Wide Web: ATCC address: http://www.atcc.org
New Look at Gulf War Syndrome, NY Times
October 9 - FBI pursues anthrax lead
October 11 - Third Florida anthrax case
October 12 - Anthrax confirmed in New York
October 13 - Anthrax 'may be linked to Bin Laden'
October 13 - Five more 'infected with anthrax'
October 14 - New US anthrax cases emerge
October 15 - Anthrax sent to Senate leader
October 17 - Anthrax is 'weapons grade'
October 18 - Congress shutdown as anthrax spreads
October 19 - Sixth anthrax case hits US
October 20 - Anthrax strikes third Washington site
October 22 - New anthrax victim 'gravely ill'
October 22 - Anthrax 'likely' in US postal deaths
October 23 - Anthrax killed postal workers
October 24 - White House post room hit by anthrax
October 25 - Anthrax spreads on Capitol Hill
October 26 - Anthrax scare at State Department
October 27 - Anthrax found in Congress offices
October 29 - Latest US anthrax victim buried
October 31 - Call to shut US anthrax mailrooms
November 1 - Anthrax kills fourth American
November 2 - Anthrax spreads to Asia and Europe
November 3 - FBI appeals for anthrax help
November 3 - Pakistan to test 3 people for anthrax exposure
November 4 - House office building reopens after anthrax discovery
November 8 - Anthrax confirmation in Vietnam
November 8 - N.J. postal unit reopens after cleanup dispute
November 9 - FBI profiles anthrax letter writer
November 10 - Anthrax culprit 'probably domestic'
November 12 - More anthrax traces found in Senate office building
November 17 - FBI releases photo of Leahy anthrax letter
November 21 - Leahy letter 'as lethal' as one sent to Daschle
November 22 - Connecticut woman dies of anthrax
December 13 - Anthrax at US embassy in Vienna
May 9 - Anthrax detected at US central bank
August 2 - FBI searches apartment in anthrax probe
August 11 - Scientist under scrutiny denies anthrax link
August 12 - Anthrax detected in preliminary mailbox test
May 12 - FBI might drain Maryland pond in anthrax probe
May 12 - Iraq's 'Dr Germ' detained
November 7 - Anthrax scare at US mail centre
September 16 - Little Progress In FBI Probe of Anthrax Attacks
Little Progress In FBI Probe of Anthrax Attacks
Internal Report Compiled As Agents Hope for a Break
By Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 16, 2005; Page A01
Four years after the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks, one of the most exhaustive investigations in FBI history has yielded no arrests and is showing signs of growing cold as officials have sharply reduced the number of agents on the case.
FBI agents and postal inspectors have pursued leads on four continents, conducted more than 8,000 interviews and carried out dozens of searches of houses, laboratories and other locations. They traveled to Afghanistan twice in the past 16 months to follow up on tips that proved fruitless, said law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.
Within law enforcement circles, some say the investigation, which is referred to as the Amerithrax probe, is in urgent need of a big break.
In the past year, the number of FBI agents on the case has dropped from 31 to 21, authorities said. During the same time, the number of postal inspectors has fallen from 13 to nine. The reward remains the same: $2.5 million for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
FBI officials said yesterday that investigators are still working diligently to find whoever was responsible for the anthrax-bacteria-laced mailings, which killed five people, sickened 17 others and led to the temporary shutdown of the House, Senate and Supreme Court buildings and numerous postal facilities. They said they are getting assistance from forensics experts and scientific researchers from law enforcement agencies, the intelligence community, university laboratories and private corporations.
"This globe-spanning investigation remains intensely active and broadly focused," said Debbie Weierman, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Washington field office. "The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service remain steadfastly committed to the 22 victims of the attacks and to bring to justice those responsible."
The investigation has been so expansive that authorities now are in the process of taking inventory. The FBI and postal inspectors have spent months piecing together a voluminous internal report that will review the scope of the investigation and explore issues including what has been the prevailing theory: The culprit is a U.S. scientist who had access to the high-grade anthrax and the knowledge of how to physically manipulate it and use it as a weapon. That theory emerged early in the investigation and remains viable today, authorities said.
The report will include the names of various people deemed to be "persons of interest" over the years, as well as updates on the scientific tests. Authorities long ago narrowed down the type of anthrax to a strain called Ames but have been unable to identify the lab of origin. Much attention has focused on the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, housed at Fort Detrick in the Frederick area.
Authorities hope that the report, which is to be completed soon and forwarded to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, will provide a concise road map of the probe and help determine its future direction.
Current and former law enforcement authorities said investigators and prosecutors often prepare such reports in complex, high-profile cases that go unresolved for years.
"It doesn't sound like they're close to cracking the case," said Eric H. Holder Jr., a Washington lawyer who was deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration.
The magnitude of the anthrax investigation has parallels to another marathon FBI probe: the 18-year search for the Unabomber, who killed three people and injured 23 others in mail-bomb attacks. Agents pored over 53,000 hotline tips, bomb parts and massive computer databases, but the breakthrough did not come until the Unabomber issued a public manifesto. The document led to the 1996 arrest of Theodore Kaczynski, whose brother recognized his thinking and tipped off the FBI.
The anthrax attacks took place just after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Spore-laden letters were mailed in pre-stamped envelopes in September and October of 2001 to the offices of then-Senate Democratic leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) as well as media outlets in Florida and New York.
Two District postal workers, a Florida photojournalist, a New York hospital worker and an elderly Connecticut woman died. At least 17 post offices and public office buildings were contaminated. Including cleanup costs, an FBI document put the damage in excess of $1 billion.
Over the years, officials have publicly identified only one "person of interest," and that was in August 2002: Steven J. Hatfill, a physician and bioterrorism expert who worked at Fort Detrick from 1997 to 1999. Hatfill, who has not been charged, has denied any involvement and filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department and then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft.
"He remains innocent today as he was four years ago," said Thomas G. Connolly, Hatfill's attorney. "They were getting enormous pressure, and a way to alleviate the pressure was to offer someone up, and that person happened to be Dr. Hatfill. That caused enormous harm to Dr. Hatfill. It didn't advance their investigation one iota."
Investigators have issued more than 5,000 subpoenas and conducted interviews and research throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Asia and Africa. Two years ago, the FBI spent about $250,000 and three weeks draining a pond in Frederick, acting on a theory that someone might have discarded materials there. The pond yielded nothing useful, authorities said.
In the past year, investigators have tried to follow up on and eliminate as many leads as possible. In case the matter ever goes to trial, they want to be able to counter any defense assertions that they failed to explore alternative scenarios or suspects, sources have said.
Authorities received information, for example, from at least one detainee at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that there was an anthrax storage facility in the Kabul area, sources said. Because the deadly letters contained the Ames anthrax spores, manufactured in the United States, authorities entertained the possibility that they had been removed from a U.S. lab and transported overseas.
Agents checked the Kabul area in May 2004 but came up empty, sources said. In November, on additional information, agents spent weeks searching an area in the Kandahar mountains, several hundred miles outside of Kabul, but found nothing, sources said.
Meanwhile, in the United States, FBI agents and scientists have been working to match the gene sequence of the mailed anthrax spores to a specific laboratory. They remain particularly interested in such laboratories as Fort Detrick, Louisiana State University and Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.
An article published in May in a journal of the American Society of Microbiology and written by a number of scientists, including Bruce Budowle of the FBI laboratory in Quantico, suggested that scientists had still not pinpointed the lab of origin. "Grand leaps in sequencing technology to increase speed, to reduce costs and to maximize efficiency for forensic analysis are needed," the article said.
Clare Fraser, president of the Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, one of the authors of the article, said of the science: "It's breaking new ground. There's still a lot of work to be done. But I don't think it's impossible to pinpoint."
Even if the test is successful, some scientists and law enforcement authorities caution, it may be of limited benefit because the nation's labs kept poor records of anthrax stocks and of those who passed through the facilities.
In light of the obstacles facing investigators, some relatives of the victims are wondering if the anthrax case will ever be solved. "It's been out there too long. I don't think they're going to find out" who did it, said Thomas L. Morris III of Suitland, whose father, D.C. postal worker Thomas Morris Jr., died of inhalation anthrax in October 2001.
Staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.
Anthrax threat comes to Congress
Powder tests positive in Senate majority leader's office
Tuesday, October 16, 2001
By CHARLES POPE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
WASHINGTON -- New security precautions and a swelling unease swept the U.S. Capitol and much of the nation yesterday after a letter testing positive for anthrax was opened in the office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
The discovery of a letter containing a powdery substance and a Trenton, N.J., postmark brought the reality of terrorism literally to Congress' desktop in the most direct way since the attack Sept. 11 on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It caused officials to redouble efforts to secure the buildings and people on Capitol Hill and to search for a common thread.
President Bush acknowledged "there may be some possible link" between Osama bin Laden and a recent flurry of anthrax-related developments, but he said no connection has been found.
"I wouldn't put it past him, but we don't have any hard evidence," Bush told reporters of the man suspected as the leader behind last month's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington that killed thousands.
The threat forced officials to quarantine Daschle's office, suspend mail delivery to Capitol Hill, begin a criminal investigation into bioterrorism and impose tighter standards for screening mail. It also canceled all public tours of the Capitol. Elsewhere, authorities in New York, Florida and Nevada continued to investigate anthrax cases. Since the first case was reported two weeks ago, a Florida man has died. At least 12 others are being treated for anthrax exposure, including a 73-year-old mailroom employee at a supermarket tabloid who has been diagnosed with the inhaled form of anthrax.
Ernesto Blanco "is improving, and the public health officials are encouraged by his progress," state health officials said yesterday.
In Washington, a 7-month-old child of an ABC News producer has tested positive for anthrax, two officials said yesterday. The officials, both familiar with the investigation, said the child is being treated with antibiotics and is expected to recover. The anthrax diagnosed in the child is the type that is absorbed through cuts or scratches in the skin, not the more dangerous inhaled variety, the sources said.
Three new cases were reported in New York, all stemming from a letter sent last week to NBC News' New York headquarters. The new cases included a police officer and two lab technicians involved in an investigation at NBC.
In New Jersey, where the NBC and Daschle letters were mailed, federal officials interviewed postal workers and watched surveillance videotapes. A mail carrier and a maintenance employee at Trenton's main post office have reported symptoms that may be related to anthrax and were undergoing testing, postal officials said.
Fear also spilled beyond the United States' border when part of Canada's federal Legislature buildings was shut down after a worker opened an envelope containing powder and developed a rash. Officials said the powder was being tested. Other alarms were raised from Australia to Germany. While the entire nation has been on edge since the first case of anthrax was reported, the presence of a letter to Daschle, the Senate's highest-ranking official and so close to the heart of the U.S. government, sent particular shivers throughout Capitol Hill.
Daschle, D-S.D., said he was "very, very disappointed and angered" by the threat to his staff but insisted Congress would not be intimidated. "This Senate and this institution will not stop. We will not cease our business. We will continue to work," he said from the Senate floor.
According to Daschle, an aide noticed a powdery substance spill from the letter when it was opened about 10:30 a.m. yesterday. Capitol police and the Senate's physician were immediately called. Two field tests registered positive for anthrax. The aide was given antibiotics, and the letter was sent to an Army medical research facility at Fort Detrick, Md., for further examination.
Capitol police Lt. Dan Nichols said a criminal investigation was under way, led by the FBI.
The letter to Daschle's office was only one of several anthrax scares yesterday at the Capitol. Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, said his aides reported a suspicious letter and were told by Capitol police that their report was the 12th of the day.
Aides to House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., were quarantined in their Capitol suite for about 30 minutes as officers examined and removed a letter that had an international postmark and no return address.
Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said precautions were being taken with mail at the White House, but she added she was not aware of any tainted letters being delivered there. Other White House aides said they've been told strict limits will be put on deliveries, including food.
"Like everybody else, we are being very cautious about what we open," Rice said.
The arrival of a tainted letter was particularly upsetting to those, such as Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who share the Hart Senate Office Building with Daschle.
Cantwell's communications director, Larry West, said the news worried everyone, especially the aides who handle mail. West said "several" aides from Cantwell's office got tested for anthrax, even though the office received no suspicious mail.
Aside from personal concerns, the suspension of mail service disrupted operations of offices that often receive more than 1,000 pieces of mail each day.
Cantwell posted a notice on her Web site warning that "due to increased security screening of mail sent to U.S. Senate offices, there will be a delay in the ability to open and respond to mail sent to my offices in Seattle, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. The quickest way to receive a response to an inquiry is via e-mail. I apologize for this inconvenience."
Meanwhile, businesses large and small -- as well as ordinary citizens -- were scouring their mail for any suspicious marks. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suspicious characteristics include:Excessive postage.
Handwritten or poorly typed addresses.
Misspellings of common words.
Oily stains, discoloration or odor.
No return address.
Protruding wires or aluminum foil.
Excessive tape or string.
The letter to Daschle arrived even though new procedures were installed to better screen the mail that pours into Congress each day. Senate Sergeant at Arms Alfonso Lenhardt ordered new procedures last week to check all incoming mail "for potentially harmful agents," a memo said. All mail is already X-rayed.
Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., said he imposed "practical measures" requiring mail handlers in his office to wear latex gloves and a surgical mask. Moreover, the mail is sorted in a separate room, and aides are told to watch carefully for any mail that doesn't have a return address or even for items postmarked from places outside his district.
Most other Washington lawmakers said they are relying on increased security in Congress' mailrooms, but they, too, are being more vigilant.
"We are cautious, but we get an enormous amount of mail," said Charla Neuman, spokeswoman for Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said, "Like all Americans, I'm concerned about the staff members who may have been exposed, and I'm concerned about all the reported cases of anthrax."
And in a comment that is becoming more common since Sept. 11, Murray said, "It is unfortunate that Americans everywhere must take extra precautions in their daily lives."
P-I reporter Charles Pope can be reached at 202-943-9229 or email@example.com This report includes information from The Associated Press.
� 1998-2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Congress Online Newsletter
Issue 4 - November 2, 2001
"How is Anthrax Changing Congress and How are Offices Using Technology to Cope?"
Sept. 11 changed America and Congress' priorities. But another date may have a greater effect on how the Congress operates - Oct. 15. That is the day a letter with anthrax was discovered in Sen. Tom Daschle's office. The anthrax contamination did more than threaten employees' safety and disrupt the legislative process, it also demonstrated that the most reliable, safe, and effective means to communicate during this crisis was via Web-based systems.
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 7, 2002 [a little over a year after 9/11]
President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat
Remarks by the President on Iraq
Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal
8:02 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you for that very gracious and warm Cincinnati welcome. I'm honored to be here tonight; I appreciate you all coming.
Tonight I want to take a few minutes to discuss a grave threat to peace, and America's determination to lead the world in confronting that threat.
The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own actions -- its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, to cease all development of such weapons, and to stop all support for terrorist groups. The Iraqi regime has violated all of those obligations. It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. It has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people. The entire world has witnessed Iraq's eleven-year history of defiance, deception and bad faith.
We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability -- even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source, that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America.
Members of the Congress of both political parties, and members of the United Nations Security Council, agree that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace and must disarm. We agree that the Iraqi dictator must not be permitted to threaten America and the world with horrible poisons and diseases and gases and atomic weapons. Since we all agree on this goal, the issues is : how can we best achieve it?
Many Americans have raised legitimate questions: about the nature of the threat; about the urgency of action -- why be concerned now; about the link between Iraq developing weapons of terror, and the wider war on terror. These are all issues we've discussed broadly and fully within my administration. And tonight, I want to share those discussions with you.
First, some ask why Iraq is different from other countries or regimes that also have terrible weapons. While there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone -- because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are controlled by a murderous tyrant who has already used chemical weapons to kill thousands of people. This same tyrant has tried to dominate the Middle East, has invaded and brutally occupied a small neighbor, has struck other nations without warning, and holds an unrelenting hostility toward the United States.
By its past and present actions, by its technological capabilities, by the merciless nature of its regime, Iraq is unique. As a former chief weapons inspector of the U.N. has said, "The fundamental problem with Iraq remains the nature of the regime, itself. Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction."
Some ask how urgent this danger is to America and the world. The danger is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do -- does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?
In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions.
We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas. Saddam Hussein also has experience in using chemical weapons. He has ordered chemical attacks on Iran, and on more than forty villages in his own country. These actions killed or injured at least 20,000 people, more than six times the number of people who died in the attacks of September the 11th.
And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons. Every chemical and biological weapon that Iraq has or makes is a direct violation of the truce that ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Yet, Saddam Hussein has chosen to build and keep these weapons despite international sanctions, U.N. demands, and isolation from the civilized world.
Iraq possesses ballistic missiles with a likely range of hundreds of miles -- far enough to strike Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and other nations -- in a region where more than 135,000 American civilians and service members live and work. We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States. And, of course, sophisticated delivery systems aren't required for a chemical or biological attack; all that might be required are a small container and one terrorist or Iraqi intelligence operative to deliver it.
And that is the source of our urgent concern about Saddam Hussein's links to international terrorist groups. Over the years, Iraq has provided safe haven to terrorists such as Abu Nidal, whose terror organization carried out more than 90 terrorist attacks in 20 countries that killed or injured nearly 900 people, including 12 Americans. Iraq has also provided safe haven to Abu Abbas, who was responsible for seizing the Achille Lauro and killing an American passenger. And we know that Iraq is continuing to finance terror and gives assistance to groups that use terrorism to undermine Middle East peace.
We know that Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy -- the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade. Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks. We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America.
Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints.
Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from the war against terror. To the contrary; confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror. When I spoke to Congress more than a year ago, I said that those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves. Saddam Hussein is harboring terrorists and the instruments of terror, the instruments of mass death and destruction. And he cannot be trusted. The risk is simply too great that he will use them, or provide them to a terror network.
Terror cells and outlaw regimes building weapons of mass destruction are different faces of the same evil. Our security requires that we confront both. And the United States military is capable of confronting both.
Many people have asked how close Saddam Hussein is to developing a nuclear weapon. Well, we don't know exactly, and that's the problem. Before the Gulf War, the best intelligence indicated that Iraq was eight to ten years away from developing a nuclear weapon. After the war, international inspectors learned that the regime has been much closer -- the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993. The inspectors discovered that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a workable nuclear weapon, and was pursuing several different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb.
Before being barred from Iraq in 1998, the International Atomic Energy Agency dismantled extensive nuclear weapons-related facilities, including three uranium enrichment sites. That same year, information from a high-ranking Iraqi nuclear engineer who had defected revealed that despite his public promises, Saddam Hussein had ordered his nuclear program to continue.
The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.
If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed. Saddam Hussein would be in a position to blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression. He would be in a position to dominate the Middle East. He would be in a position to threaten America. And Saddam Hussein would be in a position to pass nuclear technology to terrorists.
Some citizens wonder, after 11 years of living with this problem, why do we need to confront it now? And there's a reason. We've experienced the horror of September the 11th. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no less willing, in fact, they would be eager, to use biological or chemical, or a nuclear weapon.
Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. As President Kennedy said in October of 1962, "Neither the United States of America, nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world," he said, "where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nations security to constitute maximum peril."
Understanding the threats of our time, knowing the designs and deceptions of the Iraqi regime, we have every reason to assume the worst, and we have an urgent duty to prevent the worst from occurring.
Some believe we can address this danger by simply resuming the old approach to inspections, and applying diplomatic and economic pressure. Yet this is precisely what the world has tried to do since 1991. The U.N. inspections program was met with systematic deception. The Iraqi regime bugged hotel rooms and offices of inspectors to find where they were going next; they forged documents, destroyed evidence, and developed mobile weapons facilities to keep a step ahead of inspectors. Eight so-called presidential palaces were declared off-limits to unfettered inspections. These sites actually encompass twelve square miles, with hundreds of structures, both above and below the ground, where sensitive materials could be hidden.
The world has also tried economic sanctions -- and watched Iraq use billions of dollars in illegal oil revenues to fund more weapons purchases, rather than providing for the needs of the Iraqi people.
The world has tried limited military strikes to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities -- only to see them openly rebuilt, while the regime again denies they even exist.
The world has tried no-fly zones to keep Saddam from terrorizing his own people -- and in the last year alone, the Iraqi military has fired upon American and British pilots more than 750 times.
After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.
Clearly, to actually work, any new inspections, sanctions or enforcement mechanisms will have to be very different. America wants the U.N. to be an effective organization that helps keep the peace. And that is why we are urging the Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough, immediate requirements. Among those requirements: the Iraqi regime must reveal and destroy, under U.N. supervision, all existing weapons of mass destruction. To ensure that we learn the truth, the regime must allow witnesses to its illegal activities to be interviewed outside the country -- and these witnesses must be free to bring their families with them so they all beyond the reach of Saddam Hussein's terror and murder. And inspectors must have access to any site, at any time, without pre-clearance, without delay, without exceptions.
The time for denying, deceiving, and delaying has come to an end. Saddam Hussein must disarm himself -- or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.
Many nations are joining us in insisting that Saddam Hussein's regime be held accountable. They are committed to defending the international security that protects the lives of both our citizens and theirs. And that's why America is challenging all nations to take the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council seriously.
And these resolutions are clear. In addition to declaring and destroying all of its weapons of mass destruction, Iraq must end its support for terrorism. It must cease the persecution of its civilian population. It must stop all illicit trade outside the Oil For Food program. It must release or account for all Gulf War personnel, including an American pilot, whose fate is still unknown.
By taking these steps, and by only taking these steps, the Iraqi regime has an opportunity to avoid conflict. Taking these steps would also change the nature of the Iraqi regime itself. America hopes the regime will make that choice. Unfortunately, at least so far, we have little reason to expect it. And that's why two administrations -- mine and President Clinton's -- have stated that regime change in Iraq is the only certain means of removing a great danger to our nation.
I hope this will not require military action, but it may. And military conflict could be difficult. An Iraqi regime faced with its own demise may attempt cruel and desperate measures. If Saddam Hussein orders such measures, his generals would be well advised to refuse those orders. If they do not refuse, they must understand that all war criminals will be pursued and punished. If we have to act, we will take every precaution that is possible. We will plan carefully; we will act with the full power of the United States military; we will act with allies at our side, and we will prevail. (Applause.)
There is no easy or risk-free course of action. Some have argued we should wait -- and that's an option. In my view, it's the riskiest of all options, because the longer we wait, the stronger and bolder Saddam Hussein will become. We could wait and hope that Saddam does not give weapons to terrorists, or develop a nuclear weapon to blackmail the world. But I'm convinced that is a hope against all evidence. As Americans, we want peace -- we work and sacrifice for peace. But there can be no peace if our security depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I'm not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein.
Failure to act would embolden other tyrants, allow terrorists access to new weapons and new resources, and make blackmail a permanent feature of world events. The United Nations would betray the purpose of its founding, and prove irrelevant to the problems of our time. And through its inaction, the United States would resign itself to a future of fear.
That is not the America I know. That is not the America I serve. We refuse to live in fear. (Applause.) This nation, in world war and in Cold War, has never permitted the brutal and lawless to set history's course. Now, as before, we will secure our nation, protect our freedom, and help others to find freedom of their own.
Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse, for world security and for the people of Iraq. The lives of Iraqi citizens would improve dramatically if Saddam Hussein were no longer in power, just as the lives of Afghanistan's citizens improved after the Taliban. The dictator of Iraq is a student of Stalin, using murder as a tool of terror and control, within his own cabinet, within his own army, and even within his own family.
On Saddam Hussein's orders, opponents have been decapitated, wives and mothers of political opponents have been systematically raped as a method of intimidation, and political prisoners have been forced to watch their own children being tortured.
America believes that all people are entitled to hope and human rights, to the non-negotiable demands of human dignity. People everywhere prefer freedom to slavery; prosperity to squalor; self-government to the rule of terror and torture. America is a friend to the people of Iraq. Our demands are directed only at the regime that enslaves them and threatens us. When these demands are met, the first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi men, women and children. The oppression of Kurds, Assyrians, Turkomans, Shi'a, Sunnis and others will be lifted. The long captivity of Iraq will end, and an era of new hope will begin.
Iraq is a land rich in culture, resources, and talent. Freed from the weight of oppression, Iraq's people will be able to share in the progress and prosperity of our time. If military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors.
Later this week, the United States Congress will vote on this matter. I have asked Congress to authorize the use of America's military, if it proves necessary, to enforce U.N. Security Council demands. Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable. The resolution will tell the United Nations, and all nations, that America speaks with one voice and is determined to make the demands of the civilized world mean something. Congress will also be sending a message to the dictator in Iraq: that his only chance -- his only choice is full compliance, and the time remaining for that choice is limited.
Members of Congress are nearing an historic vote. I'm confident they will fully consider the facts, and their duties.
The attacks of September the 11th showed our country that vast oceans no longer protect us from danger. Before that tragic date, we had only hints of al Qaeda's plans and designs. Today in Iraq, we see a threat whose outlines are far more clearly defined, and whose consequences could be far more deadly. Saddam Hussein's actions have put us on notice, and there is no refuge from our responsibilities.
We did not ask for this present challenge, but we accept it. Like other generations of Americans, we will meet the responsibility of defending human liberty against violence and aggression. By our resolve, we will give strength to others. By our courage, we will give hope to others. And by our actions, we will secure the peace, and lead the world to a better day.
May God bless America. (Applause.)
END 8:31 P.M. EDT
For Immediate Release
Jun 7, 2002
Contact: Press Office
FBI & BUSH ADMINISTRATION SUED OVER ANTHRAX DOCUMENTS
Judicial Watch Wants to Know Why White House Went on Cipro Beginning September 11th
What Was Known and When?
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that it has filed lawsuits against the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), the Center for Disease Control ("CDC"), the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases ("USAMRIID") and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for those agencies' failures to produce documents concerning the terrorist anthrax attacks of October 2001, under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA").
Judicial Watch has additional anthrax-related FOIA requests pending with the White House and other government agencies that will see legal action in the next two weeks.
Judicial Watch represents hundreds of postal workers from the Brentwood Postal Facility in Washington, DC. Until the Brentwood facility was finally condemned by the CDC, Brentwood postal workers handled all of the mail for Washington, DC, including the "official mail" that contained the anthrax-laden envelopes addressed to Senators Daschle and Leahy. While Capitol Hill workers received prompt medical care, Brentwood postal workers were ordered by USPS officials to continue working in the contaminated facility. Two Brentwood workers died from inhalation anthrax, and dozens more are suffering from a variety of ailments related to the anthrax attacks. A variety of legal actions are being planned for the disparate treatment and reckless endangerment the Brentwood postal workers faced.
In October 2001, press reports revealed that White House staff had been on a regimen of the powerful antibiotic Cipro since the September 11th terrorist attacks. Judicial Watch is aggressively pursuing the disclosure of the facts and the decision for White House staff, and President Bush as well, to begin taking Cipro nearly a month before anthrax was detected on Capitol Hill.
" The American people deserve a full accounting from the Bush administration, the FBI , and other agencies concerning the anthrax attacks. The FBI's investigation seems to have dead-ended, and frankly, that is not very reassuring given their performance with the September 11th hijackers," stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman. "One doesn't simply start taking a powerful antibiotic for no good reason. The American people are entitled to know what the White House staffers knew nine months ago, " he added.
Copyright 1997 - 2004, Judicial Watch, Inc.
Archived Articles from THE NEW YORK POST
NEW YORK POST
PRE-9/11 'TERRORIST' MAIL CAME FROM INDY
By MURRAY WEISS
November 1, 2001 -- EXCLUSIVE
Threatening letters mailed to the media before the World Trade Center attacks - bearing striking similarities to the current anthrax-tainted letters - were mailed from Indianapolis, where the deadly bacteria was discovered yesterday, The Post has learned.
The pre-Sept. 11 letters were addressed in block letters that virtually match the lettering on the anthrax-laced missives sent to Sen. Thomas Daschle, the New York Post and NBC, law-enforcement sources said.
One source allowed The Post to see copies of envelopes from several of the earlier letters.
Each line of the printed address clearly sloped downward to the right and the handwriting eerily resembled that on the anthrax letters.
Federal investigators checked the return addresses on the letters, the sources said, but none of them was real.
The return address on one letter - addressed to Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly - listed the name of Sean Hannity, another FNC personality.
Despite the obvious twisted humor, that letter and about 15 more now are a major focus of the far-flung federal probe, the sources say.
The similarities between the pre-Sept. 11 and post-Twin Tower disaster letters has further fueled a theory at the FBI and Justice Department that the anthrax scare is the work of a twisted home-grown menace rather than a terrorist linked to state-sponsored action or Osama bin Laden.
Source say investigators are eyeing a number of groups, including radical members of a pagan cult.
The Wiccan group fashions itself as modern-day witches seeking religious freedom, but they are not known to be violent.
Investigators are probing whether a disturbed member of the group may have taken a bizarre turn and is targeting the media and the government in particular.
Indiana officials yesterday said that it was a coincidence they tested for - and found - traces of anthrax in a facility that repairs parts from sorting machines used by the U.S. Postal Service.
Inspectors initially started testing for the deadly bacteria in another repair facility, in Topeka, Kan., after several workers experienced flu-like symptoms, said Darla Stafford, spokeswoman for the Greater Indianapolis post office.
She said inspectors then tested in Indianapolis as a precaution because parts from an anthrax-affected post office in Washington, D.C. were recently repaired there.
WEBHEADS HELP HUNT THE 'THRAX
January 13, 2002 -- WASHINGTON - Amateur detectives have joined the anthrax investigation as the FBI continues to run into dead ends in the three-month hunt for the culprit who terrified the nation.
Distinguished scientists, bounty hunters and conspiracy theorists are among the army of sleuths that has begun searching for evidence to expose the terrorist who mailed the anthrax-tainted letters to politicians and media outlets last year.
Some are encouraged by the $1.25 million reward offered jointly by the FBI and U.S. Postal Service for solving the case. Others are doing it as a hobby.
And their unofficial investigations have partly been encouraged by the FBI.
From early on, the bureau solicited help from the public, adding a red button labeled "Submit a Tip" to the elaborate Web site it has dedicated to the investigation the FBI calls Amerithrax.
Along with a flag-draped logo, photos of the anthrax letters and sound files of FBI experts discussing the case, the bureau's anthrax Web site includes a lengthy handwriting and behavioral analysis of the perpetrator.
Never before has the FBI made public such extensive material on an unsolved case, said spokeswoman Tracey Silberling. That is partly because of the new technical possibilities offered by the Internet, but mostly because of the nature of the anthrax probe, she said.
"In the interest of public safety and educating the public about the threat, we've made as much information as possible available," Silberling said.
"We're also seeking the public's assistance by making information available that might ring a bell with someone."
Silberling said the bureau has received "hundreds of tips" from the public, but declined to say whether any have proved useful.
Among the part-time sleuths who have joined the hunt is Richard Smith, a computer-security expert in Massachusetts who has earned a reputation in the computer world for helping track down those responsible for unleashing computer viruses.
Smith says the nine-digit ZIP codes on the anthrax letters could be a crucial clue - as well as the ersatz return address, a made-up elementary school. If the attacker used the Internet to collect his information, he might have left an electronic trail, the 48-year-old investigator says.
In addition to his own research, Smith has created a Web site called "The Anthrax Conspiracy Theories Page," which includes links to the work of fellow amateur detectives.
Ed Lake of Racine, Wis., is a 64-year-old retired computer-system designer who writes screenplays.
He began his part-time investigation because he found the anthrax mystery "fascinating."
"All these facts were scattered all over the place. But no one was putting them together," he said.
So Lake took on that job himself, putting together an extensive anthrax-investigation Web site, which he updates and corrects as new evidence is reported.
"There are so many clues out there - so many odd things," Lake said.
STILL WAITING FOR ANSWERS
Mon Apr 29, 1:10 AM ET
The New York Post Editorial
Remember last fall's anthrax attacks?
We sure do.
"They" - whoever "they" are - tried to kill us.
That's not easily forgotten - nor forgiven.
In the event, the anthrax spores delivered to The Post through the mail last September infected three staffers - each of whom has recovered nicely.
Still, we've been following the investigation - to the extent that reliable information has been forthcoming.
There hasn't been a lot.
But now comes an exhaustive report on the anthrax attacks, courtesy of The Weekly Standard - substantially reproduced on these pages.
Yes, the piece is tough going in parts.
Stick with it, though - because the report makes it difficult to deny that the anthrax attacks were carried out in an organized manner by disciplined terrorists, with the assistance of a foreign state.
Now, it's just possible that the FBI (news - web sites) is waiting to reveal the involvement in the attacks of, say, Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), until a time when the government needs to galvanize support for an attack on Iraq.
It's also possible that the FBI continues to fixate on the chimera of a domestic source, and to avoid the indications that the anthrax came from abroad, because the bureau is still shot through with incompetence.
(Certainly the fact that the agency has failed even to interview our anthrax victims, nearly six months after the fact, inspires little confidence.)
Perhaps, as columnist John Podhoretz suggests this morning, the FBI is hoping that the anthrax campaign can be pinned on a militia group or the equivalent of the Unabomber in order to justify retroactively the FBI's quick trigger-fingers at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
But, as the Standard reports, a great deal of evidence points the other way.
* It turns out that one of the 9/11 hijackers, Ahmed Ibrahim Al Haznawi, visited a Fort Lauderdale emergency room last June with what The New York Times reported was an apparent anthrax lesion on his left leg. (We speak from experience: The wound is distinctive!)
* It also seems that journalists from the National Enquirer, the first media organization to suffer a confirmed anthrax attack, frequented the same Florida bar as some of the 9/11 hijackers.
Coincidence? Pretty long odds against that.
Moreover, the handwriting and the language of the anthrax-tainted letters suggests that they were not written by a native English speaker.
And many of the arguments put forward to suggest a domestic source are simply foolish.
For instance, the FBI and other domestic-conspiracy theorists assert that the letters originated in America because they contained no saliva traces - as if anyone would lick an envelope containing anthrax spores!
Then there's the matter of the origin of the anthrax by determining its "strain" - or how it was "weaponized."
It was widely reported that the anthrax powder mailed in the fall was identical to that once made in U.S. military laboratories, and that it lacked an additive favored by Soviet and Iraqi labs. Neither turns out to be true.
Finally, there is the bizarre choice of targets: a politically conservative newspaper; liberal television personalities; a more liberal U.S. senator; a supermarket tabloid. How likely is it that the senders of anthrax knew much about American media or politics?
Let's face it: It is extremely unlikely that the anthrax attacks were - or could have been - mounted by a rogue government scientist, Idaho skinhead or Ted Kaczynski wannabe sitting in a basement.
In the matter of complicated questions, it usually makes sense to opt for the least complicated answers.
nd both motive and means speak to the likelihood of a foreign source for last fall's anthrax attacks.
This substantially increases the degree of difficulty in mounting an appropriate response to the mailings - and it suggests that a repeat performance can be expected whenever it suits the aggressor's purposes.
A disquieting notion, to be sure - and, again, we speak from a particular experience.
Sadly, we have no answers this morning - just a growing conviction that Washington, and the FBI in particular, aren't even asking questions.
WHY THE BUREAU MIGHT GO WRONG
COLUMN Opinion by John Podhoretz
April 29, 2002 -- THERE are two great unanswered mysteries following Sept. 11. The first is: Who is the party responsible for distributing anthrax through the mails, killing 5 people and traumatizing tens of millions of Americans? The second mystery: Why was the FBI so certain so quickly that the anthrax was made here in the United States by an American?
As David Tell explains in his definitive article on the anthrax crisis, that certainty has proved an illusion, as an extensive investigation into a supposed domestic attacker has turned up nothing so far that we know of.
It was a weird assumption to begin with. The United States had just been attacked by a terrorist group based in Afghanistan, and there was reason to believe that al Qaeda had been consulting with Saddam Hussein (based on Czech intelligence reports). Everyone in America seemed certain the anthrax was connected to the terrorists - everyone, that is, except federal law-enforcement officials.
I believe the FBI's certainty was based on organizationalvanity, bureaucratic entropy and a hunger to rewrite the past.
Organizational vanity: Almost from the outset, we were told that the notes accompanying the anthrax envelopes were written by an American trying to sound like a Muslim. In short order, FBI sources were leaking a full-out portrait of this hidden American: A crazed loner and brilliant chemical engineer who must have worked at a government facility.
This portrait may have been off-base. But the FBI loved it and leaked it because the FBI loves to do "profiling."
We all know about FBI profiling from movies like "Silence of the Lambs." It's a strange amalgam of historical crime theory and pop psychologizing. The work done by profilers in Quantico, Va., is glamorous and headline-grabbing.
The act of designing a "psychological profile" of a psychotic or schizophrenic killer based on limited evidence and knowledge seems wondrous and magical. But it's fundamentally nonsense, the conversion of psychological theory into paint-by-numbers fact. Still, it makes the FBI look good, the way it does in the movies and on TV. And the FBI is desperate to look good.
Bureaucratic entropy: The FBI is an agency whose mission is national domestic crime-fighting. Over the past 10 or 15 years, it has aggressively sought to infiltrate homegrown terrorist groups with extremist views on matters like taxation and immigration As a result, the FBI knows more about extremist American groups than it does about, say, Muslim extremists here with links to Muslim extremists abroad.
The FBI was concerned about the possibility of homegrown extremists developing interests in chemical warfare. So it seems to have grafted its own longstanding ideas about the nature of terrorists and terrorism onto Sept. 11, which offered an entirely new model of terrorist warfare on the United States. Consider the fact that the FBI portrait of the anthrax killer sounds a lot like Ted Kaczynski, the modernity-hating Unabomber, and you can see the way bureaucratic entropy can stifle creative new thinking.
A hunger to rewrite the past: The FBI came to believe that America was being threatened by domestic extremists, but its effort to weed them out brought intense criticism. Federal law-enforcement agencies are still reeling from the disasters of the early 1990s, when the sieges at Ruby Ridge and Waco ended with the death of innocents at the hands of government agents.
The FBI considers the criticism it and its brother agencies have received in the wake of those two calamities profoundly unfair (and in many respects they are right to do so). The discovery of a domestic extremist who had successfully unsettled and tortured a nation with anthrax might help cleanse and salve the wound at the FBI.
In some weird, unconscious way, such a discovery might offer a retroactive emotional justification for the excesses of Ruby Ridge and Waco - because it would prove that wackoes in the woods really are worth getting all excited about.
These are theories, mind you, based on long observation of the FBI. I may be wrong. But then, evidently, so is the FBI when it has come to its peculiar anthrax investigation.
'ANTHRAX' DOCTOR FAILED LIE TEST
By NILES LATHEM
August 13, 2002 -- WASHINGTON - A month before the first anthrax-laced letters were mailed, the bio-warfare expert now at the center of the probe failed a CIA-administered polygraph test over questions surrounding his mysterious past with a secret commando force in Rhodesia, The Post has learned.
Dr. Steven Hatfill, 48, the former Army bio-weapons expert publicly named as a "person of interest" in the federal anthrax probe, told friends and colleagues that flunking the lie-detector test cost him his security clearance and his job.
FBI officials say they have no physical evidence that connects Hatfill to the letters mailed last September and October.
But Hatfill remains one of 12 bio-warfare scientists under investigation, and law-enforcement officials say the loss of his job at the giant defense contractor Science Applications International Corp. remains a focus of the investigation.
Hatfill called a press conference Sunday to deny he was responsible and to blast the government for destroying his career.
He said he lost his job at the McClean, Va.-based firm in March because journalists began calling company officials, "all but accusing me of mailing the anthrax letters."
But law-enforcement officials and Hatfill's former colleagues at the company gave a different account.
They claimed that in August 2001, Hatfill had an opportunity to work on a huge CIA-sponsored project for the company and had to "upgrade" his low-level government security clearance for the job.
But when Hatfill failed the polygraph, even his existing clearance was revoked.
Company officials say they gave him six months to get it restored, and fired him in March because he was unable to do so.
The CIA has refused comment on the polygraph.
But Hatfill told colleagues at the time that he failed questions about how he responded to the 1977 death of his father-in-law and mentor, Dr. Glen Eschtruth.
Eschtruth, a doctor connected to the Methodist Church, was executed in a village in Zaire in April 1977 when it was invaded by mercenaries participating in a conflict in neighboring Angola.
Hatfill has claimed he had combat experience with a commando unit of the Rhodesian armed forces fighting against black nationalists in the country now called Zimbabwe.
His tenure there has also drawn scrutiny because of a "Greendale School" listed as the New Jersey return address on some of the anthrax letters.
While no Greendale School exists in New Jersey, a school in the Greendale suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe, is informally known as the Greendale school.
It's actually named for a white Rhodesian fighter Courtney Selous - and the Rhodesian commando unit Hatfill joined was called the Selous Scouts.
Meanwhile, anthrax spores have been found in a Princeton mailbox tested after workers at a regional mail-sorting facility contracted the bacteria in October, Gov. James McGreevey said yesterday.
The mailbox was removed last week.
It's one of 600 mailboxes that fed the regional facility chosen to be swabbed for anthrax spores. Officials said 39 still have to be tested.
The New York Post (Editorial)
September 7, 2002 -- The FBI and the Justice Department had better come up with a case against Dr. Steven Hatfill - and they'd better make it stick.
Otherwise, Hatfill - who's been named a "person of interest" in the FBI's interminable anthrax probe - will be taking the feds to the cleaners when a jury gets hold of the lawsuit he's sure to file.
In recent weeks, the bioweapons expert - who has not even been named as a suspect - has been subjected to a very public vilification, courtesy of the feds.
Actually, he's only one of 30 people under investigation. But only his name has been made public.
Now, it appears the folks at Justice have successfully pressured Louisiana State University to fire Hatfill from his job as director of its National Center for Biomedical Research and Training.
LSU announced Tuesday that Hatfill was out of a job, effective immediately, "in the best interest of LSU."
What the university didn't initially reveal is that the university was sent an e-mail from the Justice Department ordering it to "cease and desist" using Hatfill on any projects the department funds.
Unfortunately for Hatfill, the LSU center gets most of its money from the Justice Department.
So first he was placed on administration leave. Twenty-four hours later, Hatfill was given the boot.
This, plain and simple, is over-the-top, outrageous behavior.
Already, Hatfill has been subjected to the kind of prejudicial public behavior that - even if he is eventually charged - could cost the government its case.
Every search of his premises has been made public. Every detail of his "suspicious" background has been leaked to the press - even the text of a novel on bioterrorism that existed only on his FBI-confiscated computer hard drive.
As we've noted previously, our interest in this case is more than academic: Three of our co-workers contracted anthrax in the attacks, and we're particularly anxious to see the guilty parties punished.
If Hatfill is guilty, we want him put away. Period.
But if he's not, even the most abject public apology won't undo what's been done to him.
"I do not understand why they're doing this to me," said Hatfill this week.
Neither do we.
BLIX WILL BARE IRAQ'S 'THRAX
March 7, 2003 -- The United Nations has shot down Iraq's claim to have destroyed huge amounts of biological-warfare agents - including anthrax - 12 years ago.
Iraq had declared 2,230 gallons of anthrax - but a report being released today estimates that 5,447 gallons of germ agents stored in bulk during the 1991 Gulf War included about 2,641 gallons of anthrax.
The report, a draft of which was obtained by Reuters, gives 29 "clusters" or groups of weapons programs and a "to do" list for Iraq in order to satisfy U.N. Security Council demands that Saddam Hussein account for his weapons of mass destruction.
The 167-page report was drawn up by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, headed by Hans Blix. It will be distributed to ministers at a key meeting today - and is separate from an oral report he will present.
The report compiles every weapons program, past and do - possibly giving support to a hard line against Saddam.
Blix questioned Iraqi statements that it had stored all bulk biological warfare agents during the 1991 Gulf War at a plant known as Al Hakam and destroyed those unused after the war.
"There is credible information available to UNMOVIC that indicates that the bulk agent, including anthrax, was in fact deployed during the 1991 Gulf War," the report said. "The question then arises as to what happened to it after the war."
"Based on this information, UNMOVIC estimates that about 21,000 liters [5,547 gallons] of biological warfare agent was stored in bulk at locations remote from Al Hakam. About half of this, about 10,000 liters [2,641 gallons] was anthrax," Blix wrote in the report.
"It therefore seems highly probable that the destruction of the bulk agent, including anthrax, stated by Iraq to be at Al Hakam in July-August 1991 did not occur," the report said."
Blix said Iraq needed to provide documentation or other evidence to support its account.
The new report also said Iraq may be producing more banned missiles in addition to the Al Samoud 2 rockets it is now destroying and had declared last year to inspectors.
"Other missiles systems with ranges in excess of 150 km [93 miles] may possibly be under development or planned," the report said.
"Indications of this come from solid propellant casting chambers Iraq has acquired, through recent import, indigenous production or from the repair or old chambers," said the report.
Blix had ordered the Al Samouds destroyed.
The report had been eagerly awaited by nations opposed to war, who say inspections should go on for months. Canada, on the other hand, has proposed the "outstanding issues" be turned into "benchmarks" with deadlines for Iraq to meet by March 28.
But for the United States and Britain, however, the report shows how Saddam continues to lie and cheat, despite Blix's comments to reporters on Wednesday that Iraq was beginning to actively cooperate with his inspectors.
He told a news conference on Wednesday that the destruction of the missiles "is the most spectacular and the most important and tangible" evidence of real disarmament.
New FBI Section Focuses On WMD
By Brian Blomquist
October 22, 2003 -- EXCLUSIVE
WASHINGTON - The FBI is creating a new weapons of mass destruction section to address growing concerns that terrorists will try to detonate a dirty bomb or launch a chemical or biological attack in the United States, The Post has learned.
The new WMD section, which already is up and running, will concentrate on trying to prevent catastrophic attacks inside the United States - or respond to such attacks if they occur.
FBI counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence chief Larry Mefford said the feds know that al Qaeda terrorists are trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction and would like nothing better than to use them to kill thousands of Americans.
"Obviously they have an interest, and that alone is reason enough to take the threat very seriously," Mefford told The Post.
But he added, "I'm not aware of any imminent or specific threats" with weapons of mass destruction.
Raids of al Qaeda houses in Afghanistan revealed a drawing of a nuclear device and procedures for making mustard agents, sarin and VX nerve agents.
Al Qaeda allegedly sent Jose Padilla to the United States to scout a radiation dirty-bomb attack, and at least two of the suspected 9/11 hijackers showed interest in crop dusters.
Mefford, who pushed the FBI to create the new section, said counter-terrorism agents "go over WMD scenarios all the time," but he said agents with real expertise, like biologists and other scientists, are spread out in various sections of the bureau and it makes sense to bring them into
The slow-going anthrax investigation has highlighted the need for a WMD section, Mefford said, adding that the new section doesn't yet have a chief.
"We've learned a lot from the anthrax investigation. It's been extremely challenging," Mefford said.
'THRAX RAID TARGETS VACCINE DOC
By DON MURRAY and ANDY GELLER
The New York Post
August 6, 2004 -- Feds probing the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks raided two upstate homes and a Jersey Shore bungalow linked to a bioterrorism expert who advocates the mass distribution of the anthrax vaccine.
Dr. Kenneth Berry, 48, returned from breakfast at the Sand Dollar diner yesterday to find 20 FBI agents and postal inspectors swarming over the Dover Township, N.J., bungalow owned by his father, William.
Throughout the day, the agents carried out small items in clear plastic bags and bulky items in dark garbage bags.
They also searched under a pier behind the home and towed away two cars belonging to Berry. One, a 1998 Ford van, was returned shortly after 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, in Wellsville, N.Y., a town of 5,000 near the Pennsylvania border, 30 agents - some in protective gear - raided Berry's home and his former apartment.
The raids were authorized by search warrants.
Law enforcement sources said Berry was on a list of a handful of people who had access to labs capable of producing the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks.
Five people were killed when letters laced with the deadly bacteria were sent to government offices and media outlets, including the New York Post.
The investigation had centered on Dr. Stephen Hatfill, a biological expert who was described in 2002 as a "person of interest."
One source claimed Berry was cooperating with authorities and the raids were aimed at eliminating him from the list of suspects.
Agents led Berry, his wife and their four children away from the bungalow, but it was unclear if he was questioned or arrested.
A law enforcement source said the FBI arranged hotel rooms for the family so they would not have to face the media.
Berry did not return phone calls. His father, who lives in Newtown, Conn., hung up on a reporter.
Berry has often appeared on national TV as a bioterrorism expert. In 1997, he founded PREEMPT Medical Counter-Terrorism, which trains medical personnel in responding to biochemical attacks.
In a USA Today interview that year, he said, "We ought to be planning to make anthrax vaccine widely available to the population starting in the major cities."
Berry is also president of the American Academy of Emergency Physicians. Both the Academy and PREEMPT appear to be run from his Wellsville home.
His Web site said he has a pilot's license and has investigated aircraft accidents, including the 1996 TWA crash off Long Island.
In 1999, Berry pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct to settle charges of forgery related to being listed as a witness on the fake will of a dead colleague. The plea allowed him to keep his medical license.
"I just can't believe he'd be involved in anything like anthrax," said former colleague William DiBerardino. "From my standpoint, the guy is harmless, but who knows?"
Additional reporting by Murray Weiss, Neil Graves and Charles Fiegl
LADIES AND GERMS
By DON MURRAY and PERRY CHIARAMONTE
The New York Post
August 7, 2004 -- DOVER TOWNSHIP, N.J. - The doctor at the center of the anthrax investigation told cops booking him on domestic-violence charges he was innocent of the biological attacks - as it emerged he tried to patent an anthrax detection system just after the attacks began.
Records at the Patent and Trademark Office Web site indicate Dr. Kenneth Berry applied for a patent on a surveillance system to identify chemical and biological attacks on Sept. 28, 2001, 10 days after the first anthrax letters were postmarked in Trenton.
Berry's computerized system uses weather data and the properties of biological and chemical agents at various concentrations to identify the type of attack, the filing said.
He filed for a provisional patent for the system nearly a year earlier and was granted a patent in March 2004, the records show.
Berry was collared Thursday on the Jersey Shore for brawling with his family - just hours after his homes in upstate New York and Dover Township, N.J., were searched by federal probers.
Jersey cops had no idea Berry was a federal target until they found the search warrant in his pocket - and Berry blurted out his declaration of innocence.
"We came across knowledge of the search warrants by accident when Mr. Berry was searched," said Point Pleasant Beach Police Chief Daniel DePolo. "I believe there was discussion as to the search warrant, and I believe there was denial of any involvement on his part.
"He was apparently very outspoken with the officers."
Berry was nabbed for assault by off-duty Chatham, N.J., Police Chief Elizabeth Goeckel as he allegedly fought with members of his family at a seaside hotel in Point Pleasant Beach.
He allegedly shoved to the ground a woman holding a small child and, after another woman hit him, struck the second woman and knocked her down.
He ran into the lobby of the hotel, and the brawl continued inside.
"The girl came in screaming like she was in trouble," Goeckel said.
"He was swinging at her, and he dove right on top of her. She was screaming. She was trying to get away from him. He was trying to hit her and beat her. They were on the floor. The second woman came in and said he attacked her."
Berry was charged with four counts of assault.
He was released from jail on $10,000 bond and a temporary restraining order was issued against him. With Post Wire Services
Why I Think Bush Is The Anthrax Terrorist
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains--however improbable--must be the truth." - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I believe that George W. Bush is the anthrax terrorist, that he, as president, ordered or approved the mailing of weaponized anthrax produced by the CIA, Fort Detrick, Dugway or some other secret U.S. germ warfare program, that he personally selected some or all the targets and that he did so as a kind of Operation Northwoods meant to justify an invasion of Iraq but also to get the Patriot Act passed and to further implement his unconstitutional seizure of power. I also believe his choice of targets show not just callousness but personal vengeance and was an attack on the constitution and on American democracy itself.
I think back to the weeks after 911 when there were rumors of a bioweapons attack by terrorists. First a photo-editor who worked for American Media got sick with anthrax then another American Media employee as well. Then postal workers. Some lived. Some died. The Bush White House pointed at Iraq and I bought it. Why wouldn't I? Like almost everyone else I was still reeling in shock from 911 and willing to believe anything. But time went by and more and more information came out that pointed, not to Iraq, but to the US military establishment and the CIA, evidence that eventually, I think, came to point back at the Bush administration and at Bush himself.
Let me run down the facts that let me to this conclusion:
1. US bioweapons programs used the Ames strain of anthrax. Iraqi weapons program used the vollum strain. Despite this and other evidence that Iraq was not he source of the anthrax used in the attacks, the Bush administration tried to use the attacks as justification for war with Iraq. (See Operation Northwoods.)
2. DNA analysis of the anthrax used in the attacks revealed that it was not just the same general Ames strain but was genetically identical to reference strains from Fort Detrick or Dugway. If it had been separated from the Detrick strain by more than 3 years, there would be genetic differences. There were none. So it was not a strain sold to Iraq 15 or 20 years ago. It was not an old sample stolen 10 or 20 years ago.
4. The purity of the material was such that no person could have produced it outside a very sophisticated lab. It could only have been grown in a Level 3 Biosafety Containment facility and weaponized in a Level 4 Biosafety Containment.
5. The anthrax used in the attacks contains the same additives used in to make weaponized anthrax in the US bioweapons program. This was a secret, classified recipe known only to the very few scientists who worked in the program. Few things in the world were (or are) more secret than this formula.
6. Very few people in the world had access to the strain of Ames anthrax present in the anthrax attacks, access to a Level 4 containment facility and knew the secret US method for weaponizing anthrax. The number of people who could produce it has been estimated to be as few as four to six people and no more than 20. They have all been investigated and their movements tracked, their homes, cars, workplaces tested for anthrax.
7. The CIA has refused to reveal, even to the FBI, what programs they have that have grown and weaponized anthrax spores. Everyone else has been investigated.
9. There were attempts to set up Steven Hatfill as a scapegoat.
10. The use of the FBI and the entire mechanism of the government to cover up this obvious conclusion and devise, develop SOME WAY the attack did not originate with the US bioweapans programs
So why do I think this all happened? I think from Day 1(and before) of the Bush Administration, there was a plan to attack Iraq. I think the Bush Administration had had weaponized anthrax produced and that on 9/11 it was ready to use. They didn't choose antibiotic-resistant anthrax. They didn't intend a lot of additional deaths and they wanted to make sure that their butts were safe. After 9/11 they had everyone in the White House put on Cipro and went ahead with the plan to use the anthrax as an Operation Northwoods, as a war pretext* to justify invading Iraq, but they still had to decide on targets. So they asked Bush: Who should we send it to?
"You [expletive] son of a bitch," Hunt quotes Bush as saying. "I saw what you wrote. We're not going to forget this."
They say the first target of any serial murderer is always the most personal so Bush reached into his heart and chose the first targets, personal targets. Bush chose the photo-editor on the tabloid that printed the "Drunk Jenna" picture and then the editor of the tabloid that had done story after story on the Boozing Bush Twins. Other cabal members, such as Rumsfeld and Cheney and Rove, may have chosen subsequent targets but I have no doubt that Bush personally chose the first two and chose them out of the malevolence of his heart
And you can criticize me, but don't criticize my children and don't criticize my daughters-in-law and don't criticize my husband, or you're dead...Barbara Bush
Is this a family trait?
Next we have Tom Brokaw doing the unthinkable: putting an interview with Clinton on the evening news. The White House called up to rant and object (probably Rove) but Brokaw went ahead and broadcast the interview.
"You [expletive] son of a bitch," Hunt quotes Bush as saying. "...We're not going to forget this."
That evening the third anthrax laced letter entered the mail stream, addressed to Tom Brokaw. Brokaw had not obeyed and had made them mad. So they decided to get even with him.
I think the press knows or suspects that the Bush administration was the source of the anthrax, saw how easily any of them could be targeted, and so, though they have been disgustingly docile for the last 3 years, I cut them a little slack. Their lives could have been in danger if they acted as real journalists. I remember the fates of Steve Kangas and James Hatfield and I cut them a little slack.
The next two targets require the least explanation. They were the most obvious and in some ways the most troubling: Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle and Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the two Senators who attempted to slow the passage of the US Patriot Act. The anthrax was postmarked October 9th, during the fiercest debate. After the anthrax was received Daschle and Leahy accepted a more repressive version of the bill, a bill that was passed without the members of the House even being allowed to read it.
The atmosphere of terror in Congress was expressed by Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio: ". . . a state of siege trap[s] us in a state of fear, ill equipped to deal with the patriot games, the mind games, the war games. . ." He lamented the physical and psychological disruption and disorientation of lawmakers at a time when calm objectivity was required for wise decisions. No doubt, the terrorized senators accepted an anti-terrorism bill more threatening to the rights and well-being of citizens than they otherwise would have. They granted more power to the President than they otherwise would have.
By the time anthrax was mailed to Daschle and Leahy on October 9th photoeditor Bob Stevens had died and many other individuals had been infected so the cabal knew the material was deadly. This wasn't a feint, it was a deadly attack, an attack with a Weapon of Mass Destruction against the heart of American Democracy. Dozens of senators and their staffs might have sickened and died. I believe the target of this attack was not just Daschle and Leahy, not just the Senate, but American democracy itself, that it was an attempt to end it.
"You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier." Describing what it's like to be governor of Texas.(Governing Magazine 7/98)
It nearly worked. The House voted to adjourn indefinitely leaving Bush with the power of the purse. Minority Leader Lott proposed that the Senate do the same.
"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it, " [Bush] said. -- Business Week, July 30, 2001
There is a curious coincidence between what Lott proposed and the decision by the Bush administration after the September 11 terrorist attacks to establish a shadow government in secret bunkers which would provide continuity in the event of a nuclear/chemical/biological attack that destroyed Washington DC. The shadow government was also limited to the executive branch, making no provision for the safeguarding or reconstitution of an elected legislature.
The political consequences of the anthrax terrorism and the Bush administration's plans for a shadow government dovetailed completely. Both would have shut down the legislative branch and left the executive branch with virtually unrestricted power.
"I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don't agree with each other, but that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." George W. Bush -- CNN.com, December 18, 2000
But Daschle wouldn't play. He refused to allow the Senate to adjourn indefinitely leaving any of its powers to the Bush Administration. They tried to murder him and for all he knew they might try again but he wouldn't cave. When, someday, they look back at October of 2001 and make a list of the cowardly and the complicit, Tom Daschle will not be found to be either. If he had agreed, instead of seriously wounded, democracy might be dead in America right now, Bush might very well openly be dictator. Tom Daschle is my hero.
But where does this lead? I believe that sending Daschle and Leahy anthrax proves that the Bush cabal was willing to kill them. So they were willing to kill Senators. What Senator died in 2002? Senator Paul Wellstone-in a plane crash. Was it sabotage? We'll probably never know but it certainly makes it possible. It puts it in the realm of things they would do. If they were willing to kill Senators with the anthrax attacks, why wouldn't they be willing to kill one in a plane crash.
Declassified CIA Assassination Manual: For secret assassination...the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated.
When they sent anthrax to Senators, when they made an overt attack on Congress, on Democracy, they showed they were willing to bring it down. But was that the first attack on Congress?
Here we go further into darkness.
The Germans say that their investigation of 9/11 revealed that the target of Flight 93 was the Capitol building. If Flight 93 hadn't sat on the runway, delayed for almost an hour, if the passengers hadn't found out about the attacks on the WTC and tried to take the plane black, if nothing had delayed or stopped Flight 93, would it have plowed into the Capitol with the House and Senate in session? Would that have been a first attempt to end democracy in the United States? Was that what Bush was waiting for as he sat doing nothing in a classroom in Florida? Was he waiting for the destruction of the legislative branch of government leaving all the reins of power and pocketbook in his hand? Did we come close to losing democracy? Twice?
Now there are plenty of websites that will lead you down the 9/11 path and show how it points back to the Bush cabal but a good starting place is the comparatively more moderate article by Micheal Meacher: "This war on terrorism is bogus". Meacher served on Tony Blair's cabinet for 6 years.
Many of the 9/11 sites make it more complicated than I can accept, with remote controlled planes, faked phone calls, explosives set in the WTC towers, a missile striking the Pentagon with the real plane crashed into the ocean.
Even though they often make good points it all gets too convoluted for me. I have a simpler theory, one that is based on the '01 Gulf War. If a ruler wants war and wants his country's allies and his own people to support it, how does it he arrange it? He gets his target to attack him or an ally. When Bush41 wanted a war with Saddam how did he manage it? He knew that Saddam was in debt and desperate for money. He knew Saddam was angry at Kuwait for slant drilling into Iraqi oil fields. So he sent Ambassador April Gilespie to tell Saddam that America didn't care if he invaded Kuwait. Then when Saddam did, the Bush41 administration had liars go on TV and lie about what was happening. Remember the "nurse" who testified behind a screen about babies removed from incubators and left to die on a concrete floor? A lie. The "nurse" was the Kuwaiti ambassador's 16 year old daughter testifying behind a screen so no one who knew her would give the lie away, lying about something that never happened, lying to sway the American people.
How do you start an open-ended war that the American people will support? You arrange a "Pearl Harbor."
According to Brzezinski, the USA is such a "increasingly multi-cultural society" and the average people are not inclined to support any more Vietnams, the only thing that will motivate massive emotional support for foreign wars is something like "the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor." America will likely "find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." - Voxnyc.com
So, if you were the Bush Cabal and you wanted a "Pearl Harbor" attack on the United States, how would you arrange it, if you were a traitor? First you couldn't just order it. Believe it or not I don't think there are many people under the command of the president who would attack the US killing thousands of Americans. You would have to engineer the attack so the military, the government, perhaps even the CIA didn't know what you had planned because any of them might have blocked such an attack.
Let's start with the concept of the agent provocateur, a secret agent who prods individual(s) into carrying out an illegal action. Turns out there is a whole task force to do just that:
The Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, (P2OG), brings together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception. Among other things, this body launches secret operations aimed at "stimulating reactions" among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction -- that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to "quick-response" attacks by U.S. forces.
Al Qaeda had been making attacks on US Embassies, on the Cole, Clinton had been responding with missiles aimed at where Bin Laden had been just a few hours before. For them to know where to send those missiles they had to have agents in Al Qaeda. It had been known since 1996 that there was an Al Qaeda plan to hijack airliners and use them as missiles but that it had not been approved. How could they get Bin Laden to set it in motion? How about push him and the Taleban into a corner, send "negotiators" to make threats, to give them the "carpet of gold or carpet of bombs" choice, with the golden choice one their religion and their hatred of the west would not allow them to make and which Bin Laden knew would lead to his being pushed out of Afghanistan or killed. Was that the prod that made him authorize Mohammed Atta's plan?
Declassified CIA Assassination Manual: In lost assassination [an assassination in which the assassin plans to die], the assassin must be a fanatic of some sort. Politics, religion, and revenge are about the only feasible motives. Since a fanatic is unstable psychologically, he must be handled with extreme care.
If the CIA has been manipulating fanatics into committing assassination for 50 years, don't you think they would be able to manipulate them into hijacking planes?
So then the Bush Cabal smoothed the way. Just for a start they made it easier for Saudi recruits to get visas to the US, pulled the FBI off the Bin Ladens, blocked FBI terrorism investigations so John O'Neil resigned in protest, and ignored Dick Clarke, who was the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism. They could do all this without their underlings knowing how the pieces fit together. Then they had the regulations for NORAD changed in June 30, 2001 so fighters were not allowed to intercept hijacked planes without the authorization of the Secretary of Defense. Already they could not be shot down with the president's permission. So Atta's plan went forward. Did Atta even know the path was being smoothed for him? So Bush left Washington and New York City to their fates while he went down to Florida into the safety of his brother's dictatorship, a state Jeb Bush quietly put under martial law the week before. Safe in Florida he let it unfold. Safe in the White House bunker Cheney let it unfold. Safe in his office Rumsfeld let it unfold. Waiting for their war pretext. Waiting for the coup de graz on Congress. Bush sat in that schoolroom in Florida, waiting for it all to unfold.
But something went wrong (or right from our point of view). Delayed, Flight 93 sat on the runway instead of heading toward its target. By the time it was airborne, by the time it was hijacked, it was too late for a surprise hit on the Capitol. Then the passengers started using air phones and cell phones to call home and found out they were doomed. Some of them decided to stop what was happening, to take control of their own fate. They got up to try to take the plane back. The FBI had been listening in on their calls, clued in by their families and the operators they were talking to, the FBI reporting to the White House (do you doubt it?) so when they got up, when they tried to take the plane back, then, only then, did Cheney give the order to shoot down Flight 93. (Cheney has admitted he gave the order but the Bush Administration denies it was carried out. But ...the order came only when the passengers got up to try to take the plane back.)
Declassified CIA Assassination Manual: In lost assassination, the assassin must be a fanatic of some sort. Politics, religion, and revenge are about the only feasible motives. Since a fanatic is unstable psychologically, he must be handled with extreme care. He must not know the identities of the other members of the organization, for although it is intended that he die in the act, something may go wrong. While the Assassin of Trotsky has never revealed any significant information, it was unsound to depend on this when the act was planned.
The hijackers had to die in the act. Even if they knew little, their interrogations might have provided information that led, step by step, back to the cabal.
I bet the cabal was disappointed. Congress was still there. So they tried again with the anthrax. Congress made things harder but they finally managed to wrap it around their fingers. Killed Wellstone. Fixed the election in Georgia to get Max Cleland out. Then, while they didn't have perfect control, it was pretty near. They were able to get everything they wanted.
Thus endeth my theory. I pray I am wrong. Let us all pray I am.
* Do a search on "war pretext" sometimes. It will chill you to your bones.
© 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, this credit is attached, as well as a link back to this page