Wednesday, August 06, 2008

the anthrax attacks

The FBI is apparently trying to make that case that recently-deceased Bruce Ivins was in fact the person responsible for the anthrax letters mailed in 2001. Glenn Greenwald has been discussing this topic for most of the week. See here and here and here.

At the time, there was a lot of propaganda to the effect that they represented another Al Qaeda attack, and it was further insinuated that the strain used contained a chemical, bentonite, that was a signature of Saddam Hussein's anthrax program (which was inert at the time, but what the hell, let's throw the accusation in).

At the time it was immediately clear that the anthrax was of a weapons-grade aerosol type that probably had been produced in the United States.

So...what kind of investigations have we had?

Well, for starters, the FBI directed its attention to Stephen Hatfill. But rather than bring him up on charges, they simply fed rumors about Hatfill to various media outlets, who then ran with them, insinuating that Hatfill was a prime suspect. After a couple years of this, Hatfill managed to clear his name.

Now another scientist, Bruce Ivins, is the new target of FBI/DoJ insinuation. Ivins has (apparently) done the FBI a favor by committing suicide. This might be a sign of a guilty conscience or it might be simply a side effect of suffering from a depressive illness.

We are supposed to believe that Ivins killed himself "as investigators closed in". See the AP version.
That raises the question of just how competently the FBI was "closing in", if Ivins knew about it.

From what we know of the FBI case, there is no direct linkage to the anthrax letters. It seems to all appearances that Ivins had access to anthrax, and was somewhat deranged. But did he actually sent the letters? We still have no reason to believe that he did.

Meryl Nass, another anthrax researcher, has raised some interesting questions. In particular, was Dr. Ivins in Central New Jersey on the dates the letters were mailed? This would presumably be an easy matter to investigate (and it surely would have been easier back in 2001, when the FBI started floundering around this case).

It doesn't make sense to me that Ivins would go to the trouble to drive to New Jersey to mail the threatening letters, only to use a strain of anthrax that could be directly traced to him, individually. It seems to me that another patsy has been set up.

I tend to be of the opinion that the anthrax letters were part of a psyop to push the US into war against Iraq. I don't have any evidence, but I think it is a theory that fits the data at least as well as the Ivins theory. The lettering used, the choice to mail the letters from New Jersey, and the followup hullabaloo - in particular the campaign to tie in bentonite, suggests that whoever was behind the anthrax attacks also wanted Iraq to be blamed.

Another possibility is that some second party independently decided to blame Iraq after the letters were sent. This issue could be resolved if ABC were to reveal the source for the bentonite story.

ABC has chosen to not do so thus far. Apparently the confidentiality of sources who lie to the American public in the pursuit of a possibly unpopular war is of paramount importance to ABC, at least more important than their credibility to the general public. Somebody lied to ABC - was it Ivins himself, or some other party?

I would think that if the source was Ivins himself, that ABC would come forward now, as it would dovetail neatly with the establishment story. (Indeed, I hesitate to suggest this possiblity, as ABC might decide to seize upon it. But of course, that would require ABC to read this blog.)

I suspect that the source for the bentonite story was not Ivins. But still, ABC won't reveal the source. Thanks for serving as a conduit for government-sponsored psyops against the citizenry of the United States, guys!

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