"We now know -- we knew even before news of Ivins' suicide last night, and know especially in light of it -- that the anthrax attacks didn't come from Iraq or any foreign government at all. It came from our own Government's scientist, from the top Army bioweapons research laboratory. More significantly, the false reports linking anthrax to Iraq also came from the U.S. Government -- from people with some type of significant links to the same facility responsible for the attacks themselves.
Surely the question of who generated those false Iraq-anthrax reports is one of the most significant and explosive stories of the last decade. The motive to fabricate reports of bentonite and a link to Saddam is glaring. Those fabrications played some significant role -- I'd argue a very major role -- in propagandizing the American public to perceive of Saddam as a threat, and further, propagandized the public to believe that our country was sufficiently threatened by foreign elements that a whole series of radical policies that the Bush administration wanted to pursue -- including an attack an Iraq and a whole array of assaults on our basic constitutional framework -- were justified and even necessary in order to survive.
ABC News already knows the answers to these questions. They know who concocted the false bentonite story and who passed it on to them with the specific intent of having them broadcast those false claims to the world, in order to link Saddam to the anthrax attacks and -- as importantly -- to conceal the real culprits behind the attacks. And yet, unbelievably, they are keeping the story to themselves, refusing to disclose who did all of this. They're allegedly a news organization, in possession of one of the most significant news stories of the last decade, and they are concealing it from the public, even years later.
They're not protecting "sources." The people who fed them the bentonite story aren't "sources." They're fabricators and liars who purposely used ABC News to disseminate to the American public an extremely consequential and damaging falsehood. But by protecting the wrongdoers, ABC News has made itself complicit in this fraud perpetrated on the public, rather than a news organization uncovering such frauds. That is why this is one of the most extreme journalistic scandals that exists, and it deserves a lot more debate and attention than it has received thus far. "
From Times Online
August 1, 2008
Chief suspect in US anthrax
attacks found dead
chief suspect in the 2001 anthrax postal attacks in the US has died from an
apparent suicide just as the Justice Department was to file criminal charges
Bruce Ivins, 62, one of America's top biodefense researchers, had been
told that he was going to be prosecuted for the attacks that killed five people
and sent the country into panic in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin
Towers. He died in hospital on Thursday after taking a huge dose of prescription
Tylenol, a painkiller, mixed with codeine.
The scientist had worked at the the United States Army Medical Research
Institute,(USAMRIID), the government's elite biodefense research laboratories in
Maryland for 18 years. He had played a pivotal role in research to improve
anthrax vaccines, and during the attacks had helped the FBI analyse powdery
material recovered from an envelope tainted with anthrax which had been sent to
the Washington DC office of Tom Daschle, a US senator.
His imminent prosecution had not been made public but followed a
government payout of $US5.82m (Pounds 2.9m) to a former government scientist,
Steven Hatfill, who had been the FBI's chief suspect for the anthrax attacks
almost since the beginning. The payout to Hatfill, an unusual development that
exonerated him of being the anthrax attacker was an essential step to clear the
way for prosecuting Ivins, lawyers familiar with the case told the LA Times.
The focus was moved to Mr Ivins after the head of the anthrax
investigation was moved. His replacement ordered agents to re-examine leads or
potential suspects, and this led the FBI back to USAMRIID, where agents had
first questioned scientists including Mr Ivins in December 2001, a few weeks
after the fatal mailings.
An internal report in 2006 found that anthrax spores had escaped from
biosafety containment labs at USAMRIID in 2001 and that Mr Ivins had carried out
unauthorised testing of areas he believed might be contaminated.
Soon after the government's settlement with Mr Hatfill was announced,
Mr Ivins began showing signs of serious strain according to his colleagues. One
of his workmates told the LA Times that Mr Ivins, who was being treated for
depression, recently indicated to a therapist that he was considering suicide.
The scientist faced forced retirement, planned for September, said the
The FBI refused to comment on Mr Ivins' death. However, FBI
Director Mueller told CNN last week that, "in some sense, there have been
breakthroughs" in the case.
"I'll tell you we made great progress in the investigation," Mueller
added. "And it's in no way dormant."
The anthrax attacks in 2001 began in the weeks following 9/11 and panic
soon spread in the US. The first victim was Robert Stevens, a tabloid newspaper
editor in Florida who died of inhalation anthax and over the next few months
another six people died, one of them a postal worker in the mailroom of the New
York Post. Seventeen more became ill but recovered after treatment.