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Boiling Frogs Post
22 September, 2011
Earlier this month, the public was overwhelmed with saturation coverage of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. From talking heads reinforcing the talking points and assumptions of the seemingly endless “war on terror” to unquestioning coverage of memorial ceremonies that actually banned the 9/11 first responders from attending, it would have been virtually impossible for any American, or indeed, most anyone around the world, not to have been reminded of those events in recent weeks.
What is not being reported on with anything near the same zeal, however, is that this September 18th marked another solemn milestone, the 10th anniversary of the start of the anthrax attacks that paralyzed an already fear-stricken nation and actually shut down the US House of Representatives, three senate buildings and the Supreme Court.
That the government and the media are largely silent on this anniversary is hardly surprising. Rather than reinforcing the war on terror narrative, the anthrax investigation leads directly back to the heart of the US military-industrial complex, and a secretive biowarfare program that most Americans never knew existed.
At the time, it was simply assumed that the attacks were part of an orchestrated terror campaign, and just as 9/11 had been immediately and unquestioningly pinned on Osama Bin Laden without evidence of any kind, so too the anthrax scare was being pinned on a Bush Administration boogeyman:
On October 18th, John McCain used a late night talk show interview to imply that the anthrax attacks “may” be connected to Saddam Hussein.
On October 21st, Colin Powell told Wolf Blitzer that the Bush Administration had its eye on Iraq in regards to the anthrax attacks.
On October 27th, ABC News’ Brian Ross reported that four well-placed sources had confirmed that a “chemical additive,” bentonite, had been discovered in the anthrax samples, which almost certainly tied the spores to Iraq. Although the report was contradicted by official sources before it even aired, ABC News continued to promote the story for five days before admitting that it was not true.
The association of the anthrax terror with Saddam Hussein became so firm in the public mind that it became a given for the Bush Administration when making its case for war on Iraq, long after all of the Iraqi ties to the anthrax attacks were shown to be false.
Perhaps it is not surprising that the attacks became immediately linked with Saddam Hussein in the popular imagination. After all, a bipartisan effort had spent years mythologizing the Iraqi government and its WMDs and its links to terror. And a senior-level national security exercise conducted just three months before the actual attacks envisioned a scenario in which a deadly biological attack on Oklahoma City was portrayed as coming from Iraq and Afghanistan.
What the public was much less conditioned to expect, however, was what actually turned out to be the case: that the anthrax were not from a foreign source, but from the government’s own labs.
Perhaps the public should have been familiar with this possibility. Just one week before 9/11, on September 4th, in a New York Times article by Judith Miller, the existence of a vast, secret biological weapons program was revealed. The secret research included Pentagon plans to genetically engineer a more potent strain of anthrax. Officials quoted in the article said they worried that the program, started under Clinton and expanded under Bush, was in fact an offensive weapons program in violation of treaties they had signed banning such activities.
The FBI knew as early as October 5th that the anthrax used in the attacks were derived from the Ames strain, a variety of anthrax commonly used in US military research, but did not publicly confirm this until October 25th. Yet on October 10th, five days after learning of the origin of the spores, the FBI allowed the original batch of Ames strain at Iowa State University to be destroyed, thus making their own investigation even more difficult.
What followed was an 8 year investigation of epic proportions, employing over 600,000 man hours in one of the largest investigations in the history of law enforcement. Yet despite this monumental effort, the investigation quickly began to focus on Steven Hatfill, a bioweapons expert who had worked with numerous government agencies and spent time as a civilian researcher at USAMRIID at Fort Detrick. Based on inuendo, unverified accusations, and pure speculation, Hatfill quickly became a “person of interest” in the case and the FBI spent years trying to pin the blame for the attacks on him.
Hatfill eventually won a lawsuit against the DOJ and FBI for violating his privacy and rdestroying his reputation, receiving 5.82 million dollars in a settlement with the government that was concluded on June 28, 2008.
By that time, the DOJ already had their sights set on Bruce Ivins, another USAMRIID researcher and someone with a history of mental problems. Within weeks of concluding their harassment of Hatfill, the FBI were preparing to make their case against Ivins. Ivins was barred from Fort Detrick and hospitalized as a potential threat to himself and others.
We are asked to believe that Ivins took his own life on July 27th, just two days before he and his attorney were to meet with FBI investigators. The cause of death is officially listed as overdose of Tylenol mixed with codeine, but there is no suicide note and no autopsy performed on his body.
The week after Ivins’ death, the FBI announced that they had achieved their “mission accomplished” moment and the case could be closed without them ever having to put the man they said did it on trial.
In the days after his death, a host of former colleagues went on record to say that they did not believe Ivins could have done it, and in subsequent years they were joined in their doubts by the editorial page of the Washington Post, prominent Maryland-based attorney Barry Kissin, and even US Senators Leahy, Specter and Grassley, who have all pointed out that the FBI’s case relies on circumstantial evidence and outright speculations, with nothing directly connecting Ivins to the crime.
In February of 2011, the National Academy of Sciences concluded a scientific investigation into the forensic case against Ivins, finding that the FBI had overstated the certainty that the anthrax used in the attacks came from Ivins’ flask.
Congressman Rush Holt even introduced a bill in Congress in 2009 to establish a congressional investigation into the attacks.
But despite the actual origins of the anthrax material in the heart of the American biowarfare industrial complex, and despite the widespread dissatisfaction with the way the FBI has declared the case closed, the anthrax attacks remain almost unmentioned in the war on terror narrative, and the 10th anniversary of these events pass almost unheralded in the media.
As law professor Francis Boyle, a bioweapons expert, told the Boiling Frogs podcast in 2010, this is because the anthrax attacks and their subsequent cover-up paint a very different picture about 9/11 and the war on terror than we have been led to believe.
Indeed, we must take an investigation into the nature of the anthrax attacks a part of a broader investigation into 9/11. Treated as one continuous crisis during that breathtaking month ten years ago, the anthrax scare helped to usher in a new era of bioterrorism and opened the door for the open development of a once covert biowarfare industry. That industry is now a multi-billion dollar program that has been grafted into the fabric of the defense budget, and spending on that program only continues to grow.
It was in the midst of the anthrax attacks, when Washington was paralyzed in responding to the threat of these deadly, weaponized spores, that the Patriot Act was passed, the single greatest evisceration of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that has ever been passed at one time. Increasingly, we live in a police state whose noose is tightening around our necks, and all based on the charade of a mythical war on terror which has been constructed out of obfuscations, half-truths and outright lies.
And as we sit here 10 years later, we know precious little more about the anthrax attacks than we did at that time, except for the fact that the attacks originated not in a cave fortress in Afghanistan or in a mobile weapons lab in Baghdad, but from within the walls of America’s very own research labs. And for that very reason, the anthrax attacks will be relegated to a mere footnote in the war on terror, an also-ran of a story that just happens to be an openly admitted false flag attack, one that all sides concede was an inside job.