Friday, August 01, 2008

The Anthrax Letters, 9/11, and the Invasion of Iraq

Read today's Greenwald.

A week after 9/11, letters containing the lethal substance Anthrax, are mailed to the offices of Senator's Daschle and Leahy, as well as to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. The mailings result in the deaths of five people, while scores of others become ill. The letters contain statements purported to be from Muslim "extremists" who want to bring death to America.

ABC news, in the person of Brian Ross, reports--on the basis of four supposedly high up and separate sources at the lab--that tests on the anthrax at a U.S. military lab at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, reveal the presence of bentonite in the anthrax. Bentonite is said to be uniquely associated with Saddam Hussein's anthrax production program in Iraq.

On the basis of the letters and the reports by ABC news, leading columnists, such as Richard Cohen, come out in support of an invasion of Iraq. The neo-conservative journal, The Weekly Standard, also trumpets the ABC news reports of bentonite-laced anthrax letters as a basis for launching an invasion of Iraq. In 2002, the president identifies an "Axis of Evil", consisting of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, with Iraq being included, in part, on the basis of their known production and dissemination of the lethal substance anthrax.

In March 2003, the U.S. invades Iraq, and in the course of the war and occupation, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's are tortured, killed or maimed. The price of oil has skyrocketed, and more than five years after the invasion, more than 150,000 U.S. troops continue to occupy Iraq.

In 2008, a leading suspect in the anthrax letter attacks, a top researcher and 35-year veteran at Ft. Detrick from whence came the ABC news reports of a bentonite-Iraq connection, commits suicide.

Nearly seven years since the anthrax attacks and the highly inflammatory and false ABC news reports, the network and its reporter, Brian Ross, still haven't come clean as to their supposed "sources" at Ft. Detrick.

To sum, anthrax laced letters purported to be from Muslim extremists in Iraq or close to Saddam Hussein, are mailed to U.S. Senators and media anchormen, traumatizing the country immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Highly placed sources in a U.S. military lab reveal to ABC news that tests indicate the presence of a substance uniquely associated with Iraqi anthrax programs. Scores among the political elite draq a connection between the anthrax and Iraq, helping to make the 2003 Iraq invasion publicly and politically palatable. Seven years later, as the investigation purports to center on a U.S. researcher as the source of the attacks, the leading suspect commits suicide. ABC news continues to with-hold the identification of its supposed sources.

How weird and outrageous is all of this?

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