August 04, 2008
More Co-Conspirator Tinfoil Hat Whisperings

TPMmuckraker reports this morning that The NY Daily News recently published an article regarding the 2001 anthrax attacks:

In the immediate aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks, White House officials repeatedly pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by Al Qaeda, but investigators ruled that out, the Daily News has learned.

After the Oct. 5, 2001, death from anthrax exposure of Sun photo editor Robert Stevens, Mueller was “beaten up” during President Bush's morning intelligence briefings for not producing proof the killer spores were the handiwork of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, according to a former aide.

“They really wanted to blame somebody in the Middle East,” the retired senior FBI official told The News.

On October 15, 2001, President Bush said, “There may be some possible link” to Bin Laden, adding, “I wouldn't put it past him.” Vice President Cheney also said Bin Laden's henchmen were trained “how to deploy and use these kinds of substances, so you start to piece it all together.”

But by then the FBI already knew anthrax spilling out of letters addressed to media outlets and to a U.S. senator was a military strain of the bioweapon. ”Very quickly [Fort Detrick, Md., experts] told us this was not something some guy in a cave could come up with,” the ex-FBI official said. “They couldn't go from box cutters one week to weapons-grade anthrax the next.”

I’m not usually a tinfoil hat guy either, but the criticism I have against the FBI is that they are too quickly closing down this investigation. They have made wrong accusations twice in this one case alone, and as one commenter at TPMmuckraker noted:

I’m not really a tinfoil hat guy (most of the time), but is there anyone else out there who thinks that the scientist who did this might have been pressured into doing it? I mean, what was his motivation, otherwise? And isn’t it possible that Cheney and his henchmen put him up to it? And is it only coincidence that the senator targeted was Tom Daschle?


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Posted by Buck Batard at August 04, 2008 11:23 AM
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As I mentioned before somewhere on this blog: if this guy was a revenge-driven sociopath, what kind of beef did he have with Sen. Daschle and these media outlets?

Ah. Jerry? Wouldn't this be a nice plot for a new Tom Bethany? ;-)

I'm just re-reading them all, and as "mysteries" go, there are no better.

Posted by: Peter on August 4, 2008 1:19 PM

If you're really looking for the real tinfoil hat stuff, there's a guy who styles himself as Tom Bean commenting over at TPMmucker who claims that the FBI destroyed all the data on where the different strains of this virus were headed, presumably because they were trying to cover up a weapons program (one would think it must be unauthorized). Which would certainly give them a reason to want to close the lid on the case. He's got a blog name, if you're interested go to the TPMmuckraker thread and look up his first post on the link I listed in this post.

But I've read some of the Kennedy Assasination books, and that stuff gets just as interesting and just as convoluted and has probably just as many dead ends as this thing might have.


Posted by: Buck on August 4, 2008 1:52 PM

Peter's right. We need Tom Bethany to come out of retirement and get to the bottom of this. Or maybe he's blogging as Tom Bean---

Posted by: Joyful Alternative on August 4, 2008 9:02 PM

Actually I'm giving some thought to bringing Bethany back. But for the moment I'm just finishing the final draft of a book about a swinish political consultant to a swine-filled White House who stages a fake presidential assassination in order to stampede us into war with a country I'm calling "Iran."

Posted by: Jerry Doolittle on August 4, 2008 11:04 PM

I have been folding tinfoil for about a week. I have a rundown of the fables we are supposed to believe on my site.

If the government expects us to believe yarns like these, they should produce some real evidence and explain why they are some utterly incompetent at investigating crimes.

Posted by: Charles on August 5, 2008 8:31 AM

“They really wanted to blame somebody in the Middle East,” the retired senior FBI official told The News.

Well clearly the White House was getting help elsewhere. Richard Butler, former chairman of UNSCOM, mused on October 15, 2001: "It's possible that many months ago anthrax, a small quantity of it, was handed over in Prague to Mohamed Atta." [CNN link.] The London Times also pitched the Mohamed Atta-anthrax story on October 27, 2001.

Posted by: Grace Nearing on August 5, 2008 8:11 PM

I've always believed that the FBI profilers got it right. Scientist or technician doing research on anthrax. Concerned that the nation would be unprepared. Willing to endanger people to make the point, but took precautions to minimize deaths by enclosing a warning in letters and taping envelope seams in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent leakage.

The darkside proposed a Navy Seal attack on a Navy task force, but this was rejected. The proposed forgery of Atta training in Iraq didn't happen. Painting a US plane in UN markings and firing on it was dismissed as Bush brain fart. On the other hand, who else would have forged the Niger document planted with the Italians -- or done it so incompetently. And then there were "the sixteen words." Three out of five known Spy vs Spy subterfuges were rejected including both of those possibly involving casualties. So it seems unlikely that the government would have been behind the anthrax attacks, but they would have exploited the attacks to justify attacking Iraq. Just as it was unlikely that government permitted 9/11, but they certainly exploited it. After constant propaganda, over half of Americans thought Saddam was implicated.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on August 7, 2008 4:21 AM
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