Aug 6, 2008

The FBI Obstructs Justice: Uncovering the Anthrax Cover-Up

Colin Powell waving the vial of anthrax at his UN Security Council presentation on February 5, 2003, making a fabricated case for war in Iraq.

CIA Director George Tenet (left), Director of National Intelligence John Negropante (right), perfectly positioned for the cameras as if to stand behind everything Powell presented.

By design, those attacks put the American population into a state of intense fear of Islamic terrorism, far more than the 9/11 attacks alone could have accomplished.
Much more important than the general attempt to link the anthrax to Islamic terrorists, there was a specific intent -- indispensably aided by ABC News -- to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

-- Glenn Greenwald,

By laying all blame for the anthrax letters on the award-winning Ft. Detrick scientist Bruce Ivins it can only be said that the FBI is obstructing justice. In fact, they were pressured to do just that from the very start, from very high up in the chain of command. The FBI official story now, after seven years, is highly incredulous. For whoever was behind the anthrax letters, and its several very specific targets, did more to further the neoconservative propaganda for a "war on terrorism" against radical Islam, to justify war in Iraq and regime change in the middle east, and to coerce Congress into draconian anti-constitutional legislation than any other action, other than 9/11 itself. To suggest that Ivins did all this for monetary gain is contrary to Criminology 101 which seeks solid evidence for "motive, means, and opportunity".

First, lost in the haze is that the Bush administration (per this Daily News article below) pressured the FBI from the very start to pin the anthrax letters on militant Islamics, especially overseas--without any such evidence:

FBI was told to blame Anthrax scare on Al Qaeda by White House officials
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."

Second, from Glenn Greenwald in his blog article at Here is just a small portion, the article should be read in its entirety:

Vital unresolved anthrax questions and ABC News

...If the now-deceased Ivins really was the culprit behind the attacks, then that means that the anthrax came from a U.S. Government lab, sent by a top U.S. Army scientist at Ft. Detrick. Without resort to any speculation or inferences at all, it is hard to overstate the significance of that fact. From the beginning, there was a clear intent on the part of the anthrax attacker to create a link between the anthrax attacks and both Islamic radicals and the 9/11 attacks. This was the letter sent to Brokaw:

The letter sent to Leahy contained this message:

We have anthrax.

You die now.

Are you afraid?

Death to America.

Death to Israel.

Allah is great.

By design, those attacks put the American population into a state of intense fear of Islamic terrorism, far more than the 9/11 attacks alone could have accomplished.

Much more important than the general attempt to link the anthrax to Islamic terrorists, there was a specific intent -- indispensably aided by ABC News -- to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. In my view, and I've written about this several times and in great detail to no avail, the role played by ABC News in this episode is the single greatest, unresolved media scandal of this decade. News of Ivins' suicide, which means (presumably) that the anthrax attacks originated from Ft. Detrick, adds critical new facts and heightens how scandalous ABC News' conduct continues to be in this matter.

During the last week of October, 2001, ABC News, led by Brian Ross, continuously trumpeted the claim as their top news story that government tests conducted on the anthrax -- tests conducted at Ft. Detrick -- revealed that the anthrax sent to Daschele contained the chemical additive known as bentonite. ABC News, including Peter Jennings, repeatedly claimed that the presence of bentonite in the anthrax was compelling evidence that Iraq was responsible for the attacks, since -- as ABC variously claimed -- bentonite "is a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program" and "only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons."

Third, there is the Democracy Now podcast on anthrax, which includes an interview with Greenwald, and an anthrax researcher who personally new Ivins. These interviews also include sound bites of McCain linking the Anthrax letters to Iraq on the David Letterman Show in 2001, as well as Bush, both knowing full well (per FBI) that there in fact was no link to Iraq, or even "Islamic militants" inside or outside the US!

Anthrax Mystery: Questions Raised over Whether Government Is Framing Dead Army Scientist for 2001 Attacks

The FBI’s prime suspect in the October 2001 anthrax letters case died last week in an apparent suicide. Bruce Ivins was an elite government scientist at the biodefense research lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland. He was among the nation’s top experts on the military use of anthrax. But many of his colleagues have expressed deep skepticism over the FBI’s claims. We speak to anthrax expert Dr. Meryl Nass and blogger Glenn Greenwald. [includes rush transcript]


Glenn Greenwald, attorney and blogger at His recent posts include “Vital Unresolved Anthrax Questions and ABC News”, “Additional Key Facts Re: The Anthrax Investigation” and “Journalists, Their Lying Sources, and the Anthrax Investigation”

Dr. Meryl Nass, expert on anthrax and editor of the blog

Finally, here is a dated article (when the FBI zeroed and harassed Hatfill with the same zeal as they did Ivins later) about another Ft. Detrick former scientist, who did have access, even motive (to blame Arabs), and an interesting profile. Dr. Zack for some reason is not a suspect while he fits the profile of the crime closer than Ivins. He is Jewish and a dual Israeli citizen, it happens, with a demonstrated hatred for Arabs (see how he persecuted his Egyptian co-worker and was fired for it), much like many of the neoconservatives behind the war on terrorism agenda that they wrote well before 9/11. There is sufficient prima facia evidence here to consider him a suspect whose behavior was both malicious and suspicious. Yet the FBI says now that Ivins is the ONLY suspect and they are convinced he would have been found guilty, contrary to a larger body of evidence and lack of witnesses.

While Media Spotlights One Anthrax Suspect, Another Is Too Hot to Touch

Before the investigation of Dr. Hatfill captured national headlines, another insider scientist had come under FBI scrutiny without much media fanfare. It was easy to miss the few stories published in January 2002 about Lt. Col. Philip Zack, who, like Hatfill, also had access to a well-equipped laboratory with lax security. Zack, moreover, actually worked with military-grade anthrax at Fort Detrick.

Dr. Zack left Fort Detrick in December 1991 amid allegations of unprofessional conduct. The Jewish scientist and others were accused of harassing their co-worker, Dr. Ayaad Assaad, until the Egyptian-born American scientist quit

Inexplicably, the national press ignored these documented unauthorized visits to a top-secret government lab embroiled in the anthrax attacks. Did journalists fear being labeled anti-Semitic for casting suspicions on a Jewish scientist?

She is convinced that the FBI knows who sent the anthrax letters
Original news investigative articles from the Hartford Courant are noteworthy too about Dr. Zack, and furthers the details:
Documents from the inquiry show that one unauthorized person who was observed entering the lab building at night was Langford's predecessor, Lt. Col. Philip Zack, who at the time no longer worked at Fort Detrick. A surveillance camera recorded Zack

Zack left Fort Detrick in December 1991, after a controversy over allegations of unprofessional behavior by Zack, Rippy, Brown and others who worked in the pathology division. They had formed a clique that was accused of harassing the Egyptian-born Assaad,who later sued the Army, claiming discrimination.

Assaad said he had believed the harassment was behind him until last October, until after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He said that is when the FBI contacted him, saying someone had mailed an anonymous letter - a few days before the existence of anthrax-laced mail became known - naming Assaad as a potential bioterrorist. FBI agents decided the note was a hoax
after interviewing Assaad.

McCain on David Letterman,
Plays Anthrax Propaganda Card to Justify Iraq War