So it turns out we were indeed threatened by bioterrorist attack from a government—our own.
Bruce Ivins was a lifelong employee of a super-secret government program dealing in biological weapons. He is now accused of having sent poisons through the mails in a failed attempt to assassinate elected leaders, such as then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a Democrat.
One could say, Oh well, he was a ‘rogue agent’ acting on his own without the knowledge of any of his colleagues or superiors. Maybe so. In fact, the news coverage is so unanimous on this point that it resembles the consensus of the Chinese media on the Olympics boycott.
Showing remarkable equanimity and generosity of spirit to someone who logically should be termed a ‘terrorist’, they speculate that he was trying an unauthorized experiment, looking for a vaccine, trying to drum up more research money or losing his marbles.
So far, no one has suggested that he wanted to help George Bush scare the shit out of us.
But would these be the only hypotheses if the attack had come from, say, a agent of the Iranian government? Au contraire, it would be seized upon as a causus belli at least as good as the Tonkin Gulf resolution.
No one would be sitting around wondering about the psychological ups and downs of the alleged perpetrator but rather loudly demanding answers from his immediate higher-ups all the way to the Army chiefs and the minister of defense. The burden of proof would on them to demonstrate that they did not authorize, wink at or cover up for the attack.
Meanwhile, I have seen not one peep about the crucial role the anthrax attack played in convincing Americans that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a threat to their survival and would have to be invaded and conquered forthwith. Soon afterward, Condoleeza Rice came up with her notorious ‘mushroom cloud’ line to warn us that anyone dastardly enough to send anthrax spores through the mail could be expected to follow up with nukes in suitcases.
At the same time, Condi & gang were busily inventing bogus ‘intelligence’ to back up these claims, as we now know in detail.
The bland acceptance of the denouement to the anthrax mystery suggests that neither the newspapers nor the public have learned diddly about the pap we are still being fed from on high. Whether or not there is more to the story, someone should at least be asking questions.
P.S. The relentless Glenn Greenwald at salon.com as usual is doing so.