This article is preceded by two others, American Anthrax and Anthrax Addendum, and supplemented by the blog www.thirdring.wordpress.com
“American Anthrax” offers historical background for the 2001 attacks noting a correspondence with previous outbreaks and mass radioactive contamination, tending not to support a contention that nukes where involved in the demolitions on 9/11 if real spores had been dispersed. “Anthrax Addendum” gives some details about the 2001 victims as context to the terror events, important in the consideration of ‘who’ and ‘how’ the anthrax was spread.
Let’s review what happened:
On the seventh day after September 11, 2001, two letters filled with an unusual powder were mailed in central New Jersey, bound for the New York City offices of NBC, addressed to Tom Brokaw and an Editor at the New York Post. At that time, only the perpetrator(s) knew that the second wave of domestic horror begun on 9-11 was underway. Public attention to the “anthrax attacks” did not accrue for another two weeks when a Florida photo-editor, working for American Media Incorporated in Boca Raton, collapsed into a coma and died within 3 days after his admission to the hospital (Oct. 2-5).
On October 7, 2001, the U.S. declared war on Afghanistan’s Taliban for harboring Public Enemy #1, Osama bin Laden. Two days after that, on the 9th, another pair of powdery missives were stamped by the automated sorting machines in the Hamilton, NJ, mail center outside Trenton. These two envelopes were headed for Washington, D.C. bearing the names of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. They arrived for processing at the USPS’s Brentwood Road distribution center where at least one of them, the Daschle letter, was confirmed to have passed through at 7am on Oct.12, three days after mailing. From Brentwood, mail going to Capitol Hill was merely a few hours away from personalized delivery.
Perhaps the Daschle letter went unnoticed nestled in a stack of mixed material, awaiting the hands of a staffer who fatefully sliced it open on Monday the 15th and released a cloud of aerosolized spores that spilled onto the carpet and even into the neighboring office suite. In the minutes and hours that followed, garbage bag-wielding agents demanded the return of unopened Congressional mail which was whisked away to an impromptu quarantine facility where it sat in isolation for weeks to come. It was not until mid-November that the unopened Leahy letter was found among the quarantine collection, “leaking like a sieve” with a needle-like hole through its paper sheath. Deadliest of the four “recovered” envelopes, the Leahy letter was said to contain a super-weaponized grade of highly refined spores –a powder so dangerous, in fact, that a robot was required to handle it. The ‘opening’ proceedure was delayed an additional month, to mid-December, until it could be done remotely in a special-made vacumn containment – a box within a box within a box.
But something more was not right with the Leahy letter. CDC investigator Jim Hayslett had been dispatched to Washington with the task of tracking down this letter which had been “misread” by the Brentwood scanning machine and redirected to the State Department’s mail center. It should have received a coded State Department stamp as it returned into the automated routing system –it did not– but spores from the envelope allegedly dirtied the State’s mailroom and severely sickened a worker there. It was Hayslett who later learned that the “undelivered” Leahy letter actually did arrive in the Senator’s office. A staffer remembered it, he said, and handed it in for collection. Not one single spore was left behind in Leahy’s suite.
Florida’s American Media Inc., similarly, showed no anthrax spores in the likeliest of places: the air ducts leading directly from the mailroom “hot zone”. The victims’s homes were free of spores. It was reported that the attack’s last fatality of five, in Connecticut, died as a result of thrice cross-contamination, emanating from the Leahy letter as it entered the system in New Jersey. A federal panel of medical experts, who were stymied in their deliberations, finally concurred that the 94-year-old must have exposed herself by tearing up her junk mail. They had no evidence, but seldom do inconvenient facts stop official panels from constructing conclusions: that’s why we pay them.
The official story goes something like this:
Four (4) anthrax-laden letters were sent through the U.S. mail; two, post-marked September 18, went to newsmedia outlets in NYC and two, post-marked October 9, went to Washington Democratic senators. Three of them ‘hit the mark’ and one was intercepted on its way.
Does this scenario sound like the planes on 9-11?
A great deal of effort was expended by the feds to forge connections between the hijacking terrorists of September 11 and the anthrax attacker(s). In the months immediately post-911, anthrax became the leading suspect highlighting complicity on the part of Iraq, but it could not be proven –so, it must have been an inside job! Months turned into years, the investigation was dubbed with a catchy name (Amerithrax), and the circus focused on a bioweapons researcher who worked for the government and had helped the investigators track the source of the pathogen. The FBI launched the largest investigation in its history –over 9,000 interviews and 5,000 subpeonas– and Dr. Bruce Ivins was the last man standing scrutiny until his suicide on July 29, 2008, on the cusp of a federal indictment. Shortly after, his guilt was posthumously declared and the case was officially closed.
End of story, almost.
Details of how the bureaucratic negligence of U.S. agencies and contractors which led to the anthrax attacks could be forthcoming any year now. The ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit concerning photo-editor Robert Stevens, filed on behalf of his family in 2003, has been permitted to proceed by the courts and is scheduled for another round at the bench sometime in 2011. If Armageddon and the Dimension Shift don’t interrupt the court proceedings, we might get to hear the bitter end of this (approved) tale.
CHALLENGING THE BASIC ASSUMPTIONS
The most basic assumption of all is that “powerfully poisoned” anthrax-filled death threats were sent through the U.S. mail “to kill the American people”, as Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer announced. But is it true?
Weighing in on the reported news highlights a very strong probability that it is not! A U.S. Postal Inspection Service chief, Roy W. Geffen, said on October 24 that forensic analysis gave them “confidence that only three letters” were circulated by mail. Details are unavailable in this embarassing circumstance of having four letters officially in hand. But, if the PO was right, which one should we delete?
LETTER #1– (mailed 9-18-01 to the New York Post) The “index patient”, who was exceptional among victims for a startlingly brief incubation time, had no memory of the letter. Nobody at the Post knew anything about it until it was “found in the trash”, unopened, on October 19. Two more people acquired cutaneous infections 4-6 days later, for a total of 3 victims at the Post.
LETTER #2– (mailed 9-18-01 to Tom Brokaw at NBC, Rockefeller Plaza) was the most confirmed to have arrived but nobody said when or how. Two employees were made sick, and the staffer who opened it was also an exceptional victim in the attack for having her home contaminated.
LETTER #3– (mailed 10-09-01 to Sen. Daschle), opened Monday 10-15 in the Senator’s Hart Bldg. office, bore the automated stamps from the Brentwood Rd. center in Washington, and was called “the Face of Satan” by the Ft. Detrick examiner John Ezzell, but was curiously included in this remark: the “tiny amount of material in the first three letters makes the task [of identifying the spore source] even tougher…”. There was no illness among Daschle staffers.
LETTER #4– (mailed 10-09-01 to Sen. Leahy), referred to above, and in continuing the remark of the expert investigator on the Daschle letter: …”That’s where the letter to Senator Patrick Leahy could come in handy”. Indeed. The Leahy letter was full of anthrax, none of it left behind in his office but officials said there was enough powder to infect tens of thousands of people.
Can they explain why there were 22 victims (5 fatalities) and the closure of 22 post offices?
“Tiny amounts” of anthrax, usually called “trace” and “medically insignificant” amounts, were all over the place except, in many cases, where they should have been! The situation was absurd. A positive test one day was negative the next. A confusing series of on-and-off listings ensued. Washington DC mail should have been generally “hot” with spores, but none was reported. Exceptionally, again, were claims of contaminated mail overseas from Washington but not within it. A low-intensity kind of pandemonium settled over the District of Columbia as scattered “trace” amounts appeared here and there, disrupting the functions of government in the immediate aftermath of 9-11 and the Afghani invasion.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE NOW?
Disruption in DC during the anthrax scare overlayed the critical days of passage for the Patriot Act which passed the House of Representatives on October 12, 2001 and was signed into law on October 26. Senators complained that they had no time to peruse the weighty legislation. Building closures and displacement only exacerbated the overly daunting task and we live with this “temporary” legislation now, as many knew we would.
Perhaps more than any other potential threat, “health” emergencies can disposess the citizens of all their civil rights including the right to refuse bodily invasion in the form of medical treatment. The anthrax attack increased the likelihood of bio-attacks in the future, concentrating resources on the (said) countermeasures of necessarily created biowarfare agents. Truckloads of cash and incentives have since poured into bio-research to refurbish biomedical infrastructure and hire pharmaceutical contractors…and they’ve cleaned up, tightened security, improved data-processing, streamlined protocols and communication, they swear…and this is precisely why we should be paying attention.
Among the many victories gained since 2001 by police powers, achieved through the ‘election’ process, was the right of agencies to take DNA samples upon arrest. There are no protections for the taking of DNA — there never were. The protection, it turns out, has always been for the “scientific utopia” that was boldly envisioned in the 1920s and ’30s. Restrictive laws against biological experimentation were seen as potentially hamstringing scientific “progress” and actually do not exist. When technology advanced to the point where “cells” were amply substituted for “humans” –sometime in the 1950s– new legal arguments for the definition of “human experimentation” were safely docketed for debate. It is a form of “false antithesis” that was deeply deceptive and misleading in its time. The field of medical ethics was promoted and expanded to sketch out the differences between “you” and the stuff from which you are made. In short, “you” are not your stuff. So when they take your stuff, and you fight back –will they let you fight them?– it wouldn’t surprise me if significant reversals to the present policing occurs. They will have already won. Look for the false antithesis.