Jennifer Lake's Blog

April 27, 2010

American Anthrax

For years, the 2001 Anthrax Attack has begged another explanation of how it was connected to 9-11. That it is connected, designed to widen and personalize the terror of September 11th, is little doubted among researchers, however, as an ‘unwitnessed’ crime with a confusing backlog of scientific opinions to sort through, a reasonable scenario has remained elusive.
   To the citizen journalists who have tasked the evidence of September 11th, adhering to the knowable facts and pioneering avenues of communication to present those facts, I am in debt. Thankyou.
   I created an online notebook to help sort and arrange anthrax-related information: –a work-in-progress to seek as full an understanding of what really happened as possible. But, indeed, the core story of the ridiculously named ‘Amerithrax’ investigation has emerged. Webster Tarpley suggested that the anthrax attack could turn out to be “the Achilles Heel of 9-11”. Perhaps he’s right. One can hope.
   Many illusions about the biological nature of anthrax were made to stick in the public mind. New York Times medical correspondent, Lawrence Altman, MD, played up a “new normal” learned from the attack by the science community where a previously held notion about thousands of spores needed to initiate an infection no longer applied. Independent Ed Lake gave a lot of attention to a notion that the anthrax victims were ‘older’ and therefore had impaired immune function making them susceptible. The scientists argued about whether or not the powdery poison had been ‘weaponized’ –a term of use ill-defined and liberally salted over official statements until it remained the psyche’s last taste.  And mostly, the media coverage focused on a strawman debate seeking the perpetrators as either Al Qaeda/Iraqi operatives or a lone ‘nut case’ American scientist. The ploy of delays and division was quickly papered over as the US rushed to war in Afghanistan, passed the Patriot Act, and plunged the public into a dire circus of continuing Acts of Terror. Over the years, even the remembrance of the Anthrax Attack slipped into obscurity. Another key down the Memory Hole.
   The death of Bruce E. Ivins, a suicide by Tylenol while under FBI surveillance in July 2008, refreshed the interest of 9-11 researchers who had made much progress identifying the real perpetrators of September 11th. It is only one more step to uncover the connection to the Anthrax Attack. All the necessary information is logged in the mainstream news archives, ready to be ‘fitted’ into the puzzle of how ISRAEL DID 9/11.
A dramatist would find a treasure trove of character-rich elements in the story of post-9/11 anthrax — but where are the books, the documentaries, the multi-page glossies? How is it that no polished alternative media journalist has taken up this quintessentially American tale so rife with the tensions of life in the United States? It is not an uninteresting story, in fact, it speaks loudly about what is best and what is worst in us; from the ‘highest’ to the ‘lowest’, dilemnas both old and new, the narrative unfolds like pure Americana. “Amerithrax”. I felt a surge of shame for my country on hearing this name. It sounds like one more stupid, unwanted commodity invented by cheap salesmen with counterfeit baggage. And maybe that’s the point. If somebody knocked on your door, selling some storyline about “Amerithrax”, would you want it?
 But like an unanswered invitation bidding to “drop by anytime”, the real anthrax story hangs suspended –waiting for what? An official inquest? Another independent investigation by Congress? Should we take it as an ominous sign that once the Feds get back into the act, some new trauma to obliterate the truth might occur? Most of us, it seems, have forgotten about anthrax, at least to the point of no longer caring. Who now thinks about caution when handling their mail? Maybe it’s better to let the story simmer up from the bottom.  Unlike other arrangements that led to the spectacular crashes of September 11th, the anthrax incidents lacked the courage of folklore. An overstimulated-to-exhaustion public was only too content to swallow the pap being dished. A ‘crazy’ did it –sure– some guy with a privately mental axe to grind saw a chance and took it. We were lucky. Only five people died. The anthrax deaths just stopped, and the Pile at Ground Zero was still smoldering…
Before the 1950s, anthrax was a sporadic problem on the open range and in the confined spaces of woolen mill workrooms. World War II-era penicillin was effectively applied for the few cutaneous cases that cropped up from time to time but interest in the disease remained largely limited to veterinarians and ranchers. So it seemed. The secrets of covert germ warfare were still safe among Cold War denizens who operated under the veil of patriotic duty and stewardship. Whatever it was they were hatching in their labs, well, it had to be good, right? We were the Good Guys!
The enemies of Goodness were shattered, and though a terrible war had ended with the most brutal technology ever witnessed, a nervous world seeking to right itself in the aftermath was eager to support ‘Atoms for Peace’ and medicine for the masses. When the polio vaccine finally triumphed as the victory it was erected to be, no microbe would long outlast the genius of science. It was around then that anthrax became a military problem.
   Inhalation of infectious anthrax was extremely rare. It’s not clear if or how many cases were recorded before the war, but as of 1948, the official casebook begain to document one after another, and then another. In 1957, in the midst of an Army vaccine experiment, an ‘unexpected’ outbreak erupted among textile workers in Manchester, New Hampshire. It has completely slipped the written account that the U.S. was experiencing peak atmospheric fallout from the Nevada Test Site precisely when this outbreak occurred. Radioactive clouds from Operation Plumbob streamed relentlessly over central New England in that late summer, for what turned out to be the dirtiest and most controversial series of Atom-bomb tests ever carried out. (By now, I’m used to the thought that these things are never simple). If the Army released anthrax at the mill to test its vaccine, as some investigators have accused, they did so knowingly under conditions of nuclear war– a prime military obsession to discover the combined effects of radiological and biological weapons. We can only guess. On the record, the Arms Textile Mill outbreak remained America’s only anthrax epidemic…among humans, blamed on a contaminated lot of Iraqi goat hair.
After the deaths of four workers, the mill was shuttered and off-limits for any purpose until a failed decontamination in 1971 led to the building being razed, buried, and paved over into a parking lot. The following year, an international biological and chemical weapons treaty engaged 144 national signatories. Israel did not sign on.
Anthrax ‘bombs’ were live-tested by the British in 1945 as Gruinard Island was made uninhabitable to 1990, but the onus of testing an anthrax bioweapon fell to the Soviets in 1979 in a release described years later as ‘accidental’. Early in April of 1979, a cloud of manufactured spores oozed from a smokestack for hours, falling over the region’s farms where locals were known to engage in a lively blackmarket of mutton. Strangely enough, five days before in the United States, Three Mile Island endured a partial meltdown, similarly accidental, releasing an untold quatitiy of radiation.  Thirteen years passed. Chernobyl exploded. Glasnost erupted and the Soviet system disintegrated.
    A team of American scientists, headed by Salk Institute Fellows, visited the Sverdlovsk surrounds in 1992 to collect saved autopsy samples, medical records, and whatever eyewitness accounts were available. One of their members, Alexis Shelokov, spoke perfect Russian.  Sverdlovsk had once been called Yekaterinburg and was the Soviets mighty industrial center situated in the Ural mountains. When the Bolsheviks took over near the end of WWI, the ill-fated Czar Nicholas Romanov and his family were taken to a hideaway there and executed. As if to erase this blot on Russia’s history, Yekaterinburg was also paved over; renamed Sverdlovsk and constructed into an economic powerhouse, Boris Yeltsin designated it as the “emergency capital” where functions of government were implemented prior to the dissolution of the USSR.
Knowledge gained from the Yekaterinburg anthrax was the principal source of information about the inhaled human disease, and the scientists who examined the event became the world experts and chief spokespersons when the crazed Anthrax Mailer launched his venomous attack in 2001. 
The Army’s anthrax problem centered around a vaccine that few outside the military would learn about for several years after the first Iraqi invasion and the mysterious appearance of Gulf War Syndrome. Sometime during the mid-90s the maker of the vaccine, Michigan Biological Products Institute that held the only license to provide it to the DoD, came under the scrutiny of FDA enforcers who were compelled to issue a notice to MBPI to clean up its production facility or face a mandatory closure. Unable to solve its problems, renovations and closure finally happened in 1997 and it was then that a brand new company formed by foreign nationals stepped in to buy out MBPI and transfer the defense contracts to itself. Borrowing heavily from the state of Michigan, with unheard of leniency regarding its contracts, the official deal went down in the fall of 1998, but curiously it appears that BioPort was created three years earlier, according to independent journalist Alex Constantine. A German-born Lebanese businessman who worked for Citigroup in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and two former Israel Defense Forces officers claim to the founding of BioPort in June of 1995.
Three months earlier, in March of ’95, an extremist cult in Japan, grabbed world headlines by setting off a SARIN gas chemical attack in the Tokyo subway. A dozen people died and thousands, it is said, suffered harm, with hundreds enduring permanent injury. Only later, because of the ‘low-grade’ sarin release, was it learned that AUM SHINRIKYO ‘yoga club’ had attempted an anthrax attack back in 1993. This bizarre event failed to infect anyone according to the CDC, who negotiated with the Japanese authorities to obtain a sample in November of 1999 –a sample that sat on a shelf unanalyzed for almost two years. Interest in the type of anthrax cultured by AUM SHINRIKYO looked to be nil until October of 2001. The CDC enlisted the help of Dr. Paul Keim who had also been rushed a spinal fluid sample from the first inhalation victim in Florida two days before he died. As it turned out, the cult’s anthrax was a different strain; a widely available veterinary vaccine culture, called the ‘Stern’ strain, made by the Colorado Serum Company. In a very peculiar twist of Aum Shinrikyo’s story, this ‘anti-Semitic doomsday cult’  that preached a coming global takeover by an elite cabal of Jewish internatonal bankers, Freemasons, and British royals, changed its name to the Hebrew “Aleph”, announced in February of 2000.
AUM SHINRIKYO’s leader, who called himself ‘Asahara’, had been a talkative defendent after his arrest in May of 1996, but over the next two years, his condition and behavior degraded to the point of speechlessness. Witnesses claimed that his courtroom presence alternated between ‘dozing’ and ‘incoherent babbling’, disruptive to the point of needing removal from the court. The same month that the CDC secured its bioterror-anthrax sample, November 1999, Japanese journalists and trial observers said that Asahara quit speaking and would not even verbalize to his lawyers in private. The cult’s second-in-command who had been cleared of all charges, described as an idealogical charismatic, was let go;  free to leave the country where he soon migrated to the cult’s most active chapter in Russia to lead a transformed ‘Aleph’ in a spiritual revival.
Perhaps it is significant that Aum Shinrikyo was created  as a yoga meditation group in 1984, the same year another “yoga club” of sorts under the leadership of Bagwan Shree Rajneesh incited followers to perpetrate an act of bioterror by contaminating Oregon salad bars with salmonella…
In the United States, the Rajneeshies stand guilty of famously pulling off the only successful act of bioterror…that is, at least, until 2001. No one can say it was for lack of trying.
Anthrax hoaxes through the mail generated the majority of terror threats from the moment the Washington D.C. headquarters of B’nai B’rith advertised the receipt of a bogus package containing a broken lab dish labeled “bacillus anthracis”, not quite properly spelled. Every major news outlet carried the April 1997 story. A reported ‘surge’ of anthrax threat mail escalated in October of 1998 and peaked the next year when the Monterrey terrorism database logged 82 of a total 104 ‘events’ as anthrax. One of them was “an attempted acquisition”. Over the course of those two years, ‘dozens’ of anthrax-related evacuations and prophylactic decontaminations, which included the dispensing of antibiotics, plagued the Los Angeles area alone. Surely, the true count is unknown, as evil “anthrax” stole its way into the collective consciousness.
Meanwhile, official proponents of preparedness were concocting scenarios and bioterrorism drills to test the readiness of government agencies for anthrax, even smallpox, which no one had yet advertized as a physical threat outside of government speculators. One of the programs of long duration, called Project Bachus, was especially designed to imitate the actions of ‘low-tech’ terrorists determiined to cultivate anthrax in secret homemade labs. “What could they actually make? How would they get their supplies? Could they avoid detection?” These were some of the questions that management hoped to have answered.
   Months before 9-11, as the retrospectives detail, high-profile celebrity newscasters began receiving hoax letters at their offices –so many, in fact, that no one bothered to keep reporting them. Sean Hannity told the press after infectious cases emerged and several victims were dead, that his particular threat letters were identical to the powder-bearing missives that scored on their intended targets.
FBI investigators surmised that seven letters had been sent; five originals mailed on Sept. 18, destined for the news media, and two more marked for Washington on October 9. All of them were purportedly mailed from a street box in Princeton, across the busy thoroughfare in the center of town facing Rockefeller College. In a presumed route of travel in the postal system, these letters whisked through a series of automated sorting machines where they were separated for dispatch at the Hamilton New Jersey distribution center. Two of the recovered letters headed for New York. The later two were bound for Washington. (Sounds like the 9-11 planes, doesn’t it?).
   However, the Postal Service forensics lab stood at variance with this theory. On October 24, the day after two postal workers at the Brentwood Rd (Wash, D.C.) were dead of inhalation anthrax, the USPS lab expert announced that the best information revealed that only three possible letters could have been sent through the mail.
   Holes appeared in the main theme: where were the postal worker infection cases in the “middle”? None were acknowledged in New York City or Florida, despite the “late recognition” that contaminated mail was spreading a lethal disease, loosed by processing machines that hurled airborne spores onto the nearest surfaces. Beyond the morbid trail of contamination, anomalous “traces” were found in the wastebaskets of Kansas City stamp center employees. Ever since the news of the dangerous ‘Daschle’ letter that was opened in the Senator’s office, routed through the Brentwood USPS, the Kansas City supervisor had ordered that ‘Brentwood’ mail be isolated and shrink-wrapped. Not a single piece of the isolated Brentwood mail produced a spore.
The Palm Beach Florida health department assured the postal workers there that they were at no risk and only “medically insignificant” amounts of anthrax had been found at six post offices. Antibiotics were offered as voluntary, and many people chose not to take them. No subsequent infections developed. In all, there were only three “positives” in Florida and they were restricted to the three colleagues who worked at the National Enquirer’s headquarters in Boca Raton: Bob Stevens, who died on October 5; Ernie Blanco, who was hospitalized with pneumonia on the same day that Bob was too ill to continue his vacation trip in North Carolina (Oct.1); and Stephanie Dailey, who kept her office in the company mailroom, the defintive “Ground Zero” of the anthrax attacks, and never felt sick for one day throughout the whole ordeal in spite of using her hotly-contaminated office for two weeks before the building was shut down. 
Are you with me? –dear reader– by now you’ve noticed that we took the fork in the road! A shortcut is straight ahead though a map and compass are at your disposal, but I can say from here we’re settng our feet on the central Murder Mystery of American Anthrax. I want to tell you what I think and how the evidence adds up so far:
   No anthrax-laden letters need to have passed through the postal system. Dozens, perhaps, and dozens more envelopes at each tainted locale with very small amounts of ‘medically insignificant’ anthrax could have been batched by antibiotic-taking conspirators; mailed and addressed locally, even routed back among the conspirators themselves, leaving spores behind to collect over several days and establish a ‘positive’ route of contamination. Before there was an outbreak, no one would ever suspect. When the time came for the ‘hit’, planted threat letters bearing fake postmarks were carefully delivered to their intended recipients.
   Most of the victims, tragically, would not have been random and haphazardly ‘in the way’; rather they were selected for the convenience of their roles in fabricating the larger plot which was based on the illusion that “Somebody is trying to kill the American people” as Ari Fleischer announced in a press conference. Each one of the inhalation victims had something unique about them that gave value to the illusion; in exploitable ways for propaganda and in subtle ways that erases the doubt of ‘chance’ exposure. The perpetrators didn’t merely move among us. They knew us.
   A commentator stated that the anthrax attacks were the work of “a very intelligent mind” –with so much intelligence, one must assume, from the workings of the postal system, to microbiology, to the jurisdictional disputes and limitations of investigating agencies, and on down to the habits of institutions and individuals, that this ‘mind’ was adroitly able to mobilize itself with politically astute precision and maximize the results of September 11th. What will you believe?
Map, compass, details, and conclusions to this essay are at  
Dr. Alan Sabrosky says it is “100% certain that 9-11 was a Mossad operation”

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