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the other Public Enemy + Anthrax collaboration
February 7, 2008 6:04 PM   Subscribe

The Joseph Curseen, Jr., and Thomas Morris, Jr., Processing and Distribution Center opened in December 2003 with little fanfare. Formerly the Brentwood (D.C.) Post Office, it was renamed by House Resolution 3287 in honor of the two postal workers killed after two letters containing anthrax passed through on their way to Capitol Hill.

They died from respiratory ailments related to inhaling anthrax spores while on the job, 17 others who worked there were sickened. A letter containing anthrax sent to Sen. Daschle's office apparently was damaged in transit and spores were released. Postal officials deemed the plant safe for work even as Capitol Hill workers received antibiotics to counter anthrax released by letters processed at Brentwood. Both workers went to the doctor feeling ill, but returned home afterwards. Both died shortly thereafter. After that occurred, the government closed the facility and renovated & fumigated it, costing "easily $130 million". Their deaths have been memorialized in other ways- a five year memorial was held where Sen. Barbara Mikulski spoke, saying that they died "as heroes in the war on terrorism". And a former co-worker (and inventor of the Footballbot™ and Four Way Checkers™) sells plaques, t-shirts, and mugs in their memory in order to establish a day of remembrance.

Although the new name is somewhat misleading; all outgoing mail is now sent to Maryland for processing which had the interesting effect of almost eliminating the DC postmark.

Current status of the FBI's investigation, Amerithrax, is here.
posted by Challahtronix (7 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mhmm. 9,100 interviews. How many freepers are there to go?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:20 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


From various sequencing efforts conducted by the CDC, the US Mail anthrax strains differed from US Army strains by on average only four bases. It's no mystery where it came from, and not really much of a mystery why it was used by Americans against Americans.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:30 PM on February 7, 2008


AMERITHRAX never happened! Nor did the Beltway Sniper attacks. Just ask any Republican: there have been no terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11.
posted by vertigo25 at 6:36 PM on February 7, 2008


That story about the DC postmark is really interesting; I had no idea.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:19 PM on February 7, 2008


Anthrax ManTM still on the loose. Film at eleven.
posted by trondant at 6:45 AM on February 8, 2008


The story about the DC postmark is interesting, yes, but no longer true (or at least, not for much longer). Can't find a link, but DC mail is once again getting a DC postmark.

The facility is generally just known as "Curseen-Morris".
posted by inigo2 at 7:24 AM on February 8, 2008


The facility is generally just known as "Curseen-Morris".

Everyone I know still calls it "Brentwood", but yeah. If DC mail is getting a DC postmark it likely isn't from Brentwood; as far as I've seen they're still not processing mail, so if it is getting a DC postmark it's from one of the suburban sites.

And having lived in DC while this was going on there was a lot of bad feelings towards the powers-that-be over this- while postal officials were claiming that the coast was clear and that business could continue, they were still decontaminating the senate buildings and, according to a Washington Post article that I can no longer find, they were swabbing the canine police dogs noses and testing senate staff while stating that the post office was safe.
posted by Challahtronix at 3:18 PM on February 8, 2008


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