US Right-Wing Cranks are behind the anthrax
October 21, 2001 5:34 AM   Subscribe

US Right-Wing Cranks are behind the anthrax the UK Independant 10/21/01 features this article
posted by timetostepback (28 comments total)
Anyone seen reports on anthrax mailed to some 90 abortion clinics?Positive or negative? This would be telling evidence if positive.
posted by Postroad at 6:06 AM on October 21, 2001

More on Larry Wayne Harris in the Village Voice
posted by ferris at 6:14 AM on October 21, 2001


Those letters supposedly came from the wacko anti-abortion group, Army of God. From what I've heard they all tested negative for anthrax.

The troubling thing about the anthrax thing is the absolute panic which has set in over anthrax. It seems as if everyone who sees a white powdery substance makes an emergency call to the cops or the EPA. Not to mention the fact that people are taking Cipro under the misguided notion that it is an anthrax vaccine.
posted by MAYORBOB at 6:15 AM on October 21, 2001

US Right-Wing Cranks are behind the anthrax

Why are you jumping to that conclusion? The article you linked doesn't offer any hard proof to support that statement, just some conjecture and weak circumstantial evidence.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:25 AM on October 21, 2001

I'm hoping that after tomorrow, the instant death of blatantly misrepresented front-page links will be part of Matt's New Order.
posted by aaron at 7:03 AM on October 21, 2001

I'm hoping that after tomorrow, the instant death of blatantly biased right-wing nutjobs will be part of Matt's New Order.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:21 AM on October 21, 2001

I'm hoping that after tomorrow, beer's free and I'm pretty.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:07 AM on October 21, 2001

Rush Limbaugh set me straight last week. He said liberals were behind those anti-abortion anthrax letters. They were evidently seeking Tawana Brawley-like sympathy. I was fnord concerned at first.
posted by RavinDave at 9:12 AM on October 21, 2001

It's true! In 3 consecutive days, Jimmy Falwell said the following words (although, not necessarily in this order): "I'm...Behind...The...Anthrax"

Proof positive that the fundies are behind it all!
posted by fuq at 9:18 AM on October 21, 2001

Seriously, though, I've had a feeling all along that this scare didn't really really fit into the same mold as what we know to be terrorist attacks. Blowing up 110 story buildings with jets was nothing if not right up in your face. Why would you follow that up with giving Dan Rather's assistant a skin disease? Somehow, it just doesn't seem big enough.
posted by Gilbert at 9:31 AM on October 21, 2001

fuq- That would be *Jerry* Falwell. Here at MetaFilter, we try to keep our right-wing nutjobs straight. But you are right, he did say those words, I think we should arrest him and send him to a prison run by gay and lesbian atheist or Jewish abortion-rights activists. Or he should at least be allowed access to only "liberal" media sources.
posted by raintea at 10:00 AM on October 21, 2001

Rather than find out who's behind it, which may prove impossible, perhaps we'd do better just to observe whose interests are being actively served by both the WTC attacks and the anthrax scare. There are clearly a lot of people trying to earn political capital from them and doing their best to perpetuate the whole "be afraid; be very afraid" caboodle.
Muslim fundamentalists don't have any influence over here but right-wing nutjobs do clearly enjoy this sudden opportunity to expound their usual toxic garbage. Even Ann Coulter was not entirely innocent when she said we should forcibly convert the Talibans.
She already thought that and grabbed the chance. So whether or not religious and political extremists are actually responsible for the spreading of the anthrax spores, they're certainly responsible for spreading the fear and their own sick agendas.
Opportunism on this scale - not to mention its effects(hardening of attitudes towards minorities,etc,) - is clearly worth condemning and counter-attacking. It's just as dangerous and a lot more contagious than anthrax(which isn't contagious at all, of course).
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:01 AM on October 21, 2001

And to add to Gilbert's doubt, who the hell knows or cares who Tom Daschle is? Only the people who are mad about losing the Senate to the Democrats.
posted by raintea at 10:03 AM on October 21, 2001

Here's a question for everybody: Will there be a call to summarily execute these terrorists, or will we give them a fair trial?
posted by Hildago at 11:15 AM on October 21, 2001

I predicted this on the 11th.
posted by rebeccablood at 12:52 PM on October 21, 2001

I'm just going to say that I predict that the anthrax is not al Qaeda-related, but an opportunistic attack by a lone, demented individual

*shivers and goes back to find out what else is in store*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:00 PM on October 21, 2001

I think lots of people assumed it was a domestic looney at first, Rebecca. I can only imagine that the same terrorists who were clever enough to take out two of the worlds largest buildings, and thousands of people, would do a little more than give people a nasty skin rash. Yeah, I realize a guy died, but come on. If this is the work of a world wide terrorist organization, I think we should all sleep pretty sound.
posted by Doug at 1:33 PM on October 21, 2001

Anyone seen reports on anthrax mailed to some 90 abortion clinics?

Pro-Choice Groups Seek Protection From Domestic Terrorists--more from The Village Voice on "The Homegrown Anthrax Blitz."
posted by Carol Anne at 2:59 PM on October 21, 2001

This is about panic, not risk or death.Media, especially television, is getting way too much mileage out of this story.Real terrorists need to be killed...pretend terrorists will learn the error of their ways when they are the property of a prison gang.
posted by Mack Twain at 4:09 PM on October 21, 2001

The second I heard about Daschle, I knew it had to be a Limbaugh fan.

If you get my drift.
posted by jragon at 4:28 PM on October 21, 2001

Irresponsible journalism.
posted by raaka at 5:12 PM on October 21, 2001

I'm hoping that after tomorrow, the instant death of blatantly misrepresented front-page links will be part of Matt's New Order.

The TITLE of the article was "Anthrax attacks now being linked to US right-wing cranks." I don't really understand how a slight rephrasing of the title could be construed as blatant misrepresentation. I do agree, however, that the article was a little short on evidence.
posted by electro at 6:21 PM on October 21, 2001

The linked article may not exactly be conclusive argumentation, but I am glad to see it, if only because I'm tiring of crappy reporting of anthrax-in-the-mail as bioterrorism worthy of al-Qa`ida. Even if you lack sophisticated anthrax-delivery equipment, sending parcels in the mail is a complete waste of supposedly professional-grade anthrax. I don't credit al-Qa`ida with so petty a goal as disrupting our mail system, and it is obvious that the goal in sending it in the mail is not to kill anyone. Extremely crude delivery system + basic observation or manipulation of prevailing breezes + crowd of people = many many more dead than our current few pathetic cases of pneumatic anthrax. It's hard for me to fathom how real "global reach" terrorists would cloud over such a delicious possibility with the current mail sideshow.

Yes, terrorists aim for terror, but more widespread death from covert biological warfare is actually more terrifying than the mail business, which I have a hard time being interested in, so little does it matter in the current scheme of things. And every half-educated journalist or "expert" is pontificating about how we will have to sit down and redesign the U.S.P.S. because of this? Right--sink tremendous resources into a logistical nightmare because of a phenomenon completely incapable of harming a significant number of people over a significant time. Group psychology sure makes idiots out of us.

But there are a lot of puzzles. Why raise an anthrax panic if you plan on making a potent bioterror attack? How would the hypothetical right-wing cranks obtain anthrax of the type being sent through the mail?
posted by Zurishaddai at 12:33 AM on October 22, 2001

Hey, Rebecca, Miguel, I said this on the 12th myself.
posted by werty at 8:24 AM on October 22, 2001

And Rumsfeld just expressed his doubts over the anthrax/Al-Q link.
posted by holgate at 11:03 AM on October 22, 2001

um, hello, a right wing extremist would not have sent anthrax to microsoft
posted by rabbit at 5:47 PM on October 22, 2001

Yes, werty, you did. But you said it on the 12th. Rebecca said it on the 11th. You also said I contend that there are copycat lunatics around America . Feeling guilty, huh? :-)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:30 PM on October 22, 2001

Rabbit: um, hello, the Nevada letter turned out not to contain anthrax after all... final tests had come back negative for a letter from Malaysia to a Microsoft office in Reno that had prompted concern.
posted by SenshiNeko at 1:29 AM on October 23, 2001

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