December 21, 2001
7:31 AM   Subscribe

Is the Bush Administration complicit in hiding the source of the anthrax? An interesting theory with intriguing, albeit rather weak, evidence is presented. What do you guys think?
posted by donkeymon (15 comments total)
Uh we go:

Knowing government folks, and having spent time in the military, I can attest that most of these guys are dumb bullies. I blame gross incompetance, not conspiracy, on this one. Domestic job, sure...but no cover up. They're just too arrogant to think they might be either A: following the wrong links or B: they might not have thought up the right scenario.
posted by taumeson at 7:41 AM on December 21, 2001

posted by techgnollogic at 7:46 AM on December 21, 2001

Provides another way the FBI is seeking perp(s) and suggests that there is hardly a coverup.
posted by Postroad at 8:17 AM on December 21, 2001

"Federal authorities are now convinced the anthrax mailed in poison letters was made in the United States, and told ABCNEWS they are investigating a former anthrax researcher who allegedly threatened to use the potentially deadly bacteria."
posted by Carol Anne at 8:20 AM on December 21, 2001

Conspiracy - probably not. However, it is very odd that all of a sudden the anthrax just stopped coming. I'm sure the perpetrator did not "run out" of powdered death. It is possible that someone high up asked the perp, which many suggest may be a government-funded lab worker seeking greater funding for biological weapon research, to stop. I still find it fascinating that the "band" Anthrax keeps a link up for information on the "disease." Good Samanthraxians?
posted by boardman at 8:24 AM on December 21, 2001

Seems that Daschle would be a target of Bush and Hastert but there's no financial incentive for any multinational corporation, not a coverup from the Cheney cave.
posted by nofundy at 8:31 AM on December 21, 2001

No financial incentive? The FBI would seem to differ:
Although investigators have not ruled out other possible motives, they have conducted dozens of interviews in at least two labs to determine whether potential profit from the sale of anthrax medications or cleanup efforts may have motivated the bioterrorist believed responsible for the attacks, the officials said.

FBI Investigates Possible Financial Motive in Anthrax Attacks
posted by sudama at 8:59 AM on December 21, 2001

Thanks for the correction sudama.
posted by nofundy at 9:20 AM on December 21, 2001

/me starts buying napkins for the impeachment party.
posted by UrbanFigaro at 11:21 AM on December 21, 2001

It seems plausible enough that the Bush administration would prefer any domestic suspects get less media attention. As the linked article says, if this turns out to be a renegade CIA man or the like, it would be tricky to declare war on ourselves.
posted by cps at 1:32 PM on December 21, 2001

Interesting background on the environment at Fort Detrick during the 1990s: downsizing, lawsuits, and "a bizarre, disjointed and even juvenile workplace environment in the country’s premier biowarfare research lab. The Fort Detrick lab is one of two government labs that work with the world’s deadliest pathogens and since 1980 has had the Ames strain of anthrax that officials say was used in the recent attacks."
posted by ferris at 2:02 PM on December 21, 2001

And here's an in-depth background report focusing on individuals and companies who had a financial incentive... titled Could the Anthrax Mailings Be Military-Industrial Espionage?
posted by ferris at 2:10 PM on December 21, 2001

The evidence for this particular conspiracy seems a little scant to say the least, but I have no doubt the Bush Administration is prepared to act on scant evidence if it's in its own political interests. After all, a war is exactly what Bush has been waiting for. It legitimises - or lends legitimacy to, at any rate - all of his internationally unpopular policies; the missile defence shield, drilling for oil in Alaskan wildlife reserves (since reliance on the Middle East for oil is an obvious no-no), and right-wing militaristic sabre-rattling in general.
The right needs wars, scapegoats. Without them, attention is focused on him again, and everyone remembers what a putz the guy is.
posted by RokkitNite at 5:41 PM on December 21, 2001

Rok, his goal is to get re-elected and war is historically one of the worst ways to do that.
posted by stbalbach at 8:42 PM on December 21, 2001

I would like to "stick a fork" into this hot potato of whether the Bush administration might extract any benefit from the anthrax scare with two points:

1) There is this company called the Carlyle Group, whose CEO is Frank Carlotti, Secretary of Defense under Bush Senior. Principals of TCG include Bush senior, James Baker (remember him?), and even ex-Brit PM John Major.

2) TCG is directly profiting from anthrax in at least two ways:

A) In an even more bizarre twist, Carlyle owns a company called Biot Corp., which has a monopoly to manufacture anthrax vaccine in the United States.

B) As the major shareholder in the financially-strapped IT Group.

Stay tuned for more, especially if Small Pox shows up at the door. The company Bush is trying so hard to give 0.5 billion US taxpayers dollars to, Acambis, used to be called Peptide Pharmaceuticals, who in turn had a US subsidiary called Oravax. Oravax was a small financially-strapped company headed by a US Army Biowarfare man that tried to get millions for a vaccine that turned out to be no more than a scare a couple years ago.

So here we go again, friends. If I had a dollar for every instance of conflict of interest perpetrated over the last year, I might be able to buy one of these financially-strapped companies.
posted by TD at 3:13 AM on December 22, 2001

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