Case of the Missing Anthrax
July 20, 2002 8:59 PM   Subscribe

Case of the Missing Anthrax "The 400 pages of documents, which I've obtained and which were described by The Hartford Courant earlier this year, quote a newly arrived officer named Michael Langford as saying that he found "little or no organization," "little or no accountability," "a very lax and unorganized system" and signs of covert work and cover-ups." I'm concerned about the stock prices too, but, shouldn't this be on the evening news as well? NYTimes reg. reqr'd
posted by bas67 (21 comments total)
"Shenanigans have been going on," declares one internal Army memo...Scuse me but can we use a word that sounds a little more juvenile? "Those silly scientists are playing hide and seek with the ebola again".
posted by Mack Twain at 9:32 PM on July 20, 2002

This is embarrassing -- the sort of thing we tend to associate with Russia.
posted by donkeyschlong at 10:07 PM on July 20, 2002

More thoughts here
posted by poodlemouthe at 11:02 PM on July 20, 2002

is there really any question who the true "rogue nation" is..... ??? really? when you think about it?
posted by specialk420 at 11:17 PM on July 20, 2002

From another, previous story for World Socialist Web Site:

Kristof's central accusation is that the anthrax investigation has reached a dead end, not because of the lack of evidence, but because the prime suspect has powerful friends in high places and enjoys official protection. "Mr. Z." can't be arrested because he knows too much, and because his backers in the US military-intelligence apparatus won't permit it. To arrest him would entail the exposure of the US government in horrific international and domestic crimes, including the deliberate killing of American citizens.

Moreover, as one of Kristof's questions indicates, "Mr. Z." is still on active service for the Bush administration, traveling to Central Asia "on government assignments," despite being suspected of murdering five people in the United States. He is truly an untouchable.

The anthrax terrorist targeted the Democratic leadership in the US Senate, sending the two letters with the deadliest doses of anthrax to Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. Kristof's column points inexorably to the conclusion that the Bush administration is an accessory after the fact--if not before it--in the attempted assassination of the official political opposition.

The very fact that such a charge is suggested on the editorial pages of the leading US newspaper is an indication of the extent to which "normal" democratic processes and procedures have disintegrated in America. The Times is a major institution of the American ruling elite, and a longtime conduit for sections of the US national security apparatus. It could only publish such a column under circumstances of a raging subterranean battle within the state--one in which the American people have no say.

Kristof's column gives a rare glimpse of a sort of parallel universe, one which normally goes unreported and unacknowledged in the "mainstream" media. Top officials of the US government--President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Attorney General Ashcroft, CIA Director Tenet, FBI Director Mueller--are linked to a criminal conspiracy to protect a government-trained military assassin. And their Democratic opponents, the apparent targets of the killer, are too cowed to say anything publicly, although one can imagine the private discussions on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning as congressmen and senators read the Times column. This is not a Costa-Gavras film, but the real state of affairs in the America of 2002.

Which puts a whole new spin on this post.
posted by y2karl at 12:23 AM on July 21, 2002

The WSWS occasionally prints interesting stuff, but most of the time it's conspiracy theories that sound like failed pitches to Oliver Stone's production company.

If the Republican Administration wanted Democrats dead they wouldn't need some wacked bio-weapons researcher to do the job.

"Kristof's central accusation is that the anthrax investigation has reached a dead end, not because of the lack of evidence, but because the prime suspect has powerful friends in high places and enjoys official protection."

What a sad fantasyland. I defy anyone to read through Kristof's last few columns and try, try to find anything like that. You will find Kristof's two accusations 1) The FBI simply bungled this investigation for whatever reason -- not equipped to handle a bio-med investigation, not enough officers, can't find or missed a smoking gun etc. 2) The FBI was told not to arrest anyone because it would damage trust in the government. That does not mean anyone is protecting the criminal. Rather, it may mean the defense industry is trying to protect itself. Two entirely different things.

Regardless, these are simply Kristof's theories. For all we know the FBI is doing a bang-up job. I happen to think they know exactly who did it (Mr. Z, aka Steven Hatfill), but can't find the proof. That doesn't have the conspiratorial overtone that WSWS is pushing in their yellow journalist prose, but it is based on reality.

WSWS: A little bit crazy, a little bit Commie.
posted by raaka at 3:26 AM on July 21, 2002

[this is bad]
posted by gassire at 3:38 AM on July 21, 2002

(above comment has nothing to do with this thread, was posted via for purposes of metatalk discussion.)
posted by mlang at 3:41 AM on July 21, 2002

shut up, mlang, you pompous twit!
posted by gassire at 3:47 AM on July 21, 2002

you've got a lot of nerve, gassire, showing your face around here.
posted by mlang at 3:49 AM on July 21, 2002

strange test mlang/gassire. can you do that 'this town ain't big enough for the both of us' thing too? ;-)
posted by dabitch at 4:21 AM on July 21, 2002

huh, guess this is a story that wouldn't go away. I'm interested to see it's getting coverage in the major media.
posted by daver at 8:04 AM on July 21, 2002

The original Courant article from January; later follow-ups. I'm agnostic, but for the record, there's another theory: a Pakistani and his fine particulate mixer; background via Newsday.
posted by dhartung at 8:28 AM on July 21, 2002

I happen to think they know exactly who did it (Mr. Z, aka Steven Hatfill), but can't find the proof.

Which has stopped the government from detailing US citizens of Arab decent in what way? Proof is unimportant to this administration so this argument simply doesn't wash.
posted by shagoth at 8:55 AM on July 21, 2002

I think dhartung's been reading too many warblogs.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:44 AM on July 21, 2002

And donkeyschlong's been reading the Metafilter Manual of Ideology cover to cover. I lost my copy, for which I deeply and humbly apologize.
posted by dhartung at 10:58 PM on July 21, 2002

dhartung: How tightly do you purse your lips when you write here?
posted by crasspastor at 3:06 AM on July 22, 2002

dhartung: How tightly do you purse your lips when you write here?
posted by crasspastor at 3:25 AM on July 22, 2002

You Say Yummy, I Say Yuck! Who the hell says de gustibus non disputandum est?

posted by y2karl at 6:55 AM on July 22, 2002

wow - this thread really degenerated in a hurry.

"I know you are but what am I?"

Jesus people, count to ten or something - please don't feed the trolls.

And just in case anyone's actually still interested in the topic (not likely at this point I know...) - there's an archive of the Kristof NYT article here. (Media Workers Against War) in case you want to read it yourself. Which I humbly recommend that y'all do - and then consider the wider implications. Is it conceivable that agencies of the US gov. might deliberately bring harm to US citizens in order to pursue ideological goals? The jury in the Judi Bari trial sure as hell thought so.
posted by dinsdale at 7:23 AM on July 22, 2002

PS. the link above is to Kristof's July 2 article, not the July 19 commentary linked at the top of the thread.

Here's some more background on our "Mr. Z":

Ex-Rhodesian under probe for US anthrax attacks

Anthrax Epizootic in Zimbabwe, 1978-1980: Due to Deliberate Spread?
posted by dinsdale at 7:46 AM on July 22, 2002

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