Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fantasyland Media

Vital unresolved anthrax questions and ABC News.

After 9/11 itself, the anthrax attacks were probably the most consequential event of the Bush presidency. One could make a persuasive case that they were actually more consequential. The 9/11 attacks were obviously traumatic for the country, but in the absence of the anthrax attacks, 9/11 could easily have been perceived as a single, isolated event. It was really the anthrax letters -- with the first one sent on September 18, just one week after 9/11 -- that severely ratcheted up the fear levels and created the climate that would dominate in this country for the next several years after. It was anthrax -- sent directly into the heart of the country's elite political and media institutions, to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt), NBC News anchor Tom Brokow, and other leading media outlets -- that created the impression that social order itself was genuinely threatened by Islamic radicalism...

If the now-deceased Ivins really was the culprit behind the attacks, then that means that the anthrax came from a U.S. Government lab, sent by a top U.S. Army scientist at Ft. Detrick. Without resort to any speculation or inferences at all, it is hard to overstate the significance of that fact. From the beginning, there was a clear intent on the part of the anthrax attacker to create a link between the anthrax attacks and both Islamic radicals and the 9/11 attacks.

Note found: "09/11/01 This is next. Take Penacilin Now. Death to America, death to Israel. Allah is great."

Much more important than the general attempt to link the anthrax to Islamic terrorists, there was a specific intent -- indispensably aided by ABC News -- to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

During the last week of October, 2001, ABC News, led by Brian Ross, continuously trumpeted the claim as their top news story that government tests conducted on the anthrax -- tests conducted at Ft. Detrick -- revealed that the anthrax sent to Daschele contained the chemical additive known as bentonite. ABC News, including Peter Jennings, repeatedly claimed that the presence of bentonite in the anthrax was compelling evidence that Iraq was responsible for the attacks, since -- as ABC variously claimed -- bentonite "is a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program" and "only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons." Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/01/anthrax/index.html

-->In the rush to close this case, much is being left out. Ivins was a Christian Zionist (by his writings). The US government was intricately involved in both the original attack, and the attempt to link the attack to Iraq. All these vital details are omitted by NY Times stories. We have to ask why the media is so eager to close this chapter in the origins of the Iraq invasion. Obviously, there is a lot to be hidden. Perhaps it is even the "smoking gun" of the Bush administration.

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"Israel's secret police are pressuring Palestinians in Gaza to spy on their community in exchange for urgent medical treatment, according to a report released today by an Israeli human rights organization (Physicians for Human Rights)...

Refusal to cooperate often results in the denial of medical treatment. Based on the testimonies of more than 30 Palestinians - 11 of which are published - the report says the Shin Bet is using coercion and extortion to force patients to collaborate." http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/04/israelandthepalestinians.middleeast1

-->Like most stories critical of Israel, this report was censored out of the NY Times reporting on the Middle East.

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