Anthrax Plot Against Liberals?
By Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid | November 8, 2001
“On CNBC's Hardball show, Chris Mathews suggested the source was someone who hates liberals..”
”.. counter terrorism specialist…suspected the anthrax terrorism was domestic because one of the letters
went to Daschle, "who's on the left.”
The federal government's handling of the anthrax controversy seems like the Keystone Cops. The most serious aspect
was the failure to immediately test postal workers, two of whom died of anthrax exposure.
Media coverage has followed confusing government statements. First, the anthrax in Senator Tom Daschle's office was said
to be "weapons-grade." Then a government scientist said it was "common-variety" anthrax. Then we were
told it was, in fact, weapons-grade.
The letters were discovered after the terror attacks of September 11th. Some of the letters say, "Death to
America," and have praise for Allah. It seems obvious to some that radical Muslims wrote the poison letters. The letters
are written or printed in such a way as to suggest they are the work of someone who has just learned his letters and the language.
That, too, suggests a foreigner who hasn't been in the U.S. very long.
But what seems obvious to some doesn't make sense to others. Gary Brown, described as a retired Air Force counter
terrorism specialist, told the Washington Post that he suspected the anthrax terrorism was domestic because, he said, one
of the letters went to Daschle, "who's on the left. If it's a home-grown militia effort,
Daschle's a likely target." But Daschle has never been a major target of the far right-wing. He's never been seen
as a major left-wing figure. One might expect the militia send a letter to an official of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Iraq has been suggested as a possible source, and this makes a lot of sense. Iraq has concealed its hand in past
terrorist incidents, such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. But Iraq's foreign minister and top scientist assured Lesley
Stahl on 60 Minutes that they would never do such a thing.
Following the lead of that so-called expert quoted in the Post, some of the talking heads in the media have started suggesting
that right-wingers are the source of the anthrax.
On CNBC's Hardball show, Chris Mathews suggested the source was someone who hates liberals working at a plant making underarm
"It's been my hunch for days now," he said, "that [the source is] some angry person perhaps living
in the New Jersey area who has been an employee of a major pharmaceutical company that may work with aerosol sprays for underarm
deodorants or whatever.
Would that kind of engineer have the capability – just because he didn't like the country, didn't like liberals
or media people, to produce this kind of anthrax and put it in an envelope?"
His guest was David Franz, the vice president of chemical and biological defenses at the Southern Research Institute
and a former commander at the Army's germ defense lab at Ft. Detrick, Maryland.
Franz politely said Mathews didn't know what he was talking about. He explained, "He'd have to learn a lot more than
just what he knew working with underarm aerosol sprays. Those are chemicals, and here we're dealing with living things. We're
dealing with a spore that you have to keep alive…
" One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at Mathews' pathetic attempt to blame conservatives for the anthrax terrorism.
Reed Irvine is the Publisher and Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report.
They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.