|Saddam Hussein, Al Qaeda, Anthrax, West Nile Virus, and a Scapegoat named Hatfill|
By Cliff Kincaid
In analyzing the FBI response to the anthrax attacks, the antics of left-wing activist Barbara Hatch Rosenberg deserve scrutiny. Using her mouthpiece, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff, she fingered Steven Hatfill in the anthrax probe. But why would the FBI fall under her influence to such an extent?
On the surface, she appears to have credible academic credentials, her association with the "Federation of American Scientists" sounds impressive, and Majority Leader Tom Daschle apparently believes her theory of the case. But all of that melts under the glare of her association with the far-left, including Greenpeace Germany and something called "The Sunshine Project." This is a group that favors U.N. inspections on American soil because the U.S. is supposed to be the real outlaw state in the world today.
This shocking material (detailed later) has been conveniently ignored by the press, which wanted us to believe that Rosenberg was an "expert" of some kind. But aside from the Rosenberg nonsense, is there some other reason why the federal government does not want it known that Al Qaeda or Iraq was behind the attacks?
One possibility is that our new ally, Pakistan, which supported the Taliban and Al Qaeda, provided Osama bin Laden with anthrax obtained from a U.S. source. That would be embarrassing to disclose. Rosenberg admits that Bioport of Michigan had access to the Ames anthrax strain identified in the letters. Bioport, which uses that strain in experiments on animals, exclusively makes the anthrax vaccine for U.S. troops. Documents referring to Bioport were found in the possession of the Al Qaeda in Kabul, Afghanistan. Two Pakistani scientists were arrested in Kabul and had the documents in their possession, according to published reports. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Edward J. Epstein noted that Bioport's owner, a Lebanese Arab with German-U.S. citizenship, has had dealings with Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from, and has an interest in biowarfare. In a lawsuit, Bioport has been charged with negligence in its manufacturing procedures.
Bioport stands to make millions because of the anthrax scare.
ABC News journalist Howard L. Rosenberg noted that experts in defense policy said it's very unusual to have a foreign-dominated company as the sole manufacturer of a vaccine considered vital to national security. It also seems suspicious that Admiral William Crowe, former Joint Chiefs chairman and "friend of Bill" appointed by Clinton as Ambassador to Britain, should emerge on the Bioport board with a major financial stake, poised to make millions from the anthrax vaccine program.
Major Glenn MacDonald, editor of www.militarycorruption.com, contends that Crowe "was part of the crew that sold Saddam Hussein the deadly means to wage war with anthrax germs. That's when the United States wanted the 'Butcher of Baghdad' to use anthrax on Iran." Crowe was the 11th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and served under President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush (1985-1989).
Iran's fanatical Mullahs, who took power when President Jimmy Carter destabilized the Shah of Iran, were considered - and still are - a major threat. It was feared that Iranian-style Islamic radicalism would sweep the region.
A September 17, 2002, ABC Nightline program, "Ally and enemy," noted that formal diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iraq were restored in 1984 and that Iraq was removed from the State Department's list of nations that support terrorism. The war between Iraq and Iran had begun in 1980. In addition, "the United States eased up on its own technology export restrictions to Iraq, which allowed the Iraqis to import supercomputers, machine tools, and even strains of anthrax," noted Chris Bury. On April 18, 1988, he added, the U.S. military destroyed much of the Iranian navy just as Iraq launched a major offensive. Iraq was on its way to victory. America's tilt toward Saddam had kept him in power." The war ended that year.
In his book, Spider's Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq, Alan Friedman describes a secret operation to assist Iraq in the war. The administration "sent a team of high-ranking officers to Baghdad, including an admiral, to begin sharing strategic information with Iraq about movements in the Gulf. In U.S. military circles, the purported reason for these visits was to improve understanding and avoid a repeat of the Stark incident [the 'accidental' Iraqi attack on a U.S. frigate which cost the lives of 37 Americans]. The reality was that it was a black operation, in which cryptographic radios were provided to Iraqi pilots, allowing them to communicate with American petty officers stationed on ships in the Gulf." The communications enabled the Iraqis top "choose their targets" and bomb tankers and ships trading with Iran.
It is possible that Saddam Hussein also obtained anthrax from our ally Britain. That, too, would be embarrassing to disclose. Still another possibility is that Al Qaeda obtained the anthrax from Iraq, which got it from the U.S. or Britain. This would be embarrassing as well.
We've read that Iraq doesn't have the Ames strain of anthrax reportedly found in the anthrax letters. If so, why are American troops receiving an anthrax vaccine based on that strain?
In response to Senator Robert Byrd's grilling over reported shipments of biological agents to Iraq during the 1980s, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, "I have never heard anything like what you've read, I have no knowledge of it whatsoever, and I doubt it." Later, he said, "Senator, I think it would be a shame to leave this committee and the people listening with the impression that the United States assisted Iraq with chemical or biological weapons in the 1980s. I just do not believe that's the case."
(Rumsfeld, as Reagan's special Middle East envoy, flew to Baghdad on December 17, 1983, with a handwritten letter to Saddam Hussein in which President Reagan promised renewed diplomatic relations and expanded military and business ties.)
Part of the Byrd-Rumsfeld exchange was publicized by columnist Robert Novak, who said it appears that Rumsfeld "has not read the sole surviving copy of a May 25, 1994, Senate Banking Committee report." It said that in 1985, five years after the Iraq-Iran war started, and in the succeeding years, disease producing, poisonous and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq, under licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce. These may have been sent for legitimate medical purposes, to develop vaccines or treatments, but they were provided to Iraq and could have been misused.
The reference to "sole surviving copy" must have been a joke because other copies exist. The Buffalo News found one, and noted that the biological cultures sent to Iraq included West Nile Virus, E. coli, anthrax and botulism. The Senate Banking Committee was then headed by Democratic Senator Donald Riegle. However, ranking Republican member Alfonse D'Amato endorsed the report.
The reference to West Nile Virus is significant in view of the fact that Senator Patrick J. Leahy has urged an investigation of whether the spread of the West Nile virus in this country is a result of biological terrorism. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nationally, 1,295 people have contracted the disease and 54 have died. What's worse, amid indications that people may have contracted West Nile virus through blood transfusions, it appears that it has now infected the nation's blood supply.
There have been reports that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been working with the virus as part of his bioweapons arsenal. Robert Roos reported, "In October 1999, the New Yorker magazine published an article describing claims by an alleged Iraqi defector that Saddam Hussein was planning to use West Nile virus as a weapon. The article, by Richard Preston, said bioweapons experts at the CIA had heard of the claim made in a book by the alleged defector, who called himself Mikhael Ramadan, and they recalled the claim when West Nile virus was identified in New York City in September 1999. Ramadan's book, as quoted in Preston's article, said Hussein had boasted that his scientists would develop a strain of West Nile virus 'capable of destroying 97 percent of all life in an urban environment.'" (The fatality rate for West Nile is far below 97%.)" http://www1.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/bioprep/news/wnile.html
Before 1999, the virus had never been recorded in this hemisphere. John Hughes, editor of the Deseret News and former editor of the Christian Science Monitor, wrote an article suggesting that Iraq, with help from Castro's Cuba, may have developed West Nile Virus as a weapon.
But the "experts" say this is not the case. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, "It is not known from where the U.S. virus originated, but it is most closely related genetically to strains found in the Middle East." http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/overview.htm Bernadette Burden, a CDC spokeswoman in Atlanta, stated, "As stated repeatedly, we have no scientific evidence to suggest that West Nile virus and West Nile activity in the United States is an act of terrorism or bioterrorism-related."
According to a Senate report, West Nile Virus was first discovered in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. New Jersey also figures prominently in the anthrax letter attacks (see below).
When the first anthrax case developed on October 4, 2001, the federal Centers for Disease Control was reassuring, announcing that, "So far this appears to be an isolated case."
Health officials say we shouldn't be "overly worried" about the malaria found in Virginia, but the administration is moving toward a mass smallpox vaccination program. That's potentially dangerous because the current vaccine is a live virus. For many, the vaccine may be as dangerous as the disease. And a vaccinated person can give the disease to someone else. Why don't we have a safe vaccine? The public health establishment was told by the CIA back in 1995 that Osama bin Laden possibly had the virus. The feds failed to act.
Senator Leahy was one of those targeted by a letter laced with anthrax, and some reports suggest that the U.S. Army's Fort Detrick was the original source of it. The Senate report shows that one shipment of anthrax provided to Iraq had a reference to Ft. Detrick associated with it. That's important because some people have said that that if the anthrax in the 9/11 letters came from Ft. Detrick it could not have come from Iraq. Perhaps it came from both.
The Buffalo News noted that the Riegle committee "was trying to establish that thousands of service personnel were harmed by exposure to Iraqi chemical weapons during the Gulf War, particularly following a U.S. air attack on a munitions dump - a theory that the Defense Department and much of official Washington have always downplayed."
For nearly five years, the U.S. Government insisted that no one serving in the Persian Gulf War had been exposed to chemical or biological weapons. The government finally admitted that tens of thousands might have been exposed after American soldiers blew up that Iraqi ammunition depot. The government still refuses to admit Iraq used them offensively. Today, nearly one-third of those who served in the Gulf War say they are sick or disabled because of their service. That's about 180,000 out of the 600,000 who served.
One possible factor is that it appears an illegal vaccine "booster" was used on the troops. In fact, the anthrax vaccine was never approved the way the Defense Department intended it -- as a defense against an aerosol version of anthrax. In order to be approved for that use, it had to go through various testing procedures, and that was never done. Since the anthrax vaccine was used for a purpose "for which the product was never approved," it is considered investigational. It should have been used only in rare and isolated cases and with informed consent on the part of those given it. To use it in a forced mass vaccination campaign is a violation of the law. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was manipulated into ruling that the vaccine was not investigational and should not be restricted. Former FDA inspector Sammie Young says the FDA simply "dropped the ball" by not demanding that the law be followed.
Al Qaeda Had Anthrax
Medical reports suggest that two of the 9/11 hijackers came into contact with anthrax. Two other possible hijackers, Ayub Ali-Khan and Mohammed Jaweed Azmath, now in U.S. custody, quickly left New Jersey, where the anthrax letters were postmarked, after 9/11. . Sources told CNN and the Associated Press that the men had large amounts of cash, hair dye and box cutters in their possession. New Jersey was a base for the bombers of the World Trade Center in 1993. A microbiologist with dual Iraqi-American citizenship living in New Jersey was involved with the World Trade Center bombing. Another key player, an Iraqi named Abdul Rahman Yasin who had a New Jersey apartment, was questioned by the FBI, released, and then fled to Baghdad. He was interviewed by Lesley Stahl of CBS 60 Minutes earlier this year, advertised as "The Man Who Got Away."
Al Qaeda was interested in anthrax as a weapon, had labs to make it, and reportedly had purchased it. CNN has Al Qaeda videotapes showing their access to chemical and biological agents. CNN also reports an Al Qaeda terrorism manual includes instructions on how to send a "poisonous letter."
National Security adviser Condoleeza Rice said on September 26 that Hussein's regime was sheltering members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network in Baghdad and helping bin Laden's operatives in developing chemical weapons. Doesn't it make some sense, therefore, to consider that Iraq and Al Qaeda were behind the anthrax letter attacks?
Despite the statements of Rice and Rumsfeld on an Al Qaeda link to Iraq, the administration has seemed reluctant to make a full-blown case. From the FBI's point of view, this might expose other FBI failures. It might lead to disclosures relating to the FBI's failure to hold Iraq or Al Qaeda responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the Oklahoma City bombing.
A former adviser to Bill Clinton, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg is reportedly behind the persecution of Steven Hatfill in the anthrax case. She suggested to the BBC that the anthrax attacks were a secret CIA project to investigate methods of sending anthrax through the mail which went madly out of control. She believes the perpetrator was a former employee of a U.S. government lab, a description that would include Hatfill, and she reportedly pointed toward Hatill during a meeting with the FBI and liberal Democrats on Capitol Hill. She's quoted as saying that the FBI knows who sent out the anthrax letters, but isn't arresting him, because he has been involved in secret biological weapons that the U.S. does not want revealed. Senator Tom Daschle has bought her theory, declaring that the source of the anthrax was domestic.
Rosenberg's campaign has diverted the investigation of the perpetrators of the anthrax attacks away from Iraq or Al Qaeda.
Nicholas Stix has written on the campaign against Hatfill. http://toogoodreports.com/column/general/stix/20020609-fss.htm
Kenneth J. Dillon of Spectrum Bioscience Inc. has written on the Al Qaeda link to the anthrax attacks. http://www.biophoton.com/biodefense/biodefense.htm
Paul Ewald, a biologist at Amherst College, believes that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks (http://reason.com/rauch/060102.shtml.) He says the letters were intended to be a "demonstration that they have anthrax on U.S. soil." Professor Richard A. Muller says that he, too, believes that the attacks were the work of terrorists working for Osama bin Laden. In an article in Technology Review, he goes into detail about why he believes the anthrax letters were the "second wave" of Al Qaeda terrorism. (http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/wo_muller041602.asp.)
Another persuasive case can be found at: http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze43v8m/
Rosenberg is usually identified as being with the prestigious-sounding Federation of American Scientists. But the group has been forced to distance itself from Rosenberg, declaring on its Web site that it was "not involved in any effort to publicly identify individual suspects or 'persons of interest' in the anthrax investigation. It has not and will not publish such accusations." http://www.fas.org/bwc/index.html
Rosenberg's views on the case have been heavily publicized by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff. Rosenberg was also an advisor to a public television program on "Bioterror" based on the book, Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg and William Broad of the New York Times. They cite her as an "authority" on the biological weapons treaty and point out she pushed Clinton to negotiate the protocol to the treaty rejected by the Bush Administration. The program cited Rosenberg's Federation of American Scientists as a "reliable source." http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bioterror/ However, it also declared that the Iraqis had purchased from the U.S. "a military strain of anthrax originally developed" in Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Maryland, "where the U.S. Army pioneered modern germ warfare." http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/2815bioterror60.html
But about one month after the anthrax attacks, Broad and Miller also wrote a Times article explaining Rosenberg's theory of the case and noting that it "is getting attention in Europe, where the environmental group Greenpeace Germany is citing it as credible." The Greenpeace article can be found at: http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=1031 But Greenpeace itself is not credible. It has staged anti-American and anti-NATO demonstrations in Europe, calling a U.S. strategic defense against missiles "madness."
An Anti-American Crowd
As the Greenpeace connection indicates, Rosenberg travels among the far-left. She has received funding from the Ploughshares Fund, a radical group that favors a series of treaties that would disarm America in the face of foreign threats. Greenpeace itself noted that Rosenberg's views parallel those of Jan von Aken of the "Sunshine Project," which is based in Germany. http://www.sunshine-project.org/ Van Aken is a former staff member of Greenpeace Germany.
The Sunshine Project has an anti-American slant and accuses the U.S. of making chemical weapons in violation of a U.N. treaty. In fact, it makes the outrageous claim that an American invasion of Iraq may include "the depravity of the U.S. waging chemical warfare against Iraq to prevent it from developing chemical weapons." The group has called for a U.N. weapons inspection team to be sent not to Iraq but to America to investigate alleged U.S. violations of international law
This helps explain why Hatfill has been singled out. He is believed to be a member of this conspiratorial cabal. But it just as easily be some other biowarfare "insider." Hatfill says he's never met Rosenberg or talked to her, and that she may have a vendetta against him because he opposed the new U.N. treaty on biological weapons and she's in favor of it.
This does appear to be one element of her motive. On September 5, 2001, just six days before 9/11, a Rosenberg column in the Baltimore Sun attacked the Bush Administration for opposing the protocol to the Biological Weapons Treaty. She stated that there are no "defensive measures for protecting the public from biological weapons," an obviously false claim.
What Rosenberg is saying is that arms control agreements and international agencies are the way to deal with foreign enemies and terrorist threats. A member of The Working Group, a United Nations-associated non-governmental organization (NGO) on biowarfare matters, Rosenberg's protocol to the Biological Weapons Treaty would create an international committee of experts to monitor and enforce compliance. She probably wants to be a member of such a body. By contrast, John Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, says the protocol would endanger the viability of U.S. biological warfare defense programs because its inspection provisions could enable countries with offensive programs to place their agents on the international committee and learn about U.S. national defense programs and devise counter-measures.
If it is proven that a former U.S. government scientist like Hatfill is behind the anthrax attacks, that would prove in Rosenberg's mind that a protocol mandating international inspections of government facilities, including our own, is necessary. She figures the Bush Administration would have to seek ratification of the protocol and its intrusive and compromised inspection regime under those circumstances.
On September 22, 2002, Rosenberg wrote an article in the Los Angeles Times http://www.latimes.com/la-op-rosenberg22sep22(0,7484631).story claiming, "On this first anniversary of the anthrax attacks, a number of conclusions can be drawn even without an arrest by the FBI. First, the strain and properties of the weaponized anthrax found in the letters show that it originated within the U.S. biodefense program, where the necessary expertise and access are found. Government officials recognized that the anthrax source was domestic less than two weeks after they learned of the letters, and nothing in their investigation has led them to say otherwise since."
That's because the FBI has taken Rosenberg too seriously.
The FBI is so desperate for leads that it is offering a $2 million reward. "In a joint effort, the United States Post Office and the FBI are offering a $2,000,000 dollar reward leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible for mailing the four (4) anthrax letters," it says. http://www.fbi.gov/anthrax/amerithraxlinks.htm
In a reference to Hatfill, Rosenberg said, "The anthrax investigation has raised questions about the nature and value of the work at Ft. Detrick and has brought to light the granting of security clearance and free access to highly dangerous biological agents to someone with falsified credentials--very disturbing whether or not he turns out to be the perpetrator of the anthrax attacks." Those "falsified credentials" have nothing to do with guilt or innocence in the anthrax murders. Rather, they are questions and disputes about biography, background and academic history. These are interesting but hardly important enough to warrant a full-blown FBI investigation, raids, and public accusations of being a "person of interest."
Rosenberg added, "Even more serious concerns have been raised by the discovery of secret biodefense projects that push against the limits of international prohibitions."
Of course, she's referring to projects in the U.S., not in Afghanistan or Iraq.
This is a woman who believes the U.S. is a rogue nation or outlaw state. No wonder we're at risk.
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