In the 1950s, a spin off from the 1939 Gene Autry movie “Home on the Prairie” was serialized in comic format and syndicated in daily papers across the country. “Home on the Prairie” was about the bad guys importing anthrax infected cattle across that darn Texas/Mexican border. Texas Ranger Gene Autry went toe-to-toe with the bad guys. He got in a few scrapes, had some narrow escapes, and managed to beat the bad guys and protect the lady rancher’s honor in the end.

One episode had him tied to a tree. The bad guys were going to infect him with the deadly spores. He struggled to escape. I don’t know what happened next. I assume he slipped his bonds. (How else could he have gone on to own the Anaheim Angels?)

More recently, someone amplified the fear from the 9/11/2001 acts of terrorism and intimidated the mass media in the US with anthrax attacks against news outlets from New York to Florida. They tied the whole country to that tree with Gene Autry. It was a cliffhanger. The fear was palpable. The entire audience thought perhaps they would die if they didn’t lay in supplies of visqueen and duct tape to seal out the bugs.

Today, under the headline “Anthrax Scientist Kills Himself as FBI Closes In,” ABC News reports:

…that 62-year-old Bruce E. Ivins, who worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md., died at a Maryland hospital Tuesday of a prescription drug overdose. The story of the Ivins investigation was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The LA Times coverage was more measured. Their headline reads: “Apparent suicide in anthrax case,” with a subhead: Bruce E. Ivins, a scientist who helped the FBI investigate the 2001 mail attacks, was about to face charges. The Times notes that “The extraordinary turn of events followed the government’s payment in June of a settlement valued at $5.82 million to a former government scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, who was long targeted as the FBI’s chief suspect despite a lack of any evidence that he had ever possessed anthrax.”

In Salon, Glenn Greenwald examines ABC News’ conflict of interest centering on their false reports in late 2001 that the anthrax contained bentonite which made it likely of Iraqi origin. The information came from unnamed government sources according to ABC news. The anthrax attacks and the ABC reportage had the effects of a sophisticated psychological warfare false flag operation of propaganda and terrorism designed to move the country into war with Iraq. The anthrax was subesequently shown to have originated in Fort Detrick, MD. At this point ABC News reportedly refuses to reveal the names of their discredited insider sources.

Remember David Kelly, the British UN weapons inspector who steadfastly maintained there was no reason to go to war with Iraq? The Bruce Ivins suicide reminds me of the Kelly suicide. Convenient. Tidy. We’ll know more when ABC News releases the list of discredited “unnamed sources” from 2001.

UPDATE: Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake fleshed out the story of Neocon leaks and disinformation surrounding the anthrax scare yesterday in a post titled “Who first spread the Iraqi anthrax claim.” Today she continues to dig into the story in her post “Ivins and the Anthrax Investigation.”

[tags]abc discredited sources, propaganda, anthrax, marcy wheeler now owns the story[/tags]

Posted in Peace and Politics
2 comments on “Anthrax
  1. tom says:

    NPR Resident Moron Scott Simon led off his Sat a.m. program with this story, introducing it with words to the effect: “The investigation into the anthrax case ended this week…” – just as things begin to become interesting, journaljists like SS declare closure. Not sure, but the NPR guy covering the case, Ari Shapiro, sounded a little tense and seemed to think there was a good deal more to it. Simon ought to be put out to pasture, or given a special NPR spot right between Garrison Keillor and repeats of Garrison Keillor. However, since he (GK) is the very principle of repetition incarnate, they’re all repeats, which brings upon us the furor that will spawn a pomopome:

    For NPR
    There is
    no between
    when always
    all has
    been seen.

  2. Read Marcy Wheeler’s reporting, linked above in my update. Re. NPR, perhaps 2009 will be a Turning Point when the Democrats address funding and governance. I hope.



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