by James Corbett
November 1, 2016
We all remember the lies that led the US into the Iraq war.
But after years of media indoctrination, it’s easy to forget the other lie that helped rally the country around the illegal invasion of Iraq.
John McCain: There is some indication, and I don’t have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may — and I emphasize may — have come from Iraq.
David Letterman: Oh, is that right?
John McCain: If that should be the case, that’s when some tough decisions are gonna have to be made.
Source: McCain and the Anthrax Scare [0:12 – 0:26] (Higher quality clip?)
“When Iraq finally admitted having these weapons in 1995, the quantities were vast. Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax, a little bit about this amount – this is just about the amount of a teaspoon – less than a teaspoon full of dry anthrax in an envelope shut down the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and killed two postal workers just from an amount just about this quantity that was inside of an envelope.
“Iraq declared 8,500 liters of anthrax, but UNSCOM estimates that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoon-full of this deadly material.”
Source: Colin Powell’s Presentation to the UN on Iraq WMD [26:37 – 27:45]
Although it is difficult to remember at this point, the anthrax scare of late 2001 was widely seen as a follow-up to the 9/11 attacks, and a sign of things to come at the dawn of the so-called War on Terror. Beginning in late September and continuing for several weeks, multiple anthrax-laced letters were mailed to various media offices and the offices of two US Senators, killing five and injuring 17.
It did not take long, however, for the neocons in the Bush administration to start insinuating that the anthrax scare was tied to their two favourite boogeymen: Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
In his book, “The 2001 Anthrax Deception,” Dr. Graeme MacQueen describes this as “the double perpetrator hypothesis,” an attempt to blame the attacks on both Al Qaeda and Iraq. He writes:
“What I call the ‘Double Perpetrator hypothesis’ held that Bin Laden’s group sent the anthrax spores through the mail but that the group had a state sponsor that had supplied the spores, namely Iraq.”
This hypothesis, insinuated by key government officials and parroted by the press, had the added benefit of explaining how the anthrax spores used in the attack could have been weaponized so efficiently.
MACQUEEN1 – “Well the young woman who opened Senator Daschle’s mail…Afghanistan and Iraq” [0:16 – 2:02]
The story of Iraqi collusion with Al Qaeda sounded credible enough to an American public that had no familiarity with the Muslim world and was still reeling in shock from the attacks of 9/11. The only problem with that story is that it was a complete lie.
When key government scientists came out to denounce the claim that the anthrax contained traces of bentonite, a signature of the Iraqi anthrax program, the Bush administration sought to distance itself from any direct connection between Saddam and the attacks.
As filmmaker Robbie Martin explains in his documentary, American Anthrax, however, that connection was reinforced to the public by way of a complicit corporate media.
Martin points to disgraced ex-New York Times journalist and Iraqi WMD pusher Judy Miller as a particularly egregious example of how the media laid the groundwork for the campaign to tie Iraq to the anthrax letters.
As we now know, of course, the anthrax attacks were a false flag event.
By early 2002 it was confirmed that the anthrax had sourced to the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, a key facility within America’s own bioweapons program. Soon suspicion fell on Steven Hatfill, a “person of interest” identified by the FBI who eventually won a $4.6 million lawsuit against the Department of Justice for falsely accusing him of his participation in the attacks and illegally leaking his identity to the press. The blame for the attacks was then pinned on Bruce Ivins, a researcher at Fort Detrick who conveniently died before the FBI could identify him or try him in court. The National Academy of Sciences and the Government Accountability Office have both cast doubt on the FBI’s scientific investigation of the attacks, however, and a whistleblower within the FBI’s own investigation has revealed that the Bureau is sitting on evidence that would exonerate Ivins.
Whoever the perpetrator may have been–even accepting that Ivins was the attacker–it is a fact that the attacks were a false flag, using crudely forged letters to convince the American public that they were written by Al Qaeda agents. And that false flag was aided by the government officials and corporate media talking heads who were happy to propagate this false story in the lead up to war in Iraq.
The legacy of that war remains with us today. The middle east, including Iraq itself, remains in chaos, a direct result of the illegal invasion and occupation of that country. An invasion and occupation that was sold to the public on the back of brazen lies and outright fabrications.
The blood of a million dead Iraqis stains the hands of those who lied the public into that war, and those who aided and abetted those liars.
Meanwhile, the anthrax attacks themselves remain a case study in how a false flag event can be used to whip the public into hysteria and be led into supporting illegal wars of aggression.