Centre for Research on GlobalisationCentre de recherche sur la mondialisation
According to Patrick Martin, in an article entitled "US anthrax attacks linked to army biological weapons plant" there is a "growing likelihood that a section of the state apparatus itself, with close links to far-right elements, is the probable source of the anthrax attacks." Now, the facts are in.
American microbiologists have been pointing the finger at virologist Dr. Steven Hatfill, an American contractor working for the CIA. Dr. Hatfill is "one of the few people in the United States who knows how to manufacture and weaponize anthrax spores, information (he) gained from his two years at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Maryland." (Jan Cienski, "Anthrax Probe Puts Spotlight on Researcher" National Post, July 5, 2002, p. A12)
Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a biological warfare expert at the Federation of American Scientists claims that "biodefense experts have told the FBI the identity of a likely suspect but that the Bureau was keeping it secret-possibly because the suspect knows to much about U.S. experimentation with germ warfare." (Julian Borger "Anthrax Killer Could Grow More Bacteria" Guardian Weekly, June25-July 3, 2002, p. 4)
Why has Dr. Steven Hatfill's name hit the top of the suspect list? First of all, the spores used in last year's attack were "identical" to a strain developed at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases in Frederick where Steven Hatfill worked. After leaving the army lab, Hatfill worked for Scientific Application International Corporation, a defense contractor, but he retained access to the U.S. military's chemical weapons testing facility in Fort Detrick, Md. and the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.
Secondly, Dr. Hatfill is one the the "few" people in the entire United States who knows how to weaponize anthrax spores. In fact, Dr. Hatfill, 48, is a U.S. native, born in Missouri, who served in the Rhodesian white-run military's elite Special Air Squadron and the feared Selous Scouts counterinsurgency unit. Dr. Hatfill was "serving with the Rhodesian military during an outbreak of anthrax that sickened more than 10,000 black farmers in 1978-80." Jan Cienski, National Post, July 5, 2002, p. A12). Thus, one of the largest outbreaks of germ warfare in world history came as the white Rhodesians were on the verge of being defeated by black guerrillas. Dr. Hatfill was on site, he had the technology, the CIA connection and the access to the planes of the Special Air Squadron.
Hatfill then claims he went to South Africa to work for the country's apartheid Military Medical Corps. It seems reasonable to speculate that Dr. Hatfill's African activities may have been at the service of the CIA sponsored cold war activities.
Thirdly, the return address of the anthrax letters to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy had the phony address "Greendale School" in Franklin Park, N.J. When Dr. Hatfill lived in Zimbabwe he resided in a suburb of the capital Harare, called "Greendale".
Fourthly, when Hatfill returned to the U.S. in 1995, he immediately "joined the highest levels of the U.S. biodefence establishment with little apparent problem...." (National Post July 5, 2002, p.A12) This further evidence suggests he was a valuable CIA asset returning home after the defeat of apartheid in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
In the fifth place, Dr. Hatfill's former co-workers alerted the FBI in August, 2000, after he "was seen taking home a large piece of lab equipment that can be used to handle dangerous materials." (National Post, July 5, 2002, p. A12)
In the sixth place, when he was working for Scientific Applications International Corporation, Dr. Hatfill commissioned a 1999 study that described a fictional terrorist attack in which an anthrax-filled envelope is opened in an office. The study postulated that 2.5 grams of Bauillus Globigii, a type of anthrax could be placed in a standard sized business envelope-a similar amount was found in the letters to the two Senators. The study also suggested a trillion spores per gram-----the same particle size as in those envelopes.
Police have searched a public storage space rented by Dr. Hatfill in Ocala, Florida about three hours drive from Boca Raton, where the photo editor for a tabloid newspaper was killed by anthrax.
Finally, The National Post reports that Newsweek ran a story which claimed that bloodhounds trained to recognize the scent of the decontaminated anthrax envelopes "reacted strongly" to Dr. Hatfill's apartment, his girlfriend's apartment and a Denny's restaurant in Louisiana where he has eaten. (Deborah Charles "Scientist Denies any Role in Deadly Anthrax Attacks" National Post, August 12, 2002, p. A11)
Despite Nicholas Kristoff's column in the New York Times calling on the FBI to go after "Mr. Z", a man whose resume exactly matches Dr. Hatfill; despite the considered opinion and warnings of Dr. Hatfill's fellow scientists; despite the testing indicating that the anthrax spores are only 2 years old and still potentially active for a second attack; despite being questioned by the FBI four times, once with a polygraph, and a search of his Florida storage space and removing half a dozen garbage bags of material from his apartment, the FBI says Dr. Steven Hatfill "is not suspect." (National Post, July 5, 2002, p. A12) Recently, Dr. Hatfill has traveled to Central Asia (the new American war zone) on an official government assignment.
Let me just state the obvious, the FBI does not arrest CIA germ warfare scientists without the CIA permission or an American Cabinet decision, even if he is killing innocent Americans. The CIA has used Dr. Steven Hatfill's expertise for several decades. Certainly, the FBI was alerted by Hatfill's co-workers in August 2000 regarding his borrowing (or stealing?} a large piece of lab equipment that handled dangerous materials. And yet, both agencies have stood back and let Hatfill do his thing. This continues today even though the anthrax pores are less than two years old and still alive and deadly.
So much for the facts. However, even without all the facts, it is still important to speculate about why Dr. Steven Hatfill is not under arrest. Hatfill's possible tales of germ warfare against Africans, his close relationship to the CIA and the immediate post-Sept 11 timing of the anthrax attacks make him an undesirable witness from the government's point of view. Not arresting him is becoming increasingly embarrassing too.. But there may be a deeper reason for keeping him alive and on "government assignment."
Here comes the point of speculation that I have yet to see in print. Clearly, the anthrax attacks were timed to coincide with the Sept. 11 attack. The purpose was to create the maximum terror amongst the American public. Newsweek (June 10, 2002) has a cover story concluding that the CIA knew that two Qaeda terrorists (Khalid Almihdhar & Nawaf Alhazmi) entered the U.S. very early in 2000. Newsweek says that:
"Agency (CIA) officials didn't tell the INS, which could have turned them away at the border, nor did they notify the FBI, which could have covertly tracked them to find out their mission. Instead, during the year and nine months after the CIA identified them as terrorists, Alhazmi and Almihdhar lived openly in the United States, using their real names, obtaining driver's licenses, opening bank accounts and enrolling in flight schools----until the morning of September 11, when they walked aboard American Airlines flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon." (p. 22)
Remember now that Dr. Hatfill, the CIA scientist walks out of his lab with a device capable of storing anthrax in August, 2000. If the Bush administration, via the CIA, decided to give a free hand for a first strike action by Al Qaeda in order to mobilize the American People for war in Central Asia, they must have speculated that the cover-up might be exposed or at least used by the political opposition in the United States.
The only real opposition that could shake the Bush/CIA/FBI alliance cover-up would be the U.S. Senate because of it's investigative powers. The clue then is in the targets, especially Senate Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle. The anthrax letter to Senator Daschle and Senator Patrick Leahy may have been a warning: "Back us and don't push for an investigation or else?" As we know, the Bush Administration is opposed to any real Senate Investigation. Yet Tom Daschle's Democrats hold a majority in the Senate...a potentially dangerous man!
The current failure to make an arrest is interesting. The CIA/FBI could be letting the opposition know "We got this guy 'Mr. Z' who's got lots of live anthrax left. He's struck once. He could strike again. He used to work for us and we're not considering him a suspect. Draw your own conclusions about how much you wanna investigate September 11."
Unfortunately, the intimidation of the Democratic Party opposition continues. According to Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times, another Democratic Senator doing a personal on-site investigation of the U.S. Army Medical Rsearch Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md. was also exposed to anthrax. It seems the CIA doesn't want anyone visiting their labs.
Although the lives of Senators are at risk, Kristof makes a joke of the whole matter. He writes:
"As recently as April of this year (2002), anthrax spores were found in a hallway and administrative area of USAMRIID shortly after Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, visited the complex. Anthrax spores seem to have it in for Democratic Senators." (Nicholas D. Kristof, "Case of the Missing Anthrax New York Times, July 19, 2002, p. A21)
Needless to say, this is just another example of the establishment press not taking the attempts to intimidate the political opposition seriously. I wrote a letter to Kristof complaining that this was a serious issue and not a joking matter. No response was forthcoming.
In August, 2002, Dr. Steven Hatfill, in the company of his lawyer, issued a public statement in which he claims "I have never worked with anthrax. I know nothing about this matter." Yet, the East coast FBI investigators continue to covertly flood the media with more and more information. The latest being the text of a novel by Dr. Steven Hatfill on bioterrorism which was leaked to ABC News. According to Victor Glasbery, Dr. Hatfill's lawyer, the "only way" the manuscript could have been obtained was from the hard d rive on Dr. Hatfill's computer, which the FBI seized during a search of his home. (National Post, August 12, 2002, p. A11)
Clearly, there are some Agent Rowley types in the East coast FBI who are increasingly frustrated with the powers that be (FBI/CIA/Bush Inner Cabinet) and their successful attempts to prevent the arrest and trial of a CIA germ warfare expert for the anthrax attacks. Hence, the trial takes place in the media. Surprisingly Dr. Steven Hatfill has decided to participate in this media circus because he claims the FBI leaks have ruined his reputation and future career prospects. It is doubtful that Mr. Hafill's press conference will improve either his reputation or career prospects, but coming out in the open may have a good deal to do with saving his life.
The evidence has become so overwhelming that the CIA may no longer by able to shield him from further FBI probes and leaks. There may even be another Agent Rowley in the wings debating whether to come forward. Just as the FBI has upgraded their assessment of Dr. Hatfill from "not a suspect" to a "person of interest", so the CIA may be increasingly rating Dr. Hatfill as a liability rather than an asset. To avoid a trial, the best scenario for the CIA is to convict Dr. Hatfill in the media and then apply the Oswald Solution. In short, we got the guilty man but he's dead. Case closed. By becoming a public personality and meeting the press, Dr. Steven Hatfill may be responding to basic survival instincts.
Researchers need to seriously consider whether the September 11 air attacks and the anthrax attacks were being monitored and encouraged by the same governmental security agencies as part of an Administration " take America to war" strategy.
Steve Moore is a researcher and a retired teacher of American History living in British Columbia. Copyright © Steve Moore 2002. For fair use only
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