Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Greenwald on the Anthrax Case & Media Subservience to Government Lies

Glenn Greenwald has been reporting in some depth on the FBI accusations that Fort Detrick scientist Bruce Ivins -- dead purportedly by his own hand -- was the sole attacker in the anthrax scare that followed after 9/11. If you haven't already been following Greenwald's coverage on this, then you owe it to read his columns.

In his latest piece, the former civil rights litigator and author of "How Would a Patriot Act? excoriates the servile U.S. press, whose primary role is "to serve government sources and amplify their claims, not to investigate their veracity." For instance, Greenwald describes how even weeks after the FBI claimed they had "solved" the anthrax case, they are still concocting timelines to make the "facts" fit their theory.

From Glenn's latest essay:
Being able to link an accused to the scene of the crime is the centerpiece of any case. That's why the FBI leaked its "administrative leave" theory to the Post and other media, which then spent all day highlighting the "incriminating fact." Yet the FBI's own theory made no sense and was immediately debunked, and so, in response, they just changed their theory to some completely different set of speculations the way political pundits have new "breaking news" every five minutes about who the likely Vice Presidential picks are. Does that behavior allow anyone to have confidence in what the FBI is saying?
The anthrax attacks post-9/11 played a huge role in amping up the terror scare, and consequently, the bellicose actions of the Bush Administration abroad, along with a crackdown on civil liberties at home (warrantless wiretapping, Patriot Act, use of torture, etc.)

The attempt to close the books on the anthrax investigation with the suicide-death of the government's prime "suspect" doesn't pass the smell test. I wish I'd had more time to spend looking into and writing about this essential story. It's comforting that Glenn Greenwald and others are on the job, especially as the big-time media has proven so useless, or craven (please feel free to pick your own modifier).

The Ivins case immediately reminded me of the ancient case of another suspicious Ft. Detrick "suicide," CIA-MKULTRA researcher Frank Olson. Another book on the Olson story, by researcher H. P. Albarelli, is due out later this year. In the meantime, interested readers should check out the series Albarelli wrote for Crime Magazine back in 2002 on the Olson case. And if that weren't enough motivation, consider that both Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were involved in later governmental efforts to cover-up the truth about Olson's death (as told in a related book published by Gordon Thomas earlier this year).

From the introduction to the Albarelli articles on Olson:
In 1975, 22 years after CIA Scientist Frank Olson allegedly committed suicide by jumping through a closed window on the 10th floor of his room in a New York City hotel in 1953, shocking new details about his death were revealed in the findings of a special Presidential Commission investigating the CIA. The case remained dormant from then until 1996 when Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau opened a new criminal investigation into Dr. Olson's death. Morgenthau's decision was spurred by the startling discoveries of noted forensic sleuth James Starrs of George Washington University, who took on the case at the behest of Olson's family. Following Starrs's many revelations, Morgenthau assigned the Olson case to his newly created Cold Case Unit headed by Stephen Saracco and Daniel Bibb.


Annie said...

No one has reported on the fact that Ivins' death has not been investigated to determine its cause definitely. Suicidality is not known.

However, the FBI and the media have done a yeoman's job on stigmatizing mental illness, conflating being harassed with "mentally unstable" and "unfit" and doing just a bang up job of taking societal attitudes backwards centuries.

There is an enormous amount of damage that is being done by how the media narrative is being developed.

The criminalization, ostracism and stigmatism of people with mental illness is effectively US policy and program now. It's surreal when you look at the numbers and realize that over 50% of all inpatient psychiatric care is delivered in prisons, and that healthcare system infrastructure and services for effective short and long term inpatient treatment has been shifted to the prison system.

Valtin said...

These are all excellent points!

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