Skip to comments.Profile of a Killer
Posted on 01/05/2002 4:37:59 AM PST by CrossCheck
I think I know who sent out the anthrax last fall.
He is an American insider, a man working in the military bio-weapons field. He's a skilled microbiologist who did not aim to kill anybody or even to disrupt the postal system. Rather, he wanted to sow terror. Like many in the bio-warfare field, he felt that the government was not sufficiently attuned to the risks of anthrax, so he seized upon the opportunity presented by Sept. 11 to get more attention and funding for bio-terror programs like those that have been his career.
How do I know all this? Well, I don't exactly. But talk to the people in the spooky world of bio-terror awhile, sop up the gossip and theories, and as you put the clues together -- as bio-terror experts and F.B.I. officials are now doing -- a hazy picture seems to come into focus. It's not a certainty but an educated guess, circulating among many who know their business.
"I think there are on the order of 100 people who could have done it, who have the access to the spores and the technical expertise to have done it," says one man with long experience in the shadows of the United States bio-defense program. "I've got to admit that I could be a suspect. I've been interviewed by the F.B.I."
The emerging image of the killer that many of the experts see (but not all; anthrax experts agree about as much as economists do) is precisely the opposite of the perpetrator whom we initially imagined. Our first impulse when catastrophes happen is to look for foreigners to round up, as we did after the Oklahoma City bombing and after the crash of Flight 800. The Bush administration tried hard to find evidence to pin the anthrax attacks on Iraq.
In fact, many experts believe that the killer is tied to the American bio-weapons program because the anthrax he sent out is genetically identical to the anthrax kept by the United States Army. A microbiologist named Paul Keim is helping the authorities compare the genetic fingerprint of the mailed anthrax, and every indication is that it derives at least indirectly from the mother lode of the military strain, kept at Fort Detrick, Md.
The mailed anthrax is also astonishingly pure and equivalent (in spore size and concentration) to the best the American Army ever achieved. Making anthrax in a dry powdered form of this quality is difficult, and beginning in 1959 took 900 workers in the "hot" area of Fort Detrick years of effort (and two accidental deaths, including that of an unlucky electrician who changed light bulbs at the wrong time). Thus it seems that the murderer had access not only to the American military germs but also to some knowledge of the American military method of preparing it in its dry form.
Why do specialists agree that the murderer was not trying to kill anybody? Because he taped the envelopes tightly, and as of September nobody expected that the spores could leak through envelopes. Moreover, each of the letters that has been recovered announced that the substance was anthrax and advised the recipient to take antibiotics.
"I don't think that he was trying to kill anybody," said Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a microbiologist who has studied the attacks for the Federation of American Scientists. "I think the motive was to create public fear, to raise the profile of biological warfare."
The F.B.I. may already have talked to the killer. There are not that many people with the access to germs, the knowledge and an anthrax vaccine booster shot in the last year. But the murderer showed a knowledge of forensics (apparently not licking a stamp or envelope, for example, to avoid leaving DNA), and it may be very difficult to move from suspicions to sufficient proof for an arrest.
Washington has been pressing Russia, Pakistan and other countries, quite rightly, to improve their control of germs, chemicals and nuclear weapons. But one of the lessons of the anthrax investigation is that the first thing we need to do to feel safer is put our own house in order. It is appalling that we cannot even determine which labs have exchanged anthrax with Fort Detrick.
Terrorism and laxity, it seems, afflict not only foreigners with different complexions and religions, but --in exceptional cases -- perhaps also those with white lab coats and military haircuts.
Besides that possibility and the one mentioned in the article, it is also possible that this was done by someone who wanted to make the military labs look bad, or who wanted to help the democrats by letting them be victims, or who wanted to make money on anti-anthrax measures....
There are a host of possibilities and motives. The danger from Iraq is not a knee-jerk reaction. The paper has conveniently forgotten Iraq's attempted assassination plot targeting the first President Bush.
USAMRIID, that's it!
The author makes an excellent point-- these letters were not about killing, they were about 'raising the spectre of bio-terror.' With less than 100 insiders as potential perps, I bet the FBI is close. Then if they dig deeper for a motive, we can find who wanted the perp(s) to act.
Only tabloids and free broadcast media suffered an attack.
The perpetrator's profile must include these facts - this one does not.
At the moment you could as well put your money on an advertising sales manager at the Washington Post as anyone. After all advertising sales are down and this is a very competitive business.
-Oscar Arias Sánchez, A Scourge of Guns
From ASMP (Armed Sales Monitoring Project)
An armed and aroused citizenry, they assert, must be mobilized and ready for a call to war. For most, if not all, of the militias, the fear of government confiscation of their weapons is a paramount concern. Samuel Sherwood, head of the "U.S. Militia Association" in states: 'When they come around to collect weapons, we'll have the legal and lawful structure to say 'no' to that." Sherwood has stated further: "Go up and look legislators in the face, because someday you may have to blow it off." Randy Trochmann of the "Militia of Montana" gets tougher: "If and when the federal government decides to confiscate weapons, people will band together to stop them. They are not going to give up their guns." And the "enemy" easily becomes nightmarish: Robert Pummer, a leader of the "Florida State Militia," says that his group is "capable of defending ourselves against chemical and biological agents."
Although thwarting gun control is the chief aim of the militias, they seek to turn the clock back on federal involvement in a host of other issues as well, e.g., education, abortion, and environmental protections. A case in point is Norman Olson, until this past weekend a regional militia commander in northern Michigan. Olson, a Baptist minister who owns a gun shop, has envisioned violence erupting if present government policies continue, declaring: "We're talking about a situation where armed conflict may be inevitable if the country doesn't turn around."
It's obvious what their agenda is.
Anti-abortionists, progunners, Christians are bad.
Globalists, the UN, the pro-aborts, all good.
They have "Leftist" written all over them.
This article, like most on the subject, assumes a single perpetrator or singular motive--something neither facts nor logic support.
Each of the standard media musings about "the" anthrax mailer relies on selective omission of one or more key facts to make things fit. The glaring omission in this piece is the Florida anthrax case at American Media.
Indeed, if any assumption is to be made, it seems more logical to assume multiple players. Multiple players with multiple--even conflicting--motives who found each other temporarily useful. History is rife with strange bedfellows.
The complexity and sophistication of these crimes, combined with timing, location, and chosen targets, argues strongly against the single perpetrator theory embraced by the pundits. Their universal attraction to this otherwise unlikely scenario is the handy platform it provides for the advancement of personal agenda.
I also think, responsible party is someone wanting credit for warning of a possible bio-chem threat to USA - he/she has been trying to bring this to the government's attention but has been shunned and brushed off so it's an I'll show you attitude.
Looking at the address on the envelope reminds me of Canadian way of addressing envelopes. That is reaching.
Special Interest Extremists
Special interest extremists continued to conduct acts of politically-oriented crime last year. Violent anti-abortion advocates were responsible for almost all of these activities.
Due to the efforts of the Department of Justice's Task Force on Violence Against Abortion Providers (TFVAAP), the number of abortion-related crimes decreased from 1994 levels. Although the number of incidents declined, the TFVAAP still investigated more than 100 violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in 1995.
Two of the most prominent abortion-related events in 1995 included the following:
On February 22, 1995, Dr. Elizabeth Karlin, a physician in Madison, Wisconsin, received two death threat letters. Vincent Whitaker--an inmate at a local county jail who was serving a 67-year sentence for reckless injury with a motor vehicle--later admitted writing the letters. On September 12, 1995, Whitaker was tried and convicted of two counts of the FACE Act and sending threats through the U.S. Mail. On November 21, 1995, Whitaker was sentenced to an additional 63 months imprisonment.
In August 1995, John Salvi--the suspected murderer of two receptionists during a December 30, 1994, shooting spree at an abortion clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts--was declared competent to stand trial. Salvi is charged under Massachusetts law with the murders of Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, and five other counts of aggravated assault.
The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, through the TFVAAP, investigates any instance in which customers or providers of reproductive health services are criminally threatened, obstructed, or injured while seeking or providing services.
Do a search on their website. Enter keywords like I did, such as 'gun control' or 'abortion', and this groups left wing tilt should be obvious.
It's the same garbage from the same "America Last" crowd, except here they call themselves "scientists".
The author is a doofus. Not licking the envelope filled with anthrax is not evidence of forensic knowledge, but rather evidence of how not to get anthrax when you're engaged in bioterrorism.
You will see so called conservatives quoting these and even worse "Salon.com", "Antiwar.com", "Clymer Rockweiller.com" _____________(you fill in the blank) full tilt in 2002.
Why, to try to trash GW, the Republicans and to try to shift the blame away from the left wingers led by the Clintoons which enabled OBL to mass murder innocent Americans on 9/11!
Ooops! I forgot to throw in the left wing newspapers and phoney news wires like the left wing UK fishwraps and the AFP from that $hitty little country, France!
We will need chest waders to wade through this b$. We need to point out where this b$ is coming from and why! This will be a strategy of a certain group until we use the laws of truth/gravity to roll their b$ back down on them!
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