Saturday, August 02, 2008


This man has been identified as an enemy combatant determined to cause the deaths of American servicemen- why hasn't he been detained at Guantanamo Bay and waterboarded until he revealed his nefarious plans to attack U.S. warships in the Straits of Hormuz?

Most Americans develop their view of the world from the mainstream mass media, whether it be television, newspapers, radio, or the internet (which contains both mainstream and alternative sources of information). Regardless of the source, the one thing we should all agree on is that we would rather know the truth than be subjected to exaggerations and outright lies from the sources that inform us.

Recently it came to light that the 2001 anthrax scare, in which five people died and others were injured, was most likely caused by a scientist who worked for the United States biological weapons laboratory. Here’s the Los Angeles Times August 1, 2008 report:

“One of the nation's top biodefense researchers has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailing assaults of 2001 that killed five, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who for the past 18 years worked at the government's elite biodefense research laboratories at Fort Detrick, Md., had been informed of the impending prosecution, people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and with the FBI investigation said.”

This isn’t exactly shocking news, because only a few places worldwide- including the U.S.’s own labs- had the technical capabilities and know how to develop what is known as “weaponized” anthrax, meaning that the particles of anthrax did not stick together but floated in the air once the letter or package was opened.

The problem is that when the anthrax attacks first occurred in October of 2001, numerous highly placed Bush Administration officials, including Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy secretary of Defense, Richard Perle, then Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee for the Department of Defense, Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Wayne Downing, National Director and Deputy National Security Adviser for combating terrorism, blamed Iraq and Saddam Hussein for the attacks. They used this as one more false justification for the invasion and occupation of Iraq- because these anthrax attacks showed how dangerous and deadly Saddam Hussein was and how in the interest of our national security we needed to take him out. Here’s the report, courtesy of This Modern World with quotes from CNN archives (

“At the Pentagon, Wolfowitz was an insistent force behind an invasion of Iraq, bringing it up at the first National Security Council meeting of the Bush administration, months before Sept. 11. For years he had been a firm believer in the crackpot theories of Laurie Mylroie, a neoconservative writer, who argued that Saddam was behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and even the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

“In October 2001, [Wayne] Downing, [Paul] Wolfowitz, and other proponents of a war with Iraq thought they had yet more ammunition for the case against Saddam. A series of deadly anthrax-laced letters had been sent to the Capitol Hill offices of Senator Daschle and Senator Patrick Leahy and to several newsrooms. Mylroie asserted that Saddam was behind the mailings. An early forensic test of the anthrax letters (which was later disputed) appeared to show that the anthrax spores were highly refined and “weaponized.” To the Iraq hawks, the news was electric. “This is definitely Saddam!” Downing shouted to several White House aides. One of these aides later recalled overhearing Downing excitedly sharing the news over the phone with Wolfowitz and Feith. “I had the feeling they were high-five-ing each other,” the White House official said.”

OK, so that’s now an historical footnote. One more lie, willingly repeated and spread by the mass media at the time, to justify an invasion which has been the greatest foreign policy disaster in our nation’s history. We now know, as we appear to be unable to extricate ourselves from Iraq’s briar patch, that every possible reason trotted out for the invasion (the smoking gun will be a mushroom cloud! Saddam collaborated with the 9-11 Al Qaida terrorists! Saddam is amassing biological weapons produced in trailers and secret weapons labs!) turned out to be bogus. To date over 4,124 dead Americans (and over 100,000 dead Iraqis), more than 30,324 maimed and wounded American servicemen and women, over five hundred forty billion dollars wasted, our military in near collapse, our image abroad its worst ever- all because of a war based on lies. Republicans in general and the McCain campaign in particular want Americans to think that it would be poor manners to bring up their inconvenient lies prior to the invasion- five years later they want the media and American voters to focus on an imminent “victory” in Iraq, based on the “surge,” even though that victory can’t be defined and won’t result in the return of American troops from that inferno 7,800 miles away because the “success” is so “fragile” (those are McCain’s words in quotes).

But now it comes to light that in January of 2008 Vice President Richard Cheney and his staff discussed dressing up Navy SEALs as Iranians and using them to stage attacks on American warships to create a false provocation for an attack and invasion of Iran. Here is Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh’s report on the proposal discussed in Vice President Cheney’s office shortly after the near incident involving Iranian speedboats and American warships in the Straits of Hormuz:

“HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.”

Putting it baldly: the Vice President of the United States is willing to consider killing Americans to start another war in the Middle East which will end up further devastating both America and that part of the world. An Austin Powers fantasy, you ask? Nope. Sad reality. A reality which, inexplicably, has not dominated the front pages of every American newspaper or the top of every American newscast. Why is this not the biggest story in the land? Why are we treated, instead, to news coverage of John McCain’s absurd television ad linking Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton to Barack Obama?

I guess reality doesn’t play as well in America as fantasy, even when that reality seems as far fetched - an American Vice President considering having American SEALS kill other American servicemen so that he can have the war he wants- as any comic book turned into a movie at the local multiplex. So WAKE UP mainstream American media. Write about this, broadcast it to the high heavens. Put some backbone into impeachment hearings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Have Cheney’s advisors hauled before Congress to testify about their insane boss’s plans to use Americans to kill Americans to enmesh America into another costly war on false pretenses. Give us a dose of truth- for a change we really can believe in.


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