Friday, August 01, 2008


The Wall Street Journal editorial page one month ago --

The FBI's mad scientist [anthrax] theory also fit the agenda of the political left, which didn't want the trail of evidence to prove state-sponsorship of terror – particularly by Iraq ... But the possibility of a foreign source should never have been downplayed. Saddam Hussein had deployed chemical attacks in the Iran-Iraq war and against the Kurds. In 1995, Iraq admitted to U.N. weapons inspectors that it had added thousands of liters of anthrax and other toxins to its biological arsenal.

... So the FBI needed to cast a wider net all along – which still remains urgent. In 2007, 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told a military tribunal he was "directly in charge" of "managing and following up on the Cell for the Production of Biological Weapons, such as anthrax and others." The 9/11 Commission reported that al Qaeda has had an "ambitious" bioweapons program. Though there's no evidence that al Qaeda operatives succeeded in manufacturing weapons-grade agents, the anthrax case proves that such high-level production isn't necessary for an attack. And there's no telling what's floating around out there.

But if anything, this fiasco shows the limits of bureaucratic law enforcement in fighting terror ...

What it actually shows is how law enforcement can get contanimated by geopolitical agendas. Someday we'll find out how much pressure the FBI was under to find a link to Saddam. In the meantime, Bruce Ivins escaped attention.

UPDATE 4 AUGUST: The WSJ editorial taking note of the Ivins development never mentions their earlier advocacy of an Iraq theory of anthrax.

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