CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Former Senator Russ Feingold discusses the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings in his book, While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era (February 21, 2012)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 20, 2012

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Carl Hulse writes in the NYT (2/21/12) …

  • Russ Feingold always went his own way in the Senate, much to the frequent aggravation of his Democratic colleagues.
  • But the Wisconsin Democrat was never more alone than on Oct. 11, 2001, when he was the sole opponent to the Patriot Act antiterror law pushed through on a 96-1 vote in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.
  • Mr. Feingold assembles a narrative of how the terrorist attacks, the deadly anthrax assault in the capital and the sniper killings in the Washington region created a climate of fear that ultimately led to the antiterrorism law, the war in Iraq and ugly political attacks.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/20/in-book-feingold-offers-insiders-view-of-senate-post-sept-11/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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7 Responses to “* Former Senator Russ Feingold discusses the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings in his book, While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era (February 21, 2012)”

  1. DXer said

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for poisoning coffee and fruit? It would violate the hadiths to poison foodstuffs. Chlorine bleach is commonly used in cleaning. The Taliban claimed responsibility for something that violates the hadiths? What are the details of the claim of responsibility?

    The use of the phrase “presumed attacks” on schoolgirls is even more troubling. It would violate the hadiths to use a poison on schoolgirls.

    CER Update: Taliban’s unconventional tactics, the use of chlorine bleach
    29 February 2012
    http://www.ibconsultancy.eu/publications/cer-update/

    According to very recent reports from Afghanistan[1], Taliban may have retaliated for the Koran burning at the US-run Bagram Air Field, by poisoning food at the military Torkham Forward Operation Base near the Pakistan border in the Nangarhar province. The actual situation is not completely clear, but NATO announced that traces of chlorine bleach were found in fruit and coffee delivered for consumption by military personnel, and the Taliban hastened to claim responsibility for that. No soldiers got sick. Commercial household liquid bleach ranges from 5-10% sodium hypochlorite. At low concentrations, such as those used for household bleach, sodium hypochlorite is a mild to moderate irritant. Ingestion is not expected to cause severe or permanent damage of the gastrointestinal tract and recovery is usually rapid. At higher concentrations (> 10 %) it is corrosive.[2] An investigation is being carried out in order to discover whether or not the bleach was applied intentionally and whether in this case Taliban could have played a role, or whether the contamination occurred as a consequence of spillage from cleaning.

    Irrespective of the results of this particular investigation, one should not ignore that since 2009 there has been a tendency for the Taliban and Islamic extremists in Afghanistan to use toxic chemical agents as a method of war. IB Consultancy’s 1st Current Events Report (June 2010) focused on a string of presumed attacks with poisonous chemical gas causing dizziness and nausea on Afghan schoolgirls. In April 2010 only, 3 separate gas attacks against girls’ schools took place, injuring dozens.

    After a 2009 toxic gas attack, victims reported to have smelled a chemical locally known as Mallatin, which farmers sometimes spread on fields to poison foraging birds. Mallatin is a trade name for Malathion, an organophosphate (OP). Although large doses are needed, Malathion could have caused the symptoms from which the school girls where suffering. In extremely high doses the chemical could even cause a coma. Mallatin can be bought over the counter in major Afghan cities. Since Afghanistan is mainly an agrarian country, this substance can easily be bought in large amounts.

    The attacks on Afghan schoolgirls demonstrate that the tactics and weapons used by the Taliban and other Islamist extremists are evolving towards wider reliance upon unconventional weapons and tactics. In this case, the purpose of using chemical agents by extremists groups was threefold: first, to prohibit and make impossible female education; second, to induce fear among the Afghan people and possibly affect the moral of the Afghan National Army; and, finally, to reduce the military effectiveness of NATO troops in Afghanistan. All these objectives do not necessarily require state of the art chemical weapons – normal commercially available toxic substances would suffice.

    Chlorine bleach and hazardous chemical materials such as Malathion are, like in many countries, easy to obtain In Afghanistan. The combination of a willingness to use chemical agents shown by the Taliban and the easy access to chemical substances in Afghanistan may have far-reaching consequences. Since NATO troops are currently scheduled to remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2013, by the beginning of 2014 the bulk of the military power of the coalition forces will be gone. If the Taliban continue to use toxic substances as weapons, the future conflict within Afghanistan, could be even more dreadful than the war that the Afghan people face today.

    If the Taliban’s claim to have poisoned the fruit and coffee intended for NATO military is proven, this would mean the increased psychological vulnerability of the coalition forces in the face of the threat of unconventional attacks. As previously mentioned, the symptoms a body shows after the ingestion of chlorine bleach can be irritating and can, after ingesting industrial bleach, even be very painful. However, the consequences of ingesting chlorine bleach are not usually deadly. Therefore, perhaps, NATO commanders should ask themselves the following questions: What if the food could be poisoned with a substance more toxic than chlorine bleach? And, what is next? Is the Taliban capable of using even more hazardous unconventional substances? And, finally – what should be done to increase preparedness, prevention and protection against such unconventional attacks?

  2. DXer said

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2012/02/17/AQAP-wants-WMD-official-says/UPI-64341329489915/

    AQAP wants WMD, official says

    Published: Feb. 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) — It’s unlikely the United States will be attacked with weapons of mass destruction though al-Qaida affiliates are pursuing that objective, an official said.

    U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee during hearings assessing threats to U.S. national security.

    Clapper said it was unlikely that foreign terrorists groups would attack the United States using a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons within the next year because of what he said was “intense” counter-terrorism pressure.

    Nevertheless, he said, the U.S. intelligence community was on high alert from the CBRN threat because of the spread of technology and the minimal infrastructure needed for some of those weapons.

    Clapper stressed that while a “mass attack” was unlikely, groups like Yemen’s al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have expressed interest in acquiring the capability to carry out a limited attack using such weapons.

    AQAP ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki was killed last year in Yemen in an attack by a CIA drone. He was said to have inspired several attacks targeting U.S. national interests, including a plan to down a plane in Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

    Comment:

    What role has U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper been in a position to play in understanding Anwar Awlaki’s connection to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings — given Awlaki’s coordination with a convicted seditionist Al-Timimi. Dr. Al-Timimi shared a suite with the leading Ames anthrax researchers who in March 2001 co-invented a process that would concentrate anthrax by using silicon dioxide in the growth medium (such as was observed in the forensic tests conducted at Sandia). Ali Al-TImimi was also coordinating in early Fall 2001 with Bin Laden’s sheik about Moussaoui’s defense.

    We can wish the DNI well in a difficult job faced with a broad array of challenges such as pointed out by Russ Feingold.

    Russ Feingold would be an interesting presidential candidate in 2016 — worthy of very serious attention both by grassroots activists and the big-monied interests that want to see the world’s great cities safely into the next Century.

  3. DXer said

    Russ Feingold attended University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship in 1977, where he earned another Bachelor of Arts degree. Upon returning to the U.S., he attended Harvard Law School, receiving his J.D. with honors in 1979.

    He served as a Democratic party member of the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011. Committee assignments of the former Senator from WIsconsin included:

    • Committee on the Budget
    • Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts
    • Subcommittee on the Constitution (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
    • Committee on Foreign Relations
    • Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs
    • Subcommittee on African Affairs (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    • Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Democracy and Human Rights
    • Select Committee on Intelligence

    Question: If he were in the Senate (and it seems the public would be well-served by his return), how would he vote on Congressman Holt’s bill?

  4. DXer said

    At page 42, I believe, he again writes: “We may never know who really committed this terrible crime.”

    • DXer said

      Former Senator Feingold says “there was no question that he had already used biological and chemical weapons in genocidal attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan in 1988.” (p. 79)

      Prince Bandar financed the combat equipped helicopters sold to Iraq — with the sale publicly announced as being for cropdusting missions. Prince Bandar discussed the plan with Sarkis Soghanalian at a Benihana’s restaurant, Sarkis was known to make tape recordings.

      At the time, ATCC gave Iraq strains of anthrax.

      What would have happened to Bush’s desire to invade Iraq had it been known that Andy Card’s former assistant at DOT shared a suite with the leadiing Ames researchers (who shared facilities with ATCC) and that FBI Agent Wade Ammerman and his colleagues knew that Ali Al-Timimi was coordinating with Anwar Awlaki.

      I really think the American people could have done with out the extensive redactions from the 911 Commission report given the absurd backroom dealings that go on involving money.

      I likely still have the Pan Aviation watch that was passed on to me as a memento.

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