Petition to urge the Congress to investigate irregularities in the anthrax attacks of 2001 sign now

Honorable Congressman Waxman,

In light of the recent death by apparent suicide of Bruce Ivins, the FBI's lead suspect in the in the anthrax bioterrorism attacks of Septermber 2001, many Americans are probably relieved to know that the individual most likely responsible for this heinous crime will never be able to attempt such actions again. However, a host of unanswered questions remain concerning the anthrax scare that warrant a rapid Congressional investigation. To summarize the facts in this matter:

As has been thoroughly documented by Glenn Greenwald ("Vital unresolved anthrax questions and ABC news, August 1, 2008:, an investigative journalist with the online magazine, ABC news continuously made the claim that tests on the anthrax used in the attacks--tests conducted at Ft. Detrick, the same lab where Mr. Ivins worked--contained trace amounts of bentonite, which would have constituted strong evidence that the anthrax used in the attacks originated from the the biological weapons program of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. ABC cited, at various times, either "three well-placed but separate sources" or "four well-placed but separate sources." These reports turned out to be completely false, and despite denials even from the Bush Administration, this claim made its way onto the October 26, 2001 edition of ABC's "World New Tonight" with Peter Jennings:

"This news about bentonite as the additive being a trademark of the Iraqi biological weapons program is very significant. Partly because there's been a lot of pressure on the Bush administration inside and out to go after Saddam Hussein. And some are going to be quick to pick up on this as a smoking gun."

This claim was further used by many major political and media figures to advocate for George Bush's invasion of Iraq, including Senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain. ABC did not publicly retract this claim until 2006, and has not revealed the sources who defrauded the American public and helped make a false case for war.

Mr. Greenwald has also documented quite clearly that the perpetrator intended for the public to believe that the letters originated from Islamist extremists. The letters included with the anthrax included phrases such as "Death to America," "Death to Israel," and "Allah is great." One of the letters also included the phrase "09-11-01: this is next", a clear indication that the perpetrator wanted the public to view this attack as a successor to the horrendous terrorist attacks on that day orchestrated by Al-Qaeda. The now-deceased lead suspect, Mr. Ivins, had written several letters to the editor of his hometown newspaper, the Frederick News-Post, many of which explicitly advocate either a dominionist belief in the supremacy of the Christian faith, a moral duty to impose it on others, or a contempt for Islam and its adherents. These letters date back a decade to 1998. Furthermore, Mr. Ivins had been involved in a spate of anthrax-related incidents at Ft. Detrick in 2001 and 2002. Despite this evidence, however, the main thrust of the investigation appears to have first fallen on possible connections to the defunct Iraqi bioweapons program, and then on the innocent Stephen Hatfill.

On March 18, 2008, Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post and one of the media figures who advocated for an invasion of Iraq in no small part because of the belief that the anthrax attack was orchestrated by the Iraqi government, wrote in a column on ( that he had been forewarned to obtain Cipro, the antibiotic that protects against anthax attacks, by way of a high-ranking government official:

"The attacks were not entirely unexpected. I had been told soon after Sept. 11 to secure Cipro, the antidote to anthrax. The tip had come in a roundabout way from a high government official, and I immediately acted on it. I was carrying Cipro way before most people had ever heard of it."

Taken together, these facts present an extremely troubling set of circumstances, including a government scientist apparently responsible for attacks intended to provoke retaliation against Muslim groups and countries; other high-placed government sources falsely claiming that tests conducted at the same lab in which the perpetrator worked revealed strong evidence that one such nation, Iraq, was responsible for the attacks; a news organization that refuses to expose apparently high-placed sources that pepetuated false claims in an apparent attempt to advance a political agenda; a Department of Justice that did not investigate an individual with a published record of a political and religious agenda with motive, opportunity, and a history of anthrax-related incidents; and a prominent journalist warned by a high-ranking government official in advance of the attack to carry protection against anthrax.

This set of circumstances demands a Congressional investigation designed to answer the following questions under subpoena:

1. Who were the sources that leaked false information to ABC news regarding the presence of bentonite in the anthrax used in the attacks?

2. Why did ABC news never publicly retract a claim that provided a false justification for war, or expose those who leaked false information to the news outlet?

3. Why did it take so long for the Department of Justice to investigate an individual with a published agenda matching that of the attacks with clear opportunity and several pieces of circumstancial evidence possibly linking him to the crime?

4. Who informed Richard Cohen that securing Cipro would be a good idea, and why?

We, the undersigned, urge you, as Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, to open a Congressional investigation into the aforementioned unusual circumstances surrounding the government's actions regarding the anthrax attacks of September 2001.

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