The Dr. Bruce Ivins episode is extremely interesting in a lone-gunman kinda way. The FBI says that Ivins is their man and that he acted alone. But this case is very peculiar and I’m skeptical. The FBI’s track record in this matter is pretty suspect to begin with. And there are a lot of things that don’t quite add up. For an interesting discussion of the ways in which the FBI’s case doesn’t quite make sense — or at least feels incomplete — check out Dr. Meryl Nass’s blog, and especially this entry.
Dr. Nass is certainly not a criminologist, but she is an expert on anthrax and knew Bruce Ivins. What particularly interests me is the list she compiled of people/organizations that have benefited from the anthrax attack:
The anthrax letters were sent for effect, not to kill. Here are the effects that resulted, at least in part…:
A. The Patriot Act
B. War against Iraq
C. A new bioterrorism industry, worth over $50 Billion so far, was created
D. The moribund Anthrax Vaccine Program was resurrected
Who benefited? Ivins was no beneficiary. (Had the Bioport vaccine been killed, as planned, maybe Ivins’ vaccine would have taken its place.)
You know who benefited:
- The bioevangelists, who have made a ton of bucks on the threat
- The Neocons, looking for an excuse to attack Iraq. The Iraqis may not have attacked the World Trade Center, but by golly, everyone knew they had anthrax!
- Those seeking to consolidate more power in the executive branch, increase the surveillance of Americans, get rid of Habeus Corpus, and on and on.
- The anthrax vaccine manufacturer, Bioport. Guess what? Its CEO, Fuad El-Hibri and his company Intervac bought Bioport in 1998 with $3 Million down. The day before he bought it, the Army agreed to indemnify it for him, for free. Then contracts totalling hundreds of millions of dollars started rolling in.
Twice last week, one day after Ivins went into the hospital with an overdose, and one day after Ivins died, El Hibri sold some of his shares in the company, for $200 Million. Did he think the company would get some extra scrutiny and its share price plummet? Although the shares were reportedly sold “automatically,” if you review the price fluctuations, that would appear unlikely.
I am still waiting to hear about how the FBI eliminated from consideration those with a real motive.
I am waiting too. The attacks were just a little too convenient for the Bush administration, and they targeted liberals for the most part. And Ivins seems an easy scape goat. Maybe he did it, but I’m not convinced yet.
This whole thing needs a congressional investigation.