Calm before the wustensturm

Although evidence is mounting that the anthrax attacks originated from a source in the u.S., the pentagon remains silent for strategic reasons

Biological weapons expert jan van aken could not believe his ears when he overheard a conversation in the hallway during the ongoing negotiations on the biological weapons convention in geneva. A member of the u.S. Delegation, speaking to a colleague, said she was convinced that the source of the sensational anthrax letters was in her own country. The person in charge of the german section of the sunshine project approached the person employed by the u.S. Military and received the same information. The mere fact that silica was added to the anthrax spores that were shipped indicates that the source was in the u.S., said the u.S. Government official, whose name is withheld to protect sources.

The silica crystal is used as a desiccant in biological laboratories. In bioweapons research, silica is mixed with dried anthrax spores to prevent a static charge of the poison powder. If this happens, the spores clump together and can no longer be inhaled

Within days of the first letters appearing in the united states, the pentagon implicated iraq as the source of the postal attacks. According to current knowledge, an unlikely variant: according to the united nations, which last sent inspectors to baghdad in the early nineties, the substance bentonite is used by the industry there. Unlike silica, this is a clay that is formed by the weathering of volcanic ash. Bentonite consists of the minerals montmorillonite and beidelleite from the mineral group of smecites.

That iraq could have rerouted its bioweapons research to silica is apparently ruled out even by u.S. Military officials. Especially since the existence of such an offensive program only exists in the propaganda of right-wing political circles in the usa. Suspicions about such programs are many, evidence few, and the procurement of silica in coarse quantities was hardly concealed from the us intelligence services.

Consequently, washington is also holding back after the publication of new reports by van aken in the german magazine of the environmental organization greenpeace in the middle of last week, which were also picked up by cnn. The editor-in-chief of greenpeace magazine, jochen schild, has little doubt about the new variant. In addition to the findings of the sunshine project, the statements from the u.S. Delegation and the same results of a research by the renowned u.S. Researcher barbara rosenberg were now available. Rosenberg, who was responsible for bioweapons at the "federation of american scientists" (fas), had advised the former clinton administration on bioweapons research.

The u.S. Scientist had pointed out weeks ago a circumstance that was studiously overlooked in the particularly government-compliant reporting in the u.S. These days: not only were the anthrax letters carefully taped to prevent the spores from escaping, the enclosed letters also asked recipients to take an antibiotic (bush v. Hussein, ii. Act?). Keeping this in mind, the construct of an islamic fundamentalist origin of the anthrax attacks becomes as unlikely as a taliban fighter’s warning to a member of the northern alliance to duck before firing.

Under suspicion is don c. Wiley, a well-known microbiologist at harvard university, who has conducted research on ebola, for example, and who has been.11. Disappeared without a trace. One had found only its car at a bridge. He had attended a meeting and then planned to spend the night at his father’s house, who lives near the meeting site. So far it is amed that it is not a case of suicide. The fbi seems to believe (or to want to convey to auben) that wiley could have been abducted because of his knowledge of bioweapons research.

The question of motive remains. According to barbara rosenberg, greenpeace and the sunshine project, the attacks had the sole purpose of causing a panic in order to force an increase in the budget for u.S. Bioweapons research. The attacks had been planned for a long time, the attacks of 11.September had come only right to strengthen the impression of an islamic fundamentalist origin.

So far the calculation has worked out. In a few weeks, the topic of bioweapons will be on everyone’s lips, and the question of effective protection is now being hotly debated, and not only in the united states. It quickly becomes clear that only protection research can offer effective protection. The five deaths that have occurred in the usa since the first letter was received seem in this light to be rather collateral damage of scientific zeal.

All in all, the argumentation thread of those who would like to see the culprits in the middle east is so dark that it could be rubbed by even one wrong word. This is probably also the reason for the persistent silence of the usa in the matter of anthrax letters. "On the one hand, washington is naturally highly embarrassed by the whole affair", says jan van aken. Finally, a u.S. Ubeltater, possibly even from the government’s bioweapons research, does not fit into the model proposed by george w. Bush. Bush quite popular good-bose scheme. On the other hand, the profile of the perpetrators published by the fbi narrows down the investigation to a very small group of people. "Basically clear, yet we hit a wall of silence on the matter at the official level", laments jan van aken, who is, however, convinced of the fact that, "that in two weeks the responsible person will be presented suddenly."

Underlying the u.S. Government’s silence on the hardening evidence appears to be strategic interest. A little over a month ago, at the end of october, several western intelligence agencies went on the media offensive and loved to proclaim that baghdad was "probably" in the terrorist attacks on the world trade center and the pentagon "implicated". In a single sweep, baghdad was also blamed for the anthrax attacks, behind which iraq was "could". This "very serious suspicion" of a "high cia official" both the german news agency ddp and the us associated press are fond of announcing that.

The u.S. Agency quoted ex-cia chief james woolsey, who believes, "that the u.S. Will also confront iraqi leader saddam hussein in its war on terrorism". For "there are too many things, too many examples of stolen identities, of cleverly manufactured documentation, of coordination across continents and national borders, to be far off the mark in concluding that a state and a very well-organized intelligence service are involved". However, woolsey admitted that there was not enough evidence for the terror connection to baghdad.

The connection between the attacks in new york and washington and the anthrax attacks was also seen by the intelligence services in the fact that a letter containing anthrax bacteria, which was sent on 9. October had arrived in the kenyan capital of nairobi, had been posted three days before the terrorist attacks. Alsbald war in den agenturen zu lesen, dass nach geheimdienstinformationen offenbar absprachen zwischen dem irak und terroristischen kreisen bestanden habe. This is also deduced from the fact that, according to an old study by the federal intelligence service, iraq has admitted to possessing 355 tons of chemical warfare agents. The fact that anthrax is a biological agent does not seem to have gotten around in pullach.