Threats Target Opponents of Post-9/11 Agenda
In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11/2001 attack, the Bush administration made it clear dissent from the War on Terror would not be tolerated. In 2001 President Bush declared “You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists.” Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced:
Some influential figures in the news media and Congress appeared to need no further persuasion. Dan Rather, on the Late Show a week after the attack praised the President, saying:
Other figures who may not have been persuaded to "line up" by the public pronouncements of administration officials might have been persuaded to do so by other means: threats from mysterious sources.
The Post-9/11/01 Anthrax Attacks
|Several of the anthrax-containing letter envelopes|
Starting one week and one month after the mass murder of 9/11/2001, batches of letters containing weaponized anthrax were sent to news network anchors offices and Democratic senators. The first wave of letters arrived at the network offices just as the networks were returning to normal programming, and the second wave arrived at the Capitol building just as Democratic Senate leaders Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle were attempting to subject the USA PATRIOT Act to meaningful legislative review. 3
In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft named Dr. Steven Hatfill, a virologist and Army scientist, a "person of interest" in the case. Hatfield sued the Justice Department and FBI, charging that they invaded his privacy and destroyed his career. In June of 2008, Hatfill won a settlement of $5.82 million. 4
On August 8, 2008, the FBI closed its book on the anthrax case by effectively framing Bruce E. Ivins as the "lone biokiller" behind the attack.
2. A televisual fairyland, Guardian.co.uk, 1/18/2005
3. FBI tests Leahy anthrax letter, CNN, 11/18/01 [cached]
4. U.S. settles with anthrax mailings subject Steven Hatfill for $5.82 million, Los Angeles Times, 6/28/08 [cached]