The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Anthrax danger:
Here, not in Iraq

Feb 3, 2003

Bush devoted a lot of time to anthrax in his speech, going on and on about what Saddam Hussein could do with it. It's certainly true that Saddam Hussein once had anthrax, and Bush should know, since the U.S. sent it to Iraq's Sera Vaccine Institute in 1980's, when the U.S. was supporting Iraq against Iran. But in 1996 the U.N. weapons inspectors blew up the Al Hakum factory, the only factory in the country where Iraq prepared anthrax for weapons. No new factory has been built. Any liquid bulk anthrax that might not have been found at the time became useless as a weapon within three years time, at least according to experts in the field.

And yet there is an anthrax threat in this country – it just doesn't come from Iraq. In October of 2001, anthrax was sent through the mail, killing five people. But that terrorist attack has since been brushed under the table. For obvious reasons. The anthrax that was used then was developed by U.S. biological weapons laboratories which continue right up to this very day to manufacture anthrax as a weapon, using the excuse that it's necessary in order to develop a vaccine against anthrax.

From time to time the name of Steven Hatfill has come up in connection with this attack. Hatfill worked at Ft. Detrick in Maryland, the government lab that worked on germ warfare and was one of the few scientists to have access to the exact type of anthrax used in the killings in 2001. Whether or not he sent the anthrax letters, his history gives a pretty picture of U.S. weapons research. Before he did research on anthrax, he worked for the U.S. government on the Ebola virus, one of the most deadly known, looking into its possibilities as a weapon. He was chosen for this work because of the "medical research" he had done for the white supremacist regime in Rhodesia, followed by similar "medical research" for the apartheid government of South Africa. He also worked for the Selous Scouts, a white paramilitary unit that fought the new black regime inside Zimbabwe.

We have no way to know whether Hatfill was the anthrax terrorist. But one thing we do know is that a government that employed someone like him for five years must employ any number of people who could be the anthrax terrorist.

In any case, whoever was behind the anthrax attack is still functioning, with some connection to anthrax laboratories here – while George Bush whips up war over Iraq.