File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_2002/nietzsche.0206, message 236


Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2002 01:42:34 GMT
Subject: Fw:Rep. Mike Pence: Foreign Link to Anthrax Attacks?


---------- Forwarded Message ----------

From: "Laurie Mylroie" <sam11-AT-erols.com>
To: "Laurie Mylroie" <sam11-AT-erols.com>
Subject: Rep. Mike Pence: Foreign Link to Anthrax Attacks?
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 11:55:33 -0400

IRAQ NEWS, SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2002
I. MIKE PENCE LETTER TO JOHN ASHCROFT, JUN 11
II. INDIANAPOLIS STAR, UNFINISHED ANTHRAX PROBE, JUN 13

    On Jun 11, Rep. Mike Pence (IN), whose office was contaminated by
anthrax, wrote Atty Gen John Aschcroft, noting "months of FBI investigations
have produced no suspects and few leads. . . . I would also greatly
appreciate an answer to at least one question:  Why has the FBI apparently
concluded that the source of these anthrax attacks was domestic when there
is significant evidence to suggest an international source for these
materials?"
     Pence also noted,  "DNA evidence shows that this anthrax originated
from the Ames strain, a strain of the anthrax bacillus originally developed
at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which was later sent to England's Porton Down
research facility.
     "In 1988, Iraqi germ warfare scientists attempted to obtain Ames strain
anthrax from England, as part of a larger mission to create biological
weapons.  Iraq succeeded in obtaining at least two other strains of anthrax
and likely also obtained the Ames."
    Pence was supported by an editorial in The Indianapolis Star two days
later.

I. MIKE PENCE LETTER TO JOHN ASHCROFT
http://mikepence.house.gov/
June 11, 2002
Congressman Mike Pence
Request for Update on FBI Anthrax Investigation

The Honorable John Ashcroft
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear General Ashcroft:

                  As you may recall, I was one of three members of the House
of Representatives whose offices were contaminated with anthrax in October
2001.  As a result, I am often approached by my colleagues in the Congress
inquiring as to the status of the anthrax investigation.

                  As a Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, I am
troubled by the apparent lack of progress in the FBI's current
investigation.  Accordingly, I am writing to request an update on the status
of the FBI's investigation of anthrax attacks on the media, government and
the American public that took place soon after September 11.

                  These anthrax attacks not only endangered my family and
staff, disrupted our federal government, and panicked thousands, but they
also resulted in the deaths of five Americans.  Despite the enormous cost of
the anthrax attacks, to my knowledge, months of FBI investigations have
produced no suspects and few leads.

                  In updating me on the progress of the investigation, I
would also greatly appreciate an answer to at least one question:  Why has
the FBI apparently concluded that the source of these anthrax attacks was
domestic when there is significant evidence to suggest an international
source for these materials?

                  The following facts support the assertion that the anthrax
attacks may have been connected to international terrorism:

                  1) The letter to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle was
dated 9-11-01 and included the phrases "Death to America," "Death to
Israel," and "Allah is Great."

                  2) Evidence suggests that one or more of the 9-11
terrorists visited doctors to be treated for anthrax-type infections.

                  3) The material found in my office and in others on
Capitol Hill was finely milled weapons grade anthrax that had been
genetically modified to increase its virulence.

                  4) So that they could be better aerosolized, anthrax
spores were coated with a chemical not commonly used by scientists in the
United States.

                  5) This anthrax was so powerful that five people,
including two postal workers and two elderly women, died solely from coming
into contact with cross-contaminated mail.  This suggests that professionals
in an organized, large-scale research facility, not a troubled individual in
a basement lab, manufactured the anthrax used in these attacks.

                  6) DNA evidence shows that this anthrax originated from
the Ames strain, a strain of the anthrax bacillus originally developed at
Fort Detrick, Maryland, which was later sent to England's Porton Down
research facility.

                  7) In 1988, Iraqi germ warfare scientists attempted to
obtain Ames strain anthrax from England, as part of a larger mission to
create biological weapons.  Iraq succeeded in obtaining at least two other
strains of anthrax and likely also obtained the Ames strain.

                  8) European governments and CIA officials reported
meetings between al Qaeda members and Iraqi officials before September 11.

                  9) The 9-11 terrorists attempted to rent crop dusters,
presumably as delivery vehicles for biological or chemical weapons.

                  10) According to UN weapons inspector Richard Spertzel,
Iraq has conducted military exercises to explore the possibility of
dispersing anthrax using crop-dusting aircraft.

                  As I am certain you will agree, if the anthrax attack did
have a foreign source, then it is vital that the FBI and the CIA conduct a
coordinated and comprehensive investigation.

                  For these reasons, I am requesting an update on the FBI's
handling of the current investigation.  I understand that this investigation
is ongoing and I would be open to a private briefing by Justice Department
officials on these matters.  However, I do believe this issue must be
addressed if we hope to avert further deadly attacks on American citizens.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.  I look forward to your
reply.

Sincerely,
Mike Pence
Member of Congress
cc:  The Honorable Robert S. Mueller, III, Director,
Federal Bureau of Investigation

II. INDIANAPOLIS STAR, UNFINISHED ANTHRAX PROBE
The Indianapolis Star
Today's editorial
Unfinished task of anthrax probe
June 13, 2002

Our position: The federal government is in need of some Sherlock
Holmes-style expertise.

            The reorganization of federal law enforcement proposed last week
by President Bush failed to address one increasingly obvious weakness -- the
quality of U.S. detective work.

            How can the American people count on the government to protect
us from terrorists when it can't track down those who've terrorized us
before?

            This week, Indiana's Mike Pence reminded the administration that
it has yet to determine the source of the anthrax that contaminated his
congressional office in October and killed five U.S. citizens.

            "To my knowledge, months of FBI investigations have produced no
suspects and few leads," Pence said in a letter to Attorney General John
Ashcroft requesting an update on the anthrax probe.

            "I would also greatly appreciate an answer to at least one
question: Why has the FBI apparently concluded that the source of these
anthrax attacks was domestic when there is significant evidence to suggest
an international source for these materials?"

            Pence's questions are timely, considering the administration's
push for a Department of Homeland Security that would combine dozens of
existing policing agencies into a single entity headed by a Cabinet officer.
The president says more effective organization and communication will make
it easier to uncover terrorist plots.

            While turf battles and bureaucracy may indeed be to blame for
government's failure to connect terrorist clues prior to Sept. 11, federal
officials' competence to do so must also be questioned. Reorganizing the
same people to do the same thing will not by itself get us very far.

            Five people were killed by an anthrax terrorist. Eight months
later, this serial murder has not been solved.

            Further, Pence says new information has cast doubt on the
domestic terrorist theory put forth by the FBI. That includes evidence
suggesting that one or more of the 9-11 terrorists visited doctors to be
treated for anthrax-type infections and the fact that material found in
Pence's office was finely milled weapons-grade anthrax that had been
genetically modified to increase its virulence. In his letter to Ashcroft,
Pence noted that the anthrax appears to have come from a strain that Iraqi
germ warfare scientists were attempting to obtain in 1988 as part of a
biological weapons strategy.

            Like most criminals, the anthrax terrorist probably had
accomplices, who may be plotting evil at this very moment. Like any crime,
this one will become harder to solve as evidence grows cold. And like Pence,
the American people deserve to know what's taking so long.*







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