December 16, 2001
Scientists angry over army's anthrax admission
By Gwen Robinson in Washington
The mystery over anthrax attacks in the US deepened on Friday after the
army admitted it had been producing weapons-grade anthrax for research.
The admission that powdered anthrax had been produced since the US began
destroying its biological arsenal in 1969 has angered some scientific
experts, who fear it could harm the investigation into anthrax
contamination, which has killed five people.
The army had been silent on the matter, even as it led the biological and
chemical analysis of anthrax-laced letters for FBI investigations.
The disclosure presents the Bush administration with a pressing question
about how much it should reveal about the military's anthrax
programme. In the light of Washington's controversial rejection in
Geneva last week of international efforts to strengthen a 1972
biological weapons convention, it could also invite closer
international scrutiny of US biological weapons research programmes.
One scientist, Alan Zelicoff of the Sandia National Laboratory in New
Mexico, told US media on Friday the episode showed the US should "perhaps
have been more detailed in its annual declarations" to the United Nations
about its defensive biological weapons.
In a statement in response to a report in the Baltimore Sun, the
army said its researchers at the Dugway facility near Salt Lake City
in Utah had worked with anthrax since 1992, turning small amounts of
wet anthrax into powder to test defences against biowarfare. It
had shipped live anthrax in paste form between facilities, but no
dry anthrax had been shipped by commercial carrier from Dugway, it said.
Anthrax in paste form could not have been the source of contamination for
the anthrax-laced letters mailed after September 11, the statement said.
All the anthrax developed had been accounted for, and the
researchers were co-operating with the FBI in its investigation, the
The Dugway facility, a secret military laboratory, is "well
protected with robust physical and personnel security systems," the
Despite army assurances on Friday that powdered anthrax made in 1998 was
different from the strain that killed five people, the disclosures have
generated questions about whether other forms of anthrax produced at the
facility might resemble the lethal Ames strain found in tainted letters.
Officials involved in the investigation would not confirm on Friday how
much the FBI - which is leading the probe into the anthrax attacks - knew
about the army's programme. But critics say regardless of what
investigators knew, the disclosure was too long in coming, and came only
in response to media reports.
© Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2001.
Official: CIA uses anthrax, but no link to letters
>From David Ensor
CNN Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON (CNN) --The CIA uses anthrax in its bio-warfare program but the bacteria did not make it into tainted letters sent to two U.S. senators and several news organizations, an agency official said Sunday.
The confirmation that the CIA has anthrax comes less than a week after the U.S.
Army admitted it has produced small amounts of the potentially deadly bacteria for years.
But, just as Army officials denied any connection to the anthrax letters, a CIA official said the anthrax detected in letters sent earlier this fall "absolutely did not" come from CIA labs.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that the FBI is focusing its anthrax investigation on a contractor who worked with the CIA. The newspaper said the contractor may be the source of the "Ames strain" of anthrax found in letters sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, NBC News' anchor Tom Brokaw and several other news organizations. But the CIA official, while confirming the agency has small amounts of the Ames strain for testing purposes, told CNN "we did not grow, create or produce" the anthrax in the letters, and "we are not the source of this material."
Meanwhile, experts continued Sunday to fumigate the Hart Senate Office building, closed since aides in Daschle's office opened a letter filled with anthrax spores on October 17.
"This was very serious anthrax, very highly milled and very dangerous," House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt said Sunday. "This certainly has been a tougher decontamination job than anybody expected."
The FBI is looking for someone or some group who began sending anthrax-laced letters through the mail in mid-September. Five people have died in recent months of inhalation anthrax, including three postal or mail-room employees.
Find this article at:
Wall Street Journal
December 17, 2001
Special Report: Aftermath of Terror
Anthrax Tests Showing Gene Link
Add to Domestic Terrorism Theory
By TOM HAMBURGER, GARY FIELDS and SARAH LUECK
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
WASHINGTON -- Recent tests showing a genetic link between the anthrax used in an Army program and spores sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle are giving investigators further cause to suspect a domestic terrorist rather than a foreign plot in recent anthrax attacks.
Using a profile drawn up by specialists from its behavioral-science unit, the
Federal Bureau of Investigations is probing more intensively military personnel, civilian contractors and academics who had access to Pentagon anthrax programs.
Investigators aren't ruling out other possible sources.
The link between the Capitol Hill anthrax and the military's strain was
identified last week by scientists who have been comparing the samples' DNA
For weeks, scientists have known that the letter sent to the Capitol contained
the Ames variety of anthrax. But tests conducted by the University of Northern
Arizona, Flagstaff, Ariz., found the Daschle spores' DNA appears to match a
strain of anthrax developed 20 years ago by the Army Medical Research Institute
of Infectious Disease at Fort Detrick, Md.
Federal officials said the genetic comparison remains incomplete. Even if a
clear match were found, it wouldn't prove anything conclusively, they said.
"These are important leads," said Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota
epidemiologist and bioterrorism expert based in Minneapolis who has been
consulting with the federal government. "But if, in fact, the organization that
originally developed the anthrax strain sent it to others, or if it could have
been stolen, there are still a wide array of possibilities out there."
FBI officials concur, acknowledging they are still investigating the potential
of foreign perpetrators as well as domestic ones. Following the trail of the
Fort Detrick anthrax would require that. After developing it during the early
1980s, Fort Detrick shared its supply with Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, Porton Down laboratory in England and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. In addition, small samples were shared with other researchers during the early years, often without any record.
FBI officials confirm they have scrutinized scientists at Dugway, Fort Detrick
and LSU since late October, as well as civilian operations, including Battelle
Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, which contracted with the Department of
In addition, there was a little-known anthrax program at the Central
Intelligence Agency that maintained a small supply of Ames-strain anthrax to
compare with samples obtained elsewhere. The agency has been cooperating closely with the FBI. An agency spokesman said he didn't know the source of the limited anthrax strain used by the CIA but added, "We are quite confident that whatever the [bioterror] source, it did not come from our supply."
A senior law-enforcement official said the examinations of the military and CIA
anthrax programs haven't generated any hot leads. This official, who requested
anonymity, said investigators were doing "no more or less" at military sites
such as Dugway than they have been doing at civilian labs that are known to
possess the Ames strain of anthrax.
Agents from FBI field offices have been checking the background of anyone with
access to anthrax and to the technology capable of producing it. They have
looked at those involved with a secret Pentagon program called Project Bacchus
that was established during the 1990s to determine whether terrorists could
manufacture biological weapons using materials purchased from the private
Federal law-enforcement authorities are especially interested in anyone who left their jobs there suddenly. Their search includes individuals who might not know how to produce the anthrax, but who could be capable of taking a small,
unnoticeable sample and turning it over to someone else. Agents are making use
of a profile created by FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
behavioral specialists that was released early last month.
"We're going every place that has or has had the Ames strain and making sure
they can account for all of it," an FBI official said.
While the manhunt continued, health officials said that as many as 3,000 people
believed to be at high risk for exposure to anthrax could be vaccinated this
week. About 75 Capitol Hill workers and hundreds of employees at the Brentwood
mail-sorting facility are among those likely to be at the top of the list, U.S.
health officials said at a public meeting held Saturday to discuss the issue.
"We are most concerned about people who may have had very heavy exposure," Dr.
D.A. Henderson said, because of the possibility that spores may remain in their
lungs and cause infections after the 60-day course of preventive antibiotics
that was initially prescribed.
Top advisers plan to make a recommendation early this week to Health and Human
Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.
-- Mark Schoofs contributed to this article.
Write to Tom Hamburger at email@example.com, Gary Fields at
firstname.lastname@example.org and Sarah Lueck at email@example.com
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Remember Stoneview! Congresswoman McKinney Lays Out Election Facts
Wed, 19 Dec 2001 06:06:36 EST
Republican Operatives See Red When Blacks Vote
Three Republican Women Tried to Close the Doors on Black Voters,
File Charges When Blacks Allowed to Vote
In a replay of Florida in Georgia, on November 7, 2000 members of the Georgia
Republican Party tried to steal the right to vote from qualified black
“I will have two answers to the false, malicious, and blatantly political
charges filed against me by these Republican apparatchiks,” said
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. “On Thursday, our attorney will provide the
first answer by clearly and methodically pointing out that there is no
credible evidence that I violated the law when I fought for the right of
citizens in my district to vote.
"The second answer will come on election day next year when we go to work to
make sure that even more voters come out to vote at Stoneview Elementary
School and every other strong Democratic precinct in the 4th Congressional
District. Our rallying cry will be ‘Remember Stoneview!’, ” McKinney
At Stoneview Elementary School precinct, in DeKalb County, Georgia,
hundreds of voters, virtually all of them black, were standing in line
waiting to vote when the doors to the voting place were shut in their faces.
Those who were present report that many people left without voting because of
the long lines. One voter, who had waited in line for hours, left the voting
station to check on the welfare of his young children outside and was then
prevented from reentering the school to vote, even though he had a
certificate proving that he had been in line before the
closing time of 7:00 p.m.
When it became clear that the Republican operatives were attempting
to keep voters from casting their ballots, frustrated voters at Stoneview
precinct called Congresswoman McKinney for help.
In an exaggerated and factually flawed complaint, Jill Chambers,
Chairwoman of the DeKalb Republican Party, accuses the McKinneys of having a
"campaign rally inside the polling place" after voters had "forc[ed] their
way into the polls after closing."
After thorough investigation by officials called to the scenes by the
Congresswoman, not a single unqualified voter was found attempting
to vote at Stoneview Elementary School.
Nancy Quan Sellars, Republican appointee to the DeKalb Elections
Board, and already discredited in her allegations that Billy McKinney
physically accosted her and interfered in the performance of her duties,
admits that she failed to check to see if anyone had the proper paperwork
or certificate to vote, but instead assumed that the people who were there
were unauthorized to vote because the GOP Headquarters had told her so.
Adrienne Susong, Chairwoman of the Rockdale County Republican
Party alleges that Congresswoman McKinney encouraged by her father, climbed
on a table and using a bullhorn, campaigned for votes from the
voters. There is no credible evidence to support Susong's allegations
and interestingly, neither Quan Sellars nor Chambers support Susong's
allegations. The school security tape which was in operation does not support
this allegation. Independent witnesses, the voters who were there, do not
support this allegation. And the DeKalb Police Officer who was sent to
investigate says that Cynthia used a bullhorn outside the polling place to
calm the crowd and support the police.
This is really a tale of three partisan women bent on making
the McKinneys pay for coming to the rescue of black voters who feared that
they were being stripped of their right to vote.
“It just goes to show that sometimes the people that we call
the ‘good old boys from the bad old days’ wear skirts,” McKinney
said. “The true face of the Republican Party of Georgia is being
revealed in this politically cynical effort to attack my father
and me for defending the rights of Georgia citizens to vote.
These Republican operatives should be ashamed.”
Because of the intervention of the McKinneys, Terrell Slayton,
the Assistant Secretary of State, rushed to Stoneview Precinct to assess the
Because of the intervention of the McKinneys, Sam Tillman, Chairman
of the DeKalb Election Board, rushed to Stoneview Precinct to assess
Because of the intervention of the McKinneys, more voting machines
were made available to the voters at Stoneview Precinct.
And because of the McKinneys, those who were willing to endure
the long hours (up to five hours in some cases) and the long lines were able
to cast their votes.
"Neither Chambers nor Quan Sellars nor Susong were there to protect
the right to vote of the voters at Stoneview Elementary School; they were
there to stop the voting, just as Republicans did in Florida," McKinney
"I wrote a letter to President Clinton because I was concerned that they
had done to us in Georgia exactly what the Republicans had done to blacks
in Florida," she continued.
On November 9, 2000 Congresswoman McKinney wrote to President
Clinton and formally raised these complaints with him requesting an
investigation into possible violations of the Voting Rights Act at the
Because of the McKinneys, everyone who wanted to vote was given
the opportunity and the last vote was cast at 11:15 p.m. on election
“There is evidence that black voters are being systematically
deprived of their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote all
across America by the same kind of barriers that were thrown
in the faces of voters at Stoneview,” McKinney said. “Fortunately,
voters had the presence of mind to alert us of the problem and
we were able to take action to make sure the doors were reopened
so they could vote. Over the next year, we’re going to make
sure that the events that unfolded at Stoneview Elementary are
burned into the memory of every person in Georgia who cares about
McKinney added, "If they don't have more voting machines out
at Stoneview next year then the election officials might just
have to stay up all night to make sure everybody votes."
A hearing on April 23, 2001 before Judge Michael McLaughlin
dismissed an earlier charge against Representative Billy McKinney filed by
Quan Sellars alleging interference in the duties of a poll officer, and simple
battery charges were dropped by the DeKalb Solicitor's office in the
A hearing on the Republican complaints against Congresswoman
McKinney and State Representative Billy McKinney will be conducted
on Thursday, December 20, 2001 at 10:00 a.m. by the State Elections Board.
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Federal judge throws out Mumia Abu-Jamal's death
Posted on Tuesday, December 18 @ 12:38:46 CST by Fatirah
Free Mumia News
Anonymous writes "PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A federal judge threw out Mumia
Abu-Jamal's death sentence on Tuesday,
ruling that the former journalist and Black Panther is entitled to a new
sentencing hearing for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.
U.S. District Judge William Yohn ordered the state to conduct the hearing within
"Should the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania not have conducted a new
sentencing hearing ... the Commonwealth shall sentence petitioner to life
imprisonment," the judge said in his 272-page ruling.
Abu-Jamal is America's most famous death-row inmate -- revered by a
worldwide "Free Mumia" movement as a crusader against racial injustice, and
reviled by the officers's supporters as an unrepentant cop-killer who deserves
The judge refused Abu-Jamal's request for a new trial, upholding his 1982
conviction on first-degree murder charges.
The ruling could be appealed to the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.
Abu-Jamal was convicted of shooting officer Daniel Faulkner, 25, during the
early-morning hours of Dec. 9, 1981, after the officer pulled over Abu-Jamal's
brother in a downtown traffic stop.
Celebrities, death-penalty opponents and foreign politicians have since rallied to
Abu-Jamal's cause, calling him a political prisoner and saying he was railroaded
by a racist justice system.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe ruled Nov. 21 that she did not
have jurisdiction over Abu-Jamal's petition for a new trial, scuttling his hopes
for another round of state-court appeals.
Abu-Jamal exhausted the state appeals process two years ago, but a petition
filed in September argued that the defense had new evidence to clear him,
including a confession by a man named Arnold Beverly.
In a 1999 affidavit, Beverly claimed he was hired by the mob to kill Faulkner
because the officer had interfered with mob payoffs to police.
Abu-Jamal's former lawyers, Leonard Weinglass and Daniel R. Williams, said
they thought the confession was not credible and Yohn refused to order
Beverly to testify on Abu-Jamal's behalf.
posted to forum 12-18-01 Fatirah
Back to Main News Page
December 17, 2001
The real story behind America's war
by John Pilger
Since 11 September, the 'war on terrorism' has provided a pretext for
the rich countries, led by the United States, to further their
dominance over world affairs. By spreading 'fear and respect', as a
Washington Post commentator put it, America intends to see off
challenges to its uncertain ability to control and manage the 'global
economy', the euphemism for the progressive seizure of resources and
markets by the G8 rich nations.
This, not the hunt for a man in a cave in Afghanistan, is the aim
behind US Vice-President Dick Cheney's threats to '40 to 50
countries'. It has little to do with terrorism and much to do with
maintaining the divisions that underpin 'globalisation'. Today,
international trade is worth more than GBP11.5bn a day. A tiny
fraction of this, 0.4 per cent, is shared with the poorest countries.
American and G8 capital controls 70 per cent of world markets; and
because of rules demanding the end of tariff barriers and subsidies in
poor countries while ignoring protectionism in the west, the poor
countries lose GBP1.3bn a day in trade. By any measure, this is a war
of the rich against the poor. Look at the casualty figures. The toll,
says the World Resources Institute, is more than 13 million children
every year; or 12 million under the age of five, according to United
Nations estimates. 'If 100 million have been killed in the formal wars
of the 20th century,' wrote Michael McKinley, 'why are they to be
privileged in comprehension over the annual death toll of children
from structural adjustment programmes since 1982?'
McKinley's paper 'Triage: a survey of the new inequality as combat
zone' was presented to a conference in Chicago this year, and deserves
wider reading (he teaches at the Australian National University:
firstname.lastname@example.org). It vividly describes the acceleration of
western economic power in the Clinton years, which, since 11
September, has passed a threshold of danger for millions of people.
Last month's World Trade Organisation meeting, in Doha in the Gulf
state of Qatar, was disastrous for the majority of humanity. The rich
nations demanded and got a new 'round' of 'trade liberalisation',
which is the power to intervene in the economies of poor countries, to
demand privatisation and the destruction of public services. Only they
are permitted to protect their home industries and agriculture; only
they have the right to subsidise exports of meat, grain and sugar,
then to dump them in poor countries at artificially low prices,
thereby destroying the livelihoods of millions. In India, says the
environmentalist Vandana Shiva, suicides among poor farmers are 'an
Even before the WTO met, the American trade representative Robert
Zoelliek invoked the 'war on terrorism' to warn the developing world
that no serious opposition to the American trade agenda would be
tolerated. He said: 'The United States is committed to global
leadership of openness and understands that the staying power of our
new coalition against terrorism depends on economic growth . . .' The
code is that 'economic growth' (rich elite, poor majority) equals
Mark Curtis, a historian and Christian Aid's head of policy, who
attended Doha, has described 'an emerging pattern of threats and
intimidation of poor countries' that amounted to 'economic gunboat
diplomacy'. He said: 'It was utterly outrageous. Wealthy countries
exploited their power to spin the agenda of big business. The issue of
multinational corporations as a cause of poverty was not even on the
agenda; it was like a conference on malaria that does not even discuss
Delegates from poor countries complained of being threatened with the
removal of their few precious trade preferences. 'If I speak out too
strongly for the rights of my people,' said an African delegate, 'the
US will phone my minister. They will say that I am embarrassing the
United States. My government will not even ask, 'What did he say?'
They will just send me a ticket tomorrow . . . so I don't speak, for
fear of upsetting the master.'
A senior US official telephoned the Ugandan government to ask that
its ambassador to the WTO, Nathan Irumba, be withdrawn. Irumba chairs
the WTO's committee on trade and development and has been critical of
the 'liberalisation' agenda. Dr Richard Bernal, a Jamaican delegate at
Doha, said his government had come under similar pressure. 'We feel
that this WTO meeting has no connection with the war on terrorism,' he
said, ' yet we are made to feel that we are holding up the rescue of
the global economy if we don't agree to a new round of liberalisation
measures .' Haiti and the Dominican Republic were threatened that
their special trade preferences with the United States would be
revoked if they continued to object to 'procurement', the jargon for
the effective takeover of a government's public spending priorities.
India's minister for commerce and industry, Murasoli Maran, said
angrily: 'The whole process is a mere formality and we are being
coerced against our will . . . the WTO is not a world government and
should not attempt to appropriate to itself what legitimately falls in
the domain of national governments and parliaments.'
What the conference showed was that the WTO has become a world
government, run by the rich (principally Washington). Although it has
142 members, only 21 governments in reality draft policy, most of
which is written by the 'quad': the United States, Europe, Canada and
Japan. At Doha, the British played a part similar to Tony Blair's
promotion of the 'war on terrorism'. The Secretary of State for Trade
and Industry, Patricia Hewitt, had already said that 'since 11
September, the case is overwhelming for more trade liberalisation'. In
Doha, the British delegation demonstrated, according to Christian Aid,
'the gulf between its rhetoric about making trade work for the poor'
and its real intentions.
This 'rhetoric' is the speciality of Clare Short, the International
Development Secretary, who surpassed herself by announcing GBP20m as
'a package of new measures' to help poor countries. In fact, this was
the third time the same money had been announced within a year. In
December 2000, Short said the government 'will double its support for
trade-strengthening initiatives in developing countries from GBP15m
over the past three years to GBP30m over the next three years'. Last
March, the same money was announced again. Short, said her press
department, 'will announce that the UK will double its support for . .
. developing countries' trade performance . . .' On 7 November, the
GBP20m package was announced all over again. Moreover, a third of it
is in effect tied to the launch of a new WTO 'round'.
This is typical of the globalisation of poverty, the true name for
'liberalisation'. Indeed, Short's title of International Development
Secretary is as much an Orwellian mockery as Blair's moralising about
the bombing. Short is worthy of special mention for the important
supporting role she has played in the fraudulent war on terrorism.
To the naive, she is still the rough diamond who speaks her mind in
headlines; and this is true in one sense. In trying to justify her
support for the lawless bombing of civilians in Yugoslavia, she
likened its opponents to Nazi appeasers. She has since abused relief
agency workers in Pakistan, who called for a pause in the current
bombing, as 'emotional' and has questioned their integrity. She has
maintained that relief is 'getting through' when, in fact, little of
it is being distributed to where it is most needed.
Around 750 tonnes are being trucked into Afghanistan every day, less
than half that which the UN says is needed. Six million people remain
at risk. Nothing is reaching those areas near Jalalabad, where the
Americans are bombing villages, killing hundreds of civilians, between
60 and 300 in one night, according to anti-Taliban commanders who are
beginning to plead with Washington to stop. On these killings, as on
the killing of civilians in Yugoslavia, the outspoken Short is silent.
Her silence, and her support for America's $21bn homicidal campaign
to subjugate and bribe poor countries into submission, exposes the
sham of 'the global economy as the only way to help the poor', as she
has said repeatedly. The militarism that is there for all but the
intellectually and morally impaired to see is the natural extension of
the rapacious economic policies that have divided humanity as never
before. As Thomas Friedman wrote famously in the New York Times, 'the
hidden hand' of the market is US military force.
Little is said these days about the 'trickle down' that 'creates
wealth' for the poor, because it is transparently false. Even the
World Bank, of which Short is a governor, has admitted that the
poorest countries are worse off, under its tutelage, than ten years
ago: that the number of poor has increased, that people are dying
younger. And these are countries with 'structural adjustment
programmes' that are meant to 'create wealth' for the majority. It was
all a lie.
The truth lies in the figures of actual 'aid'. America gives just 0.1
per cent of its gross national product. Last year, the US Senate
foreign aid bill included a pittance of $75m for the poorest - a tenth
of the cost of one B-52 - while $1.3bn went to the Colombian military,
one of the world's worst violators of human rights.
Giving evidence before a House of Commons select committee, Clare
Short described the US as 'the only great power that almost turns its
back on the world'. Her gall deserves a prize. Britain gives just 0.34
per cent of GNP in aid, less than half the minimum laid down by the
It is time we recognised that the real terrorism is poverty, which
kills thousands of people every day, and the source of their
suffering, and that of innocent people bombed in dusty villages, is
www. johnpilger. com
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