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'Dr Germ' and 'Mrs Anthrax' released from Iraqi jail
Breaking News Ireland ^ | 12/19/05 | Breaking News Ireland

Posted on 12/19/2005 5:04:42 AM PST by TrebleRebel

'Dr Germ' and 'Mrs Anthrax' released from Iraqi jail 19/12/2005 - 12:48:51

Notorious Saddam-Hussein-era officials have been released from jail in Iraq and some have already left the country, an Iraqi lawyer said today.

A legal official in Baghdad said between 24 and 25 top former officials in Saddam Hussein’s government have been freed, including Rihab Taha, known as Dr Germ, and Huda Salih Ammash, known as as Mrs Anthrax.

The Iraqi lawyer, Badee Izzat Aref, said some of those released were his clients.

“The release was an American-Iraqi decision and in line with an Iraqi government ruling made in December 2004, but hasn’t been enforced until after the elections in an attempt to ease the political pressure in Iraq,” Aref said.

Iraqi officials and the US military did not immediately confirm that information.

Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson, the spokesman for the US-led Multinational Force, did say that US officials on Saturday released eight people formerly designated as high-value detainees, after a board process found they were no longer a security threat.

No charges had been filed against the eight, Johnson said. He would not identify them.

The legal official in Baghdad, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said those released also included Hossam Mohammed Amin, head of the weapons inspections directorate; Aseel Tabra, an Iraqi Olympic Committee official under Saddam Hussein’s late son Odai; General Dhiaa Maher al-Tikriti; Ibrahim al-Ani, an intelligence official; and Hamid al-Janabi, a prison director.

TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alani; aljanabi; altikriti; amin; ammash; anthrax; aref; armsinspectors; aseeltabra; badeearef; badeeizzataref; dhiaamaheraltikriti; doctorgerm; drgerm; gwot; hamidaljanabi; hossamamin; hossammohammedamin; hudaammash; hudasalihammash; ibrahimalani; iraq; iraqiscientists; iraqiwomen; iraqolympiccommittee; izzataref; missanthrax; mohammedamin; mrsanthrax; odaihussein; rihabtaha; tabra; taha; udayhussein; unscom; weaponsinspections; wmd; wot
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To: jpl; Shermy; Mitchell

Also, today from Mother Jones:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Anthrax Attacks and the Costs of 9/11
Those powder-filled envelopes of October 2001 are all but forgotten. How come?

Tom Engelhardt
December 19 , 2005

[This is the second of two pieces focused on reevaluating the costs of the September 11 attacks. In the first, I took the New York Times back to the week before September 11, 2001, time-machine style, and found a forgotten world in which the Bush administration, with its poll numbers dropping and congressional Republicans fretting, was drifting, politically challenged, and besieged -- a moment not unlike our own. I concluded: "Four long years to make it back to September 10th, 2001 in an American world now filled to the brim with horrors, a United States which is no longer a ‘country,' but a ‘homeland' and a Homeland Security State."]

Imagine, for a moment, that someone had a finger on a pause button just after the attacks of September 11, 2001. That's not such a crazy thought. After all, most Americans watched the attacks and their aftermath on television; and, as coups de théâtre, they were clearly meant to be viewed on screen. Of course, the technology for pausing reality didn't quite exist then. But if someone in that pre-TiVo age had somehow hit pause soon after the Twin Towers came down, while the Pentagon was still smoking, when Air Force One was carrying a panicky George Bush in the wrong direction rather than towards Washington and New York to become the resolute war president of his dreams, if someone had paused everything and given us all a chance to catch our breath, what might we have noticed about the actual damage to our world?

As a start, there were those two towers and so many of the people in them (and those who came to rescue them) tumbling in that near-mushroom cloud of smoke into one of the greatest piles of instant rubble and powder in history. Even a few days later, glimpsed down various side streets, the vision of destruction at the World Trade Center site -- those gigantic, jagged shards of left-over building -- were (I can attest) more than worthy of some civilization-ending sci-fi film; of, say, the final scene in the original Planet of the Apes where the top of the off-kilter Statue of Liberty looms from the sand. So, other than the loss of lives, the initial cost of 9/11 was two large buildings and, in Washington, part of a third -- clearly stand-ins for American financial and military power. (The fourth hijacked plane, which went down in Pennsylvania, was surely on its way to the capital to add political power to the ensemble, creating the sort of triad that human beings seem eternally attracted to.)

Add four expensive planes (and their passengers and crews) to the list. Add as well, the economic impact of the downtown of a great city left in chaos; of the Stock Exchange halted; of destroyed businesses and lost business; then include the whack the travel and tourism industry took; and that's undoubtedly not a full list. None of this -- the lives lost most of all -- was in any way minor. We were hurt, that's for sure, though the economic impact of 9/11 would turn out to be closer to hiccup than earthquake.

But there were other costs, so much harder to tabulate. After all, Americans were not just hurt, but hurting. We had been robbed of something that seemed quite real (if you didn't happen to live in the vicinity of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City), something missing from the lives of so many others on this planet -- a sense of living in a safe and secure world. And the thieves had a Hollywood-inspired sense of spectacle; they were scenario producers who, with finances hardly suitable for a film noir, created the look of a large-budget extravaganza (of a sort Americans had long been familiar with in which towering infernos blazed, atom bombs went off, and volcanoes erupted in urban downtowns). They managed to mix "conventional" weaponry -- airplanes (that is, combustible fuel), box cutters, and mace -- into a brew that, whether by plan or simply luck, had the apocalyptic look of a weapon of mass destruction. Because the damage at the Pentagon didn't have that look, it never quite qualified for full membership in the 9/11 experience. On the other hand, the spot where the Twin Towers collapsed was instantly and universally dubbed "Ground Zero," a term previously reserved for the place where an atomic test or, in the case of two Japanese cities, atomic bombs went off.

Imagine, then, pushing that pause button just after the damage was done but before the "response" could begin; then look -- with as cool an eye as you can -- at the damage, wildly outsized compared to the group initiating it, but limited and not world-ending in the least (certainly not in a week in which our President estimated that 30,000 Iraqis, "more or less," had already died in the war he launched). As with the most successful terror attacks, the truly outsized thing was the response provoked. After all, a Serbian nationalist with a pistol was quite capable of assassinating an archduke of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but not of causing World War I. Only major powers could have done that.

Most Americans responded not to al-Qaeda, but to a terrifying vision of world's end and to headlines that indicated another Pearl Harbor had occurred, that we had been attacked by a new Evil Empire. Unfortunately, that vision and the feeling that our very Greatness had been assaulted fit all too comfortably with the apocalyptic religious and political visions -- world dominating and world-ending -- that lay close to the hearts, minds, and long-range plans of the tiny group then running an adrift administration for the Earth's only superpower. In the endless rites that would follow as the President launched his "Global War on Terror," we would seek a variety of roles expansive enough to suit a wounded but globe-bestriding colossus. We would become the planet's Greatest Victim, Greatest Survivor, and Greatest Dominator, leaving only the role of Greatest Evildoer up for grabs.

In the process, the horrific but actual scale of the damage would disappear. It no longer mattered that the attacking group had been relatively small, limited in its means (hence, four years without an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist incident in the U.S.), and massive only in its luck and daring -- abetted by the fact that the Bush administration was looking for nothing like such an attack, despite that CIA briefing handed to George on a lazy Crawford August day -- "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" -- and so many other clues.

Over four years later, a question of costs naturally arises from Gitmo-ized, Patriot-Act-ified, Homeland-Security-ificated America, from the country of more than two thousand dead and more than sixteen thousand wounded, from the perspective of a war of choice that has taken at least $250- 281 billion in chump change through fiscal year 2005. Our world has been damaged in so many ways, many still not fully apparent, and one question is: Who made us pay the price? What did they do to us and what did we do to ourselves? Or put another way, how much of the costs of 9/11 were costs of choice?

The Costs of an Imperial Presidency

We know now that, within five hours of the moment the Pentagon was hit, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had already asked his aides "to come up with plans for striking Iraq"; that within days, the President and his top officials were already considering launching the Middle Eastern war of their dreams.

We know that eight days after the attacks, the complex 342-page Patriot Act had already been hustled over to Congress by Attorney General John Ashcroft; that it passed through a cowed Senate in the dead of night on October 11th, unread by at least some of our representatives, and was signed into law on October 26. The Act was officially a response to 9/11, but as its instant appearance and rushed passage indicate, it was made up of a set of already existing right-wing hobby horses, quickly drafted provisions, and expansions of law enforcement powers taken off an FBI "wish list" (previously rejected by Congress). All these were swept together by people who, like the President's men on Iraq, saw their main chance when those buildings went down. As such, it stands in for much of what happened "in response" to 9/11, including the invasion of Iraq that the administration spent so much time tying untruthfully to that day.

9/11 was the necessary engine without which so many things wouldn't have happened, but the storm that breached the weakened and leaky dikes of the republic had been gathering since at least the first days of the Reagan administration (as recently released memos by judges Roberts and Alito remind us). In those years, rollback -- briefly in the 1950s the foreign policy of choice of zealous anti-Communists -- became domestic policy as well. To be rolled back was every modest breakwater against an imperial presidency that had been erected in the wake of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War; then every Great Society program of the 1960s; and finally, someday, everything for which the Democratic New Deal had stood.

The attacks of 9/11 gave the Bush administration an opening to attempt to sweep away the last obstacles in the path of a presidency dedicated to the idea that no prohibition of any sort should stand in its way (or domestically in the way of the Republican Party). The real costs of that day came from the leeway a frightened public, a feeble Congress, and a cowed media gave a suddenly emboldened administration to set in motion an aggrandizing vision of a militarily-enforced Pax Americana, at home as well as abroad. (Remember, this was the first administration to create a military command -- Northcom -- responsible only for North America.) In other words, the most devastating costs of "9/11" we inflicted on ourselves in a way al-Qaeda was incapable of doing.

Normally, any such proposition faces a problem. Unlike in lab experiments, there's never a control group in human life against which to measure the nature of change. Oddly enough, though, that doesn't hold when it comes to 9/11. There turns out to be something against which to measure the Bush response -- the nearly forgotten case of the anthrax killer (or killers), known in law enforcement circles as "the Amerithrax case."

Lost in the Hills of America

The anthrax attacks of 2001 are now so out of memory that it's hard to recall the panic and fear caused by the appearance of those first envelopes, spilling deadly powder and containing threatening letters. But according to a LexisNexis search, between Oct. 4 and Dec. 4, 2001, 389 stories appeared in the New York Times with "anthrax" in the headline. In that same period, 238 such stories appeared in the Washington Post. That's the news equivalent of an unending, high-pitched scream of horror.

Looked at with a cool eye, this buried nightmare could be seen as the more threatening of the two attacks that year. The 9/11 assaults were, of course, vastly more costly in lives -- almost 3,000 dead against just 5 from anthrax inhalation. On the other hand, the al-Qaeda strike only simulated a weapon-of-mass-destruction attack. You had to use some sci-fi-style imagining -- and perhaps your knowledge that the old Soviet Cold War weapons labs and arsenals were now ill-tended and leaking material -- to conjure up a situation in which Osama and crew might get their hands on a real version of the same. (The administration, of course, did exactly this -- from Attorney General Ashcroft's sudden announcement in Moscow of the arrest of Jose ("dirty-bomb") Padilla to those Iraqi mushroom clouds that went off rhetorically over American cities in speeches by the National Security Adviser, the President, the Vice President, and other top officials before we launched our invasion of Iraq.

With the anthrax killer, no sci-fi imaginings were necessary. He (she, them) used an actual weapon of mass destruction -- highly refined anthrax, the Ames strain that almost certainly fell out of the not-so-perfectly guarded American Cold War weapons labs. And then, after the series of postal attacks ended, the anthrax killer(s) remained at large not in the mountains of Afghanistan, but somewhere in the United States -- with no evidence that the supply of anthrax had been used up. Who needs to imagine al-Qaeda "sleeper cells" here in the U.S., when you have such a live wire in the neighborhood?

Keep in mind that visions of anthrax-like weaponry would soon mobilize a nation in fear and hysteria around orange alerts and duct tape, smallpox-inoculations and finally a war lest any of this stuff, or anything faintly like it, drip out of the hands of Saddam Hussein and into those of terrorists heading our way. And yet, by early 2002, the first WMD attack in the U.S. was already slipping out of the news and drifting from memory. Here was the stuff of a terrifying made-for-TV movie or simply a trailer for the end of the world. It should have been unforgettable.

Had the anthrax attacks been -- as the threatening letters, ominously dated "9/11/01," that accompanied them implied -- the work of an Islamic terrorist group, we would probably still be talking about it -- and we would have no control group to measure 9/11 against. But let's briefly review what did happen.

Just a week after the Twin Towers went down, the first of seven letters filled with anthrax arrived not from the distant outlands of the planet, but from Trenton, New Jersey. This first wave was sent to a potpourri of media outlets: ABC, NBC, and CBS news as well as the New York Post and the National Enquirer in Florida. They proclaimed, "Death to America. Death to Israel. Allah is great." Two more, also postmarked from Trenton and dated October 9, 2001, were sent to Democratic Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. These letters emptied prime-time TV newsrooms and, for the first time since the British burned Washington in 1814, cleared the halls of Congress while it was still in session. It should have been unforgettable.

The cast of characters would come to include bumbling or recalcitrant FBI agents, intrepid disease investigators, amateur sleuths, heroic postal workers, a wounded child, brain-damaged survivors, TV personalities like Tom Brokaw, the top politicians of our nation, and the most secretive weapons scientists, labs, and arsenals of the Cold War. Just to make matters more interesting, Steven Hatfill, a bioweapons expert and for some time the main (as the Attorney General put it) "person of interest" in the investigation, had access to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland at Fort Dietrich where some of the country's most secret bioweapons work was done. It should have been the case of the century. It should have been unforgettable.

September 11, 2002 rolled around amid weeks of ceremonies and rites, interviews with survivors, and memorial articles galore, while TV shows and books poured out. But where were the survivor interviews with those victimized by the anthrax killer(s)? Where were the books, the dramas, the movies, the TV shows? Four years later, the victims and heroes of 9/11 are still being written about; their "sacred" ground in New York is still being bitterly fought over, but when was the last time you saw anything about the victims or the heroes -- mainly postal workers -- of the anthrax attacks?

Within the last year, the ongoing investigation of the case has, according to the Washington Post, been significantly downsized. The number of FBI agents assigned to it has dropped from 31 to 21 and postal inspectors from 13 to 9. Many of those remaining are now said to be "in the process of taking inventory. The FBI and postal inspectors have spent months piecing together a voluminous internal report that will review the scope of the investigation?" It has "cold case, dead file" written all over it.

When it comes to costs, according to the Post, "at least 17 post offices and public office buildings were contaminated. Including cleanup costs, an FBI document put the damage in excess of $1 billion." And that doesn't account for the more subtle costs such as the role the attacks played in panicking Congress into an invasion of Iraq. Would the administration's various bizarre fears and alarms about the dangers to us of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction have had such a realistic ring to them if our representatives hadn't actually experienced a bioweapons attack? It should have been unforgettable, but by some mysterious process that has yet to be considered, the attacks were, in a sense, "disappeared."

A Terror War of Choice

If, as an editor of a major newspaper, you were to draw a single conclusion from this horrifying episode, it might be: Despite what we've heard, the greatest WMD danger to Americans comes not from impoverished Third World or rickety Middle Eastern rogue states, but from the arsenals and weapons labs of the two former Cold War superpowers. But nothing in the media coverage since then has indicated anything of the sort. While, prewar, reporters prowled Iraqi nuclear facilities, wrote major pieces on Iraq's "Dr. Germ," and brought down whole forests of trees in the service of WMD programs at Iraq's Tuwaitha or North Korea's Yongbyan, or on gassed dogs in Afghanistan and the Iranian bomb that also wasn't, the Soviet and American weapons labs, the Soviet and American Dr. Germs, the Ames anthrax strain, and the anthrax killer hardly took out a tree or two.

When was the last time you read a major report on the state of American biowarfare work? When was the last time you encountered a significant story about the weapons labs at Fort Dietrich in suburban Maryland where the Ames strain was evidently first researched or the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah where it was produced and tested? How much attention has been given to recent contracts linked to Dugway that signal a desire on the part of the U.S. military to "buy large quantities of anthrax, in a controversial move that is likely to raise questions over its commitment to treaties designed to limit the spread of biological weapons"? When was the last time you read an article on whether the Homeland Security Department or the Pentagon is attending to the potential dangers of the American WMD arsenal? How much attention has gone into the decrepit system for locking down Russian WMD stocks? The odd news piece, nothing more. And while this administration spends about a billion dollars a week on its war in Iraq, it has hardly had the will or interest to raise the few billion dollars a year needed to help lock-down the Russian arsenal. Imagine that. If, of course, the President had chosen to launch his "war" on terror against the anthrax killers, this might have been our top priority.

Since September 11, 2001, weapons of mass destruction have been dealt with purely as a danger from the peripheries, not as a heartland issue. In fact, the Bush administration has successfully focused all our WMD attention and fears out there, not in here. The Iranian bomb -- at best, years away according to the latest National Intelligence Estimate -- has been the singular focus of the world's attention; while the nuclearized "global strike force" the Pentagon has been preparing for future use in Iran, North Korea, or elsewhere is barely attended to.

Now, here's the interesting thing: Because this administration had its eyes set on the Middle East from the beginning, it essentially chose its terror war from column A (the September 11th attacks), not column B (the anthrax attacks, once it became clear that they were connected not to al-Qaeda but the American arsenal). Hence our control group. Here, for instance, is a very partial list of actions not taken by this administration in relation to the anthrax attacks:

Our President never swore to get the killer(s), "dead or alive." He kept no profile of the possible killer or killers in his desk drawer, so he could cross him/them off when caught. The President, Vice President, National Security Adviser, and others did not warn the public and Congress regularly of the possibility of "clouds of anthrax" being released in our major cities (though this had, after a fashion, already happened) even as they were issuing dire warnings about fantasy Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs that might at any time spray biological or chemical weapons over east coast cities. (Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, for example, said that he voted for the administration's resolution authorizing force in Iraq because "I was told not only that [Saddam had weapons of mass destruction] and that he had the means to deliver them through unmanned aerial vehicles, but that he had the capability of transporting those UAVs outside of Iraq and threatening the homeland here in America, specifically by putting them on ships off the eastern seaboard.") No American planes swooped down to bomb the weapons labs of Fort Dietrich or the Dugway Proving Grounds; the only suspect publicly identified, while hounded for a period, was never declared an "enemy combatant." No one seized and rendered him; no CIA agents swept him from the street, cut off his clothes, shot him up with drugs, slipped him into an orange jumpsuit, whisked him onto an unregistered plane, and took him to a secret prison in Egypt or elsewhere to have "the truth" beaten or waterboarded or otherwise tortured out of him. Nor did he end up incarcerated in Guantanamo for years, trial-less and beyond the reach of the courts. Quite the opposite, Hatfill is suing former Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Justice Department, and others for violating his constitutional rights and the New York Times for defaming him.

Nor, in the wake of the anthrax attacks, was any kind of global war declared on the killer or killers, or troops deployed anywhere. In fact, no drastic actions of any sort were taken. In the wake of the attack, the post office became more careful; U.S. weapons labs were assumedly better secured; and remind me what else occurred in response to one of the most dangerous attacks in our history? Beyond the dead and injured, the panic of the moment, and the monumental costs of cleaning up congressional offices, newsrooms, and post offices, what were the costs?

As it turns out, the Bush administration acted in response to 9/11 in every wild and extraordinary way -- and in response to the anthrax attacks in next to no way at all. Put the two together and what you can see is the degree to which the costs of 9/11, whether in Iraq or at home, are the responsibility not of the attackers, whose damaging acts were violent in the extreme, spectacular, and limited, but the Bush administration.

Embedded World

It's an irony of our world that neither Osama bin Laden, nor the anthrax killer(s) have been apprehended. By now, bin Laden has, in fact, disappeared into something like the kind of anonymity the anthrax killer had from the beginning. Whether in the mountains of Afghanistan or the exurbs of America, the search for the perpetrators of the two greatest terrorist attacks in our history -- the Twin Terrors -- was not expanded until success was achieved, but downsized. When it came to the hunt for bin Laden, this happened way back in 2002 when the Bush administration began switching key personnel out of Afghanistan to prepare for its long-desired invasion of Iraq. Both are now cold cases.

You might think that this administration, supposedly dedicated above all else to protecting the United States from terrorism in its newly formed Homeland Security State, would have devoted resources above all else to the task of implacably hunting down these particular terrorists, wherever they might be; that dead-ends met would have only led to redoubled efforts. That would have been, if not a "war" on terrorism, then at least a police action of note. Instead, with thousands of Americans and Iraqis now dead and an actual weapon of mass destruction still potentially loose in our land, the inability to focus all resources on real terrorists and bring them to justice seems but another cost of George Bush's "war on terror."

The saddest story is this: If tomorrow, George Bush, Dick Cheney and their cohorts were somehow tossed out on their ears -- call it indictment, impeachment, or something else -- what they, not Osama bin Laden or the anthrax terrorists will have cost us, in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness will still be incalculable. Among the greatest costs will be the way administration officials used the 9/11 attacks (and buried the anthrax ones) in order to breach so many levees of our world.

What they have embedded in our lives since 9/11 -- from Northcom to our newest pinheaded giant bureaucracy, the Homeland Security Department, from the Patriot Act to ever increasing domestic spying by the Pentagon and the National Security Agency among other organizations -- will be with us long after they are gone. Just imagine a political change of fortunes in our country in which the Democrats take Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008. Then ask yourself a single question: What will the Democrats do with Guantánamo. Unfortunately, you already know the answer.

Now, let that pause button go and watch not just the Twin Towers but so much else in our world tumble down one more time.

51 posted on 12/19/2005 9:49:40 AM PST by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel

Sounds like they're in need of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether...

Just what they need to make them feel better.

52 posted on 12/19/2005 9:53:38 AM PST by SlowBoat407 (The best stuff happens just before the thread snaps.)
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To: TrebleRebel
How does Tom Engelhardt in fact know that the anthrax perp(s) are still here in America?

The answer of course is that he doesn't. He's just a clueless far-left winger who's bloviating out of his bunghole.

53 posted on 12/19/2005 9:56:18 AM PST by jpl
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To: Miss Marple
To all who are reading this thread: I would like to strongly suggest that any speculation about this story be confined to freepmail.

Why, because of the national-security importance of FreeRepublic?

My, aren't we full of ourselves today.

Just comment here, out in the open, folks.

54 posted on 12/19/2005 9:59:35 AM PST by Hank Rearden (Never allow anyone who could only get a government job attempt to tell you how to run your life.)
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To: TrebleRebel

How long before some liberal MSM outlet interviews them or makes a TV drama out of it?

Maybe Rather could make the interview! lol

You know some NYT's or European socialist smear rag will talk of their story, give them lots of credibility and even make side innuendoes of torture and mistreatment.

I'm surprised "Der Spiegel" hasn't run a cover article on it yet!


55 posted on 12/19/2005 10:15:52 AM PST by Red6
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To: TrebleRebel; okie01; Mitchell; Allan

Final Report:

...In Conclusion, we find that all profiling is vindicated by our profiling and a lone person almost as exactly like person of interest Mr. [Super Secret Deleted] must have done it so he loses in civil court and we keep our jobs and reputations.

56 posted on 12/19/2005 10:31:08 AM PST by Shermy
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To: TrebleRebel
after a board process found they were no longer a security threat.

The only way these people are no longer a security threat is if they're 6 feet under.

We'll regret this decision when they resurface in Iran or Syria, leading bio-weapons projects for al-Qaeda once again.

57 posted on 12/19/2005 10:49:47 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ("Sharpei diem - Seize the wrinkled dog.")
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To: TrebleRebel
Not going to read Mother Jones, thanks.
58 posted on 12/19/2005 10:53:10 AM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: Hank Rearden

There is a lot of information passed around on the Internet, but just under the surface. Some things are not suitable for broadcast to just anyone, but still worth sharing among the known.

59 posted on 12/19/2005 10:56:15 AM PST by ctdonath2
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To: ctdonath2
There is a lot of information passed around on the Internet, but just under the surface. Some things are not suitable for broadcast to just anyone, but still worth sharing among the known

And if it's on a message board, contrary to wishful thinking by some about their self-importance, the administration, Congress, half the media, and every world leader would already know about any possible ramifications of releasing Dr. Germ and Mrs. Anthrax. There are no secrets. Of course the names applied to these people insinuate these two folks had something to do with WMD programs, which as the President himself stated last night, there were no WMDs. You'd think somebody could come up with some more frightening names.

Hey maybe 'Dr. Germ' and 'Mrs. Anthrax' are going to wander about in the deserts of Syria where World Nut Daily and DEBKA believe the invisible WMDs are hidden now....darn it, did I let the proverbial cat out of the bag?!? ssshhhhh

60 posted on 12/19/2005 11:20:19 AM PST by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: KylaStarr; Cindy; StillProud2BeFree; nw_arizona_granny; Velveeta; Dolphy; appalachian_dweller; ...

19 December 2005: Dr. Germ. Mrs. Anthrax released from jail in Iraq

Reports from Baghdad indicate that Rihab Taha, the British-educated biological weapons expert who is often called Dr. Germ, and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, aka "Mrs. Anthrax", who was a Baath Party official and biotech researcher, have been released from prison in Iraq.

The release of the two women was demanded on several occasions as a condition for release of foreign hostages held in Iraq by Zarqawi's group. Several of these hostages were beheaded when the demands for the women's release were not met.

Indications are that both women may have already left Iraq because of fears regarding "security".

For more translations and news on terrorism, visit

61 posted on 12/19/2005 1:12:07 PM PST by Calpernia (
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To: yoe

Whos Dr. Mengele?

62 posted on 12/19/2005 1:24:32 PM PST by benjibrowder (Join the dark side. We have cookies!)
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To: Baraonda

"Surely a quid pro quo of some sort took place, otherwise this doesn't make sense."

Perhaps they agreed to reveal what happened to the WMD's which would be devastatating to the Democrats.

63 posted on 12/19/2005 1:35:55 PM PST by Revenge of Sith
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To: thoughtomator
Are they crazy??? This is like releasing Dr. Mengele!

That's the first thing I thought of - good thing these American and Iraq officials weren't around the Nuremberg trials.
64 posted on 12/19/2005 1:47:48 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: benjibrowder
Whos Dr. Mengele?

I hope you're kidding. Joseph Mengele: (March 16, 1911–February 7, 1979) was a Nazi German physician who performed experiments that were condemned as murderously sadistic on prisoners in Auschwitz during World War II. He personally selected over 400,000 prisoners to die in gas chambers in Auschwitz. After the war he escaped Germany and lived covertly abroad until his eventual accidental death in Brazil, which was later confirmed using DNA testing on his remains.
65 posted on 12/19/2005 1:56:18 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: TrebleRebel

As an European, how can I respect the US gov. anymore?
WMD: lies.
Democracy in Iraq: lies.

The US my family used to respect and love are gone.

It's all over now.
Goodbye, and good luck to you all.

66 posted on 12/19/2005 6:33:41 PM PST by thierrya
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To: af_vet_rr

Actually, I didn't know who he was. But thank you for telling me. I'm only 18.

67 posted on 12/19/2005 6:48:03 PM PST by benjibrowder (Join the dark side. We have cookies!)
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To: TrebleRebel
This Irish article is interesting- the BBC implied the names of those released were known from a US spokesperson. But according to this, the US hasn't named them, saying only that there were eight.

The source of the names is 'a legal official in Baghdad,' whatever that's supposed to mean.

68 posted on 12/19/2005 6:55:22 PM PST by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: thierrya

Good riddance.

69 posted on 12/19/2005 7:12:16 PM PST by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: piasa

Good luck to you.

If ever you're a real American.

70 posted on 12/19/2005 7:36:23 PM PST by thierrya
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To: TrebleRebel


71 posted on 12/19/2005 8:49:11 PM PST by Qwertrew (If you're new to the internet, CLICK HERE.)
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To: thierrya

Farewell and don't bother to check back in.

72 posted on 12/19/2005 8:53:08 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: thierrya

Who's side are you on?

You are nasty.

73 posted on 12/19/2005 8:54:50 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: Shermy; jpl; Mitchell

According to Globe & Mail Tariq Aziz is to be released?

Iraqi lawyers said that among those who may soon be released is Tariq Aziz, Mr. Hussein's former deputy premier and top diplomatic representative.

74 posted on 12/20/2005 5:13:35 AM PST by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel

Unreal. This has to be getting done with the thought of trying to mollify the insurgents. And I really don't think that it's going to work much, if at all. Saddam is still alive for Pete's sake!

75 posted on 12/20/2005 7:01:34 AM PST by jpl
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To: Allan


76 posted on 12/20/2005 12:35:56 PM PST by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell; jpl; genefromjersey; Shermy; TrebleRebel; Allan

And now the Iraqi govt. wants to arrest them again. They have had 5 days to hide.

Why in the world can't we coordinate anything???? If we were to release them, we should have put them in the car and shut the door and let the Iraqis open the other side.

77 posted on 12/25/2005 4:58:28 PM PST by Battle Axe (Repent for the coming of the Lord is nigh!)
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To: TrebleRebel; Mitchell; jpl; genefromjersey; Shermy; Allan; Battle Axe; Khan Noonian Singh
Here is how I read this situation. My hypothesis remains: 9/11 was Iraq, the anthrax was Iraq, al Qaeda were just proxies. Even before the 1991 war for Kuwait, the US government planned for an Iraqi terrorist counteroffensive, and that threat did indeed slowly materialize, once Saddam reconsolidated his regime after withdrawing from Kuwait. After the 1993 WTC bombing, Clinton tried to intimidate him back (bombing the Baghdad intelligence HQ in mid-year); after Bojinka was discovered, a Chalabi-led revolt in the north was hastily assembled, then abandoned (see Robert Baer's See No Evil), probably out of fear of Iranian strategic gains, and the CIA tried instead to organize a coup via Allawi, which failed (see, e.g. the Cockburns' Out of the Ashes); and finally, after comprehensive regime change in Iraq became official US policy (late 1998, after the African embassy bombings), Saddam would have activated his Samson Option, the threat of WMD terrorism using anthrax. Bush 43 came to office preparing to overthrow Saddam, probably on the model subsequently employed in Afghanistan (US special forces working with indigenous allies, rather than an occupation by the regular army), but 9/11 happened first, and the anthrax threat was explicitly tabled. Everything that happened afterwards revolved around removing Saddam from power (i) without triggering an anthrax attack (ii) without exposing the increasingly egregious deceptions which accompanied the covert war with Saddam in the 1990s. That second constraint is what's behind the "release" of Taha and Ammash, on my view. Despite the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty, they, like Saddam, have been in the custody of US forces, because they know too much; and they are being shuffled out of Iraq, probably to a closely monitored exile in a US-friendly country, lest the truth should come out in court. Since the full truth is presumably only known to a small circle of people (at the apex of the US government, or intimately involved with the pre-9/11 conflict), the people in Iraq immediately responsible for Taha and Ammash's fate would need to be given other reasons for their release (such as this line about pacifying the Sunni insurgents).
78 posted on 12/28/2005 10:41:15 PM PST by apokatastasis
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To: TrebleRebel
Maybe the CIA inserted each with a radio frequency identification (RDFI) chips to gather a little more usefull information.

Of course the Democraps/ACLU/holier-than-thou Germans & French will violently object.

I say to them... "shut up."

79 posted on 12/28/2005 11:10:19 PM PST by Trajan88 (
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To: RedBloodedAmerican

I bet you're right.

80 posted on 12/28/2005 11:12:33 PM PST by Trajan88 (
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To: apokatastasis
Your hypothesis is interesting, butM/b> (There's always a but,isn't there ?)but it fails to address why the Bush administration would not trumpet such a connection to the ends of the earth.

Like you, I have doubts the anthrax attacks were carried out by the fanatically religious al-Qaeda (though I suppose one could not rule out a secular "surrogate".)

My opinion is based,in part, on the notes enclosed in the letters.Putting "Allah is great" at the bottom of the note would be unthinkable to one who was devout.

A note written by a devout terrorist would start out with something like: "In the name of Allah the merciful and compassionate..."

81 posted on 12/29/2005 4:41:57 AM PST by genefromjersey (So much to flame;so little time !)
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To: TrebleRebel
They'll prolly receive next year's Nobel Prize for Medicine...

82 posted on 12/29/2005 4:46:35 AM PST by sono (Every purple finger is a bullet in the chest of terrorism.)
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To: genefromjersey
Well, our old pal "The Great Satan" says it's because the anthrax threat is still in play, rendering Saddam untouchable even in captivity. I have a dreadful suspicion that Ames-strain anthrax was covertly supplied to Iraq in 1988 by David Kelly at Porton Down, in order to stop Iran. Definitively linking Iraq to the 2001 anthrax must also risk exposing the "egregious deceptions" to which I referred (e.g. TWA800). I see a variety of reasons not to talk about it, but unfortunately they are highly scenario-dependent and information is scarce.

I do actually think that "Islamists" at least determined the timing of 9/11 and the initial anthrax mailing. The conventional story is that Atta chose the date and then phoned Hamburg to keep them in the loop, and I've noted before that 9/11 is the Egyptian Christian new year, while 9/18 (when the first anthrax letter was mailed) was the Jewish new year in 2001. It seems like a variation on the abortive "millennium plot" of January 2000.

83 posted on 12/29/2005 9:00:34 AM PST by apokatastasis
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To: apokatastasis
That's a damn interesting theory, and one that would explain a lot of things, in particular why Kelly would suddenly and inexplicably commit suicide. Personally, I've believed for some time now that the Porton Down connection is THE main reason why Tony Blair has been so unusually willing to assist us in Iraq, despite the massive hostile opposition of most of his own citizens, especially in light of the endless "no WMDs" drumbeat we're all subjected to on a daily basis.

By the way, have you noticed that lately there's been almost a total news blackout on the so-called "Amerithrax" investigation, and the Steven Hatfill and Maureen Stevens lawsuits? There must be things going on those cases, but the coverage has dropped to pretty much nil.

84 posted on 12/29/2005 9:23:55 AM PST by jpl
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To: apokatastasis; Battle Axe; jpl; genefromjersey; TrebleRebel
Rihab Taha and Huda Salih Ammash released... What means it??

Occam sez: It means these two had zilch-nada rôle of responsibility vis-a-vis the anthrax letters in year '01. The US govt would never have freed them, had they been a guiding force. Never.

Why? Above all, the moral hazard, the lesson to others.

If a trial would have revealed too much as some have propposed, then the US would have held them indefinitely or they would have desappeared.

85 posted on 12/29/2005 8:33:59 PM PST by Khan Noonian Singh
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To: apokatastasis
<< I have a dreadful suspicion that Ames-strain anthrax was covertly supplied to Iraq in 1988 by David Kelly at Porton Down, in order to stop Iran. >>

Quizzically interesting theorising.

Have you any raison underlying this consideracion?? Evidence albeit even circumstancial and remote??

86 posted on 12/29/2005 8:44:38 PM PST by Khan Noonian Singh
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To: TrebleRebel

Wow. So none of these people were murderers?
Excuse me, but I find that very hard to believe.

I couldn't care less if they are "no longer a security threat".

87 posted on 12/29/2005 8:48:03 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Khan Noonian Singh

Well, Porton Down labelled at least one Ames culture as "10-32", which the American researcher Martin Hugh-Jones managed to interpret as "October 1932", the month of Iraq's independence from Britain. In August 1988, there was an "International Workshop on Anthrax" in England, attended by Rihab Taha's supervisor, Nasser Hindawi, after which he started procuring large quantities of biological growth medium from a British company; and that was the month in which Iran agreed to a ceasefire with Iraq. David Kelly appears to have been Porton Down's head of microbiology at the time of the conference, he led UNSCOM's subsequent efforts to expose the existence of an Iraqi biowarfare program, and he ended up "dead in the woods" just after the British media started hounding him for the inside story of the 2003 war. I suspect he knew too much for someone's liking.

88 posted on 12/30/2005 12:47:23 AM PST by apokatastasis
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To: Khan Noonian Singh

Occam is correct. If either of these 2 even had a tiny connection with the 2001 anthrax attacks, even if they knew recipes similar to the one used in preparing the stuff, the US government would have locked them up and thrown away the key. I'm afraid it is the behavior of a zealot to try and reason otherwise.
We must look elsewhere to find those responsible.

89 posted on 12/30/2005 9:38:29 AM PST by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel
If the US government intended to safely lock them away forever, do you think it would keep them in Iraq itself? The Iraqi legal basis for these releases was created while CIA favorite Allawi was interim PM, just a month before the elections which first put the Iranian-backed parties into office. The releases themselves, or at least the news thereof, have come just after another round of elections, in which the religious parties again look to be the winners. Events as reported are consistent with the idea that our two bioscientists will be spending the rest of their lives somewhere in the West, under FBI or MI5 protection.
90 posted on 12/31/2005 2:52:07 AM PST by apokatastasis
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