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FRONTLINE, Emptywheel, and the Ghost of Bruce Ivins

Bruce Ivins

Ah, the wild and wooly days after 9/11, when terrorism lurked in the air, in our water, and even in our mailboxes. Moral certainties gave way to the justified ends no matter the means. The United States Constitution was devalued to just a piece of paper. Americans instantly surrendered their freedoms for assurances of better security and lost the birthright all the previous generations had preserved and bequeathed. Truth tellers were branded villains, terrorist sympathizers, disgraced and marginalized. Liars were elevated to heroes and paid well by the “mainstream media” to spread their lies like manure throughout “The Homeland”, a strangely Third Reich-sounding designation that seemed to disturb only an otherwise “Shocked and Awed” Chris Matthews.

And just in time to cut off any doubts by Congress and Media on the righteousness of the Bush/Cheney methods of making war on millions of brown people for the wickedness of the few, anthrax was innocently delivered by the United States Post Office to Congress and media critters from September through October of 2001. After six years of failing to hang the anthrax mailings on virologist and bio-weapons expert Stephen Hatfill, and shortly after Bruce Ivins, former senior biodefense researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, committed his July 29, 2008 suicide by Tylenol, the Justice Department and FBI branded Ivins guilty for those anthrax mailings, satisfied that, unlike Hatfill, a dead man couldn’t defend himself let alone sue.

I have absorbed the journalism of Marcy Wheeler and others who had reported on and raised doubts about Ivins guilt over the years, while old media simply swallowed and parroted the Bush Administration’s DOJ smears of Ivins as they had DOJ smears of Hatfill.

And now the Obama DOJ has vindicated Wheeler and her new media colleague’s doubts of Ivin’s guilt. According to a FRONTLINE, ProPublica and McClatchy investigation:

The Justice Department has called into question a key pillar of the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist accused of mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized Congress a decade ago. Justice Department lawyers acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins’ lab — the so-called hot suite — did not contain the equipment needed to turn liquid anthrax into the refined powder that floated through congressional buildings and post offices in the fall of 2001.

In the October 11, 2011 season premier of the PBS series FRONTLINE, “The Anthrax Files” takes a hard look at the FBI’s nearly decade-long investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings.

I’ll be watching. I don’t know if Marcy Wheeler was interviewed by FRONTLINE, but I’m looking forward to reading her analysis of the FRONTLINE, ProPublica and McClatchy investigation at emptywheel.

Somehow, I think old media will continue to ignore the truth revealed. Afterall, its old news whenever something contradicts old media’s image of itself. Shame is something old media shuns along with the truth.

A 30-second preview of FRONTLINE’s  “The Anthrax Files” can be viewed here


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