Though the FBI claims that Bruce Ivins’ suicide “closes the case” against him as the “Anthrax Killer,” I still have my doubts.  I’m really not much of a conspiracy theorist, but the whole story smacks of intentionally well-placed “clues” to me.  Also, could we please stop calling Ivins the “Anthrax Killer?”  That even sounds like a tacky, post-9/11 dystopian horror flick.  Maybe that’d help hacks like me stop thinking we’re suddenly woke up in one.

I think it’s pretty sketchy that the Justice Department is willing to write this off as a closed case, claiming Ivins is the only person responsible for the anthrax attacks.  I think that Ivins is a fall guy, and I’ll tell you why.  Sure, my evidence is just as circumstantial as the Justice Department’s is in his guilt, but hey, I’m not a federal investigator, either.

First off, the Justice Department itself admits that its evidence is circumstantial, but “compelling.”  I agree with Ivins’ defense lawyer in saying it’s absurd that investigators claim they have a case in spite of the lack of damning evidence against him.  Now that Ivins is six feet under, he seems a handy scapegoat for some possible sketchy goings-on within the Defense Department itself.  Not only that, but Ivins’ apparent mental instability makes him a likely candidate.  I’m always skeptical of labeling unstable, nerdy, reclusive people as psychos by default.  I’d argue that much of my youth I’ve spent in that category.  (And further questions: for a man who’s working on such high-sensitivity stuff, why didn’t the military get the man help if he was indeed so psychotic?)

Secondly, that Ivins was the only one involved seems a little absurd to me.  People who work in the lab where Ivins worked have pointed out that over 100 other employees had access to the anthrax that supposedly Ivins sent out.  While it’s possible he worked alone, and he was technically the caretaker of the anthrax in question, it also seems like the attempts at pegging a motive to the crime are forced.  The religious nut aspect of the case is interesting.  The DOJ has made Bruce Ivins out to be a raging, psychotic Catholic hard-liner with a grudge and access to dangerous tools.  Which may have been the case, and even something I’d be willing to accept, were it not for the immediate lines drawn between Saddam Hussein and the anthrax attacks.  This is the main reason that, if anthrax wasn’t an inside job but a handful of crazies at Fort Detrick, I don’t think Ivins worked alone.  But it’s also the main reason I think anthrax may have been an inside job to get the public into invading Iraq.  We already know that the Bush cadre had been chomping at the bit for an invasion for some time.

Most people don’t remember back in 2001 when the anthrax attacks occurred, ABC News came out and reported that several sources of theirs who they only told the public were reliable and well-placed in the Department of Defense.’s Glenn Greenwald has a fantastic article that neatly summarizes the details of ABC News’ behavior following the anthrax attacks.  In fact, both ABC News and the Bush administration went so far as to name Saddam Hussein specifically as the culprit, someone who had the capability to develop and the motives to use anthrax against the U.S.

Anthrax scared the living shit out of a lot of people in 2001, coming on the heels of one of the most audacious attacks against Americans in history.  People I knew started to wonder if this was the coming undone of the American empire.  I’m beginning to suspect that anthrax was waiting in the wings.  I’m not one of those people who thinks that 9/11 was an inside job, but I suspect that anthrax may have been.  While we had to tie 9/11 to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda’s Islamism to Hussein, the government chose to tie anthrax directly to Hussein.  Now that we know that Hussein was not holding the WMDs that we thought he was, and there are clues that our leaders already knew that the WMDs didn’t exist in the first place, why pin the anthrax attacks to Iraq?

Invasion of course.  Align the public, both domestically and abroad, against Iraq’s dictatorship, and “regime change” sounds like a good idea to everyone.  As I’m sure you’ve read scores of times, there are a million reasons to invade Iraq.  Secure Iraqi oil fields for American use.  Line the pockets of the Bush hawks who are also war profiteers.  Encourage democratic government in the Middle East.  Eliminate a long-standing enemy of the Bushes with a legacy of terror.  Make America safer.

ABC’s un-journalist-like behavior in the wake of the anthrax attacks make me deeply suspicious.  With so much to gain from an invasion of Iraq, and so little to lose by finding a fall guy within the military’s own research facilities, it seems possible that Ivins’ suicide was just a convenient way to wrap up the loose ends that might lead somebody with a stronger sense of journalistic ethics and curiosity to discover where the anthrax attacks actually came from, and why.  Sure, I doubt we’ll ever know, but it does make you wonder, doesn’t it?