Hamdan

The Barbecue Republic Revisited


Every week I read out of the way, oddly related stories that remind me what an abject barbecue republic America has become under young Mr. Bush's stewardship. Here are a few of the latest ones.

First up is an item that apparently only James Gordon Meek of the New York Daily News and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann cared enough about to report. On August 2 Meek wrote "In the immediate aftermath of the 2001 anthrax attacks, White House officials repeatedly pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by Al Qaeda, but investigators ruled that out."

After New York Sun photo editor Robert Stevens died from anthrax exposure in October 2001, Mueller was "beaten up" during Bush's morning intelligence briefs for not manufacturing proof that bin Laden was behind the attack of the killer spores. Meek's source, a retired senior FBI official, said, "They really wanted to blame somebody in the Middle East."

By the time Bush was bullying Mueller to cook the evidence on the Anthrax scare, according to the ex-FBI man, the Bureau already knew that the anthrax concealed in mail to media figures and a U.S. Senator was a military strain of the bio-weapon. The ex-official said, "They couldn't go from box cutters one week to weapons-grade anthrax the next."

No, and they couldn't go from box cutters to city buster nuclear weapons very quickly either, but that didn't stop the administration from planting visions of mushroom clouds in our heads to justify their Iraq invasion.