In The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy, author Graeme MacQueen ties together a considerable breadth of evidence related to both the attacks of September 11, 2001 and to the subsequent anthrax letters, weaving together a tapestry which is compelling and logically coherent.
The anthrax letters, also known as the anthrax attacks or “Amerithrax,” were put into the mail in the weeks following 911. The letters, which contained anthrax spores, were sent to both media offices and also to two Democratic U.S. Senators, killing five people and infecting seventeen others.
MacQueen has a Ph.D. in comparative religion from Harvard University and stepped down from his position at McMaster University after over thirty years in order to pursue his activities in justice and peace work He promotes a thesis that the anthrax letters were perpetuated by a well- coordinated US government conspiracy, implemented by the same parties who were behind the events of September 11. His documentation is compelling in its use of open source material to reveal a pattern and inherent design behind the seemingly chaotic events of that time period.
Writes MacQueen, “The documentary evidence relating to the anthrax attacks, when studied critically raises serious questions not only about the FBI’s account of the anthrax attacks but also about the U.S. government’s account of what happened on September 11, 2001.”
MacQueen’s logic, in which he not only cogently supports his viewpoint but also shoots down possible alternative explanations for the same events, leads the reader, step by step, through a maze of news reports, disinformation campaigns and perpetrator hypotheses with the studied deliberation of a seasoned detective on the trail of an arch-criminal.
In this case, the arch-criminal would be a group of U.S. government insiders—neo-cons—whose power to exert their collective will on the international and domestic stages has left a trail of tell-tale clues.
The author demonstrates that there was fore-knowledge of the anthrax attacks by a number of Washington insiders, including not only the resident of the Oval Office, President Bush, but also members of the Washington DC press corps. And in the face of such a shocking claim, MacQueen delivers, citing instance after instance, including the 2008 admission by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, in which Cohen reveals he was advised to procure Cipro (the antibiotic of choice to combat anthrax) around September 11, before the anthrax letters were even mailed.
There was an initial effort to frame Al Qaeda and Iraq for the anthrax attacks, an effort which soon fell apart under scrutiny. He also cites efforts to tie the alleged 911 hijackers to the anthrax attacks, by their own creation of an ostentatious trail which would implicate them in a subsequent biological weapons attack. Through this and other citations MacQueen advances the thesis that the alleged hijackers were on an intelligence mission to draw attention to themselves prior to the events of September, 2001, in order to provide subsequent “evidence” of their involvement in these later events.
MacQueen also takes on the FBI case against Bruce Ivins, the former Ft. Detrick researcher, whose suicide in 2008 did not terminate the FBI’s efforts to criminalize him for the anthrax mailings. Skillfully, MacQueen takes apart the FBI’s case against Ivins, revealing it to be weak, unsupportable and duplicitous.
However, the book claims that the purpose of the anthrax letters was to compel Congress to pass the USA PATRIOT Act does not, to my thinking, provide an adequate explanation for the U.S. government’s covert involvement in these attacks. As MacQueen himself admits, both Senators Leahy and Daschle were already standing behind the passage of the PATRIOT Act even before their offices received the spore-laden letters.
The USA PATRIOT Act, passed by Congress and signed into law on October 26, 2001, did indeed change the face of America. The resultant NSA surveillance scandals are, however, only one aspect of the changes wrought by this piece of legislation. MacQueen fails to mention the relevant Section 817 of the USA PATRIOT Act—The Expansion of the Biological Weapons Statute—in which the US changed its existing biological weapons statute to give itself immunity from violating its own biological weapons laws. The implications of this alteration cannot be emphasized enough.
And while MacQueen mentions in passing that a U.S. Commission stated that a “serious bioterrorism event” was expected by the end of 2013, MacQueen does not detail the chorus of insiders—including U.S. Senators, members of the Department of Homeland Security, vaccine manufacturers and high ranking officers in the US military—who have also made this exact, disturbing prediction. There is reason to believe that such predictions point to another bioweapons attack, and this evidence of fore- knowledge deserves further scrutiny.
Equally, MacQueen only provides mention that the U.S. has pumped $70 billion into a “biodefense” program in the ten year period from 2001 to 2011. MacQueen fails to question the nature of this shadowy “biodefense” program, which many commentators now consider to be a covert offensive (weapons) program.
These are concerns which go directly to the question of motive behind the anthrax attacks. If it is true that the U.S. government used the anthrax attacks—indeed, launched the anthrax attacks– in order to ramp up a highly illegal and covert program of biological warfare, then the entire world has been put at grave risk.
Rather than following the “bug” trail, MacQueen chooses to focus on Bush’s decision to withdraw from the (nuclear) ABM treaty, announced in December of 2001, thus giving weight to a potential nuclear agenda and threat. By choosing to place his focus here, MacQueen in effect drops the ball right before the goal.
The 2001 Anthrax Deception makes a logically coherent case for a government conspiracy to perpetrate both the anthrax letters and the attacks of September 11. MacQueen has done a masterful job in marshalling the evidence and laying it out in a clear and concise manner. In light of the concerns raised in this review, I would go so far as to say that he got us to third base with this book.
To quote MacQueen, “…however natural the recoiling of the mind before horrific weapons, this shrinking away from reality must be resisted with “an act of iron will.” For those who would avert their gaze from the knowledge that the U.S. government has attacked and murdered its own citizens in order to further its international and domestic agenda, this book makes an important step towards providing that awareness.
Janet C. Phelan, investigative journalist and human rights defender that has traveled pretty extensively over the Asian region, an author of a tell-all book EXILE, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook