Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unlearned lessons from the Steven Hatfill case/ Salon (Glen Greenwald)

From Glenn Greenwald's blog at
... It requires an extreme level of irrationality to read what happened to Hatfill and simultaneously to have faith that the "real anthrax attacker" has now been identified as a result of the FBI's wholly untested and uninvestigated case against Bruce Ivins.  The parallels are so overwhelming as to be self-evident.
Just as was true for the case against Hatfill, the FBI's case against Ivins is riddled with scientific and evidentiary holes.  Much of the public case against Ivins, as was true for Hatfill, was made by subservient establishment reporters mindlessly passing on dubious claims leaked by their anonymous government sources.  So unconvincing is the case against Ivins that even the most establishment, government-trusting voices -- including key members of Congress, leading scientific journals and biological weapons experts, and the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall St. Journal -- have all expressed serious doubts over the FBI's case and have called for further, independent investigations.
Yet just as was true for years with the Hatfill accusations, no independent investigations are taking place.  That's true for three reasons.  First, the FBI drove Ivins to suicide, thus creating an unwarranted public assumption of guilt and ensuring the FBI's case would never be subjected to the critical scrutiny of a trial -- exactly what would have happened with Hatfill had he, like Ivins, succumbed to that temptation... Second, the American media -- with some notable exceptions -- continued to do to Ivins what it did to Hatfill and what it does in general:  uncritically disseminate government claims rather than questioning or investigating them for accuracy... Third, the Obama administration is actively and aggressively blocking any efforts to investigate the FBI's case against Ivins through an Obama veto threat, based on the Orwellian, backward claim that such an investigation "would undermine public confidence" in the FBI's case "and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions"... 
The anthrax attacks were one of the most significant political events of this generation -- as significant as the 9/11 attack, if not more so, in creating the climate of fear that prevailed (and still prevails) in the U.S., which, in turn, spawned so much expansion of government power.  It is worth remembering what happened in the Hatfill case in order to be reminded of just how inexcusable it is that there has been no independent investigation of the case against Ivins and that the current administration is now aggressively and quite strangely blocking any efforts to do so...

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