Ghost of terrorism past

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We're tempted to say shame on all of us for so easily forgetting the terror and the five deaths of the post-9-11 anthrax murders. It just had disappeared from the public consciousness.

On the other hand, what a blessing that we were able to leave it behind. That was not something we could've hoped for back then.

Indeed, it seemed, after 9-11 was followed quickly by the anonymous anthrax mailings, that none of us could truly feel safe from terrorism. We saw a science fiction future of bio-threats and haz-mat suits. We wondered if we should all get vaccinations for - whatever 21st-century people get vaccinated for.

In government and the media, especially, every letter from an unknown source had to be viewed with suspicion. Mail headed for Congress and the rest of official Washington was subjected to radiation to disinfect it, leading to damaged goods and delayed parcels.

And not knowing the source was maddening, frightening. Was the anthrax attack coordinated with the horror of the 9-11 strikes? Were additional radical Muslims laying in wait to kill more of us?

In the years since, we've been blessed with no more such terror attacks. But the FBI so botched the investigation that the government - with your money - recently had to pay a former government scientist $5.8 million in damages for smearing him in the media. Can you say "Richard Jewell"?

Now, the government says it had the real culprit: Bruce Ivins, a government biodefense scientist at Fort Detrick, Md.

Unfortunately, Ivins' case will never be tried. He apparently killed himself last Tuesday as investigators closed in on charges.

They say they've got DNA evidence linking him to the attacks. And his therapist has testified he was a "sociopathic, homicidal killer."

We hope they had the right guy, and that it is truly over.

Maybe the only thing worse than an enemy attack is the treachery of a traitor.

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patriciathomas 08/05/08 - 05:33 am
What a timely detailed

What a timely detailed report. Didn't all of this information hit the broadcast news and internet about a week ago? Did ya'll just get back from vacation? Who's driving this boat?

Michael Ryan
Michael Ryan 08/05/08 - 10:10 am
You're right, Patricia. I

You're right, Patricia. I hate to be behind the curve. We hoped to get it in earlier, but other things took precedence, and the editorial Sunday on the abuse of power by a Georgia judge was too important to limit. It ended up taking the space we'd have used for the anthrax edit. Still, we didn't want the case to go without comment.

Sorry to disappoint you. I do appreciate your readership and your comments and feedback in these forums. We'll try even harder to be timely and relevant!


sjgraci 08/05/08 - 10:34 am
Fortunately this case will be

Fortunately this case will be tried, by investigative journalists. This case is another foul up brought to you by the Bush Administration and the FBI and W want it to be forgotten as quickly as the Chronicle has. The Chronicle should be asking why so many in the Administration were trying to link these attacks to not only Al Quaeda but also Iraq. Even John McSame was on the Late Show with David Letterman saying Iraq was the culprit. His "therapist" (a word she spelled wrong on the affidavit) happens to be a group counselor not a psychologist or psychiatrist. She has as many problems as, if not more than, Ivins. This case isn't over.

dani 08/05/08 - 11:51 am
sigraci..You never fail to

sigraci..You never fail to disappoint us. It's not easy for you I'm sure to have to keep defending the criminal element. You poor fellow. You should complain to Pres Bush for putting you through so much grief. Hopefully he reads the AC R & R's.

S.C. Dawg
S.C. Dawg 08/05/08 - 04:13 pm
SICKGRACI, simply amazing how

SICKGRACI, simply amazing how you and others like you are preconditioned to blame it all on Bush. Surely he is the reason it is 108 degrees today.Fear not, your Nobama is a " citizen of the world " and truly will bring change you will wish you never believed in.

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