EDITORIAL

SLAM DUNK!?

PETER'S NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2008--A succession of Associated Press stories has portrayed a former government scientist as the source of the 2001 anthrax-laced letters, even though no proof has been brought forward as to the scientist's guilt.

An incredible stream of anonymous government sources have been cited, with the accompanying reasons why they have requested anonymity. Of course Associated Press never mentions the unstated reason, and the most obvious one--that these sources may be trying to portray events as they would like them to be seen by the public.

Headlines such as "Answers in anthrax case may have died with suicide" by Adam Geller can only bring joy to a government anxious to put any questions about the case, which had defied solution for almost seven years, behind it. But a scrutinizing public can be only so keenly aware that the government has sorely misinformed the electorate before, and may be doing so now, with the complicity of the media.

It is apparent that Associated Press is publishing stories by its writers according to a script that identifies the scientist Bruce E. Ivins as the suicidal culprit. How convenient this must be to the American government, and what a fine example it is of creating reality by writing fiction as if it was history. One can feel the strain, and the contempt for the public's right to know, in these blatant coverup stories.

For example, Geller writes: "After years of futility, investigators said they had been preparing to charge a government scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, with hatching the plot, before he committed suicide this week. The final answers may well have died with him." This statement conveys the image of guilt upon Ivins, even though not a shred of evidence has been produced, and in light of the fact that one of the main suspects in the attacks was recently exonerated. In fact, there has been no evidence presented for the government's claim that it did indeed intend to prosecute Ivins.

Just as in 9-11, with the government's version of events getting maximum play in the press, it will become apparent that there will be no need for an investigation. After all, the Justice Department was about to indict the wrongdoer, and, shamed by his guilt, he committed suicide.

The party is defamed before a legitimate investigation can be mounted, but the failure of the media to question the government's version of events paints a picture with its own reality. It becomes painfully apparent why a movement with a name like "9-11 Truth" has been created to seek answers to the mysteries surrounding the events of September 11, 2001.

If the issue was just about Ivins's guilt or innocence, the whole affair might just be an intellectual exercise. But it is not of just passing interest to the American public, which realizes that it could face the lethal circumstance of opening an anthrax-laced letter, or a multitude of them. It was obvious how effective the dissemination of anthrax was in causing the deaths of several individuals, and how effective a larger attack would be if it were ever to be mounted. It is thus of great public concern to find the culprit.

For thinking people, there can be nothing but rage in reaction to such press reports as the one above cited, which are so deliberately skewed in the government's direction as to become little more than official press releases. Associated Press writers often--shall we say daily--play this role. That this news service is picked up by thousands of papers and printed as if it were gospel is no credit whatsoever to the state of journalism in America. It is up to each newspaper to carefully review what each of these stories about Ivins contains, and then deposit them in the appropriate file--a circular one.

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