Joseph Lee's Perspectives
My view of the world
August 1, 2008 -- Anthrax Terror

                The FBI announced that it was on the trail of the perpetrator of the anthrax scare when the suspect committed suicide (CNN).  As a result, two things are clear—we will never get to the bottom of what really happened and, at least for now, we know this case had nothing to do with Al Qaeda.


                But I wonder… 


I wonder if it took the torturing of prisoners or suspects to crack open the case, or whether it was done by meticulous police work.


I wonder if the Patriot Act helped law enforcement authorities through wiretaps or other new surveillance measures to narrow down the suspect, or whether intelligence and patience won out the day.


I wonder if the US Military were involved, with its arsenal of fighter jets, tanks, smart bombs, and scare tactics,to muscle its way to the bad guy, or whether some lab technician, using CSI techniques, working hard with career investigators found the clues.


I wonder if any laws were broken to obtain evidence against the accused, or if all was done in accordance with our Constitution


I wonder if it cost a trillion dollars to deal with this threat of Anthrax, which was exactly the kind of threat that the government told us that Saddam Hussein was going to rain on America.


I wonder how many people remember the fear gripping this nation after 9-11, when the anthrax attack was reported.


I wonder what would have happened, if better judgment got into us and dealt with the aftermath of 9-11, like we dealt with the anthrax threat.


What we know now:


·         Terrorist attacks on US Soil after 9-11 = 0


·         Anthrax attacks on US Soil after first attack post 9-11 = 0


·         Most feared scenario = Chemical or biological attack (no one seriously thought Saddam was close to a nuclear device)


·         Saddam Hussein’s capabilities for chemical warfare = 0 (no evidence found)


·         Cost to protect from non-existent threat = $ 1 trillion (the number people like to throw around)


·         Cost to protect from anthrax threat = ???


It seems that without spending a trillion dollars, there was a system in place to deal with the threats.  Terrorism isn't really a new kind of war.  It's just that the US never thought it would rain on its own territory.  We had everything in place prior to 9-11 to deal with the threat--just unimaginative leadership.


It is easy to criticize the Bush Administration for its failures.  But presidents are known to err, and this one was no different.  But the checks and balances that were supposed to protect us—the Congress, the Courts, the so-called “liberal” media—all failed in their responsibilities, carried away by fear, courtesy to the Executive Branch, and ratings.


                Sometimes, the best heroes are the Russ Feingold’s and Dennis Kucinich’s and Ron Paul’s of the world.   They keep the Obama’s and McCain’s honest.

2008-08-01 18:12:25 GMT
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