Friday, June 27, 2008

Anthrax Answers?

Here we go again. This anthrax case is shaping up like the Valerie Plame story, but with some potentially even more explosive outcomes. A judge just ordered the reporters involved to reveal their souces:
Five journalists must identify the government officials who leaked them details about a scientist under scrutiny in the 2001 anthrax attacks, a federal judge said Monday.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the reporters to cooperate with Steven J. Hatfill, who accused the Justice Department and FBI of violating the federal Privacy Act by giving the media information about the FBI's investigation of him.

The reporters named in the opinion are Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek, Allan Lengel of The Washington Post, Toni Locy, formerly of USA Today, and James Stewart, formerly of CBS News.
Remember Judith Miller's.. err.... "principled stand" on that?

I'll be watching for Winter Patriot to post something about this: he has done a lot of background work on this story and is probably not at all surprised that the lead suspect was just awarded $5.8 million damages for being falsely accused. A few more things worth noting for now:
Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was among the first to disclose Hatfill's name in 2002.

The targets were all journalists and prominent Democrats (two of whom were credited with holding up the PATIOT act).

The attacks were sent to targets in New York, DC, and Florida (the hanging chad state).

The first round of attacks were postmarked 18 September, 2001, meaning that the preparation of the material must have begun before 8 September, 2001.

The strain used was traceable to the US military.
And the DoJ which pursed the case has been deeply politicized by the GOP. And the whole sorry saga to date has successfully buried a shocking story, about a WMD terrorist attack on US soil which killed five people seven long years ago.

I wonder what they found when they drained that pond a few weeks ago?