Wag the Dog
If you managed to bury it in your mind, here's the story from Wikepedia:
The 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, also known as Amerithrax from its Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) case name, occurred over the course of several weeks beginning on September 18, 2001. Letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to several news media offices and two Democratic U.S. Senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others.
In mid-2008, the FBI narrowed its focus to Bruce Edwards Ivins, a scientist who worked at the government's biodefense labs at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. Ivins had been told about the impending prosecution and apparently committed suicide by overdosing on Tylenol with codeine as reported on August 1, 2008. 
On August 6, 2008, federal prosecutors declared Ivins to be the sole culprit of the crime.
Upon hearing this story I immediately thought of the death of Stanley Motss in Wag the Dog. You know, Dustin Hoffman plays Stanley Motss, a famous Hollywood film producer, who does all this secret film production work for the President and his senior advisor exploiting a dangerous lie. At the end, he is ultimately rewarded for his work with a heart attack.
Here's the set up, "Less than two weeks before election day, a scandal erupts that threatens to cripple the President's bid for a second term. But before the incident can cause irreparable damage, a mysterious fixer is called to the White House. The ultimate spin doctor, Conrad Brean (Robert DeNiro) has the uncanny ability to manipulate politics, the press and most importantly, the American people."
So, back to so called reality, less than a week after 9/11, certain members of Congress and members of media recieve letters with Anthrax in them. Why would Tom Daschle, the democratic leader in the Senate be the recipient of the attacks?
Perhaps he and his colleagues were being a sent a message as well as a vehicle.
Within a month of the anthrax attacks another event occured:
On October 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act bill into law. This bill passed 98-1 in the United States Senate, and 356-66 in the United States House of Representatives.
The Act is actually an acronym. It stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism." The 300 page act was written by Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh, kept unavailable to congress members for some time, and passed in two days while Washington, DC was dealing with the anthrax attack. Many congress members had no time to read the act before voting."
Ivins knew he had mental problems and he took medication for it. And although he clearly must be a little funny, (after all he did work in a secret biological weapons lab which developed ways to murder hundreds of thousands of people) most of the damning evidence we hear about Ivins comes from the testimony of a counselor who was also convicted of drunk driving and known to have a drug problem.
So maybe he did do it, but did he do it alone?
More likely though, just like Stanley Motss
in Wag the Dog, (watch)
He was too close to the tale.
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Labels: political philosophy