Sunday, August 18, 2002

In thinking about the anthrax attacks I was wondering how one might go about setting up a patsy to take the blame. This is just an intellectual exercise, and I have no reason to believe that anything like the following happened in the current anthrax case. A patsy is someone who is set up to take the blame for a crime. It is important to note that a patsy is not necessarily completely innocent. The most famous patsy in American history is Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was almost certainly working for one or more U. S. intelligence or police agencies, and was probably doing illegal acts in the course of his work. Oswald was a strong supporter of JFK and a gung-ho American patriot, and it is unlikely that he would have killed JFK or participated in any plot to kill JFK. One theory of his involvement in the assassination was that he was convinced that he was a part of a military exercise whereby a fake assassination attempt on JFK would be used to test the security measures around him. Oswald would have been told that guns would be involved, but they would fire blanks, and he would be helping the President by participating. Compare this to the anthrax attacks. A scientist might have been told that he was participating in a test of government security against anthrax attacks by mail. Politicians (who happened to be Democrats!) would be participating in the test which would involve screening of suspicious mail and new technology of sterilization. It was necessary to use the most sophisticated U. S. government technology of preparation of the anthrax to truly test the system, but the scientist would be led to believe that no one would be harmed as the recipients were ready for the letters. The scientist had to have worked for the government to have gained the requisite expertise but, as the source of the anthrax could not be seen to be the U. S. government (as the government shouldn't have such weapons), not be associated with the government at the time of the tests (being recently 'fired' might be a good cover). The whole operation would have to be completely secret, with no possible connection back to the government should anything go wrong, and the scientist would have to be bound by this secrecy. Unbeknownst to him, when the 'tests' take place there is no security screening and no sterilization, and the letters reach the offices of the politicians without being screened or sterilized. This creates a nice test in the field of the new weapon, and scares the hell out of the Democrats. The scientist is not innocent, as he did send the letters, and he cannot properly defend himself, as his involvement in retrospect looks terribly suspicious. The danger if you are in this patsy position is that before you start singing you meet your own personal Jack Ruby. Anyone who finds himself in this position should obtain some good, non-government, security and be very careful about being 'suicided'. It is interesting that there is speculation that the attacks were made by a government employee in a misguided attempt to increase government funding for research on biological weapons, but that the employee did not intend to kill anyone. This makes no sense unless the employee was misinformed as to the nature of the security measures in place, for otherwise he could not be sure that his actions wouldn't lead to many deaths.