Sunday, August 11, 2002

The New York Times, as the 'paper of record', truly appears to believe that it must take action to debunk any and all conspiracy theories that might arise in the masses, for fear that such theories might create dissension and unrest. Right after the time of the anthrax attacks, a noticable slew of scientists involved in microbiology began to die, often in striking ways. This led to the not unreasonable thought that these scientists were being killed because of something they knew or were thought to have known concerning the attacks. Fortunately, and predictably, we now have a NYT article to explain away the whole matter and comfort us in our moment of unease. The article itself is almost a model of debunking, and should receive whatever prizes are awarded for pacification of the peasantry. Note how it refers to two elderly twin brothers in Finland, silly numerology, and a little bit of how human beings don't have an intuitive understanding of probability with the connection, necessary in all intelligent writing today, to human evolution. It also spends time debunking the 'cluster' by pointing out how some of the members of it didn't actually have anything to do with microbiology, and how some of the deaths are plausibly explainable by normal causes. It also uses the most common weapon against conspiracies by referring to some obviously unreliable conspiracists and nutty coincidences. We don't have to be led astray by such obvious attempts at debunking. It is misleading to consider this a problem of probability, and a complete waste of time to get into this argument as neither the conspiricists nor the debunkers have or can have the information to determine what the probabilities are. We also don't have to consider which scientists are in the 'cluster' (I have no doubt that many of the deaths are completely unrelated to the anthrax attacks). Here's the real 'cluster':

  1. The United States was (is?) under an extremely dangerous biological attack, directed mostly at members of the Democratic Party who might have been inclined to ask serious questions about what happened on September 11, and who subsequently have treated the whole issue with kid gloves (why hasn't more been made of the obviously partisan nature of the attacks?). They seem to want to argue that their political decisions are based on Bush's continuing high polling numbers, but it is completely implausible for them to believe that their constituents don't want to know what really happened on September 11. To the sceptical observer, it appears that they have been scared into silence.

  2. The FBI is treating the anthrax attacks, an extraordinary and frightening attack on America and its democratic institutions, as well as an attack which could reoccur tomorrow with devastating consequences if the perpetrators aren't caught, with less concern and speed than it might have looking for a missing cat. It appears to have wasted months investigating people who could not possibly have had anything to do with the attacks in an attempt to appear to be busy while not actually doing anything. Only recently, under huge public pressure, has it started ostentatiously to investigate one man, a man who has been described in the press as having so many suspicious characteristics that he might as well be named 'Patsy'.

  3. It's an open secret that the United States government does research on biological weapons that would have made Mengele shudder, and such investigations are either illegal or immoral or both. Under the current U. S. junta, the old-fashioned ideas of international law and morality have to take a backseat to the needs of the military-industrial complex. This is even more particularly so in areas of scientific research, where there is money to be made in both the creation of the weapon and the pharmaceutical cures. Proper investigation might of necessity discover things that would hurt the interests of powerful people.

  4. The current rash of deaths is eerily reminiscent of the cluster of deaths of scientists in the 1980's associated with military contractor Marconi in Britain. Like the current deaths, some of these deaths were bizarre, and some were also in the form of deaths of a type that look like suicide or mishap, but which could have been staged to hide murder. It is possible that ritualistic murder is used as a method of providing a bogus explanation and cover for murder that has other purposes (think Manson).

We are being misled if we look at the wrong 'cluster'. This issue isn't a question of probabilities. The anthrax attacks occurred after 9-11 and intentionally made reference to the context of 9-11, but had to have been planned prior to September 11, thus opening up the whole issue of foreknowledge. The science tells us that the people involved were almost certainly in the U. S. military or working for a military contractor, and the attacks were clearly directed with the purpose of inhibiting investigation of what happened on September 11. The investigation of the attacks, which should on any reasonable view of the situation been the first priority of the FBI, has been intentionally delayed and flubbed. A proper investigation would expose the whole sordid issue of U. S. government involvement in biological warfare. In every investigation there are key sources of information who are critical to the success of the investigation. If those sources aren't available, the investigation fails. Scientists who knew or might have been thought to know either scientific answers to the puzzle or scientific gossip about the identity of the anthrax attackers start to die. Why should anyone be surprised? I am reminded of so many prominent investigations where witnesses start to die off just before they are to testify. Such deaths, while supposedly unrelated to the investigation, have just enough of a connection that they also serve as a warning to anyone else who might have been considering discussing his or her suspicions with the authorities (it is not unusual for the deaths to be unusual or colorful, just to make sure that everyone gets the message). It may in fact not be necessary for any of the victims to have had special information on the anthrax attacks for their deaths to be useful to people attempting to hide the truth. The final part of the process is the creation of material to debunk the conspiracy theories. No doubt by complete coincidence, The New York Times has felt it expedient to produce a rather obvious debunking article on the whole subject, filled with the usual misdirection and obfuscation. Just look at what the NYT article says about Dr. Don Wiley. We're supposed to believe that the fall into the river was caused by the newly created phenomenon of 'roadway bounce', a bounce which would have bounced him over the rail which only came up to mid-thigh. The bridge must be made out of rubber. I have walked along many bridges and have yet to be bounced into the brink. On the way down, he is supposed to have "suffered fractures to his neck and spine, and his chest was crushed, injuries that are consistent with Wiley's hitting a support beam before he landed in the water." Wouldn't the neck and spine injuries be caused by trauma to the other side of the body than the chest? Maybe he bounced back up after his spine injury, and hit his chest the second time down. How was his chest 'crushed'? As a finale, we're treated to the fact of the attack on the same coroner who examined Dr. Wiley, who "was wrapped in barbed wire and left lying in a stairwell of the medical examiner's building with a live bomb strapped to his chest." What are the odds of that, indeed?