The very strange anthrax case, on which the combined efforts of the FBI and the US counterintelligence services have spent seven years without producing a credible suspect, took another strange turn this week, when a new prime suspect, evidently about to be indicted, took his own life. His survivors have my deep condolences. And the press, which has minimal restraints in this regard to begin with, took the occasion of his death to flood the news with all sorts of articles about his warped, split, personality; intimating that he was the sort of person who might have mailed the anthrax.
I have no idea who spread the anthrax in September 2001. All I know is that it was used by the Bush administration in the weeks after 9/11 to ratchet up the fears of terrorism even higher than they already were, and while I have no opinion on the various conspiracy theories that are floating around the web, it is certainly possible that the Bush administration has something to hide in all of this, if not in direct complicity, then in how bio-weapons were being stored or tested. My suspicions are only increased by the difficulty that the current administration has had in laying out a case against a plausible suspect. (The difficulties evidently continue. The Times suggests today that the evidence against him was largely circumstantial, and this only heightens my suspicion that there is more here than meets the eye. ) I don’t know if the person who took his life this week was the culprit. I do know that the fact he committed suicide, by itself, means nothing one way or the other in terms of his guilt. You don’t have to be a bio-terrorist to take your own life.