During last October's anthrax attacks in the US, Mr Rumsfeld threatened direct action against Baghdad if there was any evidence of Iraqi involvement. A spate of reports sourced to US intelligence officials said the airborne form of anthrax used was difficult and expensive to produce, requiring state sponsorship. Even though there was no "credible evidence" to tie the anthrax attacks to al-Qa'ida, said the director of homeland security, Tom Ridge, "we ought to operate under the presumption that it is."

Fallout: Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector, said accusations that Iraq was the source of the anthrax were unsubstantiated and irresponsible. It emerged that the spores had been treated with an additive designed to allow them to stay in the air longer, suggesting it was unlikely they originated from Iraq or the former Soviet Union. They appear to have been launched by a scientist from within US biological warfare laboratories, making use of a strain from the US Army's medical research institute.

Verdict: It is easy to blame Iraq or al-Qa'ida for any incident of terror, but hard to establish proof.

The Independent
Don't Always Trust What They Tell You
In the War on Terror
Raymond Whitaker and James Palmer

31 March 2002

An Excerpt.

Raymond Whitaker and James Palmer unravel the West's war of lies and propaganda

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