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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Monday, October 28, 2002



Did the WaPo Bury The Lead?

The anthrax investigation is getting a new look. So says the Old Crow, who has survived the first wave of the baffling assault on right wing bloggers noted below.

Now, here is the lead paragraph, and deep in the story, my candidate for hysterical scare headline:

"A significant number of scientists and biological warfare experts are expressing skepticism about the FBI's view that a single disgruntled American scientist prepared the spores and mailed the deadly anthrax letters that killed five people last year...."

Instead, suggested Spertzel and more than a dozen experts interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks, investigators might want to reexamine the possibility of state-sponsored terrorism..."


And you will not be surprised that the state in question is Iraq. An Administration leak?

"The Defense Department and FBI refused repeated requests from The Post to discuss recent developments in the anthrax investigation."

OK, it was on the front page, so the WaPo did not bury the story. Well, there is at least a chance they know what they are doing. And the NY Times endorsed Bush's approach to the UN!

UPDATE: In answer to a reader's question, yes, I do read these stories, a lot of the time. And yeah, I kind of noticed this, and yes, it is sort of odd. Sort of. But judge for yourself:

"The FBI acknowledged that the sender may not have been a native English speaker but emphasized that there was no "direct or clear" link between the attacks and foreign terrorism.

More recently, investigators appear to have abandoned the idea of an amateur attacker, but they continue to focus on a lone, domestic scientist, probably an insider...."


Really? That hardly squares with our sense of the Bush Administration, as described here:

"Bush administration officials have acknowledged that the anthrax attacks were an important motivator in the U.S. decision to confront Iraq, and several senior administration officials say today that they still strongly suspect a foreign source -- perhaps Iraq -- even though no one has publicly said so."



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