Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dead Fish and White Powder

What the heck's up with this?
A Homeland Security intelligence official was responsible for bringing a package containing a dead fish and white powder to department offices in downtown Washington Friday, an apparent violation of security protocols that set off a significant security incident, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Wow, the official brought those items in deliberately? Was it a prank or a serious crackup? Not really.

The article repeatedly points out the angst over the security violation without bothering to speculate on why a Homeland Security official working with WMDs might have received such a package to begin with. According to the story the official, Maureen McCarthy, was
"a holdover from the Bush administration, [she] is one of a number of officials who agency insiders say remains at the agency in positions created for them."
What are the chances this 'agency insider' doesn't think too much of either her or her position?

Admittedly this might be a big 'who cares'; a minimal incident caused by a prank or some petty bureaucratic jealousy or vendetta. Or it may be something else. Ms. McCarthy's resume makes it a little more interesting in light of the fact the package's return address was from Batelle, Inc, the Ohio weapons lab often mentioned in lefty posts about the anthrax letter attacks.

A cadre of people, mainly hard lefties, believe Batelle might have been involved in the attack for a variety of reasons, perhaps some due to previous clandestine testing programs involving bio-weapons back in the 90s that supposedly violated the bio-weapons non-proliferation treaty. As the story goes, neither the Bush nor Clinton administrations took a fancy to strict compliance with the treaty since it hampered their ability to do the necessary research to test methods of defeating bio weapon attacks--perhaps dispensed by proxy groups affiliated with hostile signatory countries.

Part of the conspiracy involves factoids such as Bush officials being placed on Cipro the night of 9/11 (not after the first letter was discovered), which is supposed to prove the government's foreknowledge and explain why Dr. Bruce Ivins was scapegoated. In truth, they probably DID fear such attacks, and would have been idiots to think otherwise.

Purveyors of these stories usually fail to mention that US military personnel were receiving anthrax vaccines in the late 90s--a concoction co-developed by Ivins himself [why would they need such a thing if Saddam was harmless? -ed]. Nevertheless Senator Leahy, himself an anthrax letter victim, has suggested that Congress should ask a few questions via some sort of truth commission, no doubt an exercise bent less on learned lessons than sticking the last wooden stake in the GOP's floundering heart. Obama remains luke-cool on the issue, probably because he knows it would open a whole new can of nuts.

Anyway, that's enough background to make the mailing of a dead fish and some white powder to a high level government official working with bio-weapons prevention, including oversight of the mysterious Plum Island facility, a raised-eyebrow event.

Keep in mind Plum Island was mentioned on an al Qaeda laptop confiscated in Afghanistan in 2001 and was recently in the news due to the capture of Pakistani AQ scientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was evidently researching an attack on it at some point (she attended school here). Siddiqui just happens to be a relative of another famous Baluch-Pakistani currently being held at Gitmo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and by extension his nephew Ramzi, a lifer resident of the Supermax.

But aside from all the shadowy GWoT or Clancy-esque intrigue stuff, and discounting typical personal shenanigans between adversaries, is it possible we're seeing a kind of purge taking place against Bush holdovers? Let's hope not--our government workforce needs all the harmonious tranquility it can muster, especially in her specialty area.

No comments: