John McCain Promoted Idea That Iraq Was Responsible For Anthrax Attacks
And that contributed to the general fear that Iraq was a real threat. Appearing on David Letterman, on October 18, 2001, John McCain had this exchange:
LETTERMAN: How are things going in Afghanistan now?
MCCAIN: I think we’re doing fine …. I think we’ll do fine. The second phase – if I could just make one, very quickly – the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don’t have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may – and I emphasize may – have come from Iraq.
LETTERMAN: Oh is that right?
MCCAIN: If that should be the case, that’s when some tough decisions are gonna have to be made.
h/t Think Progress
Glenn Greenwald writes of the true impact of the anthrax attacks right after 9/11, and how it shaped our pubic consciousness:
It was really the anthrax letters — with the first one sent on September 18, just one week after 9/11 — that severely ratcheted up the fear levels and created the climate that would dominate in this country for the next several years after. It was anthrax — sent directly into the heart of the country’s elite political and media institutions, to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt), NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, and other leading media outlets — that created the impression that social order itself was genuinely threatened by Islamic radicalism.
In his 2002 State of the Union speech, President Bush continued to invoke the antrhax link to Iraq:
The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen was specific in a July 21, 2004 op-ed that the anthrax attacks led him to support President Bush’s war in Iraq:
Anthrax played a role in my decision to support the Bush administration’s desire to take out Saddam Hussein. I linked him to anthrax, which I linked to Sept. 11.
So, we can chalk up another phony reason for this war.Click here for reuse options!
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