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   Local Man Publishes Results of Anthrax Investigation

Local Man Publishes Results of Anthrax Investigation

a Chronicle staff report
Longtime activist Richard Ochs, a Lauraville resident, has issued a 10-page report called "Government by Anthrax." The paper is a compilation of circumstantial evidence that Ochs believes justifies "an independent and open congressional investigation" of the origins of the anthrax letters that were mailed to some U.S. Senators in October 2001.

The timing and targeting of the letters, according to Ochs, suggests that the perpetrators' motivation was to promote legislation, namely the passage of the USA Patriot Act. "Anthrax-laden letters were mailed to the Democratic Senate leadership on the same day that they blocked an attempt to rush the bill through without debate or amendments," says Ochs. "These threats frightened Congress in general and intimidated certain opponents of the Patriot Bill in particular." No Republicans received any anthrax laden letters.

"The closing of the House and Senate office buildings made it difficult for members to read the bill," Ochs charges. "After the letters were received, the democratic leadership gave up their insistence on a two-year sunset clause [for the legislation]."

Ochs notes that the day after the Patriot Act was signed, the Supreme Court was closed by a false anthrax scare. "Anthrax letters to the news media created widespread fear and a lockstep mentality in support of the Administration's policies," he concludes.

Bush administration reports initially suggested that the anthrax attacks were perpetrated by people like those who crashed planes on 9/11. Such reports proved groundless, as federal investigators have concluded that the anthrax came from U.S. government sources.


The full text of Richard Ochs' paper, "Government by Anthrax" is available online.

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This story was published on July 3, 2002.
  
JULY 2002
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