I’m not one for conspiracy theories. One reason is that they divert attention from the proven bad things we already know about.
Sometimes it seems to me that there is a conspiracy to spread bogus conspiracy theories in order to divert attention from the actual existing conspiracies.
Whether or not there are unanswered questions about the 9/11 attacks, there are plenty of such questions about the anthrax attacks that came a week later. Yet the anthrax attacks are virtually forgotten.
And whether or not the assassination of President Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy, it seems obvious to me that the killings of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and of Malcolm X were conspiracies. Yet while there is a whole Kennedy assassination industry, there is little interest in the King and Malcolm X assassinations.
When the 9/11 attacks took place, my thought was that a tiny group of criminal conspirators had got lucky. I saw nothing improbable in a bunch of fanatics taking control of airplanes and flying them into buildings, but I also saw no reason to expect this to happen on a regular basis.
It was the anthrax attacks, coming a week later, that made me think my nation was under siege. I thought this was going to be what the United States was going to be in for—constant attacks, each one radically different from the other.
At the same time, the identity of the targets seemed strange. The anthrax attacks consisted of mailing of powders mixed with spores of anthrax bacteria to ABC, CBS and NBC News, the New York Post, and the National Enquirer, and two Democratic Senators, Tom Daschle, the Senate majority leader, and Patrick Leahy, the chair of the Senate judiciary committee.
Why would Muslim terrorists single out these particular individuals? These are targets you would pick if you were trying to stampede public opinion into committing to a “war on terror”.
Initial reports speculated that the anthrax was made in a supposed germ warfare laboratory under the control of Saddam Hussein. In 2002, the Department of Justice named Steven J. Hatfill, a virologist, as a “person of interst” in the case, but he was never charged. Then suspicion shifted by Bruce E. Ivins, a researcher at Fort Detrick, who committed suicide before the FBI was ready to prosecute.
Maybe Ivins really was the culprit, and maybe he acted alone. I don’t know enough to argue otherwise. All I know is that there wasn’t enough proof to put him on trial.
There also are unanswered questions about the assassinations of Dr. King and Malcolm X.