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The CIA and Poison Letters - Black Valentines?
By Douglas Valentine
20/10/2001 4:47 am Sat
[The most likely motive for the Anthrax being sent to congress is to
discourage congressmen from reading letters from the people of the
United States, thereby making the CIA controlled media and rigged polls
the only source of information in which Congress can act.
October 16, 2001
By Douglas Valentine
As everyone is aware by now, the anthrax postal attacks
began on 4 October in Florida, when a photo editor at a
Boca Raton tabloid inhaled the bacteria form of
anthrax, and died. His was the first such death in the
US since 1976. Two other Sun employees also were
infected, but survived, and are being treated.
Unidentified FBI agents, with their hats pulled down
low over their eyes, said their hands-off investigation
is now a criminal probe, while other unnamed officials
(CIA?) said there is no evidence linking the outbreak
to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Then in New York, teeny-tiny anthrax spores were found
on the police officer and two lab technicians who were
investigating a totally unrelated case in which an
anthrax infected letter was sent to government
propagandist Tom Brokaw.
Basking in the limelight of the recent tragedy, New
York Mayor (and adulterer) Rudolph Giuliani said Brokaw
had not, repeat, not been contaminated. The Greatest
Generation could relax, he said, urging calm, and
asking that the usurper issue an emergency order
allowing to him remain as mayor indefinitely.
Like the isolated case in Florida, the New Yorkers who
contracted the deadly disease had touched envelopes
that contained anthrax spores, the type that have been
artificially produced across America for years, in
order to develop antidotes in case a Three Mile
Island-type accident spread the military's purely
defensive (unlike Saddam's) anthrax arsenal o'er our
Then on Saturday the Microsoft office in arid Reno,
Nevada received a piece of mail sent from Malaysia
containing anthrax dust. None of the six people who
accessed the envelope are known to have been infected
by the bacteria (not virus) or offended by the
pornography the envelope also contained. (The pictures
were not released to the public, but are rumored to be
of you-know-who in his snorting days, cavorting with a
donkey in Tijuana.)
The latest and most newsworthy of these unrelated
incidents came on Monday, when the senate office of
Bush Administration rubberstamp, Tom Daschle, was
suddenly struck. Camera shy FBI agents said the package
was postmarked Trenton, New Jersey, same as the
anthrax-laced letter sent to Brokaw.
When asked if the object of Eternal Hot Pursuit, Osama
bin Laden, had sent the black valentines, the idiotic
unpresident replied, "I wouldn't put it past him."
All kidding aside, while the sending of anthrax to U.S.
citizens seems to be yet another bizarre aspect of the
on-going terror attacks on America, there is a
precedent, and it is connected to America's on-going
woes with the Arab world.
The problem began in 1958, with the formation of the
United Arab Republic by Egypt and Syria. To protect
Israel, the CIA armed Iraq's Kurds and encouraged them
to revolt and attack Syria, which was considered a
Soviet pawn. In response, Colonel Abdul Karim el-Kassem
overthrew Iraq's King Faisal and restored relations
with the Soviets. The coup d'etat incited nationalists
in Lebanon's Arab community and in May 1958, armed
revolt erupted in Beirut. The U.S. Information Agency
building was burned and sacked and the ARAMCO pipeline
from Saudi Arabia to Tripoli was severed. To placate
King Hussein, America began selling arms to Jordan and
mounting covert operations against Iraq, including an
MKULTRA operation in which the infamous CIA officer,
Dr. Sidney Gottlieb sent, from India, a handkerchief
laced with poison to Colonel Kassem.
According to CIAnik Seymour Hersh in his JFK-bashing
book, The Dark Side of Camelot (page 194): "the (CIA's
Technical Services Division) created a poisoned
handkerchief that was mailed with the approval of the
agency's top management to the home of General Abdul
Karim Kassem, the military strongman of Iraq. Kassem
had seized power in a bloody coup and, to the dismay of
the U.S., immediately restored diplomatic relations
with the Soviet Union and lifted a ban on the Communist
Party in Iraq. Sidney Gottlieb came up with the idea of
infecting a handkerchief and mailing it to Iraq via the
CIA station in New Delhi, India. 'It was not an
assassination,' Gottlieb told (Hersh) in an interview.
'They [the CIA's Near East division] just wanted him to
get sick for a long time. I went to (CIA Deputy
Director of Plans, Richard) Bissell and he said go
"Others in the agency saw it differently. One senior
officer, in an interview for this book, revealed that
the men running the Near East division were interested
in getting rid of General Kassem permanently."
(Incidentally, in a Frontline story aired on 25 January
2000, titled The Survival of Saddam, it was revealed
that Saddam Hussein, then an up-and-coming CIA asset
and dictator, and other members of the Ba'ath party
worked with "the Americans" to overthrow General
Kassem. According to Frontline, "With CIA help, the
Iraqi Ba'ath Party seized power in 1963. General Kassem
was killed in the coup. The CIA provided lists of
suspected communists for Ba'ath Party hit squads, who
liquidated at least 800 people. Saddam Hussein rushed
home to join in as a interrogator, torturer and
So, if the FBI is looking for motive and method
(meaning modus operandi), the CIA must rate as a prime
suspect in the anthrax black valentines that are
currently being sent across the country. The motive, of
course, is to keep the threat of terrorism alive and
widespread, so more assaults can be made on our Civil
Liberties, thus strengthening the National Security
elite. The method of sending envelopes packed with
poison, as we know, was developed and perfected by the
Over to you, Governor Ridge.
Douglas Valentine writes frequently for CounterPunch.
He is the author of The Phoenix Program, the only
comprehensive account of the CIA's torture and
assassination operation in Vietnam, as well as TDY a
chilling novel about the CIA and the drug trade.