STRATEGIC DISINFORMATION AT THE PENTAGON - PART 2
By: Todd Brendan Fahey
Seven days prior to events which would set the world on-edge, newly-hired Pentagon
spokeswoman Victoria "Torie"
Clarke offered an equally startling admission to Agency France
Presse wire service, but which received scant attention within U.S. media sources.
Ms. Clarke-- having been lured back into government service by pal Mary Matalin on Vice
President Dick Cheney's staff, from a high-paying post as Manhattan office director for
the venerable public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton--the former PR chief to Senator
John McCain and one-time George Bush (the elder) staffer would divulge to foreign media
that the United States, via the Pentagon and the shadowy Defense Cooperative Threat
Reduction Program, would begin producing a new and potent strain of anthrax bacteria, and
that such plans had been in the works since 1997. The source of the anthrax was to be from
Russian stock, and, according to Ms. Clarke, would be used "purely for defensive
The new strain of anthrax, engineered by Russian sources, Clarke
purported, would be used to test the effectiveness of a newly-developed vaccine in the
United States. "We have a vaccine that works against a known anthrax strain. What we
want to do is make sure we are prepared for any surprises, for anything that might happen
that might be a threat," she said.
presented this information on September 4, 2001, via a Department of Defense news
briefing; when asked directly as to whether the United States, through any agency, was
developing or producing anthrax bacilli, her response, repeatedly, was, "no."
The DoD issued this update recently to Ms. Clarke's news briefing: "the Department
of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is funding a collaborative research
project on anthrax monitoring with the State Research Center for Applied Microbiology in
Obolensk, Russia. In August 2001 the State Research Center applied to the Russian Export
Control Commission for a license to transfer the anthrax strain to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control. The application is currently pending a decision of the Russian Export
Control Commission, and the U.S. government will seek Russian approval of the export
One week after this news conference, three hijacked airliners slammed into the World
Trade Center and Pentagon buildings, killing an estimated 3,100 civilian and military
personnel. Shortly thereafter, white powder began to appear on the desks of prominent
politicians and at news broadcast stations--most notably at NBC and American Media,
headquarters of The National Enquirer tabloid--and bearing strikingly identical
handwriting, each dated "09-11-01"
and proclaiming the message, "Allah Is Great."
Incredibly, despite airport videotapes of Middle Eastern men boarding the various
hijacked jets, and what with the messages contained on and within the anthrax envelopes
and the fact that hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi had taken flight training
lessons at a private airfield very near to American Media's headquarters, Boca Raton,
Florida, and that al-Shehhi had rented a room in a condominium owned by the wife of
American Media (National Enquirer) publisher, news reports filtered out for weeks,
attempting to convince the public that FBI profilers had determined the anthrax exposures
in New York, Connecticut and Florida to be the work of a "right-wing loner";
anonymous FBI sources, through the Washington Post, offered that a "popular
West Coast right-wing organization" was under specific scrutiny.
Domestic critics of the government would counter that the style in which the dates were
penned on the envelopes containing the anthrax spores could not be that of a person of
Middle Eastern descent, which would use a script akin to: "01. 09. 11.";
government sources bandied back that, the sources probably thought ahead and disguised the
script. Nobody knew what to believe, and the investigations into the anthrax exposures
were not (and are still not) being made known to the American citizenry.
The American public didn't bite on the "right-wing loner" theory, with no
proof offered, no suspect produced, and in light of a New York Times article,
citing weapons expert William C. Patrick III, a U.S. microbiologist active in germ weapons
design during the late 1960s. The Times quoted Dr. Patrick as saying, of the batch
sent to Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), "he had learned details of the federal inquiry
from a senior investigator. The Senate powder, Mr. Patrick said, was quite potent and
capable of sailing far through the air to hurt many people.remarkably free of extraneous
material. `It's high-grade,' said Mr. Patrick, who consults widely on making germ
defenses. `It's free flowing. It's electrostatic free. And it's in high
concentration.'" ("Contradicting Some U.S. Officials, 3 Scientists Call Anthrax
Powder High-Grade," William J. Broad, 10/25/01)
Pressured by the Times report, newly-installed Director of the Department of
Homeland Security, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, announced that the type of
anthrax found at all locations corresponded to a perfect genetic match to one (1) specific
stock of anthrax bacilli, known as "the Ames strain," developed at the US
Department of Agriculture's veterinary lab, Ames, Iowa, in the 1930s, and stored currently
only at an Army biochemical research facility in Ft. Detrick, Maryland, which it is said
produced via budget cuts and layoffs scores of disgruntled employees and whose inventory
procedures and security was, in recent years, notoriously lax.
Within days of the failed government trial-balloon, samples of the anthrax sent to
office within National Broadcasting Company and to Sen. Daschle proved what most
"right-wingers" feared most: The Anthrax Was Ours.
But We Weren't Supposed to be Producing Anthrax
On December 12, 2001, media scrutiny of international treaties and U.S. law forced the
U.S. Army to make an
embarrassed admission: contrary to government propaganda, which had it that the U.S.
had ceased producing or storing anthrax, according to terms of treaty signed by President
Richard Nixon, 1969, substantial stocks of anthrax bacilli were, in fact, being stored at
Dugway Proving Ground, Tooele county, Utah, with "limited quanties" still being
produced, toward "defensive research" against possible airborne attacks by
hostile sources. Army sources at the Dugway facility reported to FBI that all stocks of
anthrax were secure and accounted for, following a thorough inventory. The same could not
be said for elsewhere.
International media--tipped off by British sources at a biochemical warfare research
facility in Porton Down, Salisbury, England--were informed that an investigation was
underway at Porton Down, of stocks of a unique form of anthrax sent to that facility via
the U.S. Army, Ft. Detrick. From the Porton Down admission, not only was it acknowledged
that the U.S. government was exporting anthrax abroad, but via the "FBI's interest in
a CIA contractor" who worked at the Porton Down facility, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation began, as is its charter and scope, to investigate the Central Intelligence
Agency, on grounds of domestic terrorism. Porton Down was later cleared of involvement in
the U.S. anthrax outbreaks, after all stocks were accounted for, but not before British
involvement laid the U.S. clean with a very black eye.
And still, according to the
London Telegraph, and despite Tom Ridge's admission that the Florida and New
York samples were identical and were that of "the Ames strain," held only at US
Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Ft. Detrick, Maryland, FBI
persisted in reporting that it "believes the attacks, which have killed five people,
to be the work of a domestic terrorist, although they have not ruled out links with Osama
bin Laden and his al-Qa'eda network."
The highly-milled, "weaponized" anthrax which killed five known persons,
sickened dozens of others, and to which perhaps even hundreds were exposed, was not Iraqi,
nor Soviet in origin. Martin Hugh-Jones, a biological researcher from Louisiana State
University, Baton Rouge, was quoted by the UK's New Scientist that, "while
many laboratory animals are immunised with the vaccine now being given to thousands of
American troops are exposed to anthrax, many are still killed by the Ames strain."
Both Soviet and Iraqi researchers favored the "Vollum strain," isolated in
Oxford, England, in 1930; Gulf War-era weapons inspectors in Iraq found samples of the
Vollum strain at Iraq's Al Hakam plant.
And still, according to New Scientist, "the White House reiterated last
week that all anthrax mass-produced in the US was destroyed after 1969." ("Trail
of Terror," Debora MacKenzie, 10/24/01)
But the White House and the Pentagon were lying. And whether by error, leak or
design, the United States Government had killed five of its own citizens domestically.
Torie Clarke's statement to Agency France Presse had not been valid and true: we were not
"looking to procure" a stock of Russian anthrax; we were already making it,
with spores bred from a stricken cow in Ames, Iowa, in secret, illegally by international
treaty, and with faulty safeguards toward our citizens' safety.
Meltdown at the Pentagon: OSI Leaked from Within
On February 19, 2002, news reports began running hot and fast that the Pentagon had
created formally an agency through which to "influence opinion" abroad; the
Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), as it was to be called, would be run by retired
Brigadier General Simon "Pete" Worden--an eccentric character, with heavy ties
to former Reagan Cabinet member Frank Carlucci's Carlyle Group, given to answering his
staff in fluent Russian and a master of practical jokes (hence, some say, OSI's acronymic
similarity to the fictional "Office of Special Intelligence" in the 70's TV
series, The Six Million-Dollar Man).
Associate Press reporter
Sally Buzbee broke the story officially, citing as her source: "a defense
official said Tuesday on condition of anonymity." Within minutes, the AP report had
circulated to top-of-the-bar news on the popular Yahoo News site, and, moments later, was
disseminated via FreeRepublic.com, where the general consensus was one of extreme
According to the AP story, "State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the
department was aware of the Pentagon office but declined to discuss its functions."
Deputy Director of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, addressing the American Institute of
Aeronautics and Astronautics in Washington on the day of the leak, declined comment on the
report. Clearly, the Departments of State and Defense were caught off-guard and
uncomfortable in addressing the issue before consulting with their superiors: Colin
Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush.
While many activists and journalists stationed themselves before their keyboards with
reactions to the news, Insight magazine managing editor Paul Rodriguez sought to
ferret out the source of the
leak. His conclusions, which are his own, but which are impressive and which have not
been answered, in now-49 days of continuous inquires, by the subject herself, point to
FreeRepublic.com poster and Pentagon Deputy Director of Public Affairs Victoria
"Torie" Clarke. It is surmised by those who know Ms. Clarke that the
strong-willed, militarily-challenged new-hire felt threatened in her public relations
position by the emerging Office of Strategic Influence, to be headed by a military
General. Knowing "Torie" Clarke, as I do, such a disclosure is perfectly in
keeping with her character, as a power-hungry ladder-climber and self-proclaimed
"statist neocon," but I'll leave this angle to Mr. Rodriguez and his staff at Insight.
And although the Pentagon
"officially" closed its Office of Strategic Influence one-week-to-the-day
post-leak, with the nation nearly dead-square against such a proposal, the facts herein
are ugly and indisputable:
1) The Pentagon, despite its protestations of ignorance, lied to the American public
about its stockpile and continued production, however limited, of anthrax bacilli.
2) The White House either lied to the American public about the aforementioned Pentagon
activities, or was ignorant of the Pentagon's operations and is, therefore, negligent in
its executive oversight capacity of the Department of Defense.
3) The Pentagon's disinformation campaign--contrary to reports that it began on
February 19, 2002, was already in motion on September 5, 2001, and Victoria Clarke,
as Deputy Director for Public Affairs was its "go-to girl" on "the anthrax
4) Should "Torie" Clarke retain her position at the Pentagon, President George
W. Bush will have committed a mockery of his promise of a "leak-free
Administration," to be offered alongside his breach of promise in re: signing John
McCain's Campaign Finance Reform and his opposition to "amnesty" for illegal
aliens--a foetid buffet, served, as always, on the finest of bone-China to the
"grassroots," in 2004, and earning him a place alongside his father, in the
"read my lips" Hall of Shame.
Related Article: WHO
IS "TORIE" CLARKE?
Fahey, a strategic writer stationed in South Korea, has served as aide to Central
Intelligence Agency agent Theodore L. "Ted" Humes, Division of Slavic Languages,
and to the late-Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief Lt. General Daniel O. Graham; to
former Arizona Governor Evan Mecham (R-AZ), former Congressman John Conlan (R-AZ) and
others. He is author of Wisdom's Maw: The Acid Novel, Far Gone Books, 1996) and "Al
Hubbard: The Original Captain Trips" (High Times magazine, 1991), exposes of the
CIA's MK-Ultra program and its influence on the Sixties' psychedelic counterculture. He is the architect of DumpMcCain.com
Todd Brendan Fahey is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Todd Brendan Fahey can be reached at email@example.com
Published in the April 23, 2002 issue of Ether Zone.
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