I don't think we did go blind,
I think we are blind,
Blind but seeing, Blind people
who can see, but do not see
--Blindness, Jose Saramago
When a war breaks out, people say:
"It's too stupid; it can't last long."
But though the war may well be "too stupid,"
that doesn't prevent its lasting.
Stupidity has a knack of getting its way;
as we should see if we were not always
so much wrapped up in ourselves
--The Plague, Albert Camus
"What on earth prompted you to take a hand in this?"
"I don't know. My… my code of morals, perhaps."
"Your code of morals. What code, if I may ask?"
--The Plague, Camus
Discover magazine touts the film Contagion as a "must-see", a "taut pandemic thriller made extra-terrifying by a global outbreak scenario too plausible for comfort."
But when we see movies like Contagion we know they are entertainment, which elicits a different reaction than things like the Anthrax attacks of the early years of the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©), back when wars were things that lasted years versus generations.
Contagion concerns a viral outbreak transmittable via several vectors, like influenza. In Contagion, the infected suffer a 30% mortality rate -- better survival odds than those of inhalation anthrax victims (75% death rate with inhalation anthrax). Here is how the two scenarios differ:
- anthrax is easily identifiable
- anthrax does not produce contagion
- anthrax is highly regulated and secured
- anthrax requires extremely sophisticated production facilities
- anthrax must be delivered to its target
- anthrax can be countered by existing medications
- the anthrax strain used could be genetically isolated
The above leads Ranger to conclude that the 2003 Amerithrax scenario was overblown and played to exaggerate the threat. New information indicates the anthrax crimes remain unsolved, and the source of the anthrax used in the attacks, unknown (Frontline - The Anthrax Files; The Wrong Man.)
The most troubling aspect of the case is how easily security clearances were granted years before the crime to the two primes suspects in the case. Both men had flags that should have precluded their clearance and subsequent access to a Top Secret and above facility. How did these men pass security clearance? Oddly, this question is not addressed in the coverage of this incident.
Additionally, there is no proven link either domestic or foreign Terrorism, despite the oft-shown "handwriting" on the letters. This attack is troubling as it shows the ability of Federal law enforcement to railroad any suspect upon the slightest circumstantial evidence.
Both of the latter two irregularities are more troubling than the actual incidents, for they are a wide-open breach for further failures, whether perpetrated from without or within our system.