Who Planned the Anthrax Attacks?
One Month After 9/11, McCain Said Anthrax ‘May Have Come From Iraq,’ Warned Iraq Is ‘The Second Phase’
Today, the LA Times reports that the individual who may have been responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others apparently committed suicide. As Atrios recalls, shortly after 9/11, conservatives were pinning the blame for the anthrax attacks on Iraq, laying the groundwork for a subsequent invasion. John McCain was part of this fearmongering effort.
On October 18, 2001, McCain appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. When asked how the war in Afghanistan was progressing, McCain volunteered that the invasion of Iraq would be the “second phase” of the War on Terror. He preyed on the public’s fear at the time by claiming that the anthrax “may have come from Iraq”:
MCCAIN: I think we’re doing fine …. I think we’ll do fine. The second phase — if I could just make one, very quickly — the second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don’t have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may — and I emphasize may — have come from Iraq.