Glenn Greenwald has a priceless post today at Salon.com outlining the culpability of ABC News in providing false information that helped along the drumbeats of war against Iraq. The story deals with the suicide of the lead suspect in the anthrax case, an individual who worked for the federal government at Ft. Detrick in Maryland where he had access to anthrax. Going back to the time of the anthrax attacks, ABC News Brian Ross had as his big news story, that the anthrax had traces of bentonite in it which was consistent with anthrax used in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. This was one of the first linkages of Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 series of attacks. This information turned out to be false. The only persons who would have known whether bentonite had been found in the anthrax, would have been the very same set of experts who worked at Ft. Detrick, the source of the anthrax.
Brian Ross said he heard it from 3-4 sources and it was a big scoop at the time. However, in the interests of hindsight, Brian Ross of ABC News either manufactured the bentonite idea, or he was duped by one or more individuals who wanted to create a link between the anthrax attacks and Saddam Hussein. I can't think of a third plausible explanation. So Greenwald, to his credit begs the question, "why protect your sources now?" They clearly lied to Brian Ross and since the anthrax attack was a criminal violation, doesn't Brian Ross have a responsibility to release what information he knows. If the individual(s) responsible used him as a member of the press to acheive political objectives out of this criminal act, is not Brian Ross an accessory?
I asked that question of Brian Ross from ABC News's website and am not anticipating a response. This is a unique case, The very individual who through a terrorist attack on the United States, and tried to implicate islamic extremists in the attack, may have also contacted the press in order to implicate Iraq itself. That a federal government employee could foment war through a terrorist attack on the United States with the goal of implicating a country that had nothing to do with it, is hard to fathom, but it appears to be the most plausible explanation to what happened. And ABC News and Brian Ross need to come clean on this thing fast, or they should not be trusted as a reliable news source.