5/29 On the Anthrax Trail

5/29 On the Anthrax Trail

Fear and Terror on The Anthrax Trail

When the 2001 anthrax attacks hit the USA in the days following 9/11, it was like a one-two punch against the Republic. Workers in New York’s media center who had seen the planes swoop too low over their heads en route to the Twin Tower were now terrified of their mail. In Washington, Capitol Hill was evacuated and White House staffers were chewing CIPRO tablets.

It was our scariest collective nightmare come to life – the attack of deadly invisible bugs. It seemed like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the preceding years filled as they were with scores of films, best-selling books, TV shows and articles on the coming of “Bio-Terror.” Indeed, for the first time in history, national leaders and the military actually acted out high-tech “germ attack” war games, one of which had a scenario shockingly close to the actual events.

So after the government pledged the most thorough investigation it could muster, we hoped the feds would get to the bottom of it all. Thus, we were saddened but not really surprised when the attacks disappeared from public discourse – unmentioned, for example, by any major candidate during the 2008 election contest. And when the FBI announced suddenly last summer that the cold case was red-hot, identified a lone culprit – U.S. Army Scientist Bruce Ivins, just slain by his own hand, and quickly closed its seven-year investigation, it felt to us – and to most polled citizens – that something was not quite right.

In the 30 years we’ve covered international politics for newspapers, magazines and television networks, rarely – if ever – had we seen such a big story buried so deep. Relying on our network of government, journalistic and intelligence contacts, it soon became clear that the powers that be were for a variety of reasons loathe to open wide the Pandora’s box where the real anthrax answers could probably be found.

We’ve made a non-fiction film ignited by those germ attacks of 2001 and written a book to fill out a story that our 90-minute documentary could only outline. We invite you to come along for the ride and hope that the open minds that elected the new president are just as open to what we’ve learned about the new “Bio-Terror Industrial Complex”.

Bob Coen, Eric Nadler
Brooklyn, New York


With thanks to David Rees – Get Your War On