Sunday, September 21, 2008

The FBI's Flimsy Case

Rabid watchdog and previously mentioned Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald might have been one of four people paying attention to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees' oversight of the FBI's paper thin case against alleged anthrax kook Bruce Ivins.

HuffPo was also watching closely, noting that Sen. Patrick Leahy, himself a target of the lethal attacks, claimed that Ivins could not have acted alone. And while over at his Dick Destiny blog, George Smith has outlined some scientific support for the alphabet boys, I share Greenwald's sentiments:
The crucial point...isn't that the FBI's accusations against Bruce Ivins are demonstrably false...Rather, the point is that the accusations that the FBI has outlined and the evidentiary case it has disclosed are so full of substantial holes that the FBI ought to disclose all of the evidence in its possession -- scientific and non-scientific -- and fully cooperate with a real, independent review...
But perhaps more alarming than FBI Director Robert Mueller's Palin-esque disregard for scientific methods is the way the media, and as a result the public, are ignoring the story like a John Edwards lovechild. Where are the Watergate-raised, thirsty young muckrakers, listlessly scowering their contact lists and trying to break this case (or lackthereof) wide open?

Though a bit convoluted---science, yuck---a sorority obsessed whacko possibly driven to suicide by a government agency? It doesn't get much sexier, news-wise. And for the record, my money's on Daniel Day Lewis as Ivins if we get our very own Woodward & Berstein and Hollywood comes-a-knockin'.


M. Dery said...

Smart, funny, rich in contextual links from off-the-beaten-path sources. Some grabby turns of phrase, and the snark-monkey attitude grabs the reader's attention. But the purple patches obscure your meaning, here and there. Also, if you're going to tar Palin as disregarding scientific consensus, you need to substantiate that accusation with a link to a source that cites an example of such disregard, and musters the evidence to make it stick. Don't preach to the choir; presume a skeptical reader who demands hard proof. For example, you claim the media have been ignoring this story, but cite no evidence to support that charge. On a more trivial note, your use of the adverb "listlessly" confuses me: how can a tenacious muckraker, who presumably is anything *but* listless, scour---best to spellcheck before posting, by the way---listlessly? It's an oxymoron. Scouring is, by definition, not listlessly done. The very idea presumes vigorousness and alertness---a state of mind antithetical to listlessness.

Joseph Coscarelli said...

"Listlessly" was an entirely regrettable misuse of a word and a result of not carefully re-reading before posting. Duly noted.

Elsewhere, support for the Palin "tarring" was admittedly a bit buried in a rather long article, but something like this is what I would consider a suitable example of "such disregard":

"I pushed her on the earth's creation, whether it was really less than 7,000 years old and whether dinosaurs and humans walked the earth at the same time. And she said yes, she'd seen images somewhere of dinosaur fossils with human footprints in them."

Still, admittedly a bit of a stretch in the reference and could have been done without. Just topical and on my mind, I guess.

But what would you recommend for evidence that media is ignoring a story? If a story doesn't exist in the MSM, wouldn't only an empty link do the job?