By Nicholas Stix
June 9, 2002
Psst! The anthrax-laced letters that killed five people last fall, were sent by a home-grown, American terrorist. In fact, the killer – a heterosexual, Christian, white male wacko, if you’ll excuse the redundancy — is a scientist who was doing contract work for the CIA, and who murdered five innocents on orders from the CIA. The feds have covered it all up. Pass it on.
I know who did it, because Barbara Hatch Rosenberg told me. Rosenberg is not only a tenured professor of microbiology at the State University of New York’s College at Purchase – which alone obligates me to accept her every statement in a spirit of blind faith – but she is also the chairwoman of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Working Group on Biological Weapons. FAS has posted a report of hers on its Web site. And thousands of journalists in America, and across the world, have echoed her pronouncements. Who am I to question her authority? [Correction: As the next article states, Rosenberg was a professor of “environmental science,” not microbiology. “Environmental science” is often a cover for tenured Marxist activists, in whose hands it is barely more scientific than astrology.]
As David Tell wrote in the April 29 weekly standard,
Rosenberg claims the FBI has known the anthrax mailer’s precise identity for months already, but has deliberately avoided arresting him – indeed, may never arrest him — because he “knows too much” that the United States “isn’t very anxious to publicize.” Specifically, according to an account the hazel-eyed professor offered on BBC Two’s flagship Newsnight telecast March 14, the suspect is a former federal bioweapons scientist now doing contract work for the CIA. Last fall, you see, the man’s Langley masters supposedly decided they’d like to field-test what would happen if billions of lethal anthrax spores were sent through the regular mail, and “it was left to him to decide exactly how to carry it out.” The loosely supervised madman then used his assignment to launch an attack on the media and Senate “for his own motives.” And, this truth being obviously too hot to handle, the FBI is now trying very hard not to discover it.
Since when does the FBI grant access to classified information to a loose cannon like Barbara Hatch Rosenberg? And if Rosenberg knows who the terrorist is, why has she not named him? It would be her patriotic (or in her own language, “humanitarian”) duty to do so. What is the terrorist going to do, sue her for defamation? And if Rosenberg were such a threat to the CIA, the FBI, and the terrorist, why is she still alive?
David Tell noted that Rosenberg’s academic title notwithstanding, she didn’t understand anthrax or the evidence at hand, "anthrax-related military [projects] ... And [has] a surprisingly unscientific, even Oliver Stone-scale, incaution about the ‘facts’ at her disposal."
Barbara Hatch Rosenberg appears to be the white, socialist equivalent of black supremacist "scholar," Leonard Jeffries – a chaotic, incompetent, political hack, who under cover of tenure and the protection of political academic organizations, seeks to cause hysteria.
According to a March 20 expose by journalist Cliff Kincaid, the founder of America’s Survival, when the anthrax terrorist’s victims started dying, Rosenberg immediately sought to exploit the attacks, in order to discredit our biological warfare defense program, and ultimately get it shut down. To succeed, Rosenberg saw the need to pin the attacks on a rogue, American scientist the proverbial, "home-grown" terrorist.
Depending on whom she is talking to at any given moment, Rosenberg has a direct line to the FBI or no contact at the Bureau, and has had to do all her "profiling" on her own; the anthrax killer was trying to kill as many people as possible, or didn’t want to kill anyone, and was merely trying to warn people of the dangers posed by our biological warfare defense program. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg has changed her story more often than Jesse Jackson did, when he led the Florida Disenfranchisement Hoax, following the 2000 presidential election. And as in Jackson’s case, seeing in her a political ally, the mainstream media have uncritically echoed her wild, contradictory claims.
The moment I heard Rosenberg’s claim that the anthrax murders were sanctioned by the CIA, and that the federal government had since orchestrated a cover-up, an alarm went off in my head. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg had snatched her story straight out of the Chris Carter (of X-Files fame) TV show, Millennium (1996-1999).
Seeking to tap into millennium fever (remember Y2K?) and the public’s enthusiasm for stories featuring serial killers (Silence of the Lambs, etc.), Chris Carter and his crew (Glen Morgan, James Wong, Patrick Harbinson, Chip Johannessen, Frank Spotnitz, et al.) told the saga of profiler "Frank Black."
In the role of a lifetime, craggy-faced Lance Henriksen gave a heroic series of performances, as a man tortured by visions in which he sees the crimes committed by serial murderers – often with a theological angle —
as they are committed, through the murderer’s own eyes. Millennium was arguably more infused with religious passion than any show on the air then or since. It was a story of intrigue, betrayal, violence, sacrifice, love and redemption.
Although Millennium trafficked in Book of Revelations-style apocalyptic visions, Frank Black was a cross between a Jewish "tzaddik" (righteous man), a Christian saint, and perhaps, the Old Testament Messiah.
Far from being a Superman with a big S emblazoned on his chest, Black is a deeply disturbed man who passionately loves his wife and daughter, and seeks to honor and protect them, while carrying out a seemingly impossible task. He tries to carry on as a stoic warrior, but he is a man of volcanic passions. Made entirely of flesh and blood, he is subject to human, all-too-human infirmities. The things he sees, the burden of carrying the fate of the world on his shoulders, and the personal losses that burden entails, cause him to suffer a series of nervous breakdowns, his face showing ever deepening, multiplying lines.
Some observers have argued that Frank is really on the hunt for the Devil, in whatever "deliberate disguises" Lucifer wears.
Initially, Frank, a retired FBI agent, is recruited by the Millennium Group, an organization of former Bureau agents who act as unpaid consultants, helping local police departments solve serial murders and other bizarre crimes. When it becomes clear to Frank that the world is not in danger of being destroyed by lone wolf, serial killers, but rather by the existence of the Millennium Group itself, he returns to the FBI, in order to secretly fight the Group.
My portrayal of Millennium may sound loony. But imagine if, six years ago, someone had told you that an international terrorist conspiracy, fueled by nihilistic, millenarian fever, and funded by sovereign nations, including one of America’s leading "allies" (Saudi Arabia), sought to destroy the United States?
In the show’s second season, the Millennium Group is rent by a schism between "theists" and "secularists." an airborne, anthrax-style virus kills 70 people in the Pacific Northwest, among them Frank’s wife, Catherine (Megan Gallagher).
Frank had already been vaccinated against the virus. But he had only one dose with which to save either Catherine, or Frank and Catherine’s seven-year-old daughter, Jordan (who shares Frank’s gift, and who was played without cuteness or cloying sentimentality by Brittany Tiplady).
Catherine chose death, so that Jordan might live.
It turned out that the Millennium Group had deliberately unleashed the virus as an experiment in germ warfare; the government covered up the crime. (If you think the similarity to Barbara Hatch Rosenberg’s story is mere coincidence, I’ve got a great deal for you on a slightly used bridge.)
Frank had been deluded into thinking that "the Group" were the good guys. (The show was one of the inspirations of the excellent, new ABC series, Alias, in which a rogue spy network seeking mystical powers, and posing as a CIA "black ops" unit, recruits unwitting CIA agents. Alias’ producers paid homage to Millennium, by having one of its co-stars, Terry O’Quinn, appear as an FBI investigator.)
As a Third Force, "doing what the government cannot do" to protect national security, the Millennium Group routinely engages in mass murder. It might destroy the world, in order to save it. At series’ end, Frank takes Jordan on the run from the Group.
Millennium was one of the most powerful works of art ever created for TV. With its superior cast and story line, and its writer-producers’ theological sophistication, Millennium left its sister series, The X-Files, in the dust. But hardly anyone watched Millennium, which is probably why Barbara Hatch Rosenberg felt safe in stealing one of its story lines.
Rosenberg may have a professorship in microbiology, but she long ago left science behind her, and has no more idea than I do, who the anthrax terrorist is. She feels such a consuming enmity towards America, that she has admitted to having wished, pre-9/11, for a deadly anthrax attack, for the sole purpose of discrediting the federal government! Rosenberg is apparently the sort of "scientist," who upon getting up in the morning and seeing that it is raining outside, indicts that "damned, vast, right-wing conspiracy!"
In the real world, profilers cannot see into other men’s minds. They must work instead with the mundane tools of the social and behavioral sciences.
In the real world, the Ames strain of anthrax, has circulated among an unknowable number of scientists in America, Canada, the United Kingdom and beyond.
In the real world, the FBI has dozens, even hundreds of possible anthrax suspects.
In the real world, the people seeking to destroy America, Israel, and possibly the world through biological warfare, are swarthy, foreign Moslems, not white, American Christians.
And in the real world, we are faced with people who, like Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, are willing to betray their scientific training, their profession, and their nation, for the sake of gaining 15 minutes of fame, and making some political mischief.
"Frank Black" is a towering, dramatic character; Barbara Hatch Rosenberg is just a character.