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Cenk Uygur

Cenk Uygur

Posted: August 7, 2008 12:49 PM

Why is No One Calling the Anthrax Suspect a Terrorist?


The FBI is saying Bruce Ivins sent the anthrax that wound up killing five and terrorizing the whole country. The deadly attack was aimed at some of our top politicians and media figures. If ever there was a terrorist attack, this was it. So, how come no one is calling Ivins a terrorist?

Let's get real. You know what the answer is. It's because he is white. It's also because he is Christian and right-wing, but I'll get to that in a second. Now, if you don't believe that they're not calling him a terrorist because he's white, let me ask you this question: What if his name was Sheik al-Abdullah Muhammad?

What if Sheik Abdullah had sent weaponized anthrax that killed people all across the country and targeted our top officials? Do you think they would have called him a terrorist then? You know they would have, you know it for a fact.

The FBI says one possible motivation Ivins had was that he was Catholic and fervently pro-life, so he hated Senator Leahy and Daschle because they were Catholic and pro-choice. Now, if Ivins was Muslim and sent Christian Right senators anthrax because of their religious beliefs, do you think he would have been called a terrorist?

Not one news story that I have seen has referred to Ivins as an alleged terrorist. Back when the government was pushing the idea that Iraq might have been responsible, there were plenty of news stories that said this was a terrorist attack. Since we found out the alleged killer was a white Republican, not one news story has called this an act of terrorism.

I know this is partly due to government propaganda. If the government calls it terrorism, so does the press. If the government doesn't, neither does the press. And this fact might be even more damning. Look at how much the press is affected by government press releases. But that's not the only answer. The media has to look in the mirror on this one. There is no good answer for why they have treated this story differently than other stories of terrorism. This blatant double standard makes a mockery of the whole concept of terrorism.

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