Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

As US Officials Blame Iraq for Anthrax, a Look at US and Western Support for Iraq's Biological and Chemical Weapons Program and for Iraq's Invasion of Iran

October 22, 2001


The anthrax scare is expanding, and hardliners in the Bush Administration are using the threat to press for expanding the so-called war on terrorism to include Iraq.

Last week, government officials reported that the form of anthrax sent to Senator Tom Daschle was in highly potent form, capable of transmitting undetected through the air.

President Bush is in Shanghai in an attempt to shore up support for the U.S. war in Afghanistan. At a joint news conference, President Jiang said the U.S. air war in Afghanistan must be aimed at clearly defined targets to "avoid innocent casualties." President Bush said afterwards "President Jiang and the government stand side by side with the American people as we fight this evil force."

This means that whoever is responsible has access to considerable scientific expertise. Producing germs that can spread as a mist has been the main technical challenge facing biological weapons programs throughout the 20th century.

But intelligence sources involved with the CIA and the Defense Department are taking a step further, claiming that the technical expertise suggests a state sponsor, and naming Iraq as a prime suspect.

And everyone from hawks in the Bush Administration to Congressional Democrats are publicizing the claim, shoring up support for a possible attack on Iraq.


  • Edward Peck, former Ambassador to Iraq
  • John Tirman, Social Science Research Council, author of Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America’s Arms Trade

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.