By now, it should be clear that, contrary to their claims, the FBI has not solved the anthrax killings. Sure, Bruce Ivins can’t be ruled out as having been involved. But the FBI has offered no plausible explanation for the following:
- How a small sample of anthrax from Ivins’ flask was cultured into at least two larger samples of anthrax with a number of materials added
- How those samples were dried
- When that happened and how long that took
- How and why the anthrax got sent from Princeton (I consider the KKG story implausible)
- Why Leahy and Daschle were targeted
The FBI hasn’t even offered an explanation for several of these questions (they’ve offered weak explanations for the Princeton mailing and the Leahy and Daschle targeting). And yet, based largely on Bruce Ivins’ long hours in a lab that was not amenable to producing the anthrax used in the attack, the FBI insists he’s the culprit (his lab hours are close to being an alibi at this point).
Which is why Patrick Leahy’s push to reconfirm Robert Mueller–particularly Leahy’s citation of urgency surrounding the 9/11 anniversary (which after all means the 10 year anniversary of the unsolved anthrax attack is approaching as well)–is so odd. In comments on the Senate floor on Monday, Leahy pressured Rand Paul to release his hold on Mueller’s reconfirmation.
“There is no good reason for delay. At first it was reportedly Senator Coburn who was holding up consideration of the bill, then Senator DeMint, and now apparently it is an objection by Senator Paul of Kentucky that is preventing the Senate from proceeding. This sort of delay is inexplicable and inexcusable.”
Leahy continued, “Given the continuing threat to our Nation, especially with the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks approaching, and the need to provide continuity and stability on the President’s national security team, it is important that we respond to the President’s request and enact this necessary legislation swiftly. I urge the Senate to take up this critical legislation and pass it without further delay.”
We’ve gotten the people behind 9/11. We have not yet gotten the people behind a government-connected terrorist attack on its own people. And yet Leahy–one target of that attack–is unquestioningly pushing the guy who refuses to solve the case (much less allow an independent review of the FBI’s investigation into it) for two more years.
Leahy’s pressure on Paul is all the more weird considering that Leahy, with his support for PATRIOT Act improvements in the past, has basically ceded the legitimacy of a number of the questions Paul wants answered before Mueller is reconfirmed, notably those about how the PATRIOT Act is used and abused.
I don’t often think Rand Paul is smarter than Patrick Leahy, but in this case, Leahy’s rush to reconfirm Mueller without asking any questions or getting any commitments on these issues is “inexplicable and inexcusable,” not Paul’s efforts to exercise a tiny bit of oversight.