- In little noticed testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday,
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said information on
additional, heretofore unreported incidents of anthrax contamination in
the U.S. is "classified."
- Thompson initially invoked the classified designation
when asked by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) if U.S. officials know whether
"reports of anthrax are more widespread" than the public has
- KUCINICH: Does the administration have any information
that the incidence of reports of anthrax are more widespread than the incidents
that we've seen reported at various media outlets and in the Capitol here?
- THOMPSON: Congressman, some of that stuff is classified
and I don't think we should be discussing it in this--in this...
- As Kucinich pressed his line of questioning, however,
Sec. Thompson did an about-face, claiming that the Bush administration
had no secret information on unreported attacks.
- KUCINICH: Well, we need to know. That--I mean, wouldn't--it
would be comforting for the American people to know...
- THOMPSON: But--but to the best of our--to--to the b--to
the best of--right.
- KUCINICH: ...is this a widespread problem or is it--is
it fairly localized?
- THOMPSON: To the best of our knowledge, it is--it is
what we've seen so far. We have--we have no intel that's saying that this
is going to be a wider spread thing, but we have to be prepared for it,
- KUCINICH: I understand but when we're speaking of threat
assessment, we're speaking of something that at this point is localized?
- THOMPSON: That is--that is the best of our information
at this point in time, but we are preparing for something much more dramatic.
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