- The one person who was in a position to know about the
origin of the anthrax sent through the U.S. Postal Service met with a very
suspicious demise just a month after the attacks first began.
- The reported "suicide" and then "accidental
death" of noted Harvard biophysics scientist and anthrax, Ebola, AIDS,
herpes, and influenza expert, Dr. Don C. Wiley, on the Interstate 55 Hernando
De Soto Bridge that links Memphis to West Memphis, Arkansas, was probably
a well-planned murder, according to local law enforcement officials in
Tennessee and Arkansas.
- After Wiley's friends and family discounted claims of
suicide, the Memphis coroner concluded on January 14, 2002 that Wiley had
"accidentially" fallen over the side of the bridge after a minor
- Not so, say seasoned local law enforcement officials
who originally assigned homicide detectives to the case. Memphis police
claim there was only 15 minutes between the last time police had checked
the bridge and the time they discovered Wiley's abandoned vehicle. They
suspected Wiley was murdered. However, the local FBI office in Memphis
stuck by its story that Wiley's death was not the result of "foul
play." A Memphis police detective said, "the newspaper account
of Wiley's accident did not clear anything up for me," adding, "everything
attributed to the 'accident' could also be attributed to something else."
- However, according to U.S. intelligence sources, Wiley
may have been the victim of an intelligence agency hit. That jibes with
local police comments that the FBI and "other" U.S. agencies
stepped in to prevent the local Memphis police from taking a closer look
into the case. Employees of St. Jude's Childrens' Hospital in Memphis,
on whose board Wiley served, were suddenly deluged with unsubstantiated
rumors that Wiley was a heavy drinker and despondent.
- It is a classic intelligence agency ploy to spread disinformation
about "suicide" victims after their murders. The favorite rumors
spread include those about purported alcoholism, depression, homosexuality,
auto-erotic asphyxia, drug addiction, and an obsession with pornography,
especially child pornography.
- According to the local police, it would have been easy
to determine if Wiley was a heavy drinker and that would have shown up
in his autopsy. The police also reckon that if Wiley left the Peabody under
the influence, four hours later he should have been sober enough not to
have fallen over the side of the bridge. Also, the bridge railing is high
enough that event the 6' 3" Wiley could not have accidentally fallen
over it without assistance. Add that to the fact that no one in the history
of the bridge had fallen over the side.
- Police also feel that even at 4:00 AM, there should have
been someone else on the bridge who would have called the police about
a person who was driving down the interstate the wrong way. Due to the
fact that access is restricted to the bridge, one would have to have driven
a long way on the wrong lane. Some police are of the opinion Wiley was
stuck with a needle and that one reason he was dumped into the fast-moving
Mississippi is that with the length of his time in the water (one month),
the needle mark evidence would have largely disappeared.
- And in yet another strange twist, on March 14, a bomb
and two smaller explosive devices were found at the Shelby County Regional
Forensic Center, which houses the morgue and Medical Examiner's Office
that conducted Wiley's autopsy. Dr. O.C, Smith, the medical examiner, told
Memphis' Commercial Appeal, "We have done several high-profile cases
from Dr. Wiley to Katherine Smith (a Department of Motor Vehicles employee
mysteriously found burned to death in her car after being charged in a
federal probe with conspiracy to obtain fraudulent drivers' licenses for
men of Middle East origin) but there has been no indication that we offended
anyone . . . we just don't know if we were the attended target or not."
- Knowledgeable U.S. and foreign intelligence sources have
revealed that Wiley may have been silenced as a result of his discovery
of U.S. government work on biological warfare agents long after the U.S.,
along with the Soviet Union and Britain, signed the 1972 Biological Weapons
- A South African Connection
- The death of Wiley may be also linked to revelations
recently uncovered in South Africa. His expertise on genetic fingerprints
for various strains may have led him to particular countries and their
- The South African media has been abuzz with details of
that nation's former biological warfare program and its links to the CIA.
The South African bio-chemical war program was code-named Project Coast
and was centered at the Roodeplat Research Laboratories north of Pretoria.
The lab maintained links to the US biowarfare facility at Fort Detrick
and Britain's Porton Down Laboratory. The head of the South African program,
Dr. Wouter Basson, was reportedly offered a job with the CIA in the United
States after the fall of the apartheid regime. According to former South
African National Intelligence Agency deputy director Michael Kennedy, when
Basson refused the offer, the CIA allegedly threatened to kill him. Nevertheless,
the U.S. pressured the new President Nelson Mandela to turn over the records
and fruits of Basson's work. Much of this work was reportedly transported
to Fort Detrick.
- One of the South African's secret projects involved sending
anthrax through the mail. Among the techniques that fell into the hands
of the Americans was a method by which anthrax spores were, with deadly
effect, incorporated on to the gummed flaps of envelopes.
- Other South African bio-chemical weapons allegedly transferred
to the CIA included, in addition to anthrax, cholera, smallpox, salmonella,
botulinum, tularemia, thallium, E.coli, racin, organophosphates, necrotising
fasciitis, hepatitis A, HIV, paratyphoid, Sarin VX nerve gas, Ebola, Marburg,
Rift Valley hemorrhagic fever viruses, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, highly
potent CR tear gas, hallucinogens Ecstasy, Mandrax, BZ, and cocaine, anti-coagulant
drugs, the deadly lethal injection drugs Scoline and Tubarine, and cyanide.
- Many of Dr. Wiley's family and friends doubt he would
have committed suicide. The fact that he was certainly in a position to
know about the origination of various viruses and bacteria -- which could
have led to the U.S. government -- would have made him a prime target for
a government seeking to cover up its illegal work in biological warfare.
- Wiley's Anthrax Research
- And Wiley had a significant connection to anthrax research.
Wiley was not only a professor at Harvard but also conducted research at
the Chevy Chase, Maryland Howard Hughes Medical Center, which does work
for the National Institutes of Health. On October 1, 2001, just three days
before the first reported anthrax case in Florida, the Hughes Center announced
that a joint Harvard-Hughes team had identified a mouse gene that made
mice resistant to anthrax bacteria. Although the media failed to play it
up later, that research involved using Wiley's expertise on the immune
system. The new gene, identified as Kif1C, located in chromosome 11 of
a mouse, enhanced the defense systems of special immune cells, called macrophages,
against the destructive effects of anthrax bacteria.
- Wiley's was not the only suspicious death of a scientist
with knowledge of biological defenses. Just three day before Wiley's death,
Dr. Benito Que, a Miami Medical School cellular biologist specializing
in infectious diseases, died in a violent attack. The Miami Herald reported
Que died after "four men armed with a baseball bat attacked him at
his car." A week after Wiley died, Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, a former
scientist for Biopreparat, the Soviet Union's biological weapons production
factory, was found dead from an alleged stroke in Wiltshire, not far from
Britain's Porton Down biological warfare center. Pasechnik had defected
from the Soviet Union in 1989 and was an expert on the Soviet Union's anthrax,
smallpox, plague, and tularemia programs. While at Biopreparat, Pasechnik
worked for Alibek, who defected three years later. When he died, Pasechnik
was assisting the British government's efforts in providing bio-defenses
- Anthrax and Operation Northwoods
- For those who disbelieve the possibility that the U.S.
Government is the number one suspect in the anthrax attacks, they are directed
to James Bamford's book on the National Security Agency, Body of Secrets.
The book reveals that in 1962,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman
Lemnitzer was planning, along with other member of the Joint Chiefs, a
virtual coup d'etat against the administration of President Kennedy using
acts of terrorism carried out by the military but to be blamed on the Castro
government in Cuba. The secret pan, code-named Operation Northwoods, entailed
having U.S. military personnel shoot innocent people on the streets of
American cities, sink boats carrying Cuban refugees to Florida, and conduct
terrorist bombings in Washington, DC, Miami and other cities. Innocent
people were to be framed for committing bombings and hijacking planes.
If John Glenn's liftoff from Cape Canaveral in February 1962 were to end
in an explosion, Castro would be blamed. Plans were made to shoot down
civilian aircraft en route from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala,
Panama, or Venezuela and then blame Cuba. The U.S. military also planned
to attack Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, both British colonies, and make
it appear that the Cubans had done it in order to bring Britain into a
war with Cuba.
- So far, the Bush administration has refused to support
a full and independent Congressional investigation into the events of September
11 and the later events involving anthrax. It seems it and the three-letter
agencies the administration is so fond of praising, and funding, know more
about the source of the anthrax attacks than they are admitting. If the
saying, "where there's smoke, there's fire," has any basis of
truth, the United States is in the midst of a raging inferno. Who will
answer the fire alarm?
- Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist based in
Washington, DC. He can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com