Bush vs. the Beltway

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As the dust settles over Baghdad, a leading expert on Iraq tells the story of the obstacles that stood between the US and the fall of Saddam – and reveals that many of them came from within the US Government itself.

Combining groundbreaking new research with an insider's understanding of the workings of Washington, Mylroie describes how forces within the CIA and the State Department have conspired to systematically discredit crucial intelligence about Saddam Hussein's regime, ...

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Overview

As the dust settles over Baghdad, a leading expert on Iraq tells the story of the obstacles that stood between the US and the fall of Saddam – and reveals that many of them came from within the US Government itself.

Combining groundbreaking new research with an insider's understanding of the workings of Washington, Mylroie describes how forces within the CIA and the State Department have conspired to systematically discredit crucial intelligence about Saddam Hussein's regime, from his links to al Qaeda to his development of chemical, biological, and nuclear weaponry. She charges the bureaucrats within these agencies with cynical, self–serving behaviour, designed to help them save face even at the expense of our national security. She describes how major elements of the case against Iraq––from new information about the al–Qaeda terrorists' possible links to Iraq, to potential Iraq involvement in the fall 2001 anthrax attacks––were suppressed or prematurely dismissed by these agencies.

She reveals how the very idea of state–sponsored terrorism had been pronounced dead after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing––thereby giving states like Iraq the perfect cover to carry out well–orchestrated terrorist acts without ever being detected.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
As the debate on Operation Iraqi Freedom continues amid controversies over16-word misstatements and ambushes of U.S. troops, Mylroie has published a ringing defense of the president's decision to effect regime change.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060580124
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/29/2003
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurie Mylroie is the co-author, with New York Times journalist Judith Miller, of Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf, a #1 New York Times Bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A well-known expert on terrorism and Iraqi affairs, she has written articles for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Newsweek, and many other publications. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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Read an Excerpt

Bush vs. the Beltway

How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror
By Laurie Mylroie

Harper Collins Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Laurie Mylroie All right reserved. ISBN: 0060580127

Chapter One

The Anthrax Probe

More than any other assault experienced by America - more, even, than the attacks of September 11, 2001 - the anthrax letters that followed those strikes perfectly illustrated the danger apprehended by the president and other senior administration officials as the United States contemplated war with Iraq. American civilians had been exposed to a lethal biological agent, delivered through nonmilitary means, without a single solid clue to its origins or sponsorship.

The Perfect Terrorist Crime

Again and again, in late 2002 and early 2003, the administration would point with genuine alarm to the threat of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction - and, in particular, to the threat of biological agents that could not be traced back to their source. The FBI has steadfastly adhered to its own theory that the anthrax letters were the work of a lone American, but there is substantial reason to doubt that explanation. High-level U.S. national security officials favor the more likely theory that the anthrax was produced by a terrorist state, and Iraq is the most likely candidate. Precisely because this was abiological attack, silent and stealthy, it is virtually impossible, however, to determine its origins with any certainty. In this sense, a biological attack can represent the "perfect "terrorist crime.

The Anthrax Attacks

September 2001 marked the first experience in the United States of a biological attack on a civilian population. More than one type of anthrax was employed, the spores exhibiting varying degrees of processing - from clumpy material that looked like "dog chow" under the microscope to spores that had been fully "weaponized." The delivery system used in the September attack was technologically as simple as can be imagined: a quantity of anthrax spores was sealed in a prestamped envelope, addressed, and sent through the U.S. mail. All the envelopes shared common features: the same handwriting; photocopied messages with nearly identical wording, and in some cases, identical postmarks.

Assaults on the American News Media

On September 27, a sixty-three-year-old man named Robert Stevens became ill, complaining of fatigue and fever. A British-born photo editor, Stevens worked for American Media, Inc.(publisher of five major tabloids, including the National Enquirer).Five days later, Stevens was taken to the emergency room at Palm Beach County Hospital. The initial diagnosis was meningitis, and Stevens was treated with a course of antibiotics. Further consultations, however, yielded the correct diagnosis: inhalational anthrax, the most deadly form of the disease. Stevens died just three days later.

The 66,000-square-foot American Media office building was found to be completely contaminated with anthrax spores. All American Media employees were subsequently administered nasal swab tests and a sixty-day course of antibiotics. Anthrax spores were indeed found in the nasal cavities of two other employees, both of them mailroom workers. One, a seventy-three-year-old man, was hospitalized with inhalational anthrax and recovered. The second, a thirty-six-year-old woman, did not become ill. Follow-up blood tests revealed that five additional employees had been exposed but remained in good health.

Just before the events at American Media, on September 25, security officials at NBC News in New York had notified the FBI that they had received two suspicious letters postmarked September 18, from Trenton, New Jersey - one of them filled with white powder. The New York Post received an identical letter, with the same postmark. The identical photocopied letters were dated "09-11-01." The letters warned, in five lines of block-written letters, "This is next. Take penacilin [sic] now." They concluded with the refrain, "Death to America, Death to Israel, Allah is great." The FBI picked up the letters from NBC the next day.

The envelope delivered to NBC had been opened by Erin O'Connor, a thirty-eight-year-old assistant to Tom Brokaw (to whom both letters were addressed). On September 28, O'Connor developed a strange sore on her chest and consulted a doctor specializing in infectious diseases. The doctor suspected cutaneous anthrax. On October 6, the New York City Health Department was notified, and the powder remaining in the envelope was sent to the Centers for Disease Control, which confirmed that it was indeed anthrax. A month later, it was learned that a second NBC news employee had developed cutaneous anthrax.

The letter at the New York Post had not been opened: it was addressed simply to "Editor" and contained no return address. It lay around unnoticed until October 19. Three employees of the Post nevertheless developed cutaneous anthrax.

On September 28,the seven-month-old son of a woman who worked in New York as an assistant to ABC News anchor Peter Jennings was brought to the ABC newsroom by the boy's baby-sitter. The infant soon developed cutaneous anthrax, but no letter was discovered, and the source of the infection remains unknown.

On October 1, a staffer for anchor Dan Rather at CBS News learned that she had developed cutaneous anthrax on her cheek. Again, no suspect letter was found.

In addition, two postal workers in Trenton, New Jersey, developed cutaneous anthrax.

At this point, American Media,Inc., the New York Post, plus all three major U.S. television networks had suffered mysterious anthrax attacks. With the exception of the letter to American Media, however, the attacks did little actual harm.

But this was only the beginning of America's experience with anthrax. Before the siege was over, there would be twenty-two cases of anthrax in the United States, including five fatalities ...

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Bush vs. the Beltway by Laurie Mylroie
Copyright © 2003 by Laurie Mylroie
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Anthrax Probe 17
2 Deception and Self-deception 43
3 Bureaucratizing the Intelligence 62
4 The New Regime in Iraq 80
5 The 1990s Peace Process and the Underlying Strategic Misconception 105
6 The Battle of the Beltway 123
7 Know the Enemy 146
8 Was Operation Iraqi Freedom Legal? 164
Conclusion 211
Notes 229
Index 251
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First Chapter

Bush vs. the Beltway
How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror

Chapter One

The Anthrax Probe

More than any other assault experienced by America -- more, even, than the attacks of September 11, 2001 -- the anthrax letters that followed those strikes perfectly illustrated the danger apprehended by the president and other senior administration officials as the United States contemplated war with Iraq. American civilians had been exposed to a lethal biological agent, delivered through nonmilitary means, without a single solid clue to its origins or sponsorship.

The Perfect Terrorist Crime

Again and again, in late 2002 and early 2003, the administration would point with genuine alarm to the threat of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction -- and, in particular, to the threat of biological agents that could not be traced back to their source. The FBI has steadfastly adhered to its own theory that the anthrax letters were the work of a lone American, but there is substantial reason to doubt that explanation. High-level U.S. national security officials favor the more likely theory that the anthrax was produced by a terrorist state, and Iraq is the most likely candidate. Precisely because this was a biological attack, silent and stealthy, it is virtually impossible, however, to determine its origins with any certainty. In this sense, a biological attack can represent the "perfect "terrorist crime.

The Anthrax Attacks

September 2001 marked the first experience in the United States of a biological attack on a civilian population. More than one type of anthrax was employed, the spores exhibiting varying degrees of processing -- from clumpy material that looked like "dog chow" under the microscope to spores that had been fully "weaponized." The delivery system used in the September attack was technologically as simple as can be imagined: a quantity of anthrax spores was sealed in a prestamped envelope, addressed, and sent through the U.S. mail. All the envelopes shared common features: the same handwriting; photocopied messages with nearly identical wording, and in some cases, identical postmarks.

Assaults on the American News Media

On September 27, a sixty-three-year-old man named Robert Stevens became ill, complaining of fatigue and fever. A British-born photo editor, Stevens worked for American Media, Inc.(publisher of five major tabloids, including the National Enquirer).Five days later, Stevens was taken to the emergency room at Palm Beach County Hospital. The initial diagnosis was meningitis, and Stevens was treated with a course of antibiotics. Further consultations, however, yielded the correct diagnosis: inhalational anthrax, the most deadly form of the disease. Stevens died just three days later.

The 66,000-square-foot American Media office building was found to be completely contaminated with anthrax spores. All American Media employees were subsequently administered nasal swab tests and a sixty-day course of antibiotics. Anthrax spores were indeed found in the nasal cavities of two other employees, both of them mailroom workers. One, a seventy-three-year-old man, was hospitalized with inhalational anthrax and recovered. The second, a thirty-six-year-old woman, did not become ill. Follow-up blood tests revealed that five additional employees had been exposed but remained in good health.

Just before the events at American Media, on September 25, security officials at NBC News in New York had notified the FBI that they had received two suspicious letters postmarked September 18, from Trenton, New Jersey -- one of them filled with white powder. The New York Post received an identical letter, with the same postmark. The identical photocopied letters were dated "09-11-01." The letters warned, in five lines of block-written letters, "This is next. Take penacilin [sic] now." They concluded with the refrain, "Death to America, Death to Israel, Allah is great." The FBI picked up the letters from NBC the next day.

The envelope delivered to NBC had been opened by Erin O'Connor, a thirty-eight-year-old assistant to Tom Brokaw (to whom both letters were addressed). On September 28, O'Connor developed a strange sore on her chest and consulted a doctor specializing in infectious diseases. The doctor suspected cutaneous anthrax. On October 6, the New York City Health Department was notified, and the powder remaining in the envelope was sent to the Centers for Disease Control, which confirmed that it was indeed anthrax. A month later, it was learned that a second NBC news employee had developed cutaneous anthrax.

The letter at the New York Post had not been opened: it was addressed simply to "Editor" and contained no return address. It lay around unnoticed until October 19. Three employees of the Post nevertheless developed cutaneous anthrax.

On September 28,the seven-month-old son of a woman who worked in New York as an assistant to ABC News anchor Peter Jennings was brought to the ABC newsroom by the boy's baby-sitter. The infant soon developed cutaneous anthrax, but no letter was discovered, and the source of the infection remains unknown.

On October 1, a staffer for anchor Dan Rather at CBS News learned that she had developed cutaneous anthrax on her cheek. Again, no suspect letter was found.

In addition, two postal workers in Trenton, New Jersey, developed cutaneous anthrax.

At this point, American Media,Inc., the New York Post, plus all three major U.S. television networks had suffered mysterious anthrax attacks. With the exception of the letter to American Media, however, the attacks did little actual harm.

But this was only the beginning of America's experience with anthrax. Before the siege was over, there would be twenty-two cases of anthrax in the United States, including five fatalities ...

Bush vs. the Beltway
How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror
. Copyright © by Laurie Mylroie. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2003

    Bush vs. the Beltway

    Were you like me on 9/11, dumbfounded, angry, helpless, feeling old and useless? With the firm belief that 'knowledge equals power' I chose to make it my duty as a citizen to be as well informed as possible about terrorism, I had to be able to look my children in the eye and say I did my part in those terrible days. With the help of Dr. Mylroie, Dr.Bernard Lewis, Google, articles by James Woolsey, marvelous debates with both those who agree and those who disagree I have managed to keep the promise I made to myself that terrible morning. Now more than ever while the nation seems to have almost forgotten the terrible danger we still face, we as citizens have a basic duty to understand the issues, to read and debate these issues. We must do this without the help of some talking head interpreting them for us, if we allow the talking heads to interpret the issues for us we are going to get the company line. And as Dr. Mylroie's book so eloquently points out sometimes the company line is wrong. Dr. Mylroie's books have gone a long way to helping me understand what it is that we face. If you haven't read The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks: A Study of Revenge buy the set. Then sit down and read the books while pulling on all the threads she brings up in the notes sections. Trust me when you are finished you will be shocked at the coverage in the press and perhaps just a bit angry about why all these unnamed sources aren't exposed for giving out false information. Dr. Mylroie takes on the reasons why every time someone like Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush or even Sec. of State Powell says something that goes against the company line all of those unnamed sources pop up out of nowhere contradicting those who are willing to put their names and honor behind their statements. As a person who both was inside of the government and continues to have valuable sources inside of the government she is uniquely qualified to understand and convey to us the mentality of a Government Worker who believes that his retirement trumps his desire to find the truth. These are questions that we must face if we are to try and stop this sort of nonsense in the future. The warning signs were there but the Government chose not to see them, not out of some lunatic conspiracy (put your tinfoil beanie caps away) but out of the sheer ignorant desire to defend ones territory in the Government. The chapter's on the Anthrax attacks are a reminder of the sophistication involved in those attacks and wake up call that the FBI still isn't fixed. While the FBI chase a single individual on the lone individual theory draining ponds and finding nothing but the bottom of a pond. They discount the opinions of those who point out how complex of a weapon the Anthrax sent to Daschle's office was and how dangerous it would have been had Atta rented that crop duster and made his attack. 'In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them,' said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998. 'And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good.' And yet the FBI would have us believe that some lone nutcase manufactured this anthrax in his basement. Not likely and Dr. Mylroie will show you why. Then Dr. Mylroie address's the meeting between Atta and the Iraqis in Czechoslovakia, simply put it happened. It happened more than once and the question that must be answered is why it happened. Read the book, matter of fact read both books and you will come away with a much deeper appreciation for the work that some people do to make us safer. We have our duties as citizens, and given what some of us are facing to defend the entire country being informed is the least we can do. Thank god for people like Dr. Mylroie who work so hard to bring us the inf

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2003

    Bush vs. the Beltway

    The only shaky reason we have been given by the mainstream press that Saddam and Al Queda didnt work together is religion. Because of religion they would rather allow themselves to be destroyed by the Great Satan, hmmm....anyone actually thought that through? Dr. Mylroie has....she came to the same conclusion that Rumsfeld, Wolfwitz, Cheney, and others including a whole bunch of amateur researchers like myself, hooey. What a bunch of nonsense, of course they had a mutual benefit to working together. Just like the Soviet Union swallowed its belief system to work with us in WW2 to avoid being destroyed by the Nazis. The Al Queda and Saddam worked together to destroy the biggest threats to both of them. The US constitutes the biggest of those threats and to imagine that Al Queda and Saddam would rather die than work with us is to believe in Fairy Tales. Luckily Dr. Mylroie doesnt believe in Fairy Tales....neither did President Clinton. This is a terrific, well researched book that will have you grinding your teeth at the stupidity of the government from time to time. Wondering whats going on with the Anthrax Investigation? Do you wonder just how deadly an Anthrax attack would be? What about the reports that Atta tried to rent a Crop Duster? Did you know how perfect that is for dispensing Anthrax? Read this book and realize that the war aint over yet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2003

    Tough For Some To Take

    Many readers, like the reviewer below, will want to insist that, on national security issues, the government of the United States works the way that we all believe it should, rather than the way it actually does. In this ideal world, when the President complains to CIA, DIA, NSA and State Department: 'you're not giving me enough intelligence to make an informed decision!', these bureaucracies would try much harder to do a better job, and they¿d get the President what he needed, because their jobs would be on the line. Well, in real life, it doesn't work that way. In the real life, the folks in Quantico or Foggy Bottom look at the guy at the top, think about whether he supports their political agenda, and then do something or nothing based on whether they think it's a good idea. ¿Hey, this guy probably won't be around in 4 years, but I'll still be working here, making the same analytical mistakes.¿ Laurie Mylroie gives us every reason in 'Bush v. The Beltway' to think that this is exactly what has happened since 9/11. Our government has continued to work they way it always has, not they way it should. It's painful to read, but it seems to be true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2003

    Fantasy Island

    The author would have us believe that the Bush Admin is helpless to break through the suppossed conspiracy of silence in the CIA. Rather than bring out the 'facts' and fire those responsible for hiding them, our President had no choice but to go to war seemingly on intuition alone. Even now, with our troops in possession of all the Iraqi files and scientists, those 'self-serving midlevel career beaurocrats' are somehow hiding the evidence. What a load of rubbish!

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