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June 2001 Bioterror Exercise Foreshadowed 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks

On June 22-23, 2001 - some 3 months before 9/11, and 4 months before the Anthrax attacks - the U.S. military held a senior-level war game at Andrews Air Force Base called Dark Winter.

The scenario of this bio-terrorism drill was designed to simulate a smallpox attack in three states. Numerous congressmen, former CIA director James Woolsey, New York Times reporter Judith Miller (who pushed the Iraq WMD myth, as well as the false link between Iraq and the Anthrax attacks), and anti-terror official Jerome Hauer all participated in the exercise.

As a part of this war game, scripted TV news clips were made to help make this drill as realistic as possible.

At the end of one of these clips, the reporter says:

 

Iraq might have provided the technology behind the attacks to terrorist groups based in Afghanistan.

Why is this interesting?

Because U.S. officials intentionally linked Iraq to Al Qaeda and 9/11 to justify the Iraq war, even though they knew there was no such connection. (The claim that Iraq is linked to 9/11 has since been debunked by the 9/11 Commission, top government officials, and even – long after they alleged such a link – Bush and Cheney themselves.)

Indeed, Dark Winter articipant Woolsey - the former CIA director - swore in court testimony that Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11. Similarly, the government tried to falsely blame the anthrax attacks on Iraq as a justification for war:

When Congress was originally asked to pass the Patriot Act in late 2001, the anthrax attacks which occurred only weeks earlier were falsely blamed on spooky Arabs as a way to scare Congress members into approving the bill. Specifically:

Dark Winter participants Judith Miller - the New York Times reporter who had long hyped bioterror threats through books and articles - and CIA head Woolsey were two of the loudest voices blaming the Anthrax attacks on Iraq.

Woolsey was an outspoken proponent of war against Iraq even before 9/11.

Moreover, the parallels between the Dark Winter exercise and the Anthrax attacks are numerous. For example, in the Dark Winter exercise:

  • Anonymous letters are sent to the media
  • Anonymous letters threatened anthrax attacks on the United States
  • Iraq and Bin Laden are key suspects

And Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wrote a memo in November 2001 - a year and a half before the start of the Iraq war - stating:

How start [the war]? US discovers Saddam connection to Sept. 11 attack or to anthrax?

Remember, neoconservatives planned regime change in Iraq 20 years ago (and the U.S. had already carried out regime change in Iraq in the early 1960s).

It has been extensively documented that the White House decided to invade Iraq before 9/11:

Here are all 6 of the scripted news clips from Dark Winter: