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Go To The Aztlan Letter

Thursday, February 5, 2004

 

'Fallen Angel' letters focus of ricin probe

Author threatens to make ricin and 'start dumping' it

October 15, 2001
 
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle confirmed today that his personal office near the capitol had received a letter this morning containing suspicious powder.
 
 
 

October 15, 2003

 

 

On October 15, 2003, an envelope with a threatening note and a sealed container was processed at a mail processing and distribution facility in Greenville, South Carolina. The note threatened to poison water supplies if demands were not met.

 

 
October 15, 2001

GWEN IFILL: Senator Frist, are we prepared to minimize the risk?

SEN. BILL FRIST: Well, we are. And I think your question as to what individuals can do is a very important one. From a federal standpoint, we have heavily invested today in fighting bioterrorism. As in the opening piece was said, there is more on the way. I think we're equipped from a federal level in terms of stockpiling, getting antibiotics to people in an appropriate, timely manner. But there are things that individuals can do.

In this war-- and I think at this point, this is war on anthrax, on biological weapons, and it's evolved into that over the last several days. But knowledge is power. It means that individuals today do need to take a little bit of time to learn how to handle mail, to go to those sites, whether it's the CDC site or even on my own web site, I've listed how to best handle mail on my web site today because I've gotten thousands of questions or inquiries over the last week I even put the images of what the skin lesions should look like. At this standpoint individuals do need to have a lower bar, a lower threshold for being suspicious.

They need to be vigilant but at the same time they should be assured that we can respond in an appropriate way. But the system has not yet and I don't think will be stressed because we have the very best public health people out there identifying and communicating. Yes we can improve and we're going to do that with further funding. That's coming soon.

anthraxoct9_2001.jpg

"the envelope did look suspicious at the time it was discovered because it lacked a return address, an insufficient delivery address and no postage."
 
Therefore, it was probably hand delivered

 
 

"Investigators are trying to determine if a mysterious "Fallen Angel" who sent two threatening letters containing ricin last fall is responsible for the deadly poison that turned up in the Senate this week. "

pill_fob.jpg
Air Tight - Water Proof Pill Fob

"It was bulging and there was something inside, and that was a tip off," Zimmerman said.

The envelope also had "caution-Ricin-poison" written on the front."

ricinpillfob.jpg

 

The
                  postal handling facility in Greenville, South Carolina, where the ricin was found.

The postal handling facility in
Greenville, South Carolina,
where the ricin was found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The note read as follows:

 

 

"To the department of transportation:

 

I'm a fleet owner of a tanker company.

 

I have easy access to castor pulp.

 

If my demand is dismissed I'm capable of making Ricin,

 

My demand is simple, January 4 2004 starts the new hours of service for trucks which include a ridiculous ten hours in the sleeper berth. Keep at eight or I will start dumping.

 

You have been warned this is the only letter that will be sent by me.

 

Fallen Angel "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
  

http://www.thecarolinachannel.com/news/2820318/detail.html

Postal Workers Want Answers About Ricin Incident

Mail Center Not Closed Until Week After Vial Found

POSTED: 4:41 p.m. EDT October 23, 2003

UPDATED: 5:08 p.m. EDT October 23, 2003

GREENVILLE -- The discovery of a ricin-tainted envelope at a Greenville County U.S. post office sorting facility is raising questions among some workers.

While the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says none of the 60 workers at the facility, the local president of the postal workers union wonders how many days passed before a formal investigation began.

"We wonder why this thing has taken eight days to surface. When the event occured last Wednesday, why now?" Dennis Zimmerman (right), president of American Postal Workers Union 168, said.

 

Zimmerman said the envelope did look suspicious at the time it was discovered because it lacked a return address, an insufficient delivery address and no postage.

"It was bulging and there was something inside, and that was a tip off," Zimmerman said.

The envelope also had "caution-Ricin-poison" written on the front.

Officials have said they believe the letter was part of an extortion plot, as it referred to a bill in Congress involving truck drivers and mentioned the Department of Transportation by name.

Zimmerman said he's relieve no one was hurt by this toxin, but still has concerns.

"The possibility of outrage is there, although we don't know enough facts to feel that way, but you wonder: If somebody [had gone] to work last Wednesday and didn't come home, what was the cause of it? And if a large number of people didn't [come home], there would be a great outrage," Zimmerman said.

The FBI is continuing to investigate the incident.

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Copyright 2003 by TheCarolinaChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


No Link Found In Greenville, Senate Ricin Letters So Far

Greenville Letter And White House Letter Have Similarities

POSTED: 9:37 AM EST February 5, 2004
UPDATED:
10:06 AM EST February 5, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Investigators say they have determined no link between the deadly poison ricin delivered to a U.S. Senate mailroom and an earlier incident at a Greenville County postal facility.

The FBI and the Capitol Police Department are investigating whether the person who sent ricin-laced mail to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist also made threats in letters sent to the Upstate post office and a postal facility that serves the White House.


Image courtesy FBI

In October 2003, a package containing ricin (shown, left) was sent to a Greenville County postal facility that serves the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

 

A letter with the package was signed "Fallen Angel" and included a threat to use the poison as a weapon unless new trucking regulations are rolled back.

The note read as follows:

to the department of transportation: I'm a fleet owner of a tanker company.

I have easy access to castor pulp. If my demand is dismissed I'm capable of making Ricin.

My demand is simple, January 4 2004 starts the new hours of service for trucks which include a ridiculous ten hours in the sleeper berth. Keep at eight or I will start dumping.

You have been warned this is the only letter that will be sent by me.

Fallen Angel

Another letter that included the same threat and was signed with the same name was found in a postal facility that processes mail for the White House in November.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case. Anyone with informatiofriends stare in wonder at the amazing, simplistic beauty of this little gem. Featuring a gold colored, polished metal surface, and a screw-tite, air and moisture proof closure, this handy little fob can hold up to 18 Nitroglycerine tablets at once.

*************************************************************************************************************

 

 

 

 


Warning note found on
Greenville County ricin-tainted package. Image courtesy FBI

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Copyright 2004 by TheCarolinaChannel and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

 

Ricin Incident At Postal Facility Spurs Better Bioterror Response

Sen. Graham Says Response Will Improve

POSTED: 4:06 PM EST December 16, 2003

GREENVILLE -- The Homeland Security Department plans to improve the response to potential bioterrorism threats after the discovery of the deadly poison ricin in Greenville in October.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said that Homeland Security officials say the government will improve its written procedures and coordination with local agencies.

Graham said some officials involved in the handling of the ricin discovered at a regional mail facility in Greenville did not understand guidelines for responding to potential acts of bioterrorism.

 

Officials said investigators were not called for almost eleven hours after ricin was discovered Oct. 15 at the postal distribution center that serves the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport.

The public and local emergency and health officials were not informed of the potential threat until seven days after it was found.

Previous Stories:

Copyright 2003 by TheCarolinaChannel and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

***************************************************************************************************************************

 

Officials said investigators were not called for almost eleven hours after ricin was discovered Oct. 15 2003 at the postal distribution center that serves the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport

**************

ANTHRAX THREAT

 


October 15 , 2001

SUSAN DENTZER: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle confirmed today that his personal office near the capitol had received a letter this morning containing suspicious powder. Preliminary field tests indicated that the powder contained anthrax.

**************************************************************************************************************************

 

 

 

Some Workers Taking Polygraph Tests In Ricin Investigation

Poison Found In Package At Greenville County Postal Facility

POSTED: 8:31 p.m. EST November 6, 2003

UPDATED: 2:04 p.m. EST November 7, 2003

GREENVILLE -- Two weeks after a vial of ricin closed a Greenville County postal facility, some workers are facing questions from authorities.

The Greenville News reported Friday that federal investigators are giving polygraph tests to workers at the facility and some truck drivers.

Investigators have said they don't believe the ricin was part of a terrorist plot. At least one source has said the package was part of an extortion plot involving a bill in Congress to regulate truck drivers.

 

American Postal Workers Union local President Dennis Zimmerman said the testing has included at least one truck driver who became so upset during the test that he ripped off the equipment used to monitor his reaction to questions.

Zimmerman said workers have complained questions are too personal.

No one was injured by the ricin, and the facility reopened after being closed for two days in late October.

Previous Stories:

Copyright 2003 by TheCarolinaChannel and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

 

 

 

Toxic ricin found at S. Carolina postal facility

Thursday, October 23, 2003 Posted: 10:29 AM EDT (1429 GMT)

The postal handling facility in Greenville, South Carolina, where the ricin was found.


 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI and federal postal authorities are investigating the discovery of traces of the deadly toxin ricin inside a small metal container in an envelope at a postal handling facility in Greenville, South Carolina.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday night the presence of ricin.

Authorities told CNN the envelope -- discovered last Thursday -- contained a threatening note that "demanded an action," but stressed no terrorism connections are apparent. A law enforcement official told CNN the note expresses anger over legislation regulating the trucking industry.

Authorities said they have received no reports of illness. The Department of Health and Human Services and law enforcement agencies stressed it posed no threat to public health or safety.

Federal agents have opened a criminal extortion investigation into what was described as an "angry, unsigned note."

Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan said the envelope containing the metal container was found by a processing clerk, and removed by a supervisor who alerted authorities.

The postal facility located at the Greenville airport was closed Wednesday as a precaution after the ricin was confirmed.

Officials stressed the toxic substance was confined to the inside of the container, and was not found on the envelope. They said the note was not thought to come from an employee.

Brian Roehrkasse, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said some markings on the letter "seemed suspicious" and necessary precautions were taken.

The CDC received samples of the substance on Tuesday and identified it as ricin. Spokeswoman Kathy Harben would not say how much ricin was found in the envelope. Law enforcement sources characterized it as trace amounts.

CNN Justice Producers Terry Frieden and Carol Cratty contributed to this report.

 

 

 

Officials: Better prepared for ricin scare

Wednesday, February 4, 2004 Posted: 4:07 PM EST (2107 GMT)

Ricin was found in the Dirksen office building.



 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- No one has died from poisonous ricin found this week because the Capitol prepared for possible chemical and biological attacks after the 2001 anthrax scare, government officials said.

Since October 2001, when two anthrax-laced letters were sent to Democratic Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, the federal government has instituted biohazard protocols for the entire Capitol complex, made escape hoods available to almost all Capitol Hill employees, installed biohazard-blocking filters into air conditioning ducts and instituted mail screening and irradiation for all incoming mail.

While the safety protocols didn't stop the ricin from reaching Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's offices Monday afternoon, security officials were able to quickly determine that it hadn't become airborne. The Senate workers who had come in contact with the ricin were sent home later that night after being decontaminated.

"This body is -- I hate to say it this way -- but it's so much the better for what happened then," said Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle, a former Secret Service agent who is in charge of providing security for the Senate. "We've learned a lot. The technology has improved greatly. And I think the protocols and the processes that we've implemented here have made our chances of succeeding and doing things the right way so much better here."

But the new safety measures bothered at least one senator. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, said Wednesday he is "livid" about the ricin scare and how "one terrorist spreading rat poison can bring the government to half-mast."

"I'm hopeful we'll get back into the buildings right away," Specter said. "I have been asking a lot of questions about why we're shut out of the buildings. I want to know why we're out of our buildings when the House of Representatives maintains their buildings."

Frist, R-Tennessee, announced Wednesday that the Senate buildings would start reopening Thursday, with the Dirksen Senate Office Building where the ricin was found reopening on Monday.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, also complained that she wasn't contacted as fast as she should have been after the discovery. "The one glitch was everybody was notified except the senators," she said Tuesday. She said she didn't find out until a telephone call from her chief of staff Tuesday morning.

"They just goofed," she said.

The Capitol was ill-prepared in 2001 for the anthrax attack, with the spores entering the air of the Hart Senate Office Building and circulating before officials could warn people or get the building evacuated. Hundreds of panicked Senate staffers and employees were forced to take Cipro and other antibiotics to combat possible infection days after the letter was opened.

The nine-story building closed for a three-month, $27 million cleaning. No one died on Capitol Hill, but around the nation, five people were killed and 17 sickened after coming into contact with letters containing anthrax.

Officials were able to determine Monday night that the white powder found in Frist's office contained ricin and that none of it had become airborne. They quickly sealed off the room and decontaminated people who may have been exposed -- by having them shower and bag the clothes they were wearing. They also closed Senate office buildings and prepared to collect all of Congress' mail for further testing.

"We have come a long way," Daschle said Tuesday. "The fact that we have filters in all of the ventilation systems throughout the buildings gives us an opportunity to check almost instantaneously for the degree to which any toxic material may have spread.

"We are very pleased that we have far more infrastructure in place as a result of decisions that have been made in recent years."

However, the Capitol may never be completely safe.

"We will never be completely invulnerable to all of the potential threats that exist out there," Daschle said. "What we have attempted to do over the last couple of years is to improve our defenses to find ways with which to minimize the risk. And I think to a large extent we've been able to do a lot of that."

 

 

'Fallen Angel' letters focus of ricin probe                                               

Author threatens to make ricin and 'start dumping' it

Thursday, February 5, 2004 Posted: 12:07 AM EST (0507 GMT)

A vial containing ricin found in a letter sent by "Fallen Angel" last fall.

A vial containing ricin found in a letter sent by

VIDEO

CNN's Kelli Arena reports investigators are looking for links between the current ricin incident and earlier threatening letters.

PLAY VIDEO


CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist calls the toxin incident both terrorist and criminal.

PLAY VIDEO


Frist says 'everybody is fine' after preliminary tests indicate traces of ricin inside his office's mailroom.

PLAY VIDEO


CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta gives details on the deadly toxin.

PLAY VIDEO

RELATED

FBI seeks info, offers reward 

Interactive: Investigating the substance discovery 


Interactive: What is ricin? 

Ricin as a weapon 

Ricin and the umbrella murder 

Moscow: Ricin recipe found 

Paris: Ricin find 'nonlethal' 

 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Investigators are trying to determine if a mysterious "Fallen Angel" who sent two threatening letters containing ricin last fall is responsible for the deadly poison that turned up in the Senate this week.

The earlier typewritten letters addressed to the White House and Transportation Department warned that more ricin would be used unless new federal trucking regulations were scrapped. The change in 60-year-old rules governing how often truck drivers must rest went into effect January 4.

Three senior federal law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity Wednesday, said the FBI and Capitol Police Department were investigating the possibility that the same person or persons sent ricin-laced mail to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee.

Hazardous materials teams from the FBI and Capitol police searched for a letter or parcel that might have carried the ricin powder, which was found Monday in a mail-sorting room in Frist's personal office. The ricin appeared limited to Frist's office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. No one has been sickened by the poison.

Although three Senate buildings were closed for a second day, Frist announced that they would begin opening on Thursday and the Dirksen building on Monday.

No obvious connection to Senate incident

Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said investigators have found "no obvious direct connection" between the Frist incident and the letters signed "Fallen Angel."

Those letters were discovered in mail facilities that serve the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina and the White House. They were found October 15 and November 6, respectively, though the existence of the White House letter was not disclosed by the Bush administration until Tuesday.

The letters, described as nearly identical, claimed that the author owned a tanker truck fleet company and demanded that hours of service rules for drivers remain unchanged, according to the FBI.

The FBI said the South Carolina letter was contained in an envelope with a typewritten warning "Caution RICIN POISON." The letter included claims that the author could make much more ricin and would "start dumping" if the new regulations weren't abolished.

The envelope contained no delivery address and no postmark.

No one has fallen ill as a result of any of the letters. Ricin is a highly toxic substance that is relatively easy to make from castor beans. There is no known antidote but ricin is considered a less effective weapon for causing mass casualties than anthrax, which was mailed to Senate offices in late 2001, because it is more difficult to make airborne and requires inhalation of large quantities to be fatal.

The FBI focused on ricin in its weekly intelligence bulletin to 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies. The confidential bulletin, obtained by The Associated Press, said no threat of any kind had been received in the Frist case. It concentrated mostly on the dangers of ricin and how police should respond to potential contamination.

Truckers urged to be on the lookout

The trucking industry has been working with the FBI and Transportation Department inspector general's office on the investigation. The American Trucking Association has sent several bulletins to its members urging them to be on the lookout for people "displaying aggressive behavior" or engaging in suspicious activity.

One association bulletin asked that members "be alert for either a potential disgruntled trucking company, trucking company employee or person purporting to be from the trucking industry" who has made threats in the past against government agencies.

The regulations at the heart of the "Fallen Angel" letters were four years in the making and drew some 53,000 comments when first proposed, trucking association spokesman Mike Russell said. Many truckers and companies were concerned about lost pay and productivity because of stricter rest requirements.

"It was controversial," Russell said.

While the South Carolina letter's existence was made public shortly after it was found, the Bush administration delayed acknowledgment of the White House letter by nearly three months. It was intercepted Nov. 6 by the Secret Service at an offsite mail facility.

Secret Service spokeswoman Ann Roman said that after the letter tested probable for ricin on November 12, the FBI and other agencies were notified. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush administration Homeland Security officials held a November 13 conference call with the FBI, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Postal Service and other agencies to discuss what to do.

Ultimately, the ricin in that letter was deemed to be of a low grade and not a threat to public health, so no announcement was made. President Bush was not immediately informed, McClellan said.

"We share information appropriately, if there is a public health risk," McClellan told reporters.

The al Qaeda terror group has threatened to use ricin, but officials have found no indication that the two "Fallen Angel" letters or the Frist incident are connected to international terrorism.

The FBI has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the "Fallen Angel" case.



Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


 

 


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November 21, 2003 / 52(46);1129-1131

 

 




 

 

ANTHRAX THREAT


October 15 , 2001

 

Susan Dentzer provides an update on the anthrax outbreaks, then Gwen Ifill discusses the public health threat with Senator Bill Frist(R-TN) and U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher.

The NewsHour Health Unit is funded by a grant from The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Background:

Discussion:


 

Special Report:
The Bioterrorism Threat

October 12, 2001
New concerns surrounding the anthrax threat.

October 12, 2001
Examining the anthrax cases in Florida and New York.

The NewsHour's Health Spotlight.

 

 

 

 

SUSAN DENTZER: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle confirmed today that his personal office near the capitol had received a letter this morning containing suspicious powder. Preliminary field tests indicated that the powder contained anthrax.

SEN. TOM DASCHLE: I did contact each of the other members of leadership just to warn them that something may occur in their offices as it has in mine. At this point the office is quarantined. Staff are not leaving the offices. The office is officially closed until all of the procedures have been satisfactorily addressed.

SUSAN DENTZER: Daschle said that staffers in his office who were exposed to the letter were being treated preventively with antibiotics. They'll also be monitored closely for any signs of disease.

To date, just two people have been confirmed to have full- blown anthrax infections. One case was at NBC News in New York, where an assistant to anchor Tom Brokaw tested positive for anthrax. She is being treated with antibiotics and is expected to recover fully. And in Florida, Robert Stevens, a photo editor for The Sun tabloid newspaper, died of the results of an anthrax infection on October 5.

At the same time, nearly a dozen other individuals across the country have been exposed to the anthrax bacteria, but without becoming sick. In the case involving NBC News at Rockefeller Center, New York city officials confirmed over the weekend that a police officer and two laboratory workers had been accidentally exposed to tiny amounts of anthrax while they were handling the letter sent to NBC. And in Reno, Nevada, health officials said four people who might have been exposed to anthrax that may have been contained in a letter sent to Microsoft, did not test positive for exposure this weekend.

At the White House today, President Bush was asked about a possible relationship between terrorist Osama bin Laden and the anthrax scares.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: There may be some possible link. We have no hard data yet. But it's clear that Mr. bin laden is a man who is... an evil man. He and his spokesmen are openly bragging about how they hope to inflict more pain on our country. So we're watching every piece of evidence. We're making sure that we connect any dots that we have to find out who's doing this. And I wouldn't put it past him. But we don't have hard evidence yet.

SUSAN DENTZER: As the anthrax scare intensified, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said that the government would ask for an additional $1.5 billion to fight bioterrorism this fiscal year-that's more than five times what is currently in HHS's budget for bioterrorism. Among other things, the money would be used to accelerate production of vaccine to fight smallpox, generally considered a far more dangerous threat than anthrax.

Grants would be channeled to state and local agencies to beef up hospitals' ability to respond to bioterrorism, and to improve training of emergency personnel. And some of the funds would be used to beef up the government's stockpile of antibiotics, which currently could treat up to two million people for about 60 days.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SPOKESMAN: And we are going up on Capitol Hill this week and requesting an additional billion dollars to increase that to 12 million. So that we could handle 12 million individuals in America for up to 60 days. So I'm telling people, you don't need to hoard ciprofloxacin or dyno or penicillin.

SUSAN DENTZER: One piece of information investigators were focusing on today was the fact that both the letter to Daschle's office and one of two suspect letters received at NBC were postmarked in Trenton, New Jersey.

By late today, the fear had turned global with anthrax scares erupting in countries from Australia to Czechoslovakia. In France police evacuated people from several government and private offices after packages containing suspicious powder arrived in the mail.

 

Educate, not vaccinate

GWEN IFILL: Joining me now are Republican Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, a physician and member of the Health Education and Labor Committee. And US Surgeon General David Satcher.

Dr. Satcher, we have heard everything, we have heard about planes being grounded and cathedrals being evacuated. People everywhere seem to be very jittery about this. About today's events particularly including the positive anthrax case at the Capitol and also what we've heard coming out of New York. What should Americans be doing?

US SURGEON GENERAL DAVID SATCHER: Well, I'm delighted to be on with Senator Frist. I think one major issue is the public health infrastructure. The best defense against bioterrorism, we believe, is a very strong public health infrastructure. That requires cooperation with the criminal justice system, but a strong public health infrastructure means not only a very strong CDC-- and I think it's probably the strongest public health agency in the world but needs a lot of work-- it also means strong state and local health departments. It means very well trained and alert health professionals on the front line, alert to unusual findings.

But the thing that we don't talk about a lot is that it requires an informed public, not a public that's panicking but a public that's informed about the reality of the risk and how to minimize it. And certainly I think CDC has issued guidelines about how to look at mail and how to identify unusual mail that you should be very careful about opening, and if you happen to open an envelope and to find powder, that you cover it immediately, you try to close off that area so that more people are not exposed and so it can be investigated. I think we need to make this system work. I think if we do we will minimize the risk even though we're sort of under attack, we can minimize the risk of that attack.

GWEN IFILL: Senator Frist, are we prepared to minimize the risk?

SEN. BILL FRIST: Well, we are. And I think your question as to what individuals can do is a very important one. From a federal standpoint, we have heavily invested today in fighting bioterrorism. As in the opening piece was said, there is more on the way. I think we're equipped from a federal level in terms of stockpiling, getting antibiotics to people in an appropriate, timely manner. But there are things that individuals can do.

In this war-- and I think at this point, this is war on anthrax, on biological weapons, and it's evolved into that over the last several days. But knowledge is power. It means that individuals today do need to take a little bit of time to learn how to handle mail, to go to those sites, whether it's the CDC site or even on my own web site, I've listed how to best handle mail on my web site today because I've gotten thousands of questions or inquiries over the last week I even put the images of what the skin lesions should look like. At this standpoint individuals do need to have a lower bar, a lower threshold for being suspicious.

They need to be vigilant but at the same time they should be assured that we can respond in an appropriate way. But the system has not yet and I don't think will be stressed because we have the very best public health people out there identifying and communicating. Yes we can improve and we're going to do that with further funding. That's coming soon.

Hoaxes and paranoia

GWEN IFILL: Senator, is it possible for people to be too aware? There are so many hoaxes out there right now about talcum powder, baby powder or other things. Is it possible for people to be too worried? Doctors are reporting that people are being sent to the FBI when they have a case of the flu.

SEN. BILL FRIST: No, as you've heard and reported here on the Capitol, all over the Capitol today in the office buildings there's been report of powders all over the country. At this point I don't think we can be too vigilant. You have to use common sense and good judgment. But because there is this terrorist activity out there, you can't be too vigilant.

You do need to know the facts. The fact is that anthrax is not contagious. It can't be spread from person to person. To inhale it you have to have almost a huge cloud of anthrax. Of course, you have to have 10,000 spores just to get the infection. The little skin lesions generally have to enter through an open cut, and they're imminently treatable. You can start antibiotics days later. It's not just cipro, penicillin. People need to know you don't want to start antibiotics in advance. They're dangerous to that in terms of resistance to microorganisms, in terms of the side effects. And you don't need gas masks and the like. We need to have people reach out, be educated, talk to people about what is appropriate in terms of vigilance. With that we're going to get through this just fine.

Building the public health defense

GWEN IFILL: Dr. Satcher, let's talk about the Centers for Disease Control, which you used to run. You alluded a few minutes ago to the fact that it needs some work.

Is this $1.5 billion going to be enough? Is this stockpile we're talking about, increasing the stockpile I think to 12 million doses that Tommy Thompson was talking about, will that be enough? Is that realistic?

US SURGEON GENERAL DAVID SATCHER: I think it's realistic. I don't think anybody can say ultimately what will be needed. But I think it's realistic in terms of expectation that when it comes to really responding-- and that's what the CDC has demonstrated the ability to do so well, even in these recent events -- it's an outstanding organization. It needs support. Senator Frist has been very supportive of the CDC and of strengthening the public health infrastructure. We need to continue that.

That's what Secretary Thompson is asking for: Funds to continue that, to increase the stockpile in terms antibiotics and vaccines, smallpox vaccines, et cetera. So I think it does need some help. We need to continue to strengthen it so that we can respond to things that we can't predict. But nobody can say how big of an attack we might ultimately experience. But realistically I think we're taking the right approach.

GWEN IFILL: But let me ask you a practical question. There are four cities now where there have been reported confirmed cases of anthrax circulated through the mail, circulated mostly as far as we know.

How can weaponable anthrax be ground into a powder so fine that it actually causes the disease to occur, and how does the person doing it, assuming that it is a deliberate planting, how does that person not contract the disease him or herself?

US SURGEON GENERAL DAVID SATCHER: Well, you know, it's not really easy to develop the weapon of anthrax to affect a lot of people. And I don't know if there's ever been a successful attack with the weapon as such for large numbers of people.

There was the accident in Russia in which the anthrax organism seeped out and I believe about 80 people were infected, at least came down with anthrax. And about 70 of them died. That was not an attack. That was an accident. There have been attempts, like in Japan, to build large weapons to attack large numbers of people -- to date, no successful attempts. It is not easy. Let me just say that. I think anthrax is too accessible. I know that there are a lot of laboratories doing research on anthrax. We're trying very hard to do a better job.

SEN. BILL FRIST: Let me....

DAVID SATCHER: Of controlling that.

GWEN IFILL: Senator Frist.

SEN. BILL FRIST: Let me jump in and say both regard to the funding and also the focus on anthrax, it is very important that we develop a coherent, comprehensive strategy to fight bio weapons.

The focus today is on anthrax, but people should be aware that there are all sorts of other bio weapons that we need to target, that we know are in the hands of people that we don't want to have. That's things like smallpox. It's tularemia; it is pneumonic plague; it's the botulism toxins; therefore, we can focus on the vaccines and we should put emphasis there on stockpiling but it is absolutely critical that we address this from the prevention standpoint, from the preparedness standpoint and from the response standpoint. If you just had 10 million or 20 million doses of vaccine, you still have to address the overall comprehensive aspects where there are gaps.

That's why it's critical to support the overall public health infrastructure, which addresses surveillance for all of these, communication amongst the various entities who need to communicate to report it quickly and have the laboratory support to make the diagnosis so you can treat.

GWEN IFILL: Senator, how big are those gaps now? Dr. Satcher just alluded to the fact that there are pretty big ones.

SEN. BILL FRIST: There are pretty big ones. And, again, the idea of putting $1.4-$1.5 billion fills most of the gaps. We do need to make sure that it's distributed in such a way that you look at intelligence and prevention and responsiveness, look at state and local preparedness. I spent all this morning back in Nashville, Tennessee, with people from all across the state, the experts. And they basically say, yes, stockpile and make sure you have plenty of antibiotics.

But in truth what we need is help at the state and local level to make sure that physicians are trained to recognize these systems that we have the Internet capability to communicate one to another. We need to make sure that the $1.5 billion is appropriately distributed for preparedness and appropriate response and prevention and doesn't all just go to a single vaccine or a single stockpile.

US SURGEON GENERAL DAVID SATCHER: Some of the money is for strengthening the health alert network which has been developed....

SEN. BILL FRIST: Fantastic.

US SURGEON GENERAL DAVID SATCHER: CDC supporting state and local health departments, strengthening laboratories. So we've tried to develop a very strong network. Some of this money could go to further strengthen that network.

 

An educated response

 

GWEN IFILL: As we've been hearing all these stories about different sightings of potential anthrax around the country one of the questions that comes up is how do you know it's really anthrax? How do these tests work and how do we know that a false positive isn't really a false positive? I mean how do we begin to... When you talk about informing the public and the public being informed.

US SURGEON GENERAL DAVID SATCHER: We have to rely on the laboratories to make that... I don't think we can prepare people to determine whether powder is anthrax. We rely upon the laboratories. People must consult their local health departments if they have suspicions about products. So we're not asking people to be able to recognize anthrax. I think a high index of suspicion is very important.

SEN. BILL FRIST: Let me just add that there are a number of tests, more than a handful of tests from looking at it under a microscope all the way to the DNA examination. So when you hear like the serology out in Arizona, which is another type of test and even another one, the enzyme laying - or ELIZA -- there's a range of tests, some preliminary diagnoses come back but they all have to be confirmed at the end of the day. We've only seen two cases by the way as pointed out in your piece. Those two cases one tragic the other imminently treatable. All the others have been measures not of disease but an environmental test.

They're just swabs; they are not disease.

GWEN IFILL: What should people do who have been tested for this? What are the first practical steps they should take aside from getting out of the room and turning it over to law enforcement authorities, what does an individual do?

SEN. BILL FRIST: First of all I think for a more lengthy sort of explanation, go to the CDC web site or my web site.

After initial exposure or suspected exposure where you want to lock down the room, wash your hands with soap and water, not chlorine or other things but soap and water. Isolate yourself from other people. Relax. Don't panic. All of this is treatable, imminently treatable. You will have a nasal swab; you will probably a blood test.

Preliminary results will be back within six hours and final results in 48 hours. You'll likely be started on antibiotics, probably penicillin in the meantime. It is 100 percent treatable or curable at that standpoint.

GWEN IFILL: Dr. Satcher, do you want to add anything to that?

US SURGEON GENERAL DAVID SATCHER: No. I think this is something that can be managed if people are alert and aware and respond appropriately. It really does get back to what is a strong public health infrastructure and what is the role of individuals and communities in maintaining like regular hand washing or cooking food appropriately, reporting things that are unusual.

But I want to say we haven't talked a lot about physicians and others on the front line who must be a major part of this too and must not only report but also must counsel patients. The appropriate response is not to write a prescription for ciprol because somebody is worried. The appropriate response is to educate them and to support them.

GWEN IFILL: Dr. Satcher and Senator Frist, thank you both very much.

US SURGEON GENERAL DAVID SATCHER: Thank you.

SEN. BILL FRIST: Thank you.

 

 

 

Nation

 

 


Posted on Sun, Feb. 08, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C.
DNA analyzed in ricin inquiry
Authorities are searching for the source of the ricin discovered in the Washington, D.C., area by analyzing the toxin's DNA.

Washington Post Service

 

Using DNA analysis, federal authorities are trying to glean important clues about the source of ricin found last week in a Senate mailroom and in two earlier letter mailings, including where castor plants used to make the poisons were grown.

''The U.S. government has this well in hand,'' said Lee Browning, a researcher with a Texas seed company who has consulted with the FBI about ricin production and was interviewed by agents from the Lubbock field office about recent developments involving use of the poison. ``They will read this DNA, analyze the soil and the water content and be able to say if it's coming from South Carolina, Georgia, Florida or Texas. There's a team of people hard at work on it.''

Authorities have not determined the source of ricin discovered in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., or of samples found last October and November in postal facilities serving a Greenville, S.C., airport and the White House. The two found by postal workers arrived in envelopes with letters signed by ''Fallen Angel,'' who protested new regulations that change the number of hours per day that truckers may spend sleeping in their berths.

USED IN ANTHRAX PROBE

Genetic analysis also has been an important FBI focus in the investigation of the unsolved 2001 anthrax mailings to Capitol Hill and to media outlets in New York and Florida, which left five people dead and 17 ill as the lethal microbes were spread. Those tests, some of which have been specially developed for the FBI, are incomplete, but the FBI said recently that it expects definitive results on the source of the anthrax bacteria within six months.

Browning said federal agencies have geared up in recent years to handle the use of the toxin ricin, a protein found in castor seeds, as a terrorist tool. Samples of numerous varieties of castor plants have been collected by federal officials for use in forensic and scientific analysis, he said.

After ricin was found on a mail sorting machine in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, officials of the Department of Homeland Security said the poison could be easily made by an amateur with access to castor plants. In a letter found in the Greenville case and at a White House mail facility, ''Fallen Angel'' claimed to have ''easy access to castor pulp'' and to be ``capable of making ricin.''

NOT AMATEUR'S WORK

Browning, however, questioned the assessment that ricin is an ''active'' or highly potent powder. He does not believe it could be the work of an amateur using homegrown formulas and simple equipment. Extracting ricin is a dangerous process, he said, that requires chemistry knowledge and advanced scientific equipment.

''There is currently no U.S. production of castor,'' he said, partly because of the dangers associated with it. Browning's firm, Castor Oil Inc. of Plainview, Texas, last year cultivated 40 acres of castor plants to generate seed that could be used for research. It is the only company in the United States that cultivates the castor plant, he said.

Castor plants grow profusely in the wild in many warm areas of the United States, and to extract ricin, the plants must be cooked into a pulp, McKuen said.

 

 

Chemical & Biological


Arms Control Dispatch

#156

Prepared By Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute

October 1 - 15, 2001

Biological Weapons

October 15:  In recent days, there have been numerous reports, several confirmed and many bogus, that the rare and deadly disease anthrax has been transmitted to people through suspicious letters and packages.  Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson said that it is certainly an act of terrorism to send anthrax through the mail.  Although there have been anthrax scares around the world, the presence of anthrax has only been confirmed in letters sent to Florida, New York City, Nevada, and Washington, D.C.  Bush administration officials have stated that there is no direct evidence linking Osama bin Laden to these events, but his involvement is still considered a possibility.  [Salon.com, October 15, 2001]

The following is a brief synopsis of anthrax-related events:

On October 5, Robert Stevens, a photo editor for the tabloid publication company American Media Inc. (AMI), died in Florida from inhalational anthrax.  Mr. Stevens was the first person in the U.S. diagnosed with the disease since 1978.  Shortly after his death, anthrax spores were found in the nasal passage of two other employees in the AMI building, but they have shown no symptoms of anthrax.  On October 15, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that five more AMI employees tested positive anthrax antibodies.  The only traces of anthrax found in the AMI building were on Mr. Stevens computer keyboard and in AMIs mailroom, where two of the exposed employees worked.  Initial testing has indicated that the strain of anthrax that killed Mr. Stevens is similar to a strain harvested at an Iowa facility during the 1950s.  [The Baltimore Sun, October 9, 2001; The Miami Herald, October 10, 12, & 15, 2001]

Ms. Erin M. OConnor, an assistant to Tom Brokaw of NBC Nightly News, has been diagnosed with cutaneous (skin) anthrax.  Another woman who works for NBC has also developed symptoms consistent with cutaneous anthrax, although final test results are still pending.  These cases both occurred after NBC received two letters, one from Trenton, NJ, and another from St. Petersburg, FL, containing suspicious powder.  The letter from Trenton tested positive for the anthrax bacteria, while the letter from St. Petersburg tested negative.  A New York City Police Detective and two New York City Health Department officials who were investigating the NBC anthrax case have also tested positive for exposure to anthrax spores. [The Washington Post, October 13, 2001; The New York Times, October 15, 2001]

After several inconclusive tests, a letter sent to Microsoft Licensing Inc. in Reno, Nevada, from Malaysia tested positive for anthrax on October 13.  The letter contained a check to a Microsoft vendor in Malaysia and several pornographic pictures from a magazine.  All six of the people who handled the envelope have tested negative for exposure to anthrax and have displayed no symptoms.  [The Baltimore Sun, October 14, 2001]

President Bush revealed Sunday that Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschles office received a letter that contained anthrax.  The staffer who opened the mail discovered a suspicious powder in the envelope and immediately alerted authorities.  Employees in the Senators office are being treated with antibiotics, and the contents of the envelope have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing. [CNN.com, October 15, 2001]

A letter sent to Judith Miller of The New York Times on October 12 from St. Petersburg, Florida, contained a suspicious powder, but initial tests on the letter have appeared negative for anthrax.  Results of the tests on New York Times employees are still pending.  Letters containing a powdery substance were also sent to NBC and the St. Petersburg Times from St. Petersburg. [The New York Times, October 14, 2001]

A 58 year-old male employee of the Ford Motor Companys New Jersey plant has symptoms resembling anthrax.  The man is undergoing more tests, as the initial results were ambiguous.  [The Washington Post, October 15, 2001]

France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Denmark, Sweden, and Israel have all suffered anthrax scares, while China, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines have greatly increased their security in anticipation of such cases.  Australia has had to close dozens of its buildings, while Britain was forced to evacuate Canterbury Cathedral due to suspicious incidents.  A white powder was found in German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeders mailroom and is currently being tested for anthrax. [BBC.com, The Associated Press, and The Daily Telegraph, October 15, 2001]

October 9: U.S. government officials have announced plans to speed up production of a new smallpox vaccine, with 40 million doses to be delivered by 2002 instead of 2004.  These vaccines are part of a $343 million contract The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have with Acambis that is expected to deliver 168 million doses of the vaccine through 2020.  Efforts have also been initiated to determine whether the current stockpile of smallpox vaccine an estimated 7 million to 15 million doses can be diluted to treat a larger population while maintaining effectiveness.  [The New York Times, October 9, 2001]

October 2: The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, called on all UN Member States to tighten controls over biological and nuclear weapons, which he called the gravest threat the world faces following the September 11 terrorist attacks.  Since the attacks, the World Health Organization has increased its assistance to countries that are preparing for a potential attacks involving weapons of mass destruction.  [The Financial Times, October 2, 2001]

Chemical Weapons

October 8:  Thomas Ridge was sworn in as the first director of the Office of Homeland Security, a cabinet level position.  This office was created through an executive order that gives Ridge the power to coordinate the work of all federal agencies involved in preventing or responding to a terrorist attack, including a chemical or biological weapons attack.  [The Los Angeles Times, October 9, 2001; Government Executive Magazine, October 8, 2001]

October 5: Jose M. Bustani, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), warned the international community that the organization lacks the money to carry out its basic operations.  This year the OPCW could only carry out half of its scheduled inspections.  Bustani also cautioned that if the OPCWs financial situation does not improve, it would not be capable of providing any nation with a meaningful response in the event of a chemical weapons attack.  These problems have primarily stemmed from member nations, including the United States, not paying their dues on time.  [The New York Times, October 5, 2001]

October 2: Pentagon officials told lawmakers that the United States will probably miss the 2007 deadline for the destruction of its chemical weapons arsenal.  The cost of destroying these weapons will be $9 billion more than was expected, bringing the total up to $24 billion.  Since the terrorist attacks, U.S. chemical weapons storage facilities have greatly increased their security.  The Army has sent hundreds of troops to guard the facilities perimeters and placed no-fly zones over each depot.  [The New York Times, October 2, 2001 and The Arizona Republic, October 3, 2001]

Updated:
October 25, 2001 9:53 AM

 

____________________________________________________________

SPECIAL NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT FROM PRESIDENT BENJAMIN LADNER FOR ALL AMERICAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, AND ALUMNI

MEMORANDUM

October 15, 2001

TO:

Campus Community

FROM:

Benjamin Ladner

SUBJECT:

Capitol Hill Incident


Yesterday (Monday, October 15), the Office of Senator Tom Daschle received a letter or package through the mail that potentially exposed some workers in his office to anthrax. Capitol Police and the Capitol physician were contacted, proper medical protocols followed, and the staff received immediate treatment.

An American University student was working in the Senators office when the package was opened. She was tested, and is presently taking antibiotics. Another AU student who works in Senator Daschles office was not in the office on Monday when the package was opened. We have been in contact with both students and are monitoring the situation.

]

 

 

 

W32.Swen.A@mm

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 VIRUS W32.Swen.A@MM

Discovered on: September 18, 2003

Last Updated on: October 06, 2003 06:48:09 PM

 

NOTE: The definitions that Symantec's Digital Immune System automatically created previously detected W32.Swen.A@mm as Worm.Automat.AHB.

Due to an increase in submissions, Symantec Security Response has upgraded W32.Swen.A@mm to Category 3, as of 6:30 PM Thursday, September 18, 2003.

W32.Swen.A@mm is a mass-mailing worm that uses its own SMTP engine to spread itself. It attempts to spread through file-sharing networks, such as KaZaA and IRC, and attempts to kill antivirus and personal firewall programs running on a computer.

The worm can arrive as an email attachment. The subject, body, and From: address of the email may vary. Some examples claim to be patches for Microsoft Internet Explorer, or delivery failure notices from qmail.

W32.Swen.A@mm is similar to W32.Gibe.B@mm in function, and is written in C++.

This worm exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express in an attempt to execute itself when you open or even preview the message. Information and a patch for the vulnerability can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-020.asp.

 

 

Discovered on: September 18, 2003

Last Updated on: October 06, 2003 06:48:09 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE RICIN SOLUTION (C) 2003

 

 













































 

The Ricin Solution?

 

Censored by Jim Robinson

Freerepublic.com

on 4/5/04 @  4:33PM EST

 

 

 

 

 

FreeRepublic.com "A Conservative News Forum"


[ Browse | Search | Topics | Post Article | My Comments ]

 

Click to scroll to commentary.

'Fallen Angel' letters focus of ricin probeAuthor threatens to make ricin and 'start dumping' it
CNN ^ | Thursday, February 5, 2004 Posted:

Posted on 02/04/2004 9:38:37 PM PST by eXistenZ

A vial containing ricin found in a letter sent by "Fallen Angel" last fall.

CNN's Kelli Arena reports investigators are looking for links between the current ricin incident and earlier threatening letters.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist calls the toxin incident both terrorist and criminal.

Frist says 'everybody is fine' after preliminary tests indicate traces of ricin inside his office's mailroom.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta gives details on the deadly toxin.

FBI seeks info, offers reward

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Investigators are trying to determine if a mysterious "Fallen Angel" who sent two threatening letters containing ricin last fall is responsible for the deadly poison that turned up in the Senate this week.

The earlier typewritten letters addressed to the White House and Transportation Department warned that more ricin would be used unless new federal trucking regulations were scrapped. The change in 60-year-old rules governing how often truck drivers must rest went into effect January 4.

Three senior federal law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity Wednesday, said the FBI and Capitol Police Department were investigating the possibility that the same person or persons sent ricin-laced mail to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee.

Hazardous materials teams from the FBI and Capitol police searched for a letter or parcel that might have carried the ricin powder, which was found Monday in a mail-sorting room in Frist's personal office. The ricin appeared limited to Frist's office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. No one has been sickened by the poison.

Although three Senate buildings were closed for a second day, Frist announced that they would begin opening on Thursday and the Dirksen building on Monday. No obvious connection to Senate incident

Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said investigators have found "no obvious direct connection" between the Frist incident and the letters signed "Fallen Angel." Those letters were discovered in mail facilities that serve the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina and the White House. They were found October 15 and November 6, respectively, though the existence of the White House letter was not disclosed by the Bush administration until Tuesday.

The letters, described as nearly identical, claimed that the author owned a tanker truck fleet company and demanded that hours of service rules for drivers remain unchanged, according to the FBI.

The FBI said the South Carolina letter was contained in an envelope with a typewritten warning "Caution RICIN POISON." The letter included claims that the author could make much more ricin and would "start dumping" if the new regulations weren't abolished. The envelope contained no delivery address and no postmark.

No one has fallen ill as a result of any of the letters. Ricin is a highly toxic substance that is relatively easy to make from castor beans. There is no known antidote but ricin is considered a less effective weapon for causing mass casualties than anthrax, which was mailed to Senate offices in late 2001, because it is more difficult to make airborne and requires inhalation of large quantities to be fatal.

The FBI focused on ricin in its weekly intelligence bulletin to 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies. The confidential bulletin, obtained by The Associated Press, said no threat of any kind had been received in the Frist case. It concentrated mostly on the dangers of ricin and how police should respond to potential contamination.

Truckers urged to be on the lookout The trucking industry has been working with the FBI and Transportation Department inspector general's office on the investigation. The American Trucking Association has sent several bulletins to its members urging them to be on the lookout for people "displaying aggressive behavior" or engaging in suspicious activity.

One association bulletin asked that members "be alert for either a potential disgruntled trucking company, trucking company employee or person purporting to be from the trucking industry" who has made threats in the past against government agencies.

The regulations at the heart of the "Fallen Angel" letters were four years in the making and drew some 53,000 comments when first proposed, trucking association spokesman Mike Russell said. Many truckers and companies were concerned about lost pay and productivity because of stricter rest requirements. "It was controversial," Russell said.

While the South Carolina letter's existence was made public shortly after it was found, the Bush administration delayed acknowledgment of the White House letter by nearly three months. It was intercepted Nov. 6 by the Secret Service at an offsite mail facility.

Secret Service spokeswoman Ann Roman said that after the letter tested probable for ricin on November 12, the FBI and other agencies were notified. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush administration Homeland Security officials held a November 13 conference call with the FBI, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Postal Service and other agencies to discuss what to do.

Ultimately, the ricin in that letter was deemed to be of a low grade and not a threat to public health, so no announcement was made. President Bush was not immediately informed, McClellan said.

"We share information appropriately, if there is a public health risk," McClellan told reporters. The al Qaeda terror group has threatened to use ricin, but officials have found no indication that the two "Fallen Angel" letters or the Frist incident are connected to international terrorism.

The FBI has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the "Fallen Angel" case.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events; War on Terror; Click to Add Topic
KEYWORDS: ANTHRAX; FALLENANGEL; LETTERS; RICIN; WOT; Click to Add Keyword


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Truckers Look in Their Ranks for 'Fallen Angel' Writer By ANDREW JACOBS

Published: February 5, 2004 PARTANBURG, S.C., Feb. 4 The letter was brief and to the point.

"I'm a fleet owner of a tanker company," it said. "I have access to castor pulp," a reference to the raw material to make the deadly compoundicin. "If my demand is dismissed, I am capable of making Ricin."

The note, attached to a metal vial containing the powder and addressed to the Transportation Department, was dropped off in October at a mail-sorting office at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. A similar letter appeared in November at a mail-processing center that serves the White House. Both notes were signed "Fallen Angel," law enforcement officials said. As investigators explore possible links between the parcels and the presence of ricin in a Senate mailroom, trucking executives and the drivers who haul the nation's goods wondered whether one of their own might have used bioterrorism to publicize opposition to trucking rules that took effect last month. The regulations, which aim to reduce accidents by reducing how long drivers can stay on the road, have roiled the industry, which is already reeling from a recessionary drop in freight and higher fuel costs.

The president of the South Carolina Trucking Association, Rick Todd, said if the person responsible for the ricin contamination was a trucker "it is certainly awful for the image of our industry, especially for the millions of hard-working truck drivers across America."

"It's hard to imagine anyone could be this upset about these changes," Mr. Todd said......"

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/05/national/05TRUC.html?ex=1076562000&en=38f8269545028d1c&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE

1 posted on 02/04/2004 9:38:39 PM PST by eXistenZ

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To: eXistenZ

"Fallen Angel" sending ricin to Bill Frist...

Trent Lott?


(Joke)

2 posted on 02/04/2004 9:41:22 PM PST by ambrose ("Only The Toes Know...")

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To: eXistenZ

"I'm a fleet owner of a tanker company," it said

thats more than likely to be a bald-faced lie to throw off investigators.

He might be a trucker who hauls cattle and just knows how to make ricin because he took a college course 20-years ago...

3 posted on 02/04/2004 9:44:01 PM PST by GeronL (www.ArmorforCongress.com ............... Support a FReeper for Congress)

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To: eXistenZ

"I'm a fleet owner of a tanker company," it said. "I have access to castor pulp,"

That shouldn't be too hard to track down. Who transports pulp, and who owns the fleets? Check a Caster oil company. It doesn't seem like that huge a business.
Domestic terrorism. I hope they throw the book at him.

4 posted on 02/04/2004 9:44:36 PM PST by concerned about politics ( Liberals are still stuck at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy)

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To: eXistenZ

The American Trucking Association has sent several bulletins to its members urging them to be on the lookout for people "displaying aggressive behavior" or engaging in suspicious activity.

Well, that narrows it down.

5 posted on 02/04/2004 9:47:53 PM PST by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)

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To: eXistenZ

Have any photos of the letters or envelopes been released?

Also was the content of the final anthrax letter ever released? Was it a photocopy of the earlier letters or did it have a different message?

6 posted on 02/04/2004 9:48:52 PM PST by weegee

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To: randog

Ricin Road Rage

7 posted on 02/04/2004 9:49:42 PM PST by eXistenZ

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To: eXistenZ

Those sinister truckers, terrorist purveyors of WMD.

Terror on the turnpike!

8 posted on 02/04/2004 9:51:09 PM PST by George W. Bush (It's the Congress, stupid.)

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To: weegee

PHOTO: "A vial containing ricin found in a letter sent by "Fallen Angel" last fall."


http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/02/04/ricin.investigation.ap/

9 posted on 02/04/2004 9:52:32 PM PST by eXistenZ

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To: George W. Bush

The anthrax mailer reward of $2.5 mil was so successful that: "The FBI has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the "Fallen Angel" case."

10 posted on 02/04/2004 10:00:59 PM PST by eXistenZ

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To: eXistenZ

The FBI said the South Carolina letter was contained in an envelope with a typewritten warning "Caution RICIN POISON."

At least he's a nice terrorist. I think this rules out a muslim extremist.

11 posted on 02/04/2004 10:01:15 PM PST by lelio

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To: lelio

At least he's a nice terrorist. I think this rules out a muslim extremist.

The anthrax letters helpfully warned the recipients that it was anthrax and advised them to take antibiotics.

12 posted on 02/04/2004 10:04:38 PM PST by John H K

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To: eXistenZ

You want to say "TRUCKING REGULATIONS?!?", but I think we all understand how every federal regulation seems to screw somebody over another.

13 posted on 02/04/2004 10:09:41 PM PST by seamole (Pray for Boston, Massachusetts--the first American "City on a Hill")

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To: eXistenZ

eXistenZ, retreat troll many times over banned.

14 posted on 02/04/2004 10:10:15 PM PST by Jim Robinson (I don't belong to no organized political party. I'm a Republycan.)

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To: John H K

Perhaps that's why everyone thought anthrax man would be a right-winger?

15 posted on 02/04/2004 10:10:44 PM PST by seamole (Pray for Boston, Massachusetts--the first American "City on a Hill")

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To: Jim Robinson

er, retreat, repeat, retread, etc., what's the diff. A troll by any other name is still a troll (some parts plagiarized).

16 posted on 02/04/2004 10:12:06 PM PST by Jim Robinson (I don't belong to no organized political party. I'm a Republycan.)

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To: Jim Robinson

Weird. Do you have any information as to what his agenda was?

17 posted on 02/04/2004 10:13:03 PM PST by seamole (Pray for Boston, Massachusetts--the first American "City on a Hill")

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To: ambrose

Trent Lott?

S'okay. When I first heard on the news that "a foreign substance" had been found in a Senate office building, my first thought was "integrity?"...

18 posted on 02/04/2004 10:30:33 PM PST by general_re (Remember that what's inside of you doesn't matter because nobody can see it.)

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To: lelio

You mean it was spelled correctly. Rather than RYESIN POYZIN.

19 posted on 02/04/2004 10:52:23 PM PST by endthematrix (To enter my lane you must use your turn signal!)

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To: eXistenZ

"The regulations at the heart of the "Fallen Angel" letters were four years in the making and drew some 53,000 comments when first proposed, trucking association spokesman Mike Russell said. Many truckers and companies were concerned about lost pay and productivity because of stricter rest requirements. "It was controversial," Russell said. "

Somebody at HSS will be working late (yeah right) sifting through old paperwork...

20 posted on 02/04/2004 10:57:48 PM PST by endthematrix (To enter my lane you must use your turn signal!)

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To: endthematrix

Oh well...Zotted!

21 posted on 02/04/2004 10:59:27 PM PST by endthematrix (To enter my lane you must use your turn signal!)

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To: Allan

ping

22 posted on 02/04/2004 11:37:57 PM PST by Allan

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To: Mitchell

Sorry, ping to you, not to me.

23 posted on 02/04/2004 11:38:37 PM PST by Allan

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To: seamole

Do you have any information as to what his agenda was?

The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less then hee
Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.

24 posted on 02/04/2004 11:47:11 PM PST by Allan

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To: eXistenZ

Let's see... Google tells me there's a Fallen Angel anime, a Fallen Angel band from LA, a "Fallen Angel" episode of The X-Files, a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie, (plus a few other references at IMDB), a heavy-metal band from Spain, ... that's about it.

25 posted on 02/04/2004 11:49:24 PM PST by jennyp (http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)

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To: jennyp

"Fallen Angel" - a CB handle? The name of his truck? It would seem too obvious, but who knows?

26 posted on 02/04/2004 11:50:45 PM PST by jennyp (http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)

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To: eXistenZ

This is just so weird. This guy is just so specific and so petty. You'd think he'd go with a more general rant about government power if only to cover his tracks a little better. If this guy is who he says he is he ought to be fairly easy to catch. There aren't many disgruntled owners of tanker companies with access to castor pulp.

27 posted on 02/05/2004 12:17:50 AM PST by MattAMiller

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To: endthematrix

Rather than RYESIN POYZIN.

So we can eliminate those that went to public skool?

28 posted on 02/05/2004 12:29:00 AM PST by lelio

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To: jennyp

...that's about it.

Not quite.

You forgot Fallen Angels, by Jerry Pournelle.

I'm trying to figure if there's anything in that book that would relate to this but I'm drawing a blank. Still, might be worth checking into it for hunches/clues, in case the perp is a sci-fi fan and was trying to send a message via the name he gave himself. The book is rife with "clues" of that sort (double entendre names and so forth), woven into the storyline.

Plus, they put it online for free reading (either online, or via download in several formats). Might not hurt to get with the publisher (Baen) to see if their logs show any downloads from the region around that airport in SC.

Anyone else read that book? Can you think of anything in it that would relate to this case? Maybe a frustrated NASA (or ex-NASA) guy? Any NASA facilities in NC? (Or any that closed down?)

29 posted on 02/05/2004 12:35:48 AM PST by Don Joe ("Bush owes the 'base' nothing." --Texasforever, 01/28/2004)

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To: jennyp

Whoa!

I was skipping around in this thread, and just noticed the bottom of the main article says there's a hundred grand reward for "information leading to an arrest" in the "fallen angel" case!

If it turns out that this POS *did* use that book as "inspiration" for his name, I am gonna have to stake my claim for that reward!

Does anyone know if there's an offical website for reporting tips? (Would they accept a "hunch" as a "tip"?)

30 posted on 02/05/2004 12:39:35 AM PST by Don Joe ("Bush owes the 'base' nothing." --Texasforever, 01/28/2004)

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To: jennyp

Thinking...

There are two truck themes in that book (maybe more, but it's late and I'm tired).

One deals with fuel trucks disguised as milk trucks, and the other deals with a cheese truck (big semi hauling precious, expensive cheese from
Wisconsin), that's hiding the heros, in their van, hidden behind stacks of cheese. The truck is hijacked, and they end up in Milwaukee, held hostage by a gang of crooked politicians.

The first theme (the fuel trucks) is about smuggling jet fuel from
Chicago to Edwards Air Force Base.

I'm just throwing out some food for thought. If anyone helps me crack this case, I'll share the reward money with ya. :)

(Hey, if by some miracle I get a piece of the reward money, I'm good for my word. I'm gonna try not to get my hopes up, although I wouldn't mind helping to get this SOB off the street, and I definitely wouldn't mind getting that reward money!)

Some possible clues: someone involved with hauling cheese, milk, or jet fuel. Or maybe hauling *anything* to an Air Force Base?

Would the new regs affect any of the above more than they'd affect other truckers?

31 posted on 02/05/2004 12:55:15 AM PST by Don Joe ("Bush owes the 'base' nothing." --Texasforever, 01/28/2004)

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To: Don Joe

Anyone else read that book? Can you think of anything in it that would relate to this case? Maybe a frustrated NASA (or ex-NASA) guy? Any NASA facilities in NC? (Or any that closed down?)

Interesting! A Jerry Pournelle fan... how about the son of the owner of a trucking company who's been complaining about the new regs? Yeah, that sounds more like it. I don't think that producing ricin is all that high-tech, from what little I remember reading once.

32 posted on 02/05/2004 1:35:17 AM PST by jennyp (http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)

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To: eXistenZ

The FBI should contact "the Moose" to help them solve this case!

33 posted on 02/05/2004 5:17:05 AM PST by Destructor

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To: jennyp

I just woke up to take my pain meds (I hate when that happens), and a light lit up over my head.

WHAT were the hereos in the book transporting IN the-van-hidden-in-the-truck?

WHAT did EVERY truck in the book, that transported anything, transport what it was transporting for the benefit of? (In other words, why were they transporting whatever they were transporting?)

Ta da... for the benefit of Illegal Aliens!

The entire book was the story of transporting illegal aliens!

A big chunk of the story happens in the Southwest, too.

Am I brilliant or what? <g>

Well, maybe "or what". (Especially if all this brainfarting leads down a dead end.)

Are there any trucking companies in NC that are involved, even tangentially, with transporting illegal aliens? Perhaps hidden in food shipments from Mexico? And maybe they're also bringing in biochem weapons via those trucks (or via those illegal aliens)? Or maybe they're preparing to do so?

34 posted on 02/05/2004 5:35:28 AM PST by Don Joe ("Bush owes the 'base' nothing." --Texasforever, 01/28/2004)

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To: jennyp

I don't think that producing ricin is all that high-tech, from what little I remember reading once.

From the way they were talking on Fox News, this was a very low grade, I think they said it was just a bunch of ground up castor beans. (I confess I wasn't paying too much attention. News overload. It's like the nighly "News Alerts" they flash about an attack on our guys in Iraq. It's to the point where I'd be surprised if there wasn't a nightly alert.)

35 posted on 02/05/2004 5:39:50 AM PST by Don Joe ("Bush owes the 'base' nothing." --Texasforever, 01/28/2004)

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To: GeronL

thats more than likely to be a bald-faced lie to throw off investigators.

That occurred to me also.

36 posted on 02/05/2004 5:48:48 AM PST by Freebird Forever

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To: Don Joe

I did a word search of the book, and the only mention of the word "casters" (different spelling from "castor", but hey) is when they were sneaking a decoy in a huge shipping crate (not using the word "shipping", but clearly described as one), to distract the police, while they snuck the illegal aliens out the back. The casters were making noise, and it attracted attention.

Hmm...

From Chapter Ten:

The rumble of casters caught their attention, and they turned just as Hal Blandings and three other Lunarians emerged from the north wing pushing a handcart with a large cardboard box on it. They headed straight across the-foyer toward the front door. Tremont was stunned. The sheer audacity of it! Lunarian fanac always inspired a certain amount of awe among the more circumspect fen. But this . . . He realized that his fingers were crossed and quickly uncrossed them. When he saw the tip of the snorkel protruding from the styrofoam, he held his breath. Did they have both Angels in there?

The three cops stared for a moment, then Zaftig shouted. "Hey, you four!"

The Lunarians halted just at the front door. Zaftig grabbed Hal by the arm. "Got you, you technomaniac." He pointed at the cardboard box. "That there's styrofoam," he announced. "You know better than that. Wasting valuable resources." He grinned. "Or maybe you don't know better. You will, though."

"Sergeant Zaftig," said Arteria, "that is not why we are here."The Green turned to the Air Force captain. "You stay out of this, Captain. Environmental laws are my jurisdiction. Anyplace, anytime." He faced Blandings. "What've you got to say for yourself, techie?"

[...]

Meanwhile, back at the front door, one of the Lunarians was showing Zaftig a certificate proclaiming that the styrofoam in the box was 100 percent recycled material. So was the box. "Recycling! It's important! The paper they use in some of those fast-food places, that's from trees! They cut down trees for that! And we can recycle styrofoam. You know how much energy it takes to recycle styrofoam? Not much. But trees, it takes a long time to grow trees! Owls roost in trees! Trees are important. Sergeant, aren't you for ecology?"

The tip of the snorkel sank deeper into the chips.

Zaftig sprang. "There's someone hiding in this box."

Arteria stiffened and looked at Tremont. "Smuggling out a fugitive, are you? That was a pretty clumsy maneuver."

[...]

Zaftig yanked on the snorkel and its wearer emerged dripping plastic chips, a fish hoisted from the styrofoamy sea. The burly bushy-haired Seth looked around the foyer, wide-eyed. He took the snorkel from his mouth. "Is the book auction over already?"

Zaftig grabbed him by the wrist. "Is this one of them?" he asked Arteria.

The AP captain scowled. "Does this look like a 'spectrally thin superman' to you?" A grunt of disgust, but before Arteria could turn away, Horowitz had blocked the way.


37 posted on 02/05/2004 5:59:25 AM PST by Don Joe ("Bush owes the 'base' nothing." --Texasforever, 01/28/2004)

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To: jennyp

One last thought along these lines...

The book's title -- "Fallen Angels" (plural) -- refers to the two "Illegal Aliens".

If the perp in this case is using that as a reference of sorts, it might indicate that he (singular) is himself an illegal alien.

So, if that's the case, the question becomes one of who in the illegal alien smuggling trade would be affected by the change in rest period for truck drivers?

I thought that trucks coming in from Mexico had to hand off their cargo to American haulers within a short distance of the border. Maybe someone who's accepting handoffs of "cargo" on the US side of the border, and then hightailing it to a destination that can no longer be reached if the drivers have to stop for ten hours of rest?

This is actually starting to make sense to me as a potentially plausible scenario!

38 posted on 02/05/2004 6:07:50 AM PST by Don Joe ("Bush owes the 'base' nothing." --Texasforever, 01/28/2004)

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To: eXistenZ

This is the new face of American political discourse. Perfectly predictable, when "egalitarianism" is mindlessly expanded to include the criminals, the neurotics, the clinical morons, and the insane. Their view of the universe is pretty much "do things my way or I might kill you".
This new face shows up now in legislation and everywhere else. At work, at shopping centers, and of course, at political rallies and demonstrations. Every place seems to have at least one. The trick is to avoid them without appearing to reject them, because they are truly nuts and unpredictable.

And the overwhelming majority seem to be solid members of the "progressives". The new face of the communist party, AKA Democrats. DU is a perfect example of what they are and how tenuous their grasp of reality truly is.

39 posted on 02/05/2004 6:08:29 AM PST by Publius6961 (40% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)

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To: Don Joe

A bit of a nonsequitor in my train of thought above, but I still think it makes sense as a possible lead.

40 posted on 02/05/2004 6:09:59 AM PST by Don Joe ("Bush owes the 'base' nothing." --Texasforever, 01/28/2004)

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To: eXistenZ

"It's hard to imagine anyone could be this upset about these changes," Mr. Todd said......"

It's not just "these changes". I think a boiling point has been reached in this country and some are just sick and tired or it.


41 posted on 02/05/2004 6:14:13 AM PST by unixfox (Close the borders, problems solved!)

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To: Allan; Mitchell

In pride, in reas'ning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the bless'd abodes,
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.

42 posted on 02/05/2004 1:00:17 PM PST by AnGElCaTcheR

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To: Don Joe; eXistenZ; allen; Mitchell; endthematrix; seamole

"One last thought along these lines...
The book's title -- "Fallen Angels" (plural) -- refers to the two "Illegal Aliens".

"I thought that trucks coming in from
Mexico had to hand off their cargo to American haulers within a short distance of the border. Maybe someone who's accepting handoffs of "cargo" on the US side of the border, and then hightailing it to a destination that can no longer be reached if the drivers

 have to stop for ten hours of rest? "



Bingo!

"Frist says 'everybody is fine' after preliminary tests indicate traces of ricin inside his office's mailroom."



Frist, Mexican Lawmakers Talk Migration
AP ^ | 01/06/04 | MORGAN LEE


Posted on 01/06/2004 6:44:41 PM PST by nypokerface


MEXICO CITY - Mexican lawmakers made emphatic appeals to restart negotiations for a U.S.-Mexico migration agreement during a meeting Tuesday with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

The Tennessee Republican arrived in the Mexican capital Tuesday, a week before President Bush pays a visit to his southern neighbor.

Bush is expected to make an announcement on migration Wednesday. White House officials said he will propose easing some restrictions against foreign workers, mainly Mexican, entering the
United States if they have jobs waiting for them.

Mexican Senate President Enrique Jackson, who met with Frist shortly after he arrived, said that the timing is right to address the issue.

"We think this is the moment now to take the first step to normalize the circumstances for Mexican migrants in the
United States," Jackson said. "We need to give them the security to make a living, to participate in daily life, to work with dignity and without fear."

Mexico wants to bring a measure of legality to the 4 million or more undocumented Mexicans living in the United States.

Frist agreed there is a need to continue the dialogue, but he cautioned Mexican lawmakers not to hope for too much, saying "I don't want to exaggerate expectations."

http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1052939/posts

You keep the $100,000. I'm after the big one:)

 


43 posted on 02/05/2004 1:12:16 PM PST by AnGElCaTcheR

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