Legal watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed lawsuits against several Bush administration agencies for failure to produce documents concerning the terrorist anthrax attacks of last October, the organization announced today.
The agencies named include: the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the U.S. Postal Service. The documents were requested under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.
Addition suits involving other anthrax-related FOIA requests with other agencies are likely to be filed in the next two weeks, says Washington, D.C.-based Judicial Watch.
The organization represents hundreds of postal workers from the Brentwood Postal Facility in Washington. Until the facility was finally condemned, postal workers there handled all of the mail for the city, including the mail that contained the anthrax-laden envelopes addressed to Sens. Daschle and Leahy. While Capitol Hill workers received prompt medical care, says Judicial Watch, Brentwood postal workers were ordered by USPS officials to continue working in the contaminated facility. Two Brentwood workers died from inhalation anthrax, and dozens more are suffering from a variety of ailments related to the anthrax attacks.
In October, press reports revealed that White House staff had been on a regimen of the powerful antibiotic Cipro since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Judicial Watch wants to know why White House workers, including President Bush, began taking the drug nearly a month before anthrax was detected on Capitol Hill.
“The American people deserve a full accounting from the Bush administration, the FBI and other agencies concerning the anthrax attacks,” Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman said in a statement. “The FBI’s investigation seems to have dead-ended, and frankly, that is not very reassuring given their performance with the Sept. 11 hijackers. One doesn’t simply start taking a powerful antibiotic for no good reason. The American people are entitled to know what the White House staffers knew nine months ago.”