Action Alert!

the usual suspects

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Aug 08, 2008

Accused anthrax terrorist Bruce Ivins was a Catholic, whose wife has been involved in the pro-life movement. Therefore, National Public Radio reports, Ivins might have read a letter charging that Senators Daschle and Leahy were betraying their Catholic faith, and that letter might have motivated him to send anthrax-laced letters to the two lawmakers.

OK, it's a theory. If he did what he is accused of doing, Ivins was a dangerously troubled man. Unless or until we know what motivated him, every plausible hypothesis should be explored.

But notice how quickly NPR drew the connecting lines (in pencil, I admit) between the pro-life views of the Ivins family and the anthrax mailings-- without a shred of hard evidence. Daschle and Leahy are both conventionally liberal, with matching positions on dozens of other contentious issues. But how much attention do you suppose you could command for a theory that Ivins was enraged by the legislators' stance on, say, the NAFTA treaty?

Count on it: Within 10 days, some pundit somewhere will cite this theory in an editorial, arguing that anyone who questions the religious commitment of pro-abortion Catholic legislators is encouraging terrorists. And count on this, too: Within another week, dozens of Catholic priests will invoke that argument to explain why they do not mention abortion in their homilies.

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