Given the magnitude of feeling surrounding such an archetype, finding a page in American Media, Inc.'s special commemorative edition, 9/11 One Year Later: A Nation Remembers devoted to the first casualties from an anthrax attack, which happened just a month afterward in their new Boca Raton headquarters---home also to its sister publications, supermarket tabloids, The Sun, and The National Enquirer---feels incestuous and sleazy to me all at once, kind of like David Brock's line about Anita Hill being "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty."
The queasiness stems from the sheer lack of self-conscious shame, which we tell ourselves, should be registering to professional journalists reaching for the right tone---but apparently that's not what sells tabloids. Rather than keep things at a discrete arm's length, David Pecker, chairman, president and CEO of AMI goes on the offensive in his own pages, by "offering" his building contaminated with anthrax to the federal government as a place various federal agencies could use as a "living lab," to "learn valuable information about anthrax, to help safeguard against future bioterrorism attacks." Tantamount to a firematics training facility, I guess---"a smoke house for spies and spores," or maybe, "Hema with ya FEMA."
The sordid history of AMI's headquarter's building in the years following 9/11 however, reveals a veritable petri dish of corruption and collusion. In the self-penned article above, the building is valued at $15 million, while a 2007 Palm Beach Post article puts its value at $3.8million. And who puts the price tag on anthrax removal? $23 million to clean 3000 square feet? No wonder Rudy was elbowing in!
"Other recent anthrax cleanups have had staggering price tags: $100 million to decontaminate the 700,000-square-foot Brentwood postal center in Washington, D.C., and $23 million to clean the 3,000-square-foot office suite of Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., in the Hart Senate Office building. The Senate building reopened in January 2002. The Brentwood facility remains closed."An article in the South Florida Business Journal said
"AMI had just completed its multimillion-dollar renovation of the three-story building when it was attacked with anthrax in October 2001."I said to myself, "where have I heard that before?!" In addition to the Pentagon renovation, See Note* Below
After several tries at a government bailout fail
"AMI Chief Executive David Pecker told CNN he thought his company was targeted because of its name. "I think this is an attack against America. The World Trade Center was attacked, the Pentagon was attacked, and American Media was attacked, and I think this was the first bio-terrorism attack in United States," Pecker said.and after Pecker had put in his insurance claims, while double dipping regarding the archived photo files
"The contents were included when American Media Inc. sold the building in 2003. Developer David Rustine bought it for $40,000 and said he spent millions on decontamination and maintenance."Rustine's "strategy is shockingly simple."
"We are just going to clean it up and put it back on the market," said Rustine,Along the way, Rustine screwed Giuliani's new Bio-Hazard Firm out of several million dollars in 2005, (because he could, and that took muscle!) Then hires a more established firm, AMI Building Declared Anthrax-Free After MARCOR Remediation, to spritz the place up. He later sold the building to Allied Card, which is now headquartered there. Video
"It's in Boca Raton. I love Boca Raton. You have to do something really wrong to miss in Boca." says Rustin.Behind all of this are some little known facts about the traditional nature of newsrooms in general, and this one in particular .
"In 1999, American Media, a public company whose two biggest stockholders are the venture capital firm Boston Ventures and MacFadden Holdings Inc, purchased The National Enquirer and The Star from the late Generoso Pope, the former CIA chief who founded it as a platform for his beliefs that the US is inhabited by UFOs, swamp critters, freaks and geeks." Tribune.ieThe official biographies of Generoso Pope have him joining up with the CIA in Washington after he graduated from M.I.T., but only for one year. I don't think we can minimize the connection based on that, rather we should see this year of indoctrination as a send-off, as he moved on to clearly do the work he was meant to do. The anecdotal evidence in Marion McKeone's Tribune piece mentioning Pope's indulging his taste for the bizarre, also supports this.
"American Media president David Pecker has said that "in the tabloid business, you pay for sources. But we have two former FBI agents on staff, and no source gets a check for $10,000, or even $1, without getting polygraphed. We also get three independent sources for all of our (National Enquirer and Star) stories. The New York Times runs one-source stories."
"In June this year,  Evercore Capital Partners LLC, a Manhattan investment firm headed by former Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger C Altman, announced that it had acquired the publications for $294m from American Media Inc, and that Pecker would head the company and receive an equity stake." tribune.ie
Any office with two or more "former FBI agents on staff," must have experienced a dramatic shift in the culture and focus of the work environment. Their skills surely must not go to waste in this sort of investigative setting---or else they wouldn't be there.
Having your financial backing come with deep roots in federal government service, like former Deputy Treasury Secretary Altman does, opens him up to, at minimum, suspicion of the sort of revolving door self-dealing and cronyism that is obviously rampant. That all of the above add up to make for an especially questionable locality for a spontaneous outbreak of U.S. military-strain anthrax to occur is what must be answered.
I'm going to have to thank the Irish for saving civilization later, I think. This magnificent Sunday Irish Tribune piece by Marion McKeone pushes the envelope:
"Pecker used to be pegged as the bad boy of magazine publishing. People higher up the industry ladder compared him unfavorably with a used-car salesman.Others called him a "bottom fisher with a bargain basement empire" "a cowboy with a reckless disregard for the hallowed division between truth and fiction" During his time as CEO at Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, publishers of Elle , Premiere and the now defunct George , he more than doubled the group's profits, revenues and number of titles. Pecker seems to have happily cultivated a roguish, attention-getting image.With long slicked-back hair and a pronounced mustache, he likes to pose for photographs in double-breasted suits with a shotgun or a cigar.Like Barry Levine, The Enquirer's legendary New York bureau chief, he enjoys his notoriety."Why am I getting a funny feeling the New World Order has already arrived? Computers must be lightening the work load a lot to free up Harvard grads for gigs at The National Enquirer.
He recruited news reporters from Harvard and other Ivy League colleges, starting them on six-figure salaries and virtually unlimited expense accounts. In order to sell, sell, sell, he reckons you have to buy, buy,buy."http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-574041.html
You'd better believe that the judge urged settlement in 'National Enquirer' anthrax case---who wants pesky testimony when a widow just wants money. You cant eat a public record. Since scientist Bruce Ivins had killed himself, apparently at the behest of the FBI (effectively, since they told him they intended to charge him with murder,) with this scapegoat in hand, for all intents and purposes, case is closed.
But writing just two days after 9/11, Marion McKeone expressed a clairvoyance (as opposed to shielding her foreknowledge,) by helping give light to the central fact of this matter, what no pantywaist American journalist seems willing do.
OK, so everybody heard me right? Former Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger C Altman holds a lead stakeholder position in a corporation in whose headquarters anthrax was mysteriously released to claim its first fatality---thus giving rise to the U.S. Patriot Act and continuity-of-government protocols instead of constitutional government---and which carries a loaded history of covert, ney, mystical perhaps, activities and agendas.
Thank God. I thought the play was going to be over with holocaust denial! Now we get to stay for a third act! Curtain rising!
NOTE* Such a coincidence reminds me of the Gin Lane, Southampton house of art dealer Andrew Crispo, which blew up one Sunday morning in the late 80's---the house having just been done up by his friend, the decorator Arthur Smith, and published in Architectural Digest only the month before. Crispo was art dealer to Heini Thyssen-Bornemisza and Adnan Khashoggi, but he had gone to jail for tax evasion when the authorities really wanted to pin the rap for the death-mask sex murder of Eigil Dag Vesti on him as well as on his assistent, Bernard LeGeros.
The New York Times wrote:
"Soon after his release from prison in 1989, a massive explosion leveled Mr. Crispo's cherished house in Southampton, where he had hung some of his most prized works of art. (Before his imprisonment, sales of part of his collection at Sotheby's and Christie's netted Mr. Crispo and his creditors nearly $20 million.) But -- wouldn't you know? -- in 1991 a jury awarded him $8.6 million from the Long Island Lighting Company -- which admitted that an accident in the form of a gas leak under the house had been the cause.""Cherished?" "Prized?" "Wouldn't you know?" "Admitted?" Who's side is she on, anyway?
Are we beginning to connect the dots here gang? The Pentagon "attack" looks like nothing more than an elaborated arson, but with propane and fuel oil tanks burning instead of a gas leak.