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Jewish World Review Nov. 21, 2001 / 6 Kislev, 5762

John Ziegler

John Ziegler
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I Swear It ain't me   —   I Think


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com -- FOR several days now I have been expecting the FBI to come knocking on my apartment door. In fact, I am almost worried that they haven't yet figured out that they should be after me. I have never been arrested in my life and consider myself to be as patriotic as anyone I know, but after reading the government's official profile of the person who has been sending anthrax through the mail, I am beginning to be convinced of my own guilt.

According to the FBI, the ideal suspect is an adult (I'm 34) male (yep). He may not be employed (I am currently in a strange "limbo" state between being employed and not). If employed, he is in a position requiring little contact with others and prefers being by himself (I work at home, where I live alone). He has shown an organized, rational thought process (my friends think I am logical to a fault). He may hold grudges for a long time (I have been fired by a lot people, none of whom I have ever forgotten, and I will never let the O.J. Simpson or Bill Clinton "things" go). And he may have limited social skills (if the FBI has ever seen me as a guest on TV talk shows, they know that this is true).

The profilers in Washington also say that the person behind the anthrax attacks is familiar with the Trenton area and is comfortable traveling in and around it (I grew up there). They also think that he may currently live somewhere outside that immediate area (I currently reside about 25 minutes away, in Bucks County). Obviously, the person who wrote the letters also has poor penmanship and prefers to print (when I was moved from Catholic school, in Trenton, to Public school, I missed a year's worth of cursive handwriting and still use print letters whenever writing by hand). I also, like the writer, tend to lean consistently to the "right."

The FBI believes that the victims of the anthrax attacks were not randomly selected and that the perpetrator may have a personal dislike for his targets or their institutions (along with having been fired by several media outlets, I am a media critic who often writes very negative things about the TV networks, and, being a conservative, I have never held Tom Daschle in very high regard). Since the attacks began, they hypothesize that the person behind them has probably exhibited an "atypical media interest" (I, even more than most, have not been able to turn the TV off very much since 9/11).

There are, of course, a few of the bureau's descriptions that are not quite on the mark. For instance, I have no scientific background or even interest (though I am quite sure that the FBI is aware my German grandfather was literally a "rocket scientist" who played a significant role in the space race). I also have not exhibited many of the post-attack behaviors that the FBI says we should be looking for. I have not altered my appearance (though I did get a pretty short haircut and have begun using a new face cream which has done wonders for my complexion). I also have not been particularly anxious (isn't everyone?), prone to mood swings (maybe a little), more withdrawn (hey, I live alone), or been adjusting my sleeping/eating habits, but how in the world would the FBI know that I don't fit those rather personal criteria? "Big Brother" hasn't come THAT far, has it?

So, why hasn't the FBI come calling? Shouldn't we all be concerned that they haven't? Personally, while I know that I am not responsible for these awful letters (at least, I am pretty sure that I am not), I do have a lead. I have an 84-year-old aunt Dorothy who lives in Hamilton Township. For her entire adult life she claims to have been going to church every single morning. It has always been pretty convincing and endearing story, but maybe it was all just an elaborate cover and she has been a "sleeper" in waiting all of this time. She doesn't fit the profile like I do, but maybe that is all part of her ruse. Now that I think of it, she did suddenly decide to visit her daughter out of state a couple of weeks ago. It might be worth the FBI checking into.

Of course, I could also just be experiencing delusions provoked by pronounced anxiety, mood swings, being withdrawn, and sudden shifts in my sleeping/eating habits. Let's all hope so. Regardless, good luck guys.



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© 2001, John Ziegler