The latest ricin imbroglio

Posted in Ricin Kooks at 3:28 pm by George Smith

Readers know I have no taste for the nation’s received wisdoms on ricin and terrorism.

This is because t he country has been so poorly served by expert advice during the war on terror, the most ridiculous things create a panic. The result has been that the absurd has become accepted and normal

The FBI is certain ricin was in the letters send to Roger Wicker and the President.

Yet today, its special agent admitted the FBI cannot find castor beans or ricin recipes in the materials seized at the home of Paul Kevin Curtis.

From USA Today:

Agent Brandon Grant said that a search of Paul Kevin Curtis’ house in Corinth, Miss., on Friday did not turn up ricin or ingredients for the poison. A search of Curtis’ computers has found no evidence so far that he researched making ricin …

Still, Grant testified that authorities believe that they have the right suspect.

“Given the right mind-set and the Internet and the acquisition of material, other people could be involved. However, given information right now, we believe we have the right individual,” he said.

Grant testified Friday that authorities tried to track down the sender of the letters by using a list of Wicker’s constituents with the initials KC, the same initials in the letters. Grant said the list was whittled from thousands to about 100 when investigators isolated the ones who lived in an area that would have a Memphis postmark, as do some places in north Mississippi. He said Wicker’s staff recognized Curtis’ name as someone who had written the senator before.

The letters also contained lines that were on Curtis’ Facebook page, including the phrase, “I am KC and I approve this message,” Grant said.

Grant testified that there were indentations on the letters from where someone had written on another envelope that had been on top of them in a stack.

The indentations were analyzed under a light source and turned out to be for Curtis’ former addresses in Booneville and Tupelo, though one of the addresses was spelled wrong, Grant said.

Is there a different ricin kook on the lam? And how would castor powder from someone else’s letter wind up in the letters of Paul Kevin Curtis?

Paul Kevin Curtis’ lawyer suggested “in court that an enemy may have framed” him.

More and more reasons to be tired of the whoopie cushion scares that have become normal as a result of 9/11. (The immense headache of the anthrax case, only on a much smaller scale, comes vaguely to mind.)

Whatever reality is finally determined in the matter, it will not have been worth the media space. And it still won’t justify spending more money on ricin countermeasures.

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