December 8 1:51 PM ET
Anthrax Sender May Have Military Past, Daschle Says
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, whose
Capitol Hill office received an anthrax-laced letter in October, said on
Saturday he believes the sender was probably someone with a military
``I think as we look at all the possibilities, that one has the
greatest degree of credibility right now,'' the South Dakota Democrat said
on CNN's ``Novak, Hunt and Shields'' program.
While the source or sources of the anthrax-laced letters sent to
Daschle, Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy (news
record) and the offices of three news media is not known,
investigators have said they believe they were of domestic origin.
They have also raised the possibility that the sender had served in or
worked with the military.
Asked if he believes the source was someone with a military background,
Daschle said, ``That's correct.'' Daschle has been in frequent contact
Eighteen people have been infected with anthrax and five have died from
the inhalation form of the disease since early October. The Senate Hart
Office Building is still closed and undergoing decontamination from a
letter opened in Daschle's office on Oct. 15.
On a separate issue, Daschle threw cold water on many lawmakers' hopes
that Congress will recess for the year by next weekend.
``We'll be in to a period of time up until just about Christmas,'' he
said. ``I'm convinced that if we're going to get economic stimulus and the
insurance bill and the appropriations bills completed, there is no way
we'll finish by the 14th.''
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, on Friday
said it was time for Congress to wrap up its work and leave for the year.
``We need to do whatever we're going to do by next Friday, the 14th,
and call it a day,'' he said.
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