Falsely accused Ameri-thrax doctor speaks out

 In his first interview since being falsely accused by the FBI of sending anthrax laced letters in September 2001, Dr. Steven J. Hatfill told the Today Show's Matt Lauer that the Justice Department and the FBI should be held accountable for breaking the law and lying. 

“I love my country,” Hatfill told Lauer. But, he added, “I learned a couple things. The government can do to you whatever they want. They can break the laws, federal laws, as they see fit...You can’t turn laws on and off as you deem fit. And the Privacy Act laws were put in place specifically to stop what happened to me. Whether we’re at war or have been attacked, the foundation of society is that you hold to the laws in place. I used to be somebody that trusted the government. Now I really don't trust anything.”

“We’ll send Martha Stewart to jail for making false statements. What about these senior people? Nothing’s happening. Is the Justice Department incapable of regulating itself? Without strong regulation, the privileges we give them to investigate us, to conduct their normal anti-crime things, can spiral out of control.”

Hatfill said that he has not received an apology for the actions taken against them, telling Lauer that the FBI's lead investigator said that the FBI would not offer an apology if he was found to be innocent.

The government settled with Hatfill for $5.8 million in 2008, but a Justice Department spokesperson said that the department “does not admit to any violation of the Privacy Act and continues to deny all liability in connection with Dr. Hatfill’s claims.”

At the time of the investigation, Hatfill was working on biological warfare-related projects for a defense contractor. Federal investigators asked to speak to Hatfill, swabbing surfaces in his apartment. Hatfill cooperated with the early stages of the investigation, taking a polygraph test, and was named a "person of interest" by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in July 2002.