This morning I was surprised to hear that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had died. In part, it was because I hadn’t realized he was still alive. As the brief story went on, I remembered reading about his return to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Of his work, I’ve only read A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, back in high school.

Last week I was surprised to hear that the FBI was on the verge of indicting a suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks. I’d pretty much written it off as an unsolved case. Unfortunately, the fact that Ivins committed suicide means the case will never go to trial. Having the attorney general sign off on it doesn’t quite have the same sense of closure — or certainty — that a trial would. Unless the FBI releases seriously solid evidence (and I’m sure a lot of the evidence is probably classified, especially given the current administration’s affair with secrecy), there will always be a bit of doubt: did he kill himself because he’d been caught, or because he didn’t want to go through being scapegoated?

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