Greenwald has also raised questions about the source of claims being pushed by ABC News in late October 2001 that government tests had shown the anthrax contained bentonite, an additive used only by Iraq. These claims, which were later found to be completely false, played an important role in spreading the idea of an Iraq-anthrax link.
However, the idea of such a link was already in circulation a week earlier when, according to Think Progress, John McCain was using the anthrax attacks to argue for war with Iraq. McCain told David Letterman on October 18, "The second phase is Iraq. There is some indication, and I don’t have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may — and I emphasize may — have come from Iraq."