* LMW to FBI … is the Amerithrax investigation still ongoing or not? The FBI’s answers, while trying to say nothing, strongly suggest that the investigation is in fact still ongoing, over a year since the FBI/DOJ press conference accusing Dr. Ivins and stating that the case would soon be closed.
Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 27, 2009
I next sent the following email to the FBI Washington Field Office …
- First of all, I appreciate your continued responses and direction.
- As you suggested, I called back and asked for the Media Representative. I said I ran a blog on the anthrax case, and when asked, told the lady the name of the blog … CASE CLOSED: why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax case at http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/.
- I then said that I had questions about the status of the Amerithrax investigation.
- Is it still ongoing?
- Are investigators still working on the case?
- When will the case be closed?
- She went away and returned to tell me that everything the FBI has to say about the Amerithrax case is to be found on the FBI web site at www.fbi.gov.
- So I went to the site. My search for “Amerithrax” produced not a single document dated later than August 2008. and not a single word to indicate the current status of the case the FBI said it was about to close in August 2008.
- Would you forgive me for thinking that the person who sent me to the FBI site knew there was nothing there to answer my questions?
- Wouldn’t it be more honest, and more likely to inspire confidence in the FBI, to simply tell the truth instead of sending honest questioners on wild goose chases?
- Either the Amerithrax investigation is ongoing or it is not.
- If the investigation is still ongoing, that is ample reason for the FBI to refuse to release information that might be useful to the unnamed potential perpetrators still under investigation. Since such information would be of no use to Dr. Ivins, dead for over a year now, this would also suggest that other possible perpetrators or accomplices are still being investigated. That would be encouraging to those of us, including many U.S. Congressmen and Senators, who do not believe the FBI has made the case against Dr. Ivins.
- If the investigation is not still ongoing, and the FBI intends to stand behind its August 2008 conclusions, then why not close the case and make the appropriate documents available under FOIA? One reason might be that the FBI is afraid its conclusions cannot be supported by those documents.
- The continuing refusal to either admit the investigation is still ongoing or to close the case and release the documents contributes mightily to the view that the FBI has failed to solve the case and is hiding some deep dark secrets.
- It is not healthy for the FBI or our country to have such suspicions proliferate.
- I would very much appreciate it if you would help me get off this FBI obfuscation merry-go-round and provide some straight answers, whatever they are.
- Thanks for listening to my request.
So I went to the FBI web site, and what do you think I found?
My search for “Amerithrax” produced not a single document dated later than August 2008. There is not a single word to indicate the current status of the case the FBI said was about to be closed in August 2008.
More FBI obfuscation and delay.
If this wasn’t one of the most serious cases in FBI history, the largest investigation the FBI ever conducted, and a matter of crucial national security interest, the FBI’s continuing clumsy behavior would still be a matter for concern. But in fact it’s a deadly serious matter that we do not know who perpetrated the 2001 attacks and precisely how they were carried out. Across the U.S., our police forces are severely handicapped in preventing a second attack when they do not know the details of the first.
Many, including me, are appalled at the lack of evidence brought forward by the FBI to support the August 2008 accusation that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks.
It seems abundantly clear that the FBI is hiding something, and the longer this goes on, the more important it is to know why the FBI failed to solve this case and what dark secrets they are so intent on covering up.
The FBI Washington Field Office wrote back (at 10:50 am) and said I should call (202) 278-2000 again and ask for the Media Representative; I did and was connected. I identified myself as the author of a blog dealing with the anthrax case. I was asked the name of the blog, which I provided (CASE CLOSED … why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax case)
The FBI person on the phone said she would see if anyone was available to answer my questions. She returned to tell me that “ any information we can give out is located on our web site at fbi.gov.”
UPDATE #4 …
My first reaction was that my calls to the FBI were a fruitless exercise. On second thought, maybe not so fruitless as I initially thought.
After thinking further about the FBI answers below, I sent the following email (at 10:35 am) to the FBI Washington Field Office …
“I called the number you gave me, asked if the Amerithrax investigation was still ongoing, and was told the FBI cannot give out any information on any investigation.
That must mean the Amerithrax investigation is still ongoing.
Would you comment on my conclusion based on the answer I was given by the FBI?”
I called (202) 278-2000 again at 10:15 am and spoke to a live person. Here is the transcript of our Q & A …
LMW: Is the Amerithrax investigation still ongoing?
FBI: We can’t give out any information on any investigation
LMW: You can’t say if the Amerithrax investigation is ongoing or not?
LMW: When do you plan to close the case?
FBI: we cannot give that information
UPDATE #2 …
I called (202) 278-2000 at 8:00 am and was told I must talk to FOIA people. The call was transferred to someone (FOIA?) who told me to call 202-278-2000. I said I already started there, and was transferred again, to a line which immediately went dead.
UPDATE #1 …
EMAIL RESPONSE FROM FBI (8/27/09 4:45 am) …
For more information, call the media representative at your local FBI Field Office: FBI-Washington Field Office, 601 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20535, (202) 278-2000
Today (8/27/09 4:05 am) I sent the following email to the FBI Washington Field Office …
Below is the email I sent to you on June 25, to which there has been no answer or even acknowledgement. I wonder if you are yet in a position to answer my questions:
- Is the Amerithrax investigation still ongoing?
- If the investigation is still ongoing, how many agents are still assigned to the investigation?
- If the investigation is NOT still ongoing, why have you not closed the case?
- When do you plan to close the case?
If my questions are not appropriate for you to answer because the investigation is in fact still ongoing, perhaps you could so advise me. Thanks for your consideration.
****** the 6/25/09 email ******
On August 6, 2008, Mr. Jeffrey Taylor, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, accompanied by Mr. Joseph Persichini, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, announced …
“We are now beginning the process of concluding this (Amerithrax) investigation. Once this process is complete, we will formally close the case.”
To the best of my knowledge, however, the case has not yet been closed.
If the Amerithrax case is in fact still open, I wonder if you could tell me the FBI’s reasons for keeping the case open, and also how many agents are currently assigned, compared to the number assigned before the August 2008 announcement.
Thank you very much for your help in this matter.