Richard Bernstein writes (in a letter to the NYT) …
- Aerosol Science and Technology reported on an attempt by a group of scientists at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah … that to create anthrax in a dry aerosol form of the sort that can be dispersed through the air is a long and difficult process involving a lot of highly specialized machinery.
- The point blows a large hole through the 92-page summary of the investigation released last week by the F.B.I. and the Justice Department.
- “Note that the proprietary azeotropic drying technique and the pneumatic mill are both superspecialized pieces of equipment, neither of which is at Detrick,” the specialist in fine particles, Stuart Jacobsen, said in an e-mail message.
- the F.B.I.’s entire case against Mr. Ivins is that he was able to manufacture the anthrax used in the attacks at his Fort Detrick lab, working late at night on the days before the actual anthrax mailings so nobody would see what he was doing.
- But according to Jeffrey Adamovicz, Mr. Ivins’s supervisor at UAMRIID, the F.B.I.’s claim that Mr. Ivins rarely worked at night — and only did so in the days before the anthrax was mailed — is simply untrue.
- But most important is the failure of the F.B.I. to demonstrate that the anthrax used in the attack was actually produced in Mr. Ivins’s lab at Fort Detrick, or even that it could have been produced there.
- Mr. Adamovicz said in his e-mail message: “This is very strong evidence that a process more sophisticated than Bruce Ivins or USAMRIID possessed was used in making the spore preparations. I and others have calculated that it would take several weeks to months to grow the 5-10 grams of spores required for the letters using common lab protocols and laboratory capabilities present in USAMRIID for growing spores. The F.B.I. to date has provided no information on how this could be done.”
- The point is not that Mr. Ivins wasn’t the anthrax mailer.
- Perhaps he was.
- But some of the F.B.I.’s arguments seem like conclusions in search of arguments,
- while other aspects of the report — notably its failure to deal with the silicon question — are conspicuously incomplete.
Read the entire letter at … http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/us/25iht-letter.html?pagewanted=1
LMW COMMENT …
The weakness of the FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins raises the following questions:
- Is that really all the evidence the FBI was able to put together after the most extensive investigation in their entire history?
- If not, what else do they know and why are they not telling us?
My novel CASE CLOSED addresses these questions and provides answers, which while fictional, have struck many readers, including one member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, as quite plausible.
You can check out reader comments and