CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Army microbiologist Dr. Henry Heine, until now forbidden to speak, says … Ivins is absolutely not the anthrax attacker … it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts … whoever did this is still running around out there

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 23, 2010

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The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline, science that proves innocence instead of guilt. So what really happened? And why? The “fictional” scenario in my novel CASE CLOSED has been judged by many readers, including a highly respected official in the U.S. Intelligence Community, as “quite plausible.”

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

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Scott Shane writes in the NYT (4/22/10) …

  • A former Army microbiologist who worked for years with  Bruce Ivins told a National Academy of Sciences panel on Thursday that he believed it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts.
  • Asked by reporters after his testimony whether he believed that there was any chance that Dr. Ivins, who committed suicide in 2008, had carried out the attacks, the microbiologist, Henry S. Heine, replied, “Absolutely not.”
  • At the Army’s biodefense laboratory in Maryland, where Dr. Ivins and Dr. Heine worked, he said, “among the senior scientists, no one believes it.”
  • Dr. Heine told the 16-member panel, which is reviewing the F.B.I.’s scientific work on the investigation, that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab. Such an effort would not have escaped colleagues’ notice, he added later, and lab technicians who worked closely with Dr. Ivins have told him they saw no such work.
  • He told the panel that biological containment measures where Dr. Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. “You’d have had dead animals or dead people,” he said.
  • The public remarks from Dr. Heine, two months after the Justice Department officially closed the case, represent a major public challenge to its conclusion in one of the largest, most politically delicate and scientifically complex cases in F.B.I. history.
  • The F.B.I. declined to comment on Dr. Heine’s remarks on Thursday.
  • Members of the panel, whose chairwoman is Alice P. Gast, a chemical engineer and president of Lehigh University, declined to comment on Dr. Heine’s testimony or his remarks to reporters. The panel is expected to complete its report this fall.
  • Asked why he was speaking out now, Dr. Heine noted that Army officials had prohibited comment on the case, silencing him until he left the government laboratory in late February.
  • Dr. Heine said he did not dispute that there was a genetic link between the spores in the letters and the anthrax in Dr. Ivins’s flask — a link that led the F.B.I. to conclude that Dr. Ivins had grown the spores from a sample taken from the flask. But samples from the flask were widely shared, Dr. Heine said. Accusing Dr. Ivins of the attacks, he said, was like tracing a murder to the clerk at the sporting goods shop who sold the bullets.
  • “Whoever did this is still running around out there,” Dr. Heine said. “I truly believe that.”

read the entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/us/23anthrax.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

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72 Responses to “* Army microbiologist Dr. Henry Heine, until now forbidden to speak, says … Ivins is absolutely not the anthrax attacker … it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts … whoever did this is still running around out there”

  1. DXer said

    Someone wrote August 2, 2004 re “Repurified Dugway 2003 spores:

    “Bruce,

    We thank you for your exceptional efforts and the long hours you devoted to purifying the spores over the weekend. When you say that you can produce 10^12 spores per week, I hope that you don’t mean you will continue that grueling schedule.

    A note to spore users: Requests for spores should be coordinated with ___ who is the newly appointed project director of the spore production team.”

    • DXer said

      By email August 2, 2004, Dr. Ivins had written: “We can presently make 1 x 10^12 spores per week. Depending upon the amount of harvested, unpurified spores, gradient purification can take 1-2 weeks, and characterization can take another week or two. If someone needs a large amount of spores (greater than 10^12), they should notified me a few months ahead of time, so that spores can be ready when needed. ****

      You want 3 x 10^12 spores, right? Who should I give them to? As soon as we’re allowed, I’ll give them the spores.

      ___ I believe that you want 1 x 10^12, spores, right? That’s 100 ml of material of the current preparation. I’ll get it to you (or whomever) when we are allowed to do so.”

  2. Old Atlantic said

    Question for Ed, on the 40 minutes from generation to generation. How would you measure the number of live cells every 40 minutes?

    The 40 minutes figure is based on use of a formula and the assumption of constant growth rate. Its not observed by measurement every 40 minutes. You can’t extrapolate with this number because growth is logistic or some other diminishing rate of growth curve.

    • Old Atlantic said

      By the way, each observation of a growth rate is stochastic. So you might want to comment on Jensen’s inequality and the Rao Blackwell theorem and your statistical estimator of growth time.

      The log function is concave and the exponential is convex. So as you take logs and exponentiate you should bear in mind the impact on your estimator under Rao Blackwell.

      • Old Atlantic said

        Another issue is serial dependence. If generation 5 came in 5 hours in one run and 4 hours in another run, what implication does that have for the growth time of the next generation? Has this ever been studied? If not, it might indicate that they don’t really do these types of measurements every 40 minutes. This will impact your estimator of generation growth time. That is likely to be conditional on generation number. This complicates the entire model of the process.

        The growth stochastic process of bacillus appears to be complicated and to not be understood very well. It appears hard to measure, and likely there are factors that impact its properties that need to be worked out. Precise measurement in time appears a problem for this type of stochastic process. So its hard to apply the current state of the art of stochastic process and econometric estimation methods.

  3. BugMaster said

    “Separately, on the subject of Battelle, what is the citable authority, if any, for BugMaster’s statement that the 90 ml. was not used?”

    Ivins correspondence describes problems Battelle had with the material. And why in the hell did Ivins need to send Battelle another 50 mls 6 weeks after he sent them the original 90 mls?

    “Who is the contact there who could be asked?”

    Very funny, DXer!

    Is it possible the real reason Dr. Mikesell was under so much stress is that he had some concerns regarding the possiblity the attack anthrax was derived from the aliquots sent to Battelle? Maybe he was ordered to shut up.

    Why was he under so much stress throughout the summer of 2002 when the media blitz was all about Stephan J. Hatfill?

    Why was there such a media blitz regarding Stephan J. Hatfill? (and no, Ed, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg didn’t make them do it!).

    It served at least one purpose. It diverted attention away from Battelle.

    The FBI has no case against Ivins. Rather, speculation, innuendo, and character assassination.

    No physical evidence ties Ivins to the crime, not a trace (please Ed, don’t start with the Dan Brown secret code bullshit).

    And the physical evidence they DO have?

    The letters, from which originally it was reported, were analyzed, leading to the location of the copy machine initially reported to be in a public place in New Jersey. (My money is on the Waksman Institute, BTW, just down the road from Princeton). Now, regarding the actual ID of the copy machine, NEVER MIND!

    The b. subtilis contaminant came from the environment where the cruddy NYC mailing material was grown. It wasn’t sent by aliens, and didn’t fly out of a monkey’s butt.

    The fiber evidence recovered from the tape? No comment from the FBI.

    I have no doubt that the actual perp will someday be apprehended. The question is how much higher the body count will go until then.

    The FBI doesn’t give a rat’s red ass about justice. All they care about is keeping score, and as far as they are concerned, Ivins did it, and score one for their “team”.

    • DXer said

      I asked:

      “Separately, on the subject of Battelle, what is the citable authority, if any, for BugMaster’s statement that the 90 ml. was not used?”

      So I understand you to say that it is merely your inference that they autoclaved the material and did not use it for its intended purpose. I don’t see that the inference is supported by anything in the record.

      Bugmaster writes:

      “Ivins correspondence describes problems Battelle had with the material. And why in the hell did Ivins need to send Battelle another 50 mls 6 weeks after he sent them the original 90 mls?”

      Yes, that is correct. There is that correspondence. In fact, the correspondence continued into 2002 at the time they were undertaking a review of Battelle’s aerosol procedures given the difficulties that they were having.

      “Who is the contact there who could be asked?”

      “Very funny, DXer!”

      I didn’t mean to be funny. Many people are free to talk or willing to talk and just haven’t been asked. And so if there is someone to ask, I’d be glad to ask that Lew ask them. He tends to get answers. Also, people in other labs likely know or perhaps there are published results. The usual reason people have to answer questions is to avoid unsupported adverse inferences being made.

      But I think I’ve made my point. You seem to have no support for your claim that it was not used — let alone that it was purportedly autoclaved and then not actually autoclaved. The more logical inference, given the absence of information, is that it was used in the normal course of business for its intended legitimate purpose.

      But I do think that it of central relevance to find out the use to which the anthrax sent to Battelle was put. That likely can be divined from simple literature searches and document review.

      • DXer said

        Perhaps Bob Hunt would be the go-to person to ask if (I don’t recall) he was the one listed on the Flask 1029 record.

        • DXer said

          You might start, as a matter of protocol, by just contacting the listed correspondence. For example, Dr. Hunt of Battelle is publishing on aerosol studies using Ames with the DARPA experts from Arlington, VA. (I lived for 15 years in Arlington and I can assure you that the folks there don’t have horns on their head and would be glad to describe their published work with the Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins).

          Pathology of Inhalation Anthrax in Cynomolgus Monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

          Daphne Vasconcelos1, Roy Barnewall1, Michael Babin1, Robert Hunt1, James Estep1, Carl Nielsen2,3,4,5, Robert Carnes6 and John Carney3

          1Battelle, Columbus, Ohio
          2Consultant to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia
          3Defense Sciences Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia
          4Office of Product Development and Regulatory Affairs, Fort Detrick, Maryland
          5United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland
          6Biosciences International, Inc., San Antonio, Texas

          Correspondence: Dr. Daphne Vasconcelos, Toxicology Battelle Columbus, 505 King Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201. E-mail: vasconcelosd@battelle.org

          Received 12 May 2003.

          Top of page
          Abstract

          Anthrax is considered a serious biowarfare and bioterrorism threat because of its high lethality, especially by the inhalation route. Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) are the most commonly used nonhuman primate model of human inhalation anthrax exposure. The nonavailability of rhesus macaques necessitated development of an alternate model for vaccine testing and immunologic studies. This report describes the median lethal dose (LD50) and pathology of inhalation anthrax in cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Gross and microscopic tissue changes were reviewed in 14 cynomolgus monkeys that died or were killed after aerosol exposure of spores of Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain). The LD50 and 95% confidence intervals were 61,800 (34,000 to 110,000) colony-forming units. The most common gross lesions were mild splenomegaly, lymph node enlargement, and hemorrhages in various organs, particularly involving the meninges and the lungs. Mediastinitis, manifested as hemorrhage or edema, affected 29% of the monkeys. Microscopically, lymphocytolysis occurred in the intrathoracic lymph nodes and spleens of all animals, and was particularly severe in the spleen and in germinal centers of lymph nodes. Hemorrhages were common in lungs, bronchial lymph nodes, meninges, gastrointestinal tract, and mediastinum. These results demonstrate that the Ames strain of B. anthracis is lethal by the inhalation route in the cynomolgus macaque. The LD50 of the Ames strain of B. anthracis was within the expected experimental range of previously reported values in the rhesus monkey in an aerosol challenge. The gross and microscopic pathology of inhalation anthrax in the cynomolgus monkey is remarkably similar to that reported in rhesus monkeys and humans. The results of this study are important for the establishment of an alternative nonhuman primate model for evaluation of medical countermeasures against inhalational anthrax.

        • DXer said

          DARPA also was working beginning in June 2001 with Battelle on the Immune Building Project. Ms. Delaney is a point person for information.

          INTEGRATOR FOR FINAL PHASE OF DARPA IMMUNE BUILDING PROJECT
          BATTELLE NAMED LEAD SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR FOR FINAL PHASE OF DARPA IMMUNE BUILDING PROJECT

          Team to Design, Test and Install Advanced, Operational Chemical and Biological Building Protection System
          Washington, D.C. – The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently awarded Battelle a $20 million, two-year contract to serve as the lead systems integrator for the Demonstration Phase of the Immune Building program. A leading expert in chemical and biological (CB) defense, Battelle will manage the design, testing and evaluation, implementation and final demonstration of a complete CB building protection system. The Battelle team was also a performer on the previous two phases of the program for DARPA.
          “Battelle is pleased to have the opportunity to continue working with DARPA on this landmark program,” said Michael Janus, Director of Building Protection at Battelle. “The innovative advancements in building protection resulting from the Immune Building program will be vital to defending Americans in the global war against terrorism.”

          The DARPA Immune Building program was initiated in 2001 to identify solutions for protecting building occupants, restoring building operations, and collecting forensic evidence in the event of a chemical or biological incident within a building. It is expected that this program will result in the implementation of the first fully operational building that uses an active protection system to defeat chemical or biological threats. In addition it will provide the technical groundwork required to tailor such protective systems to other Department of Defense and federal buildings worldwide in the coming years.

          The Battelle team started work in June on the program which will include modifications of the current test bed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, extensive experimentation of the design in the test bed, and refinement to the design as needed. The design will then be transferred and installed in a facility at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where Battelle will also prepare and train base personnel for the official turnover of the operational Immune Building to the Army.

          The final design and installation will be supported by capabilities and findings from the earlier phases of the program. In Phase I, the Battelle team identified a number of possible protective, restorative and forensic approaches and technologies by modeling the impact of chemical and biological threat agents on several building types subject to variations in building characteristics and vulnerabilities. The team expanded upon these efforts during Phase II of the program by modifying a vacated barracks building at Fort McClellan to produce a state-of-the-art test bed facility and conducting full-scale experimentation in the test bed to assess the feasibility of the possible approaches and technologies.

          For the Demonstration Phase, Battelle will be supported by Black & Veatch, Inc., Mechanical Engineering and Construction Corporation, and Clark-Atlanta University. The majority of the work will take place in Aberdeen, MD and Columbus, OH, with the remainder divided among facilities in Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Aniston, AL; Overland Park, KS; Baltimore, MD; and Atlanta, GA.

          Battelle is a global leader in science and technology. It develops and commercializes technology and manages laboratories for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle and the national labs it manages or co-manages have 16,000 staff members and conduct more than $3 billion in annual research and development. Battelle innovations include the development of the office copier machine (Xerox), pioneering work on the compact disc, and medical technology advancements.

          For more information, visit http://www.battelle.org or contact Katy Delaney, Media Relations Manager, at (614) 424-5544 or delaneyk@battelle.org.

      • BugMaster said

        They needed challenge isolate material for the failed rpa-102 project.

        I don’t think they published much of the specifics here.

        From what I understand, Dr. Mikesell was instrumental isolating the b. anthracis genes that encode for their bacterial toxins.

        I would expect he would therefore have played a role in the rpa-102 project, but yes, DXer, that is just speculation on my part.

  4. DXer said

    “During fermentation, as a culture gets older, there can be foaming on top. An electronic probe in the fermenter senses the foaming and injects antifoam. IVINS is not sure if antifoam is always used in fermentation. He thinks Sigma-Aldrich may be a source for antifoam, but he does not purchase it and does not know what kind would be used.”

    50/7/2004 302 interview statement

    Question: Who did Dr. Ivins loan his 5L fermenter to?

  5. DXer said

    “IVINS has never had to add antifoam or any other chemical to his production method for producing Ames spores. The shaking of the shaker flasks in the brother production is not enough to create a need for antifoam or any similar product. He is not aware of any protocol used at USAMRIID which calls for the use of antifoam with Ames. The protocol for the aerosol challenges does not call for antifoam.”

    5/07/04 302 interview statement

  6. DXer said

    “IVINS emphasized that he had no reason to suspect that anyone he worked with in Bacteriology was responsible for mailing the anthrax letters. He was very concerned about the possibility of the Dugway Ba being involved in the anthrax mailings. Building 1412 is a “black hole” for Ba, and IVINS and his coworkers believed that the Dugway spores were safe in the B3 and B4 suites. Consequently, they saw no need to guard their trash.” (4/13/2004 302 interview statement)

  7. DXer said

    Ed has a new timeline for Ivins in which he claims that Ivins could have mailed it on September 18, 2001 without noting that Ivins was on a roadtrip with co-workers to Covance. Notebook 4240 entries concern immunization of rabbits at Covance for antiserum on September 18. It’s precisely this misapprehension of basic facts that has led to his mistaken conclusion that Dr. Ivins could have mailed the anthrax on 9/18 — and Ed’s claim that Dr. Ivins did not have an alibi. His alibi for the day was that he was with co-workers on a roadtrip, and that not only could the co-workers alibi him but the personnel at the independent facility could.

    • DXer said

      A Washington Field Office Memo dated November 29, 2006

      “_______________ advised sera derived from animals previously exposed to Bacillus anthracis was considered “hot,” and as such any immunological work needing to be conducted on the same would have to occur within a hot suite. _______ opined perhaps this would account for _________ keypad activity at the ___ hot suite …

      ELISA or TNA was a regimented protocol with extended incubation periods whereby one would exit the hot suite and re-enter at a later time if one didn’t mind taking multiple showers during the day. …

      ___________ noted the rabbits utilized in the rPA study were purchased from Covance. Due to space limitations at USAMRIID in _____ the rabbits were immunized at Covance [and] later shipped to USAMRIID for the anthrax-challenges and subsequent experimentations. _____ advised ______________ USAMRIID personnel, such as BRUCE IVINS, ______________________________________ went to Covance [on September 18, 2001]. ________ advised ____ was certain only the vaccine was taken to Covance, as the Covance facility was not equipped to handle infectious agents.”

      • DXer said

        2/21/2003 telephonic interview

        “IVINS obtained a copy of the request form he submitted for a government vehicle to travel to Convance in Denver, Pennsylvania in the fall of 2001.”

        • DXer said

          The Investigative Summary explains that “on Tuesday, September 18, 2001,” he “traveled with his lab technicians to Covance in Denver, Pennsylvania, to deliver vaccine.”

          How can Ed Lake purport to do a timeline of Dr. Ivins’ activities without noting that on the date of the postmark he was on the road with his lab technicians delivering vaccine? Instead of noting the long road trip with his lab technicians, Ed speciously claims that Dr. Ivins could have mailed the anthrax that day. Does Ed even know who Dr. Ivins’ lab technicians were?

  8. DXer said

    With the Collison nebulizer at USAMRIID, they were generating “single spore aerosols. There’s very, very little clumping of two spores. They are single spore aerosols.”

    http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:Q4iXiyoBoi8J:www.bt.cdc.gov/DocumentsApp/Anthrax/12172001/12172001nih.asp+%22Art+Friedlander%22+anthrax&cd=10&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    “DR. PITT: Well, good morning, everybody. This morning I’m going to present some data that’s been generated at USAMRIID in the last ten years. This infectivity data was generated to support our research program which, of course, is to develop vaccines and therapies to protect the warfighter against an aerosol, biological aerosol threat.

    The data, the medium lethal data and infectivity data, is generated during the animal model development phase. Once the animal models are developed and we then go into the stage of doing efficacy testing on candidate vaccines and therapies, these animals are challenged with multiple lethal doses.

    So to give you the overview of how the data is generated at USAMRIID, we have very specific aerosol conditions under which this data is generated. We use dynamic aerosol systems. The aerosols are generated from wet preparations of the biological agents, using a nebulizer, usually a Collison nebulizer. In the case of Bacillus anthraces spores, these spores are diluted to the desired concentration in sterile distilled water, water for injection.

    Our aerosols are extremely well characterized and defined. The particle size of the aerosol has a mass meeting aerosol diameter between .8 and 1.4 microns. That means that the aerosols that we are generating are basically single spore aerosols. There’s very, very little clumping of two spores. They are single spore aerosols.”

  9. Anonymous said

    “I think my most recent post is important enough to start from the top of the thread.”

    Yes – it is indeed an important post. It demonstrates that Dr Heine is absolutely correct. It takes liters of media to produce 1 single gram of spores. In the paper your “scientist” provided to you, but which he apparently was ignorant enough to be off by more than a factor of one thousand in yield efficiency.

    The paper you provided reports a yield of 1 gram of B subtilis per 50 liters of media.

    Dugway’s yield of Ames spores was much better than that – 1 gram per 5.5 liters of media.

    But even with the Dugway/Detrick method it would still take 100 – 200 liters of media to produce all the spores needed for the attacks. An utterly impossible task for 1 person covertly.

  10. Anonymous said

    The “scientist” who sent you this apparently got lost in wishful thinking and forgot to read the abstract:

    “The composition and application of a single, chemically defined medium or growth and sporulation of Bacillus subtilis is described. At 37 degrees C cells grew with a doubling time of about 40 min; cultures attained near-maximal spore formation (70 to 80% by 12 h after the end of exponential growth and produced 1 X 10(9) to 2 X 10(9) heat-resistant free spores at 24 h. Dipicolinic acid production was completed between 7 and 11 h. Cells grown in the single, chemically defined medium excreted levels of serine and neutral proteases comparable to those excreted in nutrient broth medium.”

    A 300ml flask was used, and 50ml of CDSM media was used. Thus 50ml of media yielded 10^9 spores. That means 50 liters of media would be needed to yield 1 gram (10^12 spores). In other words, with this method even 50 liters would not yield enough to fill even one envelope.

    The Dugway fermentor anthrax was capable of yielding 1 gram of Ames anthrax spores with only 5.5 liters.

    The fantasies of your anonymous “scientist” contact are off by more than a factor of one thousand. Try again.

    • Anonymous said

      Lake writes:
      “We’re talking about what the ARTICLE says.”

      can he actually read?

      The article says “At 37 degrees C cells grew with a doubling time of about 40 min; cultures attained near-maximal spore formation (70 to 80% by 12 h after the end of exponential growth and produced 1 X 10(9) to 2 X 10(9) heat-resistant free spores at 24 h.”

      Inside the article it explicitly states that 50ml or 70 ml runs produced these 1 X 10(9) to 2 X 10(9)of spores.

      What do we do? We read the article and ignore the propaganda from your anonymous fantasy “scientist” contacts.

      We all are very well aware that you write malicious false propaganda at any opportunity.

      Your vile fantasies invoking imaginary 6 year old boys from imaginary day care centers into writing the attack letters and envelopes under coercion by Bruce Ivins have also been well documented.

      • Anonymous said

        “You’re just resorting to personal attacks while repeating your interpretation of the article.”

        It’s hardly my interpretation of the article. The article states in plain English:

        “At 37 degrees C cells grew with a doubling time of about 40 min; cultures attained near-maximal spore formation (70 to 80% by 12 h after the end of exponential growth and produced 1 X 10(9) to 2 X 10(9) heat-resistant free spores at 24 h.”

        You can read, can’t you? That number says 1 X 10(9) spores were produced in the run. In 50ml of media. Do you know what a 9 is? Let me educate you:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9_%28number%29

        If your anonymous scientist was correct the abstract would read “1 X 10(12) spores were produced” – but it doesn’t it says “1 X 10(9) spores were produced”. These 2 numbers are different by a factor of 1000!

    • DXer said

      “The Dugway fermentor anthrax was capable of yielding 1 gram of Ames anthrax spores with only 5.5 liters.”

      Anonymous,

      Bruce Ivins had a 5L fermenter signed out to him.

      Who did he loan it to?

    • DXer said

      Ed,

      There were a number of fermenters at USAMRIID, right? Of varying sizes. Including a 5L fermenter signed out to Dr. Ivins. Who did he loan it to?

    • Anonymous said

      The citation of this article by Ed Lake, and whatever scientist(s) are involved, is clearly an attempt to mislead. The reason for Lake’s citation is to bolster Loyola researcher Dirk’s claim that Ivins could have prepared all of the spores in the anthrax letters from only “10 to 15 liters” of fermentation broth.

      Let’s look at the facts. USARMIID contracted out to Dugway Labs the task of preparing large quantities of purified anthrax spores at least two times that we know of. The second time was in 2001, contemporaneous to the anthrax letter attacks. USARMIID contracted the work out to Dugway because production of the needed quantities of purified spores would have required a time of about two years if carried out at USARMIID. This is not in dispute.

      There is also no rational dispute that the total quantities of purified spores in the anthrax letters were of the same order of magnitude as the total quantities of purified spores specified in the Dugway contracts. Actual spore counts of the powder materials in the anthrax mailings establish beyond any reasonable question that the total quantities of purified spores in all of the anthrax mailings exceeded 10 X 10e12 spores (i.e., 1 X 10e13) — a total quantity of about 40 X 10e12 (4 X 10e13) would be reasonable. The Dugway contracts, on the other hand, specified spore quantities of the same order of magnitude, i.e., 10e13 total spores.

      We therefore know from real facts, in the real world, that the spores in the anthrax letters would have required a production time of around two years if made at USARMIID.

      We also know that production time could have been decreased using large fermentors as was ultimately done at Dugway — Eight fermentor batches were required for Dugway to produce the necessary quantity of purified anthrax spores. This also is not in dispute.

      If Lake and Dirk are to be believed, USARMIID and Dugway were both incompetent. The purified anthrax spore quantities specified in the Dugway contracts could easily have been made with one run using less than the full capacity of a single 20+ liter fermentor at Dugway.

      A few comments on the article that Lake cites. The article does appear to show spore concentrations of from 1 to 2 X 10e9 spores per milliliter of fermentation broth, according to my reading. That is, nevertheless, a far cry from demonstrating that such broths could have been used to make the purified spores in the anthrax letters with only 10 to 15 liters of broth.

      The article reports that the vegetative cell content of the broths was substantial. It should be apparent complete separation and recovery of the spores in the broth from the large quantities of vegetative cells at a yield approaching 100% could not be readily accomplished. But that’s exactly what the “10 to 15 liter” conjecture would require.

      In particular, at spore concentrations of 1.0 to 2.0 X 10e9 spores per mL of broth, one liter would provide 1.0 to 2.0 X 10e12 spores. “10 to 15 liters” would provide a total spore quantity of 1.0 to 2.0 X 10e13 spores. Even assuming for the sake of argument that that this spore quantity could account for all of the anthrax letters (a highly doubtful proposition at best), the “10 to 15 liter” conjecture would still require separation, purification and and recovery of the spores in a yield of 100%.

      We are supposed to believe that spores can be separated from a high vegetative content broth, and recovered in an extremely highly purified and viable form, with a 100% yield. We are supposed to believe that virtually any fermentation process that maximizes vegetative and spore concentration can be used without modification to provide anthrax spore preparations of extremely high purity, at a yield of 100%.

      If this is true, someone needs to tell the FBI. According to the FBI, only twelve researchers in the US have the skill-set and access to necessary equipment to produce anthrax spores of the purity seen in the anthrax letters. According to the FBI, Ivins, “was particularly adept at manipulating anthrax production and purification variables to maximize sporulation and improve the quality of anthrax spore preparations.

      For some reason the FBI believes that specialized fermentation processes are necessary to produce extremely high purity anthrax spore preparations. For some reason the FBI believes the purification processes used to prepare the anthrax mailings to have been sufficiently specialized and complex that they were unknown to all but a dozen US researchers — suggesting a tedious, multiple step purification process, which would invariably also be a low yield process.

      On top of all this we are supposed to believe that USARMIID contracted the same spore production to Dugway so that spore production could be carried out in multiple large batches in fermentors for no reason whatsoever. After all, according to Lake and Dirks each of the two the Dugway production runs would have required only “10 to 15 liters”.

      I don’t buy it.

      __

      • DXer said

        With today’s production of emails, we see Dr. Ivins was very displeased with Dugway’s production of a second batch and didn’t trust Battelle spores to do the spores. He suggested SRI as a possibility.

        Anonymous, remind me. Why couldn’t have Dr. Ivins used the 5 L fermenter signed out to him? Who had he loaned it to (that was the FBI’s WFO understanding — that he had loaned it to __________.

        http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/dr-bruce-ivins-upon-the-poor-quality-of-dugway-spores-being-produced-and-given-that-he-did-not-trust-battelle-to-do-the-spores-thought-southern-research-institute-was-a-possibility/

        • Anonymous said

          The fermenters at USARMIID were fully accounted for. If you read the documents released by the FBI, you will see that they questioned USARMIID researchers extensively about the fermenters. One of the fermenters had been or was being replaced and was too large to be moved into the safe labs area without also moving a wall. The other fermenter was located in a spot visible to many different people and no one remembered it ever being moved or missing.

          Also USARMIID regulations precluded use of fermenters for producing anthrax because of increased danger to the local population. It would have been unreasonable to expect that a fermenter could have been used surreptitiously in the safe labs, and it would have been expected that such use, if not surrepticious, would have been immediately reported to management due to the safety issues. On the other hand use of the fermenter outside of the safe area would have resulted in contamination.

          Not only could the FBI find no evidence of fermenter use by Ivins or anyone else for anthrax production at USARMIID, but any way you look at it, use of a fermenter at USARMIID would have been very risky. The fermenter scenario simply doesn’t fit the MO of the extremely careful anthrax mailer who planned and executed the anthrax production and attacks leaving no physical clues whatsoever.

          __

      • BugMaster said

        Not only 100% recovery, but conversion of the wet spores into a lethal powder that plates out at 1 trillion COLONY FORMING UNITS per gram.

        I don’t buy it either.

      • Anonymous said

        Ed Lake once again speaks the ridiculous…

        If you want to create a large quantity of pure spores with NO contamination and NO measurable mutations, you MUST create them in small batches so that any impure batch can be thrown out and won’t affect the other batches. That’s why Ivins had to contract with Dugway for help.

        Hello… Earth to Ed Lake. USARMIID contracted with Dugway because Dugway could, and did, grow the spores in large batches using large fermenters, thus growing the spores faster than was possible at USARMIID.

        *********

        There were no more than 3 trillion spores in all the anthrax letters combined.

        Let’s see… just last week Ed Lake claimed that each gram of powdered material in the letters contained a mere one billion spores. Lake were wrong then and continues to be wrong, even though his figures are now increased one thousand fold. The FBI data cited to Lake last week establishes that the recovered partial content of the the Leahy letter, alone, contained nearly two trillion spores.

        Nothing uttered by Ed “No Creditability” Lake can be believed.

        __

        • DXer said

          Anonymous,

          What size were the fermenters used by Dugway? 8 or 10 liters as Dr. Ivins suggests? Source: 2/12/2003 302 interview statement.

          Dr. Ivins had a 5L fermenter signed out to him, right? Who had he loaned it to?

          “In approximately 1997, IVINS received some very clean Bacillus anthracis (B.a.) spore preparations from Dugway Proving Grounds. He thinks that all of the Dugway material had been fermented, as there was some talk about growing the B.a. in either 8 or 10 liter fermentors. ” Source: 2/12/2003 302 interview statement.

        • DXer said

          “IVINS did the following calculation estimates to determine how much of the Dugway spores would have been missing if they had been used in the anthrax mailings. 2.0-2.5 grams of material were present in each letter with a 10(8)/mL spore concentration. In order to achieve that spore concentration, 800-100L of runs would have been necessary and approximately 300 mL of the Dugway material would ahve been required. This amount of missing material would have been noticed.” Source: 2/12/2003 302 interview statement

        • DXer said

          “IVINS advised that the spore suspension looked like milk.”

          Note: Ayman Zawahiri’s plan to develop anthrax as a milk was codenamed ZABADI or “curdled milk.”

      • Anonymous said

        I love the “Lake and Driks” pairing.

        Lake, who I will tell you about later, has also corresponded extensively with Dr Joseph Michael of Sandia National Labs as well Professor Matthew Meselson from Harvard University.

        Asides from that, he seems to have certain members of the FBI Labs at Quantico who regularly “leak” information to him. This information appears to be “talking points” that the FBI would like to get out there but they do not necessarily want to actually put their name to.

        He also, regularly, has “anonymous scientists” email him with “talking points” that always seem to support the FBI’s case. But, strangely enough, he never gives these anonymous scientist’s names.

        Lake himself is a scientifically illiterate retiree from Racine, WI – a 70-something with no scientific training – who gleefully takes to the internet and his website to promulgate the information being fed to him – mostly by tax-payer funded anonymous government officials and/or academics with agendas.

        His first main contact was Professor Matthew Meselson of Harvard University. Meselson is a truly brilliant biologist in his own field. Meselson and Lake corresponded together over many years. I’m wondering why a Nobel prize contender such as Meselson would take a character such as Lake so seriously as to continually feed him secretive talking points to promote his beliefs.

        Here’s a little bit about Meselson’s agenda below, but don’t miss the real fun at the end of the post where we reveal Lake’s “credentials” as an exposer of fake nude celebrities. Hmmm – why would a Harvard Professor, a worker at Sandia National Labs (Joseph Michael), numerous FBI scientists and now scientists like Adam Driks, have so much time to correspond with this guy? I wonder, are they embarrassed by his nude celebrity activities?

        (1) Meselson.

        Meselson from the outset went after USAMRIID with a vengeance when they announced that the spores used to attack our country and government were weaponized with a silica agent. The reason for this could be that Meselson does not like the idea that the treaty he persuaded Nixon to sign in 1972 may have been broken (in other words a state developed and manufactured an advanced BW technology).
        Meselson went out of his way to write a letter to the WP arguing that the attack spores were NOT weaponized in any way:
        http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/anthraxundermicroscope.html

        But Meselson’s track record reveals that he has a history of denying that his precious treaty was ever broken:

        excerpts from Mangold and Goldberg’s book:

        CHAPTER NINE Incident at Sverdlovsk

        Page 76:

        The Soviets now went to extraordinary lengths to buttress their lies and make them supportable and credible worldwide. What had begun as a local cover-up in Sverdlovsk, now became an international fairy tale, a fiction of breathtaking audacity.

        Page 77:

        Throughout the rest of the 1980s, Matthew Meselson, a respected Harvard professor of microbiology and longtime arms control activist, unwittingly helped the Soviet caravan of deception and disinformation gain acceptance in the West.
        Meselson emerged as the leading scientific expert to oppose his own government’s interpretation of Sverdlovsk in favour of the Soviets’ old tainted-meat cover-up. He defended the Soviets’ case publicly and doubtless from the most honest of beliefs. President Reagan was now in the White House and, no matter how forcefully his administration complained about Sverdlovsk, Meselson remained utterly convinced that there had been an accident with bad meat and it had nothing to do with any secret biological weapons plant.
        ………
        With his well-deserved and impressive academic/scientific credentials, his views were usually sought and carefully listened to. He also became an important figure for the US media to consult. His opinions about Sverdlovsk were widely quoted in the serious press, books, and prestigious scientific journals. The record shows that after 1980 his publicly stated views on Sverdlovsk broadly agreed with the explanations issued by the Soviets themselves.

        Page 81:

        But the guilty involvement reached even higher. Next, it emerged that Boris Yelstin himself also must have known about the cover-up. In May 1992, Yeltsin’s new Russian government formally acknowledged what was now well known, but still had no official imprimatur. The man who had been the powerful communist party chief of the Sverdlovsk region in 1979 was none other than President Boris Yeltsin. He now admitted that the outbreak had been caused by an accident at the biological weapons facility, and not by natural causes. This presumably correct version became the official position of the Russian government, and remains so to this day.
        Meselson, however, remained unfazed. In the face of Yeltsin’s admission and the Russian and US press disclosures, the professor assembled a team of expert American scientists and went with them to Sverdlovsk in June 1992 to see for himself. They interviewed two outstanding Sverdlovsk doctors Faina Abramova and Lev Grinberg who participated in the 1979 autopsies at Hospital 40. For thirteen years, these brave pathologists had secretly hidden incontrovertible medial evidence from the KGB including preserved tissue samples, slides, and autopsy reports which proved that the victims had died from breathing in the anthrax.
        Meselson later claimed that he and his team had made the discovery of the new truth from these important witnesses, but again, the facts were against him. The two Russian doctors had previously spoken to Soviet reporters and the Wall Street Journal, so Meselson was simply taking credit for being the final arbiter who had authenticated the evidence.
        After making a second trip to Sverdlovsk, Mesleson finally published his results in 1994 in the journal Science; the article accepted that the tainted-meat story was bogus. But, perversely, he still would not admit that the US government had been right for fifteen years, or that he had been wrong. Rather, he trumpeted the fact that he anf his team had finally uncovered the “defenitive proof” that the true cause of the outbreak was pulmonary anthrax.
        “This should end the argument about where the outbreak came from,” Meselson somewhat pompously told the New York Times “Right up until now, people have still been debating the matter.”
        Yet, to the bitter end, Meselson still clung to a benign interpretation of Soviet motives. He noted that the cause of the accident was still not determined, which implied that it may have involved only a Soviet research centre, one for finding an antidote to an anthrax attack, and not a military production centre for biological weapons. By clinging to this position, he could still argue that the Soviets were not violating the BWC, but were conducting permissable research under the treaty.

        (2) Lake

        Ed Lake runs a website called “The Fake Detective” – this means he pours for hours with a magnifying glass over nude pictures of celebrities to determine if they are doctored or if they are real.

        See Lake’s mug here:
        http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.11/fakers.html

        Matthew Meselson of Harvard University and Joseph Michael of Sandia National Labs must be bursting with pride for keeping such sophisticated company. And we all must be glad that our tax-payer dollars are paying FBI scientists at the Quantico Laboratory to correspond with this American hero.

      • Anonymous said

        “If you want to create a large quantity of pure spores with NO contamination and NO measurable mutations, you MUST create them in small batches so that any impure batch can be thrown out and won’t affect the other batches.”

        Lake once again defeats his own argument. His fantasy claim that enough spores to produce the mailed letters were made in some super-secret, on steroids, anthrax production recipe that yielded 100X more spores per liter than best known methods developed over years by Detrick and Dugway (the world’s experts in anthrax spore production) falls flat because of the absence of the very affect he claims that would produce – namely more mutations.

        But Lake, a scientifically illiterate retiree from Racine, WI knows better than all the experts in anthrax production.

        Lake just knows that Bruce Ivins MUST have known this super secret recipe that boosted efficiency 100 fold. And Bruce Ivins MUST have known some super secret method of introducing massive amounts of slicon to the product. And Ivins method must have been so sophisticated that it didn’t produce more mutations in the spores, or wipe out the markers in RMR-1029.

        It doesn’t matter that Lawrence Livermore National Labs, with unlimited personnel, equipment, money and time couldn’t reproduce the silicon signature in the attack spores. Ivins MUST have manged it SOMEHOW. The details aren’t important – the only important thing is that Ivins did it.

        This almost sounds Orwellian. Don’t ask questions. Just listen to Quantico’s mouthpiece Ed Lake.

    • BugMaster said

      Ed remains mathmatically challenged.

      From his latest post:

      “According to the “Reference Material Receipt Record” for flask RMR-1029, it originally contained 3 trillion spores.”

      Ed, do the math. 1 liter of material at 3.0 x 10!10 is 3.0 x 10!13.

      In otherwords 30 trillion spores.

      “For the sake of this discussion, let’s say the seven letters contained 3 trillion spores total just like flask RMR-1029′s originally quantity.”

      Now see, Ed, we don’t always disagree. As far as the 3 trillion spore approx. total in the letters, I agree with you completely.

      But that would correspond to 100 mls of the flask material.

      Actually, 90 mls.

      As the 90 mls that was sent to Battelle on May 1, 2001.

      Battelle later had foaming and clumping problems with it, so it was “discarded”.

      I seriously doubt this 90 ml “discarded” aliquot ever made it to the autoclave.

      • DXer said

        Why is there is a 100 ml discrepancy in Dr. Ivins’ records?
        http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/aaa_flask-discrepancy.jpg

        • DXer said

          Why was Dr. Ivins concerned that he was missing samples?
          http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/aaa_ivinsemails.jpg

        • DXer said

          At Battelle, Dr. Ivins said he when at Battelle he had heard people talking about research PM had done at Battelle in the 1990s. Dr. Ivins hadn’t sent Ames in the 1990s and he wondered out loud to the agents where PM got the Ames (if in fact he was doing work with it in the 1990s). (He wondered if PM had brought it with him from USAMRIID).

          Separately, on the subject of Battelle, what is the citable authority, if any, for BugMaster’s statement that the 90 ml. was not used? Who is the contact there who could be asked?

      • DXer said

        As I recall offhand, in contrast to Bugmaster’s estimate, and non-scientist Ed’s estimate, the FBI’s expert estimates that it would require 100 ml for each individual letter.

        As I best recall offhand, Dr. Ivins estimated that it would take a total of 300 ml.

        What other expert estimates are in the documents by PhD microbiologists?

        • Old Atlantic said

          These estimates are strange. If 1 liter produces a maximum of 1 gram of spores then 100 ml could only produce 100 milligrams as theoretical max. The Senate letters had at least 871 mg in one case.

          So anything less than 871 ml isn’t possible.

          This is supported by the Laura Carey paper and the tables.

          http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA426293&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

          Page 20 of pdf is a table. In a few cases, there was slightly over 1000 mg for 1000ml of growth media.
          Even an expert quoted by Ed has given the figure of 1 gram for a liter for bacteria in general.

          In practice, the Laura Carey et al paper shows most runs are below 1000mg for 1000ml.

  11. DXer said

    Who did Bruce Ivins lend the 5 L fermenter signed out to him to?

  12. DXer said

    Ed Lake says Henry Heine believes that the anthrax was “weaponized with silica.”

    Could someone point out where Henry Heine says that?

    Doesn’t Henry Heine thinks that either a silanizing solution was used in the slurry before drying or that antifoam was used?

    Isn’t that what Ed Lake has always argued was the case?

    • DXer said

      Ed was correct as to what Dr. Heine said in his most recent radio interview. Dr. Heine changed his answer on silicon between the first and second radio interview deferring to others. And now these others expect to rely on Dr. Heine as the expert. That’s hardly scientific. How about instead we find out what his experiments with antifoam involved and develop the facts.

      • DXer said

        Who was his colleague with whom he would use antifoam in creating an aerosol?

        And what happened to those samples?

        Is that the person who could not then attend his retirement party?

        http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/dr-henry-heine-former-colleague-of-dr-bruce-ivins-freed-of-the-gag-order-interviewed-on-his-last-day-at-usamriid/

        “His theory as to the silicon signature is that the spores were “grown in a situation where probably antifoam was present.” He says in a series of experiments with a colleague he would use an antifoam in creating an aerosol. They use a small amount and bubble air through and would have foam develop so they introduced antifoam. The FBI was very keen on why they did that and what happened to that material. Now the FBI says “oh, that’s just an anomaly” but back then there was keen interest in what was done as to the use of antifoam.”
        Reply
        #
        DXer said
        April 24, 2010 at 8:11 pm

        Frederick News-Post:

        “Heine replied that many antifoams added to anthrax to be put in a fermenter contain silicon. So if the anthrax was grown in a fermenter, then “you can achieve the kind of percentages (of silicon) found in the letters with this process.”

        But if the anthrax was grown in a flask, “you absolutely wouldn’t expect it” to have picked up any silicon naturally.”
        Reply

  13. DXer said

    The FBI’s anthrax expert at USAMRIID (JE) made a dry powder Ames in the Special Pathogens Lab at the request of DARPA. He writes me that it was more pure than the mailed anthrax used in the attacks — and was white and fluffy. It was gamma irradiated while in the slurry.

    “Anonymous said
    April 23, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I take it that ED Lake has no facts to back up his earlier claims regarding Dr. Heine’s statements since Lake’s reply is devoid of any such facts, consisting instead of arguments and unsupported speculation.

    Consider for example Lake’s assertion that Ivins used undefined “quick and dirty” methods to produce the anthrax of the attack letters. In actual fact, the anthrax in the second set of letters was not a “quick and dirty” material by anyone’s standards. Instead it was exceptionally pure and clean.

    Once again; the actual evidence of anthrax production at USARMIID completely undercuts Lake’s claims and arguments. If Lake has any facts to support his claims let him produce it.”

    • DXer said

      JE says he used a lyophilizer.

    • Ike Solem said

      Bull, DXer. Didn’t you read the article? It was quite impossible for Dr. Ivins or anyone at Detrick to have produced this material.

      The only people who were making dry powdered anthrax of that grade were those involved with the biological threat assessment program, which was run by the Pentagon’s DIA and the CIA, with the aid of private contractor Battelle Memorial Institute.

      Of course none of the senior scientists at USAMRIID believe the FBI claims… and the FBI has gone silent on this. I’ve called the Oak Ridge FBI office about four times now, seeking comments from Richard Lambert on his role as the head of the FBI investigation – all I get is the runaround from his underlings. They apparently asked Washington’s FBI office what to say to me – and the Washington office refused to comment, on either Hatfill or on this issue.

      It’s the biggest farce in FBI history – and clearly the Director, Robert Mueller, is calling the shots on this.

      P.S. How do you like my Steven Hatfill collage, DXer?

      http://biopreparat-mknaomi.blogspot.com/2010/04/review-of-msnbc-interview-with-dr.html

      You’ve clogged up this blog with ridiculous nonsense for long enough, DXer – why not throw in the towel and admit you’re working for the DIA as part of a PR program?

      • DXer said

        “Bull, DXer. Didn’t you read the article? It was quite impossible for Dr. Ivins or anyone at Detrick to have produced this material.”

        You are asking whether I read some newspaper article? I am reporting what the FBI anthrax expert John Ezzell said about the purity of the dried powder he made in the Special Pathogens Lab (with it gamma irradiated before being lyophilized). If you dispute him, he has given his telephone number and email for any questions. (By purity, he is not referring to the other characteristics that the Daschle/Leahy product). Dr. Ezzell, according to what Meryl has relayed, now reports that he agrees that Dr. Ivins could not have made the Daschle/ Leahy product. In your response, you may be confusing purity with a self-dispersing nature. He noted the difference in other characteristics and was only referring to purity and color. His was fluffy and white.

        Ike writes:

        “The only people who were making dry powdered anthrax of that grade were those involved with the biological threat assessment program, which was run by the Pentagon’s DIA and the CIA, with the aid of private contractor Battelle Memorial Institute.”

        The biological threat assessment program used a dairy processor in Wisconsin to mix the spraydried anthrax with silica. See 2003 Science article. If you want to know whether Dr. Ezzell used antifoam or a silanizing solution in the slurry before drying, you would have to ask him. He has invited questions.

        Ike writes:

        “Of course none of the senior scientists at USAMRIID believe the FBI claims… and the FBI has gone silent on this. I’ve called the Oak Ridge FBI office about four times now, seeking comments from Richard Lambert on his role as the head of the FBI investigation – all I get is the runaround from his underlings. They apparently asked Washington’s FBI office what to say to me – and the Washington office refused to comment, on either Hatfill or on this issue.”

        It’s the biggest farce in FBI history – and clearly the Director, Robert Mueller, is calling the shots on this.”

        Ike continues:

        “P.S. How do you like my Steven Hatfill collage, DXer?”

        http://biopreparat-mknaomi.blogspot.com/2010/04/review-of-msnbc-interview-with-dr.html

        “You’ve clogged up this blog with ridiculous nonsense for long enough, DXer – why not throw in the towel and admit you’re working for the DIA as part of a PR program?”

        Ike, you may pass up the opportunity to find out whether the FBI anthrax expert used an antifoam, or silanizing solution in the slurry, or some other processing trick that led to a Silicon Signature, but I hope journalists won’t given Dr. JE has invited inquiry. This is a key opportunity to advance understanding as to what might have resulted in the Silicon Signature.

        Ike, you may have heard Dr. Heine’s interview on WFMD. I recommend it to you. I asked JE about an antifoam and he merely referred to the earlier experiments (and I took that by implication that he did not use antifoam but may be mistaken). And he did not respond when I asked whether he used a silanizing solution in the slurry before drying.

        But a preliminary question would be whether the dried powder he gave to DARPA showed a silicon signature when analyzed by the JH-APL researchers.

        • DXer said

          The consultants for Battelle in biological threat assessment came to be funded by DARPA. Upon receiving a $3 million grant in 2000, the subcontractor was Southern Research Institute. When did SRI first receive virulent Ames?

        • Anonymous said

          http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2009/08/dubious-studyfrederick-news-post.html?showComment=1253990282511#c8409707967092524120

          Dr. Ezzell explained on Meryl Nass’ blog:

          “The anthrax spores that my lab prepared for DARPA were dead spores. At no time have I ever prepared live virulent dried apores. Secondly.. the spores I prepared were snow white, ultra pure and were light and “fluffy” where as the spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters were tan, not ultra pure and were different in their physical characteristics. The spores prepared for DARPA were prepared inaccordance with all regulations and were to used to test mass spectrometer detectors for biological threat agents. Neither I nor DARPA did anything wrong or illegal in this matter.”

      • DXer said

        Ike Solem writes:

        “DXer – why not throw in the towel and admit you’re working for the DIA as part of a PR program?”

  14. DXer said

    “Colleague Says Anthrax Numbers Add Up to Unsolved Case”

    http://www.propublica.org/article/colleague-says-anthrax-numbers-add-up-to-unsolved-case

  15. Anonymous said

    Ed Lake said Fortunately, there ARE some people who are still interested in checking out opinions by looking at actual facts.

    Apparently Lake doesn’t understand the difference between opinion and fact. Lake also fails to mention that he, himself, has a long history of ignoring and distorting the actual facts, just as he has done here.

    Take for example the opinion of the Loyola researcher that only “10 to 15 liters of anthrax” [fermentation broth?] would have been required [to produce the anthrax spores in the anthrax attack letters]. Neither Lake nor the Loyola researcher provides a single fact to support this assertion.

    Anyone who does check the actual facts will find that the “10 to 15 liters” assertion flies in the face of all existing documentation of the anthrax production methods used at USARMIID. Documents produced by the FBI provide facts as to the concentration of anthrax spores produced according to the fermentation procedures used at USARMIID. The actual facts support the statement of Dr. Hein.

    There are absolutely no actual facts supporting the claim that anyone at USARMIID ever produced anthrax in concentrations allowing the production of the total quantity of anthrax spores in the anthrax attack letters by preparing only “10 to 15 liters” of fermentation broth. If Lake has actual facts supporting this assertion, please let us all see them.

    Whether a researcher at Loyola could, or could not, have made anthrax by different methods and in different concentrations as compared to the anthrax fermentation methods used at USARMIID is absolutely irrelevant without some reasonable basis to conclude that Ivins knew of, or ever used, the undefined technology in question.

    Despite Ed Lake’s confusion, there is a difference between fact and opinion. Dr. Hein’s analysis is supported by fact. Lake’s assertions are not.

    __

    • Lew Weinstein said

      Ed Lake says … I think there’s a very good chance that the NAS report will show that the media spores were probably made in no time at all. They very likely involved the simple process of opening the autoclave and taking out the accumulated growth plates that had been sitting there for weeks. That would DEFINITELY be against standard procedures.

      Ed, I don’t understand. I thought once material is placed in the autoclave, it is killed under high temperature and pressure and is no longer viable for any purpose. Nobody opens an autoclave until the material placed within it has been decontaminated. An autoclave is not someplace where growth plates are accumulated for weeks. Do you know of some different procedure at USAMRIID? What is the source for your statement?

      • Lew Weinstein said

        If what Ed describes is true, the lab procedures and controls at USAMRIID were incredibly poor, thus making it likely that anthrax could have been obtained by almost anyone there, including the janitor. How this leads to a provable case against Bruce Ivins or anyone else is a puzzlement to me.

        But Ed, can you provide links to the sources you are referencing? I think you’ll agree that without sources, it’s just gossip.

        • Lew Weinstein said

          Ed, Ed. Ed … assertions, and more assertions … no evidence … this is tiring …

          you say … The autoclave couldn’t be accessed by the janitor because the janitor couldn’t get into the BL3 lab. And the information says that the scientists themselves had to clean up their own messes. … I was once in charge of BL-3 labs, and I am well aware of the difference between what is supposed to happen and what may have actually happened. Has the FBI ever told anyone what actually happened? Have they ever disclosed even a detailed theory of what might have happened?

          you say … most large autoclaves at USAMRIID evidently had two doors, one on the “hot” side of the wall of a lab and the other on the “cold” side of the wall. You couldn’t open the door on the “cold” side until after the autoclave had sterilized everything. … most? most doesn’t cut it. And you are ignoring the pass-through from the BL-3 lab to the hall, from which materials might be transported (perhaps by the janitor?) to the autoclave. You could read about this possibility in my novel CASE CLOSED, and I also posted the paragraphs to this blog at http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/would-it-have-been-difficult-to-take-advantage-of-lax-controls-over-the-autoclave-process-to-steal-anthrax-from-ft-detrick/. I don’t know, and don’t claim to know, the exact layout of Dr. ivins’ lab or other places where RMR-1029 was stored. Has the FBI disclosed these matters in presenting a coherent theory of the case they say convinces them Ivins is the sole perpetrator?

          you say … It seems very likely that Ivins could have prepared the media letters using junk from the autoclave. It could even have been material that was rejected because it was contaminated with Bacillus subtilis. … could have? a criminal prosecution based on could have? There is no such thing as junk from the autoclave. Anything that comes out of an autoclave is totally decontaminated.

          What matters, as you say whenever it is convenient for you to do so, are the facts, not your assertions.

        • Lew Weinstein said

          Ed wrote … I gather you believe it is a distinct possibility that someone else could have used junk from the autoclave to create the media powders, but there is no possibility that Ivins could have done the same thing because that would conflict with your beliefs.

          Not at all. I don’t deny that it could have been Ivins.

          My point is that the FBI has not proven it was Ivins or anyone else, based on the information they have released. The FBI conducted the most extensive investigation in its history – tens of thousands on man hours – and they have yet to prove anything.

          This raises doubts. Did the FBI fail to solve the case, which would be frightening if true? Or, did they solve the case but for some reason are not revealing the real perpetrators, which is even more frightening? The answers to these questions are very important, which is why I support Congressman Holt’s call for a Congressional inquiry and also hope the NAS study will prove to be of value, either conclusively demonstrating that the FBI’s science makes sense or that it does not.

          The withholding of documents which should long before this have been produced under FOIA is not encouraging. Nor is the NAS failure to reveal witnesses and testimony as their study has proceeded, effectively preventing the public input they said they wanted.

          In September, it will be nine years since the anthrax attacks; we should have all the answers by now.

    • Anonymous said

      I take it that ED Lake has no facts to back up his earlier claims regarding Dr. Heine’s statements since Lake’s reply is devoid of any such facts, consisting instead of arguments and unsupported speculation.

      Consider for example Lake’s assertion that Ivins used undefined “quick and dirty” methods to produce the anthrax of the attack letters. In actual fact, the anthrax in the second set of letters was not a “quick and dirty” material by anyone’s standards. Instead it was exceptionally pure and clean.

      Once again; the actual evidence of anthrax production at USARMIID completely undercuts Lake’s claims and arguments. If Lake has any facts to support his claims let him produce it.

      __

      • Anonymous said

        Another ridiculous Ed Lake assertion. The fact is that dirty processes do make dirty products. Ed Lake demonstrates once again that nothing he says can be believed.

      • Anonymous said

        So how many weeks would it have taken Ivins to make one hundred times a trillion spores? Check your facts Ed. The anthrax attack letters contained spores in a quantity of at 10 to the 14th power. Let me help you with the math. That’s one hundred times the quantity of spores Ivins was making per week.

        Still waiting, by the way, for your facts to support any documented fermentation process that could have been used at USARMIID to produce 10 to the 14th power spores with only 10 to 15 liters of fermentation broth.

        __

        • Anonymous said

          There is obviously something wrong with the statement on page 5 of PDF file 847,423 that Ivins was making nearly a trillion spores per week. On the next page of the same document (847,423, page 6), Ivins states that he contracted with Dugway to grow approximately 10e13 total spores since it would have taken two years to produce that quantity of spores at USARMIID.

          The contract with Dugway, and the total number of spores produced by Dugway are well documented and can be readily verified.

        • Anonymous said

          Once again Ed Lake ignores well known facts that don’t fit the Lake agenda. It’s well known that the Leahy letter leaked a substantial quantity of spores when it was subjected to automated postal sorting equipment, releasing a large plume of anthrax powder. No one other than Ed Lake would claim that the quantity of spores found in the recovered Leahy letter could possibly correspond to the original quantity of spores in the letter.

          Let’s look now at Lake’s claim that .871 grams of anthrax powder corresponds to .871 billion spores.

          In fact, Appendix G of the Amerithrax Investigative Summary sets forth the precise value for the number of anthrax spores (identified as CFU) in the Leahy letter powder, as “2.1 X 10e12 CFU per gram of powder material”.

          Thus the 0.871 grams of powder remaining in the letter would have contained nearly two trillion (1.83 X 10e12) anthrax spores. Assuming conservatively that half of the original powder was leaked prior to recovery of the letter, that means the original letter likely contained nearly four trillion (3.66 X 10e12) anthrax spores.

          Since there were likely 10 letters each containing upwards of four trillion spores, and given that USARMIID contracted Dugway to grow ten trillion anthrax spores specifically because it would have required two years to grow those spores at USARMIID, it’s quite clear that Ivins could not have grown sufficient anthrax spore batches, carried out the multiple purification steps required for each spore batch, and then dried those spores within a time period even close to the time line claimed by the FBI.

          __

        • Anonymous said

          Ebright’s spoutings are irrelevant. He might as well state the density of the element erbium is 9.066 g/cm3. Yes it is. But until the 1950′s nobody could purify it – so nobody could actually obtain a gram of pure erbium.

          So Ebright’s pointless statement that a theoretical gram of pure spores contains 1X10^12 spores is just that – pointless.

          The REAL point is that Bruce Ivins plate counted the NYP powder and the Daschle powder (after making them up from dried powder) and found plate counts orders of magnitude higher than the dry powder simulants the army had lying around.

          The results were astonishing and are below.

          they clearly show even the NYP powder had a higher count then the spray dried BT powder. The spray dried BT powder count of 1X10^9 suggests that it was only composed of 0.1% spores. That’s not true, of course, it just means it didn;t disperse well in the water and the colonies counted came from tens or hundreds of clumped spores.

          In short – the performance of the Daschle material plated from a dry powder was phenomenal.

          http://foia.fbi.gov/amerithrax/847545.PDF

          Analysis of samples from REDACTED … Date analyzed – 24 October, 2001 … Date of report – 25 October, 2001

          Samples:

          1. VIII-B 21 June 95 – Dried BT powder – 0.01322g

          2. VII-B Spray drier BT – 0.01722g

          3. I-B Dried Powder – 0.00470g

          4. IX-B Spray dried BT – 0.01118g

          5. VI-B Dried powder from fermentor run – 0.00659g

          6. V-B 21 June 95 – Dried powder from spray drier – 0.00639g

          7. IV-B Bentonite feed stock – 0.00865g

          I received the REDACTED samples (in small cryotubes in a ziplock bag) from REDACTED on the afternoon of 24 October, 2001. The tubes were weighed and estimated to contain about REDACTED of material each. To each tube REDACTED of sterile water for injenction was added to the material. After thorough mixing, the material was added to a second tube. The original tube was disinfected with bleach, dried and weighed. The net weight of the granular material was then determined and listed above. Ten fold dilutions of the suspensions were plated out onto TSA, then incubated overnight. Plate counts were made and the following concentrations were determined for the material.

          Samples:

          1. VIII-B 21 June 95 – Dried BT powder … 1.1×10^9 cfu per gram

          2. VII-B Spray drier BT … 2.2×10^10 cfu per gram

          3. I-B Dried Powder … 1.0×10^7 cfu per gram

          4. IX-B Spray dried BT … 9.5×10^9 cfu per gram

          5. VI-B Dried powder from fermentor run … 1.3×10^10 cfu per gram

          6. V-B 21 June 95 – Dried powder from spray drier … 5.0×10^9 cfu per gram

          7. IV-B Bentonite feed stock – 0.00865g … no growth seen (<1.2×10^5 cfu per gram)

          Visual inspection of suspensions of the material under phase contrast microscopy demonstrated very poor preparations of spores. The preparations were all highly granular and did not easily go into suspension.
          Interpretations and conclusions:

          If these are preparations of bacterial spores they are all very poor preparations. The CFU per gram are very low. This preparation is less pure than the SPS02.88.01 preparation [NYP powder] preparation examined on October 23, 2001 which had a count of 1.3X10^11 CFU per gram. This preparation is much less pure than the SPS02.57.03 [Daschle powder] preparation examined on October 17, 2001, which had a count of 2.1×10^12 per gram.

        • DXer said

          Yes, and didn’t the SAIC memo — one version at least — in fact drop a footnote referring to a trillion spore concentration?

        • DXer said

          Anonymous,

          What is your view of Corona Plasma Discharge as possibly explaining the Daschle product?

          What is your view of sonication as possibly explaining the Daschle product?

        • Anonymous said

          The “scientist” who sent you this apparently got lost in wishful thinking and forgot to read the abstract:

          “The composition and application of a single, chemically defined medium or growth and sporulation of Bacillus subtilis is described. At 37 degrees C cells grew with a doubling time of about 40 min; cultures attained near-maximal spore formation (70 to 80% by 12 h after the end of exponential growth and produced 1 X 10(9) to 2 X 10(9) heat-resistant free spores at 24 h. Dipicolinic acid production was completed between 7 and 11 h. Cells grown in the single, chemically defined medium excreted levels of serine and neutral proteases comparable to those excreted in nutrient broth medium.”

          A 300ml flask was used, and 50ml of CDSM media was used. Thus 50ml of media yielded 10^9 spores. That means 50 liters of media would be needed to yield 1 gram (10^12 spores). In other words, with this method even 50 liters would not yield enough to fill even one envelope.

          The Dugway fermentor anthrax was capable of yielding 1 gram of Ames anthrax spores with only 5.5 liters.

          The fantasies of your anonymous “scientist” contact are off by more than a factor of one thousand. Try again.

    • Anonymous said

      I take it that ED Lake has no facts to back up his earlier claims regarding Dr. Heine’s statements since Lake’s reply is devoid of any such facts, consisting instead of arguments and unsupported speculation.

      Consider for example Lake’s assertion that Ivins used undefined “quick and dirty” methods to produce the anthrax of the attack letters. In actual fact, the anthrax in the second set of letters was not a “quick and dirty” material by anyone’s standards. Instead it was exceptionally pure and clean.

      Once again; the actual evidence of anthrax production at USARMIID completely undercuts Lake’s claims and arguments. If Lake has any facts to support his claims let him produce it.

      __

    • Anonymous said

      “It takes a Bacillus anthracis bacterium 20 minutes to grow and divide in two. That means it takes only about 14 hours for one bacterium to turn into a TRILLION bacteria.”

      Really! So b. anthracis is a bacterium that does not go through lag phase, logrythmic growth, stationary phase, is unaffected by media conditions, oxygen limitations, nutrient limitation, pH changes as the culture grows, none of this.

      It just divides like clockword every 20 minutes!

      Ed, considering some of the babble you post sometimes, you should change your last name to Brook!

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