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

Noah Schactman: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy? … LMW: the FBI’s publicly revealed evidence could not convict Ivins … the 2001 anthrax case needs to be re-opened

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 25, 2011

******

 

This case needs to be re-opened !!!

******

Noah Schactman writes in Wired (3-24-11) …

extracted from Schactman’s excellent overview titled … “Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy?”

  • The FBI unraveled the mystery, officials said, thanks in part to the microbiologists seated at a U-shaped table in the front of the room. Among them was Paul Keim, who first identified the anthrax strain used in the attacks, and genetic specialist Claire Fraser-Liggett, who led the team that sequenced the DNA of the anthrax in the letters, tracing the spores back to their genetic match: a flask of superconcentrated, ultrapure anthrax held by Ivins. Several of the researchers at the table had previously counted Ivins as a peer and even a friend. Now they were helping brand him a monster.
  • Between the officials and the scientists, it was a convincing display. It had to be. Ivins had killed himself three weeks earlier. There would be no arrest, no trial, no sentencing. Absent a courtroom and a verdict to provide a sense of finality or some measure of catharsis, all the FBI could do was present its findings and declare the case closed.
  • No one involved that day expressed any doubt about Ivins’ guilt.
  • But things are not always as clear-cut as they may seem in an FBI presentation.
  • Two years later, sitting in her office overlooking West Baltimore, Fraser-Liggett concedes she has reservations. “There are still some holes,” she says, staring out her window in discomfort.
  • Nearly 2,000 miles away in Flagstaff, Arizona, Keim has his own concerns. “I don’t know if Ivins sent the letters,” he says with a hint of both irritation and sadness.
  • Even agent Edward Montooth, who ran the FBI’s hunt for the anthrax killer, says that—while he’s still convinced Ivins was the mailer—he’s unsure of many things, from Ivins’ motivation to when he brewed up the lethal spores. “We still have a difficult time nailing down the time frame,” he says. “We don’t know when he made or dried the spores.”
  • In other words, it’s been 10 years since the deadliest biological terror attack in US history launched a manhunt that ruined one scientist’s reputation and saw a second driven to suicide, yet nagging problems remain.
  • Problems that add up to an unsettling reality …

Despite the FBI’s assurances, it’s not at all certain

that the government could have ever convicted Ivins of a crime.

******

read the entire article at … http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ff_anthrax_fbi/

******

About these ads

25 Responses to “Noah Schactman: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy? … LMW: the FBI’s publicly revealed evidence could not convict Ivins … the 2001 anthrax case needs to be re-opened”

  1. DXer said

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/tag/dr-henry-heine-interview/

    Lew summarized the points that Dr. Heine has made in a lengthy radio interview in April 2010 (all Dr. Heine’s points are still true but it is way past time to move past them based, for example, on reconstruction of a timeline in September/October 2001.

    Morning News Express Bobcast

    “Rise and shine, up and at ‘em!”Bob Miller (voted Frederick Magazine’s Radio Personality three years in a row) is at the controls each morning, but he’s hardly in control! Wake up informed with Bob on WFMD.

    http://www.wfmd.com/podcast/bobcast.xml

    – He says there are things that he can’t talk about — unless he wants the FBI to show up and take him away in handcuffs.
    (Any witness can talk about his grand jury testimony — is he referring to matters that are classified? Matters subject to a nondisclosure agreement?)

    – It was clear that they were focused on a small group of us at USAMRIID, one of which was Bruce. Of the 4 or 5 of us they were focused on, one of them was Bruce.

    – In the third segment, Dr. Heine’s says we couldn’t talk about what we were questioned on. Prior to November 1, 2007 raid on his house, several days prior, he had just returned from a cruise and talking about what a great time he had on the cruise. He was talking about these two great women on the cruise — and Henry told him “Bruce, they are FBI agents.” ”Look, we can google can figure this out.”

    – Very conspicuous surveillance. Black suburbans parked on the ridge all weekend. Things taken out of glove compartment and left. Bruce was told that Dr. Heine had turned him in (which, he explains, was not true). Dr. Ivins was thereby removed from his support structure and isolated. He was not allowed to go near him (per instruction to Ivins by Dr. Ivins’ lawyer). Faced with the FBI’s pressure and isolation (and incurring over $50,000 in legal fees), Bruce killed himself.

    – He says that under condition Delta, in the days after 9/11, not only would Dr. Ivins likely been checking on everyone’s animals, but he would have been on the internet.
    (Note: He raises the question, indirectly, why the FBI hasn’t produced evidence of how he spent his time on the internet on those nights. (Note: no records from the Apple Computer from the hot suite have been produced.)

    – He discusses how the government took things out of context of emails. Dr. H says a lot of the psychological stuff dates to the last couple of years and the tremendous pressure put on him. Dr. H says he was being questioned every couple of weeks. He somehow has an agreement with the FBI relating to confidentiality.

    – 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.

    – Dr. Heine says all the USAMRIID scientists were interviewed in mid-October 2001 and where they were on the dates of mailing. (Comment: What did Dr. Ivins say when asked within 2 weeks of the mailing? Why wasn’t his response at the time provided?)

    – Dr. Heine says that the drying equipment that would be needed was not available — and not protected — in Dr. Ivins’ workspace.

    – He says Dr. Ivins did not have the knowledge or expertise to grow up large amounts of bacteria — it would have been impossible for Bruce to do.

    – Dr. Heine says a lot of his own work with his animals was done with material from Flask 1029 and his office was in 1412.
    (Note: from the unredacted version HH took out 50 ml, 50 ml, 10 ml, 8 ml.)

    – In Building 1425, it was kept in the cold room freezer. With access to the suite, anyone could walk in and take it. (Note: this is why the FBI estimates that up to 377 had access required elimination (allowing for some duplication who had access in both 1425 and 1412) Dr. H says Dr. Hatfill would have had access in 1412 but does not think he could have made it, noting that Dr. H is a virologist.

    – Dr. Heine had some of the good stuff to grow up for antibiotic work. He says even just opening up that zip lock bag… like when you open up a talcum powder and twist the top, it was like that. They were working around the clock. His task was to identify the antibiotic that should be used — and to consider whether it was resistant to antibiotics.

    – He says the mailed anthrax was 1, 000, 000, 000, 000 per gram. (He posits an 8 rather than 7 letters; suggests the possibility of one shredded in the machinery at Brentwood explaining the contamination). He says “We still need to get 4 more powers of ten beyond what Dr. Ivins could do.” It would take a fermenter run. Problem with a fermenter run you still need to get rid of the liquid. None of these things were available at USAMRIID, he says.

    – He says lyophilizer was in non-containment area and could not have been used.

    – 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 a silicone-based 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.

    – On the government having it all rely on Flask 1029, he analogizes it to the situation of the guy at the Walmart and blaming him for a shooting in town because he had control of the bullets at one point under the counter. He says that’s all they have — and implies that is ridiculous.

    • DXer said

      Megan Eckstein had a good article in April 2010 detailing Dr. Heine’s points on the occasion of his presentation on these issues before the NAS.
      http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?storyID=104046

      Co-workerer: Ivins didn’t do it
      Originally published April 23, 2010

      By Megan Eckstein
      News-Post Staff

      It is absolutely impossible that Bruce Ivins, accused of mailing anthrax and killing five people in 2001, could have created and cleaned up anthrax spores in the timeline and manner the FBI alleges, Ivins’ former co-worker said Thursday.
      The National Academy of Sciences brought in former USAMRIID microbacteriologist Henry Heine to explain spore preparation to the panel, which is tasked with investigating the science the FBI used to accuse Ivins, also a former microbacteriologist for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

      And though Heine discussed only scientific methods and technologies before the panel, he said afterward he firmly believes Ivins did not and could not have grown and prepared the anthrax.

      Heine told the panel that the most common way of growing bacteria at USAMRIID is in flasks. Based on the number of envelopes mailed out (eight to 10), the concentration of spores in the powder (10 to the 12th power spores per gram) and the number of grams of anthrax per envelope (1 to 2 grams), he calculated there were at least 10 to the 13th power anthrax spores in the attacks. Under ideal conditions, growing anthrax in a flask could produce only 10 to the 11th power spores — one hundredth of the total needed.

      “At absolute best, if he pushed it, he could have possibly done it in a year,” Heine said of Ivins, after the meeting.

      Heine refrained from talking too much about Ivins in front of the panel, simply telling them that the anthrax in question most likely would have been grown in a 100-liter fermenter.

      Committee member Murray Johnston asked about the silicon found in the anthrax spores, which some have said is a sign the anthrax was professionally weaponized and others have said could have naturally wound up in the anthrax.

      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.

      The committee also asked Heine how the anthrax could have been dried into a powder. He replied that the FBI had asked him the same question in October 2001, and he said then and still thinks a lyophilizer would be the simplest way to dry large quantities of spores.

      But “the idea of lyophilizing this actually scares the hell out of me, this material is so fine.” It would have contaminated the whole room when the air and moisture was vacuumed out, he said.

      He said the lyophilizer at USAMRIID was not in the containment area, and if it had been used to prepare anthrax there would have been a trail of dead animals and people leading investigators to it.

      USAMRIID had a speed-vac that someone could have used, but that would dry only 30 to 40 milliliters at a time.

      Heine told the FBI the only other way he could think to dry the anthrax would be to use acetone, which would pull out the water.

      “I have no idea what that would do to the spores and whether they’d still be viable,” he said, adding there would likely be evidence that acetone was used.

      The NAS committee left after about half an hour of questioning Heine. Members already met twice to review FBI documents, and they expect a draft report to be ready by midsummer.

      After the committee left, Heine expressed frustration that he had already told the FBI everything he just presented, but that no one had listened to him. FBI agents he dealt with were professional, he said, but some officials at the Department of Justice were extremely arrogant.

      He said the whole investigation was filled with lies. Officials told different USAMRIID researchers their co-workers accused them of committing the attacks, just to see their reaction. They searched his vacation house and car without warrants.

      They misled him about the questions they would ask him in front of a grand jury. And they tried to get him to seek a restraining order against Ivins, only days before he committed suicide, by saying Ivins had threatened to kill Heine during a group therapy session.

      Heine is not the only one who does not believe Ivins was the real killer.

      “At least among my closest colleagues, nobody believes Bruce did this,” he said. He thinks the FBI went after Ivins because “personality-wise, he was the weakest link.”

      • DXer said

        Glen Greenwald and Scott Shane have also written about Dr. Heine’s presentation in April 2010 before the NAS on these issues:

        http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/23/various_matters
        (1) The New York Times’ Scott Shane reports today that Dr. Henry Heine, a former U.S. Army microbiologist, testified Thursday before a panel of the National Academy of Sciences examining the FBI’s scientific claims in the anthrax case, and said “it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. [Bruce] Ivins’s laboratory”; that “[a]t the Army’s biodefense laboratory in Maryland, . . . among the senior scientists, no one believes it';” and when “[a]sked 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, [he] replied, ‘Absolutely not’.” Ivins’ hometown newspaper, the Frederick News Post, has long provided excellent and skeptical coverage of the FBI’s case, and provides more details about Heine’s testimony.

        Shane details the reasons for Heine’s emphatic doubts and calls his testimony “a major public challenge to [the Government's] conclusion in one of the largest, most politically delicate and scientifically complex cases in F.B.I. history.” It is that, but Heine’s extreme skepticism is hardly unusual. As I documented on Wednesday, equally serious doubts about the case against Ivins are found among countless leading scientists, bioweapons experts, establishment media outlets and political officials in both parties. The NAS panel is “review[ing] the bureau’s scientific work on the case, though not its conclusion on the perpetrator’s identity.” There has been, and apparently will be, no real investigation of the FBI’s case against Ivins because President Obama has threatened to veto any such investigation on the ground it “would undermine public confidence” in the FBI’s case. In a rational world, with a President committed to transparency and accountability, that would be a reason to have an investigation, not a reason to obstruct one.

      • DXer said

        Dr. Heine deserves a lot of credit for speaking so widely on these issues. The easier course would have been to leave the issue buried with Dr. Ivins.

        Here he addresses the NAS conclusions after it was issued.

        http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2011/02/18/27664/

        Anthrax mailings reviewed

        By Hannah Martins
        Senior Writer

        Published: Friday, February 18th, 2011

        Henry Heine, one of Ivins’ former colleagues, had a similar reaction to the NAS review….

        “Many of the questions that we raised even before Dr. Ivins’ death, I think, the NAS report pointed out very clearly,” said Heine.

        Holt has reintroduced a bill he first drafted in 2008 that would establish a “high level” bipartisan congressional commission, similar to the 9/11 Commission, that would investigate the federal government’s response to the 2001 mailings.

        “It would help American families know that the government is prepared to protect them and their children from future bioterrorism attacks,” Holt said.

        The FBI’s report offers an explanation for why Ivins reportedly drove over three hours to mail the infected letters from Princeton.

        It noted that his father graduated from the University and that he was obsessed with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, having visited Kappa chapter houses at other schools.

        Kappa leadership at the University declined to comment for this article.

        The Academy panel that conducted the review had access to 9,600 pages of FBI documents to produce their 170-page report. While the report questions the FBI’s proceedings, it does not contain a definitive judgment on the question of Ivins’ guilt.

        “I do believe that whoever did this is still out there on the loose,” said Heine. “As much as it’s been a pain for my life, I hope that the FBI reopens the investigation.”

        • DXer said

          Gary Matsumoto similarly wrote up a full account of Dr. Henry Heine’s presentation on these issues to the NAS in April 2010.

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

          Colleague Says Anthrax Numbers Add Up to Unsolved Case

          by Gary Matsumoto, Special to ProPublica April 23, 2010, 12:45 p.m.

          A microbiologist who supervised the work of accused anthrax killer Bruce E. Ivins explained to a National Academy of Sciences panel Thursday why the arithmetic of growing anthrax didn’t add up to Ivins’ mailing deadly spores in fall 2001.
          “Impossible,” said Dr. Henry S. Heine of a scenario in which Ivins, another civilian microbiologist working for the Army, allegedly prepared the anthrax spores at an Army lab at Fort Detrick. Heine told the 16-member panel that Ivins would have had to grow as many as 10 trillion spores, an astronomical amount that couldn’t have gone unnoticed by his colleagues.

          According to FBI calculations, Ivins accomplished this working after-hours in a special suite for handling lethal agents designated B3, for Biohazard Level 3. A bar chart released by the bureau [1] (PDF) when it closed its nearly 9-year-old Amerithrax case in February showed that in August and September 2001, the months immediately before the first anthrax letters were mailed, Ivins logged 34 more hours in the B3 suite than his combined total for the previous seven months.

          “That’s more than 8,000 hours (close to a year) short of what he would have needed to grow the anthrax,” Heine told ProPublica in an interview after his NAS presentation.

          Bruce Ivins’ Erlenmeyer flask of liquid anthrax culture, designated RMR 1029. Dr. Heine says it would’ve taken a flask filled to brimming to come close to producing all the spores mailed in 2001.

          Heine, one of the few scientists at the Army lab with the skills to grow large batches of anthrax, told ProPublica it would have taken around “100 liters of liquid anthrax culture,” or more than 26 gallons, to grow all the dried spores that killed five Americans and infected 17 others.

          “He couldn’t have done that without us knowing it,” said Heine.

          Other biodefense scientists who didn’t work with Ivins have done the same calculations and reached the same conclusion as Heine.

          The FBI declined to comment on this latest challenge to its decision to end one of the most expensive manhunts [2] in the bureau’s 102-year history. In closing the case, the agency said Ivins alone was responsible for the anthrax letters. Ivins committed suicide in 2008.

          Many of Ivins’ colleagues and some federal lawmakers protested that the FBI was premature in closing the books on Ivins before the academy had completed its review of the science undergirding the bureau’s case. “To this day, it is still far from clear that Mr. Ivins had either the know-how or access to the equipment needed to produce the material,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., in written remarks published in March [3].

          The day Heine and his Fort Detrick colleagues learned of Ivins’ suicide in July 2008, Heine said they conferred and feared the F.B.I. would then blame the attacks on someone who could no longer speak in his own defense. “And the very next day, the bureau named Bruce the mailer,” Heine recalled.

          Because of an FBI gag order, Heine said he was unable to discuss these details until he left his job at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, at Fort Detrick, where Ivins also worked developing anthrax vaccines. Heine left in February and is now senior scientist at the Ordway Research Institute, Inc. Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infections in Albany, N.Y.

          Heine said his expertise in growing anthrax made him a suspect like Ivins. He said FBI agents gave him a polygraph exam and took statements from him several times between 2001 and 2003. The FBI was never far away, he said. A former scoutmaster, Heine said that on campouts his Boy Scout troop used to keep a “black Suburban watch,” looking for the vehicles driven by the agents keeping Heine under surveillance.

          “The FBI went after our weakest link,” Heine said, referring to Ivins and other scientists at Fort Detrick, in Maryland. He called Ivins “fragile” and especially vulnerable to bureau attempts to extract a confession from him.

          “If Bruce did it, we would’ve turned him in for a million dollars in a heartbeat,” said Heine, referring to the government reward for information leading to the capture of the anthrax mailer. “Seriously, though, reward or no reward, we would’ve stopped him because that would’ve been the right thing to do.”

          The FBI linked Ivins to the crime, in part, because of a genetic match between the anthrax spores kept by Ivins and those in the letters. Documents released by the bureau said that samples of the same anthrax strain were shipped by Ivins to at least four different U.S. laboratories before the attacks.

          That doesn’t exonerate Ivins, Heine conceded, but he said Ivins’ guilt is also far from certain. The spores in the anthrax letters were in a dry powder form that spread easily.

          “When you dry spores, they fly everywhere and you can’t see ‘em,” said Heine. “Had Bruce made it during all those late nights in the hot suite, we would’ve been his first victims.”

  2. DXer said

    Dr. Fraser-Liggett has been waxing eloquent on the limits of the genetic inquiry for a long time — as illustrated by a 2006 PBS interview.

    NOVA | Anthrax Investigation

    CLAIRE FRASER-LIGGETT: I don’t think the science will ever be able to say who the perpetrator was. …
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/anthrax-investigation.html

    Scientific impossibility: Did FBI get their man in Bruce Ivins?

    http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com/local/crime/Scientific_impossibility.html

    Scientific impossibility: Did FBI get their man in Bruce Ivins?
    By Deborah Rudacille
    Examiner Correspondent 11/16/08

    ***

    Claire Fraser-Liggett, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences, asked, “What would have happened in this investigation had Dr. Hatfill not been so forceful in his response to being named a person of interest. What if he, instead of fighting back, had committed suicide because of the pressure? Would that have been the end of the investigation?”

    The smoking flask

    Fraser-Liggett’s genetic analysis of the anthrax spores in the letters led to a flask of hybrid anthrax bacillus (known as RMR-1029) created and managed by Ivins at Fort Detrick — a preparation the Justice Department says is the murder weapon.

    “The key breakthrough was the science that then focused their attention laserlike onto that flask and the person who had control of that flask and the person who made the spores in that flask,” U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor claimed in laying out the evidence against Ivins on Aug. 6, 2008.

    The DNA evidence linking the dry anthrax spores in the contaminated letters to the “wet” anthrax spores in the flask of RMR-1029 is not in dispute. “The part that seems still hotly debated is whether there was sufficient evidence to name Dr. Ivins as the perpetrator,” Fraser-Liggett says.

    Ivins kept the one-liter flask of RMR-1029, but some 300 people within the Institute also had access to the flask, according to those familiar with operations there. Before 1999, the preparation was stored in a separate containment area, about 100 yards from the main building. At that time, “access was more vague, because the flask wasn’t under Ivins’ direct custodial control,” Andrews says.

    Ivins also shared samples of RMR-1029 with researchers at other facilities.

    “Another lab might take a couple of milliliters of that spore preparation and create a daughter preparation,” Andrews says. “How many [samples] Ivins gave out I have no idea, but he did it through official channels, and there is a chain of custody records that indicates which labs got RMR-1029 and how much of the material they got.”

    It was those “daughter preps” that ultimately led Fraser-Liggett to Ivins’ flask. Her team at the Institute for Genomic Research began DNA sequencing of the spores in the four anthrax-loaded letters recovered after the 2001 attacks. The team spent two years analyzing 20 different samples of B. anthracis to create a group of tests capable of genetically fingering the distinctive variety of anthrax found in the letters.

    They screened nearly 1,000 samples of B. anthracis collected from labs around the world. “The results identified only eight samples that contained all four of the genetic mutations,” she says. “Each of those could be traced back to this one flask at USARMRIID-RMR-1029.”

    “I have complete confidence in the accuracy of our data,” Fraser-Liggett says, but she concedes it fails to prove Ivins is guilty.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett was filmed at length on these issues in September 2008. Scott Shane, who has deep experience covering Amerithrax dating back years, was on the panel. Perhaps someone has the URL for the footage.

      Frederick News-Post
      Science behind the anthrax case
      Originally published September 11, 2008
      By Nicholas C. Stern
      News-Post Staff

      BALTIMORE — A researcher who helped the FBI sequence the genome for the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks that left five dead and 17 injured said more scientific details will be released and submitted for publication within the next two months.

      Claire Fraser-Liggett, who was speaking Wednesday at a University of Maryland Law School forum on the attacks, also said the work she performed while helping the FBI was based on sound scientific techniques.

      ***

      “I think that this is where the FBI is really hanging its hat on the validity of the science,” she said.

      • DXer said

        Here is the transcript of the June 30, 2009 PBS interview in which Dr. Fraser-Liggett and Dr. Keim addressed these issues:

        http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:qYxOiwO4hMUJ:www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/0401_sciencen.html+PAUL+KEIM:+And+what+we+found,+of+course,+was+that+this+strain,+this+type+….+Its+keeper:+a+senior+biodefense+researcher+named+Bruce+Ivins.&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

        PETER STANDRING: The reason? Ivins committed suicide after he became the prime suspect in the case. But others doubt Ivins could have made the anthrax used in the attacks.

        ALAN ZELICOFF: It’s not easy to do openly, particularly in a place like USAMRIID, where there are many people around and where, I think, there’s a very strict protocol associated with working with any dangerous pathogen.

        PETER STANDRING: Moreover, not a single spore was ever recovered from Ivins’s property.

        CLAIRE FRASER-LIGGETT: I don’t think the science will ever be able to say who the perpetrator was. The best the science would ever be able to do would be to lead investigators back to a potential source.

        • Lew Weinstein said

          Re PROTOCOLS … ALAN ZELICOFF: It’s not easy to do openly, particularly in a place like USAMRIID, where there are many people around and where, I think, there’s a very strict protocol associated with working with any dangerous pathogen.

          Lew asks … Has anyone ever requested the USAMRIID protocols for working with pathogens, using the BL3 lab, maintaining pathogen inventory records, receipt and disposal of pathogenic materials, autoclaving, etc., as well as the specific protocol for each of Dr. Ivins’ anthrax research experiments? In any well run lab, such written protocols should all exist and will explain the procedures that should have been followed, as well as who at USAMRIID was responsible for assuring the procedures were actually being followed.

        • DXer said

          Here is a URL for a description of the conference in September 2008 in which Dr. Fraser-Liggett eloquently addressed these issues but I haven’t yet rediscovered the URL for the television footage.

          http://www.law.umaryland.edu/faculty/inthenews_archive.html?year=2008&pg=26
          Friday, September 12, 2008
          Professor Michael Greenberger

          The (Baltimore) Examiner – The Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) invited experts to discuss the ongoing anthrax investigation and case against Dr. Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist who committed suicide after he became the FBI’s prime suspect. Scott Shane, a reporter who has covered this story extensively for The New York Times, and Claire Fraser-Liggett, PhD, a professor at the School of Medicine whose research helped pinpoint the origin of the anthrax used in the attacks, spoke to an audience of more than 100 students and faculty at the School of Law. “None of the science we used in this was new,” Fraser-Liggett said. “It was applied in a new way and I think we moved the field of microbial forensics forward in a way that we had never expected.” The forum was moderated by Michael Greenberger, JD, a professor at the School of Law and director of CHHS.

        • DXer said

          I recommend you request a copy of the log from the FOIAXpress, a software database to input and track FOIA cases from Open to Close. Then you will see any FOIA requests of interest to date. A couple days ago what was posted related only to Dr. Ivins as such.

        • DXer said

          I’ve made a request to their ever-efficient USMRC FOIA officer, with a copy to you, for a copy of the “FOIAXpress log from 1999 to the present.”

          That way we might see the requests already submitted and perhaps get in touch with researchers with documents that may bear on the issues presented.

  3. Zicon said

    Another short comment is this…

    Based on emails, timelines of everything related to Ivins that makes it very unlikely that he did all this, is looking on the asumptions of the anthrax that was in the envelopes were already filled or pre-signed or even signed post mailing to another location and sealed with the powder inside, and could conclude the following that the orig. tainted letters were completely sealed up and mailed seperately to outside accomplises to or very near the mailbox mailed locations and someone else knew to take precautions and mailed the letters to the locations that they showed up at.. In my opinion this is more than one persons work and for that matter, I’m betting 3-4 total involved all with the same values and views on certain subjects or religious views.

  4. Zicon said

    Has anyone looked into if the FBI/DOJ used and abused Ivins rights via the Patriot Act that deals on a classified level for federal agents to basically write their own search warrant’s in this case to do as they please with no substantial evidence to prove anything that wouldn’t convict not even the most dumbest criminal????
    Based on the past decade..

    How many times were his “Civil Rights” violated or how many times was he ever subjected to harassment? Without having legal aid present? (Eg. taunted outside of work at the time that no one else but him or close family would only notice…)
    As hard as it may be for the remaining family members. Has anyone here that has questions that would be of a private nature that could publicly prove Bruce is indeed innocent been asked directly to those who have the legal right to answer certain medical or private/family questions outside of the FBI/DOJ and get a first person unbiased pov of what the FBI will not go into?….. IT wouldn’t matter if it were anyone that post here on regular basis that is 100% seperate from the us gov. Get first hand information, knowledge instead of the assumptions of the FBI of only partial information.
    Ask EVERYONE who has first hand knowledge of everything dealing with Ivins, and compile the actual data, Don’t even take what he does in his personal life and try to intergrate it into painting a picture that a (non DOJ artist painted) from the DOJ/FBI for political whitehouse pressure.. His private life is still private..
    Aside from “Being able to Prove actual guilt” through private life away from work?… Which has not been done yet..
    Any actual evidence that can “specificaly” prove guilt.. I have seen nothing from any reports or knowledge that can do so…
    Even now….. “anyone” could still walk right out of a secure facility or into any place that can go UNDETECTED with deadly liquid/gel and with the right materials/equipment. Given any small amount of any alone time with the many of over a 100 deadly agents/toxins.. Or through the illegal or overseas means of getting hands onto a substance that can go anywhere in the world un-noticed.. Acutally would like to even test this theory in a legal controled setting with a safe substances that mimics what the sniffers would pick up in lets say in a secure lab, airport, some federal buildings to test this unknown theory that I’m willing to be No one has even thought about nor even ever brought up to test.

    And in light of giving everyone a polograph and asking everyone questions within legal means, My theory can point the finger to anyone and not directly to Ivins..

    So question is.. How many people have medical Implants that have any access to bio-agents of any kind?

    How many of those people have ever been out of the country?

    Out of all those who have been out of the country, have those people all the way back to the early 1980’s ever checked via a legit doctor checkup for implants?

    That can 100% securely hold a deadly liquid inside the body, and transfer it out of the body at a later date and still have no cross contanimation or would infect the person who is doing this aside from beng a maryter for what ever cause that person strongly believes in.

    Which brings me to my next point. How many MP’s or hired out rent-a-cops who work for next to nothing that even have the slightest clue as to what some things even are?, that is of scientific nature when things go in and out of a supposedly secure facility?.. That aren’t just muscle or specifically trained to know and recognize any item’s that are on one’s self that has to do mainly in the US, since laws here don’t always mesh with laws in other countries.
    And how many people have “Any” type of dealings with deadly agents?
    (From birth to reproduction to buy,sell,use,mail,send,recieve,accept,reject, open secretly during shipment take a sample then add a filler, to send a package on it’s way, or even have your package tampered with with out anyone ever knowing his was tampered with, even if it’s of a legal consent someone must notify the destination that the package was tampered with by a gov. official or even someone else tampering with a package just to set someone up.. it’s all possiable, and is it a gov sanctioned or Fed. lic. lab or everything is blacked out which mostly sticks to CIA use of OS ops that the public here in the us usually goes without hearing about or finding out what is really going on 8,0000 miles away.

    How many people aside from Bruce did the FBI offer up huge sums of money to?…., To “try” and gain information to pressure anyone in giving up any withheld information that was only assumed by the FBI since this was what appeared a drunk fishing expadition for anything aside from setting things up to sway or get an answer that would rule in the DOJ’s favor.. They’re certainly not going to do anything that will take the ball out of their court after so many years of nothing.. Or many other material things?
    Next on the email logs that with someone of his tenure would have a daily entry of everything from work to personal things..
    From a work pov during the times that Ivins was accused of making anthrax, I would do the following if it were me….
    A.) Since Ivins was employeed by USAMRIID DOD/Scientist/Civilian/Researcher, Then his boss eg. commander should know what is being done on a daily basis and be able to account for what work was done or not done without some type of supervision/other employeees who worked in the small concrete building
    B.) There are other people who all worked in the same area. They would all have to be aware of what is being used, studied, tested, being used in the different types of science/medical equipment for safety reasons and logging daily logs.
    C.) You get everyone and every single piece of information and get a presidential order to compell all government agencies to hand over all pertient information related to this case classified or not.. Go through piece by piece and answer every question that is either unanswered or not proven
    Also if there is “ANYONE” that has any knowledge of any wrong doing or can legally prove Ivins is guilty or Innocent by actual facts and proof, not circumstancial BS.. Is your job worth knowing that either an Innocent man was framed or he is guilty by sending out some type of information so that it becomes public knowledge…
    If the person is still out threre that did this crime, and you know full well Ivins is Innocent,, Hell send me an encrypted letter/comment if you dare!!!, or let your presense be known via through the media or even through the NAS/GAO/ anyone that can give specific details on anything that happended 1990’s-2000’s.. That only the mailer would know. I find this person who did this probably some mommas boy who still sucks their thumb and only knows elementary bio-medical/science

    As for Obama based on the LAWS she signed that even after a trial that even if a jury could prove or rules you are NOT GUILTY via through all the legal channels, Obama can still keep you locked up for the rest of your natural life just because he wants to without having to explain anything to you or the public….

    How is that supposed to guarntee all people an equal & fair trial????

    Even for the Innocent ones that do have to deal with injustice.. We are the only government that even does this in the entire world.. What happens when it is you and your life is getting ripped to shreds for something you didn’t do, and to know that even if you are innocent you can still go to jail for a crime you didn’t commit just because of a law that Obama passed that is supposed to do what good in the long run for anyone that is equal, fair and impartial.. It seems to me that our own cabinet in the white house is getting out of hand, and It’s time to clean house of everyone with NO COMMON SENSE!!!
    So would Ivins have got a fair and impartial trial? Based on all the rule breaking and Laws that only benifit the government that can be compiled from past to present occurences, that seems to me that things are being modeled after what we supposedly fought for in the Invasion of Normandy & France against the Germans only a few decades ago to fight against what we the people are letting happen to us right under our own noses, and what is being done about it?
    If not for Ivins… Anyone can do or say something that shows/speaks TRUTH without any lies/beating “the Bush.”

    It just might be you one day….

    Also if anyone that has access of any kind of deadly agents, then do we need new laws that basically says the employeer has full access to strip you of all most all of your rights who work with deadly agents for security measures only…. None of your personal info will ever become public info for anyone else to see only to use on a Federal… BUT!!!!!!!! If those who have these deadly agents on hand or access at anytime… IF the right “SECURITY” measures are in place and all protocols are followed, then there is absolutley no reason to have such a law that I just hypothetically described…

    In turn if the centrifuged powder came from a united states federal/Ghost facility….. Then it is the fault of the us government for not having higher standards of security measures in place to keep things like this from happening, therefore should fall on those responsible (Eg. commander, president owner, ceo or what ever should have some type of repercussions for failure to do their jobs correctly, from getting fired, or impeached for loss of innocent lives

    Do (we the people) need our own law that will stand up to the Patriot Act that won’t allow the us gov. to do anything that they please?…. And as long as the Patriot Act is going to be used that Obama himself has used more than once while in office, then that person should have the right to have a formal hearing to fight/defend themselves or from being kept quiet or kept in “GITMO”/any other prision without going through a fair trial for crimes that may or maynot have been commited on espically this scale… Seems only fair and impartial to me, as I’m sure the Ivins family and Bruce himself would probably agree if he were still alive today…

    • DXer said

      Zicon writes:

      “Has anyone looked into if the FBI/DOJ used and abused Ivins rights via the Patriot Act that deals on a classified level for federal agents to basically write their own search warrant’s in this case to do as they please with no substantial evidence to prove anything that wouldn’t convict not even the most dumbest criminal????”

      Reply:

      The affidavits are online and have been deemed by an experienced federal district court judge to establish “probable cause” for search.

      Zicon writes:

      “How many times were his “Civil Rights” violated or how many times was he ever subjected to harassment?”

      Reply:

      Dr. Ivins’ attorney says that the investigators at all times acted professionally. Attorney Kemp reports that at one point there was a single instance of deception by the prosecutors but that AUSA Lieber actually called him in July and expressed concern that Dr. Ivins was suicidal. Dr. Ivins attorney attributed the leaks in August 2008 to postal inspector(s) rather than FBI but his “civil rights” (actionable under Section 1983) likely end upon his death.

      Zicon writes:

      “Without having legal aid present? (Eg. taunted outside of work at the time that no one else but him or close family would only notice…)”

      Reply:

      There was an instance where counsel was not present when he should have been, I think. But what he said related to documentary evidence which is the best guide in any event. See April 2002 submissions. I think the DOJ’s position on who submitted the samples is not supported by the documentary evidence (and Dr. Ivins had explained that they were submitted by his assistant for years… when it would have been something he would have been able to remember).

      On a different issue, the psychiatrists note that he was mistaken that the two who moved in next to him and then moved out abruptly were FBI agents. I don’t believe the psychiatrists address the pair of women who were on the cruise which Dr. Heine reports google could establish were FBI agents. See Dr. Ivins’ emails. But undercover operations do not constitute a violation of civil rights in the ordinary matter. The psychiatrists specifically say that the story about the confrontation in the mall are untrue and fabricated by Dr. Ivins. The son and daughter have not addressed the issue and so it appears that the psychiatrists account on the neighbors presently remains unrebutted and Dr. Ivins’ account remains uncorroborated. Neighbors, however, have reported that surveillance in the neighborhood was conspicuous and media articles have described how conspicuous surveillance was used to try to rattle Dr. Hatfill. There was a similar instance where the same accusatory statements were made to Dr. Hatfill’s girlfriend (to her great upset). Being interviewed 45 times by FBI special agents is bound to make anyone wary. The FBI consulting psychiatrist and longtime partner of Quantico was more deceptive in presenting himself as independent than Dr. Ivins was misleading in describing himself as under huge pressure from the FBI.

      But we need to appreciate that the FBI agents are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. The country would blame them if there was a second attack by someone they deemed to have means, motive, modus operandi and opportunity.

      Zicon writes:

      “As hard as it may be for the remaining family members. Has anyone here that has questions that would be of a private nature that could publicly prove Bruce is indeed innocent been asked directly to those who have the legal right to answer certain medical or private/family questions outside of the FBI/DOJ and get a first person unbiased pov of what the FBI will not go into?”

      Reply:

      David Willman has interviewed Dr. Ivins’ brother, explaining that he wanted to provide an empathetic portrait. Dr. Ivins’ brother had been told by the government that Dr. Ivins anthrax was under “lock and key” — and so I don’t think the family is very focused on the details of the true crime analysis. Hopefully, Mr. Willman will have also been able to interview Dr. Ivins’ wife and the daughter and son. I expect Bruce’s brother recommended to the daughter that she speak to him, as he did me. (Hopefully, Mr. Willman succeeded in having a response from Mrs. Ivins and the daughter). His book is due out in July 2011 and hopefully will include much new information based on interviews and documents.

      Zicon writes:

      “.. IT wouldn’t matter if it were anyone that post here on regular basis that is 100% seperate from the us gov. Get first hand information, knowledge instead of the assumptions of the FBI of only partial information.”

      Reply:

      Dr. Ivins’ brother, for example, the retired pharmacist, told me that women on the cruise were very nice. One was pregnant. He explained that Bruce and he were not “hitting” on them — being much older.

      Dr. Ivins’ daughter has a very moving tribute to her father on her Myspace page with very moving music — wishing him peace and expressing her deep love and respect for him.

      I also interviewed his other brother — who had not seen him for 25 years and was glad that Bruce was dead. It was very dramatic that a major network led off with quotes by him in August 2008 in creating the impression that Dr. Ivins was guilty. The other brother has not had the advantages of education of his two other brothers and thought that his mother coddled Bruce. He emphasized that he played football and Bruce ran cross-country, showing that he was a real man and that Bruce was a wimp. I don’t think it was sound for either the prosecutors or media to rely on the brother who had not seen Bruce for 25 years and was such an integral part to Dr. Ivins troubled childhood (and possibly a contributing reason for Dr. Ivins’ lifelong depression and insecurities).

      Zicon writes:

      “Ask EVERYONE who has first hand knowledge of everything dealing with Ivins, and compile the actual data,”

      Reply:

      I have posted the quotes by dozens of people who had first knowledge of him — with none of them thinking he is guilty except for the brother who had not seen him for 25 years and was glad he was dead. (When I spoke to him the estranged brother, he no longer stood by his August 2008 comments and just wanted to “forget it.”) The most helpful in terms of substantive information have been the several former Chiefs of Bacteriology who knew Bruce personally. Even the FBI’s lead anthrax expert, Dr. Ezzell, was keeping an open mind as to Dr. Ivins’ guilt (see film from November 29, 2010 conference). Dr. Ezzell had hired Bruce and knew him well.

      Zicon writes:

      “Don’t even take what he does in his personal life and try to intergrate it into painting a picture that a (non DOJ artist painted) from the DOJ/FBI for political whitehouse pressure.. His private life is still private..”

      Reply:

      The DOJ could make anyone seem a horse’s patoot given the access afforded by surveillance. That’s why it is important to not piss them off and to always pay your library overdue fines promptly and to take a lot of zoo pictures of cuddly animals. You should always say “The FBI is damned if they do and damned if they don’t…” rather than “It looks like the Ice Princess is playing a game of hide-the-ball to cover her ass for driving an innocent man to suicide by testing the semen on this panties for DNA and telling him they were going to call his family to testify and confirm he was unhappy.”

      I don’t even blame the AUSAs. Although I don’t have corroboration (and may be mistaken), it is my undestanding that a female AUSA nicknamed “The Ice Princess” was forbidden to contact Al-Timimi in jail because a deal had been cut and the female was reprimanded when she did. Anwar (who was coordinating with al-Timimi) and Dr. Ayman are making existential threats against the United States. And so I wish the Department of Justice all good things in keeping our country safe. I hope they are right in their analysis (whatever it is when the smoke clears and the DOJ complies with FOIA and supplements it production). But as someone accustomed to withholding of documents, I would share my insight that when lawyers withhold documents, it is because they don’t want you to see them. The apparent absence of FOIAs for the pertinent documents by reporters — as measured by reporting to date — is hugely disappointing.

      Zicon writes:

      “Aside from “Being able to Prove actual guilt” through private life away from work?… Which has not been done yet..
      Any actual evidence that can “specificaly” prove guilt.. I have seen nothing from any reports or knowledge that can do so…”

      Reply:

      I find it amazing that they have not produced his lab notebook pages and that the AUSA specificially refused my request that DOJ do so. I think there may be an investigative purpose. I don’t think they actually believe he grew the anthrax on the nights he worked late — I think that instead they think that the anthrax made by his assistants (for which they can’t account) was used. As I understand it, there is no contemporaneous documentation on what seed stock was used (and just the assertion that it was frozen stock that did not have the 4 morphs. (Why would they use the frozen stock rather than RMR 1029 itself if the purpose in making it was to be added to RMR 1029). I think it may have been registered as #7736 in Building 1412.

      But given the assistants Pat and Mara would have absolutely zero motive to commit the crime, the question turns to whether the guy who liked to see pretty co-eds blindfolded was guilty? Or whether someone else with actual motive used the anthrax.

      Zicon writes:

      “Even now….. “anyone” could still walk right out of a secure facility or into any place that can go UNDETECTED with deadly liquid/gel and with the right materials/equipment. Given any small amount of any alone time with the many of over a 100 deadly agents/toxins.. Or through the illegal or overseas means of getting hands onto a substance that can go anywhere in the world un-noticed.. Acutally would like to even test this theory in a legal controled setting with a safe substances that mimics what the sniffers would pick up in lets say in a secure lab, airport, some federal buildings to test this unknown theory that I’m willing to be No one has even thought about nor even ever brought up to test.”

      Reply:

      William Patrick would regularly note that he would take his vials of surrogate through airports without anyone asking what it was. No further test is needed as to the state of affairs in 2001. Post-2011 there may be greater sensitivity as illustrated by the Cornell researcher who was attempting to take oozing samples in backpack back to his home country without authorization.

      Zicon writes:

      “Which brings me to my next point. How many MP’s or hired out rent-a-cops who work for next to nothing that even have the slightest clue as to what some things even are?, that is of scientific nature when things go in and out of a supposedly secure facility?”

      Reply:

      All those who have addressed the question have said one could just walk out with the pathogen.

      Zicon writes:

      “How many people aside from Bruce did the FBI offer up huge sums of money to?”

      The FBI offered everyone $2.5 million. That has remained the incentive to spin Bruce guilty — Christmas cards immediately become evidence of guilt. But offer of such rewards serve to obtain needed information — and are a good thing so long as the evidence being provided is scrutinized for probative value and corroborated through independent means. The psychiatrists claim that the FBI received only one tip in response to the email to the ASM in early 2002 seems not to be realistic (to those of us who have followed the matter for 10 years). The one scientist, NH, who the psychiatrists say did respond had had her work described as “ridiculed for years as cold fusion” in the Washington Post two days before being contacted by Dr. Ivins. She may have thought Bruce was the journalist’s source, and may have been furious at him. That may explain why she immediately suspected him when he sent her a Christmas card. It’s not that her reaction would have been inappropriately vindictive — just totally human.

      Zicon writes:

      “Then his boss eg. commander should know what is being done on a daily basis and be able to account for what work was done or not done without some type of supervision/other employeees who worked in the small concrete building”

      Reply:

      The autoclave log book would be the type of documents that could be critical.

      Scientists submit time at the end of the month. (Goldbelt Raven came to take the timesheets and manage many scientists; they simultaneously through a different subsidiary recruited folks from the mideast to train the US military pre-deployment).
      Certainly it would seem that through triangulation of emails from all the different people it seems that they would be able to develop a pretty solid record of general events. We’ve only seen Dr. Ivins’ many hundreds of 2001 emails (and 1999-2008) They were online at the time of the psychiatrists’ study and include emails sent to people outside USAMRIID — such as a friend from high school. The psychiatrists’ claim that Dr. Ivins destroyed the emails (and they could only be reconstructed because some of his colleagues kept their copy) is not supported by the record. In fact, for example, the high school friend, to take a single example, did not keep his emails and so that email necessarily came from the USAMRIID system. And so we have a situation where the psychiatrists issued their opinion apparently without a key source of documentation on how Dr. Ivins spent his time and without the benefit of many thousands of words that he typed. See, e.g., 10/5 email reporting the 12 dead rabbits that followed after the 10/2 subcutaneous challenge.

      Zicon writes:

      “B.) There are other people who all worked in the same area. They would all have to be aware of what is being used, studied, tested, being used in the different types of science/medical equipment for safety reasons and logging daily logs.
      C.) You get everyone and every single piece of information and get a presidential order to compell all government agencies to hand over all pertient information related to this case classified or not.. Go through piece by piece and answer every question that is either unanswered or not proven”

      Reply:

      Yes, hopefully, GAO will do this. Creating a timeline of Dr. Ivins September and October 2001 is far more important than reexamining the genetics inquiry that only narrowed things from 700 to “up to 377.” Holes in a case that limited things to 200 POIs is hardly worth the continued headlines. The headlines should instead relate to the DOJ’s failure to produce the handwritten notes Dr. Ivins wrote about what he was doing in the lab on September 28, 29, 30, October 1, and October 2. It’s a hoot that non-lawyers just accept a prosecutor’s assertion relating to documentary evidence without asking that the document be produced to see if the characterization is correct (and seeing what else can be learned). Here, the withheld lab notes point to the fact that the October 2 subcutaneous challenge was planned — and that would then lead to the 12 dead bunnies.

      Zicon writes:

      “In turn if the centrifuged powder came from a united states federal/Ghost facility….. Then it is the fault of the us government for not having higher standards of security measures in place to keep things like this from happening, therefore should fall on those responsible (Eg. commander, president owner, ceo or what ever should have some type of repercussions for failure to do their jobs correctly, from getting fired, or impeached for loss of innocent lives”

      Reply:

      One difficulty it was those sorts of high officials and proven experts who were advising the investigation.

      Zicon:

      “Do (we the people) need our own law that will stand up to the Patriot Act that won’t allow the us gov. to do anything that they please?…. And as long as the Patriot Act ”

      Reply:

      The FBI pokes fun at Dr. Ivins for thinking the neighbors were FBI agents but does not address how it is that the FBI had minute-by-minute account of Dr. Ivins taking out the garbage. I guess we are left to infer that there was a miniature camera outside on the pole. But that is something that might be considered. It is fallacious reasoning to rely on Dr. Ivins’ suspicions of surveillance as evidence of guilt. It would have been irrational of Dr. Ivins not to suspect surveillance.

  5. richard rowley said

    Repost from the WIRED article, as quoted above:
    ——————————–
    I am thankful I had nothing to do with the anthrax case, as it was obvious for a long time that the Department of Justice* had pinned the tail on Ivins; and barring a miracle, he would be prosecuted as the poisoner. When we learned that Ivins had committed suicide, my colleagues and I, perhaps cynically but unfortunately with good reason, made black jokes that DOJ had cracked the case and found their man. As old and tired a cliche’ as it appears, there is some truth to the suspicion that there are bosses in law enforcement agencies who will use the death of a suspect to declare that an indictment or conviction was just around the corner, because the outstanding investigation effort they had humbly led had uncovered overwhelming evidence of guilt, etc., etc.
    ———————————————————————-
    This, alas, is the picture that I’ve formed in the past year or so: the more info is released, the movre likely Ivins’ innocence seems.

    • Old Atlantic said

      This is actually a comment at the Wired article I believe. Same with the longer quotation below.

    • Zicon said

      ALSO… Noting the posting from a current or ex possiable FBI agents posting on the Wired.com article, Here is my response..

      The article on Wired.com one of the posters is supposedly a guy in AL. aside from running a ghost trace and take a deeper look on things, on who this person really is, one can only assume.. for now. This person does make some very valid points, Based on the article and response noted that was originally posted on wired. My response is this.

      Real change takes time and isn’t always dramatic, but it’s going to be obvious once it happens.
      Also based on the comment by the person who posted on wired that RR is referring to. If this person is an ex agent now, this person may have some useful information. Now if this person is a current agent I’d expect that there would be some severe repercussions if their superiors were to find out the identity of the poster/agent based on the things said and would likely not have a career afterwards, or since due to time-lines of numbers at or over retirement so this persons probably not worried now.

      Also I will note my thoughts which are facts and of first hand information (SOURCED 1st HAND INFO) from part of a post that was on Wired.com that is stated below.
      (Wired post) –>I sometimes did see a difference in the motivations of high FBI officials and their bosses at DOJ: the FBI was ruthless when the “prestige of the agency” was seen to be at stake. The FBI has always been a sort of cult, more or less like the US Marine Corps, and cult members every bit as vain and arrogant about belonging. There was a saying in the FBI, which was made in jest, but was entirely serious: “Don’t embarrass The Bureau.” Meaning don’t screw the pooch; (End of W-Post)

  6. anonymous said

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ff_anthrax_fbi/all/1

    More than 30 years ago as a young, patriotic idealist I began working with the FBI. I spent a career investigating and prosecuting some of the most intensive, massive and important criminal cases ever pursued, from drug cartels to mass murders, murders of federal judges and conspiracies to assassinate high government officials, to espionage and horrendous acts of terrorism including embassy bombings and 9/11. While my colleagues, particularly the frontline “street agents” were in my experience almost without exception highly honorable public servants motivated by a powerful sense of duty and an almost religious fervor to find the truth and achieve justice, I learned to my shock and dismay that the higher the rank in the FBI and in the Department of Justice in particular, almost always the more willing and likely to commit and/or order gross breaches of policy, procedure and even civil and criminal statutes, including perjury and even conspiracy. The chances that a DOJ official would be willing to cut corners and play fast and loose with the law, even violate it, went up exponentially if the official was a political appointee as opposed to a career agency employee, was the factotum of a political appointee, or was the protegee of, or had as a career “rabbi” a powerful political figure.

    I am thankful I had nothing to do with the anthrax case, as it was obvious for a long time that the Department of Justice* had pinned the tail on Ivins; and barring a miracle, he would be prosecuted as the poisoner. When we learned that Ivins had committed suicide, my colleagues and I, perhaps cynically but unfortunately with good reason, made black jokes that DOJ had cracked the case and found their man. As old and tired a cliche’ as it appears, there is some truth to the suspicion that there are bosses in law enforcement agencies who will use the death of a suspect to declare that an indictment or conviction was just around the corner, because the outstanding investigation effort they had humbly led had uncovered overwhelming evidence of guilt, etc., etc.

    I sometimes did see a difference in the motivations of high FBI officials and their bosses at DOJ: the FBI was ruthless when the “prestige of the agency” was seen to be at stake. The FBI has always been a sort of cult, more or less like the US Marine Corps, and cult members every bit as vain and arrogant about belonging. There was a saying in the FBI, which was made in jest, but was entirely serious: “Don’t embarrass The Bureau.” Meaning don’t screw the pooch; don’t act like a buffoon; maintain a professional attitude and appearance. There simply is no “my time” when you’re FBI – you’re always on the job, and that includes how you conduct your personal life.

    Yeah, there always were alkies, goof-offs and lechers in “The Bu”, particularly in the big-city offices. But until the last decade or so many a career was derailed by a single alcohol-fueled incident or an affair of the heart. There were incompetents and morons back in the day, but not that many. With the introduction in the 80s of ever-lowering standards for acceptance as an agent, today there are by every measure many, many more substandard and unimpressive agents in the FBI than in, say, the 60’s.

    So FBI officials have always been much more willing to break the rules, perhaps even break the law, if the good name of the Bureau was involved. Whether it was a stalled or bungled investigation or unsuccessful prosecution, FBI officials have always been quick to act to achieve success; or if success was not possible, to ensure there was no possibility that blame would attach to the Bureau. The latter was often achieved by use of the FBI’s surprisingly strong and widespread contacts in the media. Every agent who runs an FBI office is highly trained in the care and feeding, even the manipulation and subtle coercion, of members of the media. Even low-level FBI managers are expert at shaping the media’s story: the high bosses have always been effing Shaolin Masters of the technique. While usually strictly prohibiting any media contact by the agents they supervise, the leaders spend a lot of time stroking the press.They flatter, they feed, they lead ‘em around by the nose. No other agency at any level comes close to the FBI’s institutional excellence at controlling what is written about it. And they are virtually godlike in their ability to cast blame at multiple agencies for the FBI’s missteps, and having it play out in the media just the way they want.

    All of the foregoing prolix crap is just to say, I fear Bruce Ivins paid for the sins of the FBI and the other investigative agencies which stumbled all over themselves trying to tag him. They picked him as “it”, and then went about doing what they do so well: essentially disassembling his life. They isolated him, deprived him of a support system by publicly marking him as anathema, dangerous to know or support. When they took away his strongest foundation, his sense of honor, his pride in his job and his reputation, they left him no option. And Ivins did what virtually any man for whom honor is paramount does when he is humiliated and deprived of the regard and respect of his colleagues. What troubles me most is that the FBI had the psych profile people working with the case agents to develop the best methods of bringing Ivins to the point of doing what he did. No, they weren’t trying to drive him to suicide: they were trying to “crack” him, make him give up and confess. But such a strategy is only arguably correct and useful if the target actually did what you’ve accused him of.

    If an innocent man is subjected to the full process of disorientation and loss of status, all too often it can result in a suicide. I truly hope that didn’t happen here.

  7. Zicon said

    Here is a question to probe for exact answers to see if what is known is already public information based on ..

    A.) Did the NAS or anyone else review all the locations that “ARE NOT” registered with the Federal Government Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for using/growing transfer or any other means?

    B.) In relation to (A) Not only locations within the US but also with esp. the U.K. and other overseas “Labs” that have no registration with the hidden networks that deal with BSL-3,4 agents/toxins/diseases.

    C.) How come the CIA even though they are mildly answering the probing questions by the FBI, you would think since the government operates as one, that there would be full cooperation between both FBI & CIA, but the CIA has yet to fully disclose all of their sources and scientific elements that not only deal with anthrax but the drugs that NO ONE knows about that deals with stimulants that cause the following: Hysteria, Mania, Racing Thoughts, Hearing Voices, also the same elements as sodium thiopental, Auditory hallucinations, irritability, agitation, slow cognitive motions, controlling, repeating thoughts, depending on the task at hand can lead to self-destruction via suicidal or homicidal tendencies also the drug(s) effect on the hippocampus dealing with long-term memory, and the best part it’s literally undetectable by most every test that would be used in a hospital setting as well as after a few hours the drug can no long be detected but the effects remain for 3-4 days which has similarities with another drug (Agent 15) that is “supposed” to be no longer used by the military, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that note.

  8. Anonymous said

    This article by Noah Schactman is making the rounds furiously amongst the BW community. The article must have taken months to research and compile. I’m wondering if the sudden release of Saathoff’s Psychobablle gibberish was intended to lessen the impact of this new article.

  9. Old Atlantic said

    “Then there’s the problem of figuring out when Ivins could have grown the spores. In an email to colleagues on April 23, 2004—unrelated to the investigation and long before he became its prime suspect—Ivins estimated that it would take 60 hours to brew up 500 billion spores. Each anthrax letter contained up to four times that amount. This means that making enough spores for the mailings would have required between five and six months. It would have been nearly impossible for Ivins to do that much work without others noticing. It may be odd to rely on Ivins himself for these numbers, but his colleagues do not dispute his estimate. The National Research Council report does theorize that it could have been done more quickly, but its findings were inconclusive. “The time might vary from as little as two to three days to as much as several months,” the report reads. “Given uncertainty about the methods used for preparation of the spore material, the committee could reach no significant conclusions regarding the skill set of the perpetrator.”

    This raises another significant problem with the case. USAMRIID veterans debate whether Ivins had access to the kind of gear required to dry and mill the spores. Even if he did, some argue, he wouldn’t have known how to use it. Ivins’ wet-spore experience didn’t translate to dry stuff, Heine and others say.

    Montooth acknowledges that he isn’t sure how Ivins would have done all that growing and drying. “But it almost doesn’t matter,” he says. Investigators know which days in September and October the envelopes were mailed. That was the actual murderous act. The anthrax could have been slowly assembled and processed for months or years before that. Ivins’ alibis for those autumn days are virtually nonexistent.”

    Not so fast. The FBI said that the mailer grew a fresh batch of anthrax spores after the Sep 18, 2001 mailing and before the October 9 mailing. That would require runs that lasted days and were running during the week days.

    If a lyophilizer was used in the first week of October, it would have to run overnight and that would have been noticed by the people in the suite. Moreover, later in October they were analyzing the anthrax at Ft. Detrick. If Ivins had produced anthrax during the days in that month and lyophilized it, that would be fresh in their memory.

    Remember, the big reaction to Ivins testing a couple spots for spores later. Well running the growth of 2 to 4 grams of anthrax and lyophilizing it would have caused more outcry especially once they got the anthrax from the attacks.

    The FBI theory falls apart if it takes days to grow, centrifuge, dry and lyophilize the anthrax for the Senate letters because that would require observation during the weekdays of October 1 to 5 which were Monday to Friday in 2001.

    The FBI was shoe horned into their theories of it only takes a day to grow anthrax because Ivins’ lab time from Sep 18, 2001 to Oct 9, 2001 is so very well known and it doesn’t correspond to the actual lab steps and times for growing and drying anthrax of the quality in the Senate letters.

    • Old Atlantic said

      Note paragraphs 1 to 3 above are quoted from the Wired article. They are in quotation marks, but I should have indicated after or before that this was quoting Wired.

  10. Zicon said

    Just be patient…. Things “will” always come to light and “No One” will be able to stop things from getting officially re-opened.

  11. Old Atlantic said

    I hope Dxer will reconsider having his comments deleted. He has done great work in this case. I have learned a great deal from him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: