* DXer … some suggestions for the GAO … whose report is due soon
Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 6, 2011
It would be unsound for the GAO to only rely on the evidence
that the FBI provided GAO without asking for the evidence
that underlies the stated assertions in its Amerithrax Investigative Summary.
- For example, AUSA Rachel Lieber creates an innuendo that Dr. Ivins used the photocopier in the library because of his presence there at particular times. I believe the scientific evidence, in contrast, that was NOT provided to the NAS shows that the FBI experts could exclude those photocopiers based on mass spectroscopy of the toner.
- As another example, the FBI’s theory based on the code is specious because it relies on a letter that in fact was not double-lined. Thus, one does not begin with Agent Steele’s suggested interpretation of the code, one starts with the document examiner’s report — which has not been released — identifying which letters were double-lined.
- On the issue of submission of the Spring 2002 sample, (the FBI’s theory) hugely misses the point to credit the unsupported conclusion that Dr. Ivins submitted the sample instead of his assistant (as Dr. Ivins repeatedly explained for many years). The chain of custody records have been uploaded showing that it was not Dr. Ivins’ initials associated with the submission and this should be understood to be within the GAO’s task.
- Some of the most important material are the contemporaneous documents from September and October 2001. It is foolish to speak of scientific uncertainties and not appreciate that the laboratory notes — the contemporaneous evidence of how Dr. Ivins spent his time — bears directly on the scientific evidence relating to whether he made and mailed the dried powdered anthrax.
- The forensic examination of Dr. Ivins’ computer is hard-core forensic evidence and identifies when the electronic message to Mara Linscott dated September 17, 2001 was sent. If the GAO would make available of that material it would overcome the long delays associated with the majority of FBI FOIA responses — a matter currently being addressed in a pending bill called the Faster FOIA Act.