Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 24, 2011
Is it possible that Director Mueller, an intelligent man, doesn't know the FBI has failed to make its case against Dr. Ivins? And what does it mean if he knows but won't admit it?
UPDATE FROM DXer …
I think you are being way too easy on FBI Director Mueller, Lew. Given that Dr. Ivins was provably in the lab on those nights working with the rabbits, and the prosecutors and investigators have lied and said he had no reason to be in the lab, there needs to be a Special Prosecutor appointed to probe the obstruction of justice that has occurred.
Greg Gordon, McClatchy, and Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica (10/24/11) …
- The Army laboratory identified by prosecutors as the source of the anthrax that killed five people in the fall of 2001 was rife with such security gaps that the deadly spores could have easily been smuggled out of the facility, outside investigators found.
- The existing security procedures — described in two long-secret reports — were so lax they would have allowed any researcher, aide or temporary worker to walk out of the Army bio-weapons lab at Fort Detrick, Md., with a few drops of anthrax — starter germs that could grow the trillions of spores used to fill anthrax-laced letters sent to Congress and the media.
- The two reports, which have not been made public for more than nine years, describe a haphazard system in which personnel lists included dozens of former employees, where new hires were allowed to work with deadly germs before background checks were done and where stocks of anthrax and other pathogens weren’t adequately controlled.
- Marked “for official use only,” the two reports were completed in 2002. One was conducted by a seven-member team from Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. The other was by auditors for the Army’s inspector general’s office.
- The Sandia report emphasized that terrorists had obtained germs from research labs before.
- It cited a February 2001 National Defense University study that found 11 cases in which terrorists or other “non-state operatives” had acquired biological agents from “legitimate culture collections,” including three research or medical laboratories.
- Despite USAMRIID’s sobering mission, the Sandia report said, the western Maryland lab had developed a work environment in which employees failed to make the same “indisputable commitment to security” as they did to research.
read the entire article at … www.propublica.org/article/secret-reports-with-security-spotty-many-had-access-to-anthrax
LMW COMMENT …
This is precisely the kind of information the FBI, smugly insisting that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator, desperately wants to keep hidden. Director Mueller must be held accountable, for the pathetic Amerithrax investigation, for continuing to insist it was Ivins even as the case disintegrates, and for withholding documents which should be released under FOIA.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: *** 2001 anthrax attacks, *** Amerithrax, *** Dr. Bruce Ivins, *** FBI anthrax investigation, McClatchy, ProPublica, security gaps at USAMRIID | 8 Comments »
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 21, 2011
IT WASN'T IVINS ... and the FBI must by now know that they drove the wrong man to suicide
GREG GORDON, STEVE ENGELBERG AND MIKE WISER write for McClatchy Newspapers, ProPublica and Frontline (7/21/11) …
- Waffling by Justice Department lawyers in a wrongful death lawsuit that arose from the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks could boost prospects that the government will be liable for millions in damages for failing to prevent the killing of a Florida man.
- Department lawyers created a stir in recent days, first by filing court papers that appeared to undercut the FBI’s finding that the late Army scientist Bruce Ivins was the killer.
- The filings said Ivins lacked access in his lab to the sophisticated equipment to produce the anthrax powder. Four days later, the lawyers abruptly retracted that assessment.
- “I think it creates a great deal of problems for the government,” said Paul Kemp, who represented Ivins before his 2008 suicide.
- Kemp noted that the FBI found 116 individuals who might have had access to anthrax emanating from the suspect’s flask. Assuming that it indeed originated from that beaker, he said, the Justice Department’s conflicting statements show “that the government has no idea whether it was negligent or not in supervising the maintenance of 150 different pathogens at Fort Detrick and other locations.“
- If the case goes to trial, he said, attorneys for the Stevens family likely will have an opportunity to present the conflicting government statements to a jury.
- Richard Schuler, the lead attorney for the Stevens family, said he thought that Justice Department lawyers were “trying to pick and choose the facts that will support them in the civil case. And in attempting to do that, they’re contradicting their own investigative agency, the FBI.”
- Now, he said, the civil lawyers are trying “to walk a tightrope of facts in this case in order to attempt to prevent the Stevens family from getting justice.
- It just shows how far the government will go to obstruct justice in the Stevens case, to try and win the day by misleading the court with facts that … only days later, they now claim to be inaccurate.”
(McClatchy Newspapers collaborated with the investigative newsroom ProPublica and PBS’s “Frontline” to produce this article. Engelberg works for ProPublica and Wiser is with “Frontline.” ProPublica’s Aarti Shahani and Liz Day provided research for this story.)
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/07/20/3235078/justice-department-waffling-in.html#ixzz1SkUZQIOg
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: *** 2001 anthrax attacks, *** Amerithrax, *** Dr. Bruce Ivins, *** FBI anthrax investigation, McClatchy, PBS Frontline, ProPublica, Stevens v. United States | 5 Comments »
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 19, 2011
FBI Director Robert Mueller ... Congress must make hime testify ... and not re-appoint him until he provides satisfactory answers
Mike Wiser, PBS FRONTLINE, Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers, and Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica write (July 18, 2011) …
- The Justice Department has called into question a key pillar of the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist accused of mailing the anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and terrorized Congress a decade ago.
- On July 15, Justice Department lawyers acknowledged in court papers that the sealed area in Ivins’ lab — the so-called hot suite — did not contain the equipment needed to turn liquid anthrax into the refined powder that floated through congressional buildings and post offices in the fall of 2001.
- The government’s statements deepen the questions about the case against Ivins, who killed himself before he was charged with a crime.
- Searches of his car and home in 2007 found no anthrax spores
- the FBI’s eight-year, $100 million investigation never proved he mailed the letters
- Earlier this year, a report by the National Academy of Science questioned the genetic analysis that had linked a flask of anthrax stored in Ivins’ office to the anthrax contained in the letters.
- Paul Kemp, Ivins’ lead defense attorney said Monday that the department’s concession that the equipment wasn’t available “is at direct variance to the assertions of the government on July 29, 2008,” the day Ivins died, thus “invalidating one of the chief theories of their prosecution case.”
the PBS program FRONTLINE is working
on a forthcoming documentary
on the case with McClatchy Newspapers
and ProPublica, the investigative newsroom.
LMW COMMENT …
- The FBI’s false case against Dr. Bruce Ivins, built on obviously unproven innuendos and assertions, is beginning to unravel.
- When the case does finally collapse, it will be necessary to explore why the FBI went to such lengths to accuse Ivins in the first place.
- What really happened?
- Does the FBI know what really happened?
- If not, they are proven incompetents.
- If so, who and what are they protecting by keeping the truth from the American people?
FBI Director Robert Mueller must be made to testify on these matters.
He must not be re-appointed until he does.
If he stonewalls like he has with Congressman Nadler and others,
he should be fired!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: *** 2001 anthrax attacks, *** Amerithrax, *** Dr. Bruce Ivins, *** FBI anthrax investigation, McClatchy, PBS Frontline, ProPublica | 18 Comments »
Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 19, 2011
the FBI has produced NO EVIDENCE that Dr. Bruce Ivins prepared the anthrax or mailed this letter
Greg Gordon writes for McClatchy Newspapers (5/19/11) …
- Buried in FBI laboratory reports about the anthrax mail attacks that killed five people in 2001 is data suggesting that a chemical may have been added to try to heighten the powder’s potency, a move that some experts say exceeded the expertise of the presumed killer.
- The lab data shows unusual levels of silicon and tin in anthrax powder from two of the five letters.
- Those elements are found in compounds that could be used to weaponize the anthrax, enabling the lethal spores to float easily so they could be readily inhaled by the intended victims, scientists say.
- The existence of the silicon-tin chemical signature offered investigators the possibility of tracing purchases of the more than 100 such chemical products available before the attacks, which might have produced hard evidence against Ivins or led the agency to the real culprit.
- But the FBI lab reports released in late February give no hint that bureau agents tried to find the buyers of additives such as tin-catalyzed silicone polymers.
- The apparent failure of the FBI to pursue this avenue of investigation raises the ominous possibility that the killer is still on the loose.
- A McClatchy analysis of the records also shows that other key scientific questions were left unresolved and conflicting data wasn’t sorted out when the FBI declared Ivins the killer shortly after his July 29, 2008, suicide.
- Several scientists and former colleagues of Ivins argue that he was a career biologist who probably lacked the chemistry knowledge and skills to concoct a silicon-based additive.
- “There’s no way that an individual scientist can invent a new way of making anthrax using silicon and tin,” said Stuart Jacobsen, a Texas-based analytical chemist for an electronics company who’s closely studied the FBI lab results. “It requires an institutional effort to do this, such as at a military lab.”
- Martin Hugh-Jones, a world-renowned anthrax expert who teaches veterinary medicine at Louisiana State University, called it “just bizarre” that the labs found both tin and silicon.
- “You have two elements at abnormally high levels,” Hugh-Jones said. “That reduces your probability to a very small number that it’s an accident.”
- FBI officials say it’s all a moot point, because they’re positive they got the right man in Ivins.
- However, the FBI never found hard evidence that Ivins produced the anthrax or that he scrawled threatening letters seemingly meant to resemble those of Islamic terrorists. Or that he secretly took late-night drives to Princeton, N.J., to mail them.
- Jacobsen, the Texas chemist, suspects that the silica pockets represented excess material that went through a chemical reaction and hardened before it could penetrate the spores.
- Tufts University chemistry professor David Walt, who led the panel’s analysis of the silicon issue, said in a phone interview that “there was not enough silicon in the spores that could account for the total silicon content of the bulk analysis.”
- Jacobsen called it “outrageous” that the scientific issues haven’t been addressed … the FBI have every resource available to them,” he said.
“And yet they have no compelling explanation
for not properly analyzing the biggest forensic clue
in the most important investigation
the FBI labs had ever gotten in their history.”
- As a result of Ivins’ death and the unanswered scientific issues, Congress’ investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, is investigating the FBI’s handling of the anthrax inquiry.
- In a chapter in a recently updated book, “Microbial Forensics,” Velsko wrote that the anthrax “must have indeed been produced under an unusual set of conditions” to create such high silicon counts. That scenario, he cautioned, might not be “consistent with the prosecution narrative in this case.”
- Peter Weber, Velsko’s co-researcher, said the academy panel’s focus on the conflicting data “raises a big question,” and “it’d be really helpful for closure of this case if that was resolved.” He suggested that further “micro-analysis” with a highly sophisticated electron microscope could “pop the question marks really quickly.”
read the entire article at … http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/05/19/114467/fbi-lab-reports-on-anthrax-attacks.html#ixzz1MpvbxjeN
see also …
LMW COMMENT …
Over two years ago, I proposed three possible scenarios to explain the FBI’s failure to make a compelling case against Dr. Bruce Ivins. Since then, nothing has changed. There are still these three scenarios …
- The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY
- The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY
- The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons …THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: *** 2001 anthrax attacks, *** Amerithrax, *** Dr. Bruce Ivins, *** FBI anthrax investigation, Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones, Greg Gordon, McClatchy, ny post anthrax powder, silcon in anthrax, Stuart Jacobsen | 10 Comments »