Posts Tagged ‘USAMRIID’
* EPA, USAMRIID and University of Michigan Have All Failed To Produce Under FOIA Documents Relating To the 1998 Research By The Former Zawahiri Associate Alongside Bruce Ivins In The Bio-Level 3 At USAMRIID
Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 31, 2012
* At USAMRIID, subcutaneous challenge of rabbits was ALWAYS done in the hot suite ; the hot suite is unavailable for subcutaneous challenge (or making a dried powder) when being decontaminated
Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 8, 2011
* Dr. Mara Linscott told the FBI that she needed to see her lab notebooks to refresh her recollection of details, but that checking on the animals would take approximately two hours and was usually a one-person job; the FBI provided the one publication on which she worked involving the former Zawahiri associate but she notes that USAMRIID was a military institution and thus not all of the projects would be published.
Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 27, 2011
Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 27, 2011
* Produced today by USAMRIID under FOIA: September 25, 2001 email transmitting Rabbit Bacteremia for B98-03
Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 14, 2011
* Washington Field memo (dated 9/11/06) produced today (10/5/11) to DXer under FOIA regarding what is known about distribution of virulent Ames known to have the 4 morphs … why did the one woman have the matching Ames sample? … she “can’t remember”
Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 4, 2011
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: *** 2001 anthrax attacks, *** Amerithrax, *** Dr. Bruce Ivins, *** FBI anthrax investigation, 4 morphs, Ames anthrax, Battelle Corporation, distribution of virulent Ames, dugway ames spores, FBIR sample 053-070, FBIR sample 054-076, Midwest Research Institute, Northern Arizona Univ, RMR, RMR-1029, USAMRIID | 17 Comments »
Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 27, 2011
Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 23, 2011
DXer COMMENT …
Dr. Tucker looked at the DOJ’s claims and credited the DOJ view that Dr. Ivins could have done it — relying on the DOJ’s claim that he had no reason to be the lab
Yet nowhere did he address the argument that the DOJ’s claim is directly contradicted by the documentary evidence that was withheld by the DOJ and only produced by USAMRIID 3 years after Dr. Ivins’ death.
Clearly the aim, then, should be to obtain the evidence that shows what he was doing on the nights that the DOJ mistakenly said he had no reason to be in the lab.
The documents have been uploaded to the website and the media and authors just haven’t addressed the issue.
… and by the way, when did evidence that something was possible
become a substitute for evidence that something was done?
New Questions About the FBI’s Anthrax Case:
Valid Concerns or Red Herring?
- The latest challenge to the FBI’s case against Ivins comes from depositions given by some of his former USAMRIID colleagues in a suit against the US government filed by Maureen Stevens, whose late husband, Robert Stevens, was the first victim of the anthrax letter attacks.
- Although at first glance the court documents appear to raise serious doubts about the FBI’s case against Ivins, the scientists’ claims are based on assumptions that may well be false.
- because no spores were ever found in Ivins’s home or car, and no eyewitness saw him mail the letters from a mailbox in downtown Princeton, New Jersey, the FBI’s case was entirely circumstantial.
Questions Raised in the Depositions
- The depositions taken from USAMRIID scientists and technicians as part of the lawsuit by Maureen Stevens were first disclosed on July 18 in a joint article by three news organizations: PBS Frontline, ProPublica, and McClatchy Newspapers.
- According to the article, testimony in the court documents suggests that Ivins did not have access to the specialized equipment and know-how he presumably would have needed to dry the spores into the high-quality powder sent through the mail, raising doubts about whether he was technically capable of committing the crime.
- While the scientists’ depositions appear compelling at first glance, many of the statements are misleading.
- First, much has been made of the specialized knowledge needed to prepare dry powders of B. anthracis spores, yet this factor may have been exaggerated.
- Early reports that the spores contained a high level of silicon suggested that they could have been deliberately “weaponized” by coating them with silica to reduce static clumping and facilitate their delivery as a fine-particle aerosol.
- FBI scientists later determined, however, that the silicon was not on the surface of the spores but had been incorporated into an inner layer called the endosporium when the anthrax bacteria were grown and induced to sporulate. Thus, Ivins would not have needed weapons-related expertise to process the spores.
- Second, the depositions by Worsham and Little imply that the only way to produce significant quantities of dried B. anthracis is by using a lyophilizer, yet lower-tech approaches may also be feasible.
- The fact that the B. anthracis powder mailed to the two senators was so buoyant and dispersed so readily led many observers to conclude that it had been deliberately weaponized.
- Dr. Vahid Majidi, the assistant director of the FBI’s WMD Directorate, said that this false belief resulted from the fact that very few scientists have experience with preparations of dried bacteria.
- in response to the question whether the equipment in Ivins’s lab would have been sufficient to grow and dry the spores, Majidi said, “It would have been easy to make these samples at RID [USAMRIID].”
- During the press briefing, FBI officials estimated that making the preparation of powdered B. anthracis spores could have taken one person between three and seven days of work.
- They also corrected false reports that the FBI had been unable to reverse-engineer the highly refined B. anthracis powder mailed to the two senators.
- When asked if the FBI’s powder behaved the same as the material in the letters, Majidi replied, “as far as our preparation goes, we were able to repeat almost everything except the silicant signal [the high silicon content of the spores]. … Can we make the same spore purity? Yes. Can we make the spore dry? Yes.”
- Based on this information, it appears that Ivins could have dried the spores without the need for a lyophilizer by using a low-tech method, such as heat-drying the concentrated slurry on glass plates and then harvesting the dried material inside a sealed glove box.
- In sum, public statements by Majidi and other senior FBI officials suggest that the assumption underlying the more recent statements of the USAMRIID scientists—that specialized equipment, expertise, and tacit knowledge are required to produce a lethal preparation of dry anthrax spores—may be incorrect or at least exaggerated.
- Although the FBI’s circumstantial case against Bruce Ivins will never satisfy hard-core skeptics and conspiracy theorists, the mosaic of evidence is fairly convincing when viewed as a whole.
- At the same time, it is far from certain that a federal prosecutor could have persuaded a jury of Ivins’ guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
[Editor's note: Jonathan Tucker died suddenly in late July, just days after submitting this article for publication.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: *** 2001 anthrax attacks, *** Amerithrax, *** Dr. Bruce Ivins, *** FBI anthrax investigation, Jonathan Tucker, McClatchy Newspapers, PBS Frontline, ProPublica, Stevens v. United States, USAMRIID | 2 Comments »
Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 6, 2011
* is there no way to hold JAG or someone else responsible for what appears to be a purposeful withholding of information related to the FBI’s bogus investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks?
Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 4, 2010
DXer commented earlier today …
- It is JAG that appears responsible for the withholding of documents for two years.
- If all remaining documents are not produced this week, Congress should call a JAG witness to explain why they delayed production for two years and who made the decision at JAG to delay production of the documents.
- A federal judge likely would sanction the JAG attorneys in a civil litigation context.
- The practice of law should never involve hide-the-ball.
- Taxpayers are paying the JAG salaries. The lawyer responsible for withholding the documents works for taxpayers.
LMW COMMENT …
This whole affair is a disgrace.
The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is clearly 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 perhaps more plausible than the FBI’s unproven assertions.