Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
LMW COMMENT …
Last September, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the then Attorney General Michael Mukasey and FBI Director Robert Mueller, asking 18 excellent questions (see below) about the FBI’s investigation of the anthrax case and the FBI’s determination that USAMRIID scientist Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks.
Eight months have passed.
I have recently called Senator Grassley’s office several times, asking …
- has the FBI responded to the Senator’s questions?
- if yes, will you release the FBI’s answers?
- if no, what are you going to do about the FBI’s unwillingness to answer?
To date, I have been shunted around by the Senator’s staff but have received no answers to my questions. What’s going on here? Who’s covering up what?
If the FBI has refused to answer, that is a disgrace; Senator Grassley and the Congress should not let the FBI get away with that.
If the FBI has answered, why haven’t their answers been made known?
If the FBI truly believes the case is solved, what more could they possibly have to hide?
Of course, if the FBI knows it has not solved the case, as I and many others believe, they have much to hide.
Senator Grassley is of course from Iowa, where Iowa State University had the infamous Ames Anthrax and then destroyed it soon after the first of the 2001 anthrax attack mailings. There has never been an adequate explanation for the destruction of the Ames Anthrax and the FBI’s role in “ordering” or “approving” or “not objecting” to that destruction, and this subject was, curiously, not among those addressed by Senator Grassley’s questions.
Marcia Chamber’s excellent series of posts on this blog (see * MARCIA’S STORY ) tells her story of what she saw at Iowa State University in 1990, and expresses her belief that it was anthrax stolen in 1990 from a lab at Iowa State University which was later used in the 2001 mailings. Marcia’s observations have never been adequately investigated, despite her numerous attempts to convince the FBI and Postal Inspectors of the potential importance of what she saw. There is no question in my mind that the destruction of the Ames Anthrax by Iowa State University remains a puzzling and troubling aspect of the case which has not received sufficient investigative attention.
The longer such information is withheld, the more it appears that the FBI investigation was indeed a sham and that their case against Dr. Ivins is one which could not be proven in court.
It was my anger at the FBI’s August 2008 announcement naming the recently deceased Dr. Ivins as the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks that prompted me to write my latest novel CASE CLOSED.
CASE CLOSED picks up where the facts of the actual anthrax case leave off and presents a fictional scenario to explain who committed the anthrax attacks and, equally important, why the FBI failed to solve the case. My premise in CASE CLOSED is that the FBI didn’t solve the case because they were told not to.
Does CASE CLOSED tell what actually happened in the anthrax attacks and subsequent FBI investigation. Of course not. It’s a novel!
But many early readers, including a well placed member of the Intelligence Community, have told me that my story, while fiction, is all too plausible.
A video introducing CASE CLOSED may be seen on YouTube at …
* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube
CASE CLOSED may be purchased at amazon.com (in Kindle format) …
* purchase CASE CLOSED at amazon (Kindle format)
CASE CLOSED paperback edition is scheduled to be available at amazon.com and other bookselling locations within the next week.
Here are the 18 questions asked in Senator Grassley’s September 2008 letter …
- What is the date (month and year) that the FBI determined that the anthrax came from a specified flask in Ivins’s lab (“RMR-1029”)?
- When (month and year) did the FBI determine that Dr. Hatfill never had access to the anthrax used in the killings?
- How did the FBI determine that Dr. Hatfill did not have access to the anthrax used in the killings? Was that because the FBI determined that Dr. Hatfill no longer worked at USAMRIID when the powder was made?
- Was Dr. Hatfill or his counsel informed that Dr. Hatfill had been cleared of any involvement in the anthrax killings before the Department of Justice offered a settlement to him? Was he informed before signing the settlement agreement with him? If not, please explain why not.
- Was Judge Walton (the judge overseeing the Privacy Act litigation) ever informed that Dr. Hatfill had been eliminated as a suspect in the anthrax killings? If so, when. If not, please explain why not.
- Was Dr. Ivins ever polygraphed in the course of the investigation? If so, please provide the dates and results of the exam(s). If not, please explain why not.
- Of the more than 100 people who had access to RMR 1029, how many were provided custody of samples sent outside Ft. Detrick? Of those, how many samples were provided to foreign laboratories?
- If those with access to samples of RMR 1029 in places other than Ft. Detrick had used the sample to produce additional quantities of anthrax, would that anthrax appear distinguishable from RMR 1029?
- How can the FBI be sure that none of the samples sent to other labs were used to create additional quantities of anthrax that would appear distinguishable from RMR 1029?
- Please describe the methodology and results of any oxygen isotope measurements taken to determine the source of water used to grow the spores used in the anthrax attacks.
- Was there video equipment which would record the activities of Dr. Ivins at Ft. Detrick on the late nights he was there on the dates surrounding the mailings? If so, please describe what examination of the video revealed.
- When did the FBI first learn of Dr. Ivins’ late-night activity in the lab around the time of the attacks? If this is powerful circumstantial evidence of his guilt, then why did this information not lead the FBI to focus attention on him, rather than Dr. Hatfill, much sooner in the investigation?
- When did the FBI first learn that Dr. Ivins was prescribed medications for various symptoms of mental illness? If this is circumstantial evidence of his guilt, then why did this information not lead the FBI to focus attention on him, rather than Dr. Hatfill, much sooner in the investigation? Of the 100 individuals who had access to RMR 1029, were any others found to suffer from mental illness, be under the care of a mental health professional, or prescribed anti-depressant/anti-psychotic medications? If so, how many?
- What role did the FBI play in conducting and updating the background examination of Dr. Ivins in order for him to have clearance and work with deadly pathogens at Ft. Detrick?
- After the FBI identified Dr. Ivins as the sole suspect, why was he not detained? Did the U.S. Attorney’s Office object to seeking an arrest or material witness warrant? If not, did anyone at FBI order a slower approach to arresting Ivins?
- Had an indictment of Dr. Ivins been drafted before his death? If so, what additional information did it contain beyond the affidavits already released to the public? If not, then when, if ever, had a decision been made to seek an indictment from the grand jury?
- According to family members, FBI agents publicly confronted and accused Dr. Ivins of the attacks, showed pictures of the victims to his daughter, and offered the $2.5 million reward to his son in the months leading up to his suicide. These aggressive, overt surveillance techniques appear similar to those used on Dr. Hatfill with the apparent purpose of intimidation rather than legitimate investigation. Please describe whether and to what degree there is any truth to these claims.
- What additional documents will be released, if any, and when will they be released?