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

Archive for May 9th, 2009

* Grassley says FBI has little results (2006)

Posted by DXer on May 9, 2009

Jim Popkin, NBC News Investigative Unit (10-24-06) wrote …

  • Late Monday, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a damning six-page letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales requesting a briefing on the FBI investigation, now five years old.  The letter faults the agency for its handling of the case, saying “the FBI has little in the way of results to show for its work.”
  • Meanwhile, in an unusual move, the FBI’s top lobbyist has informed members of Congress that the bureau will no longer brief them on the case.
  • Meanwhile, the FBI recently installed a new team of top investigators to head up the anthrax case. Sources familiar with the case tell NBC News that the new managers are looking anew at all possible suspects, with a much broader focus than before.

LMW COMMENT … This was 2006, and still there are no answers. The arrogance of the FBI in this matter is incredible.

read the entire article at …

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* Holt & Grassley: The FBI’s refusal to brief Congress on this matter is unprecedented and inexcusable (2006)

Posted by DXer on May 9, 2009

Senator Grassley and Congressman Holt and other members of Congress have had questions about the FBI anthrax investigation. Here’s an article from December 12, 2006 …

Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Rush Holt today sent a letter to the Attorney General asking for a briefing on the Amerithrax case.  The letter was signed by 33 members of Congress.

“Were seeing more and more agencies thwart the Constitutional responsibility of Congress.  Unfortunately, the FBI’s refusal to provide briefings to Congress following the 2001 anthrax attacks appears to be the rule rather than the exception,” Grassley said. 

“In one of the most important terrorism investigations ever undertaken by the FBI, it is unbelievable to me that members of Congress, some who were targets of the anthrax attacks, haven’t been briefed for years.”

“The FBI’s refusal to brief Congress on this matter is unprecedented and inexcusable,” said Rep. Holt.  “All Americans deserve to know why this five-year investigation has made so little progress.”

The letter comes on the heels of two other attempts by Grassley and Holt to get information about the FBI’s handling of the five-year-old Amerithrax investigation.  In response to their previous requests, the Justice Department and the FBI announced a blanket policy against all Congressional briefings on the matter.

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* the FBI’s case continues to fall apart (2-26-09)

Posted by DXer on May 9, 2009

posted at Empty Wheel (2-26-09) …

  • Last we heard from the FBI’s not-so-smoking gun in the anthrax case, USAMRIID admitted that they had no idea what kind of flasks of anthrax and other microbes its scientists had hidden around their labs, basically shredding the FBI’s claim that the anthrax used in the attacks on Congress and the Press could only have come from Bruce Ivins’ flask.
  • Now, we learn that the supposedly exact match between Ivins’ anthrax and that used in the attacks was not so close.
  • There are a couple of reasons why this damages the FBI operative story implicating Ivins. 
  • First, their chronology completely depends on Ivins’ late night work in his own lab at Ft. Detrick and assumes he was working from the “smoking gun” flask directly.
  • Yet if the anthrax shows traces of being taken out of the flask, then it makes the FBI claim of a direct connection between Ivins’ flask and the anthrax used in the attack even more indirect.
  • And clearly, if Ivins was working late in his lab the night before the anthrax was mailed, then he wasn’t taking the anthrax out of the lab to process somewhere with tin in its water.
  • Furthermore, in all the searches of Ivins’ house and car, the FBI has never found any trace of anthrax spores–which is one of the reasons they posited that he worked on the anthrax in his lab.
  • And here’s one more weird thing. The FBI claims to have narrowed which labs with Ames strain anthrax might have been the source of the anthrax by tying the anthrax to something in Eastern Seaboard water. Yet now, to explain how tin may have ended up in anthrax purportedly tied to Ivins, scientists are pointing to water–presumably elsewhere–as the source.
  • Well, I suppose we could just wait for the National Academy of Science to recreate the FBI’s anthrax work to figure this all out.

read the entire post at …

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* Defense Intelligence Agency

Posted by DXer on May 9, 2009

The Defense Intelligence Agency is a Department of Defense combat support agency and an important member of the United States Intelligence Community. With more than 12,000 military and civilian employees worldwide, DIA is a major producer and manager of foreign military intelligence. We provide military intelligence to warfighters, defense policymakers and force planners, in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, in support of U.S. military planning and operations and weapon systems acquisition.

The Director of DIA is a three-star military officer who serves as principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense and to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters of military intelligence. The Director also chairs the Military Intelligence Board, which coordinates activities of the defense intelligence community.

DIA is headquartered at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., with major operational activities at the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center (DIAC), Washington, D.C., the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), Frederick, Maryland, and the Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC), Huntsville, Alabama.

Our workforce is as diverse as our missions. We possess a workforce skilled in the areas of military history and doctrine, economics, physics, chemistry, world history, political science, bio-sciences, and computer sciences to name a few.

Our mission is to satisfy the military and military-related intelligence requirements of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the DNI, and provide the military intelligence contribution to national foreign intelligence and counterintelligence. We plan, manage, and execute intelligence operations during peacetime, crisis, and war. We serve as the DoD lead for coordinating intelligence support to meet COCOM requirements; lead efforts to align analysis, collection, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) activities with all operations; and link and synchronize Military, Defense, and National Intelligence capabilities.

Our employees travel the world, and meet and work closely with other professionals from foreign countries. We offer our employees personal development through many education and training programs. We provide our employees with state-of-the-art computers and technical equipment needed to perform our mission. We offer worldwide assignments within DIA, to other U. S. agencies and to military centers of excellence.

additional information about the DIA can be found at …

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* Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld manufactured the Iraq intelligence they wanted

Posted by DXer on May 9, 2009

Julian Borger wrote in the Guardian (7-17-03) …

  • a complete breakdown in US intelligence that helped steer America into war.
  • According to former Bush officials, all defence and intelligence sources, senior administration figures created a shadow agency of Pentagon analysts staffed mainly by ideological amateurs to compete with the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defence Intelligence Agency.
  • The agency, called the Office of Special Plans (OSP), was set up by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to second-guess CIA information and operated under the patronage of hardline conservatives in the top rungs of the administration, the Pentagon and at the White House, including Vice-President Dick Cheney.
  • In the days after September 11, Mr Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, mounted an attempt to include Iraq in the war against terror. 
  • When the established agencies came up with nothing concrete to link Iraq and al-Qaida, the OSP was given the task of looking more carefully.
  • The OSP had access to a huge amount of raw intelligence. It came in part from “report officers” in the CIA’s directorate of operations whose job is to sift through reports from agents around the world, filtering out the unsubstantiated and the incredible.
  • The OSP itself had less than 10 full-time staff, so to help deal with the load, the office hired scores of temporary “consultants”. They included lawyers, congressional staffers, and policy wonks from the numerous rightwing thinktanks in Washington. Few had experience in intelligence.
  • The OSP absorbed this heady brew of raw intelligence, rumour and plain disinformation and made it a “product”, a prodigious stream of reports with a guaranteed readership in the White House. The primary customers were Mr Cheney, Mr Libby and their closest ideological ally on the national security council, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice’s deputy.
  • In turn, they leaked some of the claims to the press, and used others as a stick with which to beat the CIA and the state department analysts, demanding they investigate the OSP leads.

read the entire article at …

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* Seymour Hersh: selective intelligence from the OSP (5-12-03)

Posted by DXer on May 9, 2009

Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker (5-12-03) …

  • They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal—a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans.
  • In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community.
  • These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq.
  • “The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the government’s foreign policy, and they’ve pulled it off. They’re running Chalabi. The D.I.A. has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And there’s no guts at all in the C.I.A.”
  • According to the Pentagon adviser, Special Plans was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true—that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States.
  • Rumsfeld and his colleagues believed that the C.I.A. was unable to perceive the reality of the situation in Iraq. The goal of Special Plans, he said, was “to put the data under the microscope to reveal what the intelligence community can’t see.
  • For example, many newspapers published extensive interviews with Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a civil engineer who, with the I.N.C.’s help, fled Iraq in 2001, and subsequently claimed that he had visited twenty hidden facilities that he believed were built for the production of biological and chemical weapons.
  • One, he said, was underneath a hospital in Baghdad. Haideri was apparently a source for Secretary of State Colin Powell’s claim, in his presentation to the United Nations Security Council on February 5th, that the United States had “firsthand descriptions” of mobile factories capable of producing vast quantities of biological weapons. The U.N. teams that returned to Iraq last winter were unable to verify any of al-Haideri’s claims.
  • In a statement to the Security Council in March, on the eve of war, Hans Blix, the U.N.’s chief weapons inspector, noted that his teams had physically examined the hospital and other sites with the help of ground-penetrating radar equipment. “No underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far,” he said.
  • … they were using the intelligence from the C.I.A. and other agencies only when it fit their agenda. They didn’t like the intelligence they were getting, and so they brought in people to write the stuff. They were so crazed and so far out and so difficult to reason with—to the point of being bizarre. Dogmatic, as if they were on a mission from God.” He added, “If it doesn’t fit their theory, they don’t want to accept it.”
  • In interviews, former C.I.A. officers and analysts described the agency as increasingly demoralized. “George knows he’s being beaten up,” one former officer said of George Tenet, the C.I.A. director. “And his analysts are terrified. George used to protect his people, but he’s been forced to do things their way.”
  • The Defense Department and the Office of the Vice-President write their own pieces, based on their own ideology. We collect so much stuff that you can find anything you want.”

read the entire article at …

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* Seymour Hersh: Bush & Cheney corrupted the Iraq intelligence (10-27-03)

Posted by DXer on May 9, 2009

Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker (10-27-03) …

  • Since midsummer, the Senate Intelligence Committee has been attempting to solve the biggest mystery of the Iraq war: the disparity between the Bush Administration’s prewar assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and what has actually been discovered.
  • Part of the answer lies in decisions made early in the Bush Administration, before the events of September 11, 2001. In interviews with present and former intelligence officials, I was told that some senior Administration people, soon after coming to power, had bypassed the government’s customary procedures for vetting intelligence.
  • The vetting process is especially important when one is dealing with foreign-agent reports—sensitive intelligence that can trigger profound policy decisions.
  • … what the Bush people did was “dismantle the existing filtering process that for fifty years had been preventing the policymakers from getting bad information. They created stovepipes to get the information they wanted directly to the top leadership. Their position is that the professional bureaucracy is deliberately and maliciously keeping information from them.
  • There was also a change in procedure at the Pentagon under Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Douglas Feith, the Under-Secretary for Policy.
  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had long complained about the limits of American intelligence.
  • After he became Secretary of Defense, a separate intelligence unit was set up in the Pentagon’s policy office, under the control of William Luti, a senior aide to Feith. This office, which circumvented the usual procedures of vetting and transparency, stovepiped many of its findings to the highest-ranking officials.
  • The State of the Union speech was confounding to many members of the intelligence community, who could not understand how such intelligence could have got to the President without vetting.
  • The former White House official told me, “Maybe the Secretary of Defense and his people are short-circuiting the process, and creating a separate channel to the Vice-President. Still, at the end of the day all the policies have to be hashed out in the interagency process, led by the national-security adviser.” What happened instead, he said, “was a real abdication of responsibility by Condi.”

CC - front cover - small


LMW COMMENT … The separate Pentagon office which produced so much misinformation about Iraq and its ability to produce and deliver anthrax to the eastern U.S., is featured in my novel CASE CLOSED, to be published in the summer of 2009.







 read the entire article at …

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