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

Archive for June 2nd, 2009

* Congress tries to scrutinize the FBI’s anthrax investigation … so far with little success

Posted by DXer on June 2, 2009

 

LMW COMMENT

  • It is almost 8 years since the 2001 anthrax attacks, and yet it is abundantly clear that the FBI has not solved the case. The FBI contention that the deceased Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of these attacks would really be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.
  • Members of Congress have been seeking to get the facts from the FBI for many years, and are frustrated by the stonewalling of FBI Director Meuller. There are several initiatives underway, however, which may yet throw some light on whatever dark secrets the FBI is intent on keeping hidden.
  • It is my task this week to try to get updates on the status of various Congressional inquiries into the FBI’s anthrax investigation. As a prelude to these updates (if indeed any are forthcoming), I thought it would be helpful to summarize what has been said and written on this matter. Here is what I have found so far (readers of this blog – please send me more) …

3/3/09 – Holt introduces Anthrax Commission Legislation … Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today introduced the Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act of 2009, legislation that would establish a Congressional commission to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks and the federal government’s response to and investigation of the attacks. … “All of us – but especially the families of the victims of the anthrax attacks – deserve credible answers about how the attacks happened and whether the case really is closed,” Holt said. … Under Holt’s legislation, the commission would be comprised of no more than six members of from the same political party. The commission would hold public hearings, except in situations where classified information would be discussed. … The Commission’s final report would be due 18 months after the Commission begins operations. … “Myriad questions remain about the anthrax attacks and the government’s bungled response to the attacks,” Holt said. “One of the most effective oversight mechanisms we can employ to get answers to those questions is a 9/11 style Commission.”

March 2009 – Nadler and Holt call for investigative commission:This week, two Democratic congressmen, Jerry Nadler and Rush Holt, whose districts were affected by the attacks, introduced legislation calling for the creation of a 9/11-style commission to independently investigate the attacks because they say the nation deserves to know whether the case is truly solved.

September 2008 – Congressman Rush Holt: ”I just see so many loose ends in the case that I question whether the FBI is in the right frame of mind to bring this matter to the kind of closure that the public needs.”

9/16/2008 – House Judiciary Committee (reported by Glenn Greenwald)

  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (Mich.) and two other Democrats on the panel have signaled they will scrutinize the FBI’s work today.
  • This month, they wrote FBI Director Robert Mueller asking about missteps in identifying the anthrax strain used in the attacks and tracing it back to Ivins.
  • But after just an hour of the hearing, it is painfully clear that — as is true in virtually all of these hearings now before a pitifully powerless Congress —Mueller won’t provide the Committee with even a single answer of import, won’t even pretend to, and the Committee has no intent to compel him to do so.
  • the hearing began with an angry statement from Chairman Conyers about the fact that the FBI, in general, simply ignores all inquiries for information and answers from the Committee for months and months and months and then shows up at these hearings unprepared to answer even the questions they are advised will be asked, knowing that each member only has five minutes and can’t actually accomplish anything.
  • (Congressman Jerrold) Nadler (D-NY) than asked one of the most central questions in the anthrax case:
    • he pointed out that the facilities that (unlike Ft. Detrick) actually have the equipment and personnel to prepare dry, silica-coated anthrax are the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground and the Battelle Corporation, the private CIA contractor that conducts substantial research into highly complex strains of anthrax.
    • Nadler asked how the FBI had eliminated those institutions as the culprits behind the attack.
    • Mueller’s response was this: I don’t know the answers to those questions as to how we eliminated Dugway and Battelle. I’ll have to get back to you at some point.
  • Nadler then ended by asking whether Mueller would object to an independent commission or other body to review the FBI’s evidence and its accusations against Ivins and whether the FBI would cooperate with such an independent inquiry.
    • Mueller pretended to answer by telling Nadler that the FBI intended to ask some members of the National Academy of Science to review the FBI’s scientific claims, but that didn’t answer the question as to whether the FBI opposed a full-scale independent review of the FBI’s case and whether the FBI would cooperate with it.

9/16/2008 – post by Meryl Nass, M.D: 

  • Eleven or twelve members attended the House Judiciary Committee’s FBI oversight hearing today.
  • Repeatedly, they expressed disappointment with the FBI’s continuing failure to answer their questions, and to respond to written questions.
  • (FBI Director) Mueller spoke in generalities, failing to answer specific questions.
  • Only Rep. Nadler asked about anthrax, and to his credit inquired pointedly about the Silicon signature and weaponization. Mueller had no answers.
  • It’s FBI’s investigation that is unsatisfactory in every way, requiring an independent appraisal.
  • Don’t be fooled by an expensive and time-consuming NAS smokescreen.

September 2008 – reported by Glenn Greenwald (salon.com) One of the two Senate targets of the attack, Sen. Pat Leahy, flatly stated at a Senate hearing last September that he does not believe the FBI’s case against Ivins, and emphatically does not believe that Ivins acted alone.  … GOP Sen. Arlen Specter, at the same hearing, told the FBI they could never have obtained a conviction against Ivins in court based on their case — riddled, as it is, with so much doubt — and he also demanded an independent evaluation of the FBI’s evidence. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/04/anthrax/ … Grassley sent a letter to the FBI a month ago demanding answers to a whole slew of questions, and as he is asking them, Mueller — as he did yesterday — continues to say that he doesn’t have the answers and will obtain them at some point. … The Senators are indignant over this, but don’t appear to intend to do anything (just as was true for the House members yesterday), though Leahy is at least demanding that Mueller obtain these answers not at some point in the indefinite future, but today, during the breaks. The bottom line is that it is quite extraordinary that the FBI has claimed it has identified with certainty the sole culprit in the anthrax attacks, but so many key Senators, from both parties, simply don’t believe it, and are saying so explicitly. … Leahy’s rather dark suggestion that there were others involved in these attacks — likely at a U.S. Army facility or key private CIA contractor — is particularly notable. … It has been crystal clear from the beginning that the FBI’s case is filled with glaring holes, that their thuggish behavior towards their only suspect drove him to commit suicide and thus is unable to defend himself, and yet, to this day, the FBI continues to conceal the evidence in its possession and is stonewalling any and all efforts to scrutinize its claims. … It takes a lot for Senators from both parties to so openly and explicitly say they don’t believe the FBI’s definitive accusations in such a high-profile case. Perhaps that will be understood as a reflection of how dubious the FBI’s case here is. … these attacks were — as our own Government claims — ones that originated from U.S. Army facilities and perpetrated by U.S. Government employees, it ought to be understood as exactly that. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/17/senate_judiciary/index.html  September 2008 – Last week, staff members for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) pressed U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor and two FBI officials to say when the anthrax case will be closed and why investigators had fixed on Ivins six months after notifying him in April 2007 that he was not a target. Investigators told congressional aides that they are still pursuing leads in the “Amerithrax” investigation, sources said.

September 2008 – Senator Grassley letter to FBI Director Mueller: Here are the 18 questions asked in Senator Grassley’s letter …

  1. 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″)?
  2. When (month and year) did the FBI determine that Dr. Hatfill never had access to the anthrax used in the killings?
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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?
  14. 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?
  15. 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?
  16. 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?
  17. 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.
  18. What additional documents will be released, if any, and when will they be released?

August 2008 – Library of Congress – Senate Finance Committee – Mishandling of Anthrax Investigation  Senator Grassley has continued to follow closely the FBI investigation of the mailings of letters laced with anthrax to several targets in the United States, including members of Congress and the national media. Until late 2008, the investigation had yielded no criminal charges. Senator Grassley had been critical that the FBI’s apparent mishandling of the investigation was a result of the FBI’s institutional resistance to criticism and by the misallocation of resources toward protecting the FBI’s image rather than protecting the United States. Senator Grassley also expressed dissatisfaction with the FBI’s refusal to provide Congress with periodic briefings on the status of the investigation. He requested both a briefing on the status of the investigation and a number of documents and records relating to the case. The Attorney General responded with an initial refusal to provide either the requested documents or a briefing on the status of the investigation, citing the Department of Justice’s policy against disclosing non-public information concerning pending law enforcement activities and prosecutions. However, following additional negotiations, the FBI Director provided a briefing to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Arlen Specter, as well as Senator Grassley. The initial portion of the briefing was open to staff. However, the later portion of the briefing was Members-only. Since Dr. Ivins death, the FBI has provided several briefings for the staffs of Senator Grassley and other Members of Congress. However, given his misgivings about the FBI’s handling of the case, Senator Grassley will continue to conduct oversight of the FBI’s handling of the investigation. Significant questions remain unanswered about the scientific evidence relied upon by the FBI, why that evidence failed to lead them to Dr. Ivins much earlier in the investigation, how the FBI entrusted Dr. Ivins with samples of the attack material during the investigation, and when the FBI first learned of Dr. Ivins’ mental health issues. Senator Grassley has called for an independent inquiry to assure the public that the FBI’s decision to close its investigation is appropriate.

August 2008 – interview of Senator Grassley by Glenn Greenwald (Salon radio):    Sen. Grassley reveals that the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Pat Leahy (of which Grassley is a member), will now hold hearings to investigate the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins. Grassley demands that the FBI send officials who are able and willing to answer all questions, and also calls for full and complete public disclosure of all of the evidence in the FBI’s possession regarding its investigation.  Grassley: No, and I assume one of the reasons I haven’t (received an answer to my 18 questions) is because in the meantime, the FBI has consented to a hearing that Senator Leahy’s having, and a hearing is one instrument of doing it. If this case is solved the way the FBI wants us to believe that it’s been solved, is it closed? And if it’s closed, then everything ought to be brought out into the open. One of the problems we have right now is, with the FBI, there’s just too much secrecy. Getting all the documents out, getting all the information out is important. … That information, now that the case is closed, ought to be available to the entire public. At the very least it ought to be entitled to anybody that’s got oversight of the FBI if there’s some reason that the entire public should not be notified of it.  … in too many administrations, Republican or Democrat, there has been an effort to not fully cooperate with Congress on hearings. Now, that would tend to be a statement on my part, blaming the executive branch entirely, but I also, as a person who’s been very aggressive in oversight myself, feel that all of Congress has come up short of doing the proper checks and balances of government that our Constitution requires, and doing that through more aggressive oversight. see entire transcript of interview at … http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/radio/2008/08/20/grassley/index1.html

3/11/07 – 60 Minutes interviews Sen. Grassley Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has looked into the case and has concluded that there was leaking by top officials and that the purpose was not to shut Hatfill down, but to hide the lack of progress in the case. “I believe the extent to which they wanted the public to believe that they were making great progress in this case, and the enormous pressure they had after a few years to show that, yes, that they was very much misleading the public.” http://cbs3.com/topstories/60.Minutes.anthrax.2.281289.html

10/28/06 – Grassley says FBI needs to report on anthrax investigation  By Stella Shaffer RADIO IOWA   Senator Charles Grassley says the FBI’s failed investigation of a 2001 bio-terrorism attack on congress could signal bigger problems.  … Grassley says he’s concerned the FBI hasn’t solved the case. But he’s even more unhappy that they refuse to brief congress on the investigation. … Grassley sees only one reason for the silence: “If there were some sort of secret thing that was bringing them close to somebody and they didn’t want to let them know they were hot on somebody’s trail.”  … But Grassley says the FBI could make that clear in a report, thereby giving Congress an update and showing they were making progress. Grassley, who is a Republican, says he thinks government should be “transparent” and citizens have a right to know what’s happening particularly when FBI “headquarters is involved and trying to cover up what FBI agents at the grassroots are doing and they’re worried about the public relations of the FBI and that’s when they wind up getting egg on their faces.”  … Grassley charges that the secrecy is proof that the culture of the FBI is not changing like it should be, or as he’s been promised. … Grassley’s sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales requesting numerous documents and a full briefing on the anthrax investigation. … Grassley, who’s long been a critic of the FBI, says its refusal to submit to congressional oversight has resulted in an inability to prevent crime and terrorism, and has led to misconduct by senior staff members.

10/24/06 – Jim Popkin, NBC News Investigative Unit: 

  • 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.

9/28/2006 – FBI Letter to Congressman Rush Holt: listed on FBI’s Amerithrax site but no link provided to actual letter

November 2001 – FBI Letter Addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy listed on FBI’s Amerithrax site but no link provided to actual letter

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Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

* Glenn Greenwald outlines the conscious spreading of lies to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and thus add another plank in the pattern of lies which the Bush/Cheney administration used to justify their “war of choice”

Posted by DXer on June 2, 2009

Glenn Greenwald wrote on Salon.com (8/4/08)  Glenn Greenwald

  • Much more important than the general attempt to link the anthrax to Islamic terrorists, there was a specific intent — indispensably aided by ABC News — to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and Saddam Hussein.
  • ABC News, including Peter Jennings, repeatedly claimed that the presence of bentonite in the anthrax was compelling evidence that Iraq was responsible for the attacks, since — as ABC variously claimed — bentonite “is a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program” and “only one country, Iraq, has used bentonite to produce biological weapons.”
  • ABC News’ claim — which they said came at first from “three well-placed but separate sources,” followed by “four well-placed and separate sources” — was completely false from the beginning.
  • That means that ABC News’ “four well-placed and separate sources” fed them information that was completely false — false information that created a very significant link in the public mind between the anthrax attacks and Saddam Hussein.
  • It’s extremely possible — one could say highly likely — that the same people responsible for perpetrating the attacks were the ones who fed the false reports to the public, through ABC News, that Saddam was behind them.
  • What we know for certain — as a result of the letters accompanying the anthrax — is that whoever perpetrated the attacks wanted the public to believe they were sent by foreign Muslims.
  • Seven years later, as I’ve amply documented, those ABC News reports linking Saddam and anthrax penetrated very deeply — by design — into our public discourse and into the public consciousness.
  • The Weekly Standard published a much lengthier and more dogmatic article in April, 2002 again pushing the ABC “bentonite” claims and arguing: “There is purely circumstantial though highly suggestive evidence that might seem to link Iraq with last fall’s anthrax terrorism.”
  • The American Enterprise Institute’s Laurie Mylroie (who had an AEI article linking Saddam to 9/11 ready for publication at the AEI on September 13) expressly claimed in November 2001 that “there is also tremendous evidence that subsequent anthrax attacks are connected to Iraq” and based that accusation almost exclusively on the report from ABC and Ross (“Mylroie: Evidence Shows Saddam Is Behind Anthrax Attacks”).
  • And then, when President Bush named Iraq as a member of the “Axis of Evil” in his January 2002 State of the Union speech — just two months after ABC’s report, when the anthrax attacks were still very vividly on the minds of Americans — he specifically touted this claim: The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade.
  • Bush’s invocation of Iraq was the only reference in the State of the Union address to the unsolved anthrax attacks. And the Iraq-anthrax connection was explicitly made by the President at a time when, as we now know, he was already eagerly planning an attack on Iraq.
  • There can’t be any question that this extremely flamboyant though totally false linkage between Iraq and the anthrax attacks — accomplished primarily by the false bentonite reports from ABC News and Brian Ross — played a very significant role in how Americans perceived of the Islamic threat generally and Iraq specifically.
  • As but one very illustrative example, The Washington Post‘s columnist, Richard Cohen, supported the invasion of Iraq, came to regret that support, and then explained what led him to do so, in a 2004 Post column entitled “Our Forgotten Panic”: I’m not sure if panic is quite the right word, but it is close enough. Anthrax played a role in my decision to support the Bush administration’s desire to take out Saddam Hussein. I linked him to anthrax, which I linked to Sept. 11.
  • Cohen — in a March 18, 2008 Slate article in which he explains why he wrongfully supported the attack on Iraq — disclosed this: Anthrax. Remember anthrax? It seems no one does anymore — at least it’s never mentioned. But right after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, letters laced with anthrax were received at the New York Post and Tom Brokaw’s office at NBC. . . . There was ample reason to be afraid.
  • … The attacks were not entirely unexpected. I had been told soon after Sept. 11 to secure Cipro, the antidote to anthrax. The tip had come in a roundabout way from a high government official, and I immediately acted on it. I was carrying Cipro way before most people had ever heard of it.
  • For this and other reasons, the anthrax letters appeared linked to the awful events of Sept. 11. It all seemed one and the same.
  • Cohen’s mental process that led him to link anthrax to Iraq and then to support an attack on Iraq, warped as it is, was extremely common.
  • Having heard ABC News in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack flamboyantly and repeatedly link Saddam to the anthrax attacks, followed by George Bush’s making the same linkage (albeit more subtly) in his January, 2002 State of the Union speech, much of the public had implanted into their minds that Saddam Hussein was not just evil, but a severe threat to the U.S., likely the primary culprit behind the anthrax attacks. All along, though, the anthrax came from a U.S. Government/Army research lab.
  • Critically, ABC News never retracted its story (they merely noted, as they had done from the start, that the White House denied the reports). And thus, the linkage between Saddam and the anthrax attacks — every bit as false as the linkage between Saddam and the 9/11 attacks — persisted.
  • … the false reports linking anthrax to Iraq also came from the U.S. Government — from people with some type of significant links to the same facility responsible for the attacks themselves.
  • Surely the question of who generated those false Iraq-anthrax reports is one of the most significant and explosive stories of the last decade.
  • ABC News already knows the answers to these questions. They know who concocted the false bentonite story and who passed it on to them with the specific intent of having them broadcast those false claims to the world, in order to link Saddam to the anthrax attacks and — as importantly — to conceal the real culprit(s) (apparently within the U.S. government) who were behind the attacks.
  • And yet, unbelievably, they are keeping the story to themselves, refusing to disclose who did all of this. They’re allegedly a news organization, in possession of one of the most significant news stories of the last decade, and they are concealing it from the public, even years later.
  • They’re not protecting “sources.” The people who fed them the bentonite story aren’t “sources.” They’re fabricators and liars who purposely used ABC News to disseminate to the American public an extremely consequential and damaging falsehood.
  • But by protecting the wrongdoers, ABC News has made itself complicit in this fraud perpetrated on the public, rather than a news organization uncovering such frauds. That is why this is one of the most extreme journalistic scandals that exists, and it deserves a lot more debate and attention than it has received thus far. 
  • See  about Richard Cohen’s admission that he was told before the anthrax attacks happened by a “high government official” to take cipro. Atrios writes: “now that we know that the US gov’t believes that anthrax came from the inside, shouldn’t Cohen be a wee bit curious about what this warning was based on?”
  • Wouldn’t the most basic journalistic instincts lead them now — in light of the claims by our Government that the attacks came from a Government scientist — to wonder why and how their Government sources were warning about an anthrax attack?
  • Then again, the most basic journalistic instincts would have led ABC News to reveal who concocted and fed them the false “Saddam/anthrax” reports in the first place, and yet we still are forced to guess at those questions because ABC News continues to cover up the identity of the perpetrators. 
  • … it is not possible to overstate the importance of anthrax in putting the country into the state of fear that led to the attack on Iraq and so many of the other abuses of the Bush era.
  • There are few news stories more significant, if there are any, than unveiling who the culprits were behind this deliberate propaganda.

 read the entire post at … http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/01/anthrax/index.html

LMW COMMENT

CASE CLOSEDOne of the crucial questions raised in my just-published novel CASE CLOSED is why the FBI failed to solve the anthrax case.

My premise in the novel is that the FBI was told not to solve the case.

Who would have the power to divert an FBI investigation into a major terrorist attack which killed 5 people and threw our country into a panic? Why would anyone high in the government want to keep the FBI investigation OFF THE TRACK?

One reason might be the Bush/Cheney obsession with invading Iraq, and thus the need to keep the anthrax investigation open and to keep Saddam Hussein as a potential culprit … even though the FBI seems to have known at the time that any link between Saddam and the anthrax attacks was pure fantasy.

These questions form an important part of my fictional account in which the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) re-investigates the FBI’s anthrax investigation.

Do I believe that CASE CLOSED presents 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 source in the Intelligence Commnity, have told me that my story is, unfortunately, all too plausible.


* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube




Posted in * Iraq & anthrax, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

* Glenn Greenwald’s 3/4/09 article, which summarizes the widespread doubts that the FBI is not telling the truth when it says Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator and that the case should be closed, is worth re-reading

Posted by DXer on June 2, 2009

Glenn Greenwald (Salon) wrote (3/4/09) …  Glenn Greenwald

  • One of the best and smartest members in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Rush Holt: “All of us – but especially the families of the victims of the anthrax attacks – deserve credible answers about how the attacks happened and whether the case really is closed,”
  • I’ve written repeatedly about the huge questions that still remain with regard to the anthrax attacks, with a particular focus on the early and quite successful efforts (aided by ABC News’ Brian Ross) to blame the attacks in the public’s mind on Saddam Hussein.  
  • The FBI’s case is riddled with glaring inconsistencies and numerous internal contradictions, enormous evidentiary holes, and pretenses of scientific certainty that are quite dubious. 
  • One of the two Senate targets of the attack, Sen. Pat Leahy, flatly stated at a Senate hearing last September that he does not believe the FBI’s case against Ivins, and emphatically does not believe that Ivins acted alone. 
  • GOP Sen. Arlen Specter, at the same hearing, told the FBI they could never have obtained a conviction against Ivins in court based on their case — riddled, as it is, with so much doubt — and he also demanded an independent evaluation of the FBI’s evidence.  
  • GOP Sen. Charles Grassley has been a long-time skeptic of the FBI’s anthrax investigation and has expressed serious doubts about the case against Ivins.
  • The ultimate establishment organ, The Washington PostEditorial Page, issued numerous editorials expressing serious doubts about the FBI’s case against Ivins and called for an independent investigation.   
  • The New York Times Editorial Page echoed those views.   
  • Even The Wall St. Journal Editorial Page, citing the FBI’s “so long and so many missteps,” argued that “independent parties need to review all the evidence, especially the scientific forensics” and concluded that “this is an opportunity for Congress to conduct legitimate oversight.”
  • In the wake of the FBI’s accusations against Ivins, the science journal Nature flatly declared in its editorial headline — “Case Not Closed” — and demanded an independent investigation into the FBI’s case. 
  • After the FBI publicly disclosed some of its evidence against Ivins, The New York Times reported “growing doubts from scientists about the strength of the government’s case.”  
  • The Baltimore Sun detailed that “scientists and legal experts criticized the strength of the case and cast doubt on whether it could have succeeded.”  
  • Dr. Alan Pearson, Director of the Biological and Chemical Weapons Control Program at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation — representative of numerous experts in the field  — expressed many of those scientific doubts and demanded a full investigation.
  • … an investigation by Congress itself — is far inferior, as anyone who has observed any so-called “Congressional investigation” over the last decade should immediately recognize (here, as but one example, is the account I wrote about a House hearing last September attempting — with cringe-inducing ineptitude and total futility — to “grill” FBI Director Robert Mueller about the FBI’s case against Ivins). 
  • How effective an independent investigative Commission like this will be will depend on the details of its structure — its subpoena powers, punishments for defiance, and the independence of its members. 
  • That Rush Holt will play a key role, if not the key role, in overseeing its creation is a reassuring feature that the bill he introduced can be actually productive.
  • The importance of full disclosure of all facts surrounding the anthrax attacks cannot be overstated.  This was the opposite of a run-of-the-mill crime.  To the contrary, the anthrax attacks — by design, as everyone acknowledges — had an immense political impact on the country.  Contrary to endless claims from Bush supporters that Bush allowed no more terrorist attacks on “the homeland” after 9/11, the anthrax attack was exactly such a terrorist attack.
  • For reasons I’ve detailed previously, I actually believe that the anthrax attacks played a larger role than the 9/11 attack itself in elevating America’s fear levels to hysterical heights, which in turn put the citizenry into the state of frightened submission that enabled so many of the subsequent events of the Bush presidency.  
  • The 9/11 attacks appeared to be a one-time extraordinary event, but it was multi-staged anthrax attacks — coming a mere four weeks later — that normalized and personalized the Terrorist threat. 
  • Whatever one’s views are on the abstract 9/11-anthrax comparison, there is no question that the anthrax attacks were a major political crime.  According to the FBI, the anthrax letters were directed at U.S. Senators (Leahy and Daschle) due to their political views (specifically their opposition to the Patriot Act, their allegedly “soft on terrorism” approach, and their pro-choice views).  
  • And perhaps most importantly, the anthrax attacks — again, according to the FBI itself — came from a U.S. Army laboratory, perpetrated by a U.S. Government scientist. 
  • As the aforementioned Dr. Pearson put it: If Ivins was indeed responsible for the attacks, did he have any assistance? Did anyone else at the Army lab or elsewhere have any knowledge of his activities prior to, during, or shortly after the anthrax attacks? . . . .
  • It appears increasingly likely that the only significant bioterrorism attack in history may have originated from right within the biodefense program of our own country.  The implications for our understanding of the bioterrorism threat and for our entire biodefense strategy and enterprise are potentially profound.

read the entire post at … http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/04/anthrax/

LMW COMMENT

CASE CLOSEDCan any reasonable person still believe the FBI has actually solved the anthrax case? So why does the FBI continue to claim that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator when it is obvious that he wasn’t? Why does the FBI refuse to anser questions posed by members of Congress? What is the FBI trying to keep hidden from the American people?

I wrote my just-published novel CASE CLOSED in order to address questions like these in a fictional account which provides much more leeway than a stright reporting of the facts.

My premise in CASE CLOSED is that the FBI didn’t solve the anthrax case because they were told not to. A terrifying thought! Who would have the power to squelch an FBI investigation? Why?

Do I believe that CASE CLOSED presents 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 source in the Intelligence Commnity, have told me that my story is, unfortunately, all too plausible.


* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube


                              


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