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

* NAS announces committee to review FBI’s anthrax science

Posted by DXer on July 1, 2009

why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax caseCASE CLOSED

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***

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee named

for review of the scientific approaches used

during the FBI’s investigation

of the 2001 Bacillus Anthracis mailings

***

Dr. Alice P. Gast – (Chair), Lehigh University

Dr. Arturo Casadevall, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Dr. Nancy D. Connell, New Jersey Medical School

Dr. Adam Driks, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Dr. Thomas V. Inglesby, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Dr. Murray V. Johnston, University of Delaware

Dr. Karen Kafadar, Indiana University

Dr. Richard E. Lenski, Michigan State University

Dr. Richard M. Losick, Harvard University

Dr. Alice C. Mignerey, University of Maryland, College Park

The Honorable Jed S. Rakoff, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Dr. David A. Relman, Stanford University

Dr. Robert C. Shaler, Pennsylvania State University

Dr. David R. Walt, Tufts University

************************** cv’s below *********************

Dr. Alice P. Gast – (Chair), Lehigh University

On August 1, 2006, Alice P. Gast became Lehigh University’s 13th president. Previously she was the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Vice President for Research and Associate Provost at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to moving to MIT in 2001, she spent 16 years as a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University and at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory. In her research she studies surface and interfacial phenomena, in particular the behavior of complex fluids. Some of her areas of research include colloidal aggregation and ordering, protein lipid interactions and enzymes reactions at surfaces. In 1997 Gast co-authored the sixth edition of “Physical Chemistry of Surfaces.” with Arthur Adamson. Professor Gast received her BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California. After earning her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University, Gast spent a postdoctoral year on a NATO fellowship at the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles in Paris. She returned there for a sabbatical as a Guggenheim Fellow. She was a 1999 Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University in Garching, Germany. She received the National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiative in Research, and the Colburn Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. She has served on numerous advisory committees including the NRC Board on Chemical Science and Technology, and the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee. She was elected to the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2006.

Dr. Arturo Casadevall, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Arturo Casadevall is the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is also a Professor in the Department of Medicine. He received his B.A. from Queens College, CUNY, and M.S., M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University. His laboratory is interested in the fundamental questions of how microbes cause disease and how the host protects itself against microbes. The laboratory has a multidisciplinary research program spanning several areas of basic immunology and microbiology to address these general questions, which has resulted over 430 publications. His laboratory studies are focused on two microbes: the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, a ubiquitous environmental microbe that is a frequent cause of disease in immunocompromised individuals and Bacillus anthracis, which a major agent of biological warfare. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, to the American Association of Physicians and as a fellow of the AAAS. Dr. Casadevall has served on numerous advisory committees to the NIH including study sections, strategic planning for the NIAID and the blue ribbon panel on response to bioterrorism. He currently co-chairs the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIAID and is a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB). He an editor for Infection and Immunity, serves on the editorial boards of several journals, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Solomon A. Berson Medical Alumni Achievement Award in Basic Science-NYU School of Medicine 2005 and the IDSA Kass Lecturer in 2008.

Dr. Nancy D. Connell, New Jersey Medical School

Dr. Connell is professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-New Jersey Medical School. She is also director of the UMDNJ Center for BioDefense, which was established in 1999 and is the recipient of $11.5 million in congressional recommendations (2000-2006) for research into the detection and diagnosis of biological warfare agents and biodefense preparedness. Dr. Connell also is director of the Biosafety Level 3 Facility of UMDNJ’s Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens and chairs the Recombinant DNA Subcommittee of the university’s Institutional Biosafety Committee and she has worked with several international programs on dual use issues. She is past chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Review Study Section HIBP (Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens, which reviews bacterial-pathogenesis submissions to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She is current chair of the F13 infectious diseases and microbiology fellowship panel. Dr. Connell’s involvement in biological weapons control began in 1984, when she was chair of the Committee on the Military Use of Biological Research, a subcommittee of the Council for Responsible Genetics, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Connell received her Ph.D. in microbial genetics from Harvard University. Her major research focus is the interaction between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the macrophage.

Dr. Adam Driks, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Adam Driks is associate professor in the Stritich School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Driks was awarded a Ph.D. from Brandeis University. For the past 15 years, his laboratory has studied the assembly and function of the spores formed by Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis and other Bacillus species. The lab uses genetic, cell biological and protein biochemical approaches to identify the proteins comprising the spore, understand how those proteins are guided to specific locations on and within the spore, and elucidate the roles of those proteins in spore resistance and other properties. The lab has also used the results of those basic studies to identify molecular signatures that identify the method of spore preparation and storage. More recently, the lab has extended its work to analyze the evolution of protective proteins in the spore, and the relationship between the spores’ nanoarchitecture and its distinctive mechanical properties.

Dr. Thomas V. Inglesby, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Thomas V. Inglesby, M.D., is Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Director of the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC and Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He is an infectious disease physician by training. Dr. Inglesby is Coeditor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. He has authored a number of widely cited publications on anthrax, smallpox, plague, and biosecurity issues related to medicine and hospital preparedness, public health, science, pandemic planning, and national security. He is a principal editor of the JAMA book entitled Bioterrorism: Guidelines for Medical and Public Health Management. Dr. Inglesby was a principal designer, author, and controller of the widely recognized Atlantic Storm exercise of 2005 and of the Dark Winter smallpox exercise of 2001. He has served in advisory and consultative capacities for government, scientific organizations, and academia on issues related to biosecurity—providing briefings for officials in the Administration and for Congressional members and staff; serving on a task force of the Defense Science Board of the DoD and a committee of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences; and participating in an advisory capacity to CDC, NIH, HHS, DHS, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Prior to helping establish the Center for Biosecurity in 2003, Dr. Inglesby was one of the founding members of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, where he served as Deputy Director from 2001 to 2003. He was also a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine from 1999 to 2003. Dr. Inglesby is Board-certified in Infectious Diseases. He received a BA in 1988 from Georgetown University and an MD from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1992. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Infectious Diseases Fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and served as Assistant Chief of Service in the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine in 1996 and 1997.

Dr. Murray V. Johnston, University of Delaware

Dr. Johnston is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware. He began his academic career as an assistant/associate professor of chemistry and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received a Center for Advanced Study fellowship in 1999, the Outstanding Scholar Award in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2001, the Delaware Section Award of the American Chemical Society in 2003, and the Benjamin Y. H. Liu Award from the American Association for Aerosol Research in 2008. Dr. Johnston’s research includes applications of mass spectrometry to a wide array of materials, from airborne particles to biological and polymeric macromolecules. Over the past 15 years he has used real-time single-particle mass spectrometry to study microchemical reactions within particles, heterogeneous reactions between gas-phase and particulate-phase species, and ambient fine-ultrafine particles (50-1000 nm) at various urban sites. His current work emphasizes the use of photoionization aerosol mass spectrometry to characterize organic components of combustion and ambient aerosols, nano aerosol mass spectrometry to characterize individual nanoparticles and macromolecules smaller than about 30 nm, and conventional mass spectrometry to characterize oligomeric compounds in secondary organic aerosols. His work has led to some 140 publications.

Dr. Karen Kafadar, Indiana University

Dr. Kafadar is James H. Rudy Professor of Statistics and Physics at Indiana University. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford and her Ph.D. in Statistics from Princeton under John Tukey. Her research focuses on exploratory data analysis, robust methods, characterization of uncertainty in quantitative studies, and analysis of experimental data in the physical, chemical, biological, and engineering sciences. Prior to Indiana University, she was Professor and Chancellor’s Scholar in the Departments of Mathematical Sciences and Preventive Medicine & Biometrics at the University of Colorado-Denver; Fellow at the National Cancer Institute (Cancer screening section); and Mathematical Statistician at Hewlett Packard Company (R&D laboratory for RF/Microwave test equipment) and at National Institute of Standards and Technology (where she continues as Guest Faculty Visitor on problems of measurement accuracy, experimental design, and data analysis). Previous engagements include consultancies in industry and government as well as visiting appointments at University of Bath, Virginia Tech, and Iowa State University. She has served on previous NRC committees and chaired the National Academies’ Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. She also serves on the editorial boards for several professional journals as Editor or Associate Editor and on the governing boards for the American Statistical Association, the Institute
of Mathematical Statistics, and the International Statistical Institute. She is an Elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the International Statistical Institute, has authored over 90 journal articles and book chapters, and has advised numerous M.S. and Ph.D. students.

Dr. Richard E. Lenski, Michigan State University

Richard Lenski is the Hannah Distinguished Professor of Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University. His research explores the genetic mechanisms and ecological processes that underlie evolution. While most evolutionary research uses the comparative method, Lenski pursues an experimental approach using bacteria. In an experiment started 21 years ago, Lenski and his team have watched 12 populations of E. coli evolve in the lab for more than 40,000 generations to investigate the phenotypic and genetic dynamics of adaptation and diversification. Lenski and his students have performed other experiments with microbes on the dynamics of host-parasite interactions, the evolution of mutation rates, and even social interactions. Lenski also collaborates with an interdisciplinary team on experiments using digital organisms – computer programs that replicate, mutate, compete, and evolve – to investigate the evolution of complexity. Prof. Lenski has received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1996) and been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (2006).

Dr. Richard M. Losick, Harvard University

Richard M. Losick is the Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology, a Harvard College Professor, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University. He received his A.B. in Chemistry at Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Upon completion of his graduate work, Professor Losick was named a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows when he began his studies on RNA polymerase and the regulation of gene transcription in bacteria. Professor Losick is a past Chairman of the Departments of Cellular and Developmental Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. He received the Camille and Henry Dreyfuss Teacher-Scholar Award, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of the American Philosophical Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a former Visiting Scholar of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He is the 2007 recipient of the Selman A. Waksman Award of the National Academy of Sciences and a 2009 recipient of the Canada Gairdner Award.

Dr. Alice C. Mignerey, University of Maryland, College Park

Professor Alice Mignerey is a Nuclear Chemist with research programs in basic nuclear science and in applications of the nuclear analytical technique of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) to environmental problems. Professor Mignerey’s basic nuclear research is focused on understanding the behavior of nuclear matter under conditions of extreme density (pressure) and temperature. These conditions are postulated to have existed just after the Big Bang, when the protons and neutrons had not yet formed from their constituent quarks and the gluons which hold them together. This so-called quark-gluon plasma has been predicted to be accessible through heavy-ion reactions at high energies. The experimental program is centered at the Brookhaven National Laboratory RHIC accelerator where colliding beams of nuclei reach center-of-mass energies of 200 AGeV, producing conditions mimicking those of the early universe. Prof. Mignerey is a member of the PHOBOS and PHENIX Collaborations at RHIC and the CMS Heavy Ion Group at the CERN LHC. The research program in AMS has concentrated on the uses of the cosmogenic nuclides, such as C-14 and Cl-36, to study ground-water and soil systems. Technique development is currently being carried out with researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory Trace Element AMS facility (TEAMS) to allow dating separate organic fractions in the organic C-14 carbon pool.

The Honorable Jed S. Rakoff, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Judge Rakoff is a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. He was appointed on January 4, 1996, and entered on duty on March 1, 1996. Judge Rakoff graduated with honors in English literature from Swarthmore College (BA 1964), earned his M. Phil. from Balliol College at Oxford University (1966), and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School (J.D. 1969). He has received honorary degrees from St. Francis University and from Swarthmore. After serving as law clerk to the late Honorable Abraham Freedman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Rakoff spent two years in private practice at Debevoise & Plimpton before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He spent seven years with the Office, the last two as Chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Prosecutions Unit. He then returned to private practice where he was a partner first with Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Ferdon, and then with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. He headed both firms’ criminal defense and civil RICO sections.

Dr. David A. Relman, Stanford University

David A. Relman, M.D., is professor of medicine (infectious diseases and geographic medicine) and of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine, and chief of the infectious disease section at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System. Dr. Relman received his B.S. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in internal medicine and a clinical fellowship in infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, after which he moved to Stanford for a postdoctoral fellowship in 1986 and joined the faculty there in 1994. His major research focus is on understanding the structure and role of the human indigenous microbial communities in health and disease. This work brings together approaches from ecology, population biology, environmental microbiology, genomics, and clinical medicine. A second area of investigation explores the classification structure of humans with systemic infectious diseases, based on patterns of genome-wide gene transcript abundance in blood and other tissues. The goals of this work are to understand mechanisms of host-pathogen interaction, as well as predict clinical outcome early in the disease process. His scientific achievements include the description of a novel approach for identifying previously unknown pathogens; the characterization of a number of new human microbial pathogens, including the agent of Whipple’s disease; and some of the most in-depth analyses to date of human indigenous microbial communities. Among his other activities, Dr. Relman currently serves as chair of the Forum on Microbial Threats of the Institute of Medicine (National Academies of Science), is a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, and advises a number of U.S. government departments and agencies on matters related to pathogen diversity, the future life sciences landscape, and the nature of present and future biological threats. He was co-chair of the Committee on Advances in Technology and the Prevention of Their Application to Next Generation Biowarfare Threats for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. He received the Squibb Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) in 2001, the Senior Scholar Award in Global Infectious Diseases from the Ellison Medical Foundation in 2002, an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2006, and a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award in 2006. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Robert C. Shaler, Pennsylvania State University

After obtaining a doctoral degree in Biochemistry from the Pennsylvania State University in 1968, Dr. Shaler worked at the University of Pittsburgh as a professor of chemistry and at the Pittsburgh Crime Laboratory as a criminalist. His research resulted in the development of a bloodstain analysis system, the defacto standard in forensic laboratories until the early 1990’s. The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner beckoned in 1978. He directed the forensic serology laboratory and performed and directed forensic biological analyses in all New York City homicide investigations. In the wake of the WTC attacks on September 11, 2001, he assumed the responsibility for identifying the people who perished. He designed, organized, and implemented the DNA testing strategy that became the cornerstone for the majority of the identified victims. After the OCME effort to identify the WTC victims paused, he accepted a professorship in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department and the directorship of the forensic science program at the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. David R. Walt, Tufts University

David R. Walt is the Robinson Professor of Chemistry at Tufts University. He is also the founding scientist, director, and chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Illumina, Inc. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Michigan State University and Ph.D. in chemical biology from the State University of New York, Stony Brook. His laboratory is world-renowned for its pioneering work that applies micro- and nanotechnology to urgent biological problems such as the analysis of genetic variation and the behavior of single cells, as well as the practical application of arrays to the detection of explosives, chemical warfare agents, air contaminants, and food and waterborne pathogens. Dr. Walt is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Special Creativity Award in 1995 and the 3M Research Creativity Award in 1989. He has served on a number of NRC committees including the Committee on Review of Testing and Evaluation Methodology for Biological Point Detectors.

Comment on Provisional Committee Appointments

Viewers may communicate with the National Academies at any time over the project’s duration. In addition, formal comments on the provisional appointments to a committee of the National Academies are solicited during the 20-calendar day period following the posting of the membership and, as described below, these comments will be considered before committee membership is finalized. We welcome your comments (Use the Feedback link below).

Please note that the appointments made to this committee are provisional, and changes may be made. No appointment shall be considered final until we have evaluated relevant information bearing on the committee’s composition and balance. This information will include the confidential written disclosures to The National Academies by each member-designate concerning potential sources of bias and conflict of interest pertaining to his or her service on the committee; information from discussion of the committee’s composition and balance that is conducted in closed session at its first meeting and again whenever its membership changes; and any public comments that we have received on the membership during the 20-calendar day formal public comment period. If additional members are appointed to this committee, an additional 20-calendar day formal public comment period will be allowed. It is through this process that we determine whether the committee contains the requisite expertise to address its task and whether the points of views of individual members are adequately balanced such that the committee as a whole can address its charge objectively.

originally posted athttp://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49105

4 Responses to “* NAS announces committee to review FBI’s anthrax science”

  1. Ike Solem said

    Second that on the Frederick New-Post reporting, it’s been the best of any of the newspapers.

  2. DXer said

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    National Academy of Science forms committee to review the science of FBI’s anthrax investigation
    The National Academies today announced its committee membership to review the FBI’s scientific analysis of anthrax. In an unusual move, the NAS has issued a 20 day comment period in which the public may dispute proposed committee members on the basis of bias.

    Why was the NAS committee formed? The first mention of such a committee was made by FBI Director Mueller at a House Judiciary Oversight Committee hearing last September. I attended the hearing. Mueller only brought up the subject of a National Academy of Science investigation to sidetrack his Congressional questioners. Here is what I wrote at the time:
    … responding to Rep. Nadler’s question of whether the FBI would cooperate with an independent investigation, Mueller attempted to confuse the issue of an independent investigation, saying FBI was requesting this from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). However, the NAS will only be asked to review FBI’s “microbial forensic” science. (FBI’s M.O. is to keep trotting out the genomics, no matter what question is asked.) And NAS didn’t even know they were going to get this gig until today’s hearing, suggesting NAS’ study might just be a bone thrown to the committee to head off a truly independent investigation of the letters case.
    The NAS will determine whether FBI’s genomics work used acceptable science. I certainly hope it did, given the national security implications if it didn’t, let alone the time and expense to complete the FBI-sponsored research program.

    However, the very best the committee and FBI can do with all the scientific data is to determine whether the progenitor anthrax used in some of the anthrax letters came from a flask used by deceased scientist Bruce Ivins. Yet over 100 other people also had access to this flask, and might have been involved.

    Therefore, what this committee finds will be entirely tangential to who sent the anthrax letters. To solve that problem requires old-fashioned police work, which includes developing a logical theory of the crime. Means, motive, opportunity and evidence will then assume their rightful places in this case.
    Posted by Meryl Nass, M.D. at 11:22 PM

    http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2009/07/national-academy-of-science-forms.html

  3. Ike Solem said

    One question of interest here is whether or not the National Academy group will have access to classified documents in the possession of the U.S. military regarding recipes for preparation of aerosolized highly dispersible anthrax spores?

    The fact that some of the people on the committee are involved in the U.S. biodefense program or are associated with universities who receive federal biowarfare funding also points to certain conflicts of interest – just from the above list, we have:

    1) She has served on numerous advisory committees including the NRC Board on Chemical Science and Technology, and the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee

    2) He currently co-chairs the Board of Scientific Counselors for the NIAID and is a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB)

    blurb: “BATTELLE AND TEAM AWARDED MAJOR CONTRACT TO MANAGE INTEGRATED RESEARCH FACILITY AT FORT DETRICK

    Battelle was notified recently that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a 10-year potential $257 million contract to support the management and operations of a National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) research lab.”

    3) She is also director of the UMDNJ Center for BioDefense, which was established in 1999 and is the recipient of $11.5 million in congressional recommendations (2000-2006) for research into the detection and diagnosis of biological warfare agents and biodefense preparedness.

    4) Nothing noted.

    5) Prior to helping establish the Center for Biosecurity in 2003, Dr. Inglesby was one of the founding members of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, where he served as Deputy Director from 2001 to 2003.

    So, that’s just the first five – I’ve got other things to do right now, but it seems fairly obvious that there are a lot of biowarfare program insiders on this committee – and they very well may have been pre-selected for that very reason.

    This kind of government contracting behavior has gone too far – it’s like something out of the Soviet Union’s biowarfare program. I seriously doubt whether they are going to issue any statements that undercut their own funding sources! Please, send in public comments on this.

  4. DXer said

    Committee formed to review FBI anthrax investigation
    Originally published July 02, 2009

    By Justin M. Palk
    News-Post Staff

    The public has 20 days to comment on the makeup of an independent committee being assembled to study the science the FBI used in its investigation into the 2001 anthrax mailings.

    The 14 provisional members of the National Academy of Sciences study committee include medical doctors, chemists, microbiologists and a U.S. District Court judge.

    The academy will consider public comments on the proposed committee membership before finalizing the roster.

    The FBI requested the study last year, after critics questioned the validity of the science it used in matching the anthrax used in the 2001 mailings with that in a flask controlled by Bruce Ivins, a Fort Detrick microbiologist.

    Ivins committed suicide on July 26, 2008.

    According to the academy, the review will examine the techniques the FBI used for their scientific reliability and use in forensic validation.

    It will also examine whether the FBI reached appropriate conclusions based on its use of those techniques.

    The study will specifically not examine how persuasive the scientific evidence might be in regards to an investigation or any prosecution or litigation. It will also not make any determination about the guilt or innocence of any person in regard to the anthrax mailings.

    The study will take 18 months and will cost approximately $880,000. …

    Comment: Frederick News-Post deserves a lot of credit to rising to the occasion in pursuing the Amerithrax story. The editor’s early commentary about how FOI is a marathon, not a sprint, was moving. This JMP appears to be carrying the baton. We all wish him well whatever our particular point of view.

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