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

* Dr. Bruce Ivins was not the only bioweapons expert who died in a strange way

Posted by DXer on July 16, 2009


why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?

CASE CLOSED offers a “fictional” answer





Dr. Bruce Ivins was not the only bioweapons expert

who died in a strange way



Sue Read has written a terrifying article about a series of strange deaths of bioweapons experts.

Are the questions about these deaths … Kelly – Que – Wiley – Pasechnik – Ivins the unproven rattling of conspiracy theorists? Or is there a pattern here that is truly terrifying?

The death of Dr. Bruce Ivins, and the FBI’s charge just 8 days later that he was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks, is simply too convenient to accept without full investigation. And it is quite clear to any independent observer that we have not had anything near full disclosure of the basis for either scientific or investigative aspects of the FBI’s case. New doubts arise whenever any new facts are presented.

The FBI’s case just doesn’t wash.

In my novel CASE CLOSED, I put forward a fictional scenario to explain this and other aspects of the case where the official version of the facts seem less than believable.

I don’t contend that my fictional account is what really happened, but I am convinced I have raised the right questions and that the FBI has yet to provide adequate answers.

Please contact your Congressman and demand that Rush Holt’s Anthrax Investigation Commission, currently awaiting action in the House Judiciary Committee, become a reality.


Sue Read writes in Mail Online, Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd, Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group (7-16-09) …

Dr. David Kelly died in Oxfordshire on July 17, 2003 …

  • To this day, there are many unanswered questions about how Dr. Kelly died
  • The day Dr David Kelly took a short walk to his death in the Oxfordshire countryside, an unopened letter lay on the desk of his book-lined study.
  • No one has ever explained why the eminent scientist and UN weapons inspector did not open the letter, but everyone close to him is convinced he knew its contents.
  • It was designed to silence him because his Ministry of Defence bosses had discovered that not only was he secretly talking to journalists, but was also preparing to write an explosive book about his work.
  • Dr Kelly had examined the Government’s ‘sexed up dossier’ which declared that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which could be activated in just 45 minutes. The claim was used by Tony Blair in 2002 as the central justification for the Iraq war.
  • In one final phone conversation he told a caller he wouldn’t be surprised ‘if my body was found in the woods’.
  • And so it was to be. The official inquiry into his death later decided that he committed suicide  –  by slashing his wrist and consuming a cocktail of painkillers.
  • But this week, 13 respected doctors declared that it was medically impossible for Dr Kelly to have died in this manner. They are mounting a legal battle to overturn the suicide verdict.
  • A new film, Anthrax War, to be released in London this weekend, also asserts that Dr Kelly had spent hours writing a tell-all book which would violate the Official Secrets Act by exposing Britain’s dubious authority for toppling Saddam Hussein.

‘You couldn’t commit suicide like that’

  • A detailed medical dossier by the 13 British doctors, however, rejects the Hutton conclusion on the grounds that a cut to the small ulnar artery is not deadly.
  • The dossier is being used by lawyers to demand a proper inquest and the release of Dr Kelly’s autopsy report, which has never been made public. Their evidence will be sent to Sir John Chilcot’s forthcoming Iraq War inquiry.

Dr. Benito Que died in Miami five weeks later …

  • Five weeks later, Dr Benito Que, a cell biologist known to Dr Kelly, was found in a coma near his Miami laboratory.
  • Dr Que, 52, was found unconscious outside in the car park of his lab and died in hospital. Officially, he suffered a heart attack  –  although his family say he was struck on the head. Police refused to re-open the case.

Ten days later, Dr. Don Wiley died …

  • Ten days after Dr Que’s death, another friend of Dr Kelly died. Dr Don Wiley, 57, one of America’s foremost microbiologists, had a U.S. Government contract to create a vaccine against the killer Ebola fever and other so-called doomsday germs.
  • His rental car was found abandoned on a bridge across the Mississippi. The keys were in the ignition and the petrol tank full. There had been no crash, but Dr Wiley had disappeared.
  • The FBI visited Wiley’s laboratory and removed most of his work. A month later his body was found 300 miles downstream, with evidence of severe head injuries. No forensic examination was performed and his death was ruled ‘accidental’.

Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik died on November 22, 2001 …

  • And there is more. The most mysterious death of them all happened to Dr Vladimir Pasechnik  –  a Soviet defector Dr Kelly knew well.
  • As chief director of the Institute for Ultra-Pure Biological preparations in St Petersburg, Pasechnik had developed killer germs. ‘I want the West to know of this. There must be a way to stop this madness,’ he told Dr Kelly in a safe house.
  • The two scientists became friends. And soon Vladimir had set up the Regma Biotechnologies laboratory, near Porton Down. He seemed healthy when he left work on the night of November 21, 2001.
  • Returning home, the 64-year-old cooked supper and went to sleep. He was found dead in bed the next day.

read the entire article at …


72 Responses to “* Dr. Bruce Ivins was not the only bioweapons expert who died in a strange way”

  1. DXer said

    Everyone needs to put Ed’s ability in assessing facts in context. He thinks it is 95 % certain that a First Grader wrote the letters. Ed is not going to have to wait until H. Heine (for whom the draw was made on October 6 as I recall) is free to address these issues when the gag order is removed. (He thinks an Ivins Theory is a total crock). Ed will assert his beliefs regardless of the facts and will not address or test facts alleged to support alternative theories (or even his own First Grader Theory).

    I think, though, skeptics need to appreciate that flask 1030 evidenced a “Silicon Signature.” So we can eagerly await the lab notebook for that additional reason — it will hopefully will reveal both how Ivins spent his time and the reason for the “silicon signature” of flask 1030. The massive silica in the first batch of anthrax letters likely points to the same method that led to the “silicon signature” of flask 1030. And so then the key to understanding is whether the origin of the signature in flask 1030 points to a culprit for the mailed letters.

    Does the silicon signature relate to the soil suspension that FBI anthrax expert John Ezzell made in preparing the dry powder for the DARPA project he mentioned to me? Is it related to the $100,000 CIA grant TK had in 2001 to study the persistence of anthrax in soil? (The TK lab upgraded to BL3 when Rick Lyons was mailed Ivins-supplied Ames in 3/2001, and then the TK lab was devastated by millions of gallons of water from a tropical storm; Aafia’s MD sister-in-law worked down the hall from TK upon moving there from Ann Arbor in 2001). Or it related to the DARPA funded patent relating to concentration of anthrax using silica in the culture medium — the co-inventors of that patent were 15 feet from the Salafist-Jihadist coordinating with the 911 imam and Bin Laden’s sheik.

    Ed talks about how it would be impossible to keep a secret — without appreciating that the Amerithrax Task Force has been compartmentalized into three squads. Keeping classified information secret is normal routine procedure. Even now the ongoing briefing of the Salafist-Jihadist working 15 feet from the co-inventors of the process to concentrate anthrax using silica is subject to briefing so highly classified that not even his defense counsel can see it or the District Court clerk. For years, not even the prosecutor Gordon was privy to the secrets. So do you think the young postal inspectors pursuing the fact that Ivins’ father graduated from Princeton twenty years before he was born were privy to the secret? They weren’t, Ed. They still aren’t. But Mr. Persichini in his decision-making likely is factoring in that a lot of secrets may come out the day after he closes the case — that he did not expect to come out. There may be audiotapes the existence of which he never contemplated. Truth — veritas — is a priority to some including the President of the United States Barack Obama.

    The former head of FBI Counterterrorism Ben Furman wrote me and said that while Amerithrax was a mess, he still thought it was important to keep the information from the public. Now, I am not in a position to judge whether he is right or not (or how much substance imbued his general remark), but I think Ed is confused that compartmentalization and secrecy is not very real issue in Amerithrax. The mere fact that Dr. Michael has not been shown the AFIP report is huge. If I am able to make it to the NAS meeting Friday (I have a spot reserved), I’ll try to get Dr. Michael and Dr. Kotula a copy of the AFIP report so that they can apply their undisputed expertise and good faith to the questions raised above.

  2. DXer said

    Now returning to what Ed is referring to when he says “Qaeda”, perhaps he meant Aafia Siddiqui, who was found competent to stand trial in a 36 page ruling. (She was found to have been faking mental illness).

    According to the defense psychiatrist, while working as a lab technician she was tasked with researching germ weapons by “Abu Lubaba” (which is an alias).

    Did she have access to the Ivins-supplied virulent Ames?
    Such questions require analysis.

    The problem is that in a compartmentalized investigation — putting aside whether the compartmentalization was good or bad which is debatable — the folks talking to Nancy Haigwood (who knew Ivins was guilty as soon as he emailed her friendly news and a photo!) aren’t in a position of judging “connecting the dots.”

    That was precisely the basis for the strident objection to compartmentalization by the lead investigator at the time, Lambert. Ed didn’t even know there was a third compartmentalized squad! He thought they were convinced Michael was guilty and that they were just waiting for proof that would hold up in court!

  3. DXer said

    The difference between you and me Ed is if Dr. Ivins had actually known any First Graders who might have written the letters I would have obtained handwriting exemplars from them.

  4. DXer said

    Ed, by “Qaeda” do you mean the man coordinating with the 911 imam working with the leading anthrax scientist and former deputy USAMRIID Commander (Ames researcher) at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense who is the subject of highly classified ongoing briefing?

    Or do you mean the former Zawahiri associate to whom Bruce Ivins supplied virulent Ames and who worked under Dr. Ivins direct supervision?

    Or do you mean both give the Ann Arbor Bassem Khafagi connection.

    And if Ivins knew that virulent Ames from his flask was missing (100 ml) and altered his record, is he an accessory before the fact? Or after the fact?

    See, I have no problem proving your facts wrong relating to your First Grader Theory (I’ve called the Maryland number relating to the first date of the day care center whereas you haven’t) but you could not even begin to address my facts because Ed doesn’t read even the peer reviewed articles he cites.

    • DXer said

      Ed, who were these four referenced in the March 2008 FoxNews report? (“FBI Focusing on ‘About Four’ Suspects in 2001 Anthrax Attacks”)

      Were any of them first graders such as you are nearly certain wrote the anthrax letters? No?

      Do you know if the “leading anthrax scientist” and “former deputy USAMRIID Commander” and the “microbiologist” — whoever they are — had access to Bruce Ivins-supplied Ames?

      If so, how did they obtain it?

      Now that we know that FBI anthrax expert John Ezzell was the one Ivins in the email described below was writing about, and he tells me he made it at DARPA’s request, what DARPA program was that, Ed?

      Did it involve First Graders or was it related to one of the two DARPA programs I describe at

      It’s quite a mystery, to be sure. All we know for sure is that your First Grader Theory is laughable because some of us at least check our facts.

      FBI Focusing on ‘About Four’ Suspects in 2001 Anthrax Attacks
      Friday, March 28, 2008

      By Catherine Herridge and Ian McCaleb

      WASHINGTON — The FBI has narrowed its focus to “about four” suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Army’s bioweapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland, FOX News has learned.

      Among the pool of suspects are three scientists — a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist — linked to the research facility, known as USAMRIID.

      The FBI has collected writing samples from the three scientists in an effort to match them to the writer of anthrax-laced letters that were mailed to two U.S. senators and at least two news outlets in the fall of 2001, a law enforcement source confirmed.

      The anthrax attacks began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, further alarming a nation already reeling from the deaths of 3,000 Americans. Five people were killed and more than a dozen others were infected by the deadly spores in the fall of 2001.

      A leading theory is that the anthrax was stolen from Fort Detrick and then sealed inside the letters. A law enforcement source said the FBI is essentially engaged in a process of elimination.

      Much of the early public focus fell on a Fort Detrick scientist named Steven Hatfill, who is suing federal authorities for identifying him as a person of interest. Now the FBI is focusing on other scientists at the facility.

      “Fort Detrick is run by the United States Army. It’s the most secure biological warfare research center in the United States,” a bioterrorism expert told FOX News.

      Asked to comment on the likelihood that the anthrax originated at the facility, the expert said:

      “It’s not suprising, except that it would underscore that there was serious security deficiencies that existed at one time at Fort Detrick — the ability of researchers to smuggle out some type of very sophisticated anthrax weapon and in some quantity. And, nevertheless, it was possible.”

      In December 2001, an Army commander tried to dispel the possibility of a connection to Fort Detrick by taking the media on a rare tour of the base. The commander said the Army used only liquid anthrax, not powder, for its experiments.

      “I would say that it does not come from our stocks, because we do not use that dry material,” Maj. Gen. John Parker said. The letters that were mailed to the media and Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy all contained powdered anthrax.

      But in an e-mail obtained by FOX News, scientists at Fort Detrick openly discussed how the anthrax powder they were asked to analyze after the attacks was nearly identical to that made by one of their colleagues.

      “Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared … to duplicate the letter material,” the e-mail reads. “Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same … his knees got shaky and he sputtered, ‘But I told the General we didn’t make spore powder!'”

      Asked for comment, an Army spokeswoman referred all calls to the FBI. The FBI would not comment about the pool of suspects, but a spokeswoman said the investigation clearly remains a priority.

  5. DXer said

    And let me be plain.

    The United States Department of Justice is specifically interfering with the US Army’s production and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act which it has no right to do.

    It is causing the Army to be in violation of that Act, such as by the withholding of the Lab Notebook 4010.

  6. DXer said


    The FBI is preventing the Army FOI people from producing the Lab Notebook 4010 and the September and October 2001 emails. It’s been a year. If the FBI wants to cause Senator Leahy and Senator Specter to have a different view of the evidence, it is a simple matter to have released the documents a year ago. They might have also produced a copy of flask 1029 showing that it was stored in 1412, to include the version supplied by Dr. Ivins in fall 2001.

  7. DXer said


    Arlen Specter said, as an experienced prosecutor, that he and Senator Leahy were stunned at the assertions being made by US Attorney Taylor.

    Being so fundamentally confused about the genetics, you disagreed with Leahy and Specter and thought it constituted a compelling case establishing Dr. Ivins guilt.

  8. DXer said

    I thought the Nat Geo show was great — as did Anonymous Scientist. I said so at the time. Hopefully you will find a link online or create a transcript so people can compare the show to your spin of it. Your all spin and schtick, Ed. You never take care in getting your facts right.

    • Anonymous Scientist said

      It’s hilarious that Ed seems to think that because he saw an actor on television posting letters that must mean Ivins posted the letters.
      I saw that same actor writing the letters on televison. How come they didn’t have a 6-year-old playing that role? 😉

  9. Lew Weinstein said


    As reported by Glenn Greenwald on 3/4/09 …

    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.


    • DXer said

      Ed said the same thing about Michael Failey.

      Ed, the reason you found Taylor’s argument compelling is that you misunderstood the central issue relating to genetics.

      The reason you do not share the consensus view is that you were confused.

      If the FBI has evidence he did it, that’s super. We all eagerly await it. Let’s start with the September and October emails and the Lab Notebook 4010.

    • Lew Weinstein said


      You have a very distorted view of the American justice system. It seem that, for some reason not based on a sufficiency of evidence, you want to believe the FBI is correct in its unproven assertions. That’s not how the law works. And I suspect, since I don’t believe the FBI is incompetent, that the FBI’s behavior in the anthrax case is a cover for dark secrets that the FBI and others higher in government (at the time, not now) desperately don’t want revealed. That’s the scenario I developed in CASE CLOSED. I don’t claim the details of my story are correct; they almost surely are not. But I believe that CASE CLOSED points in the right direction, a terrifying direction that is more troubling even than the anthrax attacks themselves. By the way, have you read my book?


    • anonymous scientist said

      This link:

      shows just how cynically the FBI leaks on Ivins were received by the media. Experienced reporters comment on how leaks like this usually mean an act desperation on the part of the FBI. Catherine Herridge says the “cascade of leaks” makes her extremely suspicious about the case the FBI were desperately trying to make – all based on innuendo and gossip. The judge at the end of the video doesn’t have kind comments about the FBI either.
      Is there anyone out there who DOES actually believe any of the FBI’s ludicrous claims? – apart from Ed Lake of course, who is a shill for the FBI.

  10. DXer said

    Ed can you point out anything on my webpage that is factually mistaken?

    The Infiltration of US Biodefense

    No? Then let’s turn to checking your facts.

    You have claimed that it is 95% certain that Dr. Ivins did not write the letters and claim that a First Grader, most likely from Mrs. Ivins’ day care. I’ve repeatedly asked you whether you checked the date of day care was started (and you have not). I even gave you the number to call and the extension. It is you who don’t bother to check facts, Ed.

    You were the only person who was confused about the genetics — which is the central issue that the FBI relied upon in accusing Dr. Ivins.

    It is you who are the True Believer in urging your First Grader theory — the difference is others address (and check facts) rather than engage in name-calling. You were also a true believer in accuing Michael Failey on some crock notion (did not know that anthrax was a bacteria and had a perfect alibi). You reasoned that because he could not have done it and had drawn attention to himself proves he did it.

    The mere fact that you were confused on the key issue of the genetics for 10 months warrants dismissal of your convictions that you are 95% certain a First Grader wrote the letters.

  11. DXer said

    SCOTT SHANE and ERIC LICHTBLAU, wrote in the New York Times on September 6, 2008

    “Laboratory records obtained by The New York Times show that the anthrax supply labeled RMR-1029, which the F.B.I. linked to the attacks, was stored in 1997 not in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, in Building 1425, but in the adjacent Building 1412. Former colleagues said that its storage in both buildings at different times from 1997 to 2001 might mean that the bureau’s estimate of 100 people with physical access to it was two or three times too low.”

    Especially when you stop and appreciate the wide range of issues of national importance that Shane and Lichtblau regularly write about, they do amazing work. Now only if they would appreciate the significance of the fact that Scott’s expertise in anthrax and Eric’s expertise in warrantless NSA wiretapping are the subject of highly classified briefing that is ongoing — so classified that the National Security Council refused even the District Court’s judge’s request that his clerk be allowed him to help digest the government’s ex parte filings.

  12. DXer said

    Another dramatic and speciously false basis for an Ivins theory is the notion that Bruce Ivins followed Nancy Haigwood in the early 1980s and moved to near where she lived when actually he had moved there first and then she followed.

    Microbiologist says she was stalked by ‘Dr. Death’ Bruce Ivins

    Friday, August 8th 2008, 8:06 PM
    BALTIMORE- A microbiologist claims she was stalked for decades byBruce Ivins, the suspect in the deadly anthrax mailings of 2001 who, according to court documents, was obsessed with the sorority she joined in college.
    Nancy L. Haigwoodand her former husband,Carl J. Scandella, also think Ivins may have wanted to get close to her when he moved in down the street from the couple in the suburbs ofWashingtonin the early 1980s.

    Read more:

    The stalking story gets its legs from him allegedly having moved down the street to her. Sounds creepy. Sounds objective based on addresses and documentary evidence. Sounds compelling. Yet the reality is that he had moved to Gaithersburg first — in 1979. She came later. He had moved from Gaithersburg on to Frederick by January 1981. The graffiti incident occurred in Fall 1982. All this information was readily available through simple research.
    Source: April 22, 1983 Frederick News-Post (”Ms. Ivins is the wife of Dr. Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist at Ft. Detrick. They have lived in Frederick since January 1981.”) See also: March 1, 1982 News-Post describing him as a “resident of Frederick” ; and Sept. 23, 1983 News-Post describing him as a Frederick juggler and describing how after he moved from Gaithersburg, where he had formed the Gaithersburg Jugglers, he moved to Frederick where he formed the Frederick Jugglers.

    As I understand the timeline, Nancy Haigwood got her PhD in 1980, a year AFTER Ivins was living in Gaithersburg.

    But as a key part of the AP’s Stalker Narrative, the story states:

    “In the summer of 1982 Haigwood moved in with Scandella, then her fiance, in the Washington D.C. Village. On Nov 30, that year, Scandella woke to find the Greek letters “KKG” spray-painted on the rear window of their car.”

    The 2008 AP article on or about August 8 (just before editorial writers were considering the matter) states: “Records show that Ivins was living on the same street, about a block away, shortly after the incident . To the contrary, he was living in Frederick according to the News-Post.

    AP continues:


    AP continues:

    “Scandella did not know that Ivins had been their neighbor until he was told Friday by a reporter.” [DUH! THAT’S BECAUSE HE *WASN’T* THEIR NEIGHBOR].

    Now of course this doesn’t bear on the possibility he is the anthrax processor and/or mailer. It never did.

    More material was the September 2001 Washington Post article that mentioned NH’s vaccine theories as said to be tantamount to “cold fusion” — now that must have really mad at some among her peers who had prevented, in her view, a key publication from issuing years earlier that might have had a great effect on her career and income.

    Whatever her motivations, she immediately knew Ivins was the anthrax mailer when he sent his former colleague and friend working in the same field — along with many others — a picture of himself working with anthrax, which was so much in the news. Like Ed, she just knew it when she saw the picture. No need to check her facts or anything like that when she falsely suggests he moved in next to her in stalking her.

    But the sorority nonsense was never compelling evidence of the anthrax murders in the first place.

    Moreover, the point is not to fault the particular journalists or the person who gave them the vague real estate records without corroborating the information based on more specific sources. We all make mistakes.

    The key is to correct them. This widely reported AP was never corrected. It was the only “compelling” aspect of the entire stalker narrative. Dr. Haigwood didn’t like Bruce and his brother Tom had not been in touch for over 10 years — Bruce had accused him of wife-beating and not paying child support under the screen name Prunetacos in 2006 and so it is not suprising to hear that they did not get along.

    Instead the more relevant line of inquiry is whether the September 23, 2001 Washington Post article that said that she had been ridiculed as promoting the equivalent of “cold fusion” in the vaccine research made her enraged at peer reviewers such as Dr. Ivins who served on periodicals focused on animal models and vaccine research. The young investigators who submitted the affidavit regarding the Ivins’ search likely were not even aware of this. But that’s not relevant either — nothing Dr. Haigwood offers as testimony is relevant.

    AP should have correct the stalker story. He did not follow her to Gaithersburg. She came after he had moved out. This was all knowable from simple newspaper archive searches.

    • BugMaster said

      Good job, DXer!

      Would you know how to obtain weather almanac info (historical weather information) for both Princeton and Fredrick for all of September 2001 and the first two weeks of October 2001?


      • DXer said

        The historical weather data comes from the National Severe Storms Laboratory Historical Weather Data Archives, Norman, Oklahoma, from their Web site at My friend Richard and I did this once on the question whether it was raining for the first mailing resulting in the smudging or the purina dog chow consistency — but I don’t know your focus and so I’ll just provide the link.

        I see you can choose the hour of the particular day although I recall that with moving radar images it is more specific.

        Note with the postmark of October 9, 2001, with Monday being a holiday, it could have been mailed any time after the last pick-up on October 6, 2001. So I think all Richard and I established 7 years ago or whenever was that it could have been raining depending on the specific time of mailing / delivery.

        The FBI may have a more specific basis for pinpointing it but as I recall Dr. Ivins’ attorney was grousing that they were not specific as to when he allegedly drove there.

        Initial leaks to the Washington Post had him making the mailing during the day until it was pointed out he had an appointment in the afternoon.

        I’m still waiting for Ed to support his claim of Ivins’ New Jersey connections.

      • DXer said

        Ed has posted his claim that Bruce Ivins is clearly guilty of murder, for example, because of his connections to New Jersey.

        But what is his evidence supporting his claim? Storage by a college sorority of furnitute whose spokeman has said Bruce Ivins had no connection to the New Jersey sorority or its storage space?

        That his Dad graduated college there in 1928 — almost 20 years before Bruce was born?

        Ed does not state his imagined factual support for his claim that Ivins had connections to New Jersey because then his readers would be able to judge his point in support of his theory to be frivolous and unfounded. Instead, they are just misled into thinking he had connections to New Jersey.

        He made the same baseless assertion about the guy he argued was guilty for the first 8 years. He just imagined he had connections to New Jersey and that was enough. He relied on his assumption.

        He is so confident of his assumptions that he urges the “connections to New Jersey” point even on Wikimapia under a listing for Ft. Detrick! Now here is a man who is so confident of his geography he wants to put himself on the map.

        Similarly, Ed was not someone who needed evidence to support his claim that the FBI was relying on more than 4 morphs — he just assumed that they must be or else they would not be making their claims. His fundamental confusion on the genetics evidence was similar to his confusion, for example, about what constitutes connections to New Jersey serving as evidence of murder.

      • BugMaster said

        Also, the last 2 weeks of August 2001.


      • BugMaster said

        Thanks, Dxer, and also I would like to thank Lew, and yes, Lew, I include your book in my next Amazon order.

        Ed and the FBI make a big point of Ivin’s activity in the labs as evidence of guilt. But Ivins could have been telling the truth when he said he went to the labs to escape an unhappy domestic situation. His wife complained in her letter to him about his propensity to wander the neighborhood some nights. But what if there was a cold, rainy spell during the period of time of Ivin’s alleged after hours activity.

        Maybe he was in the lab because there was no where else for him to go. It does tend to get cold and rainy in the fall.

      • DXer said

        Ed Lake said to BugMaster.

        “NO, we do not. You clearly do not understand circumstantial evidence.”

        Senator Leahy and Senator Specter are experienced prosecutors. Moreover, they have received private briefings. They are stunned at Jeff Taylor’s conclusions. It is you, Ed, who has no experience as a prosecutor or defense counsel so as to understand circumstantial evidence and admissible evidence.

        Ed writes:

        “True, hundreds of people who worked at Ft. Detrick may have used that same post office”

        Here, rather than disclose that the Federal Eagle envelope was sold (with a particular type of printing type irregularity) was sold, for example, throughout Virginia, he makes it seem that it was unique to that Post Office.
        This would be prosecutorial misconduct if done in court.

        ” but (1) how many had access to flask RMR-1029?”

        Here, Ed has never grappled with the documentary evidence relating to the storage of the unit at the other building for a long period of time while Bruce worked in the other building. See NYT article discussing FOI evidence. As for “how many,” estimates range from 100+ to 300 — and so the analysis of access to Ames was winnowed from 1,000 to up to 300.

        ” (2) How many had unsupervised access to the equipment needed to make the attack anthrax?”

        Here, the expert testimony is that the Speed Vac could not have been used because it was too small and did not have a containment feature. See Andrews, Popov, Jeff A., woman from Pennsylvania etc.

        “(3) How many had all the expertise needed to make the attack anthrax?”

        Dr. Hatfill, for example, claimed to have the expertise, contrary to Ed’s discussion — and the FBI relied upon that claimed expertise in obtaining numerous warrants. The resume was posted.

        “(4) How many were working with the contents of flask RMR-1029 at the time the culprit would have been working with the contents of flask RMR-1029?”

        As Dr. Alibek has explained, one would not use the strain with which you are associated.

        “(5) How many were working alone late at night and on weekends at that time without any good explanation?”

        He also had no good explanation in 2008 for working odd hours. The FBI has only ever pointed to an interview in 2005 — the FBI has not produced the contemporaneous lab records which will shed light on how he spent his time. None of us would know how we spent particular hours years earlier.

        ” (6) How many broke their normal work patterns and started working long hours around the time the attack anthrax would have been prepared?”

        This is another canard. He worked late in August, he worked late in November. He worked late in December. One would expect him to work late. The country had just been attacked with anthrax. If he had punched a clock and as a professional regularly shut down his computer at 5 p.m., now that would have been surprising and evidence he was not a committed researcher.

        “(7) How many had prepared spores which contained silicon just like what was in the attack anthrax?”

        I will upload his USAMRIID Lab Notebook 4010 shortly. I spoke at length to someone working with soil suspensions who made aerosolized anthrax at Ft. Detrick. So this lab notebook will be of special interest.

        “(8) How many cleaned up and bleached the area where the attack spores were most likely made?”

        And how many lied about having a PhD in gaining access to ebola? Not Ivins. You falsely stated on your webpage that he did not tell anyone about the clean-up when in fact he did tell the ethics officer at the time.

        ” (9) How many had no verifiable alibi for the time the letters were mailed?”

        That is your claim. Dr. Hatfill never offered a verifiable alibi either (overnight) and instead spent the next day sleeping on the couch. The difference is we have reason to think there were three adults in the small house and that they do provide an alibi –having defended his innocence.

        “(10) How many made a practice of driving long distances to mail things anonymously so that they could not be traced back to the mailer? ”

        You may find that if a man is anonymous they will tend to be secretive about such things.

        “(11) How many people could have accessed flask RMR-1029 without Dr. Ivins knowing about it and identifying that person as a possible suspect?”

        Up to 300, about one-third of those known to have had access to Ames generally.

        ” (12) How many people tried multiple times to mislead investigators?”

        That is an unproven claim. The FBI made the same claim regarding Hatfill and then paid him $5.8 million.

        “(13) How many others were known to make homicidal threats via the Internet?”

        And you are relying, I presume, on his post about a TV show called Mole? You consider that a homicidal threat? That is just more nonsense.

        “(14) How many others acknowledged lying to their spouses to hide what they were doing at night? And,”

        Like I said, Ed, a lot of men do not tell their wife everything, destroy pocket litter, erase history from their computers so their wife doesn’t know they’ve been to your website with all the dirty pictures etc.

        “(15) how many others at Ft. Detrick were trusted to such a degree that they could pull off such a crime without anyone questioning what they were doing?”

        Hehe. That’s right, Ed. Use the fact that he was so trustworthy as evidence of murder. Bwahaha!

        When you make a list of all the people who can be identified for each one of these fifteen questions, how many people would be on all fifteen lists? How many would be on 14 lists? 13? 12? 10? 5? The fewer the number of people who are on multiple lists, the greater the certainty that the only person who appears on all the lists is the culprit. In this case, certainty beyond a reasonable doubt seems assured. All that was needed was for a jury to look at all the evidence.


      • BugMaster said

        Did it ever occur to you Ed that there could be addditional facts and evidence you are not aware of?

        Based on my current analysis (and unlike yourself, I am not a layperson), Ivins wasn’t the mailer.

        I use any new information that comes out to re-evaluate my position. And so far, the more that comes out, the LESS likely it is that Ivins was the culprit.

        I would also like to add that I am not a conspiracy theorist, and as far as being a “true believer”, I would say that label really applies to you!

        And if there really is a “anthrax traveling circus”, then you, Ed, are our beloved ringmaster!

      • DXer said

        As another example of Ed’s lack of factual support for his claims, he claims as one of his points (on the list he has frequently posted) that Ivins had “multiple New Jersey connections.” He does not disclose those connections. He has since explained to me that he is relying on the fact that Ivins’ dad graduated Princeton in 1928 — twenty years before Bruce was born — as one of two claimed connections.

        The other claimed connection Ed relies on is the fact that a college sorority stored furniture on the street with the mailbox.

        Neither are connections that support his claim. A creditable articulation of claimed evidence would refer concretely to the claimed New Jersey connections. Here, if Ed had done that, the reader would know that it is just more BS.

      • DXer said

        For example, wrote on Saturday morning, March 25, 2000. Was he engaged in a murder plot? Or was he just working on a Saturday afternoon as a professional.

        On March 29, 2000, on a Wednesday, he explained in an email that

        “I’m just coming off a ruptured gastrocenius in my right calf – very painful. I’ve been on crutches for 6 weeks, and this is my last week. (I hurt it while walking down the hall at work!)

        I’m looking forward to seeing you at the ASM!. Will you have a poster/presentation?”

      • BugMaster said


        What did you glean from the information that came out on this website, specifically details concerning the nature of the RMR-1029 flask?

        As a layperson, you lack the technical background to determine if there was anything of significance.

        And since you are so set in your views, I doubt you would listen much if a microbiologist tryed to explain what could be there. (Although I am sure you have the capability to ponder over the new information, it isn’t that complicated).

      • BugMaster said

        “They assume that the FBI cannot distinguish between what was in flask RMR-1029 and what was in other samples created from material taken from flask RMR-1029.”

        Yes they can, Ed, and here within lies the problem! What was in RMR-1029 was described in detail in the lab records, despite the redactions!

        Never mind, let’s just see what Ivin’s attorney has to say on Sunday.

      • BugMaster said


        This was in RMR-1029, introduced by the specialized purification process Ivins used:

        It’s in one of the protocols published by Ivins that you have (or at one time had) on your website.

        It wouldn’t have been detected in the crude “purina dog chow” b. subtilis contaminated material sent to NYC (that, incidentally, didn’t result in causing such high levels of contamination that either the NBC or NY Post buildings had to be abandoned until decontamination efforts were complete).

        The NYC letters didn’t contain “highly purified > XX.XXX% unclumped, single spores”. No inhalation anthrax resulted from THIS material.

        Do the math.

      • Anonymous Scientist said

        They have added a video link:

      • BugMaster said


        “Any suggestion that the NYC powder couldn’t cause inhalation anthrax is nonsense. The only thing that saved a lot of people from getting inhalation anthrax in New York City was the fact that the powder in the letters was MOSTLY HARMLESS DEBRIS. It takes from 8,000 to 10,000 spores to infect an average person. The fewer spores in a powder, the fewer spores that can float free and the less likely the critical infection threshold will be crossed.”

        Remember, Ed, for inhalation anthrax, the spores have to reach the avioli of the lungs, not just enter the nasal cavity.

        Also, the purity of the spore prep DOES influence how easily the spores will be aerosilized. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought this is one of the fundamental concepts here. Spores normally tend to stick to debris, which would stick to more spores, etc. I am not an expert in this field, but I as I understand it, the purity of a dry spore prep has a significant impact as to how readily it will disperse (check with some of your contacts who know more than I on this, I have no problem being corrected here).

        “Some idiots have suggested this means that the Florida spores couldn’t cause cutaneous anthrax. That is beyond ridiculous and just plain stupid. You claim to be a microbiologist. What do you think of the likelihood that a spore powder could cause inhalation anthrax but could not cause cutaneous anthrax?”

        Of course the Floridia spores could have caused cutaneous anthrax. Why there were no cutaneous cases is indeed a mystery.

        “The facts say that the letter sent to Florida was sent at the same time as the NYC letters.”

        Based on the facts, I have came to the opposite conclusion. I could be proven wrong, of course, if the signature contaminating b. subtilis was isolated from the Floridia crime scene (same batch does strongly suggest the same mailing date), but I guess we are just going to disagree on this point.

        “The attack spores weren’t taken directly from flask RMR-1029. The spores from RMR-1029 were used to grow NEW CULTURES and to create NEW SPORES.”

        That has certainly been proven to be the case for the material recovered from NYC, due to both the nature of the crude material recovered (not highly purified, XX.XXX% single, unclumped spores) and of course, the b. subtilis contaminant.

      • BugMaster said

        Ed wrote:

        “If the spores in the senate letters had been taken directly from RMR-1029, the extraction would have left a VERY large dent in the quantity of spores in RMR-1029. Weren’t there were also trace metals in the spores in RMR-1029 that weren’t in the attack anthrax? You were talking about some chemical that was in RMR-1029. If the spores had been taken directly from RMR-1029, wouldn’t that chemical be detectable in the Leahy and Daschle powders? Or, are you assuming that because no one mentioned it, no test for it was ever done by anyone?”

        My points exactly, Ed!

        Go to the head of the class! (That is, as long as the class being taught isn’t in analytical chemistry or math!)

      • BugMaster said

        “Weren’t there were also trace metals in the spores in RMR-1029 that weren’t in the attack anthrax?”

        There was trace amounts of tin detected in the DRIED attack material. Same probable source as at least some of the silica, Ed.

      • BugMaster said

        “Okay. So, there was tin and silicon in the attack spores but NOT in the spores in flask RMR-1029.”

        The attack spores were DRIED, Ed. There had to be some kind of DRYING PROCESS that the spores in the flask in RMR-1029 obviously were not exposed to.

        “If the spores in the senate letters had been taken directly from RMR-1029, the extraction would have left a VERY large dent in the quantity of spores in RMR-1029.”

        And just about how big of a dent would that have been, Ed? In milliliters?

      • BugMaster said

        “Why do you feel the attack spores could still have come from RMR-1029? Just because they didn’t talk about doing the tests for the chemicals you feel should have been tested for?”

        Remember, Ed, a while back I decided that it wasn’t appropriate to assume all those involved in this investigation were abysmally incompetent idiots(I still have doubts about Majidi, though).

        They had to have performed the tests. Perhaps you should print a copy of Ivin’s articles describing the process used to create the purified spore material, and consult with an analytical chemist.

        She should be able to enlighten you.

      • DXer said

        Ed writes:

        “Yes, but the spores were almost certainly simply air dried. The freeze-dryer supposedly wasn’t working,”

        It was the fermenter that was inoperable. The freeze-dryer (Speed Vac that he had signed out for the DARPA worker) was too small to dry that amount in that time-frame — and yet was too large to fit under a containment hood.

        Ed says without citing any support or rationale…

        “and he certainly didn’t use any kind of spray dryer – even if he had a spray dryer.”

        A layperson who asserts that “the spores were almost certainly simply air dried” should cite authority for the proposition given that in the same breath he has botched basic facts such as relating to the fermenter and Speed Vac. Instead, it is the stated opinion of microbiologists with knowledge of the equipment that Ivins had available that should be cited and guide discussion. For example, Ed should ask: What equipment did John Ezzell use in making his aerosolized Ames? Relatedly, did Ivins have that equipment available to him in the building where he spent those nights?

      • BugMaster said


        “Yes, but the spores were almost certainly simply air dried. The freeze-dryer supposedly wasn’t working, and he certainly didn’t use any kind of spray dryer – even if he had a spray dryer. What chemicals do you think will appear in spores that are air dried? And how will they get there?”

        Agreed, a freeze-dryer wouldn’t be needed, but there appears to have been additional processing prior to the drying process (thus, the silicon and tin). Even though this is speculation on my part, I am not going to reveal the specifics here.

        “The spores in flask RMR-1029 were inflated with water and suspended in liquid. If all the water were removed, the volume for dry spores alone would be vastly smaller. Removing about 1.5 trillion spores from the flask could have used up almost all that he had left. Check the estimates for the number of spores in the flask. Those estimates aren’t much different from what was in the letters.”

        You really need to check your math, Ed.

        The spore concentration of RMR-1029, as revealed in the records obtained under FIOA (and note, released by Fort Detrick, NOT THE JUSTICE DEPT!) is 3.0 x 10!10.

        The Leahy letter contained, roughly 1 trillion spores, which is 1.0 x 10!12.

        1.0 x 10!12 divided by 3.0 x 10!10 is 33. Let’s just round this off to 3.0 x 10!1, as in 30 mls.

        30 mls for the material in the Leahy letter.
        30 mls for the material in the Dascle letter.
        And finally, 30 mls for the inhalation anthrax-causing b. subtilis-free material that was sent to AMI.

        30 + 30 + 30, Ed.

      • DXer said

        Ed, again without supporting any authority, claims a spray dryer is not indicated (and can be ruled out). ABC News (quoting experts), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Kenneth Alibek have all suggested for years a spray dryer could have been used. Silica is commonly used in a spraydrying process. So putting aside the question of what method was used, Ed offers no basis for excluding a spraydryer and, more broadly, should cite expert opinion for his claims rather than citing his beliefs as facts.

      • BugMaster said


        “And, of course, in my post yesterday I also left out the biggest problem with the silicon coming from a drying process: the silicon was INSIDE THE SPORE COATS. That means it accumulated there while the spores were being formed. That by itself says that the silicon couldn’t have come from the drying process.”

        Your statement regarding the silicon having accumulated while the spores were being formed is an assumption put forward by the FBI that you are now stating as fact.

        You shouldn’t be putting forth assumptions and presenting them as facts, Ed.

        That’s what you keep telling everyone else.

      • BugMaster said


        “It’s ridiculous to assume that the AMI letter contained pure spores. Plus, there was less than a gram of spores in Leahy letter, so the Daschle letter probably also contained less than a gram.”

        Of course I’m rounding off the numbers here. We are working with orders of magnitude, so a 20% variation one way or another is irrelevant. Also, 1 trillion spores per gram is a rough estimate.

        “But using your numbers, you’re saying Ivins took 90 milliliters out of flask RMR-1029 IN ADDITION to the 5 milliliters he took out on August 27, 2001, and the 10 milliliters he took out on October 4. When he took out the 4 milliliters, there were 359 milliliters left. 90 milliliters would be roughly 25% of that entire stock. Don’t you think that is a significant dent? And do you think he’d remove that amount without doing something to explain the loss of 25% of his precious stock?”

        Look at the records, Ed. When did Ivins withdraw 90 mls of material?

      • BugMaster said


        “It’s not an assumption. The location of the silicon in the spores says it could not get there any other way. The people who think it could have gotten there some other way are making preposterous assumptions to support preposterous beliefs.”

        Remember, Ed, spores are porous. They have do be, so nutrients can diffuse into the spore when it is in the right environment, thus signalling it to germinate.

        Diffusion of silica in the form of silicic acid into the spores is also possible.

      • BugMaster said


        “The idea that the AMI letter contained pure spores is preposterous because the evidence says the letter did NOT contain pure spores. The letters that did contain pure spores KILLED postal workers and created a vast amount of contamination, yet no postal workers along the route taken by the AMI letter were harmed, AND the person who opened the AMI letter wasn’t even infected. She merely tested positive for exposure.”

        If you recall, the type of package or envelope used to mail the material to AMI is not know. Some believe it was a letter, others recall some kind of package containing a cigar tube.

        This could account for the lack of exposures in the postal facilities.

      • BugMaster said

        “Yes, but that happens when the spores are made WET and soften.”

        Yes, the spores would have been wet when they were exposed to the material containing trace amounts of silica and tin.

        “If you believe that some liquid or DRY form of silicon was applied, that would almost certainly result in the most amount of silicon being on the outside and lesser amounts occurring the deeper you go into the spore. And it wouldn’t reach any significant depth.”

        I never stated that I believed any dry form of silicon was applied. I don’t think any form of silicon was deliberatly applied, with the possible exception of silicon-containing antifoam (which, if added, didn’t do much but cause confusion).

        “It can be made clear that the Leahy and Daschle anthrax did NOT come directly out of flask RMR-1029.”

        If trace amounts of diatrizoic acid was detected in the attack material, it would indicate that the material was prepared according to Ivin’s published protocols. This is very likely the case in the highly purified “liquid smoke” material. It would be very difficult, maybe even impossible, to obtain material of this purity using an alternative method.

        Diatrizoic acid is a organic halide, in otherwords, it contains halogen atoms, in this case, three iodines per molecule. Due to the high electron density of the iodine, trace amounts of this material can be detected with a great deal of specificity (there are very few organic molecules that contain iodine). Some organic halides can be detected in amounts as small as a fraction of a femtogram (a femtogram is 1 quadrillionth of a gram). Since diatrizoic acid is polar, it doesn’t volatilize easily, so assay sensativities may not be quite that good, but close enough.

        Iodine detected in the attack material may not prove it came from RMR-1029, but only its absence would rule RMR-1029 out.

        As far as the swabs collected from the AMI building, they may contain enough trace iodine to be detected as well.

      • BugMaster said

        “Do they actually have to say, “We looked for an Iodine spike, but there was none – and we couldn’t find any trace of Iodine anywhere by any method.”

        YES ED!

        That is exactly what they have to say!

        I think you are finally starting to catch on, here, as to what should be expected here!


        “A sample of the Daschle powder was taken to AFIP on October 25, 2001, and put under an EDX (Energy Dispersive X-ray spectrometer). The only unusual elements they detected were silicon and oxygen. NO IODINE.”

        I am not an expert in EDX techniques, but any analytical technique used requires one to take into account both the nature of the sample and the nature of the compound you are looking for. It is interesting here that oxygen is described as “unusual”. Oxygen wouldn’t be considered unusual, but silicon would be.

        Did they pick up the silicon in the screen because it was one of the materials suspected of being present?

        Are the assay conditions, instrument settings, actual technique used ABLE to detect iodine? Or is a somewhat different method needed?

        What would the effect of the iodine be on the assay itself? It is a very electron-dense material. Is it something the operator had to take into account? Note that one’s normal expectations here would be that there wouldn’t be appreciable amounts of iodine (or any other halogen, with the exception of chlorine) present.

        You should check with Dr. Michael on this, Ed, and get back to us.

      • Anonymous scientist said

        I actually have all the AFIP EDX data at least for the most significant elemental peaks. Ed is wrong, just as he is wrong about most things, and is again stating his opinion as fact. Silicon and oxygen were NOT the only elements detected by AFIP. They also detected carbon, of course, since spores are mostly carbon. As well as Si, O and C they detected Mg, Mn, Ca, Cl and P. This is not exhaustive, they may well have detected I as well. I only have the most significant EDX count numbers.
        Again, the FBI need to release ALL of the data, and they need to do it now.

      • BugMaster said

        “Was phenol part of Ivins’ “published protocols”? Or was the material in RMR-1029 NOT “prepared according to Ivin’s published protocols?”

        Phenol is a preservative, and yes, I do believe I first saw it in one of Ivin’s protocols.

        Was there BOTH phenol AND diatrizoic acid in flask RMR-1029?

        Yes, 1% phenol. The diatrizoic acid was present in trace amounts, carried over from the “polishing” centrifugation step.

        Or to put it another way: Was a preparation using phenol done “according to Ivin’s published protocols?”


        “But if there was Iodine in the attack anthrax and AFIP failed to notice it, that would be further evidence of AFIP’s lack of ability to correctly analyze the attack anthrax. That would further shoot down Anonymous Scientist’s belief that AFIP is the ultimate authority on the attack anthrax.”

        Who knows, that may be the case here.

      • BugMaster said


        Diatrizoic acid was used in Ivin’s protocols not as a disinfectant, but to aid in the purification of the spores (removal of vegetative cells, cellular debris, etc).

        You’re as bad as the FBI, you didn’t even read the protocols. Actually, even worse, since you posted the published protocols on your website, and still didn’t read them.

        BTW, Ed, from your website:

        “The DOD had stopped vaccinating troops with HIS anthrax vaccine when many started arguing that it was the cause of the hundreds of cases of “Gulf War Syndrome.”


        Ivin’s patented vaccine was the failed Project Bioshield / Vaxgen RPA-102 next generation anthrax vaccine. The clinical trials material and further development work was performed at Battelle, not Fort Detrick. Battelle’s work on this project commenced on May 1, 2001 (thus the 90 ml transfer of RMR-1029 material to Battelle, animal challenge material needed to evalute the material being produced.)

        The Justice department has gone to some lengths to obscure the connection here. Remember Majidi’s comment, “Lets just say its a quasi-governmental agency, and leave it at that”.

        And of course, Ivin’s own September 7, 2001 email included in the search warrents. Ivins describes the problems they were having with Battelle at the time, in his “there is a whole bag of worms” paragraph, and the conclusion, “Everything is in limbo” You have to look closely, and have some knowledge of the project’s background, but the word “Battelle” is missing here. Not blacked out or redacted, BUT MISSING!

        Dx’er, could you get an unredacted copy of Ivin’s September 7, 2001 email under the FOIA (or any other means?)

        The vaccine Ivins was working on at Fort Detrick was the old Bioport AVA FDA-approved vaccine.

        And the problem Ivins was tasked with solving had nothing to do with Gulf War Syndrome. The Bioport facility where the vaccine was produced had been required to undergoe extensive upgrades. And (no surprise, to anyone who has worked in the vaccine industry) the material produced in the new facility (where the processes were, obviously a bit different) wasn’t meeting potency.

        There was NEVER any possiblity that the Bioport vaccine would be abandoned, none! It was the only approved vaccine available in a time of war! It had worked before, and it would be made to work again, as Ivins later showed.

        Problems like this are the norm, not the exception in the vaccine industry, and hardly anything to get homocidal about!

      • DXer said


        Maybe you want to create a throwaway email account like and I can forward you installments of emails as they come in. You would get them at the same time I do. You then can compare the emails against the draws from flask 1029 — and the record for flask 1028 and 1030 when they are uploaded. And I’ll definitely keep a keen eye out for the email you mention. That’s fascinating about a missing word though I haven’t focused on it. Right now the emails are being produced in chronological order. It is dry reading because Dr. Ivins acted very professionally in his correspondence. It is amusing that they relied on the cute poem he wrote as if it was dramatic evidence of murder.

      • BugMaster said


        The articles I am referring to are the links on your website to the journal articles published by Ivins that detail his spore purification process. I had though I had saved one of them on my computer, but I can’t find it now.

        Anyway, the articles detail the use of diatrizoic acid. Ivins utilized it in the form of Urografin 76.

      • BugMaster said

        Ok, Ed. You’ve made your point, more explanation is in order here.

        Let’s assume I have been hired to support the Amerithrax task force in their investigation and help obtain evidence to support their case against Ivins.

        The FBI concentrated on Ivins partly because his somewhat unique ability and skills to produce large quantities of purified anthrax spores (admittedly in liquid, however). So what characteristics would materials prepared by Ivins have that might help link him to the crime?

        The first thing I would need to know is how he prepared his material. I would review his lab protocols, and any articles he had published!

        And there, in his protocol, is the reference to Renographin-76. This is only too easy!

        This material (due to the iodine content) can be detected in infintesimal amounts. It wouldn’t take long to develop an assay (probably LC-MS) that would at least prove qualitative information (presence or absence).

        Renographin-76 detected? Helps build the case against Ivins, since he wouldn’t have had to take additional time to develop alternative production methods (remember, it is disputed that he had the time to make the required amount of material at all). Granted, though, just the presence or absence would only mean someone followed Ivin’s protocol,


        Iodine to carbon ratio, for example!

        No Renographin-76 detected? Doesn’t rule out Ivins, but that would then tell me to look at what alternative methods would have to be applied to obtain the same result, and hopefully uncover some useful information that could support the case.

        Another problem, Ed. What do you think Dr. Michael’s response will be to the possibility of the attack material containing a very electron-dense element such as iodine, and what would be the impact of all analysis done so far if its presence wasn’t anticipated.

        His answer may very well be $&^$@&!!!!

        Quote Agent Majidi:

        “Please don’t question our investigation approach!”


      • BugMaster said


        You have totally missed the point here!

      • BugMaster said

        “YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE LOOKING FOR IODINE TO DETECT IODINE. If it is present, it will show up as a spike on the graph whether you are looking for it or not.”

        Really, Ed! You know that as a fact? I did not know that!

        Why don’t you contact Dr. Michael and mention that it is possible that the material he analyzed was treated with A X-RAY CONTRAST AGENT before he analyzed it. And those AREAS OF CONTRAST HE CONCLUDED WERE SILICON IN THE SPORE COAT MAY IN FACT NOT HAVE BEEN SILICON!

        The possiblity clearly exists, here, Ed, and Dr. Michael, (who, unlike the FBI, knows that one’s reputation is earned, rather than something one is entitled to) should be made aware of it!

      • DXer said


        With respect to your theory — that it is 95% certain that Dr. Ivins did not write the letters (and that instead a First Grader did) — did you find any factual support for your theory in the handwriting among the documents produced?

        Did you confirm the date the daycare center you claim existed in Fall 2001 actually had started? Or are you just assuming that the daycare center Mrs. I started when her children were grown had started and included First Graders.

      • Lew Weinstein said


        A criminal conviction – especially for murder, and perhaps even more for a terrorist attack – requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

        If anything is clear in this convoluted case, it is that the FBI falls far short of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” There are doubts on so many aspects of the FBI’s case that had they charged a living person who could defend himself, and had they been forced to testify under oath, they would likely have been laughed out of court. Senator Arlen Specter, a former prosecutor and one of the smartest men in the Senate, is just one of those who told the FBI that their case could never be proven in court.

        Another point is that an accused person does not – in America – have to prove his innocence. The prosecutor must prove him guilty. In addition, the prosecutor must make available to the defendant any and all evidence which tends to suggest innocence (exculpatory evidence). This exculpatory evidence includes much of the information the FBI is struggling so hard so keep hidden, which only serves to reduce their credibility even further.

        It is exactly to the point that the FBI cannot prove its case and that evidence that possibly points to innocence is precisely relevant.


        • Lew Weinstein said


          CASE CLOSED is a novel, made up in my imagination to answer the obvious questions that arise from the FBI’s unproven case.

          However, we are not talking about my novel here, but the real case, where the FBI’s evidence is actually much weaker today than when I wrote CASE CLOSED. And I would not call Senator Arlen Specter anything but an objective and informed observer.

          Argue the evidence all you like, but it serves no productive purpose for you to use words like “lunacy,” “crazy,” and “nuts.” It only makes whatever evidence-based arguments you might advance seem less credible. You are entitled to your opinion, as long as you are not personally abusive.


        • BugMaster said

          Our beloved Ringmaster does tend to get a bit worked up anytime the FBI’s case is under serious attack.

          Maybe someone should just give Ed a hug!

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          Lake wrote:
          “Senator Specter wants MORE information. That’s all.”

          I wouldn’t quite characterize his statement as “he wants more infromation. That’s all”.

          “I’ve looked over a good bit of the evidence on the anthrax case just to contrast prosecutors’ opinions,” Specter said, apparently referring to his and Mueller’s former jobs as prosecutors. “And I have grave doubts about sufficiency of evidence for proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

          Leahy added:
          Leahy, who shouted with emotion at times during the three-hour hearing, said that if Ivins was “the one who sent the letter, I do not believe in any way, shape or manner that he is the only person involved in this attack on Congress and the American people.”

          “I believe there are others involved, either as accessories before or accessories after the fact. I believe that there are others out there. I believe there are others who can be charged with murder.”

          Holt later said:

          “Anything of this seriousness should be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt,” says US Representative Rush Holt, who in March renewed his call for a national commission to thoroughly investigate the anthrax letter attacks of 2001 and the government’s “bungled response” to the crime. “It raises the bar when the person [FBI investigators] have fingered isn’t alive to defend himself, requiring an even greater standard of proof. I don’t think they have met that standard.”

          Lake apparently believes (like any good “true believer”) that the FBI has witheld the “real evidence” they have against Ivins from Senators Specter, Leahy and Congressman Holt for 1 year and suddenly, within a matter of days from now, they will reveal all of this super-secret evidence they have that Ivins did it. But they just COULDN’T reveal it for the last year because……because….. well just becasue….

      • BugMaster said

        “And there’s nothing else in the world that they’ll accept as proof.”

        What I will accept as proof is proof, Ed, actual hard evidence to back up the circumstantial information.

        And if I ever get that proof, I assure you, I will support FBI’s conclusions.

        BTW: NAS needs to weigh in on the X-ray contrast agent / iodine issue as well!

    • DXer said

      I’ve suggested that Dr. Nancy Haigwood over the years (according to one or more books on the subject) was very upset that an article by co-researchers that sought to prove an innovative idea was rejected for publication by any journals. (I, of course, have no basis to judge the merit of the innovative thinking).

      On September 23, 2001, a Wash Po article, however, reviewing a book on vaccines referred in passing as to the theory as the “cold fusion” of vaccine research.

      As evidence that Dr. Ivins served as reviewer for articles in the field, I would point to the email to him on March 28, 2000 re “Manuscript review.”

      The email to him read:

      Dear Dr. Ivins:

      Would you be willing to review the following manuscript for Infection and Immunity? If you agree, I would request that you review the manuscript within two weeks after you receive it.

      Title: Attenuated nontoxinogenic and nonencapsulated recombinant B. anthrax spore vaccines protect agent anthrax.

      Authors: [redacted]


      He responded:

      “I am currently reviewing several proposals for an RFA 00-004, “Preparedness Against Illegitimate Use of Bacterial Pathogens,” and I will not be able to review the manuscript. May I suggest as possible reviewers:

      All of the above scientists in the anthrax program here at USAMRIID. Were it not for my already reviewing the proposals, I would be most willing to review the manuscript.

      Thank you very much for considering me.

      – Bruce”

      I have no knowledge whether he served as a reviewer of the article promoting her theory or not, or if so, whether she was angry at him for the rejection of publication.

  13. DXer said

    Who is a better spy catcher? Ayman Zawahiri or DC Field Office head Persichini?

    Who is more aware of infiltration that has occurred?

    Who is a better spy master?

    Al-Qaeda book warns West is winning spy war
    July 16, 2009

    By IAN ALLEN | |

    A guidance report authored by an al-Qaeda field commander in Afghanistan [with a foreword by Ayman Zawahiri] says that Western-handled spies have infiltrated the organization’s networks and are sabotaging is activities. As intelNews pointed out on July 12, the report, penned by Abu Yahya al-Libi, also contains an illustrated essay on the CIA’s use of SIM cards planted on al-Qaeda militants’ cell phones to direct unmanned drone strikes. But most of the circular, entitled Guidance on the Ruling of the Muslim Spy, is devoted to cautionary advice on the “swarms of locusts” of Western-aligned spies, who have even penetrated “the military and financial supply roads of the mujaheddin, which are far from the enemy’s surveillance”. The author further states that “[t]he occupation armies completely rely on recruiting spies and informants from the Muslim lands they usurped and conquered […]. The spy lives among Muslims, being one of them: living their life, wearing their dress, eating what they eat […]. Therefore, he can access what the armed soldiers of the occupation cannot put hands on”. The book, which initially appeared in Arabic on Islamist websites in late June, was translated into English by the US Director of National Intelligence Open Source Center and apparently leaked to selected news outlets, including the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy News blog.

  14. DXer said

    In August 2008, Glenn Greenwald made an observation on a key email the FBI was relying on.

    “One of the pieces of circumstantial evidence which the FBI stressed most heavily and which has clearly impressed The New York Times is that Ivins, in a September 26, 2001 email to a colleague (which the FBI appears not to have released in full), wrote: “Osama bin Laden has just decreed death to all Jews and all Americans.” After citing that email, the FBI then claims in each of its Search Warrant affidavits (emphasis in original) that this is “language similar to the text of the anthrax letters postmarked two weeks later warning ‘DEATH TO AMERICA,’ ‘DEATH TO ISRAEL.'”

    …[T]hose phrases were very common, and routinely appeared in press reports, particularly around the time of 9/11, for obvious reasons:

    • The Washington Post, 9/27/2001 — Dateline: October 26, 2001:,,,
    [Khamenei]’s speech, delivered to a group of war veterans and their families, was punctuated by chants from the crowd of “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” the traditional rallying cries of hard-liners in Iran.

    • Chicago Tribune, 9/27/2001:
    … The gathering of several thousand shouted their approval with cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

    One affidavit reads “Ivins sent an email to a friend [redacted] a few days before the anthrax attacks warning [redacted] that “Bin Laden terrorists for sure have anthrax and sarin gas”… Actually, the email was September 26, 2001 a full week after the first anthrax attack. The FBI omitted Ivins’ phrase “I just heard tonight…” and fails to disclose the media accounts appearing that day to include evening broadcast reports repeating Gertz’ column making that point in the Washington Times.

    Bill Gertz had published a September 26 column that morning reporting that Al Qaeda was attempting to acquire sarin and anthrax.
    “Intelligence officials say classified analysis of the types of chemicals and toxins sought by al Qaeda indicate the group probably is trying to produce the nerve agent Sarin, or biological weapons made up of anthrax spores.”

    Just before the 1998 embassy bombings, Zawahiri and his Vanguards of Conquest had said that the rendering of the senior EIJ leaders would be answered in “language you can understand.” Before the military tribunal, in March 2007, KSM talked of the language of war — deaths. “Same language you use, I use. That is why the language of any war in the world is killing.” Here, the lethal letters were plainly worded.

    The letter postmarked September 18, 2001 read:


    From the streets of Cairo to Tehran to Jakarta, on historic anniversaries (such as Jerusalem Day in Iran, the day the Israeli state was created) protesters have gathered on the streets and shouted “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” For the talking heads to profile it as a non-Islamist awkwardly trying to sound muslim is odd. It is in fact the common protest slogan. What surer way to avoid giving away clues than to use common short phrases or short sentences using common words. Egyptians such as Islamic Group leader and soft-spoken accountant, Taha — and Egyptian Islamic Jihad #2 Shehata and Shawqi Islambuli, brother of Sadat’s assassin — may very well have watched these protesters shouting these very chants while living in Iran after 9/11.

    The next month, the letter arriving one Friday afternoon at Senator Daschle’s office at Room 509 of the Hart Office Building had garnered little notice. It was routed up to the sixth-floor mailroom. No one opened the letter that afternoon. They were all at a talk on the threat of biochemical attacks sent through the mail. On Monday morning, however, an intern found the innocuous looking letter, postmarked October 9, 2001, at the top of a pile of a stack of mail waiting to be opened. The intern made a slight cut and immediately a small amount of powder spilled out on her skirt, shoes and the floor, as well as an intern standing next to her. She froze. The Capitol Hill officers arriving at the scene opened the letter and read it aloud:


    Among the piles of papers of documents relating to anthrax in a house associated with a Pakistan charity was a drawing of a jet shooting down a balloon. (There were 10 copies each as if a seminar or brainstorming session was being conducted). The words “YOU ARE DEAD, BANG.” Thus, although some pundits argued that “YOU DIE NOW” in the anthrax letters does not sound like a militant islamist, the physical evidence relating to Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning suggests otherwise. Indeed, “WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX” was starkly threatening, just like Atta’s “We have some planes” to the passengers of AA Flight 11 over the intercom.

    It turns out that Mohammed Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin, may be the key that unlocks the Amerithrax mystery. Islambouli was part of a cell with KSM. KSM took over from the Al Qaeda military head Atef as head of the anthrax weaponization operation. The Al Qaeda spymaster, Egyptian al-Hakaymah, who wrote about Amerithrax announced Islambouli was leading those Egyptian Islamic Group members who have joined Al Qaeda to seek the release of their leader blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Islambouli was expected to send someone from Saudi Arabia to the US to plan the next attack, as described in the December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton that warned of a planned attack involving airplanes and other means. The 9/11 Commission Report contains a copy of the declassified December 1998 PDB which discusses Islambouli. Everyone focuses on the PDB in the summer of 2001 directed to President Bush while forgetting that there was a PDB with the same substance from December 1998 to President Clinton.

    Who was Abu Lubaba who tasked MIT-graduate and Brandeis PhD with tasking germ weapons at a time she was working as a lab technician. Abu Ghaith who issued a fatwa on germ weapons? Was he picked up in Iran? Where is he now? Ed’s Al Qaeda section centrally argues — and he has argued for 9 years — that the hijackers were dead … and yet nowhere so much as mentions US-based and US-educated Al Qaeda operatives such as Aafia Siddiqui known to have been working on germ weapons.

    Now if FBI Director Mueller had not compartmentalized the investigative squads, the investigators submitting these affidavits might have been able to put Dr. Ivins’ emails in the proper context.

  15. DXer said

    FBI Press Release details the meaning of the ASM presentations in Baltimore last week–with comments
    For Immediate Release
    March 6, 2009

    Washington D.C.
    FBI National Press Office …

    “FBI Responds to Science Issues in Anthrax Case

    FBI Laboratory Director D. Christian Hassell, PhD issued the following statement:

    During a recent American Society for Microbiology Biodefense (ASMBD) meeting in Baltimore , Maryland , questions were raised regarding two scientific analyses conducted during the course of the anthrax investigation. While this information is not new, it is important for the FBI to clarify the science since these findings continue to be misinterpreted by various media outlets.

    The first item involves the elemental analysis of the anthrax spores that was conducted by Dr. Joseph Michael, a materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories. At the conference, Dr. Michael presented analyses of three anthrax letters (Leahy, Daschle, and New York Post). He concluded that the anthrax powder in the three letters shared a chemical fingerprint but did not match the chemical fingerprint of spores in Ivins’ flask. Spores from the letters showed a distinct chemical signature that included silicon, oxygen, iron, tin, and other elements. Spores from Ivins’ RMR-1029 flask did not contain those elements in quantities that matched the letter spores. This is not unusual considering that Ivins’ RMR-1029 preparation had been submerged in water and other chemicals since 1997 and was a mixture of 34 different spore preparations. The letter spores were dried spores, produced from two separate growth preparations as indicated by differences in the New York and Washington, D.C. mailings. Although the chemical fingerprint of the spores is interesting, given the variability involved in the growth process, it was not relevant to the investigation.

    It is important to note that the genetic profile of the spores from the letters and the spores from Ivins’ RMR-1029 flask was identical. Ivins’ RMR-1029 spore preparation had the same combination of anthrax mutations found in the letters. Only eight of the anthrax samples collected during the course of the investigation matched the genetic profile in the letter material and all were linked back to RMR-1029. This conclusion was the most significant and relevant scientific finding in the case.

    By analogy, if one were to grow a corn stalk from a specific corn seed, the trace chemical fingerprint of the stalk might differ from that of the seed due to different compositions—for example iron—in the respective fertilizers used to grow each; however, the genetic profile of the seed and the stalk would be identical.

    The second item involves isotopic analysis of the mailed anthrax. Media reports indicated that FBI scientists had concluded in 2004 that out of many domestic and foreign water samples analyzed only water from near Fort Detrick, Maryland, where Dr. Ivins worked, had the same isotopic signature as the water used to grow the mailed anthrax. This statement is incorrect. While water isotopic analysis was researched, the FBI concluded that there were too many confounding variables to precisely match bacteria that were grown using different materials and recipes. This technique was not relevant to the investigation.

    While we have full confidence in our scientific approach, an additional independent review will provide further validation and thus benefit the larger scientific community. Consideration of an outside review began before any public disclosure of the scientific aspects of the investigation. This follows our approach throughout the investigation: to bring in external scientists to review and provide advise on our methodologies.”

    Outstanding questions raised by Dr. Meryl Nass:

    “– How did the FBI “rule out” as perpetrators over 100 other people who had access to spores from Ivins’ flask?

    — How did the FBI ascertain that all of the secondary spore collections, derived from the flask, were 100% secure and could not have been surreptitiously obtained by others?

    — How was the FBI sure that no one else received spores from Fort Detrick, given that Fort Detrick’s inventory problems were serious enough for there to have been a temporary “stand-down” of research just last month? Also consider that Ivins’ flask was in a separate building from his lab, to which others had access, for over a year.”

    She further noted:

    “Since a thorough, complete accounting of its six year long, resource-intensive investigation has yet to be provided by the FBI, the following questions (raised by Representative Rush Holt on October 16, 2008) are additionally relevant:
    “Are any of the FBI’s scientific findings inconsistent with the FBI’s conclusions?

    Are there any scientific tests that the FBI has not done that might refute their conclusions?

    Did the FBI follow all accepted evidence-gathering, chain of possession, and scientific analytical methods? Is it possible that any failure to do so could have affected the FBI’s conclusions?

    Is it scientifically possible to exclude multiple actors or accessories?”

    It is now over a year since FBI announced the case would be closed. The latest release, at a special ASM meeting convened for the purpose, was designed to make the scientific case.

    Yes, as Dr. Nass concludes: “The most basic questions remain unanswered.”

  16. DXer said

    Other helpful documents which could be requested through FOIA, are those pertaining to the development of the next-generation anthrax vaccine, rPA. USAMRIID was directed by the Pentagon as early as Summer ’00 to develop a Defense Technology Objective (DTO) for this product. Money is “compartmentalized” for DTO’s up to 5 years, which was then integrated into RIID’s yearly budget. The documents to ask for would be the Gantt* charts, strategic planning and tech base development (spans ’00 to ’05); Pentagon meeting minutes on the next-generation anthrax vaccine monthly status reviews, beginning March of ‘01; yearly Division budget spreadsheets from ’99 to ’03. In my opinion, these documents support the lack of a job-based motive for Bruce to behave the way the FBI describes. …he was very well funded for developing the new anthrax vaccine starting in ’00.

    *A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule.

  17. DXer said

    My favorite conspiracy was Ed’s — he imagined a guy who had a perfect alibi and thought that anthrax was a virus conspired with a First Grader to send the anthrax! Oh, with another guy from New Jersey who there was no evidence he knew. I spoke to the guy, Michael F., and he says Ed never bothered to contact him — if he had, he could have saved Ed 7 years of a very stupid conspiracy theory by correcting him on his assumed facts.

    Ed’s confusion on silica was massive — he argued for years that silica was never used to weaponize anthrax… that it would make it heavier.

    Then his confusion on the 4 morphs and genetic evidence was even more central — he thought that the FBI was relying on more than 4 morphs to narrow the 8 genetically identical isolates.

    With such fundamental and unique confusion, it is understandable that he is on the fringe — adhering to his view that it is 95% certain that Ivins did not write the letters, and that a First Grader did… and yet he never even bothered to make even the most basic inquiry or do the most basic research checking his predicate facts. Instead, he just invokes his usual ad hominem schtick labeling others.

    You won’t find him focused on such factually probative issues as the genetically distinct subtilis strain or surveys showing the levels of tin in water.

    • DXer said

      Ed, what is your support for the following statements?

      6. He had multiple motives for sending the anthrax letters.

      Ed says he had multiple motives without naming them. I have previously addressed the lack of basis for a claimed financial motive. The other one that is ventured that is equally specious relates to abortion. In a Frederick News-Post advertisement identifying family members opposed to abortion, in which husband and wife routinely listed themselves, only his wife was listed with the children. That was her issue, not his.

      8. He had no alibi for either of the times when he could have driven to New Jersey to mail the letters.

      Ed says he had no alibi, but he did. A man living alone would have no alibi. A man living with three adults in a small house would have the fact that his wife and kids did not hear the door open and close. His wife says she knows he did not do it — and said that in writing in what she thought was a private communication.

      10. He had multiple connections to the New Jersey area where the anthrax letters were mailed.

      What were his multiple connections to the New Jersey area, Ed?

      12. The pre-stamped envelopes which were used in the attacks had print defects, and one of the post offices which sold the envelopes with those print defects was a post office which Dr. Ivins used.

      And most everyone else with access to the flask had access to the same envelopes sold throughout Maryland and Virginia. You have adopted Jeff Taylor’s misleading approach of making it seem like it was unique to his post office.

      13. His wife ran a day care center at the time of the attacks, and the facts indicate that a child of about 6 was used to do the actual writing on the anthrax letters.

      What is your support for your claim that the day care center, which she started when her children were grown, was running at the time. Did you just assume it? Or did you check this basic fact before arguing for 12 months that Dr. Ivins was guilty of multiple murders.

      Did you find a forensic handwriting expert who agrees with you? Or did you not bother at any time during the 12 months that you were arguing that Dr. Ivins was guilty of multiple murders and that he solicited some First Grader to participate. Every single expert I know of thinks your First Grader theory is ridiculous — although many are willing to credit your claim that it is 95% certain that Bruce Ivins did not write the letters. That alone would be enough to acquit him.

      14. Investigations found no evidence that someone other than Dr. Ivins sent the letters.

      You may misapprehend the nature of the US justice system or an analytical approach. Actually, investigations found lots of probable cause to believe that someone other than Ivins sent the letters such as illustrated by the affidavits sworn in conducting dozens of searches.

      15. There is no evidence that Dr. Ivins could not possibly have sent the anthrax letters.

      You may misapprehend the nature of the US justice system or an analytical approach.

    • DXer said

      With regard to access to Ames, in contrast to Ed’s position, the government alleged that

      “While employed at USAMRIID in Frederick, Maryland, from 1997 to 1999, Hatfill worked in the laboratory building in which the United States Army houses various biological agents, including the same “Ames” strain of Bacillus anthracis contained in the letters. Hatfill had access to the unlocked storage freezers in which the same Ames strain of B.A. was then kept.

      In contrast to Ed’s unsupported claim regarding ability to make a dry simulant, the FBI noted in its Affidavit, that

      “Hatfill is a protege of [ ] an expert on biological warfare agents from the United States former offensive bio-weapon program. Steven Hatfill’s curriculum vitae clams a “working knowledge of the former US and foreign BW programs, wet and dry BW agents, large scale production of bacterial…. BW pathogens and toxins, stabilizers and other additives, former BG simulant production methods….” Hatfill is believed to have experience working with various anthrax ‘simulants,’ that is, other types of bacillus that mimic the properties of anthracis.”

      Now I have no problem with it being alleged that these facts constitute probable cause to conduct a search.
      Nor do I have any problem with it being alleged that the facts alleged in the Ivins’ affidavit constitute probable cause to conduct a search.

      The point is that Ed is entitled to his own theory — such as his belief that it is 95 percent certain that Bruce Ivins did not write the letters (and that instead a First Grader did) — but he is not entitled to his own facts.

  18. DXer said

    The journal Nature summarized:

    “At a biodefence meeting on 24 February, Joseph Michael, a materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, presented analyses of three letters sent to the New York Post and to the offices of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin, says Michael.”

    Ivins flask did not contain tin. There was no iron or oxygen or silicon or tin detected in the spore coat of those spores.Dr. Michael speculated it might have been in the water. But Ft. Detrick water did not have high levels of tin.. Former Russian bioweapons expert Sergeui Popov comments:
    “Although the tin and iron may have come from the water used for cultivation, their amount, in my opinion, far exceeds the levels commonly present in the water used in a laboratory. Another possibility to consider is that the suspect used a primitive but a sturdy and a widely-available container to dry the spores, namely a tin can. It would explain a simultaneous presence of both elements. This suggestion is easy to test in experiments.”
    Dr. Popov reports: “I don’t remember the exact levels from the presentation, but it spikes out like hell.”

    Ed, Dr. Bannan says the source of the tin could have been the water but I have a lot of experience with testing water (using certified labs) and in doing the related literature searches and don’t see support for his suggestion that Ivins used water with high levels of tin.

    Could you ask him for his support for the suggestion? Do you know of any support for the claim? Thanks! (If there were any support, I would have expected it to be announced at the mid-August briefing or at the February ASM conference.

  19. DXer said

    Dr. Ravel also sequenced the genome of a Bacillus subtilis strain that was found in one of the letters. That sample did not match a B. subtilis strain found in Ivins’ lab, says Dr. Bannan.

    But former ATCC Bacteriology Division Collection Scientist Dr. Bannan has not yet admitted that the Bacilus subtilis strain was at ATCC in the collection he maintained. Why not?

    The case is solved. It’s only paperwork holding up the closing the case, we are told.

    How hard is it to disclose the identification of the subtilis strain?

    Here is the subtilis at ATCC.

    We know that the subtilis was not at Ivins lab.

    Ed, could you ask Dr. Ravel and Dr. Bannan whether it was at ATCC? Thanks!

    • BugMaster said


      The contaminating subtilis came from the environment in which the material mailed to NYC was made. (b. subtilis is everywhere in the soil). Dr. Keim stated that he wouldn’t be surprised if he isolated a genetically unique b. subtilis from his computer keyboard (although if it was a genetic match to the contaminant, would wonder where his keyboard had been!)

      Nowhere have I ever read any account of the b. subtilis matching any strain at the ATCC. In fact, it was stated that the strain was not a match to any known strains (implying, amongst others, those at the ATCC).

      Besides, the contaminant coming from the environment (as opposed to being a known lab strain left over from some previous research project) is the most likely possibility (Occam’s Razor).

      Note, however, that no match was found from any samples gathered from Fort Detrick or Ivin’s home.

      I wonder if they checked soil samples from either Columbus or West Jefferson?

  20. DXer said

    From the Medical Report in the Ivins suicide:

    “M. Ivins advised she had written B. Ivins a letter when he returned home from Shepherd Pratt Hospital. The letter was left on B. Ivins end table in his room as he slept on Thursday 07/24/2008. The letter reads as follows:


    I’m hurt concerned, confused, and angry about your actions over the last weeks. You tell me you love me but you have been rude and sarcastic and nasty many times when you talk to me. You tell me you aren’t going to get any more guns then you fill out an on line application for a gun license. You pay Paul Kemp an enormous amount of money then ignore his advice by contacting Pat [Fellows] and Mara [Linscott], going into work at odd hours, and walking in the neighborhood late at night. You are jumpy and agitated from the extreme amount of caffeine you drink each day. Peter asked us not to cash any more EE bonds because we pay so much tax on them and you cashed one in June. The FBI is convinced you’re having an affair with Mara every time you email her they are more suspicious. Can you honestly say you are following the plan you developed at the Massie Clinic for stress reduction and coping with this?”

    B. Ivins wrote the following message on the back of the paper:

    1) “I have a terrible headache. I’m going to take some Tylenol and sleep in tomorrow- Bruce”
    2) A portion of the response was scribbled out, but remained readable. It states, “Please let me sleep. Please.”

    Note: By way of background, Mara and Pat worked on the NanoBio DARPA-funded research in connection with which a researcher worked under the direct supervision of Bruce Ivins using virulent Ames.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: