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

* Hunting the Anthrax Killer … new National Geographic video promoting Sunday show

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 22, 2009

.CASE CLOSED

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

CASE CLOSED offers a “fictional” answer

* buy CASE CLOSED

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Hunting the Anthrax Killer

National Geographic Channel

Sunday 9:00 pm

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click here for video …

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/hunting-the-anthrax-killer-4437/Overview#tab-Videos/06982_00

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7 Responses to “* Hunting the Anthrax Killer … new National Geographic video promoting Sunday show”

  1. DXer said

    Dr. John Ezzell writes, in a chapter of the FBI-sponsored MICROBIAL FORENSICS (p. 220), about this issue of the integrity of samples that is raised in the exchange between BugMaster and Mr. Lake:

    “questions might include: Was there adequate security? Did unauthorized personnel have access to the samples? Was there adequate accountability (i.e., chain-of-custody, evidence storage, evidence in-processing). For example, defense attorneys may argue that samples brought into the laboratory may have become contaminated or that someone deliberately contaminated the sample in an attempt to incriminate their client. Therefore, it is important to determine those persons who need access to sample storage or work areas, and to restrict access to just those individuals. Make a record of all individuals who have regular access, monitor their access, and have others from outside the laboratory sign a roster when it is necessary for them to enter the area. Access to samples must be restricted. There should be no exceptions.”

    Question: Who tested the sample that is claimed to have been a false sample submitted by Dr. Ivins? And who chose to destroy the one submitted using a different protocol.

    Was it Dr. Ezzell, the one person known to have previously made dry powdered anthrax using Ames at Ft. Detrick?

    Was it Dr. Kimothy Smith, the one who made space available to the former associate of Ayman Zawahiri to conduct the DARPA-funded research for which he was supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins? (http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com )

    Or was it the former ATCC Bacteriology Division collection scientist who came to coordinate the science investigation?

    I have no idea. But when FBI Counterterrorism Chief Ben Furman wrote me to say that Amerithrax was a mess but that he thought most information should be kept from the public, my reaction was that we really do need to understand these issues in order to have confidence the dead guy who isn’t here to defend himself did it.

    And we know we need to understand issues because that is what is called for under the FBI’s own guidelines for microbial forensics.

  2. Anonymous Scientist said

    Lake writes:
    “How preposterous would it be if they did as Anonymous Scientist does and suggest that AFIP’s erroneous report is the only accurate report on the attack anthrax and all the scientists who examined the spores after AFIP must all be incompetent or part of some vast conspiracy?”

    You may find the notion of analyzing ALL of the data preposterous. We scientists call it science.

    If the FBI had nothing to hide they would release ALL of the AFIP data. Now.

    • BugMaster said

      “If the FBI had nothing to hide they would release ALL of the AFIP data. Now.”

      Including the amount of IODINE detected!

  3. DXer said

    Dr. Ezzell told Scott Shane of the New York Times:

    “He [Bruce Ivins] was in charge of producing large quantities of wet spores for research. So if anybody could have produced a lot of spores without arousing suspicion, it was him [Ivins].”

    Actually, of course, Bruce made wet spores and it was Dr. Ezzell who made dry spores, Dr. Ezzell now confirms to me. And so if anybody could have produced a dry powdered anthrax without arousing suspicion it was John, not Bruce — especially given JE worked for the FBI’s hazardous materials unit as its anthrax specialist.

    What former official previously involved in the investigation told Scott Shane that the chemical signature of the water uniquely pointed to Ft. Detrick? Was it Dr. Ezzell? Was the unique chemical signature not related to “drinking water” but to the soil suspension — Soil 1 and Soil 2 — involved in the preparation Dr. Ezzell supplied to Edgewood for testing?

  4. DXer said

    Dr. John Ezzell confirmed to me that he had made the dry powdered product that Bruce Ivins had heard was the closest match to the attack anthrax. (see Dr. Ivins email to Pat Fellows reported by FoxNews in the March 2008 report saying that the FBI had narrowed the investigation to four suspects). But he noted in passing that (1) he was under a gag order, and (2) the FBI could be presumed to be wiretapping the call in the ordinary course of the ongoing investigation. And so in advance of an interview, the research a journalist should do includes to read Dr. Ezzell’s chapter “Forensic Handling of biological threat samples in the lab” (pp. 213-230) and then also read his deposition in the Hatfill matter on November 21, 2006. (see, e.g., pp. 60, 63, 66 in support for the proposition that Dr. Hatfill did not have access to the lab where Dr. Ezzell had made the dry powdered anthrax. Then the question becomes what DARPA researchers had such access to the special pathogens testing lab or otherwise had access to the dry powdered anthrax that Dr. Ezzell made (or had access to the same know-how) at the same time as having access to Ames derived from flask 1029. Most intelligence is open source. In assessing the issue of the soil suspensions that were used with the Ames, to the extent the soil from Aberdeen Proving Grounds can be sampled, that is subject to testing by independent labs for the strain of subtilis and for tin.

  5. Anonymous Scientist said

    I think this new video is very encouraging. It demonstrates that the National Geographic Team researched the science behind the attacks deeply. Instead of turning up at Sandia and believing everything they were told, they asked highly skeptical questions.
    Also, they seem to be focussing on the real heart of the matter – the silicon signature. That’s the subject the FBI want to avoid.
    Instead the FBI want to focus on the “4 morphotypes” and they want to roll out the “FBI scientists have made breakthroughs in microbial forensics” line. That’s purely a distraction.
    The REAL forensic evidence lies in the silicon (and also in the B Subtilus contaminant).

    It’s great news that a highly respected media outlet will broadcast to the nation on Sunday night that the FBI have refused to share the AFIP results. I suspect this means we will probably be seeing these AFIP results in the near future (if not on Sunday night). No doubt the FBI are presently dreaming up an appropriate spin to go with it. AFIP accidently added silicon to the powder. The EDX detector must have malfunctioned. The dog ate it. Pick your spin line.

    • DXer said

      …and for example, the Tin Signature. Sergeui, who attended the ASM presentation, says it spiked out like hell.

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