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

* a just released U.S. government report casts serious doubt on the FBI’s assertion they have proven Dr. Ivins to be the SOLE PERPETRATOR of the 2001 anthrax attacks, or even involved at all

Posted by DXer on September 22, 2009


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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just issued a report on High Containment Laboratories which contains several devastating passages as to inventory controls at the Ft. Detrick USAMRIID lab before October 2001.

These portrayals of inattention and incompetence at Ft. Detrick cast serious doubts on the FBI’s contention that they have proven Dr. Bruce Ivins to be the SOLE PERPETRATOR of the 2001 anthrax attacks, or even involved at all.


GAO Sept 09 - cover


Extract #1  from the GAO report …

GAO Sept 09 - 2nd page - extract

  • It hardly seems necessary to point out that this frightening description applies not only to Dr. Ivins but also to all of the others at Ft. Detrick, and perhaps elsewhere, who had access to flask RMR-1029.


Extract #2 from the same page …

GAO Sept 09 - 2nd page - extract 2

  • It seems clear from this extract that the GAO does not support the FBI’s conclusion that Dr. Ivins has been proven to be the SOLE PERPETRATOR of the 2001 anthrax attacks.


a third extract is even more devastating to the FBI’s case …

GAO Sept 09 - 3rd page


So … the FBI has no science, no witnesses, and no physical evidence.

… where is the FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins?

… what is the FBI hiding?

… why?


Here are the complete pages from which the first two excerpts above are taken …

GAO Sept 09 - ist page

GAO Sept 09 - 2nd page

8 Responses to “* a just released U.S. government report casts serious doubt on the FBI’s assertion they have proven Dr. Ivins to be the SOLE PERPETRATOR of the 2001 anthrax attacks, or even involved at all”

  1. DXer said

    At the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee co-chaired by Senator Lieberman and Senator Collins, Gregory Kutz spoke on perimeter security at five BL-4 labs (for which a GAO report issued today). He said the ones for which CDC had “select pathogen” oversight had the most lax conditions.

  2. DXer said

    There were four hearings today — two in the Senate, one in the House and one ongoing one at NAS. The one on Ft. Detrick began again at 7 p.m. after running from 2-5 p.m.

    Article from a few minutes ago –

    “The implication of U.S. Army researcher Bruce Ivins in the 2001 anthrax letter attacks came up several times during the Senate hearing. Kingsbury pointed out that an increase in the number of researchers handling select agents would “inevitably” lead to an amplification of the insider threat: the risk of an attack masterminded by a scientist working at a biocontainment facility. Ivins’s name is sure to be mentioned at a public meeting being held today by a National Research Council panel that is reviewing safety issues relating to a proposed expansion of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Maryland, where Ivins worked for more than 3 decades. Members of local citizens’ groups that are opposed to the expansion will be in attendance when the meeting is opened for public comments at 7 p.m.”

  3. DXer said

    Michael Greenberger’s comments about the blame heaped on Ivins was highly regrettable was in the Senate Judicary Subcommittee hearing.

    But today there was also similar testimony in the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee. Susan Collins’ webcast statement characterized the FBI’s position on Ivins that was “most likely” involved in the anthrax mailings.

    Senator Bob Graham thinks it is very important that the public be engaged — he cites the UK official who says that has been no WMD plot broken without citizen involvement.

  4. BugMaster said

    “However, it is still unclear whether the spores in the letter came directly from the flask under Dr. Ivins control, or involved some further illicit culturing.”

    Not exactly the FBI’s company line here, is it?

    • DXer said

      The highly expert blue ribbon panel members are below.

      Peter Emanuel was head of the Critical Reagent Program which had virulent Ames. American Culture Type Collection bid later and won the contract overseeing it. A BL-3 lab was first built at Edgewood in 2001. He has published on Delta Ames.

      Alan Jeff Mohr would aerosolize Ames for Dugway.

      It is unfortunate that the NAS panel does not have such folks experienced at aerosolizing virulent Ames or Ames simulant.

      The Sandia folks opining on “weaponization” have never aerosolized anthax. They report that the FBI told them what an exosporium was. A federal judge should ask: “Thank you very much. Now that we know the location of the silicon, is there a witness who could appear who has aerosolized anthrax simulant? Such as Dr. John Kiel who did controlled experiments at the Air Force laboratory using a siliconizing solution in the slurry and found that the same silicon spike resulted?

      How is it sound science to have as the lead witness on “weaponization” (the FBI does not define the term in its letter to NAS) be someone who reports he was told by the FBI what an exosporium was? They have undisputed expertise at reporting the location of where they found the silicon signal to originate from. Their implications go far beyond their data. Joe is so protective of his precious data — which no one doubts — he is missing the point that the reason to comply with the Sunshine in Government laws is so that it can be pointed out that in Richmond his conclusions and implications drawn from his data go far beyond his ken or data.

      Now that the fellow who know a coat folded upon drying is gone from the panel, they should replace him with an aerosol expert who can explain that the implication of Joe Michael’s wonderful research may be, AS THE WMD CHIEF HIMSELF EXPLAINS, that the silicon could have been in the culture medium … it could have been used to concentrate the anthrax (upon more concentrated anthrax and a more consistently uniform small particle, it is more floatable.) If the NAS complied with FOIA, it could be pointed out that the FBI failed to provide the NAS the documents relating to MICRODROPLET CELL CULTURE including the documents demonstrating that the method contemplates treating with silica in the culture medium to concentrate anthrax and then removing the traces of silica through repeated centrifuging.

      Dugway created anthrax simulant for the experiment in 2001 done by the Canadians relating to the threat of mailed anthrax (which issued September 10 and was done in response to a threat from Zawahiri’s supporters in late January 2001). They used a spraydryer and a mixer. It was made by a dairy processor.

      Peter Emanuel, Ph.D. Office of Science and Technology Policy Executive Office of the President
      Gigi Kwik Gronvall, Ph.D. Center for Biosecurity of the University of
      Pittsburgh Medical Center University of Pittsburgh
      George V. Ludwig, Ph.D. U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command Ft. Detrick, Maryland
      Jack Melling, Ph.D., Retired U.K. Microbiological Research Authority Porton Down, United Kingdom
      Alan Jeff Mohr, Ph.D., Retired Life Sciences Division U.S. Army, Dugway Proving Ground Tooele, Utah
      Suresh D. Pillai, Ph.D. Texas A&M University College Station, Texas
      Janet Shoemaker American Society for Microbiology Washington, D.C.

  5. DXer said


    The Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security has scheduled a hearing on “Strengthening Security and Oversight at Biological Research Laboratories” for Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.

    Chairman Cardin will preside.

    By order of the Chairman

    Witness List

    Hearing before the
    Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security


    “Strengthening Security and Oversight at Biological Research Laboratories”

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009
    Senate Dirksen Office Building Room 226
    2:30 p.m.

    Panel I

    Daniel D. Roberts, Criminal Justice Information Services
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    United States Department of Justice
    Washington, DC

    Jean Reed
    Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense
    Chemical and Biological Defense / Chemical Demilitarization
    United States Department of Defense
    Arlington, VA

    Brandt Pasco
    Compliance Assurance Program Manager
    United States Department of Homeland Security
    Washington, DC

    Panel II

    The Honorable Robert Graham
    Former United States Senator from Florida
    Chair, Commission for the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism
    Washington, DC

    Dr. Nancy Kingsbury
    Managing Director, Applied Research and Methods
    United States Government Accountability Office
    Washington, DC

    Michael Greenberger
    Director, Center for Health and Homeland Security
    University of Maryland, Baltimore
    Baltimore, MD

    The Infiltration of U.S. Biodefense

  6. DXer said

    Of even greater interest to a hearing led by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) Tuesday, the lack of central authority over the labs has left no means of determining the level of risk associated with their expansion, GAO warned.

    Lieberman and Collins called the hearing to markup the Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness and Prevention Act (S. 1649), which would mandate security levels at high-containment labs–among other provisions.

    Were the National Security Advisor to place a central authority in charge of the labs, that organization could enhance their security needs through ensuring that agencies do not expand the number of labs beyond those required, balancing the risks and benefits of expanding the labs, and determining how to oversee them, the report noted.

    Oversight programs at USDA and HHS, in particular, require modifications because some of their labs have responsibility for monitoring themselves and reporting any incidents, the report said.

    Due to this situation, a malicious actor could easily perpetuate an attack such as the 2001 anthrax attacks–which the FBI concluded originated from a DoD facility at Fort Dietrich in Frederick through the actions of scientist Bruce Ivins, who was employed there.

    Would-be terrorists also could target other labs labs that have no active oversight at all. Such labs have capabilities to work with biological agents but do not currently possess them, leaving the door open to a malicious actor to potentially orchestrate the release of pathogens.

    “Consequently, laboratories having capabilities to work with biological agents, even though they do not posses select agents, are not currently subject to oversight. These laboratories also have associated biosecurity risks because of their potential as targets for terrorism or theft by either internal or external perpetrators,” the report asserted.

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