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

* its seems the FBI said the documents were exempt from FOIA and NAS, with no independent verification, accepted that conclusion

Posted by DXer on September 24, 2009

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update on the NAS/FBI decision

to sequester FBI-submitted documents

Questions asked to NAS spokesperson

  1. Does the NAS/FBI agreement specifically prohibit the disclosure of FBI-submitted documents, in whole, in part, now, or later?
  2. If so, can you provide the language of the agreement that does so?
  3. What do you claim as your lawful authority to sequester the FBI-provided material until the end of your review?
  4. Do you understand that you are required to state specific exemptions pursuant to FOIA?
  5. Are you prepared to have your attorney cite specific FOIA exemption provisions for each document sequestered?
  6. Are there provisions of the FOIA law which allow the exemptions you cite to apply now but not at the end of the review period?
  7. How do you characterize FBI-submitted material which you believe is not exempt?


It has been several weeks since I learned from the NAS that they had agreed with the FBI to sequester FBI-submitted documents until the end of their study.

Several emails failed to solicit additional details, particularly as to the legal authority NAS might be claiming under FOIA to sequester the documents. A few days ago, I was afforded the opportunity to discuss these questions with the NAS spokesperson, who by the way, has been as forthcoming and responsive as he can be, given the lack of information he has to share.

I asked the questions listed above. The spokesperson said he would consult with NAS legal counsel and get back to me. He said he had forwarded my questions when originally submitted and had received no answer. No answer so far this time either.

The impression I got was that NAS had not done any independent analysis of its FOIA obligations before agreeing to sequester the FBI-submitted documents.

It seems that the FBI told them the submitted documents were exempt from FOIA disclosure and the NAS, with no independent verification, simply believed the FBI and acted accordingly.

I am certain the scientists on the NAS panel are conscientious and want to do an honest and comprehensive job.

The problem seems to be that the bureaucrats at the NAS, seemingly willing to accede to whatever the FBI says, and not willing to release the contract between NAS and the FBI so we can understand the deal they have made, are already diminishing the likelihood that the scientists will be able to produce the results they hope for, and which the American people deserve.


6 Responses to “* its seems the FBI said the documents were exempt from FOIA and NAS, with no independent verification, accepted that conclusion”

  1. DXer said

    From August 18, 2008 scientific Roundtable on Amerithrax Science –

    DR. BURANS: It’s known that Bacilli are capable of mineralizing different types of elements includingsilicon, so as early as 1982 Bacilli species Bacilli species have been shown to localize silica within their spore coat.

    QUESTION: Can I ask a follow-up?

    DR. MAJID1: It could have been within the growth media. It could have been within —

  2. DXer said


    which uses silica in the culture medium to concentrate the anthrax

  3. DXer said

    Relevant hyperlinked peer-reviewed journal articles, including all the ones the FBI has indicated to the NAS that it is relying on, are hyperlinked here:

    The 10 or so additional articles that the FBI a year ago said would be published have not published.

  4. DXer said

    The leading learned treatise in the field (edited by the FBI’s Budowie, et al.) is called MICROBIAL FORENSICS. WorldCat shows it be at NYU library, Boston Univ., Drexel, Tufts, Univ. of Mich, Wayne etc. — not at all far from researchers in the US wherever they are. If it is not in the Department’s budget, you can obtain it through interlibrary loan through your public library. There’s a whole lot of relevant learning packed in a single hefty volume. It really should be assigned reading for any NAS panel member.

    For some separate historical perspective, the 2006 or so FBI study on the Scent Transfer Unit, relied upon in using bloodhounds that were the subject of the earlier leaked stories about Dr. Hatfill, is available on pubmed.

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