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

Archive for October 15th, 2009

* DXer to FBI … it’s never too late to be right

Posted by DXer on October 15, 2009

CASE CLOSEDCASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question “Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?” … click here to … buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

Here’s what readers say about CASE CLOSED  …

“Is it really fiction? … The author states loud and clear that this book is fiction. But, anyone who has witnessed the last eight years of American history sees great similarities in the underhanded way the last Administration dealt with issues and the way this “fictional” Administration worked.”

“This scary scenario is as close to truth as fiction can come.”

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DXer to FBI … it’s never too late to be right

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FBI SHIELD

On December 7, 2001, Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer Gant of the Washington Field Office wrote a memo to the Washington Field Office and Amerithrax colleagues objecting to information sharing. The memo objected to a memo written by Agent Roth about entering Amerithrax leads into a central database and classifying the priority of leads. (see copy of email below)

Fast-forward 8 years and she is at George Mason University (home of the DARPA Center for Biodefense and alum “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi) making a presentation with intelligence analyst Michael Ragsdale on the importance of information sharing.

See below … “FBI Campus Liaison Initiative”
http://cupic.gmu.edu/presentations.htm#b

Now it is not my intent to second-guess Agent Gant’s December 7, 2001 memo.  Not in the slightest.  In fact, I definitely would have — and as a private citizen did — urge the same thing.  Playing things close to the vest to get the drop through electronic surveillance was a great strategy in Amerithrax 8 years ago.

But, hey … guess what.  Although the details are still murky as to how and why, the pooch was screwed.  Not once, but many times.  Publicly.  And she liked it.

Now is the time to bring the ball across the finish line and slam the ball down in a victory bounce.  No one is going to second-guess success. Mine is a tough love.

Now that US Attorney Jeff Taylor is gone, someone has to tell Agent Montooth and Mr. Persichini and explain that it is never too late to be right.

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Screen shot 2009-10-15 at 8.37.21 AM

Screen shot 2009-10-15 at 1.35.36 PM

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* DXer reflects on Amerithrax … the FBI’s compartmentalized investigation led to investigative failure

Posted by DXer on October 15, 2009

CASE CLOSEDCASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question “Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?” … click here to … buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

Here’s what readers say about CASE CLOSED  …

“CASE CLOSED reads fast and well. It could have happened just the way the author said. Full of intrigue mixed in with almost current events. The real people are just behind the fictional ones.”

“Author Lew Weinstein does a terrific job telling this fictionalized account of an inter agency post-mortem investigation of the (real) failed FBI investigation.”

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DXer reflects on Amerithrax

… the FBI’s compartmentalized investigation

led to investigative failure

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FBI announces - over 14 months ago - that Dr. ivins is the sole perpetrator and the case will soon be closed

FBI announces - over 14 months ago - that Dr. Ivins is the sole perpetrator and the Amerithrax case will soon be closed

  • Agent Lambert formally objected to Director Mueller’s decision to compartmentalize the three squads — which prevented even the two investigative squads from knowing what the other was doing.
  • As a result, the squad who knew that Bruce Ivins edited Wikipedia and had a crush on a young co-worker (and thus hides things from his wife) perhaps had no reason to know about, for example, the interception of samples from Rauf Ahmad’s luggage after attending a conference with all the USAMRIID folks.
  • Conversely, a supervisory female agent from THE THIRD SQUAD formally objected to the requirement that all leads and POIs be added to a central database. I’ll look for the memo and give it to Lew for posting.

There is a constant tension between the risk of leaks and the importance of sharing information necessary to permits others to do their job. Reasonable people can disagree. Certainly, independence of the science is important to its validation. Sequestration of consulting experts is to be expected and done as a matter of course.

Despite these reasonable differences in opinion and approach to whether the investigative squads are compartmentalized, an adjustment needs to be made when the end-product — the analysis — comes up with what is provably the wrong answer.

This is especially true when the process of arriving at the answer was dominated by people in key positions who had extraordinary conflicts of interest, including:

  • lead prosecutor Daniel Seikaly, whose daughter represented “anthrax weapons suspect” Al-Timimi pro bono;
  • lead scientist Dr. Bannan who was the collections scientist at the Bacteriology Division at ATCC which co-sponsored Al-Timimi’s program;
  • and lead genetics scientist Kimothy Smith, who provided the lab space to the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins.

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