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

Archive for October, 2009

* it is now 442 days since the FBI said it expected to close the anthrax case “tomorrow”

Posted by DXer on October 21, 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  …

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

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

******

it is now 442 days

since the FBI said it expected

to close the anthrax case

“tomorrow”

******

Anonymous Scientist reminds us …

FBI announces - August 8, 2008 - that Dr. ivins is the sole perpetrator and the case will soon be closed

FBI announces - August 8, 2008 - Dr. Bruce Ivins is the SOLE PERPETRATOR of the 2001 anthrax attacks

This old Washington Post article from August 3 2008 is quite interesting.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/02/AR2008080201632.html

  • “Investigators are so confident of Ivins’s involvement that they have been debating since Friday whether and how to close the seven-year-old anthrax investigation. That would involve disbanding a grand jury in the District and unsealing scores of documents that form the basis of the government’s case against Ivins.
  • Negotiations over the legal issues continue, but a government source said that the probe could be shuttered as early as tomorrow. The move would amount to a strong signal that the FBI and Justice Department think they got their man — and that he is dead, foreclosing the possibility of a prosecution. No charges are likely against others, that source added.
  • Once the case is closed, the FBI and Justice Department will face questions — and possibly public hearings — from congressional oversight committees, which have been largely shut out of the case the past five years. The investigators have cited the ongoing nature of the case, as well as accusations of leaks to the media, for the information blackout to Capitol Hill.”

Hmmm – so an anonymous FBI source leaked on August 3 2008 that the case could be closed as early as “tomorrow”. That would have been August 4 2008. 442 days have passed since then – and the case is still not closed. I wonder if the “grand jury in the District” is still active? And, if so, what on earth they are hearing evidence on?

The article also uses an anonymous FBI source to state:

  • “One bioweapons expert familiar with the FBI investigation said Ivins indeed possessed the skills needed to create the dust-fine powder used in the attacks. At the Army lab where he worked, Ivins specialized in making sophisticated preparations of anthrax bacteria spores for use in animal tests, said the expert, who requested anonymity because the investigation remains active.
  • Ivins’s daily routine included the use of processes and equipment the anthrax terrorist likely used in making his weapons. He also is known to have had ready access to the specific strain of Bacillus anthracis used in the attack — a strain found to match samples found in Ivins’s lab, he said.
  • “You could make it in a week,” the expert said. “And you could leave USAMRIID with nothing more than a couple of vials. Bear in mind, they weren’t exactly doing body searches of scientists back then.”

But others, including former colleagues and scientists with backgrounds in biological weapons defense, disagreed that Ivins could have created the anthrax powder, even if he were motivated to do so.”

I’m not surprised this was from a leaker who wanted anonymity. It has already been demonstrated in this CASE CLOSED blog that it would be impossible to make the mailed material in one week …

******

see related post … * 55 flasks of anthrax prep … now where can I hide these?

******

Posted in * FBI anthrax statements, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

* the withholding of information by various federal agencies has led to many complaints; here are examples of information withheld by the FBI, NAS, EPA and FAA.

Posted by DXer on October 19, 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  …

“Responsible Americans who believe in holding our government accountable for its actions should read CASE CLOSED to be more informed of the facts of the case, regardless of whether they come to agree with the author’s theory. More investigation is needed.”

“You will not want to stop reading … Lew Weinstein addresses the 2001 anthrax case with the pen of a highly skilled investigator.”

******

the withholding of information by various federal agencies

has led to many complaints; here are examples of information

withheld by the FBI, NAS, EPA and FAA

******

It has become commonplace for the public to complain that federal agencies refuse to comply with FOIA requirements and other legitimate requests for information. How can a democracy work, critics say, when its government officials refuse to obey the law and provide the information essential to public debate?

The Amerithrax investigation is of course the prime concern of the CASE CLOSED blog, and many are frustrated that more information has not been forthcoming regarding this matter.

However, since it is the correct solution of Amerithrax that we all desire, perhaps the best approach is for everyone (the agencies and those requesting information) to conscientiously review the standards that control and apply them to the facts.

******

Politicians charged with oversight are aghast when the FBI refuses to answer direct questions from Congressmen and Senators … see related post … * Sen. Grassley says he will hold nominees at the DOJ until he receives long overdue answers from the FBI

******

I am frustrated when the FBI will not respond to my questions as to why the Amerithrax investigation is still open more than a year after the FBI accused Dr. Ivins of being the sole perpetrator and 3 months since they emphatically repeated that the closing of the case was imminent … see related post … * Is the FBI’s anthrax case ongoing or not? … I’ve been asking for two months … the FBI refuses to answer … here’s the email trail

******

I am surprised when the NAS won’t even answer my questions regarding the basis for sequestering FBI-submitted documents in apparent violation of FOIA requirements … see related post … * It’s well past time for the NAS to be frank and honest about what it has agreed with the FBI regarding the sequestering of FBI-submitted documents in apparent violation of FOIA requirements

NOTE: the day after this post was published, the NAS reversed its previously stated position … see related post …

* the NAS will provide FBI-submitted documents and the NAS/FBI anthrax study contract

******

In addition, DXer reports that the EPA refuses to waive the fee for FOIA documents he has requested, in apparent violation of its own policies and his plainly demonstrated commitment to disseminate the information to the public which was their basis for denying the request…

Fee Waivers and Reductions (from the EPA webpage):

  • The Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986 provides that documents shall be furnished without any charge or at a  reduced charge if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to general public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
  • A fee waiver or reduction of fees must be requested and justified by supporting documentation.  If you request a fee waiver, explain how the information will be used in the public interest and to what extent, if any, use of the information will be in your commercial interest.  Include statements on how you plan to disseminate the information, as well as your qualifications that are relevant to any specialized use of the documents.

DXer comments … This was a simple easy standard for the EPA to understand and apply.  Why should we expect the FBI to solve a difficult crime when FOIA officers cannot even comply with simple documents requests and apply simple standards?

******

This frustration over not being provided information is not new, as evidenced by the FAA withholding from 9/11 Commission, as described in John Farmer’s new book GROUND TRUTH …

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tells the 9/11 Commission it has already given the Commission all the documents it asked the FAA for.
  • John Farmer, head of the Commission team investigating what happened on the day of 9/11, finds this hard to believe, as the boxes of material the FAA has provided do not contain many tapes or transcripts of FAA communications on the day of the attacks. [Shenon, 2008, pp. 201]
  • Later interviews of FAA staff will reveal there is a mountain of evidence the FAA is withholding from the  Commission (see September 2003).

******

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * NAS review of FBI science, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

* former Amerithrax lead investigator Richard Lambert … “compartmentalization within the Amerithrax task force would inhibit our ability to connect the dots … among the three squads investigating the case.”

Posted by DXer on October 17, 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  …

“The whole Anthrax episode is unquestionably a dark moment in American history. But what makes it fascinating is how it was handled (or should I say mishandled) by the administration and the various agencies involved. CASE CLOSED is a must read for anyone who wondered … what really happened? … who did it? … why?”

… and finally, why didn’t they tell us the truth?”

******

In the case of Steven J. Hatfill vs the U.S. DOJ,

the former Amerithrax lead investigator Richard Lambert

testified as follows …

NOTE: This case ended with a $5.8 million settlement paid by the U.S. government to Dr. Hatfill

******

compartmentalization 0



compartmentalization 1

*****

compartmentalization 2

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

* 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.”

******

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

******

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.

******

Screen shot 2009-10-15 at 8.37.21 AM

Screen shot 2009-10-15 at 1.35.36 PM

***************

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , | 41 Comments »

* 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.”

******

DXer reflects on Amerithrax

… the FBI’s compartmentalized investigation

led to investigative failure

******

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.

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

* still no answers from NAS

Posted by DXer on October 9, 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 takes headline events and weaves a credible scenario around the anthrax scare and government departments working under the radar.”

“Lew Weinstein is a meticulous researcher and a determined storyteller. CASE CLOSED  will keep you up at night — reading, then worrying.”

******

email from Lew to NAS (10-9-09) …

It’s now been a month, and no answers to the questions I have asked regarding the NAS/FBI decision to withhold documents in apparent violation of FOIA law.

Why is this so difficult for NAS?

Your failure to respond, and to at least explain your decision, makes NAS look bad.

see related posts …

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * NAS review of FBI science, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , | 17 Comments »

* DXer responds to USA Today’s comment that “the anthrax case has not been closed because the lead suspect committed suicide”

Posted by DXer on October 6, 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 takes headline events and weaves a credible scenario around the anthrax scare and government departments working under the radar.”

“Lew Weinstein is a meticulous researcher and a determined storyteller. CASE CLOSED  will keep you up at night — reading, then worrying.”

******

USA Today reports (10-6-09) …

“Although the anthrax case has not been closed because the lead suspect committed suicide, the FBI blames the attacks on a lone government scientist, Bruce Ivins of the United States Army Research Institute for Infectious Diseases. The Ivins case showed that this is now something that an individual can do.”

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-10-05-biowatch-biological_N.htm

DXer comments …

Of course, if there were persuasive evidence Bruce Ivins was the processor and mailer, or involved at all, it would make it EASIER to close the case, not harder. All the evidence tends to establish is that his flask was the original source of the stream of isolates from which the attack anthrax could have been accessed.

To date, the most compelling data point relates to the method of concentrating anthrax using silica in the culture medium developed by the DARPA-funded researchers who shared a suite with Ali Al-Timimi, whose eminent defense counsel has said in a brief filed with the federal district court is an “anthrax weapons suspect.”

The Silicon Signature does not point to the method that Dugway was using in 2001. It points away from that method. Instead, aside from pointing to the confidential patent co-invented by Dr. Al-Timimi’s suitemates, it may point to the experiments Ivins and others were doing as part of vaccine research and, for example, the growth medium they used containing a high iron content. (Whether that was shared with or accessible by others has not yet been disclosed). Lab Notebook 4010 will reveal much because it will make plain the reason for the lesser Silicon Signature in flask 1030 (as distinguished from flask 1029).

******

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 12 Comments »

* USA Today reports on bioWatch technology to detect anthrax and other bioterror agents

Posted by DXer on October 6, 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  …

“Weinstein raises some very interesting and disturbing theories. CASE CLOSED is a great read, suspenseful and a real page turner. Please tell me it’s not true!”

“You will not want to stop reading … Lew Weinstein addresses the 2001 anthrax case with the pen of a highly skilled investigator.”

******

bioWatch technology is operating in over 30 cities

bioWatch

Steve Sternberg writes in USA Today (10-6-09)

  • As the anthrax attacks unfolded in 2001, the White House ordered Tom Slezak to Washington, D.C., to deploy experimental technology that scientists from Livermore and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico had developed to protect athletes and spectators at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
  • The detection system had never been put to a real-world test. Soon, the safety of many U.S. cities would depend on it.
  • Today, eight years after the anthrax attacks, the system Slezak’s research team started, known as BioWatch, is quietly operating in more than 30 cities.
  • In September 2005, BioWatch detected bacteria that cause tularemia — a known bioterror agent— on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during an anti-war demonstration that drew thousands of marchers. Further tests suggested the bacteria occurred naturally and was no threat, officials said then.
  • “There’s a general feeling that anthrax will be the most likely agent of choice. It’s available in nature, it doesn’t require heavy science to manipulate, and it can be granulized into a form that makes it easier to disseminate” and inhaled.
  • Another reason anthrax is appealing to bioterrorists, he says, is that it is difficult to detect. Anthrax detonates silently, without smoke or flame. Its spores are odorless and all but invisible. Like a deadly pollen, they can float on air.
  • “We’re looking for aerosolized anthrax,” Hooks says. “That’s the No. 1 aerosolized biological risk agent.”
  • Anthrax appears to be especially attractive to al-Qaeda, according to the WMD commission report. The terrorist network that orchestrated 9/11 had two biological stations in Qandahar, Afghanistan, that were unknown to Western intelligence services until U.S. troops found them in 2001, the report says.
  • “It’s our information that the effort al-Qaeda started in Qandahar in the late ’90s has been relocated to Pakistan,” Graham says. “They’ve had eight years to regroup.”
  • Graham says he can’t discuss whether other terrorist groups also are tinkering with anthrax or other bioweapons.
  • Although the anthrax case has not been closed because the lead suspect committed suicide, the FBI blames the attacks on a lone government scientist, Bruce Ivins of the United States Army Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.
  • “The Ivins case showed that this is now something that an individual can do,” Kadlec says.

read the entire article at … http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-10-05-biowatch-biological_N.htm

for more about bioWatch … http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/systems/biowatch.htm

Posted in * anthrax science, * recent anthrax news | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

* Robert Stevens died eight years ago today, the first victim of the still unsolved anthrax attacks

Posted by DXer on October 5, 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.”

******

Robert Stevens

Robert Stevens

On October 5, 2001, Robert Stevens, photo editor for American Media Inc. of Boca Raton Fla., died after being infected with respiratory anthrax.

Eight years have passed.

We don’t know why Mr. Stevens was chosen to receive an anthrax laced letter; no letter addressed to him or to AMI has been recovered.

And we don’t know why his murderers have yet to be brought to justice.

We do know that Dr. Bruce Ivins, accused by the FBI as the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks, has never, after 8 years of the most comprehensive investigation ever undertaken by the FBI,  been linked to either Mr. Stevens or AMI.

Lawsuit by Mrs. Stevens vs. U.S. and Battelle

Mrs. Maureen Stevens, the victim’s widow, has filed a $50 million lawsuit blaming the federal government for her husband’s death, alleging that the government’s lack of security allowed a mentally unstable man access to “some of the deadliest substances known to mankind.”

The U.S. government appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, asking that Mrs. Stevens’ suit be dismissed.

In March of this year, U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in Florida refused to dismiss Stevens’ suit against the federal government and Battelle Memorial Institute, sending the case back to U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach.

******

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, * recent anthrax news | Tagged: , , , | 14 Comments »

* It’s well past time for the NAS to be frank and honest about what it has agreed with the FBI regarding the sequestering of FBI-submitted documents in apparent violation of FOIA requirements

Posted by DXer on October 3, 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 takes headline events and weaves a credible scenario around the anthrax scare and government departments working under the radar.”

“Lew Weinstein is a meticulous researcher and a determined storyteller. CASE CLOSED will keep you up at night — reading, then worrying.”

******

Another week has passed … NAS has still not explained the basis for its decision, together with the FBI, to sequester FBI-submitted documents until the conclusion of its review of the FBI’s anthrax science

******

These are the currently outstanding questions …

  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?

The total correspondence between myself and NAS related to the FBI-submitted documents is reproduced below. Here is a brief summary of that correspondence …

  • It begins with a simple request (9/4/09) for access to documents accumulated by NAS and the immediate response from the NAS spokesperson that FBI-submitted documents will not be made available “until the end of the study.”
  • When I asked the legal basis for sequestering these documents, I was told that they are exempt from FOIA requirements but, according to the (undisclosed) agreement between NAS and the FBI, they are to be made available at the end of the study.

On 9/11/09, I communicated DXer’s comment to the NAS, as follows … There is nothing in the statute that permits the withholding until after their review is done.  To the contrary, it holds the opposite and makes FOIA applicable.    If it is producible at the end of their review, it is producible now.  Thus,  his present position constitutes a willful breach.

  • To this assertion, there has been three weeks of silence from NAS. No explanations. No citation of specific FOIA exemptions. No release of the relevant NAS-FBI contract provisions.

In my judgment, this failure to respond is an insult to me and to the American people who are paying $880,000 to fund this NAS study.

If NAS believes it has legal justification under FOIA or under its contract with the FBI to withhold and sequester FBI-submitted documents, then they should put that alleged justification forward. That this might lead to unfavorable analysis and litigation does not excuse the three weeks of silence.

It’s well past time for the NAS to be frank and honest about what it has agreed with the FBI.

******

Correspondence between Lew and NAS …

9/4/09 … Lew to NAS … Many of us at the CASE CLOSED blog followed the opening hearings of the NAS study panel with great interest. The questions asked by panel members suggested that the study is off on exactly the right foot. There have since been reports of documents received by the NAS panel, which documents are preumably now being reviewed. My question is whether these documents can now be made available, and if so, what is the procedure (FOIA?) for requesting them.

9/4/09 … NAS to Lew … Lew, the NAS is a nonprofit private institution that operates under a congressional charter and the Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act which requires that material presented to our committees as part of their data gathering go in our Public Access Office files. Some material given to the anthrax committee is already in that file and I’ll ask someone from public access to send you link to list. However, the FBI case documents periodically being given to the committee will not go in the public access file until the end of the study.

9/4/09 … Lew to NAS … I wonder if you could explain what seems on the face of it to be an inconsistency. If material received by the committee is supposed to go into a public access file, why is material from the FBI excluded from that requirement. What is your lawful authority to sequester the FBI-provided material?

9/6/09 … NAS to Lew … I’ve asked our general counsel for the legal language you requested but I don’t know if I’ll have it for you before Tuesday.

9/10/09 … NAS to Lew … Lew, below is my response to how we’re handling material from FBI.  Before it is a link to FACA sections applying to NAS and under which we operate, so you can see the language with which we comply.  Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. http://www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ABOUT_FACA The study committee expects to receive thousands of pages of material from the F.B.I. in the course of its study. Some has already been received; more will be coming as the study progresses. Much of this material is exempt from mandatory release to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. However, we have an agreement with the F.B.I. that all of the material will be made available to the public at the same time that our report is released, so that everyone will be able to review the information that was available to the committee in reaching its conclusions.

9/10/09 … Lew to NAS … Thank you for your response, although I must say it seems inadequate. You say that much of the FBI material is exempt from release under the FOIA law, but you do not cite the specific legal authority under which such exemptions are claimed. It is my understanding that there are several reasons for possible exemption from release. Which reasons do you specifically cite for each category of FBI material you claim is exempt? Also … I note that you say “much” of the FBI material is exempt, which means that some is not exempt. Could you please advise which FBI material you believe is not exempt, and how the non-exempt FBI material differs from the FBI material which you say is exempt? Finally, how does one go about requesting the FBI material which you say is not exempt?

9/11/09 … DXer to Lew to NAS … There is nothing in the statute that permits the withholding until after their review is done.  To the contrary, it holds the opposite and makes FOIA applicable.    If it is producible at the end of their review, it is producible now.  Thus,  his present position constitutes a willful breach.

9/18/09 … Lew to NAS … I wonder if you could let me know the status of any response to my 9/10/09 email (repeated below). Are you in the process of preparing a response? When can I expect to receive a response?

9/22/09 … Lew to NAS … I can understand if my previous questions have led to a need for legal opinions regarding the FBI-submitted documents, and that this may take a while to complete. My questions are … is NAS in fact seeking or preparing legal opinions? do you have an intent to respond to my previous questions? if so, when would be a reasonable time to expect a response?

9/22/09 … NAS to Lew … Lew, you can call me about these questions.

9/22/09 … I had a telephone conversation with the NAS spokesperson. He was quite cordial but offered no new information, saying only that he would again refer my questions to NAS counsel.

9/24/09 … Lew to NAS … I think you are being as forthcoming as you can be, given that you have little information to share, and I think the conscientious scientists on the NAS panel are being undermined by the decision of NAS bureacrats to accede to the FBI’s rules of conduct. I have waited the two days I said I would; here’s a heads-up on today’s post on the CASE CLOSED blog. https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/its-seems-the-fbi-said-the-documents-were-exempt-from-foia-and-nas-with-no-independent-verification-accepted-that-conclusion/ As I told you when we spoke, I think the NAS is taking a very bad route in aligning itself with the FBI’s refusal to tell the American people the basis on which they concluded that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator (or even involved at all) when there is no supporting science, no physical evidence, and no witnesses which point specifically to the man the FBI says is the anthrax killer. In my view, shared by many, it’s been eight years since some as yet unidentified terrorists conducted mass murder on American soil, and we have no credible answers.

9/30/09 … Lew to NAS … Any word from NAS counsel on the claimed FOIA exemption items?

******

Posted in * NAS review of FBI science, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »