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

* why have Dr. Ivins’ emails concerning his whereabouts when the anthrax letters were mailed in Princeton not been released? who is withholding this information?

Posted by DXer on January 10, 2010

CASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question … Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case? Here’s the (fictional) DIA Director giving the charge to his team re-investigating the FBI anthrax investigation …

“Those FBI bastards hounded a Defense Department employee until he committed suicide, if it was suicide. After seven years the FBI hasn’t come close to making a case that could convict the lowest grade criminal, let alone an internationally respected scientist. And they think they can say ‘case closed’ and sweep their incompetent investigation under the rug?”

“I’ve already spoken to Secretary Morgan,” General Drysdale continued. “The Secretary agrees that the Defense Department is taking an unwarranted hit from the FBI, and we don’t know why. At my request, the Secretary has authorized us to find out what really happened.

“You’re the team I’ve selected. You’re authorized to go where you need to go, ask what you need to know. You’ll have whatever resources are necessary.

Click here to buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

in paperback or kindle

******

why have Dr. Ivins’ emails

concerning his whereabouts when the anthrax letters

were mailed in Princeton

not been released?

who is withholding this information?

******

DXer’s comment …

Dr. Bruce Ivins

It used to be reasoned that the mailer would be living alone — because otherwise his wife would know.  Dr. Ivins’ wife, in a private note to Dr. Ivins, stated that she knew he had nothing to do with it.  That is a pretty compelling piece of evidence as to her private thoughts.  Especially after the first mailing when the public was sensitive to the matter, the FBI would not have met its burden on the evidence disclosed that Dr. Ivins could have travelled without being observed.

In terms of what has NOT yet been disclosed, there likely are contemporaneous emails from those days that both would establish his location at some particular times and would refer to how he was spending his time generally.

It thus is worth noting that the most probative evidence, such as contemporaneous emails from the dates they allege processing and mailing and Lab Notebook 4010, are being withheld.

Instead the affidavit in support of probable cause for a search referred only to his inability to justify his time in a 2005 interview (or at least that is their characterization). At the same time there was a FOIA for exit/entry times, there was a FOIA for emails.

Why are they withholding the emails? They were processed many months ago but are being withheld.  The FBI’s unsupported factual assertion of travel therefore is in the context of a refusal to provide the documents that might corroborate or contradict their assertion.  If someone cannot back up their claims and refuses to provide documentary support, a logical inference is that the evidence does not support the claim.

Anonymous Scientist’s comment …

I think this is a very good observation. If Ivins sent time-stamped emails on the days he supposedly drove to Princeton to mail the letters this immediately destroys the FBI’s theory. There would have to be at least 12 hour windows of zero emails sent in a distinct pattern. There would also have to be 12 hour windows of zero cell phone usage, zero credit card usage etc.

I think it’s obvious they DON’T have this – and they know fully well that releasing emails will immediately have internet bloggers all over the emails analyzing them for gaping holes in the FBI’s theory.

Michael Green (see below) also pointed out that the FBI failed completely to adequately describe how Ivins made the powder and Green similarly concluded that the reason the never explained it is simple – they couldn’t.

http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/green/FBIFrameupOfIvins.html

It is important not to distract ourselves with the task of resolving exactly what attributes the Senate anthrax spores had — attributes that the FBI and DOJ have deliberately kept secret and muddled through confusing and contradictory press leaks and releases. It is wiser to rely on the obvious inference that if the FBI had a simple, straightforward, true and compelling story to tell about how Ivins could have made such a deadly powder in a few brief spates at night, they would have told it.

They did not tell it because they did not have it.

******

27 Responses to “* why have Dr. Ivins’ emails concerning his whereabouts when the anthrax letters were mailed in Princeton not been released? who is withholding this information?”

  1. DXer said

    It has been over a year and a half that USAMRIID/FBI have withheld the September/October 2001 emails (without invoking an exemption from production which, if invoked, would be subject to appeal.

    Given all the talk about sharing information (as contemplated by the rule of law) and accountability, I recommend that if the September and October 2001 emails are not produced by the end of the week, everyone responsible be fired. Otherwise, the word accountability, as used in the hearing yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, simply has no meaning — whether used by a Senator or the FBI Director. And it is just business as usual until the next terrorist attack. But while the USAMRIID people, including the Lt. Colonel are responsible for the delay, so are the Department of Justice and FBI people involved in the so-called vetting of documents provided by John Peterson.

  2. DXer said

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: Dugway spore contract
    Date: Monday, June 25, 2001 8:28:31 AM
    Attachments:
    I’m sending you both the electronic copy of a statement of work for a new contract by Dugway to
    make more Ames spores for challenge for us to use in anthrax studies. They are needed to replace the
    current Ames spores which we are using for our present challenge studies. The Statement of Work is
    virtually the same as the approved SOW from a 1997 contract between USAMRIID and Dugway for
    producing Ames spores for us. As written, it is acceptable to Dugway and to me.
    – Can you please tell me (and ) what the best APC fund cite would be to take the
    $30,000 from for this? 6EDJ? 6IDT? other? Since it is in support of our rPA studies, it could come out of
    several APCs.
    – What would the TECOM Project number be? (See Number 2 on the SOW.) What needs to
    be done by us/me to get this in place, get funds transferred, get Dugway started producing and
    sending us spores, etc.?
    Thanks for your help on this. If we could get this in place and Dugway could get started before the end
    of the summer, it would be great.
    – Bruce
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Dugway spore contract
    Date: Monday, June 25, 2001 8:48:10 AM
    This was already gone over by at Dugway, who will make the spores for us, and the
    contract people there. It’s already understood that he will use the same method as before. They are
    already ready, willing and able to make spores for us just as they did before. Perhaps we could put into
    the contract the following: “Spores will be produced according to technical procedures followed
    previously in TECOM Project Number 8-CO-410-000-048.” That basically says that they’ll make the
    spores just as they did before.
    – Bruce

    • anonymous scientist said

      Very interesting email. So it was going to cost $30K for Dugway to make some more spores – it doesn’t give the quantity, but it’s probably only 1 or 2 fermentor runs ( a fraction of what was needed for the letters) – and the FBI would have us believe that anyone could make this amount over a few secretive evenings on their own. This fairytale has now been so exposed it’s not even funny any more.

  3. DXer said

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Bcc:
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 7:29:36 AM
    When we mix the spores at that concentration, we don’t vortex. I should have said that. I think the
    reason that it may foam is that the spore suspension is so pure. In the Vollum 1B spore suspension from
    1965 which is about 4 – 5 X 10^10 per ml, and MUCH dirtier, there is no foaming upon vortexing. The
    spores you have were twice purified with Hypaque gradient centrifugation. The spores are very
    hydrophobic, I believe. I suppose you could try to add a little Tween 80 to the spores to see if that
    helps. I’ve heard that in the “OLD DAYS” back in the 50s and 60s here at Detrick, they would soemtimes
    add a little Tween 80 to the spores to be aerosolized. We haven’t added any because we didn’t want to
    introduce another variable into the challenge. If you add something else to the spores being aerosolized,
    you may have to be able to demonstrate that the “anti-foam” has no effect on spore LD50, the infection
    process, or the specific immune response to the infection. As I said, when we mix the spores at that
    concentration, we just rock back and forth or gently swirl. If you want to add something to the spores
    before challenge, I think you should first run it by the IPT for their comments.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 5:06 PM
    To: ‘Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL’
    Subject: Spores and Foaming
    Bruce,
    thought it would be easier if I contacted you directly. With regard to
    the foaming issue. When I go back to the original suspension you sent in
    the 50 ml conical tube and vortex it the same foaming phenomenon occurs. So
    I do not believe it is a glassware problem or washing problem. If you
    will/could go back to one of your 10E10 stocks of the same spore prep. and
    also make a 10E9 dilution and vortex it to see if you get the same thing.
    As described before, it’s like whipped cream on top of the water and
    will not go back into suspension unless it sits for a day or more. When I
    enumerate the suspension under the whipped cream it is 0.5-1 log lower than
    what is expected (i.e. what should be 10E9 is 5 x 10E8 to 1 x 10E8). In the
    mean time do you have any ideas on a defoaming agent?

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Bcc:
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:04:29 AM
    , these spores are exactly the same spores used for the other rabbits for BioPort. We do get some
    foaming, but still get a high dose with 3 X 10^9 per ml. Would it help to use more suspension in your
    container? We’ve used these spores for quite awhile with success. As I said, maybe it’s because they
    are so clean that they clump. If there were some cell material stuck to the outside, perhaps they would
    perform a little more like the old Vollum 1B spore suspension or like some of the less pure Ames spore
    suspensions we have used in the past.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 8:24 AM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Cc:
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Bruce,
    One other question. Is were the spores that you sent to us prepared the
    same way as the ones RIID used on the BioPort rabbit studies or the same
    spore prep.? Or did you use different AMES spores? Looks like even though
    I’m a log low on the AGIs than expected I can still hit the targeted LD50
    range and will use These spores and mix by inversion. Thanks for answering
    my questions

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 7:30 AM
    To: ‘
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    , When we mix the spores at that concentration, we don’t vortex. I should
    have said that. I think the reason that it may foam is that the spore
    suspension is so pure. In the Vollum 1B spore suspension from 1965 which is
    about 4 – 5 X 10^10 per ml, and MUCH dirtier, there is no foaming upon
    vortexing. The spores you have were twice purified with Hypaque gradient
    centrifugation. The spores are very hydrophobic, I believe. I suppose you
    could try to add a little Tween 80 to the spores to see if that helps. I’ve
    heard that in the “OLD DAYS” back in the 50s and 60s here at Detrick, they
    would soemtimes add a little Tween 80 to the spores to be aerosolized. We
    haven’t added any because we didn’t want to introduce another variable into
    the challenge. If you add something else to the spores being aerosolized,
    you may have to be able to demonstrate that the “anti-foam” has no effect on
    spore LD50, the infection process, or the specific immune response to the
    infection. As I said, when we mix the spores at that concentration, we just
    rock back and forth or gently swirl. If you want to add something to the
    spores before challenge, I think you should first run it by the IPT for
    their comments.
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Bcc:
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:20:04 AM
    ,
    We usually spray at a concentration of 3 X 10^9 per ml. That gives us an aerosol inhaled dose of about
    100- 200 LD50s in a 10-minute spray. You can try a test run with some Tween 80 and see if that helps.
    I seem to recall they used some concentration between 0.01% and 1%, but I don’t remember exactly,
    since it was given to me by word-of-mouth. I still recommend getting the IPT’s opinion. If there’s no
    other way to aerosolize than using anti-foam, you may have to do so, but I would hesitate to do it
    unless absolutely necessary.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 8:02 AM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    True but when I nebulize a 10E9 conc. the foaming happens. Do you not
    nebulize that high of a conc.? Also even at lower dilutions my AGI
    enumerations are approx. 1 log lower than what I expect. Thus I appears
    that even al low conc. they foam out of suspension and I’ll have to add some
    type of defoaming agent.

    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:32 AM
    To: ‘
    Cc: ‘bruce.ivins@det.amedd.army.mil’
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    : I believe we are resolving our questions regarding the foaming and
    we won’t be vortexing anymore. Bruce has helped us out immensely (see
    below). Could you please provide information regarding the anti-foam
    formulation that your staff uses – if any – for these high concentration
    anthrax aerosols.
    Thanks

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:22 AM
    To:
    Subject: FW: Spores and Foaming
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:20 AM
    To: ‘
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    We usually spray at a concentration of 3 X 10^9 per ml. That gives us an
    aerosol inhaled dose of about 100- 200 LD50s in a 10-minute spray. You can
    try a test run with some Tween 80 and see if that helps. I seem to recall
    they used some concentration between 0.01% and 1%, but I don’t remember
    exactly, since it was given to me by word-of-mouth. I still recommend
    getting the IPT’s opinion. If there’s no other way to aerosolize than using
    anti-foam, you may have to do so, but I would hesitate to do it unless
    absolutely necessary.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 8:02 AM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    True but when I nebulize a 10E9 conc. the foaming happens. Do you not
    nebulize that high of a conc.? Also even at lower dilutions my AGI
    enumerations are approx. 1 log lower than what I expect. Thus I appears
    that even al low conc. they foam out of suspension and I’ll have to add some
    type of defoaming agent.

    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:57 AM
    To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Cc:
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    We need to look at your spray factor and adjust accordingly – we do NOT want to change anything
    from what we do here – I know Bruce is being helpful – BUT——
    Can I see the numbers and starting conc. etc.????
    Thanks,

    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 8:02 AM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    True but when I nebulize a 10E9 conc. the foaming happens. Do you not
    nebulize that high of a conc.? Also even at lower dilutions my AGI
    enumerations are approx. 1 log lower than what I expect. Thus I appears
    that even al low conc. they foam out of suspension and I’ll have to add some
    type of defoaming agent.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: Spores
    Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 1:49:25 PM
    Attachments:
    Hi,
    I reworded the Statement of Work for the anthrax spores according to what you said. I’ve
    enclosed the file here. Please let me know if this looks OK. When it meets your OK, I’ll send it over to
    Thanks, and see you in Annapolis!!
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Spray factor data
    Date: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 12:54:43 PM
    – Does this mean that you and perhaps others (me? ? etc.?)are headed to Battelle to work on
    the spore/aersol/foaming/clean or dirty glassware problem? Let us know!
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 12:08 PM
    To:
    Cc: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Spray factor data
    Enclosed is a representative sample of what I typically see. Are these
    spray factors more in line with what you see or are they still not as
    efficient? Some time during the conference can you, myself and
    get together to discuss this? Also, thought it might be worth
    while if after the conference on Wed. or the IPT on Friday if it might be
    possible for me to come to USAMRIID and see if your spores look similar
    (they should) and react the same why after making a 10E9 suspension and
    vortexing and a 10E9 suspension then nebulizing to see if the foaming
    occurs. Assuming you have the time and it is allowable. As you saw from
    the spay factor calc. you determined, I can not achieve the targeted aerosol
    conc. to reach 100-200 LD50s for the BioPort study.

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 10:23 AM
    To: ‘
    Subject: RE: Spray factor data
    Attached to spread sheet is my recalculated spray factors – the way we
    calculate etc.
    By my calculations – an aerosol concentration of around 5 X 10(6) cfu/l is
    needed for the animals to get around 150 LD50s
    Your spray factors are in the low range compared to ours – we usually get
    better efficiency
    Are you going to repeat this???

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 4:24 PM
    To:
    Cc:
    Subject: Spray factor data
    Here is the spray factor information that you have been waiting for.
    Limited reps. because we had the foaming problem. It looks like I would
    have to start with a neb. conc. of approx. 2.9 X10E9 to hit 100-200 LD50s.
    Do you usually a larger drop in AGI conc. from the initial neb. 10E9
    concentration as compared to the lower dilutions?
    <>

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: Animal protocol
    Date: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 2:22:59 PM
    Attachments:
    Here is an animal protocol for submission to the LACUC.
    Thanks!
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: – Stability Indicating Assay sub-team
    Date: Thursday, June 07, 2001 8:06:45 AM
    Hi,
    telephone number and email address are:
    I think that you will find him a very competent and knowledgeable individual, with a
    great deal of personal experience with respect to fermentation, production of antigen, adsorption onto
    Alhydrogel, analysis of antigen product, and desorption from Alhydrogel.
    Sincerely,
    Bruce Ivins

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 7:52 AM
    To: ‘Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL’
    Subject: – Stability Indicating Assay sub-team
    Dear Bruce,
    I am wondering if you could provide me with telephone number and his
    E:mail address so that I can contact him. I do not have USAMRIID directory
    with me.
    Regards,

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 5:21:39 PM
    Sure, When would you like the material? How many doses of each? Should I drive it down to
    you, or is there someone here that can get it to you?
    Regards,
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 11:31 AM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    The monkeys are arriving for the anthrax study. Any chance I can get the
    vaccines (both the new and the old) from you to start the immunizations?

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 3:18 PM
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    I forgot to add that I wasn’t sure of the final approved groups for
    vaccination, and if some of the groups received reduced levels of PA.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 2:32 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    The ACUC has approved our anthrax vaccine study in rhesus macaques. We
    should be getting the animals in within a month. We have approval to test
    the effect of our CpG ODN on both the old and new vaccines, if you can
    provide them for immunization.
    Hooray.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 7:58 AM
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Hi,
    I’ll be happy to provide you with the information. The current,
    FDA-approved human anthrax vaccine consists of supernatant material,
    primarily anthrax protective antigen (in undetermined and varying amounts),
    from fermentor cultures of a toxinogenic, non-encapsulated strain of B.
    anthracis, V770-NP1-R. Each 0.5-ml dose of the vaccine delivers about 0.725
    mg of metallic aluminum (from the aluminum hydroxide adjuvant), protective
    antigen in the range of about 0.5 to 20 micrograms, and other material such
    as lethal factor, some edema factor (in certain lots but not others) and
    other cellular material. The proposed new vaccine will contain less aluminum
    (0.5 mg/dose), no lethal factor, no edema factor, and no other B. anthracis
    material other than a specified and constant, defined amount of protective
    antigen. We are tentatively targeting 50 micrograms as that amount. Use of
    the proposed new vaccine in rabbits and rhesus macaques has demonstrated
    efficacy against challenge, but has not demonstrated any observable
    morbidity, mortality, or local or systemic reactogenicity. (Formal toxicity
    studies are scheduled, but have not been conducted yet.) Thus, there is good
    evidence of protection, but no evidence of adverse reactions associated with
    the product. I should point out that the original vaccine contains
    formaldehyde, which may contribute to some of the reactogenicity seen in
    humans with the current vaccine. The vaccine you will be testing will not
    contain formaldehyde. We have not yet published our findings with respect to
    toxicity/reactogenicity of the new vaccine. Unfortunately, the studies
    describing efficacy of the new vaccine are in abstract form, but have yet to
    be put into a formal publication. I would suggest the following references
    are pertinent to the concerns of your ACUC:
    1. Comparative efficacy of experimental anthrax vaccine candidates
    against inhalation anthrax in rhesus macaques. B. E. Ivins, M. L. M. Pitt,
    P. F. Fellows, et al. 1998. Vaccine 16:1141-1148.
    2. Comparative efficacy of a recombinant protective antigen vaccine
    against inhalation anthrax in guinea pigs, rabbits, and rhesus monkeys. M.
    L. M. Pitt, B. Ivins, J. E. Estep, et al. 1996 Abstracts of the Annual
    Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. E-70, p. 278.
    3. Comparison of the efficacy of purified protective antigen and
    MDPH to protect non-human primates from inhalation anthrax. M. L. M. Pitt,
    B. E. Ivins, J. Farchaus and A. M. Friedlander. 1996. Salisbury Medical
    Bulletin Special Supplement, # 87, p. 130.
    I hope this has been helpful.
    – Best regards,
    – Bruce
    —–Original Message—–

    From:
    Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2001 3:54 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    Hope all is well.
    Our protocol was reviewed this morning by the ACUC. They’ve tentatively
    approve it, with the caveat that I need to provide more background on the
    safety of the vaccine immunogen. Specifically, they want to know about the
    PA-based vaccine as well as the original vaccine (which I hope to include as
    a positive control). What can you tell me about the safety of these agents?
    Can you provide some background on how they are manufactured, how pure they
    are, and what other studies have been done that support going into monkeys?
    All the best,
    —–Original Message—–

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 7:26 PM
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Yes, I can get you both the current vaccine and the new candidate
    vaccine. Please email the protocol when it is in final form. Also, please
    let me know what you’ll need, when you’ll need it, and how much you’ll need.
    Also, We were going to do ELISAs and TNA assays. The mouse passive
    protection may be a bit dicey as far as getting conclusive results, since
    mice aren’t a very good model for anthrax and specific protection against
    anthrax. Good luck on the protocol.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 1:29 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    I submitted the ACUC protocol this morning. Wish us luck. Do you have
    access to both the PA vaccine and the old approved vaccine? I’m wondering
    whether it would make more sense to study 5 monkeys/group, and immunize
    different animals with one or the other type of vaccine +/- CpG ODN. Since
    you’re transferring the serum to mice, and can study a large number of mice
    per donor monkey, this may allow us to precisely characterize which vaccine
    is better, and whether CpG’s work.
    What do you think?
    —–Original Message—–

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 1:18 PM
    To:
    Subject: Suggestions for study
    Hi,
    I’m including a Word document with suggestions for the CpG/monkey
    study. Please feel free to modify it as much as you wish. If you have any
    questions, please ask them, either by email or phone.
    – Bruce
    <>

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 5:44:16 PM
    ,
    We usually make up the vaccine for use no more than about 2-3 days ahead of schedule,
    although we’ve not done the stability studies to see whether we can go longer or not. (My guess is that
    we could. I just don’t.) Rather than ship it, I would rather carry it down to you on gel ice in person.
    That way, nothing could happen en route with the third-party shipper/handler. I could get it down to
    you the first part of next week if needed, or later if desired. I’ll get you extra amounts of each vaccine.
    It’s no problem to make the vaccine, and it will only take a couple of hours to drive down, give it to
    you, and come back. I’m quite excited about the experiments.
    – Bruce

    From:
    Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 5:37 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    I believe the protocol calls for a prime/boost, just as planned for use in
    humans. We will have 10 animals/arm, and thus need 20 doses each of the new
    vaccine and the old vaccine. As I recall, they are already in alum, ready
    for administration. We’ll just add our ODN and go. Naturally, we need a
    bit extra since there’s some wastage.
    In terms of timing, that depends on how stable the vaccine is. I assume its
    made up in advance and stored in the fridge? If so, we could accept it
    immediately, and start the injections as soon as we can get on the animal
    handler’s schedule. If it’s perishable, we’ll have to plan 5the timing and
    then let you know. In terms of getting it here, can you ship it on ice?
    Seems a shame to make you drive all the way down. If you or a colleague are
    coming this way, we’d be happy to wait or a hand delivery.
    Let me know, or perhaps we should chat by phone?
    —–Original Message—–

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2001 5:22 PM
    To: ‘
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Sure, When would you like the material? How many doses of each?
    Should I drive it down to you, or is there someone here that can get it to
    you?
    Regards,
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 11:31 AM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    The monkeys are arriving for the anthrax study. Any chance I can get the
    vaccines (both the new and the old) from you to start the immunizations?
    —–Original Message—–

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 3:18 PM
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    I forgot to add that I wasn’t sure of the final approved groups for
    vaccination, and if some of the groups received reduced levels of PA.
    – Bruce
    —–Original Message—–

    From:
    Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 2:32 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    The ACUC has approved our anthrax vaccine study in rhesus macaques. We
    should be getting the animals in within a month. We have approval to test
    the effect of our CpG ODN on both the old and new vaccines, if you can
    provide them for immunization.
    Hooray.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: Thanks again!
    Date: Thursday, June 14, 2001 6:17:29 AM
    I just wanted to tell you once again how much we appreciate all your efforts on the 4th
    International Conference on Anthrax. We enjoyed working with you both immensely. The comments that
    we heard from many other attendees point to the meeting having been a great success, in large part
    due to you. You are both very competent and very personable, and you are a credit to the ASM. Take
    care, and many thanks again!
    Sincerely,
    Bruce Ivins
    Research Microbiologist
    USAMRIID Bacteriology Division

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Cc:
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Date: Friday, June 15, 2001 12:16:15 PM
    ,
    I am sending you on Monday, 3 15-ml polypropylene tubes of Ames spores, each of which
    contains about 10-11 ml of spores at 3.9 X 10^10 per ml. Here are suggestions as to how to handle
    them to minimize foaming. This is how we handle them, by the way.
    1) To resuspend the spores, don’t shake or vortex the tube. Instead, GENTLY tip the tube back
    and forth until the spores are suspended. If spores are in a bottle or flask, then you can GENTLY swirl
    to resuspend the spores.
    2) We dilute the spores 1:13 (1 ml spores into 12 ml Sterile water for injection) for spraying
    rabbits. I would suggest taking spores not from the very top of the tube and adding them to water. To
    mix the new suspension (about 1.3 X 10^9 per ml) gently tip or swirl the container.
    3) Before spraying, gently tip or swirl the spore suspension before gently pouring into the collison.
    If you have any questions, please call me at . If you are still having technical problems
    with the spores you should get next Tuesday, please let me know. will come up the following
    week (what day is best for you?) If you think my presence would be valuable, let me know, and I’ll also
    come. Otherwise, it will just be her. (I don’t mind coming at all – I would just like my presence there to
    serve a useful purpose, and not be just a warm body.)
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Date: Friday, June 15, 2001 12:26:09 PM
    We shock the dilution that we are going to spray.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 12:20 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Thanks,
    When you heat shock do you shock the stock or the dilution or both?

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Date: Friday, June 15, 2001 12:28:38 PM
    OK,
    Again, let and me know about whether or not she, or both of us need to come up the week
    after next.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 12:22 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    Thanks! I’ll let you know what happens next week.
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 12:26 PM
    To: ‘
    Subject: RE: Spores and Foaming
    We shock the dilution that we are going to spray.
    – Bruce

    From:
    Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 1:01 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: Spores and counting
    Dr. Ivins,
    A question on how you enumerate. Our SOPs say a plate should contain from
    25-250 spores per plate (we do 5 plates per dilution). Do you have criteria
    for rejecting low or high numbers? Say I get a plate that has 12 colonies
    and all remaining plates are within the 25-250 range. Do you reject that
    plate and average the 4 remaining, use all 5 and average, reject all 5 and
    re-enumerate with 5 more etc. I ask this, because it could potentially be a
    GLP issue. I apologize if this is any SOP that you have sent but
    I have not seen them yet.
    -
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Spores and counting
    Date: Friday, June 15, 2001 2:08:24 PM
    We don’t have a specific number. When we are counting AGI’s, after plating, we put the samples back
    into the cold until the next day. We examine all of the plates. If one group is contaminated or out of
    range, we will go back and redilute and replate from the AGI sample. We have had to do that only a
    handful of times out of thousands of samples. We usually do AGIs at 3 per set, 10-4 and 10-5 dilutions
    (3 plates for each dilution). If you are getting low counts, you might do 10-3 and 10-4 dilutions. If we
    get at least 2 of 3 readable plates, we go ahead and count the set and average the counts.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From: ]
    Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 1:56 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Spores and counting
    How many have to be low or high before you reject the whole set?
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 1:20 PM
    To: ‘
    Subject: RE: Spores and counting
    We count 15 – 150 colonies per plate. Because of the large size of the
    colonies, it’s next to impossible to accurately count over 150 colonies on a
    single plate. I have told many times that 15 – 150 is a more
    realistic value than 25 – 250 or 30 to 300. If one plate is over count,
    under count, or contaminated, we take note of it and disregard it in the
    count and averaging.
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: FW: Spores
    Date: Monday, June 18, 2001 11:18:57 AM
    Attachments:
    Hi,
    I’m sending this to you again. I just wanted to make sure you received it. When I hear from you
    about it, I’ll send it forward here. I think if you send us material about every 2-4 weeks, that would be
    good. That will give us the time to purify each batch. Hope you enjoyed Annapolis! I thought there
    were some good talks there.
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: ” Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Cc:
    Subject: RE: Spores and counting
    Date: Monday, June 18, 2001 1:33:51 PM
    ,
    The spores were sent to this morning by Federal Express. Please let me know when you
    get them. Also, keep me posted on your tests with them, so, if we need to, we can plan a trip up there
    for next week. Remember, avoid vortexing and vigorously shaking them. If it seems as if the spores I
    sent you are clumped a bit at the top, then take the spores you need from about midway down into the
    suspension after you resuspend them.
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Cc:
    Subject: RE: Spores and counting
    Date: Monday, June 18, 2001 1:33:51 PM

    The spores were sent to this morning by Federal Express. Please let me know when you
    get them. Also, keep me posted on your tests with them, so, if we need to, we can plan a trip up there
    for next week. Remember, avoid vortexing and vigorously shaking them. If it seems as if the spores I
    sent you are clumped a bit at the top, then take the spores you need from about midway down into the
    suspension after you resuspend them.
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: FW: Spores and counting
    Date: Monday, June 18, 2001 1:39:40 PM
    Hi, If Battelle still has trouble with the new spores I sent them this week, I think that there will be
    a trip up there next week, with definitely, probably – he wants to see the facilities where
    the rPA studies will be done – me maybe, and you if you’d like. I’ll let you know how things go.
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: FW: – Stability Indicating Assay sub-team
    Date: Monday, June 18, 2001 4:14:22 PM
    Could you please include on your list of individuals to receive information about
    conference calls, IPT meetings, etc.? Thanks.
    – Bruce Ivins
    telephone number and email address are:

    • DXer said

      The patent by the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins discusses Tween 80 here.

      http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6015832/claims.html

      We claim:

      1. A method of inactivating a Gram positive bacteria comprising contacting said Gram positive bacteria with a bacteria-inactivating emulsion, such that said Gram positive bacteria is inactivated, wherein said bacteria-inactivating emulsion comprises an oil-in-water emulsion in the form of a discontinuous oil phase distributed in an aqueous phase with a surfactant stabilizer, said oil phase comprising an organic phosphate-based solvent and a carrier oil.

      2. The method of claim 1 wherein said oil phase in said emulsion is composed of droplets having a mean particle size in the range from 0.5 to 5 microns.***

      13. The method of claim 11 wherein said surfactant is selected from the group consisting of Tween 20, Tween 80 and Triton X-100.

      • DXer said

        FBI Director Mueller used the analogy in a different context in his testimony yesterday of getting information through a fire hose.

        Isn’t a different analogy appropriate to Amerithrax?

        FBI Director Mueller and Senator Leahy, both experienced prosecutors who have spent years within the beltway, are both familiar with the one about a duck.

  4. DXer said

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: B0-03 addendum
    Date: Thursday, May 24, 2001 2:14:38 PM
    Attachments:
    I’ve written an addendum to B00-03 for the two experiements we talked about. Could you read
    them over? If you can go along with them, then could you please forward the addendum to
    and
    Thanks!
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: 11-month storage information data
    Date: Friday, May 25, 2001 9:14:48 AM
    Attachments:

    Hi,
    Here are the 11-month data for storage conditions.
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: FW: Vaccine preparation
    Date: Friday, May 25, 2001 9:23:01 AM
    Attachments:
    —–Original Message—–

    From:
    Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001 5:32 PM
    To: ‘Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL’
    Cc:
    Subject: Vaccine preparation
    Dear Bruce,
    I apologize for my delay in contacting you after my trip. There are, I think, legitimate reasons for it,
    among others my move to a different physical space here at CBER. However, preparation of anti-PA
    reference serum is high in our list of priorities. Taking into account your procedure for vaccine
    preparation, and your and our experience with mouse immunization with PA, we intend to do the pilot
    immunization experiment detailed in the attached table.

    CD-1 mice (female, older than 5 weeks) will be immunized IP one, two or three times with diluted,
    adsorbed rPA, keeping aluminum concentration constant. Immunization volume will be 0.5 ml.
    If we follow this schedule, we will need at least:
    1 ug X 10 mice = 10 ug
    2 ug X 50 mice = 100 ug
    3 ug X 10 mice = 30 ug
    6 ug X 50 mice = 300 ug
    9 ug X 10 mice = 90 ug
    18 ug X 50 mice = 900 ug

    TOTAL = 1430 ug of rPA [equivalent to 28.6 human doses (50 ug/0.5 ml dose)/14.3 ml of vaccine]

    My proposal is to prepare about 40 doses (20 ml) and, when required, to dilute vaccine in buffer
    (Dulbecco’s) containing aluminum adjuvant. An important question at this time is if vaccine contains a
    preservative. If it doesn’t, I would ask you to prepare the vaccine for the first immunization
    (approximately 10 ml) and to provide us with diluent:
    2 ug X 30 mice = 60 ug
    6 ug X 30 mice = 180 ug
    18 ug X 30 mice = 540 ug
    TOTAL = 780 ug [equivalent to 15.6 human doses/7.8 ml vaccine]
    Subsequently, we would request rPA and will prepare vaccine an dilutions in house.
    I welcome your comments on this design.

    Also, to continue with these activities, I believe that we have to sign a materials transfer agreement.

    Do you have specific language/boilerplates that we can use? Alternatively, can you list the issues that
    we should address? Please provide us ( or me) with this information at your earliest convenience.
    Finally, I realized that proposed target date for vaccine prep is Memorial Day (May 28). Is there an
    alternative date that is convenient for you? I realize that there are several issues that may require
    further discussion/clarification. If you could give me a call, we may resolve them them by phone
    . Thanks much.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: Vaccine preparation
    Date: Friday, May 25, 2001 2:40:39 PM
    Attachments:
    Hi, ,
    Here is what I come up with for vaccine preparation:
    Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Cc: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: RE: Vaccine preparation
    Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 9:41:54 AM
    Attachments:
    , This is a corrected copy of what I previously sent you. Please let me know when you will come. I
    think I told you I had a doctor’s appointment at 9:30 on June 6. Early afternoon would be fine, if you
    like.
    – Bruce

    >—–Original Message—–
    >From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    >Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 2:41 PM
    >To:
    >Subject: Vaccine preparation
    >
    >Hi,
    > Here is what I come up with for vaccine preparation:
    >
    >Bruce
    >>

    >—–Original Message—–
    >From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    >Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 2:41 PM
    >To:
    >Subject: Vaccine preparation
    >
    >Hi,
    > Here is what I come up with for vaccine preparation:
    >
    >Bruce
    >>
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Spores
    Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 9:48:18 AM
    Hi, ,
    Any news on the proposal yet? Looking forward
    – Bruce
    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2001 2:09 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Spores
    Hi Bruce,
    Wanted to let you know I’ve received the proposal. My boss is TDY
    and will be back on Monday. We’ll go over it then and I’ll send the
    response to you.
    Regards,

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Monday, May 21, 2001 1:58 PM
    To:
    Cc:
    Subject: Spores
    Hi, ! Enclosed is a statement of work for Ames spore production based on
    the one you sent me recently, which was used in 1997. Could you please look
    it over, then have whoever there needs to go over it do so? Of course, the
    dollar amount will have gone up, and if there are other changes, please make
    them. Then if you could send it back to me, I’ll turn it over to
    who will probably go ahead and OK it as is, since it’s based on
    the previously approved one.
    Thanks, and hope you’re having a great spring!
    – Bruce
    <>

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Vaccine preparation
    Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:31:19 AM
    Attachments:
    1 pm is fine, I’ll see you then.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 5:33 AM
    To:
    Subject: UK anthrax vaccine extraction
    As promised, here is the method currently in use to redissolve the UK
    adsorbed anthrax vaccine. As ever, this is not yet a validated method.
    (See attached file: Vaccine extraction procedure.doc)

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: New contract info
    Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 1:49:49 PM
    Hi, ,
    Thanks for getting and contracts taken care of. Since I am not
    allowed to talk to either of them about salary, could you please let me know when you have informed
    them of what they will be making (or will be offered) this year? I don’t know how you usually do this,
    but I do know that it was stressed that investigators should DEFINITELY NOT talk about specific money
    issues with contract employees, only with the contracting companies.

    Again, Thanks for letting me know when you have told them what they will be making the next
    contract year. new year starts July 15. new year starts October 1.)
    – Bruce Ivins

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: New contract info
    Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 7:11:32 AM
    Sounds good, Just let me know when you talk to her, please. Thanks!!
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 4:40 PM
    To: Bruce.Ivins@det.amedd.army.mil
    Subject: Re: New contract info
    Dr. Ivins,
    We generally visit these issues right about the time the salary increase goes
    into effect. If you think it is advisable that I talk with them about it
    sooner I will be glad to. My only constraint is that I need to wait until
    contracting has formally accepted our new proposals and given us contract
    modification paperwork. I expect that we will get relatively soon,
    but because current expiration date is still several months away,
    they may not initiate the paperwork until closer to Oct. 1.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Cc:
    Subject: AVA IPT sub-team
    Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 11:36:06 AM
    You have been recommended to be the USAMRIID representative on the AVA IPT subteam on
    stability indicating assays. Your expertise with working with PA, including analyzing it and eluting it from
    Alhydrogel, makes you the best representative from this institution. The head of this sub-team is
    at , email –
    You should be contacted by on this matter.
    Sincerely,
    Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Cc:
    Subject: AVA IPT sub-team
    Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 11:36:06 AM
    You have been recommended to be the USAMRIID representative on the AVA IPT subteam on
    stability indicating assays. Your expertise with working with PA, including analyzing it and eluting it from
    Alhydrogel, makes you the best representative from this institution. The head of this sub-team is
    at , email –
    You should be contacted by on this matter.
    Sincerely,
    Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Cc:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 3:16:27 PM
    Hi, !
    Yes, that certainly is good news! Please let us know when you would like the vaccines and how
    much you would like. We will be happy to make it up and bring it to you. If you can email me a copy of
    the approved protocol, it would be great. I presume that you would like me to give to you the new
    vaccine in the PA and Alhydrogel concentration intended (eventually, hopefully) for human use.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 2:32 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    The ACUC has approved our anthrax vaccine study in rhesus macaques. We
    should be getting the animals in within a month. We have approval to test
    the effect of our CpG ODN on both the old and new vaccines, if you can
    provide them for immunization.
    Hooray.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 7:58 AM
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Hi,
    I’ll be happy to provide you with the information. The current,
    FDA-approved human anthrax vaccine consists of supernatant material,
    primarily anthrax protective antigen (in undetermined and varying amounts),
    from fermentor cultures of a toxinogenic, non-encapsulated strain of B.
    anthracis, V770-NP1-R. Each 0.5-ml dose of the vaccine delivers about 0.725
    mg of metallic aluminum (from the aluminum hydroxide adjuvant), protective
    antigen in the range of about 0.5 to 20 micrograms, and other material such
    as lethal factor, some edema factor (in certain lots but not others) and
    other cellular material. The proposed new vaccine will contain less aluminum
    (0.5 mg/dose), no lethal factor, no edema factor, and no other B. anthracis
    material other than a specified and constant, defined amount of protective
    antigen. We are tentatively targeting 50 micrograms as that amount. Use of
    the proposed new vaccine in rabbits and rhesus macaques has demonstrated
    efficacy against challenge, but has not demonstrated any observable
    morbidity, mortality, or local or systemic reactogenicity. (Formal toxicity
    studies are scheduled, but have not been conducted yet.) Thus, there is good
    evidence of protection, but no evidence of adverse reactions associated with
    the product. I should point out that the original vaccine contains
    formaldehyde, which may contribute to some of the reactogenicity seen in
    humans with the current vaccine. The vaccine you will be testing will not
    contain formaldehyde. We have not yet published our findings with respect to
    toxicity/reactogenicity of the new vaccine. Unfortunately, the studies
    describing efficacy of the new vaccine are in abstract form, but have yet to
    be put into a formal publication. I would suggest the following references
    are pertinent to the concerns of your ACUC:
    1. Comparative efficacy of experimental anthrax vaccine candidates
    against inhalation anthrax in rhesus macaques. B. E. Ivins, M. L. M. Pitt,
    P. F. Fellows, et al. 1998. Vaccine 16:1141-1148.
    2. Comparative efficacy of a recombinant protective antigen vaccine
    against inhalation anthrax in guinea pigs, rabbits, and rhesus monkeys. M.
    L. M. Pitt, B. Ivins, J. E. Estep, et al. 1996 Abstracts of the Annual
    Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. E-70, p. 278.
    3. Comparison of the efficacy of purified protective antigen and
    MDPH to protect non-human primates from inhalation anthrax. M. L. M. Pitt,
    B. E. Ivins, J. Farchaus and A. M. Friedlander. 1996. Salisbury Medical
    Bulletin Special Supplement, # 87, p. 130.
    I hope this has been helpful.
    – Best regards,
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2001 3:54 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    Hope all is well.
    Our protocol was reviewed this morning by the ACUC. They’ve tentatively
    approve it, with the caveat that I need to provide more background on the
    safety of the vaccine immunogen. Specifically, they want to know about the
    PA-based vaccine as well as the original vaccine (which I hope to include as
    a positive control). What can you tell me about the safety of these agents?
    Can you provide some background on how they are manufactured, how pure they
    are, and what other studies have been done that support going into monkeys?
    All the best,
    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 7:26 PM
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Yes, I can get you both the current vaccine and the new candidate
    vaccine. Please email the protocol when it is in final form. Also, please
    let me know what you’ll need, when you’ll need it, and how much you’ll need.
    Also, We were going to do ELISAs and TNA assays. The mouse passive
    protection may be a bit dicey as far as getting conclusive results, since
    mice aren’t a very good model for anthrax and specific protection against
    anthrax. Good luck on the protocol.
    – Bruce
    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 1:29 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    I submitted the ACUC protocol this morning. Wish us luck. Do you have
    access to both the PA vaccine and the old approved vaccine? I’m wondering
    whether it would make more sense to study 5 monkeys/group, and immunize
    different animals with one or the other type of vaccine +/- CpG ODN. Since
    you’re transferring the serum to mice, and can study a large number of mice
    per donor monkey, this may allow us to precisely characterize which vaccine
    is better, and whether CpG’s work.
    What do you think?

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 1:18 PM
    To:
    Subject: Suggestions for study
    Hi,
    I’m including a Word document with suggestions for the CpG/monkey
    study. Please feel free to modify it as much as you wish. If you have any
    questions, please ask them, either by email or phone.
    – Bruce
    <>
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 3:17:45 PM
    I forgot to add that I wasn’t sure of the final approved groups for vaccination, and if some of the
    groups received reduced levels of PA.
    – Bruce
    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 2:32 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    The ACUC has approved our anthrax vaccine study in rhesus macaques. We
    should be getting the animals in within a month. We have approval to test
    the effect of our CpG ODN on both the old and new vaccines, if you can
    provide them for immunization.
    Hooray.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 7:58 AM
    To: ‘
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Hi, ,
    I’ll be happy to provide you with the information. The current,
    FDA-approved human anthrax vaccine consists of supernatant material,
    primarily anthrax protective antigen (in undetermined and varying amounts),
    from fermentor cultures of a toxinogenic, non-encapsulated strain of B.
    anthracis, V770-NP1-R. Each 0.5-ml dose of the vaccine delivers about 0.725
    mg of metallic aluminum (from the aluminum hydroxide adjuvant), protective
    antigen in the range of about 0.5 to 20 micrograms, and other material such
    as lethal factor, some edema factor (in certain lots but not others) and
    other cellular material. The proposed new vaccine will contain less aluminum
    (0.5 mg/dose), no lethal factor, no edema factor, and no other B. anthracis
    material other than a specified and constant, defined amount of protective
    antigen. We are tentatively targeting 50 micrograms as that amount. Use of
    the proposed new vaccine in rabbits and rhesus macaques has demonstrated
    efficacy against challenge, but has not demonstrated any observable
    morbidity, mortality, or local or systemic reactogenicity. (Formal toxicity
    studies are scheduled, but have not been conducted yet.) Thus, there is good
    evidence of protection, but no evidence of adverse reactions associated with
    the product. I should point out that the original vaccine contains
    formaldehyde, which may contribute to some of the reactogenicity seen in
    humans with the current vaccine. The vaccine you will be testing will not
    contain formaldehyde. We have not yet published our findings with respect to
    toxicity/reactogenicity of the new vaccine. Unfortunately, the studies
    describing efficacy of the new vaccine are in abstract form, but have yet to
    be put into a formal publication. I would suggest the following references
    are pertinent to the concerns of your ACUC:
    1. Comparative efficacy of experimental anthrax vaccine candidates
    against inhalation anthrax in rhesus macaques. B. E. Ivins, M. L. M. Pitt,
    P. F. Fellows, et al. 1998. Vaccine 16:1141-1148.
    2. Comparative efficacy of a recombinant protective antigen vaccine
    against inhalation anthrax in guinea pigs, rabbits, and rhesus monkeys. M.
    L. M. Pitt, B. Ivins, J. E. Estep, et al. 1996 Abstracts of the Annual
    Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. E-70, p. 278.
    3. Comparison of the efficacy of purified protective antigen and
    MDPH to protect non-human primates from inhalation anthrax. M. L. M. Pitt,
    B. E. Ivins, J. Farchaus and A. M. Friedlander. 1996. Salisbury Medical
    Bulletin Special Supplement, # 87, p. 130.
    I hope this has been helpful.
    – Best regards,
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2001 3:54 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    Hope all is well.
    Our protocol was reviewed this morning by the ACUC. They’ve tentatively
    approve it, with the caveat that I need to provide more background on the
    safety of the vaccine immunogen. Specifically, they want to know about the
    PA-based vaccine as well as the original vaccine (which I hope to include as
    a positive control). What can you tell me about the safety of these agents?
    Can you provide some background on how they are manufactured, how pure they
    are, and what other studies have been done that support going into monkeys?
    All the best,

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 7:26 PM
    To: ‘
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Yes, I can get you both the current vaccine and the new candidate
    vaccine. Please email the protocol when it is in final form. Also, please
    let me know what you’ll need, when you’ll need it, and how much you’ll need.
    Also, We were going to do ELISAs and TNA assays. The mouse passive
    protection may be a bit dicey as far as getting conclusive results, since
    mice aren’t a very good model for anthrax and specific protection against
    anthrax. Good luck on the protocol.
    – Bruce

    —–Original Message—–
    From:
    Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 1:29 PM
    To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
    Subject: RE: Suggestions for study
    Dear Bruce,
    I submitted the ACUC protocol this morning. Wish us luck. Do you have
    access to both the PA vaccine and the old approved vaccine? I’m wondering
    whether it would make more sense to study 5 monkeys/group, and immunize
    different animals with one or the other type of vaccine +/- CpG ODN. Since
    you’re transferring the serum to mice, and can study a large number of mice
    per donor monkey, this may allow us to precisely characterize which vaccine
    is better, and whether CpG’s work.
    What do you think?

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
    Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2001 1:18 PM
    To: ‘
    Subject: Suggestions for study
    Hi,
    I’m including a Word document with suggestions for the CpG/monkey
    study. Please feel free to modify it as much as you wish. If you have any
    questions, please ask them, either by email or phone.
    – Bruce
    <>

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: Map
    Date: Friday, June 01, 2001 3:00:17 PM
    Hi,
    It was good to talk to you today. About the maps… I was thinking that I could print out a lot of
    them here and give them to to take to you next Saturday if that is convenient. How many should
    we make up to give you?
    I’ll give you my home and cell phone numbers about the first of the week .
    Have a good weekend!
    – Bruce

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: Phone numbers
    Date: Sunday, June 03, 2001 8:37:16 PM
    Hi, all,
    If any of you need to call for whatever reason on Saturday or early Sunday – I’m leaving Sunday
    afternoon about 1:30 pm – my home phone is
    At the meeting, my cell phone number is
    – Bruce

  5. DXer said

    Why would we expect our biodefense facilities to be able to comply with biosecurity regulations if they can’t manage complying with FOIA?

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/11/us/AP-US-Biolab-Security.html

    Fed Panel Wants More Scrutiny of Biolab Workers
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: January 11, 2010
    Filed at 5:45 p.m. ET

    HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A federal panel has recommended that researchers who work with the world’s deadliest pathogens undergo more frequent security screening.

    The Working Group on Strengthening the Biosecurity of the United States also suggested random drug tests and closer monitoring of the physical and mental health of those with access to dangerous pathogens.

    And it recommended tighter scrutiny of foreign nationals who work in U.S. labs.

    President George W. Bush’s administration ordered the report after the FBI concluded anArmy scientist was behind the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people. Its recommendations will be considered by lawmakers and federal regulators seeking to improve the safety of labs that handle dangerous germs and toxins.

    The report was published Friday.

    The panel, co-chaired by federal defense and health officials, wrote that the anthrax-filled envelopes allegedly mailed by Army anthrax researcher Bruce E. Ivins were ”the most visible manifestation” of an insider threat.

    Investigators say Ivins, who committed suicide in 2008 before he could be charged, had been prescribed antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs between 2000 and 2006. Yet it wasn’t until November 2007, after the FBI raided his home, that his laboratory access was revoked.

    The panel recommended that those who work with dangerous pathogens undergo a security risk assessment every three years instead of every five, the current standard. The assessment should include certain mental health indicators that the FBI currently is prohibited from using in such reviews, the panel said.

    Jean L. Patterson, chairwoman of the Department of Virology & Immunology at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, Texas, said Monday that some of the recommendations could deter talented, responsible scientists from U.S. lab work and dull the nation’s competitive edge.

    ”We need people doing countermeasures work in this country and if they find that it’s too onerous and the rules aren’t clear-cut, people might be reluctant to do it,” Patterson said.

  6. DXer said

    Why on earth would you expect the government to be able to solve a difficult crime when it takes them a couple years to produce some emails under FOIA?

    And how does all that dog and pony represented by the powerpoints do more than narrow the field from 1,000 to 300? Wasn’t it a big waste of money?

    • DXer said

      When are individuals going to take personal responsibility and get their job done? When is there going to be personal accountability for not complying with FOIA?

      Opinion
      Connecting the intelligence dots will require clout

      * Doyle McManus

      The former head of the federal Information Sharing Environment says agencies must be forced to adopt common systems for tagging information, flagging what’s important and making sense of it quickly.
      By Doyle McManus

      January 10, 2010

      Most of the new federal agencies created in the wake of 9/11 have become familiar names: the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, for example. But here’s one you’ve probably never heard of: the Information Sharing Environment.

      Hidden in the office of the director of national intelligence, the ISE is a task force whose goal is to get all of the agencies involved in fighting terrorism to share information seamlessly, a job whose importance was highlighted by the Nigerian who allegedly attempted to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day.

      In its four years of existence, the ISE has pushed 17 federal agencies to pool their intelligence, make their databases mutually accessible and share as much information as possible with local law enforcement officials.

      Until last year, its head (with the unsexy title of program manager) was Thomas E. McNamara, 69, a former counter-terrorism chief at the State Department and a nonpartisan veteran of more than 40 years in the federal bureaucracy — and he has some thoughts worth hearing.

      McNamara doesn’t think either George W. Bush or Barack Obama has devoted enough attention to promoting information sharing. The Bush administration made a strong start, he says, but then lost interest, and the new Obama administration never even focused on the problem — until now.

      “Quite frankly, the new administration was distracted by other priorities and just didn’t get around to it,” he told me last week. “They were so busy with everything else, the orders were: Just manage it.”

      McNamara retired in July, and his job still hasn’t been filled, a symptom of the problem, he says.

      McNamara agrees with Obama that the Detroit incident resulted from a “systemic failure” in the intelligence community’s effort to connect the dots of information it already had.

      “Two things went awry,” he said. “One was information management” — specifically, the way intelligence is categorized and flagged. ***

  7. DXer said

    As near as I can tell, it’s USAMRIID’s and FBI’s fault equally. James F. just retired without doing it. Then Sandy took over his job 4 weeks and never turned to it. Lt. Col. Laurel just did nothing about it. They now have only sent out batch 28 and 29th to John Peterson. in Texas. And those batches still don’t get up to September and October 2001.

    And so under President Obama’s notion of personal accountabiility, each of them has failed to comply with FOIA so as to permit the sharing of information and connecting of dots.

    The US Attorney has resigned. The WFO Field Office head has resigned. His two assistants have reportedly been shifted to other positions.. And yet it is business as usual in the matter.

  8. DXer said

    Sandy has also graciously added batches #23-27.

    • DXer said

      Bruce wrote in an April 30, 2001 email:

      “Sure thing, ______

      Make sure you send to use the EA101 and the Facility Registration Form, filled out by the appropriate responsible official.

      The EA101 should be sent to _____________ at the following FAX number __________. Our facility registration number is 19970516-348. I will be the Transferor. Let me know what you need as far as spores (numbers), based on the numbers of rabbits to be aerosol challenged and parenterally challenged.


      Let me [sic] ahead of time what you need and I’ll get it put into a container for you, then can it.

      – Bruce”

      • DXer said

        On May 3, 2001, he wrote about “Ames spores.”

        He wrote:

        “Hi, ____,

        Do you remember when you produced the several batches of Ames spores for us on contract? We are using that supply up, and I was wondering if it would be possible to get another contract in place to get more Ames spores. I have asked administration and contract officials here for their opinion, and hopefully they will be in agreement that it is a good idea. You don’t have to start anything official yet, but do you think that you and Dugway would be willing to produce more Ames spores? The ones you produced for us before were of very high quality.”

        I hope you are having a fine spring.

        -Bruce”

        The response that day stated:

        “Hi Bruce,

        I can’t guarantee and [sic] kind of schedule but we should have some open times before long to do spore production and would be interested in providing them for you. When you get additional info, please pass it on and in the mean time I’ll start looking at the schedule of fermentation in the hot suite to see when we can fit in over the next several months.

        Look forward to seeing you all at Annapolis during the Anthrax Conference. Will you be presenting?”

        • DXer said

          Bruce wrote back that afternoon:

          Hi, ____,
          I’ll be helping to chair Session 6 on vaccination and treatment, but I won’t be giving an oral presentation. In the meantime, do you have a copy of the contract or whatever agreement there was between USAMRIID and Dugway? If it could be FAXed here at _______, it would help things. _________ handled things from this end, and he is no longer here.) Then we would have a framework to start a new agreement. We don’t need the spores immediately, so if you couldn’t get started for a few months, it would be no problem. We have enough Ames spores here to last us about 1.5 years. Thanks for your help, and we look forward to our collaboration once again. We also look forward to seeing you in Annapolis.
          -Bruce

        • DXer said

          He wrote on Sunday, May 6, 2001:

          “I believe[] that you handled the contract with Dugway a few years ago, when we had them produce several lots of Ames spores for us. Do you still have the contract, or do you know who would have it. It would be very helpful to refer to it, because we will soon be needing more Ames spores to replace those which we have been using. Another contract with Dugway would provide us with those spores.

          Thanks for the information. I hope you have the contract or can get a copy of it.
          -Bruce.”

        • DXer said

          He wrote someone else on May 7, 2001 re “Spore contract with Dugway”:

          __________

          Do you have a copy of a contract between us and Dugway, about 1996 and 1997, in which they made several lots of Bacillus anthracis Ames spores for us? I think we paid them about $50,000, but I’m not sure. Anyway, if you could find it and I could have a copy of it, it would be great. We are in need of more spores and they could make them. If there is something to pattern a new agreement after, it would be very helpful. Thanks!

          -Bruce”

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          These are interesting emails – they show just what lengths had to be gone to to get Ames spores. Not exactly the kind of thing you do in the evening covering it up.

      • DXer said

        Dr. Bruce wrote a memo on May 3, 2001 justifying a raise that had been requested by someone int he abl.

        “If ____________ were to leave, a very important part of our anthrax project research, the attempt to determine whether any strains of anthrax bacteria are refractory to the vaccine, would be interrupted. A new individual would have to receive the immunizations to go into B-3 and 1412 biocontainment areas, and they would have to be fully trained to produce and harvest spores, immunize animals and challenge animals. It is important that her contract be continued.”

      • DXer said

        On May 1, 2001 he received an email on the subject of EA 101 from someone at Battelle:

        Thanks Bruce.

        Glad you received the EA 101. When you are ready to send the material please send to our U.P.S./FED-EX address at Battelle/MREF, JS-3, 1425 S.R. 142, West Jefferson, Ohio 43162.

        The question you asked is how much do we need? – I’m sure you can figure this at the various concentrations much better than I so I will provide the number of animals, the target challenge doses, and my best calculations – which I would appreciate you double-checking. I guess we base our estimate upon a reported LD50 by subcutaneous injection of -1560 spores and a reported LD50 by inhalation of -105,000 spores for the rabbit.

        So here goes – We have 42 rabbits for aerosol challenge for the BioPort study and a target challenge dose of 200-LD50s. My calculator indicates 20 x 105,000 spores x 42 rabbits = 88,200,000 spores or about 9.0 x 10E7 spores for the BioPort study. We lose between 2 and 2-logs of organisms during the aerosol generation.

        For the USAMRIID rabbit passive transfer studies we have probably 75 aerosol rabbit challenges in this study and another 30 rabbits with parenteral challenge. The target challenge dose is 100-LD50s.

        [***]

        • DXer said

          On Sunday, May 6, 2001, Dr. Ivins on May 6 wrote his Battelle contact:

          “Our Safety people want me to only send 50 ml of the spores, so that is what I will do Tuesday. I can send you more in a second shipment.”

        • BugMaster said

          Then why do the records show a 90 ml. shipment to Battelle on May 1?

        • DXer said

          You are correct, Bugmaster, as to what the flask 1029 record states.

          In contrast, on May 8, he emailed confirming he had sent 50 ml.

          “Spore information Tuesday, May 08, 2001 11:10:03 AM

          Here is information on the B. anthracis Ames spores we sent you:
          B. anthracis Ames Spores, RMR 1029 Reference = USAMRIID Notebook #4010, Bruce Ivins Prepared in 1997 at Dugway Proving Ground – POC =
          Purified in 1997 at USAMRIID – POC = Bruce Ivins, bruce.ivins@AMEDD.ARMY.MIL

          50 ml shipped to Battelle, on 8 May 2001, in two 50-ml polypropylene tubes, 25 ml of spore suspension per tube
          Concentration = approximately 3.9 X 10^10 per ml in 1% phenol Shipped on gel ice
          Bruce Ivins USAMRIID Bacteriology Division 8 MAY 01″

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          I guess he made a second shipmemt of 40ml just as he stated in the email. He probably took the whole 90ml out at once, perhaps distributed between 4 tubes. He sent 2 tubes in the first shipment then followed later with 2 more.

        • BugMaster said

          And then Battelle had some kind of problem with the material and had to obtain another 50 mls a month or so later.

  9. DXer said

    In an email that Sandy (who took over for Mr. Ferraira upon his retirement 4 weeks ago) graciously produced today, Dr. Ivins wrote on October 5, 2000:

    “Talk to you later today in the teleconference. Also, in any group where anthrax spores (producing, harvesting, isolating, purifiying, storing, characterizing, etc.) are being discussed, ___________ should be included, since she probably has more practical experience with them than anyone else in our group.

    Take care!

    – Bruce”

  10. DXer said

    The lead investigator Montooth, told the Washington Post: “When you go to the true experts and ask them how many people can develop [anthrax spores] into something with this purity and this concentration, they shake their heads.” “Some will say there are perhaps six. Others will say maybe a dozen.” The Washington Post reports: “But drying the spores turned out to be no obstacle at all, FBI scientists said. It required only one more step, using a common laboratory machine known as a lyophilizer. Ivins had one in his lab.” In contrast, the head of the Air Force lab, expert at making anthrax simulants, advises me by email: “The Amerithrax spores were neither freeze dried nor milled. I have seen both and the Amerithrax had characteristics of neither.” Dr. Alibek, who once thought a spraydryer likely was used, told me that he later came to think a fluidized bed dryer was used. In September 2008, Dr. Serge Popov of the GMU Center for Biodefense has explained a far simpler method based on his experience involving a tin container. The NAS has no aerosol expert on the panel and has not heard testimony of one.

    In an October 16, 2008 letter to the academy, Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), a member of the House intelligence committee, asked the National Academies of Science to investigate whether the bureau’s scientific discoveries were “inconsistent with the FBI’s conclusions.” Jennifer Smith is a retired FBI agent and biochemist who also worked for the CIA and now leads BioForensic Consulting. Smith was involved in the agency’s DNA unit when the investigation began. She told the NAS panel in July 2009: “I want to say that I hope this committee is able to see information that was shared … even if that information might currently be housed within the classified files,” she said. Alice Gast, the committee chairwoman and president of Lehigh University, said the academy has the ability to pursue classified materials. The study will deepen as the group learns more and asks additional questions, she said. “Really it remains to be defined — the scope of all materials we’ll receive,” Gast reported. My government sources advises me that the FBI in fact has been very stingy and selective in production of documents.

    The anthrax used in the Fall 2001 was not the one used by the US Army in weaponizing anthrax in the 1950s. William Patrick’s process for weaponizing anthrax involved freeze drying and chemical processing whereas it was the process contemplated by Al Qaeda that involved spraydrying. “We made little freeze-dried pellets of anthrax,” Donald Schattenberg explained, “then we ground them down with a high-speed colloid mill.” The finding cast doubt on the hypothesis that the spores could have been stolen from a lab a long time ago. Commenting on the fine powder sent Senator Daschle and Leahy, “Only nations, probably, have figured out how to do this,” Professor Matthew Meselson at Harvard said at the time. But, he adds, this means “how to do it is in the minds of people,” including former employees of weapons programs in the Soviet Union. At a break from a briefing before a Congressional subcommittee in December 2001, Dr. Richard Spertzel and Dr. Ken Alibek discussed access to the Ames strain and the method of weaponization. They might just as well have been demonstrating how to palm a basketball — with Dr. Alibek agreeing with Dr. Spertzel on the likely general method but saying it is easier than Dr. Spertzel may think. According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Scanning electron microscopy of the spores used in the Senate office attack showed that they range from individual particles to aggregates of 100 [microns] or more. Spores were uniform in size and appearance and the aggregates had a propensity to pulverize (i.e., disperse into smaller particles when disturbed).”

    The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack held a hearing in July 2005 on “Engineering Bio-Terror Agents: Lessons from the Offensive U.S. and Russian Biological Weapons Programs.” The hearing evaluated Al Qaeda’s ability to develop and use catastrophic biological weapons — such as weaponized anthrax. The hearing examined the known biological warfare capabilities developed by the U.S. and Russian offensive programs, and the potential of those capabilities being utilized in future terrorist attacks. One of the witnesses at the hearing ironically was the former colleague of Al-Timimi, Dr. Kenneth Alibek, Executive Director, Center for Biodefense, George Mason University Another witness, Dr. Michael V. Callahan, Director, Biodefense & Mass Casualty Care, CIMIT/Massachusetts General Hospital, explained:

    “It is also important to note that the people who participated in that exercise used all open source information, they used the U.S. Patent Office and they used out of print microbiology textbooks. It is a scary incredible thing, and it is not just theoretical, it has already been capitalized both in laboratory modeling and in actual experience.”

    Ayman Zawahiri’s infiltrating spy Rauf Ahmad in reporting on his attendance at the conference sponsored by Porton Down reported that he had learned some processing tricks. Who did he learn processing tricks from?

    Dr. John Ezzell, the scientist referenced in an email from Dr. Ivins to Pat Fellows reported by FoxNews, tells me the aerosolized Ames he made for DARPA in 1996 had been irradiated (and testing confirmed that the irradiation had rendered the anthrax inactive). Since 1996, he had been the anthrax specialist for the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Resonse Unit.

    Dr. Meryl Nass, a long-time critic of the health consequences of anthrax vaccine, moderated and led a robust defense by interested scientists and others — asking that the FBI come forward with any evidence to support its accusation. Prominent defenders of Dr. Ivins pointing to the lack of evidence included former heads of the Bacteriology Division. Like experienced prosecutors Senators Leahy and Specter, they were stunned at the US Attorney Jeff Taylor’s conclusions. Gerald P. Andrews, director of the bacteriology division and Ivins’ supervisor from 2000 to 2003, explained: “One preparation may take between three and five days — Day 1 to prepare the materials and start seed cultures, Day 2 to inoculate the spores, Day 3 to harvest, centrifuge and purify the spores. And those are the wet spores,” he says, which then need to be dried into a powder. And that would take at least another day. “So for 10 envelopes, 100 preparations would be required to make all the mailed material at three to five days for each preparation,” he says. “Months of continuous spore preparation without doing any other work and avoiding detection? It’s ridiculous.”

    George Mason University professor and former Soviet bioweapons researcher Sergei Popov agrees: “This number of plates is impossible to handle inconspicuously,” says. “It would be impossible to cover up these activities.” W. Russell Byrne, who preceded Andrews as the division’s director, said he “never believed Ivins’ could have produced the preparations used in the anthrax letters working in the bacteriology division area of Building 1425.”

    Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin, says Michael. The coat of the bacteria from Ivins’ RMR-1029 flask did not contain any of those four elements. Thus, the testimony by the Sandia scientists is strongly exculpatory of Dr. Bruce E. Ivins.

    On April 11, 2003, Scott Shane reported that reverse engineering “carried out at the Army’s biodefense center at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, raises the disquieting possibility that al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups could create lethal bioweapons without scientific or financial help from a state.” Quoting one outside bioterrorism expert. “It shows you can have a fairly sophisticated product with fairly rudimentary methods.” At last report, the reverse engineering reportedly was not able to recreate the identical product with the same Silicon Signature.

    Lisa Bronson, deputy undersecretary of defense for technology security policy and proliferation, has said that commercially available equipment used to make powdered milk could be used to make powderized anthrax. A spray dryer is used in chemical and food processing to manufacture dried egg, powdered milk, animal feed, cake mixes, citrus juices, coffee, corn syrup, cream, creamers, dried eggs, potatoes, shortening, starch derivatives, tea, tomatoes, yeast, and — last but not least — yogurt. Washington State University also has an informative discussion on the web. Making dried milk is not rocket science and doesn’t require a PhD. But, if experience is any guide, Al Qaeda has PhDs and even rocket scientists who are sympathetic to its cause (indeed, even the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb).

    In a Q&A from a March 31, 2003 exchange with Kenneth Alibek, he explained in response to a question I posed to him.

    “Q. Could someone expert in making dried milk make the product used in the Daschle and Leahy letters?
    A. Let me answer in this way — yes, actually, it would be the same technique to make a powderized anthrax, but at the same time we shouldn’t overestimate the complexity of making it. My opinion is this — in order to make this powder there is no need to have sophisticated equipment. Such a small amount, keep in mind that the people who did could have very simple equipment and very simple procedures. There is no need for industrial equipment. It would be enough to have small equipment. But at the same time, when people talk about it being ‘weaponized’ — I can’t say it was that sophisticated. I saw the particles — they were the size of 40 microns. We can’t say anything about the quality of this powder because we saw it after it had gone through mailing sorting machines which create very powerful pressure. There was no coating. What I saw on micrograph was no coating. It was natural spores and for some people they mistakenly thought it wasn’t. Some experts said there was [no] charge because it was fluffy and made a cloud when put on scale. This is another mistake. It did have charge.”

    Dr. Ivins worked with Ames in a BL-3 lab on the dates preceding the mailings — and so why did the FBI rely on his recollections years later of how he spent his time rather than a contemporaneous transcript from 2001 detailing how he spent his time? (Surely he was asked as part of his polygraph). The standing instructions in an internal memorandum were that all logical follow-on investigation be “aggressively and immediately conducted and reported. Experienced, aggressive, creative Agents should be assigned this investigation in order to insure all logical investigation is conducted, and not just that requested as defined in a lead.” As Lew asks: why is FBI/USAMRIID refusing to produce the emails that would debunk or corroborate its claim that Dr. Ivins does not have an alibi?

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