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

* DXer … questions about overtime worked by Dr. Bruce Ivins

Posted by DXer on March 10, 2010

7 Responses to “* DXer … questions about overtime worked by Dr. Bruce Ivins”

  1. DXer said

    Dr. Donald A. Henderson, Who Helped End Smallpox, Dies at 87

    New York Times – ‎34 minutes ago‎
    Dr. Donald A. Henderson, who led the World Health Organization’s war on smallpox, administering a smallpox vaccination in Ethiopia, around 1972.

    Anthrax slip-ups raise fears about planned biolabs
    By Dan Vergano and Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY
    Bruce Ivins was troubled by the dust, dirt and clutter on his officemate’s desk, and not just because it looked messy. He suspected the dust was laced with anthrax.

    And he was in a position to know. Ivins, a biodefense expert, and his officemate were deeply involved in Operation Noble Eagle — the government’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed almost 3,000 Americans and the anthrax attacks that killed five more less than a month later.

    t was December 2001. Ivins, an authority on anthrax, was one of the handful of researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md., who prepared spores of the deadly bacteria to test anthrax vaccines in animals. He knew enough to grow alarmed when his officemate complained, as she had frequently of late, about sloppy handling of samples coming into the lab that could be tainted with anthrax.

    “I swabbed approximately 20 areas of (her) desk, including the telephone computer and desktop,” Ivins later reported to Army investigators. Half of the samples, he found, “were suspicious for anthrax,” betraying the clumpy brown appearance of anthrax colonies under a microscope.

    Rather than reporting contamination to his superiors, Ivins said, he disinfected the desk. “I had no desire to cry wolf,” he later told an Army investigator.

    Months later, Army investigators would see Ivins’ desk cleanup as the first sign of an alarming anthrax contamination at the nation’s most renowned biodefense laboratory. A 361-page U.S. Army report on the events of that winter and the following spring, recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, opens a rare window into the government’s guarded biodefense establishment. (Related: Where labs are located or planned)

    Today, the view from that window frightens critics of the government’s plans to establish similar labs in urban centers throughout the country. They say it’s too dangerous to bring deadly microbes into populated areas. In July, hundreds of Boston-area scientists and activists marched to oppose plans to construct a biodefense lab at Boston University. Supporters say such facilities are needed to fight bioterrorism.

    But the new safety concerns echo fears expressed in late 2001 and early 2002 after anthrax spores, too small for the naked eye to see, escaped from a supposedly secure lab suite and into the scientists’ offices. Within USAMRIID, 88 people were eventually tested for exposure to anthrax. The incident also raised fears that anthrax had leaked into nearby Frederick, Md.

    ***

    “They were running just fantastic numbers of (anthrax) samples,” says biodefense expert D.A. Henderson of the University of Pittsburgh. “I’m not sure what they have accomplished is appreciated.”

    Comment: May both Dr. Bruce Ivins and Dr. D.A. Henderson rest in peace.

    From all I’ve read over the years as an outsider to the field, D.A Henderson’s role in combating and eradicating smallpox was both historic and heroic.

  2. DXer said

    By email dated March 14, 2004 (produced this week 2 years after the FOIA request), Dr. Ivins wrote:

    Hi, ____

    Would it be possible for me to get a printout of my keycard entry and exit for both all of September 2001 and October 2001, for the following:
    a) Into and and out of ___
    b) Into and out of __
    c) Into and out of ___
    d) Into and out of ___

    I’m meeting with someone on Thursday morning and I’d like to provide them with that Information.

    – Bruce

  3. DXer said

    Given that there was a PowerMac in the hot suite, why didn’t the FBi clone a copy given that would be an excellent source of information as to how time was spent in the hot suite.

    Also, why did the investigators want the human DNA? This should be disclosed. We know that Ivins’ DNA was not a match with the DNA of the hair in the mailbox. And that they already had obtained a cup he had used at an interview (which would have been a source of DNA). The request for DNA, whatever its purpose, had the effect of intimidating him and humiliating him in light of his upset over the stained panties that had been seized. In an interview statement, he said that his sexual preferences had been established before he was 10. The Washington Field Office memo indicated that agents were going to press him on what he had not shared with them about his interests along these lines.

    What did Dr. Ivins use the missing Power Macintosh computer for?

  4. DXer said

    A 302 interview statement transcribed 12/21/2006 explains that computers from the hot suite were decontaminated by the personnel working in those suites and then transferred to IT:

    “__________ advised to the best of _____ knowledge, temporary internet files and cookies were not transferred. ___________ clarified, typically only documents on the C-drive of the old copmuter were transferred to the new computer.”

    ***

    “IT services received a ticket from USAMRIID employee BRUCE IVINS, on July 19, 2001, with a request for IT services to set up a Macintosh computer, __________ for ___________ and ________ for use in the ____ hot suite. ________________ the IP address from IVIN’s office computer, located in Room ____ of USAMRIID Building 1425 was _______ and the MMCN on the same was ______________________ had no knowledge if _________ was ever connected to the internet while in the ____ hot suite.”

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ivins’ other IP’s

      MMCN F0599 IP – 140. 139.166.20
      MMCN F1326 IP – 140.139.165.179

      The MMCN for the PowerMac

      MMCN E7380

      • DXer said

        1/25/2007 302 interview

        “IVINS liked to take showers in the suites on days that he was not working. He did this to get away from his home or use the internet etc. ____________ acknowledged IVINS was quirky with unusual social skills and depression, but didn’t believe he did it [anthrax mailing]. IVINS thought of his office and the hot suite as a safe place.”

        • DXer said

          http://foia.fbi.gov/filelink.html?file=amerithrax/847418.PDF

          “IVINS advised that there is a laptop computer on his hand receipt, however he has never used it and cannot locate the computer.”

          The computer apparently was leased and returned in 2003. See first 302 interview statement about installation of the computer in July 2001. Did the FBI obtain it and apply advanced computer retrieval methods to it?

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