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

* DXer … US Attorney Kohl to Dr. Bruce Ivins … you are not a target

Posted by DXer on March 10, 2010

11 Responses to “* DXer … US Attorney Kohl to Dr. Bruce Ivins … you are not a target”

  1. DXer said

    A Washington Field Office memo to files dated April 11, 2007 in contrast states:

    “Bruce Edwards Ivins is an extremely sensitive suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks.”

    On May 9, 2007, they retrieved an empty coffee cup. Was that for the purpose of testing for DNA? If so, what was the later swabbing for? To rattle the extremely sensitive suspect?

  2. DXer said

    3/31/2005 Ivins 302 interview statement

    “IVINS advised that prior to the fall 2001 anthrax attacks, suite B3 contained an extensive number of tubes and flask containing liquid anthrax spores. When asked how many such containers were stored in the room, he advised there were “hundreds of containers of all sizes, but probably not thousands.” There was no common labeling scheme or protocol for these containers – they were labeled by the individual researchers to whom they belonged. Each researcher had the discretion to label the containers as he/she saw fit. Many of the containers which held Ames anthrax spores were labeled “Ames.” As an example, IVINS notes that the flask containing RMR 1029 was labeled as “Ames.” There was no inventory of the flasks and tubes.”

  3. DXer said

    3/31/2005 302 Ivins interview statement

    “The smaller bottle taken to room __ sometimes contained a fully concentrated aliquot and sometimes a diluted aliquot. Once taken to room — the aliquot of RMR 1029 was stored in the sliding glass door refrigerator of Room __ until the anima challenge commenced After a challenge, the Ames material from the all-glass impingers (AGI’s) was stored in the walk-in refrigerator on the first floor of building 1412.

  4. DXer said

    When Boyd talks about “the murder weapon” he is referring to the anthrax in Flask 1029 which Dr. Ivins oversaw for his government work. Does Mr. Boyd understand that 350 people had access? If so, how is that physical evidence pointing to Dr. Ivins as distinguished between the 350? And as for proving Dr.Ivins’ innocence, when was a court of law the efficient means of establishing truth? All the DOJ and USAMRIID and FBI needs to do is comply with the rule of law and stop withholding the lab notebook pages and 7 years of emails.

    Lawyer Still Doubts Case Against Anthrax SuspectUpdated: 25 minutes ago

    Allan Lengel

    AOL News (March 10) — Just weeks before his suicide, a grand jury was convening on the third floor of the federal courthouse, near the U.S. Capitol, looking into the 2001 anthrax murders. Things weren’t looking good for government scientist Bruce Ivins, the one and only suspect in the case.

    It was July 2008. His attorney, Paul F. Kemp, according to court documents reviewed by AOL News, had just filed court papers to become a death penalty-certified attorney in the case — a little-known fact. And the chief U.S. District judge in Washington, Royce C. Lamberth, had approved the request.

    “I thought this was a precaution to take. My job is to anticipate anything,” Kemp said.

    AP Photo/Frederick News Post
    An attorney for suspected anthrax mailer Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, shown here in an undated photo, said this week he doesn’t think the case should be closed.

    He said he had told Ivins the investigation could turn into a death penalty case. “At some point in the near future I felt the government was probably going to the grand jury and would issue an indictment.”

    What Kemp — and the government as well — didn’t anticipate was the unthinkable. On July 27, Ivins, 62, loaded up on Tylenol with codeine in an attempt to commit suicide. Two days later, he died.

    “I was disturbed over it,” Kemp said in an interview this week . “I never had a client commit suicide. It’s a terrible experience. I’m much more distraught for his family.”

    With his suicide, so died the chance for the government to prove its case before a jury or for Ivins to prove his innocence. No charges were ever filed in the case, in which letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to five media outlets and two senators. Five people died and 17 others were sickened.

    On Feb. 19, the Justice Department officially closed the case and issued a 92-page summary of the case stating why Ivins not only did it, but acted alone. It concluded that his lab notes showed he “could, and did, create spores of the concentration and purity of the mailed spores.”

    Kemp, a suburban Washington attorney, said he read the 92-page report, but didn’t buy into it. Not at all.

    Kemp said Ivins repeatedly denied that he sent the letters and that he developed the deadly anthrax spores. And Kemp cited Ivins’ fellow scientists, who insisted hes was incapable of making such a high-grade, dried anthrax with the equipment available at his workplace at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Md.

    “There’s not one shred of evidence to show he did it,” Kemp said.

    Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., echoes some of that skepticism. Last week he called for a congressional investigation into the anthrax probe.

    “We don’t know whether the FBI’s assertions about Dr. Ivins’ activities and behavior are accurate,” Holt wrote in a letter to the chairmen of the House Committees on Homeland Security, Judiciary, Intelligence, and Oversight and Government Reform.

    Government investigators disagree with the skeptics.

    “Suggestions that this is an entirely circumstantial case are not accurate,” said Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman. ” We are confident Dr. Ivins acted alone in carrying out this attack. There is the direct physical evidence. The murder weapon was created by Dr. Ivins and solely maintained by Dr. Ivins.

    “We wish we had the opportunity to present this case and all the evidence to a jury, but we were not able to, given the circumstances.”

    A Justice Department source familiar with the case insisted Ivins was “singularly capable” of producing the deadly product. The person said investigators spent an “extraordinary amount of time” researching who in the science world was capable of producing the high-grade anthrax used in the deadly letters and “Dr. Ivins came up as one of the pre-eminent anthrax researchers.”

    Regardless, in the last weeks of his life Ivins obviously had been thinking about the prospect of facing the death penalty. News reports said on July 9, 2008, during a group therapy session, he mentioned that if he faced the death penalty he would go out with a blaze of glory and shoot some of his co-workers.

    Kemp acknowledges the government contacted him in the final weeks to say that they were concerned about Ivins’ state of mind and well-being.

    To many in the public, Ivins’ suicide was viewed as an admission of guilt — an acknowledgment that the long reach of the law had finally caught up with him. But others — particularly some who knew him — saw a different story line: a man who collapsed under the mighty weight of a government hell bent on indicting him.

    Kemp says he still thinks about the suicide and wonders if he couldn’t have conveyed the prospect of a death-penalty case to Ivins in a more sensitive, gentler manner. He won’t get into specifics of the conversations with Ivins, citing client-attorney privilege. But he does share this much.

    “I question myself. Maybe I was too strong,” he said. “I second-guess a lot the wording I used

    • Anonymous Scientist said

      “When Boyd talks about “the murder weapon” he is referring to the anthrax in Flask 1029 which Dr. Ivins oversaw for his government work. Does Mr. Boyd understand that 350 people had access?”

      Boyd might as well call the deceased Texas cow from which Ames was originally derived the murder weapon. That would have equivalent meaning.

      • DXer said

        Let’s put a different claim of Mr. Boyd’s to the test by comparing it to the documentary evidence. Where has USAMRIID provided copies of the emails relating to Gary Matsumoto’s FOIA requests that he has discussed in the past?

        ‘When the FBI publicly branded the late Dr. Bruce Ivins as the anthrax killer, it unsealed court affidavits suggesting a possible motive for the mailing to one target: NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. According to the affidavits, Ivins was angry about repeated Freedom of Information Act requests from Gary Matsumoto, identified as “an investigative journalist who worked for NBC News” who was looking into Ivins’s work on an anthrax vaccine. “Tell Matsumoto to kiss my ass,” the affidavit says Ivins wrote in an Aug. 28, 2001, e-mail, noting that was “weeks” before the Sept. 18, 2001, anthrax mailing addressed to Brokaw. But Matsumoto told NEWSWEEK the FBI never interviewed him as part of its investigation. If it had, he says, he could have told them he’d actually left NBC News five years earlier. At the time he was bombarding Ivins’s lab with FOIA requests, he was employed by ABC. “They’re trying to connect dots that don’t connect,” he said.

        Justice Department official Dean Boyd said “there was no mistake in the affidavit” because Matsumoto had been employed by NBC in the past and Ivins told investigators he “believed” he still worked there. Still, the reference is one of a number of seemingly misleading passages, gaps and omissions that are raising questions about just how airtight the government’s case against Ivins actually is.”

        Here are the emails from the period. Where have the emails they rely upon been provided? If his request was forwarded, we can see whether he listed his employer on the FOIA request.

        Click to access 20010831_batch34(redacted).pdf

        • DXer said

          Someone should ask John Peterson why he allowed DOj/FBI to pull emails from production without an exemption that applied.

      • DXer said

        Indeed, we actually know that Flask 1029 was the murder weapon because the anthrax had to be grown. The science establishes that anthrax from the flask was NOT taken and dried. We also know the Iron Signature, the Tin Signature, and the Silicon Signature all point away from Dr. Ivins.

        • Anonymous Scientist said

          I think you meant to write Flask 1029 was NOT the murder weapon.

          It’s not the murder weapon any more than the dead Texas cow is – or the aliquots of RMR-1029 shipped to Dugway, Battelle and other palces.

  5. DXer said

    3/31/2005 302 Ivins interview statement

    IVINS related that while USAMRIID had fermenters, to his knowledge they were never used to grow any virulent select agents, including Bacillus anthracis. The fermenters were used only to grow non-virulent bacteria, such as Bacillus subtilis.

  6. DXer said

    A separate file had been created for surveillance of Dr. Ivins a few months earlier.

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