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

* If it had become known that the Administration had allowed this infiltration — the Bush Administration would never have won a second term

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 31, 2010

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The New York Times says the FBI’s anthrax case has “too many loose ends.” Find out where some of those looses ends might have originated in my novel CASE CLOSED. Sure it’s fiction, but many readers, including a highly respected member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, think my premise is actually “quite plausible.”

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

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Al-Timini, Bailey, Card ... Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld

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from DXer’s comment …

  • Al-Timimi had been Andrew Card’s assistant.
  • He had a letter of commendation from the White House for classified work for the Navy while at the contractor SRA at the same time as Battelle consultant Charles Bailey (the former deputy USAMRIID Commander who turned prolific co-author of Ames research).
  • If it had become known that the Administration had allowed this infiltration — the Bush Administration would never have won a second term.
  • Al-Timimi’s dad worked at the Iraqi embassy in Washington.

******

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17 Responses to “* If it had become known that the Administration had allowed this infiltration — the Bush Administration would never have won a second term”

  1. DXer said

    Rep. Gohmert hurls stunning accusations against Robert Mueller

    May 25, 2018 10:53 pm
    https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/05/25/rep-gohmert-accuses-mueller-of-protecting-radical-islamists-his-whole-career
    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) made shocking and outrageous claims against special counsel Robert Mueller, including the accusation that he had protected radical Islamists “his whole career.”

    Here’s what he said

    In in 30 minute long interview with Judicial Watch published Thursday, Gohmert made extensive accusations against Mueller.

    “This is consistent with Mueller,” he said, “he has protected radical Islamists his whole career, with the FBI, and even as special counsel but, uhm, 911, we knew who, we found out who the perpetrators were, there were no question, that was radical Islam.”

    “And immediately after that, the anthrax scare occurred, and he was looking for something to take the attention away from the concern about radical Islam,” he explained, adding that he believed Mueller botched the anthrax investigation in order to distract from the threat of Islam.

    Gohmert said that Mueller damaged the FBI more than all the previous FBI directors put together, and that his “unconquerable ego” got in the way of positive policies at the bureau.

    Panetta defends Mueller

    Friday on CNN, former CIA director Leon Panetta responded to Gohmert’s accusations, saying, “Wolf, as a former congressman, I would say with great respect to that particular congressman, he has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.”

    “Bob Mueller was FBI director when I was the director of the CIA,” he explained. “He committed himself to going after terrorists. To going after extremist Islam in order to protect this country. And whatever he’s implying is absolutely not only wrong, but in many ways it reflects the kind of unfounded attacks that people are resorting to here in order to undermine what Bob Mueller is doing in this investigation.”

    Panetta called for Republicans and other members of Congress to denounce the comments from Gohmert.

    President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Friday that he was seeking a review of the documents which led to the special counsel’s investigation, and that he believed this would lead to Mueller’s probe being closed.

    Comment:

    I followed the Amerithrax investigation more closely than anyone I know. I disagree with the resolution by the former FBI Director Mueller’s Amerithrax task force. But I think people can disagree about difficult mysteries such as Amerithrax — without doubting that Robert Mueller seems to have been very well qualified for the Amerithrax investigation (as he is very well qualified for the Russia investigation).

    I think Attorney Giuliani has missed an opportunity to derail Robert Mueller by not having Congress press for the FBI’s compliance in case of Amerithrax. The FBI is withholding, for example, all of the September and October 2001 emails that it selectively quoted from and relied upon in closing the Amerithrax investigation. I believe the documents withheld further would corroborate that Bruce Ivins was in the B3 lab for the scheduled small animal experiments (and/or to look at porn on the laptop that was installed that summer).

    Given that Mueller strikes me as a very principled (though zealous) prosecutor, he would take such revelations in stride — having confidence that compliance with the rule of law is a good thing.

    We should always run toward justice — even justice that is a long time coming. At the very least, we should encourage compliance with FOIA, no matter what our role.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense:
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  2. DXer said

    “A Double Life: The Spy Inside al Qaeda,” a one hour documentary presented by CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, with CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank and CNN’s Tim Lister, airs at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, May 25.

  3. DXer said

    Review: In ‘The Spymasters,’ C.I.A. Leaders Recount Tactics of the Post-9/11 Years
    By MARK MAZZETTINOV. 27, 2015
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/28/arts/television/review-in-the-spymasters-cia-leaders-recount-tactics-of-the-post-9-11-years.html

    George J. Tenet, the director from 1997 to 2004, along with some of his aides, lashes out at accusations of C.I.A. torture, and lays much of the blame for the Sept. 11 attacks at the door of the Bush White House. …

    They also criticize President Obama’s expansive use of drone strikes, saying that no intelligence can be obtained from dead terrorists. …

    Conversely, the three C.I.A. leaders mostly closely identified with drone strikes — Mr. Panetta, David Petraeus, John O. Brennan — all denounce the interrogation methods as contrary to American values but defend drone killings as necessary and effective in keeping the country safe.

    There are fascinating parts to the film, including an account of the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, when the C.I.A. was delivering consistent warnings to the White House about the threat of a Qaeda attack. …

    There’s a basic tension at the heart of “The Spymasters” that the film tries little to resolve, which is especially disappointing in the wake of recent terrorist attacks by the Islamic State. All the men are convinced that their methods have been successful in combating terrorism, yet they believe that the threat of terrorism has never been greater.

  4. DXer said

    There really is a need for the Army to comply with FOIA about the shipping of the 340 ml. of virulent Ames to USAMRIID on June 27, 2001.

    Al-Timimi had a security clearance at SRA for his work for the Navy in 1999. That is where Dr. Bailey worked, the former USAMRIID acting commander.

    Both Alibek and Bailey were Battelle consultants in 1999.

    They then shared a suite in 2001 at GMU — alongside famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek — at the DARPA (DTRA) funded Center for Biodefense. Ali Al-Timimi walked the halls alongside the Hadron researchers. (That was Alibek’s biodefense company).

    Ali’s next door neighbor, Dr. Crockett, wrote her PhD thesis discussing Amerithrax and microenscapsulation.

    It was Dr. Bailey who in 2001 first mentioned silica in the press but cut himself short — saying he didn’t want to give any terrorists ideas.

    There really is a need for the Army to comply with FOIA about the shipping of the 340 ml. of virulent Ames to USAMRIID on June 27, 2001.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/adw.htm

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/adw-4.htm

    The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency and US Navy were involved in an advanced concept technology demonstration of an ‘agent defeat’ weapon that used a high-temperature incendiary ‘thermo-corrosive’ filling, along with penetrating rods. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Indian Head teamed with Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop a special warhead that would destroy biological and chemical manufacturing and storage facilities. The Agent Defeat Warhead project was one of the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) projects selected by the Department of Defense in March 2002. The ACTD program focuses on rapidly placing maturing technologies in the hands of war fighters.

    The Navy’s Agent Defeat ACTD demonstrated a high temperature incendiary air-delivered weapon system to defeat chemical and biological manufacturing and storage facilities. This weapon system was designed to be capable of destroying the chemical and biological agent at an extremely high rate due to the unique characteristics of the high temperature incendiary fill employed in the weapon. The fill produced a very intense heat source of long duration with low overpressure. This low overpressure performance was intended to prevent the dispersal of chemical and biological agents. The fill also produced a disinfectant chlorine gas as a byproduct of the fill reaction that provides enhanced biological agent defeat.

  5. DXer said

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/11/bush_white_house_bio-war_alarm.html

    Bush: White House bio-war alarm went off in 2002
    By Jeff Stein
    A White House alarm to detect biological weapons in the air went off in in 2002, setting off fears that the building was under a silent terrorist attack, former president George W. Bush writes in his new book, “Decision Points.”

    The incident happened while Bush was on a state visit to China in February 2002, he told the Today Show’s Matt Lauer in an interview to be broadcast Monday.

    During a videoconference with officials back at the White House, Vice President Cheney came on the line and said, “Mr. President, we have a problem. One of the bio hazard detectors at The White House has gone off.”

    National Security Adviser “Condi [Rice], [Chief of Staff] Andy Card, [Secretary of State] Colin Powell, and I are sitting in a cramped tent in a Chinese hotel. The reason we’re in the tent is because Chinese listeners cannot penetrate the tent,” Bush recalled.

    “Steve Hadley [then deputy national security adviser] and Dick Cheney are on the video in front of us. Dick is getting ready to give a speech to the Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York. And he says, ‘The bio detectors have gone off. We think there’s been a botulism toxin — a potential botulism toxin attack.’

    “And we had all been exposed to it. And it — BT is a very lethal poison. And had we inhaled it we could easily be dead.”

    Hadley, a “very formal, really good man,” Bush said, tried to calm everybody down. Help was on the way.

    Mice, he said, were being mobilized to test the air.

    “And we kind of chuckled, and said, ‘Well, if the mice are feet up, we’re goners. And if they’re feet down, we’re fine,’” Bush said.

    Lauer: “So some of the most powerful people in the country are waiting to see if a bunch of lab mice die.”

    “Up or down,” Bush said.

    Lauer: “And if they die, you’re dead.”

    “Yeah. That’s what it was,” Bush continued.

    “And the reason I tell the story is because it’s hard for people to remember that right after 9/11 we were inundated with threats. A lot of threats. And I put that one in there, one, because I think it’s an interesting anecdote, and two, because it shows how serious — and how often these threats were coming into The White House.”

    New Yorker writer Jane Mayer described a similar incident in her 2008 book, “Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.” On Oct. 18, 2001, at the height of the anthrax scares, she reported, a bio alarm went off in the White House.

    “They thought Cheney was already lethally infected,” a former administration officer said, according to Mayer.

    False alarm. Likewise, in the February 2002 incident, the mice presumably lived to test another day, but neither Cheney nor other officials could be immediately reached to elaborate on it.

  6. DXer said

    March 19th, 2010

    EFF Appeals Dismissal of Warrantless Wiretapping Case
    Announcement by Cindy Cohn

    EFF today filed its appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals of the dismissal of Jewel v. NSA, the case EFF brought against the U.S. government and government officials on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the National Security Agency’s illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing mass surveillance of their communications and communications records. The case arises from the still growing stacks of evidence confirming the surveillance, including the technical documents presented by former AT&T employee Mark Klein that describe the NSA’s secret mass wiretapping facility in San Francisco.

    On January 21, 2010, the District Court dismissed the case based on the dangerous and incorrect theory that because so many people have been impacted by the widespread surveillance, no individual person has a “particularized injury.” This ruling is not only wrong — the NSA’s interception of your private emails with your doctor, spouse or child is an individual harm to you regardless of whether it also happened to other people too — but also extremely dangerous because it would have the courts blind themselves to massive violations of the law and the Constitution on the grounds that they impact too many people.

    Despite disappointments from both the Obama Administration and now the Federal District Court, EFF will continue to fight to protect your privacy against the warrantless wiretapping in both the Jewel and the Hepting cases, each of which will next be argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

  7. DXer said

    The pending (last I checked) highly-classified briefing in the case involved “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi involves this issue of warrantless NSA wiretapping.

    In his 45-page ruling, Walker alluded to the “obvious potential for governmental abuse and overreaching inherent in the defendants’ theory of unfettered executive-branch discretion.” The judge also cited the government’s “impressive display of argumentative acrobatics” in rationalizing its actions.

    “Defendants contend this is not a FISA case and defendants are therefore free to hide behind the [state secrets privilege] all facts that could help plaintiffs’ case. In so contending, defendants take a flying leap and miss by a wide margin,” the judge wrote.

    I can hear Rachel Maddow quoting this phrase now.

    But unfortunately the interesting interview would be pointed questions of her frequent guest, Ali’s lawyer, Professor Turley who explained that his client was an anthrax weapons suspect and that Anwar Aulaqi was central to the allegations against his client.

    The judge explained in the opinion that is online that the conversations intercepted, in addition to involving Dr. Al-Timimi, discussed Bin Laden’s sheiks promoted by the charity IANA, and Bin Laden’s brother-in-law Khalifa.

  8. Ike Solem said

    They also might not have made it into Iraq if certain things had become public:

    David Kelly post mortem to be kept secret for 70 years as doctors accuse Lord Hutton of concealing vital information

    By Miles Goslett
    Last updated at 12:49 PM on 25th January 2010

    * Comments (548)
    * Add to My Stories

    Vital evidence which could solve the mystery of the death of Government weapons inspector Dr David Kelly will be kept under wraps for up to 70 years.

    In a draconian – and highly unusual – order, Lord Hutton, the peer who chaired the controversial inquiry into the Dr Kelly scandal, has secretly barred the release of all medical records, including the results of the post mortem, and unpublished evidence.

    The move, which will stoke fresh speculation about the true circumstances of Dr Kelly’s death, comes just days before Tony Blair appears before the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War. It is also bound to revive claims of an establishment cover-up and fresh questions about the verdict that Dr Kelly killed himself.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245599/David-Kelly-post-mortem-kept-secret-70-years-doctors-accuse-Lord-Hutton-concealing-vital-information.html

    The normal rules on post-mortems allow close relatives and ‘properly interested persons’ to apply to see a copy of the report and to ‘inspect’ other documents.

    Lord Hutton’s measure has overridden these rules, so the files will not be opened until all such people are likely to be dead. Last night, the Ministry of Justice was unable to explain the legal basis for Lord Hutton’s order.

    If Kelly was murdered, who is to say Bruce Ivins wasn’t as well?

  9. DXer said

    The Bush Administration was so unnerved at the Al-Timimi situation that they commenced warrantless NSA wiretapping on him and related others on or about October 7, 2001. Only 2 officials at the DOJ even knew about the program.

    Al Haramain Islamic Foundation v. United States
    in 2005, the government disclosed that it had intercepted communications between al-Timimiand Al-Haramain’s director al-Buthi. FAC ¶ 51. …
    http://www.scribd.com/…/Al-Haramain-Islamic-Foundation-v-United-States – 1 hour ago

    Bush-ordered wiretaps illegal, judge says

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010
    (03-31) 13:42 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — The Bush administration wiretapped a U.S.-based Islamic charity under an illegal surveillance program that was not authorized by Congress or the courts, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled today.

    The ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker marked the first time that a court has found that the government illegally wiretapped an individual or organization since President George W. Bush authorized warrantless wiretapping of suspected foreign terrorists in 2001.

    The government inadvertently sent a classified document in 2004 to the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, reportedly showing that two of its lawyers had been wiretapped. Several months after the surveillance began, the government classified Al-Haramain as a terrorist organization, a description its leaders called false.

    The now-defunct charity, which was headquartered in Oregon, returned the document at the government’s request and could not use it as evidence in a lawsuit it filed over the wiretapping. But Walker said today that Al-Haramain had established, through public statements by officials and nonclassified evidence, that the government had intercepted its calls without obtaining the court warrant required by a 1978 law.

    Bush acknowledged in December 2005 that he had ordered the National Security Agency, after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to intercept phone calls and e-mails between Americans and suspected foreign terrorists without a warrant. He claimed the power to override the 1978 law’s requirement of advance court approval for all such surveillance.

    Today, Walker said Bush had lacked that authority.

    Under the argument advanced by the Bush administration, “executive branch officials may treat as optional … a statute (the 1978 law) enacted specifically to rein in and create a judicial check for executive-branch abuses of surveillance authority,” the judge said.

    That “theory of unfettered executive-branch discretion” holds an “obvious potential for governmental abuse and overreaching,” Walker said.

    Walker’s ruling dealt only with the Al-Haramain wiretapping, and not any other surveillance the government may have conducted under Bush’s program. But Al-Haramain’s lawyer, Jon Eisenberg, said the decision amounts to a finding that the entire program was illegal.

    “Inherent in what Walker has done in this case is a determination that President Bush’s program of warrantless surveillance was unlawful,” Eisenberg said. “Everybody has to follow the law, including the president.”

    He said his clients, Al-Haramain and the two lawyers, would ask for the damages the law allows – $20,200 each, or $100 for each day of illegal surveillance – plus punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

    The ruling was also a rebuff to President Obama. Although Obama had criticized Bush’s surveillance program while running for president, Obama’s Justice Department argued that courts lacked the power to decide whether the program was legal because any evidence of actual wiretapping was a secret that could not be disclosed without damaging national security.

    Walker described the Justice Department’s arguments as “nit-picking” and “acrobatics.” He said the government had spurned every offer to justify its conduct in closed-door proceedings that could have protected any state secrets.

    Walker’s finding of illegal wiretapping could lead to the first ruling by an appellate court on the legality of the surveillance program. A federal judge in Michigan said in 2006 that Bush had exceeded the president’s constitutional powers in putting the warrantless wiretapping program in place, but an appeals court overturned the ruling – without deciding the legality of the surveillance effort – because none of the plaintiffs could show that their calls had been intercepted.

  10. Ike Solem said

    In sorting out the crime of bioterrorism from the crime of obstruction of justice, a little history review is worthwhile…

    http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/terrorists_spies/spies/ames/1.html

    During the nine years that he worked for the KGB as a mole, Ames single handily shut down the CIA’s eyes and ears in the Soviet Union by telling the Russians in 1985 the names of every “human asset” that the U.S. had working for it there. In all, he sold the KGB the names of twenty-five “sources.” These twenty-four men and one woman, all Russians, were immediately arrested and ten were sentenced to what the KGB euphemistically referred to as vyshaya mera (the highest measure of punishment)…

    Besides revealing the names of every U.S. spy in the Soviet Union, Ames derailed vital CIA covert operations and put dozens of CIA officers at risk. In return for his treason, the KGB paid him more than $2 million and kept another $2 million earmarked for him in a Moscow bank, making him the highest paid spy in the world.

    His arrest in February 1994 badly embarrassed the CIA. He remains the most damaging mole ever to burrow into the agency. After he was caught, Congress criticized the CIA for badly bungling the Ames investigation. It should have been known that he was a mole much earlier but instead of investigating obvious clues — he drove a new Jaguar to work that cost more than his annual salary — it spent years chasing dead-end leads and focusing on obscure suspects.

    Yes – instead of investigating blatantly obvious clues that would have implicated its own agency in this security breach, it invented ever-more-implausible scenarios that would avoid that unpleasant conclusion, which would have serious consequences for the entire structure.

    In the case of Wen Ho Lee, it was apparently known that somehow, every single nuclear weapons design in the U.S. nuclear weapons blueprint book have ended up in China’s hands. How exactly this happened is almost completely unknown – but Wen Ho Lee might have played the same role that Hatfill did – a convenient fall guy for the incompetent agencies to blame it all on.

    As far as to what story is plausible?

    Any story is plausible, given the lax controls over the bioweapon threat assessment program – they let Bill Patrick (and who knows else) take samples of aerosolized bioweapon simulants home – meaning someone might have easily gotten their hands on other material. Without a state-level bioweapons lab, however, that ONLY leaves theft of illegally stockpiled materials as the issue.

    Theft of illegally stockpiled bioweapons for use in terrorist attacks is a serious crime.

    Creating such weapons in violation of international treaties could constitute a crime as well.

    Obstruction of justice and protecting bioterrorists from prosecution so that issues regarding the latter point remain buried… and so that the financial schemes of said bioterrorists can come to fruition… well, that’s just sick.

  11. DXer said

    Roberto,

    You are right. By “allowed” I just meant that it happened under their watch. It is analogous to the infiltration of Ali Mohammed who was a US Army Sergeant, worked briefly for the CIA, and was an informant on trivial matters for the FBI. Peter Lance’s TRIPLE X is a good read. All the while Ali Mohammed was doing things like arranging for transportation of Bin Laden between Sudan and Afghanistan, conducting recon of the embassies that would be bombed in 1998 etc.

    On the scale of attack, personally, I think they only had the means to conduct a small scale attack. But people who argue that the small scale of the attack (only $6 billion in damage is small?) therefore points away from the islamists are mistaken. They had specifically threatened to use mailed anthrax if the EIJ/VOC #2 bail was denied. His bail was denied on October 5, 2001. See early Feb. 2001 PDB from the CIA to President Bush explaining anthrax threat.

    First, lethal letters are not merely the EIJ/VOC modus operandi, it is their signature. See Al Hayat letter bombs for which there is a $5 million reward to newspapers in DC and NYC newspapers and people in symbolic positions relating to detention and alleged mistreatment of WTC 1993 plotters. (They were not cutting the blind sheik’s fingernails and the blind sheik and his counsel concocted a plan to claim (falsely) that they were denying his medicine for his diabetes.

    Second, targeted assassination, not a big bang, is the EIJ traditional modus operandi, to include attacks on the Egyptian speaker of the legislature and journalists.

    Third, it very likely was the “old guard” calling the shots. I have a friend who could get me into Torah prison to interview them but I passed. Zawahiri was nominally the leader but had not even consulted the shura about joining Al Qaeda and perhaps a majority of Vanguards of Conquest members who opposed the decision. Ayman is thought to be a fanatic even by his friends — but it is the shura who has to sign off on targetting. Ayman explained his reason for joining AQ in a May 2001 in which the same “School” code was used. Saif Adel, the military commander who instructed Jdey on his martyrdom video, was head of the “Green Team” — which Atef had sent to Somalia years earlier. So all the EIJ members, when they see “Greendale School”, they know that this is coming from EIJ/VOC. I told the CIA this in December 2001. Ah, the perils of miscommunication and not sharing the information.

    Fourth, there was no fatwa permitting a widespread attack using anthrax. And as KSM explained, they don’t do anything without checking the ulema to see if it is approved.

    Fifth, why would US operatives want to drop it on their own heads — and the heads of their friends?

    Sixth, especially if it would interfere with making millions.

    The people with the “boogey man” theories are the ones who do not realize that the adversary here consist of highly educated, professionally trained professionals from the Cairo universities trained in law, medicine and engineering in the late 1970s and early 1980s — and they are responding to real repression and brutal. For example, Heba Zawahiri’s brother Muhammad had been rendered and mistreated at the time the announcement antharx would be used to retaliate. The suggestion that they do not take care in targetting is contradicted by the documentary evidence. I know more than one person who knows Ayman Zawahiri well and they are highly accomplished and well-regarded. Dr. Hamid, the one who knows Dr. Hamouda, withdrew when the group wanted him to bury a security officer alive near the mosque. He says that when he called Dr. Hamouda (who used to visit Cairo from Khartoum) before 911, Dr. Hamouda said it was all in the marketing.

    NanoBio then came to garner $80 million in investment and hasn’t yet marketed a product nearly 10 years later. The fellow in charge of the DC venture firm Perseus when it invested $30 million in Dr. Hamouda’s company is now in charge of Pakistan and Afghanistan and #3 at Department of State. And there was another $20 million from Perseus after that. All coincidence to be sure. But you can imagine the FBI in looking at the fellow is (1) likely not to know of the Zawahiri research because of lack of investigation, if the 4 years it took them to request the correspondence with Dr. Ivins is any indication ; and (2) was likely to know that the small company is making money hand over fist and so must be pretty highly regarded. If you look at the 302 interview statement following up the suggestion of access to Flask 1029 was dismissed partly because the research had been published in a peer reviewed journal!

    I’ve extensively inquired on all of these issues — including of Dr. Hamouda. If I am mistaken on even the smallest detail, they know how to tell me.

    And Kenneth Kohl probably doesn’t deserve all the flak he got from the District Court for mischaracterizing the evidence in the Blackwater case or for testifying implausibly about it.

    And Dan Seikaly probably just was talking to a reporter what was pretty hard to hide — the draining of a pond. And there perhaps isn’t a technical conflict of interest that his daughter came to represent “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi (his counsel’s phrase).

    But certainly on the issue of conflict of interest people should appreciate that Dr. Bannan, the former collection scientist at the Bacteriology Division of ATCC, which co-sponsored Al-Timimi’s program, should not be heard to conclude that ATCC did not have virulent Ames or Ames that could be made virulent by reinsertion of the plasmids. He does have a conflict of interest on that issue requiring recusal. And the same goes as to the Silicon Signature given the GMU patent about silicon signature in the culture medium.

    For example, consider Aulaqi and the Ft. Hood shooting. The fellow targeted those who were preparing to go to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Oh, did I say Aulaqi was coordinating with Ali Al-Timimi?

    The FBI thinks of itself as all about learning information secretly — your library records, your computer, undercover agents etc.

    But they forget how easy they are to penetrate.

    • Anonymous said

      On the scale of attack, personally, I think they only had the means to conduct a small scale attack.

      I won’t argue against this. In fact, I think it’s exactly right. More to the point – I think it’s pretty much what the science behind the investigation is going to tell us – that and connecting it to RMR-1029. It’s kind of like the JFK assassination science – it told us that Oswald shot him, but it couldn’t tell us who whispered in Oswald’s ear, if anyone. (yeah, I know – I’m now dismissed as a nut bringing that up)

      But… the anthrax wasn’t the deadly kind (i.e., resistant to antibiotics). It could be made to be that way – and apparently that’s not too hard to do. I always understood the anthrax letters messages more literally:

      a. TAKE PENACILIN NOW
      b. YOU DIE NOW

      Somebody thought their second batch was ‘better’ than the first? Perhaps only in terms of how clean it was (or not at all), but who knows… But we do know that it was, in fact, cleaner.

      Plus, the anthrax was never released. It was never disbursed. It was contained in envelopes and then buildings. It was never dumped from a skyscraper or from a CROPDUSTER. Think of how much was shut down & stopped and scrubbed & how many prescriptions filled & doctors visits and lives being ruined occurred from just 1/4 cup(?) total anthrax sent via mail. 5 dead, 20+ sickened, millions in cleanup / lost time. All from non-lethal, never dispersed anthrax. Pretty scary stuff.

      How much damage and terror would 10x that amount have caused (or 100x), especially if it was toughened up a little and really thrown out into a city? I think this is why the anthrax affair was downplayed by ‘folks in the know.’ Why start a panic? It’s not going to help anything. I think the guv’mint thought they could roll up the anthraxers without causing a scare. And perhaps they have. I think we arrested some of them and charged them with other things – assault with a deadly weapon, murder, inciting terrorism, etc. No need to air the dirty laundry that way. I recall an engineer testified in the first WTC trial that while the executed cyanide plot could not have worked, a plane loaded with fuel could, in fact, bring down the towers. Thanks for the tip! I also think ‘they’ did the right thing here if this is the case.

      Would 10x or 100x amount of this anthrax be impossible for a patient group? I don’t know. I suspect it would be possible. Hopefully we’ll never find out.

      • DXer said

        I agree with everything except as to the difference between the batches — the second batch was far deadlier.

        The first batch caused cutaneous infections.

        The second batch caused inhalational infection.

        The “real deal” was sent immediately upon the denial of bail for the Vanguards of Conquest Mahmoud Mahjoub (under Agiza) on October 5, 2001 — just as had been threatened in January 2001. See CIA PDB to President Bush in early February 2001 on anthrax. That PDB would make things as plain as the August 2001 PDB bearing on the planes operation. I think the anthrax was an additional reason the Bush Administration should have avoided mistreatment of prisoners. But more to the point, given that the documentary evidence, advance threat and public pronouncements indicate that was the motive for the anthrax, torture was the last thing in the world the Bush wanted to talk about. Bringing out that the “anthrax weapons suspect” (his counsel’s term) was the White House Chief of Staff’s assistant was not in the Cards.

        It was of course the White House Chief of Staff that Mueller had the run in with over NSA wiretapping. (You may remember when they tried to get Ashcroft to extend it while at the hospital recovering from an operation).
        At the time, the reporting was that there was something that we were not yet being told about the showdown. This was it.

  12. Roberto said

    If it had become known that the Administration had allowed this infiltration — the Bush Administration would never have won a second term.

    I think that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Mass releasing the anthrax would be analogous to setting off a nuke in a city. The mailings indicated a capability to do so. Except I don’t think the ‘never have won a second term’ is the thing. Use of a strategic weapon in the US could potentially change much more than an administration; this is why the attack (IMO) was down-played from day one.

    • Roberto said

      And I should say I don’t think the Administration “allowed” this infiltration per se – but they were certainly in charge when it happened. It’s more likely (to me) that infiltrations & attacks like this are looked into but hard to bust up – there’s a lot of ground to cover out there & the politics of the day don’t lend themselves to it (who’s to blame for that). What did Cheney say? “We’re not prepared to do anything about it.” Lots of examples out there. Ft Hood, Moussaoui, Atta/cropduster, OKC Bombing. All of those had red flags, officially known – and in none of those were we prepared to do anything about it.

      So when the stuff hits the fan, the politicians in DC are out for blood, the ‘failed’ busting-up of infiltrations & attacks are covered up. Such is the life of bureaucrats.

  13. DXer said

    Sources:

    http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AUOvQm3wQZPEZGY3bW44czRfMGZma2pmd2hu&hl=en

  14. DXer said

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