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

* Dr. Bruce Ivins (May 2002) … I’ve located the stocks the FBI wants

Posted by DXer on April 4, 2010

4 Responses to “* Dr. Bruce Ivins (May 2002) … I’ve located the stocks the FBI wants”

  1. DXer said

    R. Scott Decker writes in his recent book about a submission to the FBI repository in April 2002:

    “They countered again, asking why had he sent an email message to the task force on April 9 stating that he had included RMR-1029.” (p. 191).

    Yet, when you go to the emails produced, the email says something quite different — it is referring to the Ivins’ lab earlier original submission in February 2002, not April 2002.

    Moreover, in May 2002, as indicated by the email above, the technician preparing the samples was awaiting the protocol that the FBI wanted to be followed in connection with preparation of additional samples.

    If the FBI and Decker had not withheld his emails from Ivins, he might have reconstructed things from contemporaneous records and not been driven to suicide over the bag of stained panties and calculated campaign to isolate and pressurize him. He begged the FBI to return his lab notebooks and provide his emails so that he might reconstruct these complicated events years later.

    *********Contrary to Decker’s characterization — which was central to the FBI’s “cotton candy” Ivins Theory —1 the April 9, 2002 email titled “Strains”, Ivins’ message is referring to the samples originally submitted in response to the subpoena (in February). ***********

    The email reads:

    “**********Here is the list of strains that we originally made to send to _________ and corresponding numerical designations (according to ______).***************

    1) Ames spores produced at Dugway in 1997. These spores have been used in aerosol challenge experiments and parenteral (injectable) challenge experiments. Numerical designation = 7737. [This was the number for Flask 1029 as registered in Building 1412; curiously, the FBI speciously based their Ivins Theory on Flask 1029 not even being in Building 1412].

    2) Ames from the original agar slant obtained in 1981 from Texas, 255414B. This is the oldest isolate of the Ames strain here at USAMRIID. It was not given a numerical strain designation because it was believed that the strain would be taken and put into the FBI repository.

    3) Ames strain primary subculture from 1985, Bruce Ivins. This is the material from which we (in our lab) have either made spores for our own use or have sent spores to Dugway, DRES, U of New Mexico, or Battelle. Numerical designation = 7800.

    4) Ames strain from _____ stock cultures, 1985. Numerical designation = 7800.

    Notes: #3 and #4 are both from 7800. When we were instructed to list our strains, we were not told to “subtype” them, but to group them. Thus, each tube of Ames culture or spores was not given a separate designation.

    Numerical designations:

    7736 – Ames strain spores from the year 2000. They don’t look very good (very clean). They were made and partially purified by ________ then stored in the B3 cold room.
    7737 – Ames spores from Dugway
    7738 – Ames spores from Dugway – from batches that were used for aerosol challenge experiments
    7739 – Ames spores prepared by K________________ – various degrees of purification
    7800 – Frozen down Ames spores, including __________ Ames and Bruce Ivins’ primary”

    That week the emails show that Bruce was occupied with shipping samples of Vollum 189-4 to Battelle at West Jefferson.

    • DXer said

      Now look how Agent Decker — rather than acknowledging that Ivins April 9, 2002 email had clearly referred to 7737 — makes it seem like Ivins caused Agent Decker’s confusion and was engaged in deception.

      (Instead, Agent Decker should have known how the Ames anthrax was registered in Building 1412; the FBI’s confusion on this point was the death knell of the viability of its process-of-elimination analysis).

      Decker writes that in 2003, “I checked my notes but could find nothing called 7737….”

      Huh?! Ivins specifically was referring to 7737 in the April 2002 email about the samples submitted to the FBI in February 2002].

      I understand how it could be confusing, but Decker’s notes should have reflected Ivins’ written summary — which expressly describes the origin of 7737.

      And so the confusion was not of Ivins’ making — but because Decker needed to more closely read the documents given the complexities of the myriad of samples.

      Decker writes:

      “I telephoned Ivins for clarification. He answered on the first ring. He explained that the spores he called 7737 were the same as RMR-1029; USAMRIID used two different numbering systems to keep track of spore preparations. His 1985 culture of Ames was designated 7800a and Knudson’s 1985 culture was 7800b. [Editor’s note: Knudson then went to work for the NMRC and CIA]. I told him that their system is confusing at best and made it difficult to keep track of each sample’s origin. He again referred me to Pat Fellows, who prepared the submissions to the FBI. And then he continued, now claiming the submitted Knudson sample may not be from Knudson’s stocks but from a collection that had belonged to a deceased scientist who had used Knudson’s cultures. His freezer contained boxes of anthrax from both Knudson and the deceased scientist, in addition to Ivins’s collection.. Fellows may have provided the FBI repository with the wrong specimen…”

      Now Agent Decker — who from the outset had a gut feeling that Ivins was guilty; and he only EVER was relying on his gut and preconceptions rather than ANY scientific evidence — just views his interactions with Ivins as evidence of deception rather than evidence that he needed to step up his game in terms of mastering the documents.

      Most importantly, Decker needed to obtain and understand the protocols relating to small animal experiments that explained why Ivins was in the B3 during the August 2001 – December 2001 period. At the press conference announcing an Ivins Theory, Majidi’s reliance on the two-person rule he imagined in effect shows the massive confusion that the FBI’s Science squad demonstrate in its handling of Amerithrax. Knowing that there was no 2 person rule in effect prior to January 2002 was not rocket science, Scott.

      • DXer said

        Of course, if the FBI had not shredded Pat Fellow’s civil deposition and withheld her emails, we might be more easily able to assess Decker’s spin in the book he sells for $38.

      • DXer said

        Consider Daniel Ashman’s thoughtful and lucid article today in the conservative “American Thinker.” But should we really conclude that it was FBI Director Mueller botched Amerithrax — if in fact it turns out to have been botched upon production of the wrongfully withheld documents? Aren’t whodunnits sometimes just difficult?

        Note that Mueller never thanked Decker for solving Amerithrax, and the author and his colleagues like Stanley are pretty miffed at that. See Willman’s account.

        Might that have been because the proof was never satisfying? And Mueller is a rule-of-law, show-me-the-evidence — don’t brag to me about what your gut tells you, Decker — kinda guy?

        Decker’s confusion — rather than being acknowledged as his confusion — was treated as if it had been Ivins’ deception. Yet, Ivins’ claimed inconsistencies were due to the FBI’s aggressive withholding of contemporaneous documents from years ago.

        In Amerithrax, the key witness relied upon by Decker’s colleague, Stanley — as recently as last year on BBC — was Ivins’ part-time drug counselor who in 2000 thought she was controlled by an alien who had implanted a microchip in her butt. She thought astral entities attached to her clients in her new part-time counseling gig were trying to kill her. Cue the music: the FBI and its psychiatrist (and its author-supporters like Willman) rely heavily on Judith M in spinning Ivins as, yep, murderous.

        If Mueller is to be blamed for Amerithrax, then maybe it would have been in the President’s interest to have the FBI Director require the FBI comply with FOIA.

        Now it’s pretty much too late. A family member or two, it seems, are going to be indicted and the case, if experience is a guide, will be proved by the Exhibits.

        I urged on this blog that Jared return to New York last August. He could have avoided all that is about to unfold.

        January 15, 2018
        Trump-Russia: Not Mueller’s First Botched Investigation

        By Daniel Ashman

        Controversy surrounds Robert Mueller and his investigation into the Trump-Russia collusion mirage. Some maintain that he is the ultimate professional dedicated to following the truth, but others say he is a political hack.

        There is no need to wonder about how Mueller operates. His history has made it quite clear. One needs only to study his actions as FBI director when he managed the FBI’s most important investigation ever.

        In September of 2001, an entity began mailing anthrax through the U.S. postal system, hitting such prominent targets as NBC and Senator Tom Daschle’s office. The terrorist attacks killed five and left others hospitalized. The world panicked.

        Under Mueller’s management, the FBI launched an investigation lasting ten years. The bureau now brags about spending “hundreds of thousands of investigator hours on this case.” To fully appreciate the Mueller response – whom his people investigated, targeted, and found guilty – it is appropriate to first build context.

        The anthrax letters began just a week after the 9/11 attack. Simultaneous to planning the airplane hijackings, al-Qaeda had also been weaponizing anthrax. One of their scientists who ran an anthrax lab in Afghanistan also housed 9/11 hijackers. In fact, one of the hijackers, Ahmed al Haznawi, went to the emergency room in an American hospital with a skin lesion, which a team of bioterrorism experts from Johns Hopkins confirmed was probably due to anthrax. Meanwhile, the 9/11 hijackers were also trying to obtain crop-dusting airplanes.

        So how did Mueller’s investigative team handle the case?

        Mueller issued a statement in October of 2001, while anthrax victims were still dying: the FBI had found “no direct link to organized terrorism.” The Johns Hopkins team of experts was mistaken, the FBI continued; Haznawi never had an anthrax infection. The crop-dusting airplanes they needed were possibly for a separate and unrelated anthrax attack.

        A few weeks later, the FBI released a remarkable profile of the attacker. FBI experts eschewed analysis of the content of the letters, where it was written in bold block letters, “Death to America, Death to Israel, Allah is Great.” Instead, they focused on a “linguistic analysis,” stating that the letter’s author was not “comfortable or practiced in writing in lower[]case lettering.” They therefore concluded that the author was likely an American.

        The investigators hypothesized that the attacker was a lonely American who had wanted to kill people with anthrax for some undefined time period but then became “mission-oriented” following 9/11 and immediately prepared and mailed the deadly spores while pretending to be Muslim.

        Mueller’s FBI honed in on Steven Hatfill – a “flag-waving” American who had served in the Army, then dedicated himself to protecting America from bioterrorist threats by working in the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases – as the culprit.

        There was no direct link from Hatfill to the attacks, by the FBI’s own admission. The FBI never even charged Hatfill.

        The bureau only spied on, followed, and harassed him, non-stop, for years. The Department of Justice publicly outed Hatfill as the possible terrorist.

        [Editor’s note: Hatfill forged his PhD; Berry forged a signature on a will. Ivins hid semen-stained panties and stole a classmate’s notebook in college. If you don’t want the FBI to suspect you, don’t do crap like that.]

        While America’s secret police trampled on Hatfill’s dignity and life, Mueller took a stand – but on a different topic. He made front-page news for threatening President George W. Bush with resignation over NSA policy – all while his own team was destroying the rights of an American in the FBI’s largest ever investigation.
        Hatfill successfully sued the government for its unlawful actions. He won almost six million dollars.

        After the Hatfill investigation blew up in the FBI’s face, the agents moved on to Bruce Ivins, another Army researcher. Ivins had actually been helping the FBI for years after having gone out of his way to contact the FBI to volunteer his expertise. It wasn’t until five years after the attack that Mueller’s men decided that Ivins was a target.

        The FBI case against Ivins was, once again, based on circumstantial evidence.

        The prosecution stated that Ivins had purposefully given a misleading sample of anthrax spore. Frontline documented that this was a lie.
        Ivins was “familiar” with the area from which the anthrax letters were mailed – even though Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica lays out the accepted facts of the case, showing that it was impossible for Ivins to make the trip to mail the letters.
        The spores used in the attacks were a similar type to the laboratory spores where Ivins worked – which ignores the fact that the anthrax letters had a unique additive, so sophisticated and dangerous that a scientist commented, “This is not your mother’s anthrax,” that was likely produced by a nation-state or al-Qaeda.
        Ivins was never indicted. He was just given the Hatfill treatment: house raided and threatened with a death sentence, or, as his lawyer put it, put under “relentless pressure of accusation and innuendo.” He committed suicide.

        One week later, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor stated that Ivins was guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and law enforcement was “confident that Dr. Ivins was the only person responsible for these attacks.”

        Director Mueller ordered an independent audit of the FBI’s case by the National Academy of Science but then quietly closed the case before the audit was finished. Mueller concluded that Ivins alone committed the terror attack. One year after Mueller closed the case, the NAS released its results and confirmed what many scientists had been repeating for years: the FBI’s science and conclusions were wrong.

        The handling of the case was so egregious that a former FBI official involved in the investigation sued the FBI, alleging that the FBI had concealed evidence exculpatory to Ivins.

        Mueller made his position known – “I do not apologize for any aspect of this investigation” – and stated that the FBI had made no mistakes.

        The investigation was an unmitigated disaster for America. Mueller didn’t go after al-Qaeda for the anthrax letters because he denied seeing a direct link. But then he spent years abusing Americans without showing a direct link.

        Mueller enjoyed the second longest tenure of any FBI director and was roundly applauded by nearly everyone (except Louie Gohmert). For his behavior he was also awarded special counsel status to go after Donald Trump, in a process where, still, no one has any idea what specific crimes are even alleged. There is every reason to think he will handle his most important investigation the same way he handled his second most important investigation. We can safely predict that it will be a prolonged, abusive, and politically correct attack. Actually, that isn’t even a prediction of the future. It has already become a mere explanation of the past nigh year.

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