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

* who wrote this email? who submitted the slants to the FBI?

Posted by DXer on April 5, 2010


The FBI’s case against Dr. Bruce Ivins has been demonstrated to be bogus. Someone should be held accountable for either failure to solve the case or covering up the true perpetrators. What really happened? I offer one fictional scenario in my novel CASE CLOSED, judged by many readers, including one highly respected official in the U.S. Intelligence Community, as “quite plausible.”

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *


13 Responses to “* who wrote this email? who submitted the slants to the FBI?”

  1. DXer said

    Although the FBI insists the instructions were so clear, Dr. Worsham in her testimony disputed their expalnation.

    Moreover, as of May 2002, this person was still asking for guidance from JE.

  2. DXer said

    Who wrote the May 2002 email above?

    Relatedly, did the DOJ/FBI produce this document (Item 25) from the search of Dr. Ivins’ residence? If not, why not? The GAO should obtain it and make it available for public inspection.

    Item 25:
    “Notes on submission & Kristi Friend directions to Kristie Friend.”
    Room K
    Left corner of bed
    PI Garcia

  3. DXer said

    The Amerithrax Investigative Summary states:

    “Over time, Dr. Ivins offered additional explanations for the missing mutations, the next one being that, if he did prepare the April submission, he did not know how to prepare the slant in any event. To support his claim, Dr. Ivins pointed to an e-mail on May 24, 2002, from the head of DSD to Dr. Ivins and two of his co-workers to which the head of DSD attached the protocol for preparing the submissions. This e-mail was in response to another researcher asking him for the protocol before she prepared her cultures for submission. Thus, claimed Dr. Ivins, he did not have the protocol when he prepared the April submission – if, in fact, it was he who did so. According to this theory, if the April submission was missing the morphs, it was likely because he prepared the sample in his standard single-colony pick method that, by its very design, did not capture morphs.

    It bears mention that Dr. Ivins continually claimed to have a poor recollection regarding nearly all aspects of the FBIR establishment and the objective that investigators hoped to accomplish with the genetic analysis of the submissions to it. … Ultimately, the investigation was left with an unresolved and unexplained error in the single-most important submission to the FBIR ”

    If the USG thought the issue of submissions was so important then it should not have the samples collected by the fellow who secretly made a dried powder from Flask 1029. That conflict of interest hoplessly tainted the collection of the evidence from the outset in any event. Especially given that Dr. Ezzell’s lab threw the first submission out.

  4. DXer said

    Whose handwriting is on the hsipment to the FBIR?

    See also BATCH 33, #14 “Incoming Shipment Records for the 8 Positive FBI Repository Samples (origin is FBI Database) (19 pages).

  5. DXer said

    “totality of the investigative process” includes all the innuendo contradicted by the documentary evidence. See, e.g., April 24, 2011 email re submission of samples

    The NAS reviewers also noted that their analysis of evidence was limited to “the biological, physical, and chemical sciences,” and did not consider other traditional forensic science methods used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The FBI, which commissioned the NAS report, highlighted the panel’s assertion that a definitive conclusion based on science alone “was not possible” and said a combination of factors led investigators to conclude that Ivins was the source.

    “The FBI has long maintained that while science played a significant role, it was the totality of the investigative process that determined the outcome of the anthrax case,” it said in a statement.

  6. DXer said

    This discussion begs the question: Who submitted the slants? The contemporaneous documentary evidence suggests that it was Dr. Ivins’ assistant (which is what he consistently maintained in the 2003, 2004 interviews.

    “FBI investigators had observed that the second RMR-1029 sample submitted by Ivins in
    April 2002 did not score positive for any of the four genotypes discovered in the attack letters
    and in RMR-1029 as well as in samples derived from RMR-1029 that were submitted by other
    scientists. Based on this apparent discrepancy, in late 2006 the FBI obtained from Northern
    Arizona University the duplicate of the first RMR-1029 sample that Ivins had submitted in
    February 2002, which was then put into the FBIR and analyzed. This earlier RMR-1029 sample
    scored positive for all four of the genotypes that were assayed (A1, A3, D, and E), whereas the
    later sample had scored positive for none of them.

    The FBI sought to determine the cause of this discrepancy between the earlier and later
    submissions by Ivins that both were supposed to have come from the same RMR-1029 flask.”

    • DXer said

      As Finding 6.1, the NAS concludes:

      “However, for a variety of reasons, the repository was not optimal. For example, the instructions provided in the subpoena
      issued to laboratories for preparing samples (i.e., the “subpoena protocol”) were not
      precise enough to ensure that the laboratories would follow a consistent procedure for
      producing samples that would be most suitable for later comparisons”

    • DXer said

      Finding 6.4: The genetic evidence that a disputed sample submitted by the suspect came
      from a source other than RMR-1029 was weaker than stated in the Department of Justice,
      Amerithrax Investigative Summary.
      The committee reexamined the data that the FBI obtained following the discovery that
      one of the samples submitted by Bruce Ivins, which was supposed to have been taken from
      RMR-1029, did not test positive for any of the four assayed mutations (A1, A3, D, and E) in
      either of two copies analyzed. As discussed in Section 6.6, an experiment was performed in
      which 30 replicate samples were taken from RMR-1029 according to the FBI subpoena protocol
      and tested for the four mutations. Based on these results, the committee found that it is, in fact,
      possible that the disputed sample came from RMR-1029, and the probability of this outcome—
      that an actual sample from RMR-1029 would test negative for all four genotypes in two sets of
      assays—might be on the order of 1 percent. Hence, while the evidence is strongly suggestive that
      the disputed sample was not taken from RMR-1029, it is less certain than is indicated in the
      original version of the case-closing summary issued by the DOJ, which asserted that all 30
      additional samples scored positive for at least three of the four genotypes, and concluded that “It
      followed that if Dr. Ivins prepared his submission to the repository in accordance with the
      protocol, that submission could not miss all four of the morphological variants present in RMR-
      1029” (USDOJ, 2010, p. 79).23

  7. DXer said

    Note that the instructions provided in the subpoena issued to laboratories for preparing samples (i.e., the “subpoena protocol”) were not precise enough to ensure that the laboratories would follow a consistent procedure for producing samples that would be most suitable for later comparisons. Such problems with the repository required additional investigation and limit the strength of the conclusions that can be drawn from comparisons of these samples and the letter material.

  8. DXer said


    IVINS does not recall if he, _________________________ prepared the samples of Ames, specifically the 1997 Dugway spores, for submission to the FBI repository. They worked together on the project, but he does not know which samples were prepared by which person.

  9. DXer said

    Have ANY of the referenced documents been provided?

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 11:48 AM
    To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID; ;
    Subject: RE: Strain Inventory List (UNCLASSIFIED)
    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: FOUO

    There was a meeting on 14 JUL 04 between USAMRIID scientists, DOJ officials, and JAG officials. The
    next day I requested materials related to the list of materials I had submitted in response to subpoenas.
    Shortly thereafter I was given an extensive amount of material – please see the adobe acrobat file
    enclosed – that included a) 5 FEB 2002 Response to subpoena from 2) subpoenas
    and attachments from dated February 15, 2002; 3) Letter from dated
    March 5, 2002 ; 4) memorandum from LT on 6 MAR 02; 5) subpoena from
    dated March 1, 2002; 6) “Attachment B” containing the USAMRIID B. anthracis agent registry (only the
    first page of Attachment B is included in the adobe acrobat file enclosure); 7) “Attachment C” containing
    a list of samples submitted to the FBI repository (only the first page of Attachment C is included in the
    adobe acrobat file enclosure).

    I’m trying to determine who provided the material. I believe it was _______________ [Pat] but I’m not 100%
    certain. Whatever information you can provide would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks so very much!!!!

    Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Date: Friday, May 24, 2002 11:55:11 AM
      Are there other “Ames” isolates that our lab needs to get to you? I believe that we gave you what
      we had with respect to Ames subtypes:
      1) Material from original slant that came from Texas in 1981.
      2) Material from first subculture of original Texas slant – 1985.
      3) Material from Ames spores made at Dugway in 1997 (what they made for us and we’ve
      used for challenge the past 5 years).
      4) Material from the Ames strain of culture collection.
      Anything more needed? made some Ames spores for us and a few years ago,
      made some for us, but that’s about all I can think of. Let me know if you need 1-4 again, or if you need
      (if still available) material.
      P.S. I thought yesterday’s golf scheduling was a disaster. We didn’t get done until after 6 pm. Hope you
      guys did well. We were two over par.

      > —–Original Message—–
      >Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 11:25 AM
      >To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID;
      >Subject: RE:
      >See attached for instructions sent to those labs outside USAMRIID. Please inform us as to how many
      strains each of you are submitting so that we are not overburdened at one time.

  10. DXer said

    The FBI issued an October 15, 2010 errata to its February 2010 Amerithrax Summary:

    The errata in part states:

    Page 79, third paragraph, should read: “Because of this inconsistency, and knowing that Dr. Ivins also prepared a submission to the FBIR on February 27, 2002, which was destroyed by Dr. Ezzell’s lab, investigators contacted Dr. Keim and learned that he still maintained the duplicate slants of Dr. Ivins’s initial submission. In late 2006, the FBI obtained from Dr. Keim the duplicate slants from Dr. Ivins’s submission of February 27, 2002. Based on the handwriting on the labels from the slants, it was clear that Dr. Ivins and his lab technician each prepared two labels. The lab technician has stated that her handwriting on the labels indicated that she prepared the slant, and she would not have prepared a slant for which Dr. Ivins prepared the labels. The label prepared by Dr. Ivins on one of the slants read, “Ames strain RMR-1029 from Dugway (1997) Bruce Ivins 2/27/02.” This sample was then submitted to the FBIR for analysis. It had three of the four morphological variants, while his April submission had none.”

    Did Patricia prepare all four and Dr. Ivins correct two of them to respond to criticisms of how he had labeled slants in February 27, 2002? He could not recall.

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