* Army microbiologist Dr. Henry Heine, until now forbidden to speak, says … Ivins is absolutely not the anthrax attacker … it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts … whoever did this is still running around out there
Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 23, 2010
The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline, science that proves innocence instead of guilt. So what really happened? And why? The “fictional” scenario in my novel CASE CLOSED has been judged by many readers, including a highly respected official in the U.S. Intelligence Community, as “quite plausible.”
Scott Shane writes in the NYT (4/22/10) …
- A former Army microbiologist who worked for years with Bruce Ivins told a National Academy of Sciences panel on Thursday that he believed it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts.
- Asked by reporters after his testimony whether he believed that there was any chance that Dr. Ivins, who committed suicide in 2008, had carried out the attacks, the microbiologist, Henry S. Heine, replied, “Absolutely not.”
- At the Army’s biodefense laboratory in Maryland, where Dr. Ivins and Dr. Heine worked, he said, “among the senior scientists, no one believes it.”
- Dr. Heine told the 16-member panel, which is reviewing the F.B.I.’s scientific work on the investigation, that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab. Such an effort would not have escaped colleagues’ notice, he added later, and lab technicians who worked closely with Dr. Ivins have told him they saw no such work.
- He told the panel that biological containment measures where Dr. Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. “You’d have had dead animals or dead people,” he said.
- The public remarks from Dr. Heine, two months after the Justice Department officially closed the case, represent a major public challenge to its conclusion in one of the largest, most politically delicate and scientifically complex cases in F.B.I. history.
- The F.B.I. declined to comment on Dr. Heine’s remarks on Thursday.
- Members of the panel, whose chairwoman is Alice P. Gast, a chemical engineer and president of Lehigh University, declined to comment on Dr. Heine’s testimony or his remarks to reporters. The panel is expected to complete its report this fall.
- Asked why he was speaking out now, Dr. Heine noted that Army officials had prohibited comment on the case, silencing him until he left the government laboratory in late February.
- Dr. Heine said he did not dispute that there was a genetic link between the spores in the letters and the anthrax in Dr. Ivins’s flask — a link that led the F.B.I. to conclude that Dr. Ivins had grown the spores from a sample taken from the flask. But samples from the flask were widely shared, Dr. Heine said. Accusing Dr. Ivins of the attacks, he said, was like tracing a murder to the clerk at the sporting goods shop who sold the bullets.
- “Whoever did this is still running around out there,” Dr. Heine said. “I truly believe that.”
read the entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/us/23anthrax.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y