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

* Dr. Bruce Ivins’ July 2003 through February 2004 emails will finally be released next week … there is still no satisfactory answer for the extended (unlawful) delays which amount to nothing less than a purposeful withholding of relevant information from the public and from the U.S. Congress … who is responsible for these delays? FBI Director Mueller? Attorney General Holder?

Posted by DXer on May 11, 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.”

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *


FBI Director Mueller & Attorney General Holder


I re-read the explanation below and then sent the following email …

  • Forgive me, but it sure looks like a procedure devised to NOT release document rather than to actually comply with the intent and spirit of the FOIA law.
    • Why does it require 3 levels of review?
    • What is it that you are editing out of the released documents?
    • Who devised such a procedure?
  • Can you see why such actions diminish respect for government? And also diminish any sense of the integrity of the FBI, when it seems that all of this is devised to take so long that people lose interest.
  • Well, we won’t.
  • And in the end, when the whole truth is known, the FBI will look like fools for having asserted claims they cannot (or will not) prove.
  • Of course by then most of those involved will probably have long retired, which may be the overriding objective of the delaying tactics.
  • Am I too cynical? I wish I could believe so.

… So far, I have received no answer to these questions.


Dr. Bruce Ivins’ emails from July 2003 through February 2004 are expected to be released by the middle of next week.

I guess that’s some progress, but it seems unacceptable that nine years after the anthrax attacks and almost two years since the FBI said ‘Ivins did it” that another four years of emails remain to be released. I asked why and this was the answer …

  • The e-mails must go through 3 layers of review prior to release.
  • Each layer of review is one person deep.
  • We work them in on a rolling basis in addition to our other duties/responsibilities.
  • Currently I personally am working 30+ cases to include processing 3 case files that require 30-40,000 pages of documents to be processed.

I’m pretty sure that the person who gave that answer is not the person who made the rules; he’s just following them.

But it must be clear to everyone concerned that withholding documents (and I equate not releasing with withholding) simply exacerbates the suspicion many of us have that vital information is being kept from the public (and from the U.S. Congress).

Many of the documents released so far do nothing to support the FBI’s unproven assertion that ‘Ivins did it.’ In fact, the more we learn, the less likely it seems that the FBI could ever have proven it’s case in court, or even that they had a case credible enough to go to court with a living defendant.

So which is it?

  • The FBI failed to solve the case (which is terrible)
  • or they did solve the case and are keeping the truth hidden (worse)?

12 Responses to “* Dr. Bruce Ivins’ July 2003 through February 2004 emails will finally be released next week … there is still no satisfactory answer for the extended (unlawful) delays which amount to nothing less than a purposeful withholding of relevant information from the public and from the U.S. Congress … who is responsible for these delays? FBI Director Mueller? Attorney General Holder?”

  1. Roberto said

    Nothing new under the sun…

    Secrecy News Blog:


    In 1965, over 200 pounds of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium went missing from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) plant in Apollo, Pennsylvania. Circumstantial evidence and popular lore suggested that the material had been clandestinely diverted to Israel for use in its nuclear weapons program, either with or without the acquiescence of the U.S. Government.

    A secret 1978 review of the episode (pdf) that was performed for Congress by the General Accounting Office (as it was then known) has recently been declassified and released. But instead of resolving the mystery of the missing uranium, it only highlights it.

    The Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission cooperated fully with the GAO, but the CIA and the FBI did not. “GAO was continually denied necessary reports and documentation on the alleged incident by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation…. The lack of access to CIA and FBI documents made it impossible for GAO to corroborate or check all information it obtained,” the GAO report said.

    “Based on its review of available documents held by DOE and discussions with those involved in and knowledgeable about the NUMEC incident, GAO cannot say whether or not there was a diversion of material from the NUMEC facility…. Agents from the FBI involved in the current investigation told GAO that while there exists circumstantial information which could lead an individual to conclude that a diversion occurred, there is no substantive proof of a diversion.”

    “All investigations of the alleged incident ended with no definitive answer and GAO found no evidence that the 200 pounds of nuclear material has been located,” the GAO said.

    The GAO report was obtained by the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, a group critical of pro-Israel advocacy in the U.S. See “Nuclear Diversion in the U.S.? 13 Years of Contradiction and Confusion,” U.S. General Accounting Office report EMD-79-8, December 18, 1978.

    • DXer said

      Here is the URL to the report.

      Click to access co1162251.pdf

      • Roberto said

        Thanks – much better link. I’ll add to it:

        Click to access fulltext.pdf

        A snip from the above metapress link, quoted on the FAS blog:

        Update: The most recent account of the case is “Revisiting the NUMEC Affair” (sub. req’d) by former NRC officials Victor Gilinsky and Roger J. Mattson, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March/April 2010.

        “The circumstantial evidence supports the conclusion that the HEU ended up in Israel,” said former NRC Commissioner Gilinsky. “Our conclusion, which was based on a lot more information and analysis than was available to the GAO in 1978, thus goes well beyond that of the just released report. Moreover when we talk about the HEU we include not only the unexplained losses found in the famous 1965 inventory, but also unexplained losses for the subsequent few years, which are even larger.”

        “The bottom line of the article,” said Dr. Mattson, “is that it is time to end FBI and CIA secrecy on the now 40+ year old Apollo/NUMEC affair.”

        /end snip

        Is this what people are going to be saying in 2041 about Amerithrax?

    • BugMaster said

      I expect that, over time, the GAO achieve a better outcome in their investigation into the anthrax case.

  2. DXer said

    What USAMRIID, FBI and DOJ are hiding is that USAMRIID — the FBI’s anthrax expert no less — made dried powder at USAMRIID at the request of DARPA. Through misleading General Parker in 2001 they created the public impression that they only worked with wet anthrax at USAMRIID. Some of the same FBI scientists responsible for document production were working with the USAMRIID Special Pathogens lab — involved in the production of the dried anthrax — for years. One even was speaking with the scientist who made the dried anthrax under the tent at the June 2001 Annapolis conference that Dr. Ivins organized and found it hard to hear the scientist who had made the dried anthrax over the raucous music.

    Among the drib released yesterday was an August 29, 2003 email from someone to Dr. Ivins about “Ames spores.” Who wrote on August 29, 2003 to Dr. Ivins re “Ames spores” stating in pertinent part:

    “I have openings for meetings next Thurs and Friday. ____ is off today and I would like to talk with ___ before the meeting, Monday is out and Tuesday I’m speaking at DARPA in Arlington and had hoped to take next Tue afternoon and Wednesday to go to the Eastern shore for a day of R&R with my significant other. If you want to meet sooner, I can join in by phone.

    What was ____ speaking about at DARPA in Arlington?

    • DXer said

      In SPY HANDLER: Memoir of a KGB Officer, billed as “The True Story Of The Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen & Aldrich Ames”:

      “The FBI and CIA deserve criticism for failing to catch Ames and Hanssen. Some of the blame can be attributed to both agencies’ risk-averse nature, which encourages the tendency to protect their own and the belief that they are incapable of harboring moles. Information is often kept secret supposedly because its exposure would harm intelligence-gathering capabilities and help adversaries. In fact, intelligence agencies want to avoid criticism that would result in firings, demotions and the taint of scandal. If that’s natural for all bureaucracies, it’s even more so for those steeped in the practices of secrecy.” (p. 255)

      • DXer said

        Having once lived in Arlington, VA for 15 years, read the Washington Post as my morning newspaper, and represented a whistleblower or two in my day, my sense is that a forthright approach and strict and speedy compliance with FOIA would be the best approach for all government employees and officials. The ending has already been written. The only thing remaining to be decided is who is cast as the villains.

  3. DXer said

    FBI director Robert Mueller wants ISPs to log visited web sites
    By Chris Meadows

    Those of us who witnessed FBI Director Mueller’s gobblydygook (never-corrected) response — 7 months later — to a question from a Senator about where dried powdered anthrax was made now are prompted to say: “You’ll shoot your eye out kid.” Given the FBI willfully avoids Congressional oversight and takes 2 years to comply with FOIA and produce a stack of emails that would reveal its Ivins Theory to be a crock, it should not be given any new toys.

    Any kid before being given new toys is fairly asked: Have you done your chores yet?

  4. DXer said

    This is why people are courageous to live in NYC and DC. United States government personnel are too inefficient at processing information to avoid the next major attack. A private sector manager seeing that it takes 2 years to process a stack of documents — and hear a reference to “3 levels of review” — would have realized that the system was broken.

    • DXer said

      A Congressional Committee will need to review to see the specific information taken out at each level of review.

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