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

* Will it take Congressional subpoena power to fill in the blanks in the email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and then was shipped out and some was missing?

Posted by DXer on September 27, 2010

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The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is clearly 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 perhaps more plausible than the FBI’s unproven assertions.

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

******

******

Dr. Bruce Ivins and Congressman Rush Holt

******

LMW COMMENT …

The FBI is stonewalling, as it has for years, to keep the world from knowing if it (a) has not solved the case or (b) is covering up for the real perpetrators.

The NAS is not permitted to draw conclusions regarding the guilt or innocence of Dr. Ivins or any other person(s).

USAMRIID is dribbling out overly redacted emails at a pace that can only be intended to prevent understanding of what really happened.

That leaves Congressman Rush Holt’s

call for a Congressional investigation

of the FBI’s inconclusive investigation

as the sole hope for Dr. Ivins’ posthumous redemption.

******

31 Responses to “* Will it take Congressional subpoena power to fill in the blanks in the email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and then was shipped out and some was missing?”

  1. DXer said

    Pentagon: ‘Massive Institutional Failure’ to Blame for Anthrax Debacle
    • BY PAUL MCLEARY
    • JULY 23, 2015 – 7:19 PM
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/07/23/pentagon-massive-institutional-failure-to-blame-for-anthrax-debacle/

    Kendall’s report found that the issue is “an institutional problem at [Dugway] and does not necessarily reflect on any one individual.” Still, the Army announced late Thursday afternoon that it is opening an investigation “to determine whether there were any failures of leadership” at the facility, which could mean trouble for Fizer and his top aides.

    One big red flag was raised when Kendall’s team visited Dugway this spring and asked leadership there how often their samples of anthrax failed verification tests to prove they had been made safe. They answered that it was about two to three percent. But when investigators looked into it, they found it was closer to 20 percent.

    “The leadership at Dugway should have understood that,” Kendall said, adding that the discrepancy was why he “recommended a formal investigation” into the staff at the facility.

    While Congress hasn’t made much noise about the scandal, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is planning a hearing on July 28 to begin to investigate what happened.

    “There is zero margin for error when it comes to handling anthrax and there is zero tolerance for such blunders. This has got to stop,” Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and ranking member Diana DeGette (D-Co.) said in a statement. Witnesses from the Pentagon, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Department of Health and Human Services will testify.

    Comment: But what steps has Chairman Tim Murphy taken in regard to the misshipment of anthrax being discussed by email by Bruce Ivins?

    Scapegoats and rhetoric are not nearly as important as pushing the timeline back to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, at least as to the paper record.

    Indeed, focusing on punishment actually interferes and deters exploration of these issues and prompts people to minimize the problem.

    Do you think anyone who knows is going to step forward if DOD and Congress is intent on taking scalps rather than exploring how this undermines the FBI’s analysis of the distribution of Ames in its analysis of the 2001 anthrax mailings?

  2. DXer said

    Live smallpox was stored in the unlocked storage room at FDA.

    Committee on Energy and Commerce requests copies of audits conducted from 1980 to the present on issues of vulnerabilities at the NIH and FDA, Building 29A, relating to select agent regulations.

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/letters/20140728HHSOIGLabSafetyLetter.pdf

  3. DXer said

    Reuters this weekend (see also videotape of his testimony) –

    “In fact, at least one incident involved bringing in the FBI, which conducted an investigation and then determined the necessary CDC paperwork had not been filed and the missing select agent samples had actually been destroyed. Nevertheless, peppered by questions from the committee, Friedan stated, “The concern for theft is real.””

  4. DXer said

    It seems that the FOIA officer will unredact the identity of the agency from which the sender is located. I don’t believe it is RIID.

  5. DXer said

    Bruce did not know about the misshipment. Does GAO?

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID;
    Subject: RE: Question about MRIID (UNCLASSIFIED)
    Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 1:54:10 PM

    Our lab has shipped lots of spores to researchers and research institutes outside of USAMRIID. We have also provided spores to people here at USAMRIID. To the best of my knowledge, we haven’t had a shipment disappear, although I think we had at least one that went to Battelle (or DPG) that was screwed up for a few days because of missed flights, etc.

    Also, our lab has always worked with spores in suspension, not weaponized spores. The spores we used to work with were stored in the coldroom in or over in (in the coldroom or refrigerator in room ). We
    currently store the(2s)pores we work with in (accessible by P(2IN) only), in a locked Revco refrigerator. (2)
    Does this refer to any material that DPG sent here for irradiation, then was sent back?
    -bruce
    Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      From:
      To: [redactions] Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID;
      Subject: FW: Question about MRIID (UNCLASSIFIED)
      Date: December 12, 2007

      Please read below. I do not know of an instance of a “misshippment from USAMRIID.” Do any of you know of an instance where we received or shipped something and part of it was missing? Thanks,

    • DXer said

      From:
      Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007
      Subject: RE: Question about MRIID (UNCLASSIFIED) Importance: High

      To address the concerns let me start by saying that USAMRIID does not possess, does not receive, and does not produce “weaponized” anthrax. If has information to this regard, I would very much like to know the specifics of that. This is not a matter of semantics either. The assertion that any weapons-grade materials, as in the preparations that would be placed into an offensive weapon, being worked on here at RIID is not correct. Materials produced for medical countermeasure development – as in vaccines, drugs and diagnostic assays – are used within the research program, and are not in any way “weaponized”.

      Secondly, I will check to see if any anthrax specimens were subject to misshipment from USAMRIID. Again, I would like to have the specifics on this assertion to be able to either verify or refute.
      Best regards,

      Comment: Indeed. In the interest of public transparency, so would we all.

    • DXer said

      Separately, a shipment from Dugway in 2007 reportedly was delayed due to some thefts.

      From: To: Cc:
      Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      RE: Scan from a Xerox WorkCentre Pro (UNCLASSIFIED) Monday, July 23, 2007 9:31:53 AM
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

      , They’re supposed to be shipping anthrax spores to us, not us shipping spores to them. The POC (o6u)t at Dugway said that they have had problems there because of some thefts, so I’m not sure when
      we’re supposed to actually receive the spores. Thanks.
      -bruce Bruce Ivins

      —–Original Message—– From: Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 9:29 AM To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Cc:

      Subject: RE: Scan from a Xerox WorkCentre Pro (UNCLASSIFIED)
      Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

      Bruce, We currently have three approved form 2’s in our office. We just want to know if you are going to ship all three at different time and when. All three are shipments to Dugway. A reminder all three have an expiration date of 30 days.
      R/

  6. DXer said

    Missing powderized anthrax came up again in 2007 although it is not clear to me that it is the same missing powderized anthrax.

  7. DXer said

    The FBI withheld all classification information from the NAS. Will it be withholding the same information from GAO?

  8. DXer said

    Will it take Congressional subpoena power to fill in the blanks in the email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and then was shipped out and some was missing?

  9. DXer said

    http://www.dugway.army.mil/index.php/index/content/id/64

    Lothar Salomon Life Sciences Test Facility

    This state-of-the-art, 32,000 square-foot facility supports the testing of biological detectors, protective clothing and equipment, and decontamination systems and their effects on materials. It also supports field tests with biological simulants and smoke and obscurants, as well as environmental analysis and monitoring for all Dugway Proving Ground testing.

    Approximately 3,300 square feet of the facility accommodates Biosafety Level 3 (BL-3) testing. BL-3 is the term used to describe facilities in which work is performed using indigenous or exotic agents with a potential for respiratory transmission, and which may cause serious and potentially lethal infection, but for which a vaccine or treatment exists.

    Laboratory personnel have specific training in handling pathogenic and potentially lethal agents and are supervised by competent scientists who are experienced in working with these agents.

    The Life Sciences Test Facility is required to report bioaerosols that are generated in the BL-3 laboratory to the State of Utah Division of Air Quality on a monthly basis. Whenever a program is proposed that will require microorganisms or toxins at BL-3, a Biological Safety Committee meeting is held. The committee is comprised of the DPG Technical Director, the Lab Director at the LSTF, the Biological Safety Officer at the LSTF, the Chief of the Safety Office at DPG, and representatives from the Health Clinic at DPG, the Utah State Department of Public Health, and the Biosafety Office at the Centers for Disease Control.
    This new test facility came on line in late 1997 and is the only Department of Defense facility certified to test developmental equipment with aerosolized BL-3 agents.

  10. DXer said

    For those of you who know the merits of the Bruce Ivins matter and know there to have been no persuasive evidence against him whatsoever, you may find it hard to listen to the touching songs on his daughter Amanda’s page.

    http://www.myspace.com/manda1083

    I recommend 1, 3, and 4. 2 has an advertisement and can be skipped.

  11. DXer said

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/04/AR2010100407059.html

    William C. Patrick III, 84, dies; oversaw Fort Detrick biowarfare effort and weaponization of anthrax and other deadly diseases
    Network News

    By T. Rees Shapiro
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, October 4, 2010; 9:11 PM

    ***

    After retiring in 1986, Mr. Patrick remained of the world’s foremost experts on biological warfare and defense and served as a consultant to the CIA, FBI and U.S. military. His business card was adorned with a skull and crossbones.

    In the early 1990s, Mr. Patrick led the debriefing of Soviet defector Ken Alibek, who as Kanatjan Alibekov was the deputy chief of the Soviet biowarfare program.

    In the mid-2000s, the FBI sought Mr. Patrick’s biological weapons expertise for the investigation of the anthrax attacks along the East Coast. A few years earlier, he had been commissioned to write a report on the effectiveness of an anthrax attack spread through the mail system. In the report, Mr. Patrick described how an envelope laced with 2.5 grams of anthrax could do significant harm by direct and indirect contact.

    The anthrax attacker – who authorities claimed might have studied Mr. Patrick’s report as a “blueprint” – used about the same amount to kill five people and sicken 13 others.

    Mr. Patrick was often called on to provide testimony for hearings involving bioterrorism, and was known to participate with zeal. In a 1999 appearance before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he pulled out a small plastic bottle filled with 7.5 grams of an inert anthrax simulant.

    “I’ve been through all the major airports and the security systems of the State Department, the Pentagon, even the CIA, and nobody has stopped me,” Mr. Patrick said, noting that if his simulant had been real anthrax, it could “take care of the Rayburn building and all the people in it.”

    As one of fewer than 100 Americans with operational knowledge of biological agent production, Mr. Patrick was sent to Iraq in 1994 as a U.N. weapons inspector to look into Saddam Hussein’s alleged covert germ laboratories.

    Despite the macabre nature of his work at Fort Detrick, Mr. Patrick spoke about how vital his profession was to national security.

    “We did not sit around talking about the moral implications of what we were doing,” he told the Baltimore Sun in 2004. “We were problem-solving.”

    • Old Atlantic said

      This was the Patrick report they found in Ivins garage amid the litter of spores, first grader writing samples, how to fluidize anthrax reports from DARPA, Battelle and Dugway and his extensive memorabilia of the attacks, all of which they promised would be found in the search warrants and which they held over their heads in triumph at the 2008 news conference.

      • Old Atlantic said

        To be more definite, at this stage, there is no evidence that Ivins ever even heard of this Patrick report prior to the mailings?

        • DXer said

          In what Ed characterizes as his “non-denial, denial,” Bruce Ivins explained to his close confidante that he wouldn’t have any idea on how to make a biological weapon. (Hint: It was just a flat-out denial.)

          The FBI’s anthrax expert, Dr. Ezzell, who spent years testing substances from mailed letters, says that in hindight he guesses that the mailed anthrax was not “fully weaponized.”

          But it’s all a semantical game. What was made for DARPA for that research was purified at precisely the trillion spore concentration mentioned by Dr. Patrick in a footnote on that memo (which in one version has been whited out). Whether Dr. Ivins saw that particular memo or not (he didn’t) is pretty irrelevant in that it contained no technical details.

        • DXer said

          You would expect the powderized anthrax developed for detection and defense purposes to be similar to the “real deal.”

          As Jeffrey Mohr from Dugway explained, it was sometimes necessary to use virulent anthrax to test decontamination agents so as to know that they would really work.

  12. DXer said

    http://www.petoskeynews.com/entertainment/pnr-news-lecture-100410,0,5748959.story

    National Public Radio’s FBI correspondent, Dina Temple-Raston, will speak this month at North Central Michigan College as part of the college’s lecture series.

    Temple-Raston’s presentation, “Current Challenges for the FBI,” will address recent controversies including national security letters and the anthrax investigations of 2001. Her talk will also include current developments and concerns about civil liberties in relation to the FBI and its investigations.

    Temple-Raston has been an FBI correspondent for National Public Radio since 2007.

    Previously, she served as a correspondent for Bloomberg News in Asia and was Bloomberg’s White House correspondent during the Clinton administration. She has written several award-winning books on race in America, the Rwandan genocide, civil liberties and national security.

    The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, in the student center cafeteria on the Petoskey campus. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

  13. DXer said

    Batch #84 is being forwarded to MEDCOM and OPSEC for final review.

    It is JAG that appears responsible for the withholding of documents for two years.

    If all remaining documents are not produced this week, Congress should call a JAG witness to explain why they delayed production for two years and who made the decision at JAG to delay production of the documents.

    A federal judge likely would sanction the JAG attorneys in a civil litigation context.

    The practice of law should never involve hide-the-ball.

    Taxpayers are paying the JAG salaries. The lawyer responsible for withholding the documents works for taxpayers.

  14. DXer said

    My source of intelligence on these matters reports that there is nothing incriminating in batch #84. #85 was uploaded last week. #84 will be uploaded as early as today. Like all the other of Ivins’ work emails, they are either not pertinent or exculpatory. The exculpatory emails should have been produced at the time the United States Attorney was claiming his guilt on false statements of fact such as that the stamp was uniquely sold at his Frederick post office or that virulent Ames was only kept in the one building rather than both. It should have taken merely a few hours to redact the proper names with a magic marker and then put them in a room in response to Scott Shane’s FOIA request for the emails after Dr. Ivins’ death. USAMRIID’s delay is inexcusable given his 27 years of service to the Army.

  15. DXer said

    Did the US Army demonstrate loyalty to its employee of 27 years when it withheld these emails for two years?

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: [redacted]
    Subject: JAG permission for my attorney to talk to USAMRIID personnel (UNCLASSIFIED)
    Date: Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:48:25 AM
    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: NONE
    Dear
    I am sending you this email to ask if you had heard from the JAG as to when my attorneys,
    , of , can talk to USAMRIID personnel about me. If you
    have not yet heard, could you please contact them and ask them? Then I can let my attorneys know
    the information. I’ve been a loyal Army employee for over 27 years, and I would hope that the Army
    would similarly have a substantial measure of loyalty toward its employees.
    Thank you very much.
    -Bruce
    Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: My retirement – last day at work will be 2 SEP 08 (UNCLASSIFIED)
      Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 2:45:29 PM
      Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

      This email is to inform you that my last day of work at USAMRIID will be 2 SEP 08. 3 SEP 08 will
      be my first day of retirement. please begin my SF52, with my final day here at USAMRIID
      being 2 SEP, and my first day of retirement being 3 SEP. Thank you very much.
      -Bruce
      Bruce Ivins

      • DXer said

        From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
        Subject: RE: (UNCLASSIFIED)
        Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 12:47:53 PM

        I’ll be on leave for the month of May. Let’s plan on coffee in early June(?) I’ll be out of town the whole
        month of May. I was just stopping by to say hi and talk to you. We haven’t talked in a long time. I hope
        you’re doing really well. I’ll be gone tomorrow, Friday, and all the month of May. I hope you liked my
        long letter Saturday. When I retire I want to put in lots more time with the Red Cross. I feel really good
        when I do, and I know that it’s helping people. Maybe I could work at the foodbank in Frederick as well,
        or the Salvation Army.

        I have to leave at 3:30 today. Then I’ll be back a little at home tomorrow, then I’m gone for the month
        of May.
        Bye!!!

        -Bruce
        Bruce Ivins

      • DXer said

        From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
        To:
        Subject: RE: JAG permission for my attorney to talk to USAMRIID personnel (UNCLASSIFIED)
        Date: Friday, May 30, 2008 3:06:47 PM

        People in the Division think that they need to have the JAG contact them and tell them
        that they’re allowed to talk to my attorneys. If this is not the case, I hope that or
        can so inform me or my attorneys, or the people that my attorneys would like to talk to. Thank
        you.

        -Bruce
        Bruce Ivins

      • DXer said

        Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2008 4:58 PM
        To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
        Subject: RE: JAG permission for my attorney to talk to USAMRIID personnel (UNCLASSIFIED)

        Bruce,

        My understanding was that your attorney needed to go through our JAG for that permission and
        that your attorney had the contact info for ______ and ____________ . They can be contacted by email
        at and by telephone at or by mail at the __________________.

    • DXer said

      From:
      Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 2:26 PM
      To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: FW: Interviews With Attorney and Private Investigator (UNCLASSIFIED)

      Bruce,
      Please pass information to will need to contact to
      make arrangements for discussions with your coworkers in the division. Thanks.

  16. DXer said

    An email produced today:

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: Irradiated spores – transfer (UNCLASSIFIED)
    Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 12:28:01 PM

    Since we talked about it at a division meeting a few weeks ago, I want to tell you that we will be
    transferring 5 ml of Ames spores, Select Agent number 12538, to . Ten ml of the spores
    were irradiated by with 4 Megarads. As discussed at the meeting, 50% (5 ml) of the
    material was checked for sterility on SBA, and there was no growth at all. You may have seen
    insistence that we need only check 10% of the material for sterility, but I think that a 50%
    check for B. anthracis samples is a good idea. We’ve had in the past some samples that failed sterility
    checks, so 50% leaves us “better safe than sorry.”
    -bruce
    Bruce Ivins

  17. DXer said

    An email produced by USAMRIID today:

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: FW: Freezer (UNCLASSIFIED)
    Date: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 4:22:11 PM

    Thanks, for checking this out. If our stuff in the hallway is in another freezer MMCN,
    please let me know what it is, and I’ll contact about changing the freezer number for
    all the agents in that freezer.
    -bruce
    Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      From: [redacted]
      Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 9:24 AM
      To: [redacted]
      Cc: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: Physical Inventory audit (UNCLASSIFIED)

      I am _____________, an individual who has recently been added to the Divsion to
      promote regulatory compliance and prepare for the upcoming DAIG inspection. My specific duty, as it
      relates to you, is to perform inventory of select agents that are registered to Dr. Ivins. Your name was
      provided by Dr. Ivins as the point man for the select agents in What day and time is convenient for
      you to escort me into the suite and conduct the inventory? I am available 0700 through 1500 during the
      Monday 24 Mar through Thursday 27 Mar.

      If you have any further questions regarding the process, please don’t hesitate to ask me. USAMRIID
      SOP BS-50-06 (BSAT Physical Inventory) covers the procedure.

  18. DXer said

    According to the Judge Berman, Aafia “had claimed that a short time after moving there a man named Abu Lababa issued a Fatwa for her to do biological research in order to develop defenses for her country should Pakistan be attacked by an enemy. And she did this for approximately six months. She then apparently moved to Nazimabad and presumably made trips from there to Afghanistan in search of [911 logistics guy] Al Baluchi.”

    US federal judge narrates different points in Aafia case
    Monday September 27, 2010 (1130 PST)

    http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?231952

    What did Aafia say in her transcribed remarks? I believe the day’s transcript is 111 pages and should be at PACER. What she says is very important and if she has been under coercion and unable to cooperate the sentence should be reconsidered. (It seems excessive given the uncertainties that remain as to her circumstances 2003-2008).

    Was she studying anthrax? If so, what was the nature of her research? Was she cooperating with intelligence authorities and trying to infiltrate Al Qaeda and/or the Taliban? (That is her uncle’s explanation based on what she told him in January 2008 when she visited).

    Why is she associated with addresses in Ann Arbor? Did she visit her brother there in 2001? Did she visit Houston in June when she finished her thesis? (Had her brother moved from Ann Arbor to Houston yet?)

    The lab at her old building in Houston upgraded in March 2001 to BL-3 upon inserting plasmids into avirulent strains — at the same time Bruce Ivins fedexed Ames to Rick Lyons. Tropical Storm Allison had wiped out the basement lab and the doors were propped open. Her sister-in-law Lubna seems to have had an office near Dr. Koehler’s. Did Aafia ever visit the building that had the anthrax lab? (She used to go to school there years earlier for one year).

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