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

* Why did JAG black out portions of the remaining 300 pages of personal emails from Dr. Ivins?

Posted by DXer on November 11, 2010


Why did JAG black out portions of the remaining 300 pages of personal emails from Dr. Ivins to be produced  rather than just permit the usual FOIA process to be followed?  The blacking out of the material has been done before even being provided to the FOIA personnel in charge of such redactions.  What was redacted beyond what was authorized by FOIA — and on what authorized grounds? … and by whom?



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?

I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence.
  2. The FBI has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001.
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, again for undisclosed reasons.

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 *


183 Responses to “* Why did JAG black out portions of the remaining 300 pages of personal emails from Dr. Ivins?”

  1. DXer said

    In an email that was withheld for 2 years by USAMRIID JAG, Bruce Ivins explained to his former lab tech Mara Linscott:

    “My memory stinks, so most of the information has come from what I’ve been able to get from notebooks and computer files.”

    The FBI did not return to Ivins his notebook relating to the 52 rabbits and so he was not able to better reconstruct his time.

    Why did the DOJ and FBI deem it acceptable not to return all of the lab notebooks — when the AUSAs appreciate the importance of the contemporaneous record of events provided by the notebooks?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 7, 2011

    That notebook was first released only on September 2012. USAMRIID did not have it to produce — the FBI had removed it from USAMRIID.

    Government employees withheld the documents prior to his death set in motion of a chain of events that led to Dr. Ivins suicide.

    With the documents withheld, all AUSA Lieber and investigator Montooth needed was a counselor who got her instructions from an alien each night to paint a picture of Dr. Ivins as murderer.

    After his suicide, some government employees have continued to withhold and allow documents to be destroyed — participating in the same behavior that led up to Ivins committing suicide.

    Whether misfeasance or malfeasance, such withholding is very wrong.

    As a recent example, John Peterson’s attempted withholding of the B01-11 animal protocol on the grounds that a better copy had been destroyed was outrageous.

    Taxpayers deserve better.

  2. DXer said


    USAMRIID hopes to have the 300 more pages of Dr. Ivins emails posted this week. These are only personal emails (how are you, how have you been, lots of jokes etc) and were only recently determined they would be processed for release. The documents were processed last Wednesday and sent forward for review and release approval.

    • DXer said

      JAG in the past undertaken to black out material before it reaches the FOIA officer. If the unredacted document is not available to the FOIA officer, then the administrative appeal is rendered meaningless because the validity of the exemption invoked cannot be determined.

    • DXer said

      For example, although requested in September 2008 by NYT reporter Scott Shane, this email exchange between Bruce Ivins and Mara Linscott was culled and withheld from production until November 23, 2010.

      according to Dr. Ivins’ email with Former Colleague #1 (Mara Linscott), produced last week by USAMRIID (withheld for 2 years by JAG), Bruce was not taking ambien, the sleeping aid, in Fall 2001
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 12, 2010

      Not content merely to pull such documents from production, Mara Linscott’s civil deposition then was shredded.

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID To: Date: Thursday, October 06, 2005 1:47:11 PM
      (6I) sent you (and(b) (6) by mistake) an email last night after taking Ambien. I looked at my aol email this morning and honestly don’t remember writing or sending it. Ambien for me is an extremely effective sleep aid – it puts you into this special, euphoric, dreamy state, then the next thing you remember is you wake up in the morning. I woke up in bed with my clothes still on. The bad thing – for me – about taking ambien, is that it basically creates another personality that does and says things that my usual personality doesn’t recognize or remember. Fortunately I wasn’t taking Ambien in the fall of 2001, so there’s no possibility that some other personality in me was doing some vile, ogre-type thing. I’d know if if I did something so awful as to participate in those events. Anyway, sorry for what you probably thought was a very, very weird email. I don’t know if you or anyone you know has ever taken Ambien, but memory loss is something that’s very real with it. It has a short half-life in the body (about 3.5 hours), so you don’t wake up groggy. If you find that you wake up in the middle of the night, you can take a couple of 10-mg tablets (which is what I do), or take one when you go to bed, and one when you wake up in the middle of the night. I also take Lunesta on occasion. That has a longer half-life, but the one bad thing about it is that it leaves a very unpleasant taste in your mouth that lasts through the following morning.

      As far as the FBI goes, they grilled me on going to on sending you – I forget what it was – something from Gaithersburg. I remember telling you that if you ever needed something, I’d do it for you, and I remember sending you lots of emails when I was going through depression early on, but really hadn’t done anything about it yet. (I had to get my prescription records to find out that I started taking Celexa in 2000.) They actually pulled out one email of mine to you that said something about my being paranoid, and they strongly suggested that my mental state would cause me to be a terrorist and a mass murderer. The fact that I don’t know beans about making a bio-warfare weapon wasn’t important, it was that I knew how to make anthrax spores, and I had emailed lots of very personal things to you. After that awful interview, if they want to talk to me about anthrax – with my lawyer present – I’ll be happy to do so. Anything else is off the table. If they want to call me in front of a grand jury to testify, I’ll tell them that I didn’t mail anthrax spores or bioweaponize them, but any other questions I’m not going to answer. I’m just so weary and irritated after 2-3 dozen interviews that my willingness to go out of my way to help them has been transformed into being willing to answer anthrax-specific questions in front of my lawyer. I’ve had to look up tons of things for them. My memory stinks, so most of the information has come from what I”ve been able to get from notebooks and computer files. It used to be fun enjoyable and satisfying to work here, but now it’s just a job, basically. I’ve become so jaded.
      It has to be tough to

      Working in an area (orthopedics, radiology, dermatology) that doesn’t so closely bring together a doctor and a dying patient – I would think – might not be so draining. I’m really glad that you’re going to be able to finally get some sleep, and perhaps have some more time in general. I know
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      how much you love(d) I don’t know if you’ve had any chance to play it, but maybe you’ll have a chance now. I hope that and not causing you many problems as far as
      (b) (6)
      your daily activities. I know that people who hopefully that will be very helpful to you. It would be great if in the near future, they’d be able to
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      I think so regenerate the . Maybe stem-cell research will one day lead to something like that. also said that and you have a new car. Cool. I hope you like it. I’m afraid that I look for reliability and good mileage, and that’s about it. I’ve never had a “chick-magnet” car, but I don’t think it would have ever done me any good, anyway. 🙂

      Glad you liked the – you were supposed to get balloons and a plush kitten or bear with the flowers – and restaurant gift certificate. The latter has a very interesting story behind it so I called him and asked him about really good restaurants in the area. (I told him that you liked international cuisine.) He sent me some recommendations. I called up the Indian Restaurant that he recommended, and they had gift certificates, but wouldn’t sell me one over the phone by credit card. So, I sent the money. He
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      went to the restaurant and got the gift certificate and mailed it to me. I then sent it to you. I hope it was good!
      I’d enjoy seeing you when you come into the area around Thanksgiving. I’ve missed talking with you by email. Thanks for being so willing to listen to me while I was going through the early stages of depression. I think it actually started in the late 1990s, then got worse until I took the Celexa. It’s always good to have someone to talk to.
      I hope you have a really good day/week/month/fall. I’m sure you’re disappointed that the
      Bruce Ivins

      FAX –
      —–Original Message—– From: Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 7:45 PM To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Subject: RE: FW: Bracelet of Friendship
      Hi Bruce here are some pictures of I guess I didn’t attach them to my last e-mail
      (b) (6)
      I’m physically and emotionallydrained from my last shift in . Very busy. We lost a save him. This month is taking a lot out of me. Next month will be better. b
      Sorry to hear about your herniated discs and GERD. Also sorry to hear about your depression.
      I worry often that I may have not done a good enough job explaining e-mails and things that went on at usamriid to the FBI. We all of course know that your trips were all done out of kindness and I swear I did my best to put everything in context. I’m sorry for all the pain you must have gone through and for any part I may have played.
      I hope things are more calm at the moment for you. Time to watch a little playoff baseball and then collapse in a sleep heap.
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      Oh ps I also attached a picture of my . They may be coming with me to house over thanksgiving so I can send them home with my parents so they can watch them
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      ( while doesn’t know this yet 🙂 If you’re in town maybe we could have teabor
      diet coke since I’ll be in town be with you and if you’re willing he’d like to meet you too.

  3. DXer said

    Perhaps a computer security consultant could confirm whether it is a honey trap installed pursuant to a warrant.

  4. In the FBI document 847443.PDF, page s29 and 30 are reports for the Daschle and NY Post letters. The Daschle has no visible debris and no visible vegetative cells. NY Post on page 30 reports less than 5 percent vegetative cells and less than 10 percent visible debris.

    At some point, I seem to have made the mistake of thinking the latter set of numbers applied to both cases. This confusion may also have come from the other document. At the present time, I believe that I did introduce this error into our discussion.

    I have not been able to retrace my steps, but after reviewing the pages in the two relevant FBI docs I don’t find any indication of Ivins using the less than 5 percent, 10 percent language for the Daschle letter.

    The relevant pages are as Ed Lake has gone over in detail on his website:

    Page 23 to 30 in FBI pdf file 847443.pdf

    :ages 106 and 121 through 123 of FBI pdf file 847545.pdf, especially page 106 which repeats the form for NY Post, sps02.88.01. This is also page 30 in 847443 with NY Post marked on it. Presumably, I became confused because this page appears in both documents but with NY Post left off in one and that led me to confuse it in taking down numbers with the Daschle Letter.

    Please accept my apologies especially to those who relied on this error in their comments.

  5. Ed Lake said
    November 27, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    OldAtlantic wrote: “If agar or growth media was 90 percent of the powder, and the measurement process dissolved this 90 percent leaving only 10 percent of the material in the powder, then this measurement process would be deeply flawed. In that case, Ft. Detrick would have known that.”

    You appear to be using argument #3 – distorted data arguments. However, it appears to be an unintentional distortion. You’re just misreading the data or misinterpreting it to fit some belief.

    Ft. Detrick, a.k.a. Ivins, knew what he was looking at. He was looking at a powder which was mostly extraneous material and only a small percent lethal spores.

    (Why didn’t he say so then? His report on page 30 of 847443.PDF is signed USAMRIID Bacteriology Division indicating its for outside users who would not make the further adjustment you advocate to get the spore count below 10 percent.)

    Ivins began with a powder that was roughly 90% dried media or dried “slime” or something else that wasn’t part of his task of determining spore concentration.

    (Here you state your conclusion, so it can’t be evidence for your conclusion which is in dispute.)

    He dissolved the powder in water in order to view the spores that had been embedded in the extraneous material.

    When the extraneous material was dissolved, he viewed the rest of the material that had been in the powder and determined that less than 5 percent was vegetative cells, less than 10 percent was other debris, and the other material of interest was roughly 85 percent individual spores with some small clumps.

    An 85 percent purity is “relatively pure.” As a percentage of the total powder, however, it was “crude” and Ivins questioned whether or not it could even be called a “preparation of bacterial spores.” Presumably, any true “preparation of bacterial spores” would have first removed all that extraneous material.


    (Why doesn’t he report this for end users? Why doesn’t the 2006 paper discuss this?)

    Up to the point that you did your calculation, who had done the calculation you did?

    Also, the divisor you use is a number invented by you for the first time of any person? Did someone do a similar calculation to you with a different divisor? What divisor? How did they get it? Using your argument about the 2.1 trillion?

    But that 2.1 trillion is based on the Daschle letter. Why use a number from the Daschle letter to use as a divisor for the amount of spores in the NY Post letter?

  6. BugMaster said

    “The clumping of spore preparations is a serious problem,
    not only to determine accurate counts of the spores,
    but they are also likely to behave differently in various
    detection and collection devices. The presence of clumps
    is also likely to have an effect on the inactivation kinetics
    by sporicidal treatments. Additional research is needed
    to prepare spore preparations with minimal clumping,
    low amounts of contaminants, and that are stable during

    Note that clumping is as much as a problem (if not more) with vegetative cells as with spores.

    How does this impact the FBI’s findings regarding the sample Ivins submitted?

    Simple. If one is to detect the smaller, morphological mutants when they are plated out, they must not be clumped. You HAVE to have 1 cell / spore of the morph per CFU!

    Why? Simple! (maybe even Ed can understand).




    Then, there is the mechanism of microbial GENETIC transformation, where the mutant cells can take up free DNA present in the culture (released by their dying, wild-type compatriots).


    Ed, run this by your “expert” and please get back to us with your response.

    • Old Atlantic said

      Norton Safeweb report on your site Ed.

      Threats found: 1
      Here is a complete list: (for more information about a specific threat, click on the Threat Name below)
      Threat Name: Trojan Horse

      Norton thinks you have some more work to do. I have been getting warning messages from Norton on your site for several weeks now.

      • I write here for legibility but I have looked at your comments below.

        I have two computers running the same Norton subscription. One of them complains of the file on your machine, the other sees nothing.

        I just checked on both machines at 1:58pm EST Nov 28 2010. This machine shows no warning at all for your site whatsoever. The other sees the serial.jar file.

        Hope this helps.

    • BugMaster said

      How many research projects have you worked on with that required the isolation of extremely rare mutants from a mixed population of wild type and mutant bacteria (where the mutants are less than 1 in 10,000, not 1 in 500)?

      Do you have any idea what is involved? What the hands-on process is?

      And if these “morphs” were so obvious and easily identified, why did it take the FBI so long to discover them?

      (BTW: The appearance of the morphs on plates after they are isolated in pure culture cannot neccessarily be used as a comparison to the wild-type culture. A given morph is “larger?” Are you sure it just wasn’t plated out at a lower density, or had longer to grow?)

      Remember, initial genetic analysis of the attack material revealed no distinctive genetic characteristics that would differentiate it from any other known Ames strain sample.

      My assuptions are far from “baseless”, Ed.

      And you, as a layperson, are in no position to conclude that the points I bring up are “baseless”.

      Depending on culture conditions, a signficant number of the microbes could be clumped.

      And depending on the culture conditions, the cells can become “compentent” and take up free DNA.

      They can also loose DNA that doesn’t help them compete with or outgrow others in the culture (the term is called “spitting the plasmid”.)

      How many of the morph characteristics were encoded in plasmid DNA?

      Where is the FBI’s explanation as to how they addressed these possible confounding factors?

      Oh, that’s right, we aren’t supposed to question anything they say, since they are clearly infallible superheros.

      One FBI agent even stated that “Ivins had submitted a different strain”.

      Really! And what strain was that! If in fact Ivins had submitted a different strain, that would be compelling evidence of guilt. So what strain was it (or is this another one of the “secrets” the FBI feels they need to withhold)?

      Instead, we are told, “He submitted a false sample”, with no scientific (as in some detail regarding the process involved) explanation as to how they arrived at that conclusion.

      Why is it the FBI submitted the questions that the NAS is to address?


  7. Note that Ed Lake’s math was to interpret 15.8 after adjustment to about 10 to be the ratio of spores in Daschle to the spores in NY Post. However, as the Almeida et al paper shows clearly, cfu/mL and spores/mL are not equal.

    There is also a form on page 31 of 847443.pdf. This form shows how Ft. Detrick had formalized the method of getting consistent numbers for quotations.

    The procedure is that the researcher fills out the form. This is the Leahy letter but the number fields are blanked out. The form ends with the final reporting for the original sample.

    When Ivins recites numbers for the two different samples, Daschle and NY Post, its reasonable to assume he is talking about the final numbers that are for end users like FBI agents and are comparable across researchers.

    • The form on page 31 of 847443.pdf is to calculate cfu/mL.

      Table 1 of the Almeida et al 2006 paper on testing anthrax spores says that the measurement technique for bioactivity is plating. This gives cfu/mL.

      Table 1 says the measurement techniques for concentration are Hemocytometer, Flow cytometer, Immunoassay, DNA (after spore disruption.) This gives spores/mL.

      The authors are NIST Gaithersburg MD.

      • It is possible that there exists additional documents not released giving information for spores/mL using these other methods. FOIA request makers please note this.

        Note that pages 29 and 30 of 847443.pdf are forms with a signature block below them for Ivins name. Page 29 is marked Daschle in the upper right hand corner. Page 30 is marked New York Post on the upper right hand corner.

        • It is this form page 30 of the 847443.pdf that has the NY Post letter with the indication that by the method of phase contrast microscopy they found < 5% visible vegetative cells and < 10% visible debris.

          This is the same technique indicated in the 2006 NIST paper to use for this calculation.

          If agar or growth media was 90 percent of the powder, and the measurement process dissolved this 90 percent leaving only 10 percent of the material in the powder, then this measurement process would be deeply flawed. In that case, Ft. Detrick would have known that.

          NIST by 2006 would have known that. The NIST paper is for measuring bioactivity cfu/mL, concentration spores/mL, and purity ratio spores to debris. If phase contrast microscopy gives a result ten times off on ratio of spores to debris then they would have noted it in the 2006 paper.

        • anonymous said

          Defense attorney “Out of the 1,037 Ames samples you collected from across the world did you collect representative samples of the RMR-1029 aliquots that were shipped to Dugway, Battelle and the University of New Mexico””

          Prosecutor “Er, no, we couldn’t locate some of the known samples that were shipped out of Detrick, we don’t know what happened to them”.

          Defense attorney “No further questions”

          Judge: “case dismissed”

    • Table 1 also indicates that purity is measured by Microscopic image analysis, DNA (without spore disruption), Immunoassay. This results in ratio of spores to debris, extra-spore DNA/mL and vegetative antigen concentration.

      Obviously, this is their paper in 2006 not one written by Ivins or Ft. Detrick in 2001/2002.

    • If we look at the report by Ivins on page 30 of

      Click to access 847443.PDF

      Its a formal report on a single page with his name on the bottom.

      This has a title at the top. So its meant as a somewhat formal report.

      A report with the person’s name at the bottom is not one that expects the reader/end user to do further calculations. Nor does it expect them to use a number in those calculations not contained in the report.

      By phase contrast microscopy, Ivins determines the visible debris is less than 10 percent and the vegetative cells less than 5 percent. This is the New York Post letter analysis as shown in the upper right hand corner.

      At the bottom is

      Bruce E. Ivins, Ph.D.
      USAMRIID Bacteriology Division

      So this is a signature for Ivins and his division. This means its intended to outside the division. Ivins is identified as a Ph.D., so its intended to carry weight with whomever uses it outside of the Bacteriology Division of USAMRIID. This includes those outside of USAMRIID completely.

      So Ivins is committing his name, his Ph.D., and the Bacteriology Division and USAMRIID to people in the government. This is dated October 24, 2001.

      So this is intended for end users outside Ft. Detrick with the weight of Ivins, his division and USAMRIID.

      Ed or his helpers are saying that they intended people outside USAMRIID to subtract the number, 5 percent or 10 percent from 100 and then divide by some other number not contained on this single page.

      Ed creates a number to divide by after the subtraction based on data not on this page. Moreover, its data from a dilution of water that may not even be part of the preparation of the slide for this analysis but based on a dilution factor done for the cfu/mL calculation which has its own separate form on page 31 of this same pdf.

      Thus Ed and his helpers are saying that this report signed by USAMRIID for users outside of USAMRIID expects those users to take a dilution factor from another form, the one on page 31, subtract the 10 percent from 100 and then divide by that dilution factor of 10.

      Note the form on page 31 has multiple dilution factor lines. So you can’t know which of those lines to use for this phase contrast microscopy calculation invented by Ed and his helpers that commingles a calculation on form page 31 which is a separate form for the cfu/mL determination.

      The 2006 report indicates this is a whole separate track of measurements and preparations of the sample. Ed and his helpers are importing that calculation into this separate form which reports final numbers for users outside USAMRIID and which USAMRIID and the Bacteriology Division and Ivins with his Ph.D. are staking their name to.

      This is on October 24, 2001 when this report would presumably go high up in the government possibly to the National Security Council or its staff.

      The page 29 report indicates no visible debris or vegetative cells for the Daschle letter. That also is a signed report. That is dated October 18, and has the same signature block for Ivins with his Ph.D. and USAMRIID Bacteriology Division.

      The cfu/mL report on page 31 is signed by Ivins but does not state his Ph.D. and does not list Bacteriology Division nor USAMRIID. This is a lab report with calculation lines. This is therefore intended for an internal audience not even really outside of Bacteriology Division and not outside of USAMRIID.

      Ed Lake and his helpers are saying to take a specific dilution line from this internal report, and there are multiple dilution lines, and use the dilution factor for one of these lines to adjust the reported value on the report on page 30 which is signed USAMRIID Bacteriology Division to go outside of USAMRIID.

      • The page 31 report with the dilution lines of different dilution amounts is dated 12 March 2002. The page 30 NY Post letter analysis is dated Oct 24, 2001. The dilution test for cfu/mL was done on March 11, 2002. Thus the dilution test with whatever dilution factor was used was not done by the date of this Oct 24, 2001 report on the phase contrast microscopy test done on October 23, 2001.

        Yet Ed Lake’s helpers say to take one of the dilution factor ratios from the March 11, 2002 dilution test for cfu/mL and use that as a divisor for the phase contrast microscopy done on October 23, 2001. Note these are for different letters as well, Leahy on March 11, 2002 and NY Post on October 23, 2001.

        Is this not grasping at straws? Is this not taking numbers randomly from different reports from measurements done on different days for different samples and commingling them to try to justify sticking to what is a misunderstanding by Armond of a statement by General Parker about what ten times difference meant in terms of purity?

    • Click to access 847545.PDF

      Page 121 to 123 are the same type of report as for Daschle and NY Post on pages 29 and 30 of the other pdf, 847443.pdf.

      The bottom of page 123 has the same signature block,

      Bruce E. Ivins, Ph.D.
      USAMRIID Bacteriology Division

      The analysis was done Oct 24, 2001 and the report on Oct 25, 2001. This is the set of internal known reference samples, not letter anthrax.

      Note this and the other reports from these dates contain some cfu/mL calcs. These are likely from a report form for cfu/mL of the type on page 30 for the Leahy Letter from March 11/12 2002. The versions of the March 11/12 2002 Leahy form for these October 2001 forms for outside use should be requested by FOIA. In addition, the outside version for the Leahy form for March 2002 or whenever done and the Brokaw versions should also be requested by FOIA.

  8. Ed Lake: “And how can the Post material be “a relatively pure preparation” and yet the Daschle powder was [redacted] times “hotter” or more concentrated per gram than the Post material he examined? ” redacted later 15.8.

    Once we drop the fallacy of one clump one spore in water, then a clump in water can contain 15.8 spores on average and thus be 15.8 hotter even if both are 100 percent spores.

    Moreover, if Ivins followed the same procedure for NY Post and the Daschle letter, like is compared to like. Note Ivins never analyzed the Brokaw letter. Someone else did.

    This means that the analysis by Ivins of NY Post and Daschle powders has to be presented using terms and a conclusion so that a 3rd person who gets the Ivins analysis of those 2 letters and whoever did the Brokaw letter will be comparable even to an FBI agent reading the report.

    Page 22 of 847443. Ivins gave information to the FBI about the powders Ivins analyzed. So this level of explanation was for the FBI agents. This means there would not be a factor of 10 left out for them to do later and figure out if the person who analyzed the Brokaw letter multiplied by 10 or not.

    Detrick already had done analysis of spores whether from plates or liquid media growth for years. So they had already solved the problem of communicating in a consistent way so that the summary conclusion was comparable across researchers and you didn’t have to reach down into each person’s experimental procedure to find factors of 10 to multiply the answers by. The idea that this is what Ivins intended when giving his numbers to the FBI is absurd.

    847545 page 106. And page 121 to 123. The pages after 106 are also relevant to the issues debated.

    If one reads these documents, the idea that Ivins intended these quotations of percentages to be multiplied or divided by a factor of 10 by the FBI agents getting them based on the FBI agents analyzing Ivins’ experimental procedure is absurd. Nor would it make sense that they were supposed to figure out if the person who analyzed the Brokaw powder multiplied or divided by 10 or not and whether the FBI agents were supposed to do that on their own.

    Ed Lake’s Hypothesis: When Ivins reports numbers for the NY Post powder:

    ” Visual inspection of the suspension of material under phase contrast microscopy found few (<5%) visible vegetative cells, a small amount (<10%) visible debris, and very few small clumps. Most of the material appeared to be individual refractile spores."

    Ed claims that Ivins expected FBI agents to analyze Ivins's experimental procedure and then on their own adjust these numbers from indicating 85 to 90 percent spores by dividing by 10 to get less than 10 percent spores because of a dilution step deep inside the experimental procedure.

    The opposite hypothesis is that Ivins and Ft. Detrick would do analysis and then present numbers that are comparable across researchers and whatever procedure they did for the use of non-technical personnel like FBI agents.

    So the person who did the Brokaw letter, and Ivins for the NY Post and Daschle would do any division by a factor of 10 from their experimental procedure so that reporting less than 10 percent debris means 90 percent spores in the original powder. They don't expect FBI agents to then divide by 10 because of some deep embedded step in their lab procedure.

    Note that Ed is not claiming that Ivins intentionally fooled the FBI in his numbers reported, but that these are the correct numbers and that Ivins thought the FBI would divide by 10 for New York Post to get 9 percent spores but would not divide by 10 for Daschle and would keep the over 90 percent spores for Daschle.

    My notes from Ivins notes


    sps02.57.03 examined oct 17 2001

    date analyzed 23 oct 2001
    date report 24 oct 2001
    sample sps02.8801
    < 5 percent visible vegetative cells
    < 10 percent visible debris
    very few clumps
    most individual refractile spores

    relatively pure


    page 106 sample sps02.88.01
    data analyzed 23 oct 2001
    date report 24 oct 2001

    1.33 x 10^11 cfu per gram

    < 5 percent visible veg cells

    < 10 percent visible debris

    not as pure as sps02.57.03 oct 17 2001
    2.1 x 10^12 per gram


    So there are 2 samples here, one NY Post, one Daschle. Both say "< 10 percent visible debris". Both say "< 5 percent visible vegetative cells". But Ed Lake thinks that Ivins expected FBI agents to subtract from 100 and divide by 10 in one case to get the percent of spores and subtract from 100 in the other case (Daschle) and not divide to get the percentage spores in Daschle.

    This is illogical to use Ed's phrase. It would be illogical to give such numbers to FBI agents and expect them to read through the experimental procedure and then decide to divide by 10 after a subtraction. It would be illogical to expect scientists to do that.

    No one presents two different results using the same terminology and numbers and expects the readers/users to on their own in one case subtract from 100 and divide by 10 and in the other case just subtract from 100. Especially, when another person is analyzing the Brokaw letter. The FBI agents or any other users/readers would have to figure out what further mathematical operations to do for that person's reported numbers based on analyzing their experimental steps. Maybe they diluted 5 times instead of 10 at a step. Does Ed think that FBI agents or Detrick management are supposed to find out what dilution they did for Brokaw powder and do the right calculations to adjust theirs to be compatible with Ivins two different conventions? That is illogical.

    Ivins presented his numbers to FBI agents as end users and likely to Ft. Detrick management at the time as end users. They were not expected to figure out to do division by 10 after subtraction in one case but not the other.

    • anonymous said

      “No one presents two different results using the same terminology and numbers and expects the readers/users to on their own in one case subtract from 100 and divide by 10 and in the other case just subtract from 100.”

      Yes, you would only ever imagine such a thing if you were deliberately setting out to deceive. But that is Lake’s mission, as he has consistently proven over many years.

      The very fact that certain FBI scientists and others with agendas provide him information is proof itself that the science of the anthrax case is being deliberately misconstrued by the powers that be.

    • anonymous said

      Defense attorney “Out of the 1,037 Ames samples you collected from across the world did you collect representative samples of the RMR-1029 aliquots that were shipped to Dugway, Battelle and the University of New Mexico””

      Prosecutor “Er, no, we couldn’t locate some of the known samples that were shipped out of Detrick, we don’t know what happened to them”.

      Defense attorney “No further questions”

    • Ivins’ name is on the bottom of page 30 of 847443.PDF. He gives the name of USAMRIID Bacteriology Division. This was on Oct 24, 2001. They expected it to go to outside users. Those users could include the National Security Council. Did you expect the Secretary of Defense to take the Ivins report and do the calculations you suggest?

      Your divisor number does not appear in the page 30 report signed by USAMRIID. Where would the Secretary of Defense find the divisor? He would need the report on page 31, which is dated March 12 2002 for measurements done on the Leahy letter March 11, 2002. That has several lines for different dilution levels.

      How would the Sec Defense know which dilution number from the page 31 report to use?

      The cfu/mL calculation on page 31 involves multiple different dilution factors done for a separate measurement. See the 2006 paper on this page. There is no uniquely link one of the dilution lines on the page 31 report to the debris/purity report.

      These are separate reports involving separate preparation steps. The cfu/mL test involves several dilution factors done separately. Thus you have commingled different measurements.

  9. Bacillus clumps in water according to Yang below

    The search

    bacillus spores clumping

    gives the result

    by YH CHANG – 1993 – Cited by 3 – Related articles
    in the assay since Bacillus spores will clump in aqueous environments and BSA will minimize clumping. However, BSA also decreased sensitivity somewhat (Fig. ……

    The search bacillus spores water clump (or clumping) also give many hits that can be investigated.

    • Searches on variations of

      bacillus spores clump bsa water

      are also interesting.

      The search bacillus spores clump aqueous

      brings up this document

      All those in this debate should look at this document because its a 2006 Ft. Detrick paper on the subject of analyzing spore samples for testing spore samples used in attacks. Moreover, this is a paper which is intended to be understandable. There are sentences and clumps of sentences understandable to the lay person such as myself.

      Requirements for the Development of
      Bacillus Anthracis Spore Reference Materials
      Used to Test Detection Systems

      JL Almeida et al 2006

      Table 1 page 211 indicates clumping as a complicating factor. Section 3.3 bottom of page 211 discusses clumping.

      Bottom page 211

      “Clumping of spores is a serious problem and additional
      work needs to be done on the conditions for preparation
      and storage that will minimize clumping. We have
      used a dried preparation of B. globigii (more recently

      classified as B. atrophaeus). Large clumps of this material
      are observed under phase microscopy (Fig. 2).
      Mechanical or chemical treatment (detergents or
      enzymes) of the spore suspensions has been proposed
      to reduce the level of clumping. These treatments to
      reduce clumping may be useful for analysis (to obtain a
      better plate count), but their use to prepare standards
      runs the risk of changing the nature of the materials and
      may interfere with some detection methods.”

      Note in particular:

      “Mechanical or chemical treatment (detergents or
      enzymes) of the spore suspensions has been proposed
      to reduce the level of clumping.”

      Thus simply adding water does not cause colony forming units to disassociate into single spores. This was relied on by Ed Lake in his arguments.

      Hypothesis: If you take bacillus spores and suspend in water then they will declump such that every colony forming unit has one spore. (one man one vote)

      The principle of “one cfu one spore in water” is false. This is what the above papers indicate.

      • “The clumping of spore preparations is a serious problem,
        not only to determine accurate counts of the spores,
        but they are also likely to behave differently in various
        detection and collection devices. The presence of clumps
        is also likely to have an effect on the inactivation kinetics
        by sporicidal treatments. Additional research is needed
        to prepare spore preparations with minimal clumping,
        low amounts of contaminants, and that are stable during

        Page 11 of above paper.

        So just diluting in water does not cause the clumps to spontaneously form single spore colony forming units. CFU’s even in diluted water can still have multiple spores.

      • If you only want to read a little of their paper, read sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 after carefully looking at table 1 on page 211.

        Table 1 is meant to structure their paper and the problem of measurement and analysis of spores to determine

        1) colony forming units to measure bioactivity (see section 3.3 measurements of bioactivity)

        2) number of spores/mL
        to measure concentration (section 3.4 measurements of concentration)

        3) ratio spores to debris to measure purity

        (section 3.5 measurements of purity)

        Page 10

        begin quote

        Our initial plans
        are to include the following measurements as minimal
        to adequately characterize spore reference materials:

        1. Colony forming units by plating before and after
        treatments to reduce clumping.

        2. Spore count by hemocytometer before and after
        treatments to reduce clumping.

        3. Microscopic image analysis of spore preparations.

        end quote

        Thus clumping is a problem throughout the process.

        ==From section 3.3. page 8 of pdf

        46].The viability of a BA spore preparation is
        most commonly done by measuring colony formation on
        nutrient agar (plate counts). Plate counting yields the
        number of viable colonies and the results are called
        colony-forming units (cfu). For accurate quantitation,
        plate counting is dependent upon dispersion of the bacteria
        into single cells (or spores). A clump of spores regardless
        of size will result in a single colony, so the plate count
        can under estimate the total number of spores if clumps
        are present.

        ==end quote

        The sentence “For accurate quantitation,
        plate counting is dependent upon dispersion of the bacteria
        into single cells (or spores)” means that to count spores by this method, plate counting, you have to get the colony forming units to separate to one spore per cfu. This is for accurate counting of the spores which is really section 3.4. concentration in their outline. Obviously, you do not separate the cfu’s into separate spores to count the original cfu’s of the original powder which measures bioactivity.

        Section 3.3 cfu/mL and section 3.4 spores/mL are two separate numbers. Each tells about the sample, but they are not equal.

        If one sample has 15.8 times more cfu/mL in the original powder, one could call that being 15.8 times hotter. This is true even if both are 100 percent spores. The one with 15.8 times more spores is more suitable to spread anthrax into humans and thus can be called hotter for that reason.

        • The fewer the spores per colony forming unit (CFU) the lighter is each cfu. This makes it easier for it to get into and stay in the air. Getting into the air and staying into the air is what makes the airborne anthrax in the Daschle Letter so lethal.

          A Senate office building was closed for months from the Daschle powder. This is because the anthrax in that powder was much more likely to go into the air than in the NY Post powder. How much more likely was the Daschle letter to go into the air and hang there than NY Post? At least 10 times more.

          So you expect that Daschle is 15.8 times hotter than NY Post is a number you would get out as a measure of hotter.

          Table 1 says for line 1, bioactivity, values column

          “Colony forming units/mL,
          Lethal does.”

          Lethal does is not repeated for the middle section concentration of the table.

          The ratio of cfu/mL is the ratio of lethality according to Table 1.

          Thus if Daschle is 15.8 times as many cfu/mL then its multiple times more lethal. cfu/mL is really an input number to a function that outputs lethality in the sense of deaths of humans per something.

          Nonetheless, the 15.8 factor of Daschle more hotter than NY Post is a measure of the greater lethality of Daschle that required closing a Senate office building for months.

        • Getting into the air and staying there are two additional numbers. These are not the same as cfu/mL but cfu/mL and spores per cfu are inputs into a function that outputs cfu/cubic meter of air at time intervals after opening the letter or after getting into the air.

          The fewer spores per cfu, and the more cfu/mL then the more cfu into the air and the longer the cfu stay in the air. If those numbers are 10 times or more for Daschle than NY Post that explains why Daschle closed a Senate office building and NY Post did not close any building.

  10. DXer said

    GAO will have the benefit of unredacted documents in exploring Dr. Ivins’ longstanding and repeatedly expressed concern that some samples were missing.

  11. DXer said

    The issue cannot be intelligently addressed unless you know who he was writing to about this missing samples of Ames in this email.

  12. DXer said

    Ed apparently does not realize who submitted these slants from Ivins’ lab to the FBI.

  13. BugMaster said

    “So, what is your basis for your obviously FALSE belief that the FBI didn’t look at “all the other aliquots of RMR-1029 that were still in existence”? ”

    Ed, you still don’t get it. Ivins KNEW there were other aliquots of RMR-1029 that the FBI had access to. HE MENTIONED THE MATERIAL FROM BATTELLE, AND COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY THE SAMPLE HE SUBMITTED DIDN’T MATCH!

    So why would he have thought that by submitted a false sample of his own, he would have fooled anyone?

    • anonymous said

      Lake is apparently STILL in denial that the RMR-1029 records show at least 3 different institutes that aliquots of RMR-1029 were transferred to before September 2001. From there, these aliquots could have gone anywhere. That is the total absurdity of the FBI’s non-existent case against Ivins.

      Don’t forget, as well, that RMR-1029 itself was made from 13 different production runs at Dugway originally. Did the FBI check all 13 of these runs? Did Dugway even keep samples of all 13?

      The FBI like to talk about measuring over 1,000 different samples of Ames. But they don’t like to mention that in many cases there were no samples that could have matched because they weren’t kept.

      Lake is a true believer. He truly believes the FBI’s case is not junk science. He probably still believes lead in bullet analysis isn’t junk science.

      • anonymous said

        “They don’t mention things that don’t exist because they don’t exist.”

        The FACTS say that they DO exist. The FACTS are that an unredacted copy of the RMR-1029 records (obtained and published by DXer) show that aliquots of RMR-10129 were transferred to Dugway, Battelle and the University of New Mexico.

        The FACTS show that the FBI did not mention that samples obtained from all 3 of these places should have matched RMR-1029.

        The situation is almost laughable. I can just imagine what would have happened in court:

        Defense attorney “Out of the 1,037 Ames samples you collected from across the world did you collect representative samples of the RMR-1029 aliquots that were shipped to Dugway, Battelle and the University of New Mexico””

        Prosecutor “Er, no”.

        Defense attorney “No further questions your Honor”

        • anonymous said

          Defense attorney “Out of the 1,037 Ames samples you collected from across the world did you collect representative samples of the RMR-1029 aliquots that were shipped to Dugway, Battelle and the University of New Mexico””

          Prosecutor “Er, no, we couldn’t locate some of the known samples that were shipped out of Detrick, we don’t know what happened to them”.

          Defense attorney “No further questions your Honor”

        • anonymous said


          A shill or plant is a person who helps another person or organization to sell goods or services without disclosing that he or she has a close relationship with the seller.

          “Shill” can also be used pejoratively to describe a critic who appears either all-too-eager to heap glowing praise upon mediocre offerings, or who acts as an apologist for glaring flaws.

        • anonymous said

          Defense attorney “Out of the 1,037 Ames samples you collected from across the world did you collect representative samples of the RMR-1029 aliquots that were shipped to Dugway, Battelle and the University of New Mexico””

          Prosecutor “Er, no, we couldn’t locate some of the known samples that were shipped out of Detrick, we don’t know what happened to them”.

          Defense attorney “No further questions your Honor”

        • anonymous said


          “Shill” can also be used pejoratively to describe a critic who appears either all-too-eager to heap glowing praise upon mediocre offerings, or who acts as an apologist for glaring flaws.

      • anonymous said

        “Lake believes it is totally ridiculous for you to argue that because erroneous science was used in the past, that means that the current science is also erroneous.”

        The FACTS are that if you are a golfer who has never shot below 100, nobody is going to bet that you will come out one day and win the Masters.

        The FBI have built a meaningful reputation over many years for their use of “science” in solving crimes. Thanks for continually reminding us of their lack of logic with your quotes from unnamed FBI scientists who desperately try to feed you pathetic talking points

        Tainting Evidence: Inside the Scandals at the FBI Crime Lab

        The FBI’s vaunted crime lab is a scandal of atrocious forensic science. Its “junk science” permeates the U.S. criminal justice system as it bogus “findings” routinely punish the innocent and set the guilty free, affecting thousands of lives in the process.

  14. BugMaster said

    “We need to examine specific points instead of jumping all over the place every time you are confronted with information you don’t like.”

    The specific point is the established biological process referred to as MICROBIAL TRANSFORMATION (the natural kind, that pre-dates recombinant DNA techniques), and how this is one mechanism that could result in the FBI erroneously concluding that the sample that Ivins submitted was a false sample (no / not enough morphs isolated) when it could have in fact been a sample from RMR-1029.

    Refer to the following textbook:

    Davis, Dulbecco, Eisen, and Ginsberg, “Microbiology”.

    I have the 3rd edition (rather old), transformation (and the classic work by Avery, et al) is detailed starting on page 139. Since you may not have access to the 3rd edition, just go to the library, and whatever edition you have, go to the index, and look for “transformation”.

    In the 3rd edition, there is even a picture, figure 9-4, showing the REALLY SMALL MUTANT MORPHOLOGICAL VARIENTS THAT DON’T PRODUCE A CAPSULE next to the much, much LARGER, NON-MUTANT WILD TYPE COLONIES.

    • BugMaster said


      How either microbial transformation or simple clumping of the individual microbial cells in any sample submitted to the FBI for analysis affects the outcome of their analysis is an issue the NAS should have addressed.


      You are a layperson, Ed, and at times, a real pigheaded one at that (my apologies to the pig).

      • BugMaster said

        BTW, Ed, your google link refers to a different type of microbial transformation that yes, has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

        Why don’t you try to read an actual microbiology textbook for a change? If you did, maybe you would stop making a fool of yourself.

        I gave you the reference!

        So read the book!

        Find a decent, college-level microbiology text, and look in the index under “Transformation”, as it pertains to microbial genetics.

        It isn’t that difficult to comprehend. Even you could understand it, if you chose to!

      • BugMaster said

        O.K., Ed, correction (although it shouldn’t be neccessary)

        “GENETIC microbial transformation”

        maybe I should have just said “genetic transformation”.

        That way, you wouldn’t have confused it with “microbial transformation” which is more correctly referred to as “biotransformation”.

        As it pertains to microbial genetics, “transformation” is a specific term, and wouldn’t normally be confused with what is meant by “biotransformation”, which, yes, is sometimes also referred to as “microbial transformation”.

        Then again, you can just open a good microbiology textbook….

  15. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on Ivins views relating to infiltration of US biodefense?

  16. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on the later typed correspondence from a later visit by Rauf Ahmad indicating that he had successfully achieved the targets?

  17. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on the content of Rauf Ahmad’s notes and handwritten letter (he was one of the scientists working for Ayman Zawahiri)?

  18. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on the content of the spraydrying documents on Al-Hawsawi’s laptop?

  19. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on why the FBI did not obtain the key 16 pages until February 2005?

  20. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on the use of bloodhounds?

  21. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on why the FBI asking everyone whether they had seen olive oil in one of the aerosol rooms.

  22. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on when USAMRIID’s John Ezzell, the FBI’s anthrax expert, made a dried aerosol using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins, sent the dried spores to Johns-Hopkins Applied Physics he had made at the request of DARPA. Ed never bothered to contact John even though Dr. Ezzell expressly invited anyone with questions to contact him. He instead just argues contrary to what Dr. Ezzell has explained — for example that aerosol experiments were done in 1412, not 1425, as Ed mistakenly argued.

  23. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on whether there is any expert who supports the FBI’s theory of the code in the letters. Instead the expert interviewed by the FBI about the code in the letters for which documents were produced disagree with the FBI’s theory of code in the letters.

  24. DXer said

    Will the next 300 pages of Dr. Ivins shed light on the effect of a sonicator or corona plasma discharge and whether it is implicated by what was observed.

  25. DXer said

    An example of one of Dr. Ivins’ emails:

    “Yes! Yes! Yes!!!!!!! I finally know who mailed the anthrax letters in the fall of 2001. I’ve pieced it together! Now we can finally get all of this over and done with. I have to check a couple of things to make sure…absolutely sure…and then I can turn over info. I’ll probably turn it over to my lawyer, and then he’ll turn the info over to the authorities. I’m not looking forward to everybody getting dragged through the mud, but at least it will all be over. Finally! I should have it TOTALLY nailed down within the month. I should have been a private eye!!!! -bruce”
    — Sept. 7, 2007 Email by Dr. Bruce Ivins to himself from an email screen name

    USAMRIID released some emails by Bruce Ivins discussing the difficulties of planning the Fourth International Conference on Anthrax in Annapolis. The first of the emails was from September 1998, upon his return from the conference at Plymouth. In June 2001, the good ship anthrax sailed in Annapolis, Maryland, the “sailing capital of the world.” The 4th International Conference on Anthrax was held at St. John’s College in historic Annapolis, Maryland, June 10 – 13, 2001. The conference was organized by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and managed by the American Society for Microbiology. The 74-foot classic wooden schooner was named WOODWIND. Martin Hugh-Jones had convened the conference along with Peter Turnbull, the Porton Down scientist who had led the UK conferences attended by Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist, Rauf Ahmad. Reports of livestock and national park outbreaks were followed by a summary by Dr. Turnbull. Other anthrax notables who spoke included senior USAMRIID scientist Dr. Ezzell, who had one of the first looks at the Daschle product, and Dr. Paul Keim, who would play a key role in the genetic investigation.

    Theresa Koehler from the Houston Medica School gave a talk titled “The Expanding B. anthracis Toolbox” while Timothy Read from The Institute of Genome Research summarized research on The B. Anthracis Genome. Houston Medical School, the UK’s biodefense facility Porton Down, and Pasteur Institute each fielded three presenters. UK scientists presented on the characteristics of the exosporium of “the highly virulent Ames strain.” Researchers from Columbus, Ohio and Biological Defense Research Directorate (BDRD) of the Navy Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, assisted by Porton Down scientists from the UK, demonstrated that inoculated mice survived a challenge with b.anthracis spores. Researchers used b.anthracis containing a plasmid with a mutated lethal factor.” Dr. Phil Hanna from University of Michigan presented, as he did at the conference attending with Rauf Ahmad.

    A Kazakhstan Ministry of Health scientist presented on the re-emergence of anthrax in Kazakhstan. Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union the first job offer Ken Alibek fielded was the position of Minister of Health in Kazakhstan. He protested when he realized that his new employer just wanted to do what the Soviets had been secretly doing in an illegal and massive bioweapons program he had supervised as its First Deputy. After the KGB asked to meet with him, he asked to schedule the meeting in two weeks, so that he might visit his parents, and then found a secret expedited way of coming to the United States.

    Pakistan Rauf Ahmad had been the predator looking for the Ames strain and consulting on weaponization techniques at the UK conference. Did the Amerithrax perp attend this conference or work on any of the research presented? Ali Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy. Why? When? What did his work involve? In January 2002, FBI Assistant Director Van Harp told the 40,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology that it was “very likely that one or more of you know this individual.” They very likely did.

    • DXer said

      Raymond Zilinskas, who was researching a history of the Soviet bioweapons program, told The Baltimore Sun a couple years ago that “his sources now say that Soviet intelligence routinely obtained details of work at USAMRIID that went beyond the descriptions in scientific journals.” The Sun quoted him saying: “It was clear there was somebody at Fort Detrick” who worked for Soviet intelligence. Alexander Kouzminov, a biophysicist who says he once worked for the KGB, had first made the claim in a book, Biological Espionage: Special Operations of the Soviet and Russian Foreign Intelligence Services in the West. Initially, Dr. Zilinskas had dismissed the memoir because the Russian had made separate fanciful inferences about the US program being offensive and some specific claims unrelated to infiltration of the US program.

      The Sun article explained that then “another former Soviet scientist told the Sun that his lab routinely received dangerous pathogens and other materials from Western labs through a clandestine channel like the one Kouzminov described.” A second unnamed “U.S. arms control specialist” told the Sun he had independent evidence of a Soviet spy at Fort Detrick.”

      The Baltimore Sun, in the 2006 article, also relied on Serguei Popov, who was “a scientist once based in a Soviet bioweapons lab in Obolensk, south of Moscow.” Dr. Popov “said that by the early 1980s his colleagues had obtained at least two strains of anthrax commonly studied in Detrick and affiliated labs. They included the Ames strain, first identified at Detrick in the early 1980s.” Ames was used for testing U.S. military vaccines and was the strain used in the 2001 anthrax letters that killed five people and infected 23 in the U.S. Dr. Popov is now at George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Disease in Fairfax, Va.

      “If you wanted ’special materials,’ you had to fill out a request,” he said. “And, essentially, those materials were provided. How and by whom, I can’t say.” One colleague, Popov told the Sun, used this “special materials” program to obtain a strain of Yersinia pestis, a plague bacterium being studied in a Western lab. But he didn’t know whether that particular germ came from Ft. Detrick. Former KGB operative and author Kouzminov says the KGB wanted specific items from Western labs — including Detrick — that were closely held and were willing to pay for the privilege. The Soviets also wanted the aerosol powders U.S. scientists developed for testing during vaccine tests.

      Raymond Zilinskas, the bioweapons expert with the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and two colleagues had written a scathing review of Biological Espionage in Nature, a British scientific journal, but he later told The Sun “that his sources now say that Soviet intelligence routinely obtained details of work at USAMRIID that went beyond the descriptions in scientific journals.”

      Expert William C. Patrick III, the late Ft Detrick bioweapons expert, and famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek agree. Patrick’s suspicions arose when he debriefed defector Alibek in the early 1990s. Alibek emigrated to the U.S. upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. Patrick and Alibek both recognized that the Soviet and American programs had moved in a curious lock step during the 1950s and ’60s. “Anything we discovered of any import, they would have discovered and would have in their program in six months,” Patrick told the Sun. After his talks with Alibek ended: “For the next two weeks I tried to think, ‘Who the hell are the spies at Detrick?’”

      Both former Russian bioweaponeers Ken Alibek and Serge Popov worked with Ali Al-Timimi at George Mason University. Dr. Al-Timimi has been convicted of sedition and sentenced to life plus 70 years. Popov and Alibek worked at the Center for Biodefense funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”). At one point, Al-Timimi worked not much more than 15 feet (as I look at the floor plans) from both Dr. Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander Charles Bailey, who has been a prolific author and listed on a number of publications involving the virulent Ames strain.

      Dr. Alibek and Dr. Popov tell me that they never knew Ali to ever have worked on a biodefense project. He had a high security clearance for some work for the government, involving mathematical support work for the Navy, but no one seems able or willing to say what it involved. In the Fall of 2006, the Washington Post reported that when they raided his townhouse in late February 2003, two weeks after the capture of the son of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman, they suspected Al-Timimi of being somehow involved in the anthrax mailings. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was on Al Qaeda’s 3-man WMD committee and had spoken alongside Ali Al-Timimi at conferences of the Islamic Assembly of North America in 1993 and 1996. Al-Timimi in July 2001 and August 2001 spoke alongside Anwar Aulaqi in Toronto and London — Aulaqi now publicly urges that it is islamically permissible to kill 1 million civilians.

      • DXer said

        It’s important to know not just your enemy, but who he knew.

        Given that the documentary evidence establishes Ayman Zawahiri’s central and key role in anthrax planning, the individuals with the closest connection to him are the strongest candidates for co-conspirators in the anthrax mailing. Analysis of who Ayman Zawahiri might have recruited can start with these known associates that Zawahiri had known for a quarter century. Through the 1990s, there was an ongoing debate among these associates over tactics.

        As a general matter, Ayman commanded the loyalty of members of the Vanguards of Conquest, which was an offshoot of Egyptian Islamic Jihad once led by Agiza. Agiza, one of the main EIJ intellectuals, was extradited from Sweden after 9/11. He broke away from Zawahiri due to disagreements in 1993 but Bin Laden helped the Egyptian islamists reconcile their differences in the mid-1990s. Al Zayat argued in his book that the Vanguards of Conquest was not a separate group, and that Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Vanguards of Conquest were “two names for the same group led by Zawahiri.” Attorney Al Zayat says in his book: “This was clear from the fact that the four accused in the Vanguards of Conquest cases that were tried by a military court were shouting their allegiance to Zawahiri from behind bars.”

        The August 6, 2001 PDB to President Bush explained: “Al-Qaida members — including some who are US citizens — have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa’ida members found guilty in the plot to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.” (The reference was to Ali Mohamed with no mention that he trained US Special Forces on matters relating to jihad at Ft. Bragg and had been Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence).

        In a study of 400 terrorists, University of Pennsylvania professor Marc Sageman concluded that 70 percent of terrorists were recruited outside their native country, having traveled abroad in the hope of improving their livelihood through jobs or education. Separation from their families and a feeling of alienation from their host countries prompted many to seek companionship at mosques. Friendship constituted 70 percent of recruitment, kinship 20 percent and discipleship only 10 percent. Social networking continues to be relied upon by the Muslim Brotherhood as a means of recruitment. Who did Ali Mohammed and Ayman Zawahiri meet in their travels? Just as interesting as the question who Ayman Zawahiri knew is who Ali Mohammed, Ayman’s head of intelligence and cell recruitment, knew. He recruited Dahab from Cairo Medical in the early 1980s.

        Zawahiri traveled to Malaysia, Singapore, Yemen, Iraq, Russia, Great Britain and United States. In March 1995, Zawahiri reportedly met with Taha (who at the time was based in Peshawar, Pakistan), Egyptian Islamic Group leader Mustafa Hamza (who at the time was based in Sudan), and Sudanese leader Turabi. Zawahiri traveled to Sudan and Ethiopia in mid-June. According to his former friend and EIJ’s spiritual advisor, Al-Sharif, Zawahiri was paid $100,000 by Sudanese intelligence to attempt to kill the Egyptian prime minister on a visit he made to Ethiopia. Al-Sharif writes that Zawahiri promised Sudanese intelligence to carry out 10 operations against Egypt.

        Zawahiri went to Russia in 1996 where he was imprisoned for 6 months. (Zawahiri was arrested in Dagestan after he tried to enter Chechnya; the Russians apparently never learned his real identity.) Two men joined the local islamists in urging the release of the three. One was Shehata, who would later serve briefly as head of al Jihad. Shehata was in charge of “special operations” and was in regular contact with Jaballah in Canada.

        As in life, it’s who you know that is important. What mosques did Zawahiri visit when he came to the United States in 1995? Who did he know from his days recruiting students to jihad at Cairo Medical in the early 1980s?

        In an article that reconstructed his travels of his travels between April 1995 until December 1996, Andrew Higgins and Alan Cullison of the Wall Street Journal described some of the contents of his computer: “visa application for Taiwan; details of a bank account in Guangdong, China; a receipt for a computer modem bought in Dubai; a copy of a Malaysian company’s registration that listed Dr. Zawahiri, under an alias, as a director; and details of an account in a bank in St. Louis, Mo.” The St. Louis bank account related to reimbursement of expenses of the satellite phone used in planning the 1998 embassy attacks. Purchase was made by a charity worker in Columbia, Missouri. (The Saudi dissident in London who was a friend of Bin Laden and the Egyptian London cell members were complicitous in the purchase). The father of Al-Timimi’s friend Royer rented a room to Khalil Ziyad in his St. Louis-area home in 2000.

        “I first discussed my activities in the ceasefire initiatives with Zawahiri on a trip to London in March 1997 that I took with the purpose of delivering some lectures on human rights in Islam in a number of Islamic centers. I was received at the airport by [al-Bari], head of the Magreezy Center for Historical Studies (the Americans are currently attempting to extradite him to be tried for his connections with Osama bin Laden).. As soon as I arrived at Adel [al-Bari’s] house, Zawahiri called me. After he congratulated me on arriving in London safely, he asked me, “Why are you making your brothers angry?” He reproached me mildly for my role in promoting [an earlier] call for ceasefire in 1996 and told me that it had angered many brothers.”

        In 1997, back in Afghanistan, after his imprisonment in Russia, al-Zawahiri and Bin Laden plotted their strategy as to the United States. Bin Laden was able to convince Al-Zawahiri to discontinue the military operations inside Egypt and, instead, focus on the common enemies America and Israel. They had concluded that it was United States’ appropriations that propped up the regimes of Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt that had prevented the islamists from toppling those regimes. In 1996, Bin Laden announced war against America to the extent of its presence in the Middle East region. By the end of 1997, Bin Laden had determined to openly declare war against America and urge that Americans be killed everywhere.

        Bin Laden issued a fatwa on February 23, 1998 announcing the creation of “The World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and the Crusaders [Christians].” Along with Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, it was signed by Taha, the man in charge of the Advisory Council of the Islamic Movement in Egypt. Taha was the blind sheik’s successor in the Egyptian Islamic Group. At the end of July 1998, Taha signed a statement saying he had never signed the fatwa. Al-Zayat, who had remained in touch with Taha until he was detained while transiting Syria, reports that Taha said that he was asked on the phone whether he would sign a statement to support the Iraqi people who were under American air strikes and he agreed. Taha explained that he had agreed to join in the 1998 “Crusaders” statement because he was told it was in opposition to the bombing strikes in Iraq. “He was surprised to discover later that the statement referred to the establishment of a new front, and that it included a very serious fatwa that all Muslims would be required to follow.” Taha emphasized that this all happened without “any clear approval” from the Egyptian Islamic Group “regarding participation in the Front. [The group] found itself a member of a front that they knew nothing about.”

        Attorney al-Zayat notes that when Mabruk, a long-time confidante of Zawahiri and the head of military operations, was captured in Albania in 1998, “[i]n his possession, the authorities found a laptop that had many names of the members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. This led to the arrest of more than a hundred members, who were tried in one case.” As a general rule, however, organizational security was very strict. “Any arrest of members is an opportunity for information to be extracted through torture. This is why each member knows only his role. When the members pledge their obedience and loyalty to the leader of the group, they are aware that they are not supposed to ask any questions about things that are not directly related to their role.” For example, Ramzi Binalshibh and Zubaydah knew only the limited operation they were engaged in. Such adherence to cell security makes piercing a conspiracy and proving it beyond a reasonable doubt very difficult.

        Islamic Group military commander Mustafa Hamza, who reportedly supported a cease-fire, and Islamic Group leader Taha, who supported a return to violence, apparently had a falling out after the Luxor debacle. In 1998, following Taha’s resignation as Islamic Group’s head, Hamza took over as its head. But after Taha was rendered to Egypt while in transit through Syria in 2001, Islamic Group leader Taha’s wife and children lived with Hamza’s family in Mashhad, Iran. Thus, the alleged falling out perhaps had not caused too great a rift. They both remained in contact with the blind sheik and his paralegal Sattar in 1999 at a time there was talk of a need for a second Luxor.

        Zawahiri kept in touch with Mahmoud Jaballah, who had emigrated to Canada in 1996, by satellite phone. EIJ shura member Mahmoud Mahjoub was also in Canada. Mahmoud Mahjoub was second in command of the Vanguards of Conquest, after Agiza (who later was succeeded by Zawahiri) In seeking refugee status in Canada, Mahjoub claimed that the persecution in Egypt was the result of a brief association with a suspected member of the late 1970s, the cell ran by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. The blind sheik was their spiritual adviser. In a 2002 New Yorker article, Lawrence Wright wrote in “The Man Behind Bin Laden: How an Egyptian doctor became a master of terror,” that “[l]ike Zawahiri, Habib, who had graduated in 1979 from Cairo University’s Faculty for Economics and Political Science, was the kind of driven intellectual who might have been expected to become a leader of the country but turned violently against the status quo.”

        The editor-in-chief of the IANA quarterly journal Al Manar Jadeed was Gamal Sultan, who had also been a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. When Mr. Sultan traveled to Pittsburgh in 2000, Mr. Sultan recalls other islamists remarking it was the Kandahar of the US, given its rolling hills. Kamal Habib and Jamal (Gamal) Sultan also wrote for Assirat Al-Mustaqeem, an Arabic-language magazine embracing radical, anti-U.S. views that was published in Pittsburgh from 1991 to 2000. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud did also. Unlike Zawahiri, Kamal Habib and Gamal Sultan believe in achieving shariah law through democracy. Computational biologist Al-Timimi was on the Assirat Advisory Board.

        Al-Timimi was sentenced to life plus 70 years for exhorting young men to jihad. A prominent IANA speaker, he shared a fax in the summer of 2001 with former Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID head and Ames researcher Charles Bailey. Al Timimi met government agents regularly for more than a year before his indictment. The indictment against the paintball defendants alleged that that at an Alexandria, Virginia residence, in the presence of a representative of BIF, the defendants watched videos depicting Mujahadeen engaged in Jihad and discussed a training camp in Bosnia. Al-Timimi had asked the FBI to hold off on the indictment until he received his degree. His defense lawyer says that the FBI searched Al-Timimi’s townhouse “to connect him to the 9/11 attacks or to schemes to unleash a biological or nuclear attack.” Former Russian bioweaponeering program head Ken Alibek told me that he would occasionally see Al-Timimi in the hallways at George Mason, where they both were in the microbiology department. Dr. Alibek was vaguely aware that he was an islamic hardliner but considered him “a numbers guy.” When what his defense counsel claims was an FBI attempt to link him to a planned biological attack failed, defense counsel says that investigators focused on his connections to the men who attended his lectures at the local Falls Church, Va.

        The IANA webmaster Al-Hussayen from Moscow, Idaho complained in a Sept. 8, 2002, phone conversation that “we have to have control over our projects,” saying operators of the Islamway Web site, the Al-Manar magazine and the Alasr Web site were doing whatever they wanted, then sending IANA the bills. At the IANA publication Alasr, he complained, “Khalid Hassan puts in it what he wants, with some of the articles being sensitive causing us some problems at the present time. .. They don’t think, for example, what you might face being here.” Four fatwas justifying suicide attacks — including flying a plane into a tall building — that were posted on the Alasr’s Web site were central to the allegations against Sami Al-Hussayen.

        Al Qaeda military commander and former Egyptian police sergeant commander Atef, a key anthrax planner, was killed in November 2001. Taha was rendered transiting Syria in 2001. Canadian Khadr was killed. In 2005, Iran reportedly turned Mustafa Hamza over, where he was tried and convicted for assassination and attempted assassination of various high Egyptian government officials. In 2006, Zawahiri’s chief aide al-Hadi was captured. Cairo attorney Mamdouh Ismail, al-Zayat’s co-founder of the Islamic party, was arrested in late March 2007. He allegedly was serving as a conduit with jihadis in Egypt, Yemen and Iraq. In short, it’s not been a good decade for Friends of Ayman. Any compartmentalized cell in which Ayman operated in his anthrax program was tight indeed. Based on the isotope ratios of the anthrax culture, the roots of the Amerithrax likely grew in the United States rather than a faraway place like Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia or Malaysia. Although the seeds were planted in Cairo, the tree took root not only in Brooklyn and in many places in the US, including Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  26. DXer said

    Ed writes:

    “The facts seem to indicate that he was thinking about sending out the letters weeks before 9/11. 9/11 pushed him into action.”

    Ed has not cited any facts indicating that he was thinking about sending the letters week before 9/11. He similarly has never cited any facts indicating that he was thinking about sending the letters AFTER 9/11.

    Instead, examples of evidence of folks thinking about using anthrax is here.

  27. DXer said

    In “connecting the dots” one also would want to consider whether any supporter of the militants had access to the know-how of this encapsulation technique or the drying technique suggested by Dr. Popov. I’ve posed the question whether Ali Al-Timimi had access to such know-how. A supporter of the Taliban who was working with Bin Laden’s spiritual mentor, Al-Timimi was a Salafist imam sentenced to life plus 70 years for sedition and exhorting some young men to go abroad and defend their faith. We might also consider, however, whether any supporter of the militants has expertise in such polymerization or encapsulation relating to drug delivery, such as biochemist Magdy al-Nashar. He studied in North Carolina in 2000. His webpage at Leeds explained he was expert in functional polymers used in the delivery of drugs. He was represented by an attorney in Cairo who has been alleged as Ayman Zawahiri’s conduit to jihadists in Egypt and Iraq and elsewhere. Al-Nashar had the keys to the apartment used to make the London subway bombs and to store materials shipped to al-Zawahiri’s chief aide al-Hadi.
    Ali Al-Timimi was a graduate computational biology student at George Mason University, where famed Russian bioweaponeer and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Charles Bailey on March 14, 2001 filed a patent involving the use of silanized hydrophobic silica in permitting greater concentration of biological agents. There is a related patent based on Dr. Alibek’s know-how published later (after the mailings). The First Floor intermingled the Center for Biodefense/Hadron and the GMU/ATCC computational sciences people. The government allowed the method to be commercialized and be published in the public domain for use in a broad range of possible commercial applications. Perhaps the United States biodefense establishment should not let officials commercialize and disclose such dual use technology, whether the patent is assigned to a DARPA-funded program or not — whether deemed “biofriendly” or not. (The patent was assigned to George Mason University).
    FBI Director Mueller has cautioned universities to guard against access to pre-patent, pre-classification biochemistry information. GMU microbiology grad Al-Timimi, who was working with and had been taught by Bin Laden’s sheik, did mathematical support work for the Navy that required a high security clearance while working for a Beltway contractor SRA. What did his work for the Navy involve? Dr. Bailey, the former deputy USAMRIID Commander who served as co-Director of the GMU Center for Biodefense, was also at SRA in 1999. He and Dr. Alibek served as consultants to Battelle in 1999. Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for some of his work for the government. Why? When? The lead Amerithrax scientist, Battelle employee James Burans, had been head of the Navy’s biological defense effort.
    “When pressed by the interviewer, “Does it nag at you in the back of your mind that possibly you do know [the anthrax processor]?” Dr. Bill Patrick said: “Possibly, possibly, I could have talked to these people. But it would have been within the context of their having a need to know.” He explained: ” Most of my discussions about the biological problem has been in secure conferences and meetings, and involve people with need to know, with security clearance and what have you. I don’t talk about ‘how to’, I don’t get into ‘how to’ with many people, no people other than the fact that those who really have a need to know.” As explained by Rutgers professor Richard Ebright, proliferation of know-how serves to proliferate opportunities for access to that know-how.

    In light of Anwar Awlaki’s article in Al Qaeda’s magazine detailing the Yemeni mailbombs, let’s consider the Cairo Medical School student recruited by Egyptian Islamic Jihad intelligence Ali Mohammed who was trained to make booby-trapped letters (1989-1998)

    Lance Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an eye-opening profile of Khalid Dahab, a Cairo Medical School drop-out who recruited US operatives for Al Qaeda. He was trained by Bin Laden’s head of intelligence, former US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed. Ali Mohammed had recruited him while he was student at Cairo Medical in the early 1980s. The article was based on statements made in a Cairo court proceeding.

    Williams reports that Bin Laden personally congratulated Dahab, an Egyptian- born US Citizen, a Silicon Valley car salesman and member of Zawahri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest, for recruiting Islamist Americans into al Qaeda. The account of Dahab’s confession was first published in the October 10, 2001 edition of the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat. Ali Mohamed was also a Silicon Valley resident. Ali Mohamed had traveled to Afghanistan in the mid-1990s to report to Bin Laden on the success the two were having in recruiting Americans. Bin Laden told them that recruiting terrorists with American citizenship was a top priority.

    Ali Mohamed has admitted role in planning the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, killing more than 200 people.

    Williams wrote: “Dahab’s confession supports the view of many terrorism experts that al Qaeda has “sleeper” operatives on station in the United States for future terrorist attacks.” Khaled Duran, an author and terrorism expert who has written about the Silicon Valley cell, said the recruits would be expected to “fade into the woodwork” until the organization needed them, he said. Williams continues: “His story, obtained from accounts of Egyptian court proceedings and interviews with people who knew him, is entwined with that of Mohamed, a former Egyptian military officer and aide to bin Laden who recruited Dahab into al Qaeda, brought him to America and became his handler.”

    Handsome and outgoing, Dahab spoke excellent English. He said he was from a wealthy Alexandria family. His mother was a physician and he was planning a career in medicine.

    “But Dahab told acquaintances he had been radicalized by a tragedy that happened when he was a schoolboy: his father, he claimed, had been among 108 people killed in the 1973 crash of a Cairo-bound Libyan Arab Airlines plane that was shot down by Israeli fighter jets when it strayed over the Sinai Peninsula, which at the time was occupied by Israel. He claimed that his father’s death — and Egypt’s failure to avenge it — had turned him against the Egyptian government and against Israel and the United States, as well. He said he was drawn toward Islamic Jihad, a radical movement that had assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981 in an effort to remake Egypt into a fundamentalist Muslim state.”

    Williams reports that it was while a medical al Qaeda has “sleeper” operatives on station in the United States for future terrorist attacks.” Khaled Duran, an author and terrorism expert who has written about the Silicon Valley cell, said the recruits would be expected to “fade into the woodwork” until the organization needed them, he said. Williams continues: “His story, obtained from accounts of Egyptian court proceedings and interviews with people who knew him, is entwined with that of Mohamed, a former Egyptian military officer and aide to bin Laden who recruited Dahab into al Qaeda, brought him to America and became his handler.”

    Williams reports that it was while a medical trained guerrilla fighters to fly hang gliders. He said Islamic Jihad was planning a hand-glider assault to liberate imprisoned Jihad leaders, some of whom had been locked up since the assassination of Sadat.”
    Jihad later canceled the attack, Dahab said in his confession.

    Williams continues: “Meanwhile, Dahab said Mohamed gave him military training and taught him how to make letter bombs. Dahab said he had also worked as an al Qaeda communications specialist, aiding terrorists inside Egypt by patching through their calls to other operatives in Afghanistan and the Sudan. This helped the terrorists plan operations while avoiding electronic surveillance by Egyptian security forces who routinely wiretapped calls between Egypt and countries that harbored jihad terrorists.

    Also in the 1990s, Dahab said, he and Mohamed were told to begin recruiting U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern heritage. Dahab said the recruitment project had first been outlined to him by an al Qaeda fighter named Abdel Aziz Moussa al Jamal, who, according to Arabic press accounts, surfaced in Islamabad, Pakistan, serving as translator for Taliban envoy Abdul Salam Zaeef. On another visit to Afghanistan, Dahab said, he and Mohamed discussed the project with Zawahiri and bin Laden.” “Dahab told Egyptian authorities he and Mohamed had found 10 recruits, all of them naturalized U.S. citizens who had been born in the Middle East. The account of the confession did not name the recruits or provide other details about them.”

    In August 1998, Dahab was in Egypt when al Qaeda mounted suicide attacks on the embassies in East Africa. Back in the U.S., Ali Mohamed was arrested for complicity in the attack and pled guilty. .

    In October 1998, the Egyptian military moved to crush Islamic Jihad by arresting more than 70 of the organization’s leaders. Dahab decided to flee, and on Oct. 28 booked a flight to the United States. According to Dahab acquaintances, Egyptian security police boarded the plane shortly before takeoff and took him away in handcuffs. Dahab confessed his involvement with al Qaeda and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.”

    Sleepers, the former head of Bin Laden’s intelligence (and a former US Army sergeant) Ali Mohammed testified, “don’t wear the traditional beards and they don’t pray at the mosques.” An Al Qaeda encyclopedia, Military Studies in the Jihad Against the Tyrants, advises sleepers to “have a general appearance that does not indicate Islamic orientation,” and for men not to wear a beard. The book also instructs sleepers not to denounce unjustice faced by the ummah, and not to use common Islamic expressions such as “peace be on you,” nor to go to Islamic locations, such as mosques.

    Consider the example of another “sleeper” or operative, Tarik Hamdi of Herndon, Virginia. ABC News employed him to help secure an interview with bin Laden in early 1998. ABC News transported Hamdi to Afghanistan, unaware that his real purpose in going there was to carry a replacement battery to bin Laden for the satellite telephone he would later use to order the embassy bombings in East Africa. ABC was also unaware that the CIA had planted a listening device in the phone. The successful CIA operation, however, did not serve to prevent the planning of the embassy operation. Ironically, it facilitated it. If we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.

    • DXer said

      In 1995, Ayman came once again to the United States where he was accompanied by US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed on his travels to California, then Brooklyn, then the Washington, D.C. area. Who did he visit in Washington, D.C.? Zawahiri traveled to the US in 1991 and 1995 under an alias (though the dates are disputed). Zawahiri sometimes was accompanied by two brothers, a New Jersey pharmacist and a California doctor, Ali Zaki (a fellow Cairo Medical alum who denies knowing who Zawahiri was). They were joined by a former US Army sergeant and key Al Qaeda operative, Ali Mohammed. In Santa Clara, Ayman reportedly stayed at the home of Ali Mohammed, even though Mohammed had recently been subpoenaed to testify about what he knew about Bin Laden’s activities. Dr. Zaki says he was a good friend of Ali Mohammed and that it was widely known that Ali Mohammed was a liaison between the islamists in Afghanistan and the CIA. In one of his trips, he also reportedly went to Texas. One of the most important starting points of the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation should have been to trace the contacts that al-Zawahiri made on his last trip to the United States. He met with supporters associated with the Maktab Khidmat al-Mujahidin (the Al-Mujahidin services office) in the US.

      The troubles of Cairo Medical School graduate (’71), San Jose physician Ali Zaki, over taking Ayman Zawahiri and Bin Laden’s head of intelligence around the US in 1995 had just about faded from memory. In January 2000, a new problem then reared its head. In 1999, he had prescribed $164,000 in prescriptions for Viagara, a syringe of a drug for renal insufficiency and a vial for hypogonadism. (Bin Laden suffered from renal insufficiency.) The California Board governing physicians found that Dr. Zaki violated regulations because no patient was named and he had kept no records. The drugs were ordered ostensibly for a fictitious business MedChem. When an investigator went to check out the listing it was the address at 550 Bevans Drive it turned out to have been a recently closed deli called Landmark Gourmet Delicatessen. Owned by Hasan Ibrahim, the business had been evicted.

      According to the decision, the drugs reportedly were for resale abroad. If they were intended for Afghanistan, someone must have expected a lot of action with some virgins. Elzahabi in the September 2009 interview with journalist Colin Freeze was confident that God would find the time to provide him with the 72 virgins to which he felt he was entitled for keeping quiet about the 3 individuals whose picture he was shown. Perhaps erectile dysfunction was common tin Afghanistan because of the cold, harsh conditions and the
      stress in that line of work. One of the allegations in the January 21, 2000 “Accusation” alleged that “On or about June 15, 1999, respondent ordered 100 bottles of Viagara, 30 tablets per bottle, at 100 milligram strength.” Cost: $164,000. Memories: Priceless. The public reprimand issued in August 2001 and is available online at the State agency’s website.

  28. DXer said

    I previously itemized 67 or so factual errors on Ed’s page that he never has bothered to fix but let’s have a quick review of some of the claims he makes contradicted by the documentary evidence.

    Ed does not credit or cite the credit the uncontradicted 302 interview statement that checking the health of the animals typically would take 2 hours. His calendar shows that Dr. Ivins was responsible for guinea pigs and mice.

    • DXer said

      Ed relied heavily on overtime worked and made a bar graph even though the overtime, including the overtime that continued into November and December. He argued like US Attorney that at no other time was there that pattern of overtime. Duh. Neither US Attorney or Ed apparently realized in 2008 when they first hung their hat on the argument that the 2-person rule that in 2002 precluded such overtime and that Ivins moreover was working overtime with his assistant for OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE (associated with 9/11 attack).

      • DXer said

        Ed found the US Attorney’s argument compelling even though Taylor’s argument that the Federal Eagle stamp was uniquely sold in Ivins’ post office (near USAMRIID) was mistaken — it was sold throughout Maryland and Virginia.

        • DXer said

          Ed has never disclosed that the photocopy mentioned in the Amerithrax Summary in fact could be excluded as the source of the Amerithrax letter under the peer reviewed science.

        • DXer said

          Ed has never addressed the fact that the FBI let USAMRIID General John Parker’s false claim that USAMRIID did not make dried powder stand when the FBI and the scientists overseeing the investigation knew its own expert had made dried powdered aerosol using Ames. This constituted a disqualifying conflict of interest and it was the FBI’s anthrax expert who collected the sample from Dr. Ivins’ lab.

        • DXer said

          Ed does not know the identity of the colleague with whom Dr. Heine says he did research regarding antifoam in creating aerosols and has no evidence to cite suggesting it was Dr. Ivins (or the 6 year old he alleges certainly wrote the anthrax letters).

      • DXer said

        Ed has never focused on the fact that Dr. Ivins knew that 5 ml of virulent Ames had been taken from Building 1412 and instead was grossly confused and uninformed about what happened in 1425 and 1412.

        • DXer said

          Ed has never expressed any interest in the email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and then was shipped out and some was missing. Why? Because he is 99% certain a 6 year old wrote the letters.

        • DXer said

          Ed does not know what other place worked with aerosolized Ames — that Director Mueller could not name in open session. He has expressed no interest in when SRI first obtain virulent Ames or where the third lab (besides Dugway and Battelle) was located.

    • DXer said

      The FBI estimates that up to 377 had access required elimination (allowing for some duplication who had access in both 1425 and 1412). Yet US Taylor think and falsely claim that only 100 needed to be eliminated — only those with access at Building 1425. Even though Taylor clearly referenced at least the 100, Ed mistakenly construed him to say the opposite — that the genetics pointed only to Dr. ivins.

  29. BugMaster said

    “Then you must do something to assure that you are plating only individual spores before you plate out the material or you cannot relate spore counts to CFU counts. Ivins developed spore counts from CFU counts, and his calculations were based upon 1 CFU = 1 spore.”

    The concept of CFUs vs viable count and the significance of DRIED material that plates out at 1 trillion CFUs / gram is still lost on you, Ed.

    “Total nonsense. Ivins created pure spores every day. In FBI reports, Ivins discussed several times how it was “difficult” to obtain pure spores from plated material. That means he knew how to do it. He also knew how to clean such spores, since he described how difficult it was. Ivins had all the necessary skills. His own testimony says so.”

    We are not talking about highly purified, concentrated, wet spores such as what Ivins prepared. We are talking about a letter consisting of dried material that was the most lethal biological weapon ever deployed in modern times. People walking outsite the Hard Senate Office building right after it was contaminated were infected at low level! There was enough material in that one level to kill every man, woman, and child in the U.S.! And this was done in a way that didn’t leave a trace of physical evidence, no trace of the contamination that would be associated with the preparation of such a letter, and all by a mad man that was so compromised he couldn’t control his own actions!

    Right! Said Ed!

    O.K., fine, Ed. But please do us a favor here. Contact your knowledgeable source and ask him how the morphs (“slower growing”) could still have grown fast enough to present themselves at such a high level (0.5% mutants in a culture is actually a very high level of mutants, Ed!) as that found the RMR-1029 material.

    Is it because the “morphs” are actually mutants that can’t produce a capsule or other extracellular slime?

    In otherwords, isn’t it true that the “morphs” actually divide at a rate equal to or greater than the wild type, but present a physically smaller colony morphology because they don’t produce “slime”?

    After all, Ed, the “morphs” are avirulent (can’t infect, were never isolated from any of the bodies of the victims).

    If this is in fact the case (the morphological variation is due to the lack of production of some extracellular material, and therefore, the colonies are smaller), then ask your expert what are the two possible scientific explanations for Ivins having in fact submited a true sample, and the FBI interpreted it as false (FALSE NEGATIVE!).

    • BugMaster said


      Hart Senate Office Building

      Material in that one letter was enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the U.S.

      And, the exposure study was done by the U.S. Navy.

      It was determined that many individuals were exposed to anthrax from that letter, but never developed full blown infections, based on the presence of antibodies to anthrax detected in their blood.

      • DXer said

        The Biological Defense Research Director at the Naval Medical Research Center has top anthrax experts. For example, Dr. Turnbull came from Porton Down. He had supplied LSU’s Hugh-Jones with Ames. LSU was one of the several places where the former Zawahiri associate tested his decontamination agent in a BL-3. It was supplied by the FBI’s genetic expert (at LSU at the time). The FBI expert who supplied the former Zawahiri associate the BL-3 tested the Ivins sample. Thus, the genetics study report can filed in the circular file if steps were not taken to sort out the conflicts of interest which cannot be done if the necessary documents are withheld (as they were).

        Dr. Turnbull, when he was at Porton Down, helped organize the conference where Ayman Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist learned weaponizing tricks at two of the Dangerous Pathogens conferences sponsored by Porton Down. The Director of SFAM told me when I spoke to him that Rauf Ahmad attended on two successive years (and specifically checked the records on the point). Bruce Ivins undertook planning of the 2001 conference in September 1998, when he got home from England after attending the 1998 conference with infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad. I’ve uploaded the correspondence between Ayman Zawahiri and infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad. Rauf, btw, is a nice guy and is approachable on various times I made contact but he was hoping for a paid sabbatical and so never opened up.

        The very experts whose expertise is needed are regrettably the key witnesses to the infiltration accomplished by Ayman Zawahiri. So despite the expertise, good faith and integrity of all these scientists, no one has done what was necessary to avoid Amerithrax from being the mess that it was.

        Then of course it just more screwed up by politics.

        We can disagree with their values of Ayman Zawahiri and former Falls Church imam Anwar Aulaqi, but as strategists, they are running circles around the United States because everyone is worried about their own self-interest and not recusing themselves where they have a conflict of interest or the appearance of one.

        J Forensic Sci. 2008 Sep;53(5):1102-7. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

        Recovery efficiencies of anthrax spores and ricin from nonporous or nonabsorbent and porous or absorbent surfaces by a variety of sampling methods*.

        Frawley DA, Samaan MN, Bull RL, Robertson JM, Mateczun AJ, Turnbull PC.

        Biological Defense Research Directorate, Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.


        The 2001 anthrax letter cases brought into focus the need to establish the most effective environmental sampling procedures. Results are presented from two studies aimed at establishing the best procedures for everyday surfaces likely to be contaminated after the release of environmentally stable bioaggressive agents, as exemplified by anthrax spores and ricin. With anthrax spores, contact plates, with mean retrieval rates of 28-54%, performed better than other methods by a wide margin for flat nonporous, nonabsorbent surfaces. They also proved best on flat porous, absorbent materials, although recoveries were low (<7%). For both agents, dry devices (swabs, wipes, Trace Evidence Collection Filters) had universally poor retrieval efficiencies with no significant differences between them. Among moistened devices (wipes, swabs, and Sample Collection and Recovery Devices), wipes were generally best, albeit with considerable cross-over among individual readings (highest mean recoveries for anthrax spores and ricin 5.5% and 2.5%, respectively, off plastic).

    • anonymous said

      “And if you have 10 to the 12th spores, it turns out that you have almost 10 to the 12th generations.”

      If Keim really made that statement he is obviously on drugs. He doesn’t understand exponential growth. A trillion generations, even at the rate of one new generation per second, would take 32 thousand years to accomplish.

      Then Lake makes the usual ad hominen attack, citing an unnamed scientist. I wonder if this is one of the not so sharp FBI junk scientists? Maybe the guy who invented lead in bullet analysis?

      • anonymous said

        “You obviously do not understand what a “generation” is in microbiology.”

        Apparently you are not familiar with the basic definition of “generation” in microbiology:


        In the laboratory, under favorable conditions, a growing bacterial population doubles at regular intervals. Growth is by geometric progression: 1, 2, 4, 8, etc. or 2^0, 2^1, 2^2, 2^3………2^n (where n = the number of generations).


        Go back to your ad hominen attacks and your unhealthy obsessions about Bruce Ivins coercing six your old boys into writing letters.

    • BugMaster said

      “So I think Bugmaster is all wet.”

      Your expert has forgetten what he or she should have learned during the first few weeks of any decent introductory microbiology course.

      Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty, Journal of Experimental Medicine, 79:137, 1944

      It describes the mechanism of microbial transformation, where viable mutants take up non-mutated genetic material that was released into the culture from non-mutant wild-type cells. The mutants re-acquire their normal morphology and virulence, and can no longer be recognized as mutants.

      This classic study used another gram positive bacteria, streptococcus, and involved a mutant that was morphologically different in appearance from the wild type. It was described as “rough” because it did not produce a capsule and could not infect a live host.

      A culture of normal, virulent wild type strep was killed and added to the mutant strain. DNA released from the dead material was taken up by the mutants, and they re-gained their ability to produce a capsule and infect (much to the distress of the mice they were injected into).

      The mechanism is called TRANSFORMATION. The same mechanism is present in bacillis.

      It is reason that one may not always recover all 4 morphs from an aliquot of the RMR-1029 material, depending on how the material was handled.

      (Another reason the morphs wouldn’t be isolated is simple clumping, but I have given up on explaining that to you!)

      This pivital 1944 study was BTW, the first research that actually identified DNA (it is described as a “transforming factor” by the authors).

      The point is, the FBI is real proud of their breakthrough in identifying RMR-1029 as the parent of the attack material.

      But the turning point in their investigation was when they became convinced Ivins submitted a false sample!

      From that point on, they concentrated on Ivins to the exclusion of all others.

      Therefore, applying a high level of scrutiny to their assay IN REGARDS TO FALSE POSITIVES is equally important, if not more important, than VALIDATING their conclusion regarding the identification of RMR-1029 as the source.

      I think your expert is a bit wet behind the ears themselves, Ed!

      A true scientist always goes back to the fundamentals.

      • BugMaster said



      • BugMaster said

        “You’re talking about the type of mutation that caused Bacillus Cereus to evolve into Bacillus anthracis, which is better described as “evolution” than “mutation.”
        Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!!!!

        Ask your expert!

      • BugMaster said

        I am sure when the GAO investigates the FBI’s science, they will look into what effect transformation and clumping has on their highly touted morph isolation / identification procedures.

        Of course, the FBI will provide the GAO with their confidence levels determined for these forensically vital procedures, and the method validation data from which their confidence levels were derived.

    • BugMaster said

      “Let’s see. Hmm. 871 billion spores in the Leahy letter. The U.S. population is 310,783,581 as of this minute. That divides out to 2,803 spores per individual. And the dose which theoretically kills 50 percent of the victims is roughly 8,000 to 10,000 spores. Nope. Doesn’t compute.”

      Right! Said Ed!

      Tell that to Ottilie Lundgren and Kathy Nguyen.

      “Mutations/Morphs have no specific “slow growing” characteristic. In fact, a mutation might be faster growing than normal bacteria.”

      That’s the point I was trying to make, Ed. Apparently you missed it.

      “You seem to have a vast misunderstanding of the morphs, and that is the reason you believe that the FBI can’t tell the difference between a false sample and a “false negative.” The problem is not the FBI’s techniques, the problem lies in your false beliefs.”

      Ed, the FBI would interpret a false negative as a false sample. (DUH!)

      Why would Ivins submit a false sample when he knew there were many other aliquots from the RMR-1029 flask at other locations? That surely some of these had been sub-cultured, and at least a few of these would be analyzed by the FBI as well (he specifically mentions the sample from Battelle)?

      Why would he submit a sample that would result in an unexpected outcome (negative) and therefore, bring additional scrutiny to himself? At the very least, he would have had to expect a request for another sample, so the assay could be repeated.

      But then again, Ed, you have never set foot in a lab, never performed any analytical procedures, never conducted a METHOD VALIDATION, and really don’t care to try to understand such things.

      • BugMaster said

        ” The only other option for him would have been (3) to throw flask RMR-1029 into an autoclave and claim it was an accident. But, that certainly wouldn’t have caused the FBI to look elsewhere.”

        Elsewhere! Like at all the other aliquots of RMR-1029 that were still in existance!.

  30. BugMaster said

    “Could the growth have been washed out of the plates instead of scraped out? That could explain everything”

    I suppose, Ed, but then again, one would expect the polymerized agar to stay behind. It really won’t re-dissolve unless heated to 50 centigrade or so.

    If you washed the material off the plates, then you would have another problem, the increased volume of material. The spores would have to be centrifuged out, and that presents multiple problems of scale, time, recovery, and of course, ending up with the spores coming out as a pelletized clump.

  31. BugMaster said

    “But, the scientist also tells me that Bacillus anthracis does not produce the slime that other vegetative bacteria produce.”

    In one of the photos showing Bruce Ivins scraping some material off a plate of Ames strain anthrax grown on a blood agar plate, you can clearly see how slimy it is. It looks like a big glob of snot!

    In the case of anthrax, the capsular material is poly-D-glutamic acid, not lipolysaccharide, and it is not produced under all conditions (but is produced when the bacteria is grown on “serum” plates).

    Whether the slime seen in the phot is poly-D-glutamic acid or some other material, I’m not sure, but it is definately slimy!

    • BugMaster said

      “The slime that is created when enzymes dissolve away the dead carcasses of mother cells which have completed sporulation IS a slime that would be associated with Bacillus anthracis.”

      Seems like a bit of a stretch to me, Ed.

  32. DXer said

    Ed, on his webpage, as he has argued for the past 9 years,

    “In the Amerithrax case, the preponderance of facts show very clearly that a child almost certainly wrote the anthrax letters and addressed the envelopes. … Here are some of the key facts which point to the conclusion that is was not an adult, but a child of about 6 years old – just starting first grade – who wrote the letters and addressed the envelopes.”

    You need to do better at critical analysis and focus on the documentary evidence.

  33. DXer said

    Ed. For 7 years you reasoned Mr. Failey was guilty because you reasoned that he was a criminal mastermind who would make sure that the had an alibi. Your theory for 7 years was fundamentally irrational because Mr. Failey would have had no reason to draw attention to himself. There are far easier ways to create an alibi — such as arranging for a dentist appointment.

    Now you argue that Dr. Ivins could have theoretically done it (even though there is no evidence he did). You reason that he could have travelled without being noticed while 3 adults were living in a small house etc.

    You argue that — even though for the longest time you grossly misunderstood the evidence as pointing uniquely to Dr. Ivins rather than 350 or so even though Bugmaster patiently tried to explain it to you for months (as did others like Hugh-Jones). Your error on the genetics was so central that you should have stopped posting on microbiological matters long ago. You are not qualified to address the subject and should await the NAS report.

    On your webpage, you argue that it is 99% that a First Grader wrote the letters even though the documentary evidence shows — and the family members can confirm — that there was no day care in the house in 2001 as you falsely and without basis have alleged. Your first grader theory alone — and your failure to correct your facts even when the documentary evidence from the State of Maryland was provided you — shows that you are what you call a True Believer. You proceed in the face of contrary on-point evidence and do not discuss the relevant facts. As a single example among dozens, you have never discovered the issue of examination of the photocopy toner.

    You long ago stopped discussing the documents because the many hundreds of pages of emails contradicted your theory that Dr. Ivins and a First Grade accomplice are responsible for the anthrax mailings.

    Most fundamentally, you confuse a theory as to the possibility with evidence that he did.

  34. BugMaster said


    You seem to have stated several times that to break up the clumps into individual spores, one just has to suspend the material in water. That would imply that the NYC prep when dissolved would plate out and give counts based on CFUs equal to the actual viable spore count. This just isn’t true. Clumps of both spores and viable bacteria aren’t that readily disassociated into individual cells.

    Remember, there were even clumping problems with Ivin’s purified RMR-1029 material when they tried to resuspend and dilute it at Battelle.

    When Ivins reported seeing individual spores when examining the NYC material, that does not mean that all the resuspended spores would plate out at one spore per colony. The extracellular polysaccaride slime (capsular material) cannot be visualized when re-hydrated, so you can still have material that plates out in clumps even though under phase contrast, they look like individual spores.

    When scoring plates, a colony forming unit is a colony forming unit. One does not apply any corrections or estimate the number of viable cells that were originally present to form the colony. You don’t look at a large colony and conclude (and add to the count) that it originated from more than one spore. One cannot distinguish the number of spores that formed a colony based on colony size. A colony fromed from a clump of 2 spores cannot normally be distinguished from a colony formed by one (no, the former is not twice as large as the later.)

    The point is: The NYC material was very likely obtained from scraping sporulated material off a plate and drying it. It did not produce a powder consisting of individual spores, and therefore, caused no cases of inhalation anthrax.

    The Senate material was an entirely different matter. Ivins could have very well produced the material used in the NYC mailings. But to obtained the highly lethal dried material used in the Senate mailings (especially from plates!) was not something he possessed the knowledge and skill set to accomplish.

    Needless to say, the FBI will not discuss theoretical specifics as to how this material was obtained (If they even have a clue!).

    So, instead, they just claim Ivins was capable of preparing the material.

    This is a very weak claim, characterisic of many of the claims they make in their “case”.

    • BugMaster said

      “Nonsense. It produced a powder consisting of large clumps, and after those clumps were “milled” when they went through the postal equipment the powder also consisted of many individual spores and particles of less than 5 microns in diameter. That’s why three people were infected with inhalation anthrax from the media powders (Stevens and Nguyen died, Blanco survived).”

      Ed, the facts indicate that the AMI mailing was a separate mailing.

      And yes, I know that both you and DXer disagree!

  35. Reply to Ed Lake. When Ivins says the spores in one are better than in the other he is not saying the quantity is different by that statement. He is instead talking about the quality, e.g. clumping. Do you agree?

    • BugMaster said

      “I suppose it’s possible that Ivins knew or realized that the Post powder consisted mostly of dried agar…”

      Clearly, you have never scraped material off of plates of sporulated bacillis.

      You scrape the sporulated “snot” off the surface of the plate, and leave the agar behind!

    • I suppose its possible that you know you are pulling our legs. You do it well enough to leave many frustrated, but I know the truth, you believe the same as we do. You are obstinate for our pleasure.

      • Anonymous said

        It’s kind of ironic that Lake, who has spent around the last 2 years obssessively campaigning that Bruce Ivins is a homicidal sociopath, is now treating his lab report on the attack spores (the spores which Lake believes Ivins himself manufactured in the first place) as if Ivins is an independent analyst who is examining the powder from a completely neutral standpoint.

  36. So far we have Chemistry and Biology ( agreeing on what 1000 times purer means. Here we have physics joining in.

    arXiv:physics/0310160v1 [physics.ins-det] 30 Oct 2003
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    by EP Bonvin – 2003 – Cited by 1 – Related articles
    Oct 30, 2003 … However, careful studies of the growth of bacteria …. must be 1000 times purer than the Cleveland city water before it is sealed in the …

    1000 times purer means the contaminant is 1/1000 in the purer sample.


    “1000 times purer” bacteria

    for more.

    • If you remember your original source was based on a statement from Parker that the source interpreted the opposite way from these authoritative sources. That is why they came up with the idea that the NYP anthrax was only 10 percent spores. That is the original source that you cited and it in turn relied on the opposite convention for what ten times purer means.

    • Just to remind you, you had the figure of 10 percent spores for NYP prior to reading the Ivins analysis. That was based on a source you cited that in turn, I am going by memory, cited a quote from General Parker. The question then becomes what does 10 times purer and the like mean. The references I cite support that 10 times purer means the dirty one has 10 times more contaminant and the purer one 1/10 contaminant.

      So Daschle can be 99 percent spores and NYP be 90 percent spores and Daschle is 10 times purer than NYP using this convention. This goes back to General Parker’s quote which was closer to the time of the analysis by Ivins and represents the Ft. Detrick understanding of the NYP at the time based on this analysis we are only able to see this year.

      • anonymous said

        You are quite correct Old Atlantic when you state “So Daschle can be 99 percent spores and NYP be 90 percent spores and Daschle is 10 times purer than NYP using this convention.”

        Ed Lake, as usual, is the one in fantasy land – a place he has been for many years.

      • I appreciate your efforts and sticking with this dialogue, which is important. Your reposting the FBI doc quotes is valuable.

        When you sign back on, you may wish to review the following posts. This covers your original source Armond and links to his docs who got his info from General Parker.

        I will requote part of that here:

        Paul de Armond

        “Maj. Gen. John Parker, commander of the division that includes USAMRIID, says the New York samples were considerably less pure than the Daschle sample. “Times ten difference,” according to Gen. Parker. According to the testimony of Dr. Kenneth Alibek, the former head of the Soviet Union’s bioweapons research program, before the House International Relations Committee, the impurities included dead vegetative anthrax cells. ”

        If we interpret ten times difference as meaning Daschle is 1 percent non-spores and New York Post is less than 10 percent non-spores we get consistent results with Ivins explicit statements.


        page 106 sample sps02.88.01
        data analyzed 23 oct 2001
        date report 24 oct 2001

        1.33 x 10^11 cfu per gram

        < 5 percent visible veg cells

        < 10 percent visible debris

        not as pure as sps02.57.03 oct 17 2001
        2.1 x 10^12 per gram"

        Ivins was working at Ft. Detrick using their methods. Detrick and General Parker are saying explicitly that the NYP, which is this one, is over 85 percent spores. If you disagree with that, then you have to say that Ivins and Detrick were mistaken. In that case, you can't say Ivins and Detrick got the analysis of the mailed anthrax wrong but the 15.8 is right. If you think Ivins and Detrick and Parker had it right, then its their explicit conclusion that its 85 percent or more spores, not that it is ten percent or less spores for New York Post.

        When Ivins analyzes Daschle, or Detrick does, the terminology and numbers are almost identical with the New York Post:


        See page 23, 24

        page 25 Ivins
        spores from Post letter as okay,
        with a good bit of clumping.

        page 29 Daschle

        page 30 comparison of two samples.

        sps02.57.03 examined oct 17 2001

        date analyzed 23 oct 2001
        date report 24 oct 2001
        sample sps02.8801
        < 5 percent visible vegetative cells
        < 10 percent visible debris
        very few clumps
        most individual refractile spores

        relatively pure

        How can "< 5 percent visible vegetative cells
        < 10 percent visible debris

        mean for Daschle over 90 percent spores and at the same time mean for New York Post at most 10 percent spores?

        Are you saying that Ivins and Detrick got the numbers wrong? If so, how can you pick the 15.8 and use that while rejecting their other reported numbers?

        In that case, you have to reject Armond based on General Parker as well.

        • Anonymous said

          Lake is the illogical one.

          If the NYP powder was 15.8 times less concentrated with spores than the Daschle powder then it would consist of 6.3% spores and 93.7% debris (assuming Daschle was 100% spores).

          Clearly the NYP powder was not 6.3% spores – it was many more times more concentrated than that. Thus it means that the spores were still in clumps when plated out.

          Using Lake’s nonsensical thinking, it would mean that most of the other dry powders examined by Ivins contained 0.1% spores or less and 99.9% debris or more, given they had much smaller cfu/g counts than the Daschle or even NYP powders.

          Lake should probably be best ignored.

  37. Thank you for the hard work you have done in answering my question.

    However, try the search

    “1000 times purer”

    and also

    air “10000 times purer”

    One hit:


    Drive Disasters: Who Ya Gonna Call? – PCWorld
    The company has a clean room with air filtered to 10000 times purer than normal; in that room, DriveSavers can disassemble, diagnose, and rebuild your drive …

    ==end quote

    By 10,000 times purer they mean that the contaminants are 1/10,000 in the purer sample than in the other sample. They don’t mean there is 10,000 times more “air” in one than the other. Let’s say air means oxygen, C02, etc in the normal proportions. Pure air is just those. Dirty air has additional contaminants like pollution.

    Air Sample P is 10,000 times purer than Sample D. This means D has 1/10,000 the contaminants/pollution that P has.

    Isn’t this the way that Ft. Detrick personnel used the phrase 10 or 100 times purer? If you go back to the original thread you link to this is part of what I was getting at.

    Thus the NY Post can be 90 percent spores and the Daschle 99 percent spores and the Daschle is then ten times purer than the NY Post, because the residual is .01 for Daschle and .10 for NY Post. So the Daschle is 10 times more pure.

    • Air Sample P is 10,000 times purer than Sample D. This means D has 1/10,000 the contaminants/pollution that P has.

      should have read

      Air Sample P is 10,000 times purer than Sample D. This means P has 1/10,000 the contaminants/pollution that D has.

    • Another way to think is log base 10.

      10^{-1} = .1

      -log(.1) = 1

      10^{-2} = .01

      -log(.01) = 2

      Take the difference 2-1 = 1. This is one power of 10, so its ten times more pure.

      -log(.0001) = 4

      4 – 1 = 3. So in this case, we get 10^3 or 1000 times more pure.

    • If something is .01 of contaminant and .99 desired substance then its ten times purer than something that is .1 contaminant and .9 desired substance.

      If air in a room for computers is 10,000 times purer than normal room air, it is not because normal room air contains 1/10,000th of the oxygen of pure air. If that was true, then you could not breathe in normal air.

      Clean room terminology is to use 10,000 times purer not to mean 10,000 times more oxygen (and other standard components like nitrogen) but to mean that dirty contaminants that are potentially harmful are 1/10,000 in the purer air.

      This is not convoluted, its what we are talking about. There are only two ways mathematically to define 10000 times purer. One is the contaminant is 1/10,000 less in the more pure and the other is the desired substance is 10,000 times greater in the more pure sample.

      The latter way doesn’t work when we look at how 10,000 times purer is used on the Internet.

      If you look back at Parker and others at Detrick, they were it appears using 10 or 100 times purer to mean the contaminant is 1/10 or 1/100 in the purer sample.

    • Anonymous said

      “Ivins reported that there were 15.8 times as many viable spores in a gram of the Daschle powder versus a gram of the Post powder.”

      No he didn’t. He reported cfu/g for both and the Daschle powder was 15.8 times higher.

      He did NOT report there was 15.8 times as many viable spores.

      You do not undertand how difficult it is to break up clumped spores.

      It is simply that the NYP spores formed colonies from clumps.

    • First do we agree that for clean rooms, 10,000 times purer means that the contaminant in the air is 1/10,000 in the dirty room air v. in the pure room air?

      Then on what basis do you say that purity for spores does not mean the same as for pure air in clean rooms?

      Try the search

      “1000 times purer” bacteria

      “Chemical abstracts – Google Books Result
      American Chemical Society. Chemical Abstracts Service – 1915 – Science
      Such a vol. of sewage contained an av. of 704 other bacteria. … concluded that the filtered water is 1000 times purer than the raw water and that 17000 …”

      The American Chemical Society is using 1000 times purer to mean the contaminant is 1/1000.

      Is your only source the one Ivins quote?

      The way you determine what a disputed item means is you go to non-disputed reference sources and consult those. You can’t cite what is in dispute as reference usage for how to interpret what is in dispute.

      File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
      by AC Houston – 1904 – Cited by 3 – Related articles
      relation between the number of bacteria perc.c. in the oyster and the water over the ….. Mersea sea-water; fromt 10 to 1000 times purer than, Crouch River …

      NIH uses 1000 times purer to mean 1/1000 of contaminant.

      These are authoritative references. Look at the search results I suggested.

  38. BugMaster said


    The crust you see could be from the addition of an excessive amount of silicon-based antifoam, but is more likely just the bacterial capsular material, as in the extracellular lipopolysaccharide slime excreted by the wild-type Ames strain cells. (not produced by the morphs, BTW!)

    This would be especially pronounced if the crud that was sent to NYC was scraped off of plates.

    “Water soluable” agar as an explanation?

    No way. Besides, dried agar would have a crystalline appearance.

    And you wouldn’t recover much from material scraped off a plate, since the agar is polymerized and not exactly “water soluable” at that point.

  39. anonymous said

    Total nonsense as usual.

    You have zero reason to assume that the New York Post material is coated and embedded in agar. You have no reason to believe agar was even used to prepare the spores.

    When unusual things are seen under scanning electron microscopes (like coatings of unknown materials), EDX is then used used to determine which elements are present.

    This was done by AFIP:

    The results show a silicon containing compound present in MASSIVE excess. Calculations reveal 30% silicon by weight percent.

    Most likely source is a polymerized glass (siloxane compound).

    When the FBI analyzed the NYP powder with ICP they also found 30% silicon – but they decided they better not disclose that to congress. So they gave the Daschle number at 1.45% and said the NYP amount wasn’t accurate enough to report. Translation “there’s no way in hell we can get away with telling you there’s 30% silicon there”.

    The NYP powder gave a small plate count because it was too clumped. Each clump of around 10 spores on average gave one colony.

    • Anonymous said

      I’m glad you finally agree that the NYP samples were coated and embedded in something. That’s exactly what Detrick thought too – so they took the samples to AFIP who performed EDX. The EDX showed what was unusual about the NYP sample – the stuff coating the spores was a compound containing the element silicon. The EDX spectra are screaming this out.
      Below is what someone had to say on seeing the AFIP data. I will not post the identity of this person as no doubt he would then be harrassed.

      email from April 2010 from a scientist intimately involved with the science of the amerithrax inveestigation and focussing specifically on silicon, on seeing the AFIP data for the first time:

      Thanks for passing that along. Those are high numbers. No wonder they announced the samples were weaponized. Am I to assume that the blocked out (b)(6) areas are redacted. How are you differentiating between the samples?


      The tragedy of this whole saga is that the FBI did not allow the free-flow of information between the scientists and institutes it contracted. Dr X from institute Y was not allowed to call up Dr Z from AFIP and say “can I see your data”?

      Now NAS is left with having to explain the AFIP data somehow. They have about 3 different approaches they could use:

      (1) Ignore the AFIP data completely like it doesn’t exist. Probably not likely especially since it has been sent to them from several different sources.

      (2) Include it but find some excuse to explain it away. This would be very tough. They could try the old “instrument made an error” line but the AFIP report shows about 20 different EDX spectra from about six different samples. The NYP spectra sticks out like a sore thumb. Hard to sell the line that the instrument made an error on 3 spots of the same sample but not any other samples. Hard or impossible to blame it on something not connected with the spores since the spots on the huge slabs of embedded spores clearly show that the EDX was taken from spores and not something else like a silicon sample holder (they didn’t suddenly decide to use a different sample holder than the other samples anyway)

      (3) Actually state that the NYP powder seems to have definitely had a silicon containing additive that is extremely unlikely to be accidental.

  40. BugMaster said

    As a layperson, our beloved Ed Lake at times lacks the scientific background to understand the implications behind some fundamental microbiological concepts.

    The problem is that at times, he seems unwilling to try to understand out of pure stubborness.

    Ed, do you understand the concept of a colony forming unit? How does it relate to direct count, plate count, viable count, and lethal dose?

    A single colony forming unit does not necessarily arise from a single microbe!

    This fact casts doubt on the FBI’s conclusion that Ivins submitted a false sample, BTW, a subject I will attempt to explain in layman’s terms when I have some more time (although my explanation will probably be lost on stubborn laypersons!).

  41. Anonymous said

    It is now 25 days since NAS said they would complete their project and publish a report. Still no new update on their website on when the $1M report might be ready to be released to the public.

    The project is sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The start date for the project is 4/24/2009.

    A report will be issued at the end of the project.

    Project Duration: 18 months

    • DXer said

      The organization certainly does a wide range of nationally important work — on biodefense and numerous other issues.

      Expert Panel: Studies for Biodefense Lab Lacking
      by Jocelyn Kaiser on 18 November 2010, 4:36 PM

      Federal officials are still stumbling in their efforts to analyze the risks of operating a high-security biology lab in Boston that would study dangerous pathogens such as Ebola virus and anthrax, says the National Research Council (NRC).

      The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the $128 million lab to Boston University in 2003; the building is complete but not yet operating. But the university’s plan to use part of the building to study the deadliest pathogens in biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) facilities has drawn fierce opposition from the local community. An NRC panel stoked those concerns in 2007 when it panned NIH’s risk assessment. NIH started over.

      But in a report released today, the same NRC panel says it “cannot endorse as scientifically and technically sound the illustrative analyses presented” by contractors conducting the new assessment.

      The report says that the contractors ignored NRC’s advice to first qualitatively assess the risks of 13 different pathogens, then quantify risks for a subset. Instead, the contractors forged ahead with modeling risks for all 13 pathogens by using expert opinion instead of actual data and information from case studies. The NRC report recommends a “mid-course correction.”

      The critique comes the same week that a different NRC panel found problems with a risk assessment for a huge federal agricultural biodefense lab planned for Kansas.

  42. DXer said

    Egyptian Leader Asserted Iraq had Bioweapons, Bush Memoir Says
    Friday, Nov. 12, 2010

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak privately asserted prior to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that the regime of then-dictator Saddam Hussein held biological weapons, former President Bush said in his memoir published this week (seeGSN, Nov. 4).

    (Nov. 12) – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak … asserted before the Hussein regime was toppled that it possessed biological armaments, former President Bush wrote in his newly published memoir.

    The Bush administration said intelligence demonstrated Iraq possessed of weapons of mass destruction in making its case for war against the Hussein regime. However, no operational WMD stockpiles or programs were discovered in the Middle Eastern country following the invasion.

    “President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt had told [U.S. Gen.] Tommy Franks that Iraq had biological weapons and was certain to use them on our troops,” Voice of America quoted Bush as saying in his book, titled “Decision Points.”

    The Egyptian leader “refused to make the allegation in public for fear of inciting the Arab street,” Bush wrote.

    “Intelligence from a Middle Eastern leader who knew (former Iraqi President) Saddam (Hussein) well had an impact on my thinking,” he said. “Just as there were risks to actions, there were risks to inaction as well” (Diaa Bekheet, Voice of America, Nov. 11).


    One hypothesis that remains open is that the anthrax mailings were an Egyptian security operation. The return address was Greendale School. The mailer needed to have access to intel about Ayman Zawahiri use of “school” as code and its use of “Green Team.” Maybe “Green Lab” even.

    Bush writes that

    “Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s longtime ambassador to Washington and a friend of mine since dad’s presidency, came to the Oval Office and told me our allies in the Middle East wanted a decision,” Bush said.”

    I once saw a memo about Prince Bandar’s meeting with an arms trafficker Sarkis — the memo was recounting their conversation at a restaurant Benihanas. The US permitting the sale of 100 combat helicopters to Iraq. Drawings showed they were outfitted with quick spraydrying mechanisms. The Saudis were secretly paying for it. (That is, the Saudis were giving Saddam the money to make the purchase). The Saudis wanted to avoid Iraq being run over with Iranian infantry.

    According to Tariq Aziz’s press conference, the helicopters were for the purpose of agricultural spraydrying missions and being purchased by the Agriculture ministry even though this was the height of the Iraq-Iran war. (Tariq Aziz was lying). And so when President Bush expressed such moral indignation about Saddam’s use of chemical weapons “against his own people,” I wasn’t impressed. If he had such concerns, his Dad should not have been arming Saddam. Public court records and published interviews with the arms trafficker show that the arms trafficker’s defense was that it was authorized by Ollie North from the basement office and that if the court would allow the notebooks to be produced, his defense would be proved by the documentary evidence. Sarkis, before he was the third biggest arms trafficker in the world and working for the CIA, used to pump gas here in Upstate New York. I would hold the elevator door open for him as he was rather slow-moving.

    Maybe Ayman Zawahiri was framed by one of his fellow medical school alum and childhood friends from Maadi.

    But while we wait to penetrate the mystery, let’s at least get the basic facts right:

    The genetics narrowed things from 1000 to 300+. Big whoop. The anthrax was stored and left in Building 1412 at numerous various times for extended periods. etc. So the DOJ and Ed should get that basic fact right.

    • DXer said

      Indeed, the FBI’s anthrax expert, JE, who made aerosolized dry powder using genetically matching Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins, had his lab in Building 1412. The Ames, according to a 302 interview, was stored in an unlocked refrigerator in the Special Pathogens lab.

  43. DXer said

    I am advised that by Order dated November 15, 2010, Dr. David S. Irwin and/or Shady Grove Psychiatric Group and Diane Ivins, upon not responding to a motion to compel the production of documents, have been ordered to produce all of the requested documents, or be subject to sanctions determined by this court. The documents will be subject to the protective order previously entered by the parties.

    • DXer said

      There was a similar order granting a Motion to Compel production of records from non-party records custodian for Dr. Allan Levy and/or Comprehensive Counseling Associates last month. Dr. Levy’s counsel had written the judge explaining the Maryland law that required his personal representative be contacted. Mrs. Ivins opposed the request in a statement but the reality is that it would cost money to be represented in court in opposing the motion to compel. The motions to compel are being granted upon not being opposed. Yet another way in which Dr. Ivins’ rights are getting short shrift even now.

  44. DXer said

    In footnote 23, the February 2010 Amerithrax Summary attempts to address the fact brought out by the Bacteriology Division chiefs in September 2008 via the New York Times.

    Contrary to the US Attorney Taylor’s claim it was commonly stored also in Building 1412. Indeed, Ed points out that left-overs from aerosols were left for weeks in a messy lab awaiting autoclaving. (That is where the aerosol experiments were done).

    The February 2010 revisionist history attempts to reason:

    “the investigation did not ignore anyone with potential access to RMR-1029 since its creation on October 22, 1997. This pool included 131 individuals with hot suite access in Building 1425, and another 246 individuals with hot suite access in Building 1412, though these numbers may include some duplication, as some individuals had access to both hot suites. Investigators included Building 1412 in this analysis out of an abundance of caution because there was one notation on an early version of Dr. Ivins’s Reference Material Receipt record indicating that RMR-1029 was initially stored in Building 1412, though Dr. Ivins later denied this, and his laboratory notebooks supported him. An investigation was conducted on each of these people as well, with unremarkable results.”

    As Ed has explained, in addition to simply being stored there for aerosol experiments (see Heine testimony and documentary evidence), the leftover from the aerosols was left lying around for weeks in Building 1412 in a messy lab. The footnote appears written by someone unfamiliar with the 302 interview statements on the subject of virulent Ames at Building 1412.

    Given such gross confusion, it is not surprising that their investigation led to unremarkable results.

    The documentary confirms that the FBI did not first obtain the records relating to the research by the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins until February 2005. I actually find this very remarkable. The interviews that were conducted from 2005 onward should have been conducted in 2001 and 2002.

    So it is not at all surprising that the investigators and whoever drafted this memo was left totally clueless. Kenneth Kohl, most famous for the Blackwater prosecution, was the lead AUSA but often someone else more junior would be the one to drafts such a long memo. Nonetheless, for the supervisors reviewing it not to know that the virulent Ames was left lying around for weeks in Building 1412 while waiting to be autoclaved — as Ed makes plain in the 302 excerpts he quotes — shows that the Amerithrax investigation was totally botched. There were up to 246 people excluded by the investigators who reportedly were under the mistaken impression (according to this memo) that virulent Ames was not obtainable in Building 1412.

    I contacted the AUSA, a woman, who assisted Ken to ask for Dr. Ivins contemporaneous notes on the health of animals. In the memo, she and her colleagues purport to claim how long it would take to make such observations, without citation, when the 302 interview statements say otherwise. She refused to provide them under FOIA saying that the public had received all that was going to be provided. The FBI removed notebooks without leaving copies and so USAMRIID could not provide the notes he contemporaneously made on the date they imagine that he was processing the anthrax that was mailed.

    The AUSA’s and FBI agents colleagues seem unaware that because of the two-person rule implemented in 2002 scientists could no longer work late without a partner — and that Dr. Ivins late hours continued in November and December 2001 and were associated with a project called OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE. His assistant’s massive overtime was the subject of emails related to funding.

    The FBI’s theory is not a matter of opinion or judgment — it is premised expressly on things that are factually, provably not true. By refusing to provide the notes that he contemporaneously made at the very moment they say he was committing the crime, the AUSA’s arrogantly giving the finger to all that the Department of Justice represents.

    The misstatements by US Attorney were even more wild and egregious — leading casual observers to think of the circumstantial case as “compelling.” To the contrary, it was based on false statements, such as Taylor’s false claim that the stamp was uniquely sold at Dr. Ivins’ post office rather than throughout all of Virginia and Maryland.

    • DXer said

      Building 1412 was where the aerosol challenges were conducted.

      FBI pdf file #847377, page 77, says:
      It was documented during several interviews that Ivins’ group did not keep room XXX very clean and tidy. Post-challenge agar plates were left on counters, the incubators were left full of material, samples in the refrigerator were not disposed of in a timely manner, and “hot” trash was allowed to build up for weeks prior to being autoclaved. One former military aerobiology technician XXXXX commented that XXXXX had to clean Ivins’ trash himself out of safety concerns. XXXXX said that civilians at USAMRIID did not take safety seriously. XXXXX commented that when XXXXX looked at agar plates that had sat in the biohazard trash bags for several days or weeks in 115, they were covered with bacterial growth.

      FBI pdf file #847406, pages 8-9, say:
      XXXXX said that XXXXX had seen the post-challenge plates of B.a Ames after they had been sitting in room XXX of Building XXXX at USAMRIID for an extended amount of time in the trash bags. XXXXX described the plates as being completely covered with growth.

      And page 19 of that same pdf file says:

      The bags would remain in room XXX until nearly overflowing, or until the number of bags in the room became an obstruction. The bags often sat in room XXX for several days or weeks prior to being removed. XXXXX noted that XXXXX was fascinated with how much growth appeared on the plates after several days or weeks.

      • DXer said

        JAG has finally produced the 300 additional pages to USAMRIID and now USAMRIID and USAMEDD plan to take up until Thanksgiving to see if any additional proper names need to be blacked out.

        Like Alvin Toffler, author of FUTURE SHOCK, said in the Afterword of the 2010 book by the UCLA authors: with it being bioweapons vs. bureaucracy, the fellow intent on attacking the US with anthrax will succeed every time.

      • DXer said

        On the issue of trash, “IVINS emphasized that he had no reason to suspect that anyone he worked with in Bacteriology was responsible for mailing the anthrax letters. He was very concerned about the possibility of the Dugway Ba being involved in the anthrax mailings. Building 1412 is a “black hole” for Ba, and IVINS and his coworkers believed that the Dugway spores were safe in the B3 and B4 suites. Consequently, they saw no need to guard their trash.” (4/13/2004 302 interview statement)

        • DXer said

          As any USAMRIID scientist or google or basic online report could confirm, the autoclaving after the aerosol challenges was done in Building 1412, not 1425, as Ed mistakenly imagined.

          File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
          garbage was eventually autoclaved in the basement of Building 1412. …

        • DXer said

          The virulent Ames was left in 1412, not 1425, for autoclaving.

          For example, in a 4/1/2004 interview, it was explained

          “that all of the material in the hoods would be placed into the same garbage bags, including the tubes, markers, pipettes, towels, animal hairs, any containers, as well as the all glass impingers (AGI). Sometimes the garbage was placed into one (1) or two (2) gallon bio hazard bags, however, most of the time full sized bags were used.”

          “All of the garbage was eventually autoclaved in the basement of Building 1412. After the material had been autoclaved, it was placed into the dumpster in the back of Building 1412.”

        • DXer said

          Rm. 115 is in Building 1412 as is clear also from the documentary evidence which has been extensively discussed and quoted on Lew’s blog.

          FBI Pdf file #847373, Page 3:

          “There was no consistent method for the disposal of materials, as many researchers wouldautoclave their own waste, while others would leave items in or around the autoclave until it reached capacity.”

          FBI Pdf file #847377, Page 77:

          “It was documented during several interviews that Ivins’ group did not keep room XXX very clean and tidy. Post-challenge agar plates were left on counters, the incubators were left full of material, samples in the refrigerator were not disposed of in a timely manner, and “hot” trash was allowed to build up for weeks prior to being autoclaved. One former military aerobiology technician XXXXX commented that XXXXX had to clean Ivins’ trash himself out of safety concerns. XXXXX said that civilians at USAMRIID did not take safety seriously. XXXXX commented that when XXXXX looked at agar plates that had sat in the biohazard trash bags for several days or weeks in 115, they were covered with bacterial growth.”

          * Indeed, “Room 115 Bldg 1412” appears on the original version of the inventory for Flask 1029 which Lew has uploaded
…/usamriid-rmr-records-flask-1029 / -Cached – Similar

        • DXer said

          Ed is mistaken. The only autoclaving that was done in 1425 would have related, for example, perhaps to the autoclaving of water, according to one 302 interview. If Ed is still uninformed by the plainly worded documents on the issue, he should contact Jeff, or Gerard or Russell or Henry or anyone of the former USAMRIID scientists who have always taken time out from their busy schedules to been so responsive in helping people get their facts right. If Ed had been in touch with USAMRIID scientists, he would not have been so confused on genetics for 6 months after Dr. Ivins’ death. Ed thought that they pointed uniquely to Dr. Ivins rather than 300+ people. That was a fundamental confusion on which he set his sails maintained now only by hot air.

    • DXer said

      A summary of a March 31, 2005 interview of Bruce Ivins explains:

      “Where the flask of RMR 1029 were kept. Since we had a lab (room 115) in Building 1412 at the time, and since the spores were intended for aerosols, it’s possible that at least one of the flasks was kept int he lab refrigerator in 115 or in the 1st floor coldroom (much less likely) for a certain amount of time. We were eventually – I think it was probably before 2001 – “moved out” of the area by Aerobiology, and at that point may have brought RMR 1029 material back to 1425. I honestly don’t remember, but it would make sense.”

      Now compare this to the unsourced contrary claim by the AUSA in footnote 23 of the Amerithrax Summary memo, which has no support in the 302 interviews. It is inexcusable for Dr. Ivins’ own position to be represented 8 months after Dr. Ivins death in sentences that should have been followed by citations to the record.

  45. DXer said

    “Two weeks ago, Mehmet Oz and his production team got a sneak peek at the yet-to-open National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center lab. Today’s episode features a walk-through of the $147-million facility and its two core missions: threat characterization to determine how the U.S. is susceptible to bioterrorism and biocrime, as well as bioforensics to track down the culprit in the aftermath of an attack.” …

    On Nov. 3, Oz met with NBACC lab director Pat Fitch, who escorted him through the lengthy security process to enter the lab building. They spent the morning walking through the bioforensics section of the building, starting in the docking area where a sample would be delivered by the FBI, through the labs to determine whether the sample was in fact contaminated with a virus or bacteria, and then through the labs to identify the biological agent and its origins.

    What a joke! We know all about USAMRIID’s efficiency on the subject of biocrime! It took two years for JAG to produce a stack that should have taken 2 days.

    The Ames aerosol produced by the FBI’s anthrax expert was the closest match and they withheld those documents until after the investigation was closed.

    And the head of the Amerithrax science is now head of this lab after being in charge of the Naval biodefense project for which Ali Al-Timimi was awarded a letter of commendation from the White House for classified work while at the contractor SRA with Dr. Bailey. It’s always about the money paid government employees and consultants — never about the public interest or efficiency or transparency or compliance with the rules relating to freedom of information.

    When Ayman Zawahiri next attempts to destroy Washington, D.C. and New York City — and he will — these same people will still allow themselves the pretense that they are acting in the public interest in regards to Amerithrax.

  46. DXer said

    In terms of documentary evidence regarding the FBI’s expert John Ezell making of dried powder using Ames for the Johns Hopkins aerosol studies, here is some documentary evidence.

    Here is an email about JE asking Dr. Ivins to do the per gram calculations Anonymous links and relies upon — that JE says got some panties in a twist.

    This relates to storing virulent Ames by JE for the DARPA-funded Johns Hopkins aerosol studies (which one person thought was an odd place to have it).

    Here is a 302 interview relating to the DARPA project.

    Here is Dr. Ivins interview on the subject.

    Here is the question whether the DARPA-funded Ames aerosol made by the FBI’s anthrax expert contained a Silicon Signature.

    Let me know what John says on these technical issues of your focus.

    • Anonymous said

      OK, it’s all very interesting. One thing to bear in mind however, is that it would actually have been impossible for Ezzel to do plate counts on his dry powder – since the dry powder had been irradiated and was killed it would not have grown on plates.

      Still, the data speaks for itself. The Daschle dry powder was 100 times more potent than the Dugway dry powder simulant the army had. The Daschle powder was at it’s theoretical maximum – it could not have been “better”.

      And Bruce Ivins supposedly produced a powder 100 times better than a simulant made by the aerosol pros at Dugway all by himself in his second ever attempt (the first attempt was the NYP powder which was STILL TEN TIMES BETTER than the Dugway simulant powder).

      Until these documented FACTUAL NUMBERS are scientifically addressed by the NAS panel (or GAO panel if the NAS panel chooses to ignore the facts) – the Amerithrax scientific investigation will remain woefully incomplete.

      • “[A former top military scientist] says, “I had never seen a preparation that pure—10-12 spores per gram—with no rubbish.”

        So this was not normal lab purity is what he was saying.


        “repeatedly spinning the anthrax mixture in a centrifuge and washing out non-spore materials.”

        So if each centrifuging takes 30 minutes, and repeatedly means 10 times, that would be 5 hours?

        This gets us back to the calculations I did earlier. Note that I responded there to the comments at your page and cited the data on the first and second mailing. Could you kindly respond to those points? Just follow the link on Old Atlantic at your own webpage and you can see my responses and citations that the first powder was in fact mostly spores. See your Sep 14 2010 entry.

        Excerpt from that page of notes from Ivins analysis

        sps02.57.03 examined oct 17 2001

        date analyzed 23 oct 2001
        date report 24 oct 2001
        sample sps02.8801
        < 5 percent visible vegetative cells
        < 10 percent visible debris
        very few clumps
        most individual refractile spores

        relatively pure


        page 106 sample sps02.88.01
        data analyzed 23 oct 2001
        date report 24 oct 2001

        1.33 x 10^11 cfu per gram

        < 5 percent visible veg cells

        < 10 percent visible debris

        not as pure as sps02.57.03 oct 17 2001
        2.1 x 10^12 per gram

      • anonymous said

        “If anyone actually said that “The Daschle dry powder was 100 times more potent than the Dugway dry powder simulant the army had,” they were talking bull.”

        It’s all documented in page 121- 130 … at
        2. VII-B Spray drier BT … 2.2×10^10 cfu per gram

        This preparation is much less pure than the SPS02.57.03 [Daschle powder] preparation examined on October 17, 2001, which had a count of 2.1×10^12 per gram.

        I realize, of course, that when you read these FACTUAL HARD NUMBERS, you see the complete opposite of what they the numbers actually say.

        • DXer said

          On October 18, 2001, Dr. Ivins wrote in part:

          “I received the sample (in ziplock bags) from Stephanie Redus on the afternoon of 17 October, 2001. The sample was taken into B-3. Insufficient powder was on the letter, so powdery material was scraped from the envelope and put into a small, tared, glass container. The container was reweighed and the net weight of the powdery material was determined to be 0.013 grams. To the material was added 987 [microliters] of sterile water for injection to make a total of 1 gram (and approximately 1 ml) of suspension. Ten-fold dilutions were plated out onto TSA, then incubated overnight. ”

          “Visual inspection of the suspension of material under phase contrast microscopy found no visible vegetative cells, no visible debris, and very few small clumps. Most of the material appeared to be individual refractile spores.”

          Interpretations and conclusions: If this was a preparation of bacterial spores, it is an extremely pure preparation, and an extremely high concentration. There are not “garage” spores. The nature of the spore preparation suggests very highly that professional manufacturing techniques were used in the production and purification of the spores, as well as in converting the spores into an extremely fine powder.”

        • DXer said

          Page 14 of the Amerithrax Summary states:

          “Spore powder concentrations ranged from 4.60 x 1010 to 2.10 x 10 12 colony-forming units per gram, an extraordinarily high concentration. In addition, the spores in the Washington, D.C. letters were of exceptional purity. Spores of such high concentration and purity indicate that they were derived from high quality spore preparations. Spores of this quality are often used in bio-defense research, including vaccine development. It is important to have highly concentrated spores to challenge most effectively the vaccine being tested. Similarly, highly purified spores are necessary to prevent obstruction of the machinery used in those experiments.6 These findings meant that the anthrax mailer must have possessed significant technical skill.”

        • Anonymous said

          “So, you admit that the numbers are pure bull. And you made them up!”

          Yes, the numbers are made up. The official FBI link at doesn’t actually say what it says.

          It doesn’t say that the BT powder plated out at 2.2×10^10 cfu per gram and Daschle powder plated out 100 times higher at 2.1×10^12 per gram.

          Anyone who reads these numbers in the FBI document is simply imagining that they exist.

        • Anonymous said

          The dry powders simulants made at Dugway contain 2.33 X 10^11 spores/g at best). These are fluidized (coated with silica) to make them surrogates for bioweapons. These simulant dry powders, made by the pros, are equivalent to the NYP powder in terms of cfu/g and are ten times less potent in terms of cfu/g than the Daschle powder.
          The numbers speak for themselves, as do the sophisticated and documented (in peer reviewed scientific journals) methods and equipment needed to manufacture them in a laboratory setting.

          The B. atrophaeus used was a dry powder (2.33 x 1011 spores/g) that was characterized by scanning electron microscopy and an APS measurement for aerodynamic size in the aerosol state. Dried spores were prepared and characterized by scientists at Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, UT. Spores ranged from 0.6 to 1.1 µm in three separate analyses. Fluidized spores are reasonable facsimiles of weaponized spores. One-tenth of a gram of material was released for each short-term test and 2 g for each long-term or cyclic test. The spores and disseminator were weighed together before and after each test so that the precise amount of material released was known.

          Dried BaS spores were produced as follows: Ten liter (L) fermentation vessels were seeded (5% V/V) with overnight nutrient broth cultures of BaS. Spores were grown in G medium that consists of: yeast extract, 2.0 g L-1; NH4SO4, 2.0 g L-1; Dow antifoam 204, 0.3 mL L-1; MgSO4·7H2O, 0.2 g L-1; MnSO4·H2O, 0.038 g L-1; ZnSO4·7H2O, 0.005 g L-1; CuSO4·5H2O, 0.005 g L-1; FeSO4·7H2O, 0.005 g L-1; CaCl2·2H2O, 0.25 g L-1; K2HPO4, 0.500 g L-1; glucose, 1.0 g L-1. The pH was adjusted to 7.0 ± 0.1 and the glucose was added separately as a sterile solution after autoclaving.

          The culture was incubated at 30°C in a 10 L fermentation vessel with an agitation rate of 250 RPM and an aeration rate greater than 0.5 volumes min-1. Sporulation was generally complete within 24 h. Spores were collected by simple centrifugation to remove spent media. The pelleted material was dried by a proprietary azeotropic method. Ten percent (by weight) of an amorphous silica-based flow enhancer was added to the dried spores. The dried material was milled using an exclusionary ball mill. In this process the material passed through a series of stages separated by increasingly finer mesh screens. In each stage 0.01 m diameter steel balls forced the product through the screen separators. A pneumatic vibrator actuated the entire mill.

        • anonymous said

          “ANY collection of pure dry anthrax spores would be a trillion spores per gram.”

          Lake STILL insists on confusing spores per gram and cfu/g when it comes to DRY POWDERS.

          Lake thinks clumped spores would still plate out at 10^12 cfu/g.

          That is laughingly absurd, since it would mean the following:

          1. VIII-B 21 June 95 – Dried BT powder … 1.1×10^9 cfu per gram

          2. VII-B Spray drier BT … 2.2×10^10 cfu per gram

          3. I-B Dried Powder … 1.0×10^7 cfu per gram

          4. IX-B Spray dried BT … 9.5×10^9 cfu per gram

          5. VI-B Dried powder from fermentor run … 1.3×10^10 cfu per gram

          6. V-B 21 June 95 – Dried powder from spray drier … 5.0×10^9 cfu per gram

          7. IV-B Bentonite feed stock – 0.00865g … no growth seen (<1.2×10^5 cfu per gram)

          Preparation (2) would contain 1% spores and 99% debris. Preparation (3) would contain 0.001% spores and 9.999% debris, etc. That is, of course, absurd. It simply means these dry powder preparations contain mostly clumps of spores that plate out as hundreds of spores at one spot, giving rise to one colony.

          Lake is in denial that the FBI numbers prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Daschle powder was one hundred times better as a bioweapon than the best simulant the army has on hand at the time, and ten times better than the standard fluidized (silica added) simulant shipped by Dugway labs.

          And Bruce Ivins supposedly made this miracle occur all on his own, in secret.

        • Anonymous said

          “Dugway’s “weaponized” spores were created using FACTORY equipment and vast amounts of bacteria, not laboratory equipment and small amounts of bacteria.”

          Yes, the words below really don’t exist. They lied when they wrote the paper. The used factory processes, not laboratory processes at all.

          They didn’t grow spores in a fermentor, in the exact same way they made gallons of spores for the RMR-1029 flask. They didn’t use a propietary azeotrpic drying technique, didn’t use a mill with mesh screens, didn’t use silica to fluidize the spores, and then deliberatley fooled the scientific community by writing they produced a dry powder with 2.2 x 10^11 cfu/g when in fact they really produced 2.2 x 10^12 cfu/g.

          As you will soon find out when the NAS report is released, real scientists deal with solid facts, established metrics, benchmarks and numbers. Your innuendo is getting desperate as you now realize the science community is on to the FBI junk science.

          I’ve been made aware of the drivel you’ve recently been emailing certain folks. You should really listen to the responses, instead of ignoring them.


          Dried BaS spores were produced as follows: Ten liter (L) fermentation vessels were seeded (5% V/V) with overnight nutrient broth cultures of BaS. Spores were grown in G medium that consists of: yeast extract, 2.0 g L-1; NH4SO4, 2.0 g L-1; Dow antifoam 204, 0.3 mL L-1; MgSO4·7H2O, 0.2 g L-1; MnSO4·H2O, 0.038 g L-1; ZnSO4·7H2O, 0.005 g L-1; CuSO4·5H2O, 0.005 g L-1; FeSO4·7H2O, 0.005 g L-1; CaCl2·2H2O, 0.25 g L-1; K2HPO4, 0.500 g L-1; glucose, 1.0 g L-1. The pH was adjusted to 7.0 ± 0.1 and the glucose was added separately as a sterile solution after autoclaving.

          The culture was incubated at 30°C in a 10 L fermentation vessel with an agitation rate of 250 RPM and an aeration rate greater than 0.5 volumes min-1. Sporulation was generally complete within 24 h. Spores were collected by simple centrifugation to remove spent media. The pelleted material was dried by a proprietary azeotropic method. Ten percent (by weight) of an amorphous silica-based flow enhancer was added to the dried spores. The dried material was milled using an exclusionary ball mill. In this process the material passed through a series of stages separated by increasingly finer mesh screens. In each stage 0.01 m diameter steel balls forced the product through the screen separators. A pneumatic vibrator actuated the entire mill.

        • DXer said

          Here is a memo about autoclaving and the only Ames that Bruce reports turned up missing.

    • DXer said

      Here are additional documents related to the DARPA-funded research for which Bruce Ivins supplied the virulent Ames. The documents seem to indicate that the FBI did not first obtain them until February 2005!

      The former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins tested his decontamination agent at Johns Hopkins (in addition to Dugway and LSU). At LSU, he was provided the BL-3 lab by the FBI exert KS who tested Ivins’ lab sample. Crediting everyone’s good faith, conflict of interest analysis regularly applied by Government Accountability Office applies.

      The mere fact that it has taken the US Government two years to produce a stack of emails says it all. If it takes 2 years to produce documents, how long would it take them to actually analyze them? (That is, if they had even bothered to obtain the relevant documents before 2005). The documentary evidence shows that they did not even obtain the documents until several years after the attacks.

  47. Old Atlantic said

    Ed Lake has disclosed on his website the pre autoclave production method. You just take refuse plates and leave them in the garbage bag and you can produce 5 to 10 grams for the first mailing and 2 grams or more after purification for the Senate letter mailings.

    Zounds. You don’t need to buy from Dugway. You don’t need to order from Detrick. You just take a few plates and leave them in plastic bags and you can produce your 5 to 10 grams of the purity of the first mailings and the very pure Senate 2 grams. No work required.

    Perhaps this is what was in the emails. Ft. Detrick didn’t want to give up the lucrative Battelle spore preparation contract business because the secret of leaving them in plastic bags to grow fuzz bacteria was in the emails.

    I want my, I want my anthrax free
    I want my, I want my autoclave free

    Now look at them autoclaves, that’s the way you do it
    You play the autoclave on that Detrick TV
    That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it
    spores for nothin’ and your purity for free
    Now that ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it
    Lemme tell ya, them Ivins ain’t dumb
    Maybe get a blister on your little finger
    Maybe get a blister on your thumb

    We got to install microwave ovens
    Custom kitchen deliveries
    We got to move these refrigerators
    We got to move these color TV’s

    Spores for nothin’ and purity for free
    I want my, I want my, I want my anthrax free

    Apologies to Dire Straits.

    • DXer said

      All the aerosol work was done in Building 1412. The material left for autoclaving was in Building 1412. So Ed’s speculation strongly supports Dr. Ivins’ innocence, not his guilt. It underscores the importance of the claim by all the Bacteriology chiefs that up to 300 had access and not the 100 that the US Attorney imagined. The US Attorney’s entire summary was based on the mistaken claim that it was stored solely in Building 1425.

      • DXer said

        In contrast to speculative BS theorizing, evidence would sound something like what is found in the expert reports that the FBI and NAS have failed to produce as required by FOIA and FACA:

        Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used on the photocopied letters used in the mailings. When IR radiation of the proper energy strikes a molecule, absorption will occur and chemical bonds within the molecule will start to vibrate. Each different bond within a molecule will have its own characteristic vibration frequency, and an arrangement of bonded atoms can undergo a number of different kinds of vibrations (e.g. symmetrical and asymmetrical stretching, scissoring, rocking, wagging and twisting). The energy source to provoke these vibrations is the irradiated IR-beam. The absorption of characteristic wavelengths is measured. This is a powerful technique for the comparison and identification of toners. Here, the photocopy in the USAMRIID library could be excluded at a ___ level of confidence.

        • DXer said

          The Amerithrax Summary explained in February 2010: “Early in the investigation, agents determined that the isolates of the Ames strain were accessible to any individual at USAMRIID with access to the biocontainment or “hot side” of Building 1412. ”

          At the August 8 press conference, US Attorney Taylor, in contrast, before leaving for a highly lucrative job in the private sector, mistakenly claimed that it had been stored exclusively in Building 1425. See August 8 press conference. One building. Two buildings. This was a very fundamental error to make and the issue of access which was central to analysis.

          The left-over material was left for weeks in Building 1412 and was kept in a messy and uncontrolled setting — and as the FBI notes was “accessible to any individual at USAMRIID with access to the biocontainment or “hot side” of Building 1412.”

          Johnstone in his 2008 book notes: “The genesis of this work was, thus, the notion to attempt to create, on a much humbler scale, a 9/11 Commission-like look at the anthrax crises… (p. x) Written in August 2008, it is an example of the number of authors who quite reasonably, writing when they did, relied on the representations of a US Attorney — what was available to them.

          That is why the timely production of documents as required by law is so important so that the public and authors like Guillernin and Willman are not misled by mistaken factual statements on issues where the documents show otherwise.

          For example, here, the factual evidence being withheld show that the USAMRIID photocopier can be excluded. With the AUSA’s canard on that issue alone exposed, an Ivins Theory as put forth in the Amerithrax Summary can be flushed down the toilet.

    • BugMaster said

      The crud sent to NYC could have been scraped off of plates.

      But the material sent to Leahy that exhibited never-before-seen levels of purity and lethality (plating out at 1 trillion CFUs / gram)!?

      I really hope it isn’t that easy!

      • DXer said

        As I recall, the footnote on the first page in the memo authored by William Patrick to Steve Hatfill at SAIC noted that 1 trillion spore concentration had previously done in the US program. On some copies it is blacked out, but has been uploaded perhaps in unredacted form somewhere.

        • DXer said

          The footnote in Dr. Patrick’s report, before being omitted, states that “We have now arrived at the point where we can purify [anthrax] to the extent of 1 trillion spores in a gram.” But by all means let’s find a URL to both versions. Dr. Patrick provided a chapter in the 2010 book by Katona and Intriligator.

        • DXer said

          I still am looking for the memo. Attorney Connolly once sent me all the Hatfill documents. If I find that disc, I’ll search there. In the meantime, here is mention in Don Foster’s Vanity Fair article.

          VA N I T Y F A I R
          O C T O B E R 2 0 0 3


          “After rumors broke that Bill Patrick, in a classified paper, had foreseen a bioterror attack using the mail service, a transcript of his paper was leaked to the press. The leaked version represents Patricks original text for S.A.I.C., typos
          and all, but with one critical omission: a footnote in which Patrick claims that the U.S. has refined weaponized powder to a trillion spores per gram (but it) has disappeared.”

          David Tell discusses the memo generally here:

          “Hasn’t it been established that Hatfill once commissioned a secret study detailing exactly how a terrorist could effectively ship anthrax through the mail?

          No. The now-infamous “blueprint” study by retired U.S. bioweapons scientist William Patrick III, commissioned by SAIC on Hatfill’s recommendation in February 1999, was treated as a case-breaking blockbuster when its existence was first publicly disclosed more than three months ago. “Whoa, something may be going on here,” burbled “bioterrorism expert” Kyle Olson on ABC News; “our attacker may very well have used this report as something of a — if not a template, then certainly as a rule of thumb.” Reactions like Olson’s look foolish in retrospect, though. According to the latest published reports, vouched for to The Weekly Standard by a scientist who’s read the Patrick study and is familiar with the circumstances under which it was written, the document seems not to have discussed, much less revealed, any sensitive information about how one might best use the postal service to kill someone with anthrax. Rather, Patrick’s (very short) report was designed to serve as the first draft of a mass-distribution advisory pamphlet concerning the public health and emergency response issues raised by a then-much-publicized wave of anthrax hoax letters mailed to abortion clinics. Clinic employees around the country were being hosed down with misted bleach by well-meaning but ill-informed local police and ambulance crews. Hatfill, SAIC, and Patrick thought the nation could and should do better.

          Whatever technical information was included in Patrick’s draft, incidentally, he appears to have put there on his own initiative. Hatfill did not request it. And none of it constituted a missing scientific ingredient for the preparation of anthrax terror letters.”

        • DXer said

          Dr. Ezzell, the FBI’s anthrax expert, told me that he made dried powdered anthrax at the request of DARPA. It was irradiated while in a slurry. What was its level of concentration? He says his was better than the Daschle product.

        • BugMaster said

          A 1 trillion SPORE PER GRAM preparation is one thing. A dried form that plates out at 1 trillion COLONY FORMING UNITS per gram is quite another.

        • Anonymous said

          Agree, as we have discussed on here before, the Daschle and even the NYP powders plated out orders of magnitude higher than any dry powder simulant the army had at the time.
          A WET sample of RMR-1029 would have plated out high – but drying it to a powder then plating it out the same – that’s another story altogether.

          It seems folks who want to downplay how advanced the attack powder was contiunally mix up the spore per gram counts between wet and dry preparations in order to try to muddy the waters.

          As the link above clearly shows, in a completely apples-to-apples comparison – the Daschle and even the NYP powder were more potent then EVERY powder the army examined (simulants from Dugway etc.). And they weren’t more potent by just a factor of 2 – they were more potent by orders of magnitude.

        • DXer said

          The FBI’s expert, John Ezzell, says that what he prepared for DARPA using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins was better than the Daschle product. And so who is saying that it had not been before? Certainly not Ken Alibek or William Patrick.

        • DXer said

          Now, Dr. Ivins reported that he had never seen anything like it before — that’s true. And there’s no reason to think he had. Certainly there is zero reason to think he made it.

        • DXer said

          The US Army’s Microbial Vac in 2001 concentrated powder things by a factor of 10 using sequential filtration.

        • DXer said

          I’ve named three microbiologists with spore and aerosol expertise — Ken Alibek, William Patrick, and John Ezzell. All have made aerosols of dried powder. Anonymous is not a microbiologist. Have you folks named someone yet who can dispute that the dried powder made by FBI anthrax expert JE using Ames supplied by Bruce was not BETTER than the Daschle product as he reports? If not, then give it up until you can name an expert with spore expertise who makes dried aerosols. Certainly, Dr. Kiel could confirm that his own aerosol simulant performs just as well if not better.

        • DXer said

          Did I mention that given the FBI’s anthrax expert made an Ames aerosol using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins that he had a conflict of interest? Given he is the one who collected the sample from Ivins’ lab, guess what, folks?
          Despite his good faith and integrity, that is another example of a conflict of interest that the GAO will know how to address under standard analysis.

        • Anonymous said

          DXer wrote:
          “The FBI’s expert, John Ezzell, says that what he prepared for DARPA using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins was better than the Daschle product.”

          As Carl Sagan once wrote “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”.

          We have already seen the extraordinary proof that the Daschle dry spores plated out at 2.1×10^12 per gram. The best dry powder simulant the army had plated out at 2.2×10^10 cfu per gram (this is VII-B Spray drier BT … 2.2×10^10 cfu per gram)
          see evidence here:

          This means the Daschle powder was one hundred times more potent than the best dry powder simulant the army had. Numbers cannot be argued with.

          Please present the evidence to backup the extraordinary claims you are making that you attribute to Dr Ezzel. Dr Ezzel obviously provided you with the plating cfu for the dry powder he made (note: This is NOT the cfu of the origninal wet prep he had – it’s the CFU ONCE DRIED TO A POWDER).

          Please provide these details along with a full explnation for why the VII-B Spray drier BT simulant was 100 times less potent.

          If you cannot provide evidence your comments are simply not to be taken seriously.

        • DXer said

          The man on the telephone was telling me that he was under a gag order and that the FBI likely was wiretapping his telephone. Dr. John Ezzell was the FBI’s anthrax specialist who first examined the finely powderized anthrax sent to the United Senators Leahy and Daschle. It was July 2009. He had returned my call from moments earlier. When he called, I was on the other line continuing a message on his answering machine. He confirmed that he made dry powdered anthrax at USAMRIID’s Ft. Detrick for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”). The dried Ames was prepared by Dr. Ezzell in connection with mass spectrometry detector research that explored the effect of a Corona Plasma Discharge and Sonicator on Ames spores.

          Dr. Ezzell explained in a blog in response to my description:

          “The anthrax spores that my lab prepared for DARPA were dead spores. At no time have I ever prepared live virulent dried spores. Secondly.. the spores I prepared were snow white, ultra pure and were light and “fluffy” where as the spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters were tan, not ultra pure and were different in their physical characteristics. The spores prepared for DARPA were prepared in accordance with all regulations and were to used to test mass spectrometer detectors for biological threat agents. Neither I nor DARPA did anything wrong or illegal in this matter.”

          Beginning in 1996, Dr. Ezzell also worked for the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit. After coming under suspicion, Dr. Bruce Ivins wrote an email to his colleague and friend Patricia Fellows saying that he had heard that the aerosolized anthrax made by Dr. Ezzell for DARPA was the closest match to the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001 that Dr. Ezzell had examined.

          Dr. Ezzell has published his phone number and email and asked anyone who has any questions to contact him. (I posted his number and email here in an earlier thread). By all means, if you have any questions, by all means, you should contact him and then report back.

  48. anonymous said

    Things could get interesting here if British police open a murder inquiry. David Kelly attended a US intelligence briefing to NATO bioweapon scientists at which the US said the chemical “polymerized glass” had been added to the anthrax attack spores. If the NAS committee are doing their jobs properly they will have obtained all the lab reports that led to that conclusion.

    Police have been urged to start a murder inquiry into Dr David Kelly’s death following further allegations that he did not commit suicide.

    Officers have been told the government scientist could not have taken an overdose of painkillers.

    This overdose was found by the original pathologist to be one of the causes of his death.

    Dr Andrew Watt, an experienced clinical pharmacologist, says he has told Thames Valley Police it is not possible Dr Kelly could have swallowed more than a ‘safe’ dose of two coproxamol tablets because there was so little in his system after death.

    He said: ‘I reported to the Thames force that I believe that the death of Dr Kelly may have been murder. I have received an acknowledgement and they have given me an incident number.

    ‘I have been told that the inquiry is being conducted by a very senior officer.’
    A second development also casts doubt on the suicide verdict of the Hutton inquiry – which took the place of a formal inquest.

    The Mail has established that Dr Kelly left an upbeat answerphone message to his friend Nigel Cox just days before his body was found on July 18, 2003. Dr Kelly said he was looking forward to joining him for a game of cards on July 23.

    Mr Cox, who played in the same pub cribbage team as Dr Kelly, was on holiday at the time and only received the message after the scientist’s death.

    The message said ‘Hi Nige, I will see you at crib next Wednesday’, said Mr Cox, adding that the tone convinced him his friend was not suicidal.

    He contacted Thames Valley Police and suggested they listen to it because he believed it was an important indication of Dr Kelly’s state of mind and showed he had plans for the future. According to Mr Cox, police expressed interest in the message but it was never collected by investigating officers.

    Dr Michael Powers QC, representing a group of doctors who have begun legal action to secure a full inquest on Dr Kelly, said: ‘Establishing evidence of intent to commit suicide is essential.

    ‘It is very surprising Thames Valley Police failed to follow up this important lead. Were there to be a coroner’s inquest this evidence would have to be investigated.’

    Last night Thames Valley Police declined to comment on why they did not collect the answerphone message. A spokesman said: ‘There has been a thorough investigation into the death of Dr David Kelly and that investigation has been the subject of a major inquiry by Lord Hutton.’

    Police confirmed they had received Dr Watt’s allegation that the scientist was murdered.

    ‘This will be considered by senior officers at the next meeting we have on David Kelly. We have not yet decided what to do about Dr Watt’s information,’ said a spokesman.

    Dr Kelly’s body was found in woods near his Oxfordshire home shortly after he was unmasked as the source of a BBC report claiming the government ‘sexed up’ a dossier on Iraq’s weapons.

    Attorney General Dominic Grieve is facing mounting demands for an inquest and has promised to make a decision on this shortly.

    • DXer said

      It was reported in October 2010 that no expert in the field of forensic pathology has to date come forward to doubt that claim. Can you name any forensic pathologists who do? If not, it seems very likely that Attorney General Grieve will, after filling in any unanswered questions, confirm the Hutton inquiry conclusion.

      “The experts are clear on how David Kelly died: Not a single forensic pathologist has challenged the conclusions of the Hutton inquiry”

      In the case of Dr. Ivins, all the evidence confirms he committed suicide (although if the codeine was not in the Tylenol he purchased, that apparently was given to him while hospitalized). It was lazy for the police not to test the red liquid he had been drinking but given his earlier attempt at suicide, his purchase of extra Tylenol that day, his release from hospital, the note to his wife, it seemed he wanted release from the pressure. His emails provide the background of the rage he felt at USAMRIID for not letting his attorney interview his co-workers and their refusal to provide him a list of what the FBI had taken from his lab in November 2007. Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott could best explain why he felt betrayed by them. He was being (wrongly and without basis) accused while at the same time he was being alienated from his friends and prevented from mounting a defense. His rage and acute depression was to be expected and was a natural consequence of what was being done. JAG’s withholding of the documents for two years was due, for example, an attempt to avoid civil liability for causing Dr. Ivins’ death. By analogy, the UK government does not acknowledge pressurizing Dr. Kelly.

    • DXer said

      Anonymous writes:

      “Things could get interesting here if British police open a murder inquiry. David Kelly attended a US intelligence briefing to NATO bioweapon scientists at which the US said the chemical “polymerized glass” had been added to the anthrax attack spores. If the NAS committee are doing their jobs properly they will have obtained all the lab reports that led to that conclusion.”

      Can you name a scientist with spore expertise who examined the spores who reached that conclusion? Johnstone in his August 2008 book that has a solid discussion of the Amerithrax investigation (at pp. 63-777) quoted a molecular biologist saying: “I don’t know of anybody with spore expertise who actually worked on the stuff who said the spores were coated.” Mr. Johnstone, who served on the 911 Commission, wrote that the “molecular biologist who was consulted in the Amerithrax probe says the FBI in fact provided classified briefings to members of Congress in which it was clearly stated that the evidence indicated that the spores were not coated. (at p. 67) Ken Alibek, who joined with Matt Meselson in the NYT in June 2002 is saying the spores were not coated (based on their look at several SEMS) was not aware of the AFIP report when I first mentioned it to him. Do you think Matt was? Regardless, it seems to be a factual statement as to what Congress was told in classified briefings.

  49. anonymous said

    It is now 21 days since NAS said they would complete their project and publish a report. Still no new update on their website on when the $1M report might be ready to be released to the public.

    The project is sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The start date for the project is 4/24/2009.

    A report will be issued at the end of the project.

    Project Duration: 18 months

    • DXer said

      It’s good that they are taking whatever time they need to take into account comments by outside reviewers. Public policy would favor taking whatever time they need. Care in drafting the report is also understandable in light of authorization of the GAO review of the same matter, which will use the NAS report as a starting point. As a formal matter, as I have reported, the head of study notes that the contract term has been extended.

      On the other hand, there is no legal justification for the continued withholding of documents because they were due to be produced upon being received. Thus, by the continuing violation the decision-makers have made the report subject to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief under the controlling legal precedent cited and discussed. No one perhaps will be motivated to bring suit along those lines given that the issues discussed are so irrelevant to the “whodunnit” insofar as an Ivins Theory is concerned. Using 4 morphs to narrow the field from 1000 to 300 would not get you to commercial break in a Perry Mason episode. Moreover, the finding in the draft report confirming that the origin of the Silicon Signature could have been in the culture medium does not advance things. It only then merely implicates numerous alternative hypotheses.

      The NAS has avoided the issues that actually would be probative. For example, the NAS never publicly discussed the forensics relating to the photocopy toner that exclude use of the photocopy that the AUSA, without a scientific basis, alleged was used. The NAS was tasked with reviewing the science used in Amerithrax and examination of the photocopy toner — with confidence levels in the literature up to 99% — was a key scientific method. If the documents had been produced as required by law, this glaring omission in the FBI’s production could have been the subject of a comment and the FBI could have been pressed for the documents that show the USAMRIID photocopier was not used.

      Outside pundits relying on newspaper reports and the US Attorney’s August 8 summary would only find it compelling because of his misstatements of fact and confusion. For example, he falsely alleged (and it was reported by AP) that the stamp was uniquely sold in Dr. Ivins’ post office when it in fact was sold throughout Virginia and Maryland. Similarly, he falsely alleged that it was exclusively stored in Building 1425 and was under Dr. Ivins exclusive control. Instead, it was kept unlocked in refrigerators in both Building 1412 and 1425 to which several hundred had access. And so US Attorney Taylor’s claim that they eliminate the other 100 who had access fell flat on its face given that it did not take into account up to another 200 who had access in another building. Moreover, it is fallacious from the start given it is not possible to convict someone on the basis of such a “process of elimination.” Any of the 100 — or up to 300 — could have simply given it to someone else. That press conference — however rushed it needed to be under the circumstances — was a sad day for American justice given the egregious error as to where the matching strain was stored.

      The NAS draft report fails to adequately address the extreme conflicts of interest that riddled the scientific review by the FBI and as result is going to subject to an absolutely scathing Government Accountability Office report. If it is one thing GAO understands it is conflict of interest analysis. Conflicts of interest analysis assumes the good faith of the scientist.

  50. DXer said

    Nov. 11, 2010

    CIA May Face New Probe Over Destroyed Videos

    National Archives Tells NBC its Investigation into Possible Violation of Federal Records Act by CIA may be Reopened

    (CBS/AP) The CIA may face new legal challenges over its destruction of videotapes showing the waterboarding of terror suspects, NBC News reports, just two days after a special prosecutor cleared the agency’s former top clandestine officer and others of any criminal charges for destroying the records.

    The decision not to prosecute anyone in the videotape destruction came five years to the day after the CIA destroyed its cache of 92 videos of two al Qaeda operatives, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri, being subjected to the harsh interrogation technique, a form of simulated drowning. The deadline for prosecuting someone under most federal laws is five years.

    A spokeswoman for the National Archives and Records Administration, however, told NBC on Wednesday that the government’s official records keeper may well reopen its own investigation into whether the CIA’s destruction of the tapes was a violation of the Federal Records Act. The law prohibits any government body or individual from destroying government records, “regardless of physical form or characteristics,” without first clearing the action with the Archives.

    A law professor who’s examined the CIA’s move told NBC the videotapes would almost certainly fall under that definition.

    “We’re not going to let this drop,” Susan Cooper, the Archives spokeswoman, told NBC.

    The National Archives put its enquiry into the videotape destruction on hold after being stonewalled in 2008 by the CIA in its request for further information. The spy agency said they couldn’t offer details to the Archive because of the pending criminal investigation – which ended on Tuesday when the special prosecutor cleared the former agents of charges.

    According to NBC, the National Archives may consider further action if they do not hear back from the CIA “shortly” with an explanation of its decision to destroy the tapes.


    Stupid question: But what can National Archives do? Revoke the CIA’s borrowing privileges?

  51. DXer said

    In the 2010 GLOBAL BIOSECURITY book, the editors speaking at the November 29 conference explain “It begins with the reflections of an early bioweaponeer, Bill Patrick, who was intimately involved with the U.S. offensive bioweapons program terminated by President Nixon in 1969. The book ends with futurist Alvin Toffler discussing how our current institutions set up to deal with both routine and catastrophic events are actually part of a pattern of bureaucratic dysfunctionality he terms “Institutional Katrinas.”


    “Good intelligence informs decision making, enables early warning of disease and conflict, and provides situational understanding to formulate a viable response. But integrating intelligence networks will require a shift from a limited “need to know” approach to a broad “need to share” approach. Cooperating, co-production, and collaboration among and across spatial and disciplinary divides are therefore essential elements of the biosecurity equation.”

    • DXer said

      Alvin Toffler wrote in his afterword in the 2010 GLOBAL SECURITY that applies with special force to the bureaucratic delay by the National Academy of Sciences and USAMRIID in producing documents for 2 years. (The afterword similarly applies to the claim that there were no responsive documents to FOIA requests by such disparate bureaucratic organizations as the EPA, DIA and University of Michigan. )

      “[T]he public sector in most countries continues to follow Weber, trapped in bureaucratic structures that are increasingly unsuited to dealing with today’s challenges in a variety of critical areas, including public health and security.

      Nowhere was this more apparent than in the recent creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which was formed by combining 22 pre-existing bureaucracies, plus the sub- and sub-sub-bureacracies within many of them.

      The ineffectiveness of the bureaucratic model in today’s world is compounded when multiple bureaucracies need to be brought together to address a common calamity. This was clearly evident in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and the region. …


      As though this were not enough, however, the Katrina catastrophe was followed only by a few years later by the Wall Street debacle and the ensuing global crisis that has swept much of hte planet. Here on saw the failure of bureaucracy in the face of runaway complexity.


      Where was Max Weber’s bureaucracy when we needed it? The answer is “left behind.”

      Today’s combination of hyper-speed and deeper and deeper complexity in field after field is part of the historic transition from “First Wave” or agrarian economics, and to “Second Wave” industrial economies, to today’s advance to “Third Wave” knowledge-based economies and societies.

      These examples offer compelling lessons in the areas of terror and terrorism, including bioterrorism. Despite the increasingly obsolete nature of bureaucracy, it remains the prevalent form of organization among security agencies.

      Unfortunately, bioterrorists are anything but bureaucratic. They embrace ambiguity in the disguises they wear and the lies they tell. And “knowledge of the files” is not exactly a skill for which they train.

      In fact, the small-scale, constantly changing character of bioterror organizations and their use of the latest Internet, telecom and networking technologies often enable them to stay ahead of pursuers entangled in jurisdictional quarrels, funding issues, and manpower disputes.


      In today’s world of unprecedented speed and complexity, those fighting bioterrorism need to develop new organizational structures that outdo their enemies and flexibility. These structures must facilitate cooperation and instantaneous information-exchange among relevant agencies, domestically and around the world.

      Above all, while giving Max Weber all the credit that he deserves historically, we must recognize that the bureaucratic model is a relic of the past that will not cope adequately with the bioterrorist threats of tomorrow.”


      One does not need a background in sociological theory to debate whether it is a failure of the organization, a failure or its leadership, or whether it is failure of the specific individuals who failed to locate and efficiently produce the responsive documents.

      The National Academy of Sciences has withheld the documents until after there could be meaningful comment by outside scientists informed by those documents. The Government Accountability Organization, in its investigation and review of the NAS report, will benefit from knowing whether the direction came from the bureaucratic self-interest of the FBI and its scientists, the bureaucratic self-interest of the NAS, or just due to inefficiency, whether managerial or technical.

      In the case of USAMRIID documents, which should have all been produced in September 2008, the documents would be sent out in batches and numerous people at DOJ and FBI all wanted a hand in vetting the releases. They would take forever in getting back to USAMEDD. John P., at USAMEDD, finally had to put each batch on a 2-week timeframe, but even then JAG delayed production by only releasing dribs and drabs. In the first batches emailed to me, Cryptome had them uploaded to individual files overnight. In my experience, Lew routinely gets things uploaded immediately even from distant Greek isles.

      The NAS witholding of the documents so as to prevent meaningful comment by outside scientists informed by the documents and data was a clear violation of the controlling District of Columbia precedent which I have cited and linked in previous threads. The violation could subject the NAS report to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief if they are not promptly produced so as to permit comment this month. Production is real simple. You walk them down the hall, put them in a room and announce they are available for inspection and copying.

  52. DXer said

    In 2010, Peter Katona, John P. Sullivan, Michael D. Intriligator published GLOBAL BIOSECURITY: THREATS AND RESPONSES.

    Take special note of Alvin Toffler’s afterword “bureaucracy vs. bioterror – the losing race.”

    Edited by

    “This book explores a range of biohealth and biosecurity threats, places them in context, and offers responses and solutions from global and local, networked and pyramidal, as well as specialized and interdisciplinary perspectives.

    Specifically covering bioterrorism, emerging infectious diseases, pandemic disease preparedness and remediation, agroterroism, food safety, and environmental issues, the contributors demonstrate that to counter terrorism of any kind, a global, networked, and multidisciplinary approach is essential. To be successful in biosecurity, this book argues it is necessary to extend partnerships, cooperation, and co-ordination between public health, clinical medicine, private business, law enforcement and other agencies locally, nationally and internationally. Internationally, a clear understanding is needed of what has happened in past epidemics and what was accomplished in past bioprograms (in Britain, South Africa, Russia, for example). This book also assesses how, with the right technology and motivation, both a state and a non-state actor could initiate an extremely credible biothreat to security at both local and national levels.

    This book will be of much interest to students, researchers and practitioners of security studies, public health, public policy and IR in general.

    Peter Katona is Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Infectious Diseases. He is co-founder of Biological Threat Mitigation, a bioterror consulting firm.

    John P. Sullivan is a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. He is also a researcher focusing on terrorism, conflict disaster, intelligence studies, and urban operations. He is co-founder of the Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning (TEW) Group.

    Michael D. Intriligator is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is also Professor of Political Science, Professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Policy and Social Research, and Co-Director of the Jacob Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavioral Sciences, all at UCLA.”

    This likely will be at your local university library at JZ5830 .G53 2010

    Here are the Table of Contents (though any formatting errors were introduced in my cut-and-paste and stripping of page numbers)

    The U.S. Offensive Biological Warfare Program, 1943-1969 / William C. Patrick III

    Global biosecurity and the spectrum of infectious disease threats – a networked global approach / Peter Katona, John P. Sullivan, Michael D. Intriligator

    Pt. I
    Assessing the threats of natural and deliberate epidemics

    Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases / Peter Katona, W. Michael Scheld
    Biological warfare and bioterrorism: how do they differ from other WMD threats? / Philip E. Coyle
    The history of bioterrorism, biowarfare, and biocrimes / Peter Katona, Seth Carus
    Food and agricultural biosecurity / Thomas W. Frazier
    The economic, political, and social impacts of bioterrorism / Michael D. Intriligator
    Technology and the global proliferation of dual-use biotechnologies / Mark Gorwitz
    A catastrophic climate: conflict and environmental security setting the stage for humanitarian crises / John P. Sullivan

    Pt. II
    Gaps and weaknesses in current public health preparedness and response systems

    Different perceptions, similar reactions: biopreparedness in the European Union / Stefan Brem, Stephane Dubois
    Emerging roles of reserve forces: National Guard roles and mission in domestic biopreparedness / Annette Sobel
    Mitigating crisis through communication / Dan Rutz

    Pt. III
    Integrated approaches to infectious-disease preparedness and response

    Bioterrorism surveillance / Manfred S. Green
    The role of informal information sources as an adjunct to routine disease surveillance / Marjorie P. Pollack
    A public health model for WMD threat assessment: connecting the bioterrorism dots on the local level / Dickson Diamond, Moon Kim
    Integrating local, state, and federal responses to infectious threats and other challenges facing local public health departments / Jonathan E. Fielding, Elan Shultz, Noel Bazini-Barakat, Deborah Davenport, Jon Freedman, Robert Mosby, Robert Ragland
    Vulnerable populations in disaster planning: children are different / Jeffrey Upperman
    Developing a new paradigm for biodefense in the twenty-first century: adapting our healthcare response to the biodisaster threat / Joseph Rosen, C. Everett Koop
    Enhancing the role of private industry in biosecurity / Neil Jacobstein
    Towards a global ius pestilentiae: the functions of law in global biosecurity / David P. Fidler286
    Conclusion / Peter Katona, John P. Sullivan, Michael D. Intriligator

    Afterword: bureaucracy vs. bioterror – the losing race / Alvin Toffler

  53. DXer said

    In 2006, Katona, Intriligator and Sullivan published “Countering terrorism and WMD : creating a global counter-terrorism network.”

    ” The purpose of this book is to explain the need for a global network approach to counter-terrorism, and to elaborate how it could be formed. As the authors see it, the world is changing today far more rapidly than ever before, and current public and private institutions cannot keep up with this new paradigm. While terrorism has a long history, it has become the focus of worldwide attention as a result of the September 11, 2001 strikes on the U.S. and later strikes by al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations on a worldwide basis ranging from Indonesia to Tunisia to Spain. Subsequently, there have been various attempts to counter this latest wave of terrorism, including the U.S. strikes against Afghanistan and Iraq, President George W. Bush’s declaration of a “War against Terrorism,” the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the 9/11 Commission and the very recent arrests of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani and Issa al-Hindi. Despite these events and reactions, we believe that there is a need to consolidate and expand efforts against terrorism through the creation of an formal and an informal global counterterrorism network. This book contains essays from experts in various disciplines, including clinical medicine and public health; economics, political science, and public policy; and law enforcement, which are our own fields; with those of the military, politics, intelligence and the media to try to give some coherence and direction to this process of forming a global counter-terrorism network. The book identifies the nature of a global counterterrorism network, shows how such a global network could be created, and provides some guidelines for gauging its future effectiveness. This book will be essential reading for all serious students of terrorism and political violence, security studies and for defense and policy analysts.”

    It likely will be at your local university library at HV6431 .K316 2006.

    Professors Katona and Intriligator are due to speak at the Monday afternoon, November 29 conference in Washington D.C.

    • DXer said

      From Amazon –
      A. Elkus – See all my reviews
      (REAL NAME)
      This review is from: Countering Terrorism and WMD: Creating a Global Counter-Terrorism Network (Cass Series on Political Violence) (Paperback)
      (Full disclosure: I currently work for one of the editors of this volume, John P. Sullivan)

      “Countering Terrorism and WMD” is not a typical book on terrorism. It does not dwell exclusively on Al Qaeda and its affiliates–it examine the whole spectrum of violent non-state actors. The theories within are founded on new ideas about warfare and the modern-nation state such as network theory, Fourth Generation Warfare, and the decline of the traditional state system leading to the rise of the “Market State.”

      As you might guess, this is heady stuff. Some passing familiarity with the writings of theorists like John Arquilla, David Ronfeldt, and William S. Lind is assumed by the authors. Many of the authors have also published in volumes edited by Dr. Robert Bunker (“Non-State Threats and Future Wars,” “Networks, Terrorism, and Global Insurgency”), which outline these theories in greater detail. While knowledge of this alternative strategic canon isn’t essential to understanding the essays in “Countering Terrorism and WMD,” those whose only exposure to counter-terrorism is the television show “24” may have difficulty.

      While the aforementioned Bunker volumes focus on describing the threat, “Countering Terrorism and WMD” focuses on providing operational solutions for countering terrorist threats. There is little, if any, writing about military solutions–the book’s authors rightly focus on law enforcement and intelligence as the most desirable tools for the policymaker to combat terrorism. Those interested in adapting the traditional intelligence system to dealing with terrorist and WMD threats will find a wealth of information. Law enforcement counter-terrorism networks are also discussed extensively, beginning with Lindsay Clutterbuck’s insightful review of Anglo-American Victorian-era police counter-terrorism efforts.

      The authors range from RAND scholars to practitioners working in counter-terrorism and intelligence roles in military and police agencies. The balance between thinkers and practitioners serves the book well, as both scholarly rigor and ground-level experience informs the essays. Although it is primarily US-centric, “Countering Terrorism and WMD” heavily examines foreign experiences in counter-terrorism, and has a smattering of authors from foreign research institutes and security services.

      The book, however, is not without flaws. Because many of the articles are reprinted journal pieces, there is sometimes substantial conceptual overlap. The book’s overall operational focus makes it a poor read for those looking for grand strategies (i.e foreign policy, development, and the “war of ideas”), though Philip Bobbitt, Brian Jenkins, and Barry Desker and Arabinda Acharya do contribute insightful pieces dealing with foreign policy and grand strategy. The dense theory and terminology can also be intimidating to casual readers. While it does present foreign perspectives, the US-centric nature of the volume does inform the methods and means involving creating the “Global Counter-Terrorism Network.”

      Lastly, while it would be inaccurate to state that the book is a product of a particular school of thought, there nonetheless common shared assumptions about future warfare and the role of the state present throughout the compilation. These assumptions diverge substantially from the common discourse, both popular and scholarly, on counter-terrorism and the state system. If you aren’t prepared to engage with those assumptions, this book isn’t for you.

      Overall, I recommend this book without reservation. It is both a rare inside look into the operational side of counter-terrorism and an highly original set of solutions. We are currently in an era of epochal change, and our national security apparatus has not caught up to the nature of this change. “Countering Terrorism and WMD” contains insightful, common-sense ideas about how we can catch up and continue to protect our rapidly evolving societies from those who seek to destroy us.

  54. DXer said

    In Bioterror: anthrax, influenza, and the future of public health security (2008), R William Johnstone uses the 2001 anthrax attacks for an analysis of the past, present, and future of America’s preparedness to deal with major challenges to public health, including bioterrorism and pandemic flu. At your local university library, it likely can be found at HV6433.35 .J64 2008.

  55. DXer said

    My usual source of intelligence on these matters tells me that there is no support for an Ivins Theory in the remaining 300 pages of emails. Like the other 87 batches the emails are either not pertinent or exculpatory. The documents finally bear — albeit all the names are redacted — on Dr. Ivins relationship with former colleagues Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott and expose the cotton candy nature of the theory of that compartmentalized squad within the Task Force. FBI Director Mueller bears the responsibility for having compartmentalized the squads. While well-intentioned, and he is deservedly very highly regarded, likely any social psychologist could have advised him that it would be very bad for the intelligence analysis product. If you put blinders on a horse, not only cannot it see to its side, but in its stereoscopic view, it has a blind spot right in front of its face. It’s human nature.

  56. Anonymous said

    Interesting comments at democraticunderground on the FBI’s official response to Ed Epstein’s WSJ piece.×7636645

    Lead scientist on FBI Ivins case: “I never felt that science alone would solve this investigation.”

    (OOPs! Remember this for the next time the BushCo Justice Department trots out the statement of Claire Fraser Liggett to re-apply lipstick to their pig. She is preeminent in her field, their ace in the hole and she’s saying, the science alone does not make the case.)

    Center for Health and Homeland Security Hosts Forum to Discuss Anthrax Case

    A plethora of questions still remains unanswered in the investigation of a U.S. Army scientist who the FBI believes was responsible for the anthrax attacks in late 2001. A forum held Sept. 10 at the University of Maryland School of Law shed light on the case from the perspectives of science and journalism.

    The event, “Did the Researcher Do It? The FBI’s Anthrax Case Against Dr. Ivins,” was the eighth annual Sept. 11 commemoration presented by the Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS). Scott Shane, a reporter from The New York Times, and Claire Fraser-Liggett, PhD, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM) and the director of the Institute of Genome Sciences at the SOM, served as panelists. Michael Greenberger, JD, a professor at the School of Law and director of CHHS, gave opening remarks and moderated the forum.

    Shane, formerly a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, has followed and enterprised the anthrax story since 2001 when investigators first pointed the finger at a different suspect – Steven Hatfill – who has since been exonerated and awarded millions of dollars in damages from the government. And now, despite the FBI’s assertion that the late Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer, Shane continues to try to uncover as many details as he can about the government’s would-be case.

    For a Sept. 7 article, Shane interviewed two dozen bioterrorism experts, investigators, and members of Congress who “expressed doubts about the conclusions.” A group of lawmakers have asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to address some of their concerns.


    What an interesting letter
    It starts by specifying “inaccuracies and omitted several relevant facts that are necessary for a balanced discussion of the science applied in the anthrax investigation” then it gives no specifics of any of these. It specifies and refutes nothing, though it takes quite a while doing that.

    This made me go look at the article they’re attacking which actually includes quite a few specifics. The part on the silicon appears to contain the newest info and could be what prompted the FBI non-response response.

    What these tests inadvertently demonstrated is that the anthrax spores could not have been accidently contaminated by the nutrients in the media. “If there is that much silicon, it had to have been added,” Jeffrey Adamovicz, who supervised Ivins’s work at Fort Detrick, wrote to me last month. He added that the silicon in the attack anthrax could have been added via a large fermentor—which Battelle and other labs use” but “we did not use a fermentor to grow anthrax at USAMRIID . . . We did not have the capability to add silicon compounds to anthrax spores.”

    If Ivins had neither the equipment or skills to weaponize anthrax with silicon, then some other party with access to the anthrax must have done it. Even before these startling results, Sen. Leahy had told Director Mueller, “I do not believe in any way, shape, or manner that is the only person involved in this attack on Congress.”

    When I asked a FBI spokesman this month about the Livermore findings, he said the FBI was not commenting on any specifics of the case, other than those discussed in the 2008 briefing (which was about a year before Livermore disclosed its results). He stated: “The Justice Department and the FBI continue working to conclude the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks. We anticipate closing the case in the near future.”

    So, even though the public may be under the impression that the anthrax case had been closed in 2008, the FBI investigation is still open—and, unless it can refute the Livermore findings on the silicon, it is back to square one.

    Of note is that the FBI itself commissioned the Livermore tests in an effort to prove their theory and Epstein is saying the tests “effectively blew the FBI’s theory out of the water.” Seems like that would be an easy fact to counter if inaccurate, yet nothing in the FBI letter specifically does so.

    Very interesting, indeed.


    Very unsettling
    Looks like that article got their attention.
    I still remember when they tried to float that bogus proof of mailing story. You caught them out well on that one. They still have no proof Ivins mailed anything. As you noted, it’s more than the science, it’s also investigation and evidence. The strongest evidence in that case is that they hounded a man to his death.

  57. Anonymous said

    It is now 18 days since NAS said they would complete their project and publish a report. Still no new update on their website on when the $1M report might be ready to be released to the public.

    The project is sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The start date for the project is 4/24/2009.

    A report will be issued at the end of the project.

    Project Duration: 18 months

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