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

* hints of conflict between the NAS and the FBI are found in the unexpected delay of the NAS report on the FBI’s anthrax science … the FBI is obviously trying to hide the truth as long as possible and the NAS is witholding documents it is required by law to release

Posted by DXer on December 11, 2010

is the FBI controlling NAS independence ???

******

DXer comment (12/11/10) …

  • By its withholding of documents, hasn’t NAS been part of the problem rather than part of the solution?
  • For its spokesman to think he could not characterize the documents missed the point.  Under the statute and controlling District of Columbia precedent, he and the NAS are required to PRODUCE them.
  • By not complying with FACA, the NAS prevented meaningful participation in the proceeding before it — prevented comments by outside experts who had actually made an aerosol, prevented comments informed by the documents.
  • GAO therefore should find a way to receive comments from those scientists who unlike the NAS panel members actually have aerosol experience… once those scientists can be informed by any documents eventually produced in response to FOIA litigation.
  • Amerithrax represents the greatest failure of intelligence in American history.  As for finding fault, let’s start with the prosecutor and investigator who present at the NAS in January.
  • Hasn’t the entire NAS review merely served to delay production of key documents for 2 years?
  • Is there anything under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that exempts the documents produced to the NAS by the FBI from production?  No.

Later Update from AP (12/10/10) …

  • The National Academy of Sciences says it is extending its review of the investigation into the 2001 anthrax mailings to consider new information from the FBI.
  • The Washington-based academy said Friday that the FBI delivered additional materials last week after it received a draft of the academy’s report.

  •  

    The academy had planned to release the report this month. It now says it will hold one last meeting, probably in January, to hear an FBI presentation on the new material.

  • The public release is now expected in February.

Megan Eckstein writes in the Frederick News-Post (12/10/10) …

  • The National Academy of Sciences quietly delayed releasing its evaluation of the science used to link Fort Detrick scientist Bruce Ivins to the anthrax attacks of 2001, a move that escaped notice of many, but drew criticism from one congressman.
  • U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, a Democrat who represents the central New Jersey district from where the anthrax letters were mailed, said the NAS delayed releasing its report because the FBI asked the panel members to review 500 more pages of classified documents before reaching a final conclusion.
  • In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, Holt wrote that the NAS officials informed him they recently released a draft copy of the report to the FBI and that, consequently, the FBI gave the panel “an additional 500 pages of previously undisclosed investigative material from the Amerithrax investigation.
  • Holt has long challenged the FBI’s investigation, as well as its decision to close the investigation in February by releasing a 92-page case summary that left many of his constituents’ questions unanswered.

read Megan’s entire article at … http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=113548

******

Scott Shane wrote in the NYT (12/9/10) …

E. William Colglazier, the NAS’s executive officer, said the F.B.I.’s request was a surprise and came after the bureau saw the panel’s peer-reviewed final report, which was scheduled for release in November.

He said the committee’s 15 members, top scientists who serve as volunteers, were “exhausted,” but that the panel agreed to extend the study and consider revising the report in return for an additional fee, probably about $50,000, beyond the $879,550 the F.B.I. has already paid for the study.

read Scott’s entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/us/10anthrax.html?hpw

******

Anthony Kimery wrote in HS Today (12/9/10) …

Since the NAS’s investigation began, most of the meetings have been closed to the public. The last meeting that took place on June 2 in Washington, DC was advertised as an open meeting on a NAS website, but it was “closed in its entirety,” the Committee’s website shows.

According to another NAS website, however, “in accordance with federal law and with few exceptions, information-gathering meetings of the committee are open to the public, and any written materials provided to the committee by individuals who are not officials, agents, or employees of the National Academies are maintained in a public access file that is available for examination.”

Only the Committee’s deliberative meetings are “closed to the public in order to develop draft findings and recommendations free from outside influences,” NAS says, adding “the public is provided with brief summaries of these meetings that include the list of committee members present. All analyses and drafts of the report remain confidential.”

******

LMW COMMENT …

There is a fascinating story growing here about the interaction between the FBI and the NAS. The reporting of Scott Shane and Megan Eckstein suggests the following questions …

  • what were the original documents given to the NAS by the FBI? why were these later documents withheld, and why are they being given to the NAS now?
  • why weren’t these documents, and others provided to NAS from other sources, made available to the public during the study, as apparently required by law?
  • what aspects of the NAS draft report did the FBI object to?
  • is the original NAS draft report discoverable under federal law?
  • why has the NAS failed to follow its own rules in disclosing information received and meeting summaries?
  • what is different about the new documents? why were they originally withheld by the FBI?
  • what other documents will the FBI later come up with to continue to delay the issuance of an already late NAS report?
  • why did the NAS “quietly” post the extension on their website and not say a word about it? What would have come out if they had made a public announcement and subjected themselves to questions?
  • why are the NAS committee members “exhausted” and what sort of interactions and relationships have developed between the FBI and the NAS? Are they at each other’s throats? Has the FBI been harrassing the NAS panel?
  • what do the NAS panel members know that is not allowed by the FBI to be included in the report?
  • when the “official” report is finally filed, will individual members of the NAS panel speak out? Is this the real reason for the FBI delay in issuing  the report?
  • will Director Mueller meet with Congressman Holt?

When public officials behave in suspicious ways, it is natural that suspicions abound. It is unlikely that we will know the answers to these questions, but maybe, if the reporters dig enough and perhaps get lucky …

I come back to my three options as to what is really going on …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY
  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons … THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

 

 

 

46 Responses to “* hints of conflict between the NAS and the FBI are found in the unexpected delay of the NAS report on the FBI’s anthrax science … the FBI is obviously trying to hide the truth as long as possible and the NAS is witholding documents it is required by law to release”

  1. DXer said

    That is beyond outrageous that the FBI would withhold the “AMX Weekly Science Updates” until December 2010 — after the draft was done and the reviews were in. Who was responsible for the decision to withhold AMX Weekly Science Updates? Who made that decision?

    3.4.3 Samples from an Overseas Site Identified by Intelligence

    In December 2010-January 2011, the FBI first made available to the Committee “AMX
    Weekly Science Updates” and a newly de-classified document that described the collection and
    analysis of environmental samples from an undisclosed site outside the continental United States
    (OCONUS) for the presence of B. anthracis Ames (FBI/USDOJ, 2011, FBI Documents, WFO
    Report). This work was performed as part of the anthrax letters investigation. Few details were
    made available to the committee.

  2. DXer said

    For a new Federal Bureau of Investigation publication on the subject of anthrax in soil, see

    J Appl Microbiol. 2010 Dec;109(6):1886-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2010.04816.x.

    An evaluation of commercial DNA extraction kits for the isolation of bacterial spore DNA from soil.

    Dineen SM, Aranda R 4th, Anders DL, Robertson JM.

    Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory, Quantico, VA, USA.

    Abstract

    AIMS: To evaluate six commercial DNA extraction kits for their ability to isolate PCR-quality DNA from Bacillus spores in various soil samples.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: Three soils were inoculated with various amounts of Bacillus cereus spores to simulate an outbreak or intentional release of the threat agent Bacillus anthracis. DNA was isolated from soil samples using six commercial DNA extraction kits. Extraction and purification efficiencies were assessed using a duplex real-time PCR assay that included an internal positive control. The FastDNA(®) SPIN kit for Soil showed the highest DNA extraction yield, while the E.Z.N.A.(®) Soil DNA and PowerSoil(®) DNA Isolation kits showed the highest efficiencies in removing PCR inhibitors from loam soil extracts.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that commercially available extraction kits can be used to extract PCR-quality DNA from bacterial spores in soil. The selection of an appropriate extraction kit should depend on the characteristics of the soil sample and the intended downstream application. Significance and Impact of the Study:  The results of this study aid in the selection of an appropriate DNA extraction kit for a given soil sample. Its application could expedite sample processing for real-time PCR detection of a pathogen in soil.

  3. BugMaster said

    Jennifer Walsh:

    “We were surprised given our prior request for all relevant information,” she said. “Some, but not all, of what the FBI has now turned over is relevant to the committee’s charge, and they are the type of materials we requested previously. However, I can’t characterize what types of materials they are.”

    And what do you suppose they turned over that WASN’T RELEVANT? Having nothing to do with the committe’s charge!?

    Distorted information to convince the NAS that Ivins was a mad man?

    THAT’S JUST NOT SCIENCE!!!!

    • DXer said

      There is no point served in guessing what documents the FBI produced.

    • Old Atlantic said

      THAT’S JUST NOT SCIENCE!!!!

      ITS THE DOJ LIECENSE!!!!

    • Lew Weinstein said

      ED … We do understand that. What some of us cannot understand is why the FBI would waste $1,000,000 on something of so little interest. It seems clear that the FBI is just (very successfully, I would add) delaying the day of reckoning for those who have either failed to solve the crime or are covering up who did it. If there’s another explanation, I can’t think of it.

      • Anonymouse said

        Ed’s theory is that it is 99% certain that Bruce Ivins arranged to have a First Grader write the anthrax letters. I’m not kidding.

        Ed is a True Believing Conspiracy Theorist and yet does not have the self-awareness to see that.

        It’s actually quite hilarious.

        • Anonymouse said

          Nancy Connell does not believe Bruce Ivins is guilty

          She was describing the FBI’s theory.

          If Ed ever made basic inquiries, he would know that.

  4. DXer said

    According to the email Bruce sent Patricia Fellows, he had heard the closest dry powder to the attack anthrax was a dry powder John Ezzell had made. See FoxNews report and Anonymous’s enlargement of redacted text. I spoke to Dr. Ezzell in July 2009. He explained that his was pure white and not tan like what was mailed. The mailer took a similar product and chopped it up — where Dr. Ezzell took only the white portion.

    Dr. Ezzell’s friend was the SRI VP in 2001 and paved the way for the call by explaining my view that Ayman Zawahiri just outsmarted US biodefense and succeeded in using the weapons of his enemy (as commanded by the hadiths). Dr. Ezzell told me he was under a gag order and that his phone was likely wiretapped. I told him “pshawww…” Dr. Ezzell confirmed to me that he had made the dry powder at the request of DARPA and given to John Hopkins.

    Now, if you will, turn to the document that shows Dr. Ivins used virulent Ames from Flask 1029 for a DARPA project in August 2000 and it was examined at Johns Hopkins. (I’ll link the document below). Apparently judging from the article I have uploaded from 1999 about use of a sonicator and corona plasma discharge, the research was ongoing in 1999 if not before. The DARPA-funded, former Zawahiri associate working alongside Bruce Ivins with virulent Ames reportedly tested his decontamination agent at John Hopkins which is why I am curious. (I don’t know the dates).

    At the time, Dr. Ezzell worked, btw, for FBI’s hazardous materials group, Dr. Ezzell was head of the Special Pathogens testing lab. The FBI would bring him hoax letters and he would test them. The FBI agents were impressed he drove a Harley motorcycle. Dr. Ezzell says that testing showed that the irradiation had been successful. (It would have been gamma radiation). (We saw in the incident involving the Ames Patricia Fellows sent to Oakland Children’s Hospital that sometimes Ames thought to be dead is actually live). So if the FBI find it awkward to talk about, it might be because it was the FBI’s scientist who — according to what Bruce says he had heard at a paraty — made the closest product. But with the right encouragement, Dr. Ezzell is by no means unduly defensive (because he knows he was just doing what he was asked as part of the legitimate requirements of his job). The FBI scientists should just get over their awkwardness in addressing it if they are going to be persuasive in laying the crime off on Dr. Ivins. The public will want to know (1) why DARPA asked for it, (2) what method generally was used (and would that explain the Silicon Signature), (3) who had access or might have used a similar method. etc. One 1996 study has Dr. Ezzell providing gamma irradiated Ames in a soil suspension to someone at Edgewood — in a Soil 1 and Soil 2 taken from the Aberdeen grounds. Did the subtilis match subtilis at APG? Do some soil samples have tin at APG and some not?

    My curiosity there stems from the fact that the DARPA-funded former Zawahiri associate working alongside Bruce Ivins with virulent Ames also tested his decontamination agent at Edgewood in 2001 reportedly. See 2002 nanoemulsions report. What were the location of the soil samples used for the soil suspension by Dr. Ezzell in 1996. Dr. Ezzell is a highly regarded microbiologist and deservedly so. He did nothing improper — he was asked to make the product by DARPA. He mentioned that the DARPA project was connected to a University but this is best left to an in-person interview by a professional journalist like Joby or Scott.

    We need to press on and get at the facts notwithstanding the fact that some FBI scientists were in the same hazardous materials unit when the dry powder was made and notwithstanding the fact that the former collection scientist for American Type Culture Collection (at GMU), which co-sponsored Ali Al-Timimi’s program, is leading the FBI’s science effort. (He is joined by the fellow who headed the Navy’s biodefense effort and the fellow, the key genetics person in 2002, who provided the Former Zawahiri associate a BL-3 to work with virulent anthrax at LSU). These scientists need to be sensitive to the issue of conflict of interest and be sure to have recused themselves from any issue that implicates such a conflict. But if the conflicts can somehow be sorted out — or if they were resolved through Chinese Walls — then, by all means, let’s get on with the science.

    Dr. Ezzell has explained what equipment and method he used. In the National Geo video Dr. Michael (and now Ed) seems not to appreciate that the word “weaponize” has no usefulness (unless defined in the same breath). The key is the probativeness of the Silicon Signature. Dr. Ezzell suggested that it might not be “fully weaponized.” Weaponization in warfare against states involves making it so its release is highly predictable upon leaving the airplane. Here, the presence of a charge actually increased its effectiveness by causing them to be self-repelling and to want to leave the envelope. Anonymous for well over a half decade has argued that it appears that a corona plasma discharge was used. It’s all I can do to hold off in building a statue for Anonymous Scientist. A DARPA whistleblower – yet to be publicly heard from — actually reported in Fall 2001 to a poster on this board that it was known even what machine was used.

    If Dr. Bannan has continued to be involved in the withholding of the AFIP data — or for that matter any FBI scientist given that it was their anthrax expert who made the dry powdered anthrax for DARPA — that would be very wrong. And like I said, all emails shall be preserved. All FBI officials counseling the withholding of documents should understand that there are no secrets when you are suspected of screwing the pooch on the most important criminal investigation in American history.

    This is a time to follow Dr. Ezzell’s example and show a little moral gumption, swallow hard, and explain why it was so difficult an investigation through no fault of your own msking.

    At the end of the day, the plain truth is that Ayman Zawahiri is a formidable adversary. The FBI had lost the battle in early October 2001 when the FBI profilers apparently did not know jack about Egyptian Islamic Jihad or its announced plans to use anthrax and its use of “school” as code for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

    Isn’t Pat Fellows the one who prepared the second round of slants (see emails posted) after Dr. Ezzell (apparently) threw out Dr. Ivins’ first submission (which reportedly used a different protocol)? The written protocols were first transmitted on May 24, 2002 and not in February 2002 as is incorrectly claimed.

  5. DXer said

    Why should we trust the NAS reading of issues that are arcane and not even probative of anything when they can’t even read the plain language of the statute?

    They are obligated to make available for inspection and copying ” written materials presented to the committee by individuals who are not officials, agents, or employees of the Academy”

    Under controlling on-point District of Columbia precedent that I’ve previously cited and discussed at length, that has been found to mean it needs to be produced contemporaneous with its production to NAS by the agency — so that the public’s participation can be informed by the documents and thus meaningful.

    Federal Advisory Committee Act

    • UNITED STATES CODE ANNOTATED
    • TITLE 5. GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES
    • APPENDIX 2. FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT
    § 15. Requirements relating to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration

    (a) In general.–An agency may not use any advice or recommendation provided by the National Academy of Sciences or National Academy of Public Administration that was developed by use of a committee created by that academy under an agreement with an agency, unless–

    (1) the committee was not subject to any actual management or control by an agency or an officer of the Federal Government; (2) in the case of a committee created after the date of the enactment of the Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 1997, the membership of the committee was appointed in accordance with the requirements described in subsection (b)(1); and (3) in developing the advice or recommendation, the academy complied with–

    (A) subsection (b)(2) through (6), in the case of any advice or recommendation provided by the National Academy of Sciences; or (B) subsection (b)(2) and (5), in the case of any advice or recommendation provided by the National Academy of Public Administration.
    (b) Requirements.–The requirements referred to in subsection (a) are as follows:

    (1) *** The Academy shall make available to the public, at reasonable charge if appropriate, written materials presented to the committee by individuals who are not officials, agents, or employees of the Academy, unless the Academy determines that making material available would disclose matters described in that section.

  6. anonymous said

    Lake is re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic over at his shill website. Frantically typing irrelevant information that avoids the new issues at all costs.
    It’s hilarious to watch and a joy to behold.

    • Old Atlantic said

      Remember to save copies of his latest page.

    • DXer said

      Here is Weird Al Yankovic’s adaptation of my ED ODE

      As you know, I had hoped it instead be done by CLUTCH

      50000 Unstoppable Watts (“Anthrax, Ham Radio and Liquor”)
      http://www.spike.com/video/50000-unstoppable/3203539

      Ed Ode:

      Rats Live On No Evil Star

      (A palindrome reads the same forwards and backwards)

      Ma handed Edna ham
      Ma is as selfless as I am

      Kayak salad, Alaska yak.
      Campus Motto: Bottoms up, Mac

      Wow! Sis! Wow!
      Wonton on salad? Alas, no, not now!

      “Desserts, sis?” (Sensuousness is stressed).
      Desserts I desire not, so long no lost one rise distressed.

      “Do nine men interpret?” Nine men, I nod.
      Doc, note I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.

      May a moody baby doom a yam?
      Marge let a moody baby doom a telegram.

      Oh who was it I saw, oh who?
      Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo?

      Was it a car or a cat I saw?
      War! I saw ‘Nam — man was I raw.

      We panic in a pew.
      We’ll let Mom tell Lew.

      ‘Tis in a DeSoto sedan I sit.
      To Idi Amin I am an idiot.

      Race fast, safe car.
      Rats live on no evil star.

      Toot! Toot!
      Too hot to hoot.

      Stop, Syrian! I start at rats in airy spots.
      Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots.

      Trap a rat! Stare, piper, at star apart!
      Trade ye no mere moneyed art.

      If I had a hi-fi!? If I had a hi-fi!?
      I, madam, I made radio. So I dared! Am I mad? Am I?

      Ah! A mop, a man, a map: Omaha!
      Was it felt? I had a hit left, I saw.

      Solo gigolos.
      So many dynamos.

      Oh, no! Don Ho.
      Ogre, flog a golfer. Go!

      Ten animals I slam in a net.
      Pets, Ed, I sidestep.

      Yo Bob, mug a gumbo boy!
      Young Sten nets gnu! Oy!

      Nurse, save rare vases, run!
      Now, sir, a war is won.

      Mad? Am I, madam?
      Madam, in Eden, I’m Adam!

      Reviled did I live, said I, as evil did I deliver.
      Revered now I live on. O did I no evil, I wonder ever?

      Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
      Are we not drawn onwards, we few, drawn on to new era?

  7. anonymous said

    Do you think Jeff Taylor and Joe Michael got a call last week saying “hey guys, what are you doing in January”?

    National Academy of Science review panel surprised by FBI’s last-minute document release

    http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?storyid=113622

    Originally published December 11, 2010

    By Megan Eckstein
    News-Post Staff

    The National Academy of Science is releasing more information on the postponement of its report examining the scientific methods used by the FBI to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks.
    In making the announcement, the academy stated the FBI surprised committee members with extra information and a request to delay releasing the report.

    E. William Colglazier, executive officer of the National Academy of Sciences and chief operating officer of the National Research Council, released a statement outlining how the delay came about.

    The academy committee completed its review earlier in the fall and on Oct. 27 submitted a draft of its report to the FBI for a security review, as outlined in the FBI’s contract. On Dec. 3, the FBI delivered a summary of additional information and a letter asking that forensic experts, investigators and federal prosecutors who worked on the investigation be allowed to present more material to the committee before the report was finalized, according to Colglazier’s statement.

    “We have determined that some of this material is the type of information previously requested by the committee during the course of its review and that some of this information is relevant to the committee’s report,” he said. “To consider this information, the committee will reconvene for one last meeting.”

    The academy panel requested the FBI send all of its additional information to panel members by Dec. 15, and the panel agreed to postpone the report’s release until February. The extra time, Colglazier said, would help the panel in “producing the most thorough and accurate analysis possible.”

    The FBI’s move came as a surprise to the academy. Spokeswoman Jennifer Walsh said on Nov. 30 the committee was finalizing its report for the upcoming release, and in a Dec. 10 e-mail she wrote “at that time we didn’t know we would receive any relevant information.

    “We were surprised given our prior request for all relevant information,” she said. “Some, but not all, of what the FBI has now turned over is relevant to the committee’s charge, and they are the type of materials we requested previously. However, I can’t characterize what types of materials they are.”

    Walsh said academy leadership and the 15 volunteer committee members agreed to extend the study for an estimated cost of $50,000 to cover travel and other costs of holding one more meeting. This is on top of the nearly $880,000 the FBI paid for the study, which was contracted in April 2009 to last 18 months.

    • anonymous said

      “Some, but not all, of what the FBI has now turned over is relevant to the committee’s charge, and they are the type of materials we requested previously”

      I am a true believer. I truly believe the FBI are hiding something. It’s just a hunch 😉

    • Anonymouse said

      Neither US Attorney nor Joe Michael are presenting in January

      • Lew Weinstein said

        I have asked for a source for this comment but have yet to receive one.

        • anonymous said

          The asked for source was the person who stated neither a US attorney nor Joe Michael would be presenting in January.

          While you practice your reading skills, try this also:

          page 513:

          “Thus if the estimates silicon concentrations in the Amerithrax spores are correct, they are not consistent with our current understanding of silica deposition or those materials must have indeed been produced under an unusual set of conditions. If the latter were true, the silica evidence might provide a significant bound on the credible growth and production scenarios that would be consistent with the prosecution narrative in this case.”

          ————————————
          http://www.amazon.com/reader/0123820065?_encoding=UTF8&query=lead#reader_0123820065

          page 516:
          “In the years after this was written, it became apparent that there were in fact, fundamental issues in inferential validation of sample matching protocols for biological agents. This concern arose from the National Research Council’s report on bullet lead analysis…….”

        • anonymous said

          “And your quote doesn’t seem entirely correct”

          It’s not MY quote. It’s the OFFICIAL WORD of the FBI’s Amerithrax task force. Live with it.

        • DXer said

          The DOJ and NAS should disclose the 2004 article provided by Dr. Bruce Ivins to the FBI regarding silica and Bacillus spore suspensions

        • DXer said

          One 1996 study has Dr. Ezzell providing Ames in a soil suspension to someone at Edgewood — in a Soil 1 and Soil 2 taken from the Aberdeen grounds.

        • DXer said

          If someone wants a copy of particular pages from MICROBIAL FORENSICS (October 2010) send me your fax number and email. In the 10 years I’ve known him, Ed has never once gone to a library and so he’ll spend months speculating about what a book says rather than obtaining a copy.

        • Lew Weinstein said

          Ed … you’re correct, and I’m still waiting for an answer … LEW

  8. Anonymous said

    “The academy had planned to release the report this month. It now says it will hold one last meeting, probably in January, to hear an FBI presentation on the new material.”

    I wonder who the FBI star presenter will be in January to give the FBI’s case? Will they bring out the big dog, Majidi himself?

    Maybe he’ll tell them, “don’t worry about the silicon and subtilis contamination, and the matching, and the quantity and the drying. It’s just like making stew, it’s different every time”.

    I’m sure that would cause the NAS to be totally overwhelmed by his intellectual capability. Maybe they could then publish a cook book instead of an anthrax report.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93728829&ft=1&f=1001

    “It’s like cooking a stew in your kitchen. It’s impossible to get the exact same taste twice in a row simply because of the variations of the material you add,” Majidi said.

    • BugMaster said

      The NAS report must have stated that as far as the science goes, there are serious doubts as to how the material was produced and processed (thus inferring that Dr. Ivins couldn’t be responsible).

      This is similar to the “Prosecution Narrative” comments made by others.

      So what are they going to submit now?

      Simple. Additional classifed information that they previously didn’t want to release. Most likely, an explanation as to how spores exhibiting the characteristics of the Senate material could have been produced.

      Needless to say, it won’t be open to the public!

      Same problem, however.

      Wrong knowledge base + wrong skill set = WRONG MAN!

      The FBI will have to re-open the case eventually.

      I think, however, they and the American people would be best served if they did so BEFORE the body count went up!

      • Anonymous said

        Talk of the devil. The big dog Majidi has spoken.

        http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/12/new-fbi-material-delays-academy.html?ref=ra

        New FBI Material Delays Academy Report on Anthrax Attacks
        by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee on 10 December 2010, 3:56 PM | Permanent Link | 0
        Previous Article
        The FBI has belatedly provided an expert panel with new information that will delay a long-awaited report on the scientific merits of the government’s investigation into the deadly 2001 anthrax mailings.

        In September 2008, the FBI asked the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review the science behind the case against U.S. Army researcher Bruce Ivins. Ivins committed suicide as agents were about to wrap up the investigation, and some of his colleagues believe that he was an innocent man who had been hounded to his death. The FBI announced that it had used genetic fingerprinting to trace the anthrax in the letters to a flask in Ivins’s lab. Five people were killed and 17 injured in the string of letter attacks in the fall of 2001.

        In the absence of a trial, the NAS review was seen as an important step toward understanding what the government had done–even though its focus was entirely on the science. But the FBI officially closed the case in February 2010, giving the appearance of finality and certainty to what the investigation had concluded.

        The academy panel submitted the report to the FBI on 27 October. On 3 December, FBI officials provided new material and asked for an opportunity to make a presentation before the committee.

        The FBI’s last-minute submission of new material has drawn fire from Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), who calls it an attempt “to contest and challenge the independent NAS panel’s draft findings.” Holt, who has been a persistent critic of how the FBI has handled the case, sent a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller on Thursday demanding that Mueller meet with him to explain the “document dump” made by the agency weeks after receiving the draft report. Last night, NAS Executive Officer E. William Colglazier said that the report, which was due out this fall, would be delayed until February 2011 to give the study panel time to review the new information. “We have determined that some of this material is the type of information previously requested by the committee during the course of its review and that some of this information is relevant to the committee’s report,” Colglazier noted.

        Vahid Majidi, head of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, would not comment on Holt’s letter to the FBI director. But asked why new material was submitted so late in the process, he e-mailed ScienceInsider: “Recall that the study had started before the case was formally closed; after the case closure we were able to provide additional support material.”

        • Anonymous said

          Vahid Majidi, head of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, would not comment on Holt’s letter to the FBI director. But asked why new material was submitted so late in the process, he e-mailed ScienceInsider: “Recall that the study had started before the case was formally closed; after the case closure we were able to provide additional support material.”

          Do you think Majidi actually understands what time is? The case was closed on February 19, 2010. That was 282 DAYS before the NAS submitted the report to the FBI on 27 October.

          Did the additional material get lost in the mail?

          They actually believe thay can say whatever they want, however ridiculous.

        • BugMaster said

          Oh, and we submitted that new material we were able to submit after case closure 10 months after the case was closed, and:

          After we didn’t like the NAS report producedwithout it!

        • BugMaster said

          “Recall that the study had started before the case was formally closed; after the case closure we were able to provide additional support material.”

          Oh, and it took us until a few days ago to provide it. Even though the case was closed 10 months ago!

          Fine, but it will be interesting to compare the original report with the new one due to come out in Feb.

          The original report is the kind of thing I would like to see on WikiLeaks!

        • DXer said

          The original draft is subject to being produced under FOIA/FACA.

        • BugMaster said

          Perhaps we are being a bit harsh here. If the FBI is wrong, someday the truth will come out, most likely in a devastating fashion.

          Something about the NAS report concerns them. Perhaps this is an attempt on their part for further evaluation of their situation before they make a final decision.

          In the meantime, I would imagine their “B squads” aren’t sitting idle.

          As far as totally ignoring the possiblity they are wrong at this point?

          Pride and arrogance notwithstanding, do you think they want to pay the price of being wrong?

        • anonymous said

          “Pride and arrogance notwithstanding, do you think they want to pay the price of being wrong?”

          The price just got a lot higher and the firings considerably deeper and wider.

  9. DXer said

    500 pages ironically is a paper ream. The photocopy toner examination is an issue that the FBI has sought to bury the exculpatory evidence.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/the-case-of-the-copier-that-wasnt-used-by-dr-bruce-ivins/

    In contrast, the relatively irrelevant arcania relating to genetics is not at all probative in the slightest of Ivins’ guilt. The genetics only narrowed things from 1000 to up to 377 — and that’s just at USAMRIID.

  10. Old Atlantic said

    Request for continuing examination. RCE Practice.

    The FBI may file a request for continued examination by submitting additional documents.

    When is an RCE typically filed?

    When the NAS has determined that the FBI science has no merit and that conclusions and actions based on it are baseless.

    Why is the RCE filed?

    Typically to delay the public and Congress from hearing from an authoritative source, the NAS, that the FBI case is baseless.

    Is there a limit to how many RCE’s can be filed?

    As long as the FBI can come up with 500 pages of documents, there is no limit to filing new RCEs.

    Can the FBI manufacture more pages of documents to submit for an RCE?

    Of course.

  11. Anonymous said

    Just one more meeting in January. Oops, there’s something we forgot to discuss.

    http://www.wmdt.com/news-archive.aspx?item=11934

    Anthrax Investigation Extended – Latest News
    by – The Associated Press

    HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) – The National Academy of Sciences says it
    is extending its review of the investigation into the 2001 anthrax mailings to consider new information from the FBI.

    The Washington-based academy said Friday that the FBI delivered
    additional materials last week after it received a draft of the academy’s report. The academy had planned to release the report this month. It now
    says it will hold one last meeting, probably in January, to hear an FBI presentation on the new material. The public release is now expected in February. The academy is reviewing the scientific methods the FBI used in
    concluding that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins made the anthrax and mailed the letters that killed five people in the fall of 2001.

  12. Anonymous said

    http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20101210_7654.php
    FBI Wants Anthrax Attacks Report Postponed
    Friday, Dec. 10, 2010

    The FBI is seeking to push back the scheduled publication of a scientific report on the bureau’s probe of the 2001 anthrax mailings that killed five people, the New York Times reported yesterday (see GSN, Sept. 17).

    Representative Rush Holt (D-N.J.) in a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller said the request suggests the bureau “may be seeking to try to steer or otherwise pressure” the National Academy of Sciences panel preparing the report “to reach a conclusion desired by the bureau.”

    The FBI notified the panel of its intention to submit more than 500 pages of case papers that had not been delivered even after the scientists sought all germane case reports when they began work in spring of last year.

    “If these new documents were relevant to the NAS’s review why were they previously undisclosed and withheld?” stated Holt, a longtime skeptic of the FBI investigation who represents the district from which the anthrax-tainted letters originated (Scott Shane, New York Times, Dec. 9).

    “Despite the FBI’s original charge to the NAS to examine only the scientific data and conclusions in the case, it now appears that the FBI — which has consistently botched and bungled this case from the beginning — may be seeking to try to steer or otherwise pressure the NAS panel to reach a conclusion desired by the Bureau,” wrote Holt, a physicist. “I ask that you meet with me this week to explain the FBI’s troubling conduct in this matter” (U.S. Representative Rush Holt release, Dec. 9).

    An FBI spokesman did not address Holt’s criticisms, but told the Times the bureau “continues to work with the National Academy of Science to support their ongoing review of the scientific approaches employed in the Amerithrax investigation.”

    After an major seven-year probe, the FBI determined in 2008 that civilian U.S. Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins had produced the anthrax and mailed the spores to two U.S. Senate offices and a number of news entities. Its evidence included genetic links between Ivins’s cache of available anthrax and the material used in the attacks and the long days he worked leading up to two mail drops.

    Ivins committed suicide before facing criminal charges. Some former co-workers at the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and others have said they do not believe he was the mailer (see GSN, Feb. 24).

    Congressional auditors at the Government Accountability Office are also reviewing the FBI’s work in the anthrax investigation.

    National Academy of Sciences executive officer William Colglazier said the FBI asked for the delay after receiving the document, which had been set for publication last month. He described the report as “very direct” but would not say whether it found fault with the FBI’s science. The NAS document does not opine on whether Ivins was the anthrax mailer, Colglazier added.

    The panel of 15 leading scientists is willing to continue its work and amend the report, though that is likely to add roughly $50,000 to the $879,550 fee for the analysis, Colglazier stated (Shane, New York Times).

    The report is now expected to be released in February, Agence France-Presse reported (Agence France-Presse/Inquirer.net, Dec. 10).

  13. DXer said

    Here is a third excerpt from the comments of Dr. Peter Katona.

  14. anonymous said

    “People should spend more time obtaining and reading documents instead of just advancing their opinions and speculation and preconceived views.”

    It is not a preconceived view that the FBI’s conduct is directed toward contesting and challenging the NAS findings. It is a statement of fact. And an outrageous one.

    Quote from Rep Holt.

    “My understanding is that this document dump, taking place after the FBI’s review of the NAS draft report, is intended to contest and challenge the independent NAS panel’s draft findings.”

    • DXer said

      To the contrary, if the NAS criticism was: We found notable a total lack of documentation relating to ________________ and so this bring into question ________________.

      Then it is to the FBI’s credit that they come forward now and burp up 500 pages.
      (And those 500 pages need to be produced by the NAS under the Federal Advisory Committee Act.)

      The FBI is going to be forced in litigation to produce thousands of more pages under FOIA and so don’t throw a hissy fit when they burp up another mere 500. They are withholding a warehouseful.

      The first thing the GAO needs to do is subpoena the paralegal’s electronic database abstracting all the documents — the documents are batestamped and that database will help the GAO chart what documents it needs.

      • Anonymous said

        “Then it is to the FBI’s credit that they come forward now and burp up 500 pages.”

        Hardly. They had 18 months to respond to requests for data. And you are claiming they only found out there was missing data when they read the report? Get real.

        • DXer said

          I see.

          —–Original Message—–
          From:
          Sent: Friday, March 24, 2000 7:24 AM
          To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID;
          Subject: FW: memo
          I think this was written with you in mind, although I certainly enjoy your language!
          > TO: All Employees
          > > >
          > > > FROM: Human Resources
          > > >
          > > > SUBJECT: Foul Language
          > > >
          > > > DATE: January 29, 2000
          > > >
          > > > It has been brought to management’s attention that some individuals
          > > > throughout the company have been using foul language during the
          > > > course of normal conversation with their co-workers. Due to
          > > complaints received from some employees who may be easily offended, this type
          > > of
          > > > language will no longer be tolerated. We do however, realize the
          > > critical
          > > > importance of being able to accurately express your feelings when
          > > > communicating with co-workers. Therefore, a list of “TRY SAYING” new
          > >
          > > > phrases has been provided so that proper exchange of ideas and
          > > > information can continue in an effective manner without risk of
          > > > offending our more sensitive employees.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > Perhaps I can work late.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > And when the fuck do you expect me to do this?
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I’m certain that isn’t feasible.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > No fucking way.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > Really?
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > Perhaps you should check with…
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Tell someone who gives a shit.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > Of course I’m concerned.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Ask me if I give a shit.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I wasn’t involved in the project.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > It’s not my fucking problem.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > That’s interesting.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > What the fuck?
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I’m not sure this can be implemented.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > This shit won’t work.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I’ll try to schedule that.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Why the hell didn’t you tell me sooner?
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > Are you sure this is a problem?
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Who the hell cares?
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > He’s not familiar with the issues.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > He’s got his head up his ass.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > Excuse me, sir?
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Eat shit and die.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > So you weren’t happy with it?
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Kiss my ass.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I’m a bit overloaded at the moment.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Fuck it, I’m on salary.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I don’t think you understand.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Shove it up your ass.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I love a challenge.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > This job sucks.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > You want me to take care of that?
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Who the hell died and made you boss?
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I see.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > Blow me.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > Yes, we really should discuss it.
          > > > INSTEAD OF
          > > > Another fucking meeting!
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I don’t think this will be a problem.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > I really don’t give a shit.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > He’s somewhat insensitive.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > He’s a prick.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > She’s an aggressive go-getter.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > She’s a ball-busting bitch.
          > > >
          > > > TRY SAYING:
          > > > I think you could use more training.
          > > > INSTEAD OF:
          > > > You don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. >>
          > >
          >>>>>> TRY SAYING:
          >>>> I euthanize them by cervical dislocation.
          >>>>>> INSTEAD OF
          >>> I break the little fuckers’ necks!
          >>>>>>> TRY SAYING:
          >>> You must be kidding me!
          >>>>> INSTEAD OF:
          >>>>> Get the fuck out of here!

  15. Lew Weinstein said

    Asking questions is one way to get answers … especially when NAS and FBI seem to be ignoring the law regarding the production of documents. We need aggressive investigative reporting on these matters.

  16. DXer said

    Lew asks:

    • what were the documents given to the NAS by the FBI? why were these later documents withheld, and why are they being given to the NAS now?

    Answer:
    The more important point relates to the NAS failure to make them available to the public now as required by FACA. Under controlling Court of Appeals precedent, the report will be subject to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief absent production of the documents so as to permit public comment informed by the documents.

    Lew asks:
    • why weren’t these documents, and others provided to NAS from other sources, made available to the public during the study, as apparently required by law?

    Answer:
    Folks should never waste time speculating on a parties’ motive when the time instead should be spent enforcing the right to documents under the controlling statute and legal precedent.

    Lew asks:

    • why did the NAS “quietly” post the extension on their website and not say a word about it? What would have come out if they had made a public announcement and subjected themselves to questions?

    Answer:
    The NAS handles a very wide range of matters. This is a mere change in timing properly noticed on their website.

    Lew asks:
    • why are the NAS committee members “exhausted” and what sort of interactions and relationships have developed between the FBI and the NAS? Are they at each other’s throats? Has the FBI been harrassing the NAS panel?

    Answer:
    The NAS panel is exhausted because working on the wide ranging technical mattes is hard work — given that they all have day jobs. The FBI’s interactions have always been productive and professional. There is no basis to suggest or even ask whether the FBI has been harassing the NAS panel. Those communications will be subject to production, by the way.

    Lew asks:
    • what do the NAS panel members know that is not allowed by the FBI to be included in the report, and when the “official” report is finally filed, will they speak out? Is this the real reason for the FBI delay in issuing the report?

    Answer:
    There is nothing the NAS panel knows that is not being allowed by the FBI to be included in the report. If something is classified, and not unclassified, then it will remain classified.

    Answer:
    This sort of speculation misplaces the appropriate emphasis on the NAS violation of its production obligation.

    Bottom-line: People should spend more time obtaining and reading documents instead of just advancing their opinions and speculation and preconceived views.

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