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

* for the FBI, the anthrax investigation was a tough job from the beginning … almost a decade later, the case is still unresolved

Posted by DXer on January 17, 2011


FBI Director Robert Mueller


Laura Rozen wrote almost 9 years ago in The American Prospect (5/20/02) …

  • the FBI faces a difficult test.
  • Suppose the attacks were an inside job–by, say, one of the U.S. Army’s own biowarfare scientists. What scientific authorities could the FBI turn to if it’s effectively investigating the very labs that do its testing?
  • “There are really only a few places weapons-grade anthrax could have come from, including Dugway [Army Proving Grounds in Utah], Fort Detrick, and other labs contracted by the military,” said David Fidler, a University of Indiana law professor who has written about the legal implications of biological terrorism.
  • In fact, the FBI has hired some 20 expert consultants to assist with the anthrax investigation, and most of them belong to the government bio-defense establishment.
  • even as some FBI investigators set up shop at USAMRIID, working side by side with scientists to trace the source of the anthrax, another FBI team descended on Fort Detrick in February to question lab employees about suspicious activity they might have seen–and to administer polygraph tests to those with access to suites where anthrax and other deadly germs are handled.
  • But here the FBI has hit a particularly baffling roadblock.
  • The bureau’s investigators are not confident that other government agencies, such as the CIA and the Department of Defense, have let them in on the full range of bio-defense work they have commissioned.
  • FBI investigators may not have the top-level security clearances that would allow CIA or Pentagon officials to disclose all they know.

The result is an almost comical impasse

of mutual distrust and bureaucratic red tape.

If the FBI can’t investigate the U.S. bio-defense establishment, who can?

thanks to DXer for forwarding this 2002 article



  • This 2002 analysis by Laura Rozen emphasizes the likelihood, now nine years later, that the reason the FBI has charged Dr. Bruce Ivins as the sole perpetrator without presenting the evidence to actually prove the case is the result of a coverup of the true perpetrators, perhaps by the FBI, perhaps by others in our government.
  • The FBI may or may not know who the real perpetrators are.
  • It’s for sure that the American people don’t know.


CASE CLOSED is my novel about the anthrax attacks

and the subsequent investigation.

Here’s what readers say about CASE CLOSED …

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

157 Responses to “* for the FBI, the anthrax investigation was a tough job from the beginning … almost a decade later, the case is still unresolved”

  1. DXer said

    Ed mistakenly claims that Dr. Ivins travelled at night as if to suggest that he travelled at night while his wife and kids were at home. At the same time he focuses on theft of a book pre-1985, he has not addressed the documentary evidence showing that in the evening of September 17, 2001, Dr Ivins had an alibi.

    Instead of relevant evidence, Ed thinks it evidence of murder that Dr. Ivins, according to Ed, “obsessed about specific successful women.” Dr. Ivins wrote a song about an astronaut who perished in an accident. In contrast, Ed obsesses about specific nude women — posting (so 15 year-olds can have them to repost) numerous pictures of the same famous successful women with the nude bodies of other women attached. Who is the functioning sociopath?

    For Ed to suggest that married men do not keep their pornographic magazines secret from their wife and children is stupid. In fact, Dr. Ivins probably viewed them at work at night. I don’t know a single man who would go to Ed’s website with his wife and children knowing about it.

    His suggestion that the use of screen names or comment on the reality show is also specious.

    Ed thinks it is 99% certain that Dr. Ivins did not write the letters — that a First Grader wrote the letters. Ed is not qualified to comment on such issues.

    Ed talks about how Dr. Ivins would drive hundreds of miles and then just makes stuff up, for example, about Mara moving to Rhode Island (before finishing medical school). He finally corrected himself with regard to Tennessee, noting that Dr. Ivins was there for an interview.

    Instead of all the “etc.”, Ed should address the alibi evidence on 9/17 and correct his misstatements about Mara.

  2. Zicon said

    Not buying it…

  3. DXer said

    Does the wall impede analysis? Does it impede justice?

  4. ZICON said

    FBI was wrong and they know it PERIOD! <–Fact
    Obama knows this as well… <–Fact
    Ivins was just part of a bigger toxin research class for the uses that a new hybrid of extremely deadly aerosols/deadly viruses that were are being tested/used by the military. He saw what this new substance was able to do from a 99.998% pure form for weapons manufacturing… <–Fact
    FBI is still actively investigating this presently but it's just not publicly known nor will it be admited<—Fact
    Private gov/sector deployed extremely classified electronic means of pushing and driving him crazy, unfortunately he just couldn't take the hidden storm that was on him 24/7 had to cover sommmmething… another dose of alpha/omega quad-s from the wizard hummm… I think sooo… <—Fact

  5. DXer said

    [Congressional Record Volume 154, Number 159 (Wednesday, October 1, 2008)]
    [Page S10318]
    From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office []


    Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I wish to take a few moments to
    acknowledge the life and work of a very ordinary, yet extraordinary,
    American named Bob Roth of Bristow, VA. Bob died of cancer earlier this
    year, at the young age of 44, leaving behind a wife of 19 years and
    five young children. His was one of far too many vibrant young lives
    cut short by this terrible disease. As was his way in life, Bob fought
    cancer to the very end attacking the disease as ferociously as it
    attacked him.
    Recent developments in the FBI anthrax case had brought the case back
    into the media in the last month. I want to pause and recognize that
    the recent breaks in the case were built upon the hard work of Special
    Agent Roth and his team. Many of us remember what it was like on
    Capitol Hill in October of 2001 when an anthrax-laced letter appeared
    in Senator Daschle’s office and another in Senator Leahy’s office.
    Spores were found at the U.S. Supreme Court, and postal workers who
    handled the letters died from inhalation. No one felt entirely safe
    from one of the most deadly germs known to man.
    The FBI was immediately on the case, and a September 2003 Washington
    Post article explained their approach in the following manner:

    To run the anthrax case day to day, Assistant FBI director
    Van Harp turned to veteran FBI agent Bob Roth whose
    meticulous style mirrored his own. Roth sometimes referred to
    himself as a cops-and-robbers kind of guy, best suited to
    pursuing the mobsters, embezzlers and kidnappers who had
    always been the FBI’s bread and butter. But this case posed
    an entirely new set of challenges, and Roth was willing to
    try almost anything to solve it . . . the FBI’s
    frustrations with the case were palpable. At one meeting at
    the Washington field office, agents talked candidly about the
    toll the long hours were exacting on their families. Roth
    vented, too, groaning to no one in particular, “Get me out
    of this.”

    But he never asked to get out. Long after the media lost interest,
    Agent Roth worked tirelessly. As the FBI slogged through one of the
    most complicated, high-profile cases it ever faced, Agent Bob Roth
    served his country as a pioneer in the efforts to fight domestic
    terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. He literally risked his life
    investigating scenes and evidence from the anthrax case. He was later
    honored by being promoted to Assistant Section Chief of the Bureau’s
    newly created Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. It was a role he
    had little time to address because he spent the last year of his life
    fighting against his own personal WMD: multiple myeloma, an aggressive
    bone cancer.
    Bob was an exemplary father, devoted husband, committed Christian,
    community leader, and Government servant. He served 16 years for the
    FBI and was highly commended and decorated for his exceptional life and
    unfailing integrity, for his leadership and excellence in his
    profession for his inspiring example as a devoted husband and loving
    father to five beautiful children for his character and long service to
    our country, and for his pioneering efforts in fighting against weapons
    of mass destruction.
    I ask that the Congressional Record reflect the impressive
    contributions made by Special Agent Robert Roth to his country.

  6. DXer said

    From among the numerous comments submitted to the NAS, let me quote from the cover letter of Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones, an oft-quoted distinguished expert on matters relating to anthrax.

    School of Veterinary Medicine
    Louisiana State University
    July 22, 2010

    Dr. Fran Sharples
    Director, Board on Life Sciences
    National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences
    500 Fifth St, NW
    Washington, DC 20001

    Dear Dr. Sharples,

    This letter is addressed to you as the NAS Responsible Staff Officer for the project “Review of the Scientific Approaches Used during the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Bacillus anthracis Mailings,” so that the letter and the attached document might be passed to all the said committee members.

    A number of our scientific colleagues have been concerned with the nature and quality of the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation. Some of these concerns, specifically on the scientific aspects of the anthrax spore products found in the various letters, are laid out in the accompanying document entitled “Three Markers in the Attack Anthrax as Indicators of its Source: A Compilation of Documented Data.” These concerns cover the genetic mutations of the Bacillus anthracis spores, the B. subtilis contamination noted in some letter contents but not in the claimed parent-spore collection in flask RMR 1029, and the silicon contents of the spores in the various letters. We wish to bring our concerns to the notice of your special committee.

    Briefly, our conclusions include the following:

    · There is no sound evidence that the spore products found in the letters were produced at USAMRIID.

    · There is insufficient evidence to rule in or out, as the source of the letter anthrax, the “Midwest” laboratory that possessed B. anthracis matching that in RMR1029.

    · The apparent singularity of the B. subtilis found as a contaminant in some of the samples examined makes it an institutional “fingerprint.” A discreet but thorough search needs to be mounted to find out where this apparently uncommon strain resides.

    · The fact that Bacillus subtilis was found in some but not all the samples suggests that there might have been at least two spore production runs, with one contaminated and the other clean.

    · The two very different amounts of Silicon noted in the spore samples, 1.5% and 30% – 40%, would clearly indicate two separate treatment runs.

    · Both the latter observations indicate specialized institutional experience, and suggest that the letter spores may have come from the leftover remains of production runs that had authorized purposes and that may have taken place well before Sept. 11, 2001.

    · If that is the case, knowledgeable individuals must exist who had nothing to do with the anthrax letter attacks but who possess the necessary production expertise, even if it is “secret.”

    · The disagreement between the AFIP and Sandia results requires that the quantity, location and chemical nature of the Silicon in the various letter products need to be independently determined and quantified.

    · Any specialized products that may be present in the samples should have left a paper trail that should be followed as to (a) institutions carrying out similar research, and (b) purchase records or invoices for the materials needed to produce the specialized products.

    · And lastly, to avoid any possible disclosure of information that might endanger national security, and at the same time to avoid any further false or misleading statements about the attack spore preparation, the NAS Committee could specify certain experiments to be done confidentially, and to be reported to them and to members of Congress who have been concerned with the anthrax case. They should also be given any information about the contents of the letters that has heretofore been withheld. A subsequent statement by this informed group, covering whatever information cannot safely be released publicly, would help resolve critical questions and concerns about the anthrax attacks.


  7. DXer said

    Ed, why was she out of her job immediately after that court appearance?

    And why was she sued by the hospital on or about August 8, 2008.

    • Anonymous said

      “And that resulted in Ivins calling her in the middle of the night from the mental hospital to leave a menacing message on her answering machine.”

      Please state the parts of this message that were “menacing” here:


    • DXer said


      How does what he said compare to what she said he said?

      Was there a discrepancy?

      Is that why within two weeks she no longer was working there?

      Have you corrected your page yet in which you say he moved to Gaithersburg. The uncontradicted evidence shows he moved from there in January 1981.

      Also, please correct all references to “keying.” It wasn’t keyed. In fact, care was taken to avoid harming the paint.

      Was shaving cream used?

      Note that was the chain of events.

      They test for semen.

      Drive him to a rage.

      He says very angry things.

      She reports him — in fact there seems to have been an undercover in the group or a tape recording made at the group on July 9. See memo to the file on Field Office stationery.

      When did she get released from house arrest for her DWI conviction? Was it shortly before the addictions counseling session on July 9?

      During her detention, was she allowed to go to work? If so, was she required to wear an electronic bracelet?

      Why did the hospital sue her on or about August 8, 2008?


      Oh, and when you talk about discrepancies in your Hatfill section and pooh-pooh them as immaterial, you should revise it to include forgery of a PhD certificate in gaining access to ebola. That’s far more material than college pranks 30 years ago.

    • richard rowley said

      This seems as good a place as any to ask Mister Lake a provocative question:

      If, in the next 5 to 10 years, Ivins is proved innocent via exposure of the true perpetrators of Amerithrax, will you start a website dedicated to trumpetting his innocence and examining how the Amerithrax investigation erred in hounding Ivins?
      (This question may not be as theoretical as it sounds)

    • anonymous said

      It sounds like Lake has finally admitted defeat and moved on to writing his daily drivel on his own private website where nobody is allowed to challenge his fantasies and obsessions about Bruce Ivins:

      When you get nowhere too often, it’s time to change course. And that’s what I’m going to try to do — starting now.

    • richard rowley said

      Posted by Mister Lake:
      have no stake in who committed the attacks. It doesn’t make any difference to me who did it. I’m only interested in what the evidence says. In my book published in 2005, I said the culprit was “most likely” someone in New Jersey, because that was what the KNOWN facts said at the time. But, I also knew I had very little evidence to work with, so I stated that there could be a mountain of facts known only to the FBI that could point to someone else that I never heard of. That turned out to be the case, and in 2008 I immediately changed my page to fit the new known facts. And, I’m trying to write a new book showing what the new facts say.

      I would have absolutely no problem doing that again. It would be a fascinating exercise. Proof that someone other than Ivins did it would be almost as fascinating as getting solid proof that aliens from outer space were responsible.
      Okay, I’ll take that as a yes. And I’ll hold you too it! May we both live another 10 years!
      Live well and prosper, Mister Lake!

  8. richard rowley said

    Post by Mister Lake:

    Ivins was a sociopath because:
    1. He discussed in a cold blooded way a plan to poison people.
    2. He obsessed for decades about a slight that apparently happened in his college days.
    3. He burglarized KKG sorority houses multiple times to steal things so he could ridicule them.
    4. He had no fear of going in front of a group of KKG sorority members in Tennessee that he had tricked into listening to him play his guitar and sing, and singing their secret rituals as a form of ridicule.
    5. He used phony names on the Internet to talk about killing and maiming people on TV shows.
    6. He would drive hundreds of miles at night to perform his sociopathic actions.
    7. He obsessed for decades about specific successful women.
    8. He could not be deterred from his attentions, even though women made it clear they weren’t interested.
    9. He didn’t learn from his mistakes, but just did the same thing over and over with different women.
    10. He did everything in secret while his wife and children knew nothing about it.
    Let’s examine them one at a time:
    1. He discussed in a cold blooded way a plan to poison people.
    The ‘plan’ as I understand it, was never acted on. And fantasizing about killing people you know and love/hate and/or resent is very far psychologically from poisoning TOTAL STRANGERS via postal mailings.
    2. He obsessed for decades about a slight that apparently happened in his college days.
    Explicable in terms of OCD. Sociopaths frequently kill (of the ones who DO kill) for fun/pleasure. And they aren’t so fussy about who the exact victim is. So obsessing is somewhat counterindicative for sociopathy.
    3. He burglarized KKG sorority houses multiple times to steal things so he could ridicule them.
    Again, I don’t claim to quite ‘get it’, but it’s clear that this was an OBSESSION (with Kappa Kappa Gamma) and OCD seems to be the motivation. If the behaviour were driven by sociopathy, then ANY female fraternity/sorority would do.
    4. He had no fear of going in front of a group of KKG sorority members in Tennessee that he had tricked into listening to him play his guitar and sing, and singing their secret rituals as a form of ridicule.
    Weird. But in and of itself not indicative of sociopathy.
    5. He used phony names on the Internet to talk about killing and maiming people on TV shows.
    Phony names on the Internet?!?!? Why the bounder!
    6. He would drive hundreds of miles at night to perform his sociopathic actions.
    Uh, if you delete the word “sociopathic” from the above sentence, it is explicable in terms of OCD and/or bipolar disorder.
    7. He obsessed for decades about specific successful women.
    OCD, OCD, OCD. Is this really so difficult?
    8. He could not be deterred from his attentions, even though women made it clear they weren’t interested.
    Obsessive. That’s what obsessive means: not able to take a hint.
    9. He didn’t learn from his mistakes, but just did the same thing over and over with different women.
    Obsessive, obsessive, obsessive.
    10. He did everything in secret while his wife and children knew nothing about it.
    Does that make Bill Clinton a sociopath?

    • DXer said

      Ed, why did the DOJ want to check Dr. Ivins’ semen on the panties — other than to humiliate him.

      How was semen from 2008 relevant to the anthrax mailings of fall 2001?

      Doesn’t he have a First Amendment right to free expression?

    • richard rowley said

      Partial post by Mister Lake:
      Richard Rowley wrote: “OCD, OCD, OCD. Is this really so difficult?”

      I think you are wildly misinterpreting what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is all about. Having obsessions does NOT automatically mean you have OCD.

      People with OCD have obsessions with a compulsion to immediately satisfy that obsession. I noticed a guy with OCD at my health club about six months ago. The guy was locking and unlocking the lock on his locker over and over and obviously counting the number of time he was doing it. I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he went on to do other compulsive things as he changed clothes.
      No, I have a good picture of the overall condition:

      1) I myself have something like a lite form of it: useful for some things, dysfunctional for others.

      2) I’ve been studying, FOR YEARS (ie long before Amerithrax), historical figures like Doctor Samuel Johnson who had it (it is going to be overrepresented in fields like proofreaders/editors) (ie people whose job it is to meticulously check things) and lexicographers like Johnson was (ie collectors and list makers, archivists, archaelogists).

      3)Naturally how OCD, lite or otherwise, plays out in the life of an individual depends on many things: family life, environment and other skills/interests of the person.

      Almost certainly a good bit of Ivins’ scientific achievement was related to his (lite-ish) OCD.

  9. richard rowley said

    Post by Mister Lake:
    From the footnote at the bottom of page 87 of the FBI Summary report: “In interviews, Dr. Ivins made clear that when he went on his long drives, his wife had no idea about them, because he told her he was simply going to the lab. He told Former Colleague #1 that when he went on these sorority road trips, he took steps to ensure that his wife did not know about them.”
    And why would a sociopathic personality, guilty of the Amerithrax mailings, admit to this (the drives at night and the fact that he kept his wife in the dark about same)) in interviews with the very investigators who suspected him of driving to Princeton with the Amerithrax letters? It would seem that a GUILTY Ivins would have denied that…..and, would have kept any admissions to the barest minimum (ie would have admitted only to those things that had been established by evidence OTHER than his admission).

    • DXer said

      He explained these things happening near 30 years ago because they are irrelevant.

      You folks keep saying night. Ivins said evening. Please correct your webpage on this point, Ed. We know you want him leaving at night unnoticed but he travelled in the evening to nearby West Virginia. (He explained it was so near to where he lived that he could go and get back in the evening.

      Moreover, note that he explained in the same interview that an officer stopped him after dropping the kahlua and wine off at Mara’s parents house in Ithaca. Again, it was not night. See also sheriff’s record.

    • DXer said

      As theories go, and I have heard many many, Nancy’s sorority/Christmas card from January 2002 is the stupidest one I’ve heard.

  10. DXer said

    MARCH 1, 1982 in the Frederick POST
    Toss up
    Area man offers juggling course

    When passing through a supermarket
    produce section, Bruce Ivius sometimes
    gives in to his urge to juggle and expertly
    flings lemons, apples or whatever into
    the air.

    “My wife gets on me all the time,” he
    said with a laugh.

    Juggling has fascinated the Frederick
    resident for the past 10 years and his
    knowledge of the feats of manual dexterity
    can be passed on to Frederick
    County residents through the county
    board of education’s adult education

    “I’m a complete klutz,” said Ivins,
    who started juggling “as a way to correct

    While at the University of North
    Carolina, Ivins was the faculty advisor
    to the Juggling Association which performed
    at fairs, telethons, parades and

    When he moved to Gaithersburg, he
    entered a talent show “just for fun” and
    ended up winning first prize Juggling
    started to catch on in the area and, in
    1979, he formed the Gaithersburg Jugglers,
    a group of about six to eight “hard
    core” members

    Ivins and his family since have
    located in Frederick and he works at
    Fort Detnck. He learned about the adult
    education program and volunteered his

    “I’m primarily a teacher,” he said,
    and secondly a performer His appearances
    primarily are limited to
    community-type activities, which is one
    reason “I don’t do birthday parties.”
    Speaking of performing, Ivins said
    •’it’s a real fear” among jugglers that
    they’ll drop everything they’re using
    and perhaps be laughed off the stage
    He guessed that most of his students
    harbor a “secret desire” to perform “or
    they just want to be able to say I can juggle.”
    He said some want to improve
    hand and eye coordination so they can
    be better at sports such as handball or

    Ivins said women generally catch on
    faster then men.

    “My wife picked it right up,” he said.

    “A woman’s fine coordination is better
    You can prove that just by giving each a
    needle to thread.”

    His youngest student was 8 years old,
    but usually “if they’re below 15 they
    don’t have the attention span or coordination

    Ivins said he has had pupils learn the
    first stage of juggling within two
    minutes and others take an hour One
    student graduated to being able to juggle
    a torch and machete while eating an
    apple. Ihe year after Ivins won the
    talent show, this man took first place
    Juggling is not an expensive venture,
    said the instructor.

    “If you can afford three tennis balls or
    three oranges you can juggle And you
    can make your own equipment.” He
    picked up a club which was fashioned
    from a broom handle and bleach bottle
    with the whole thing wrapped in electrical

    There will be two classes, one meeting
    Tuesdays, the other on Wednesdays,
    each for three weeks Classes, which
    start March 23 and 24 and last from 7-9
    p.m will be held at Gov. Thomas
    Johnson High School.

    • DXer said

      Everything’s up in the air while Frederick jugglers have a ball, Frederick News-Post, September 23, 1983

      News-Post Staff

      It’s not really a sport. It isn’t magic or
      a secret, mysterious craft. Nor can one
      picture someone doing it as a hobby at

      But a few dedicated, diligent ones
      regularly practice it in the Frederick
      area and, as a result, join the long
      history of a unique and pleasurable
      novelty: juggling.

      When most people think of juggling,
      they think of an immensely difficult skill
      that can only be learned by people with a
      •special type of dexterity or coordination.
      We think that no longer; it is a
      misconception, according to Dr. Bruce
      Ivins, founder of The Frederick Jugglers
      Inc.. Frederick’s lone juggling

      Ivins decided to form the club with the
      assistance of fellow jugglers Joe
      Haggenmiller and Wayne Smith during
      March of last year. Although Ivins, 37,
      said the club was “something hard to
      get together and keep together,'” all of
      the six to eight regular members are
      now deeply committed to its success.
      Ivins, a microbiologist at Fort Detrick,
      began the club after teaching a
      course for the board of education’s adult
      education program. Before that, Ivins
      was a faculty advisor for the Juggling
      Association of the Gaithersburg Jugglers,
      a group similar to the Frederick
      Jugglers. Ivins has either taught or performed
      juggling since 1976, and he
      estimates he has taught the craft to between
      500 and 1,000 people.
      Haggenmiller outlined the stages of
      learning juggling during an interview
      one summer night as the club practiced
      in front of the Frederick YMCA:
      “Anyone can juggle if they stick with
      it It requires a lot of persistence and
      staying with it. Juggling is all practice;
      the more you practice, the more efficient
      you become. If you can get over
      the frustration level, it’s a lot of fun once
      you get started.”

      The stages of learning are divided by
      the number of bails one is able to juggle.
      The first stage is learning two balls, the
      second stage is mastering three balls,
      the third stage is learning different
      tricks, and the fourth stage would be
      mastering advanced tricks.

      The third-stage tricks may include
      such crowd-pleasers as putting a ball
      under one’s chin while juggling, bouncing
      a juggled ball off body parts, rolling
      a juggled ball off one’s head, and doing
      under the leg passes and behind the
      back juggling.

      Haggenmiller says the time it takes to
      learn these tricks vries with each person
      He estimates that learning to juggle
      three balls will take two months, and
      learning four or five bails will take six to
      eight months

      Tne advanced stage, consisting of
      learning clubs and Bails at the same
      time, passing formations with various
      peopie and different juggling combinations
      of items such as machetes and torches
      can be mastered in about a year
      Haggenrnilier. in his mid-30s and an
      employee of the postal service, says …

      That may explain his quick learning
      After seeing an article in the News-Post
      in March 1982. and after seeing a juggiing
      troupe perform in the Francis Scott
      Key Mali last year, he was hooked
      He can now perform such difficult
      tricks as ‘ the fountain,” “the shower’
      and juggling *whiie riding a unicycie
      The fountain and shower are tricks
      where the juggled bails seen- to n*
      following patterns synonomoas *ith
      either z fountain or sno>er of *ater
      Members of the Frederick Jug
      glers Inc., work on a Five \Jan
      Star, one of the more difficult exercises
      in juggling. Clockwise
      from left are Jim Fregonara,
      Bruce Ivios, Jody and Kevin
      Potts, and Joe Haggenmiller.
      .Vol pictured are members Gill
      Derge and Wayne Smith. (Photo
      by \anci Bross>

      Wayne Smith, 33, who also works for
      the postal system, repeated Haggenmiller’
      s claim that “anybody can juggle.
      After a hard day of work, it’s a g’eat
      thing to do. Timing, rhythm and coordination
      come with practice Juggling
      used to be pretty limited until about 15
      years ago it’s growing reaily fast More
      people are discovering juggling ”
      Smith estimates that the International
      Jugglers Association, which boasts approximately
      1500 members, had only 800
      members just five years ago Smith suggested
      the actual number of jugglers in
      the U.S. may be five to ten times more
      than the registered 1500
      Kevin and Jodie Potts, husband and
      wife, joined the clun after seeing an ad
      in the paper ‘ After seeing other people
      (juggling) who were really good, it inspired

  11. DXer said

    A 1984 article clarifies a 1982 listing of classes and notes that Dr. Ivins was a CPR instructor for the Frederick/Carroll Chapter of the American Heart Association rather than the Red Cross. He apparently in 1984 was training CPR instructors.

    June 22, 1984
    Several receive

    The Frederick/Carroll Chapter of the
    American Heart Association recently
    certified several new instructors during
    a two-day program at Frederick
    Community College.
    On April 28 and May 12, the following
    persons were certified: Perry D. Baker,
    Emily V. Bowens, RN, Donna G. Corley,
    Thomas H. Cosgrove, Mary F. Fox,
    EMT, Kim Kelly, Robert L. Mann,
    Janaldo D. Mims, Lois Minchoff, RN,
    Mary Jo Rucker, Donna Shumar, and
    James Weddle.
    Other instructors were recertified:
    Lewis Eyre, Bruce Marusich, Jeffrey L.
    Mellon, Robert F. Stone, and C. Wayne
    Course directors were Bruce Ivins and
    Joe Heidel, and faculty members for the
    program were: Mickie Chapman,
    Charles E. Clark, Frances Ann Gilbert,
    RN, Elizabeth Lee, RN, Harvey Levy,
    D. MD, Ann Milstead, RN, Thomas J.
    Powers, and Terry N. Shook, RN.
    For information about CPR courses
    and registration, call the Continuing
    Education Department at Frederick
    Community College or the Frederick
    Heart Office at 663-3189.

  12. DXer said

    As I have often quoted to Ed, such as in August 2008 and at various times on this blog, such as July 2009, on March 1, 1982, in an article titled “Toss Up,” the Post, explained: “Juggling has fascinated the Frederick resident for the past 10 years and his knowledge of the feats of manual dexterity can be passed on to Frederick County residents through the Board of Education’s continuing adult education program.”

    The article states: “When he moved to Gaithersberg, he entered a talent show “just for fun”… Ivins and his family have since located in Frederick, and he works at Fort Detrick.”

    (In addition to teaching juggling to area residents, Dr. Ivins taught CPR in 1982. He had classes scheduled for October 16 and October 23, 1982 and November 3 and November 10, 1982.)

    In an article April 22, 1983, the paper explained “Ms. Ivins is the wife of Dr. Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist at Fort Detrick. They have lived in Frederick since January 1981.”

    The May 9, 1983 article, which had the photo featured in the New York Times after Bruce’s death, explained “Three-year-old Gary Broski of Frederick gives juggling his best juggling afternoon in Mullinez Park. Giving the lesson is Bruce Ivins of Frederick.”

    So his experience with Red Cross dates to a quarter-century ago.

    As I best recall the number offhand, on this blog I have pointed out at least 68 numbered factual errors that Ed Lake has made on his webpage. He is only begrudgingly — after two years — getting around to correct this one.

    The other 67 mistakes noticed on this blog by numbered posts were not corrected.

  13. BugMaster said

    Right, Ed. So if anyone disagrees with you and your beloved FBI Amerithrax Bunch, they are true believers and conspiracy theorists, and if anyone has any information you are not aware of, said information just has to be a “fantasy”.

    • DXer said


      Which evidence from the record don’t you credit?

      That Tarek Hamouda is not a former Zawahiri associate?

      That he wasn’t supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins?

      That Ayman Zawahiri announced his plans to use anthrax against the US using the cover of universities and charities?

      That Former Colleague #1 and Former Colleague #2 assisted Tarek in his DARPA-funded research?

      That NanoBio collected $70 million in investment without a product — to include $50 million from Richard Holbrooke’s Perseus?

      That the FBI genetics expert provided Tarek the BL-3?

      I regularly show where your facts are wrong. Where are my facts wrong? You just assert your conclusion without addressing the facts.

      Have you corrected your false claim about where and when Dr. Ivins lived yet? I corrected you in 2008 and yet you never corrected your claim and instead have just featured it and made it more prominent. You are not a researcher — you are a poster. There’s a big difference.

    • DXer said

      Ed writes:

      “January 24, 2011 – I’m getting emails from a Ivins supporter claiming that USA Today was wrong, that Ivins moved to Montgomery Village, MD, first, then moved out, and then Nancy Haigwood coincidentally moved in close by to where Ivins had lived. I can’t verify any of this. None of the “clues” to the claimed source of this information pan out.”

      Ed hasn’t made the correction. Instead, he says he can’t verify it. Yet, I have sent him 1982 and 1983 articles confirming that Dr. Ivins had moved from Gaithersburg to Frederick in January 1981. This is a typical example where his facts are wrong and he doesn’t get the facts right when it is explained over and over to him (as has been done repeatedly over 2 years on this issue). He did the same for silica for 7 years. He did the same for genetics for a critical 6 months. He needs to correct the numerous errors that have been pointed out to him. They are not a matter of opinion as he suggests. I typically will try to explain the factual error privately so as to not to distract what could be a productive discussion of new articles in the journals and the like. Make the correction — link the articles, Ed. Put at least this error to rest instead of perpetuating it.

    • DXer said

      The March 1, 1982 local newspaper article (The Post, March 1, 1982) I long ago emailed Ed explains that

      “When he moved to Gaithersburg, he entered a talent show “just for fun” and end up winning first prize. Juggling started to catch on in the area and, in 1979, he formed the Gaithersburg Jugglings, a group of about six to eight “hard core” members.

      Ivins and his family since have located in Frederick and he works at Fort Detrick.”

      Now I first told this Ed in August 2008 but he refuses to correct his mistake even after I sent him a copy of this article early this afternoon (his time) given he has refused to pull it up even after I repeatedly cite and quote it to him. (I regularly send him such articles to try to avoid the distraction of such mistakes).

      And today I sent him another making the same point from the time. The articles from the time period — which Ed inexplicably fails to pull — all confirm Dr. Ivins and Diane moved to Frederick in January 1981.

      By way of background, for those who are not confused on the facts, Nancy H. was very angry at Bruce.

      Struggle for an AIDS Vaccine
      Subscription – Washington Post – HighBeam Research – Sep 23, 2001
      There is Nancy Haigwood, 31, a molecular biologist whose vaccine was ridiculed for years as “weird science” or “cold fusion.”

      Nancy was furious and immediately wanted to accuse him of the anthrax attacks dating back to 2001.
      (Nancy blames the unfair criticism on rejection of a particular article; Bruce was an article reviewer).

      Bruce sent her (and numerous others) a picture of him working in the lab during the heyday and she says she immediately suspected him.

      Ed needn’t make any inquiries or conduct any interviews if he doesn’t want to have credibility as a researcher.

      But he can’t fail to correct factual errors when they are pointed out.

      He says he can’t verify it. Yes he can. It is verified by the numerous contemporaneous accounts.

    • DXer said

      The fact that the AP made the mistake and never corrected is precisely the point — that’s precisely the problem. I would have told the reporter back in August 2008 but I don’t know his email. It was hugely prejudicial narrative that Ed perpetuates to this day.

  14. DXer said

    Let’s take a case study of what the known facts say and who disregards them.

    Ed continues to overlook the March 1, 1982 Frederick News-Post article brought specifically to his attention on August 30, 2008 describing Bruce as a “resident of Frederick.” Ed pretends that there are only 1983 articles — that he claims are somehow unavailable to him but available to others.

    For example, he claims the April 22, 1983 Frederick News-Post was somehow unavailable to him when it is a famous article.

    I have repeatedly cited the 1982 and 1983 articles giving their date and quoted them. But it didn’t square with what he wanted to argue and so he just proceeded to argue the opposite (as he has done on this issue for 2 years)

    At the same time, he claims those who disagree with him are “true believers” and “conspiracy theorists” who disregard the facts. No, it’s Ed who disregards the facts.

    As another example, see the issue when it arose in July 2009 on this blog and was addressed by the same cited authority.

    Jul 16, 2009 … They have lived in Frederick since January 1981.”) See also: March 1, 1982 News-Post describing him as a “resident of Frederick” ; and Sept. ……/dr-bruce-ivins-was-not-the-only-bioweapons-expert-who-died-in-a-strange-way/ – Cached

    ”Ms. Ivins is the wife of Dr. Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist at Ft. Detrick. They have lived in Frederick since January 1981.”

    Ed was reminded of the issue as recently as this past week on this blog. Ed simply has no interest in getting things right and perpetuates errors contradicted on a daily basis.

    If Ed is going to address these issues, he is going to be expected to do the research and not perpetuate the errors as he has for the past decade.

  15. richard rowley said

    Partial post by Mister Lake:
    What are YOUR thoughts on his mental condition? Do you think Ivins was just a nice, normal family man?
    Okay, I’ll bite. With the caveats that I’m not a psychiatrist, and that judging someone, alive or deceased, at several moves is always a tricky thing, I’d say this:

    1) the only area in which I totally agree with Mister Lake is that Ivins probably had a mixed psychological profile. It’s just what was in the mix that we disagree on. So,

    2) his predominant profile feature would appear to be a form of bipolar disorder. Naturally, there are many sub-types of this, almost as many as there are persons who suffer from it. In his case, he had periods of manic energy and elation. And periods in which he felt he was going out of his mind.

    3) a mild form of OCD would seem to fit in too: this can give someone an ability to focus on a given problem and ‘solve’ it via a relentless mental persistence. That TV show with Tony Shalhoub shows this situation(crime-solver with OCD) and plays it for laughs but, whatever the exaggerations, there’s some truth to it: 100% ‘normal’ people probably don’t make the best problem-solvers: you have to ‘become one’ with the problem and a lite OCD makes that possible.
    The down side? Obsessing about particular women (in Ivins’ case, I don’t think he would have known what to do with these women if they had succumbed to his ‘charms’). And obsessing about silly stuff like the code books of a women’s fraternity.

    3) (obviously) a sexual clothing fetish. Whether such clothing fetishes are co- related to 1) and/or 2) or any other psychological condition, I’m in the dark about it.

    That’s my picture of Ivins at this point.

    • richard rowley said

      Partial post by Mister Lake:
      That could be part of his problem. But it has little or NOTHING to do with stalking people for decades or traveling to other states to do things which will humiliate members of the KKG sorority. It has nothing to do with cold-blooded plans to murder people.
      Once again, and for the umpteenth time, Mister Lake ASSUMES the very point under contention: whether Ivins ever did anything in his life that was ‘murderous’.

    • DXer said

      Ed not only assumes the fact under contention but he gets the most fundamental fact wrong. Ed’s stalking narrative begins with his assertion that Dr. Ivins followed Nancy to Gaithersburg and lived there in 1982 when numerous contemporaneous articles explain he that he had moved FROM THERE in January 1981.

      Nancy never said he lived there — had moved there. When asked by a mistaken AP reporter whether she knew that he lived down the street, she said no, she didn’t. (databases are commonly dated – go ahead, look your own address up) Rather than correcting the AP story, which ran with a IVINS STALKS headline, Ed refuses to correct the record so that people can get these central facts right. (I wouldn’t have emailed the AP reporter to tell him his error and he would have corrected it but it is very difficult to find the email of an AP reporter).

      As a result, sweet gifts (understood by Mara to be kindnesses and known to be from him) are suddenly construed as menacing. Editing Wikipedia and using a screen name on the internet suddenly becomes the crime of the century. Posts about a survivor-type show evidence of murder. I can only imagine what Ed would do with the game “Killer” that was popular on campus in 1981.

    • richard rowley said

      I did a tad more research in this area (diagnoses in mental health area) and read more about the particular behaviours/attitudes/thoughts of Ivins.

      Now, I find it likely he had ‘Schizo-affective disorder’. Which obviously straddles the line between schizophrenia (but is less severe than full-blown schizophrenia)and and ‘affective disorder’ like bipolar. “Affective”, of course, means emotional.

      Schizophrenia and lighter versions thereof are COGNITIVE disorders (rather than affective). Said another way, they involve thoughts: sometimes bizarre, unwanted thoughts, such as Ivins reported to friends via email etc.

      But since when Ivins was in a good mood, he seems not to have had much in the way of the paranoia associated with schizophrenia, I suspect the schizoidal symptoms were driven by the extreme mood swings.
      But again, I see nothing sociopathic about him.

      And OCD lite could have been involved too.

  16. richard rowley said

    Partial post by Mister Lake:
    “Second, in September, 2002, Dr. Ivins drove from his house in Frederick to a home where Former Colleague #1 was staying – a roundtrip total of 600 miles and probably 11 hours – in the middle of the night, simply to drop off an anonymous package for Former Colleague #1. He initially denied that he had left the package, but eventually he admitted to her, and subsequently to investigators, that he had. He added that he actually did a reconnaissance dry-run – meaning another 11-hour drive – to see how long it would take. This pattern of dry-runs was corroborated by a witness, who told investigators that before Dr. Ivins went anywhere new, even if it was just a new lunch spot, he did a test-drive.”

    What type of personality does that sort of thing?
    I’m not a qualified mental health professional but it sounds——assuming the characterization is accurate—–like a sort of borderline OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder): the need to be super meticulous in preparing things (but I’m guessing he liked to drive also, perhaps listened to music the whole time in the car).

    I would IMAGINE this meticulousness (whether it is connected to a borderline form of OCD or not) is useful in microbiology as a personality trait.

    • Anonymous said

      Look, you are completely and utterly wrong about Ivins being a sociopath.

      Sociopaths don’t bare their souls in emails to friends about their fragile mental conditions as Ivins did dozens of times. Sociopaths don’t believe they have mental conditions.

      Sociopaths are not naive nerds like Ivins who seriously believed the 2 women he met on the cruise just wanted to be his friends.

      Any true sociopath would have nailed these ladies as FBI undercover agents in 30 seconds. Sociopaths are experts at cleverly manipulating people and are usually very good at reading people socially.

      If the FBI had a written medical record that Ivins was a sociopath they would have shown it years ago. They don’t show it because they don’t have it.

    • Anonymous said

      “There is absolutely no doubt that the records say that Dr. Irwin diagnosed Ivins as being sociopathic.”

      You believe it so that must make it true.

    • richard rowley said

      Poster by Mister Lake:
      Richard Rowley wrote: “I’m not a qualified mental health professional but it sounds——assuming the characterization is accurate—–like a sort of borderline OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder): the need to be super meticulous in preparing things (but I’m guessing he liked to drive also, perhaps listened to music the whole time in the car).”

      Many people have some form of OCD. They worry about forgetting to turn off the lights, about forgetting to lock the doors, etc. So, sometimes they force themselves to do things which will make them remember that they turned off the lights and locked the doors. They turn the lights off then on then off again, so it will be something they remember. They lock the door, unlock it, lock it again and test the knob three times to verify that it’s locked, and so they will remember that they locked it. It’s a way of turning something you can easily forget into something that is very difficult to forget.

      OCD might explain a few of Ivins’ personality traits, but it would have NOTHING to do with his plans for murdering people. It would have NOTHING to do with his stalking of women he knew. It would have NOTHING to do with his obsession about KKG. It would have NOTHING to do with committing burglaries. It would have NOTHING to do with damaging other people’s property. It would have NOTHING to do with the evidence in the anthrax case.

      All you are saying is that Ivins could have been a sociopath with a mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
      NOTHING I have written here (or anywhere else) suggests that Ivins was a sociopath. How you can interpolate your own opinions——and until we here directly from Ivins’ doctors, that’s all it is, an opinion—–into what I’ve written is beyond me. In the post of mine you repost, I was MERELY responding to your query about why Ivins would make test runs in his car of places he intended to drive to in the future. THAT meticulousness is not inconsistent with mild OCD. I said NOTHING in my post about Ivins having sociopathy. Indeed, I have stated several times that I see no evidence of sociopathy in the ESTABLISHED thought-processes and behaviour of Ivins. Since the anthrax letters (who wrote them, sent them) is the very thing under dispute, I naturally did not include them in Ivins’ behaviour…..

  17. DXer said

    I’m quite startled that Ed does not know what constitutes hearsay.

    But rather than educate Ed on such things let’s get Ed to some facts about Ivins and when he moved to Frederick. I’ve told him the following facts repeatedly and he just keeps getting the facts wrong. He has argued that Dr. Ivins followed Nancy H to Gaithersburg when it was the other way around.

    Dr. Ivins had moved from Gaithersburg on to Frederick by January 1981.

    Source: April 22, 1983 Frederick News-Post (”Ms. Ivins is the wife of Dr. Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist at Ft. Detrick. They have lived in Frederick since January 1981.”) See also: March 1, 1982 News-Post describing him as a “resident of Frederick” ; and Sept. 23, 1983 News-Post describing him as a Frederick juggler and describing how after he moved from Gaithersburg, where he had formed the Gaithersburg Jugglers, he moved to Frederick where he formed the Frederick Jugglers.

    As I understand the timeline, Nancy H. got her PhD in 1980, a year AFTER Ivins was living in Gaithersburg.

    But as a key part of the Ed’s Stalker Narrative, the story states:

    “In the summer of 1982 Haigwood moved in with Scandella, then her fiance, in the Washington D.C. suburb of Montgomery Village. On Nov 30, that year, Scandella woke to find the Greek letters “KKG” spray-painted on the rear window of their car.”

    The 2008 AP article on or about August 8 (just before editorial writers were considering the matter) states: “Records show that Ivins was living on the same street, about a block away, shortly after the incident . [TO THE CONTRARY, HE WAS LIVING IN FREDERICK ACCORDING TO THE NEWS-POST]

    AP continues:


    AP continues:

    “Scandella did not know that Ivins had been their neighbor until he was told Friday by a reporter.” [THAT’S BECAUSE HE WASN’T THEIR NEIGHBOR].

    Now of course this doesn’t bear on the possibility he is the anthrax processor and/or mailer.

    But the sorority nonsense was never compelling evidence of the anthrax murders in the first place.

    Moreover, the point is not to fault the particular journalists or the person who gave them the vague real estate records without corroborating the information based on more specific sources. We all make mistakes.

    The key is to correct them. It likely would not even be admissible evidence. Nancy didn’t like Bruce just like his brother Tom — who Bruce had accused of wife-beating and not paying child support under the screen name Prunetacos in 2006.

    Instead the more relevant line of inquiry is whether the September 23, 2001 Washington Post article that said that she had been ridiculed as promoting the equivalent of “cold fusion” in the vaccine research made her enraged at peer reviewers such as Dr. Ivins who served on periodicals focused on animal models and vaccine research. The young investigators who submitted the affidavit regarding the Ivins’ search likely were not even aware of this.

    AP should have corrected the stalker story. But it’s understandable given the rush of events.

    But what’s Ed’s excuse? I told him all the above — on more than one occasion — but he prefers to spin the narrative as he likes.

    Get it straight, Ed.

    He did not follow her to Gaithersburg. She came after he had moved out.

  18. richard rowley said

    Partial post by Mister Lake:
    Richard Rowley wrote: “10)a tendency for the FBI to treat separately and perfunctorily even those ‘hoax letters’ that seemed unusually prescient with regards to the nature of the attacks (ie the St Petersburg letters)etc.

    This criticism was made many moons ago by Don Foster in his VANITY FAIR article.”

    That is, of course, the conspiracy theorist Don Foster who believed that Steven Hatfill was the anthrax mailer and accused the FBI of not following his screwball thinking and of failing to thoroughly investigate Hatfill.
    Okay, here we see in action Mister Lake’s favorite trope: labelling someone a ‘conspiracy theorist’ or ‘True Believer’ to discredit EVERYTHING they say/write about a given subject. That’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

    Foster was (originally) a linguistic consultant for the FBI in the case. So his criticism ON THIS ONE POINT should carry particular weight.

    Likewise with Barbara Hatch Rosenberg: she (and Nicholas Kristof) were wrong about Hatfill. But that, in and of itself, DOESN’T mean that anything and everything they say or write about the case is incorrect or of no value…..
    Back to Mister Lake
    Don Foster’s entire article was baloney. I think you are the first person I’ve encountered who actually relied on it for an argument. Amazing.
    Just as I stated: you are prone to black-and-white thinking. If you disagree with ANYTHING a person writes, you consign them to the lunatic fringe. Not fair and in the fullness of time, Mister Foster will have been proven correct on a point or two….

  19. richard rowley said

    Posted by Mister Lake:
    Richard Rowley wrote: “I’m NOT saying that the prosecutors don’t believe in Ivins’ guilt. I’m saying that they blew it. Just as all institutions fail sometimes.”

    Which is about the same as what I said: You do not believe the evidence


    1) indicating that Ivins was in the State of New Jersey in either September or October of 2001. Not fatal to the Ivins-did-it hypothesis if he had accomplices, but incompatible with the “Ivins acting alone..” line that the government took up and stuck to, to the bitter end.

    In raising this question on other occasions, we were informed by Mister Lake that all us Amerithrax osceptics wanted a videotape of Ivins putting the envelopes in the mailbox.

    Not so! I would settle for:

    a) a parking ticket to Ivins from Princeton/Trenton in the relevant timeframe

    b) a speeding ticket given on a highway leading from Maryland to New Jersey in the relevant timeframe

    c) any evidence that Ivins’ vehicle’s odometer showed excessive mileage consistent with driving the distance to Central New Jersey IN ADDITION TO his usual in-town mileage.

    d) any evidence that Ivins’ gasoline consumption went up in the weeks in Sept and Oct of 2001 when the mailings were done.

    e) any eyewitness acquaintance of Ivins who reported seeing him in NJ in the relevant timeframe(s)

    f) any receipt for cash or check or credit card paying for gas or a meal on the highway between Frederick and the Greater Trenton area.

    Etc. There’s just NOTHING. And after 2 1/2 years, there is unlikely to be anything tying Ivins to NJ

    • richard rowley said


      (There’s no evidence WHATSOEVER)

      2) that Ivins did any drying of spores to produce a powder in the period immediately before EITHER mailing (ie just before Sept 18th and/or just before Oct 9th)

      3)that Ivins knew that an obscure office/building(?) was being used (temporarily) by Kappa Kappa Gamma on or near the Princeton campus.

      4)that Ivins had any particular grudge to bear against Brokaw/Jennings/Rather/NY POST editor/Daschle/Leahy.
      (all reports of Ivins contemplating violence or threatening same involved grudge-bearing psychological profile)

      • richard rowley said

        Partial post by Mister Lake:
        Richard Rowley wrote: “There NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER:”

        Now you are just being silly. You ignore all the evidence against Ivins and just point out things that the investigators did not find
        The “evidence” that they have against Ivins is:

        1) that he had some odd combination of mental conditions (the exact nature of which we are debating on this blog).

        2) he was an anthrax researcher who had continuous access to the Ames strain (which was the case in 2001-2 when they DID NOT suspect him), including the substrain of Ames used by the Amerithrax perp.

        3) over the years he acted on some of the inpulses inherent in his mental conditions to:
        break into one or two sorority houses; steal a code book; harass a few women not his wife.

        4) he took long drives at night to cities far from his hometown.
        This (1-4) is the really important stuff, but only 2) is indicative of the potentiality of Ivins as the Amerithrax killer. Items 1, 3, 4 are of probative value only.

      • richard rowley said

        Partial post by Mister Lake:
        Circumstantial evidence is REAL EVIDENCE. It’s the kind of evidence that is most often used in cases that go to a jury. It’s the bedrock of the jury system. And there is a mountain of evidence showing that Bruce Edwards Ivins was the anthrax mailer. You just refuse to even try to understand it. You clearly do not care what the facts say, you’re just going to believe what you want to believe.
        This is an old hobby horse for you, Mister Lake, but the important thing isn’t whether one labels a piece of evidence ‘direct’ or ‘circumstantial’, it is whether there exists another PLAUSIBLE YET INNOCENT explanation for the evidence.

        That Doctor Ivins took long drives at night MIGHT be significant. But it might not: what if the mailer lived in Central New Jersey? Then a long drive wouldn’t even have been necessary. And Ivins’ driving pattern would have slipped from the ‘circumstantial evidence’ pantheon in which you place it…….to the realm of an odd personal quirk of an innocent man.

        But it isn’t just that the ‘evidence’ against Ivins is weak and/or equivocal, it’s that there are counterindicators…..

        Ivins’ block printing is far removed from that of the Amerithrax texts. So this is all but ignored in the Final Report on the case.

        Ivins passed a lie detector test (or was it two?) and THIS is buried in the Final Report.

        Ivins made multiple denials both to acquaintances and to investigators, but only the ‘non-denial denial’ is highlighted by the Final Report and by Mister Lake.

        Weak case all around.

  20. Anonymous said

    “What type of personality does that sort of thing?”

    Someone who is bored and dissatisfied with their lives and has nothing else better to do.

    What type of personality does this sort of thing:

    Ed Lake, Investigator of Fake Porn

    • Anonymous said

      The FACTS are that someone who is bored and dissatisfied with their lives and has nothing else better to do would drive for miles to deliver a package to someone they have a crush on.

      If you’ve got a problem with how the person who wrote the website:

      potrays you, take it up with him.

      You chose to ask the question “What type of personality does that sort of thing?”

      You may not like it that it’s a personality pretty similar to your own.

      That doesn’t mean you are a serial killer. But importantly it also does not mean that Bruce Ivins is the serial killer that you obsessively portray him to be.

    • BugMaster said

      Like I have said before, Ed, we all have had a strange hobby at some point in our lives. Dr. Ivins may have been extreme, but this fact in and of itself is no proof he mailed the letters.

      Also, Ed, you are not aware of all the facts.

      I don’t thing any of us are at this point, at least not yet.

  21. BugMaster said


    Someone really needs to bring this to the attention of your namesake.

    Or perhaps she is already aware.

  22. richard rowley said

    Partial post by Mister Lake:
    Don’t forget, there’s another trial where Ivins mental records WILL be used as evidence – The Stevens vs. United States lawsuit
    I’m not so sure: I think the case has a good chance of being settled pre-trial, perhaps pre-deposition(s).

    Plus, you are probably going to have battling diagnoses when you question multiple psychiatrists. In other words, it depends on which psychiatrist comes off as the most believable.

  23. DXer said

    The FBI regularly does the most important and most difficult work in the country.

    This week, more than 100 suspected members and associates of six mafia families have been arrested in what the FBI described as the biggest organized crime round-up in New York history.

    Significant leaders of the Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Bonanno and Colombo families and also the DeCavalcante of New Jersey were among those being arrested, NBC New York reported.

    The mob is evil. Let us never forget who the bad guys are. And tell Barry that Al Qaeda was behind 9/11. (Duh).

  24. Old Atlantic said


    Are you claiming that growing anthrax in solution without any silicon compound, centrifuging a few times, and air drying produces spores with the same aerosolizing and fluid properties as in the Senate office buildings?

    Does Kiel say that?

    In an email?

    In a published paper?

    Does someone else say that?

    In an email?

    In a published paper?

  25. DXer said

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: ”
    Subject: RE: A possible discussion
    Date: Thursday, February 07, 2002 11:15:54 AM
    The only place that I know of that makes the anthrax spore powder is Dugway Proving Ground. They
    also made Ames spores (liquid suspensions) for us in 1997 in several fermentor runs. We work with
    anthrax spore suspensions here and have neither the expertise nor the equipment for generating “spore
    – Bruce

    Comment: Although Bruce did not know it, the FBI’s anthrax expert had made “spore powder” at USAMRIID. This was a cause for considerable awkwardness from the start. Doug Beecher, who played a key role in the investigation throughout, to include Fall 2001, could detail what considerations went into the FBI’s decision to keep the making of spore powder by the FBI’s expert secret. (Given he was collecting samples, this likely was the subject of consideration at the outset.) Dr. Beecher reportedly has done the most thinking about AMI consideration among all the FBI scientists. If he had any doubts about the testing of the keyboard — long established in the peer-reviewed literature — it should have been addressed years ago. It apparently was not even the subject of discussion with the validation experts. It does not comport with the scientific method to frame the hypothesis to fit the suicide.

    • DXer said

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      To: ”
      Subject: RE: A possible discussion
      Date: Thursday, February 07, 2002 11:15:54 AM
      The only place that I know of that makes the anthrax spore powder is Dugway Proving Ground. They
      also made Ames spores (liquid suspensions) for us in 1997 in several fermentor runs. We work with
      anthrax spore suspensions here and have neither the expertise nor the equipment for generating “spore
      – Bruce

  26. Old Atlantic said

    Also from Matsumoto:


    Close to home

    One doesn’t have to look very far to find a powder that more closely resembles the Senate anthrax. The U. S. Army’s newest batch of anthrax simulant is a closer match, made with B. globigii (BG) spores, which are similar to anthrax but nonlethal. According to military sources, the Danish company Chris- Hansen spray-dried the spores (along with an unidentified “additive”) in Valby, a suburb of Copenhagen. Although the spore count varied somewhat from batch to batch, Chris-Hansen says that the average concentration was 500 billion spores per gram, about 100 times more concentrated than the Army’s old BG powder. Chris-Hansen shipped the bulk material from Denmark to its New Berlin, Wisconsin, facility in 1996, where, according to Army instructions, it mixed silica into the powder– a product sold commercially under the name Sipernat D 13. Sipernat D 13 is made by Germany’s Degussa AG, the same company that makes Aerosil.

    The initial Chris-Hansen production run wasn’t exactly what the Army wanted, military sources say, so this batch of anthrax simulant was further enhanced at Dugway Proving Ground. An official at Chris-Hansen, speaking on condition of anonymity, says he doesn’t know if the Army added an electrostatic charge or a coupling agent to the powder, and the Army won’t discuss it. But unlike the powder that Dugway reverse engineered earlier this year, the most recent batch of simulant — according to military sources– has great “hang time.”

    A government scientist who had a sample of the Army’s anthrax simulant described it for Science: When he shook a test tube filled with it, a dense fog of particles swirled to the top in roiling eddies. After 10 minutes, the powder still hadn’t settled. This scientist observed two other marked similarities with the Senate material: “There appears to be a lot of static charge,” he said. When he suspended the preparation in water, he saw mostly “single spores.” When Canadian military scientists used this silica-laced simulant in 2001 to assess the risk from anthrax spores delivered by letter, the aerosol behaved like the one that would later contaminate Senator Daschle’s office with real anthrax spores; the weaponized BG particles spread across a 50-cubic-meter room in less than 2 minutes.

    This new batch of “energetic” simulant was light-years beyond the old U. S. weapon in its refinement, experts say. Divulging the specifications of the weapon, the last foreman in charge of drying and milling anthrax spores at Fort Detrick, Donald Schattenberg, told Science that the old U. S. anthrax powder contained no additives. “We didn’t use silica or bentonite” (a clay that contains a high percentage of fine-particulate silica), says Schattenberg. “We made little freeze-dried pellets of anthrax,” he says, “then we ground them down with a high-speed colloid mill.” The resulting powder contained growth media residue (called “menstruum”) and vegetative cells, making it less concentrated, according to William P. Walter, who says he worked on every batch of anthrax spores ever produced at Fort Detrick. This extraneous material accounted for a significant amount of the powder’s volume and mass.

    Orley Bourland, who once managed the entire operation, says the old weapon had no electrostatic charge and contained only 20 billion to 30 billion spores per gram. These facts were corroborated by more than half a dozen veterans of the former U. S. weapons program, including Edgar “Bud” Larson, who scoffs at the suggestion that the Senate powder was the product of a secret one-man operation. “I think that’s very unlikely,” Larson said. “I don’t think anyone could make this product covertly.”


    The above is undisputed to this day?

  27. Old Atlantic said

    The Matsumoto article in Science in 2003 is mostly undisputed at this stage?

    “Military sources say that Dugway washed and centrifuged the material four times to create a pure spore preparation, then dried it by solvent extraction and azeotropic distillation– a process developed by the U. S. Chemical Corps at Fort Detrick in the late 1950s. It is not a simple method, but someone familiar with it might be able to jury-rig a lab to get the job done. As recently as 1996, Bill Patrick says he taught scientists at Dugway how to do this.

    The FBI-Dugway effort produced a coarse powder. The spores–some dried under an infrared lamp and the others air-dried–stuck together in little cakes, according to military sources, and then were sieved through “a fine steel mesh.” The resulting powder was placed into test tubes. When FBI officials arrived at Dugway to examine the results, a Dugway scientist shook one of the tubes. Unlike the electrostatically charged Senate anthrax spores that floated freely, the Dugway spores fell to the bottom of the test tube and stayed there. “That tells you the particles were too big,” says Spertzel. “It confirms what I’ve been saying all along: To make a good powder, you need an additive.” ”

    This is undisputed as representing the science accurately, in that centrifuging and air drying alone don’t produce a powder that behaves like Senate or AMI powder.

    Even if spread from room to room by shoes, the copiers absorbed spores from the air. The copiers were a detector that showed the spores were in the air and that the strong electric fields of the copiers pulled them out.

    • Old Atlantic said

      Last paragraph is on AMI building.

      The fundamental point though is that no one, Ezzell, Ed Lake, etc. is claiming that centrifuging and air drying with no further treatment or additive produces anthrax spores that aerosolize readily and could account for the Senate office buildings, the AMI, or the spread through the envelopes of the Senate letters and the AMI letters to post offices?

    • Anonymous said

      I think this is especially important when considered together with the Kissin memo:


      # In the documentary, Dr. Mohr is heard to plainly say that Dugway weaponizes anthrax.
      # He also openly reveals that “a bunch of” scientists at Dugway worked with the FBI on Amerithrax, thus learned the “ins and outs” with respect to the characteristics of the attack anthrax, that the particles of attack anthrax were in the range of 1 micron in size, that size is only “one of the reasons it was so dangerous,” but that he has to be careful about what he reveals, because he (and the other Dugway scientists) signed statements promising not to talk about what the attack anthrax looked like.”


      Thus the Kissin memo quotes the Nadler documentary where Dugway’s Mohr plainly states that the Dugway aerosol scientists knew the ““ins and outs” with respect to the characteristics of the attack anthrax.

      Then the important 2008 Dugway paper which confirms Matsumoto’s “azeotropic drying”:

      Dugway researchers publish in 2008 that the Daschle spores were “fluidized.” In March 2008 authors from Dugway Proving Ground and the CDC published a paper titled: Development of an Aerosol System for Uniformly Depositing Bacillus anthracis Spore Particles on Surfaces. Paul A. Baron1, Cherie F. Estill1, Gregory J. Deye1, Misty J. Hein1, Jeremy K. Beard2, Lloyd D. Larsen2, and Gregory E. Dahlstrom2, 1_Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA 2_Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, Utah, USA

      Click to access 168090__790515467.pdf

      In this paper, which was concerned with manufacturing a powder that would display similar aerosol and dispersability behavior to the Daschle powder, the authors make the following statement: “In the anthrax attack of 2001, some of the material was believed to be in a “fluidized” form (defined here as having fumed silica added).”


      So the question is – if the Dugway aerosol scientists knew the “ins and outs” with respect to the characteristics of the attack anthrax” having got this information in collaboration with the FBI, why did they need a silica additive to simulate the Daschle powder? And why did they say the attack spores were “fluidized” in 2008?

      This is all now documented in the above peer reviewed paper. NAS cannot possibly ignore this paper – it is perhaps the most relevant science paper published with respect to the anthrax attacks.

    • Old Atlantic said

      From Dugway aerosolizing paper


      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 inGmedium that consists
      of: yeast extract, 2.0 g L−1; NH4SO4, 2.0 g L−1; Dow antifoam
      204, 0.3mLL−1;MgSO4·7H2O, 0.2 gL−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. Sporulationwas 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.


      So it took all of this. A lot more than just centrifuge a couple times and air dry.

      • Old Atlantic said

        The Livermore paper I cited a few days ago simply stated the spores were fluidized without stating any prep steps. It said that fluidized equaled weaponized. They found that the computer monitors pulled out spores from the air at a rate of 25 times when on than when off.

        Thus the copiers at AMI were a giant detector system for fluidized spores is one interpretation. What they show is consistent with AMI spores being fluidized, they went into the air, circulated into the room including the photocopiers, and the photocopiers pulled them out of the air like a filtration system.

      • Old Atlantic said

        Reaerosolization of Fluidized Spores in Ventilation Systems[down-pointing small open triangle]
        Paula Krauter* and Arthur Biermann
        Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,

        This was in the NAS on demand thread and there are more comments on that paper there.

      • Old Atlantic said

        From Livermore paper

        “This project examined dry, fluidized spore reaerosolization in a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning duct system. ”

        “Thus, studying the fate and transport of fluidized spore concentrations is necessary in order to better predict the area of contamination and to more accurately model potential health risk.”

        “Fluidized spores are reasonable facsimiles of weaponized spores.”

        Search on fluid in Livermore paper to find these and other points in context.

        Thus the Dugway paper, Livermore paper, Kissin article, and Matsumoto all are consistent on fluidization issues.

        The body of evidence is that the Senate and likely AMI spores were fluidized, this required more than just centrifuging several times and drying. Fluidization and purity are not the same. Just having a pure dry sample does not give you fluidization.

        • DXer said

          The better authority is John Kiel who did controlled experiments on the issue (making anthrax simulant aerosol) finding that silanizing solution in the slurry led to the same Silicon Signature. His product performed as well as the Daschle product with or without the silanizing solution added. It is not to say that it might not serve some other purpose.

        • DXer said

          For example, under the “Microdroplet Cell Culture” method, silica in the culture medium serves to concentrate anthrax. See Ali Al-Timimi’s mail and fax in-box in Spring 2001.

        • Old Atlantic said

          Dxer, do you have a reference on John Kiel?

          He did experiments to measure aerosolization and fluidization?

        • Old Atlantic said

          “His product performed as well as the Daschle product with or without the silanizing solution added. ”

          How did he measure that?

          Compare the above conclusion to:

          “His product performed as well with or without the silanizing solution added. ”

          Performed in what measurement?

          Or experiment?

        • Old Atlantic said

          “His product” Dxer on John Kiel? What was his product? Anthrax from a shaker flask centrifuged 4 times and air dried?

          If he did additional steps that resulted in fluidization and then growing in silicon or not has no effect that is different than just growing, centrifuging and drying equals Daschle.

          You could do the Dugway paper treatment and then add or not add silicon during growth and find it makes no difference for fluidization, i.e. both are fluidized the same.

          But that is not the same as just centifuging and air drying and getting the Daschle powder.

        • Old Atlantic said

          If air drying equals Daschle powder why does NY post not equal Daschle powder?

        • Old Atlantic said

          Dxer, “better authority”? On what issue? The impact of silicon? Or on what is needed to fluidize spores?

          If its better authority on what is needed to fluidize spores, it should read as authoritative as the Livermore paper.

        • Old Atlantic said

          “DXer said
          January 25, 2010 at 1:27 am

          “This silicon explained why, when the letters to Sens. Leahy and Daschle were opened, the anthrax vaporized into an aerosol.”

          No it doesn’t. John Kiel has done controlled experiments that show that when a silanizing solution is used in the slurry, it performs comparably with and without the siliconizing solution. He says the silanizing solution results in the same spike as in the product mailed to the Senators — but serves a purpose other than floatability.”

          This is different than saying it is the same as Daschle.

          Are you sure what you are quoting Kiel as having done in an experiment and what his result actually shows?

        • DXer said

          As Gary M. notes in his article, it was a dairy processor in Wisconsin that prepared the surrogate used in the Canadian experiments — where the anthrax immediately spread across the room. It was mixed with silica in a mixer.

          In a post just now, which I hope Lew can delete, I just mistakenly referred to a Livermore study when I believe I meant Dugway study.

        • Old Atlantic said

          There are three separate issues on what Dxer is saying John Kiel showed.

          The following propositions are different. Which is what Kiel claimed/proved if any?

          1. Air drying gives you Daschle powder. I.e. every air dried anthrax powder is Senate building quality.

          2. Air drying plus some type of silicon compound in the growth solution is the same as air drying without that compound in the growth solution.

          3. A long list of steps such as in one of the papers cited to produce fluidized spores is the same if you add to that list growing in some sort of silicon compound containing solution or not.

          Which is what Kiel did? Do you have a published reference?

      • Anonymous said

        Yes, and using that pneumatic vibrator that actuated the entire mill would be an extemely hazardous process. It would create a huge dry aerosol cloud that would have to be contained – special facility needed.

        One other very curious thing is the tin content of the atatck spores. Why on earth would there be any detectable tin there at all? No study conducted on elements in spores (these studies are cited by Livermore) has ever found any tin at high levels in any spore composition.

        One potential source of the tin is if the described Dugway method had actually been used – and the spores had been passed through a series of meshes.

        These mesh look like this:

        The finest meshes are brass which has a high tin content.

      • Anonymous said

        “Are you sure what you are quoting Kiel as having done in an experiment and what his result actually shows?”

        DXer is confused. I have the emails. It is NOT true that “His product performed as well as the Daschle product with or without the silanizing solution added.”

        Indeed, quite the opposite. He said his silanized spores were BETTER than the silica nanoparticle spores (standard weaponization) that Dugway made.

        • DXer said

          What Dr. Kiel said was that his spores were BETTER than the Dugway spores (standard weaponization) – and that was with or without the silanizing agent in the slurry.

          In either case, they “floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.” He explained that the silanizing solution had no affect on floatability.

          The emails Stuart has were some emails I forwarded to him. I would be glad to clarify any misapprehension arising from my sending (for lack of time) only some emails instead of a lengthy correspondence.

        • DXer said

          With respect to Gary’s 2003 Science article, reference might be made instead to his views expressed in 2010 in case he has refined his thinking based on new information.

          In this regard, see the July 7, 2010 entry to the NAS record “PDF of email from Gary Matsumoto, ProPublica
          title: Silicon Levels in B. Anthracis Spores Mailed in 2001”

        • Anonymous said

          In the email below the comparison “They look very different from the ones in the journal article you sent” is being made to the pictures in the Dugway paper of spores coated with silica nanoparticles. Thus, he is saying the spores he treated with the siliconizing agent are better than the weaponized Dugway spores.

          This e-mail and the one that
          > follows contain pictures that show what I think the real Amerithrax
          > spores should look like. Yes, if you run an infrared spectroscopy on
          > them they contain a large peak of silica, but no silica particles are
          > to be seen and they “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.
          > They look very different from the ones in the journal article you
          > sent, right. That is because they are better. No, I can’t tell you
          > how they were made. The e-mail following this one is an ordinary light
          > microscope picture (phase contrast). The clumps are of dried spores
          > from a water solution and the individual ones are from the dried
          > siliconizing solution.

        • Anonymous said

          “With respect to Gary’s 2003 Science article, reference might be made instead to his views expressed in 2010 in case he has refined his thinking based on new information.

          In this regard, see the July 7, 2010 entry to the NAS record “PDF of email from Gary Matsumoto, ProPublica
          title: Silicon Levels in B. Anthracis Spores Mailed in 2001″”

          It’s pointless to characterize an email that nobody except you has seen unless you publish the entire email.

        • DXer said

          The email excerpt Stuart sends just speaks to whether the spores with the silanizing solution is better than Dugway.

          It does not make a comparison to those he made without silanizing solution.

          Nor does it make a comparison to those he made without silanizing solution to Dugway.

          I’ve told you that comparison. He reports in his opinion both are better.

          And his finding was that the silanizing solution in the slurry (before spraydrying) did not enhance floatability but did result in the same silicon spike.

        • Anonymous said

          So basically you are saying that pure dried spores show better aerosolization properties than either (a) Dugway spores specially treated with silica nanoparticles to increase floatability and (b) Spores treated with a siliconzing agent like Repelcote.

          I wonder why Dugway go to so much effort to fluidize their spores when, according to you, it makes them worse?

        • DXer said

          “So basically you are saying that pure dried spores show better aerosolization properties than either (a) Dugway spores specially treated with silica nanoparticles to increase floatability and (b) Spores treated with a siliconzing agent like Repelcote.”

          What I was doing was reporting on what Dr. Kiel reported to me as his results of doing controlled experiments in which a silanizing agent was used in the slurry prior to spraydrying (and the same was done without the silanizing agent). I believe he and his Air Force lab did the experiment to get at this issue of the reason for the Silicon Signature. That was the issue I had contacted him about. I, for example, had proposed the hypothesis that silica might have been in the culture medium. Which is what the FBI also found. See Microdroplet Cell Culture method using silica to concentrate anthrax.

          I had proposed that he present to the NAS so that you could hear the results directly. To my eye, there was no aerosol expert on the panel and so I don’t know that they can meaningfully address the issue.

  28. Old Atlantic said

    Has good material on Battelle.

    “Nevertheless, on December 21, 2001 (the same day that the above-cited Miami Herald article was published), The Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio reported that FBI Director Robert Mueller had assured Ohio Republican Senator Mike DeWine that “no one with or formerly with Battelle is a suspect.””

    Search DeWine anthrax Battelle and
    also the sentence in quotes.

    # In the documentary, Dr. Mohr is heard to plainly say that Dugway weaponizes anthrax.
    # He also openly reveals that “a bunch of” scientists at Dugway worked with the FBI on Amerithrax, thus learned the “ins and outs” with respect to the characteristics of the attack anthrax, that the particles of attack anthrax were in the range of 1 micron in size, that size is only “one of the reasons it was so dangerous,” but that he has to be careful about what he reveals, because he (and the other Dugway scientists) signed statements promising not to talk about what the attack anthrax looked like.

    Also on Ezzell

    “Dr. Ezzell gave his original account of the attack anthrax to Marilyn Thompson, which account was reported in her book, The Killer Strain (HarperCollins: 2003):

    * “The FBI called Ezzell on October 15 [2001] to alert him that evidence would be brought from the Daschle crime scene straight to USAMRIID for testing.
    * . . . [A]s Ezzell worked, he noticed a bit of white powder tucked into one of the letter’s folds. Almost as soon as he saw it, the powder dispersed, spreading invisibly through the safety cabinet. After years of researching anthrax, he had never seen the bacteria in its weaponized form — . . . a material that could blanket a city or annihilate an enemy.
    * This was a powder so virulent that normal laboratory rules did not apply. Both he and his team could be at risk despite their precautions.
    * . . . ‘After all these years of looking, here it is. This is the real thing, in the right form,’ he recalled.
    * . . . To protect himself, Ezzell started antibiotics to guard against infection. He also took another precaution. Ezzell went to a sink and mixed a solution of diluted bleach. Bracing himself, he lifted it to his nose and took a deep snort. The pain that surged through his sinuses almost knocked him to the ground
    * . . . Later in one of the regular interagency conference calls, Ezzell described what he had seen when he looked into the Daschle letter. He used the term weaponized anthrax.”

    Ezzell got the letter anthrax in fall 2001 after he had grown his own anthrax in 2001 I believe is what Dxer has told us.

    Thus Ezzell observed in the lab that the letter anthrax behaved differently and behaved weaponized relative to what Ezzell had produce prior to the letter attacks in fall 2001.

  29. DXer said

    Significant efforts in devising protocols for large-area surface sampling have been undertaken in the years since the anthrax attacks.

    J.M. Edmonds, Efficient methods for large area surface sampling of sites contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms and other hazardous agents: Current state, needs and perspectives. App. Microbial. Biotechnol. 84 (2009) 811-816

    L.H. Sego, et al., “An environmental sampling model for combining judgmental and randomly placed samples, 2007 PNNL 16636.

    W. T. Sanderson, “Surface sampling methods for Bacillus anthracis spore contamination,” Emerg. Infect. Dis. 8 (10) 2002 1145-1151.

    D.A. Frawley et al., “Efficient methods for large area surface sampling of sites contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms and other hazardous agents: Current state, needs and perspectives.” Appl. Microbial. Biotechnol. 84(5) (2009) 811-816.

    C.F. Estill et al, “Recovery efficiencies of anthrax spores and ricin from nonporous or nonabsorbent and porous or absorbent surfaces by a variety of sampling methods,” J. Forensic Sci. 53 (5) (2008) 1102-1107.

    J.M Edmonds et al, “Surface sampling of spores in dry-deposition aerosols,” Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75 (1) (2009) 39-44.

    G.S. Brown, “Evaluation of rayon swab surface sample collection method for Bacillus spores from non-porous surfaces,” J. Appl. Microbiol. 103(4) (2007) 666-671,

    G.S. Brown et al., “Evaluation of a wipe surface sample method for collection of Bacillus spores from nonporous surfaces,” Appl. Environ. MIcrobiol. 73 (3) (2997) 706-710.

    • DXer said

      For historical purposes, see

      Comprehensive Procedures for Collecting Environmental Samples for Culturing Bacillus anthracis CDC 2002 (
      (formerly “Procedures for Collecting Surface Environmental Samples for Culturing Bacillus anthracis” )

      For updated information on environmental sample collection procedures for Bacillus anthracis, see “Surface sampling procedures for Bacillus anthracis spores from smooth, non-porous surfaces,” September 7, 2010

      • DXer said

        A computer keyboard is known to be not easily accessible for wiping or vacuum sampling.

        Environmental sampling for spores of Bacillus anthracis

        EH Teshale, J Painter, GA Burr… – Emerging Infectious …, 2002 –
        … Furthermore, recovery efficiency of the analytical methods (efficiency of removal of B. anthracis
        spores from the sample collection media) had not … may still be the best method to sample small
        hard surfaces not easily accessible for wiping or vacuum sampling (eg, a keyboard).

        • DXer said

          Bioterrorism-Related Anthrax

          First Case of Bioterrorism-Related Inhalational Anthrax in the United States, Palm Beach County, Florida, 2001

          Marc S. Traeger,*† Steven T. Wiersma,† Nancy E. Rosenstein,* Jean M. Malecki,‡ Colin W. Shepard,* Pratima L. Raghunathan,* Segaran P. Pillai,§ Tanja Popovic,* Conrad P. Quinn,* Richard F. Meyer,* Sharif R. Zaki,* Savita Kumar,‡ Sherrie M. Bruce,* James J. Sejvar,* Peter M. Dull,* Bruce C. Tierney,* Joshua D. Jones,* Bradley A. Perkins,* and Florida Investigation Team[1]
          *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; †Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee, Florida, USA; ‡Palm Beach County Department of Public Health, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; and §Florida Department of Health, Miami, Florida, USA

          The index patient’s [Robert Steven’s] infection most likely occurred from inhalation of B. anthracis spores following a primary aerosolization, i.e., spores released into the air after opening a spore-containing letter. This scenario is consistent with co-workers’ recollections that the index patient held a letter containing powder over his computer keyboard, as well as environmental samples showing contamination at his keyboard, an incoming-mail desk near his workspace, and his mailroom mailbox. … Results from environmental specimens and nasal swab cultures helped guide the investigation and were especially useful when combined as epidemiologic tools. The first environmental sample yielding B. anthracis, from the index patient’s work area, when paired with the first positive nasal swab culture, which was obtained from the second case-patient, indicated that the exposure source was at the workplace. …

          Environmental sampling revealed widespread contamination. However, the number or percentage of positive samples in a given area could not be used to quantify the contamination because quantitative spore counts were not performed when samples were cultured, a variety of sampling techniques were used (swabs, wipes, vacuum, and air sampling), and the distribution of samples obtained was not uniform.


          We thank the Palm Beach County Health Department, the Florida Public Health Laboratory, the laboratories of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the U.S. Postal Service, and Epidemic Intelligence Officers for their assistance in this investigation and in preparing this article.

      • richard rowley said

        Partial post by Mister Lake (addressing me):
        If you want to argue intelligently that Ivins was NOT a sociopath, you need to argue what kind of mental problems he had — and support your arguments with examples of his actions. That’s what I did in an earlier post.

        No, I don’t think that that’s true: a lot of diagnosing, both of physical and mental ailments is via the process of elimination.

        It’s just a TV show and one I haven’t seen in 3 or 4 years now, but HOUSE gives a fairly accurate portrayal of the fact that a given symptom and even an ARRAY of symptoms can have DOZENS of underlying causes (diseases, syndromes etc).

        (Think of the phrase “flu-like symptoms”; THAT description fits HUNDREDS of conditions, including infection by anthrax)

        Said briefly, one DOESN’T have to come up with a diagnosis for person X, in order to say that person X doesn’t have condition Y. (Let Bruce Ivins= person X and condition Y= sociopathy). One merely has to study the person closely and compare his symptoms with those of condition Y.

        You, Mister Lake, have used “sociopathy” for many months as a rhetorical crutch. Outside of the Amerithrax Case, the word, the diagnosis has (or at least for 2 years ) has had no independent, free-standing meaning for you.

        That puts you in a bad place to evaluate the validity of claims that Ivins is a ‘sociopath”.

  30. Old Atlantic said

    State attorney generals in the states where parts of Amerithrax happened should form a committee and open an investigation. They should ask authority from the federal government to work with classified information and get the support of the weapons labs, Battelle, and to get all the files on the case.

    If they won’t, local prosecutors should form a committee of local prosecutors and do the same.

    These investigations should like the Warren Commission published volumes of information on what happened.

    We know a great deal about Ivins but very little about Perry Mikesell.

    I think have read, perhaps from Dxer, that Perry Mikesell made dried anthrax powder. Is that right?

    One obvious hypothesis is that Mikesell made the powder and overnighted it to Ivins to prepare the letters and mail them. Or perhaps Mikesell could not have made a powder like the ones in the letters based on access records, equipment available, and the like.

    We should know what the truth is in both the Mikesell and Ivins cases. Two people under investigation committed suicide. The government immediately said Ivins was the one after his. Is that the lesson they learned from Mikesell’s suicide? Close the investigation as soon as someone suicides.

    The public needs to know if that is what the DOJ/FBI learned from 2001 to 2008.

    • BugMaster said

      Dr. Mikesell didn’t commit suicide, but rather it was reported that in the months before his death, he starting drinking heavily (supposingly uncharacteristic for him) and died of a heart attack in Oct. 2002 (?).

      Mikesell told Ivins Battelle had made powder, however, Mikesell’s expertise was in the genetics of anthrax (he was involved in the sequencing of the toxin genes) and supposingly not aerosolization techniques.

      As far as what was behind his demise, who knows? The FBI was putting all their pressure on Hatfill throughout the summer of 2002 (and beyond).

      Perhaps Mikesell knew of or suspected someone had gained unauthorized access to something they should not have. Perhaps he inadvertantly allowed it, maybe he was fooled or duped.

      He may have had suspicions that the those above him at Battelle dismissed.

      I agree, there does need to be more clarification here.

      BTW: Since the anthrax was spread through the U.S. mail, and claimed victims throughout the system (Ottilie Lundgren) couldn’t any State attorney general or local prosecutor claim juristiction?

      What about Canada?

      • BugMaster said

        He may have had suspicions that the those above him at Battelle dismissed.

      • Old Atlantic said

        Thanks for the info. Good point on jurisdiction extending far and wide. There were also international hoax letters. There may also be treaty obligations the US is not fulfilling by not properly investigating or disclosing.

      • DXer said

        “Mikesell told Ivins Battelle had made powder”

        Remind me. What is your source for the claim that Mikesell told Ivins Battelle had made powder? Offhand, I only recall the email in which Dr. Ivins said he had heard that Dr. Mikesell’s office was searched for contamination by powder. Thanks.

        • DXer said

          Bacillus anthracis Virulence in Guinea Pigs Vaccinated with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed Is Linked to Plasmid Quantities and Clonality
          Pamala R. Coker,1,2* Kimothy L. Smith,2 Patricia F. Fellows,3 Galena Rybachuck,4 Konstantin G. Kousoulas,4 and Martin E. Hugh-Jones1
          Department of Pathobiological Sciences,1 Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803,4 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94551,2 Bacteriology Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland 217023

          We found that the copy numbers for both pXO1 and pXO2 differed from those in previously published reports. By combining the data on survival, plasmid copy numbers, and clonality, we developed a model predicting virulence. This model was validated by using a randomly chosen set of 12 additional B. anthracis isolates. Results from this study will be helpful in future efforts to elucidate the basis for variation in the virulence of this important pathogen.

          Previous studies have shown that the virulence of B. anthracis can differ among isolates or strains (6, 8, 19). Some variation in virulence can be related to the presence or absence of the plasmids. Isolates lacking either the pX01 or pX02 plasmid are considered either avirulent or significantly attenuated (23, 33). However, this does not explain the variation in virulence observed in studies comparing fully virulent isolates such as the Ames and Vollum 1B strains (11, 12). Explanations for these differences in virulence have never been fully substantiated. In a challenge study using guinea pigs vaccinated with the human vaccine currently licensed in the United States, anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA), 20 genetically diverse B. anthracis isolates, as defined by multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), yielded survival rates ranging from 0 to 100% (results presented below). Several possible mechanisms that may be responsible for the modulation of virulence exist, including the copy number of plasmids per cell and transcription regulation of the anthrax toxins and capsule, and additional variation may be mediated by the generation time and germination efficiency. These factors are likely to be associated with mutations that could be clonally heritable.

          The first author was head of the BL-3 lab at LSU where the former Zawahiri associate did his research with virulent Ames. The second was the FBI genetics expert who tested the Ivins samples. The third was Former Colleague #2.

          The authors explain:

          “Our observations have revealed tremendous variation in pXO1 and pXO2 copy numbers per cell by using a genetically diverse collection of isolates. These observations were made possible by the use of a new method for molecular detection of B. anthracis, QPCR. Using QPCR, we were able to detect one copy of the standard plasmids for the chromosome, pXO1, and pXO2. A common belief in the research community has been that B. anthracis contains only one copy of each plasmid. Here, using a QPCR method, we have shown that there is more than one copy of each plasmid per cell and that there is tremendous variation among genetically diverse isolates. Our results indicate that there may be as many as 243 copies of pXO1 and 32 copies of pXO2 per cell. The apparent disparity between our results for the plasmid copy number-to-chromosome ratio and those of Read et al. may be due to a difference in the growth phase when the DNA was harvested (Timothy Read, personal communication). While the difference may seem extreme, it could be appropriate from a biochemical and virulence viewpoint.”

          See generally

          Mikesell, P., B. E. Ivins, J. D. Ristroph, M. H. Vodkin, T. Drier, and S. Leppla. 1983. Plasmids, Pasteur, and anthrax. ASM News 49:320-322.


          How many copies of x101 and x102 did the anthrax mailed have?

          Who were the participants in “Project Jefferson”?

        • BugMaster said

          “What is your source for the claim that Mikesell told Ivins Battelle had made powder?”

          I believe it is in one of Ivin’s emails.

          At the time, I expressed some surprise that Mikesell’s name hadn’t been redacted, I believe either myself or someone else commented on it.

  31. DXer said

    The Wall Street Journal Guide To Investing In The Apocalypse, (2011) states:

    “No one has effectively explained the source and motivation behind the spurt of letters containing anthrax spores sent to U.S. news organizations and to two Democratic senators just weeks after the 9/11 letters. The anthrax caused outbreaks of the disease in at least twenty-two people and killed five. The initial speculation tried to focus blame on al-Qaeda or Iraq, but the investigation turned fairly quickly to domestic sources. Yet it wasn’t until 2008 that the FBI identified Dr. Bruce Ivins, a biodefense researcher at Ft. Detrick in Maryland, as a primary suspect. Ivins soon after committed suicide and was never charged with or indicted in the anthrax letters.”


  32. BugMaster said

    From Wikipedia:

    Homicidal ideation is a common medical term for thoughts about homicide.

    There is a range of homicidal thoughts which spans from vague ideas of revenge to detailed and fully formulated plans without the act itself.

    Many people who have homicidal ideation do not commit homicide.

    50-91% of people surveyed on university grounds in various places in the USA admit to having had a homicidal fantasy.

    Homicidal ideation is common, accounting for 10-17% of patient presentations to psychiatric facilities in the USA.

  33. Old Atlantic said

    At this stage, the FBI should reopen the investigation and put a committee of people from different institutions in charge of the scientific part. Someone clearly not involved at the time should be the chairman. That should not be a Battelle person.

  34. Old Atlantic said

    Was Ivins a sociopath?

    Scientific sociopaths tend to do what?

    1) Claim other people’s research as their own.

    2) Claim the work of their subordinates as their own.

    3) Make it hard for subordinates to move on.

    4) Are bullies in the work place.

    5) Make it unpleasant for people to do their work in the lab when they are around.

    6) People fear their coming.

    7) Misuse peer review.

    8) Exploit excessively their opportunities as a conference organizer
    for self promotion and coerce co-authorships they little deserve, etc.

    9) Move up in the ladders of associate editorships.

    10) Try to get their own journal and exploit that.

    11) Fully leverage any position in a government lab to make all of these types of gains. They bestow the prestige of co-authoring with a Ft. Detrick senior researcher in exchange for the above type rewards.

    These do not seem to apply to Ivins.

    • BugMaster said


      This does sound compelling. But how is it that the counselor was able to discuss any details here?

      As a professional, she wasn’t supposed to violate doctor / client privilage. If she was in fact so upset by what Ivins said in 2000, why didn’t she step forward then? Based on the conclusion that Ivins was guilty, action on her part could have prevented all of this.

      • BugMaster said

        ““Ivins’s behavior prompted Haigwood to contact the FBI in 2002 after the American Society for Microbiology circulated a note saying that the person responsible for the anthrax attacks was probably a microbiologist and asking members to report any tips.”

        Ed, how is it that you concluded that Haigwood is the woman Ivins allegedly discussed poisoning?

      • DXer said

        What’s a professional?

        This woman was the counselor like the AA “theripist”.

        Was she a professional?

      • DXer said

        Ed, we think you’re a sociopath but we don’t think you did it either.

      • DXer said

        “If I’m wrong (which I probably am)”

        You are wrong. It wasn’t Nancy. Nancy is the one who immediately knew Bruce did it when he sent her and many others a photoshopped Christmas card!

      • BugMaster said

        “Now I know he stood to gain from business from his work.”

        That conclusion has been repeatedly discounted by insiders, even by some who strongly feel Ivins was responsible.

        While you are working on your timeline, can you determine the period(s) of time Ivins was taking ambien? Was it ever during or near the time Ivins allegedly made these creepy statements?


      • Anonymous said

        “Tell me again why people on this web site think he was a nice family man who couldn’t possibly be the anthrax mailer.”

        Nobody here has stated he was a nice family man. He seemed to have some strange quirks, but that’s about it. He was not a sociopath.

        Hatfill more fits the traits of a sociopath. Forging a degree, lying about his past. Threatening professors at medical school. But that didn’t make him the anthrax mailer any more than Ivins.

      • BugMaster said

        Go to wikipedia and look up “Celexa”, Ed.

        Note that mixed state (also known as dysphoric mania, agitated depression, or a mixed episode) is one of the side effects.

        But do you know, Ed, or can you find any info as to whether he was also taking ambien at the time?

        Also note: abusing alcohol while taking any SSRI can have severe consequences.

      • DXer said


        Yes, Nancy.

        Some reporter mistakenly told her that he moved to Gaithersburg after she did when it was the other way around. He had lived there first. AP never retracted or corrected the story claiming Bruce followed her to Gaithersburg.

      • DXer said

        No, Ed. Given you need to avoid the merits and the documentary evidence, you have to smear a guy and go all over the place trying to get the facts straight. Like now you have Nancy as the girl too young for a 50 year old! Nancy’s heart will be gladdened.

      • BugMaster said


        Also note that “homicidal ideation” is a side effect.

        Look it up on Wikipedia and read over the information carefully, Ed.

        Sound familiar?

      • DXer said

        He was not taking ambien at the time. He was the year before his suicide. See his email on the subject to a friend.

        As for waking up the next morning and not remembering writing an email — or going back to the grocery store for a second six-pack — well, I can’t remember if it every happened to me.

        But I’m sure if I ever drank the first thing I ran to the computer to do was to poke fun that Ed thinks it is 99% certain that someone who just learned English wrote the anthrax letters. And from that he concludes that Dr. Bruce Ivins was guilty!

      • BugMaster said

        I think you should note that poisoning is not an “act of violence.” It more cold blooded than that.

        Last I checked, Ed, it was homicidal!

        Did you access the wikipedia information on homicidal ideation? (or Celexa for that matter).

    • DXer said

      Reminds of the titillating accounts Dr. Hatfill would tell which were mistaken as evidence.

    • DXer said

      I think the Wash Po description links illustrates your point well. It is definitely not surprising he killed himself under the circumstances. Interesting progression. Panties. Semen. Testing. Records. You wonder the nature of the compulsion — whether it was so strong he couldn’t just wear Hanes whiteys for the rest of the year. Are we sure he hadn’t gone to a storage unit of some sort? The FBI seemed to be investigating some place where he might have retrieved items.

    • richard rowley said

      Posted by Old Atlantic:
      Was Ivins a sociopath?

      Scientific sociopaths tend to do what?

      1) Claim other people’s research as their own.

      2) Claim the work of their subordinates as their own.

      3) Make it hard for subordinates to move on.

      4) Are bullies in the work place.

      5) Make it unpleasant for people to do their work in the lab when they are around.

      6) People fear their coming.

      7) Misuse peer review.

      Exploit excessively their opportunities as a conference organizer
      for self promotion and coerce co-authorships they little deserve, etc.

      9) Move up in the ladders of associate editorships.

      10) Try to get their own journal and exploit that.

      11) Fully leverage any position in a government lab to make all of these types of gains. They bestow the prestige of co-authoring with a Ft. Detrick senior researcher in exchange for the above type rewards.

      These do not seem to apply to Ivins.
      Boy, You’ve got that right!

    • richard rowley said

      A worthwhile look at the evaluation of sociopathy and its basic incompatibility with group therapy is here:


      « Search: “I’m being blackmailed by a sociopath, what can I do?”360 Rotational Fire — on our dime and in our name »Search: pseudologia fantastica treatment
      There isn’t any. Pseudologues (i.e., sociopaths who are also pathological liars) are the way they are born to be. Neither freewill or individual psychology plays any role. Their brains are even different (,

      However, there are other types of psychological liars so each individual should obviously be evaluated. A problem with this, though, is that those individuals we would assume to be experts, therapists, probably have less experience with pseudologues and sociopaths than we do in daily life. Pseudologues and sociopaths, being perfect in every way, simply do not often present themselves for treatment. Further, if they do, their purpose is not to change but to learn how to pass for normal more easily — in effect they seek to use talk therapy to become more adept as sociopathic predators.

      I agree with those that believe pseudologues and sociopaths should never, ever be accepted into talk therapy. I would go even further to state that any therapists who do in fact do this should lose their licenses — since it is only by their being out of touch with their own soul that they could fail to recognize the soulless, could fail to recognize that they couldn’t reach the sociopathic client. Any therapist out of touch with their own soul can not be of any use to anybody, is by definition not even a therapist in the first place.

      The worst situation I have ever known of in this regard involved a therapy group that allowed sociopathic members along with the depressives, neurotics, incest victims, etc. I’m sure the therapist would never have thrown piranhas into a goldfish bowl, but this she found acceptable. I’m not a fan of group therapy in the first place (I believe it is a grotesque lowering of boundaries before strangers one can not know) but accepting sociopaths into group therapy should be grounds for automatic malpractice suits against a therapist.

      A universal among sociopaths (including pseudologues) is delight at manipulating the non-sociopathic into behavior betraying their souls.

      In the instance above the therapist was a rigid or malignant narcissist herself (one of Scott Peck’s mentally ill evil described in his book, People of the Lie). Many people object to the concepts of evil and mental illness being joined, I can only assume they have never dealt with any malignant narcissists. Group therapy with such a flawed therapist would become a celebration of her defect. Sociopaths would effortlessly join that effort. In addition narcissists are very attracted to sociopaths, narcissists themselves have to spend eternity fighting their souls, their consciences, their dreams and do in fact wake up to their true humanity occasionally. Sociopaths have none of these problems.
      —-snip snip—

      So, either Ivins was NOT a sociopath and hence group therapy held at least the POTENTIAL of helping him OR his psychiatrist was an incompetent. At least when it comes to this area………

    • richard rowley said

      Another site dealing with this basic incompatibility between sociopathy and traditional therapy is here:

      Therapy only furthers sociopath’s agenda

      Fri, 16 Apr 2010 03:19 CDTSteve Becker What can we say about the games sociopaths play in psychotherapy? We might start with: Sociopaths don’t seek counseling, ever, from a genuine motive to make personal growth.

      This isn’t to say sociopaths don’t end up in therapists’ offices. They do, either because they’ve been mandated to attend therapy, or because they view counseling, somehow, as enabling their ulterior, manipulative agenda.

      But never does the sociopath, on his own, awaken one day and say to himself, “I’ve got some personal issues I need to examine seriously, for which pursuing psychotherapy is probably imperative – otherwise my life and relationships are going down the drain.”

      I repeat, sociopaths will never, ever, seek counseling for purposes of genuinely confronting their damaged, and damaging, personalities. This is so reliable a principle that its converse equally applies – however antisocial his history may be or seem, the client who seeks counseling with a genuine motive to deal with a issue(s) disqualifies himself, perforce, as a sociopath.

      And yet we know that sociopaths (some, not all) will play therapy games. But what therapy games?

      I’ve alluded already to the court-mandated therapy game, which prescribes the sociopath’s manipulative cooperation toward meeting the court’s mandate that he participate in some sort of counseling – whether anger management, group therapy around domestic violence issues, or counseling for sexual offenders.

      This isn’t to suggest that all, or even most, court-mandated clients are sociopaths, far from it; even those who are court-mandated, the great majority of whom will be going through the motions psychotherapeutically, aren’t sociopaths. However, one can be quite certain that the court-mandated sociopath will most definitely regard the therapy process with absolute disdain; and, in my experience, unlike the unsociopathic client, the sociopathic client will be more likely to posture his sincere participation and recognition of his need for help. That’s to say, his tendency will be to “play” the system, more than even merely cooperate with it.

      Then we have the sociopath who’s been read the riot act by, say, a seriously exhausted partner, and who agrees to participate in counseling. We might call this the appease his partner therapy game. In this case, the sociopath has reasons for wanting to preserve the relationship (or otherwise delay its dissolution) – reasons principally related to the conveniences the relationship offers or, just as influentially, to the inconveniences that a split or divorce would pose.

      In these, and other, therapy games, the sociopath’s range of cooperative participation in therapy is rather wide – on one hand, he may present as compliant and receptive, effectively concealing his underlying insincerity and deception. Alternatively, because after all it’s incredibly inconvenient that he should have to take time out of his life to appease his exploited partner, he may make no disguise of how put-out he feels, and may visibly brandish his indignation, agitation and resentment.

      The latter attitude, especially in cases of couples therapy, makes for a dangerous dynamic, wherein the risk of abuse, post-therapy sessions, rises. One hopes the therapist recognizes this risk and terminates the couples sessions, which are contraindicated where abuse is present and flagrant, whether overtly or covertly.

      Of course it should only be so easy for any us to smoke out the well-disguised sociopath, who may just be a fantastic, convincing actor, and seem to seriously want to examine and own his misbehavior.

      He may seem utterly sincere, for instance, in the therapist’s office, specifically in his contrition and his motivation to establish, or reestablish, himself as trustworthy. His agenda, even to the most astute clinician, may seem pure when it’s impure and merely effectively camaflaged.

      Other therapy games sociopaths play include the I’m seeking therapy voluntarily charade, which can throw partners and therapists off, since we’ve established that clients who unmanipulatively, and voluntarily, engage in therapy, virtually by definition rule themselves out as sociopaths. This leaves us the tricky business of ascertaining the sociopath’s true motives for seeking therapy.

      In other words, it’s not enough that he presents himself voluntarily for services, because his presentation, if he’s sociopathic, will necessarily be deceptive. And in any case, his status may be less voluntary than he purports; he may deny, persuasively, the court’s involvement when, alas, the courts (or probation) may be involved.

      But even in cases where the court isn’t involved, although technically he may have sought services voluntarily, in reality (as we’ve noted) the sociopath may be complying with a different sort of mandate – the mandate, for instance, of a furious partner, or an exasperated employer, whom he’s willing to mollify purely from selfish motives.

      And so, once again, we have the illusion of a client who appears motivated to seek help and make a kind of sincere reckoning, but who, instead, uses therapy to manipulate his way out of the doghouse and restore the old leverage with which he’ll continue, sooner or later, to exploit in his customary style.

      Finally, for now, we have sociopaths who play the dedication to their spiritual development game. These are typically well-educated sociopaths with a polished psychological rap, who posture as committed spiritual seekers. Some of these sociopaths may go so far as to make a sort of cult – a seeming life mission – of their alleged spiritual development, raising irony and farce to new levels.

      This category of sociopaths validates another principle that applies to sociopaths in general: While they are absolutely incapable of genuinely pursuing their personal and spiritual growth, yet smoother, more glib sociopaths can be highly capable of ungenuinely, insincerely, manipulatively pursuing their so-called personal growth.

      Think of the predatory trollers (and rollers) at AA and NA meetings, and all other sociopaths, who posture one way or another as honest, open books seeking to confront their trauma responsibly and seriously.

      Summoning guises like Mr. Sensitive, Mr. Wounded, Mr. Relationship Builder, Mr. I’m In Touch With Vulnerability, Mr. I’m In Recovery From Co-Dependence, and countless other pseudo-evolved raps, these sociopaths can be magnets – and they know it – for genuinely vulnerable women seeking sensitive, emotionally available, vulnerable men with whom to partner in their own recovery.

      I’ve outlined briefly, here, several of the more common therapy games that sociopaths play. They are by no means an exhaustive account. In concluding, I realize there are several points and issues that scream (at least to me) for elaboration. I intend to address them in more depth in upcoming Lovefraud columns.

    • Nate said

      Why does Ed Lake keep saying “psychiatrist” when the late circa 2000 was a therapist, not a psychiatrist. Does he not know the difference?

    • richard rowley said

      Partial post by Mister Lake:
      Or do you feel that Ivins was just a normal guy who was chosen by some evil conspiracy back in the 1970′s to be the fall guy in the anthrax attacks of 2001 the same way that same evil conspiracy planted a phony birth certificate in Hawaii in order to allow a Muslim born in Kenya to become President of the United States?
      Uh, I don’t think I’ve ever shared my PARTICULAR hypothesis of Amerithrax Case in public. And I’m not about to start here.

      But I’m not at ALL reticent about saying what I DON’T believe in, in regard to Amerithrax. And I don’t believe in a “government conspiracy” to kill people via anthrax in the mail. Or even a milder ‘test’ of the postal system that went awry.

      Furthermore, I don’t believe in a ‘conspiracy’ to ‘get’ Bruce Ivins.

      Rather I think a confluence of factors led to this unfortunate result (Ivins’ death and the case closed prematurely):

      1) the almost total lack of forensic evidence in the case (excepting only the anthrax itself).

      2) the apparently motiveless nature of the crimes.

      3) the fact that microbiologists routinely ‘swapped’ pathenogenic agents with each other with no record of same.

      4) the fact that letters from the official Amerithrax batches (Sept 18 and Oct 9th) and likely any pre-batch (J-Lo et alia) were destroyed before anyone knew that they contained anthrax.

      5) discontinuities in the leadership of the task force.

      6) the unprecedented nature of the vector.

      7) the high-pressure on the FBI (from reporters/politicians etc) to solve the case, like, yesterday.

      8) overreliance on ‘presurre tactics’ by the FBI (first against Hatfill, then against Ivins)when ‘breaking’ an innocent-but-vulnerable suspect was as likely an outcome as finding the guilty party.

      9) a confusion by the investigators BOTH about what sort of person would do this particular set of crimes AND about the sort of person Ivins was. (I’m guessing that after the initial period/profile, the Behavioural Sciences Unit was minimally involved).
      Once Ivins was driven to suicide, then the DoJ had a looming PR disaster: ‘Innocent man hounded to death by FBI’ isn’t the type of headline they wanted the public to see. And since Ivins was their best remaining suspect after almost 7 years, it was inevitable that they should try to ‘sell’ the idea that he killed himself out of guilt (something sociopaths ALSO don’t typically do).

      I’m NOT saying that the prosecutors don’t believe in Ivins’ guilt. I’m saying that they blew it. Just as all institutions fail sometimes.

      (In case Mister Lake wasn’t joking: I think Obama is a US citizen, born in Hawaii in 1961. And have always thought so.)

      • richard rowley said

        I should have included in my reasons the investigation led to its unfortunate conclusion:

        10)a tendency for the FBI to treat separately and perfunctorily even those ‘hoax letters’ that seemed unusually prescient with regards to the nature of the attacks (ie the St Petersburg letters)etc.
        This criticism was made many moons ago by Don Foster in his VANITY FAIR article.

  35. Old Atlantic said

    I do not say that Battelle is coercing the FBI. It is more like the FBI were lost and they looked for someone to guide them. They could pick Dugway, Ft. Detrick or Battelle. They picked Battelle, because Battelle was flashiest.

    But now the FBI is having second thoughts. They think Battelle led them in directions favorable to Battelle but that are getting solid criticism from the scientific community as well as the blogging community.

    I also reiterate, didn’t it turn out that one or more important figures in the early news conference(s) after the Ivins suicide were Battelle people? And that at least one such person had a significant influence that was visible and commented on at that time?

    • DXer said

      “It is more like the FBI were lost and they looked for someone to guide them. … They picked Battelle”

      I’ve asked you to name a single Battelle scientist who in the past 9 years has advised the FBI on Amerithrax, let alone attended the press briefing. You haven’t so far and so I would again suggest that your point is unsupported by any citation to evidence.

      • Old Atlantic said

        Are you saying you have never heard of a Battelle participation in the news conferences after the Ivins death?

      • Anonymous said

        “I’ve asked you to name a single Battelle scientist who in the past 9 years has advised the FBI on Amerithrax, let alone attended the press briefing.”

        Of course, the other institution, the “quasi-governmental” lab, is Battelle. It bears pointing out that throughout the entire Amerithrax investigation, no one from either the FBI or the DOJ ever publicly mentions the name Battelle.
        James Burans identified above as the FBI’s “expert on processing” is introduced at the beginning of the briefing by FBI Lab Director Hassell as “the associate laboratory director of the National Bioforensic Analysis Center.”
        Later in the briefing when Dr. Burans introduces himself, he says he is “from the U.S. Naval biodefense community,” that he “became a scientific consultant to the FBI in the early stages of the Anthrax investigation,” and that he “helped to establish the National Bioforensic Analysis Center . . . to support Homeland Security and the FBI.”
        What is never revealed is the fact that the Department of Homeland Security contracted with Battelle to manage and operate the National Bioforensic Analysis Center, and that James Burans is a Battelle employee.

        • Old Atlantic said

          Thank you.

        • Old Atlantic said

          Finding it on this blog is brilliant.

        • Old Atlantic said

          The above quote describes the FBI in effect as having picked Battelle. They had Dugway, Battelle and Ft. Detrick. They chose to pick Battelle to guide them. They looked up to Battelle in this science and as worldly and sophisticated to manage and understand these types of scientific edifices and networks.

        • DXer said

          Perhaps that awkwardness is why Dr. Majidi couldn’t say the name of the lab.

          It does not demonstrate transparency in the science.

          There are issues that would need to be considered — such as whether the Silicon Signature might have arisen there through the use of antifoam but not in Ivins lab… or whether 90 ml liter was fed expressed in Summer of 2001 from Dr. Ivins etc. was a genetics match etc.

  36. Old Atlantic said

    I think the FBI used a simple method to “solve” the case. Battelle had the most money and drove the most expensive cars. So the FBI looked up to them to tell them what to do.

    Battelle said it was this Ft. Detrick guy who happened to send them the RMR-1029. However, they did not quite put it that way. But they knew about him.

    Now the FBI is realizing that it let the guys with the most expensive suits tell them what to do and they probably misled the FBI.

    It may not be the guy who drove the 10 year old cars. Just like it was not the hick Hatfill.

    Now, they realize it is the boys with the money who may have feared losing their money when the New York Times exposed them as part of a quasi-secret illegal network of black labs violating treaties and perhaps engaging in padding costs.

    • DXer said

      What is your support? What Battelle employee is even in the picture giving advice?

      Ken Alibek was a Battelle consultant but he offered his services and the FBI declined because they already had a lot of people

      Perry Mikesell, who reported had made dried powder, died early in the investigation and was reportedly under great strain.
      The FBI polygraphed all the folks in Battelle. Any suggestion that Battelle was not investigated is not supported by the history of published reports or anecdotes about the pressure Dr. M. was under.

      So your post does not seem to be supported by facts.

      What facts can you cite in support? I offer my services to shred any Battelle theory by anyone brave enough to venture facts. It is so easy to maintain incorrect views for years by not grounding the analysis in facts.

      Battelle, by the way, handles counterintelligence for the Intelligence Community on bioweapons matter. So if you were right, it would pose quite a difficulty indeed. So I guess I’m just disputing that the Battelle operatives and analysts drive nice cars.

      Innuendo is very hard to rebut.

      • DXer said

        There certainly is a lot of money sloshing around accomplishing nothing. The former Zawahiri associate’s small company — the one supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins — received $50 million from the DC venture firm Perseus. Even though there was no product 10 years later. Tarek Hamid (author of INSIDE JIHAD) tells me he called up Tarek Hamouda before 911 to ask about patents and Dr. Hamouda said it was all in the marketing.

        The last thing the US wanted to do was to inject a lot of money being thrown around (literally as footballs) in Afghanistan.

        The proliferation of labs has increased, not decreased the threat.

        The occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has increased, not decreased, the enmity likely to result in a mass attack with WMD.

        $1b effort yields no bioterror defenses
        Mass. labs in line to join scaled-back Pentagon program
        By Bryan Bender
        Globe Staff / January 17, 2011

        WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is scaling back one of its largest efforts to develop treatments for troops and civilians infected in a germ warfare attack after a $1 billion, five-year program fell short of its primary goal.

      • Old Atlantic said

        My impression is that Battelle was closely involved in the press conference(s) by the FBI after they named Ivins.

        Your polygraph point is important. But who did they polygraph? The top 10 earners at Battelle?

        Ivins was polygraphed multiple times.

        When they polygraph high level people, its automatic that they pass?

        The polygraphers don’t want a false claim of lying for a high profile person. Because that would expose the science of polygraphs as not such science.

        Aren’t polygraphs not admissible in court?

        Where is your NAS review of polygraph science saying they are reliable?

        • DXer said

          “Your polygraph point is important. But who did they polygraph?”

          They polygraphed 200 people, I believe, spread over USAMRIID, Dugway, and Battelle, based on a news report, perhaps, that appeared in Spring 2001.

      • Old Atlantic said

        Aldrich Ames passed the polygraph. He describes the test. Ames was too high level at CIA to be flunked on a polygraph as a spy because if he wasn’t it would discredit the polygraphers.

        A polygrapher can’t back up a claim a person is lying by themselves. That takes the team. So the polygrapher will not flunk a high level person unless someone higher up is pushing it. Because the polygrapher has to have an investigation following flunking a high level person that proves the charge.

        In the case of a high level person, it is the polygrapher v. the high level person. If the polygrapher doesn’t control investigative resources to make it stick, then it is too big a risk to accuse a high level person.

        • Old Atlantic said

          A lone polygrapher can’t take on Battelle when it has high level contacts. So the polygrapher will pass Battelle unless the head of the FBI investigation signals it is ok to flunk a Battelle person.
          Read the Aldrich Ames letter. It is consistent with this view.

      • Old Atlantic said

        In something like the anthrax case, a polygrapher is not going to make a charge unless they get a signal from the investigative team that the team will back them up. It is too high risk to flunk a person in this type of case if you are just going out on a limb.

        If it goes to trial and the government loses and is embarrassed, then the polygrapher will be discredited.

        DOJ/FBI hate losing and hate being embarrassed. They will go to great lengths to avoid it. Even letting attacks on the US go unpunished. They will also get their revenge on someone who does embarrass them, even if it is there own stupidity really at fault. Thomas Butler and Steven Kurtz both fall into that category.

        • DXer said

          My own view of polygraphs is that they have no more validity than Field Sobriety tests. They are a nice way to sit someone down though and ask a lot of questions, having some of them under the impression that they need to be truthful.

          Dr. Ivins was polygraphed twice.

          As for NAS learning on the subject of polygraphs, see, for example,


          The NAS reviewed the “scientific evidence on the polygraph with the goal of assessing its validity for security uses, especially those involving the screening of substantial numbers of government employees. Overall, the evidence is scanty and scientifically weak.”

          “The general quality of the evidence for judging polygraph validity is relatively low: the substantial majority of the studies most relevant for this purpose were below the quality level typically needed for funding by the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health.”

        • DXer said

          Dr. Ivins passed both polygraphs. The burden is on you to cite authority if you are saying he evidenced deception.
          I believe he only evidenced deception on the control question relating to “Have you ever taken something from the workplace.” :0) See his email on the subject. I believe it is assumed that everyone took something home and that the person is lying if they deny it.

          It’s all voodoo to me. Director Mueller said he did not ask for polygraphs from the Task Force on the question of leaks re anthrax-smelling bloodhounds because it would have been bad for morale. I think that’s a reasonable management decision (especially given that Director Mueller would know polygraphs are ineffective). But I see no evidence that they even asked Daniel Seikaly if he had spoken to the reporters. I suspect he would have said yes and made full and prompt disclosure (answering a reporter’s questions in that context might have seemed a grey area). So the entire “leak investigation” in 2002 was just for show — if an effective one had been done (and even questions made of the top guy) the leaks in 2003 might have been stemmed. Of course, if he was asked and falsely denied it, that would be a serious matter.

          We should be less critical of the FBI. It really is an impossible job. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t and we ask them to solve a crime that might be insolvable.

        • Old Atlantic said

          “Dr. Ivins passed both polygraphs. The burden is on you to cite authority if you are saying he evidenced deception.” Dxer.

          I assume this was meant for Ed. If not, I pass it to him since I don’t claim Ivins used deception in the polygraph exams and my impression is that Ed Lake is making that claim currently.

      • Old Atlantic said

        When Ivins was polygraphed, he was not a target and the polygrapher passed him.

        When the FBI targeted Ivins, the polygrapher retrospectively reversed the findings and then charged Ivins with deception.

        Some people buy that. But this little episode unless should show people how the polygraph scam really works in an actual investigation.

        No one fails until after the head of the investigation wants to tag them and will put investigative resources behind backing up a polygraph failure.

        The key is when the head of the investigation will put his prestige on the line against a suspect. Then the polygrapher follows that lead.

        This is different than random polygraphing of low level employees. A high profile investigation is controlled by the head of the investigation and the polygrapher follows the leader.

        It is too risky to go on a limb and then be proven wrong. It is not like investigating a random polygraph check that doesn’t pan out. In that case, it is accepted that will happen.

        In the context of a high profile investigation, flunking someone on a polygraph is the equivalent for the polygrapher of indicting them is for the head of the investigation. The same risks, but not the same investigative authority to try to back it up or force it and carry the organization with him.

      • BugMaster said

        It is not uncommon to hear those associated with Battelle described as Darth Vader wannabes with sharpened teeth driving shiny black cars.

        That is, of course, hardly the case.

        The so-called Jefferson Project was a project that was in the proposal / planning stage at the time of the attacks.

        The Battelle project that was ongoing and on hold at the time was Ivin’s rpa-102 next generation anthrax vaccine, as described in his 9-7-01 “whole bag of worms” email (presented as evidence in one of the affidavits for search warrent, with the word “Battelle” deleted.)

        As far as the Super Russion Anthrax having been obtained via conventional espionage:

        Pretty scary, kids!

        And, hopefully, a tall tale!

        • DXer said

          As Serge explains, the Russians could and did obtain whatever they wanted from USAMRIID just by submitting a request form. The FBI never found the person supplying the Russians.

      • Old Atlantic said

        “What is your support?”

        The panic the FBI is in and has shown from the day of Ivins suicide to this.

        • DXer said

          You sense that the FBI is coercing the NAS and Battelle is coercing the FBI? Your imagination and claims haven’t yet been supported by any cite to evidence in support.

          The FBI investigators understandably may have been panicked over the suicide — if I were an investigator, I would be regardless of a belief he was guilty. I would be worried that through no fault of mine my career was ruined because some guy killed himself and I would be blamed.

          But the investigators seem sincere in (mistakenly, I think) thinking Dr. Ivins was guilty. The investigators were relatively new to Amerithrax. I have no information that they have even met anyone from Battelle. You can’t name a single — not a single — Battelle official at the August briefings. Can you?

          Indeed, you haven’t even named a single Battelle scientist who had any involvement in the investigation for the past 9 years. Can you?

          As for Bugmaster’s theory, there is no “there there” which is why she can’t articulate it. Because it would be proven untrue the moment it passed her lips.

          By all means, I am encouraging you both to provide support. But don’t fail to provide any evidence and then just make more extraordinary claims.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: