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

* HOLT, ANTHRAX and JEOPARDY: “He mailed the anthrax-laden letters in Fall 2001. Who is _______?”

Posted by DXer on March 3, 2011



previously posted …

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:07 AM on 2nd March 2011

  • When Watson the IBM supercomputer trounced Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings, it seemed machine had finally triumphed over mankind.
  • But there could be hope yet after …

Congressman Rush Holt

beat the IBM superbrain in a special exhibition match.

  • Mr Holt scored $8,600 to Watson’s $6,200 in the quiz, which pitted five congressmen against the computer at a Washington hotel.
  • The 62-year-old Democratic Representative from New Jersey has form – he was a five-time Jeopardy! champion 35 years ago.
  • None of the other representatives managed to beat Watson, who won overall and ended up with a total of $40,300 compared to their combined score of $30,000.
  • Last month Watson, an immensely powerful computer which can understand language, triumphed over two Jeopardy! champions, Mr Jennings and Brad Rutter, in a special version of the trivia show.


116 Responses to “* HOLT, ANTHRAX and JEOPARDY: “He mailed the anthrax-laden letters in Fall 2001. Who is _______?””

  1. Zicon said

    The aerosol experiments that Ivins did took place in the big round building better known as the (8) Eight Ball.. From its round enclosure and looking like a big round ball.
    It’s actually quite large being only a few feet away from it.. There are many other “known” and “publicly unknown” locations for aerosol testing locations/buildings inside, & outside charlie delta. mostly up/down the east coast/side for most locations for testing/buying/selling/making/transit of anthrax. I “could be” wrong but based on my “opinion only” not every location has been listed that deals with the anthrax, nor has some of the aka “BUS” backup scientist that work for the DOD/Army/Others Gov/Private been publicly disclosed either…

  2. Zicon said

    So how come the FBI is still actively investigating all this? If the consensus is that Ivins did it.., which anyone with a brain and any information knows that there is no way….. Because if he did do it, then the investigation should be closed, but it is not! Everything is still fully active and open. Just very quietly and no public disclosures on current task at hand.,,,, except for what people hear or find out floating around is my guess/opinion only ; When will the list come out that will show every location in the world that deals with anything BSL-2 BSL-3 BSL-4 close/related to anthrax, along with Pharmacies/Universities/Army/Cia/Dod/Mil./Navy/AF/UK/Germany/Russia/the sands/mtns and that shows the exact GPS locations of every building/lab etc along with full contact info page by page.. If you add them all up it comes out to be 20ish total that deals with full on bio-weapons. Political pressure for what? The largest incompetent investigation/story ever written for public cover/disassociation of something more embarrassing… We will see perhaps one day…

  3. Zicon said

    Who else has access that “Would Not” be on the master list to 1425 or any other tango “sites” domestically or internationally that deals directly with BSL-3 & higher substances

  4. anonymous said

    “because DXER believes the FBI was doing something that was not entirely proper.”

    Perhaps Lake knows what investigative value the FBI found in testing the intimate apparel they seized from Dr Ivins’ private residence. We already know Lake has fantasies about plastic bags being used to grow anthrax spores. Do his fantasies extend beyond plastic bags to ladies panties?

  5. DXer said

    Ed writes:

    “In the 69-hour window in which the second mailings could have been made, Dr. Ivins could account for only a few hours that weekend. He had no alibi for the remaining time.

    If you believe that Ivins had an alibi, you should lay out that proof in detail and EXPLAIN how it proves that Ivins could not have driven to New Jersey.”

    Ed is confused as to the significance of the autoclaving in early October over the course of 3 days after the animals were subcutaneously challenged on October 2. That explains why he spent a couple hours in the BL-3 — he was autoclaving the 12 dead bunnies that died over the course of the three days. The undisputed record evidence shows that it takes 1 1/2 – 2 hours to autoclave a dead animal. What it “alibis” is the reason he was in the BL-3. Ed fails to even cite the October 5, 2001 emailing the news about the 12 dead bunnies — in which he is reporting on the animals over the past 3 days.

    This issue is like his specious chart showing the late hours alone in the BL-3 stopped in December — without acknowledged initially that the 2 person rule precluded that. Now the fact that the government (US Attorney Taylor) made the same argument is precisely the point. He, like you, was making a mistaken and grossly misleading argument — just as he did on the issue of whether 100 or “up to 377” had access.

  6. DXer said

    By the time I’m through with Ed, I’m am going to have him reading and posting the documents that the FBI supplied to the NAS.

    • anonymous said

      “But, it seems much more likely that what you will accomplish is to persuade me to stop responding to your irrelevant nonsense. It has already become pointless and tedious.”

      That would be a wonderful idea. Why don’t you concentrate on your pointless and tedious book which I’m sure will be a stellar best seller just your first version? The tedious, pointless, fanatical misinformation you post here dozens of times daily would be appreciated by the future buyers of your new bestseller if you invested your idle spare time to that instead of posting here.

      If the book doesn’t sell you can always stack the unsold copies in your garage – it will keep the large pile of version 1 books company collecting dust in the dustbin of your “analysis”.

      • BugMaster said

        “That would be a wonderful idea. Why don’t you concentrate on your pointless and tedious book which I’m sure will be a stellar best seller just your first version? The tedious, pointless, fanatical misinformation you post here dozens of times daily would be appreciated by the future buyers of your new bestseller if you invested your idle spare time to that instead of posting here.”

        I dunno. I would kind of miss grumpy ol Ed after a while, actually.

    • DXer said

      I offered to email you the NAS files two weeks ago.

  7. DXer said

    Does anyone know if the use of phenol was detected?

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View as HTML
    by A By – 2007 – Related articles
    to B. anthracis. Ivins said the labs works with the bacteria, ….. samples are usually maintained in a one percent phenol at USAMRIID …

    ABSHIRE stated that IVINS uses 1% phenol as a preservative in his spore preparations. ABSHIRE no longer adds phenol to her spore preparations and stores her anthrax spores in water or partial broth.

    • DXer said

      1/29/02 302 Ivins interview –

      Ivins noted that spore samples are usually maintained in a one percent phenol at USAMRIID if the spores are stored in quantity. The phenol serves to destroy any contaminants, however, they do not affect the spores.

  8. Old Atlantic said

    The BB Milk Model seems ruled out for the 1997 growth of RMR-1029 if the grown within 2 years claim is valid.
    The BB Milk Model might prove useful however at Battelle. Didn’t they grow some in 2001 before the letters? Isn’t that on record now?

  9. DXer said

    Note that Flask 1030 did not have the 4 morphs because it had a different parent.

    Would the missing #7736 or #7738, as registered in Building 1412, both had a Silicon Signature and been genetically identical to Flask 1029? What seed stock was used to grow them? They were never submitted to the FBI repository.


    IVINS listed his Ames samples as follows. He explained that his lab technican submitted the samples in April 2002 to the Repository.

    1) Original 1981 slant from Texas, 255414B
    2) 7800a
    3) 7800b
    4) 7737
    5) 1030 Reference Material
    6) 7739a
    7) 7739b
    8) 7739c

    The last four samples listed above are spore preparations which were produced by various individuals at USAMRIID. Reference Material 1030 is a multiple batch lot of spores produced by IVINS ______________ from 11/20/1995 to 11/18/1996. _________________ produced lot 7739a on 7/25/1997. ___________________ produced lots 7739b and 7739c on 12/08/1999 and 3/28/2001 respectively. IVINS will save the above four preparations for future submission to the Repository. IVINS also had two additional preparations of Ames BA spores, lots 7736 and 7738, but the spores were used and are no longer available.

    Dr. Hassell of the FBI advised the NAS in the letter uploaded by Lew that Flask 1030 “did not resemble RMR 1029 or the letter spores in its physiochemical or genetic properties.” But what about 7736 and 7738? Might they have had Flask 1029 as the parent (or used the same seed stock) (and thus been genetically identical) but also have had a silicon signature of Flask 1030?

    Did #7736 and #7738 they relate to experiments with antifoam by researchers in Building 1412? Dr. Heine in his interview said he would get in trouble with the FBI if he talked about certain things. What things? A witness is allowed to discuss his own grand jury testimony, isn’t he? The research was not classified, was it?

    Perhaps relatedly, which of this anthrax was used in the research reported in the NYT by William Broad, in reporting the research of Former Colleague #2, Patricia Fellows?

    The NYT explained:

    “The pX02 plasmid carries genes that let the anthrax bacterium fashion an outer protein coat that acts as a defensive shield to thwart the immune system of hosts. ”

    Was Flask 1030, which contained a Silicon Signature, used in that research? Was #7736 or #7738? That research was published in the thesis by Pamala Coker, whose thesis was dedicated to FBI genetics expert Kimothy Smith, who was testing the Ivins sample in 2002.

    As the New York Times reported, it served to both make a more effective vaccine and a more effective bioweapon.

    The former Zawahiri associate, Tarek, thanked Former Colleague #2, Patricia Fellows, for providing technical assistance. He thanked Dr. Coker and Dr. Smith then of LSU for providing the BL-3 and various additional strains of virulent anthrax.

    Did the aerosol experiments using 7736, 7738 or 7739a involve microencapsulation — or did they involve what Dr. Heine has described as experiments with antifoam?

    NAS panel vice-chair Dr. Relman discussed microencapsulation in a 2006 NEJM article and more recently this month in commenting: “It depends what you mean by “weaponization” Dr. Relman was noting that floatability is not the sin qua non of “weaponization.”

    Where were any microencapsulation experiments done? Building 1412? Edgewood? Battelle (MD)?

    SRI ? (SRI was the Frederick subcontractor for BL-3 Ames work that Alibek/Bailey/ Center for Biodefense had with DARPA). Its VP DF (John Ezzell’s good friend) guided the course of Amerithrax early on. See 2001 meeting of advisory panel. SRI’s Tom Voss refuses to say when it first acquired Ames and Director Mueller refused to tell the Senators where else besides Dugway and Battelle aerosol work with dry powder was done.

    Who was on the Red Team that (ridiculously) advised not to look further into silicon? Did one or more of the Red Team members have a conflict of interest?

    GAO should obtain from the FBI the lab notebook associated with #7736, #7738, 7739a, 7739b, 7739c — and the NAS should have done so 2 years ago. The NAS basically punted on silicon and did not move the ball down the field more than a few yards.

    Was it 7736 or #7738 that was used in the mailings? Shouldn’t the FBI have been concerned with the anthrax that was missing and not supplied to the inventory rather than the anthrax that was? Shouldn’t it have been concerned with the genetically matching anthrax with a Silicon Signature that was in the BL-3 lab visited by the Former Zawahiri associate in Spring 1998 — and now is gone — than the semen on some panties?

    Dr. Gast had pressed FBI’s Dr. Hassell for details relating to the relationship between Flask 1029 and Flask 1030. Did the NAS panel get the details they needed? The FBI not provide inventory logs or documentation relating to distribution or use of #7736 and #7738 or associated lab notebook pages — in fact, the FBI withheld 58 pages from Lab Notebook 4010’s 88 pages relating to Flask 1029. Given that the FBI /Rachel Lieber and Kenneth Kohl has withheld the pages showing that Dr. Ivins time in the lab was explained by his autoclaving of dead animals, when is the GAO going to step up to the plate and say: Either provide the documents or expect to be served with a subpoena.

    Aren’t Ken and Rachel just nervous about being sued in a Section 1983 action as the result of Dr. Ivins suicide? Don’t we need to overcome any CYA concerns that any of these researchers have and get to the details of #7736, #7738, and #7739a?

    Key to Strains of Anthrax Is Discovered
    Published: March 27, 2003

    Scientists have discovered why different strains of the bacterium that causes anthrax differ so much in virulence, a finding that in theory could produce more effective vaccines and better tools for distinguishing and tracking the lethal germ.

    But the finding could also aid the creation of designer varieties of anthrax that are potentially deadlier to humans. Because of that potential danger, a debate occurred over whether the discovery should be kept secret, scientists said. In the end, it was decided that the benefits of publication outweighed the risks.

    The discovery was made by six scientists at Louisiana State University, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the nation’s top center for studying germ defenses. It is published in the current Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

    The lead author, Dr. Pamala R. Coker, formerly at L.S.U. and now at the Livermore laboratory in California, spearheaded the research for her Ph.D. dissertation. The Livermore laboratory once pioneered nuclear arms but increasingly studies biology and germ defenses.

    The team’s finding centers on the anthrax genome, which consists of a single large chromosome and two small circles of DNA, known as plasmids, that carry extra genes. The scientists found that, contrary to common belief, each anthrax bacterium carries not just one set of plasmids but up to 243 copies of the first and up to 32 copies of the second, which is known as pX02. The more copies of this plasmid in a bacterial strain, the more it is capable of causing disease, the scientists said.

    The research was conducted in guinea pigs. The scientists found, for example, that an anthrax strain from Mozambique that possessed just one pX02 plasmid killed 25 percent of the test animals. But a strain from Australia with 32 copies of the plasmid left all the guinea pigs dead.

    The team of scientists also reported that added factors like subtle features of the bacterium’s DNA chromosome appeared to help determine virulence. Thus, the anthrax that killed five Americans in the germ attacks of 2001 — the so-called Ames strain — was found to possess just two copies of pX02. But it nonetheless killed 62 percent of the guinea pigs.

    The pX02 plasmid carries genes that let the anthrax bacterium fashion an outer protein coat that acts as a defensive shield to thwart the immune system of hosts. The scientists suspect that multiple copies of pX02 thicken that coating, letting the germ escape immune damage and multiply to do extensive harm.

    Scientists had previously identified 89 types of anthrax as genetically distinct but had failed to discover what determined their wide differences in virulence. The plasmid findings, they said, opened a new window on that question.

    • DXer said

      Was #7736 and 7738 made by Dr. Ivins’ assistants referred to by the sentence: “Investigators unsuccessfully attempted to determine what happened to these spores.”

      • DXer said

        Dr. Ivins mentions weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and got lost.

        He mentions Southern Research shipped anthrax to California and it got lost.

        What is he referring to here?

        Did Southern Research Institute ship weaponized anthrax that got lost?

        If so, what was the origin of the anthrax used by Southern Research? Was it #7736 and 7738? The Ames that was not supplied to the repository?

        Or is he just referring to the time when Southern Research shipped to Children’s Hospital and mistakenly sent virulent anthrax to the vaccine researchers instead of anthrax that had been inactivated.

        • DXer said

          Is Dr. Ivins referring to #7736 or #7738 when he worriedly writes his assistant and asks what happened to it? He says that the missing anthrax would have been made in the 1997-1999 time frame — which fits with the missing 7736 and 7738.

          The subject is “Very Important”. Who is he writing to? Patricia Fellows? Former Colleague #2?

          Dr. Ivins writes:

          The IMPORTANT QUESTION: Did you autoclave this material (the tube of Ames spores)? It apparently can’t be found in either cold room in ___. I remember you were very insistent on destroying a bunch of strains (especially those of ____ when you left, but I can’t remember what you destroyed or what I destroyed when it comes to strains in _____. It’s the Ames strain that is the really important one, because (as I said in another email) the ___ is extremely interested in finding it, and it will be more than embarrassing if I can’t account for it. To my knowledge, this is the only material in ___ that was ours that can’t be found.

          Thanks for your help.

          – Bruce

          Did USAMRIID fail to provide the accompanying attachments to this email? If so, could it supplement its production?

          When did Patricia Fellows leave to go to SRI? Where she came to head the BL-3?
          Would the destroyed anthrax have been both genetically identical and chemically similar?

        • Old Atlantic said

          The DOJ/FBI are not claiming Ivins used 7736 and 7738. So that might mean they know who got it and there is a record they got it.

        • Zicon said

          Now the light becomes a little more brighter. In my opinions only as I’ve mentioned before.. Every time a shipment of severely unguarded deadly viruses get mailed to different .mil labs/private known shadow corps. or Universities.. The big question to seek would be this for example.. If a 50mL of BS-4 of XYZ is going to be sent from location A to location B… How many people will be privy to knowing the who, what, where, when, how,& why of anything being sent via snail mail or by the Brown or White shipping companies.. Second question, again asking all the W’s on the consent and official authority of opening classified or lifethreating packages being mailed for actual scientific use.. So if packages are being opened all the time, who’s to say that something can go missing in part or even in its full contents and even having things added to packages… Every anthrax shipment that was sent, how many people would have known, and who else could find out that shouldn’t know about the shipments and the plentiful stage trucks that are setup just for that exact reason everything from your average FedEx/UPS/USPS to your local cable company to a shady looking carpenter van…
          So really how secure is information or anything on that note now days….

  10. Zicon said

    I would like to publicly see what are the ” ” publicly known protocols and chain of command with bio-weapons shipments between the US and the UK, and between the chain of command of handing off deadly viruses that is either in liquid form, gel form, or any other ways and how easy is it really to intercept and divert shipments and still go unnoticed.. What backups are in place aside from nanotrackers or even the teams that are tasked with the transfer of shipments, do you put all your eggs in one basket and covertly trust 2-4-6 DOD scientist in plain clothes to transfer anything from the flu to Ebola of 9K for a flask set or 20K for a fermenter.. Do you think that there would only be one notebook with all the info of what took place, but thats moot and makes no difference except when things get twisted a we written for public disassoiation and discreditation. And to what point do you say enough is enough to where these shipments are sent to private corporations, or front companies that just mask what ever gov, they work for.. Not to mention the unsanctioned studies that deals with the abv. of so called WMD’s.. Or how many sections of sectors of the us is even capable of dealing with mass devastation from the unseen killers that are man made in government facilities that are mainly up and down the east coast and a few midwest… You don’t need a PhD to see cracks and holes in the system, the main thing that most people lack in these positions is common sense…
    The biggest problem in the investigation was that there was too much info and too many things cancel others out… So that no matter what goes on its just a big circle circus, but the truth is yet so simple, and will remain that way until some one shows otherwise… Ivins wasn’t the only one who had a high skill in the types of viruses there’s always someone else that can do that and more, but just not known publicly, and studies the same things that are studied in other countries as well as bio-weapons locations across the us. Another thing that would be helpful with security, is how many times has NSA, CIA, FBI ever been penetrated by any means… If it were me I’d be up Bush’s backside.. Up until 11-09-01 which was a repercussion from a large CIA mess.. The alternative was to take it and run with it from a WH pov. How else do you gain knowledge and more power by a mass destruction as the WTC or nano particles of a deadly virus… Ivins own quirky personality traits were just used against him and the story for self destruction comes into play from the FBI, and unfortunately he did exactly what “they” used loosely wanted… But there are some people in the world that have survived the internal works of deception, and “they” were the ones who failed to obtain information from a 08-09 06-070109 ops in NC which was a classified obama sanctioned op.. So how secure is security…from a private post-it to the echelon of tbs systems in the underground many floors down in the VA mtns…

  11. DXer said

    This is the documentary evidence that Ed fails to address — he nowhere addresses the time spent as relating to autoclaving dead animals on October 3, 4 and 5.

    Did he assume that a subcutaneous challenge would be done in the building for aerosol challenges?

    Building 1412 was the aerobiology building.

    Regardless, this is why in addition to reading all the documentary evidence, it is useful to consult with experts and the scientists responsible for the particular experiments.

    • richard rowley said

      Though this is really out of my field and therefore I’m perhaps out of my depth in trying to evaluate lab work, it seems to me that lab animals that have been exposed to a toxic substance aren’t going to all die at once (of the ones that do die): some will die quickly, others over many hours. You certainly couldn’t count on their all dying during daytime (ie ‘regular work’) hours. Some would die later in the evening/over night. And if the idea was to autoclave the remains as soon as possible postmortem and/or to see how long the animals survived after infection, then dropping in during the off-hours would seem to be necessary.

      If Ivins didn’t remember this clearly 4 or 5 years later(ie when he was under suspicion), that’s certainly not his fault, nor is it incompatible that he ALSO may have been trying to avoid domestic strife: that he had to check up on his rats/rabbits/guinea pigs gave him a (?semi?-) legitimate reason to spend much of some evenings at the lab.

      I think of much more interest is the lack of any known drying of wet anthrax by Ivins in Sept-Oct 2001. No matter how much time he spent in the ‘hot suites’ if he did no drying, he was likely innocent……

      • DXer said

        Ed says Dr. Ivins could not explain — five years later — his time in the suites.

        Bruce had repeatedly complained about not having access to documents, about his lawyer being forbidden from interviewing his colleagues. He was thrown into a rage when permission was refused and Ken and Rachel moved forward with testing of the DNA relating to the semen on the panties.

        And so Dr. Ivins had been forced to rely on his recollection a half decade later.

        Dr. Ivins correctly recollected he was tending to animals.

        The documentary evidence now produced by the FBI — a year after Dr. Ivins death — shows there were 12 rabbits to autoclave on October 3, October 4, and October 5. The documentary evidence (interview of Dr. Ivins’ assistant) explains that it takes 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours to autoclave a dead animal. Thus, Dr. Ivins did explain and Ken, Rachel and Ken have made it a point to overlook the October 5, 2001 email that sets the facts out. Instead of addressing Dr. Ivins’ point, Ed simply denies that Dr. Ivins had any rabbits or guinea pigs to deal with. Even after Ed so nicely laying out the times that overlapped exactly with when the rabbits would have needed autoclaving, Ed still has not adddressed the issue or corrected his discussion. On what documentary evidence is Ed relying to the effect that a subcutaneous challenge — as distinguished from an aerosol challenge — would be done in the aerobiology building (1412) rather than bacteriology division (1425)? Has he contacted the researchers involved in the research relating to formaldehyde issue? No.

      • Zicon said

        In response to this statement as copied and pasted….
        “When viewed together with all the other evidence showing Ivins to be the anthrax mailer, the times he spent in the BSL-3 labs in the evenings and his knowledge of how to dry spores in many different ways are just PARTS of the evidence against Bruce Ivins. When all the bits of evidence are viewed together as a criminal case, Ivins was guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

        No matter what anyone does, says, or even comes up with. Within the confines of laws no matter what kind of big words are used or how anything is twisted.. The FACT is.. Ivins “is still innocent”
        He was never tried nor convicted of a crime, so therefore innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.. Just like a Lt. General stated from the DIA he was hounded till he cracked. And in ways that if people knew of the classified technology that can be used to do that type of work, your average persons would think its out of a sci-fi movie and doesn’t exist..But it does… Think again… Which all goes back years ago that stims from the CIA and Delgados research an so on… The human mind is like the echelon computer system without a firewall or security system.

      • Quizi Moto said

        Ed Lake said: “Bruce Ivins knew of a number of different ways to dry spores. He knew how to use the lyophilizer to freeze-dry spores. He knew how to dry spores using sand or other desiccants. He knew how to dry spores with chemicals. And, of course, he knew how to dry spores using heated air or ordinary air.”

        Ok Ed.

        But did he know how to create spores with silicon and Oxygen inside the spore coat?

      • Quizi Moto said

        To add to my last comment

        Did Dr. Ivins know how to create spores with silicon and Oxygen inside the spore coat?

        Did he have the resources available to create spores with silicon and Oxygen inside the spore coat?

      • Quizi Moto said

        Ed Lake Said “YES. He created the spores in flask RMR-1030 which contained spores with silicon in the spore coats just like the silicon in the spore coats of the attack anthrax.”

        I am not sure but it is my understanding that the amount of silicon present inside the spore coats was infintesimal in some of the spores from rmr-1030.
        Isn’t that correct?

        Also you said “It came from the growth media he used and was incorporated into the spores via natural processes.”

        Is there a growth media which contains enough silicon to have grown the spores with silicon and oxygen in them?

        If so did the FBI try it?

      • DXer said

        The patent filed by Serge’s colleagues in March 2001 titled “Microdroplet Cell Culture” involves growing anthrax in silica. Ali Al-Timimi shared a fax, and in-box with the two applicants, famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and Ames researcher Charles Bailey. The co-applicant for the international patent was a key bioweaponeer in the old US program. The silica in the culture medium served to concentrate the anthrax or other biological agent. It then is removed from the surface through repeated centrifugation. Sheikh Ali Al-Timimi was coordinating with Anwar Aulaqi. He was the former assistant of White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Ali had a security clearance for work for the Navy while at SRA in 1999 — where Dr. Bailey was in 1999. Both Alibek and Bailey were Battelle consultants. SRI had the contract to do the BL-3 work for the Ames. The SRI VP Dave Franz could describe SRI’s work in 2001. Dave participated in the early planning meeting for Amerithrax. As explained in the FBI documents provided the NAS, Flask 1030 was not used in the anthrax mailings.

      • Anonymous said

        Lake writes:
        “No, that is not entirely correct. The amount of silicon inside the spore coats of spores in flask RMR-1030 was IDENTICAL to the amount of silicon in the spore coats in the attack anthrax.”

        That is a completely and utterly false statement – and is typical of the misinformation deliberately and knowingly promulagted by Lake.

        The silicon in the spore coats of RMR-1030 was orders of magnitude smaller than the attack spores – barely within the detection limit of Sandia’s capability.

        Note that if Livermore had examined these spores they would have found silicon in EVERY spore in RMR-1030 – and RMR-1029 for that matter. Because Livermore, with nanoSIMS can detect silicon down to 0.001% levels.

        The talk about what percentage of spores contain silison is meaningless. It’s not as if some spores have zero and others have a some perecentage – the limit is simply and arbitrary and meaningless measuremment based on Sandia’s detection limit.

        The ONLY important measurement is silicon per spore and total bulk silicon. That would be 1-2% per spore for Daschle, Leahy and NYP and a massive 10.66% bulk silicon in NYP.

      • DXer said

        Flask 1030 did not have the 4 morphs.

      • DXer said

        The FBI found flask 1030 to be chemically dissimilar to the mailed anthrax. See FBI docs provided NAS.

      • Anonymous said

        “Furthermore, Anonymous’s argument about every spore having Silicon is a pure misinformation.”

        If Lake actually bothered to read documents – instead of spouting his fanatical propaganda and obsessions about Bruce Ivins – he would know that Livermore detected silicon in every spore of every spore sample they ever measured.

        Page 512 :

        He would also know that Sandia’s silicon detection limit is 0.1% per spore. Anything less than 0.1% they don’t detect – thus setting a completely arbitrary, meangingless and, frankly, useless criteria of “% of spores that do and do not contain silicon”.

        After all this time Lake STILL does not understand that 0.001% and 10% differ by five orders of magnitude. It’s clear he doesn’t even understand the concept of an order of magnitude.

      • DXer said

        Flask 1030 was leftovers from aerosol experiments.

      • DXer said

        Ed, Flask 1030 was 7738 as registered in Building 1412, right?

      • DXer said

        Ed, SOP UIB-BI-3 was used to grow Flask 1030.

        RMR 1030, Dr. Ivins describeed in a September 8, 2004 interview, was grown by Ivins and a colleague (guess who!) in 1995 and 1996. Nearly all of RMR 1030 had been used. The only remaining RMR 1030 was provided to the FBI. Ivins reviewed notebook #3655, page 72, dated March 8, 1996. This notebook described the creation of RMR 1030 and noted that Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) “UIB-BI-3” was used to grow RMR 1030. This material was used for aerosol challenges of rabbits, guinea pigs, and possibly NHPs. Ivins was working with [two sentences redacted but you really, really want to fill in this blank]

        IVINS then printed a copy of “UIB-BI-3” and noted that the “1989” sample was the seed stock for any material made under SOP UIB-BI-3, to include RMR 1030.

      • Quizi Moto said

        Ed, try this equation mentally.

        Take a jug of milk with ¾ of a gallon of milk in it and mix in a package of BBs.

        Now take jug with the milk and bbs in it and poor it into two ½ jugs carefully with out spilling and empty it all the way. Now label the first ½ gallon jug you filled rmr-1029 and the second jug you filled rmr-1030.

        Which jug has the BBs in it?

      • Quizi Moto said

        Ed, If rmr-1030 has all the BBs in it does it mean that the milk in rmr-1029 has never had BBs in it?

      • Quizi Moto said

        One last question for you Ed.

        If the place that grew the anthrax in 1997 is submitting a sample that has 6% silicon and rmr-1029 has no silicon where did it go?

        Answer: New York, Washington D.C. and Boca Raton with the rest of the garbage that remained when Dr. Ivins concentrated the spores.

        Why was Dr. Ivins at the lab on the 17th of September 2001? Alibi

      • Old Atlantic said

        Re BB Milk Jug hypothesis.

        RMR was created in 1997.

        The anthrax was grown within 2 years of mailing, i.e. no earlier than 1999. This is still valid or I didn’t understand it correctly?

        In that case, the letter anthrax can not have been left overs from the 1997 run.

        The 2 year figure also would rule out direct RMR-1029 itself. Has that ever been stated that way or am I not understanding something?

      • DXer said

        The suggestion is that anthrax was taken from Flask 1029 or a distributed sample and regrown within 3 years before the mailings. (They added a year to the 2 year window initially reported to take into account the fact that the isotope analysis could be affected by the date of manufacture of components.)

        Those words hard to remember — beginning with M and D – such as found in Renocal 76 — were in Flask 1029 but not the anthrax mailings. Given the crude nature of the NY Post material, that would seem to exclude Flask 1029. And instead one would look for something that used the same seed stock as Flask 1029 but perhaps did not use Renocal 76 in purification. Perhaps Percoll, consisting of colloidal silica, was used as a density gradient. But 7736 and 7738 were not provided to the FBI repository. As Dr. Ivins expressed in his email, he was concerned that his former colleague had destroyed them when she left.

        We know the mailed anthrax was not from Flask 1030 because it used different seed stock and did not have the 4 morphs.

        But as I understand the documentary evidence it seems that the 4 morphs and silicon signature most likely point to 7736 and 7738, as registered in Building 1412. Now whether they were shipped elsewhere — to Dugway for example or to the DARPA researchers — I don’t know. But it seems a simple inquiry: What do the lab notebooks say was done with 7736 and 7738 (and 7739a perhaps). What does Patricia Fellows say?

        As a general rule of thumb, the folks who won’t answer questions or give an interview know something that they don’t want you to know.

      • DXer said


        As one layperson to another, I ask – how could Flask 1029 have been used to make the mailed anthrax if it contained meglumine and diatrizoate and the mailed anthrax did not?

        Other major differences include, for example, silicon, tin and subtilis.

        But what is this additional ‘anti-fungal chemical’ you mention. Is that phenol?

        I venture you are looking for a source that used the same seed stock as Flask 1029, was not purified using Renocal, was processed using something associated with the silicon and tin (I’ll leave the big words to our much-appreciated Dr. Anonymous), and was not preserved in phenol?

        Would that fit both the anthrax registered in Building 1412 that Dr. Ivins explained was not available to submit to the repository? Alternatively, would it fit the anthrax made by Terry Abshire? What did Dr. Abshire use in growing her own Ames? She didn’t use phenol, did she? Did she use a broth instead? See 302 of Terry Abshire posted by lew.

      • anonymous said

        “For Anonymous: In all cases, the amount of silicon in the spores that had silicon was virtually identical.”

        For Lake: Total nonsense, of course. ICP-OES, which can detect even 1ppm bulk – could not detect any silicon in RMR-1030. If there had been 1-2% silicon per spore in even 1% of the spores, ICP-OES would have detected above 100ppm bulk. It did not. Hence there was less than 0.1% silicon per spore.

        Sandia’s Joe Michael is playing a nice little game with his meaningless and arbitrary “% of spores with silicon” – but it is JUNK SCIENCE!

      • Quizi Moto said


        When Dr. Ivins received all of the shipments from Dungway those shipments had been filtered to stop anything larger than the largest spore in rmr-1029 from being included in the shipment.

        To remove contaminates that were smaller than the smallest spore in rmr-1029 he used ultracentrifugation to sort all the material into molecular size. This produced a dried pellet of spores and contaminates that are sorted by molecular size. Dr. Ivins then was able to cut off the end of the pellet and obtain the pure spores in rmr-1029.

        The remains of the pellet Dr. Ivins said he threw a way and that he was not able to account for it and we do not know the pellets composition. We do know that the pellet would hold all of the smaller particles that Dr. Ivins considered to be contaminates.

        If you took the far end of the pellet where the smallest particles were and saved it and at a latter date, several years latter, you added water to moisten it to break up that section of original pellet. The two year rule does not apply!

        What would this rehydrated section of the original pellet contain?

        It would contain the smallest particles. So it would contain the smallest spores, Silicon, oxygen, and any other contaminates smaller than the spores in rmr-1029. The anthrax used in the letters addressed to the media with the highest concentration of silicon.

        A second slice of the pellet’s bad end and you get the Senator letters with less silicon and less contaminates but the spores are still smaller than the spores in rmr-1029.

      • Quizi Moto said

        Where did the silicon and oxygen come from in the anthrax used in the tainted letters?

        Answer: It was removed from the contents of RMR-1029 before the contents were placed in RMR-1029 during Dr. Ivins process to purify spores.

        Am I correct?

      • DXer said

        Quizo moto, your discussion of Dr. Ivins making a pellet made no sense at all. It was a liquid. He never dried anthrax. Silicon had nothing to do with Flask 1029.

        It would be helpful, absent moderation by Lew, for people to examine documents and/or consult with experts. Those of us without scientific training should avoid comment on technical issues except insofar as to quote and marshall documents — providing citation to the record whenver possible.

      • Quizi Moto said

        Sorry DXer, but I though you were there in Washington, when Dr. John Ezzell explained how Dr. Ivins made the pellet and purified the spores by selecting the most pure end of the pellet to be placed in the spores latter pour into rmr-1029.

        Also I do have a few years of experience working with the elements at a molecular level.

      • DXer said

        Yes, I was there with Dr. Ezzell. He was describing what he did, not what Dr. Ivins did. I interviewed Dr. Ezzell on the subject and describe his explanations here. I also corresponded with him by email over the course of weeks and he clarified questions.

        He was explaining that he made dried powdered anthrax out of the Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins from Flask 1029. Dr. Ezzell explained he made it at the request of DARPA.


        The 302 interviews show that Bruce did not know that anyone at USAMRIID had made a dried powder. He learned of it through FOIA requests a couple years after Fall 2001.

        Dr. Ezzell explained at the November 29 conference that his was “more pure” and the white — where the mailed product might have been a mixture of the entire pellet.

        Dr. Ivins did not have a lyophilizer available to him in an contained area.

        If you mean to posit that Dr. Ivins made a dried powder out of virulent Ames, what lyophilizer do you imagine he used? The one out in the hallway? It would be helpful if we learned the precise Virtis model it was, how much it weighed, whether it was on wheels etc. The NAS does not posit that — nor the FBI scientists as I recall. See science briefing. That was something the US Attorney inexplicably said.

        Relatedly, though, it would help to know what lyophilizers were available in Building 1412. I believe Dr. Ivins said he was only aware of the one in Building 1425 which, he said, had never been used for a virulent pathogen. (It would be far too dangerous, he said).

      • Quizi Moto said

        DXer dried pellet and dry powder are two different products. Although a dried pellet can be turned to powder it is still a pellet.

        It would be very easy to prove me wrong by showing that some spores in rmr-1029 are as small as the spores in the media letters. But there not and there will not be any spores in rmr-1029 that are as small as, or smaller than the spores used in the media letter.

      • Quizi Moto said

        What proves me right is the relationship the contaminates of silicon and oxygen have to spore size and the uniformity of the spores in the senator letters. In the senator letters no spore was as small as the spores used in the media letters and if checked no spore in the senator letters will be as large as the spores in rmr-1029.

        What is the ideal way to sort spores by size?
        Makeing a pellet.

      • DXer said

        Quizi Moto,

        I still think that factual statements about the size of “spores in rmr-1029” or the size of “spores in the media letters” etc. and a claimed uniformity of the “spores in the senator letters” are best anchored by a link to the factual authority so that laypersons like myself can check to see if you are correctly characterizing the evidence. In terms of readily available authority, I can email a searchable copy of the NAS report which should suffice.

      • Quizi Moto said

        DXer: I believe that, like me, you have followed the anthrax case since 2001. Are you saying that you haven’t heard that the spores sent to the media were smaller and more contaminated by silicon and oxygen? Also you haven’t learned that the spores used in the senator letters were all the same size and larger than the spores in the media letters?

        For me with the number of times these facts have been published in the media and the number of times scientists like Sergei Popov have described the spores in the senator letters as all of the spores being the same size and larger than spores in the media letters.

        I accepted the information as facts that are undisputed and that this information is common and accepted as knowledge.

        As for your offer to send me a searchable copy of the NAS report. Thank you, please do.

      • DXer said

        From the NAS report:

        4.4 Size and Granularity of the Material in the Letters

        In fall 2001 at the request of USAMRIID, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
        (AFIP) performed scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to determine the size and shape of
        particulates in the letter material. SEM is a common microscopic imaging technique used
        extensively across scientific disciplines. Results of this analysis demonstrated that the size and
        shape of spores found in the letters were consistent with B. anthracis (FBI Documents,
        B1M2D4; AFIP, 2001). The images showed individual spores as well as clusters of spores, and
        other solid (crystalline) material such as calcium carbonate (Kuhlman, 2001b). While the
        morphology may have been affected by sample preparation prior to analysis (autoclave), the
        images were consistent with measurements of particle size.

        In fall 2001, Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) evaluated size distributions of aerosolized
        particles from letter material and surrogate samples to determine whether respirable-size
        particles were present and whether the amount of such particles would have required specialized
        protocols for preparation (e.g., dispersants). Well-established commercial instruments were used
        to aerosolize the samples (AeroDisperser®, TSI, Inc.) and measure their particle size distributions
        (Aerosizer®, TSI, Inc.). The AeroDisperser uses a high-velocity gas to lift and disperse solid
        particles (powders) off a plate into the airflow. The Aerosizer measures the aerodynamic
        diameters of individual particles by accelerating the aerosol in a sonic airflow and determining
        the velocity by time of flight between two laser beams. The Aerosizer was calibrated with
        National Institute of Standards and Technology traceable particle size standards between 5 and
        20 micrometers (μm) in diameter.

        The Daschle and Leahy letter samples had bimodal particle size distributions, with one
        mode around 1.5 μm in diameter, corresponding to the size of an individual B. anthracis spore,
        and another mode greater than 20 μm in diameter, corresponding to the size of clusters of large
        numbers of spores and other material (FBI Documents, B2M13D11). In the Daschle sample,
        0.05 percent of the total volume (mass) of particles was found in the smaller diameter mode. In
        the Leahy sample, 1 percent of the total mass was found in the smaller diameter mode.
        Several Bacillus subtilis var. niger culture preparations made using only centrifugation
        for concentration and lyophilization for drying also had bimodal size distributions, with the
        smaller (1.5 μm diameter) mode constituting approximately 1 percent of the total aerosolized
        mass (Kuhlman, 2001a,c). The similarity between the letter and these size distributions showed
        that powders with dispersion characteristics similar to those of the letter material could be made
        without the addition of a dispersant.

        Particle size distributions for the Dugway surrogate samples were reported as mean
        particle diameter, which unfortunately is a less informative indicator of particle size when the
        distribution is bimodal. Nonetheless, many of the Dugway preparations gave mean particle
        diameters in the same range as the letter samples, 2 to 4 μm, consistent with the notion that
        dispersants were not required to produce powders with these particle size distributions (DPG,

        A recent report in the scientific literature describes production of B. anthracis spores in a
        manner to enhance formation of particles of about 1.5 μm in diameter (Baron et al., 2008). The
        Baron preparation involved a proprietary drying procedure, ball milling, and the addition of 20
        percent amorphous silica fluidizing agent. The size distribution showed a spore mode around 1.5
        μm in diameter and a smaller mode around 0.5 μm in diameter. It is not possible to compare the
        particle size distributions of the letter samples with the Baron work since the latter study
        included an impactor to remove particles larger than about 5 μm.

      • DXer said

        Dr. Ezzell described his lyophilized powder made from Flask 1029 as “more pure” than the Leahy product. Given the Silicon Signature in what was mailed, I have wondered whether the density gradient Percoll, colloidal silica, was used as a density gradient rather than Renocal, which is what Dr. Ezzell used. (There were no traces of Renocal in what was mailed). I emailed that question to NAS during its news conference but the question wasn’t answered.

        Or alternatively I have wondered whether the “Microdroplet Cell Culture Method,” involving growing anthrax in silica in the culture medium to concentrate it, was used. That was filed by leading bioweaponeers/ Ames researchers who shared a suite with Ali Al-Timimi, who was coordinating with Anwar Aulaqi.

        After a mass aerosol attack, there will be time enough to consider whether the members of the Red Team that advised not to bother pursuing the Silicon Signature should have been disclosed. Given the compartmentalization between the squads, I’m not clear on how vetting for conflict of interests could be accomplished.

        NAS Report states:

        4.5.4 Summary of the Silicon Analysis

        The substantial effort devoted to the characterization of silicon in Bacillus spore coats
        resulted in new fundamental insight into microbial processes and the development of new or
        enhanced analytical measurement technology. (Table 4.4 presents a summary of the analytical
        results.) Elemental analysis of the letter samples showed that 1) the silicon content was high, 2)
        most of the silicon was incorporated in the spore coat, 3) the majority of spores in the samples
        contained silicon in the coat, and 4) no silicon was detected in the form of a dispersant in the

        The bulk silicon content in the Leahy letter could be completely explained by the amount
        of silicon incorporated in the spores during growth. (Not enough material was available to make
        this comparison for the Daschle letter.) In contrast, the New York Post letter had significant bulk
        silicon content, far exceeding that contained in the spores.

        No studies have considered the effect of the chemical form of silicon (e.g., silicate
        impurity versus polydimethylsiloxane antifoam agent) on uptake. The inability of laboratory
        experiments to reproduce the silicon characteristics of the letter samples is not surprising given
        the complexity of the uptake mechanism.

        A few spores analyzed from RMR-1030 contained silicon in the coat, but none of the
        spores analyzed from RMR-1029 contained silicon in the coat. Therefore, the letter samples
        could not have been taken directly from the flasks—a separate growth preparation would have
        been required.

        The material in the Daschle and Leahy letters was reported to have “a high level of
        purity” and to have electrostatic properties that caused it to disperse readily upon opening of the
        letters. These properties should be regarded as qualitative observations since they were not based
        on quantitative physical measurements. The committee received testimony (Martin, 2010) stating
        that some Dugway preparations, particularly those utilizing lyophilization but no dispersant,
        gave products with similar appearance and electrostatic dispersibility as the letter samples,
        suggesting that these properties were not necessarily connected to an intentional effort to
        increase dispersibility through addition of a dispersant. Exogenous silicon and bentonite, which
        enhance the dispersibility of spore preparations, were not found in the Leahy and Daschle letters.

      • Quizzi Moto said

        DXer, you asked when did Dr. Ivins turned the contents of RMR-1029 into a pellet.

        In the FD-302 for and interview on March 31st, 2003 Dr. Ivins is interviewed by a Supervisory Special Agent regarding the shipments of spores from Dugway to Dr. Ivins.
        In the 302 Dr. Ivins says several statements that include:

        “According to Ivins, the first six batches received from Dugway Proving Ground were resuspended and then Renografin or RenoCal Purified, after which they were combined together with USAMRIID-made spores to constitute RMR-1029. The seventh batch of liquid Ames spores received from Dugay Proving Ground was also intended to become part of RMR-1029. However, Ivins advised that when he received the seventh batch from Dugway Proving Ground, he observed that it was “dirty,” “clumpy,” and contained tow much “vegetative cell debris.” In addition, the spores were not refractile (an indication they were not viable). Ivins believes he made one or two attempts to purify this seventh batch through resuspension, centrifugation, and by using Renografin or RenoCal. These purification efforts did not adequately improve the quality of the seventh batch, so Ivins set it aside for autoclaving.”

        Latter in the same 302 Dr. Ivins also says this:

        “Ivins stated that this seventh batch of Dugway Ames spores was the only one of the seven lots that had to be destroyed due to poor quality; the other six lots were were all combined to constitute RMR-1029. Ivins noted that at least one of the other six batches was also of poor quality, however, Ivins was able to “clean it up” using the RenoCa./Renografin purification procedure.”

        You might also remember that an additional 100ml of RMR-1029 disappear on the second entry of the RMR-1029 inventory log. Likely it disappeared at the time Dr. Ivins was purifying the spore mentioned above.

        I do not believe that Dr. Ivins mailed the letters, but I do believe that he supplied the spores used in the letters.

        I have been searching the information released through the freedom of info act for the amounts received in each shipment by Dr. Ivins. I have read them before but am having trouble finding them now.

        Also for anyone interested in this topic DXer does a great job of transcribing a video of Dr. John Ezzel speaking on the processes used to purify spores at the following link.

      • Quizzi Moto said

        Here is a copy of that transcription>

        DXer said
        December 3, 2010 at 10:52 am
        [igcc/je/00:10:18] (the timing indicates is from an audiotape but the digital videotape will be as early as today)

        (GETMAN) In respect to what you made…you told me that yours is better, finer and more uniform than Daschle’s. (EZZELL) Mine was more pure, you get that pure signal for mass spec. Now the material that went in the Daschle and the Leahy letter, I don’t think that was quite as pure as people think it is.

        DXer said
        December 3, 2010 at 10:53 am
        Now, the other material, later, that went to Daschle and Leahy, that material is a solid color tan. And then so that material was very uniform and is textured and as far as texturally and what we’ve developed dealing with the letter, which sort of came out of the Leahy letter, we found that the material was very uniform and it’s colored, and it’s textured.


      • Quizzi Moto said

        Sorry here is a copy of the transcript:

        11.DXer said
        December 3, 2010 at 8:39 am
        While we await for the digital video, I will add some audio excerpts from John. For what he actually said, complete with any ums and ahs, see the actual video.

        Ok, the preparant for preparation of anthrax which means centrifusion of material down to culture and you want to separate the spore plate from fluid, you put it in a centrifuge bottle and you centrifuge it and it forms a pellet at the bottom of the tube. Centrifuging the bottle sort of forces it. With anthrax you get three different colors. You get at the very bottom a dark almost black pellet, above that is a tan color, and above that is white. The upper part which is white is almost pure spores. So when you purify the spores, the material of the spores out of a material like that you centrifuge, you only remove that upper portion of that and then you wash it with a like take that and then you just discard the bottom two colors.


        There’s a lot of vegetative cells in there and then other materials and breaked up parts of other cells of strange and foreign spores. So anyway that upper part is what’s really pure white, and that’s mainly I prepared was the spores for DARPA. The material that I prepared, it was washings of that upper material which was almost snow white, and then we also dished the gradients of renografin and then so anyway my spores, the spores that were formed in my lab, prepared in my lab, were snow white. Whereas the spores in the Daschle letter were tan, and the material that went to Tom Brokaw’s lab, office, and also the New York Post were very granular and multicolored.

        (EZZELL) It’s not an uncommon practice for a scientist to put this material into a freezer and hold on to it for future use and for future(KEMP-interupting) You mean white spores? Wet spores? (EZZELL) Right. (KEMP) Did you ever see any evidence that he produced dry spores? (EZZELL) No. (KEMP) I gotta go.

        DXer said
        December 3, 2010 at 10:52 am
        [igcc/je/00:10:18] (the timing indicates is from an audiotape but the digital videotape will be as early as today)

        (GETMAN) In respect to what you made…you told me that yours is better, finer and more uniform than Daschle’s. (EZZELL) Mine was more pure, you get that pure signal for mass spec. Now the material that went in the Daschle and the Leahy letter, I don’t think that was quite as pure as people think it is.

        DXer said
        December 3, 2010 at 10:53 am
        Now, the other material, later, that went to Daschle and Leahy, that material is a solid color tan. And then so that material was very uniform and is textured and as far as texturally and what we’ve developed dealing with the letter, which sort of came out of the Leahy letter, we found that the material was very uniform and it’s colored, and it’s textured.


      • DXer said

        Thanks Quizi Moto for posting the transcripts. I had forgotten that I posted them or that they existed. I know how hard the fellow doing the transcription worked to make it perfect. One thing that doesn’t show in a transcript is demeanor. I find Dr. Ezzell very impressive interpersonally — I think everyone in the room was very impressed by his willingness to come forward and answer questions. And he didn’t dodge any questions — there certainly were questions that the panel members should have thought to ask but I think UCLA’s Professor Intrilligator, fortunately, might have been able to see that Dr. Ezzell’s breathing was labored. Whatever the reason, the questioning was cut short before JE was asked if there were other places where aerosol experiments were done, whether a dried powder had been made at other times, what special facilities were built for Joany Jackman’s work at USAMRIID, what her work at Johns-Hopkins involved, whether work was done at SRI in Frederick etc. Then Dr. Ezzell had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital immediately after this Q and A upon taking a break. The ambulance came and went in the few minutes it took me to go to a nearby building to stretch my legs. Everyone in the room wishes him well and I think would agree that his integrity seemed to really stand out.

      • Quizzi Moto said


        I hope that you can now understand why I said:

        Quizi Moto said
        March 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm
        Where did the silicon and oxygen come from in the anthrax used in the tainted letters?

        Answer: It was removed from the contents of RMR-1029 before the contents were placed in RMR-1029 during Dr. Ivins process to purify spores.

        Am I correct?

      • Quizzi Moto said

        The alternative would be that someone else cultivated a 1000ml batch of spores from RMR-1029.

        Then purified the spores and used the waste from that production in the anthrax tainted letters.

    • richard rowley said

      Partial post by Ed Lake:
      You seem to be trying to argue once again that Ivins is innocent unless he made videos of himself all alone in his lab making and drying spores, with a calendar and a 24-hour clock in the background to show it was during the critical times. That argument is absurd. How many criminals do that?
      You attribute to me a position I never expressed anywhere, anytime, in any manner. And certainly not here. Then you claim that this (entirely specious, of your own invention) argument is “absurd”. Well, DUH!, yes it is aburd. But it is absurd because 1)you made it up and 2) you made it up because there really IS no evidence that Ivins did any drying of anthrax in 2001. THE WHOLE YEAR.
      A FAR more “absurd” argument is:

      1)since Ivins knew how to dry anthrax, he DID dry anthrax in Sept and Oct of 2001. (this is confusing potentialities with reality)And it is your true argument (along with the DoJ)(!!!!).

      2) because during the late night/early morning hours of Sept 17-18th a block of 6 or 7 hours isn’t documented as you put it “with a calendar and a 24-hour clock in the background to show it was during the critical times”, that means that Ivins DID drive to Princeton on that night during that block of time.
      (Once again you are confusing potentialities with reality)

      The demands and expectations of the Amerithrax sceptics are in line with those of any criminal case: you have to show the person LIKELY did it “beyond a reasonable doubt”. That Ivins snoozed away the night of Sept 17-18th at home is an entirely reasonable inference. And the only thing that would overcome that inference would be SOME sign that he was hundreds of miles to the north in at least a PART of the time blocks in question. That’s not in the FINAL REPORT, so we can be fairly certain that no such sign exists.

      And the likelihood that Ivins never did any drying of anthrax in Sept and Oct of 2001 is high, minus any signs that he did such drying (entirely absent from the FINAL REPORT)….

      • richard rowley said

        Partial post by Ed Lake:

        Richard Rowley wrote: “this is confusing potentialities with reality’

        No, it is about means, motive and opportunity.

        1)the ‘means’ of availability of Ames anthrax (to Ivins) didn’t change AT ALL between Sept-Oct 2001 (when Ivins wasn’t a suspect) to the 2005 to 2008 period, when, at least in 2007-8, he was evidently the SOLE suspect.

        2) Motive. Nowhere on this blog entry is motive addressed. And the task force/DoJ couldn’t make up their minds what his motive was supposed to be, hence they rhetorically touched that up with ‘he had multiple motives’. Not really credible at all. (by contrast, if some of the Amerithrax letters had been sent TO Kappa Kappa Gamma, or, alternately, a Kappa Kappa Gamma return address had been used instead of ‘Greendale School’, THEN at least arguably an Ivins psychological connection would be plausible. But mailing anthrax letters in a mailbox a couple hundred feet from a Kappa Kappa Gamma OFFICE(!), what good (read: evil) does that do? None whatsoever. And even (especially?) a sociopathic (ie totally invented) version of Bruce Ivins would have known that).

        3) Opportunity. Only a Bruce Ivins in the greater Trenton, NJ area would have had the opportunity to mail those letters. THAT (his presence in Princeton/Trenton) is what is lacking as far as evidence is concerned in the FINAL REPORT.

      • richard rowley said

        Partial post by Ed Lake:
        […]If other facts say that Ivins must have driven to New Jersey to mail the letters, it is not necessary to have a gas receipt or a speeding ticket or home movies proving he made the trip.

        Jurors are instructed to view the evidence in its entirety. They understand that if the totality of the evidence says that Ivins sent the letters beyond any reasonable doubt, then he must be found guilty.

        If Ivins knew how to dry anthrax, it is not necessary to prove which method he used. He had the means.

        If Ivins had the time to dry anthrax, it is not necessary to prove exactly when he did it. He had the opportunity.
        If Ivins had multiple motives, it is not necessary to prove which motive was most important. He had a motive.

        If everyone else has been eliminated as a suspect, you have evidence of Ivins’ guilt.
        If Ivins was observed in the middle of the night throwing away the code books for the hidden message in the media letters, you have solid evidence of Ivins guilt.
        This is ‘solid evidence’ that Mister Lake has completely reversed the burden of proof in the Amerithrax Case.

      • richard rowley said

        post by Ed Lake:
        The FBI does not have to find an alibi for Ivins.

        Criminals routinely claim they were at home asleep when crimes were committed. That is their alibi. The burden of proof upon the prosecution is to show that the alibi is a lie. The prosecution does not have to find home movies to show that the culprit was not at home asleep. The burden of proof is to show that the culprit must have been at the crime scene, because all the other evidence in the case says that is where he must have been. Therefore, the culprit was lying about being at home asleep.

        The FBI does not have to prove that Ivins was doing normal work during his evening hours in his lab.

        If Ivins claims he was just hanging around in his lab doing nothing at all, the FBI has the burden of proof to convince the jury that Ivins’ claim is not believable. It was not part of his normal pattern, his didn’t leave any records of what he was doing as he would normally do, he was in parts of his lab that were not part of his normal routine, he was in parts of his lab where the anthrax powders could have been made, etc. The FBI’s evidence shows that Ivins was LYING about just hanging around in his lab because of his problems at home.

        And it is not even required for the FBI to find a motive. If it can be demonstrated in court that Ivins was the anthrax mailer, it is not necessary to determine exactly why he did it.

        Those are not MY rules. They are the rules of the criminal courts system.
        No. No. A thousand times no. And you’ve had two and a half years to consult with actual lawyers (including ones who AGREE with you that Ivins likely did it) on these matters. Such consultations would have spared you the embarassingly inaccurate characterizations you have made now over many months about the burden of proof, the admissibility of past behaviour/offenses, the degree to which unseen sub-tasks of the Amerithrax mailings can be merely assumed to have been done by the defendant etc. Instead, you rely on your own evaluation of your own familiarity with evidentiary requirements. Both that evaluation and that familiarity are deeply flawed, but you, convinced that all who disagree with you are “True Believers” and (I’ve forgetten your second dismissive category)are IPSO FACTO mistaken, aren’t open to correction: not on the linguistics, not on the wildly inaccurate portrayal of a 6 year old’s progress in printing in a 3 week(!!!)period, and not here when the legal requirements (in general) are not even open to dispute.
        To try to go to where me might agree A LITTLE I repost a part of the above:
        The FBI does not have to prove that Ivins was doing normal work during his evening hours in his lab.
        Agreed! They have to prove he was drying anthrax during his evening hours in the lab(in Sept-Oct 2001). OTHERWISE, an Ivins-alone-did-it scenario is impossible.
        They haven’t done that. They merely POSITED that he was drying/purifying anthrax in his lab in the evening hours of Sept-Oct. POSITING something is okay in a prosecutor’s opening statement, but if he/she never gets around to providing proof of the posited claims, then all the defense has to do is wait until the end of the trial and, in the defense’s closing statement, point out the failure of the prosecution to back up the assertion with proof.

        Said another way, the problem isn’t that the Ivins-secretly-dried-anthrax-at-night scenario is totally implausible, it’s that it’s not very likely. WELL short of the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt requirement.

        The same with the Ivins-secretly-drove-up-to-Princeton-and-mailed-the-letters(twice!) scenario. It too has SOME plausibility (ie it’s not totally impossible, barring further revelations of emails that Ivins may have sent in early morning hours of Sept 18th). But there needs to be some proof of it.
        More by Mister Lake
        Criminals routinely claim they were at home asleep when crimes were committed. That is their alibi. The burden of proof upon the prosecution is to show that the alibi is a lie.
        No. That misstates things:

        1)in a TRIAL context, the defense is under no obligation to come up with an ‘alibi’. This is all the more true when
        the crime scene is hundreds of miles distant from the residence/workplace of the accused.

        2) a competent defense lawyer MIGHT use a likely alibi if it completely destroyed a prosecutor’s (already presented) timeline, but there is NO OBLIGATION on the part of the defense to ‘come up with’ an alibi. Burden of proof again.

        3)I myself raised the Ivins-was-likely-sleeping point because it’s:

        a)logical (we all need sleep)

        b) was likely a part of his normal routine.

        c) isn’t something that he would have kept a record of (ie diary or journal) (‘note to self: I slept a full 8 hours last night at home, so I couldn’t have driven up to Princeton and mailed anything!’ Such a diary entry even/especially if contemporaneous would be a sign of GUILT not innocence: why the reference to Princeton and ‘not mailing anything’?!?!?!?)

      • DXer said

        Dr. Ivins does have an alibi which Ed nowhere addresses.

        In the documents finally released a year after his death, the contemporaneous evidence shows that he was autoclaving 12 dead animals — over the course of the three nights October 3, October 4 and October 5. Rachel Lieber has wrongfully refused to provide the contemporaneous notes that would corroborate the email. And Ed just ignores the email pretending it doesn’t exist. The fact that the AUSAs are confused is illustrated by their reference to mice rather than guinea pigs and rabbits.

        Ed says that Dr. Ivins did not provide an alibi but he did — he explained he was tending to the animals. He would have no reason to remember more specifically than that many years after the fact. This is precisely why he was so angry at the USAMRIID not allowing his attorney to interviw his co-workers.

        Moreover, while Rachel and Ken have withheld the September 17, 2001 email to Mara Linscott that also establiishes his alibi.

        As for the hours he slept, the 302s of interviews of his family members further establish a window for those hours.

        Ed is not qualified to address legal issues.

      • DXer said

        Ed confuses the government’s assertion “Ivins had no alibi” with evidence — such as the contemporaneous emails and lab notes and also the 302 statements. The government’s statement “Ivins had no alibi” is not evidence. The evidence relates to the documentation relating to the experiments. This principle that the evidence — not the government’s assertion — is what is important should not require explanation or discussion. Ed, am I correct that you haven’t read the 302 interview statements by the family members?

      • DXer said

        On this question of alibi, Ed just accepts Rachel and Ken’s assertions — unsupported even by citation — in the Amerithrax Summary.

        I on the other hand look for the underlying documents.

        When Ed says he doesn’t know what time the September 17, 2001 email was sent, I point out that he doesn’t know because Rachel and Ken have kept that information from him so they can make bald assertions like “he doesn’t have an alibi” — and have uncritical minds simply mistake assertion as evidence.

        The USAMRIID lawyers specifically dispute their claim made by Ken and Rachel as to this email.

        When Ed says he hasn’t read the 302 interview statements of the family members that provide Dr. Ivins with an alibi overnight, I ask why, Ed? Aren’t you interested in the “whodunnit”? Are you lazy? Or do you lack critical reasoning ability.

    • Quizi Moto said

      Ed Lake Said “YES. He created the spores in flask RMR-1030 which contained spores with silicon in the spore coats just like the silicon in the spore coats of the attack anthrax.”

      I am not sure but it is my understanding that the amount of silicon present inside the spore coats was infintesimal in some of the spores from rmr-1030.
      Isn’t that correct?

      Also you said “It came from the growth media he used and was incorporated into the spores via natural processes.”

      Is there a growth media which contains enough silicon to have grown the spores with silicon and oxygen in them?

      If so did the FBI try it?

    • DXer said

      What Ames was supplied the former Zawahiri associate? It does not appear on the expanded log for Flask 1029. A possible logical implication is that it was 7736 and 7738 or 7739a that was supplied. Ivins’ assistants apparently thought that the anthrax they were making served the same purpose as Flask 1029.

    • DXer said

      The DARPA-funded work involving use of the lyophilizer by Dr. Ivins involved the DARPA-funded work done by Ann Arbor researchers. In thanking Dr. Ivins in numerous patents for supplying the Ames, the researchers referenced his 1995 Vaccines article describing preparation of the spores (and the method included use of a lyophilizer).

      Throughout the period 2000-2008, the Ann Arbor researchers would explain: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., Vaccine 13:1779 [1995]).

      In an exclusive in early November 2008, the New York Post reported:

      “The lyophilizer, located in a hallway surrounded by four labs, did not have a protective hood. A hood is necessary to circulate and filter air and make it possible to use the lyophilizer to work with harmful bacteria without the bacteria becoming airborne. Co-workers say the hoodless lyophilizer would have spewed poisonous aerosols, infecting co-workers. But no colleagues of Ivins experienced any symptoms. Henry Heine, in April 2010 joined the chorus of the former Chiefs of Bacteriology in making these points. Co-workers also point out that the machine would have to be fully decontaminated after use – a 24-hour process called paraformaldehyde decontamination that involves locking down the lab. Dr. Ivins says it was a Virtis — but I don’ t know the exact model so as to be able to provide a picture. (We should find that out).

      Without a full decontamination, Dr. Heine and the former Chiefs of Bacteriology say, the machine would have contaminated other bacteria or liquids used on the machine at a later date. And if it had not been decontaminated, the FBI should have been able to find traces of the dry anthrax on the machine. Yet they swabbed Ivins’ machinery numerous times and were unable to find traces of dry anthrax spores in his lab, Dr. Ivins’ attorney Paul Kemp has said.

      “Even if Ivins did have access to a freeze-drying machine and a protective hood, sources who worked closely with Ivins estimate it would take a minimum of 40 days of continuous work without detection to create the volume of spores used in the attacks.” “If he was working eight hours a day on spore prep every day, it would be noticed,” said Gerry Andrews, Ivins’ supervisor between 2000 and 2003. “It’s ridiculous.” Ivins’ lab – just 200 square feet – was in “highly trafficked areas, and Bruce had colleagues that worked with him every day,” Andrews said.

      Meanwhile, in September and October of 2001, Ivins was involved in 19 research projects, including working on the Department of Defense-funded anthrax vaccine that is now in clinical trials, anthrax vaccine testing on rabbits and monkeys, and an outside project with a government-contracted lab, the Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio.” I have recently explained that on October 3, 4 and 5, 2001, the key work that the AUSA’s mistakenly suggest is unexplained, his work appears to have involved autoclaving the 12 dead rabbits that died after the long-planned October 2 subcutaneous challenge. See October 5, 2001 describing the deaths of the 12 rabbits in the 3 days since challenge. The planning contemplated that the animals would be vaccinated at Covance in PA but then shipped to USAMRIID for subcutaneous challenge.

      For what it’s worth, the head of the Air Force lab, expert at making anthrax simulants, advises me by email: “The Amerithrax spores were neither freeze dried nor milled. I have seen both and the Amerithrax had characteristics of neither.” Dr. Alibek, who once thought a spraydryer likely was used, told me that he later came to think a fluidized bed dryer was used. In September 2008, Dr. Serge Popov of the GMU Center for Biodefense has explained a far simpler method based on his experience involving a tin container and silica beads.

      In an October 16, 2008 letter to the academy, Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), a member of the House intelligence committee, asked the National Academies of Science to investigate whether the bureau’s scientific discoveries were “inconsistent with the FBI’s conclusions.” Jennifer Smith is a retired FBI agent and biochemist who also worked for the CIA and now leads BioForensic Consulting. Smith was involved in the agency’s DNA unit when the investigation began. She told the NAS panel in July 2009: “I want to say that I hope this committee is able to see information that was shared … even if that information might currently be housed within the classified files,” she said. Alice Gast, the committee chairwoman and president of Lehigh University, said the academy has the ability to pursue classified materials. The study will deepen as the group learns more and asks additional questions, she said. “Really it remains to be defined — the scope of all materials we’ll receive,” Dr. Gast reported.

      More broadly, though, I think you may be on to something on this question of the different colors of the powder in the dried pellet — with the difference between the New York Post and Leahy being explainable by which material was used. Note that while Dr. Ezzell only took the white portion for the DARPA researchers, his Ames from Flask 1029, he reports, had been irradiated in the slurry. He used renografin as a density gradient and no traces of renografin were detected. I think a key inquiry is: who did Dr. Ezzell share his research? (Not Dr. Ivins by all accounts). Didn’t he share it with the other DARPA researchers?

  12. DXer said

    Doesn’t the documentary evidence show that Dr. Ivins particiopated in a long-planned subcutaneous challenge on October 2, 2001 that resulted in the death of 12 rabbits over the course of the next three days, with it taking 1 1/2 – 2 hours on October 3, October 4 and October 5 to operate the autoclave in the case of a dead animal?

  13. DXer said

    Instead of speculation about hypotheses, Ed Lake instead should consult the contemporaneous emails, the access records to Building 1412, the lab notebooks, and the colleagues available to explain things. He seems to have done none of those things.

    For example, in a September 5, 2001 email planning the Covance trip, Dr. Ivins explained that October 2 was not good.

    Moreover, he explained that Wednesdays as a general matter were especially busy for animal work.

    On Friday, October 5, 2001, he explained that 3 days after a challenge with Ames 12 rabbits had died.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: Stabilizer in a new rPA vaccine
    Date: Friday, October 05, 2001 10:52:45 AM
    The data we are getting from our with formaldehyde/without formaldehyde experiment in rabbits
    is giving us VERY strong evidence that we should incorporate a stabilizer in with rPA and Alhydrogel.
    weren’t some FDA-acceptable stabilizers going to be identified? If there some out there,
    maybe we should start thinking about them now.
    Basically what we have as far as the experiment:
    1) Five years ago rPA/Alhydrogel/PBS vaccine was made with or without 0.02% formaldehyde (the
    level that’s in AVA) and stored at 4C. With these vaccines we immunized groups of rabbits as follows
    (0.5 ml per intramuscular dose):
    Group A – 24 rabbits (12 males, 12 females) get PA (50 ug)/Alhydrogel (0.5 mg)/PBS/0.02%
    formaldehyde at 0 weeks. Challenge (subcutaneous) at 6 weeks with about 100 LD50 Ames spores.
    Group B – 24 rabbits (12 males, 12 females) get PA (50 ug)/Alhydrogel (0.5 mg)/PBS/No
    formaldehyde at 0 weeks. Challenge (subcutaneous) at 6 weeks with about 100 LD50 Ames spores.
    Group C – 4 rabbits (2 males, 2 females) get PBS/Alhydrogel (0.5 mg) at 0 weeks. Challenge
    (subcutaneous) at 6 weeks with about 100 LD50 Ames spores.
    2) Results so far, 3 days after challenge:
    Group Survived/Total
    A – Vaccine plus formaldehyde 24/24 (no deaths)
    B – Vaccine minus formaldehyde 16/24 (8 deaths)
    C – Controls 0/4 (4 deaths)
    Note: We originally studied the effect of formaldehyde on rPA vaccine potency/stability in guinea
    pigs. The cumulative data indicated that stability/potency was enhanced by the presence of
    – Bruce

    • DXer said

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      To: ”
      Subject: RE: anti-rPA serum
      Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2001 8:13:16 AM
      Hi, ,

      We will have both placebo and vaccine ready for pickup on Monday, September 24. We will make
      enough placebo to cover future immunizations as well, since there is no worry about antigen change or
      degradation. You may give my phone number or email out, but due to security
      precautions, they won’t be able to get on post. I will meet them at the Post office on 7th Street. They
      will come to Frederick via 270N, then continue on 15N. The exit they will take will be the 7th Street exit.
      They should bear to the right, and turn right onto 7th Street (towards Fort Detrick, not the hospital,
      which is towards the left.) They will go under the Route 15 overpass and take the first right into the
      post office parking lot. I will meet them there. If they need a map, I can send them one by FAX.
      – Sincerely,
      Bruce Ivins

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: rPA
      Date: Thursday, September 20, 2001 2:41:41 PM
      Thank you for the 30 vials of rPA, lot 100506, 1.18 mg/ml, that you gave me this morning for
      tech-base studies in support of the development of a new human anthrax vaccine. It will be put to use
      – Bruce Ivins

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: B98-03 rabbit bacteremia data
      Date: Tuesday, September 25, 2001 9:13:34 AM
      Here are the B98-03 rabbit bacteremia data in an EXCEL file.
      – Bruce

    • DXer said

      Question for someone who knows rather than some layperson’s speculation.

      We know that twelve rabbits died over the course of three days prior to October 5.

      What would Dr. Ivins or a different researcher or veterinarian do when he came across a dead rabbit?

      Factoid: Usually it would take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the autoclave process.

      Source: 279A-WF-2203 6 – USAMRIID

      • DXer said

        Dr. Ivins explained that the standard procedure is to autoclave the dead animal and its bedding.

        —– 8/18/2005 302
        At USAMRIID, in the bacterial suite, paraformaldehyde decontamion was done approximately once every month or two. There was usually a couple days notice that this was going to occur.

        —— On July 7, 2002, Ivins sent an e-mail to _______ stating his most recent swabbing was the third time he had found virulent anthrax outside of the hot suites. Ivins advised in the early 80’s ____ had injected and killed guinea pigs with the Vollum 1B strain of anthrax. After the death of the guinea pigs, all of the used bedding had to be removed from the suite. Since the autoclave was not working, paraformaldehyde was used on the bedding, and everything was sent to cagewash for cleaning. Ivins advised prior to the bedding being shipped to cagewash, he took and plated a sample. Ivins discovered that the top of the bedding was sterile, but the lower layers were contaminated with anthrax and other bacteria.

      • DXer said

        So is use of the autoclave for 2+ hours on October 3, October 4, and October 5 after the subcutaneous injection is what you would expect the records to show?

        To dispose of the dead bunnies?

    • DXer said

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID;
      Subject: RE: Covance contract information
      Date: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 9:26:51 AM
      Addendum – in general, the best days for us are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Wednesdays are
      usually full of animal work, and Fridays are frequently days of leave (use or lose). Other bad days –
      October 2, October 8, November 12, week of November 26.
      – Bruce

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: rPA
      Date: Thursday, September 20, 2001 2:41:41 PM
      Thank you for the 30 vials of rPA, lot 100506, 1.18 mg/ml, that you gave me this morning for
      tech-base studies in support of the development of a new human anthrax vaccine. It will be put to use
      – Bruce Ivins

      • DXer said

        Interview (279A-WF-222936 – USAMRIID, Serial 483
        (U) Approximately one month after the anthrax mailings, _______ showed ____________and Bruce Ivins several jars containing what _________ described as sumulants. _____________________________ Ivins stated the vial containing a substance that looked like “smoke in a glass” was most similar to the evidence.”

    • BugMaster said

      “The data we are getting from our with formaldehyde/without formaldehyde experiment in rabbits
      is giving us VERY strong evidence that we should incorporate a stabilizer in with rPA and Alhydrogel.”

      Note the vaccine STILL failed due to stability issues.

      Was Dr. Ivin’s advice not taken, or was the stability problem that caused the failure a different stability issue?

      • BugMaster said

        “From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
        Subject: rPA
        Date: Thursday, September 20, 2001 2:41:41 PM
        Thank you for the 30 vials of rPA, lot 100506, 1.18 mg/ml, that you gave me this morning for
        tech-base studies in support of the development of a new human anthrax vaccine. It will be put to use
        – Bruce Ivins”

        So Battelle / BDP / SAIC was motivated to release some of the rpa-102 after all.

        Yet Stevens wasn’t diagnosed with anthrax until October 4.

    • DXer said

      The documentary evidence relating to the 12 rabbits during the October 2-October 5, 2001 period was laid out a year ago.

      The documentary evidence has been previously discussed also. Dr. Ivins writes at 9:57 p.m. on October 4, 2001 about the work with guinea pigs:

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: Florida case(?)
      Date: Thursday, October 04, 2001 9:57:19 PM


      I just heard this evening (and read over internet news) that a case of pulmonary anthrax may have been identified in Florida.

      Is this true, or is this just hysteria?

      The only Florida strain of B. anthracis that I am familiar with is V770, which is the parent of V770-NP1-R, the strain used in production of the human anthrax vaccine.

      The article said that this person was an “Outdoorsman,” and had drunk water from a creek in North Carolina.

      I know that in the wild in Africa, animals are supposed to be able to get it from water holes by stirring up spores and presumably ingesting and possibly inhaling them as an aerosol. Could this have happened?

      Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if there’s anything I can do.

      We are currently testing the virulence (in immunized and unimmunized guinea pigs) of B. anthracis strains from all over the world, including China, and we’ve come up with some very interesting differences in virulence among the strains.

      Take care of yourself,


  14. Old Atlantic said

    Ed Lake discusses the autoclave room issue and Ivins’ nights in August through October in 2001. Let us consider some hypotheses.

    Hypothesis A: It took weeks to months to grow the anthrax in the letters. So if Ivins did it, he used the autoclave room.

    Ed finds a few times that Ivins was in a room that might be the autoclave room. (Or autoclave area if AA means that instead of admin.)

    In general, the hours for Ivins August to October don’t work well if he was growing anthrax for weeks at a time in an autoclave room.

    Ed concludes there were two spikes of times over very short periods of two to three days that he thinks are consistent with growing anthrax by Ivins and the other periods are less so or not so.

    But if the growing took weeks to months, then Ivins hours don’t match up with the attention to this work if it was done in a room AA or AR that showed up in the records.

    The hours also don’t match lab steps very well if he was growing the anthrax in B301.

    For October, this would mean growing anthrax during the day if the first days of October, weekdays, are the days he grew the anthrax.

    There is also not time for a lyophilizer, home made or a piece of equipment. Lyophilizing is overnight and if done during the weekdays of the first week of October would have been noticed if Senate letter quality anthrax had been lyophilized in Suite B301 over night.

    • Old Atlantic said

      If the anthrax was grown in the autoclave in one batch, then it would have required hundreds of plates at a single time. That would take hours to harvest.

      If done over many months, then he would have had more time in the autoclave room and if AA and/or AR are indicating that, then they would have shown up multiple times.

    • Old Atlantic said

      “NOTE #5 – While it appears that Ivins may have begun doing work for the second mailing starting as early as September 25, the real surge of work for the second mailing seems to begin on October 3. ” Ed Lake blog.

      Begun doing work Sep 25 means did not do work before Sep 25. That would mean all the work was done after Sep 25, 2001. That would include growing.

      The real surge of work starting October 3 and ending October October 5 would sound like this was when he did the work.

      The point is not to catch you out somehow. The point is that this is the way the FBI reads the hours in the lab and claims this is their meaning. That is why they claim he grew the anthrax, caused it to sporulate, and dried it in the first weekend, ie in 48 hours. I believe that to do this for such amounts is very unlikely.

      The same applies to do that from October 3 to October 5, 2001.

      If one abandons this FBI hypothesis of the work done when the spikes of hours show, then one is left with these hours show very little. If the work involved hundreds of plates in the autoclave room, then that would have taken weeks and months. This doesn’t match up with the hours shown.

      As your comment indicates, it particularly doesn’t match up with the second mailing which is of higher quality and of at least close to two grams of anthrax.

  15. DXer said

    Local FBI chief will help fight U.S. terror war

  16. DXer said

    Sometimes creativity can be derailed by very real events. In her piece, Fey writes about an anthrax scare at 30 Rockefeller Plaza—where the “S.N.L.” offices are located—which occurred shortly after September 11th:

    I was reading a thick packet of paper clippings, looking for something fun to say about Afghanistan, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, the anthrax postal attacks: it was grim. Then Lester Holt came on MSNBC on the TV hanging in the corner and said, “Breaking news. Anthrax has been found at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. C.D.C. officials are investigating the potentially deadly substance, which was found in a suspicious package addressed to NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw.”… “Nope,” I thought. “I give up.” I put on my coat, walked downstairs past my friends and co-workers without saying anything. I walked right past the host for that week, sweet Drew Barrymore, without telling her what I had heard. I just went to the elevator and left. Then I walked home and waited to die. Several hours later, Lorne called and said gently, “We’re all here. You and Drew are the only ones who left. And Drew came back a few hours ago, so … we’re ordering dinner, if you want to come back in.” It was the kindest way of saying, “You’re embarrassing yourself.”

    Read more

  17. DXer said

    On September 18, 2001, Dr. Ivins arrived for work at 7:03 a.m and left again at 8:35 a.m.. Page 31 of the FBI’s summary report (page 35 of the pdf file) states that Ivins “traveled with his lab technicians to Covance in Denver, Pennsylvania, to deliver vaccine” during this time.

    As I recall, and as I previously have mentioned, his other lab technician was Christine. What does Christine say about Dr. Ivins on September 18?

  18. Quizi Moto said

    Clearly the person, or persons, responsible for mailing the anthrax tainted letters had a containment issue as demonstrated by the deaths and sickening of postal workers and the 4 cross contamination victims.

    The lack of a series of unexplained anthrax deaths and anthrax infections that point to a hidden lab where the anthrax was produced suggest that either the person, or persons, responsible: used a lab which already had high containment or they may have used something like Bio-Reactor that eliminates the need for investing in High Containment.

    As for weather or not you can use a bioreactor to grow anthrax a simple Google search using the terms Bio-reactor and anthrax will bring you to results that show they can and do use Bio-reactors to produce anthrax.

    Wasn’t a bioreactor on the shopping list for the al-Qaeda Lab dealing with anthrax?

    • Quizi Moto said

      Ed Lake Said: “You’re still missing the point that BugMaster tried to make several times: Bio-reactors can be used to grow living anthrax bacteria, but, because they have no way of getting oxygen to dying bacteria, they have no capability to cause the bacteria to produce spores.”

      Although I have the greatest respect and admiration for BugMaster knowledge, experience, and abilities I believe that she may be wrong. I believe what she was saying that it is that in a bioreactor you would not be able to add enough oxygen to induce and maintain sporation of anthrax in a bio-reactor.

      A quick Google search using the terms “oxygen” and “bioreactor” you will find that while oxygen uptake is a problem but there are many solutions and those same problems and solutions do affect sporation of anthrax in fermentors.

      Some of those same solulutions are: agitation, pressurization, Anti-foam, silica

      How did 65%, or more, of the anthrax used in the letters get silica inside the spore coat?

      • BugMaster said

        This is really an issue of semantics here.

        Traditionally, a fermentor is used for microbial fermentations, and has the capability to provide higher levels of the oxygenation required by bacteria, by much more vigorous agitation (mixing) and a much higher rate of sparge (air addition to the culture, bubbled through from the bottom).

        A bioreactor is used for cell cuture, less oxygenation capabilities, and certainly not the vigorous mixing (you would scramble the cells).

        However, in this day and age, and perhaps in Europe, the term “bioreactor” can refer to either a fermentor or a cell culture system / true bioreactor.

        It is my conclusion that the attack material was produced in a crude fermentor, ie a garbage can being mixed by the addition of significant quantities of air from an air compressor. (thus the silicon carbide particles!)

        Antifoam would have been required, of course, and could account for a portion of the silicon signature.

        As far as Ed’s hypothesis that all the material came from plates, not a bad hypothesis, really, Ed has a point, but I don’t think the amount of time required to harvest all that material from approx. 400 plates really fits here.

        The NAS agrees in that to produce the material in a short time frame would have required liquid culture, perhaps 50 liters or so, which is still consistant with a garbage can culture hypothesis.

      • Quizi Moto said

        Bioreactors come in all shapes and sizes for all types of purposes. Some are designed and made for mass production while others are made for single use, single purpose, or even made to be easily disposable after use. Others are made to be extremely versatile for multiple uses.

        Some are designed and made specifically to grow anthrax. As this Conceptual Design Study indicates–

        Yet some are made to be cell culture systems.

        So if you wanted to design and build a bioreactor capable of growing anthrax and hadling the oxygen uptake need to sporate anthrax you can.

        As for using an air compressor in a trash can. Given the atmosphere is about 20 % oxygen you would need to inject 5 times the amount of air to achieve the DO wanted to induce sporation. You would also likely leave a trail of anthrax infections and anthrax related deaths that would lead to where the trash can fermentor was located.

        Pure oxygen is relatively cheap and easily obtainable.

      • BugMaster said

        “Pure oxygen is relatively cheap and easily obtainable.”

        Yes, but you would have to change a lot of cylinders over the course of a fermentation. Using air would just result in lower yields.

        One could have used an oxygen Dewar, but who has one of those in their garage?

      • Quizi Moto said

        “Yes, but you would have to change a lot of cylinders over the course of a fermentation.”

        Depends on the size of the cylinder. In most cases when purchasing o2 you buy the size you need. So that you won’t need to change cylinders.

        But maybe your right they couldn’t have used a bioreactor because the recipe was missing.

      • Quizi Moto said

        The only person who truly knew how to use a bioreactor to grow anthrax in 2001 wasn’t sharing the information for good reason.

        But since it was a woman and not a man we know that she could not have done it because she would not have fit the profile developed by the FBI which clearly states that it was a man and not a woman.

        The only person who truly knew how to use a bioreactor to grow anthrax in 2001 wasn’t sharing the information for good reason.

        But since it was a woman and not a man we know that she could not have done it because she would not have fit the profile developed by the FBI which clearly states that it was a man and not a woman. I am sure that Ed can verify that the FBI is almost always right.

        Of course there are a few coincidences that do point to her as being responsible like.

        Her roommates hand writing matches the writing on the envelopes and notes sent with the anthrax.

        Currently they maintain residences 17 miles from the mailbox in Princeton NJ and about 15 miles from the area where the St. Petersburg letters were mailed from.

        The first set of anthrax tainted letters was mailed on the 3rd anniversary of a civil action she had filed claiming rights to royalties on the system and methodologies used to product the vaccine. Using a bioreactor. See Arbitration decision$f=templates$3.0

        Her roommates New York City office is within walking distance to all of the targets of the anthrax letters and the threat letters mailed from St. Petersburg to New York.

        I could go on and on about their connection to Ottlie Lundgren and Kathy Nguyen and their connection to the building in Boca Raton but we know that it was a man that mailed the anthrax so why waste time.

        So now we know that the anthrax wasn’t produced in a bioreactor. Right?

  19. Zicon said

    Again… Question should have read.. “Who was “assumed” to have mailed the anthrax letters.” Case in point the question that was asked in it’s text just fuels guilt to someone that guilt has not nor can ever be proven EVER… Due to the obvious…
    Secondly another question should have read
    “If indeed the anthracis bacillus was grown and prepared in a US Lab or an Overseas Lab” Who would be responsible for the bio-security and supposedly strict chain of command “laws” that allowed the deadly liquid out of it’s
    bsl-3 or bsl-4 lab security area? GBDW…

  20. richard rowley said

    From the blog entry:

    “He mailed the anthrax-laden letters in Fall 2001. Who is _______?”

    Who is the very one you would least expect, Alex?

  21. BugMaster said

    silicon carbide particles?

    air compressor with nikasil bore?

    Note that a normal fermentation facility uses filtered air. This is not what you get when you drop an air hose from a air compressor into a garbage can!

  22. BugMaster said

    Wasn’t me!

    I wouldn’t have used Percoll (and had no access to Ames and no motive).

  23. DXer said

    Auditors Call for U.S. Biodefense Coordinator
    Friday, March 4, 2011

    The White House should weigh establishing a mechanism for coordinating the nation’s widely dispersed biological defense initiatives, the U.S. Government Accountability Office asserted in a report released on Tuesday (see GSN, July 2, 2010).

    (Mar. 4) – Material in the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile of biological countermeasures. Federal-level biological defense initiatives could benefit from the potential establishment of an overarching coordinating authority, congressional investigators said in a report published this week (U.S. Argonne National Laboratory photo).

    While a number of federal entities and more than 20 political appointees assume some role in countering the potential deliberate or natural spread of hazardous biological agents, “there is no individual or entity with responsibility, authority, and accountability for overseeing the entire biodefense enterprise,” the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy quoted the assessment as saying.

    Different sets of government organizations help the nation meet goals in each of four primary biological defense objectives, identified by congressional investigators as “threat awareness,” “prevention and protection,” “surveillance and detection” and “response and recovery.” Auditors noted they had previously described a lack of coordination in U.S. biological agent detection efforts.

    A central planning entity and overarching plan would help streamline federal biological defense efforts and ensure they meet goals, says the report, which recommends the White House Homeland Security Council examine the possibility of establishing such a coordinating mechanism.

    The Government Accountability Office offered the assessment in a 345-page report issued in compliance with a 2010 law requiring yearly reports by the agency on redundancies within the federal government. The requirement was intended to aid in federal cost-cutting efforts (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy release, March 3).

  24. DXer said

    In real life, the category in which the Congressman excelled, ironically, wasn’t “microencapsulation” — it was “laundry detergent.”

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