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

* the GAO should obtain the Building 1425 autoclave log to see if the records show the autoclaving of the 12 dead rabbits that Dr. Ivins reported resulted from the October 2, 2001 subcutaneous challenge (as well as other dead animals)

Posted by DXer on March 29, 2011

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11 Responses to “* the GAO should obtain the Building 1425 autoclave log to see if the records show the autoclaving of the 12 dead rabbits that Dr. Ivins reported resulted from the October 2, 2001 subcutaneous challenge (as well as other dead animals)”

  1. DXer said

    Dead mice and dead rabbits need to be autoclaved. They can be autoclaved at the end of the day or bagged and frozen and then autoclaved. I haven’t yet obtained and read the SOP for disposition of mice and rabbit carcasses.

    • DXer said

      Although a bit dated, this periodical makes the point about autoclaving of animal remains.

      http://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/assets/docs/sse/BDRP-NetText.pdf

      Maintenance and health care of laboratory animals is the responsibility of the Animal Resources Division, which has a trained staff of 35 to 40 persons. This division is headed by a veterinarian who is board certified in laboratory animal medicine, and has five to six other graduate veterinarians and 12 to 15 veterinary technicians at any one time. A veterinarian from the Animal Resources Division is assigned to each research division to assist in the preparation of animal use protocols for each project. All animals are held, and used in research, in strict accordance with the requirements of the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” (NIH Pub 85-23) and the Animal Welfare Act (7 USC 2131-2156 and 9 CFR 1-4), and other applicable federal, state and Army regulations (AR 70-18). The USAMRIID animal care facilities have been accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care since 1971, and have received six on-site visits by an accreditation team, the most recent in 1986. The remains of test animals are autoclaved prior to being incinerated, as are infectious animal wastes and bedding.

  2. DXer said

    Although the model, of course, may have changed over the course of 7 years, the model in July 2008, I believe included small and large Castle, Model 4533 units.

    The affected sterilizers are the small & large Castle, Model 4533 units in suites thru ,
    thru , and thru in building Sterilizers will not be available for use until services are
    complete.
    3. Users, prepare the sterilizers as follows:
    a. Ensure recorder has paper and ink to document the last run.
    b. Complete all processing and removal of loads by 1100 hours on the day the shut down is
    scheduled to begin. Note: The sterilizer service technicians are not permitted to remove materials from
    sterilizers.
    c. CRITICAL – Ensure that the containment end (hot side) door is sealed.
    d. Open or leave the non-containment end (cold side) door open if a 90 minute dry-goods or
    instruments cycle has been run.
    4. The sterilizers are used to decontaminate the central vac/receiver system. Your cooperation is
    necessary for the safety of our workers.

    • DXer said

      Just to illustrate the numbers of animals that they sometimes were dealing with — and why obtaining the necropsy records may be important — consider this representative email from the period.

      >From:
      >Sent: Monday, August 27, 2001 5:49 PM
      >To:
      >Subject: RE: Anthrax Rabbit bleeds
      >
      >Nooooooo, just 320. You must not have gotten the updated protocol.
      >
      >Ha,
      >
      >No, there are only 70 total rabbits for this part of the study (There is an addendum for an additional
      10).
      >
      >>>
      >———-
      >From:
      >Sent: Monday, August 27, 2001 11:25 AM
      >To:
      >Subject: RE: Anthrax Rabbit bleeds
      >
      >You won’t have all 120 rbs in at one time will you?

  3. DXer said

    USAMRIID advises me that an autoclave “ticker tape” data is generated that shows the time and date, the pressure, and the length of time the autoclave was in use.

    • Old Atlantic said

      So these can be FOIAed for August through October inclusive of 2001?

      • Old Atlantic said

        Also Bldg 1412?

      • DXer said

        The USMRC FOIA person has been very patient with me as I formulated the particular request and I eventually phrased it to refer to Building 1425 from September 1 – October 9, 2001. It’s not that she was raising the issue of burden — she was just asking me to phrase the request the same way twice so that she knew what request to pass on. And that’s what I settled on.

        … I’m on a wabbit hunt… hehehehe…

        • Old Atlantic said

          August is also a key month. It is the month before the mailings and has a spike in hours. But thanks for your work.

        • Old Atlantic said

          Actually, this is a fantastic piece of work. Great job.

  4. Anonymous said

    http://www.trentonian.com/articles/2011/03/29/opinion/doc4d91dc6bab20e224651702.txt?viewmode=fullstory

    Anthrax killer might still be on the loose, says U.S. Rep. Rush Holt
    Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
    By JEFF EDELSTEIN

    The anthrax killer might still be out there.

    Nope, this isn’t some far-flung conspiracy theory, no sci-fi story, not a collection of kooks sitting around a beat-up card table saying that the late Bruce Ivins was not, in fact, the anthrax killer, as the FBI claims.

    “Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t want to be the lawyer taking this to court,” said U.S. Rep. Rush Holt. “Every agency would like to say the case is closed, but I’d feel a lot better if it rested on physical evidence.”

    Holt’s comments come on the heels of a double dose of doubt: First up, a nine-member panel, made up mostly of psychiatrists, issued a report stating Ivins was psychologically disposed to carry out the attacks, though objections were raised over whether or not he actually did it. Days later, a Wired Magazine article was released that casts serious doubts on whether the cross-dressing, sorority-obsessed senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland was actually the same lunatic who put anthrax through the mail, killing five, infecting 17 and throwing the entire nation further off-kilter in wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    “Did Ivins do it? I’m not saying that he didn’t,” said Holt. “But the case is not as solid as the public deserves.”

    In addition to openly wondering if the FBI should have closed the case, Holt also believes a full, national commission should be hatched to investigate not only the “whodunit,” but also to look at the entire case in an effort to better understand how to deal with a bio-terror attack and how to investigate a bio-terror attack.

    “No one has looked at his from start to finish to see how we responded, how we should have responded,” said Holt. “No one has looked at it to see how we should respond for next time.”

    Holt would like to see a 9/11 Commission-type investigation, noting that many recommendations were made in that report and that “most of them” have gone through.

    In the meantime, questions about whether or not Ivins — who committed suicide in 2008 as the FBI was closing in — was the culprit abound. Questions about whether he had the time to drive 200 miles to deposit his anthrax letters in a mailbox at Princeton University, questions about whether or not Ivins had the know-how to dry the anthrax spores, questions about why no traces of anthrax were ever found on Ivins person.

    The circumstantial evidence is there; most will agree. But hard evidence? Virtually non-existent.

    Makes me wonder. Makes me nervous.

    Remember the attack? Remember the feeling of being scared of your mail? Remember the feeling of seeing death in the remnants of a powdered donut? It wasn’t fun. And now, some 10 years later, we’re probably no better equipped to deal with it and no better informed when it comes to who did it, and why, and how, and when.

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