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

Archive for March 30th, 2011

* the GAO review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation has begun … a report is expected to be issued by September 30, 2011 … *** UPDATE: a series of fascinating comments to this post suggest many pertinent questions that GAO might want to consider

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 30, 2011

UPDATE:

a series of comments to this post

by several CASE CLOSED blog participants

suggest pertinent questions for GAO to consider

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FBI INVESTIGATION OF 2001 ANTHRAX ATTACKS … Expected issuance–9/30/2011
Background / Key Questions:
In February 2010, the FBI closed its eight-year investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks and released a report concluding that the attacks were carried out by Bruce Ivins, an Army biodefense scientist. The FBI’s conclusion rested on new laboratory techniques that matched genetic mutations in the anthrax that was mailed with identical mutations in a batch of anthrax created and maintained by Dr. Ivins, and other circumstantial evidence. Questions, however, have been raised about the FBI’s scientific evidence. The FBI has funded the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate its scientific methods. We will perform independent gap analyses of the scientific and technical methods used by the FBI to identify the source of anthrax in the anthrax letters.
Scope and Methodology:
We will review documentation related to the case released by the FBI. We will meet with scientists who assisted the FBI in its investigation. We will also meet with the staff of the NAS panel evaluating the FBI’s scientific work to determine the scope of their work. We will convene a panel of experts to review our findings.

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About GAO … The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

Our Work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is mandated by public laws or committee reports. We also undertake research under the authority of the Comptroller General. We support congressional oversight by

  • auditing agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively;
  • investigating allegations of illegal and improper activities;
  • reporting on how well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives;
  • performing policy analyses and outlining options for congressional consideration;
  • and issuing legal decisions and opinions, such as bid protest rulings and reports on agency rules.

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click comments below for a fascinating discussion

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