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

* 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 DXer on March 30, 2011


a series of comments to this post

by several CASE CLOSED blog participants

suggest pertinent questions for GAO to consider



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.


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.


click comments below for a fascinating discussion


76 Responses to “* 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”

  1. DXer said

    The date of the expected report was September 30, 2011.

    The GAO explained that “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.”

    “We will convene a panel of experts to review our findings.”

  2. Anonymous said

    “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.”

    “We will convene a panel of experts to review our findings.”

    Will we get to learn the names of the panel of experts used to review the findings?

  3. Anonymous said

    Only 29 days to go for the GAO report:


    Expected issuance–9/30/2011

    Will it delayed (like every other report has been to date)?

  4. DXer said

    Mark Smith reported to the Washington Times that he was consulted on the notes accompanying the mailed anthrax. As reported to the Washington Times in 2002, he said that based on the handwriting the perpetrator would be a middle-aged male, bi-polar, have a sexual dysfunction, and have a martyr complex.

    By way of background, in his book AURAS (available online), Mark Smith reports that he had his first-out-of-body experience at birth. Born 6 weeks premature, he was flown by a seaplane to a properly functioning incubator. It was then, the FBI’s handwriting expert reports, that he had his first out-of-body experience. As he would tell his parents, who were devoutly religious, he often would see his guardian angels, often as many as 7. After a stint as a Jesuit candidate, he became a musician. He was lecturing on campuses on handwriting analysis, doing media appearances, and teaching people how to see auras. After he realized he could see people’s auras, he began reading esoteric, out-of-print books on the meaning of colors and what they revealed about your personality.

    Then that fateful day came when law enforcement asked him, he reports, to consult on Amerithrax and analyze the handwriting.

    He advised that it would be a middle-age male, who was bi-polar and have a sexual dysfunction, and have a martyr complex. Finally a break in the case!

    Dr. Ivins knew of the “expert” opinion. The investigators knew of the “expert” opinion. The Washington Times 2002 article about the opinion was in Dr. Ivins files at the time of the November 2007 search before his July 2008 suicide. In 2007, the prosecutors bore down on the issue of sexual dysfunction and tested his DNA to test the semen on the panties. See submission to lab among the NAS materials for the stated reason for swabbing for DNA.

    The task of the GAO is to make sure that our law enforcement agencies are relying on sound science.

    Alternatively, of course, we are left to interpreting the color of the investigators’ auras.

    • DXer said

      The Pursuit of Steven Hatfill

      By Marilyn W. Thompson
      Sunday, September 14, 2003; Page W06

      To run the anthrax case day to day, Harp turned to veteran agent Bob Roth, whose straightforward, meticulous style mirrored his own. Roth sometimes referred to himself as a cops-and-robbers kind of guy, best suited to pursuing the mobsters, embezzlers and kidnappers who had always been the FBI’s bread and butter.

      But this case posed an entirely new set of challenges, and Roth was willing to try almost anything to solve it. At one point, he held a meeting with Mark Smith, a veteran Maryland handwriting analyst, and two associates, who proposed setting up a computer sting operation in an effort to identify the killer. Smith would try to lure the perpetrator to two Web sites, and, by making provocative comments about the killer’s handwriting and publicizing the sites in interviews and on TV’s “America’s Most Wanted.”

      Roth encouraged the men to try the plan. If it worked, they might be eligible for the FBI reward for information leading to a conviction — a sum that began at $1 million and eventually ballooned to the current $2.5 million. The sting operation lasted a few months and attracted at least two people on the bureau’s watch list, but it apparently produced no breakthroughs.

      Smith says the FBI’s frustrations with the case were palpable. At one meeting at the Washington field office, agents talked candidly about the toll the long hours were exacting on their families. Roth vented, too, groaning to no one in particular, “Get me out of this!”

      Comment: Question for Mark Smith: What color aura did veteran agent Bob Roth have?

      Who were Mark Smith’s two associates? (This is discoverable under FOIA.) Did anyone consider palm reading? What about astrology? Dr. Ivins has an email about astrological signs and sexual interests — but he was forwarding it because it was funny.

      • DXer said

        Mark Smith, according to the Washington Post, when he was not lecturing about interpreting personalities based on a person’s aura, helped set up websites “ and” and “making provocative comments about the killer’s handwriting and publicizing the sites in interviews and on TV’s “America’s Most Wanted.””

        How did this FBI’s strategy of provoking a suspect by talking about sexual dysfunction, being bi-polar, and having a martyr complex work?

        Did it allow the agents to close the case?

        • DXer said

          To provoke the perpetrator, Mark Smith and his two colleagues (according to the Washington Post article above) published this profile.

          Did the strategy of provoking someone who fit this description to commit suicide permit them to close the case? The Washington Post reports tat provoking a reaction was the reason for posting and publicizing it. (Did they mean to provoke an angry letter to the editor, is that it?)

          Was the new approach followed from 2005-2008 really any different than this old approach? (Hadn’t they just run a Hatfill Theory into a dead end with the District Court opining there was not a “scintilla of evidence” to support it?)

          Now the investigators admit that they don’t know the what, where or why of the anthrax investigation.

          Truth be told, didn’t they avoid having to prove the “who” by the successful implementation of Mark Smith/Bob Roth original strategy?

          Wouldn’t an equally sound strategy have been to have Mark read the aura of various suspects?

          The NEW Anthrax Killer Profile

          The Anthrax Killer …

          is a male

          is NOT Arab

          is a loner

          is Technically Educated … had to receive technical training by SOMEBODY (not necessarily college educated).

          is probably former or current U.S. Military or other Government security related organization.

          has physiological problems ( probably bi-polar )

          is sexually dysfunctional in some manner possibly a-sexual or possibly involved in co-dependent relationship. (feed off each others negativity)

          feeding on a sense of power from this attack.

          is elated over his exhibition.

          possibly has martyr complex

          wants the world to conform to his misplaced sense of justice.

          exhibits paranoia

          has a level of comfort around the Trenton NJ area due to present or prior association.

          likely has a scientific background/work history which may include a specific familiarity with Anthrax.

          If you don’t think that you know anyone who exhibits these traits you can still help to catch the Anthrax Killer by printing out this profile and posting it in a public location.

        • DXer said

          Isn ‘t CaseClosed a far more effective sting operation?

        • DXer said

          The FBI/ Mark Smith website continued:

          ” Click Here for a 1-page printable profile flyer

          Location Suggestions: Public bulletin boards, bus stops, library bulleting boards, grocery shopping bulletin boards, your bulletin board at work, etc. “

        • DXer said

          Mark Smith came to explain that it was done at the request of Vince Cannistraro, former CIA Director of Counterterrorism. Was Vince one of the two associates working with Mark Smith in trying to provoke a reaction by the bi-polar, sexually dysfunctional, paranoid guy?

          “New Anthrax Terrorist Profile Released

          On 9/11 foreign terrorists struck the United States of America. Over the next several weeks, we were struck again, this time by a domestic terrorist who is still at large, and may strike again.

          You can help to take this threat of terrorism out of our daily lives.

          This killer has waged psychological and biological terrorism on us using our own postal service, with just a few letters. Now lets use psychological profiling and analysis to take the war to him.

          This NEW detailed profile is based on the handwriting analysis of the anthrax killer, done by Mr. Mark Smith, at the request of Vince Cannistraro, former CIA Director of Counter Terrorism, and verified as accurate by Law Enforcement Officials currently working on the case. “

  5. Zicon said

    I do have one very pertinent question. That I would like to see answered…

    (Hypothetically/Statistical info/questions of course)

    1..) How many times has the us government ever been penetrated on the following categories in the ranges specified?
    A.) This applies on any continent/country/state/city/town on the planet earth that the us government occupies…

    In general numbers on any occurrence’s…

    A1.) From 1960 through 1970?______.
    A2.) From 1971 through 1980?______.
    A3.) From 1981 through 1990?______.
    A4.) From 1991 through 2000?______.
    A5.) From 2001 through 2010?______.

    2.) On penetrations how many times was the penetrations of actual biological substances?

    2A.) Same as above, but for information? Such as classified notes, plans, drawings, etc.?

    3. Based on every viable way to get down deep to the bottom of the entire anthrax investigation by the GAO is….

    3A.) Will the GAO uncover enough to prove innocence or guilt without a shadow of doubt from the view point of a Harvard Grad. to your average citizen that would be called for jury duty?

    3B.) Depending on the GAO inquiry.. Based on some of the unanswered questions that no one has showed positive proof on ua-questions, (or who has not nor will not source info based on a stick up someones arse) how many of a lot of unanswered questions since 2000 will get answered anonymously even after the GAO answers everything via set in stone in the I’m guessing a few thousand page report that will be generated from the GAO…

    3C.) How many will still commit perjury to keep secrets that could possibly come back to haunt those careers of ones who are withholding information for other reasons that (DOES NOT) qualify as classified or ATS information?

    I would be willing to bet that these statistics would be known by someone or actual numbers/facts that are very likely to float to the surface… ( just an opinion )

    To me someones status or career or even the length of service means nothing now days.. Everyone is expendable..
    There’s no more pride, sense of honesty, character, common sense, true justice, faith, etc. (In my very smart opinion only) for those in the real high positions anywhere (as in anywhere else too) if you have or even are doing wrong in anyway shape or form.. The truth always comes out… What comes around goes around.. When gallantly walking through the tulips you’re bound to step in S*** at some point… Even the president of any country can be put to death/jailed for wrong doings… NO ONE! is above the true justice of law…

  6. Zicon said

    Some good reading material I found dealing with quantum chemistry and Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores: comparison of quantum dot and organic dye labeling agents.

    Site reference:

    Click to access Schumacher_William_C,Advanced%20Powder%20Techno.20,2009.pdf

  7. Zicon said

    I am only saying this as my opinion only for now, but depending on how much one either knows or can find out, is based on the silicon signatures of the anthrax, has anyone looked into the anti-pole bombs that can contain weaponized anthrax encased in silicon in amounts that one only wants to believe is science-fiction, but (in my opinion I’m not holding my breath.)

    So imagine….. Having a 10KT bomb exploding about 2900′-5200′ above ground/sea level of a higly populized city and contain trillions to the x (th)power-(times) of weaponized anthrax spores of the most ultra purest form (white dust). The ones who are impervious would not know what happened and see a light snow fall and next (which would be too late) the largest WMD/SS aside from 9/11 here in the us.

    Now that is the #1 worst of all (BIO-WMD)….
    One could only imagine one of those exploding over every major city all within an hour of each other…
    You can’t get help fast enough
    Question is… Is this type of WMD aready here? And… How many? (in my opinion) is H-Yes… 2nd. is >6 to date…

  8. DXer said

    The Case Isn’t Closed On The Anthrax Killings

  9. DXer said

    Scott Shane writes about Awlaki today.

    Islamists Are Elated by Revolts, Cleric Says
    Published: March 30, 2011

    Attorney Jonathan Turley discussed Dr. Al-Timimi’s relationship with Anwar Awlaki in a court briefing. Counsel described his client as an “anthrax weapons suspect” and reasoned that understanding his relationship with the fellow Falls Church imam was key to understanding the matter.

    Is this an issue where overburdened investigators and prosecutors can be content with best guesses?

  10. DXer said

    I think this point developed by Old Atlantic, Bugmaster and Anonymous is very important and can concretely be followed up by a reporter’s call (or call by GAO) to Anthony Bassett. Inquiry should be focused to the material evidence; there is no need to expand Einstein’s theory of relativity when an old fashioned phone call would lend clarity to such a central scientific issue.

    Old Atlantic said
    March 30, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Click to access filelink.html

    Page 123 and 124 are calendars. The checks are below the number of the corresponding date. Weekends appear as a single box on the right hand side with both weekend dates in the same box.

    September: 1-11, 14-16, 28-30 are animal night checks at 8 PM for Ivins.

    October 1-5 are animal night checks for Ivins at 8 PM. The times for Ivins in the BSL3 for Sep and oct 2001 are all around these times. On every one of these dates someone else would have done an animal check at 4 AM roughly and 12 PM including weekends. Thus it would be impossible for Ivins to have grown the anthrax or lyophilized it on the dates he was in the BSL3 in Sep, Oct 2001.

    • DXer said

      Here are emails that provide background to the nature of his animal experiments.

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: RE: Comparison of guinea pigs
      Date: Wednesday, August 09, 2000 8:35:21 AM
      If the study as suggested is too large, it could be limited to 48 guinea pigs total in the following
      1) 24 Charles River guinea pigs (12 males and 12 females, 315-385 g, in groups of 8, equal
      numbers of each sex)
      2) 24 BioPort guinea pigs (12 males and 12 females, 315-385 g, in groups of 8, equal numbers of
      each sex)
      3) On day 0, immunize (subcutaneously) 8 animals from each source with AVA, 1:3.
      4) On day 0, immunize (subcutaneously) 8 animals from each source with AVA, 1:9.
      5) On day 0, inject (subcutaneously) 8 animals from each source with saline. (These are the
      6) On day 14, challenge all animals intradermally with 1000 spores of Vollum 1B. Note deaths and
      times to death.
      – This is a little less labor-intensive and requires much fewer animals than the originally proposed study.
      If there is a difference in animals with respect to source, this experiment should provide us with a very
      good indication.
      – Bruce

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Subject: RE: rabbit study
      Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2001 7:29:59 AM
      How about vaccinating the 300 microgram group and the 800 microgram group about 2 weeks
      (respectively) after the others. The reason is that we may get 100% survival at the 100 microgram
      level, and we wouldn’t need to challenge the 300 and 800 microgram groups. Or…to save PA and
      rabbits (19+ mg of PA is A LOT OF PA!!), wait until we’ve challenged 100, 25 and 5 microgram groups,
      and then, if there is not 100% protection with 100 micrograms, do 300 and 800 micrograms.
      Remember…in the monkeys, we got 100% protection with 1 shot of 50 micrograms PA + Alhydrogel.
      That would mean we would have an initial total of 58 rabbits to challenge, and we could do 29
      rabbits on Tuesday and Thursday. At any rate, I think it would be wise to delay the 300 – 800
      microgram part, since it will save rabbits, PA, time, animal holding space, and it won’t significantly delay
      the time.
      – Bruce

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2001 3:18 PM
      Subject: RE: FW: Accelerated Stability Study
      HEY!!! EVERYBODY!!!!! What you are setting us up to do is a GLP study, and we are not equipped to do
      that! We can get supportive data, and that’s it. What we want to do is find out whether or not
      formaldehyde is needed for vaccine stability. I asked for times and temperatures because I didn’t know
      what to use. It’s not as simple as incubating for a certain length of time at a certain temperature, then
      putting the material on a gel. We will have to take the products and inject them into animals, then
      measure ELISA titers, TNA titers and levels of protection against challenge (maybe). Every dose will
      require a lot of animals, and we simply don’t have the personpower to handle it. or
      both…do we need to sit down and talk about this? My phone number is
      – Bruce

  11. DXer said

    There is relevant admissible evidence and that evidence, being withheld by the FBI, shows that there is no basis for the DOJ’s innuendo that the USAMRIID photocopiers were used. There has been a travesty at justice.

  12. DXer said

    Where was the DARPA research conducted related to the dried powder that the FBI anthrax expert made in 2000 out of Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins from Flask 1029 at USAMRIID?

  13. DXer said

    Aren’t the documents identifying the Red Team scientists who advised against pursuing the Silicon Signature subject to FOIA?

  14. DXer said

    NAS: Scientific data could not rule out other sources

  15. DXer said

    NAS weighs in on April 2002 submission of slants by someone from Ivins’ lab

  16. DXer said

    NAS: cannot conclude that FBI’s approach on identification of labs with Ames strain was comprehensive

  17. DXer said

    Meglumine and Diatrizoate were both detected in the USAMRIID RMR 1029 sample — but Meglumine and Diatrizoate were NOT detected in the 2001 letter spore evidence. That, without more, is hugely exculpatory of all anthrax purified by Renocal (such as was used by Dr. Ivins).

  18. DXer said

    The Ames that Dr. Ezzell’s lab used to make the dried powder was from Flask 1029. Was that the only time dried powder was made for the DARPA researchers out of Ames?

    Whose DNA was on the envelope? It was some lab tech who did the initial genetic testing.

  19. DXer said

    What was done to locate the Apple laptop that had been in Dr. Ivins’ lab?

  20. Zicon said

    Wasn’t there a request for a new benchtop Lyophilizer/Centrifuge for the BS-3 Lab from lab personel in 08?

  21. Old Atlantic said

    Click to access filelink.html

    Page 123 and 124 are calendars. The checks are below the number of the corresponding date. Weekends appear as a single box on the right hand side with both weekend dates in the same box.

    September: 1-11, 14-16, 28-30 are animal night checks at 8 PM for Ivins.

    October 1-5 are animal night checks for Ivins at 8 PM. The times for Ivins in the BSL3 for Sep and oct 2001 are all around these times. On every one of these dates someone else would have done an animal check at 4 AM roughly and 12 PM including weekends. Thus it would be impossible for Ivins to have grown the anthrax or lyophilized it on the dates he was in the BSL3 in Sep, Oct 2001.

    • Anonymous said

      Good to bring this up again – the devil is always in the details.

      One first question is – did Dr Ivins make this calendar himself? If he did, then it was a separate calendar from his other duties – and just seems to be concerned with animal checks and the trip to Covance.

      Therefore it is possible that personalized calendars were made for everyone involved – to remind them when to check animals – with their assigned times and dates given.

      For the nights Dr Ivins was NOT scheduled to do animal checks someone elese must have done them. Presumably badge records of that person entering in the evening must be available reflecting how long they took to perform the animal checks. Was it a much shorter time than Dr Ivins? How much shorter?

      • Old Atlantic said

        Excellent points.

      • Old Atlantic said

        Their personnel files might have these calendars. Or the record of the experiment. If the BSL3 is a cost center that bills projects, departments or outside entities, and they bill for this time then these calendars could be in billing records.

        • DXer said

          The FBI finally has produced 30 pages of the 88 pages from Lab Notebook 4010 relating to Dr. Ivins’ Flask 1029. The remaining 58 pages should be produced along with all pages reflecting work done by Dr. Ivins during the August – September 2001 period.

    • Old Atlantic said

      Here is the BSL3 dates and times for Ivins direct from USAMRIID.

      Click to access 20011228_0808077%20Ivins%20Suite%20Access7-1-01%20to12-31-01.pdf

  22. Old Atlantic said

    Once Ivins became their public suspect in 2008, did the DOJ/FBI do any of the following:

    1. Interview any witness at Ft. Detrick?

    2. Find out that animal checks were being done every 8 hours in Sep, Oct on the dates on Ivins calendar (and likely August)?

    3. Did the DOJ/FBI find the names of those doing the 12 noon animal checks and 4 AM animal checks on the dates that Ivins did the 8 PM animal checks?

    3. Did the DOJ/FBI notice from Ivins’ lab check calendar and his times in BSL3 that he was only in the BSL3 at 8 PM the time of his animal check on the calendar?

    4. Did they ask the people who did the lab checks at the other times on those dates if they noticed any production of anthrax spores? Or lyophilizer in use?

    5. How can the DOJ/FBI close a case without doing that?

    6. To this date, have these people ever been interviewed by the DOJ/FBI on whether there was any production of anthrax spores or lyophilization of spores on the dates of the animal checks on Ivins’ calendar?

    7. Has any person been interviewed as a witness from the date of Ivins’ suicide to the present on this or any other topic at Ft. Detrick?

    8. Did the DOJ/FBI construct a timeline for Ivins’ activity in August, Sep and Oct 2001?

    9. For the BSL3 during those months? Room by room a timeline?

    10. For the glassware and labware in the BSL3 that would be used in any production scheme?

    11. Determine how much available glassware and labware was available for use by Ivins during Aug to Oct 2001 for production or processing of spores? How much was in use for other work?

    12. If there are billing receipts for labware and glassware or other items of equipment for projects, departments, etc. by the BSL3 as a cost center? These could help show which of the labware was in use on which dates.

    13. Could the GAO find the names of those who did the animal checks at the other times on the dates in August to October that are on Ivins’ calendar and BSL3 times and determine if any processing was going on at 12 noon on the weekend or weekdays or at 4 AM on those days?

    14. Would this not eliminate the DOJ/FBI theory that Ivins did the growths on those dates?

    15. The DOJ/FBI theory is that there was new growth after the first mailing from Sep 18 2001 to Oct 9 2001? Didn’t someone else do an animal check at both 4 AM and 12 noon on every day that Ivins was in the lab during those dates?
    This excludes any person from having done growth in the BSL3 lab from Sep 18, 2001 to Oct 9 2001?

    16. The DOJ/FBI failed to do this type of investigative work from the time Ivins became a suspect to the present? In fact, never did it? Or was it done by the first investigative team perhaps informally? Are there any pages of notes in the DOJ or FBI files on this from 2001 to the present?

    • Old Atlantic said

      Bugmaster, I believe, provided the key information about these 8 hour checks. Did the DOJ/FBI learn of them? Why did they fail to?

      Why didn’t the DOJ/FBI ask Ivins about the animal checks? They had his animal check calendar, so why didn’t they ask Ivins about it during their interviews of him?

      Why didn’t they ask what was done with the dead bodies during the animal checks?

      What about their top science guy? Isn’t it his job to find out about these things? Or does he just read whatever text he is given?

      Did the DOJ/FBI get the assistance of microbiologists and others at Ft. Detrick to review their case once they determined Ivins did it? Why not?

      Any other microbiologists who work in a BSL3 doing animal trials of vaccines anywhere? Why not? Are there not procedure issues that would be useful to an investigation like the 8 hour animal checks that would be useful to determining if anthrax spores could be processed secretly in a lab doing animal vaccine experiments at the same time?

      • Old Atlantic said

        Bugmaster was also the one who noticed the BSL3 times for Ivins and animal check times on the calendar were the same.

        This is why the FBI should have microbiologists at Ft. Detrick and places doing similar work review their case.

      • Anonymous said

        “Bugmaster, I believe, provided the key information about these 8 hour checks. Did the DOJ/FBI learn of them? Why did they fail to?”

        Ivins himself talks about the checking every 8 hours protocols in emails released by USAMRIID. I can’t locate the exact email at the moment.

        But it’s also clear that a “night check” also is accompanied by day checks. Likely the 2 day checks would be during normal working hours and the night check would be the one done alone.

        The obvious questions to ask are:

        (1) What were the total number of persons involved in the animal checks and who were they?

        (2) How long, on average, did it take to perfrom the checks?

        (3) Who perfromed the night checks on the days outside Ivins’ calendar – and how long did it take?

        • Anonymous said

          Here’s the email stating animals are checked 3X daily:

          “Check guinea pigs 3X daily for deaths and note differences in survival as well as time to death differences.”

          Click to access DrBruceIvinsEmail_Two.pdf

          (page 9)

          1. What should be done.
          a) Passive studies in mice – I would prefer that these studies be contracted out. We can provide
          the challenge spores and antiserum.
          1) Mice = CBA/J females, 10 per group, about 20 g. Inject intraperitoneally on days -1, 0, 1,
          2 and 3 with one of the following: rabbit anti-rPA antiserum; rabbit anti-AVA antiserum; human anti-
          AVA IgG; Normal rabbit serum; normal human IgG. On day 0, challenge subcutaneously with 10LD50s
          of V1B spores. Check mice 3X daily for deaths and note differences in survival as well as time to death
          differences. If protection is seen, repeat experiment with 10 LD50s of Ames spores. If no protection is
          seen, drop the challenge dose down to 3-5 LD50s of Vollum 1B spores. Enough animals should be
          ordered to repeat experiments. Total number of animals = 400
          b) Passive studies in guinea pigs. We can do these studies in the guinea pig animal room in B3.
          1) Guinea pigs = Hartley strain, 8 males and 8 females per group, about 350 g at the time
          of the experiment. Inject intraperitoneally on days -1, 0, 1, 2 and 3 with one of the following: rabbit
          anti-rPA antiserum; rabbit anti-AVA antiserum; human anti-AVA IgG; Normal rabbit serum; normal
          human IgG. On day 0, challenge intramuscularly with 50 LD50s (5000) of Ames spores. Check guinea
          pigs 3X daily for deaths and note differences in survival as well as time to death differences. If
          protection is seen, repeat experiment with 100 LD50s of Ames spores. If no protection is seen, drop the
          challenge dose down to 10 LD50s of Vollum 1B spores. Enough animals should be ordered to repeat
          experiments. Total number of animals = 500

        • DXer said

          “Check guinea pigs 3X daily for deaths and note differences in survival as well as time to death differences.”

          Click to access DrBruceIvinsEmail_Two.pdf

          I believe Anthony Bassett worked with animals. I believe he was Dr. Ivins assistant.

        • DXer said

          Whose initials appear in connection with the April 2002 FBIR Submission by Ivins’ Lab?

        • DXer said

          If you look at “original slant 1982” and the lower “original slant Ames spores -1981” it appears that they were written by the same person. What two of the four labels does the DOJ imagine that Dr. Ivins submitted?

        • DXer said

          12 of 24 rabbits died over the course of 3 days after an October 2, 2001 subcutaneous challenge

        • DXer said

          Where is the missing anthrax made by Dr. Ivins’ lab assistants?

        • DXer said

          The FBI should provide GAO with a copy of the report of its handwriting expert in connection with the FBIR submissions

        • Old Atlantic said

          “Check mice 3X daily for deaths and note differences in survival as well as time to death

          Page 9 of pdf linked to by Anonymous Jan 24, 2000 email.

        • Old Atlantic said

          The quote I gave is in the quote by Anonymous, this is just to make it stand out more.

  23. Old Atlantic said

    Ivins was in the suite after 8 PM with scheduled work to check on animals. He had to shower to leave the suite. People, especially older ones move slower at night and take longer to do things.

    People avoided the BSL3 during the regular work week we are told. So work likely accumulated in it. This was likely especially true with major trials under way and another to start at the start of October.

    Ivins’ time could easily have been absorbed by all this. A well known advocate for the FBI stops working each day around 5 to 6 PM just as most people do because he gets tired. Ivins was working full days and then many nights for apparently weeks at a time in the September and October time period.

    It would be very difficult to do the type of work they are talking about and conceal it perfectly while tired every night. The DOJ/FBI assume Ivins could work like a maniac with perfect efficiency, always making the right choice with very limited time and equipment concealing it all perfectly. This doesn’t add up.

  24. DXer said

    Here is a published report on the study that Dr. Ivins was doing during the October 2 – October 5 during the period that the FBI speculates he was powderizing anthrax.

    By way of background, a key window for time spent in the lab that the FBI claims was unexplained is October 3, 4, and 5. As explained in an October 5, 2001 email, after the subcutaneous challenge on October 2, 12 rabbits died.

    The subcutaneous challenge is explained in a 2007 article.

    “None of the control rabbits survived the challenge (0%; 0/4). The s.c. route of challenge was evaluated because it provided greater control of the number of spores that were in the challenge. Neither the difference in survival rates (p = 0.1486),

    Patricia Fellows, Technician 1 in the recent report (or Former Colleague #2 in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary) apparently has characterized Dr. Ivins’ time in the lab on September 28, September 29, September 30, October 1 and October 2 as not warranted by what he was doing. See redacted 302. (They were short periods of time on those nights)

    I believe based on an email he wrote what he was doing was testing the potency (the lethal dosage) of what was going to be injected on October 2. The contemporaneous notes would indicate that some of the mice had died and needed autoclaving.

    The FBI needs to produce the contemporaneous notes he made on September 28, September 29, September 30, October 1 and October 2.

    It is unclear why the FBI has not produced those notes. I don’t know of any reporter or anyone following the matter who has pressed for them under FOIA. Yet the notes he made on the nights they say he made the powderized anthrax are very important.

    Then turning to October 3, 4 and 5, all indications are that he was autoclaving the dead animals. According to a 302 and scientists I’ve contacted, it would take about 1 1/2 – 2 hours to autoclave a dead animal. If Dr. Ivins was there on those nights, and he reported the results by email on October 5, then one would want to consider whether there are contemporaneous observations in addition to the October 5, 2001 email.

    Dr. Andrews says it would be a snug fit but that in fact all the rabbits would fit in Building 1425 and that the autoclave was in the hallway.

    I wrote Sarah Norris (SLW Norris) today who analyzed the statistics to see if she knew of records that would further confirm Dr. Ivins emails (see, e.g., October 5) but did not hear back.

    The key confirmation needed is that the subcutaneous challenge was done in Building 1425 and that Dr. Ivins did the animal care and observation on the next three successive nights.

    Anthony Bassett, who helped Dr. Ivins with animal experiments, would also be a key person to contact.

    • DXer said

      Here is the October 5, 2001 email reporting on the 12 rabbits. Note that the data is the same as reflected in the 2007 article. None of the 4 rabbits in the control group survived.

      • DXer said

        Batch #35 and #36 are ballpark for Dr. Ivins’ emails in early October 2001. They are located here in USAMRIID’s FOIA reading room.

        • DXer said

          From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
          Subject: “Old” formaldehyde experiments
          Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 9:47:56 AM

          Here is the information you requested on the Covance study:

          Five years ago we made rPA vaccine/Alhydrogel with and without formaldehyde added. We tested
          the vaccines after various periods of time of storage and noted (in guinea pigs) that the presence of
          formaldehyde appeared to boost potency of the vaccine. It was unknown whether the boost in potency
          was due to stabilization of the protein, or to an adjuvant effect. (Formaldehyde itself causes local
          inflammation which would draw APCs and other cell types to the site.) The vaccine is now 5 years old
          since it was formulated, and we wished to see (in the rabbit model) if there is any difference in potency
          between the 2 vaccines. (The rabbit model is preferred over the guinea pig model in tests of anthrax
          vaccine efficacy.)

          Twenty-four New Zealand white rabbits (12 of each gender) were immunized with 0.5-ml
          intramuscular doses of vaccine containing 50 micrograms rPA, Alhydrogel (0.5 mg aluminum) and PBS
          (with formaldehyde, 0.02%).

          Twenty-four New Zealand white rabbits (12 of each gender) were immunized with 0.5-ml
          intramuscular doses of vaccine containing 50 micrograms rPA, Alhydrogel (0.5 mg aluminum) and PBS
          (without formaldehyde).

          Four rabbits (2 of each gender) will be controls receiving Alhydrogel and PBS.

          Rabbits will be bled at weeks 2 and 4 for anti-PA antibody titers. They will be challenged
          subcutaneously with virulent anthrax spores 6 weeks after immunization and monitored for survival.
          This experiment will demonstrate whether the presence of formaldehyde in an rPA/Alhydrogel
          vaccine increases or preserves potency.

          – Bruce

          Comment: So they were to be bled at 4 weeks at challenged subcutaneously at 6 weeks. So that means they were to be bled 2 weeks before October 2.

        • DXer said

          Here is an August 27, 2001 email discussing rabbit bleeds. The first bleed was scheduled for 10-12 SEP 01. These particular rabbits were being housed in August in Building 1412, cold side. It would require the cooperation of one of these participants to walk the GAO through the timeline.

          Will Patricia Fellows, Former Colleague #2 (Technician #1) be walking GAO through these emails (and the BL3 records) to clarify who did what when — and associate them with the B3 access records? This goes to the very heart of the important scientific evidence relating to how long it would take, what equipment was available etc.

          >Sent: Monday, August 27, 2001 11:25 AM
          >Subject: RE: Anthrax Rabbit bleeds
          >You won’t have all 120 rbs in at one time will you?
          —–Original Message—–
          > From:
          > Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2001 11:43 AM
          > To:
          > Subject: Anthrax Rabbit bleeds
          > The schedule for the rabbits is:
          1st Bleed 10-12 SEP 01
          > 1st inoc 13 SEP 01
          >> 2nd Bleed 8-10 OCT 01
          > 2nd Inoc 11 OCT 01
          3rd Bleed 5-7 NOV 01
          > 3rd inoc / challenge 8 NOV 01
          4th Bleed 3-5 DEC 01
          > 4th inoc / challenge 6 DEC 01
          5th Bleed 4-6 Jan 02
          > 5th inoc / challenge 7-10 JAN 02
          6th Bleed pre-challenge 4-6 FEB 02
          > Challenge 7 Feb 02
          7th Bleed post -challenge 7 MAR
          Can you do the bleeds (about 3ml) and help with the inoculations. I will be around for the 1st
          bleed but may not be around for subsequent bleeds. The bleeds can be done the week before, if that
          makes it easier. Let me know what times will work for you. I have only given rabbits ip inoculations and
          not sc. will be doing the gene gunning on 20 of the rabbits. The rabbits will be
          chipped and cleared from Vet Med on 11 Sep. Do you want a copy of the protocol?
          The rabbits will be on a 28 day inoculation schedule. Once the rabbits seroconvert, then we will
          determine a challenge date. The rabbits will receive a max of 5 inoculations and then will be challenged
          independent of serum titers.
          Best case scenario: The rabbits produce boat loads of antibody after the 2nd inoculation so that
          we can challenge them on 8 NOV. If they do not, then they get boosted.
          The rabbits are being housed in BLD 1412, cold side.
          If there are any questions, please email me. I will let you know if there are any changes.

        • DXer said

          Dr. Ivins’ own characterization was that “We’re quite busy here still with our work both on AVA as well as on a possible new vaccine.”

          From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
          Subject: Florida
          Date: Monday, October 08, 2001 2:02:26 PM

          We’re quite busy here still with our work both on AVA as well as on a possible new vaccine.
          Have a good fall!
          – Bruce

        • DXer said

          Dr. Ivins on October 12, 2001 reports that “we are incredibly busy here.”

          From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
          To: ”
          Subject: RE: MPL Investigations
          Date: Friday, October 12, 2001 7:50:23 AM


          Yes, we are incredibly busy here. Our work with anthrax vaccine development is continuing at a
          rapid pace, as are experiments on other vaccines. At this point, it appears that the very next anthrax
          vaccine (scheduled soon for Phase I human clinical testing) will contain protective antigen and aluminum
          hydroxide, but not any other adjuvants. The reason that this decision was made – not by me – as I
          understand it, was that MPL and other adjuvants were not yet part of any fully FDA approved vaccines,
          although they have certainly been in humans with very promising results. I do want to tell you that we
          will be still working on improving the anthrax vaccine even more after the new vaccine comes out – it’s
          just that there was an incredible push to turn out a new vaccine as quickly as possible. A new plague
          vaccine may contain MPL (or other adjuvant) in an aerosol formulation to stimulate lung mucosal

          We are still very interested in adjuvant formulations for human-use vaccines, especially ones that
          have been into humans. Please keep us informed of these formulations. If you send to me packets of
          information, I will see that they get to the right people. I can think of 4 or five researchers here who
          would be interested in the material. If you would like their names and email addresses, I’d be happy to
          send them to you. If you would like to talk on the phone, my number is
          I hope that you are doing well, and if you ever hear from please send him by best

          – Bruce

        • DXer said

          Dr. Andrews, chief of Bacteriology, has suggested that Dr. Ivins may have been using the computer. He liked surfing the internet — as we all do.

          Here is an email sent at 10 PM on October 4, 2001 on one of the days that the FBI speculates that Dr. Ivins was powderizing anthrax.

          Dr. Ivins expressly confirms that he had been reading the news on the internet — as we all were.

          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. (I believe that V770 was originally isolated from a cow in
          Florida in the early 1950s.) The article said that this person was an “Outdoorsman,” and had drunk
          water from a creek in North Carolina. If he really does have anthrax, could he have gotten it this way,
          or did he get it by tromping around some dusty field area. (Has North Carolina been dry this summer?)
          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? What if an animal had died upstream and the stream was contaminated? (Drinking from a
          stream or creek without boiling or purifying the water first is an invitation to intestinal disease or
          parasites, but have any other human anthrax cases been documented from people drinking
          contaminated water?)

          You called me several times in the recent past with regards to another anthrax
          issue. If there’s anything I can help with here (if you or coworkers are involved) please let me know. I
          don’t know if there’s anything I can do, but I’m certainly willing to provide whatever informational
          assistance I can. (I would have been less surprised if the Florida man had been hunting deer in Texas,
          where there is identifiable anthrax. I don’t recall North Carolina as having ideal soil for preservation of
          anthrax spores or for anthrax cycling of spore-vegetative cell-spore-vegetative cell etc., but I suppose
          there could be areas of higher soil calcium and alkalinity.)
          Anyway, 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,

          – Bruce

        • DXer said

          On 10/4, he wrote the email at 10 PM noting that he had been reading the internet news.

          Earlier in the evening, he had gone into the B3 to check the rabbits. See October 5, 2001 email and B3 record for entry at 6:20 P.M. and exited 6:55 PM

          He then entered again from 7:25 PM – 9:24 PM for the 2 hours it would take to autoclave the dead rabbits he had found.

          30 minutes later he wrote the email noting that he had been surfing the internet news that night.

          Dr. Andrews explains to me that there was one or more computers inside the B3 suite and so it is ambiguous which computer he had used to read the internet news.

          To say his time in the B3 is unexplained is inaccurate. The reason the psychiatrists thought that was the case was that they did not have access to this 2001 email. Did the FBI? (If so, why wasn’t it provided the psychiatrists).

      • DXer said

        Why didn’t US Attorney Taylor in explaining Ivins’ overtime in Fall 2001, including November and December — and more recently the psychiatrists consulting with the FBI — not realize that the 2-person rule that in 2002 precluded such overtime and that Ivins moreover was working overtime with his assistant for OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE?

        • DXer said

          The DOJ overlooked and ignored the 302 interview statement that checking the health of the animals typically would take 2 hours and was a one person job? Does how long it take hinge on whether an animal expired? Is the protocol for autoclaving a dead animal online?

    • DXer said

      The report of the psychiatrists accepted the FBI’s claim that Dr. Ivins submitted the sample.

      For years, Dr. Ivins reported his assistant prepared the samples. Who was his assistant he claimed prepared the samples?

    • Old Atlantic said

      The psych report says that once you go in the BSL3 you have to take a shower to come out. Thus there is an incentive to do routine chores while in it. If you can do little stuff while you are in there anyhow, then you can save yourself going in during regular hours. You don’t want to spend your days taking showers.

      If you are one of the night people, you are going to try to get your day work that has to be done in the BSL3 done while in on your night shift in the BSL3. Then during the regular work week you can avoid going in to the BSL3 and avoid the extra shower. They also say they want to stay out of it. So this is one more reason to do your menial chores during your night shift or weekend shift. Those chores may not be memorable.

      You may not have an accurate memory of doing the dishes or laundry from a few years ago, but they did get done. Things have to be cleaned in this BSL3 and you might do the dishes Saturyday night if you have to be in there anyhow and then not remember it.

      • DXer said

        There were computers in the B3. The hard drives of those computers should be able to reconstruct how they were used during August and September 2001. It is a waste of GAO’s valuable resources to revisit issues like isotope ratios etc and not to consider the science relating to the timeline in August and September 2001 in Building 1425.

      • Old Atlantic said

        Is there a dishwashing machine for test tubes and other glass ware and other ware or are these all washed by hand? Do they have some sort of special dish soap they use for that? Whether machine or by hand? Do they wear gloves if they do it by hand?

        How many test tubes and other materials pile up? If they are doing one big study after another? Then the weekend before Oct 1 to Oct 5 was a good time to clean up for the next study? Or the one just starting? Especially if the assistant forgot to do it or didn’t have time? Or was busy with her date, spouse, children, or whatever.

        • Old Atlantic said

          So basically, the young assistant is busy with her weekend and forgets or doesn’t do the test tube cleaning, and lab cleaning. So the old guy whose kids are grown has to come in the weekend anyhow and cleans up the test tubes, racks, equipment, etc. she was supposed to do. Then she can’t give any reason why he would be in the lab that weekend extra time.

        • DXer said

          One 302 reported that checking animals was a one-person job that would take 2 hours. Who at the lab can advise whether there was a log for the autoclaves in the hall?

        • Old Atlantic said

          Cleaning out animal cages or test tubes can be tedious slow work. It also might not be done thoroughly by a young assistant looking forward to her personal weekend and have to be redone.

    • Old Atlantic said

      The lab has to be prepared for a new set of animals. That means cleaning cages, washing glassware, etc.

      When an animal is found dead, it is then put in the autoclave. Does the same person then immediately clean the cage while the body is in the autoclave?

      Then clean up whatever items were used during their session in the BSL3?

      Is cleaning up after yourself for anything you used part of the job? Especially if you are working with animals?

      Also do you fill out forms or paperwork or on the computer for internal billing to projects, other departments or outside agencies? Do those forms still exist? Does the person who does the work sign the form at the time?

      • Old Atlantic said

        Obviously the weekend before a new set of animals start is a time to try to clean up the old group and get ready for the new one. Sep 28 to Sep 30 and Oct 1 and Oct 2 2001 were that time of between animals? Or they had animals finishing and had to prep for new animals at the end of the week? Or to run concurrently?

      • Old Atlantic said

        If you were supposed to clean up and/or prep for a new group of animals, and you are behind, then you have to put in overtime at night or on the weekends to do it. Even if it is not paid overtime.

        If there are limitations on paying overtime, then you may not be able to assign junior people to do it at night or on the weekend. So a senior person might have to do it without being paid? Or if you have used your budget for overtime for the year already? The projects they had had already might have already used up their overtime budget for 2001? So Ivins had to do a lot of extra prep work on the weekends and nights? Because they didn’t have funds left to pay overtime for the junior people? They don’t remember that because they were not involved in that sort of budget management as junior people?

      • BugMaster said

        Note approx. that half of these animals had been exposed to anthrax, therefore, cleanup would have required total decontamination of all the animal cages, besides discarding and autoclaving the animals, bedding, water bottles, food dishes, etc.

  25. Zicon said

    Without ALL the evidence supplied that is still in FBI possession that has NOT been (open sourced-publicly)released. It does not matter what anyone finds, or how scientific the GAO for this matter wants to get. Unless within those documents there is the underlying without a shadow of a doubt of proof that can answer all the basic questions that need to be answered. This is just going to be another “INCOMPLETE” finding thus (resulting in FAILURE) as the FBI has clearly already demonstrated for not knowing exactly who really is the one(s) behind this attack via bio-warfare.

    Secondly in relation to these statements by the GAO the bottom line of fact how ever you look at it is this..

    auditing agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively;

    Bottom line GAO still does not have “FULL” access of (precisely what) “ALL” funds are cleared for due to how everything the gov. does in subject to how things are classified

    What spawned the GAO now…. to start this at this point in time?

    Are there specifics that said the GAO needs to review at this time in the story line?

    What is this going to prove?
    Are there already PRE-DETERMINED forecast set of hoping to prove Innocent or Guilt of Bruce Ivins?
    What happens if there are separate occurrences of FBI wronging or mistreatment?
    Will there be the same techniques used on any FBI agents that they used on Bruce Ivins and rip one of their own life’s to pieces and humiliate for being different or making mistakes?
    Is this going to open this investigation back up 100%?

    Do we need another smaller government brach that has the authority to go into any government branch via CIA, FBI, DOD, Army, Navy, or anything anyplace that is tied to government affairs of anyway shape or form and have full jurisdiction over anything this new branch sees fit, that answers to only the President, and can do their onw investigation as they see fit, and no matter what classification anyone or place has all documents or questions must be answered… It would the the last line of defense for accountability, to see that everything and everyone is doing their job and there is no wrong doing. As well as a more open government with the people of the us.

    What is the ultimate goal and outcome of the GAO?
    Will the GAO have access to ALL documents and information the NAS and the public was not allowed to see?
    If the GAO isn’t allowed all the unseen legal documents then does that not mean the same thing as with the NAS that they can not come to an accurate conclusion based on only partial facts and evidence?
    All it takes is one insignificant thing to take everything and toss all of everyone elses work in the trash.
    After many years of countless man hours, millions of dollars, and political pressure, and being the FBI and there was the smallest tiny thing that they knew that would prove Ivins to the Innocent, and since they had no other leads and needed to close fast to look good? IN my opinion I would never expect to ever see that one thing that could have proven him innocent, based on all the factors and past experiences and proven assertions by ex agents, video documentaries newspaper, IE, etc.

    Investigating allegations of illegal and improper activities;

    Who hasn’t or who can’t blow smoke and mislead to deter away from going down a road that needs to be guarded.. It happens!

    reporting on how well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives;

    I have not seen how well the government has done since Regan left office for this country.

    As far as policies “All” policies if they DO NOT benefit the government somehow then, it never makes it as a policy/program

    Performing policy analysis and outlining options for congressional consideration;

    Anyone can make their own assessment on policy analysis. Does that make the GAO any different or more special than someone outside the GAO/GOV NO!
    and issuing legal decisions and opinions, such as bid protest rulings and reports on agency rules

    Last but not least this one is the same thing as saying ” I here-by am issuing a legal decision that I will get up get ready and eat some breakfast.. Is that a legal decree/fact.. Damn right it is.. Does it mean anyone else cares, No it does not.. Will it have any effect on others, Not the least.
    The current FBI or now ex FBI that wrote the comment in It was awesome, and you should write more.
    So the same thing still applies here.. Just because it is of legal conclusion/decision does not mean that all this work and potentially wasted tax dollars won’t get tossed out with yesterdays FOX news in the white house trash. I’m not saying it will, but in the end it’s 50/50 based on the agenda of said president/cabinet at the present time.
    (Sourced questions GAO… Sourced answers on some things My own)

  26. Anonymous said

    A few points worth noting on this new paper “Mathematically Modeling Inhalational Anthrax”. The authors (from DTRA and TAS) describe the powder sent as “mechanically prepared” – they then describe the lengths that had to be gone to decontaminate the buildings. It’s really the “elephant in the living room” – these authors must be perfectly aware that the FBI’s theory that Ivins could make that stuff all on his own without leaving behind a trace of evidence is a load of bunk.

    Mathematically Modeling Inhalational Anthrax

    Successive advances in modeling applied to updated data help in estimating risks from inhalational anthrax

    Bradford W. Gutting, Stephen R. Channel, Alan E. Berger, Jeffery M. Gearhart, George A. Andrews, Robert L. Sherwood, and Tonya L. Nichols

    Bradford W. Gutting is a Lead Scientist, Alan E. Berger is a Senior Scientist, and George A. Andrews is a Lead Scientist at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va.; Stephen R. Channel is the Thrust Area Manager for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Threat Agent Science (TAS) Physiological Response Thrust Area, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Jeffery M. Gearhart is a Senior Toxicologist in the Applied Biotechnology Branch, the Human Effectiveness Directorate, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio; Robert L. Sherwood is a Senior Scientist and Director of Applied Life Sciences and Toxicology at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, N.M.; and Tonya Nichols is a Microbiologist for the USEPA, National Homeland Security Research Center, Threat Consequence and Assessment Division, Cincinnati, Ohio.

    The threat of airborne pathogenic bacteria as agents of bioterrorism became reality in 2001. Mechanically prepared Bacillus anthracis spores, sent in envelopes through the U.S. mail system, led to 11 confirmed cases and 5 fatalities from inhalational anthrax and to several buildings becoming contaminated with spores. Major challenges in the wake of the attack included decontaminating those buildings and also addressing the risk to people reoccupying those sites. In particular, what is the risk to individuals from inhaling low numbers of spores, such as from decontaminated sites?

    Experts quickly realized that large uncertainties made it impossible to reliably characterize risks from inhalational anthrax, particularly because no one knew the critical number of inhaled spores needed to induce anthrax disease in humans. Thus, the level of decontamination was chosen such that environmental samples collected from the air and surfaces at such sites do not grow B. anthracis. Today, researchers in several federal agencies are working to better characterize the risk of inhalational anthrax in order to obtain scientifically defensible remediation guidelines.

    There are several challenges to meet. First, naturally acquired inhalational anthrax is rare, with a limited number of cases reported in the United States during the past century. Thus, experts depend on animal studies to characterize this disease and then extrapolate those results to humans, leading to significant uncertainties. Second, because obtaining statistically valid results for the risk from low dose exposures would require use of a prohibitively large number of animals, researchers instead expose animals to high doses and then extrapolate their results to predict lowdose responses, introducing further uncertainties. Third, because of its complexity, investigating this disease demands collaborative efforts that include immunologists, toxicologists, veterinarians, and aerosol scientists as well as microbiologists. Fourth, research that involves purposefully aerosolizing a highly lethal Category A select agent such as B. anthracis requires sizable investments from funding agencies.

  27. Old Atlantic said

    Obviously, GAO should get the emails from the home computer. GAO should get the lab notebook reports for August to October 2001. It should get all available information on animals autoclaved. It should get internal billing information for the autoclave, BSL3 and Ivins time to projects, other departments and outside entities.

    • Zicon said

      Even the most mildly smart human would know that in criminal investigations that there is ALWAYS transfer of everything from a tiny micro-fiber to things that can be seen by the naked eye. I have yet to see any trace evidence anywhere in any reports.

      Was there EVER any proof that there was tampering with the vehicle of changing the recorded mileage every car has..

      Also depending/based on the Make, Model, Year of said car, are there any “special tools required” to do the mileage set-backs?

      Next is the US government oversteps the bounds of laws to do what they want (sometimes), so why not the NAS/GAO to find out the truth?
      Start probing things that you have been told that you can’t read. Just because you see something that someone else does not want to get out, doesn’t make it any less truth or lies.. Oh wait!!! your careers and public status quo means more than discovering the truth by researching any means necessary. You don’t get ahead without taking risk! Especially when you have noble honorable and good intentions behind the research.

      Lets just say if Ivins did all of this (Hypothetically) Why wouldn’t the DOJ own up and grow a set and say even with the most deadly agents someone was able to walk right out with multiple Liters right out the door and off USAMRIID… Talk about the (Laughing stock of the entire world) but even if that did happen, the chances of Obama coming out and saying this will NEVER happen.. The US gov. does not like to be shown up or admit fault/failure as do any other governments.

      Also based on the severity of this I would agree that All information should be given up and really have an (Independent Review) of all documents/evidence along with all the legal suits…

      Now at the same time keep all personal thing private until there is either an indictment or proved not to be the mailer.
      If it can be proven to go to court and tried via a jury of his peers then row your boats..
      If it can be proven that he was clearly not aside from his own personal quirks then the US gov should have to make amends to Ivins/Family and “their” request for compensation of destroying their lives. Like offering $10,000,000.00 in cash,(tax free) trips, college, Super bikes, Golf equipment, and all the other ways of lying to get Intel based on classified knowledge which I know from knowing certain things that take place (Sourced Myself) also not being the only one who knows certain details about the ins/out of things of interest to get down to uncovering the truth and help see justice served even if it means arresting John Doe to Clinton.. (No one is above the law. NO ONE!) not to mention being under periodical sometimes daily surveillance for a very long time. There are many unanswered questions to so many investigations/wars/crimes.. Is there an competent government worker than can do their job correct with the use of common sense?

      Walk the thin line and lean hard to get answers even if getting an answer that requires overstepping certain bounds, but that one key-piece could show Lies or Truth. Innocent or Guilty. The odds of people who would go down this road are the same odds as winning the lottery 1:100,000,000

      (Example with Obamas motives to be in Lybia, is it Uranium or Plutonium? Based on the Arsenals that has been rising with the Lybians over the past decade and their agendas that may or may not have anything to do with the US.
      There are some fights the US needs to stay out of hence the motives behind the mask. So do we really know why the US does some of the things that goes on? Not everyone knows or No on that note.. And what are the true intentions for certain wars?… as past wars have proven different based on the motives for the task at hand. Blind leading the blind.

    • Old Atlantic said

      There may be emails from the morning of Sep 18, 2001 as well as the evening of Sep 17, 2001. This could narrow the window of opportunity to drive to Princeton. An email at 11:30 pm Sep 17 and another at 5 AM Sep 18 would bracket with 5 1/2 hours. This would exclude a drive to Princeton.

      However, even an email at 9 PM Sep 17 and showing up at work 7 AM Sep 18 showered and with clean clothes would also make the trip less likely to have happened.

      • Zicon said

        You make excellent points.. All it would take is one or two emails based on a timeline that can prove there was no way to make the drive and be at work the very next day.. Juuuust maybe someone in the bureau found such things on a hard drive that was erased but still remaining through forensic computer technology of restoration of data characters then put everything back together.

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