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

* More on dried aerosol project: Was it Southern Research Institute that was considered for the contract? Who thought he was above the investigation?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 19, 2011

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9 Responses to “* More on dried aerosol project: Was it Southern Research Institute that was considered for the contract? Who thought he was above the investigation?”

  1. DXer said

    Who thought (according to the perception of this person being interviewed) that he was above the investigation?

  2. DXer said

    Here is an excerpt from an article from the Baltimore Sun last week.,

    State weighs regulations for research labs

    Magda Sexton

    By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun
    November 27, 2013

    State health officials are weighing new safeguards for research laboratories and biotechnology companies that handle potentially deadly infectious pathogens, but whether they will impose any remains uncertain because they don’t know how big a threat there is.

    A state panel’s report exploring what are known as biocontainment labs found that there is no single federal or state government body that inspects or tracks the facilities to ensure they properly protect the public from the dangerous substances, though many labs are regulated by the Centers for Disease Control or agencies that provide research grants. The state Biocontainment Laboratories Oversight Workgroup report was released this month.

    It’s not clear how large that regulatory gap might be. Scientists and health officials don’t know how many facilities work with agents that could cause serious or lethal diseases, or where they are located, despite efforts to survey labs across the state. That could lead state health officials to consider requiring the labs to register their work as they assess any public health risk.

    The investigation seeks to address concerns that the pathogens could spread to the public, either through an accidental infection of lab workers or an intentional release by a lab insider. Such incidents have occurred a handful of times in recent history, according to the report, most notably with the 2001 anthrax attacks on two U.S. Senate offices that were traced to labs at Fort Detrick in Frederick County….

    Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/maryland-health/bs-hs-biocontainment-labs-20131127,0,7358468.story#ixzz2mK8Hx7M5

  3. DXer said

    GAO, with respect to the dried aerosol project, who thought he was above the investigation? Is he answering all questions you have about the DARPA dried aerosol project?

  4. BugMaster said

    David is back in the limelight!

    http://www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/newsRelease.php?id=17740

    From Wikipedia:

    “A circle jerk is a sexual practice in which a group of men or boys form a circle and masturbate themselves or each other. In the metaphorical sense, the term is used to refer to a “boring or time-wasting meeting or other event”.

    • DXer said

      Let’s see. You are crude because you are mad at Mr. Willman. Mr. Willman was able to exclude the person you suspected. But that’s no reason to be crude. Everyone should always be civil. You in fact had not informed yourself as to the viability of your theory. I have had extensive correspondence with the person, Bob Tuttle, who explains he was not even involved with the anthrax vaccine at Battelle until many months later. I think he said in April 2002. See legal documents re patent documentation. He was interviewed in January 2002 by the FBI (see his 302), as was everyone, and so these dates are not something he would get wrong.

      Moreover, having been in New Jersey on the different dates does not come close to having been in the area on a different dates. Bob was in New Jersey on business looking at fermenters in New Jersey on September 9-10, 2001. Big deal.

      He confirms to me that he never went to the Covance office in Princeton, NJ (didn’t even know they had one there). Nor has he ever been at the facility in Denver, PA. His alibi consists of daily time cards at Battelle, as they have to report their time daily to a central computer. Also, there is an electronic card in-out system there as well as many surveillance cameras. His cell phone was supplied by Battelle. His credit cards also provide a solid alibi.

      Moreover, the anthrax was not at the office building where he worked but at the other complex.

      If Mr. Willman went to Finland checking the theory out to interview an ex-wife (rather than just vacation), as you suggest, that just shows that Mr. Willman is attempting to be thorough in doing his job. (Although contacting Bob would have been a little easier and less costly than going to Finland if you say that is what he did.) I myself am really annoyed that Mr. Willman doesn’t address the rabbit documents so that he can get his mind around the fact that he is wrong to credit the FBI’s Ivins theory. But that’s no reason not to be civil. The aim should be to persuade Mr. Willman, not to make him think that the posters are both crude AND uninformed.

      I understand that people don’t bother to inform themselves about a Dr. Ayman’s and KSM’s anthrax planning. But I regularly am startled that they don’t even do a half-baked job of testing their own theories.

      For example, Mr. Rowley’s theory is even more untenable — the person was not even a microbiologist and had no access to anthrax of any type, let alone Ames. Had no motive. No means. Being let go by an employer is not reason to send anthrax to senators and media. No opportunity. He is just a hacker who has his own misconceived theory.

      Let me clear: An Ivins Theory is way stronger than your theory, Bugmaster.

      And Mr. Rowley, respectfully, your theory was always a non-starter. To base a theory on graphology (which is a pseudoscience) — even to base a theory on handwriting analysis absent access to powderized Ames — is specious.

      Of course, the most misconceived theory of all is the guy who is certain a First Grader wrote the anthrax letters!

      But it is time for people to do better research and engage in sounder analysis.

      Most of all, in working through a difficult mystery, it is important to be civil toward those who propose a different solution.

      • richard rowley said

        Partial post by DXer:
        And Mr. Rowley, respectfully, your theory was always a non-starter. To base a theory on graphology (which is a pseudoscience)…
        —————————————————————————————————————————————-
        As I posted SEVERAL TIMES over at the other site, no graphology book I ever looked at had even a single sentence dealing with interpolations of Hebrew-style (or any other foreign writing system) elements, so it (graphology, at a least as usually understood) played no role in what I determined. The sheer number of Hebrew elements is such that I am convinced that anyone with an open mind and a knowledge of Hebrew writing would concur with my conclusions, given enough time to think about it. I stressed only that the writing excludes Ivins, and made no reference to anyone else.

  5. DXer said

    The July 8, 2011 Declaration of David R. Franz explains:

    “4. From 1995 to 1998, I was the Commander of the U.S. Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick. Previously, I served at USAMRIID as Deputy Commander (1992-1995), Chief of the Toxicology Division (1989-1992), and Chief of Cardiorespiratory Toxicology Department (1987-1989). …

    5. In 1998, I served briefly as the Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, during the transition period of one Commanding General to another. I retired from military service on 1 Aug 1998, after 27 years on active duty.

    6. After leaving service I worked for Southern Research Institute from 1998 to 2003…before joining Midwest Research Institute (MRIGlobal).”

    Who thought he was above the investigation?

  6. DXer said

    I emailed Dave Franz about the dry aerosol studies at Ft. Detrick but haven’t heard back.

    He was Commander from 1995-1998 and then became VP of Southern Research Institute. He was very helpful in paving the way for Dr. Ezzell to take that phone call in July 2009 and open up about the DARPA research involving making a dried powder out of Flask 1029. But I may have burned my bridges with DF by turning to others to ask when Southern Research Institute first acquired virulent Ames. Neither Dave nor Tom Voss, its former head, would say — but neither did they deny that SRI had virulent Ames prior to 9/11.

    Given convicted seditionist Ali Al-Timimi shared a suite with Ames researcher, Ken Alibek, with whom Dr. Franz was coordinating (see this article), it is important that these scientists share what they know so that we can find out the who, what, when and where of the anthrax mailings. No one is suggesting that they did anything wrong. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that a salafist-jihadist coordinating with Anwar Awlaqi was allowed to share a suite with the leading Ames researchers. That needs exploration — we need to understand whether Ali had access to dried powder experiments at SRI in Frederick involving Ames.

    We all can understand that these scientists have a keener appreciation for the need for biosecurity after 9/11. Hindsight is 20/20.

    I’ve explained that the Microdroplet Cell Culture method filed in March 2001 by Dr. Alibek and former USAMRIID Commander Bailey is a microencapsulation patent. (See also the microencapsulation research that UAB/SRI was doing for USAMRIID.) Technical Source: head of Air Force Lab Kiel.

    The GMU Center for Biodefense had the multi-million dollar contracts in 2001 with DARPA. SRI had the subcontract for the multi-million DARPA contract. Former Colleague #2 after she left Dr. Ivins’ lab went to head the BL-3 there.

    Former USAMRIID Commander Dave F. gave me the example of the Courant reporter who Dave won’t take a call from after he didn’t like a quote that was included in an early Courant article.

    But everyone — no matter how respected, distinguished and influential (lead Amerithrax scientist Dr. Burans was down the hall from Dave) — needs to know that there are people who are part of the problem, and people who are part of the solution.

    And it is important that everyone put an oar in the water and remain part of the solution.

    The truth over time finds powerful allies — more than money can buy.

    I don’t doubt any one good’s faith — except Ayman Zawahiri of course. In addition to being a master strategist, Dr. Ayman is a sneaky guy and planned to infiltrate US biodefense using the cover of charities and universities. Psst. Hey, guys and gals. It appears he succeeded.

    Amerithrax is the biggest intelligence failure in the history of the United States.

    Failure to know the who, what, when and where of the anthrax mailings in Fall 2001 is not an option.

    These people who have made all this money under the stated purpose of keeping the country safe actually make the country less safe when they play this game of hide-the-ball.

    Bracing for Bioterrorism: The Push to Prepare

    The UAB Magazine, Winter 2002 (Volume 22, Number 1) explained UAB’s expertise in anthrax.

    ***

    As an emergency medicine specialist, Terndrup is acutely attuned to the consequences of disasters of all kinds—from catastrophic illness to traumatic injury. But he became particularly focused on the impact of large-scale disasters in 1999, about a month after he arrived at UAB. His interest was stirred by a call he received from an FBI agent, who asked him if anyone at UAB was working on developing mechanisms for rapidly identifying anthrax spores.

    “I had no idea,” Terndrup says. “But after a few phone calls, I discovered that quite a few scientists at UAB were hard at work in that very area. I was struck by the fact that anthrax was an issue of intense international concern—even two years ago—and that it was the focus of research being conducted by many people at UAB.”
    Terndrup decided to begin pulling together a network of experts on bioterrorism, from UAB and beyond, to study the emerging threat of anthrax and other biological agents. Within six months, he was deep into discussions with representatives of five UAB schools, as well as scientists from the UAB-affiliated Southern Research Institute (SRI) and Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy. By June 2000, the university system’s board of trustees had officially approved establishing the CDP.

    “I had no idea,” Terndrup says. “But after a few phone calls, I discovered that quite a few scientists at UAB were hard at work in that very area. I was struck by the fact that anthrax was an issue of intense international concern—even two years ago—and that it was the focus of research being conducted by many people at UAB.”

    Terndrup decided to begin pulling together a network of experts on bioterrorism, from UAB and beyond, to study the emerging threat of anthrax and other biological agents. Within six months, he was deep into discussions with representatives of five UAB schools, as well as scientists from the UAB-affiliated Southern Research Institute (SRI) and Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy. By June 2000, the university system’s board of trustees had officially approved establishing the CDP.

    “I wanted to surround myself with smart people from a variety of disciplines who could bring to the table clinical perspectives, medical response perspectives, public health perspectives—anyone and everyone who could address the issue of responding to the threat of bioterrorism,” Terndrup says.

    ***
    According to David R. Franz, D.V.M., Ph.D., vice president of SRI’s Chemical and Biological Defense Division and deputy director of the CDP, the most important message for health professionals and the media to communicate to the public is simple: Don’t panic.

    “Right after the terrorist attacks in New York, people began running out and buying gas masks,” he says. “But that’s just not a rational thing to do. How would you even know when to put one on? I myself don’t own a gas mask.

    “We saw a similar kind of panic last fall about anthrax, with people rushing out and pleading with their physicians to give them antibiotics. That’s not reasonable, because only a small number of people have actually been exposed, and the mass use of antibiotics could create additional problems—shortages for those who really need them, for example, and, even more frightening, the emergence of drug-resistant strains.”

    Allaying Alarm

    A former colonel in the United States Army, Franz has studied chemical and biological terrorism for many years. He has served as commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and was chief inspector on three United Nations biological warfare inspection missions to Iraq at the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, among other related assignments.

    ***

    Franz has since conducted numerous seminars specifically geared toward broadcast and print journalists. “Everyone I’ve met has had a sincere desire to learn how to handle these situations better,” he says. “The journalist who understands these issues can make a real contribution, not only to deterrence but also to the response process. And the one who doesn’t can have a very negative impact on our ability to protect the public.”

    Enlisting Experts

    One CDP member who has been quoted frequently by the media is Ken Alibek, M.D., a former Soviet scientist who is known worldwide as a top expert on biological agents. Alibek is also president of Advanced Biosystems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hadron, Inc., which is devoted to research and development of medical defenses against biological weapons.

    As the former first deputy chief of Biopreparat, the civilian arm of the Soviet Union’s biological weapons program, Alibek oversaw the efforts of some 40,000 scientists charged with developing biological weapons of mass destruction. Since defecting to the United States in 1992, he has helped the government in its efforts to eliminate the danger of biological weapons—even addressing Congress on terrorist and intelligence operations in 1998.

    Great strides in dealing with the threat have been made in recent years, according to Alibek. “In the past six or eight years, our preparedness for biological attacks has changed considerably for the better,” he says. “Heightened awareness of the biological threat has led to a number of positive developments—such as the creation of extensive databases on biological weapons, the development of detection equipment, analysis of possible attack scenarios and their consequences, and training for those who would serve as first-responders in case of an attack.”

    Despite these advances, Alibek is convinced that the solution to the preparedness dilemma will be found in medical interventions. “Years of research on the medical aspects of biodefense have resulted in three major responses—treatment prior to exposure using vaccination, prophylactic treatment after exposure but before symptoms arise, and chemotherapy after the onset of the illness,” he says. “In my opinion, post-exposure prophylactic treatments hold the most hope. In the case of anthrax, for instance, we should devote our resources to finding ways to prevent the disease from occurring after exposure, since the main cause of death is the release of toxins into the body.

    “Since the primary goal of developing bio-defense is to save human lives, we must greatly increase our efforts to develop new treatment and urgent prophylaxis techniques,” Alibek says. “Such efforts, as well as the funds spent on research and development, will pay for themselves many times over.”

    Preparing for the Possibilities

    According to Franz, experts such as Alibek are key to the CDP’s agenda of addressing biological threats—and that’s why he has sought to assemble a network of specialists who can collaborate on strategies. “My role in the center is really to bring people together,” he says. “Biodefense is a fairly small community, and after spending 27 years in the military, I know almost everybody in the neighborhood.”

    ***

    Suzanne Michalek, Ph.D., associate director of the unit, says that the unit’s strength—like that of the center as a whole—lies in its ability to bring together scientists from many disciplines who can share ideas and findings about destructive microbes.

    One such scientist is Larry DeLucas, O.D., Ph.D., director of the UAB Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering (CBSE), who is working on methods for detecting and disarming anthrax. One of the most promising avenues he’s pursuing—and an approach that fits perfectly with Ken Alibeck’s strategic vision—is a drug that’s being developed with funding from the U.S. Army. “This is a drug that stops anthrax at a much earlier stage than any of the antibiotics you’re hearing about now,” says DeLucas. “It works on a protein that’s critical for the germination of anthrax spores—which leads to the release of toxins into the body. If you can stop the spores from proceeding to this vegetative state, then you’ll never have to worry about anthrax harming you—whether it’s the inhaled or the cutaneous form.”

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