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

Archive for May, 2011

* June 2001 presentation at USAMRIID-sponsored conference on “Purification of DNA for PCR from Bacillus anthracis Spores in Soil Samples”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 31, 2011

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* The DOJ should disclose under FOIA the 2004 article provided by Dr. Bruce Ivins to the FBI regarding silica and Bacillus spore suspensions

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 31, 2011

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* DXer … the priority now is to turn to the documentary evidence available on the disputed issues

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 30, 2011

see also …

* DXer on David Willman’s “The Mirage Man”

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… we invite Mr. Willman to re-think some of his conclusions

based on dramatic information

which was not available to him when he wrote “The Mirage Man.”

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Excerpts from DXer’s recent comment 

see the entire comment at …

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/dxer-on-david-willmans-the-mirage-man/comment-page-1/#comment-13295

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The priority now  is to turn to the documentary evidence available

on the disputed issues

  • It turns out that Gregory Saathoff, author and initiator of the psychiatrist report, was intimately involved in planning how the FBI interrogated Dr. Ivins throughout the Spring of 2008
    • Dr. Saathoff was definitely a stakeholder and not independent.  He was an active part of the investigation of Dr. Ivins.   He was the FBI’s expert.

I don’t see any evidence that Dr. Ivins was involved

in the anthrax mailings,

although I see lots of fascinating potential leads

in the documentary evidence.

  • All I see is a theory that has strong parallels to a Hatfill Theory accompanied by dramatic withholding of documents and mischaracterization or misunderstanding of the documents.
  • Respectfully, Special Agent Lawrence Alexander and his colleagues should ask that the DOJ FOIA office produce the nonsealed documents in the Stevens litigation.
  • Lawrence Alexander and AUSA Rachel Lieber should have DOJ produce the September 17, 2001 email from Bruce Ivins to Mara Linscott dated September 17, 2001.  Rachel claimed it had been written from Dr. Ivins work computer.  But USAMRC FOIA people emphatically dispute that after careful double-checking.

Let’s produce all of Dr. Ivins lab notebooks from the period

and develop the timeline.

  • I see an awful lot of disclosure about whether Dr. Ivins blindfolded Teddy Bears when he was 6 but so far have overlooked any disclosure that the FBI falsely told Dr. Ivins that Dr. Heine had fingered him.
    • They had told him that they were going to call his vulnerable daughter before the grand jury.
    • They insisted to Amanda that Dr. Ivins was a murderer.
    • Dr. Ivins fiercely loved his daughter and son and was very protective of Amanda given her previous suicide attempt.
  • I see an awful lot of effort to claim that Dr. Ivins made a dried powder on those specific dates — and at the same time AUSA Rachel Lieber  refused my written request to produce the lab notebook pages written on those nights.

Key lab notebook pages are still being withheld

and the GAO needs to probe

who is responsible for any continued withholding.

  •  The FBI took the only copy from USAMRIID and so USAMRIID cannot produce them.
  • The DOJ investigators and prosecutors should back full production under FOIA of Dr. Ivins lab notebooks for the relevant period — 1998 – 2001, as well as production of a copy of the 9/17/2001 email to Mara Linscott.
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so certain ... and so wrong

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* special offer for readers of this blog … CASE CLOSED is now available on Kindle for PC for just $5.00

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 28, 2011

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a fast-paced thriller … driven by a plausible plot …

allows the reader to think through how the FBI investigation

of the anthrax attacks might have proceeded 

  • My novel CASE CLOSED is of course fiction, written in 2008 before this blog started.
  • However, the more I’ve learned since I wrote the book, much of it through contributors to this blog, the more convinced I am that the questions I raised in my story and the scenario I suggested are very much on the trail of the truth.
  • Many readers, including one highly placed member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, have called CASE CLOSED “prescient” and “frightening” because it is very likely to contain elements of whatever did actually happen.

See more Amazon reader comments below

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https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/case-closed-chapter-one/

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Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

* Congressman Jerrold Nadler complains to FBI Director Robert Mueller that questions he first asked in September 2008 regarding silicon content in the anthrax in several of the 2001 attack letters were answered incorrectly … previous posts on this blog assert that the correct information may be very relevant to determining who the real perpetrator(s) of those attacks were

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 27, 2011

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UPDATE 5/27 … Greg Gordon writes …

  • The FBI said the bureau had received the letter and would respond directly to Nadler.

LMW: let’s hope it doesn’t take 7 months to answer this time

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UPDATE 5/27 … Jim White writes on firedoglake …

FBI Ignored, Hid Data Potentially Excluding Bruce Ivins as Anthrax Killer

  • The FBI ignored as potentially erroneous a measurement of silicon in one anthrax sample and then hid this information from Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
  • Even more importantly, the high silicon measurements in at least two samples also were coupled with high tin measurements, opening up the possibility that silicon was added to the attack material in a form that is not mentioned in any of the FBI documents.
  • Significantly, it is virtually impossible that Bruce Ivins, whom the FBI has concluded acted on his own to carry out the attacks, would have been able to perform the necessary chemical manipulations involved in this treatment of the spores.
  • Ivins likely also would not have had access to the necessary laboratory equipment to perform this treatment.

http://my.firedoglake.com/jimwhite/2011/05/20/fbi-ignored-hid-data-potentially-excluding-bruce-ivins-as-anthrax-killer/

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Congressman Nadler & FBI Director Mueller

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 Congressman Jerrold Nadler writes to FBI Director Mueller (5/25/11) …

Nadler specifically asked Mueller why the FBI appears to have provided incorrect information on the case to Nadler and the Judiciary Committee subsequent to a September 16, 2008 oversight hearing on the FBI.

excerpts from Nadler’s letter are shown below …

see the entire letter at … 

http://nadler.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1665&Itemid=132

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see also …

* Greg Gordon (McClatchy): the apparent failure of the FBI to pursue this avenue of investigation raises the ominous possibility that the killer is still on the loose … Stuart Jacobsen: it is “outrageous” that the scientific issues haven’t been addressed.

* RMR-1029 was registered as #7737 in Building 1412 ; what were particulars of #7736? Was it from same seed stock? Did it have a silicon signature?

* Did the anthrax grown in soil reported at the June 2001 anthrax conference by Dr. Ezzell and his colleagues contain a Silicon Signature?

* Silicon Signature – what were samples 040030-2 and 040255-1 that showed Silicon Signature? If one was Flask 1030, what was the other? Dugway?

* the GAO review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation has begun … a report is expected to be issued by September 20, 2011 … *** UPDATE: a series of fascinating comments to this post suggest many pertinent questions that GAO might want to consider

… among many other posts and comments on this blog dealing with the silicon signature

and its often ignored significance in identifying the perpetrator(s) of  the anthrax attacks

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excerpts from Congressman Nadler’s letter

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  • On September 16, 2008 …  I asked you the following:  “[W]hat was the percentage of weight of the silicon in the powders that your experts examined?”

LMW NOTE: it took 7 months for Director Mueller to respond

to what was a very simple factual question !!!

  • On April 17, 2009, (the FBI) responded with the following answer:
    • FBI Laboratory results indicated that the spore powder on the Leahy letter contained 14,470 ppm of silicon (1.4%).
    • The spore powder on the New York Post letter was found to have silicon present in the sample; however, due to the limited amount of material, a reliable quantitative measurement was not possible.
    • Insufficient quantifies of spore powder on both the Daschle and Brokaw letters precluded analysis of those samples.
  • A February 15, 2011 report by the National Academy of Sciences (“NAS report”) … raises three questions about this DOJ/FBI response to me.
    • First, with respect to the anthrax on the letter sent to Senator Leahy, the NAS report shows on pages 66 and 67 (Table 4.4) that the silicon content found by the FBI was 1.4% in one sample and 1.8% in a second sample.

Nadler: Why were both figures not provided to me

in response to my questions?

    • Second, the NAS report shows on pages 66 and 67 (Table 4.4) that the FBI found the silicon content in the New York Post letter anthrax to be 10% when the bulk material was measured by mass and 1-2% when individual spore coats were measured by mass per spore.

Nadler: Why was neither piece of data provided to me

in response to my questions?

    • Third and finally, the NAS report raises questions about the appropriateness of the measurements taken of the anthrax on the letter to the New York Post.
      • (the NAS said) … additional samples should have been analyzed to determine representativeness.  
      • If such data exist, they were not provided to the committee. 
      • Lacking this information, one cannot rule out the intentional addition of a silicon-based substance to the New York Post letter, in a failed attempt to enhance dispersion.  
      • The committee notes that powders with dispersion characteristics similar to the letter material could be produced without the addition of a dispersant.

Nadler: Were additional samples tested to determine the extent

to which the ones examined were representative

of the New York Post letter material? 

If not, why not? 

  • If the FBI did do these additional tests, please provide the resulting data to me and NAS.

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LMW COMMENT …

It seems clear from Congressman Nadler’s letter that FBI Director Mueller has been less than forthcoming to the House Judiciary Committee on crucial issues regarding the investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

The Congress and the American people need to know the truth and also why Director Mueller has avoided fully stating that truth.

The FBI’s publicly presented case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus:

… no evidence, 

…. no witnesses, 

…. an impossible timeline, 

…. science that proves innocence instead of guilt. 

So what really happened? And why doesn’t the FBI offer America a credible story?

As regular readers of this blog well know,

I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY
  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons …THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO

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* UNCLASSIFIED (FORMERLY SECRET) – Technical Review Panel Meeting Summary, 14 Nov, 2001

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 27, 2011

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* PROMED post by Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones, an oft-quoted and much respected anthrax expert and PROMED moderator.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 23, 2011

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PROMED post by Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones … 

  • This [recent McClatchy] report is parallel to the evidence we — Barbara Rosenberg, Stuart Jacobsen, and myself — submitted to the NAS (National Academy of Sciences) committee last summer (2010).
  • A fuller version is in the final stages of preparation for submission to a suitable journal.

The sad part about this is that Sandia provided the FBI

with key evidence on the levels of silicone in letter-content spores

in late October 2001.

  • If the latter had had the wit to follow up on it at that time all this would be history and the true perpetrator(s) suitably dealt with.
  • Also tracking past sales of silane and siloxane chemicals to institutes and agencies handling Bacillus anthracis would have produced a short list for immediate visits and interviews by FBI agents with search warrants, and then the names of who would have had access to the products of their polymerization research.

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Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones

Dr. Hugh-Jones is one of the foremost authorities on anthrax. He is currently Coordinator of the World Health Organization (WHO) Working Group on Anthrax Research and Control. He also has served as Chairman of the WHO/Veterinary Public Health Working Group: “Anthrax: Epidemiology and Information.” In addition, Dr. Hugh-Jones participated in the investigation of the 1979 anthrax outbreak in Sverdlovsk (now known as Yekaterinburg) in the former USSR. He was in Moscow and Yekaterinburg in 1992 when the Russian government admitted the source of the outbreak to have been an accidental spore emission from a biological warfare facility.

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see also …

* Greg Gordon (McClatchy): the apparent failure of the FBI to pursue this avenue of investigation raises the ominous possibility that the killer is still on the loose … Stuart Jacobsen: it is “outrageous” that the scientific issues haven’t been addressed.

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* Another arrogant government assertion of its right to do whatever it damn well pleases, not unlike the FBI’s unsupported accusations and subsequent stonewalling behavior in the anthrax case. National security is very important, but so are the rights of American citizens, including David House and Bruce Ivins.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 23, 2011

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David House & Bruce Ivins

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Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, writes (5/13/11) …

read the entire article at … http://www.aclu.org/blog/author/Carol-Rose%2C-Executive-Director%2C-ACLU-of-Massachusetts

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LMW COMMENT …

Another arrogant government assertion of its right to do whatever it damn well pleases, not unlike the FBI’s unsupported accusations and subsequent stonewalling behavior in the anthrax case. National security is very important, but so are the rights of American citizens, including David House and Bruce Ivins.

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* “The 9/11 Anthrax Case” is addressed in “Serial Mass Murderers: A Criminology Study of Why They Kill” (Taylor & Francis, 2011)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 23, 2011

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* Former Amerithrax investigator Bradley Garrett, who took the lead on the Hatfill searches, rode on the plane with KSM’s nephew, WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef, upon his rendering to the US. How did Agent Garrett exclude the subtilis expert living 20 miles from the mailbox who frequently called and was called by the number associated with Abdul Yasin and Ramzi Yousef in February 1993? On the mistaken grounds that Dr. Ayman Zawahiri did not have access to virulent anthrax?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 22, 2011

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