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

Archive for July, 2011

* Judge Allows Feds to Revise Filing in Anthrax Case

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 30, 2011

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IT WASN'T IVINS ... and the FBI must by now know that they drove the wrong man to suicide

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Greg Gordon, McClatchy Newspapers, Mike Wiser, FRONTLINE, and Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica, July 29, 2011 …

  • Justice Department lawyers, defending a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the first victim of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks, won a judge’s approval Friday to withdraw a court filing that seemed to undermine the FBI’s assertion that an Army researcher was the killer.
  • U.S. District Judge David Hurley of West Palm Beach, Fla., accepted a government attorney’s declaration that the FBI and federal prosecutors didn’t alert the government defense team to 10 errors in a statement of facts until after it had been filed in court on July 15.

Initial Filing

  • The initial filing asserted flatly that the U.S. bioweapons facility that employed researcher Bruce Ivins, whom the FBI accused of manufacturing the anthrax, did not have “specialized equipment” needed to produce the deadly powder in the secure biocontainment lab where Ivins had a workspace.

Revised Filing

  • The revised filing said that Ivins had access to a refrigerator-sized machine known as a lyophilizer, which can be used to dry solutions such as anthrax, at the facility in a less secure lab. In addition, it said that Ivins also had a smaller “speed-vac” that could be used for drying substances in his containment lab.

read the entire post at … http://www.propublica.org/article/judge-allows-feds-to-revise-filing-in-anthrax-case

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LMW COMMENT … 

10 errors in a statement of facts … does that inspire confidence in the DOJ attorneys or what?

 

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* AMENDED MOTION TO DISMISS filed 7/27 now suggests Dr. Ivins used SpeedVac and notes that anthrax sent to Covance was “likely” irradiated

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 28, 2011

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* Laurie Garrett speaks out … about Al Qaeda and the anthrax attack, about the pathetic FBI investigation, about the lies that took us to war in Iraq

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 27, 2011

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Alanna Shaikh writes for UN Dispatch (7/26/11) …

From an interview with Laurie Garrett, author of “I Heard the Sirens Scream”

Ms. Garrett:

  • The final third of the book is analysis of what happened.
    • Why I think that Al-Qaeda was behind the anthrax attacks,
    • why the FBI blew the investigation,
    • and why to this day it has not been recognized as a public health disaster.
    • Who lied and said that the anthrax was weaponized, and how that led to invading Iraq.

read the entire interview at … http://www.undispatch.com/mass-tragedies-as-public-health-events

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LMW COMMENT …

  • Laurie Garrett has the brains, the experience, the tenacity, and the courage to speak the truth.
  • It’s about time to blow this whole pathetic FBI case out of the water.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

* A detailed analysis of Laurie Garrett’s new book by DXer … linking Laurie’s writing to posts on this blog

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 27, 2011

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order Laurie’s book on amazon (Kindle $5.99) …

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A detailed analysis of Laurie Garrett’s new book by DXer …

In her new book, experienced science writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Laurie Garrett provides a much welcome overview of a range of important issues in advance of the GAO report in September.

Even with all the important factual issues she did not reach,

she gets an A+ on Point of View.

And given the credibility she brings to the table

as a science writer with experience in covering Amerithrax,

she deserves an A+ and not merely an A.

  • The book excels in its discussion of the NAS report and the strain of the virulent anthrax used in one or more of the Al Qaeda labs, for which Sufaat and his assistants were vaccinated. This was something that David Willman had totally avoided discussing.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/wikileaks-guantanamo-doesnt-the-united-states-know-the-strain-of-the-virulent-anthrax-used-in-one-or-more-of-the-al-qaeda-labs-for-which-sufaat-and-his-assistants-were-vaccinated-based-on-in/

  • Laurie Garrett appears to recognize that an Ivins Theory merely Hatfill Theory Redux. The “Hatfill Theory” was part of the same unstoppable train wreck as the “Ivins Theory.” There was a change of cars (investigators), but it was the same flawed train of reasoning and the investigators never overcame the earlier truncated emphasis of the investigation.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/the-hatfill-theory-was-part-of-the-same-unstoppable-train-wreck-as-the-ivins-theory-there-was-a-change-of-cars-investigators-but-it-was-the-same-flawed-train-of-reasoning-and-the-inve/
http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2011/05/25/the-circumstantial-case-against-bruce-ivins-gets-weaker/

Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy? March 24, 2011

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ff_anthrax_fbi/

  • She recognizes that too much is at stake to be content with the latest investigators’ position that they do not know the what, how or why of the anthrax mailings.

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20110518_3088.php

She writes about the disparity in views between his counselor(s) and his those who knew but does seem to realize the key new information underlying that discrepancy.

Dr. Ivins’ first therapist, Judith M. McLean, who writes of how she acquired her psychic abilities in her book available for sale on Amazon.com — from a being from another planet …

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/david-willman-relies-extensively-upon-dr-ivins-first-therapist-judith-m-mclean-who-writes-of-how-she-acquired-her-psychic-abilities-in-her-book-available-for-sale-on-amazon-com/

In addition to helping the FBI with Amerithrax, the psychic relied upon the government prosecutors and investigators helped with 911 by her astral travelling and retrieval of etheric body parts at Ground Zero … She reports she was granted her psychic abilities by a being claiming to be an extraterrestrial …

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/in-addition-to-helping-the-fbi-with-amerithrax-the-psychic-relied-upon-by-david-willman-helped-with-911-by-her-astral-travelling-and-retrieval-of-etheric-body-parts-at-ground-zero/

An experienced science writer, she discusses the FBI’s key genetics experts debunk the FBI’s argument that the genetics points to Ivins in particular.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/dxer-a-washington-post-story-does-not-take-into-account-that-the-genetics-experts-dr-fraser-liggett-and-dr-keim-say-there-are-major-holes-in-the-genetics-case/

Claire Fraser-Liggett: the genetic analysis of the spores in Ivins’ flask do not indicate Ivins is guilty

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/05/20/clair-fraser-liggett-the-genetic-analysis-of-the-spores-in-ivins-flask-do-not-indicate-ivins-is-guilty/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/noah-schactman-did-the-feds-nab-the-wrong-guy-lmw-the-fbis-publicly-revealed-evidence-could-not-convict-ivins-the-2001-anthrax-case-needs-to-be-re-opened/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/the-genetics-inquiry-just-narrowed-things-from-over-700-to-up-to-377-individuals-who-had-access-to-ames-during-the-time-of-the-2001-mailings/
http://articles.courant.com/2011-02-15/news/hc-anthrax-investigation-0216-20110215_1_amerithrax-anthrax-expert-martin-hugh-jones-anthrax-attacks

Disturbing questions haunt the anthrax killings inquiry

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/19/2888302/disturbing-questions-haunt-anthrax.html
http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20110520_9829.php
http://my.firedoglake.com/jimwhite/2011/05/20/fbi-ignored-hid-data-potentially-excluding-bruce-ivins-as-anthrax-killer/

I don’t see that she addresses the documentary evidence of Agent Lambert’s concern … that the compartmentalization of the investigative squads ordered by Director Mueller would prevent investigators from connecting the dots. But early on she had written for Newsday about the difficulties of coordinating a complex investigation between agencies.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/former-amerithrax-lead-investigator-richard-lampert-compartmentalization-within-the-amerithrax-task-force-would-inhibit-our-ability-to-connect-the-dots-among-the-three-squads-investigating/

She does not note that Dr. Greg Saathoff, who gave the key psychiatric report about Dr. Ivins and after his death justified their approach arguing that Dr. Ivins likely was guilty, is a longtime partner of FBI Quantico and instead spins his report as independent.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 23, 2011
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/dr-saarthoff-presenting-today-on-amerithrax-is-an-fbi-consultant/

  • Ms. Garrett nowhere addresses the documentary evidence produced in May 2011 that now shows what Dr. Ivins was doing in the B3 and instead bought into the FBI’s mistaken narrative that Ivins had no reason to be in the B3 on those nights.

Given her expertise lies in science writing, and she likely is not daunted by lab notebook pages, she could usefully turn to them now to our great benefit.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/the-newly-released-lab-notebook-pages-demonstrate-dr-bruce-ivins-was-tending-to-dead-animals-on-the-nights-he-alleged-was-preparing-dry-anthrax-in-light-of-an-ivins-theory-being-demolished-by-suc/

Instead, she reiterates the FBI’s false claim that the time in the B3 was unexplained except that he was hanging out at the lab because of troubles at home (which was near the lab). Instead, it only strengthens Ms. Garrett’s argument to realize that these notes demolishes the FBI’s and Mr. Willman’s “Ivins Theory” … on the facts rather the bullshit theory he was “creepy.”

How could the longtime FBI Quantico psychiatrists or the author not have requested from the FBI the record showing what Dr. Ivins was actually doing on the nights that the investigators, without basis, speculated he was making a powdered anthrax?

Laurie Garrett has a detailed discussion of the discovery of the NBC letter by the governmental officials which is interesting.  While  I don’t think it material to the true crime analysis, it is interesting to see the fresh (to me) detail.

  • Ms. Garrett, to my eye, nowhere notes or even mentions that anthrax in the New York Post letter was 10% silica or silicates but importantly does emphasize that the government had long been told that if they find the person growing anthrax in silicates, they may have found their perpetrator. If she had interviewed Dr. Jahrling, her report on his views might be more current.

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https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/promed-post-by-dr-martin-hugh-jones-an-oft-quoted-and-much-respected-anthrax-expert-and-promed-moderator/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/congressman-jerrold-nadler-complains-to-fbi-director-robert-mueller-that-answers-to-questions-he-first-asked-in-september-2008-regarding-silicon-content-in-the-anthrax-in-several-of-the-2001-attack-le/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/fbi-now-admits-the-silicon-concentration-in-the-attack-anthrax-is-too-high/
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/26/2237197/congressman-presses-fbi-for-anthrax.html
http://www.kansascity.com/2011/05/19/2887751/fbi-lab-reports-on-anthrax-attacks.html

The Technical Review Panel Summary notes that the NY Post sample had apparently been treated with hydrophilic silica. The term “weaponization” is used as a straw man to avoid the potential key probativeness of the silicon signature.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/unclassified-formerly-secret-technical-review-panel-meeting-summary-14-nov-2001/
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She seems to agree that the USG does not explain how Dr. Ivins’ processing could have resulted in the Silicon Signature.
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https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/congressman-jerrold-nadler-complains-to-fbi-director-robert-mueller-that-answers-to-questions-he-first-asked-in-september-2008-regarding-silicon-content-in-the-anthrax-in-several-of-the-2001-attack-le/
.

  • To credit that the silicon signature did not relate to “weaponization” – as Laurie and many of us do — does not avoid the fact that it is potentially highly probative, and without more tends to be exculpatory of Dr. Ivins. For example, if it relates to “microencapsulation” using hydrophilic silica, that might be a huge lead.

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It is important to recognize that none other than government-funded experts Weber and Velsko, key experts on the nonmicrobiological signature signature, think that further study is warranted to determine the source of the Silicon Signature.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/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-outrag/

She nowhere mentions the 302 interview statement that checking the health of the animals typically would take 2 hours and was a one person job. This is important background in understanding the lab notes produced on May 11, 2011.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aaa_302-interviews_revised_revised.jpg

  • Given that the news just broke, she does not address the sworn deposition testimony in the Stevens v. United States case of Patricia Worsham or Stephen Little casting doubt on the FBI’s Ivins Theory. But does quote many of the same scientists like Dr. Andrews, Adamovicz and Heine to persuasive effect.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/statements-by-scientists-in-florida-court-case-raise-doubts-regarding-the-fbi-conclusion-that-dr-bruce-ivins-prepared-the-anthrax-used-in-the-2001-attacks/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/excerpt-from-plaintiffs-filing-in-amerithrax-civil-suit-explaining-why-dr-ivins-is-not-perpetrator-dr-byrnes-deposition/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/excerpt-from-plaintiffs-filing-in-amerithrax-civil-suit-explaining-why-dr-ivins-is-not-perpetrator-dr-andrews-deposition/

She does not address the fact that US Attorney Taylor in explaining Ivins’ overtime in Fall 2001, including November and December, did not realize that new rules in 2002 precluded such overtime, working alone in B3. In his FOIA to the Army, David Willman did not seek access records from the earlier or later period and I don’t see that Ms. Garrett submitted any FOIAs to Army (and I don’t know offhand about DOJ).

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/ivins-noble-eagle.jpg

Source: “An eye on safety” by Alison Walker … http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/special_sections/detrick/day3.htm
“Better enforcement … In 2002, USAMRIID officials mandated a two-person rule, which creates peer pressure to follow safety protocol by requiring material be handled by two people of equal experience, training and qualification. USAMRIID is phasing out the rule due to space and staff limitations, replacing the physical presence of another person with video surveillance.”

She does not mention, but it is important to note, that Dr. Ivins had no access to the filters and thus there would have been traces in the filters if the anthrax had been made in that B3.

She explains he was taking anti-depressants. Note that according to this email, Dr. Ivins was not in fact taking the sleeping aid ambien in Fall 2001.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/according-to-dr-ivins-email-with-former-colleague-1-mara-linscott-produced-last-week-by-usamriid-withheld-for-2-years-by-jag-bruce-was-not-taking-ambien-the-sleeping-aid-in-fall-2001/

  • She does not address the weaponized anthrax that Dr. Ivins says he had heard had been shipped to Ft. Detrick and then went missing.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/will-it-take-congressional-subpena-power-to-fill-in-the-blanks-in-the-email-asking-about-weaponized-anthrax-that-came-to-detrick-and-then-was-shipped-out-and-some-was-missing/

  • I don’t see that she anywhere addresses that USAMRIID’s John Ezzell, the FBI’s anthrax expert, prior to 9/11, made a dried aerosol using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins and sent to Johns-Hopkins Applied Physics. She never addresses whether those spores show a silicon signature.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/83_aaa_jhapl_4.jpg
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/john-ezzell-forthrightly-to-my-way-of-thinking-heroically-answered-all-my-dxers-questions-relating-to-the-darpa-research-in-which-flask-1029-the-“murder-weapon”-to-borrow-us/

  • Where does she address Ivins’ email of 6-28-05 that discusses powder deemed closest to attack anthrax … in which Ivins says, “but I told ??? we didn’t make spore powder”

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/91_1.jpg

  • She nowhere addresses the email in which Dr. Ivins discusses missing Ames anthrax.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/87_aaa_missing-ames_1.jpg

Who was the FBI’s anthrax expert who told Dr. Ivins not to get his “panties in a bind over this”?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/77_aaa_cya.jpg

  • She nowhere addresses the fact that the FBI removed the original of Lab Notebook 4010 (and other notebooks that were subpoenaed) without leaving a copy. Why won’t the FBI produce the relevant pages from the lab notebooks it took?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/85_aaa_notebook_1.jpg
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She nowhere explains that Daniel Seikaly pled the Fifth Amendment in connection with the leaks relating to Hatfill or notes that his daughter represented “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Timimi pro bono.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/who-does-former-prosecutor-daniel-seikaly-and-his-daughter-ali-al-timimis-former-defense-counsel-think-is-responsible-for-the-anthrax-mailings-of-fall-2001/
.

  • She nowhere addresses why the US Attorney and AP created the impression that the Federal Eagle stamp was uniquely sold in Ivins’ post office (near USAMRIID) when it in fact was sold throughout Maryland and Virginia. This misstatement by the US Attorney (picked up by AP) was as great as any misstep in connection with a “Hatfill Theory”.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/postofficeissuegraphic.jp
.

  • She nowhere addresses why the FBI failed to disclose that the photocopier mentioned in the Amerithrax Summary could be excluded as the source of the Amerithrax letters. That is the sort of evidence that makes for a strong scientific case — or demolishes one. This is different from the less the much less significant issue of “tracks” made by the photocopier gripper.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/copier.jpg
.

  • The best I recall, she nowhere addresses why the FBI let USAMRIID General John Parker’s false claim that USAMRIID did not make dried powder stand — when the FBI and the scientists overseeing the investigation knew its own expert had made dried powdered aerosol using Ames.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/91_1.jpg
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She nowhere addresses the identity of the colleague with whom Dr. Heine says he did research regarding antifoam in creating aerosols or Dr. Heine’s report that the FBI falsely told Dr. Ivins that Dr. Heine had accused him of the anthrax mailings. This is a huge issue because the investigators then used Dr. Ivins’ rage as proof of his guilt — rather than evidence of his innocence.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/aaa_heine-spider.jpg
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/dr-henry-heine-former-colleague-of-dr-bruce-ivins-freed-of-the-gag-order-interviewed-on-his-last-day-at-usamriid/
.

She nowhere addresses why the FBI never disclosed the email withheld for 2 years that shows Dr. Ivins knew that 5 ml of virulent Ames had been taken from Building 1412.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/a-new-email-withheld-for-2-years-shows-that-ivins-recognized-that-some-of-his-ames-was-missing

  • She nowhere addresses the email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and then was shipped out and some was missing.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/98_aaaaa_subpoena.jpg

She does not emphasize that the FBI estimates that up to 377 had access required elimination (allowing for some duplication who had access in both 1425 and 1412). US Taylor falsely claimed that only 100 needed to be eliminated — only those with access at Building 1425.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/dr-henry-heine-former-colleague-of-dr-bruce-ivins-freed-of-the-gag-order-interviewed-on-his-last-day-at-usamriid

  •  she does not discuss the reason the location of the flasks (initially there were two flasks) was carefully whited out so as to change its location from Building 1412 to Building 1425. That change violated USAMRIID protocol about record-keeping.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/07/25/usamriid-rmr-records-flask-1029/

She nowhere addresses to whom Dr. Ivins was writing about the Ames missing from building 1412 and the autoclaving of samples there.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/87_aaa_missing-ames_1.jp\

  • She does a good job in summarizing the NAS report about Ames and the genetics — but nowhere addresses what happened to the other slant sent from Texas, or interviews the original researcher who obtained the slants from Texas who then went to work for the CIA. She is critical of the destruction at Ames, Iowa that the FBI allowed.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/92_aaaaa_texas.jpg
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/93_2_aaaaa_work.jpg

  • She nowhere addresses Dr. Ivins’ concern expressed to a superior that he was missing samples — only to be told to shut up. He never identifies the superior telling Ivins that everything was under control.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/from-dxer-infiltration-of-u-s-biodefense-bruce-ivins-concern-that-he-was-missing-samples/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/bruce-ivins-we-cant-make-any-assurances-that-we-have-exactly-what-were-supposed-to-have/

  • She nowhere addresses when Southern Research Institute first obtained virulent Ames and from whom.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/aaa_sri_dash.jpg

  • She nowhere addresses where the research on the corona plasma discharge and sonicator on Ames spores supplied by Bruce Ivins was conducted for DARPA. She nowhere addresses where else the DARPA aerosol studies using dried powder were done. Given the performance of the dried aerosol, the technical question of whether the floatability is due to use of a CPD or sonicator should be addressed by the scientific experts.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/58_aaa_words.jpg

  • She nowhere addresses the fact that the only expert interviewed by the FBI about the code in the letters for which documents were produced disagreed with the FBI’s theory of code in the letters and that all the letters needed for the FBI’s interpretation of the code were NOT in fact double-lined. Once this understood, one realizes what a crock of a case the FBI concocted.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/theory-of-the-code.jpg

She nowhere addresses why the FBI was asking everyone whether they had seen olive oil in one of the aerosol rooms.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/aaa_oliveoyle_rev.jpg

But she has a pretty full and fair summary of the history of The Hatfill Theory. On a very narrow issue, she does not addresses whether olive oil was what the bloodhounds smelled at Denny’s when the FBI assumed they were tracking Steve Hatfill who had visited the day before.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/aaa_bloodhound_6.jpg

She discusses some PA scientists that otherwise don’t get often addressed — it was evident very early on that there was no “there there” and so bloggers never paid it attention. Notably, she does discuss David Tell’s article on Syed Athar Abbas which remains fascinating to this day.

  • She nowhere addresses the 16 pages which were not obtained by the FBI until February 2005 — those pages involved distribution of Ames to a former Zawahiri associate. I don’t mind reporters don’t write of such things — indeed, given the history that Amerithrax took with the hyping of the Hatfill story by the chief prosecutor whose daughter came to represent Ali Al-Timimi, I totally understand it. But the fact that they don’t make relevant phone calls supports the view that investigative reporting is dead in this country. Nowadays, writing up a filed court document or reading documents the FBI submits to NAS is deemed a substitute. For broadcast, getting interviews of people journalists have quoted suffices. And of course, when you are channeling investigators, interviewing the dead guy’s prom date is what passes for investigation. Heaven forbid that someone would pick up the phone and seek an interview with Rauf Ahmad who was working with Dr. Zawahiri.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/dxer-reports-that-ivins-hosted-one-egyptian-visitor-in-the-b3-who-was-the-lifelong-friend-of-a-former-egyptian-islamic-jihad-member-a-schoolmate-recruited-by-ayman-zawahiri/https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/from-dxer-documents-related-to-university-of-michigan/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aaa_um-researcher.jpg
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/newly-released-ivins-emails-show-that-no-record-was-kept-of-transfers-to-former-zawahiri-associate-because-it-was-done-at-usamriid/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/the-lifelong-friends-of-dr-tarek-hamouda-supplied-virulent-ames-by-bruce-ivins-actively-denounce-their-former-medical-school-associate-ayman-zawahiri-as-a-fanatic-one-serving-as-president-of-ca/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/tracking-dr-ivins’-rmr-1029-anthrax-more-questions-for-um-and-lsu-researchers/

She nowhere addresses the work that Yazid Sufaat and his lab assistant did at Omar Hospital in May 2001 while the equipment was en route to the lab being established at Kandahar. And I believe mistakenly refers to the second lab being at Tora Bora rather than Kandahar. ( But I am open to being corrected. I believe my source is the DIA interrogator of Dr. Batarfi as well as the numerous Detainee Assessments from Guantanamo.)

The Detainee Assessments on this subject are part of the public record and so why did they not inform the discussion? Is the GAO report going to be similarly bereft of highly relevant information?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/marwan-hadid-al-suri-who-was-assisting-yazid-sufaat-at-omar-hospital-in-may-2001-and-then-helped-set-up-the-anthrax-lab-in-kandahar-later-that-month-was-killed-in-2006-in-northwestern-pakistan-m/

  • She nowhere addresses that FBI experts found that Dr. Ivins handwriting does not match the handwriting in the anthrax letters but is understandably highly skeptical of the FBI’s sorority theory.

Don’t get me wrong. On her overall approach to an Ivins Theory, I totally agree with her. I just am using this approach to assessing the book to highlight uploaded documentary evidence that can further advance things.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/today-usamriid-produced-an-additional-lab-notebook-3919-providing-still-more-exemplars-of-dr-ivins-handwriting-the-gao-should-request-a-copy-of-the-fbis-handwriting-report-which-found-that-d/

She nowhere addresses a “Waly Samar” who was a microbiologist connected to the WTC 1993 participants based on phone records and reportedly lived in the Trenton area in 2001 — an estimated 20 miles from the mailbox. I called and left a message last week but hadn’t hear back when I last checked for messages.

And, again, it is totally understandable for a journalist and so this is not a fault for a science journalist. It all comes down to one’s personal assessment about what is at stake. And I think on that question — what is at stake — I agree with Laurie 100%.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/laurie-mylroie-in-a-2001-book-described-a-waly-samar-who-was-a-microbiologist-connected-to-the-wtc-1993-participants-based-on-phone-records-was-he-the-subtilis-expert-allegedly-connected-to-al/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/former-amerithrax-investigator-bradley-garrett-who-took-the-lead-on-the-hatfill-searches-rode-on-the-plane-with-ksms-nephew-wtc-bomber-ramzi-yousef-upon-his-rendering-to-the-us-how-did-agen/

She nowhere addresses the claim that a pharmacist Najmut Tariq in New York City was connected to Al Qaeda anthrax program and apparently no effort was made to contact him in Pakistan. But again, the public benefits by the view of an experienced science writer on the NAS report and conclusions. But someone like the Wash Po correspondent in Pakistan should attempt an interview.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/al-qaeda-anthrax-operative-new-york-pharmacies
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/the-fbi-has-previously-explained-that-it-ruled-out-various-scientists-alleged-to-have-connections-to-al-qaeda-and-ansar-al-islam-andor-its-anthrax-program-among-those-who-the-fbi-is-confident-cou/

  • She does not address how the FBI was able to exclude Abderraouf Yousef Jdey as the mailer if the FBI doesn’t know where he was and, according to former top CIA analyst Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Jdey was released before the mailings. She mainly bears down on the NAS report discussion of Al Qaeda and does not delve into issues of intelligence analysis.
  • Intelligence analysis, for example, would point out that Dr. Assaad was Coptic Christian and the Blind Sheik’s group primary mission is to persecute Coptic Christians. For people to miss this is to miss the possible significance of that anonymous letter that some view as an intentional “red herring” pointing to Dr. Assaad. (Dr. Assaad, for his part, thinks that the claims against Dr. Ivins are part of a vicious plot).

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/how-was-the-fbi-able-to-exclude-abderraouf-yousef-jdey-as-the-mailer-if-the-fbi-doesnt-know-where-he-was-and-according-to-former-top-cia-analyst-rolf-mowatt-larssen-jdey-was-released-before-the/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/11/
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/ken-dillon-asks-…-who-was-the-real-anthrax-mailer-the-key-people-in-the-anthrax-mailings-were-not-bruce-ivins-or-steven-hatfill-his-predecessor-as-the-fbis-target-instead-they-app/

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/page/2/

She nowhere addresses experiments led by Egyptian Abu Khabab killing rabbits with poisons under during the month before 9/11 at a camp outside Kabul.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/experiments-led-by-egyptian-abu-khabab-killing-rabbits-with-poisons-under-during-the-month-before-911-at-a-camp-outside-kabul/

She nowhere addresses the training in late 2001 at the training camp outside Kandahar to introduce poison into water systems.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/in-late-2001-the-training-camp-outside-kandahar-in-training-to-introduce-poison-into-water-systems-what-was-the-poison-contemplated/

She nowhere addresses the capture of Mustafa Hawsawi and his laptop containing anthrax spray drying documents.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/capture-of-mustafa-hawsawi-and-laptop-with-anthrax-spray-drying-documents/

In her notes she cites both the good work done by the McClatchy journalist and the Wired journalist.

You’ll recall that it was McClatchy that emphasized the potentially critical importance of b. subtilis contaminant found in the Brokaw and New York Post anthrax letters … not connected to Dr. Ivins … and substantially ignored by the FBI. The public is expecting great things from McClatchy/Frontline/ProPublica.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/greg-gordon-raises-importance-of-b-subtilis-contaminant-in-the-brokaw-and-new-york-post-anthrax-letters-not-connected-to-dr-ivins-substantially-ignored-by-the-fbi/

She nowhere addresses the fact that Anwar Aulaqi was coordinating with Ali Al-Timimi who shared a suite with the two leading Ames researchers.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/attorney-jonathan-turley-regarding-his-client-al-timini-is-this-the-kind-of-connection-it-is-critical-for-the-house-committee-to-investigate/

She nowhere addresses the documents from peer reviewed literature in Ayman Zawahiri’s possession.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/dxer-documents-in-the-possession-of-ayman-zawahiri-and-his-associates-illustrate-the-dangers-of-scientific-openness/

She nowhere addresses the spraydrying documents on Al-Hawsawi’s laptop.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aaa_laptop.jpg

She nowhere addresses Rauf Ahmad’s notes and handwritten letter (he was one of the scientists working for Ayman Zawahiri).

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/abdur-rauf-notes.jpg
https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/abdur-rauf-handwrittenpage21.jpg

She nowhere addresses the typed correspondence from a later visit by Rauf Ahmad indicating that he had successfully achieved the targets. (And, no, Milton L. did not systematically refute the matter in discussing the correspondence in his book – he avoided quoting this critical language altogether!)

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/abdur-rauf-i-have-achieved-letter.jpeg

She nowhere addresses Ali Mohammed, the head of intelligence for Egyptian Islamic Jihad who had a document on his computer seized by the FBI that outlined principles of cell security that would be followed, trained Dahab, a Cairo medical drop-out, to make deadly letters.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aaa_cocktail_rev.jpg

She nowhere addresses the Egyptian visitor in the B3 who was the lifelong friend of a former Egyptian Islamic Jihad member, a schoolmate, recruited by Ayman Zawahiri.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/dxer-reports-that-ivins-hosted-one-egyptian-visitor-in-the-b3-who-was-the-lifelong-friend-of-a-former-egyptian-islamic-jihad-member-a-schoolmate-recruited-by-ayman-zawahiri

  • She nowhere addresses the fact that Dr. Bruce Ivins hosted one Egyptian visitor in the B3 who was the lifelong friend of a former Egyptian Islamic Jihad member, a schoolmate, recruited by Ayman Zawahiri and that the FBI not obtain the relevant documents until February 2005.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/dxer-reports-that-ivins-hosted-one-egyptian-visitor-in-the-b3-who-was-the-lifelong-friend-of-a-former-egyptian-islamic-jihad-member-a-schoolmate-recruited-by-ayman-zawahiri/

She nowhere addresses the fact that this document seized in Afghanistan pointed to infiltration of US biodefense. To what was the author referring?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/aaa_kuwaiti_revised_horiz.jpg

She nowhere addresses this Zawahiri correspondence with infiltrating scientist that was part of parallel compartmentalized cell operation. Who else did Ayman attempt to recruit (besides the schoolmate and close friend of Bruce Ivins’ co-worker)?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/aaa_raufahmad.jpg

She nowhere addresses the documents dating from April 1999 showing that Ayman Zawahiri’s plan was to recruit a specialist. Who else did Ayman Zawahiri succeed in recruiting?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aaa_planning.jpg

She nowhere addresses the fact that the lifelong friends of Dr. Tarek Hamouda, supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins, actively denounce their former medical school associate Ayman Zawahiri as a fanatic – one serving as President of CAIR-St. Louis and the other as author of INSIDE JIHAD. After the FBI first obtained in 2005 the documents relating to Dr. Hamouda’s work with Dr. Ivins, did they contact Dr. Hamid who reports he was recruited into the Egyptian Islamic Group by Ayman Zawahiri while in medical school? Did they contact his brother who publicly announced that he could not identify a sleeper cell if he did not know about it?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/the-lifelong-friends-of-dr-tarek-hamouda-supplied-virulent-ames-by-bruce-ivins-actively-denounce-their-former-medical-school-associate-ayman-zawahiri-as-a-fanatic-one-serving-as-president-of-ca/

She nowhere addresses why the FBI failed to disclose that Jdey was detained and released as the same time as Moussaoui.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aaa_jdey-released.jpg

She nowhere addresses the fact that Ayman Zawahiri had an extensive recruiting network for his anthrax planning and the announcement of his plans in March 1999, including the blind sheik’s son who spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi and was on Al Qaeda’s 3-member WMD society. Did the blind sheik’s son recruit Ali Al-Timimi?

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/anthraxandalqaeda_voc_31.jpg

She nowhere addresses the fact that Ayman Zawahiri used “school” to refer to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad but does poke fun at the FBI’s theory as to why “school” was used.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/aaa_code_rev_rev_rev.jpg

She nowhere addresses the documentary evidence showing that Ayman Zawahiri used “school” as code and not Bruce Ivins.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aaa_school.jpg

She nowhere addresses the fact that while the US government focuses on Anwar Al-Aulaqi, the media continues to overlook Aulaqi’s connection to fellow Falls Church imam, a scientist sharing the suite with the leading bioweapons Ames anthrax researchers with whom defense counsel says Aulaqi was coordinating.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/86_aaa_satphone_0.jpg

  • She nowhere addresses the fact that Ali Al-Timimi had unfettered access to the largest microbiological repository in the world where the bacteriology collection scientist was the future head of the Amerithrax science investigation who would guide the NAS review and the production of documents from the FBI to NAS.

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/aaa_aulaqi-new-2-turley-re-al-timini.jpg …https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/anthraxandalqaeda_discoveryhall.jpg

Even with all the important factual issues she did not reach, she gets an A+ on Point of View.

And given the credibility she brings to the table as a science writer with experience in covering Amerithrax, she deserves an A+ and not merely an A.

Essentially, the book asks: given all the uncertainties, isn’t there a very real chance that an Ivins Theory is just a Hatfill Theory redux — and had the same effect of narrowing the investigative focus? (She suggests FBI higher-ups by Spring of 2002 never meaningfully pursued an Al Qaeda theory.)

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/a-challenge-to-reporters-covering-the-fbis-anthrax-investigation-its-time-to-investigate/

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 21 Comments »

* Excerpts from “I Heard The Sirens Scream” by by Pulitzer Prize winning author Laurie Garrett

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 27, 2011

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Excerpts from “I Heard The Sirens Scream”

by Pulitzer Prize winning author Laurie Garrett

(sub-headings by LMW) …

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FBI’s misuse of non-FBI labs …

Twenty-nine non-FBI laboratories across America were engaged in the effort, with no direct communication or knowledge of each other’s findings permitted. The FBI investigators changed their strategies and notions of appropriate science fairly regularly, never allowing the academic, private or government laboratories that comprised the “team” to either provide guidance in plotting the scientific inquiry, or frankly clueing the researchers in on why any particular avenue of study was being pursued.

investigation by public humiliation … 

for years the key tactic used to elicit statements or confessions was public humiliation.

intense scrutiny of Ivins – until he took his own life …

The scrutiny of Ivins grew so intense, featuring overt 24-hour surveillance of his suburban Maryland home and questioning of his children, that Ivins’ already delicate psychological state rapidly deteriorated, until the microbiologist took his own life by swallowing a massive quantity of the headache remedy, acetaminophen.

strange circumstantial evidence …

The bulk of the evidence against Ivins was circumstantial, and every bit as strange as that the FBI had leveled against Hatfill and other persons of the agency’s interest.

destruction of Iowa Ames …

the University of Iowa and the State’s troopers had, with much fanfare, destroyed the original samples during the fall of 2001. Amazingly, the Justice Department had raised no objections at the time, failing then to appreciate how critically important the samples would prove to be for Amerithrax forensics.

silicate signature …

When the so-called “silicate signature” on anthrax samples obtained from other sources was compared to the 2001 envelope spores there were two critical differences: There was far less silicate, and none of the comparable samples had silicon inside the spores, as the Amerithrax samples did. The Sandia researchers had proved all of this before the spring of 2002, and experimentally demonstrated that the only way silicate got inside the spores was if the chemical was in the medium used to grow the bacilli.

silicon and tin …

During the 2001 early investigation the FBI tested samples from the letters and found both silicon and tin in the mailings to the New York Post and Senator Leahy, in both cases constituting less than 1 percent of the bulk weight of the samples. The early FBI silicon/tin findings were contradicted by the Sandia work, as well as testing at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The early silicon/tin data from the FBI would not be disclosed to Congress or outside researchers for many years, and its significance or accuracy remained controversial ten years later.

no connection with Saddam … known before Colin Powell UN speech …

This 2002 Sandia finding, if accurate, had two profound implications: First, it disproved any alleged connection between chemicals on the anthrax spores and their purported production as WMD by Saddam Hussein or any other country. While the finding did not rule out the possibility that a foreign state actor grew the spores, there was no evidence that silicon, bentonite or any other chemical was used in the process to make the spores stay fluffy, un-clumped and therefore “weaponized.” The second implication was critical to the forensics, as the Sandia group basically told the FBI, “Find a guy that uses silicate in his bacterial growth medium, and you’ve got your culprit.”

Sadly, this information was kept secret until July 2008. There is no evidence in the public record that the FBI allowed the finding to be conveyed to those individuals inside the Bush Administration or CIA that were searching for links between the anthrax and the government of Iraq, nor does it appear the Justice Department allowed the information to be incorporated in any manner in the 2003 United Nations Security Council debate at which Secretary of State Colin Powell conveyed the case for war on Baghdad.

FBI investigation focused in wrong directions …

For years the FBI inquiry continued focusing on one incorrect suspect or lead after another.

RMR-1029 flasks …

In 2004 the FBI seized Ivins’ RMR-1029 flasks, having remarkably allowed them to remain in his possession for more than two years, while he was simultaneously on a list of some 200 anthrax scientists considered to be possible culprits. Those RMR-1029 samples were sent to Worsham, Keim and Fraser-Liggett to be submitted to their respective forms of analysis.

April 2007 … Ivins “not a target” … and then he is …

Though Ivins was questioned many times and underwent a lie detector test, he remained an active part of the investigation into 2007, and in April of that year received a formal letter from the Justice Department informing him that he was “not a target” of the Amerithrax search. … But just one month after receiving that “not a target” reassurance Ivins was called to testify for two days before a federal grand jury, where his handling of RMR-1029 was parsed in detail. Shaken by the proceedings, Ivins told colleagues he feared that he was being fingered as the murderer. He began to drink alcohol heavily and went on back on the anti-depressant Celexa, which he had ceased using years before.

FBI’s belligerent scrutiny of Ivins …

For the next eight months Bruce Ivins, his family and his closest colleagues at USAMRIID were subjected to increasingly overt and belligerent scrutiny by the FBI and eventually the media.

On June 9th the FBI questioned Ivins again, in the presence of his attorney, and the scientist appears to have been deeply shaken by the interrogation. Throughout the following month the FBI conducted undisguised surveillance of his home, and followed him wherever he drove or walked, spoke with his wife and children, and made their watchdog presence known. For Ivins – a man who was under psychiatric treatment for paranoia – the federal vehicles parked outside his suburban home must have left him unhinged.

Spertzel – “The FBI needs to explain” …

Richard Spertzel, who headed the biological weapons inspections for UNSCOM during the lead-up to the Persian Gulf War, wrote in the Wall Street Journal just days after the FBI named Ivins as the culprit, “The FBI needs to explain why it zeroed in on Ivins, how he could have made the anthrax mailed to lawmakers and the media, and how he (or anyone else) could have pulled off the attacks, acting alone. I believe this is another mistake in the [Amerithrax] investigation.”

Ivins’ group therapy with Jean Duley …

One month later, on July 9th Ivins allegedly made statements in his weekly group therapy session that were so alarming that the session convener feared he either intended to kill others, or himself. According to the counselor that chaired the session, Jean Duley (who was not trained in psychology) Ivins told the group he was angry about how the FBI and the government were treating him, and had become convinced that he faced the death penalty.

Would FBI case have led to conviction? …

Would all of this have resulted in conviction had Bruce Ivins lived to see his day in court? His lawyer, Paul Kemp doesn’t think so, and other legal experts have vouched that all the FBI evidence shows is that Ivins was a disturbed, paranoid individual, probably bona fide mentally ill. A case could be made that his mental illness preceded 9/11, but that still doesn’t prove that Bruce Ivins made, and mailed, the anthrax letters.

Weaknesses and omissions in FBI case …

  • the FBI cannot prove that Ivins was in the State of New Jersey on the two days when the deadly letters were dropped in Trenton-area mailboxes.
  • The FBI also failed to offer evidence that Ivins could produce handwriting, using either hand that resembled that penned on the letters and envelopes.
  • the FBI couldn’t prove that Bruce Ivins managed to remove samples of wet bacilli from that flask, and turn them into dry, fluffy spores.
  • whoever created the batch of dry spores must have contaminated the space in which he, or they, worked. But there was no evidence of such contamination at USAMRIID, or on any of the property owned by the Ivins family.
  • Even if the RMR-1029 matched every one of the Amerithrax letters, there was still no proof that Bruce Ivins was the person that converted samples into dry spores, stuffed them into envelopes and mailed the deadly postage.

yet FBI Director Mueller insists Ivins acted alone …

18 months later, with the NRC conclusions still not reached, FBI Director Robert Mueller declared case closed, officially shutting down the Amerithrax investigation. Dr. Bruce E. Ivins acted alone, and was the anthrax killer, Mueller insisted.

the NRC’s damning report  …

  • In November 2010 the NRC completed its investigation, based on 9,600 pages of documents and hundreds of hours of testimony and oral evidence, drafting a damning report that was submitted to the FBI for security review prior to publication.
  • The FBI was not pleased with the scientists’ findings, and produced 641 pages of previously withheld documents for additional NRC scrutiny.
  • The exhausted 16 scientists and judicial experts on the NRC panel had little interest in poring over additional evidence, but agreements were reached, the Department of Justice agreed to add funds to the NRC budget. The panel reconvened until February 2011.
  • The FBI’s mysteriously withheld 641 pages of evidence did little to sway the NRC, which issued its damning and final conclusions on February 15, 2011.
  • The NRC was not convinced by the FBI’s primary evidence against Bruce Ivins, the RMR-1029 flask of Ames strain anthrax.
  • Two assertions are in the FBI version of events:
    • Ivins was in possession of the culprit anthrax, contained in flask RMR-1029.
    • And he behaved in a manner that showed he was trying to hide the incriminating evidence from Special Agents.
  • The NRC disputed both assertions.
    • “It is not possible to reach a definitive conclusion about the origins of the B.anthracis in the mailings based on the available scientific evidence alone,” the NRC concluded. “The results of the genetic analyses of the repository samples were consistent with the finding that the spores in the attack letters were derived from RMR-1029, but the analyses did not definitely demonstrate such a relationship.”
  • the NRC panel was never convinced that the FBI’s registry truly contained every sample of Ames strain in the world.
  • And none of the panel members could shake the hunch that the evil-doer would never have turned over sample to the FBI.

two al-Qaeda blockbusters in the NRC report …

  • First, among the bodies recovered from the United Flight 93 crash site were those of Ziad Jarrah, Ahmad Al Haznawi and the two other al-Qaeda hijackers thwarted by brave passengers in their attempts to crash the jet into the White House. PCR analysis was performed in 2001 on the hijackers’ tissues, testing positive for Bacillus anthracis. This possible anthrax finding was especially interesting because Ahmad Al Haznawi was the al-Qaeda member that sought medical help in the emergency room of the Ft. Lauderdale Holy Cross Hospital on June 22, 2001. Dr. Christos Tsonas treated Al Haznawi with antibiotics for a black crusty sore on his hand, which was after 9/11 retrospectively diagnosed as a possible case of cutaneous anthrax infection.
  • The other revelation in the 641 pages was evidence related to three 2004 searches for anthrax spores carried out by the FBI and “other intelligence partners” in an “overseas location” used in 2001 by al-Qaeda. Though the location is classified, it appears to have been in Afghanistan, where U.S. Special Forces found two al-Qaeda related laboratories, one in Kabul and the other in Tora Bora, where Osama bin Laden successfully dodged American capture in December 2001. The three different rounds of swabbing, soil sampling and testing yielded contradictory results, some positive for anthracis, some negative. Adding to the confusion, another unnamed U.S. intelligence agency scoured the location before the FBI first reached the site, not only finding anthrax, but the Ames strain. The Ames-type Bacillus anthracis is a form of the bacterium never previously found in Asia. Further details of the possible al-Qaeda role in Amerithrax remain classified, and were not provided to the NRC.

possible al-Qaeda involvement deserves a more thorough review …

The entire issue of possible al-Qaeda involvement in the 2001 anthrax attacks “deserves a more thorough scientific review,” the NRC said.

attack anthrax was made on at least two separate occasions …

  • Whoever made the Ames anthrax apparently did so, on at least two separate occasions. Though the samples mailed in September to media outlets in Florida and New York were generally the same as those found in the October letters to Leahy and Daschle, the appearance of the samples are clearly different.
  • There were subtle genetic differences among the anthracis spores, from letter to letter, giving further support to the notion that the culprit(s) manufactured two separate quantities of anthrax, possibly in two different locations.
  • Far from providing a “smoking gun” linking the Amerithrax letters to RMR-1029, the mutants could have arisen from years of growing the bacilli in various types of fluids, in a variety of settings.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

* Judge strikes DOJ retraction in Stevens v. United States as unauthorized …

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 27, 2011

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ORDER SUA SPONTE STRIKING DEFENDANT’S “NOTICE OF ERRATA”

AS UNAUTHORIZED AMENDMENT TO EARLIER SUBMISSIONS

So it appears that the judge has retracted the DOJ retraction. So the original filing stands? And now the DOJ is back on record saying that Dr. Ivins’ lab lacked the “specialized equipment in a containment suite” needed for Ivins to have dried the deadly powder.

see prior posts …

* oops !!! … Justice Department retracts yesterday’s court filings that undercut FBI’s anthrax case … but the truth seems to have found a way to sneak through the suddenly leaky FBI stonewall … see the deposition statements quoted below

* DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NOTICE OF ERRATA filed July 19, 2011

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

* NEW BOOK by Laurie Garrett: I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks (July 18, 2011)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 23, 2011

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order Laurie’s book on amazon (Kindle $5.99) …


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Product Description (by the author Laurie Garrett) …
For most of my adult life I have borne witness. It’s what I won a Pulitzer Prize for, years ago. I go to epidemics, wars, places where people are struggling to cope with disasters, and I carefully log the accounts and events, trying to represent the lives and experiences of others. The position of “outsider” is emotionally safe, even as agonizing events unfold.But I could not distance myself from the extraordinary sequence of events that fell on America, and especially my home town of New York City, in 2001. A decade later I am still trying to understand how the attacks on the World Trade Center and the anthrax mailings affected me, and those I love. I heard the first jet slam into the north tower of the World Trade Center, and from the rooftop of my apartment building watched the second commercial jet veer towards lower Manhattan, change its trajectory, and slice across the upper floors of the south tower. I was standing on the Manhattan anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge when the first tower crumbled like a deflated accordion, spewing dust and debris in every direction and crushing the life out of thousands of people within.
And a month later, as people started falling ill from inhalation of anthrax spores, one of the nation’s top bioterrorism experts called me to warn that I was a likely target: Stop opening your mail.

The flow of these events, from the hijacking of four commercial jets on September 11th to the November death of an anthrax-infected Connecticut villager, took most of the world population from a remarkably united emotional and political place, to a deeply divided, frustrated, angry position. The arc of the response matters: It ultimately determined the course of historic events worldwide and tore America asunder, the people having lost trust in their government and without it, most forms of social cohesion. By the end of the winter of 2002 the arc had completed, from spectacular unity and confidence in governance to deep division and accusations of American arrogance. Through the frustrated anthrax investigations and drumbeats of war, the global community, especially Americans, moved in just a few months’ time from collectivism to fragmentation.

This book is structured in two parts. The first, THE END OF THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, is written in the present tense, describing almost hourly the events that unfolded primarily in Washington DC and New York City over 120 days in the fall and winter of 2001 and 2002. Each day is a chapter that opens with the actual diary entry that I sent on that date to a list of friends all over the world. The entry is followed by a detailed breakdown of the day’s events, unfolding like a novel.

Part two, NEW WORLD ORDER, details the repercussions of these events, transformations of critical government institutions, public health disasters, and what, in particular, the specter of terrorism meant for the American people. Revelations abound in this book, including:

• The bizarre chemistry of The Plume that rose from the burning crushed World Trade Center for four months, endangering the health of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.
Evidence that al-Qaeda may have been behind the anthrax mailings.
• Devastating spending and restructuring followed the attacks, leaving the nation less prepared for terrorism ten years later, and broke.
Each incident following the opening of anthrax-laden letters reveals countless errors and misjudgments.
There was no “weapons-grade anthrax” in those letters – a finding with profound health and political implications.

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Customer review by Larry Kramer …
Laurie Garrett is the premier science reporter in America, if not the world. Whatever she writes should be read. Whatver she says must be listened to. Indeed, if the world had listened to her warnings prior to every health catastrophe in the past forty years, the world would be in a lot healthier shape than the mess we are in now. She is indeed a prophet. She is indeed the very best. i cannot think of anyone who comes anywhere near her. Like all great writers, she truly bears witness, as great writers are meant to do and rarely do.
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Customer Review by Leonard Cole …
More than a terrific book, “I Heard the Sirens Scream” is a monument to a period. Garrett began writing on the day the Twin Towers fell. She made her way into lower Manhattan that day and most other days during the next four months. From that vantage she wrote a daily missive, as she calls it, plying her skills as a premier reporter and science writer. But woven into commentaries of heroism and missteps are her freely expressed emotions. A reader cannot help but share Garrett’s grief about lost lives, her rage at the perpetrators, and pride in New York’s selfless rescue workers. Much of Garrett’s narrative is also devoted to the spread of anthrax spores via threat letters that were mailed in the wake of 9/11. The Capitol, Pentagon, Supreme Court, and Federal Reserve were closed because of suspected or actual anthrax contamination. Like those who unknowingly inhaled the poisonous bacteria, people near Ground Zero inhaled air filled with particles of glass and asbestos. Many firefighters, police, and other rescue workers later developed respiratory illnesses, apparently as a result of their exposure. They had not received special masks and protective gear because, as Garrett recounts, federal officials had falsely declared the air safe to breathe. Garrett laments most deeply the change that terrorism has wrought on our collective psyche. People never grow accustomed to fear, she writes. Our citizenry has been scarred emotionally by the terrorist experiences.  This compelling book is not to be missed.
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* Stevens v. United States – Date Filed SYSTEM ENTRY – Docket Entries 163-167 restricted/sealed until further notice. Experts: Does This Comply With the Applicable Statutes and Regulations?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 21, 2011

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* Is Southern Research Institute the phrase that fits in front of laboratory in regard to the location that aerosol work for DARPA was done? Was it Johns-Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory? Or instead were the special facilities built at USAMRIID. The research involved the FBI’s anthrax expert John Ezzell and his assistant Joany Jackman.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 21, 2011

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* caught between conflicting objectives in the anthrax case and the Stevens case, the DOJ/FBI end up ignoring the truth and obstructing justice in both … why should anyone believe the government in either case

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 21, 2011

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IT WASN'T IVINS ... and the FBI must by now know that they drove the wrong man to suicide

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GREG GORDON, STEVE ENGELBERG AND MIKE WISER write for McClatchy Newspapers, ProPublica and Frontline (7/21/11) …

  • Waffling by Justice Department lawyers in a wrongful death lawsuit that arose from the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks could boost prospects that the government will be liable for millions in damages for failing to prevent the killing of a Florida man.
  • Department lawyers created a stir in recent days, first by filing court papers that appeared to undercut the FBI’s finding that the late Army scientist Bruce Ivins was the killer. 
  • The filings said Ivins lacked access in his lab to the sophisticated equipment to produce the anthrax powder. Four days later, the lawyers abruptly retracted that assessment.
  • “I think it creates a great deal of problems for the government,” said Paul Kemp, who represented Ivins before his 2008 suicide.
  • Kemp noted that the FBI found 116 individuals who might have had access to anthrax emanating from the suspect’s flask. Assuming that it indeed originated from that beaker, he said, the Justice Department’s conflicting statements show “that the government has no idea whether it was negligent or not in supervising the maintenance of 150 different pathogens at Fort Detrick and other locations.
  • If the case goes to trial, he said, attorneys for the Stevens family likely will have an opportunity to present the conflicting government statements to a jury.
  • Richard Schuler, the lead attorney for the Stevens family, said he thought that Justice Department lawyers were “trying to pick and choose the facts that will support them in the civil case. And in attempting to do that, they’re contradicting their own investigative agency, the FBI.”
  • Now, he said, the civil lawyers are trying “to walk a tightrope of facts in this case in order to attempt to prevent the Stevens family from getting justice. 
  • It just shows how far the government will go to obstruct justice in the Stevens case, to try and win the day by misleading the court with facts that … only days later, they now claim to be inaccurate.”

(McClatchy Newspapers collaborated with the investigative newsroom ProPublica and PBS’s “Frontline” to produce this article. Engelberg works for ProPublica and Wiser is with “Frontline.” ProPublica’s Aarti Shahani and Liz Day provided research for this story.)

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/07/20/3235078/justice-department-waffling-in.html#ixzz1SkUZQIOg

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