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

* The Pulitzer may go to the definitive write-up on the issue of what Dr. Ivins was doing on the nights in September and early October 2001 that the Department of Justice speculated, without any basis, that he was making a dried aerosol powder. The lab notebook pages from those specific nights were only recently produced to DXer and then to this blog under FOIA.

Posted by DXer on July 20, 2011



The Pulitzer may go to the definitive write-up on the issue of what Dr. Ivins was doing on the nights in September and early October 2001 that the Department of Justice speculated, without any basis, that he was making a dried aerosol powder.  The lab notebook pages from those specific nights were only recently produced to DXer and then to this blog under FOIA, resulting in these posts … 







17 Responses to “* The Pulitzer may go to the definitive write-up on the issue of what Dr. Ivins was doing on the nights in September and early October 2001 that the Department of Justice speculated, without any basis, that he was making a dried aerosol powder. The lab notebook pages from those specific nights were only recently produced to DXer and then to this blog under FOIA.”

  1. DXer said

    I am only now 25 minutes into the special — I don’t know anything about awards criteria and have no horse in the race … but definitely think that from what I’ve seen it is award-worthy.

    Although I think much of the story remains untold — necessarily — because documents haven’t been produced, it in fact is doing an award-winning job with what has been produced (and that it independently has obtained).

    And I’m sure there are many considerations for various awards. But even the film production is great.

    I barely watch any television at all but I’m going to find out when Frontline airs and start watching it regularly.

    But let’s not be too hard on the FBI for playing rough — don’t you root for “The Closer” in her travails?

    And let’s not be too hard on the prosecutors for being tough and making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear — don’t you root for Jack McCoy?

  2. DXer said

    Newly released files cloud FBI’s anthrax finding


    ProPublica, McClatchy Newspapers and PBS’ Frontline

    In April 2002, Ivins did something that investigators would highlight years later as a pillar in the capital murder case that was being prepared against him before he committed suicide in 2008: He turned over a set of samples from his flask of Ames anthrax that tested negative, showing no morphs. Later, investigators would take their own samples from the flask and find four morphs that matched those in the powder.

    Rachel Lieber, the lead prosecutor in a case that will never go to trial, thinks that Ivins manipulated his sample to cover his tracks. “If you send something that is supposed to be from the murder weapon, but you send something that doesn’t match, that’s the ultimate act of deception. That’s why it’s so important,” Lieber said.

    However, a re-examination of the anthrax investigation by “Frontline,” McClatchy Newspapers and ProPublica turned up new evidence that challenges the FBI’s narrative of Ivins as a man with a guilty conscience who was desperately trying to avoid being discovered.

    Records recently released under the Freedom of Information Act show that Ivins made available a total of four sets of samples from 2002 to 2004, double the number the FBI has disclosed. And in subsequent FBI tests, three of the four sets ultimately tested positive for the morphs.

    Paul Kemp, Ivins’ lawyer, said the existence of Ivins’ additional submissions was significant because it discredits an important aspect of the FBI’s case against his client. “I wish I’d known that at the time,” he said.

    Read more:

  3. DXer said

    The expanded inventory of Ames/1029 showed that the Ames for the DARPA research used to make a dried powder was from RMR 1029. A lyophilizer was used to make that dried powder out of the Ames.

    This is an interview of a scientist who had been working on the DARPA research while at USAMRIID; did Joany Jackman leave the remaining Ames from Flask 1029 with Terry Abshire or John Ezzell when she left?

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 12, 2011

    One of the key aspects of the Amerithrax facts to develop is where the aerosol experiments for DARPA were conducted.

    Perhaps relatedly, to what do the “aerosolization” experiments on the expanded inventory refer?

  4. DXer said

    This video touches on the 2011 ProPublic’s Prize Prize for a story that involved digital images as well as the importance of citizens bringing forward source material directly to the public. This blog broke the news in July 2009 and then provided a lengthy film of a question and answer (leading up to his heart attack a few minutes later).

  5. DXer said

    New York, Dec. 2, 2009 – The eligibility rules for the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism have been revised, opening the door wider to entries from text-based online-only newspapers and news sites, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced today.

    A year ago, the Board broadened the competition to include many United States news outlets that publish only on the Internet at least weekly, but it required that all entered material—whether online or in print—had to come from entities “primarily dedicated to original news reporting and coverage of ongoing events.”

    The Pulitzer Board decided to eliminate that entry requirement at its November meeting at Columbia University.

    The requirement sometimes excluded possibly promising entries—notably by online columnists, critics and bloggers—because of the nature of their Web affiliation, according to Sig Gissler, administrator of the Prizes.

    “The revised rule will provide more flexibility as we focus on the merit of an entry rather than the mission of the Web site where it appeared,” Gissler said.

    Original reporting and coverage of ongoing events will remain central considerations in the prizes for reporting and writing.

    Consistent with its historic focus on daily and weekly newspapers, the Board will continue to exclude entries from magazines and broadcast media and their respective Web sites.

    The revised eligibility rule now reads:

    “Entries for journalism awards must be based on material coming from a text-based United States newspaper or news site that publishes at least weekly during the calendar year and that adheres to the highest journalistic principles. Magazines and broadcast media, and their respective Web sites, are not eligible.”

    The Board will continue to monitor developments in digital journalism, Gissler said.

    In 1999, the Pulitzer Prizes first allowed online content in its journalism competition, restricting it to online content from newspapers entering in the Public Service category.

    In the 2007 competition, online content from newspaper Web sites was permitted in all Pulitzer journalism categories, but online-only news sites were not allowed to submit entries, and entirely-online entries were permitted in only two categories, breaking news coverage and breaking-news photography.

    In 2009, online-only sites that publish at least weekly were eligible for the competition, provided they met the original-reporting requirement. The Board also allowed entries made up entirely of online content to be submitted in all 14 Pulitzer journalism categories.

    In 2010, the competition will continue to allow a full range of online content, such as video, databases and interactive graphics, in nearly all categories. Two photography categories will continue to restrict entries to still images.

    • DXer said

      Online-Only Publication Nabs Its Second Pulitzer
      Jolie O’Dell April 19, 2011 by Jolie O’Dell 15

      ProPublica, an online journalism outlet, was announced Monday as one of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winners. This is the organization’s second Pulitzer; its first was awarded in 2010.

      ProPublica is an independent non-profit that syndicates content to various traditional news organizations; however, ProPublica itself operates solely on the Internet. This organization prides itself on its investigative reporting done “in the public interest.”

      Last year marked the first time an online-only publication had been awarded the prestigious Pulitzer. ProPublica reporter Sheri Fink was the history-making online journalist to be recognized for her piece on the practice of medicine and euthanasia during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans.

      This year, ProPublica‘s Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein were recognized in the National Reporting category for “The Wall Street Money Machine“, which contained investigative reporting on how certain Wall Street bankers’ actions worsened the financial crisis. Their reporting was done with help from NPR programs Planet Money and This American Life.

      The pair was specifically commended for “using digital tools to help explain the complex subject to lay readers.”

      Eisinger and Bernstein beat out competitors from Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal. Reporters from those publications were also nominated in the National Reporting category for pieces on the questionable practices of life insurance companies and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, respectively.

      Paul Steiger is ProPublica’s editor-in-chief, CEO and president. On the site Monday, he wrote, “These awards mean a lot to our staff, especially as all of them reflect the judgment of our peers in journalism. … ProPublica was created to spur reform through journalistic means, and to do this by reporting and writing stories with ‘moral force,’ that is, stories about abuse of power or failure to uphold the public trust. That is our mission, and today’s award encourages us to continue it with increased vigor.”

      • anonymous said

        In other news the National Enquirer won the yellow journalism Pulitzer for exposing that the moon landings were faked.

  6. DXer said

    This lab notebook 4383 detailing why Dr. Ivins was in the lab on the dates that the FBI speculated, without basis, was drying anthrax, was produced by USAMRIID on May 2011. But is there an additional lab notebook in possession of FBi that has even more detail?

  7. Anonymous said

    Mark Schoofs Joins ProPublica as Senior Editor
    ProPublica announced today that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mark Schoofs will join ProPublica as senior editor.

    New York, NY (PRWEB) July 25, 2011

    ProPublica announced today that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mark Schoofs will join ProPublica on August 15 as a senior editor.

    Schoofs comes to ProPublica after working for more than a decade at The Wall Street Journal. While there, Schoofs played a key role in investigations ranging from abuse and fraud in Medicare to the effects of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He contributed to the Journal’s coverage of the September 11 attacks, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. Schoofs also led a team of reporters covering the 2001 manhunt for the anthrax mailer and helped edit coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2010 Times Square bomb attempt.

    Prior to the Journal, Schoofs was a staff writer at The Village Voice, where he won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his eight-part series on AIDS in Africa. He has also freelanced for several publications, including The New York Times Magazine and The Washington Post. Schoofs graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a degree in Philosophy and holds two U.S. patents.

    “Mark has had a remarkable range of experiences as a reporter. We are excited to add to our staff someone whose work has mixed cutting-edge techniques with old-fashioned rigor and shoe leather,” said Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica’s managing editor.

    “I’m thrilled to be joining ProPublica. As tight budgets force many news organizations to constrict their investigative efforts, ProPublica’s mission becomes ever more critical. I’m excited to pitch in and work with a great group of journalists,” said Schoofs.

    ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. In 2010, it was the first online news organization to win a Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, ProPublica won the first Pulitzer awarded to a body of work that did not appear in print. ProPublica is supported primarily by philanthropy and provides the articles it produces, free of charge, both through its own website and to leading news organizations selected with an eye toward maximizing the impact of each article.

    Read more:

    • Dxer said

      Sandra at army FOIA has tasked request for all docs from Ivins including hard copy and electronic for period sept oct 2001. Hard drive has chon list of docs.

      We need to get exciting new docs to this group.

      Mainstream media is totally missing what is turning up and it’s significance

  8. DXer said

    That’s Pat Fellow’s writing when it is not Bruce’s writing.

    She won’t talk to you but there’s no harm in trying.

  9. DXer said

    Justice Department Trips in Anthrax Case. Again.
    • By Noah Shachtman

    • July 20, 2011

    • DXer said

      This is a good article.

      It was refreshing to see a journalist familiar with Amerithrax use the word face-plant. But now that I’ve looked it up in the dictionary, I realize its meaning to describe the recent filing was very apt.

      face–plant noun \ˈfās-ˌplant\

      Definition of FACE-PLANT

      : a sudden face-first fall

  10. DXer said

    video –

    FRONTLINE Investigation Shows Inconsistencies in Anthrax Case

  11. DXer said

    It belatedly occurred to me that I never uploaded the actual lab notebook pages except for one page incorporated into a graphic.

    The lab notebook is Notebook 4383.

    It is among the lab notebooks at the USAMRIID FOIA page where 9 lab notebooks have been uploaded.

    Several pages will be uploaded.

  12. Old Atlantic said

    I second the nomination. I would also recommend publishing a book in some form. A kindle book is a start. Kindle allows you to upload in html format. You can test it with mobi.

  13. Richard Rowley said

    Unfortunately, “how the government screwed up an important case” would get, at best, a lukewarm reception from a publisher. And the totality of the (reverse) circumstantial evidence wouldn’t preclude (logically) Ivins from having done it WITH assistance (ie a printing accomplice and/or deliveryboy to post the letters in Princeton).

    Determining that Ivins couldn’t have dried the anthrax at work wouldn’t preclude that he set up a drying facility SOMEWHERE (unknown to authorities) ELSE.

    So that would be the government’s likely fall-back position, should things reach such a pass.
    And this is a worthwhile mental exercise because it illuminates what is the ESSENCE of the government’s case: a flask that Ivins had access to and psychology.

    That the psychology is all wrong and self-contradictory doesn’t seem to sink in. But how does one prove that the investigators read Ivins wrong for about 3 years? Almost worse than the labors of Sisyphus; I really don’t see them being convince on THAT (ie the central ‘evidence’) unless/until the true perp(s) are exposed.

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