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

* AMERITHRAX prosecutors and investigators have never discussed what the newly released documents show about Dr. Ivins work with rabbits involved and those same documents were available to the FBI before Dr. Ivins’ killed himself.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 14, 2011

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46 Responses to “* AMERITHRAX prosecutors and investigators have never discussed what the newly released documents show about Dr. Ivins work with rabbits involved and those same documents were available to the FBI before Dr. Ivins’ killed himself.”

  1. DXer said

    The former chief of bacteriology GA once advised me on this general subject:

    “The animal rooms are small, but if two were used, then maybe 24 bunny cages would fit. The autoclaves are actually in the B3 hallway – 2 of them, a small and large. I don’t remember the dimensions, but one could likely fit multiple bags of say, 5 animals each, into the larger unit. The animals aren’t going to die all at once though.”

    The former head of bacteriology further explained in various emails:

    “two BSL-3 pass-through autoclaves, and at least two cold-side common autoclaves that other Divisions used as well. ”

    “The autoclaves are actually in the B3 hallway – 2 of them, a small and large. I don’t remember the dimensions, but one could likely fit multiple bags of say, 5 animals each, into the larger unit. The animals aren’t going to die all at once though.”

    “1 ½ to 2 hours is a realistic time for autoclave decon of dead animals the size of rabbits. As far what notebooks this info may have been recorded, I have no idea. Sub-Q exposures could easily have been done in B3, however it would have depended on the # of animals”

    • DXer said

      http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA464790

      The effect of formaldehyde on the immune response in NZW rabbits after injection of a rPA vaccine preparation was also evaluated. Vaccine preparations were formulated with 50 􏰁g of rPA adsorbed to 500 􏰁g of aluminum in Alhy- drogel with or without 0.02% formaldehyde. Rabbits were inoculated i.m. with a single dose of vaccine. Control rabbits were injected with PBS and Alhydrogel. Rabbits were bled every other week after inoculation, and the sera were tested by a quantitative anti-rPA IgG ELISA and TNA assay. Rabbits were challenged subcutaneously (s.c.) at week 6 with 125 LD50 spores from the Ames isolate of B. anthracis (actual count was 1.9 × 105 spores). Spores were prepared as pre- viously described [25]. Survival was noted for 21 days after challenge. The s.c. LD50 of Ames spores in NZW rabbits is 1.5×103 spores. …

      Rabbits were challenged s.c. at 6 weeks with spores from the Ames isolate of B. anthracis. The rPA vaccine formulated with 500 􏰁g of aluminum and 0.02% formaldehyde protected 58% of rabbits (14/24) against the parenteral challenge, while 37.5% of rab- bits (9/24) inoculated with rPA formulated with 500 􏰁g of aluminum but without formaldehyde were protected. None of the control rabbits survived the challenge (0%; 0/4). The s.c. route of challenge was evaluated because it provided greater control of the number of spores that were in the chal- lenge. Neither the difference in survival rates (p = 0.1486), survival curves (χ2 (1) = 1.62, p = 0.2037), nor mean time- to-death (4.2 days for rPA with formaldehyde and 4.5 days for rPA without formaldehyde; p = 0.7959) between the two groups was significant. Our data do not suggest that the inclusion of formaldehyde is a necessary additive to the rPA vaccine. From these results, it appears that formaldehyde’s action, in addition to acting as a stabilizer, may also be one of an adjuvant.

      The research described herein was sponsored by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Project 02- 4-CC-008.

      Research was conducted in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and other federal statutes and regulations relating to animals and experi- ments involving animals and adheres to principles stated in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, National Research Council, 1996. The facility where this research was conducted is fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.

  2. DXer said

    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 produced to DXer and then uploaded to this blog, resulting in the posts. The DOJ is still withholding a key notebook about Ivins and Pat’s trip to Covance in September and October 2001. It should have been uploaded in August 2008. At the very latest, it should have been uploaded in February 2010. GAO should press on this issue why it was not disclosed.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/dr-ivins-lab-notebook-establishes-that-there-were-lots-of-dead-mice-and-dead-rabbits-on-the-precise-dates-that-the-prosecutors-and-investigators-speculate-without-basis-that-dr-bruce-ivins-was/

    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/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/there-is-a-protocol-to-follow-in-the-handling-of-animals/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/8464/

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/dxer-the-key-premise-of-the-dojs-ivins-theory-unexplained-time-in-the-b3-was-always-unmitigated-crap/

  3. DXer said

    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID

    AVA info Monday, January 24, 2000 1:15:20 PM

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

    • Which room by number is the guinea pig animal room?

    • Anonymous said

      It would be helpful here to make a clear statement about what this means. It seems to mean that animals, when infected with anthrax, were kept in the hot suite B3 – and thus access to the hot suite in the evenings was required to perform the 3X daily checks.

      Some people are trying to claim that the animals were not in the hot suite B3, but somewhere else.

      • DXer said

        Only one person is claiming that. That person argues it is 99% certain a first grader wrote the letters. You should rely on more reliable sources — such as the actual source documents.

        As for the AUSA and lead prosecutor, the word “rabbits” has never passed their lips.

        • DXer said

          FW: Spore production cost estimates Friday, January 09, 2004 12:12:42 PM

          —–Original Message—-From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 11:24 AM To: (b) (6) Subject: Spore production cost estimates

          (b) – Here is the information requested for production of the spores. It would be 2 full years for (b( t(b) and me. I’m putting %100 of my time and (b) (6) time on this, because I honestly don’t )know how much “extra” lab/research time we’ll have. My total is $362,000 for direct costs, including b (6) (6) salaries (no benefits calculated). If you figure in indirect costs as well, it goes up to $724,000 for two )years. ( 6 -) Bruce **************************************************** The following direct cost estimates are provided for the production and characterization of 4 X 10^13 Bacillus anthracis spores. Based on past usage and predicted future usage, the spores should last 2 to 5 years.
          1) Total time required – 2 years (learning on the fermentor, production, harvest, purification, characterization of spores) 2) Personnel: a) Investigator salary – $90,000 per year X 2 years = $180,000. b) Technician salary – $50,000 per year X 2 years = $100,000. 3) Thirty runs total of the fermentor, 20 liters per run, 600 liters total. Leighton and Doi Medium cost = $3,000 a) 2 start-up/learning runs b) 3 runs establishing spore production conditions c) 5 runs not producing spores of acceptable quality d) 20 acceptable runs producing 10^10 spores per liter and 4 X 10^13 spores total
          (b)(2)

          4) Prepared agar media (Remel) for assay and characterization – $2,000 5) Steam sterilization at $100 (estimated) per run = $3,000 6) Disposable supplies such as glassware, Hypaque, centrifuge bottles, pipettes, loops, syringes, needles, bleach, animal room supplies – $40,000 7) Maintenance (estimated) on centrifuges and fermentors – $5,000 8) SLA-3000 Rotor dedicated to spore harvest – $8,000 9) Guinea pigs (100 total) for aerosol and intramuscular LD50 determinations, animal cost, shipping, housing and aerosolization – $12,000 10) Characterization/analysis (intra-mural) of final anthrax spore preparation – $5,000 1) Characterization/analysis (extra-mural) of final anthrax spore preparation – $5,000 Total for 2 years (no overhead calculated) = $362,000

      • DXer said

        From a March 2010 post:
        https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/dr-bruce-ivins-calendar-for-september-and-october-of-2001/
        DXer said

        March 10, 2010 at 10:18 am
        February 12, 2003 302 interview statement

        “IVINS pointed out that the B3 cold room as being on the right side of the hallway when looking through the crash door, with a black box on the door. Room ___ is the pass through to suite B4. The mouse animal room is the third door down on the right when looking through the crash door. The guinea pig room is across the hall with the cleaning supplies for the suite located to the right of the door as the room is entered.”

        Comment: Anonymous, that person was given this information back in March 2010 and still failed to understand that a night check is done at night and that the keypad was used to access where the rabbits were located.

  4. DXer said

    Commentators Kristen Philipkoski, Dick Destiny and Barbara Martin offer no explanation for the documents produced in the last 3 months contradicting DOJ’s claim that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab on those nights. If they are not going to time to review and address the documents that flatly contradict the DOJ’s assertions, then they should avoid discussing the issue until they are in a position to do so. What he was doing on the nights the DOJ says he was making a powdered anthrax is of central importance to an Ivins Theory.

  5. DXer said

    I should say that the ProPublica, Frontline and McClatchy are owed a great debt of gratitude for the wonderful document cloud that I have previously mentioned. They formally launched it and publicized it a couple of days ago. I truly is wonderful with a search capability within any given document.

    Especially as to email it is far easier than it was previously when each of the 88 batches of email needed to be downloaded. So a big thank you to ProPublica.

    USAMRIID’s FOIA officer had mentioned that USAMRIID was going to put them in files organized by year and so some key work may have been done by someone there.

    • DXer said

      The key pad access to B301 led to the rabbits at time and each of the dates Rachel and Ken had speculated Dr. Ivins was making a dried powder. Perhaps there is a document or other source that indicates the size of a cage — 52 rabbits is a lot of cages, all to be fit within the biocontainment area for parenteral challenge. There likely are regulations that govern how small a cage can be or perhaps it is in that invoice specifying the cost of shipping containers.

      The lab notebook did not exist in hard paper copy at USAMRIID. It had to be taken off a scan. But the FBI must have made a point of obtaining it. Or must have the actual hard copy.

      Sorry for the delay in responding but I was watching “Solitary Man.” Good movie, starring Michael Douglas.

  6. Were the rabbits in the B3 suite? Which room?

    • DXer said

      The rabbits were in the biocontainment suite — just like the RMR 1029 with which they were to be challenged. I believe Patricia Fellows and Anthony Bassett are the key people to interview for an authoritative discussion of where the 52 cages were placed in the biocontainment area. In a different (but similar experiment) the process could not be started at Covance yet because the biocontainment suites were booked. Dr. Ivins’ B301 keypad access laws track the rabbit study exactly. Yet show me where the word rabbit has ever passed on of their lips. J. Smith as a scientist who had access to all the emails and lab notebooks would also have known this. Someone had better start talking about rabbits and get back to the “we don’t know where or when he grew the anthrax” refrain that they were singing to Noah Schactman real quick if they want to have any credibility next week.

  7. DXer said

    Today is a travel day for Lew. (He travels the globe while hosting the blog). But when he gets to his new location he typically will have internet.

  8. DXer said

    There is a large amount of documentary material from September and October 2001 about the rabbit study that Rachel Lieber and Ed Montooth nowhere address.

    But let’s consider an item from 2004 to see another description. Note the needed use of the biocontainment suite. That’s right. The place AUSA Lieber and Agent Montooth instead want you to think Dr. Ivins made the dried powder. Frontline should have reviewed the documents with the prosecutor and investigator and now should go back and ask them to review it so that we can get their understanding.

    (b) (6)
    RE: Covance Polyclonal Quote Thursday, January 08, 2004 11:58:30 AM

    Happy New Year!! re: 03-0939 We are scheduled to bring you vaccines for immunizations of 40 rabbits this coming Tuesday, January 12. We anticipate arriving about 11 am. If this is not convenient, please let me know. Otherwise, we will see you all then!

    (b)(6)
    This experiment will require 40 rabbits, 20 of each gender, 2.5 to 3.5 kg each rabbit. We will provide vaccines and controls for injection. Immunization Schedule: A) – 4 animals, injected with saline + Matrix III at 0 weeks . B) – 4 animals, injected with Alhydrogel + rPA at 0 weeks. C) – 16 animals, injected with Matrix III + rPA (no Alhydrogel) at 0 weeks and subcutaneously (sc)challenged at 6 weeks with 100 LD50 of B. anthracis Ames spores. In this group soluble rPA protein will be incorporated into the Matrix III material. D) – 16 animals, injected with Matrix III + rPA + Alhydrogel at 0 weeks . (In this group, rPA protein adsorbed to Alhydrogel will be incorporated into the Matrix III material.) Bleeding Schedule On weeks 0, 2 and 4, the rabbits will be bled, and serum will be shipped back to USAMRIID. Shipping: Approximately week 5, the 40 rabbits will be shipped to USAMRIID for subcutaneous anthrax spore challenge on week 6. Animals will be individually identified by microchipping. Prior to immunization and bleeding, each rabbit will be identified by scanning the microchip to ensure that the correct animal is receiving the correct procedure, and that each animal’s blood goes into the correct tube. ********************* Because of Biocontainment suite space constraints here at USAMRIID, we will not be able to start immunizations until later this year. We can still commit the money to this project, however.***********************

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ivins explains that in such an experiment one is monitoring the “time to death.” So Agent Montooth, on each of the day you thought he had no reason to be in the lab, in fact his schedule and the documents show that he was there having to monitor “time to death.”

      Now Agent M. should tell a reporter: what does one do with the dead animals?

      And does Mr. Montooth credit the 302 saying that it was a one man job and would take a couple of hours?

      BTW, how long would it take Mr. Montooth to check 52 rabbits? (He evidences no awareness even of the rabbit experiment at all.)

      In the Frontline interview Agent M. mentions dismissively checking in a couple of times on the health of some mice.

      Dr. Ivins writes in 2005:

      If it’s a TOXIN challenge in rabbits, I think that I probably wouldn’t want to be involved, since it would involve model development and would also not be – in my mind – highly likely to give positive results. A company like Battelle or Southern Research Institute may be the way to go. If, on the other hand, you wanted to protect against a SPORE challenge, that’s something we could do. Then we’d have to work out how much antiserum, when administered, how often, what route, etc., as well as the spore challenge level. We’d monitor Time to death as well as total survival. 3) Would this need to be a “validated” (GLP or GLP-like) experiment? We don’t do that sort of thing here…yet…and when something like that needs to be done, we suggest Battelle, which does do this kind of work. If the work is in support of a product and the experiment results will go to the FDA, then GLP may be the way to go. If it’s just for information only, then we’re capable of doing that kind of work. 4) Would you want a face-to-face meeting to decide on the specifics of the work? If you’d like to call me on this, please do so. Thanks!! If we did go forward with it, we’d set up an agreement and work out the financial details. Bruce Ivins (b) (6)

      ________________________________

      From: (b) (6) Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 1:52 PM To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Subject: RE: Second Announcement-IBRCC-2004 ]

      We’re talking maybe 20-40 rabbits (if we did 10 per group) and a parental challenge is fine (we’re looking for toxin neutralization).

      • DXer said

        The requirement that the animals be checked 3Xs is not only standard protocol but evident in his emails, for example, from January 2000. The notations noting the time of death on one lab notebook indicates the time the rabbit died — not the time that Dr. Ivins was in the lab. His check was at night. Non-scientists lare not qualified to address the issue and a reporter needs to write up the lab notes with the assistance of a scientist such as those readily available to Frontline.
        Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID

        AVA info Monday, January 24, 2000 1:15:20 PM

        AVA

        1. What should be done. a) Passive studies in mice – I would prefer that these studies be contracted out. We can provide the challenge spores and antiserum. 1) Mice = CBA/J females, 10 per group, about 20 g. Inject intraperitoneally on days -1, 0, 1, 2 and 3 with one of the following: rabbit anti-rPA antiserum; rabbit anti-AVA antiserum; human antiAVA IgG; Normal rabbit serum; normal human IgG. On day 0, challenge subcutaneously with 10LD50s of V1B spores. Check mice 3X daily for deaths and note differences in survival as well as time to death differences. If protection is seen, repeat experiment with 10 LD50s of Ames spores. If no protection is seen, drop the challenge dose down to 3-5 LD50s of Vollum 1B spores. Enough animals should be ordered to repeat experiments. Total number of animals = 400 b) Passive studies in guinea pigs. We can do these studies in the guinea pig animal room in B3. 1) Guinea pigs = Hartley strain, 8 males and 8 females per group, about 350 g at the time of the experiment. Inject intraperitoneally on days -1, 0, 1, 2 and 3 with one of the following: rabbit anti-rPA antiserum; rabbit anti-AVA antiserum; human anti-AVA IgG; Normal rabbit serum; normal human IgG. On day 0, challenge intramuscularly with 50 LD50s (5000) of Ames spores. Check guinea pigs 3X daily for deaths and note differences in survival as well as time to death differences. If protection is seen, repeat experiment with 100 LD50s of Ames spores. If no protection is seen, drop the challenge dose down to 10 LD50s of Vollum 1B spores. Enough animals should be ordered to repeat experiments. Total number of animals = 500 c) Passive studies in rabbits and monkeys (aerosol challenge). (b) (6) to work on this with (b) (6) f it is decided not to contract this out. and I would be willing

    • DXer said

      While Dr. Ivins explains that biocontainment is needed when there is a challenge, it is not needed when there is not — such as a study involving monkeys from 2001.

      From: To: Subject: Date: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID

      Page 77 of 724

      (b) (6)
      Proposed experiments” Thursday, February 15, 2001 10:07:57 AM

      Hi, (b) (6) I very much enjoyed talking with you about our proposed experiments. I’d like to write down some ideas and send them to you via email. Please add information, comments, criticisms, suggestions, etc. Then I/we can start animal protocol writing. I’m sick today, and I’m not in much shape to write a lot, but I’ll send more to you next week. Here are some rough ideas: 1) Three groups of rhesus monkeys, 10 animals per group. Each group will get inoculated i.m. with vaccine or vaccine + CpG at 0 and 4 weeks. They will be bled for anti-PA titers (ELISA and toxin neutralization, possibly other tests) at 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. They will not be challenged, thus avoiding IACUC problems and biocontainment problems with respect to challenge organisms. 2) Groups: a) Recombinant PA (5 micrograms) + Alhydrogel. b) Recombinant PA (5 micrograms) + Alhydrogel + CpG mixture (D type)- how much??. c) Recombinant PA (5 micrograms) + Alhydrogel + CpG mixture (K type)- how much??. The plan is for 30 monkeys here at USAMRIID, but monkeys could also be done at CBER. We could provide you with vaccine. If you wanted to run extra tests on the sera, that would be most interesting. We would have to order monkeys here, so the project may take a little longer up here to complete. Please let me know any thoughts you have. I’m excited to do the work! – Best wishes, – Bruce

      • DXer said

        It is the biocontainment suites that involve the use of the keypad on which Rachel Lieber bases her case and asserts Dr. Ivins spent the unexplained time. Yet she personally, through a spokesman, refused this blog’s request for the contemporaneous documents showing that Dr. Ivins was in the biocontainment suites for the rabbit study.

        From: To: Subject: Date: Attachments: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID FW: New PIN Number Issue for Biocontainmnet (UNCLASSIFIED) Tuesday, March 27, 2007 11:29:58 AM

        Page 224 of 1141

        Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: FOUO Mine is (b)(2) -bruce Bruce Ivins
        (b) (6)

        —–Original Message—-From: (b) (6) Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 10:02 AM To: (b) (6) Subject: FW: New PIN Number Issue for Biocontainmnet (UNCLASSIFIED) This message only applies to personnel which have electronic access (keypads) to biocontainment suites. Please stop by the front security desk of Building (b)(2) to receive your new PIN (personal identification number) as required by Army regulation. PIN numbers must now be changed every 12 months. See enclosed schedule for uninterrupted access. Thank you,
        (b) (6)

        • DXer said

          Dr. Ivins explains:

          “Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID RE: Policy question Monday, March 06, 2000 11:10:37 AM

          Hi, (b) So nice to hear from you, but shame on you for getting (b) (6) “in a family way!” (Just (6) kidding, of course.) Here at USAMRIID, pregnant women are not allowed in biocontainment suites, at least the BL-3 suites where they work with B. anthracis. Talk to you later! – Bruce”

    • DXer said

      As indicated by an email above, they used the biocontainment suites for the subcutaneous challenge for the rabbits and such an experiment needed to await availability of biocontainment space. The B3 is where RMR 1029 and other anthrax strains was kept. RMR 1029 was used for the subcutaneous challenge.

      From: To: Subject: Date: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID

      Page 49 of 520

      (b)(6)
      RE: IVINS DUPLICAIONS Thursday, February 06, 2003 3:55:31 PM

      Please delete the following registration numbers. They are duplications of various B. anthracis isolates in B3. Thanks. – Bruce 2597 2608 2527 2673 2389 2523 2524 2641 2436 2437 2438 2439 2635 2703 2542 Bruce Ivins

      (b)(6)

      —–Original Message—-From: (b)(6) Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 2:51 PM To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Cc: (b)(6) Subject: IVINS DUPLICAIONS

      Hello, Bruce. Could you take a look at the attached list of your registered agents? (b)(6) is reviewing the database for possible duplications. Please let us know if we can deregister any of these. THANKS!

      • DXer said

        Bruce explains in an October 11, 2001 email — about the same time in a different memo he summarized the results of the rabbit study done in the biocontainment suite — that the Ames (used to challenge the rabbits) was kept in the B3 biocontainment suite. AUSA Lieber makes no mention of the rabbits in the study and did not produce the email from early October explaining the results after 3 days of challenge.

        >—–Original Message—->From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID >Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 12:30 PM >To: (b) (6) >Subject: Information on “Ames” strain of B. Anthracis > (b) (6) > Here is information on the Ames strain of B. anthracis: > > In December of 1980 (b) (6) USAMRIID Bacteriology Division, received a strain of Bacillus anthracis (originally from a dead cow) from the (b) (6) After receipt of this strain, it was immediately transferred to the B3 biocontainment suite. Access to this and other biocontainment suites was (and still is) strictly controlled and limited to those individuals authorized to work with B. anthracis strains. The strain was found to have both pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids, produce edema toxin, lethal toxin and capsule, and have a median lethal dose (LD50) in mice of 7 spores, and in guinea pigs, 100 spores. This strain has been termed the “Ames” strain ever since its arrival at USAMRIID. > >- Bruce Ivins

  9. Anonymous said

    “If Rachel had enough evidence to tell Dr. Ivins that she was going to seek to put him to death, she could at least have gathered up the documents from those days and given Ivins a copy.”

    It really is quite chilling how Rachel said the standard for executing someone was lower than a result from a “science project”.

    • DXer said

      I was amused by the commentary of a Dr. Martin who thought the key was the confluence of the additional factor that the federal eagle stamp was sold throughout Maryland and Virginia was so critical.

      Which would only serve to limiit things from the “up to 377” with access to the genetic matching anthrax at Ft. Detrick alone … and anyone they gave it to

      … if in fact the genetic evidence was admissible which the experts keim and smith say it wouldn’t have been.

      Prosecutors should be less quick to use the word “compelling circumstantial evidence” and more quick to produce the contemporaneous notes written by the defendant on the relevant dates.

      Why are the prosecutors withholding the notebook about the Covance study (the Battelle vaccine) study?

      Why have we never heard from Patricia Fellows?

      Why have we never heard from the Covance people in Denver, PA?

      Why have we never heard from the Battelle people who worked on the vaccine project with Bruce?

      Why have we never heard from lab tech Anthony Bassett who I believe worked with the animals in late September and early October.

      These are the people who can fill gaps that might prove critical.

      In the Frontline documentary the rubber did not hit the road on these issues and hopefully further reporting will fill the gaps in understanding.

  10. DXer said

    Document produced today to DXer discussing shipment of 52 rabbits week of September 24, 2001 for formaldehyde study
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 31, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/document-produced-today-to-dxer-discussing-shipment-of-52-rabbits-week-of-september-24-2001-for-formaldehyde-study/

    Dr. Ivins was the Investigator on the study. The 52 rabbits arriving the week of September 24th cost something like $7,500. Neither AUSA Rachel Lieber nor Ed Montooth have ever expressed any awareness of his work with the rabbits — in fact, I ask someone to even point out one instance in which the word “rabbit” has passed their lips. The FBI has these documents but did not produce them. GAO: why didn’t the FBI produce these documents showing what Dr. Ivins was doing in late September 2001?

    • DXer said

      Shipping documents that show who signed for the rabbits. Who signed for the 52 boxes (cages) of rabbits? What date and time were signed? Dr. Ivins was responsible for the shipment and had authorized the $7,500 in expense.

      I just signed for a large shipment that the driver was barely able to lift and as usual it was done electronically and the company has a record.

      52 boxes of rabbits is a lot of rabbits and involved a lot of attention. Why haven’t reporters interviewed animal tech Anthony Bassett to learn the details of Dr. Ivins work with the rabbits? Why haven’t reporters interviewed lab tech Patricia Fellows to learn the details of Dr. Ivins work with the rabbits? My source with personal knowledge tells me that Anthony was the tech who went to get RMR 1029 and brought it over from Building 1412 when the FBI asked for it. Does Anthony corroborate that report?

      If Ed Montooth does not realize how much is involved in killing 52 rabbits by injection over those days in late September and early October, then he seems to be unaware of what is required by the USAMRIID animal protocol (which requires checks 3Xs a day, including weekends) and the autoclaving of dead animals.

      Even a guinea pig requires attention as a pet — and that’s not just on movie night. (Her favorite actor is Rodney in Dr. Doolittle; you should hear her wheek!).

      But neither Mr. Montooth nor AUSA Lieber have evidenced any awareness of these documents and the FBI did not produce them. The FBI has even failed to produce the lab notebook on this subject that includes Dr. Ivins’ contemporaneous lab notes. One might think the problem simply is that the investigators and prosecutors had not mastered their subject. But I think Fraser-Liggett is mistaken that there was no time — baloney. If GAO obtains the paralegal’s annotation of the documents (all batestamped and annotated and entered into the FBI database), the GAO would see that the FBI has always had them and that they could be readily pulled up in chronological sequence.

      • DXer said

        Look at the dates. They are the same dates that AUSA Lieber claimed he had no reason to be at the lab.

        Dr. Ivins’ lab notebook establishes that there were lots of dead mice and dead rabbits on the precise dates that the prosecutors and investigators speculate, without basis, that Dr. Bruce Ivins was making a dried powder out of Flask 1029 — such as the FBI anthrax expert had done in August 2000 at the request of DARPA
        https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/dr-ivins-lab-notebook-establishes-that-there-were-lots-of-dead-mice-and-dead-rabbits-on-the-precise-dates-that-the-prosecutors-and-investigators-speculate-without-basis-that-dr-bruce-ivins-was/

        • DXer said

          The standard in a DC law firm — and I would have thought the DOJ — would be to cite evidence in support of assertions and then provide the documentary evidence in an appendix. If AUSA Lieber had done this, her footnote that mentioned in passing mice would never have passed muster — nor would FBI agent Montooth’s claimed understanding have survived.

          The Amerithrax Investigative Summary is an unsourced and unmitigated crock — not supported by citation to any documentary evidence for good reason. An analysis sourced to the documentation tells a quite different story … As our how is always fond to emphasize, the buck stops with FBI Director Robert Mueller. Congress should demand an explanation of the pathetic FBI anthrax investigation and GAO should obtain all documents relating to the work with both mice and rabbits in late September and October and develop the most authoritative narrative possible, while providing the documentary evidence in support.

          If Rachel had enough evidence to tell Dr. Ivins that she was going to seek to put him to death, she could at least have gathered up the documents from those days and given Ivins a copy.

          Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 31, 2011
          https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/dxer-comments-the-amerithrax-investigative-summary-is-an-unsourced-and-unmitigated-crock-not-supported-to-any-documentary-evidence-for-good-reason-an-analysis-sourced-to-the-documentation-t/

        • DXer said

          Lab notebook pages. (USAMRIID provided them to me on or about May 11, 2011, not DOJ; they had to be obtained from a scan and did not exist at USAMRIID in hard copy).

          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/

          There is a protocol that needs to be followed in the handling of animals in experiments that involved death and suffering.

          https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/there-is-a-protocol-to-follow-in-the-handling-of-animals/

        • DXer said

          The lab notebooks marked “gone” are the lab notebooks that the FBI took relating to Dr. Ivins’ activity in September and October without leaving a copy.

          Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 31, 2011

          https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/the-lab-notebooks-marked-gone-are-the-lab-notebooks-that-the-fbi-took-relating-to-dr-ivins-activity-in-september-and-october-without-leaving-a-copy/

          I can’t emphasize enough that USAMRIID FOIA has been part of the solution, not the problem, and that the Frederick, MD community is well-served by the FOIA office serving USAMRIID.

          The good faith shown by that FOIA office serving USAMRIID will be a key asset to USAMRIID as the community faces concerns about the occurrence of cancers and speculation it relates to research at the base.

          There is no reason that a US DOJ supervisor could not have DOJ FOIA expedite pending FOIA requests so as to bring DOJ into compliance with the statutory mandates.

          Mr. Boyd is sorely missing the point as to what leads to good public relations — robot-like incantation of the conclusory assertion does not. A call to the FOIA office does.

        • DXer said

          The question that AUSA Lieber and Ed Montooth should have been asked on the Frontline show — instead of general questions like whether they think they think they got their man or whether instead they drove an innocent man to suicide — could have been:

          why did you withhold Dr. Ivins contemporaneous lab notebook pages from 2001 (September 28, 29 & 30, and October 1 & 2) being withheld? … these are the nights that you speculate he was making a powderized anthrax.

          https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/why-are-dr-ivins-lab-notebook-pages-being-withheld/

        • DXer said

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

          https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/12-of-24-rabbits-died-over-the-course-of-3-days-after-an-october-2-2001-subcutaneous-challenge/

          It took a couple hours to run the autoclave and the practice was that the last person in for the day ran the autoclave. See 302.

          Dealing with the animals was a one person job that took a couple of hours.
          302-
          https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/from-dxer-10501-email-from-dr-ivins-explaining-how-he-was-spending-his-time-in-b3-on-the-nights-the-doj-says-he-was-aerosolizing-anthrax/

          Given Egyptian Abu Khabab was also conducting rabbits in the fall 2001 (before 9/11) killing rabbits with poisons at a camp outside Kabul, it behooved AUSA Lieber and FBI agent Ed Montooth to master these days, produce the relevant documents, and explain why they thought that Dr. Ivins time was unexplained.

          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/

          Agent Montooth says it is part of his job to be criticized. More to the point, it is part of his job to produce the documents relating to the rabbit experiment and explain why he and Rachel think Dr. Ivins’ time was unexplained. GAO’s questioning of AUSA Lieber and Agent Montooth should be tied to documents.

        • DXer said

          Sometimes they do aerosol challenges — but Dr. Ivins explained in an August 2001 email that subcutaneous challenges are easier, for example, because they require fewer personnel. */

          Sometimes a challenge will involve both aerosol challenge of some rabbits or parenteral challenge of others. Parenteral means subcutaneous. The challenge reflected by the notes first produced by USAMRIID in May 2011 were parenteral. The dates are exactly the ones that Rachel claimed Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab. Ed Montooth first identified Dr. Ivins as a primary suspect in December 2006 and so there is no basis to say that they did not have time to master the documentary evidence. They instead intentionally chose to rely on Dr. Ivins inability to support how he spent his time because DOJ withheld — and continues to withhold — the documents. When Bruce contacted IT at one point he was told they could not retrieve his emails going so far back. Rachel and Ed of course had them at their fingertips. All they needed to do was print out a chronologically ordered collection of emails for Ivins — that the DOJ lead paralegal could have gotten to them in minutes — and Kemp and they could have been walked through the chronology.

          ?RE: Isoform studies Wednesday, August 08, 2001 9:56:44 AM

          We haven’t set the challenge yet. For screening different vaccine candidates, we frequently use parenteral challenge, since we can tightly control the dose, do more animals at a time, and require fewer people and less labor to accomplish the task. In one day, we can do an aerosol challenge of 30
          rabbits, employing about 8-10 people and 4 rooms (1 for animals, 2 hood lines, 1 spore and bacterial plating). In 1/2 day we can do a parenteral challenge of 60 rabbits, employing 2 people and 1 room. We use aerosol challenge when we have advanced our candidates along, as we are currently doing in (b) (6) protocol with the rPA/Alhydrogel/PBS. My preference at this stage would be a parenteral challenge, since it would give us the information we are looking for with respect to titers and protection differences. – Bruce ?

        • DXer said

          GAO, interview the lead DOJ paralegal who handled the documents (before Rachel was assigned) about the nature of the information available from a quick search.

        • DXer said

          There are numerous emails discussing the planned shipment of the rabbits from Covance for challenge. This is not something the investigators and prosecutors could have possibly missed.

          RE: rPA meeting – 6 AUG 01 Wednesday, August 08, 2001 3:25:09 PM

          “Bruce talked about the status of stability studies (rPA vaccine with and without formaldehyde) in the rabbit. The rabbits will be held and immunized at Covance, then shipped to USAMRIID for challenge.”

        • DXer said

          The records showing entry into B301 keypad on those dates are exactly what you would expect to see. Dealing with the animals was a one person job according to the 302 interview statement excerpt I’ve uploaded and linked above (by a lab tech) and would take approximately 2 hours. Patricia Fellows can try to spin it anyway she wants to explain the large amount of missing anthrax she and Mara made. See her 302 claiming it was intended to replenish 1029. They can try to duck the technical assistance they were acknowledged providing a former Zawahiri associate in numerous patents in the USAMRIID B3 with virulent Ames. They can dance on Dr. Ivins’ grave and hate him for his frailties and believe the nonsense spun by the first counselor about July 2000 events. But the fact is the last one in for the day would typically autoclave dead animals … and although it would be perfectly reasonable that Bruce was hanging out surfing the internet on one of the computers (as GA suggests) .. or dressing up in a pink tutu… the documents show he had his hands full with a long scheduled study on rabbits… with the word rabbit never passing Rachel’s or Ed’s lips. Check out what Mr. Montooth said in his Fronline interview. (transcript). As for Dr. Saathoff who reviewed the same emails, he and the panel members he selected were not qualified to address such an issue which is why the DOJ has moved to exclude his report. Many of the other researchers — even on the rPA study — had equally colorful and dramatic pasts. If the full weight of the DOJ and its manipulative presentation of evidence ever were to land on them, this blog would be right there pressing for the authoritative documents.

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