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

* The hunt for America’s anthrax killer … a 3 part series analyzing the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks … raising serious questions as to whether Dr. Bruce Ivins was the man responsible

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 24, 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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The hunt for America’s anthrax killer …

a 3 part series by Stephen Engelberg, Greg Gordon and Jim Gilmore And Mike Wiser, Vancouver Sun

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1. Was this man the anthrax killer?

Ten years after five people were killed by deadly powder in envelopes delivered by mail, new questions are emerging about whether Bruce Ivins was really responsible for the mayhem.

  • Months after the anthrax mailings that terrorized the nation in 2001 – and long before he became the prime suspect – U.S. army biologist Bruce Ivins sent his superiors an email offering to help scientists trace the killer.

read the entire article at … http://www.vancouversun.com/news/this+anthrax+killer/5591796/story.html

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2. Federal agents took years to finger Army scientist Bruce Ivins as the man behind the attacks

  • In early 2002, federal agents who were hunting the anthrax killer were trying to winnow a suspect list that numbered in the hundreds. They knew only that they were looking for someone with access to the rare Ames strain of anthrax used in research labs around the world. Profilers said the perpetrator probably was an American with “an agenda.”
  • 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 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 the entire article at … http://www.vancouversun.com/news/hunt+America+anthrax+killer/5596021/story.html#ixzz1bgme4bD6

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2 Responses to “* The hunt for America’s anthrax killer … a 3 part series analyzing the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks … raising serious questions as to whether Dr. Bruce Ivins was the man responsible”

  1. DXer said

    Is U.S. Spending Billions on Homeland Security Projects that Won’t Protect Us?

    August 20, 2016

    http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/is-us-spending-billions-on-homeland-security-projects-that-wont-protect-us-160820?news=859348

    By Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica

    The turbulent months after the 9/11 attacks were notable for something that did not happen. Even though al-Qaeda had killed thousands of people and scored a direct hit on the Pentagon, hardly anyone in either political party blamed the Bush Administration for failing to defend the homeland. In the burst of patriotism that followed the assaults, President Bush and his aides essentially got a free pass from the voting public. This consensus held even after it emerged that government officials had fumbled numerous clues that might have prevented the attacks. (The Central Intelligence Agency knew two al-Qaeda operatives had entered the U.S. in 2000, but never told the Federal Bureau of Investigation. No one tracked their movements and phone calls, a notable lapse since both men ended up among the 19 hijackers.) Voters had no problem re-electing a president who did nothing after receiving an intelligence briefing weeks before 9/11 headlined “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.”

    ***

    In the absence of rigorous oversight, some key, longstanding security weaknesses are being overlooked

    Back in 1999 and 2000, I worked with two New York Times reporters, Judith Miller and Bill Broad, to write a book on the dangers posed by biological warfare. In a bizarre coincidence, “Germs” hit the stores on September 10, 2001, just a few weeks before the anthrax letters began making their way through the U.S. postal system.

    We researched the book at a time of rising anxiety about the possibility that terrorists, specifically bin Laden, could attack American cities with germ weapons. There were many reasons to worry. Russian scientists had come forward to reveal the extraordinary prowess of the Soviet Union’s research into biological weapons. U.S. officials had confirmed that a relatively low-skilled person could make dangerous quantities of anthrax using easily available equipment.

    One essential item the United States lacked was a reliable device that could detect a germ attack as it was unfolding. This is a trickier technological challenge than it might seem; the air is filled with all manner of bacteria and viruses. Shortly after 9/11, the government rushed out a program called BioWatch in which sensors were placed in various cities.

    I moved on to other assignments and did not keep track of how this particular counter-terrorism program turned out. Brill followed up, and what he found is disturbing.

    Despite all the billions of dollars wasted on homeland defense, no one ever figured out how to detect bio-attacks. BioWatch, which was obsolete the day it was put into use, produced 149 false alarms by 2014, none of which were linked to an attack or public-health threat. The DHS undersecretary for science and technology told Congress that the agency hopes to have a working system in place within “three to eight years.”

    That’s preposterous.

  2. DXer said

    Risk, Trust, Balance, and Blame in Media Coverage of the Federal Anthrax Investigation.Authors:Kruvand, Marjorie1 mkruvand@luc.edu
    Source:Conference Papers — Midwestern Political Science Association; 2009 Annual Meeting, p1, 31p
    Document Type:Article
    Subject Terms:*SEPTEMBER 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001

    Abstract: In October 2001, a nation still shaken from the terrorist attacks of 9-11 was unnerved again after letters containing anthrax were sent through the mail. Over the following two months, five people were killed and 17 injured, mail service was crippled temporarily, and some federal buildings were evacuated. The deadliness of the anthrax, the fact that political officials and news anchors were among the intended victims, and the seeming inability of federal investigators to find the culprit intensified the anxiety. In August 2008, in a dramatic twist in one of the largest criminal investigations in U.S. history, a government microbiologist who had worked to develop a better anthrax vaccine committed suicide as prosecutors prepared to indict him in the case. His death prompted skepticism about whether the anthrax mystery had finally been solved. This study uses framing and the social amplification of risk as the theoretical framework to examine coverage of the investigation in different media organizations. The goal is to determine how the framing of media coverage was influenced by divergent perceptions of risk held by political officials involved in the investigation and media covering the story. ..PAT.-Unpublished Manuscript [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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