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

* FBI Assistant Director Kortan Should Be Asked Whether He Knows That Dr. Ivins On Those Nights Was Busy Autoclaving Dozens of Dead Rabbits — And If Not, Who Kept That Information From Him?

Posted by DXer on October 27, 2011




6 Responses to “* FBI Assistant Director Kortan Should Be Asked Whether He Knows That Dr. Ivins On Those Nights Was Busy Autoclaving Dozens of Dead Rabbits — And If Not, Who Kept That Information From Him?”

  1. DXer said


    How many biolevel 3 labs were in the organization you headed?

    What were you doing in late September 2001 and the first week of October 2001?

    Who did you have conversations with?

    I typically can’t even remember what I had for dinner the day before let alone who I might have had conversations with years ago on particular nights.

    On the other hand, show me my computer documents from particular days and I could say “Oh, yeah, I wrote that.”

    The FBI has failed to respond to any requests for FOIA documents relating to Amerithrax from members of this blog — to include, for example, the Covance notebooks relating to the rabbits and another notebook from September 30, 2001.

    Mr. Montooth and Ms. Lieber would have definitely been aware of the October 5, 2001 email from Bruce explaining how many rabbits had died in the first 3 days of challenge. And thus GAO needs to bear down on why the Amerithrax Investigative Summary does not mention the rabbit study.

    I submit that Bruce’s rage in July 2008 was understandable — Rachel was yanking his chain by pretending his time was not explained by the documents relating to the rabbit study that she was keeping from him.

    Look at what she wrote on the subject — and then compare that to the rabbit documents that eventually began coming from USAMRIID. She never acknowledges the existence of the study that explains his presence in B3 on each and everyone one of those nights. And where does one do a bacteremia study — growing anthrax in blood — but in Rm. 313?

    Have you ever stopped to understand why Patricia Fellows won’t respond to your queries?

  2. DXer said

    If I am remembering correctly, David Relman co-authored that wonderful article in Science by J.B. Petro on the perils of scientific openness, which included a graphic of the correspondence between infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad and Dr. Ayman Zawahiri. It was Dr. Petro who helpfully pointed out to me how to get the correspondence. It will be experts like Dr. Petro and Dr. Leitner at DOD who will see us through this period safely.

    Tara O’Toole urges that all members of Congress get a classified briefing but I fully expect that Dr. Petro, Dr. Relman and Dr. Inglesby may be type of experts who would give such a briefing. So listen up.

    And so while Dr. Relman was vice-chair of the NAS panel and is a professor of medicine at Stanford, he is not merely some ivory tower academic. He also knows for example that one study Dr. Ayman was poring over involved growth of anthrax using silicates and another book discussed microencapsulation for the purpose of increasing the stability of the spore (and protecting it from heat and UV light).

    Dr. Keim should focus more on the fact that the self-reporting of samples hopelessly screwed up the sampling process and so the genetics on the 4 morphs, even if it had been validated, would more likely than not lead to an incorrect conclusion. For example, there was a second slant that had been sent to the USAMRIID scientist who then went to work for the CIA.

    As for the large amount of missing Ames made by the scientist spinning Dr. Ivins time on the passive mouse study as not warranted, there is no contemporaneous documentation showing that was made from refrigerated stock. It was intended to replenish RMR 1029.

    Friday, October 28th, 2011

    Scientific Case Still Open On 2001 Anthrax Attacks

    An anthrax-contaminated letter addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy, being opened by experts at the Army’s Ft. Detrick, Maryland, biomedical research laboratory in 2001. FBI image.
    Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins, the FBI’s prime suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks, died before his trial in an apparent suicide, and the case is now closed. John Dankosky and guests discuss new investigations that question whether scientific evidence against Ivins was conclusive enough to hold up in court.

    Stephen Engleberg
    Reporter, anthrax series with McClatchy and PBS Frontline
    Managing Editor, Propublica
    New York, New York
    Paul Keim
    Microbiologist and evolutionary biologist
    Northern Arizona University and the Translational Genomics Research Institute
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    David Relman
    Professor, Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology
    Stanford University
    Chief, Infectious Diseases
    VA Palo Alto Health Care System
    Palo Alto, California

  3. DXer said

    The headline of the one graphic refers to 24 cages but that was just one group.

    The total number of rabbits (24 + 24 + 4) was 52 — as clarified by additional documents provided recently by USAMRIID as well as the pictured document.

    The animal lab tech Anthony Bassett can speak to what is involved and avoid any additional errors.

    Still waiting for the word “rabbit” to first pass the lips of any FBI official or investigator or DOJ prosecutor.

  4. DXer said

    Someone in a position as important as Mr. Kortan likely has not had the opportunity to see the original source documents that would support or contradict his assumptions about what Dr. Ivins was doing. Below are some of the the documents — and they are being withheld by the FBI. The FBI took the only copies of key notebooks from USAMRIID. If Mr. Kortan is making claims about what Dr. Ivins did,he should pick up the phone and ask Mr. Sobonya of FBI FOIA to expedite the pending request for both the notebooks and the 9,000 pages provided Marc Gold. (It is all on a CD and would take about 5 minutes to drop in the mail. The only reason people are not on the same page is because AUSA Lieber misrcharacterized the documents in her investigative summary and now the documents are being withheld. (Through a spokesperson, she specifically said we would never get them when this blog asked her).

    The standard in the DOJ should be that the accompanying documents are provided in an appendix so as to avoid this type of error. Separately, the standard should be that the FBI comply with FOIA.

    Notebooks 3716 and 4383 _____- Mouse passive immunization studies – 1 SEP through 15 OCT

    Notebooks 4240 – Immunization at Covance for antiserum – 18 SEP and 16 OCT

    Notebook 4240 (and computer files) – Preparation of vaccine for FDA immunization of mice – September and October

    Notebook 4241 – Receipt of 30 vials of rPA from ______________ 30 SEP

    Notebook 4241 (and computer files and other papers) ‘ “New” formaldehyde experiment – September into November

    Paper and compauter files – B00-03, part 5 (_________ study: 2 dose efficacy in rabbits) – October through December

    • DXer said

      Mr. Kortan, like Mr. Willman, relies on the first counselor from July 2000 and what the FBI thought they knew in mid-July 2008, after the counselor Duley was handed the notes that had been written by the woman.

      Mr. Willman wrote recently for the LA Times:

      “In response to the reports, FBI spokesman Michael Kortan said the bureau stood by its conclusion that Ivins was the perpetrator, “based both on the scientific findings and the results of the extensive traditional criminal investigation.” ”

      The investigators and psychatrists in 2008 could not have known that in 2009 Dr. Ivins’ first therapist, Judith M. McLean, who described the plot, would write of how she acquired her psychic abilities in her book available for sale — from a being from another planet …

      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 got instructions each night from the alien … she thought she was being pursued by murderous astral entities. She would protect herself from the murderous entities each night by closing a vortex of light. So when she recounts conversations she had with Dr. Ivins during this same period, she is not a reliable witness for Mr. Kortan to rely on.

      Judith McLean annotated the notes of the psychiatrists. Gregory Saathoff never spoke to the counselor or the psychiatrists in his EBAP report. (Dr. Saathoff released the report after the FBI closed the case but prosecutors and investigators had relied upon it in their decision-making; he incredibly spun his role as independent and did not make plain that he had guided the aggressive approach to Dr. Ivins from the start.)

      Dr. Saathoff never corrected their report that they provided to federal district court judge Lamberth; separately, the DOJ has moved to exclude portions from the Florida litigation on the grounds that the EBAP report was neither endorsed nor commissioned by the DOJ. Yet its public spokesman Mr. Kortan still is thinking of this as part of the FBI’s crimimal investigation. If not, what else is there? That Dr. Ivins was really really upset that the FBI should take the documents showing that he was in the lab and then falsely claim he had no reason to be in the lab … and telling him they were going to call his family before the grand jury to ask them if he was unhappy at home? And ask them about the semen-stained girl’s panties? Why would they do that when they had the contemporaneous notebooks showing what he was doing with the 52 rabbits in the BL-3 (Rm. 313)? He had already attempted suicide and so concealing the rabbit documents and pressing the button that lay underneath the panties was surely going to break him and drive him to attempt suicide again.

      Let me very plain. The FBI drove Dr. Ivins to suicide by this game of hide-the-ball they are playing on the rabbits. When the Closer does such things on TV, some of us may root for her. If the result were that Amerithrax were not solved, leaving the anthrax threat not neutralized, however, we would have to respectfully ask that the agency comply with FOIA. There will be two categories of people: those who stand in the way of the production of documents that are non-exempt and those who don’t. Mr. Kortan stands clearly on the side of the FBI’s withholding of documents under FOIA — both from the public and the NAS.

      Some lawyer some day may walk into the conference room and plop a box of files on the table showing what Dr. Ivins was doing in the lab on those nights with the rabbits. (If Mr. Kemp had done that in July 2008, Dr. Ivins might be alive today — but he was unable to because the FBI had removed the only copy of key materals).

      The FBI is hugely motivated to continue to play hide-the-ball and mainstream media has totally fallen down on the issue of explaining the formaldehyde experiment and the rabbits…. which is why he was in the BL-3 on those nights.

      Frontline line had a nice graphic of the passive mouse study and made the general statement that they did about time sensitive animal studies but the rabbit study is critical to understand as it explains the time in early October 2001.

      • DXer said

        On the characterization of a colleague of the passive mouse study, AUSA Lieber and AUS Kohl relied on Patricia Fellows. Patricia is the one who as Dr. Ivins senior lab tech made the large amount of virulent Ames that is missing. She was thanked by the former Zawahiri associate for providing technical assistance. When Dr. Ivins expressed alarm to someone that his inventory would not square up… and this would have been due to the Ames given off the books for the DARPA experiments… he was told to shut up. The 16 pages of research involving the former Zawahiri associate was not provided to the FBI until February 2005 — faxed by Dr. Friedlander after he obtained the documents from Bruce.

        Amerithrax is the biggest failure in intelligence analysis in the history of the United States. Mr. Kortan is its official spokesman.

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