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

* The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: careful analysis of the NAS review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation leads to conclusion that the FBI never precisely established the required skills and spore preparation time … which then raises the question as to whether the FBI case would have been able to withstand the scrutiny of a trial

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 2, 2011

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 Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley writes in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (11/1/11) …

  • When the National Academy of Sciences issued its review of the FBI anthrax investigation earlier this year, the press fixated primarily on one point: The report found no conclusive evidence that Bruce Ivins  produced the anthrax-laced letters 
  • genetic analysis was not able to ascertain the origin of the material in the five letters
  • It also couldn’t identify the production methods used.
  • the FBI investigation was not able to clarify what methods might have been used to grow, purify, concentrate and dry the anthrax sent in the letters.
  • the FBI was unable to determine 
    • the amount of time needed to produce the powdered anthrax,
    • the type of skills and the equipment required to make it,
    • the quality of the starting material, and
    • the amount of liquid anthrax required to produce the five grams or so of dried anthrax in the letters.
  • during the first two years of the FBI investigation, no organizational structure within the bureau was responsible for overall oversight and coordination of the work performed by all these actors — or for advising the FBI on the specific expertise required and the methodology choices available.
  • 29 laboratories worked for the FBI in a compartmentalized fashion, unaware of what other labs were doing.
  • Because the Ames strain was widely used and exchanged among laboratories in the United States and overseas before 2001, the academy could not document that the FBI had identified all laboratories housing samples of the Ames strain.
  • the bureau did not provide the subpoenaed laboratories sufficiently precise instructions on how to prepare the samples or on the number of spores or cells required, and it did not supervise the preparation of the samples in these laboratories.
  • Such methods suggested to the academy that the laboratories might not have used procedures consistent enough with one another to allow comparison,
  • nor was there sufficient certainty that the subpoenaed laboratories produced samples of all the Ames strains in their possession.
  • The academy report also notes that it is not clear how the FBI made scientific decisions to pursue or not pursue some investigative routes or scientific approaches.

Considering that the FBI never precisely established

the required skills and spore preparation time,

one may wonder whether the case

would have been able to withstand the scrutiny of a trial.

read the entire article at … http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/amerithrax-review-lessons-future-investigations

 

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13 Responses to “* The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: careful analysis of the NAS review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation leads to conclusion that the FBI never precisely established the required skills and spore preparation time … which then raises the question as to whether the FBI case would have been able to withstand the scrutiny of a trial”

  1. Is there contemporary documentary evidence from prior to 9/11/2001 that Ivins’ psychiatrists had concluded he posed a threat? Did they write that down?

    Did Ivins’ psychiatrists have security clearances?

    When did the FBI/DOJ first talk about this concern of psychiatrists from before 9/11/2001?

    Was it after Ivins’ died?

    Was it a considerable time after he died?

    • DXer said

      When told by the first counselor of her account of events in July 2000, the psychiatrist specifically concluded he did not pose a threat and that she was overreacting. He presumably did not know that she thought she was being pursued by nasty astral entities trying to kill her. He presumably did not know that she thought that murderous spiritual entities attached themselves to her patients (she had just started the part time counseling gig) and then to her. She would have to call her psychic friends to conduct emergency exorcisms. She quit the part time job the next year after becoming exhausted fighting off the murderous astral entities pursuing her. She says she received instructions from the alien at night and then would travel to ground zero and to Afghanistan to do etheric DNA reconstruction. She reports that nasty astral entities would pursue her back from Afghanistan but she could protect herself with a vortex of light. She says she was protected from a psychiatric diagnosis by her husband, who was in military personnel. At the same time, she did a sideline exorcising ghosts. For example, one gym (or perhaps it was a massage parlor) was inconvenienced by living near a cemetery — the ghosts kept opening the bathroom door at inopportune times. She says she could remotely view and called authorities to tell them she knew where to find the body of her nephew’s fiance … after it was discovered. She talked to plants and rocks — and had quite a dramatic experience at some place similar to stonehenge. The psychiatrists needed to redact all reliance on such a witness on the grounds that her statements are not reliable. It took years before reliance on equally unreliable stories supporting a Hatfill Theory would be retracted or debunked — in the meantime, there continued to be FBI officials or consultants who would reassert the FBI’s conclusions.

  2. DXer said

    Watch A Dialogue on American Anthrax

    A Dialogue on American Anthrax
    http://media.aaas-science.org/services/player/bcpid846300571001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAADFlexpk~,loqkjB2yVJwSzjFe_Sv_d1oqLOw4N7ma&bctid=1252631635001

    • DXer said

      Professor Ron Schouten never corrected the filing to the federal district court in which he and Dr. Saathoff relied on the woman, Judith McLean, who was the key witness against Ivins regarding events in July 2000 and the homicidal poisoning plot. She explained that she thought she got her psychic powers from an alien who controlled her through a device implanted in her butt. She thought murderous astral entities were trying to kill and quit her counseling job shortly after 2000 due to the delusions. It is a sad day for the field of psychiatry and constitutes professional negligence not to correct the filing. He continues to urge that his psychological profile — which on its face is based on this witness — could substitute for evidence of the crime. That he doesn’t think it casts serious doubt is not the question — the question is whether professionals are going to correct representations to a federal district court judge being promoted to the public through press releases. Similarly, the fact that AUSA Rachel Lieber may (apparently) not think the rabbit documents cast serious doubt in no way justifies her failure to address them, the misrepresentation of facts in the investigative summary, or the withholding of the Covance notebooks. Those documents, without more, explain why he was in the lab and the DOJ withheld them even from Dr. Ivins — taking the only copy from USAMRIID.

      Dr. Schouten and Saathoff have acted with gross professional negligence in continuing to sell their report while not correcting reliance on the first counselor. They did not interview but instead relied on her reports. Nor did they interview the psychiatrists but instead relied on written filings which included annotations by the counselor.

      • DXer said

        I have emailed Dr. Schouten a copy of this post above asking me to advise me with any update – as to whether he and Dr. Saathoff have corrected their filing and whether they are still selling to the public a copy of the uncorrected report.
        His talk about “red flags” being ignored is laughable given that he and Dr. Saathoff failed to respond to the red flags published in a book long before their EBAP report.

        • DXer said

          I emailed the numerous excerpts uploaded from the first counselor’s 2009 book to almost all of the EBAP members many months ago and so professionally they all are equally responsible for the report notwithstanding who actually drafted it. Taxpayers spent $38,000 in expenses for the report but the panel members never bothered to spend $10 for the book the counselor wrote on Amazon.com.

    • Anonymous said

      This is indeed getting interesting. It seems that scientists are becoming more emboldened almost on a daily basis.

    • If there is another attack, do we need to know who did it?

      No.

      Do we need to know how they did it?

      No.

      What is the major risk?

      There is none.

      • Q: What if people die?

        A: What if they do? It just shows how valuable vaccine is.

        Q: Is figuring out how the previous anthrax attacks were done a preventive measure?

        A: No. Figuring out how it was done is conspiracy theory.

        Q: What is aberrant behavior we need to look out for?

        A: Questioning the government.

      • Q: What about scientists who are doubters?

        A: They can be handled in the usual way.

        Q: Like?

        A: No funding, lose security clearance, whispering campaign.

        Q: Like Hatfill?

        A: Bingo.

        • DXer said

          To the contrary, it is the careers of those who stand in the way of documents being produced and missteps from being forthrightly corrected that are threatened.

        • DXer said

          The misrepresentation of and concealment of the rabbit formaldehyde study (to include the bacteremia data) constitutes a criminal obstruction of justice and should be referred to a special prosecutor now.

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