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

* Plaintiffs in the case of Stevens vs U.S. have agreed to shred the depositions of Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott … LMW: it sure seems that this is “hush money” to keep important elements of the truth from the American people

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 30, 2011

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Director Mueller wins a battle, but he may still lose the war ... the FBI has charged a dead man without proof, and the Director must know it

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LMW COMMENT … 

Readers of this blog know I have been furious about the FBI’s behavior ever since watching the August 2008 press conference where they asserted, with no physical evidence, no witnesses, and (it turns out) no science, that Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks.

It was clear to me then that the FBI had not proven that Ivins was involved, let alone that he was the sole perpetrator.

  • Does the FBI have more evidence against Dr. Ivins they won’t show us?
  • Or have they not solved the case at all?
  • Or do they know who the perpetrators were (not Ivins) but for some reason won’t say?

Being a novelist, I wrote a novel, presenting what I (and others, including a respected representative of the U.S. Intelligence Community) thought was a plausible scenario of what might have happened. My novel CASE CLOSED has been published and is available in paperback and kindle formats on amazon.

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* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

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Here is the first scene from CASE CLOSED where I have the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

begin a re-do of the FBI’s failed investigation

this is the opening scene of Lew Weinstein's novel CASE CLOSED

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10 Responses to “* Plaintiffs in the case of Stevens vs U.S. have agreed to shred the depositions of Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott … LMW: it sure seems that this is “hush money” to keep important elements of the truth from the American people”

  1. DXer said

    Have I misinterpreted this filing? Does the word “documents” only refer to confidential documents produced in discovery? Are depositions outside of that term? The phrase “in lieu of returning confidential documents” seems to suggest documents that were provided by one party to the other party.

  2. DXer said

    Why did Vahid Majidi allow these depositions to be shredded?

  3. DXer said

    Kurt Eichenwald in 500 DAYS writes about Ivins:

    “And, inexplicably, he had been ignoring his lawyer’s advice to stay away from the lab at night and to stop contacting two women he had harassed in the past.”

    Mr. Eichenwald, by this phrasing, evidences that he does not understand the Amerithrax matter. Those women were Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott. He never harassed them — unless you consider handing Mara a sex toy on her last day at a DC sex shop harassment.

    They were good friends and Pat’s spinning of things to investigators was causing Ivins’ untold grief. The Commander had told his friends to not talk to him. That would cause anyone to be emotionally crippled.

    His lawyer’s advice to him was sound — in my experience there potentially is no limit to how a paranoid and confused informant will spin things in a way that muddles analysis of a matter. It really is disturbing to see such bullshit unfold.

    The DOJ has shredded Pat’s and Mara’s deposition. While they play hide-the-ball with the rabbit documents (in a way that constitutes prosecutorial misconduct), they destroy other documents that would lend clarity on the precise issue. It was Patricia who has critical information — about submission of samples, about the rabbit studies, about her destruction of Ames, about the missing laptop from the B3 that was installed that summer, about her assistance to the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins etc. For Mr. Eichenwald to suggest that Bruce was harassing his friend Pat and Mara suggests that he is not informed on the subject. He harassed Nancy H. 25 years earlier. Who cares. That’s not the issue at bar.

    Kurt might have spent his time attempting to get an interview with Pat to ask her about these subjects instead of just swallowing whole the prosecutor’s spin.

    Any journalist should have immediately take note when there are people who are refusing to be interviewed and whose deposition is being shredded.

    My favorite informant is so skilled that he would have joined Pat’s bowling league to get the story. Reporters nowadays just read documents and cobble together the government’s spin — or worse, the deceptive, timeline shifting lies told by detainees lying between gulps of water.

  4. DXer said

    http://www.annals.org/content/156/1_Part_1/41.short/reply#annintmed_el_138674

    • Anthrax, Bioterrorism, and CLIA
    • William B. Baine, Senior Medical Advisor, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

    Postal anthrax highlights a neglected diagnostic issue (1). When Dr. Bush looked through the microscope at the Gram-stained smear of cerebrospinal fluid and nailed the diagnosis, did he not violate CLIA, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (2)? The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require diagnostic laboratories to demonstrate proficiency in the tests they perform. The definition of “laboratory” is straightforward in the legislation (3), but the CLIA Internet site overreaches: “CLIA requires all entities that perform even one test…to meet certain Federal requirements. If an entity performs tests for these purposes, it is considered under CLIA to be a laboratory and must register….(2).” A look at his patient’s Gram stain transforms Dr. Bush into a laboratory “entity,” even if he does not bill for the microscopy.

    The biennial certification fee for a laboratory with an Annual Test Volume of 2,000 or fewer is $150 (2). The Medical Laboratory Evaluation Program offers a CLIA-approved Gram stain proficiency test for $156 (4). These are the costs of doing business if you operate a real office laboratory with its own revenue stream. How many other clinicians budget $306 for a two-year option of the occasional uncompensated Gram stain when working up a sick patient?

    How grave was the problem before 1988 of incompetent Gram-stainers’ running riot? Crystal violet is not crystal meth: Paine bemoaned “a perpetual disinclination for doing gram stains in situations in which the procedure would be helpful” (5). Should Dr. Bush’s patients be thankful for the $306 disincentive to his sitting down at one of the microscopes in the hospital lab before rendering an opinion? If patients benefit when clinicians must pay to prove proficiency before they can choose whether to use microscopes, how about statutes restricting ophthalmoscopes, otoscopes, and stethoscopes?

    What would Paine make now of a $6.42 billion fiscal 2012 civilian biodefense budget (1) when the only detector that has actually been shown to work–“an astute clinician” (1) looking into a microscope–risks fines or imprisonment if “convicted of intentionally violating any CLIA requirement” (3)?

    CLIA needs one more amendment–a general exemption for any direct specimen examination by microscopy by a physician as an integral part of a patient evaluation without separate or supplemental billing.

    Oh, yes, Dr. Bush was right about one more thing–the smear was underdecolorized. Leukocytes with purple nuclei belong on Wright-stained slides. Here the nuclei should have been pink.

    References

    1. Bush LM, Perez MT. The anthrax attacks 10 years later. Ann Intern Med 2012;156:41-4.

    2. https://www.cms.gov/clia/ on 19 January 2012.

    3. Definitions, 42 C.F.R. Sect. 493.2 (2004).

    4. http://www.acponline.org/running_practice/ mle/catalog/2012/catalog.pdf on 19 January 2012.

    5. Paine TF Jr. Gram staining without the clock. N Engl J Med 1963;268:941.

    • DXer said

      SPECIAL ARTICLE

      Angela M. Wright, Stephen B. Beres, Erin N. Consamus, S. Wesley Long, Anthony R. Flores, Roberto Barrios, G Stefan Richter, So-Young Oh, Gabriella Garufi, Hannah Maier, Ashley L. Drews, Kathryn E. Stockbauer, Patricia Cernoch, Olaf Schneewind, Randall J. Olsen, James M. Musser , (2011) Rapidly Progressive, Fatal, Inhalation Anthrax-like Infection in a Human: Case Report, Pathogen Genome Sequencing, Pathology, and Coordinated Response. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine: November 2011, Vol. 135, No. 11, pp. 1447-1459.

      Objectives.—To describe and investigate a case of rapidly progressive, fatal, anthrax-like pneumonia and the overwhelming infection caused by a Bacillus species of uncertain provenance in a patient residing in rural Texas.

      Design.—We characterized the genome of the causative strain within days of its recovery from antemortem cultures using next-generation sequencing and performed immunohistochemistry on tissues obtained at autopsy with antibodies directed against virulence proteins of B anthracis and B cereus.

      Results.—We discovered that the infection was caused by a previously unknown strain of B cereus that was closely related to, but genetically distinct from, B anthracis. The strain contains a plasmid similar to pXO1, a genetic element encoding anthrax toxin and other known virulence factors. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that several homologs of B anthracisvirulence proteins were made in infected tissues, likely contributing to the patient’s death.

      Conclusions.—Rapid genome sequence analysis permitted us to genetically define this strain, rule out the likelihood of bioterrorism, and contribute effectively to the institutional response to this event. Our experience strongly reinforced the critical value of deploying a well-integrated, anatomic, clinical, and genomic strategy to respond rapidly to a potential emerging, infectious threat to public health.

      See also

      Angela M . Wright, Roberto Barrios, James M . Musser , (2012) In Reply. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine: March 2012, Vol. 136, No. 3, pp. 235-236.
      doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5858/arpa.2011-0568-LE
      LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
      In Reply

      Angela M. Wright, MD; Roberto Barrios, MD; James M. Musser, MD, PhD

      Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, The Methodist Hospital System, Houston, TX 77030

      In Reply.— We thank Dr Walker for his interest in, and comments about, our recent study.1 The Sverdlovsk incident represented an unfortunate albeit useful opportunity to acquire extensive data about the pathologic findings of inhalation anthrax obtained at autopsy from 41 patients.2–4 Epidemiologic investigation indicated that the outbreak occurred because of accidental aerosol release of at least 4 strains of Bacillus anthracis from a military base in southern Sverdlovsk, Russia, designated Compound 19.2,5 The work by Grinberg et al3 contains a unique and unusually rich compendium of pathologic findings. It emphasizes once again the critical importance of the autopsy in understanding human disease, especially for illnesses that are otherwise rare. ***

  5. DXer said

    “Robert was passed it and he looked at it,” his widow said. “He wasn’t wearing his glasses, so he lifted it up to his face to read, and that’s how they think that he inhaled the anthrax.”

    **

    Maureen Stevens said she’s relieved she doesn’t have to go to trial and relive those terrifying and anguished days of her husband’s death. She also praises her attorney for 10 years of investigation.

    Read more: http://www.wpbf.com/news/29891602/detail.html#ixzz1fHX5kLbF

    Comment: Yes, hats off to the counselor. He and his colleagues faced a formidable defense team over many years — and the litigation was very challenging. And best wishes always to the family — and their continued recovery from a tragic and senseless personal loss.

  6. DXer said

    Here is a clip from Law and Order SVU — the episode titled “Personal Fouls” — in which famed former SU basketball player Carmelo Anthony is introducing his former Coach upon his induction to the Hall of Fame. “I was a stray dog and he rescued me”.

    At the end of the episode he admits to having been abused by the coach.

    Sometime fiction is a way of telling the real life story that cannot yet be told.

  7. DXer said

    http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/opinionzone/2011/11/30/is-2-5-million-a-fair-settlement-in-the-anthax-case/

    by Opinion Staff

    Maureen Stevens

    Lantana widow Maureen Stevens will get $2.5 million from the U.S. government for the 2001 anthrax attack that killed her husband. That’s far less than the $50 million she originally asked for, but it brings closure to the 10-year-old case – sort of.

    We may never know for sure if the man the feds claim was responsible for killing Robert Stevens, a photo editor at The Sun, actually did it. Mr. Stevens died in October 2001, after opening an anthrax-laced letter sent to then-Boca Raton-based tabloid publishing giant, American Media Inc. The FBI identified the killer as Bruce Ivins, who worked at Fort Detrick and had access to the anthrax. He killed himself, though, before being arrested.
    Last summer, there was talk of reopening the investigation.

    The one thing we do know for sure is that government negligence — most likely at Fort Detrick, Md., the Army medical research facility outside Washington — was responsible for allowing someone to steal weaponized anthrax, and mail it to American Media Inc.

  8. Department of Shredding.

    How much does it cost to shred the deposition of a Bruce Ivins coworker? 100 to 200 dollars for a high quality shredder and 2.5 million to the lawyer and his client who did the deposition.

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