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

* GAO: Did Patricia Fellows Ever Find the Missing “National Security” Sample That Dr. Ivins Was (Apparently Falsely) Told Was From Iraq Before Moving On To SRI That Summer? Was There An Emailed Response(s) To Dr. Ivins’ Question? Her Deposition Should Not Be Shredded.

Posted by DXer on December 14, 2011



37 Responses to “* GAO: Did Patricia Fellows Ever Find the Missing “National Security” Sample That Dr. Ivins Was (Apparently Falsely) Told Was From Iraq Before Moving On To SRI That Summer? Was There An Emailed Response(s) To Dr. Ivins’ Question? Her Deposition Should Not Be Shredded.”

  1. DXer said

    Colin Powell was right, in my opinion, that Donald Trump was not qualified to be President. Republics should recognize that Trump’s brand is seriously damaged.

  2. DXer said

    CDC inspection at Fort Detrick’s USAMRIID underscores need for regulations at other labs
    By Heather Mongilio 5 hrs ago

    On the local level, Reed said, the question becomes what local officials know about biosafety regulation and what they know about which companies have biosafety level 2 or biosafety level 3 laboratories that do not fall under the Federal Select Agent Program. This is especially true for companies that have biosafety as just another assignment, he said.

    “It’s the ones lurking under the surface that are the biggest problem,” he said. “And I worry about that for the city of Frederick and the people of Frederick.”

    Changes on a local level

    Del. Karen Lewis Young (D-Frederick) has spent several years trying to get a registry of biosafety 3 laboratories. For the past couple of years, she submitted legislation that would require those labs to register with the Maryland Department of Health so that public health officials, emergency management and law enforcement would be able to respond in an emergency.

    “We have no idea how many there are throughout the state, where they are,” Lewis Young said.

    The legislation has passed the Maryland House of Delegates three times but was killed in the Maryland Senate each time, she said.

  3. DXer said

    The plot thickens.

    “The question of Iraq behind behind the anthrax attacks was very much on the minds of those in charge of national security, especially the White House. At the end of Ocotor 2001, I receive a call from Captain James Burans, commander of the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit Medical Research Unit in Lima, Peru. I had worked with Burans when he headed up biological defense laboratory at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring [which you’ll recall had genetically matching Ames through Knudsen] and I was assigned to the Hazardous Materials Response Unit [which you’ll recall whose member Ezzell made a dried powder out of Ivins’ Flask 1029. [Anyone out there thinking that maybe our troubled, fragile Bruce was in the wrong place, wrong time?] Burans had also been on UN inspections in Iraq and examined the anthrax powder produced there. The Iraqis had included the finished product. he offered to assist us, and we accepted. He would find no bentonite in our anthrax.”

    I have to say, as much as I like and respect FBI Director Mueller, I can’t say I agree with his resolution of Amerithrax, which remains his biggest unsolved case. Even though I don’t personally agree with Vice President Pence’s political views, I think he had more common sense on the subject of Amerithrax than Scott Decker does.

  4. DXer said

    Iraq’s ‘Anthrax Lady’ faces 15 years in prison

    Huda Ammash is also known as the ‘Anthrax Lady’, a title she earned thanks to her credentials in biology. She also has a Biology degree from the University of Iraq, beside a master’s degree in microbiology and a doctorate from the American University of Missouri.

  5. DXer said

    I guess we are lucky the “28 pages” weren’t shredded like Patricia Fellows’ civil deposition that addressed the so-called “Iraq sample” — that Ivins was falsely told was from Iraq.

  6. DXer said

    153. The Assessment concluded that “Iraqi capability
    and willingness to conduct WMD terrorism” was “not
    known with any certainty”. The JIC judged that Iraq was
    “capable of constructing devices to disperse chemical
    or biological agent, or radiological material”, but it had
    “no reliable intelligence of any Iraqi intent. Nor did it
    “… any credible evidence of covert transfers of WMDrelated
    technology and expertise to terrorist groups, or
    of any Iraqi role in the anthrax attacks in the US. Iraq
    would have to consider the risk of US retaliation … On
    balance, we judge the threat of Iraqi WMD terrorism is
    slight, unless the regime was under serious and
    imminent threat of collapse.”
    77 JIC Assessment, 28 November 2001, ‘Iraq after September 11 – The
    Terrorist Threat’. 43
    4.1 | Iraq WMD assessments, pre-July

    • DXer said

      The UN had “demanded” in 1991 “that its representatives should
      be allowed into Iraq to dismantle his weapons of mass destruction
      and ensure he did not replace them” because Saddam Hussein
      had “used chemical weapons repeatedly against Iranian soldiers”,
      and had used them “against his own citizens when he attacked
      Kurds in northern Iraq”.
      The UN weapons inspectors had “discovered and destroyed
      thousands of chemical and biological weapons, including
      thousands of litres of anthrax and 48 missiles” before they had
      been “kicked out”.
      The inspectors were “convinced” that Saddam Hussein had
      “hidden other deadly arsenals and the plants to manufacture
      more” but could not track them down because of “almost daily
      It was important to “remain vigilant” about the threat posed by
      Saddam Hussein. If he was not restrained, “a volatile situation in
      the region could easily become a world crisis”.

      Comment: Yes, Saddam gassed his own people Prince Bandar had only wanted Saddam to gas Iranian infantrymen.

  7. DXer said

    Iraq had “never revealed” the full extent of its offensive
    biological warfare programme to UNSCOM although it had
    admitted to “laboratory work on a range of BW agents” and that anthrax spores, botulinum
    toxin and aflatoxin were “produced in bulk”. Bombs and
    missile warheads had been “filled with these agents
    immediately prior to the Gulf War”. Iraq had “yet to make a
    credible ‘Full, Final and Complete Declaration’ of BW activity
    required by the UN”, and its claims that it had “terminated its programme at the end of
    the Gulf War” had “failed to convince” the UN.

    • DXer said

      303. Mr Miller told the Inquiry that there was a “slight
      strengthening in March [2002] of the judgement that BW
      production was likely to be continuing”.135 That was based on a
      “slight accumulation of evidence” from reporting from a new
      source on a possible laboratory and previous reporting in May
      2001 from an SIS source on “anthrax production in the early
      1990s”, taken together with a “more thorough review of the
      reporting on mobile laboratories”.

    • DXer said

      413. The report stated that the SIS source had commented that:
      • “Saddam Hussein was determined to maintain his CBW
      capability. If the major production centres near Baghdad
      were attacked and damaged, the regime would order staff to
      relocate to an alternative undamaged site.”
      • Iraq “was concentrating its efforts on the production of
      anthrax and that Iraq had received a lot of help from
      neighbouring and friendly countries”.

    • DXer said

      “For a start most chemical and biological agents that Saddam had
      retained for
      a decade would long ago have degenerated to the point that they
      were of no operational use. This is a principle of science well
      known to those who wrote the dossier … Government Ministers
      alarmed the public by claims that Saddam had ten thousand litres
      of anthrax solution unaccounted for since 1991. They never
      added that the standard life of liquid anthrax is three years …

    • DXer said

      4.2 | Iraq WMD assessments, July to September 2002
      • “… production of biological agents has continued; facilities
      formerly used for biological agents have been rebuilt;
      equipment has been purchased for such a programme; and
      again Saddam has retained the personnel who worked on it
      prior to 1991. In particular, the UN inspection regime
      discovered that Iraq was trying to acquire mobile biological
      weapons facilities … Present intelligence confirms that it has
      now got such facilities.” The UK believed Iraq could produce
      anthrax, botulinum toxin, aflatoxin and ricin, which “all
      eventually result in excruciatingly painful death”.

    • DXer said

      14. Addressing the dossier’s “claims about alleged activities after
      1998”, the Iraqi rebuttal stated:

      • Iraq was “completely clear of all biological weapons and
      agents” and did “not keep any quantity of these agents”. The
      “botulinum protein” and “anthrax slurry” previously produced
      had a “short shelf life”.

    • DXer said

      the UK did “not know how much agent” Iraq had, but it had
      “admitted to producing 19,000 litres of botulinum toxin, 8,500
      litres of anthrax and 2,200 litres of aflatoxin” before the
      1990-1991 Gulf War.

    • DXer said

      UNSCOM had been unable to account for the growth media
      Iraq had procured which was “enough for 25,000 litres of

    • DXer said

      Iraq had not declared “a significant quantity of bacterial
      growth media” which had been included in Iraq’s submission
      to the Amorim panel. This omission appeared “to be
      deliberate as the pages of the resubmitted document were
      renumbered”. The quantity of growth media involved would
      “suffice to produce … about
      5,000 litres of concentrated anthrax”.

    • DXer said

      4.3 | Iraq WMD assessments, October 2002 to March 2003

      360. The brief stated that the Government assessment published
      on 24 September (the dossier), judged that Iraq:
      • Had “a usable chemical and biological capability, which
      included production in 2002 of chemical and biological
      agents, and military plans to use them”. …

      • Intelligence indicated that Iraq had “produced both chemical
      and biological agents since 1998 to add to stocks since the
      [1991] Gulf War. As late as September 2002 Iraq was
      carrying out illegitimate work on anthrax that could be used
      as part of a weapons programme.”
      362. The brief recognised that not all the systems which
      were capable of delivering chemical and biological weapons
      would have such munitions or a CBW delivery role.
      Intelligence suggested that Iraq might “not be able to deliver
      CBW efficiently” using Al Samoud and Ababil-100 missiles.

    • DXer said

      389. The brief provided a very short summary of the judgements
      in the September dossier, including that there had been recent
      production of chemical and biological agents; that judgements on
      concealment had been borne out by events; that the dossier had
      highlighted rocket motor casting chambers which UNMOVIC had
      now proscribed; and that UNMOVIC had agreed that the al-Rafah
      engine test stand had “a capability far in excess of what is needed
      for permitted missile systems”. The brief also stated that work on
      anthrax “carried on late into 2002”.

    • DXer said

      “Two key former BW scientists confirmed that Iraq under the
      guise of legitimate activity developed refinements of processes
      and products relevant to BW agents. The scientists discussed the
      development of improved, simplified fermentation and spray
      drying capabilities for the stimulant Bt”

    • DXer said

      The report by Dr Blix in early 2003 (the “clusters” document
      of 6 March, see Section 3.7) had provided 173 pages of
      material about Iraq’s WMD programme, including 10,000
      litres of anthrax unaccounted for. There was a “strong
      presumption of its continued existence”.

  8. DXer said

    In a telephone conversation on 17 October, mainly about Afghanistan, Mr Blair and President Bush discussed the recent anthrax attacks on the US and whether the source of the material might be Iraq.76

  9. DXer said

    From the Chilcot Report:

    “By early 1991, Iraq had produced large quantities of agent, including anthrax, botulinum toxin, Clostridium perfringens, aflatoxin and small quantities of ricin and it had successfully weaponised some of them into ballistic missiles, aerial bombs, artillery shells and aircraft spray tanks.43 “

    • DXer said

      95. The Butler Report found that a single intelligence report, received in November 1990, had had a significant impact on the JIC’s Assessments of Iraq’s biological and chemical weapons capabilities.26

      96. On 9 November 1990, the JIC reported:
      “According to the new intelligence, Iraq possesses the BW agents pneumonic plague and anthrax and has weaponised them … Weapons are available for immediate use …

    • DXer said

      113. Mr Hoon’s Private Office informed Sir David Manning on 28 April that: “The Defence Secretary has agreed that we should respond positively to a US request to provide a military … Chief of Staff for the ISG, and that we should assign to the ISG UK specialist WMD related units, amounting initially to some 30-40 personnel, already in theatre or about to arrive. We are also looking at dedicating other analytical expertise (including a Porton Down52 mobile laboratory and ex-UN inspectors) to the ISG effort. The US Commander of the ISG (Major General Keith Dayton) anticipates taking full command around 30 May, though many US and UK elements of the ISG should be in operation well before then … There are considerable variations of view in the US on timescales. General Dayton is talking in terms of six months. Others see the process taking two years or more.”53

    • DXer said

      1026. Mr Aldouri stated that Iraq welcomed the work programme presented by Dr Blix and would “do its utmost to complete those tasks as soon as possible and to answer every question raised in the report”. Iraq had finalised two “important” reports, on anthrax and unmanned planes, which would be handed over to UNMOVIC.

    • DXer said

      Mr Cook questioned the threat posed by Iraq:

      “Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term – namely a credible device capable of being delivered against
      a strategic city target. It probably … has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British government approved chemical and munitions factories. Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for twenty years, and which we helped to create? Why is it necessary to resort to war this week, while Saddam’s ambition to complete his weapons programme is blocked by the presence of UN inspectors?”

    • DXer said

      Dr Blix had clear indications that anthrax had been weaponised and his personal judgement was that Iraq did have programmes and definitely possessed the ability
      to jump-start BW programmes. The trick would be to find evidence.

    • DXer said

      In •


      Iraq had provided a report on its analysis of samples from special warhead fragments.

      Iraq had claimed that VX contamination of missile fragments from special warheads, found by a US laboratory, was the result of a deliberate act of tampering with the samples.

  10. DXer said

    Because Pat’s civil deposition was shredded, we’ll never know whether the sample of dried powder that was falsely labelled was actually from the secret dried aerosol project at Ft. Detrick that was so closely held. Who brought to Ivins? John?

  11. DXer said

    In April 2002, Bruce asked Pat Fellows what happened to some powderized bacillus anthracis given to Dr. Ivins that went missing. He emphasized that it was extremely urgent that they find it.

    That’s right. We are talking about virulent, powderized anthrax that went missing from USAMRIID.

    GAO: Did Patricia Fellows Ever Find the Missing “National Security” Sample That Dr. Ivins Was (Apparently Falsely) Told Was From Iraq Before Moving On To SRI That Summer? Was There An Emailed Response(s) To Dr. Ivins’ Question? Her Deposition Should Not Be Shredded.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 14, 2011

    With no report it ever had been found, Pat left to go to work for Southern Research Institute in downtown Frederick. Pat Fellows came to head the B3 lab there after she left USAMRIID. Pat is the one spinning the issue of hours against Ivins — that is, when the related documents aren’t just withheld, shredded or thrown out.

    Before 911, SRI, Pat’s new employer, had been the subcontractor of Ken Alibek’s under a multi-million contract with DARPA.

    According to press releases by Alibek’s company, that is where the company did its research with virulent Ames. Ken Alibek and the former acting USAMRIID Commander Charles Bailey were the leading DARPA-funded Ames researchers — at least they had the largest, multimillion dollar grant.

    Bruce forthrightly explained to investigators early on that the label on the powderized anthrax sample was intentionally mislabelled — rather than being labeled as bacillus it was labeled generically as a diagnostic sample.

    In the interview, Dr. Ivins explained that he had no knowledge of any proposals to start conducting animal challenges at USAMRIID with dried Ames anthrax powder. There in fact were such proposals — Ivins just didn’t know about them.

    “Project Jefferson” was a classified project run by DIA. (See NYT September 2001 article on Project Jefferson). Ken Alibek had claimed that the Russians had a strain that was resistant to vaccine and so DIA wanted study the question. That’s the stuff of legitimate biodefense work.

    But here comes the seriously dropped ball part. The DARPA-funded researchers at GMU’s Center for Biodefense, Russian defector Alibek and former acting USAMRIID commander Bailey, came to share a suite with Ali Al-Timimi. ( Alibek and Bailey worked as Battelle consultants in 1999; before that, Bailey had long remained at USAMRIID while doing DIA defense threat assessment and before GMU both Bailey and Al-Timimi had worked at SRA).

    The fact that the leading DARPA-funded Ames researchers, Ken and Charles, were the suitemate of jihad supporter Ali Al-Timimi is off the charts bad news.

    And in case you haven’t heard, Ali Al-Timimi was coordinating with 911 Anwar Awlaki. Anwar Awlaki was coordinating with the hijackers. He has called for a mass bioattack from his grave.

    That’s right. Oops.

    By false factual claims, withholding documents about the rabbit experiment Bruce did with Pat, and by relying on a counselor who got her instructions from an alien each night (see her 2009 book), a case was cobbled together Bruce Ivins. Dear old, fragile, troubled, porn-surfing Bruce. I will presume the good faith of the investigators and prosecutors who were acting in the rush of events. But that is not reason for them not to correct their mistakes. Dr. Majidi was still totally clueless about the rabbit experiment as recent as this past September.

    Ken Alibek, who was always a great, forthright source for me on these issues, long ago abruptly left the country. He told me he didn’t know Al-TImimi other than to know he was a hardliner. As I recall, I had first called him in 2003 because the same minute agents raided his suitemate Ali Al-TImimi, 100 agents came here to simultaneously interview 150 people. I wanted to understand the connection. Before that, Ken publicly was urging that the silicon signal could be due to any number of reasons. In the spring of 2002, Ken and Charles had submitted a patent for concentrating anthrax using silica in the growth medium. Vahid Majidi has said the silicon signature could be due to silica in the growth medium.

    Did Ali Al-Timimi have access to pathogens at ATCC and computers at ATCC and GMU? Yes, in fact, he was paid $70,000 a year to coordinate computer research.

    Is it easy to know or prove the source of the virulent Ames? No.

    Is it easy to know or prove the identify of the mailer? No.

    But the FBI should reopen Amerithrax given that the “cotton candy” Ivins Theory has been shown unpersuasive. Too much is at stake to be wrong.

  12. DXer said

    Shredding of documents is a terrible thing where the goal is to get people “on the same page.” But when the withholding or destruction of documents is an issue, agencies are especially slow in communicating to requestors a meaningful “determination” so that the issue can be addressed by a United States District Court. For example, with respect to any shredding of the Patricia Fellows deposition by USAMRIID and JAG, there is a new Court of Appeals decision that controls the issue.

    In regard to the new controlling precedent on statutory timelines in responding to a FOIA request, and the time period upon which the requester is deemed by statute to have fulfilled the exhaustion requirement. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(C)(i), please see the April 2013 decision in Citizens and Responsibility and Ethics iN Washington, v. FEC.

    Click to access 90eb145aa283566308_ufm6bx97w.pdf

    In an April 2, 2013 decision, involving a FOIA request submitted by the non-profit organization called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”) to the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”), the D.C. Circuit reversed a December 2011 decision from the D.C. District Court granting summary judgment to the FEC on the basis that CREW failed to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit. In doing so, the D.C. Circuit addressed the important procedural question of what constitutes a “determination” under the FOIA stature within the 20- and 30-day timeframes to trigger the government’s exhaustion argument.

    The Court held:

    “We agree with CREW’s reading of the statute. The statute requires that, within the relevant time period, an agency must determine whether to comply with a request – that is, whether a requester will receive all the documents the requester seeks. It is not enough that, within the relevant time period, the agency simply decide to later decide. Therefore, within the relevant time period, the agency must at least inform the requester of the scope of the documents that the agency will produce, as well as the scope of the documents that the agency plans to withhold under any FOIA exemptions.”

    The Court wrote:

    The statutory requirement that the agency provide “the reasons” for its “determination” strongly suggests that the reasons are particularized to the “determination” – most obviously, the specific exemptions that may apply to certain withheld records. The statutory requirement would not make a lot of sense if, as the FEC argues, the agency were merely required to state within 20 working days its future intent to eventually produce documents and claim exemptions. After all, how could the agency articulate reasons for non-compliance when it had not yet decided whether to comply (that is, whether to produce all of the requested documents)?

    Defining the countours of an agency “determination” the Court wrote:

    [I]n order to make a “determination” and thereby trigger the administrative exhaustion requirement, the agency must at least: (i) gather and review the documents; (ii) determine and communicate the scope of the documents it intends to produce and withhold, and the reasons for withholding any documents; and (iii) inform the requester that it can appeal whatever portion of the “determination” is adverse.

    The take-home of the Court’s ruling – that if an “agency does not adhere to FOIA’s explicit timelines, the ‘penalty’ is that the agency cannot rely on the administrative exhaustion requirement to keep cases from getting into court” – to FOIA requesters is that they are now likely to have increased leverage to quickly negotiate responses with FDA and other federal agencies to keep cases out of court.

  13. DXer said

    GAO: The legality of the shredding of the civil deposition of Mara Linscott and Patricia Fellows should be addressed by GAO, the agency tasked with ensuring government accountability.

    Then, if possible, the shredded depositions should be retrieved from the reporter’s computers by forensic means.

    Who is watching the watchers? Well, that’s GAO’s job. That’s why GAO’s lack of effective enforcement of its document requests to the FBI was so very, very wrong.

    For GAO to have allowed itself to be stonewalled — and for the FBI to be allowed to delay and avoid production of many documents — was an abdication of GAO’s responsibility.

    The index of the Amerithrax documents kept by the paralegal is a roadmap to the documents never produced to GAO by the FBI.

    FBI: There are no secrets.

    It’s never too late for GAO to go to Congress and get whatever additional enforcement authority GAO needs to do its job.

    … that is, until it is.

    Halliburton admits destroying Gulf oil spill evidence

    Michael Winter, USA TODAY 8:57 p.m. EDT July 25, 2013

    Company will plead guilty to a criminal charge in Deepwater Horizon disaster.

    Halliburton has admitted destroying evidence in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and will plead guilty to a criminal charge, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

    Under the plea agreement, which requires court approval, Houston-based Halliburton will also face three years’ probation, pay the maximum fine of $200,000 and continue to cooperate in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation of the April 2010 explosion and fire on the drilling platform, which killed 11 rig workers off Louisiana.

  14. DXer said

    FBI: Wife Tried to Frame Husband for Ricin Letters

    TEXARKANA, Texas June 7, 2013 (AP)

    Shannon Richardson had been married to her husband less than two years when she went to authorities and told them her suspicions: He was the one who had mailed ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg threatening violence against gun-control advocates.

    When investigators looked closer, they reached a different conclusion: It was the 35-year-old pregnant actress who had sent the letters, and she tried to frame her estranged husband in a bizarre case of marital conflict crossing with bioterrorism.

    Comment: Lucky the DOJ did not shred her statement like they did the civil deposition of Patricia Fellows.

  15. DXer said

    GAO cannot understand the science without ascertaining who made this sample and who is responsible for it going missing.

  16. DXer said

    What happened to this sample? Did Patricia Fellows find it? Did someone throw it out? If it wasn’t from Iraq, where was it from? SRI in Frederick, Maryland? Was it made by the DARPA-funded researchers who shared a suite with Ali-Al Timimi (who in turn was coordinating with the “911 imam” Anwar Awlaki)?

    GAO, why was DOJ allowed to shred Patricia Fellows’ deposition?

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