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

* In a Sept 23, 2011 letter to Senator Grassley, the DOJ says that Dr. Ivins made the dried powder in B5 using the lyophilizer even though the DOJ has proved he was in B3 tending to the rabbits, not B5 (the BL-2 lab), at the time the DOJ alleges he made the dried powder. THAT is the contradiction.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 16, 2011

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5 Responses to “* In a Sept 23, 2011 letter to Senator Grassley, the DOJ says that Dr. Ivins made the dried powder in B5 using the lyophilizer even though the DOJ has proved he was in B3 tending to the rabbits, not B5 (the BL-2 lab), at the time the DOJ alleges he made the dried powder. THAT is the contradiction.”

  1. DXer said

    Hopefully, Senator Jeff Sessions, newly named as Mr. Trump’s pick for Attorney General, will pay heed to the thoughtful issues raised by his Judiciary Committee colleague Senator Grassley.

  2. DXer said

    Dr. Vahid Majidi and his colleagues claimed at the August 2008 conference that Dr. Ivins used a lyophilizer to process the anthrax.

    The lyophilizer was not even in the B3 where Dr. Ivins provably was at those times.

    Where does Dr. Majidi address the issue of lyophilizer in his new manuscript on the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

    Wasn’t his manuscript a key opportunity to correct the mistake — and acknowledge that Dr. Ivins did not use the lyophilizer as United States Attorney Taylor claimed?

    (If I missed it, I look forward to having it pointed out to me where he discusses US Attorney Taylor’s claim that the lyophilizer was used.)

  3. richard rowley said

    So, there, Mister Smartypants Tort lawyer! Not only was the lyophilizer in another room entirely, but it lacked a protective hood as well! So how was the DoD to know that that fool Ivins would drag it elsewhere
    and use it without the darned hood! (and somehow without spilling any dry anthrax in the interior of his vehicle!) So, the plaintiffs haven’t a leg to stand on! And did we mention that the lyophilizer was as heavy as a refrigerator and that Ivins was a skinny squirt? So how was the Ft Detrick management to know he could drag the darned thing into his lab? (Answer me that!)

    Or maybe he air-dried the darned anthrax, what are we psychic?

    Hope that that ‘clarified’ things for ya, Senator!

    • DXer said

      In the DOJ’s defense regarding the lack of spores, for example, in the car, that is as simple as triple bagging it.

      And so it seems that the DOJ is correct that anyone could avoided spores in transporting the envelopes.

      But the GAO should be given a physical tour of facilities matching the configuration of the B3 airlock and given access down the hall to the same brand lyophilized and the GAO investigators should be invited to try to move the lyophliizer into the suite. Relatedly, they should consider how movement of such a piece of equipment would show on key access cards given the floor pads that one stepped on to see if one person, such as Dr. Ivins, could do it. I don’t know how construction in the past 10 years has made such a reenactment impossible but perhaps a scientist with personal knowledge of the physical layout could assist in a reenactment. A controlled experiment as to whether the lyophilizer could be moved to where Dr. Ivins was on those nights — in B3, not B5 — is certainly within the GAO’s mandate. Such a controlled experiment goes more importantly to the science than the multi-million dollar genetics effort which merely narrowed the genetics from 700 to “up to 377.” Indeed, the same people at USAMRIID who had access to Ames with 4 morphs had access to Ames without 4 morphs. The emphasis on genetics was tantamount to a dog and pony show.

      • DXer said

        Media fundamentally misconceived the NAS report when it characterized it as saying the FBI overstated the case against Dr. Ivins. The NAS was specifically directed NOT to consider the case against Dr. Ivins. When permitted to examine the documentary evidence withheld under FOIA, it seems that Ivins can be established not to have been involved. The NAS was only involved in addressing relatively immaterial abstract issues. For example, when one studies what letters actually were double-lined, one sees that the FBI’s code theory was crock. When one obtains the scientific study on the USAMRIID photocopy toner, one sees that Rachel’s innuendo about the using the photocopiers was baseless (and time in the library is exculpatory rather than inculpatory) etc.

        Consider the example of the hours that Dr. Ivins spent on tending to the rabbits — and the fact the word “rabbits” never has passed the lips of the prosecutors or investigators. The DOJ claims he had no reason to be in the lab but when the DOJ wants to establish he had reason to target the National Enquirer the DOJ reasons that there was a stack of Enquirers in the B3 and he would hang out in there reading them.

        The GAO should choose wisely in framing the issues and seek to get to the most probative issues. Conflict of interest should also be considered. For example, the assistant to the FBI scientist who made the dried powder out of Ames out of RMR 1029 — and who did not submit a sample — is a very key witness for the FBI. Her failure to submit a sample is established by the documentary evidence — whereas even the question BI prepared the April 2002 sample, rather than PF, is speculative.

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