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

* GAO: With respect to the rabbit formaldehyde study in late Sep and early Oct 2001 involving Bruce Ivins and Patricia Fellows — nowhere mentioned by AUSA Lieber in her investigative summary — did Dr. Fellows address the study in the deposition that the Department of Justice required to be shredded?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012




7 Responses to “* GAO: With respect to the rabbit formaldehyde study in late Sep and early Oct 2001 involving Bruce Ivins and Patricia Fellows — nowhere mentioned by AUSA Lieber in her investigative summary — did Dr. Fellows address the study in the deposition that the Department of Justice required to be shredded?”

  1. DXer said

    R. Scott Decker discusses Fellows in his recent book:

    The bloodhounds did not merely fail to alert to Hatfill, they alerted to Pat Fellows — the scientist whose civil deposition the US Department of Justice shredded.

    “One by one, as they had done outside Hatfill’s apartment in the summer, each handler let his bloodhound sniff the scent of a sterilized anthrax letter and then was allowed to trail. On the first occasion Lucy ignored her opportunity… Knight then followed suit, trailing and alerting, also on his second attempt.” (p .120)

    That is, each bloodhound FAILED to alert to Hatfill. Wouldn’t it make multiple-choice test-taking easier if after marking the wrong answer, you are told that your answer was wrong and you get to guess again?

    R. Scott Decker writes:

    “When the task force learned of the Fellow’s alert, it was immediately explained. There was no known association of Hatfill and Fellows, but we were aware that she had worked with the Daschle letter in the days following its recovery. Two days after Daschle’s envelope was cut open, the letter and its contents had been mistakenly transferred to Ivins’s lab, where he and Fellows attempted to determine the spore density before Ezzell was able to retrieve the evidence. But an explanation for alerting to the Leahy letter did not follow; Ezzell had been careful not to let it out of his lab.

    In November, just before Thanksgiving, Rick Lambert called the dogs back again. For two days, they combed Gambrill State Park and the Municipal Forest above Frederick for locations Hatfill might have traveled. A small pond elicited multiple alerts from the bloodhounds.” (p .120)

    Dr. Dillon seeks the emails to and from Ivins and Fellows from September and October 2001 that were so extensively quoted and relied upon by the FBI in spinning an Ivins Theory.

    It was the bloodhound evidence associated with Fellows that contributed to the FBI’s “Ivins Theory”. Rather than not crediting the bloodhound evidence, the bloodhound evidence was used to switch from a Hatfill Theory to an Ivins Theory.

    Instead, as a scientist familiar with Daubert Agent Decker should have appreciated that the bloodhound evidence relating to an irradiated envelope had never been validated. And it was worthless in support of either theory.

    Ironically, R. Scott Decker seeks, subtly, to blame Lambert for both directing the use of bloodhounds and for a fixation on Hatfill — when the burden fell on him to put out that it was not validated science.

  2. DXer said

    I believe Patricia Fellows reportedly wore a wire on Bruce Ivins at a coffee shop. Nothing incriminating was revealed, so far as I recall. I believe Patricia Fellows is the name that is listed on Notebook 4282 (titled “Anthrax”) that has been wrongfully withheld by the FBI for many years – but PF could confirm whether that is accurate.

    With respect to future film makers, they should seek interviews of Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott so we can gain the benefit of their perspective. Hearing from them might do much to get people on the same page. Future film makers might also seek the family 302s under FOIA. Kaczynski’s family’s 302s were disclosed, as an example. There is no reason that Amerithrax need remain an unsolved mystery. Compliance with FOIA would do much to get people on the same page. Production of a family member’s 302 is especially unproblematic upon the individual’s consent, which could be sought by a film maker or author Those 302s bear centrally on the issue of alibi — the fact that they were in the small house on the nights that Ivins would have had to make a 7 hour round trip. The 302s effectively alibi him. The privacy exemption is available for any necessary redactions.

    Background on practice of wearing a wire:

    Was Michael Flynn asked to wear a wire in Mueller hunt for evidence on Russia?
    Plea agreement includes clause showing Flynn consented to participate in ‘covert law enforcement activities” if required

    “Long-time students of federal law enforcement practices agreed, speaking anonymously, that “covert law enforcement activities” likely refers to the possibility of wearing a concealed wire or recording telephone conversations with other potential suspects. It is not known whether Flynn has worn a wire at any time.”

  3. DXer said

    In a Freedom of Information Appeal dated July 19, 2015, relating to his FOIA request to the FBI assigned identification number 1327397-000, Dr, Dillon seeks the emails that the FBI relied upon and quoted from to Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott and Nancy Haigwood. The FBI quoted selectively from the emails without producing them. They spun the emails and then shredded the depositions of Patricia Fellows and Mara Linscott.

    Dr. Dillon writes:

    “Emails: FBI has never released Ivins’s emails to or from Patricia Fellows, Mara Linscott, Nancy Haigwood, or other individuals, even though it selectively used them in its Investigative Summary. Such emails include those to and from Ivins’s work email account and those to and from his personal accounts.”

  4. DXer said

    Vahid Majidi spun bullshit conjecture and surmise about what Dr. Ivins was doing in the lab the days he was working with the 52 rabbits — and it was only possible because the FBI withheld the documents about the experiment from NAS and the deposition on the subject were shredded.

  5. DXer said

    “Feds are in too big a hurry to mute the Kent State tape: Christopher Evans”
    May 02, 2012

    Just as the forensic analysis of the original tape in Kent State should not have been destroyed, no additional evidence in Amerithrax should be destroyed. GAO should direct that it be preserved under all the circumstances.

  6. DXer said

    By request dated August 24, 2004, the FBI requested Research Protocols numbered B-01-07, B00-03, D98-03, F00-11, D-99-02 for aerosol challenges.

    Did the FBI also separately obtain the Research Protocols for subcutaneous challenges — the ones done in Building 1425? (Or did it request aerosol protocols that could only be done in Building 1412.)

    Did the investigators and prosecutors then years later make conclusions about whether time was warranted in B3 in Building 1425 without the relevant Animal Protocols involving subcutaneous challenges? Where do FBI materials cite the pertinent protocols explaining time in Building 1425, B3? In its database of batestamped created/maintained by FBI’s paralegal(s), where are the protocols involving subcutaneous challenge?

    It would require a careful review given that Proposals are numbered differently than Protocols and it can get confusing.

    For the most part, any errors in analysis that the DOJ prosecutors and FBI investigators turn out to have made can be understood in the context of the complexity of the case, the press of events, their good faith and hard work — and the high caliber of personnel that the two agencies hire.

  7. Excellent question. They should replace the scales of justice at the entrance of DOJ and replace it with a giant shredder.

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