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

* In 2004, USAMRIID Advised The FBI That It Could Not Locate The Documents, Laboratory Notes Or Other Papers Of A USAMRIID Laboratory Technician Who Participated In the “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study”. Who Was The Laboratory Technician? What Research Involving The Efficacy Of A Decontamination Agent Was Done?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 5, 2012

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21 Responses to “* In 2004, USAMRIID Advised The FBI That It Could Not Locate The Documents, Laboratory Notes Or Other Papers Of A USAMRIID Laboratory Technician Who Participated In the “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study”. Who Was The Laboratory Technician? What Research Involving The Efficacy Of A Decontamination Agent Was Done?”

  1. DXer said

    Sometimes when faced with a dog and pony show, you need to walk right through all the crap and demand that documents be obtained and disclosed.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  2. DXer said

    GAO should obtain a copy of the referenced July 30, 1999 letter and a copy of “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study” mentioned.

    • DXer said

      Instead, wasn’t it senior laboratory technician Patricia Fellows who participated in the 1999 decontamination study? (Mara Linscott is too short a name to fit; but Patricia Fellows does seem to fit). Why did the FBI not disclose under FOIA this July 30, 1999 letter that refers to the work and an abstract provided by someone titled “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study.” Why did it shred Pat’s and Mara’s civil depositions?

      I have pending FOIA responses directed to USAMRIID for an FBI request for information and all materials provided by Dr. Ivins to the FBI in the possession of the SJA. (USAMRIID’s lawyers).

      But in particular it is the FBI’s fax dated September 10, 2004 that should be obtained (and the included items).

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      In his e-book, Vahid Majidi says he is confident that the new FBI Director Comey will cover his ass — Dr. Majidi notes that Mr. Comey had been his supervisor. (Dr. Decker in his new manuscript evidences the same approach).

      Instead, given the importance of the matter in terms of national security, isn’t FBI DIrector Comey’s priority to be solve the mystery — and follow the evidence where it leads?

      … recognizing that difficult mysteries are hard to solve and we all make missteps that then later need to be corrected?

      Don’t supervisors and friends help us by correcting missteps and getting us on the same page?

      At F.B.I., Change in Leaders Didn’t Change Focus on Terror
      By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDTMAY 18, 2014
      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/19/us/at-fbi-change-in-leaders-didnt-change-focus-on-terror.html?hpw&rref=us&_r=0

      By Mr. Comey’s own account, he also brought to the job a belief, based on news media reports, that the threat from Al Qaeda was diminished. But nine months into his tenure as director, Mr. Comey acknowledges that he underestimated the threat the United States still faces from terrorism.

      “I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become,” Mr. Comey said, referring to offshoots of Al Qaeda in Africa and in the Middle East during an interview in his sprawling office on the seventh floor of the J. Edgar Hoover Building. “There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

      Based on what he now knows, Mr. Comey said, he is convinced that terrorism should remain the main focus of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The agency he inherited from Mr. Mueller had roughly half its 16,000 agents and analysts working on national security issues, and Mr. Comey made it clear that he would not be changing those priorities.

      In his speech at the National Defense University a year ago, Mr. Obama could also not have been clearer. He said that the United States was entering “a new phase,” and that “we have to recognize that the scale of the threat resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”

      ***

      In briefings with senior administration officials, testimony before Congress and interviews with the news media, Mr. Comey has said that while the United States has “dramatically reduced” the “primary tumor” of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, “that threat has metastasized” in places like North Africa, Yemen and the United States.

      The metaphor has personal meaning for Mr. Comey, who had a malignant tumor removed from his colon eight years ago and whose mother died of cancer. Just as the United States believed it had diminished Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said, doctors believed they had defeated his mother’s cancer.

      ***

      “What we learned in the Boston Marathon bombing is that it wasn’t that the F.B.I. didn’t have enough information — it was drowning in information,” said Carol Rose, the executive director of the Massachusetts A.C.L.U.

      ***

      Critics like Ms. Rose said the bombings exposed a problem that existed before the Sept. 11 attacks: that the F.B.I. needs to better investigate the information it has, not simply collect more of it. They contend that the bureau’s buildup under Mr. Mueller did not solve the problem, but made it worse.

      “You had all this information coming in, and nearly all of it wasn’t helpful,” said Mr. German, a former F.B.I. agent, “so agents became accustomed to leads going nowhere and everything they opened became an exercise in how quickly you can close it.”

      ***

      In the case of the Boston bombing, Russian officials had previously told the F.B.I. that Mr. Tsarnaev had become radicalized and planned to travel to Russia to join underground groups. In their report last month, the inspectors general found that the agent who investigated that lead never questioned Mr. Tsarnaev or his family about his travels, and did not reopen an investigation of him after he returned to the United States.

      “The year the F.B.I. investigated the older brother, it said it did 1,000 assessments,” Mr. German said. “There weren’t 1,000 terrorists in Boston that year, and a vast majority of resources were obviously going to things that didn’t matter.”

      ***

      But the bureau’s focus on counterterrorism has led to criticism that a generation of agents have spent their entire careers doing nothing else. Mr. German and other critics say they never learned the basic policing skills needed for a criminal investigation. Mr. Comey has acknowledged the problem, ordering that the F.B.I.’s newest class of recruits, scheduled to start training in June, spend significant time on criminal investigation squads. And he has given his field offices more power to devote resources to helping local authorities.

      ***

      Using another metaphor — this time a football one — Mr. Comey said that he envisioned the F.B.I. as a free safety who has some primary responsibilities but is often called on to help other defenders on the field.

      ***

      “We have certain assigned defensive responsibilities, those are the national securities ones, but beyond that I want to look to the line of scrimmage, which is the primary line of defense, which is state and local law enforcement and say, ‘O.K. where do you need us to make a tackle?’ ” Mr. Comey said. “ ‘Do you need us to stay deep, do you need us to cover over the middle, do you need us to come up and play run support?’ And that’s very different in each game with each opponent.”

      ***

      He has vowed to visit every one of the 56 field offices in his first year as director, and on a recent visit to the Buffalo office explained his theory that a more informal F.B.I. might be a more effective one.

      “My first day everyone showed up and everyone was dressed up looking beautiful,” he said “And I said, ‘Listen, I don’t want people for their regular staff meetings with me wearing jackets because I worry that physical buttoning-up leads to a metaphysical buttoning-up.’ ”

      Comment:

    • DXer said

      NSA Chairman Keith Alexander, from up the street on Onondaga Hill, has given an interview.

      MAY 15, 2014
      “WE’RE AT GREATER RISK”: Q. & A. WITH GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER
      POSTED BY MATTATHIAS SCHWARTZ
      http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2014/05/were-at-greater-risk-q-a-with-general-keith-alexander.html

      Since Edward Snowden’s revelations about government surveillence, we know more about how the National Security Agency has been interpreting Section 215 of the Patriot Act and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. We’ve learned some new words —“bulk metadata,” “selector,” “reasonable articulable suspicion,” “emphatic-access restriction”—but we don’t really know how much of this works in practice.

      The intelligence community isn’t used to explaining itself in public, but over the past few months, with much prodding by Congress and the press, it has taken some small, tentative steps. Last week, I spent an hour with General Keith B. Alexander, who retired in March after eight years as the director of the N.S.A.

      ***

      “I was trying to think of the best way to illustrate what the intelligence people are trying to do. You know “Wheel of Fortune”? Here’s the deal: I’m going to give you a set of big, long words to put on there. Then I’m going to give you some tools to guess the words. You get to pick a vowel or a consonant—one letter. There’s a hundred letters up there. You’ll say, I don’t have a clue. O.K., so you’ve used your first tool in analysis. What the intelligence analysts are doing is using those tools to build the letters, to help understand what the plot is. This is one of those tools. It’s not the only tool. And, at times, it may not be the best tool. It evolved from 9/11, when we didn’t have a tool that helped us connect the dots between foreign and domestic.

      Around 9/11, we intercepted some of [the hijackers’] calls, but we couldn’t see where they came from. So guys like [Khalid al-]Mihdhar, [one of the 9/11 hijackers who was living] in California—we knew he was calling people connected to Al Qaeda in Yemen. But we thought he was in the Middle East. We had no way to connect the dots. If you rewound 9/11, what you would have done is tipped the F.B.I. that a guy who is planning a terrorist attack is in San Diego. You may have found the other three groups that were with him.

      The C.I.A. could have simply told the F.B.I. that al-Mindhar was in the country. Which they didn’t do, for whatever reason.”

      “But, you see, not everybody is looking at the same picture. So you’re thinking, We’re solving this puzzle. C.I.A. is over here, solving this puzzle. There are a lot of these puzzles that many of us are trying to work. Thousands at any given time. You might ask: What’s the best way for you to figure out who bad guys are? I’m going to tell you there’s a bad guy. What would you start with? You’d say, Well, I need to know who his network for friends are, because chances are many of them are bad, too.”

      ***

      “Sometimes, people don’t ask all the right questions.… Going back to “Wheel of Fortune,” 702 is like getting the free vowels. It helps you get all the key things that you need. It’s the base program. And, then, all the rest of your things are one-offs. Like the [telephone-metadata program]. It’s going to give you a piece, but it’s probably not going to be the key piece. It’s a starting point.”

      ***

      “We always review the data that we get. We’re always doing that to see what we did, what we didn’t do. We’re focussed on: How do you help stop a terrorist attack? Save a life? There are a lot of terrorist acts going on around the world. Some are pointed toward the United States. ”

      ***

      “Let’s go back to World War II and the German Enigma code. Would you agree that keeping that code secret was in our best interest to win the war?

      [The fact that we cracked it.]

      “O.K. And you may recall that, in 1942, [the German naval commander] Karl Dönitz came up with the thought that we’d cracked it, so he added a fourth rotor. We didn’t break that fourth rotor for nine months. And the war in the Atlantic shipping lanes—it went in the Germans’ favor. The tonnage that was sunk by the German U-boats over that nine months was significant. Then we broke the fourth rotor. Dönitz didn’t ask himself, Well, could they have broken the fourth rotor? And the rest of the war in the Atlantic, you know how it went. Those clues, the fate of a nation, and, I think, of the Western world, hung on that one key piece of information.

      Now let’s go forward. How do you do enough against terrorists without telling them how you’re doing this? This is the issue that I have with leaking classified material, …”

      “Yup. So think about how secure our nation has been since 9/11. We take great pride in it. It’s not because of me. It’s because of those people who are working, not just at N.S.A. but in the rest of the intelligence community, the military, and law enforcement, all to keep this country safe. But they have to have tools. With the number of attacks that are coming, the probability, it’s growing—”
      ***

      “The probability of an attack getting through to the United States, just based on the sheer numbers, from 2012 to 2013, that I gave you—look at the statistics. If you go from just eleven thousand to twenty thousand, what does that tell you? That’s more. That’s fair, right?”

      “The probability is growing. What I saw at N.S.A. is that there is a lot more coming our way. Just as someone is revealing all the tools and the capabilities we have. What that tells me is we’re at greater risk. I can’t measure it. You can’t say, Well, is that enough to get through? I don’t know. It means that the intel community, the military community, and law enforcement are going to work harder.”

      “So we have to explain everything that we can, because I believe the terrorist attacks are coming. You’re going to be in an interview with my successor and say, How could you let this happen? ”

      “The program. What we’re doing with the program. I think there’s probably more we can do to help them to understand. You know, when you explain something, you think, That’s obvious. And it may not be as obvious as we think.

      Yeah. Some of the people who have access to this classified material say that, if you could see what we see, you would believe us. And some, like Senators Wyden and Udall, say otherwise.

      And that’s the Enigma problem. That’s the Enigma, right?

      Yeah, although it’s not—

      No, think about Enigma. They even let people die to keep that secret…”

      ***
      “I think, you know, a life is a life. How many does it take to make it worth it? So, when you look at the oversight and compliance here, think of it this way.

      Your number, my number, they have never been approved for reasonable articulateable suspicion. Unless, of course, you’re talking to a terrorist.”

      “Well, did you talk to al-Zawahiri?”

      “If you know where he is, that would be helpful. [Laughs.]”

      ***

      “I really am concerned that something bad’s going to happen. And I don’t want to be Chicken Little. But I do think people need to know that we’re at greater risk, and there’s a lot more coming my way. It’s easy to stir up public emotion by saying: They’re listening to your phone calls. They’re reading your e-mails. And the answer is, if they’re doing that, they should be punished. Unless there is an authority to do it.”

      Comment:

      Keith Alexander deserves a Gannon’s ice cream cone — but up to now only a small wafer soft cone to go. Data is not worth collecting (at the expense of other important interests) unless analysts connect the dots. Here, the dots available were not connected.

      The next 9/11 likely will be due to the same failure of analysis as 9/11.

      CYA continues to reign — and it is dressed up and defended by other rationales.

      Amerithrax constitutes the biggest lapse in counterintelligence analysis in United States history and the manuscripts by Dr. Majidi and Dr. Decker are Exhibits A and B.

      The fact that they try to dress up a genetics analysis that didn’t even cut the field of those with access — given that the same people pretty much had access to Ames with and without the morphs — is the best evidence of the lack of a probative case against Dr. Bruce Ivins.

      The fact that they had to stuff 52 rabbits down a hat — by not even addressing the documents — is the proof that the case was recklessly and needlessly botched.

      General Alexander, I wouldn’t take offense if your analysts were reading my emails. Indeed, I’ve post my email correspondence with Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab director and men recruited by Dr. Ayman Zawahiri. I could tell you that Dr. Ayman Zawahiri is responsible for the anthrax mailings — and that he thinks “war is deception”. But I could fill you in over ice cream at Gannons. I’m buying.

      You can order anything you want.

      Anthrax, Ayman Zawahiri and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US BIodefense
      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  3. DXer said

    Was it Patricia Fellows, rather than Mara Linscott, who was involved in the “Biological Warfare Decontamination Efficacy Study” for which documents were not produced? Did Patricia and Mara make virulent Ames for that study? Did that study involve the decontamination agent invented by the former Zawahiri associate who tested his agent at, for example, Dugway? And Johns-Hopkins? Why did the DOJ shred Mara and Pat’s civil depositions? GAO, why isn’t that spoliation of evidence?

  4. Lab Notebook 3268

    https://mrmc-www.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Lab%20Notebooks/Notes%20and%20Sample%20Anaylsis%20from%20Notebook%203268.pdf

  5. Lab Notebooks:

    19950618_LabNotebook4103(redacted).pdf (107678 KB) — Posted: 06/02/2011
    19960903_LabNotebook3919(redacted).pdf (2993 KB) — Posted: 05/10/2011
    19980106_LabNotebook4000(redacted).pdf (155721 KB) — Posted: 06/21/2011
    19981202_LabNotebook3745(redacted).pdf (32444 KB) — Posted: 06/02/2011
    20000114_LabNotebook4237(redacted).pdf (16714 KB) — Posted: 06/02/2011
    20000303_LabNotebook3921(redacted).pdf (22150 KB) — Posted: 06/02/2011
    20000608_LabNotebook4281(redacted).pdf (6568 KB) — Posted: 05/13/2011
    20000828_LabNotebook4306(redacted).pdf (4286 KB) — Posted: 05/03/2011
    20010809_LabNotebook4383(redacted).pdf (28822 KB) — Posted: 04/29/2011
    Notes and Sample Anaylsis from Notebook 3268.pdf (19684 KB) — Posted: 01/05/2012

  6. When I click on that link I get the document

    https://mrmc-www.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/15-6%20Investigation%20-%20Anthrax%20Contamination/20020516_Anthrax%20Contamination%20Redacted%20AR%2015-6%20Investigation.pdf

    It is a 361 page pdf.

  7. When I click on the FBI first doc I get the same page again but this link at bottom

    20020516_Anthrax Contamination Redacted AR 15-6 Investigation.pdf (16031 KB) — Posted: 06/22/2010

  8. FBI repository docs at bottom of page after click on FBI repository:

    FBIR001.pdf (450 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR002.pdf (32 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR003.pdf (29 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR004.pdf (29 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR005.pdf (309 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR006.pdf (71 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR0065.pdf (399 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR007.pdf (125 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR008.pdf (237 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR009.pdf (41 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR010.pdf (43 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR011.pdf (76 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR013.pdf (440 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR014.pdf (31 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR016.pdf (399 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR017.pdf (909 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR018.pdf (40 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR019.pdf (3414 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR020.pdf (3837 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR021.pdf (90 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR022.pdf (179 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR023.pdf (416 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR024.pdf (558 KB) — Posted: 12/28/2011
    FBIR025.pdf (301 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR026.pdf (134 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR027.pdf (3076 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR028.pdf (4522 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR029.pdf (5136 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR030.pdf (198 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR031.pdf (174 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR032.pdf (164 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR033.pdf (69 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR034.pdf (32 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR035.pdf (327 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR036.pdf (580 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR037.pdf (802 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR038.pdf (40 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR039.pdf (85 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR041.pdf (1139 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR042.pdf (222 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR043.pdf (203 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR044.pdf (5812 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR045.pdf (349 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR046.pdf (754 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR047.pdf (23 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR048.pdf (29 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR049.pdf (4868 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR050.pdf (121 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR051.pdf (461 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR052.pdf (461 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR053.pdf (473 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR054.pdf (469 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR055.pdf (474 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR056.pdf (479 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR057.pdf (254 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR058.pdf (174 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR059.pdf (115 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR060.pdf (292 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR061.pdf (827 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR062.pdf (278 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR063.pdf (38 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR064.pdf (45 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR066.pdf (4900 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR067.pdf (25 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR068.pdf (24 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011
    FBIR069.pdf (41 KB) — Posted: 12/29/2011

  9. When I use the link

    https://mrmc-www.army.mil/index.cfm?pageid=foia_reading_room.overview#

    and click on FBI repository, then it appears nothing has happened. However, if I scroll down to the very bottom of the page, I find a list of documents.

    Depending on what is clicked on in the grid, a different list of documents appears at the bottom.

    Is that how it works for you?

    • DXer said

      Yes, and if you click on the one uploaded January 5, 2012 and scroll down you’ll find a 10 or 11 page powerpoint from October 2001 by Bruce Ivins describing some of his research with mice and guinea pigs.

  10. DXer said

    USAMRIID just uploaded hundreds of pages under the category of FBIR — sample set submissions to the FBI. They appear to be almost entirely unredacted.

    USAMRIID is the little engine that could when it comes to good faith document production.

    I am not sure how it differs from what was in the category before but it is nonetheless very impressive for its unredacted and exhaustive nature.

    Kudos to whoever made it happen.

    • DXer said

      And if that’s not enough, later today there will be a posting of “Anthrax Spore challenge Oct 01” in Misc.

    • Download it before they change their mind. What is the exact link and which docs to get so others can do so as well?

      • DXer said

        Note that later today we will have notes and sample analysis from notebook 3268.

        Previously we only have had 3745, 3919, 3921, 4000, 4103, 4237, 4281, 4306, 4383.

        One can infer that 3268 is from an earlier date than the others.

        Here is the URL for the reading room generally.

        https://mrmc-www.army.mil/index.cfm?pageid=foia_reading_room.overview#

        You can look for “Repository” (where new documents are already uploaded),

        Misc. (where the Oct 1 spore challenge document will be uploaded later today)

        and under Lab Notebooks for those notes and sample analysis (re Lab Notebook 3268).

        The latter documents were sent to webmaster after the other large batch and so are in the queue for uploading.

        • DXer said

          In Miscellany now, there is a lengthy Ivins October 2001 powerpoint titled “Evaluation of CpG Nucleotides for Protection against Anthrax”. He discusses research with guinea pigs and mice.

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