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

* In regard to this October 5, 2001 lab notebook entry, GAO should publish its interview of AUSA Lieber in which she explains when she thinks the numbers referred to on the next page were created and why she didn’t mention the 52 rabbits in her Investigative Summary — why she claimed he had no reason to be in that lab at night that week.

Posted by DXer on October 16, 2012



9 Responses to “* In regard to this October 5, 2001 lab notebook entry, GAO should publish its interview of AUSA Lieber in which she explains when she thinks the numbers referred to on the next page were created and why she didn’t mention the 52 rabbits in her Investigative Summary — why she claimed he had no reason to be in that lab at night that week.”

  1. DXer said

    Someone as senior as Vahid Majidi would necessarily be relying on the investigators and prosecutors with a more hands-on responsibility.

    Under GAO procedural rules, they can upload the interviews they conduct. Whoever made the key judgments about whether Dr. Ivins had reason to be in the lab — whoever had responsibility for the review of the documentary evidence — should be questioned by the GAO based on the documents. They should be asked if they had the documents available to them. If their answer is that they did not have the documents available to them — and were just relying on Dr. Ivins recollected 7 years later — then we have the answer of why the Amerithrax analysis was botched. And we can move on.

    Truth lies in review of the very best contemporaneous documents — not in conclusory assertions and spin of senior DOJ and FBI officials.

  2. DXer said

    In HEAT, Sandra Bullock reviewed the file of a famous case she had recently closed and realized that her colleague was correct — that the case needed to be reopened. Telling her boss didn’t make her feel as good as thought it would — and she didn’t get the promotion she sought — but she was still pleased with the course she had set and her new life.

    Meanwhile, in the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt, Forrest announced a new clue on the TODAY show this week. He said it was not in Idaho or Utah.

    Now this seem may seem little help for those of us who have been looking in Yellowstone in Wyoming, but it certainly is dramatic help for the searchers looking in Idaho or Utah.

    By analogy, Amerithrax may seem a complex case, but to know that an Ivins Theory is not correct because of the rabbit documents, is actually a huge leg up in analysis of the case.

    If you have not mastered the rabbit documents, then you haven’t mastered Amerithrax and are still walking around in 128 degree heat in Utah. Feel the HEAT.

  3. DXer said

    Monkeypox, Anthrax Agent Exposure At U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
    The Frederick News-Post, Md. | By Courtney Mabeus
    Posted: 04/03/2013 2:52 pm EDT

    At USAMRIID there were a total of 29,556 entrances into BSL-3 and 4 labs in 2012.

    51,000 entrances into BSL-3 and 4 labs in 2011.

    USAMRIID’s move to a centralized reporting system for incidents in 2011 has allowed the Army to better track issues that could affect the health and safety of workers, officials have said.

  4. DXer said

    Kurt Eichenwald in 500 DAYS (2012) seems to have read the Amerithrax Investigative Summary and accepted AUSA Lieber’s claim that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab those nights.

    Kurt writes “Moreover, the bureau determined that in the days leading up to the anthrax mailings, Ivins had uncharacteristically worked nights in the lab, a change in the routine that would have given him time to prepare the deadly weapon. They caught him in lie after lie.” (p. 514)

    Hardly. Ivins was very forthright and cooperative.

    To the contrary, when one studies the evidence rather than the false assertions and spin of the investigative summary, one understands that he was in the lab doing the work scheduled on the 52 rabbits.

    The attached protocol in the October 4, 2001 lab page — lab pages withheld by the FBI for years — shows what he was doing. The October 5, 2001 summary above is just one of many pages withheld about the 52 rabbits that were dying and killed over the period of a week or two. Without understanding the work involved in particular experiments (and animal protocols were constantly changing and the requirements becoming more strict to avoid animal suffering), the author in 500 DAYS uncritically accepted a prosecutor’s bald and provably false assertions.

    Indeed, late hours more generally could be done in Building 1412 or 1425 and the DOJ’s analysis related to only 1425 — and so it was highly misleading from the start given the shift from doing challenges in 1412 to 1425 where they could be done with fewer people.

    Ivins’ former assistant, Mara Linscott, explained that it was a one-person job and would take a couple of hours. That’s how long it took.

    The lie is that AUSA Lieber never told the public about the rabbits. She still hasn’t. She’s even voluntarily gave television interview where she perpetuated the lie. She pretended this time-consuming experiment on those critical nights didn’t exist.

    Separately, Kurt’s reliance on Nancy Haigwood’s report of him (p. 231) as if it constituted evidence — based on the fact she didn’t like him — makes for easy storytelling narrative but is even less substantial as evidence of murder. Indeed, it is not evidence of the crime whatsoever. It is just material for a smear. From an evidentiary standpoint, Kurt might have better focused on why she hated him. Didn’t she think him responsible for calling her research akin to “cold fusion” in the September 23, 2001 Washington Post? (and for all I know he was). An accuser’s animosity is not in any way evidence of the crime. (On a minor note, Kurt’s reference to her in the index to “colleague’s suspicion” is highly inapt; his colleagues are his strongest and most articulate supporters. She was a former classmate from university over a quarter century ago. The difference is that his colleagues address the merits of the crime and Dr. Haigwood has pointed to events a quarter century ago that understandably fueled her animosity.

    If Kurt looks dispassionately at the documentary evidence on the 52 rabbits — and compares it to the Amerithrax Investigative Summary — he’ll see it was AUSA Lieber who was lying and not Bruce.

    The problem is the same as with author Mr. Willman, though. Once these journalists have a financial interest in selling books, they have no interest in updating their analysis with the documentary evidence that was withheld by the DOJ until after the authors needed to submit their manuscript to the publication. After publication, interviews are just a matter of sound bytes based on the published word, now writ in stone. The authors killed a tree to get the word out, might as well not change the account now.

    These authors are clearly highly skilled, accomplished and well-meaning — but the long lead times involved in publication have caused missteps in analysis to go uncorrected. The mistakes and false narrative become accepted as a false history in our country’s libraries all because we have an archaic publishing industry.

    Missteps in analysis in a national security matter relating to an unresolved threat is very serious indeed. Failure is not an option.

    This is not a time to brook fools gladly — or liars.

    The lesson is that if a prosecutor withholds documents long enough they can get away with anything — even get promoted.

    • DXer said

      Kurt Eichenwald in 500 DAYS (2012) at page 108 writes specifically of this day — October 5, 2001 as well as October 4 and 6 — falsely claiming that Dr. Ivins did not make entries in his notebook and mistakenly suggesting he had no reason to be in the lab. Kurt was misled by the prosecutor who withheld these lab notebook pages and made no mention of the experiment with the 52 rabbits in her lengthy memorandum to her superiors. It’s not Mr. Eichenwald’s fault. His beef is with the government employees who misled him through their public and formal (and on film) pronouncements. AUSA Ken Kohl has already been lambasted in an unprecedented federal district court decision in the Blackwater matter for prosecutorial misconduct — upon a motion brought by Hatfill’s former attorney. Truth be told, isn’t AUSA Lieber an innocent in all of this — isn’t her supervisor to blame for the pressured predicament she was in?

      Kurt writes of October 6: “Ivins had worked in B-313 every night that weekend — a highly unusual deviation from his typical Monday-through-Friday schedule of the past three years. He kept no notes in his lab books the previous two nights (October 4 and 5) and would not write any entries this time either — another change from his normal procedure.” (p. 108)

      It simply is NOT TRUE and Mr. Eichenwald has the stature and the media platform to set the record straight.

      • DXer said

        With no forensic evidence in support of an Ivins Theory — and with the theory directly contradicted by the on-point documentary evidence — Mr. Eichenwald had to reach for speculation that not even the US Attorney or the Amerithrax Investigative Summary dare touch.

        Kurt Eichenwald writes that the zipcode was Monmouth and that “Ivins obsessed on the word Monmouth for reasons having nothing to do with his family history — not only was Thomas Ivins born in a place called Monmouth, but so was Kappa Kappa Gamma, the focus of Ivin’s most intense and decades-long obsession. The sorority was was founded at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, a fact mentioned by Ivins in some of his many diatribes about the group that he posted, using aliases on the Internet.”

        Mr. Eichenwald is taking a highly speculative theory — that in most people has prompted giggles — and urges it as fact.

        The sorority theory was not mentioned at the press conference by the US Attorney.

        Indeed, the Amerithrax Investigative Summary said that no conclusive connection could be found with the address.

        And so why does Kurt allege it as fact?

        As sourcing he refers to what he calls the Panel Report, the report orchestrated by the psychiatrist who advised on the high-pressure approach that led to Dr. Ivins suicide — the report that centrally relied upon the counselor who in a 2009 book says she was controlled by a microchip implanted in her butt.

        Kurt does not merely embrace Dr. Saathoff’s speculation, he takes a post quoted in that report and mischaracterizes with the word “diatribes” — when he instead he making a complimentary point about its motto in latin. I’ve read his posts to include those by Jimmy Flathead. How does the word diatribes fit at all? Moreover, where is there a second mention of the college?

        Moreover, in his phrasing “Investigators could have found the clues they needed in a clutter of magazines piled up in the ‘hot’ suite, ” if there any suggestion that an October 1999 article about some Greendale school was taken in a search of his lab, it wasn’t.

        Instead, the take-home is how can the people suggest that every minute in the hot suite needs to be explained when Dr. Ivins regularly hung out there reading newspapers?

        We have the spin about Greendale being handed us anonymously by Patricia F., the co-worker who destroyed the Ames, took the Apple laptop, has not come forward to describe the work with the rabbits while having falsely claimed he had no reason to be in the lab, assisted the Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Ivins — and whose deposition was shredded.

        The documentary evidence paints a different picture. When pro-life advertisements were taken out listing support on the issue, for the Ivins family, only Mrs. Ivins and her children were named — not Bruce.

    • DXer said

      The Amerithrax Investigative Summary has no citations to the record. Storytelling where the cited authority consists mainly of an uncited prosecutorial account contradicted by the documentary evidence comes easy. Here, Kurt’s book insofar as it relates to Amerithrax is appropriately titled “Secrets and Lies.”

      Truth-telling based on the documentary evidence is more difficult and requires walking through the uploaded documentary evidence.

      see, e.g.,

      • DXer said

        Mr. Eichenwald, like some working on behalf of the government, have relied on this poem written by Ivins as if it was evidence of murder.

        “I’m a little dream-self, short and stout.
        I’m the other half of Bruce — when he lets me out.
        When I get all steamed up, I don’t pout.
        I push Bruce aside, then I’m Free to run about!”

        We needed people addressing the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings who could distinguish between probative evidence and cute poems. What do you think Dr. Saathoff and Kurt would do with this poem I wrote years ago? The role of psychiatrists should be limited to determining the competence of defendants to stand trial or as experts on the issue of the insanity defense. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a fascinating critique of profiling in a major magazine a few years ago. Compared it to a parlor trick. Even among its proponents, its usefulness lies in suggesting possible places to look — it never should be been allowed to substitute for proper evidence of a crime.

        And the access to Ames and availability of the B3 was all they needed to look to know that they should obtained — and preserved — the contemporaneous records…

        such as the lab notebook pages showing Dr. Ivins work with the rabbits that they withheld from production for years — and made no mention of in the investigative summary.

        Indeed, they should have located the Apple laptop that Ivins suggested Patricia took with her.

        Ed Ode
        (Rats Live On No Evil Star)

        (A palindrome reads the same forwards and backwards)

        Ma handed Edna ham
        Ma is as selfless as I am

        Kayak salad, Alaska yak.
        Campus Motto: Bottoms up, Mac

        Wow! Sis! Wow!
        Wonton on salad? Alas, no, not now!

        “Desserts, sis?” (Sensuousness is stressed).
        Desserts I desire not, so long no lost one rise distressed.

        “Do nine men interpret?” Nine men, I nod.
        Doc, note I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.

        May a moody baby doom a yam?
        Marge let a moody baby doom a telegram.

        Oh who was it I saw, oh who?
        Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo?

        Was it a car or a cat I saw?
        War! I saw ‘Nam — man was I raw.

        We panic in a pew.
        We’ll let Mom tell Lew.

        ‘Tis in a DeSoto sedan I sit.
        To Idi Amin I am an idiot.

        Race fast, safe car.
        Rats live on no evil star.

        Toot! Toot!
        Too hot to hoot.

        Stop, Syrian! I start at rats in airy spots.
        Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots.

        Trap a rat! Stare, piper, at star apart!
        Trade ye no mere moneyed art.

        If I had a hi-fi!? If I had a hi-fi!?
        I, madam, I made radio. So I dared! Am I mad? Am I?

        Ah! A mop, a man, a map: Omaha!
        Was it felt? I had a hit left, I saw.

        Solo gigolos.
        So many dynamos.

        Oh, no! Don Ho.
        Ogre, flog a golfer. Go!

        Ten animals I slam in a net.
        Pets, Ed, I sidestep.

        Nurse, save rare vases, run!
        Now, sir, a war is won.

        Mad? Am I, madam?
        Madam, in Eden, I’m Adam!

        Reviled did I live, said I, as evil did I deliver.
        Revered now I live on. O did I no evil, I wonder ever?

        Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
        Are we not drawn onwards, we few, drawn on to new era?

      • DXer said

        Judging from the records disclosed, the FBI did not even obtain the 16 pages relating to research alongside Bruce Ivins by the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins until March 2005.

        If that document production is a true reflection of the FBI’s understanding of that matter, that’s an incompetently conducted investigation.

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