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

* New GAO Conclusion: Federal Agencies Still Lack Validated Detection Methods Which Allow Confidence Statement Regarding A Negative Result

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 23, 2012

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6 Responses to “* New GAO Conclusion: Federal Agencies Still Lack Validated Detection Methods Which Allow Confidence Statement Regarding A Negative Result”

  1. DXer said

    Anthrax Detection: Analyses and Select Studies of Sampling Methods (Allergies and Infectious Diseases) [Hardcover]
    Corin M. Arnaud (Editor)

    Publication Date: March 31, 2013 | Edition: Har/DVD

    Book & DVD. A workgroup, led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have taken actions to validate environmental sampling methods for detecting Bacillus anthracis — the bacteria that cause anthrax. This book provides an overview of select studies in sampling methods and analyses with regard to anthrax detection.

    • DXer said

      https://www.mbp.state.md.us/bpqapp/PProfile.asp

      These studies were funded by U.S. Taxpayers. Why do the scientists and agencies think that they can charge $110?

      The publication is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. It is as offensive as when the psychiatrist who relied upon the counselor who thought she was controlled by an alien — the key witness in any Ivins theory — sold the report that he orchestrated in order to cover his ass regarding Dr. Ivins’ suicide.

      When it was pointed out that the report was subject to FOIA and grievously mistaken in its reliance on the counselor, he then offered it for free but refused to correct it.

      The Psychiatrists Are Selling A Report Relying On A Counselor Who Says She Was Granted Special Powers By An Alien Controlling Her By A Device Implanted In Her Butt, But The USG Has Taken Steps To Keep The DOJ’s Reliance On That Evidence Sealed For 5 Years
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 15, 2011
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/the-psychiatrists-are-selling-a-report-relying-on-a-counselor-who-says-she-was-granted-special-powers-by-an-alien-controlling-her-by-a-device-implanted-in-her-butt-but-the-usg-has-taken-steps-to-ke/

      Nowadays it is a simple matter to publish such things for free — and make them available for free.

      I pointed out to Gregory Saarthoff to his colleague Ronald S. that GS’s group had no right to sell their report.

      Seeing the report was the only way to demonstrate it had centrally and egregiously relied on Judith McLean, who thought murderous astral entities attached to her counseling clients (i.e., Dr. Ivins) were trying to kill her. She was the one having psychotic delusions in 2000 (she reports in a 2009 book) — not Dr. Ivins.

      The psychiatrists failed to issue a correction to the report that they had submitted to a federal district court judge.

      Separately, the psychiatrist in Frederick that Dr. Ivins visited is now on a two-year probation (per a 12/19/2012 order by the Medical Board) for failing to exercise due care or maintain adequate records.

      In the meantime, the lead AUSA who similarly relied upon the woman controlled by the alien, Kenneth Kohl, was found by a federal district court judge of prosecutorial misconduct of a historic magnitude in the Blackwater case. That Blackwater fiasco understandably consumed his time in late 2008 and 2009 and prevented him from setting Amerithrax back on course.

      The day that his assistant Rachel Lieber was interviewed by Frontline and made no mention of the 52 rabbits (she at least by then knew about) was the day it was clear that Amerithrax was a sad day for justice in America. And that investigators and prosecutors were going to remain in a CYA mode.

      So let’s see: Kenneth Kohl’s boss, two top prosecutor Daniel Seikaly, pled the Fifth Amendment (because of potential criminal liability) in his conduct of the matter. Then Ken Kohl was found guilty of prosecutorial misconduct in an unprecedented decision.

      Evil such as Yazid Sufaat prevails when good men do nothing for fear of embarrassing a colleague inside the Beltway –when people put their careers or financial profit ahead of the country’s safety.

    • DXer said

      The contents of the e-book are as follows

      One is a GAO report “Anthrax: DHS Faces Challenges in Validating Methods for Sample Collection and Analysis.” I had posted what I deemed the pertinent excerpts. It is online.

      One is Sandia National Laboratories, “False Negative Rate and Other Performance Measures of a Sponge-Wipe Surface Sampling Method for Low Contaminant Concentrations.”
      It is online and available for free.
      http://prod.sandia.gov/techlib/access-control.cgi/2011/113395.pdf

      Two of reports are from the Department of Energy.

      One of the two is available for free here:

      “Laboratory Studies on Surface Sampling of Bacillus anthracis Contamination: Summary, Gaps, and Recommendations”
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05381.x/asset/jam5381.pdf?v=1&t=hdnb3zro&s=1aee0ea25c91a7121ee1a42d6ca598e514a43229

      The other is available for free here:

      “Experimental Design for a Sponge-Wipe Study to Relate the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to the Concentration of a Bacillus anthracis Surrogate for Six Surface Materials:”
      http://www.pnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/PNNL-20060.pdf

  2. DXer said

    In its review, GAO should arrange for the FBI to make production under FOIA of the different forensic inquiries — not merely the ones it chose to use in arguing an Ivins Theory. In connection with stable isotopes, James Ehleringer is the key scientist to interview in that regard,

    For example, it should encourage the FBI’s disclosure under FOIA of the work on stable istopes, which tended to be exculpatory of Dr. Ivins. At the very least, the GAO should interview Dr. Eherlinger and publish its interview.

    James Ehleringer, a scientist consulting with the Amerithrax Task Force, in 2010 Utah Law Society, Stable Isotopes and the Courts, 2010 Utah L. Rev. 385, writes:

    “For the foregoing reasons, and in acknowledgement of the Supreme Court’s admonition to address the Daubert analysis to the “task at hand,” n167 we will include discussion of the application of stable isotope analysis to the investigation of the anthrax attacks of 2001 (referred to as Amerithrax), which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently closed. n168 In this case of a bio-weapons attack, spores from Bacillus anthracisis (anthrax) were contained within letters mailed to news media offices across the United States and to two U.S. Senators. As a result of the anthrax attack, five people were killed and an additional seventeen individuals were afflicted and survived. The chemical and biological analyses of spores recovered from the letters sought to determine the origins of the spores and the identity of the perpetrator(s) behind the attack. Among the many diverse tests employed were stable isotope ratio analyses of spores, culture medium, water used along with culture medium, and envelopes.

    (a) Relevancy

    The relevance and helpfulness of scientific evidence depends, of course, on the facts that are consequential to a particular case. Rule 702 asks whether expert evidence “will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” n169 Stable isotope evidence can help the fact-finder determine the likelihood that two or more evidence specimens are consistent with having originated from a common source, or the likelihood that a specimen is consistent with having been associated with a particular geographic location. If the likelihood of an evidence specimen having been associated with a specific location is low, stable isotope ratio analyses can, in many cases, provide data on the likelihood that an evidence specimen could have been associated with other geographic locations. If, in any of these instances, the isotope information would help the fact-finder in making the determination of a consequential fact more or less probable, n170 the stable isotope evidence should meet the “assist the trier” test of Rule 702.

    Five applications of stable isotope ratio analysis were relevant to the Amerithrax case: (1) identification of the culture medium most likely to have been used to culture the anthrax; (2) characterization of the geographic region(s) most likely to have been associated with the culturing of the anthrax; (3) similarity comparisons among spore specimens recovered from different anthrax-containing [*416] letters; (4) similarity comparisons between the anthrax spore evidence and the different culture medium used to culture bacteria (including anthrax); and (5) similarity comparisons of the cellulose composition of letters used to mail the spores. n171

    The following questions address two fundamental aspects of stable isotope analysis relevance: similarity and location.

    First, were the Amerithrax specimens isotopically indistinguishable from each other and therefore more likely to be related and be consistent with having a common origin?

    Second, were the isotopic compositions of the anthrax spore specimens consistent with bacterial spores that had been cultured in a particular geographic region? Additionally, based on the stable isotope ratio measurement, could some geographic regions be excluded as origin-of-culture possibilities?

    Third, were the isotopic compositions of the anthrax spore specimens consistent with observations expected for the culture of the bacteria grown using a particular culture medium? Additionally, based on the stable isotope ratio measurement, could some culture medium be excluded from further consideration as culture medium possibilities?

    These questions presume that reliable data could be obtained and that appreciable stable isotope ratio variations existed in culture water and culture medium to allow a meaningful interpretation of the data.

    Answers to these questions should achieve a more probable understanding of the origin and location of the anthrax recovered from the 2001 letters and should assist a trier of fact. If stable isotope analysis assists to provide such answers, then it should be considered relevant and helpful under Rule 702.

    • DXer said

      The issue of what scientific documents should be disclosed is entirely separate from the issue of admissibility under Daubert.

      “The admissibility of microbial forensic evidence in a court of law will depend upon the legal framework of the country concerned. For example, in USA the ‘Daubert standard’ governs the admissibility of scientific evidence in court. In order to meet the Daubert standard, the evidence must be obtained using a procedure that employs a standardised and validated protocol which has a known error rate. In addition, the procedure must have been published after peer review and considered ‘generally acceptable’ by the appropriate scientific community (Harmon, 2005). Therefore, whilst forensic microbiology offers enormous potential to a wide variety of criminal investigations, there is a need for a great deal of basic research before this can be realised.”

      Microbes as forensic indicators
      Alan Gunn1* and Sarah J. Pitt2 1School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, L3 3AF, UK 2School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton, BN2 4GJ, UK *Corresponding author email: a.gunn@ljmu.ac.uk Received 9 July 2012; received in revised form 10 August; accepted 10 August 2012

  3. DXer said

    BioWatch technology couldn’t detect lethal germs, tests found

    David Willman, “Scientists say the U.S. biological defense system relied on kits that were far less able to help detect lethal germs than officials thought.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-biowatch-faulty-assays-20121023,0,6634110.story?track=lat-pick

    Comment: A reporter at a major newspaper has the luxury of faulting the government for not correcting its mistakes while he leaves his mistakes uncorrected.

    In the event of an aerosol release of anthrax, it won’t be Homeland Security that the public will be faulting, it will be David.

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