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

* DXer once again demolishes the FBI’s investigative conclusions … there is no case against Ivins … why is the GAO report not finished?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 12, 2013

GAO, Mueller & Ivins

former FBI Director Mueller presided over and covered up an abysmally flawed investigation

***

DXer writes …

I did not post in this thread until after I had corresponded with Dr. Vahid Majidi. He confirmed in writing that his speculation about what Dr. Ivins was doing in the lab was based on his (mistaken) supposition that the experiment with the 52 rabbits was done “at some other facility.”

The proof that Amerithrax was screwed up is established by two simple factually verifiable issues.

First, Vahid Majidi did not understand that the two person rule was not implemented at USAMRIID until January 2002. Thus his analysis in closing the Amerithrax investigation was inexcusable crock. He relied on his experience at Los Alamos rather than bothering to inform himself about the timing of a 2-person rule at USAMRIID, which was first implemented in January 2002.

Second, if as a reporter you were to ask him, you will find that Dr. Majidi cannot provide or cite any document indicating that the 52 rabbits experiment was done any place other than in Bruce Ivins’ B3 suite. There are thousands of pages uploaded and yet he cannot cite a single contemporaneous document in support.

Those two things alone demolish the FBI’s Amerithrax theory. There was no reason to convene the NAS review or even GAO review. All that was needed was for AUSA Lieber or FBI Official Majidi to be pressed for the documents on the 52 rabbits. Reporters haven’t done that and it is time that they do.

AUSA Lieber told me — in a written email — that I would never be getting any documents under FOIA on the subject.

Amerithrax represents the greatest failure in counterintelligence analysis in the history of the United States.

Failure is not an option.

http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

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62 Responses to “* DXer once again demolishes the FBI’s investigative conclusions … there is no case against Ivins … why is the GAO report not finished?”

  1. DXer said

    GAO, the FBI according to media reports this year interrogated Barq in Israel. It seems that GAO should obtain copies of FBI’s 2013 interrogation reports if it is going to be able to do its job.

    Samer Barq interrogated by U.S. officers from FBI in Israeli jails
    http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2BcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2Bi1s7uxzlS7ebbmgcWDOv4zTcexlWCU%2BKZa7bA7cug1pugJ5W2agFaw7D1fhvei560P2U8YR/Zse9mrlehvTbe/Xo1yZHSPSCYCdUkcNjGKYlk8I%3D

    “Helmi Barq, the captive’s father, reported that his son, who has been on hunger strike for 50 days, is being investigated by investigators from the FBI in the Israeli jails, and considered that this “method complicates his son’s secret file”.

  2. DXer said

    Hunting Osama bin Laden was women’s work

    http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/14/21322502-hunting-osama-bin-laden-was-womens-work

    After 9-11, she said, the women working for her seemed to have vowed, “You’re not going do that to me again.”

    “We’re aggressive in the protection of our children,” said Bakos. “We see risks differently, longer term.”

    Carol Rollie-Flynn, former executive director of the agency’s Counter Terrorism Center, said she thinks “the real strengths of these women were their intense dedication and incredible attention to detail.”

    On May 5, 2011, four days after the raid that killed him, Pakistanis walk by the compound where al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

    Detail and more detail, said Bakos, was a big part of the Zarqawi team’s day. The women sifted through communications intercepts, interrogation reports, snippets from human spies, and satellite images, trying to make their analysis “operational” – meaning good enough to find their target and strike him.

    Whatever the intangibles, even two years before 9-11, all the staffers in “Alec Station” except Scheuer were female.

    Officials told NBC News that both Zubaydah and ”KSM” — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the 9-11 mastermind — were interrogated by women, sometimes with the aid of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including waterboarding, the simulated drowning technique since outlawed.

    A former CIA official told NBC News that he thought women might have been especially effective at interrogating terror suspects because of the combination of surprise and shame. Jihadis were stunned that women, whom they saw as inferior, had been chosen to question them.

    The woman with perhaps the biggest role in the hunt for bin Laden, however, wouldn’t live to see her mission completed. Portrayed as “Jessica” in “Zero Dark Thirty,” Hollywood’s take on the bin Laden raid, Jennifer Matthews had been an analyst with Alec Station in the late ‘90s, then moved to the clandestine side.

    CIA Director John Brennan sits down with NBC’s Ann Curry to discuss the role women have played in the agency in his first television appearance since taking office.
    “There were a handful who formed a human database on al Qaeda and I recall they were all women,” said Rollie-Flynn. “Jennifer Matthews was one of them. They knew everything. Their knowledge was encyclopedic. They would brief the director and had all the answers.”

    In 2008, Matthews was promoted to head a CIA station in the belly of the beast, Afghanistan. Matthews arranged for a jihadi she thought had been “turned” to meet with CIA officers and provide information on the whereabouts of bin Laden and his No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri. But the mole was really an assassin.

    Comment:

    Praising the analyst’s good work and dedication is good. Focusing on their gender seems sexist. Imagine if this article had been praise of the analysts because they were all male.

    Perseverance and attention to detail, not gender, are the relevant traits.

    There is no factual basis for the suggestion that women see risks differently, longer term. As Exhibit A, we have Michael Scheuer’s excellent 2002 book.

    It was a woman in Amerithrax, Rachel, who made no mention of the rabbits in her Amerithrax Investigation Summary — she either was unaware of the experiment or was aware of the experiment and withheld the information from her superiors and the public.

    I would want analysts to read a lot — starting on their first day of work with Scheuer’s book and Lawrence Wright’s September 2002 New Yorker article.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  3. DXer said

    In his readable September 2013 book, Vahid Majidi compares Amerithrax to the JFK assassination. I’ve not studied the JFK assassination but it is in the news today and so we can see if there is a point of comparison.

    CBS reports on a new book by a NYT reporter Philip Shenon:

    “In many ways, this book is an account of my discovery of how much of the truth about the Kennedy assassination has still not been told, and how much of the evidence about the president’s murder was covered up or destroyed – shredded, incinerated, or erased – before it could reach the commission.”

    In Amerithrax, there was the shredding of the civil deposition of the scientist, Patricia Fellows, who worked on the formaldehyde experiment. And there was a shredding of the deposition of Mara Linscott who I believe was the scientist who said that checking on animals on nights and weekends was a one-person, two hour job.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/in-exchange-for-the-2-5-million-plaintiffs-have-agreed-to-shred-the-deposition-of-patricia-fellows-and-mara-linscott-nice-work-if-you-can-get-it-lmw-it-sure-seems-that-this-is-hush-money/

    Indeed, the FBI withheld the Lab Notebook on the experiment with the 52 rabbits involving formaldehyde until September 2012 — over 4 years after Dr. Ivins’ suicide.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/three-notebooks-from-the-fbi-have-now-been-released-on-the-foia-website/

    So I guess the lesson we can learn from the JFK assassination is:

    the GAO should not countenance the shredding, destruction or withholding of documents that might shed light on a homicide investigation with national security implications — that might help the events to be reconstructed.

    There should be full disclosure of all pertinent contemporaneous documents.

    October 27, 2013 10:09 AM

    New book reveals how much FBI, CIA knew about Oswald before Kennedy assassination

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57609489/new-book-reveals-how-much-fbi-cia-knew-about-oswald-before-kennedy-assassination/

    It has long been known that the Warren Commission, the blue ribbon panel of public officials appointed by former President Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, was flawed in ways that led to generations of conspiracy theories about what happened on Nov. 22, 1963. A forthcoming book from former New York Times reporter Philip Shenon digs into exactly what the commission got wrong, both by intentional concealment, or, in Shenon’s view, extensive attempts by both the CIA and FBI to withhold just how much they knew about Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in the weeks and months before he killed the president.

    “In many ways, this book is an account of my discovery of how much of the truth about the Kennedy assassination has still not been told, and how much of the evidence about the president’s murder was covered up or destroyed – shredded, incinerated, or erased – before it could reach the commission,” Shenon writes in the prologue to A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination, which draws its title from the first sentence of the commission’s report. “Senior officials at both the CIA and the FBI hid information from the panel, apparently in hopes of concealing just how much they had known about Lee Harvey Oswald and the threat that he posed.”

    Shenon will be interviewed by Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning. He started the book in 2008, when one of the former staff lawyers from the commission contacted him to suggest he write a history of the Warren Commission like one he had just authored on the 9/11 Commission.

    Much of the evidence Shenon includes in his book shows the amount of information about Oswald’s time in Mexico that either never reached the Warren Commission investigators or was directly contradicted in reports by the CIA.

    • DXer said

      http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/blogs/tv-guy/os-jfk-assassination-could-have-been-prevented-author-says-20131027,0,3413104.post

      “There’s tremendous amount of material, much of it has only been released in recent years, that shows that both the FBI and the CIA were very aware of the threat that Lee Harvey Oswald posed,” Shenon said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation With Bob Schieffer.”

      Former FBI Director Clarence Kelley was “perplexed” that no one had connected the dots before JFK’s arrival in Dallas and prevented the assassination 50 years ago, Shenon said.

      Tom Johnson, press secretary for former President Lyndon Johnson, said in 1975 he discovered that Oswald had left a threatening note at the Dallas office of the FBI several days before the assassination — and the note was later destroyed. Johnson was a Dallas newspaper publisher in 1975 and went to see FBI Director Kelley, who confirmed the information.

      The Oswald threat never made it to the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination, Shenon said. “The decision was made two days after the assassination to destroy this note,” Shenon said.

      A memo from former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover never made it to the commission, either. Hoover in 1964 wrote that the FBI learned that Oswald had gone into an embassy in Mexico City – probably the Cuban embassy — and announced that he was going to kill JFK, Shenon said.

      “If the commission had seen this document it would have raised a million questions,” Shenon said.

  4. DXer said

    The Trentonian in an article today points to the importance of this issue to the FBI’s conclusion:

    STATE WATCH: Ready for anthrax sequel?
    The Trentonian ‎- 10 hours ago
    But Ivins, according to the FBI, never gave a straight story on why in the nights leading up to the attack he logged late hours in his government .

    As I have shown through the uploaded documents obtained over the years under FOIA from USAMRIID, the FBI had taken his notebook 4241 from him and wouldn’t return it.

  5. DXer said

    Ingrid/PETA, can you spare any of those high-priced supermodels to strip naked and draw attention to the documents showing what Dr. Ivins was doing with the 52 rabbits the last week of September 2001 and first week of October 2001?

    Once the unredacted executed protocol is produced you could highlight your views whether you think the experiment was necessary, whether the observations by Ivins were adequate, whether humane euthanasia was used etc.

    The FBI withheld the notebook on the subject of Ivins’ rabbit formaldehyde experiment until 2012! They had taken it from USAMRIID and didn’t return it, preventing him from reconstructing his time.

    The lab notebooks marked “gone” are the lab notebooks that the FBI took relating to Dr. Ivins’ activity in September and October without leaving a copy
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 31, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/the-lab-notebooks-marked-gone-are-the-lab-notebooks-that-the-fbi-took-relating-to-dr-ivins-activity-in-september-and-october-without-leaving-a-copy/

    GAO: Who is responsible for withholding this notebook showing what Dr. Ivins was doing in the lab the first week of October 2001?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 4, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/gao-who-is-responsible-for-withholding-this-notebook-showing-what-dr-ivins-was-doing-in-the-lab-the-first-week-of-october-2001/

    • DXer said

      The provisions of the animal protocol governing the 52 rabbits was mandatory.

      In the unredacted version of the Animal Protocol, as executed, where did it specify that the research was done?

      Were night-time checks required? Were they permitted? Or was it contemplated that Dr. ivins would check out at Friday 5 p.m. and have no obligation to ensure a humane endpoint for the rabbits who were injected with virulent Ames anthrax on October 1, 2001? Didn’t the animal protocol EX[RESSLY require him to participate in the monitoring for the first 7 days (see passage from draft that I’ve uploaded that I found attached to one of his emails). Isn’t that EXACTLY what the hours show? (It was known that after the first 7 days most of the rabbits would have died and so the animal technician could cover the monitoring alone).

      I am not in a position to know whether the formaldehyde research was unnecessary. I’ll leave that to experts like Dr. Little and Dr. Andrews. Certainly if the animal cards had not been thrown out (according to Dr. Ivins) by the animal technician (AB, I believe) in 2004, there would not have had to be re-do of the experiment. See Ivins email on subject.

      In the Silver Springs monkey case, the Maryland Court of Appeals (the high court) held:

      “It can readily be seen that the legislature has consistently been concerned with the punishment of acts causing “unnecessary” or “unjustifiable” pain or suffering. Furthermore,*444 clearly the legislature recognized that there are certain normal human activities to which the infliction of pain to an animal is purely incidental and unavoidable and, in such instances, section 59 does not apply.

      In addition, we are confident that the legislature was aware of the Federal Animal Welfare Act which was, in part, to insure that animals intended for use in research facilities would be provided humane care and treatment. Under the terms of that Act, a research facility is required to register with the Secretary of Agriculture (7 U.S.C.A. § 2136 (1973, 1976 Supp.)), to comply with standards promulgated by the Secretary to govern the humane handling, care, and treatment of animals (§ 2143 (1976 Supp.)), is subject to inspection of their animals and records (§ 2147 (1973)), and is subject to civil and criminal penalties, as well as a cease and desist order for any violation of the Act (§ 2149(b) and (c) (1976 Supp.)). Thus the Act provides a comprehensive plan for the protection of animals used in research facilities, while at the same time recognizing and preserving the validity of use of animals in research (§ 2146 (1973 and 1976 Supp.)).

      Moreover, the involved laboratory was subject to detailed regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture (9 C.F.R. §§ 3.75-3.91 (1978)) which set forth specifications for humane handling, care, treatment, transportation of nonhuman primates, and for veterinary care. With respect to the latter, again provision is made for a recognition and preservation of the validity of research purposes.

      Lastly, being a recipient of an NIH grant, the laboratory became subject to pertinent regulations thereof governing the care and treatment of animals used in the research which was the subject of the grant (U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, NIH Publication No. 80-23, Guide for the Care and Use **822 of Laboratory Animals (rev. 1978, reprinted 1980)).

      Accordingly, we do not believe the legislature intended section 59 of Article 27 to apply to this type of research activity under a federal program. We shall, therefore, *445 reverse Dr. Taub’s conviction and remand this matter to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County with instructions to dismiss the criminal information.”

  6. DXer said

    The form attached Animal Protocol B01-11 which contained the procedures to be followed.

    Dr. Majidi wrote me:

    “What I know is what Dr. Ivins shared during his interviews; late-night caring/experimentation with rabbits was (1) never done at that facility, and (2) not necessary (and in fact it was against every protocol and rules of good laboratory practice).”

    The error in AUSA Lieber’s and Dr. Majidi’s thinking arose because they do not appear to recognize the importance of contemporaneous documents.

    What Dr. Majidi doesn’t understand is that Dr. Ivins frantically tried to obtain copies of his notebooks that had been taken from him by the FBI. The FBI did not return them.

    What Dr. Majidi doesn’t understand is that Dr. Ivins frantically tried to obtain copies of his past emails but USAMRIID did not have access to them dating back — and the FBI did not share what they had.

    Dr. Majidi wouldn’t be able to reconstruct what he was doing a half decade earlier on particular nights without contemporaneous documents either.

    Respectfully, Vahid is an analytical chemist and developing evidence suitable for true crime analysis is not his field.

    You don’t rely on a person’s recollection of events on a particular night a half decade earlier. You go get and personally review the documents.

    Have the thousands of pages of Ivins Laboratory material produced to FOIA Requestor Marc Gold been uploaded? No lab notebooks chronicling Dr. Ivins’ activities in August – October 2001 period have been uploaded — and the DOJ AUSA has even refused to produce the handwritten notes that Dr. Ivins wrote explaining what he was doing in the lab on the nights that the DOJ speculated, without basis, that Dr. Ivins was making a dried powder. USAMRIID reports that the FBI took the only copies of those lab notebooks from USAMRIID.

    Posted on August 30, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/have-the-thousands-of-pages-of-ivins-laboratory-material-produced-to-foia-requestor-marc-gold-been-uploaded-no-lab-notebooks-chronicling-dr-ivins-activities-in-august-october-2001-period-have/

    • DXer said

      GAO: Who is responsible for withholding this notebook showing what Dr. Ivins was doing in the lab the first week of October 2001?

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 4, 2012
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/gao-who-is-responsible-for-withholding-this-notebook-showing-what-dr-ivins-was-doing-in-the-lab-the-first-week-of-october-2001/

    • DXer said

      “3/25/2004 interview

      IVINS consulted with _________ at USAMRIID Computer Services and learned that electronic mail (email) can be retrieved for a two year period, however it is expensive to do so. If more than two years have passed, it is not possible to retrieve email.”

    • DXer said

      Here is an example of Dr. Ivins’ efforts to gather the documents that the agencies had but he didn’t:

      Tuesday, April 24, 2007 12:26 PM … From Bruce Ivins to ??? (not revealed by USAMRIID)

      Hi, Would there be retrievable records for the months of September and October in 2001 for Facilities Management (Building Engineers) events in and such as: 1) Airlock Decons, 2) Suite Decons ( was apparently cleaned and deconned in this timeframe.) 3) Coldroom or Freezer alarms or breakdowns 4) Other events. Any information you could provide us regarding the above would be most helpful. Thanks very much! -bruce

      ******

      Tuesday, April 24, 2007 1:03 PM … From ??? (not revealed by USAMRIID) To Bruce Ivins

      We have hard records for the decons for 1) each suite and 2) airlocks. I will see if can pull these together for you. Regarding cold room and freezer alarms, these are not kept this far back. What are you looking for exactly?

      ******

      Thursday, May 10, 2007 9:44 AM … From ??? (not revealed by USAMRIID) To Bruce Ivins

      Bruce, I have to apologize that I forgot. Do you still need this info? Let me know.

      ******

      Thursday, May 10, 2007 6:20:11 PM … From Bruce Ivins to ??? (not revealed by USAMRIID)

      I already went to the grand jury, It’s too late for the information. -bruce

    • DXer said

      The FBI took the copy of the experiment re formaldehyde involving the 52 rabbits (Lab Notebook 4241) — and then Dr. Majidi built a case on Dr. Ivins not being able to remember what he did on a particular nights over a decade earlier. He markets that case today in a September 2013 book available to you on Kindle.

      The lab notebooks marked “gone” are the lab notebooks that the FBI took relating to Dr. Ivins’ activity in September and October without leaving a copy. Notably 4241 was taken and no copy was provided. GAO, who is responsible for withholding a copy of Lab Notebook 4241 from Dr. Ivins?

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 31, 2011
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/the-lab-notebooks-marked-gone-are-the-lab-notebooks-that-the-fbi-took-relating-to-dr-ivins-activity-in-september-and-october-without-leaving-a-copy/

      The FBI should have worked with Ivins and counsel to recreate the chronology of events based on contemporaneous documents.

      When Ivins asked for a copy of all the notebooks he had given them, the prosecutors should have provided a copy instead of building a cotton candy case on his attempt to recall events over a half decade earlier.

      • richard rowley said

        The FBI took the copy of the experiment re formaldehyde involving the 52 rabbits (Lab Notebook 4241) — and then Dr. Majidi built a case on Dr. Ivins not being able to remember what he did on a particular nights over a decade earlier. He markets that case today in a September 2013 book available to you on Kindle.
        =============================================================================
        It’s the old “Here’s your hat; what’s your hurry?” routine.

  7. DXer said

    AUSA Lieber was a zealous prosecutor. In the rush of events, her Ivins Theory was mistaken. It happens to all of us. FBI Agent Lawrence Alexander, one of the architects of the Ivins Theory, had seen the trouble that results when there’s a death — such as the drug informant who left the safehouse and was killed. (See his court testimony). When Dr. Ivins committed suicide, the FBI investigators and DOJ prosecutors acted precipitously in unofficially closing the case. If it offends, don’t think of it as CYA. Think of it as a natural human reaction we all very likely would have.

    But experts like the late Dr. Tucker, Dr. Cole and Dr. Martin-Jones are just three examples of the many dozens of careful and thoughtful professionals who have seen the gaps in proof and persuasiveness that elude Dr. Majidi’s understanding even to this day.

    The issue requires a careful and thoughtful approach that makes a focus on contemporary documentary evidence the cornerstone.

    Bioweapons expert Jonathan Tucker noted in his 2010 NATO briefing that skeptics had pointed out numerous holes in the FBI’s “Ivins Theory” (and see 2013 book)
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/bioweapons-expert-jonathan-tucker-noted-in-his-2010-nato-briefing-noted-that-skeptics-had-pointed-out-numerous-holes-in-the-fbis-ivins-theory-and-see-2013-book/

    Rutgers professor and Amerithrax expert Dr. Leonard Cole … there remain important gaps in the FBI’s evidence against Dr. Bruce Ivins
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/rutgers-professor-and-amerithrax-expert-dr-leonard-coles-“there-remain-important-gaps-in-the-evidence-”/

    International anthrax expert Dr. Hugh Martin-Jones challenges the government to test his team’s hypothesis in a lab instead of with “lawyer talk” … “I hope [the findings] will add to the pressure that the investigation be actively reopened.”
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/international-anthrax-expert-dr-hugh-martin-jones-challenges-the-government-to-test-his-teams-hypothesis-in-a-lab-instead-of-with-lawyer-talk/

  8. DXer said

    In his new book Dr. Majidi discussed the importance to his theory that Dr. Ivins was alone in the hot suite. (The two animal rooms are within the hot suite, beyond the card key entry).

    Dr. Majidi writes:

    “this is not an accepted practice in hazardous laboratories.”

    “We were also not allowed to work alone in any hazardous laboratory, at LANL.”

    It, of course, does not matter whether researchers at LANL were allowed to work alone. The issue relates to USAMRIID — USAMRIID in Fall 2001.

    The reason USAMRIID scientists disagree with him is that they know procedures at biological laboratories at USAMRIID. Vahid instead was basing his conclusions in 2008 and in his 2013 book on a totally different lab, Los Alamos, with different mission and research projects. They don’t even deal with biological pathogens such as at USAMRIID. (At Los Alamos, they deal mainly with radiological materials).

    At USAMRIID, working with the animals was a one-person job that took a couple of hours. See 302, apparently by Mara Linscott.

    Dr. Majidi already had his book title “Spore on a Grassy Knoll” title in an interview with the Washington Post on August 11, 2008. Instead of being defensive and arrogant — and characterizing the many dozens of notable and accomplished scientists as conspiracy theorists — Vahid should have checked his facts. He’s had 5 years as countless news articles and peer-reviewed publications and books on biosecurity to read on the subject. It’s his field after all — he says the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings was why he had his job.

    Even the US DOJ CIvil Division explained the two person rule at USAMRIID. (I emailed him a copy when I posted it on Lew’s blog.) The issue has been addressed numerous times on this blog.

    In the Amerithrax Investigation Summary he and AUSA LIeber should have supported their conclusory assertions with citations to the record.

    Vahid claims that the DOJ corrects their mistakes. To the contrary, Vahid Majidi has not corrected his mistaken claims about the two person rule in his book — and instead he is making the claim to all the FBI officials and DOJ officials and scientists. He is marketing it on Linked In and elsewhere.

    Neither FBI Director Mueller nor Vahid’s old boss, James Comey, could have corrected his mistaken understanding of the two person rule until Vahid acknowledges and draws attention to the mistake. The mistake was at the center of his “Bruce is doing something wrong” meme. His superiors were relying on him to advise on such issues and get it right. His former boss, Comey — who Vahid is confident will cover his back — still is.

    it’s called relying on evidence and fact ather than spurious conjecture based on personal experience.

    Dr. Majidi admits that — although Dr. Ivins did not have access to his emails — the FBI did. Thus, they had written confirmation of his reports on the experiment with the 52 rabbits.

    I have uploaded emails from Bruce frantically trying to get past emails so he could reconstruct his time from many years ago. None of us would be able to do that without the contemporaneous documents.

    Dr. Majidi admits:

    “the FBI examined Bruce Ivins’ historical emails (spanning over several years)”…

    Thus, FBI had the documents by Bruce Ivins about the challenge to the 52 rabbits and then claimed that there was no such experiment.

    That is major league hide the ball and misrepresentation of fact. If GAO were to obtain the index of the Amerithrax paralegal, it constitutes a road map of the documents not disclosed by the FBI.

    • DXer said

      1.

      The Department of Justice, Civil Division, correctly explains that no 2-person rule applied to RMR-1029. Dr. Majidi should correct his Kindle book and then re-upload it. 2013 is the year to start getting things right.

      DEFENDANT UNITED STATES’ STATEMENT OF FACTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a)
      http://www.emptywheel.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/110715-155-Statement-of-Facts.pdf

      2.

      In 2002, USAMRIID officials mandated a two-person rule, which creates peer pressure to follow safety protocol by requiring material be handled by two people of equal experience, training and qualification.

      USAMRIID is phasing out the rule due to space and staff limitations, replacing the physical presence of another person with video surveillance.

      http://www.fredericknewspost.com/archives/article_83df4490-f3a4-11e2-84d7-0019bb30f31a.html

      3.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/fbi-interview-statement-if-someone-came-in-off-hours-it-was-to-work-on-the-animal-experiments-this-could-take-approximately-two-hours-and-was-usually-a-one-person-job/

      FBI interview statement: If someone came in off hours it was to work on the animal experiments – this could take approximately two hours and was usually a one-person job.

      4.

      After the two person rule was first implemented in 2002, it proved unworkable. For Dr. Majidi to base his Ivins Theory on his mistaken assertion that a two person rule existed at USAMRIID in 2001 is unfathomable. He should not be relying on his own personal experiences at a former employer — but on contemporaneous documents from USAMRIID.

      http://ww2.dcmilitary.com/dcmilitary_archives/stories/062205/35452-1.shtml

      5.

      Biosurety Related Regulatory Changes and dates of implementation are linked here in this City of Frederick document. The issues that Vahid is getting so wrong are known by the numerous USAMRIID scientists who have given depositions under oath debunking an Ivins Theory and its mistaken factual premises.

      http://www.cityoffrederick.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1089

      6.

      I would regularly consult with Dr. Ebright and Dr. Andrews when such questions would arise.

      In 2009, Dr. Ebright wrote:

      http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/02/14/fort-detrick-stands-up-by-stan/

      Rutgers University Richard Ebright says there are a lot of other labs. In an email to Wired Magazine’s Danger Room blog, Ebright wrote:

      Very few of the 400 institutions has a two-person rule (a rule requiring that at least two persons be present when bioweapons agents are handled).

      How come the most senior WMD at FBI did not know this — even to this day?! In $100 million investigation, how can Dr. Majidi still be confused on whether the two person rule was in effect in connection with Ivins’ B3 ?

    • DXer said

      Indeed, at the time Dr. Vahid Majidi unofficially closed Amerithrax, very few of the 400 institutions had a two-person rule (a rule requiring that at least two persons be present when bioweapons agents are handled).

    • DXer said

      Now for the bonus question, the reasoning impaired may want to ask themselves when night and weekend animal checks are performed — and then turn to and obtain the very best contemporaneous documents about the experiment with the 52 rabbits.

      Checks on animals are mandatory and intended to ensure that they don’t suffer needlessly. They also serve commonly important purposes in terms of the experiment.

      Below is my pet guinea pig Lucy. Growing up in the 70s, I used to think the little old ladies portrayed on TV who talked to their cats were crazy.

      Now I realize that if you don’t talk to animals, you are just being antisocial. In this contest, Lucy is going to get killed by the dogs — and a goat dressed in a cheerleader’s outfit.

      http://photos.syracuse.com/yourphotos/2013/10/ronald.html

      The entry is modeled after Rodney the guinea pig in Dr. Doolittle.

      Did AUSA Lieber and Agent Montooth understand Dr. Ivins’ trips to the “AR” from the hot suites as trips to a locked cabinet in “Animal Resources” to get the Ketamine and Euthasol needed to anesthesize and euthanize moribund mice and rabbits? See DEA (part of DOJ) Controlled Substance log.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/did-ausa-lieber-and-agent-montooth-understand-dr-ivins-trips-to-the-ar-from-the-hot-suites-as-trips-to-a-locked-cabinet-in-animal-resources-to-get-the-euthasol-needed-to-euthanize-moribun/

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ivins’ former assistant, no longer at USAMRIID, explained that if someone came in off hours it was to work on the animal experiments – this would take approximately two hours and was usually a one-person job.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/fbi-interview-statement-if-someone-came-in-off-hours-it-was-to-work-on-the-animal-experiments-this-could-take-approximately-two-hours-and-was-usually-a-one-person-job/

      Correct analysis of the late hours — which included hours in November and December that Vahid fails to mention — is not complicated. You just have to be a big reader. If you got your library card last month or are too busy with other job responsibilities, then it is going to be difficult to connect the dots.

      One key flaw in the logic presented by Lawrence Alexander in his powerpoint to AUSA Lieber was that it did not include hours in Building 1412.

      A common saying in college statistics courses is there are lies and damned lies — and then there’s statistics.

      Here looking only at Building 1425, the long hours began with installation of the laptop early that summer and ended with implementation of the two-person rule.

      • DXer said

        Laurie Garrett:

        “The FBI also used time cards to demonstrate that Ivins worked unusually long hours inside his lab on the very September 2001 dates when the agency believes the wet slurry of bacteria were dried and converted to the toxic spore form, then stuffed into envelopes. The implication was that Ivins performed all these homicidal activities inside his USAMRID lab during those specific hours. But USAMRIID did not have the sort of drying equipment Ivins would need, not a single spore has ever been found on any of the lab equipment, and Ivins’ work habits that September were not in the least bit unusual. The revelation in the FRONTLINE program is that the FBI focused on time in/out logs for just one location inside USAMRIID: The reporting team obtained records for all the facilities Ivins worked in, demonstrating that such long nighttime work hours were his norm, and there was nothing unusual in his September 2001 schedule.”

        Has a graph of Dr. Ivins time in Building 1412 B3 been done? Dr. Ivins and his colleagues came to understand that parenteral (rather than aerosol) challenges permitted a challenge with virulent Ames to be done with fewer people and rooms. A parenteral challenge could be done in Building 1425 and did not have to be done in aerobiology in 1412. This would lead to greater hours in 1425. Then hours alone for night checks would stop in January 2002 upon implementation of the two person rule — as was observed.

        http://www.cfr.org/terrorist-attacks/anthrax-letters/p26175

        The Anthrax Letters
        Author: Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
        October 12, 2011
        lauriegarrett.com

        FRONTLINE, the Public Broadcasting System’s premiere documentary program, aired “The Anthrax Letters” this week. It is a breakthrough piece of journalism, smashing myths about the 2001 anthrax bioterrorism incidents. But it ultimately hedges on the key question: If Bruce Ivins was not the terrorist, who was?

        Ten years ago this week Grant Leslie, then an intern in the office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, opened a letter supposedly sent from a 4thgrade class in New Jersey, and watched in horror as white powder spilled out, covering her in what turned out to be anthrax spores. Two letters intended to deliver deadly doses to powerful United States Senators (Daschle and Vermont’s Patrick Leahy) were posted in 2001. Putting aside the murders via spores of five people and the many nightmares spawned by the 2001 events, this was the largest deliberate attack on Capitol Hill since the 1954 Puerto Rican nationalists’ shootings inside the House of Representatives. In the War on Terrorism era it remains utterly astounding that the case isn’t satisfactorily unresolved.

        And, as Dr. Clare Fraser-Liggett, one of the key scientists involved in genetically analyzing the lethal spores, concludes at the close of “The Anthrax Letters,” if Ivins didn’t do it, the terrorists are still out there, ten years later, free to wreck more havoc.

        The must-view program is the result of a long investigative collaboration between FRONTLINE’s Jim Gilmore and Mike Wiser, the McClatchy newspaper chain’s Greg Gordon and the online reporting group ProPublica’s Stephen Engelberg – all seasoned and admired investigative reporters. Their primary take-home message: the FBI blew the Amerithrax investigation, and Dr. Bruce Ivins was most likely innocent of the crime of mailing anthrax to media and political figures in the fall of 2001.

        I reached the same conclusions in my book, I HEARD THE SIRENS SCREAM, though I was unable to get the FBI investigators to speak with me on the record. The FRONTLINE program and companion articles provide a deeper layer of digging, including scrutiny of tens of thousands of pages of Justice Department and FBI documents. Among the most important findings were the truth about the notorious RMR-1029 flask, and Ivins’ work records. Because these represent the only non-circumstantial evidence in the case against Ivins, who never had a day in court and committed suicide in 2007, they merit serious scrutiny.

        According to the FBI a flask of wet slurry containing anthrax bacteria was the source of all of the spores mailed in 2001. That flask, labeled RMR-1029, was filled with Ames strainanthracis used by Ivins and colleagues at the USAMRIID military lab to test the efficacy of anthrax vaccines. The FBI claimed that Ivins lied about the flask, deliberately deceived investigators by sending different anthrax samples for genetic analysis, and used these wet bacteria, through an elaborate set of drying and processing procedures, to produce the fatal spores. But FRONTLINE discovered that Ivins had, indeed, provided RMR-1029 samples properly on more than one occasion prior to his apparent error in giving the FBI a sample from a different flask. Moreover, the alleged killer concoction was for years post-2001 located in an accessible spot inside USAMRIID, where its contents were used, and potentially altered, by other scientists. At least one USAMRIID scientist tells FRONTLINE that he had samples drawn from the RMR-1029 flask in his lab, but didn’t turn them over to the FBI.

        The FBI also used time cards to demonstrate that Ivins worked unusually long hours inside his lab on the very September 2001 dates when the agency believes the wet slurry of bacteria were dried and converted to the toxic spore form, then stuffed into envelopes. The implication was that Ivins performed all these homicidal activities inside his USAMRID lab during those specific hours. But USAMRIID did not have the sort of drying equipment Ivins would need, not a single spore has ever been found on any of the lab equipment, and Ivins’ work habits that September were not in the least bit unusual. The revelation in the FRONTLINE program is that the FBI focused on time in/out logs for just one location inside USAMRIID: The reporting team obtained records for all the facilities Ivins worked in, demonstrating that such long nighttime work hours were his norm, and there was nothing unusual in his September 2001 schedule.

    • DXer said

      http://aaalac.org/resources/Guide_2011.pdf

      Experimental and humane Endpoints

      The experimental endpoint of a study occurs when the scientific aims and objectives have been reached. The humane endpoint is the point at which pain or distress in an experimental animal is prevented, terminated, or relieved. The use of humane endpoints contributes to refinement by providing an alternative to experimental end- points that result in unrelieved or severe animal pain and distress, including death. The humane endpoint should be relevant and reliable (Hendriksen and Steen 2000; Olfert and Godson 2000; Sass 2000; Stokes 2002). For many invasive experiments, the experimental and humane endpoints are closely linked (Wallace 2000) and should be carefully considered during IACUC protocol review. While all studies should employ endpoints that are humane, studies that commonly require special consideration include those that involve tumor models, infectious diseases, vaccine challenge, pain modeling, trauma, production of monoclonal antibodies, assess- ment of toxicologic effects, organ or system failure, and models of cardio- vascular shock.

      The PI, who has precise knowledge of both the objectives of the study and the proposed model, should identify, explain, and include in the animal use protocol a study endpoint that is both humane and scientifically sound. The identification of humane endpoints is often challenging, however, because multiple factors must be weighed, including the model, species (and sometimes strain or stock), animal health status, study objectives, institutional policy, regulatory requirements, and occasionally conflicting scientific literature. Determination of humane endpoints should involve the PI, the veterinarian, and the IACUC, and should be defined when possible before the start of the study (Olfert and Godson 2000; Stokes 2000).

      Information that is critical to the IACUC’s assessment of appropriate end- point consideration in a protocol includes precise definition of the humane endpoint (including assessment criteria), the frequency of animal observa- tion, training of personnel responsible for assessment and recognition of the humane endpoint, and the response required upon reaching the humane endpoint. An understanding of preemptive euthanasia (Toth 2000), behavioral or physiologic definitions of the moribund state (ibid.), and the use of study- specific animal assessment records (Morton 2000; Paster et al. 2009) can aid the PI and IACUC when considering or developing proposed endpoints.

      • DXer said

        Ivins’ research relating to the formaldehyde using the 52 rabbits was conducted in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and other federal statutes and regulations relating to animals and experiments involving animals and adhered to principles stated in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Research Council).

        Who could be sources that round out a story on the protocols relating to animal experiments at USAMRIID’s Building 1425 involving a parenteral (rather than aerosol) challenge?

        Former colleague Norm Covert served on a committee that reviewed animal protocols. He would be a great interview.

        In addition to all the other former chiefs of bacteriology (e.g., GP Andrews) I’ve often quoted, Dr. Kenneth Hedlund was the former chief of bacteriology as USAMRIID would have experience with animal protocols relating to parenteral challenges conducted by Ivins in the Building 1425 hot suite.

        Melanie Ulrich, a USAMRIID scientist until 2007, could explain the protocols relating animal experiments at USAMRIID during her tenure involving a parenteral (rather than aerosol) challenge. She says the FBI claims that an anthrax flask in Ivins’s custody was the “parent” of a certain anthrax strain, but Ulrich says different anthrax samples were genetically identical so any one sample can not be more of a “parent” than any other. Both she and her husband, Ricky, have experience and knowledge of such protocols at USAMRIID.

        Dr. Vahid Mahid and AUSA Rachel Lieber evidence no awareness of the parenteral challenge of the 52 rabbits and thus presumably would not familiar with the executed and binding protocol for that experiment. They aren’t even microbiologists. Nor do they likely have any experience with conducting such an experiment. FBI Agent Lawrence Alexander certainly didn’t when he presented his powerpoint to AUSA Lieber on the hours.

        • DXer said

          One entry point into authoritative fact-finding could be these handwritten notes summarizing someone’s understanding of the rabbit / formaldehyde experiment long after the fact.
          The author is not identified. The location where the rabbits were located is redacted and has a “?” associated with it.

          So the first task for the GAO is to identify the author (based on the handwriting) or by contacting USAMRIID.

          The summary explains that the death sheets were thrown out by the caretaker. It is my understanding that the caretaker was Anthony Bassett.

          I regularly throw things out and so I am not going to second guess an animal care technician on the retention period that applied — or find fault if particular papers were discarded prematurely.

          The minute I throw things out to reduce clutter something happens and I find out that I needed the documents.

          The later emails produced by USAMRIID, however, indicate that a “re-do” was needed on the formaldehyde issue because the cards were thrown out.

          This handwritten on-point discussion is an important starting point to blowing past Vahid Majidi’s confusion on the rabbit experiment. He didn’t even know it had been done during the time he speculated Ivins was powderizing anthrax!

          The wonderful USAMRC FOIA officer, Sandra, perhaps will return to work today. The (b)(6) exemption likely could be overcome under the circumstances.

          Handwritten notes produced by USAMRIID this week summarizing rabbit contract with Covance involving formaldehyde

          Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 24, 2011

          https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/handwritten-notes-produced-by-usamriid-this-week-summarizing-rabbit-contract-with-covance-involving-formaldehyde/

    • DXer said

      As I recall, the emails finally produced by USAMRIID indicated that the experiment had to be redone because the animal cards were thrown out in 2004.

      As published, Dr. Ivins and his co-authors explain:

      Research was conducted in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and other federal statutes and regulations relating to animals and experiments involving animals and adheres to principles stated in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, National Research Council, 1996. The facility where this research was conducted is fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the U.S. Army. The research described herein was sponsored by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Project 02-4-CC-008.

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X06013831

      Vaccine. 2007 Apr 12;25(15):2771-7. Epub 2007 Jan 2.
      Effect of aluminum hydroxide adjuvant and formaldehyde in the formulation of rPA anthrax vaccine.
      Little SF, Ivins BE, Webster WM, Norris SL, Andrews GP.

      Source
      United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Bacteriology Division, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702-5033, USA. stephen.little@amedd.army.mil

      Abstract
      The serological response and efficacy of Bacillus anthracis recombinant protective antigen (rPA) vaccines formulated with aluminum hydroxide adjuvant, either with or without formaldehyde, were evaluated in rabbits. Rabbits that had been injected with a single dose of 25 microg of rPA adsorbed to 500 microg of aluminum in aluminum hydroxide gel (Alhydrogel) had a significantly higher quantitative anti-rPA IgG ELISA titers (p<0.0001) and toxin neutralizing antibody (TNA) assay titers (p<0.0001) than rabbits tested at the next lowest concentration of aluminum (158 microg). Rabbits injected with two doses of 50 microg of rPA formulated with 500 microg of aluminum also had significantly higher serological responses, as measured by a quantitative anti-rPA IgG ELISA (p<0.0001) and TNA assay (p<0.0001), than sera from rabbits injected with a rPA vaccine formulated without adjuvant. Short-term protection against an aerosol spore challenge (448 LD(50)), however, was not significantly different between the two groups (12/12 and 11/12, respectively). Rabbits injected with a single dose of 50 microg of rPA formulated with 500 microg of aluminum and 0.2% formaldehyde had significantly higher ELISA (p<0.0001) and TNA assay (p<0.0001) titers than rabbits that had been injected with a rPA vaccine formulated with adjuvant but without formaldehyde. Short-term protection against a 125 LD(50) parenteral spore challenge, however, was not significantly different between the two groups (14/24 and 9/24, respectively; p=0.2476). Under the conditions tested in the rabbit animal model, significantly higher serological responses were observed in rabbits that had been injected with rPA formulated with aluminum hydroxide gel adjuvant and formaldehyde. However, differences in short-term efficacy were not observed.

    • DXer said

      The National Research Council of the National Academies Press has published the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

      People who think checking on animals who are dying is something that should be done quickly and casually perhaps should do not (or should not) have pets.

      http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/Guide-for-the-care-and-use-of-laboratory-animals.pdf

      It lists some additional publications that can be ordered from the National Academies Press (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 http://www.nap.edu

      INSTITUTE FOR LABORATORY ANIMAL RESEARCH PUbLICATIONS

      Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals (2009)

      Recognition and Alleviation of Distress in Laboratory Animals (2008)

      Overcoming Challenges to Develop Countermeasures Against Aerosolized Bioterrorism Agents: Appropriate Use of Animal Models (2006)

      Guidelines for the Humane Transportation of Research Animals (2006)

      Definition of Pain and Distress and Reporting Requirements for Laboratory Animals: Proceedings of the Workshop Held June 22, 2000 (2000)

      Strategies That Influence Cost Containment in Animal Research Facilities (2000)

      Approaches to Cost Recovery for Animal Research: Implications for Science, Animals, Research Competitiveness and Regulatory Compliance (1998)

      Recognition and Alleviation of Pain and Distress in Laboratory Animals (1992)

      Use of Laboratory Animals in Biomedical and Behavioral Research (1988)

      Animals for Research: A Directory of Sources, Tenth Edition and Supplement (1979)

    • DXer said

      Justice Department Is Said To Be Arguing Against Itself But AUSA Rachel Lieber Has Not Even Yet Addressed The Issue Of The Rabbits Or Produced The Pertinent Contemporaneous Documents Relating To Dr. Ivins’ Work With The Rabbits.

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 29, 2012

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/justice-department-is-said-to-be-arguing-against-itself-but-ausa-rachel-lieber-has-not-even-yet-addressed-the-issue-of-the-rabbits-or-produced-the-pertinent-contemporaneous-documents-relating-to-dr/

    • DXer said

      Here is another parenteral (by injection) challenge involving the rabbits. When I have questions about the study involving the 52 rabbits, after I obtained the documents available in trying to reconstruct the experiment, I contacted Dr. GP Andrews. I have also written the animal technician Anthony Bassett but when I wrote I didn’t hear back. Anthony would be an important person for the GAO to interview — with his interview then uploaded pursuant to GAO disclosure rules. He should be asked whether I am correct that when the FBI asked for RMR 1020 Anthony retrieved it from 1412 and brought it to 1425. (I am relying on a witness who reports he was present). Even if AB threw out the animal cards in 2004, he could provide a wealth of information that might lead to authoritative contemporaneous documentation relating to particulars of events that last week of September and first week of October 2001.

      Vaccine

      Volume 24, Issue 17, 24 April 2006, Pages 3469-3476

      Comparative vaccine efficacy of different isoforms of recombinant protective antigen against Bacillus anthracis spore challenge in rabbits

      Ribot, W.J.a , Powell, B.S.a, Ivins, B.E.a, Little, S.F.a, Johnson, W.M.a, Hoover, T.A.a, Norris, S.L.a, Adamovicz, J.J.a, Friedlander, A.M.a, Andrews, G.P.b

      a United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702-5011, United States
      b University of Wyoming, 100 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071, United States

      Abstract

      The next-generation human anthrax vaccine developed by the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) is based upon purified Bacillus anthracis recombinant protective antigen (rPA) adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide adjuvant (Alhydrogel). In addition to being safe, and effective, it is important that such a vaccine be fully characterized. Four major protein isoforms detected in purified rPA by native PAGE during research and development were reduced to two primary isoforms in bulk material produced by an improved process performed under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Analysis of both rPA preparations by a protein-isoaspartyl-methyl-transferase assay (PIMT) revealed the presence of increasing amounts of iso-aspartic acid correlating with isoform content and suggesting deamidation as the source of rPA charge heterogeneity. Additional purification of GMP rPA by anion exchange chromatography separated and enriched the two principal isoforms. The in vitro and in vivo biological activities of each isoform were measured in comparison to the whole GMP preparation. There was no significant difference in the biological activity of each isoform compared to GMP rPA when analyzed in the presence of lethal factor using a macrophage lysis assay. Vaccination with the two individual isoforms revealed no differences in cytotoxicity neutralization antibody titers when compared to the GMP preparation although one isoform induced more anti-PA IgG antibody than the GMP material. Most importantly, each of the two isoforms as well as the whole GMP preparation protected 90-100% of rabbits challenged parenterally with 129 LD 50 of B. anthracis Ames spores. The equivalent biological activity and vaccine efficacy of the two isoforms suggests that further processing to separate isoforms is unnecessary for continued testing of this next-generation anthrax vaccine.

      ——————————————————————————–

      Author keywords

      Anthrax; Bacillus anthracis; Isoforms; Protective antigen; Rabbits; Vaccine

  9. DXer said

    The DOJ Civil Division Notes That It Is Not In Genuine Dispute That After 2001, A Short-lived Two Person Rule (Implemented Early 2002) Prevented The Same Pattern Of Hours That AUSA Rachel Lieber Mistakenly Relied Upon As Proof Of Ivins’ Guilt

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 28, 2011

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/the-doj-civil-division-notes-that-it-is-not-in-genuine-dispute-that-after-2001-a-short-lived-two-person-rule-implemented-early-2002-prevented-the-same-pattern-of-hours-that-ausa-rachel-lieber-mist/

    Comment:

    Dr. Majidi was wrong that there was a two person rule at USAMRIID in 2001. It was logically fallacious to merely assume that there was based on his own experience at his former employer.

  10. DXer said

    At the mid-August 2008 science press conference which he says was a big mistake, Dr. Majidi claimed- that peer reviewed papers related to the FBI’s science effort.

    Dr. Majidi said:

    “Finally, I’m asking you to understand that this is the first step toward broader dissemination of the scientific information surrounding this case. Additional information will be available through peer review publications, and I ask you to please respect the integrity of that process.”

    These papers below, however, were EXCULPATORY of Dr. Ivins.

    For example, this study was exculpatory of Dr. Ivins. It was in the mailed anthrax but not in RMR-1029.

    Trace detection of meglumine and diatrizoate from Bacillus spore samples using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry.
    Swider C, Maguire K, Rickenbach M, Montgomery M, Ducote MJ, Marhefka CA.
    J Forensic Sci. 2012 Jul;57(4):923-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02128.x. Epub 2012 Apr 26.
    PMID: 22537353 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/absence-of-meglumine-and-diatrizoate-in-scientific-approaches-used-to-investigate-the-anthrax-letters-february-2010/

    Similarly, this study was exculpatory of Dr. Ivins. Swabbing of his lab showed no trace of the genetically distinctive subtilis.

    Phylogeny and molecular taxonomy of the Bacillus subtilis species complex and description fo Bacillus subtilis subsp. inaquorsorum subsp. nov. Int. J. Syst Ev. Microbiol 2009- Oct; 509
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19622642

    Perhaps any additional studies understood to be inculpatory of Dr. Ivins were rejected — or at least, that is a reasonable inference.

    Dr. Majidi, what studies were you referring to in your comment? GAO, can you obtain the submitted studies that Dr. Majidi appears to have been relying on in unofficially closing the case in August 2008?

  11. richard rowley said

    I stumbled on something odd this evening: though he died late in July 2008, Bruce E. Ivins
    continued ‘publishing’ from the great beyond: in concert with other investigators, Ivins has
    4 papers to his credit, dated August 2008 to September 2011. Something like a rock star putting out an album from beyond the grave.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21962024
    (note: this is page 1 of 3 pages of papers done by Ivins et alia)

  12. richard rowley said

    From the top of the thread by DXer:
    ————-
    Those two things alone demolish the FBI’s Amerithrax theory. There was no reason to convene the NAS review or even GAO review. All that was needed was for AUSA Lieber or FBI Official Majidi to be pressed for the documents on the 52 rabbits. Reporters haven’t done that and it is time that they do.

    AUSA Lieber told me — in a written email — that I would never be getting any documents under FOIA on the subject.
    ==========================================================
    I think that that’s a strong indication that she herself knows the holes in the government’s case and just doesn’t want the public to know about them. At least I can think of no other reason why AUSA Lieber would be opposed to the FOIA release of documents on the rabbit trials. She apparently wants all such efforts to be stuck…..down the rabbit hole! Lettuce hope such efforts as hers do not prevail!

  13. DXer said

    12 rabbits then died on day 3 and 4 and more on day 5; Ivins time then spent the extra time on those nights; AUSA Rachel Lieber got her facts seriously wrong in the investigative summary; DOJ should have required citations to the record.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 3, 2012

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/12-rabbits-then-died-on-day-3-and-4-and-more-on-day-5-ivins-time-then-spent-the-extra-time-on-those-nights-ausa-rachel-lieber-got-her-facts-seriously-wrong-in-the-investigative-summary-doj-should/

    Comment:

    AUSA Rachel Lieber nowhere mentioned rabbits in her Amerithrax Investigative Summary. Her interview on the subject of these linked documents should be uploaded by the GAO in the interest of transparency so we can understand how the FBI came to fail to even address or mention the rabbit study in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary. Dr. Majidi, finding that the August 2008 press conferences were a mistake and in hindsight unpersuasive, rests his case and analysis on that February 2010 summary.

    Dr. Ivins did not have access to his emails or the notebooks that he unsuccessfully pleaded the FBI to return. We can presume AUSA Lieber acted in good faith in the rush of events in the Summer 2008. Dr. Ivins’ attorney explains that the prosecutors at all times acted with professionalism. Given Dr. Ivins’ earlier attempted suicide in March 2001 or so, AUSA Lieber called counsel to express her concern after she learned that he was becoming unravelled. The FBI swabbed Dr. Ivins for DNA to check the semen on the stained panties. GAO can consider why they swabbed him for DNA given that they already had his DNA from a recovered cup. Was it to pressurize him? Did psychiatrist GS approve that as a means of pressurizing Dr. Ivins? How would the semen stained panties lead to evidence of the anthrax mailings? Wasn’t it the rabbit documents that were the relevant evidence that should have been the prosecutor’s focus?

    When I emailed AUSA Lieber to ask her help in obtaining the rabbit/formaldehyde study documents under FOIA she wrote back that I would never get another page on Amerithrax under FOIA. (As a workaround, over the course of the next two or three years, I proposed marriage to the USMRC FOIA counselor more than once in getting the documents from USAMRIID, after being shut down from getting the documents from DOJ/FBI.) I of course had to alternate between proposals of marriage and dire threats of litigation. But at the end of the day an objective observer can see that USAMRIID in the ordinary course of business simply worked steadily in processing the FOIA requests as they came in. Responding to Scott Shane’s September 2001 request for Ivins’ email, without more, was a longstanding ongoing project that took many months. USMRC FOIA has many competing demands on its time — including requests relating to fallen soldiers. Like DOJ FOIA they are overburdened and underappreciated. They are required to make redactions because FOIPA is also a privacy statute with numerous exemptions for withholding. There seldom is a requestor who is not disappointed or cannot point to redactions they would prefer to see.

  14. DXer said

    Handwritten notes produced by USAMRIID this week summarizing rabbit contract with Covance involving formaldehyde

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 24, 2011

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/handwritten-notes-produced-by-usamriid-this-week-summarizing-rabbit-contract-with-covance-involving-formaldehyde/

    Comment: GAO will want to identify the author of these notes, interview him or her, and then upload that interview.

  15. DXer said

    Lab Notebook 4241 was first produced under FOIA by USAMRIID on August 24, 2012.

    https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/index.cfm?pageid=foia_reading_room.overview

  16. DXer said

    In an Oct 5, ’01 email among the materials provided by USAMRIID this week, Dr. Ivins explains the results 3 days after the challenge of rabbits in the formaldehyde experiment; the word “rabbits” has never passed the prosecutor’s lips
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 24, 2011

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/in-an-oct-5-01-email-among-the-materials-provided-by-usamriid-this-week-dr-ivins-explains-the-results-3-days-after-the-challenge-of-rabbits-in-the-formaldehyde-experiment-the-word-rabbits/

  17. DXer said

    * In Week 9, the week (September 24th, 2001) the rabbits were shipped from Covance to USAMRIID Building 1425, Suite B3, how long did it take to bleed the 52 rabbits involved in the formaldehyde study?

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/in-week-9-the-week-september-24th-2001-the-rabbits-were-shipped-from-covance-to-usamriid-building-1425-suite-b3-how-long-did-it-take-to-bleed-the-52-rabbits-involved-in-the-formaldehyde-study/

    Given Dr. Majidi’s many other important responsibilities as head of the WMD Division head, I totally understand his failure to have obtained this document showing the rabbits were shipped from Covance to Bruce Ivins, Building 1425, Suite B the week of September 24th. Thus, any supposition that the challenge was done at Covance has no basis in fact.

    I only won’t understand if he fails to pick up his friend and old boss, Mr. Comey, and tells him: “Boss, there are new documents I have seen for the first time this past week that explain that Dr. Ivins was working the last week of September 2001 and October 2001 on a work involving a challenge to 52 rabbits using virulent Ames. We need to open Amerithrax because the premise of the Amerithrax Task Force investigators turns out to be mistaken. In the rush of events in Summer of 2008, I can understand why the investigators had not located the documents. They only came out many months later pursuant to FOIA requests directed to USAMRIID.”

    The failed investigation is only Vahid’s fault if does not correct this mistake moving forward. Given I presume everyone’s good faith, I am hoping he’ll pick up the phone and call Director Comey right away. The reopening of the investigation might make the GAO report academic.

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