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

* Trentonian (10/20/13) … Congressman Rush Holt: “Myriad questions remain about the anthrax attacks and the government’s response to the attacks.

Posted by DXer on October 21, 2013

Congressman Holt is Dr. Bruce Ivins only chance for a deserved exoneration

Congressman Holt is Dr. Bruce Ivins only chance for a deserved exoneration


By Dave Neese, The Trentonian … POSTED: 10/20/13, 7:21 PM EDT


  • The anthrax probe at first came to focus intensely on government scientist Stephen Hatfill. The federal government eventually awarded him $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit charging that the massive investigation had violated his constitutional rights.

  • The investigative chase in 2005 started down a new trail, this time in pursuit of Bruce Ivins, another government scientist. In July 2008 he committed suicide with an overdose of Tylenol. A month later the FBI declared him the sole suspect behind the anthrax letters. On Feb. 19, 2010, it officially closed the investigation, declaring Ivins the perpetrator.

  • The FBI said psychological profiles, damning unrefuted circumstantial evidence, and Ivins’ own evasive or false statements to agents all pointed to his guilt. Most damning of all, said the FBI, was the fact that Ivins had access to anthrax identical to that dropped in the Princeton mailbox. Other scientists who had access were able to fully account for their whereabouts and their handling of anthrax in their labs. 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 lab at Ft. Detrick, Md.

LMW NOTE: The FBI’s pathetic case against Dr. Ivins

has been thoroughly refuted on this blog and elsewhere.

  • The skeptical Holt, however, balks at signing off on the official conclusion to the investigation.

  • There were no fingerprints, no witness accounts, no physical evidence linking Ivins to the incident, says Holt. The case against him was “entirely circumstantial,” and the FBI director personally acknowledged as much to him, the congressman says.

  • The FBI “arbitrarily” closed the case based on evidence that “would not, I think, stand up in court,” he adds.

  • In 2011, after reviewing the anthrax analyses in the case, the National Academy of Sciences reported that it was “impossible to reach any definite conclusion about the origins of anthrax in the letters based solely on the available scientific evidence.”

  • Going on the fifth year now, Holt has tenaciously, but futilely, advocated the creation of a blue-ribbon commission to review the anthrax attack. With subpoena power and “such appropriations as necessary,” Holt’s panel authorized by the “Anthrax Attack Investigation Act” would seek to determine:

    • Whether “all credible leads and information regarding the potential perpetrator of the attacks were pursued with due diligence by federal investigators.”

    • The “full range of individuals who could have had access to the type of anthrax used in the attacks….”

    • The “full extent of the federal government’s preparedness for and immediate response to the attacks …”

LMW NOTE: The GAO has been promising a report

on its ongoing review of the FBI’s investigation for years.

Where is their report? What/who is holding it up?

  • Despite bipartisan backing, however, the Democratic Holt’s legislation has never progressed beyond the confines of the House Judiciary Committee.

  • Staff sources of both parties say there’s a reluctance on Capitol Hill to be seen as second-guessing law enforcement, especially the FBI, and a dread of unwittingly encouraging endless conspiracy speculations such as the assassination of President Kennedy inspires to this day.

“Myriad questions remain about the anthrax attacks

and the government’s response to the attacks,” insists Holt.


LMW NOTE … There are only three possible explanations for the FBI’s continued unsupported assertion that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks (or that he was involved at all).

1. The FBI has more evidence against Ivins that it has so far refused to make public … VERY UNLIKELY

2. The FBI has not solved the case and has no idea who perpetrated the 2001 attacks … POSSIBLE BUT NOT LIKELY

3. The FBI knows who perpetrated the attacks but won’t say who it was … MOST LIKELY


26 Responses to “* Trentonian (10/20/13) … Congressman Rush Holt: “Myriad questions remain about the anthrax attacks and the government’s response to the attacks.”

  1. DXer said

    Interview of former FBI Agent Wittman on Huffington:

    “That [FBI] press conference wasn’t anything more than a reminder to the public on the reward and that that the famous case remained unsolved. It also served as a smoke screen, as those paintings are clearly in Europe — with Wittman confirming: “We know who they were with, based on the French police wiretaps of the criminals I dealt with.”


    I understand the value of a news hook and casting a wider net — even a smoke screen or a ruse to catch IPs in hopes of a lead.

    In Amerithrax, as with Isabella Gardner, all it would take is someone of Vincent Lisi’s stature to say: Let’s kick the tires again based on the new insights on a wide variety of the issues we relied upon in closing the case.

    But on the Isabella Gardner art heist, I’ll put my money on Agent Kelly and FBI FIeld Office head Vincent Lisi. At the very least, they have the benefit of much more up-to-date information as well as benefit of the information from France. (I presume that when the FBI sent someone to France to check Mr. Wittman’s leads their conclusion it was a dry hole was sound. I am presuming that they had the benefit of the same wiretaps that Mr. Wittman would have made part of the file, one way or the other).

    At the same time, I wouldn’t mind parking on the wire of someone in New England who studied art at the Sorbonne and was closely related to a highly liquid hoodlum of interest (JM).

  2. DXer said

    Who was ROBPROF?

    Isaac Asimov Was Suspected To Be A Soviet Agent By The FBI
    Posted a day ago by Alison “Boom” Baumgartner

    From 1965-1967, Asimov was scrutinized under suspicion that he was a Soviet Informant codenamed, Robprof, which the FBI thought may have been a microbiologist. Essentially, his liberal sympathies, his birthplace being Russia, and his position as a biochemist at Boston University, guaranteed that he would make it on an FBI watch list.

    However, this information may sound more sensationalist than it is. In a memo pertaining to his investigation, it was said that the FBI office in Boston was “not suggesting that Asimov is Robprof. But it should be considered as a possibility in light of his background, which contains information inimical to the best interests of the United States.”

  3. DXer said

    The disclosure of documents revealed the FBI’s incredibly botched analysis in case of investigating this website (antiwar).

    Sloppy FBI Work Leads to Spying on Journalists
    By Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 2:38pm

    On September 12, 2001, the #1 had reported to the FBI an emailed threat to hack it. Over time the FBI analysis turned the facts upside down. The investigation continued for years on premise that the website had threatened the FBI with hacking!

    The site often featured “Justin Raimondo” commenting on Amerithrax. (It was his constitutionally protected right to be so wrong. Aside: Okay, I’ll bite. What was Justin Raimondo’s real name? )

    In Amerithrax, if it seemed that I encouraged the grossly illegal monitoring of my Amerithrax commentary, it was the only way to get someone to look at my zoo photos and get free help on these wonderfully-done graphics.

    At this rate — in light of Dave Hardy’s handling of simple FOIA requests warranting expedition — it will take additional multimillion awards for violation of constitutional rights for the FBI to do better.

    Presently, the FBI personnel comfort themselves in internal discussion by suggesting that there are “no damages”.

    Dr. Majidi not knowing about the 52 rabbits is just as major a screw-up as the analyst’s confusion in the case.

    His confusion is easily grasped once the withholding of documents was eventually partly overcome.

    Yet Dr. Majidi instead charted a course that wasted another 5 years and millions of taxpayer dollars – and he still pretends the rabbit documents don’t exist.

    It is a blogger’s First Amendment right to say that if and when Dr. Ayman attacks the US in a mass anthrax attack it will be the FBI and CIA’s fault — particularly, those FBI and CIA employees who didn’t kick the tires of an Ivins Theory sufficiently hard.

    It is a blogger’s First Amendment right to say: It is never too late to be right… until it is.

    • DXer said

      I am in a Philadelphia residential area. Newly among the wireless servers I can choose from — along with “kitchen” — is “FBI Field Office.”

  4. DXer said

    The bill, when introduced in fact, passed the House of Representatives.

    The Baltimore Sun – Feb. 26, 2010 – “Bill for more investigation of ’01 anthrax case passes House.”

  5. DXer said

    We all know what the 800 lb. Pulitzer Prize-deserving gorillas think.

    ProPublica, McClatchy Newspapers and PBS’ Frontline … the FBI’s case against anthrax suspect rife with questions
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 11, 2011

    And well over a dozen newspapers and science journals cited below in this thread sing the same chorus.

    But do you want to know what your favorite commentator or expert thinks?

    Here is a range of Amerithrax opinion – from A – Z. Aren’t they all right? Every last one of them? Don’t they all agree with Rep. Holt?

    Why depend on government for the solution of Amerithrax? Why not do original scientific research or investigative reporting or dig into your files to obtain contemporaneous documents?



    says “he feels morally obligated to continue to pursue the case.”

    Former USAMRIID Bacteriology Chief Adamovicz Deposition Excerpt – Disagrees With Government’s Characterization of Bruce Ivins As Sole Custodian Given Originally Stored In Different Building
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 16, 2011


    Excerpt from Plaintiff’s filing in Amerithrax civil suit explaining why Dr. Ivins is not perpetrator: Dr. Andrews deposition


    “Ivins Theory” part of a “vicious plot.”



    Former colleague Luann Battersby says Ivins was weird, but “not any weirder than a typical scientist.… He was not the weirdest by far I worked with down there.” She says that he was not a “strong person.… I would say he was milquetoast.… The fact that he was a terrorist doesn’t really square with my opinion with who he was.… I’m amazed at all this. I assume there’s evidence and that it’s true, but I certainly never would have suspected him.” She says she is unsure if he had the technical skills to commit the crime. [EVENING SUN, August 10, 2008]


    Excerpt from Plaintiff’s filing in Amerithrax civil suit explaining why Dr. Ivins is not perpetrator: Dr. Byrne’s deposition
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 30, 2011



    Rutgers professor and Amerithrax expert Dr. Leonard Cole … there remain important gaps in the FBI’s evidence against Dr. Bruce Ivins“there-remain-important-gaps-in-the-evidence-”/


    NAS Panel Member Nancy D. Connell in new treatise: Amerithrax May Never Be Solved


    Derailing Justice Again
    Norman M. Covert (former USAMRIID public affairs officer)



    Ken Dillon asks … Who Was the Real Anthrax Mailer? … the key people in the anthrax mailings were not Bruce Ivins or Steven Hatfill … instead, they appear to have been Ali al-Timimi and Abderraouf Jdey.…-who-was-the-real-anthrax-mailer-the-key-people-in-the-anthrax-mailings-were-not-bruce-ivins-or-steven-hatfill-his-predecessor-as-the-fbis-target-instead-they-app/



    January 24, 2010, 7:33 p.m. ET
    The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved, by Edward Jay Epstein


    The Bioterrorist Attacks on America, by Yuril V. Ezepchuk (Director of Biological Sciences, University of Colorado) … hypothesis: the hijacker Ahmed Alhaznawi had been infected with the skin form of anthrax

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 4, 2012



    “The scientific community seems to be concerned that the FBI is going to blow smoke at us.” Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008



    Laurie Garrett … the FRONTLINE program has convinced me that Dr. Bruce Ivins is innocent of the 2001 anthrax mailings
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 13, 2011

    Excerpts from “I Heard The Sirens Scream” by by Pulitzer Prize winning author Laurie Garrett


    Dr. Alice Gast, the head of the NAS panel that reviewed the FBI’s scientific work in the anthrax investigation, says … the paper points out connections that deserve further consideration … the potential value of chemical signatures has not been fully explored … she urges a full review of classified government research on anthrax, which her panel never saw


    4-page summary of analysis
    Ayman Zawahiri, Anwar Awlaki, Anthrax, and Amerithrax: The Infiltration Of US Biodefense

    GORDON, GREG (who has numerous other important articles in addition to this one cited)

    Was FBI too quick to judge anthrax suspect the killer?
    Greg Gordon | McClatchy Newspapers
    last updated: April 21, 2011


    U.S. Senator Grassley … “There are no more excuses for avoiding an independent review and assessment of how the FBI handled its investigation in the anthrax case.””/

    Senator Grassley asks the FBI to explain why it retracted a Justice Department filing (in the Stevens case) that Dr. Bruce Ivins lacked access in his lab to the “specialized equipment” needed to dry wet anthrax spores into airborne powder

    In a Sept 23, 2011 letter to Senator Grassley, the DOJ says that Dr. Ivins made the dried powder in B5 using the lyophilizer even though the DOJ has proved he was in B3 tending to the rabbits, not B5 (the BL-2 lab), at the time the DOJ alleges he made the dried powder. THAT is the contradiction.



    Army microbiologist Dr. Henry Heine, until now forbidden to speak, says … Ivins is absolutely not the anthrax attacker … it was impossible that the deadly spores had been produced undetected in Dr. Ivins’s laboratory, as the F.B.I. asserts … whoever did this is still running around out there
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 23, 2010

    Dr. Henry Heine, former colleague of Dr. Bruce Ivins, freed of the gag order, interviewed on his last day at USAMRIID

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 7, 2010


    Congressman Rush Holt: The FBI repeatedly bungled the anthrax investigation … I have introduced legislation that would create a special committee to investigate the anthrax attacks


    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.”



    On the day of his death, she wrote him a private note assuring him that she knew he had nothing to do with the anthrax mailings.



    an article by Drs. Hugh-Jones, Rosenberg & Jacobsen highlights key unanswered questions in the FBI anthrax investigation … such as where and how were the anthrax spores in the attack letters prepared?



    The unsolved anthrax murder mystery
    BY LAURA H. KAHN | 23 MARCH 2011


    PR’s John Dankowsky interviews Stephen Engleberg, Paul Keim and David Relman … KEIM: there’s no scientific test that can prove that it came from Fort Detrick, Maryland.


    Obama Obstructs Oversight of FBI in Anthrax Case
    By Cliff Kincaid


    Frederick News-Post columnist Barry Kissin – the lynching of Bruce Ivins



    “Tellingly, it was a target of the 2001 anthrax letters – Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont – who told Mueller at a 2008 hearing that he seriously doubted the findings of the FBI’s long and complicated anthrax investigation.”
    “FBI’s longtime director faces criticism of bureau again,” Apr 27, 2013


    FBI genetics expert Claire Fraser-Liggett … I think that the (FBI’s use of the) evidence on science probably was misleading … I have no way to know whether or not Bruce Ivins was really the perpetrator
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 13, 2011

    Claire Fraser-Liggett: the genetic analysis of the spores in Ivins’ flask does not indicate Ivins is guilty
    Posted on May 20, 2009


    Deposition Excerpt of USAMRIID Scientist Stephen Little: Bruce Ivins would not have had skill, equipment, or ability to decontaminate equipment



    Justice Dept. takes on itself in probe of 2001 anthrax attacks
    By Jerry Markon,January 27, 2012



    Nadler Renews Call for Independent Investigation of Anthrax Attacks
    Mar 4, 2010


    Posted On: March 5, 2010



    NPR: FBI Faulted For Overstating Science In Anthrax Case


    Excerpt on anthrax mailings from Keith Olbermann’s PITCHFORKS AND TORCHES



    Congressman Mike Pence & Pulitzer prize winning science writer Laurie Garrett agree on Anthrax Mailings.. Pence: “I don’t know who sent it” — I am afraid we may have missed the off-ramp to the truth.” … Garrett: “I get outraged because the FBI completely botched the investigation on the anthrax.”


    Keith Olbermann interviews investigative reporter Gerald Posner … the FBI anthrax case is severely flawed



    In Have We “Met the Enemy”?, Science 3 February 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6068 pp. 540-541, Dr. David Relman, who had been vice-chairman of the NAS Committee, explains:

    an interview with David Relman, vice chair of the NAS review committee, reveals clearly that the science cannot prove that Dr. Bruce Ivins is the sole perpetrator or even involved … and, by the way, it seems Al Qaeda had Ames anthrax




    Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy? | Wired Magazine


    Richard Spertzel in WSJ: Bruce Ivins Wasn’t the Anthrax Culprit


    Widow Of Anthrax Victim Doubts FBI’s Conclusion



    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)



    Melanie Ulrich: “Ex-colleague [assistant] questions government’s case against anthrax suspect”
    August 08, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ



    USAMRIID Scientist Susan Welkos deposition excerpt : No data suggesting Dr. Ivins is guilty


    Deposition Excerpt of Patricia Worsham in Stevens v. United States: Product Could Not Have Been Made At USAMRIID With Equipment She Has Seen At USAMRIID
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 16, 2011



    Stephanie Yamkovenko of Frederick Gorilla summarizes elements of the FBI’s non-existent case against Dr. Ivins



    Dr. Alan Zelicoff, the head of Saint Louis University’s Institute in Biosecurity, has serious doubts about the government’s official explanation of Amerithrax

  6. DXer said

    There is widespread media agreement with Rep. Holt’s views, to include repeated editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Post, Frederick News-Post, Hartford Courant, and Palm Peach Post.

    1. New York Times

    New York Times … the FBI’s anthrax case against Dr. Ivins is not convincing … an independent assessment is needed

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 28, 2010

    a NYT editorial, showing no confidence in the FBI’s unraveling case against Dr. Bruce Ivins, calls for an independent review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation to assure that the culprits are not still at large … LMW: it is long past time to hold Director Mueller accountable for the FBI’s investigative failures and for the FBI’s purposeful withholding of documents that are required to be released by FOIA

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 18, 2011

    2. Washington Post

    Washington Post editorial (10/21/11) calls for independent review of FBI investigation of Dr. Bruce Ivins in 2001 anthrax attacks … LMW: it is long past time to hold FBI Director Mueller accountable for the pathetically botched Amerithrax investigation

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 22, 2011


    Washington Post editorial calls for Congressional commission to probe all evidence in the anthrax case

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 18, 2011

    4. New York Post

    NY Post editorial: a group of eminent scientists have found that the FBI’s Amerithrax conclusions may be shockingly wrong … (the FBI) clearly can’t be trusted to judge cases that reflect badly on its own conduct

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 24, 2011’s-amerithrax-conclusions-may-be-shockingly-wrong-the-fbi-clearly-can’t-be-trusted-to-judge-cases-that-r/

    5. Frederick News-Post

    Frederick News Post editorial calls for creation of Congressman Rush Holt’s Anthrax Investigation Commission

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 31, 2009

    6. Hartford Courant

    Hartford Courant: Anthrax Attacks Still A Mystery After 10 Years … LMW: is it possible FBI Director Mueller, an intelligent man for sure, doesn’t know the FBI has failed to make a convincing evidence-based case against Dr. Ivins? … and what does it mean if he does know but won’t admit it?

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 4, 2011

    7. Palm Beach Post

    Rep. Rush Holt is still trying to use the powers of government to review the FBI’s flawed investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 27, 2013

  7. DXer said

    Anthrax killer might still be on the loose, says U.S. Rep. Rush Holt


    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    The anthrax killer might still be out there.

    Nope, this isn’t some far-flung conspiracy theory, no sci-fi story, not a collection of kooks sitting around a beat-up card table saying that the late Bruce Ivins was not, in fact, the anthrax killer, as the FBI claims.

    “Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t want to be the lawyer taking this to court,” said U.S. Rep. Rush Holt. “Every agency would like to say the case is closed, but I’d feel a lot better if it rested on physical evidence.”

    Holt’s comments come on the heels of a double dose of doubt: First up, a nine-member panel, made up mostly of psychiatrists, issued a report stating Ivins was psychologically disposed to carry out the attacks, though objections were raised over whether or not he actually did it. Days later, a Wired Magazine article was released that casts serious doubts on whether the cross-dressing, sorority-obsessed senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland was actually the same lunatic who put anthrax through the mail, killing five, infecting 17 and throwing the entire nation further off-kilter in wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    “Did Ivins do it? I’m not saying that he didn’t,” said Holt. “But the case is not as solid as the public deserves.”

    In addition to openly wondering if the FBI should have closed the case, Holt also believes a full, national commission should be hatched to investigate not only the “whodunit,” but also to look at the entire case in an effort to better understand how to deal with a bio-terror attack and how to investigate a bio-terror attack.

    “No one has looked at his from start to finish to see how we responded, how we should have responded,” said Holt. “No one has looked at it to see how we should respond for next time.”
    Holt would like to see a 9/11 Commission-type investigation, noting that many recommendations were made in that report and that “most of them” have gone through.
    In the meantime, questions about whether or not Ivins — who committed suicide in 2008 as the FBI was closing in — was the culprit abound. Questions about whether he had the time to drive 200 miles to deposit his anthrax letters in a mailbox at Princeton University, questions about whether or not Ivins had the know-how to dry the anthrax spores, questions about why no traces of anthrax were ever found on Ivins person.

    The circumstantial evidence is there; most will agree. But hard evidence? Virtually non-existent.

    Makes me wonder. Makes me nervous.

    Remember the attack? Remember the feeling of being scared of your mail? Remember the feeling of seeing death in the remnants of a powdered donut? It wasn’t fun. And now, some 10 years later, we’re probably no better equipped to deal with it and no better informed when it comes to who did it, and why, and how, and when.
    All we’ve got, for sure, it the what.

    Read Jeff Edelstein every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at, and

  8. DXer said

    POSTED: 03/13/12, 12:15 PM EDT |

    After the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001, the FBI seemed sure that it had the perp within its grasp. The agency took out after the suspect in one of the most relentless and expensive investigative pursuits ever mounted.

    Steven Hatfill, the suspect — or, rather, “person of interest,” as the Justice Department labeled him — found himself fleeing baying packs of FBI and news media bloodhounds.

    The colossal investigative effort rolled onward, propelled by its own inertial force in the absence of solid evidence. The probe became a juggernaut without brakes, spouting leaks as it went.

    With the prospects of collaring Hatfill receding further by the week, the probe started to take on aspects of slapstick. In one scene, the FBI raided Hatfill’s apartment with practically the entire Fourth Estate in tow. In another, the agency drained an entire pond (reported cost: $250,000) but again came up clueless.

    Now the Justice Department has announced — with minimalized fanfare — that it has settled a libel lawsuit Hatfill filed by agreeing to pay him $5.8 million. Your federal tax dollars at work.

    Where have we seen this drama before? Was it Peter Sellers’ bumbling “Inspector Clouseau” in the Pink Panther movies? Was it David Duchovny’s “Agent Fox Mulder” in The X-Files, always supposedly about to close in on conspirators who yet remained, week after week, just beyond his grasp?

    Certainly we must not be thinking of the current TV series, “Criminal Minds.” In this show, a crack team of FBI sleuths — the “Behavior Analysis Unit” — assembles a psychological profile and nabs the perp every week. The Hatfill probe also worked from a psychological profile. There, however, any resemblance to “Criminal Minds” seems to end.

    The post-9/11 anthrax attacks killed five and sickened 17. A Hamilton Township postal facility and a congressional office building were shut down for disruptive decontamination procedures. The FBI’s psychological profile pictured the anthrax-mailing perp as a lone, loose cannon — a crazed military scientist.

    Soon the FBI’s Ouija Board was pointing to Hatfill. There were indeed reasons to lift an eyebrow once attention was directed toward him. A pathologist by training, Hatfill had worked as a scientist for the Army and as a consultant for various federal agencies. He had a keen interest in chemical/biological warfare. And he had evinced disgruntlement over what he viewed as the government’s woefully inadequate preparations for coping with a chemical/biological attack. He had co-authored a report detailing how an anthrax attack might be pulled off by mail. And he had brought doubt on his own trustworthiness by exaggerating his educational credentials.

    Still, all of this is a long way from grounds even for an indictment, much less a conviction. The FBI perhaps was egged on by liberal elements of the news media (The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristoff and others) that liked the notion of a military mad man being behind the anthrax attacks. The stereotype of a Pentagon-linked “Dr. Strangelove” was greatly preferred among this crowd to the stereotype of a terrorist with an Arabic name.

    Despite the settlement, the FBI — displaying Agent Mulder-like tenacity — still isn’t conceding that its theory of the case is a crock. The FBI may yet prove its hunch correct that the anthrax attacks were the work of a Pentagon-linked, white-coat whacko. There’s still time. Agent Mulder pursued the suspect on X-Files for almost 10 years before having to give up (when the series ended). That gives the real-life FBI another couple of years or so. As they used to say on X-Files, “The truth is out there.”

  9. richard rowley said

    Once again, put me down for #2:

    2. The FBI has not solved the case and has no idea who perpetrated the 2001 attacks … POSSIBLE BUT NOT LIKELY
    In particular, I saw something recently in a book that might shed some light on
    problems with Task Forces, law enforcement agencies etc. in addition to ordinary businesses….

    The book is: Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights by Gary Klein. In chapter 12 Klein deals with organizations and how, even when they THINK they are encouraging ”thinking outside the box”, they actually discourage it.
    Worth a browse….

    • DXer said


      Your theory that the perp was a fellow who attended University of Washington was always a total non-starter. Any theory that does not start with access to the virulent Ames is a non-starter. And University of Washington did not have virulent Ames. The fact (you say) that the person you suspect — who was a computer guy and not even a microbiologist — walked through the Department (as students tend to do) is totally irrelevant given the absence of virulent Ames. You don’t offer even a scintilla of evidence. (By all means, seek and obtain that there was virulent Ames at University of Washington and I would pay you props). But arguing for years with a guy who thinks a First Grader wrote the letters isn’t exactly the way to gain credibility.

      I’ve sought information from over a dozen theories and none of them withstood scrutiny. The biggest red flag is when the person doesn’t want the person of interest contacted. Whether in journalism or blogging, the best source is always the person himself. For example, Mr. Lake, the blogger, did not want me to interview the person he falsely accused for 7 years. When contacted, his theory was proven to be as silly as FBI Director Mueller said it was in December 2001.

      A person, when contacted, can then be a guide through the location and significance of contemporaneous documents. For example, the Battelle vaccine manager that D Willman was considering — if reportedly going to Scandinavia to interview his ex-wife is any indication — was able to point to the relevant documentary evidence proving the theory without merit.

      But I appreciate you distracting Mr. Lake from his theory a First Grader wrote the letter for years. :0) I offered to call the fellow if you wanted — as I always do. Calling the individual suggested under numerous theories has quickly led to a theory being debunked. I called the guy Ed accused for 7 years (a fellow who worked for Battelle) and that theory was debunked as early as December 2001. Ed then argued for the full decade that Hatfill was not a suspect when Vahid Majidi’s book makes very clear he was a prime suspect.

      In the case of Yazid Sufaat, I contacted him and he promptly “pled the Fifth” — after which he was thrown in jail. His Court appearance is November.

      I agree with you (and not Lew) that #2 is the most likely. The case is unsolved. So by definition they don’t know who did it. The authors who have interviewed investigators do note the concern that his suicide prompted them to harden their views around an Ivins Theory — in CYA mode.

      There is a possibility that Lew is right as to #3. But I’ll wait until Adnan El-Shurkrijumah is captured to place my final bet.

      • DXer said

        “There is a possibility that Lew is right as to #3. But I’ll wait until Adnan El-Shurkrijumah is captured to place my final bet.”

        Note that Vahid Majidi claimed that all of Atta’s colleagues were interviewed. To the contrary, Adnan El-Shukrijumah had already taken off prior to 9-11. He called his mom from KSM’s house on 9/13 to tell her he was coming to the US (over her protests that he would be arrested). For Vahid to claim that all of Atta’s associates were interviewed is astounding.

        The evidence — on the face of his claim alone — is that the FBI botched Amerithrax.

        The claim is direct on-the-public-record evidence of the FBI’s negligence.

        I’ve suggested — without a transparent source — that Adnan met with Yazid and KSM. (Like Adnan, for a time Al Qaeda anthrax lab tech/director Yazid lived with KSM).

      • richard rowley said

        “Your theory that the perp was a fellow who attended University of Washington was always a total non-starter. Any theory that does not start with access to the virulent Ames is a non-starter. And University of Washington did not have virulent Ames. The fact (you say) that the person you suspect […]”
        I’m astounded by your post:

        1) when we had an email exchange oh-so-long-ago, you assured me that anything
        I wrote to you via that exchange would remain between us (ie not for anyone else).
        You have now violated that stipulation 3 or 4 times (I’ve lost count).

        [I wrote you on Feb 4th 2011: ”
        I’ll tell you if you give me your word of honor that this will remain between us (the two of us) until that point in the future when I give you EXPLICIT permission to bring it up publicly/to authorities. Without such a promise, I’ll decline to tell you……”]

        You then (ie the same day) via return email gave me your word. A word you have now broken repeatedly. And broken repeatedly in an open public forum. What does that say about your word? Your reliability?

        2) I NEVER stated that ANY of my suspects (there are 3, at a bare minimum) “attended
        University of Washington”; if you don’t believe me, just look at our email exchange. You are MIS-remembering what I wrote to you, to what purpose I cannot ascertain (And if you persist in these violations of trust, then goodbye!). And misremembering it for the purpose of ‘refuting’ an idea you have only the vaguest notions of.

        3) If I wanted to ‘debate’ you here, I wouldn’t be shy about it. To me the purpose of the two websites (this one and the other one) is to show the weaknesses of the case against Ivins, and the evasions of the Task Force/DoJ, NOT to tear down another poster who explicitly requested that his ideas about the over-arching nature of Amerithrax be kept
        out of the public area [what part of “I’ll tell you if you give me your word of honor that this will remain between us (the two of us) until that point in the future when I give you EXPLICIT permission to bring it up publicly/to authorities. Without such a promise, I’ll decline to tell you…” did you NOT understand?!?!?!?!? I’m writing in English, aren’t I?!?!?

        4) ” But arguing for years with a guy who thinks a First Grader wrote the letters isn’t exactly the way to gain credibility.”

        Since my impression is that you yourself had done that for 6 or 7 years before I ever showed up on an Amerithrax-related website, that’s as much a self-criticism as it is a criticism of me. But for the record: the Pseudo-Hebrew hypothesis was spotlighted there
        and explored to a degree I could never have hoped for elsewhere, so I thought it worth the candle.

        I admire your research skills and tenacity, DXer, but you ‘need some work’ in other areas……

        • DXer said


          Under your theory there was no evidence of anthrax to virulent Ames. End of story. There are 20 theories ahead of yours — dating to 2002 — that had access to Ames. It simply is a waste of time to discuss a theory where the proponent of the theory cannot point to access to Ames. Life is way too short to waste time.

        • DXer said

          P.S. Although it is not my blog, I’m sure Lew will delete any post of mine that offends you as a breach of confidentiality in an email from a long time ago. (He has my permission and encouragement). I breached such a promise to Vahid justifying on the grounds of public safety.

          But surely I can say that you are wasting your time given you can’t point to access to Ames and that any theory that can’t point to access to Ames is a nonstarter.

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