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

* Even the USAMRIID Commander approved Protocol B01-11, which controlled Dr. Ivins’ work parenteral challenge of the 52 rabbits in the B3 in the first week of October 2001

Posted by DXer on November 26, 2013

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9 Responses to “* Even the USAMRIID Commander approved Protocol B01-11, which controlled Dr. Ivins’ work parenteral challenge of the 52 rabbits in the B3 in the first week of October 2001”

  1. DXer said

    The documents show that the first 52 rabbits were killed the first week of October. The challenge was on October 2. To be precise, Dr. Ivins made the spores for the experiment on October 1. The rabbits were injected on October 2. He did the spore count on October 3. He went in to the B3 that weekend because he was required to monitor the 52 rabbits and the protocol was mandatory. The animal protocol committee member reports to me that Ivins was very conscientious about the well-being of the animals.

    Here is some of the contemporaneous evidence (all of it admissible evidence) that the DOJ/FBI withheld from both Dr. Ivins and the public for years. The former DOJ paralegal could confirm to the GAO, if interviewed, when the documents were entered to the DOJ database and confirm the description contained in the index of documents. The interview of that paralegal then could be disclosed pursuant to GAO rules.

    By email dated July 23, 2001, Dr. Ivins received notice of approval of an animal protocol that then was assigned protocol number B01-11; that protocol also should be obtained under FOIA. Relatedly, where is the passive mouse protocol implemented in September 2001?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 9, 2011

    GAO: With regard to this form about the 52 rabbits posted by Dr. Ivins on October 4, 2001 in his lab notebook, the name of the other person should be disclosed; the form attached Animal Protocol B01-11 to be followed.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 16, 2012

    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

    • DXer said

      We owe Lew a huge thanks for his persistence over the course of months and years in uploading the dribs and drabs of documents produced piecemeal by USAMRIID — with much of the delay directly due to DOJ and FBI interference (especially prior to February 2010). That interference is reflected in a paper record of emails to and from John Peterson of USAMRC. Any destruction of those emails constitutes spoliation of evidence.

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

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 16, 2012

      In response to Dr. Ivins’ October 5, 2001 email discussing the rabbit deaths over the last three days, the participants in the study that day discussed by email the implications for further study
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 4, 2012

      At an October 11, 2001 NGAV meeting, Dr. Ivins presented preliminary results (data after 3 days and after 1 week) from the study involving the 5 year old preps of rPA vaccine w/ and w/o formaldehyde.

      Here is an uploaded memo from the meeting.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ivins explained the experiment with the 52 rabbits on September 12, 2001.

      Click to access 20010912_batch35(redacted).pdf

      After the parenteral challenge in early October 2001 and his first report on October 5, colleagues continued to discuss the date with Dr. Ivins.

      In the October 5, 2001 email, he had explained that there had been 12 deaths, and he broke it down by group.

      Colleagues discussed the study with him. One colleague writes:

      “If all or most of the rabbits die in the without formaldehyde group, then this would more strongly suggest that you need a stabilizer. Still, the vaccine is 5 years old; and if the rPA did degrade, we don’t know anything about the rate of degradation or how this correlates to efficacy. For the licensed vaccine, the ORD says it needs to be stable for 2 years.”

      Another colleague writes:

      “This could figure into the upcoming stability/efficacy study, for which I specifically asked about an concurrent set with an excipient but DVC considered this too early. Should we meet?”

      He responds: “It’s up to everyone else. It does strongly appear as though we will need a stabilizer, however.”

      In another email on October 5, 2001, a colleague writes Bruce:

      “Subject: RE: Stabilizer in a new rPA vaccine
      You will still need the protein data to confirm that it is a stability problem and not an adjuventing affect.
      (yeah, I know, I always have to play devil’s advocate).”

      If you want to learn more of what the USAMRIID scientists say, please see the sworn testimony in their civil depositions.

      If you want to learn more of what the emails say, by all means read those that have been uploaded.

      Similarly, if you want to see the B01-11 protocol, please obtain it and read it. USAMRIID last I looked had not uploaded it but John at USAMRC did shoot me an electronic copy in wishing me a happy Turkey Day.

    • DXer said

      On Monday, October 8, 2001, Dr. Ivins wrote:

      From: To: Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Florida Monday, October 08, 2001 2:02:26 PM
      (b) (6)
      Hi, again, I jus(t6h)eard some more news this morning concerning anthrax in Florida. If B. anthracis was found
      in a building or on/in other individuals in a building, is it possible that someone brought into work an article of clothing (sweater, vest, suit, socks, etc.) made out of infected sheep wool or alpaca/llama hair? This might have special likelihood if someone had bought or received as a gift some imported article(s) of clothing. One of the women that works in my lab said she heard on the radio that the individual who contracted anthrax had been around sheep recently. If this is true, then this could also be a possibility. Finally, what about the possibility that someone inadvertently brought back some B. anthracis recently while out of the country?
      We’re quite busy here still with our work both on AVA as well as on a possible new vaccine. Have a good fall!
      – Bruce

    • DXer said

      That week he discusses the Ames strain:

      From: To:
      Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      FW: Information on “Ames” strain of B. Anthracis Thursday, October 11, 2001 12:40:42 PM
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      This was the information on the “Ames” strain sent to – Bruce

      >—–Original Message—– >From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      >Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 12:30 PM
      >To: >Subject: Information on “Ames” strain of B. Anthracis >

      > Here is information on the Ames strain of B. anthracis: >

      > In December of 1980 USAMRIID Bacteriology Division, received a strain of Bacillus anthracis (originally from a dead cow) from the
      After receipt of this strain, it was immediately transferred to the B3 biocontainment suite. Access to this and other biocontainment suites was (and still is) strictly controlled and limited to those individuals authorized to work with B. anthracis strains. The strain was found to have both pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids, produce edema toxin, lethal toxin and capsule, and have a median lethal dose (LD50) in mice of 7 spores, and in guinea pigs, 100 spores. This strain has been termed the “Ames” strain ever since its arrival at USAMRIID.

      > >- Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ivins described himself as “incredibly busy” during this period — and his hours reflect that.

      From: To: Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID “(b) (6)

      RE: MPL Investigations Friday, October 12, 2001 7:50:23 AM

      Yes, we are incredibly busy here. Our work with anthrax vaccine development is continuing at a rapid pace, as are experiments on other vaccines. At this point, it appears that the very next anthrax vaccine (scheduled soon for Phase I human clinical testing) will contain protective antigen and aluminum hydroxide, but not any other adjuvants. The reason that this decision was made – not by me – as I understand it, was that MPL and other adjuvants were not yet part of any fully FDA approved vaccines, although they have certainly been in humans with very promising results. I do want to tell you that we will be still working on improving the anthrax vaccine even more after the new vaccine comes out – it’s just that there was an incredible push to turn out a new vaccine as quickly as possible. A new plague vaccine may contain MPL (or other adjuvant) in an aerosol formulation to stimulate lung mucosal immunity.

      We are still very interested in adjuvant formulations for human-use vaccines, especially ones that have been into humans. Please keep us informed of these formulations. If you send to me packets of information, I will see that they get to the right people. I can think of 4 or five researchers here who would be interested in the material. If you would like their names and email addresses, I’d be happy to send them to you. If you would like to talk on the phone, my number is

      I hope that you are doing well, and if you ever hear from please send him by best regards.

      – Bruce

    • DXer said

      The fellow who organized the Porton Down conference that was infiltrated by Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist, Rauf Ahmad, wrote Bruce on October 10, 2001.

      Once again, Bruce described how busy they were working on the various vaccine issues.

      —–Original Message—–
      From: Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2001 1:03 PM
      To: Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL Subject: RE: Dangerous Pathogens 2002


      I have decided to organise another conference in the UK to be held near Porton Down next September (2002). I am look to identify speakers who call talk about the aerosol route of infection and of course thought of you guys. Would you be able to recommend someone or perhaps talk yourself ? We would of course cover their costs and given that I am organising the event their will be a lot of beer.
      Keep the cartoons coming

      From: To: Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      RE: Dangerous Pathogens 2002 Saturday, October 13, 2001 10:34:23 PM
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6) (b) (6)
      W(6e) are all quite busy here, as you may have guessed. is probably the most qualified individual here to talk about the aerosol route of infection, since
      We’re doing some more work with various isolates of B. anthracis, and we’re also looking into CpG oligonucleotides as specific and non-specific enhancers of protection against anthrax. Please keep those of us “across the pond” in mind when you send out information on the conference. …

    • DXer said

      Bruce was working late again on October 13:

      >—–Original Message—– >From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID >Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 9:29 PM >To:
      >Subject: RE: Ames Strain > > >Good little serf that I am, I send to you all, late on Saturday, the following requested information:
      (b) (6)
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > >
      Strains: Ames – has pXO1 and pXO2, fully virulent, produces lethal toxin, edema toxin and capsule ANR – has pXO1 only, attenuated, produces lethal toxin and edema toxin Delta Ames – has pXO2 only, attenuated, produces capsule

      Other points to make again: 1) Ames and Ames derivative strains were probably also sent out by
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)

      . > 2) We keep a record of how much material (X ml at Y concentration) of our B. anthracis strains we have on hand, and how much we use.

      > 3) The ANR strain can be rendered into a fully virulent strain by transfer of pXO2 into it. Thus one can have ANR and Delta Ames and come up with Ames. …

      The DARPA-funded Ames researchers were supplied Delta Ames by NIH. Their work with virulent Ames was done at downtown Frederick, MD at SRI.

    • DXer said

      Dr. Ivins knew a month in advance October 2, the day of the challenge, was going to be busy.

      To: Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID; RE: Covance contract information Wednesday, September 05, 2001 9:26:51 AM
      (b) (6)
      Addendum – in general, the best days for us are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Wednesdays are usually full of animal work, and Fridays are frequently days of leave (use or lose). Other bad days – October 2, October 8, November 12, week of November 26. – Bruce

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