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

* Dr. Gerard Andrews, Chief of Bacteriology, explained at his civil deposition why the silicon signature in the anthrax was exculpatory of Dr. Bruce Ivins

Posted by DXer on December 15, 2013

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6 Responses to “* Dr. Gerard Andrews, Chief of Bacteriology, explained at his civil deposition why the silicon signature in the anthrax was exculpatory of Dr. Bruce Ivins”

  1. DXer said

    Forensic science: the tip of the iceberg?

    Forensic science is nowhere near as robust and reliable as many people think

    Comment: Forensic science is especially unreliable when it is overlooked when it does not support the investigators’ pet theory. In Amerithrax, R. Scott Decker simply needs to ignore the Silicon Signature and in its place develops a theory about some furniture stored by a sorority. Go ahead. Ask Scott to explain how the Silicon Signature supports his Ivins Theory. Look to see how he addresses it in last year’s book. We’ve already seen that the FBI experts don’t support his assertions about the genetics — Keim, Worsham and Fraser-Liggett have all disputed his reliance on the genetics. He doesn’t even dare address the Silicon Signature because it in no way supports an Ivins Theory and instead dramatically undermines it.

    • DXer said

      No forensic science at all supported an Ivins Theory — only R. Scott Decker’s and Nancy Haigwood’s personal dislike of Bruce Ivins. A national security investigation warranted quite a bit more — especially from a Michigan man.

      Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense

  2. DXer said

    R Scott Decker, in his book last year, discussed the genetics — and failed to explain that all the FBI experts (like Keim, Fraser-Liggett and Worsham) disagree with him. He could have presented a case so long as they avoided any of the FBI experts from testifying. The FBI’s genetic analysis, in the end, just winnowed the list of people KNOWN to have access from 700 to 377.

    But does Scott anywhere even address the silicon signature? Perhaps the most powerful forensic signature of all? (I don’t recall that he did but perhaps someone could check). If he didn’t — that’s just incredible.

  3. DXer said

    Dr. Velsko and his colleagues may have done work on this silica issue.

    A military aerosol scientist, JK, whose lab did controlled studies with and without silica in the slurry, told me that the iron (which follows the silica upon absorption) makes the anthrax more lethal in the lungs.

    The silica makes detection more difficult.

    IMO, the folks equating silica signature with aerosolization with “weaponization” are missing the point. (But see 2001 Battelle VA study with the picture like an orange with sand on it.)

    Anything that makes the powder more lethal is serving to make it a more deadly weapon.

    The silica, according to Ken Alibek, prevents it from being destroyed in a bomb.

    Hambali’s right-hand man, Muklis Yunos, was the bomb expert. He says he was trained to make anthrax.

    He should be asked the reason for silica.

    Ali Al-Timimi’s suitemates, the Ames researchers funded by DARPA, co-invented a process that grew anthrax in silica and it served to concentrate the anthrax. This Spring 2001 patent application (Microdroplet Cell Culture) was not publicly available until long after the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. One of the international patent co-applications was an aerosol expert dating back to the days of the US offensive program.

    • DXer said

      Although treatises continue to refer to the mailed anthrax as “weaponized,” the debate was always a distracting straw man.

      “Nasal Dry Powder Vaccine Delivery Technology, ‘

      (“After the terrorist action of September 11, 2001, the demand for biodefense measures increased following the incident in which letters contained “weaponized” anthrax powders.”

      The misleading use of the term resulted from how the FBI and some others simultaneously were giving it a formal definition relating exclusively to floatability.

      The Sandia scientists should have appreciated that the purpose of the silica was beyond their ken and should have limited their conclusions to identifying the location. Their work only addressed the issue of the location.

      Dr. Vahid Majidi agrees that it could have been in the solution used to grow the anthrax.

  4. DXer said

    Q (By Mr. Schuler) And looking at those hours — and I didn’t add them up, but they do look like it’s less than 20 in retrospect.
    A Yeah
    Q Why — what is the basis — well, let me — let me make sure I phrase this accurately. Do you have an estimate yourself for how many hours it would take to accomplish something like this?
    A Yeah, I have an estimate. I mean, it would be a range, probably between six months and a year of work. And that would be pretty much dedicating three-quarters to full-time during the work week.
    Q Let me ask you — and we’ve kind of talked about it in broad terms. But Dr. Ivins did have the equipment to grow the spores of the that were used in the attack; correct?
    A He — he had equipment to grow the spores at a particular volume.
    Q. All right.
    A. And he was limited in terms of volume. And he would grow the — his spore preparations were grown at a liter and a half at a time, and i twould take him about a week to a week and a half to prepare that — to make that preparation with the equipment that was available in B3, in his lab.
    Q. And I want to break it down —
    A. And — and that —
    Q. I’m sorry.

    Q. So — and if I understand you correctly — and my — since I’m not a scientist, my language isn’t accurate, let me know.

    You’re saying because of the concentration of the spores in the letters that was found —

    A. Yes.

    Q. — that in order to go from the point that — where Dr. Ivins was operating with the levels of concentration he had originally in the liquid form, it would take a very long period of time to arrive at or achieve teh type of concentrations that were in the letters?
    A. Correct.

    Q. Okay. And that has to do with the growing of the spores, the har — the harvesting of the spores, and the storage of the spores; correct?
    A. Correct. And also the physical consistency of the spores. Bruce never made dried spores. So the physical consistency of the letters spores was highly unusual.


    [Note the Bucci sales rep a decade ago told me that the mini-spraydryer had resulted in a consistent 1 micron spore for years.]

    Bruce did not have a spraydryer — mini or not.

    My one-time Facebook Friend Yazid Sufaat did though — just ask him nicely.

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