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

* In the newly produced civil deposition, Dr. Jahrling describes the AFIP’s finding that there was “a ton of silicon in this material.”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 30, 2014

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9 Responses to “* In the newly produced civil deposition, Dr. Jahrling describes the AFIP’s finding that there was “a ton of silicon in this material.””

  1. DXer said

    Dr. Jeffrey Adamovicz, in this civil deposition produced today under FOIA, explains:

    “Sandia’s people were not biologists, and they’re not microbiologists in particular, and they’re not anthrax experts, more importantly.”

    “They show a fundamental lack of understanding of the biology of this organism.”

    “The exosporium, the cover that surrounds the spore, is a porous membrane, essentially. In other words, it’s not like a baggie, a sealed baggie that nothing can penetrate. It’s a porous, loosely associated coating around the spore. And so tings like silicon and probably all kinds of other things can penetrate that very easily and become associated with the spore coat.” (pp. 72-72)

    “And there are people in this country that are experts on siliconization that have spoken to this fact and have strongly disagreed with Sandia’s representation of the data.” (p. 73)

  2. DXer said

    Dr. Gerard Andrews, in the civil deposition recently produced to the blog under FOIA, explains that when he uses the word “weaponization” it is

    “possibly to protect the spore from detection. Which the was the silica was deposited on the spore, I believe, would completely mask the spore coat. And a lot of detection methods are being evaluated based on the composition of the spore coat.

    Well, if the spore coat was — was covered with polymerized silica, glass, then the spore coat would essentially be hidden from detection.

    So that would be another potential motive for treating these spores with silica, in addition to change the — the natural surface of the spore.”

    Q. Yeah.”

    Page 42.

    • DXer said

      errata – The other page cite should be page 165 (when not printed four to a page).

      Dr. Andrews continues:

      “But, again, something about the — or the… the big difference between the physical properties of these preparations, it almost seems like somebody was — was conducting an experiment with some variables in these downstream methodologies.”

      Page 166.

    • DXer said

      At page 168, in the newly produced civil deposition, Dr. Andrews discusses the Sandia report:

      “I don’t know Dr. Kotula’s background, but I know Joe Michaels is not a biologist.

      And the reference to silica, actually, is a reference to a more traditional way of coating spores using — basically using particles in silica.”

      “So if you looked at — at the bacteria — either the bacterial spore without exosporium, because particulate silica cannot — is not cannot pass through the exosporium So you have to basically grind that exosporium away and then siliconize the spores using — if you’re using fumed silica, particulate silica.

      Their conclusion that it was natural — a naturally occurring because — because of the fact that the silica was associated with a spore coat beyond the exosporium is, in my opinion, erroneous since there are chemistries — siliconization chemistries out there, and they’re — they’re basically published, that demonstrate that you’re able to induce polymerization after penetration of a porous surface.

      The exosporium is — is not a solid surface. It’s, by nature, biochemically porous.

      So unpolymerized silica-based compounds can penetrate the exosporium and, basically, a catalyst or — or some other compound added and cause polymerization of the silica around the spore.

      So one of the hypotheses that’s out there is that this is a new technology in terms of its application to a bacterial spore, the silinization process.”

      Comment:

      Some years ago this hypothesis was tested at a leading air force lab focused on detecting and destroying aerosolized anthrax and reported back to me. The process resulted in SEMS that looked just like the mailed anthrax. I circulated the SEMS at the time. Dr. Kiel contacted the FBI but Doug Beecher spurned the theory. The FBI’s conclusions were not based on science. They were based on the rejection of science. Note that silinization did not seem to affect floabability. The product without the process still floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. But the experiment brings us to Dr. Andrews’ point about how it serves to avoid detection. If Muklis Yunos and Yazid Sufaat were asked nicely, I think they would explain that it protects the anthrax from being destroyed upon explosion. Muklis was working an anthrax bomb.

      • DXer said

        Dr. Andrews:

        “And so, again, this is — this is a process that’s been looked at, but — to the best of my knowledge, never applied to — or at least publicly acknowledged to apply to bacterial spores.”

        “Q. Do you think that — that Bruce Ivins had something to do with this attack, even if he didn’t manufacture the ultimate weaponized product within the confines of USAMRIID?”

        ***

        “No, I don’t. No.”

        Page 171.

      • DXer said

        “Bruce didn’t understand or have the technology available to him. He didn’t have the facilities available to him at USAMRIID. Nor was there any indication to me, in the 16 years that I’ve known him, that he understood the weaponization technology of anthrax spores.

        Nor did any of my colleagues ever talk to me about his interest or understanding or if he showed any kind of knowledge of being able to downstream process these preparations in dry form.”

        ***

        “he did pass two polygraphs. And I understand that the FBI’s argument is that he used deceptive techniques. But I don’t believe that either.”

        Page 172-173.

      • DXer said

        Dr. Andrews continues:

        “I forgot to interject this when we were talking about weaponization.

        “This is — weaponization is — is a term, in my opinion, pretty subjective. So someone can, you know, have a completely different definition — definition of weaponization. And it could be in terms of the degree of — of how a particular agent is altered.”

        Page 174.

  3. DXer said

    In the recent produced civil deposition of Dr. Gerard Andrews, he discusses silicon:

    “I heard numbers about 2 percent silicon dioxide, which would be essentially glass, in the — in the Senate letters, and much higher levels in the lower quality material in the — in the media letters. There’s no evidence that — that there was any silica in the laboratory at the time.

    Q. Did — you have a — an explanation or a theory, if you want to call it that, for why — why the difference in concentrations and quality of the — of the — between the Senate letters and the media letters of the spores that were found?

    A. I do have a theory. And it is possibly because somebody was doing — conducting an experiment an experiment on the actual downstream processing methodology of the spores, siliconizing them or doing those processes separately and possibly experimenting with varying concentrations of the siliconization compounds that were used.”

    Page 82.

  4. DXer said

    The next civil deposition to be distributed will be the one by Dr. Andrews.

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