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

* June 15, 2001 email from Dr. Worsham to Colonel Kortepeter “about civilian who entered an animal room in suite B3” … “without the knowledge of division personnel”

Posted by DXer on February 4, 2014


14 Responses to “* June 15, 2001 email from Dr. Worsham to Colonel Kortepeter “about civilian who entered an animal room in suite B3” … “without the knowledge of division personnel””

  1. DXer said

    Mark Kortepeter is going to pass on my request to USAMRIID’s FOIA officer that the FOIA website be restored and re-uploaded. I believe the FOIA officer or someone told Ken Dillon that it would be. And Zach, a documentarian (I think from Princeton) has a formal request for all the documents. (USAMRIID will satisfy Zach’s request by uploading the documents.) Although I long ago I promised the wonderful USMRMC FOIA officer Sandra Rogers that i would never bring suit under FOIA given the good faith and cooperativeness USAMRIID has shown over the years, Dillon is his own actor and has expert FOIA counsel. By taking the website down after Dillon brought suit against the DOJ, USAMRIID/USMRMC has made it more difficult to demonstrate that DOJ’s claimed FOIA exemptions are specious. Indeed, IMO, this blog has demonstrated that it knows more about Amerithrax (and can establish it through documents) than the FBI ever did.

    Someone will need to FOIA the report resulting from this email to Kortepeter about someone’s unauthorized access to the BL-3 in June 2001. That document is the best guide as to what was done or not done regarding this unauthorized access to the Ames strain used in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

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

  2. DXer said

    Mark Kortepeter writes of Pat Worsham’s view of Amerithrax:

    “Pat Worsham says now, ‘I think we were bitter. I think we still are bitter, angry, that it went down the way it did. I think that the FBI knew how hard they’d been pushing him, that he had psychological issues, and they were hitting all the buttons that they could possibly hit.”

    Hank Heine says, “I’ll go to my grave believing Bruce had nothing to do with it.”

    Fun fact: Pat Worsham was the FBI’s key scientific witness. The FBI would have been crushed at trial.

  3. DXer said

    Mark Kortepeter has a new book out that addresses the anthrax mailings.

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

    • DXer said

      Inside the Hot Zone: A Soldier on the Front Lines of Biological Warfare Jan 1, 2020
      by Mark G. Kortepeter
      ( 14 )
      Sold by Services LLC
      Inside the Hot Zone is an insider’s account of one of the most dangerous workplaces on earth: the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Retired U.S. Army Col. Mark G. Kortepeter, a leading biodefense expert, recounts his journey from the lecture hall to the role of department chief, to the battlefield, to the Biosafety Level-4 maximum containment lab, and finally, to the corner office.

      During Kortepeter’s seven and a half years in leadership at USAMRIID, the United States experienced some of the most serious threats in modern germ warfare, including the specter of biological weapons during the Iraq War, the anthrax letters sent after 9/11, and a little-known crisis involving a presumed botulism attack on the president of the United States. Inside the Hot Zone is a shocking, frightening eye-opener as Kortepeter describes in gripping detail how he and his USAMRIID colleagues navigated threats related to anthrax, botulism, smallpox, Lassa, and Ebola.

      Kortepeter crafts a rich and riveting narrative as he wrestles with life-and-death decisions managing biological weapon exposures. The stories are real, but they could just as easily serve as plotlines in popular fiction or Hollywood thrillers. He gives the reader a seat at the table as each crisis unfolds, with an unvarnished and personal perspective on the dangers, the drama, the fear, the frustrations, the irony, and the uncertainty he encountered as a physician in the role of “Biodefender.”

    • DXer said

      Military lab misplaced thousands of samples

      18 Jun 2009 | 16:31 GMT | Posted by Geoffrey Brumfiel | Category: Biology & Biotechnology, Health and medicine, Policy
      This is a drill, actual inventory procedures may vary.
      It’s a fact of lab life that stuff gets lost in the shuffle. Digging up that old data spreadsheet or lab notebook is probably not too much more than an inconvenience for most researchers. But if you happen to work at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick in Fredrick, Maryland then it’s a lot more serious than that.

      At a press conference yesterday Col. Mark Kortepeter, USAMRIID’s deputy commander told reporters that a recent inventory had turned up some 9,300 vials of previously uncatalogued pathogens, including serum samples from patients who had contracted hemorrhagic fever during the Korean War. The inventory also turned up Ebola, plague, anthrax, and botulism. Most of the samples were left by researchers who had since retired from the laboratory.

      The report was bound to get tonnes of press, in part because USAMRIID is the former employer of Bruce Ivins, a researcher who the FBI named a “person of interest” in the 2001 anthrax attacks. Iv[i]ns died of a Tylenol overdose in July of 2008. This February, it emerged that Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus at the lab had gone unaccounted for, and all work was suspended until this inventory was completed.

      Officials told reporters that numerous new security measures have been installed at the lab since 2001, and they’ve instituted an “aggressive” inventory system to ensure that future samples don’t go unnoticed. It’s clear that USAMRIID hopes to use this event to draw a line under its recently troubled past.

      Image: US Army/ArraySarah

    • DXer said


      Inside the Hot Zone with Dr Mark Kortepeter
      December 6, 2019

      In his first hand account of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), physician and retired Army Colonel, Mark Kortepeter, MD pens the edge of you seat book, Inside the Hot Zone- A Soldier on the Front Lines of Biological Warfare.

      In this podcast, Dr Kortepeter talks about USAMRIID and some of it’s unique features and history, some riveting stories from the hot zone, Dr. Bruce Ivins and the “Six Chessman of Doom”.

      Check out the book: Inside the Hot Zone- A Soldier on the Front Lines of Biological Warfare

      Audio Player

      • DXer said

        A comment by local attorney and activist Barry Kissin suggests that we might want to turn to the book by Mark Kortepeter for additional details — that the podcast is very general. Attorney Kissin played a key role in writing a letter on behalf of Stuart Jacobsen under FOIA seeking disclosure of scientific data relating to the Silicon Signature. The blog owes Kissin thanks for the constructive role in helping get people on the same page as to AFIP findings— given the wide divergence and range of reasonably held opinions. I tend not to agree with Barry’s conclusions but admire his zeal. If he remains interested in getting people on the same page, he should advocate that USAMRIID reupload its extensive documents produced under FOIA (which it took down).

        Having mentioned Stuart, I should note that his passing was a very sad day.
        Barry Kissin
        DECEMBER 7, 2019 AT 7:20 PM

        I”’m sorry, but this is a feeble interview. This podcast is advertised to contain “riveting stories” including about Dr. Bruce Ivins. All Dr. Kortpeter manages to say on the subject is that he has two chapters on Ivins and that they contain statements by UAMRIID scientists that speak for themselves. His only telling remark is when he refers to the case against Ivins as a matter of “FBI accusations.” I reside in Frederick, MD, so I don’t need to read Kortpeter’s book to know that a number of USAMRIID scientists have made it very clear that Ivins could not possibly have been the perpetrator of the anthrax attacks. But everyone continues to avoid the critical issue of who then was responsible. Genetic analysis, the weaponization technology, and the involved additive (silicon) establish that the attack anthrax came out of our own so-called bio-defense program. Ivins was framed in order to cover up who within our program was responsible. Instead of confronting this, all we hear in this interview is about how wonderful is our bio-defense program.”

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

    • DXer said

      Pat Worsham is mentioned in Mark Kortepeter’s book as follows:

      “aftermath of Ivins death, 192, 194, 202; anthrax spore characterization and, 42, 198-99; FBI investigation and, 178-81; 185, 187-88; and Ivins arrest, 176-77; Ivins eulogy by, 261-62 n.1.”

    • DXer said

      In his new book, Mark Kortepeter starts with a couple of quotes.

      “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” — 1 Peter 5:8 ESV


      “Without a measureless and perpetual uncertainty, the drama of human life would be destroyed.” — Winston Churchill

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

    • DXer said

      Early on, when Tom Brokaw called him to ask about his assistant Erin O’Connor apparently being infected, Dr. Korpeter asked Art Anderson to join him on the call.

      Although the FBI publicly made much of what it characterized as a covert cleaning of his office space, Dr. Anderson, USAMRIID’s ethicist, reports that Ivins in fact told him at the time of the cleaning — Bruce wanted to ensure the safety of his assistants and one of them had expressed concern about dust.

  4. DXer said

    “Our hopes for a unique genetic response in the attack Ames now rested solely with the work Pat Worsham continued on our behalf.” (Scott Decker, Recounting the Anthrax Attacks p. 118, 2017)

    Now given that Pat Worsham thinks that Bruce Ivins is innocent — and she has both scientific grounds and personal observations — I wonder if the former agent Decker realizes that any trial he imagines would have occurred would have had the equivalent of Abby’s NCIS testifying against the prosecutor’s conclusion. For example, one night that Decker imagines Ivins had no reason to be in the lab was a night when emails eventually produced showed that he had been directed by Worsham to clean up the lab. She even knew about unauthorized access to the suite where the Ames was stored.

  5. DXer said

    DOJ Civil today produced Jeffrey Adamovicz’s civil deposition. In addition, there were some exhibits I had specified.

    One is an email Gerry Andrews about the unauthorized entry by someone on June 15, 2001. Dr. Andrews states of the signage:

    “This should have been an obvious warning to him that he needed to check with somebody in Bact. Div. PRIOR to entry into the animal room, which he did not do.”

  6. richard rowley said

    Since evidently a certain someone doesn’t quite get the significance of this, I’ll draw it out:
    The Amerithrax Investigative Summary states as part of the case against Ivins:

    Others with access to RMR-1029 have been ruled out
    But ‘others with access to RMR-1029’ refers only those with authorized/ documented access. Those whose access was unauthorized/undocumented (ie let in by someone else for reasons innocent or nefarious etc.) wouldn’t be on anyone’s list. And if you weren’t on the list, you couldn’t be ‘ruled out’.

    Plus, as noted by yours truly more than once, this doesn’t work unless you assume that Amerithrax was a one-person operation. The ‘alibis’ don’t work eliminatively if the alibi-ist has an accomplice ready , willing, and able to drive to Princeton………

    Click to access amx-investigative-summary.pdf

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