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

* Most of Colonel Edward J. Eitzen’s civil deposition can be found here

Posted by DXer on February 21, 2014

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Dr. Edward M. Eitzen, Jr., former USAMRIID Commander, testified at deposition about the security clearance that was supposed to be required before foreign nationals were allowed access to Biolevel 3 containment at USAMRIID

click to download … and again to open–31924.pdf


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4 Responses to “* Most of Colonel Edward J. Eitzen’s civil deposition can be found here”

  1. DXer said

    In his civil deposition in a suit against the United States, Dr. Eitzen discusses the 1992 incident and a presentation:

    “So, anyway, this incident, the Courant reported that Assaad had alleged that we had lost some biological samples and that some of them contained anthrax and some other agents.

    Q. This allegation was made after the anthrax attacks and some other agents.

    Q. This allegation was made after the anthrax attacks?

    A. Yes. Yes. Or it became public after the anthrax attacks, and I’m not sure exactly the time frame, but it was around January of ’02.

    Q. Mm-hm.

    A. So, of course, we’re in kind of a defensive posture trying to respond to this and get accurate information out. And here’s the story: The alleged lost samples were basically — they weren’t paraffin, but they were sort of a synthetic, kind of a wax block, and they looked like, basically, like about the end of that pen there, you know. They looked like the — really more like the end of a pencil because the actual agent contained in the samples was in the very tip of that pencil, a little short and stubby thing.

    Q. It’s a container?

    A. It’s not a container. It’s a — it’s a —

    Q. A block?

    A. It’s a block of material, okay?

    Q. Okay.

    A. So the sample — and this was alleged to have occurred back in 1992 or something like that, you know, and was part of an investigation of another incident [involving a suit for employment discrimination upon a RIF] that was unrelated to the loss of the materials, but discovered in the process of that investigation.

    So — and Assaad at the time, back in the early ’90s, had been discriminated against by some of his coworkers because of his — his — he was, I believe, from Egypt, and some of his coworkers were making derogatory comments about him because of his heritage.

    That’s a whole separate issue, but that’s how these things were discovered as to be quote, “missing.” And then a report was written that said, okay, here — and I think the samples are on the back of this report — alleging that these were missing and not found.

    Well, the agent in these samples, first of all, when it was sent to the pathology division for their use in electron microcopy, the agent in these samples in order to be put in these blocks, first had to be irradiated, so it was killed by irradiation.

    Furthermore, it was processed with a formaldehyde, so it was killed a second time. I remember the story very well, because I had to explain it to reporters and to the people were interested in what actually happened.

    Third, it was embedded in this block of plastic, which probably killed it a third time, okay, when it was already dead in the first place.

    So these little pencils with a little bit of dead agent in the end of them that were used to cut with a — with a very sharp instrument to cut little samples to look at under the electron microscope of these dead agents, that was the purpose of making them in the first place. And they had to have been killed because they were — they were transported to an annex at the time that we rented where the pathology division was. There were no containment laboratories there, so they had to be killed in order to even be sent over there.

    So, you know, this all kind of hit us in January unexpectedly, and we were like, you know, what’s going on here? So I, again, appointed an office — I think, Kelly Davis — to investigate this. And the bottom line of all this was, number one, we found out of the 28 blocks that were missing, we found 27 of them. They were not missing. They were just misplaced, but they were still in the archives in the pathology department, which since that time have been moved back the main building at USAMRIID, so we found 28 — 27 of 28 dead samples. The one other dead sample, we didn’t find, but it was dead.”

    If I took one of those pencils, one of those paraffin blocks and literally brought blood to the surface of my army by scratching myself with it, the only damage that would be done to me would be the scratch itself. There was no way that — anything in those blocks was of any hazard to anybody, although it was alleged, you know, by the newspaper and Assaad that we had lost live samples. We had not done that.” (pp. 164-167)

  2. DXer said

    Alnora Robinson testified at civil deposition about the security clearance of foreign nationals and private company employees visiting USAMRIID. In obtaining her deposition, a requestor would want to obtain all the exhibits, Exhibit 272-384 which include email strings from November 2001.

  3. DXer said

    I will now scan and then provide a link to the Russell Byrne deposition which arrived in today’s mail. I will be forever indebted to the efficiency of DOJ FOIA Civil. The next two I plan to request are Susan Welkos and Kristie Friend.

  4. DXer said

    Here is the Eitzen link.

    Click to access 9027114-10–31924.pdf

    Note that DOJ Civil FOIA could provide the missing 30 pages upon a simple emailed request. But I think the top next priorities are Byrne, Welkos and Friend.

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