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

* Why doesn’t the FBI offer America a credible story? Why don’t we know who is responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 22, 2014

GAO, FBI, Ivins

***

It should be completely clear to anyone who has read the many posts on this blog that the FBI has no credible case against Dr. Bruce Ivins. The FBI assertion that Ivins was the sole perpetrator, or even that he was involved – has been totally demolished.

The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus:

no evidence,

no witnesses,

science that proves innocence instead of guilt. 

So what really happened? 

And why doesn’t the FBI offer America

a credible story?

Yet the FBI will admit nothing. There is still stonewalling of FOIA requests. The GAO, which years ago was asked by Congressman Rush Holt, to review the FBI investigation, is way past any deadline any reasonable person would have set for a response.

I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY

  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY

  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons … THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO

***

Who will come forward to demand a full disclosure?

America deserves to know.

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10 Responses to “* Why doesn’t the FBI offer America a credible story? Why don’t we know who is responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks?”

  1. richard rowley said

    Once again I come down in favor of option #2 in Mister Weinstein’s trifucated possibilities:

    2) #
    The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 …
    ——————————————————————————–
    If nothing else, this case was a sort of education in the less effective (and less attractive) stratagems of the FBI.
    Some thoughts:

    1) evidently the organization as a whole views admissions that there is no suspect, or that a given (already named) suspect hasn’t panned out as anathema. At least in the public arena.

    2) related to 1), indeed the product of 1), is that there are not only a number of euphemisms (“person of interest” etc.) and other obfuscatory double-talk but there’s simply an incredible inertia about dropping a suspect. We know this not only from the example of Ivins, but from that of Hatfill: put in aphoristic form, it would be something like:

    Better a Hatfill in hand than ten unnamed ‘persons of interest’ to present to Bush.*

    And in Hatfill’s case we aren’t talking about weeks or months, we are talking about YEARS. (!!!)

    3) the investigators can always convince themselves, if it’s necessary, that the really good evidence is still somewhere ‘out there’. And/or that nonsensical ‘evidence’ that bears no relation to the mechanics of the crime is ‘real evidence’ because it can be labeled ‘circumstantial’.

    4) efforts to psychologically ‘break’ a suspect aren’t considered extraordinary.
    Nor will there be an apology if the innocent man IS eventually dropped. Or revealed to be innocent post-mortem (‘Hey, I was just following orders!’) .

    5) the more uncertain the identification of the culprit, the more certain the investigators and prosecutors have to PRETEND to be. For PR purposes. At least until the crisis in (public) credibility is over. More forthright and honest statements are for later.

    6) Exculpatory indicators (potential trial ‘evidence’ or even stuff like polygraph tests passed) have to be undone or covered up.

    *Nor is this restricted to federal investigators: recently I came across a 2008 Connecticut murder case where an exaggerated early interest in one suspect ruined opportunities to make progress in the case:
    http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2008/07/16/investigators-seek-the-someone-jovin-referenced-in-hour-before-stabbing/

    (And let’s not forget Gary Condit’s moment in the sun back in 2001, all for a crime he had nothing to do with!)

    • DXer said

      Richard, Dr. Ivins’ assistant, Kristi Friend, worked for Dr. Ivins’ beginning in June 1999. She worked along Terry Abshire in Dr. Ezzell’s lab in testing and collecting samples in connection with the Fall 2001 anthrax letters. Her full civil deposition is downloadable at this URL. It was provided yesterday by DOJ Civil FOIA.

      The next civil depositions to be uploaded are anthrax experts and USAMRIID colleagues Susan Welkos and Arthur Friedlander — and then expert Richard Hawley.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/9onqvogto3tuczi/Friend%20Deposition_Redacted.pdf

  2. DXer said

    IMO, it’s because the professionals involved have not corrected their mistakes.

    For example, Vahid Majidi, the FBI WMD head, did not correct his mistakes in his September 2013 e-book while widely marketing it to decision-makers. He falsely claimed that all of Atta’s colleagues had been interviewed and excluded when in fact Adnan El-Shukrijumah, who called his mom upon 911 to tell her he was coming to the US. (She protested he would be arrested but he insisted). Adnan called from KSM’s house, where Yazid Sufaat, the anthrax lab director, also lived.

    He also claimed to me last month that he thought this rabbit experience was done at some other facility.

    Similarly, Gregory S. the psychiatrist and his colleagues did not correct their mistake in briefing DNI in 2011. They still relied upon the counselor who got her instructions from an alien each night. See her 2009 book.

    These people working for the government don’t seem to read all that they should in order to be informed.

    • Lew Weinstein said

      And who is supposed to be overseeing this process, correcting the mistakes, providing the withheld information, telling America the truth? Is it Congress? Is it the President? the Attorney General? the head of the GAO?

    • DXer said

      No, it’s those pesky undercovers sent by mid-level analysts on a rogue mission — that the CIA and FBI will disavow if caught or killed.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      http://nypost.com/2013/12/15/inside-the-saudi-911-coverup/Inside the Saudi 9/11 coverup

      By Paul SperryDecember 15, 2013 | 5:13am

      President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).

      A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.

      Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking
      President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
      ***

      LOS ANGELES: Saudi consulate official Fahad al-Thumairy allegedly arranged for an advance team to receive two of the Saudi hijackers — Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi — as they arrived at LAX in 2000. One of the advance men, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected Saudi intelligence agent, left the LA consulate and met the hijackers at a local restaurant. (Bayoumi left the United States two months before the attacks, while Thumairy was deported back to Saudi Arabia after 9/11.)

      SAN DIEGO: Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb. They were also feted at a welcoming party. (Bassnan also fled the United States just before the attacks.)

      WASHINGTON: Then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his wife sent checks totaling some $130,000 to Bassnan while he was handling the hijackers. Though the Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, the money nonetheless made its way into the hijackers’ hands.
      Other al Qaeda funding was traced back to Bandar and his embassy — so much so that by 2004 Riggs Bank of Washington had dropped the Saudis as a client.
      The next year, as a number of embassy employees popped up in terror probes, Riyadh recalled Bandar.

      “Our investigations contributed to the ambassador’s departure,” an investigator who worked with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington told me, though Bandar says he left for “personal reasons.”

      FALLS CHURCH, VA.: In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon.

      Awlaki worked closely with the Saudi Embassy. He lectured at a Saudi Islamic think tank in Merrifield, Va., chaired by Bandar. Saudi travel itinerary documents I’ve obtained show he also served as the official imam on Saudi Embassy-sponsored trips to Mecca and tours of Saudi holy sites.

      Most suspiciously, though, Awlaki fled the United States on a Saudi jet about a year after 9/11.

      As I first reported in my book, “Infiltration,” quoting from classified US documents, the Saudi-sponsored cleric was briefly detained at JFK before being released into the custody of a “Saudi representative.” A federal warrant for Awlaki’s arrest had mysteriously been withdrawn the previous day. A US drone killed Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.

      HERNDON, VA.: On the eve of the attacks, top Saudi government official Saleh Hussayen checked into the same Marriott Residence Inn near Dulles Airport as three of the Saudi hijackers who targeted the Pentagon. Hussayen had left a nearby hotel to move into the hijackers’ hotel. Did he meet with them? The FBI never found out. They let him go after he “feigned a seizure,” one agent recalled. (Hussayen’s name doesn’t appear in the separate 9/11 Commission Report, which clears the Saudis.)

      SARASOTA, FLA.: 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other hijackers visited a home owned by Esam Ghazzawi, a Saudi adviser to the nephew of King Fahd. FBI agents investigating the connection in 2002 found that visitor logs for the gated community and photos of license tags matched vehicles driven by the hijackers. Just two weeks before the 9/11 attacks, the Saudi luxury home was abandoned. Three cars, including a new Chrysler PT Cruiser, were left in the driveway. Inside, opulent furniture was untouched.

      Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”

      Is the federal government protecting the Saudis? Case agents tell me they were repeatedly called off pursuing 9/11 leads back to the Saudi Embassy, which had curious sway over White House and FBI responses to the attacks.

      Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.

      Bill Doyle, who lost his son in the World Trade Center attacks and heads the Coalition of 9/11 Families, calls the suppression of Saudi evidence a “coverup beyond belief.” Last week, he sent out an e-mail to relatives urging them to phone their representatives in Congress to support the resolution and read for themselves the censored 28 pages.
      Astonishing as that sounds, few lawmakers in fact have bothered to read the classified section of arguably the most important investigation in US history.

      Granted, it’s not easy to do. It took a monthlong letter-writing campaign by Jones and Lynch to convince the House intelligence panel to give them access to the material.

      But it’s critical they take the time to read it and pressure the White House to let all Americans read it. This isn’t water under the bridge. The information is still relevant today. Pursuing leads further, getting to the bottom of the foreign support, could help head off another 9/11.

      ***
      Members of Congress reluctant to read the full report ought to remember that the 9/11 assault missed its fourth target: them.

      Comment:

      Adnan El-Shukrijumah — who I have urged as the anthrax mailer — was there at that Florida gated community with Atta. Adnan’s Dad was a paid Saudi missionary. He called from KSM’s house — where Yazid Sufaat also lived — upon 9/11 to tell his mom he was travelling to the United States.

      I used to tell you about the transcripts of Prince Bandar’s meeting at Benihana with arms dealer Sarkis Soghanalian to discuss the funding of 100s of TOW-equipped helicopters to Iraq at the height of the Iraq-Iran war. They had quick-release pesticide spraying mechanisms. My take-home only was that things are not always what they seem. Prince Bandar was fully capable of orchestrating a narrative he likes for public consumption.

      But rather than draw any conclusions, let’s just have the 28-pages of the 911 Commission report unredacted.

      My interest ends at showing Adnan El-Shukrijumah is the mailer and Dr. Ayman Zawahiri is behind the anthrax mailings.

    • DXer said

    • DXer said

      No need to think of things as “cover-up” when “inappropriate redaction under all the circumstances” serves.

      The most fun is when government redacts something or tells a whopper and then the next day you upload the unredacted version establishing the truth.

      http://www.showbiz411.com/2013/12/15/murdochs-nypost-today-backs-michael-moore-bush-saudi-claims-from-fahrenheit-911

      UPDATE- Paul Sperry responds: “Unger and Moore have their own agendas. mine aligns with the FBI WFO case agents and FCPD* detectives who say they’ll never forgive the Bush admin for throttling their investigation of leads back to Saudi Embassy and Bandar himself in McLean. they view the former POTUS as a traitor.”

      Earlier this afternoon:
      Shock: today’s Murdoch owned highly conservative New York Post features an opinion piece backingMichael Moore‘s Bush-Saudi claims from “Fahrenheit 911.” It’s the main story on the Post’s website with a huge photo and prominent placement. The story is also featured in a color block headline on the front page of today’s paper.

      Moore must get a lot of satisfaction out of this. It’s only taken a decade for a conservative pundit writing in a conservative newspaper to endorse his movie.

      Indeed, Paul Sperry’s editorial is a direct echo of a 2003 Vanity Fair story by Craig Unger, author of the book that was the underlying information for the Oscar winning movie. That book was called “House of Bush, House of Saud” and it still available for Kindle. The Vanity Fair article was called Saving the Saudis, publishing ten years ago. Here’s the link: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2003/10/saving-the-saudis-200310

      Today’s piece by Sperry is shocking first because he is a conservative. But second, Sperry’s piece questions why huge portions of a Congressional report about 9/11 remain redacted– blacked out–in his piece called “Inside the Saudi Cover Up.” http://nypost.com/2013/12/15/inside-the-saudi-911-coverup/

      The story could just as easily have been called “Inside the Bush Cover Up.” It’s amazing that NY Post editor Col Allan ran it, and that Rupert Murdoch would have approved it. The Post has always mocked Michael Moore, and certainly backed George W. Bush endlessly.

      For conservatives, Sperry suddenly endorsing Moore and Unger and “Fahrenheit 911″ has to be a slap in the face.

      Sperry writes:

      “President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).

      A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.”

      He adds:

      “Just days after Bush met with the Saudi ambassador in the White House, the FBI evacuated from the United States dozens of Saudi officials, as well as Osama bin Laden family members. Bandar made the request for escorts directly to FBI headquarters on Sept. 13, 2001 — just hours after he met with the president. The two old family friends shared cigars on the Truman Balcony while discussing the attacks.”

      Even stranger, the NY Post via Sperry is now featuring Sen. Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida. Sperry writes: “Democrat Bob Graham, the former Florida senator who chaired the Joint Inquiry, has asked the FBI for the Sarasota case files, but can’t get a single, even heavily redacted, page released. He says it’s a “coverup.”

      • Lew Weinstein said

        If you think it was simple incompetence, you can call it “inappropriate redaction.” If you think it was done purposely, you can call in COVER-UP. I favor the latter explanation.

        • DXer said

          Comment:

          Tell Sen Bob Graham, D-Fla that your friend thinks El-Shukrijumah was the anthrax mailer and met with Atta at the Sarasota compound. Bush’s ridiculous redaction of these 28 pages at the request of Prince Bandar prevented the connections being made. It has led to a ridiculous situation where FBI WMD head falsely claims that the FBI interviewed all of Atta’s associates and could exclude them as the mailer.

          http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

          Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/15/3820889/mondays-911-case-hearing-is-closed.html#storylink=cpy

          International Business Times

          9/11 Link To Saudi Arabia Is Topic Of 28 Redacted Pages In Government Report; Congressmen Push For Release
          By Jamie Reno

          I was absolutely shocked by what I read,” Jones told International Business Times. “What was so surprising was that those whom we thought we could trust really disappointed me. I cannot go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain confidential. But the information I read disappointed me greatly.”

          The public may soon also get to see these secret documents. Last week, Jones and Lynch introduced a resolution that urges President Obama to declassify the 28 pages, which were originally classified by President George W. Bush. It has never been fully explained why the pages were blacked out, but President Bush stated in 2003 that releasing the pages would violate national security.

          While neither Jones nor Lynch would say just what is in the document, some of the information has leaked out over the years. A multitude of sources tell IBTimes, and numerous press reports over the years in Newsweek, the New York Times, CBS News and other media confirm, that the 28 pages in fact clearly portray that the Saudi government had at the very least an indirect role in supporting the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attack. In addition, these classified pages clarify somewhat the links between the hijackers and at least one Saudi government worker living in San Diego.


          Former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., who chaired the Joint Inquiry in 2002 and has been beating the drum for more disclosure about 9/11 since then, has never understood why the 28 pages were redacted. Graham told IBTimes that based on his involvement in the investigation and on the now-classified information in the document that his committee produced, he is convinced that “the Saudi government without question was supporting the hijackers who lived in San Diego…. You can’t have 19 people living in the United States for, in some cases, almost two years, taking flight lessons and other preparations, without someone paying for it. But I think it goes much broader than that. The agencies from CIA and FBI have suppressed that information so American people don’t have the facts.”

          ***

          A decade ago, 46 senators, led by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., demanded in a letter to President Bush that he declassify the 28 pages.

          The letter read, in part, “It has been widely reported in the press that the foreign sources referred to in this portion of the Joint Inquiry analysis reside primarily in Saudi Arabia. As a result, the decision to classify this information sends the wrong message to the American people about our nation’s antiterror effort and makes it seem as if there will be no penalty for foreign abettors of the hijackers. Protecting the Saudi regime by eliminating any public penalty for the support given to terrorists from within its borders would be a mistake…. We respectfully urge you to declassify the 28-page section that deals with foreign sources of support for the 9/11 hijackers.”

          ***

          “Once a member reads the 28 pages, I think whether they are Democrat or Republican they will reach the same conclusion that Walter and I reached, which is that Americans have the right to know this information,” Lynch said. “These documents speak for themselves. We have a situation where an extensive investigation was conducted, but then the Bush [administration] decided for whatever purposes to excise 28 pages from the report. I’m not passing judgment. That was a different time. Maybe there were legitimate reasons to keep this classified. But that time has long passed.”

          ***

          Graham notes that there was a significant 9/11 investigation in Sarasota, Fla., which also suggests a connection between the hijackers and the Saudi government that most Americans don’t know about.

          The investigation, which occurred in 2002, focused on Saudi millionaire Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his wife, Anoud, whose upscale home was owned by Anoud al-Hijji’s father, Esam Ghazzawi, an adviser to Prince Fahd bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the nephew of Saudi King Fahd.

          The al-Hijji family reportedly moved out of their Sarasota house and left the country abruptly in the weeks before 9/11, leaving behind three luxury cars and personal belongings including clothing, furniture and fresh food. They also left the swimming-pool water circulating.

          Numerous news reports in Florida have said that the gated community’s visitor logs and photos of license tags showed that vehicles driven by several of the future 9/11 hijackers had visited the al-Hijji home.

          Graham said that like the 28 pages in the 9/11 inquiry, the Sarasota case is being “covered up” by U.S. intelligence. Graham has been fighting to get the FBI to release the details of this investigation with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and litigation. But so far the bureau has stalled and stonewalled, he said.

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