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

* Fall 2001 anthrax investigation – links to the full Adamovicz, Little, Worsham, Friend (Ivins’ assistant), Byrne and Andrews civil depositions from Maureen Stevens v. United States are here.

Posted by DXer on March 3, 2014

The FBI has no case against this man ... but meanwhile he is dead and the real perpetrators are still out there.

The FBI has no case against this man … but meanwhile he is dead and the real perpetrators are still out there.


Jeffrey Adamovicz civil deposition …

Stephen Little civil deposition …

Patricia Worsham civil deposition …

Kristie Friend (Bruce Ivins’ assistant) …

Gerard Andrews deposition (uploaded in 3 parts) …


18 Responses to “* Fall 2001 anthrax investigation – links to the full Adamovicz, Little, Worsham, Friend (Ivins’ assistant), Byrne and Andrews civil depositions from Maureen Stevens v. United States are here.”

  1. DXer said

    Tony Goldwyn: People thought I was ‘powerful’ all because of ‘Scandal’
    By Nicki GostinNovember 26, 2021 | 1:00pm

    They aired the show a few days ago at the premiere at Lincoln Center in New York. This summer in the plaza there they put down astroturf. There were a couple of concessions — one with gelato — and a free book exchange. The walls were curved so I would sit on the ground toward the side and slide down. When I went to walk out the side with the NYPL Library of Performing Arts, the alleyway was blocked because of this sort of premiere. Not even my Library Card was going to get me in — the ultimate powerlessness. Knowledge isn’t as powerful as they claim. Pop culture has huge sway in our society.

  2. DXer said

    Mr. Baruth writes:

    “Ivins had held a joint patent on a “next-generation anthrax vaccine” with four USAMRIID scientists since 1994 — a potential monetary windfall…” (p. 212)

    Monetary windfall? You mean a limit of $4,000? Is Mr. Baruth unaware that the USAMRIID scientists on this point (like all others) have roundly disputed the FBI’s theory?

  3. DXer said

    Jeb Bush’s uploaded emails include some about the AMI building.
    From: Abrams, Steven L
    To: Jeb Bush
    Date: 6/13/2002 7:20:46 PM
    Subject: AMI Building Status

    Governor — The last thing you need is yet another pen pal, but I think you should be updated on the AMI building situation.
    AMI had been asking for federal funding to clean up their building and, having pretty much reached a dead end, is now
    offering to give the federal gov’t their building in exchange for the feds being able to do some lab experiments inside it and
    then cleaning it up. The City of Boca Raton is supporting their request because we see the building just sitting there as a
    potential hazard (especially during hurricane season). We are writing to our congressional delegation asking them to assist
    with the feds. In the meantime, I have gotten more than one comment (media and individuals) about why, because of the
    “Bush connection” to the White House, isn’t the AMI building in Florida being given the same consideration as the cleanup
    efforts proceeding on the anthrax-contaminated buildings up north (Hart building and the post offices).
    I do not see the State as having the responsibility for this, but I wanted to update you specifically because Congressman
    Wexler is planning to hold a press conference on Monday. I have no reason to believe that he will be doing anything other
    than calling for the feds to take over the building. In fact, I have been asked by him to participate, so I anticipate that it will be
    a high-road, bipartisan press conference. If asked I certainly can and will relate your concern on this issue. But I did want to
    give you a heads up based on the comments.

    Mayor Steven L. Abrams
    City of Boca Raton
    201 West Palmetto Park Road
    Boca Raton, Florida 33432
    (561) 393-7708
    (561) 367-7014 – Fax
    Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law.
    Most written communications to or from local officials
    regarding city business are public records available to the
    public and media upon request. Your e-mail communications
    may therefore be subject to public disclosure.

  4. DXer said

    JAG has a copy of these documents produced in discovery in the Hatfill litigation. They are subject to production in FOIA.

    From: To: Subject: Date:
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    RE: Motion to Compel Wednesday, February 22, 2006 2:02:09 PM
    (b) (6)
    FOr me personally to go through everything related to my lab’s anthrax work would take a minimum of 2 weeks uninterrupted work (80 hours). It could take as long as several hundred hours.
    Bruce Ivins
    From: Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 1:57 PM To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID;
    (b) (6)
    (b) (6)
    (b) (6)
    (b) (6)
    (b) (6)
    Cc: Subject: FW: Motion to Compel
    Please see item #2 in the request below from estimate as to the volume of documents you may have in your possession and how long it would take for you to search for and compile this information. We’re trying to show that this process would be overly burdensome and use it to possibly narrow the scope of the request as referred to in item #3. Presently there is no suspense for this request, but we need to be prepared to respond when asked.

  5. DXer said

    Today, upon receiving the response to the last request, I have requested the depositions of ARRISON, HAWLEY and WADE. I again thank DOJ Civil FOIA for its persistent efforts.

    I watched the testy exchange between a Congressional Committee and Attorney General Holder on document production issues in an unrelated matter. The correctness of withholding always depends on the particular rules that apply and the procedure that is contemplated by the legal framework. It is always a great benefit to start with someone as knowledgeable of the rules as DOJ Civil FOIA.

  6. DXer said

    Maybe with the identification of the Sandia team members, additional documents such as the Sandia emails and handwritten notes can be obtained by researchers or reporters or the GAO.

    For completeness sake, I will ask for Hawley, Arrison and Wade depos but first I have requested the IG team leader Colonel Elliott. His depo is sealed and so I expect Attorney James Kovakas to deny it. (I want to make sure it is not still sealed due to oversight upon removal of Protective Order No. 3 relating to some documents like the IG report). I am so appreciative of Attorney Kovakas’ good faith efforts that he could withhold turkey from me on Thanksgiving and I would thank him for it.

    I then expect to ask for the Patricia Linscott and Mara Linscott depositions and expect to be told that they were shredded..

    IMO those depos provide a key to the mystery. I don’t think things will advance until they are interviewed — which might just would take the right reporter and right approach. Mr. Willman interviewed Mara but is not exactly known for asking questions that run contrary to the Ivins theory he was being fed by investigators. His interview and central reliance on the first counselor Judith (or more notably his failure to backpedal on his reliance) illustrates that he had been handed the ball by investigators and he was going for the touchdown.

    Under the theory of some scientists, the Linscott and Fellows depos may go to experiments that Mara said would not be the subject of publications and related to the military biodefense. She says she was always making more Ames that was not put in 1029. Under my theory, the depos relate to provision of Ames not reflected on the 1029 “inventory” but are relevant to an infiltration theory.

    I don’t have any expectation of getting those depos but I know that the material a party feels motivated to destroy tends to be the most interesting.

    Meanwhile I am working toward an acknowledgement by Yazid Sufaat that he was using virulent Ames and so I wouldn’t go out on a limb on a non-Al Qaeda theory.

  7. DXer said

    Big things continue to happen on the Amerithrax FOIA front. The FBI’s Ivins Theory was demolished. But the uploading of additional civil depositions can wait until MH 370 comes into clearer focus.

    Meanwhile, the NY DEC gave me up to 1500 comments on a DVD relating to their plans to kill some mute swans I know and like. While I wait to see whether a bill to put the swan-killing plan on ice gets reported out of Committee in the two houses, I’m eager to identify substantive comments and make the available to activists.

    Pressure on DEC to kill swan-killing plan

    By Richard Moody
    Staff Writer

  8. DXer said

    I received the Susan Welkos and Arthur Friedlander depositions today by mail and arranged Ed to upload them here.

    Click to access Stvns-Depo-Welkos.pdf

    Click to access Stvns-Depo-Friedlander.pdf

    By FOIA request today, I have asked for the Alnora Robinson and Larry Lynn civil depositions.

    While that request is pending, I recommend someone obtain the Robert J. Hawley and Jay Arrison full depos. Thx.

    • DXer said

      It occurs to me that DOJ would have videos of same civil depositions. (I once called the court reporter and it is not possible to purchase either the transcript or video directly from the reporter).

      But a media FOIA requestor might find the actual videos — which I expect DOJ Civil would have — priceless. FOIA, of course, is not limited to paper medium. Up until now, I have not wanted to add to the burden of James or his colleagues. But we are rounding the home stretch on the paper transcripts.

      It seems I also need the depo of Richard L. Wade, who I believe was a security expert retained by the plaintiffs. Some such reports (e.g., by Salerno) were filed under seal. It is not clear to me that with the rescission of a protective order or two whether even some previously sealed depositions are now available.

    • DXer said

      I just realized that the civil deposition of Plaintiff security expert, Richard L. Wade, is over 250 pages. The deposition of Salerno (I believe from Sandia) is over 200 pages. I suddenly realize that they are both a priority to obtain — and obtainable. I believe the relevant protective order was withdrawn when the parties realized that there was no need to withhold the IG and Sandia reports.

      By way of some background, I was mistakenly provided internal Army emails explaining that there was no grounds for withholding them under FOIA — but then they had been withheld anyway. When DOJ corrected course on the issue I believe the grounds of sealing of Wade and Salerno depositions may have been removed. I don’t have the motion on the issue in front of me but can look for it on PACER for confirmation.

      My contact with the learned James K. at DOJ Civil actually dates back to when the internal Army emails were mistakenly provided to me. An internal Army investigation was launched as to how I obtained the email correspondence but I could have explained that there are no secrets — that keeping secrets only causes problems, and that, in any event, serendipity had landed the emails in my lap.

      I of course was pretty disgusted that it was internally agreed that there was no grounds for withholding but then a key report sought by McClatchy/ProPublica was nonetheless withheld. This is DOJ Civil’s opportunity to make things right — and so far DOJ Civil has been doing admirably.

      DOJ/FBI, OTOH, is still a black hole as to even the simplest request.

      In the portion of Dr. Wade’s depo that I’ve seen, he refers to a civil deposition of someone named Elliot, who I believe is the fellow who conducted the IG inspection in the Fall 2001. That too is a priority to obtain.

    • DXer said

      Two civil depositions that should be obtained by GAO are the Elliot and Salerno depositions.

      Colonel Jerry B. Elliot of Bettendorf, Iowa. He is with the US Army Office of the Inspector General. Colonel Elliott was tasked on November 5, 2001, with assessing the adequacy of policies governing U.S. Army Biological Defense Programs for Anthrax (including USAMRIID) and identifying systemic problems in execution of those policies; assessing guidance regarding anthrax accountability, inventory management and personnel training/screening; assessing the adequancy of physical security measures for protection of anthrax stocks at Army installations; and providing a report of findings to General John M. Keane, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Arm.

      Mr. Elliot’s videotaped deposition was taken in Maureen Stevens v. United States on October 6, 2010, and his educational background and qualifications are included in his deposition testimony.

      The report (published 1/23/2002) of his findings as a result of his inspections is attached to his deposition. That report, similarly, had been needlessly sealed even though the authorized Army representative expressly found that there was no reason not to disclose it.

      Another full civil deposition that should be obtained is by Dr. Reynolds M. Salerno. According to his testimony, he was an employee (since June of 1999) of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His current position was Senior Manager for Cooperative Threat Reduction. Dr. Salerno’s educational background and qualifications were included in his deposition testimony take on January 28, 2011 in Stevens v. US.

      Dr. Salerno was given a contract assignment at the request of USAMRIID (Plaintiff’s Exhibit 123 to Salerno’s deposition) to bring in a team and do a vulnerability assessment and develop a conceptual design for an improved security system at USAMRIID (after the Inspector General’s report was done by Colonel Elliott’s team) and to provide a more substantive technical assessment and set of recommendations.

      The resulting report of Sandia National Laboratories dated 9/26/2002 was attached to the deposition of Dr. Salerno as Plaintiff’s Exhibit 122.

      Sandia Final Report (2002) stated : The National Agency Check process was not designed to screen the backgrounds of foreign nationals before granting them access to containment areas and DIA did not review such access (except for NRC fellows)

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 5, 2011

      Sandia Final Report (2002): Fort Detrick Garrison Personnel Security Office was responsible for approving all visits by foreign nationals
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 5, 2014

    • DXer said

      Adamovicz, Andrews, Little, Worsham, Byrne, Friend, Welkos and Friedlander powerfully explained Dr. Ivins’ innocence.

      But some of the most passionate and eloquent defenders, like Brett Purcell and Henry Heine were not even deposed.

      “A Well, no, not really. I mean I remember I was travelling with, um, we went out to — doesn’t matter where we went. It was in an airport with 4 somebody from the bacteriology division. I think that was Bret Purcell. And at the time, you know, Bret Purcell was on a crusade to exonerate Bruce Ivins. There was no way in hell he could have done it. You know, back of the envelope calculations off by three orders of magnitude.

      Q Who is, who is Bret Purcell?

      A He is a colonel. I think he may still be in the bacteriology division. And, you know, and he was, he was just talking about how he really thought — and, you know, I’m not even sure back then if Bruce Ivins was the target. I think it was Steve Hatfill back then. And he was just talking in general about how that much material could not have been made under the conditions that existed in the bacteriology division and if it was lyophilized powder, which it appeared to be, how could that possibly have been done without contaminating the lyophilizer; it just didn’t come from here. And, okay. I think there’s still some questions to be asked about if that was a lyophilized powder how come the lyophilizer wasn’t contaminated.” (Jahrling Depo)

      On the other side, we have the psychiatrist who was relying on the counselor who says she received her instructions from alien at night– and thinks the alien controlled her by a microchip implanted in her butt — and a guy who thinks a First Grader wrote the letters!

    • DXer said

      There are numerous other distinguished USAMRIID scientists who were not deposed and agree. Henry Heine and Kenneth Hedlund, to name just two. Yet another scientist, David R. Franz, the SRI VP in 2001 and former USAMRIID Commander, said that it is highly unlikely, very improbable, that Bruce Ivins could have manufactured the anthrax powder at the government facility without being noticed.”

  9. In the mute swan case study that I find analogous to the case of Bruce Ivins, there are many substantive sub-issues that are not easily resolved. Public accountability is best accomplished under the freedom of information law by obtaining and uploading the substantive filed comments by the qualified experts — especially those who have made a personal observation of the mute swan over the course of years.

    Some narrow issues might best be addressed by a paleornithologist or water contamination expert or swan behavior expert. But to have the substantive issue joined on the merits of the science — and not merely decided by the fact that the DEC works for the taxpayers — the public needs access to the best thinking on the subject and not just the position promoted by the duck hunters who want a big white trophy waterfowl to shoot.

    N.Y. state officials backtrack on swan cull plans: Public backlash moves N.Y. conservation officials to reconsider swan eradication plans

    In the Ivins case, we have some of those depositions of such scientists and experts uploaded above — with the depositions of the skilled anthrax scientists Dr. Welkos and Dr. Friedlander yet to come.

    The NAS panel was expressly forbidden from considering the evidence against Dr. Ivins — prohibited from considering the issue of his guilt or innocence. If they had, they would have concluded the same as did the federal court judge said of the FBI’s “Hatfill Theory.” There is not a scintilla of evidence in support. That is not to say that the theory was in bad faith — just that it turns out that it was wrong. No one has shown that they could have done better in the rush of events that spring and summer of 2008.

    The passage of five years since that early August 2008 press conference, however, demonstrates that there is no government accountability. Mistakes typically do not get corrected. Inside the Beltway, it is all about CYA. Even apart from the problem of the revolving door, there is the passing of the torch to a friend who will further the CYA.

    Speak up for the mute swan.

    Ross Getman, “Citizens must speak out against state plan to remove mute swans” (Commentary)

    • DXer said

      In the meantime, someone should obtain the civil deposition in Maureen Stevens v. US of the former DARPA director, Larry Lynn, whose DARPA funded the research of the former Zawahiri associate supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. Dr. Hamouda did aerosol research of his decontaminant at the Battelle-run Dugway.

      Also we need to request the full civil deposition of Alnorah Robinson, who had oversight over national security check of foreign nationals visiting Ivins’ B3. (Jay Arrison’s civil deposition is a lower priority but still worth requesting at some point.)

      Failure in analysis is not an option. Care must be taken to obtain the best possible evidence bearing on the issues and sub-issues.

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

      Science 7 February 1997:
      Vol. 275. no. 5301, pp. 744 – 746
      DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5301.744

      Too Radical for NIH? Try DARPA
      Eliot Marshall

      Alarmed by evidence that terrorists may exploit biological weapons, the Internet’s sponsor is moving into a brand-new field with some serious money

      You have a radically new idea for fighting pathogens that your colleagues are dubious about–a scheme, say, to program blood cells to remove viruses from the bloodstream in minutes. Where would you go for funding? To the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the big bank of biomedical research? Perhaps. But NIH would ask a committee of peers to evaluate your idea, and peers can be brutal about radical concepts. For the same reason, you would not expect much enthusiasm from private charities or from public health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But there is one federal outfit that says it loves revolutionary ideas, and it has just begun spending millions of dollars on pathogen research: the Pentagon’s wunderkind, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)–best known as the originator of the Internet.
      For 3 decades, DARPA has been bankrolling far-out engineering and electronics projects, and about 2 years ago, its leaders got interested in biology. Now, they are talking about spending serious money on basic and applied science projects to protect the military–and maybe civilians–from biohazards. According to Jane Alexander, deputy director of DARPA’s basic sciences division and an electronics expert, the agency aims to fund about $40 million to $50 million worth of biodefense research this year. By 1999, DARPA may be spending $100 million, and after that, she says, “we may aim at a $200-million-a-year effort.”

      That would be a good chunk of DARPA’s budget, now $2 billion a year. The commitment reflects the concern of DARPA’s new director, Larry Lynn, about the risk of biological attack by “rogue governments” or terrorist groups (see p. 745). Lynn, who majored in physics as an undergraduate and has spent his career managing defense projects for the military and industry, was appointed by President Clinton to take over DARPA in 1995. He set out to reorganize the place quickly, and in 1996, DARPA emerged a smaller, more focused agency, with newly defined objectives. And there was something entirely new on the list: basic biology, a field DARPA had never funded before. Lynn told Congress last year that “biological warfare defense” is fourth of the top nine military problems DARPA wants to tackle and that “biological systems” are among the top nine technologies the agency has targeted for development.

      New focus. Larry Lynn has made biology a priority.

      …Outsiders have also been swept up: “I feel the enthusiasm,” says Stanford University biologist Stanley Falkow, current president of the American Society of Microbiology, who has served as one of DARPA’s advisers from academia. “I think we’d be mistaken if we didn’t address” the threat of assault by biological weapons, he says, both as a military issue and a public health risk. But Falkow, who says he is doing “a little work” himself with DARPA support, is hedging his bets on the likelihood of success. The ideas DARPA is funding, he says, “sound wonderful,” but no one knows how well they’re going to work.

      Outside researchers add that agency wizards–accustomed to quick-turnaround engineering projects–may be unrealistic about what can be done in biology on a short schedule. DARPA is “quite serious for the moment,” says one scientific adviser, but he worries about what will happen if the excitement passes. In engineering and computers, says Michael Donnenberg–a microbiologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, who advises DARPA–the agency tends to support an experiment at one lab for a couple of years, then move the experiment to another place. In contrast, says Donnenberg, NIH-funded researchers “are used to 5-year cycles … and then getting refunded.” DARPA’s hands-on management style may also ruffle biologists, he says.

      DARPA officials acknowledge that they are taking a big gamble. But one staffer says, with a touch of hubris, that this is exactly why DARPA is betting on “only the best” advisers and ideas.


      Star Wars of biology

      Lynn set DARPA on this new course, he says, because biological threats are becoming “more acceptable” as weapons of terror. “Probably they are next to nuclear weapons in the magnitude” of damage they might cause, while being “much easier to build and dispense, with relatively rudimentary training,” he adds. While the Department of Defense is already spending “a fair amount of money” to cope with “near-term” issues–developing better protective gear and refining vaccines–this work tends to be agent-specific and limited to immediate worries, Lynn says. DARPA likes bigger challenges.

      “We are concerned with a much broader range of agents than you would think of today,” says Lynn. DARPA is especially concerned about genetic engineering, and it has set an extremely ambitious goal–reminiscent of the Star Wars antimissile program. Lynn says the aim quite simply is to “eliminate biological weapons as a serious threat to military activities.” Along the way, DARPA may inspire researchers to develop products useful to the civilian economy, like new antibiotics.

      DARPA prides itself on moving fast, and it has already blitzed into pathogen studies and immune-system research. It has recruited a blue-ribbon panel of academic advisers that includes eight members of the National Academy of Sciences and is chaired by the president emeritus of Rockefeller University, Joshua Lederberg. Lynn himself has been visiting biotech companies–”a wild lot,” he says, adding that “when you mix them with a funding organization that’s willing to play wild, a lot of excitement gets generated.” DARPA last year issued two invitations to scientists to submit proposals for research contracts totaling $50 million. It received more than 250 responses, and is now signing contracts with the winners, which include both biotech ventures and nonprofits.

      In other project categories, DARPA is gearing up to support the development of quick sensors to detect and identify biological threats,

  10. To the collection, I will add Dr. Susan Welkos and Dr. Arthur Friedlander, two additional highly experienced anthrax experts who knew USAMRIID, the building, the lab and Dr. Ivins.

    • DXer said

      I inadvertently posted under wordpressuser – I had meant to add the links to Unmutual76’s blog which required I sign in to a wordpress blog. (And I don’t remember my password for the old email I used to sign up for Lew’s blog). I had started a ricin letter webpage when The Elvis impersonator was accused and the FBI Agent was testifying so confidently about the FBI’s theory. I was going to upload the documentary evidence. But then to the great credit of the prosecutors and investigators, they took into account the information Mr. Curtis the Elvis impersonator was giving them and did a 180.

      OTOH, in Amerithrax, with Dr. Ivins’ passing, the investigators and prosecutors were locked into an Ivins Theory and declined to change — with key decision-makers leaving USG (to include the US Attorney and head of the DC Field Office). Dr. Ivins was left without a chair when the music stopped. With the lead AUSA consumed by the case involving Blackwater and the dismi8ssal of those indictments due to prosecutorial misconduct, there was no meaningful reassessment of Amerithrax. When GAO went to do it, they were faced with FBI’s continued massive withholding of relevant documents. I keep telling the FBI there are no secrets but they don’t believe me.

      I got a response today for a massive FOIA request of electronically-filed NYS mute swan comments. My thought is that efficiency and transparency under the freedom of information law warrants me being given them without the usual 25 cents cost for hard copies. Then I would share them via dropbox.

      I will have to depend once again on the kindness of strangers, while allowing them some snowshoeing on their snow day in DC.

  11. Unmutual76 said

    Reblogged this on Unmutual76.

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