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

* Dr. Bruce Ivins identified a third party, with a short name, that “has made anthrax spore powder”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 11, 2014

Screen shot 2014-05-11 at 5.53.06 AM

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6 Responses to “* Dr. Bruce Ivins identified a third party, with a short name, that “has made anthrax spore powder””

  1. DXer said

    On Monday, I will ask the FOIA officer to unredact the name that made dried powder.

  2. DXer said

    Was the redaction DSD? Note that by then Dr. Ivins knew that JE had made a dried powder. The (b) designation, rather than (b)(6) used to redact the names of those at USAMRIID who made spores, suggests it does not refer to an individual. By this time, Bruce knew John had made a dried powder. Perhaps the redacted name is “DSD.”

    He made a dried powder out of Ames that was supplied by Bruce from Flask 1029 — which would have been genetically matching. His lab did not submit a sample to the repository.

    This doomed the reliability of FBI’s analysis from the very start because of the serendipity of the massive conflict of interest.

    • DXer said

      Some correspondents who have closely followed Amerithrax have been working through the possibilities. It was fascinating process — we can all agree that USAMRMC should avoid the redaction of the name above. The balance of considerations weighs in favor of disclosure.

    • DXer said

      FBI shooter had stormy record as officer
      By Maria Sacchetti | GLOBE STAFF MAY 14, 2014

      http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/05/13/fbi-shooter-had-stormy-record-officer/7zJ1ha78Z0SpfDey0PBuJJ/story.html

      The Globe obtained their names by removing improperly created redactions from an electronic copy of Florida prosecutor Jeffrey L. Ashton’s report — which in March found the shooting of Todashev justified — and then verifying their identities through interviews and multiple government records. …

      ***

      Their names were also confirmed by the Globe by unredacting the prosecutor’s report — a process made relatively simple because the blackout technique used to cover the names was faulty and could easily be removed by using common software.

      Comment:

      I have described how the same software used to make redactions can be used to remove the redactions (if the redaction is not done right). The NSA published instructions on how to do it right when the issue first arose some years ago.

      I actually favor experts like James at DOJ and Sandra at USAMRC making redactions pursuant to FOIPA. Exemptions from disclosure are statutorily mandated and often support important privacy or other interests. People can reasonably disagree whether a particular redaction is warranted under a particular subsection and the FOIA officer has some discretion. There is judgment involved.

      In any event, I believe James and Sandra both do it right. I don’t know it to be an issue in Amerithrax beyond one or more examples I’ve pointed out with redactions made by a lawyer’s office or court reporter. When I’ve disagreed where redactions were made, more often than not I came to be persuaded. Their good faith has been proved time and time again by their continued good efforts on the matter when they have many other competing demands for their time.

      We always have GAO to make a fuller disclosure where the issue of government accountability and the need for greater transparency is keen.

      I believe I asked Lew to delete the thread that shows how to overcome redaction.

  3. DXer said

    Instead, was it APG?

  4. DXer said

    The question relating to what lab had made anthrax spore powder was made by Steve Hatfill’s litigation. (He ultimately won $5.8 million).

    Dr. Ivins’ response identified the three facilities known to have made dried powdered anthrax: Dugway, Battelle, and ____.

    Senator Leahy asked Director Mueller if there was a third facility — besides Dugway and Battelle — and Director Mueller said he would have to identify it in closed session.

    I have pointed out that there is a Maryland state law that forbids discussing facilities in the state that use pathogens. Thus, it seems that Director Mueller may have requested a closed session even apart from issues of classification.

    But the identity of the third lab is still not established.

    Knowing the labs that made dried powder is highly relevant to analysis.

    Was it SRI? Ken Alibek’s Hadron had the largest DARPA contract at the time and they had subcontracted with SRI to do the work with virulent Ames.

    Dr. Alibek and Ames researcher Charles Bailey shared a suite with infiltration Ali Al-Al-Timimi.

    Anthrax, Ayman Zawahiri and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US BIodefense
    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

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