* GAO has so far failed to issue a report on its now multi-year review of the 2001 FBI anthrax investigation (see note below) … let’s hope it will be a little quicker investigating the mishandling of anthrax at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 1, 2014
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. congressional committee investigating the mishandling of anthrax at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked a federal watchdog agency on Thursday to review U.S. lab procedures for handling dangerous pathogens.
In a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the House Energy and Commerce Committee called for GAO to provide details about current federal lab policies and procedures and guidance on whether agencies that run biosecurity labs have undertaken efforts to assess and improve their practices.
The GAO oversight in the past five years has not even resulted in disclosure of all 20 of the labs that the FBI know had virulent Ames pre-911, let alone those labs had the x101 and x102 plasmids and avirulent Ames that combined could have been used in the Fall 2001 mailing.
The GAO has no teeth and faced with an agency such as the FBI unwilling or slow to make disclosures — and seemingly institutionally incapable of revisiting past mistakes — can only use jawboning as the years pass.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ivins is still dead and Al Qaeda still wants to kill New Yorkers in a mass attack that would end life in the United States as we know it.
This is not a time to brook a delay in producing requested documents. Or not to request all relevant documents.
NOTE: The GAO is years behind its initial promises regarding its review of the FBI anthrax investigation. Its latest promise was to issue a report this summer, which is now half over.