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

* Bloodhounds were deployed against USAMRIID Aerobiology (Building 1412) Personnel; over 100 locations were to be checked by bloodhounds for matching human scent taken from the original anthrax tainted letters and envelopes.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 26, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 7.26.07 PM

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10 Responses to “* Bloodhounds were deployed against USAMRIID Aerobiology (Building 1412) Personnel; over 100 locations were to be checked by bloodhounds for matching human scent taken from the original anthrax tainted letters and envelopes.”

  1. DXer said

    Scott Decker explains his work with the bloodhounds.

    “I would take a break from science and provide security for Tinkerbelle. For five days we traveled in a rented black Suburban to Bethesda, then Frederick and on not Silver Spring. We checked locations of persons with an association to Hatfill or a connection with anthrax research. At each opportunity, Tinkerbelle’s handler presented her with anthrax research. At each opportunity, Tinkerbelle’s handler presented her with a scent pad containing odors of the Leahy letter. In Bethesda, she began to trail one block, and then a second before alerting at the apartment door of a Hatfill associate. We called in a senior canine, Knight. Lucy followed. one by one, as they had done outside Hatfill’s apartment in the summer, each handler let his bloodhound sniff the scent of a sterilized anthrax letter and then was allowed to trail. On the first occasion Lucy ignored her opportunity, but given a second chance she trailed to the apartment door. As Knight and his handler and I watched, she jumped in an enthusiastic alert. Knight then followed suit, trailing and alerting, also on his second attempt.”

    It was years later that a bloodhound bearing an uncanny resemblance to Tinkerbelle raced out of a back room at my pharmacy and ran up to the counter (where I was obtaining a prescription) — and smelled my hand. I was told that it was bring a dog to work day. Do you think Scott Decker ever truly came to understand that the use of bloodhounds for these purposes was totally unvalidated science? In 2002, I addressed the issue extensively under the legal tests established for the use of blood hounds. Scott’s extensive use of bloodhounds was not sound science and the use of unsound forensic techniques was very unfortunate. The irradiation, for example, causes an envelope to smell — the holding of an envelope in gloves does not. It is not enough to say that such an untested technique might be use to develop leads, even if not admissible in court. That is hooey — given that the wrong lead can… was…. sufficient to derail an investigation for many years. Maybe forever.

    Putting it off on a superior who directed it — as Scott subtly seeks to do by saying Lambert ordered it— doesn’t fly. Scott was the science guy.

    He was the one charged with understanding Daubert and being ready to field the questions about validation of the method.

    Scott Decker also notes that the only person to whom the dogs alerted was Pat Fellows.

    • DXer said

      Although we still don’t know who mailed the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, for years I lobbied against Decker’s Hatfill Theory — just as in recent years I have lobbied against Decker’s Ivins Theory.

      I explained in late 2002 or so:

      The Investigation Goes to the Dogs

      For those who believe in Tinkerbelle (one of the dogs used) , while most jurisdictions allow bloodhound evidence, courts generally retain reservations about the possibility of inaccuracy of the evidence. It is evident the dog cannot be cross-examined and there is always the possibility that the dog may make a mistake. Accordingly, there are strict foundational requirements. The notion that such evidence is of slight probative value or must be viewed with caution stems at least in part from fear that a jury will be in awe of the animal’s apparent powers and will give the evidence too much weight (as the ABC and Newsweek reports amply illustrated). Putting aside for a moment use of the scent transfer device, five specific requirements are commonly required to establish an adequate foundation for dog-tracking evidence: (1) the handler was qualified to use the dog; (2) the dog was adequately trained; (3) the dog has been found reliable; (4) the dog was placed on the track where the guilty party had been; and (5) the trail was not stale or contaminated.

      For example, a bloodhound provided with the deceased tennis shoes might very reliably lead authorities to the deceased’s body in the woods. What would have been used for the scent pack here is the human scent, if any, on the letter on which the perpetrator rested his hand in writing the letter. Tennis shoes are far more likely to carry a scent than a piece of paper on which the perp rested his hand (while possibly using gloves) to write a 28-word letter. Just ask my wife. The dogs would not have been clued to the biological agent as biological agents such as anthrax tend not to have a distinctive scent.

      Here, there would be no such log because the use of the dog would not have been the subject of testing and training showing the dog performed reliably under similar circumstances. At a minimum, the “trail” would have been contaminated by the irradiation and anthrax, and would have grown stale by the passage of time. FDA concluded that irradiation can produce small changes in the taste, smell, and sometimes texture of foods and that consumers should be informed of this. Jurors should too. Remember that scene from “Miracle on 34th Street” where the official finding of the agency of the United States’ government was deemed binding on the prosecution? Imagine Attorney Connolly calling FDA scientists who found irradiation caused changes in smell, no doubt amplified by the much keener sense of a bloodhound.

      The United States Post Office explains in a FAQ that “the materials in the mail are heated and may become chemically altered. Paper dries out and may become dusty, discolored, and brittle.” Some postal workers and federal agency staff have reported symptoms such as eye, nose, throat and skin irritation, headache, nausea and occasional nosebleeds. What does the USPS do under these circumstances? Their solution includes “[u]sing hypoallergenic deodorizers to eliminate any smells.” “Testing each batch of aired-out mail to ensure no detectable amoungs of gas exist before delivery.” Alas, Tinkerbelle’s lengthy log shows that perfume does not confuse her, but likely is silent on this question of irradiated paper. The prosecution witness who might testify that a bloodhound’s sense of smell is 200 times as powerful as a human’s sense of smell would merely be helping the defense argument. No amount of log keeping or experiments after the fact would serve to permit admissibility under the court precedent. The bloodhound evidence was always a bogus and hugely prejudical diversion since the first sensational Newsweek story.

      In any event, the perp would have worn gloves and only briefly handled the letter. More broadly, there is an article that collects cases from 40 or so states and nothing approaching the delays has ever been found admissible. In a city landscape, the time period is much more restrictive. The Leahy letter, written by the perp sometime prior to the October 9, 2001 postmark, was not discovered until mid-November, and as of November 19, 2001 a protocol was still being developed for its opening. Thus, the 40 day period that had been passed by the (likely glove-wearing) perp already would have resulted in a stale trail.

      Lucy is adorable. She’s widely known to be a people person.

      There is a separate additional issue of use of the “scent transfer unit” here. A “scent transfer unit” such as used here looks like a Dustbuster, modified with a small frame at the end to secure a piece of gauze over its intake opening. The user attaches a piece of sterile gauze to the unit, activated the unit, and holds it against the item from which the scent is to be taken (such as where the person sat the night before). Depending on the jurisdiction, the scent transfer unit, which is a new technology, may be subject to the rule regarding new scientific methodology. Under that rule, the proponent of such evidence must establish the new scientific principle or technique is sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs under the circumstances of the case. Here, there is no such general acceptance as explained by Scott Shane in an excellent article in the Baltimore Sun relying on experts in the Maryland area. The purpose of the requirement is to avoid factfinders from being misled by the `aura of infallibility’ that may surround unproved scientific methods. This would constitute a possible third independent grounds for excluding the evidence. Absent a training log showing the dog performed reliably under similar circumstances, given the time period that had passed, and in light of the use of the scent transfer unit, there is nothing the FBI or trainers would be able to do to save the admissibility of the bloodhound evidence because it will be found by a court to be unreliable.

      Both of the major police bloodhound associations howl against the reliability of the Scent Transfer Unit used by the three blood handlers. Dennis Slavin is an urban planner and reserve officer with the South Pasadena Police Department. One of the other dog handlers is a civilian who runs his own bloodhound business. Shane, in his very impressive Baltimore Sun article, explained that an FBI agent, Rex Stockham, examining the technology for the FBI lab says: “It’s going to be criticized. I’m critical of it myself.” The President of the Bloodhound Association, who is critical of the technology used by these handlers, had testified 21 times, and likely will have testified 22 if the FBI attempts to rely on the evidence in a prosecution. Shane notes that a federal jury awarded $1.7 million last year to a man wrongly accused of rape after police identified him in part based on the use of Slavin’s bloodhound, TinkerBelle. Shane’s article, essential reading, gives the further example of their use in the sniper investigation, where “given the scent taken from spent shell casings, followed two false trails in Montgomery County. One led to a house, for which a search warrant was obtained and which turned out not be relevant. The other led to a dog-grooming parlor, the officer said.” Phew. I wonder if Stan Bedlington knew any of this when he said on national tv that the evidence against his friend was “mounting” based on the Lucy’s and Hatfill responding to each other. He is a ladies’ man, after all. Oh, but that’s right. He lived near a neighborhood named Greendale. The trainers reportedly tested their dogs on irradiated paper — presumably before actually doing the search but after being asked to do so. That would not pass muster that past training be substantiated by a training log.

      The New York Times also had an excellent article in December 2002 surveying the field that noted the case where dogs falsely indicated the presence of explosives in the cars of three medical students bound for Miami. The country watched the drama unfold on television as the men were held and authorities closed a major highway across Florida. No trace of explosives was found. When dog handlers are excited, dogs can overreact and give a false positive. “Dogs want rewards and so they will false alerts to get them. Dogs lie. We know they do,” an expert told the Times. “One of ‘TinkerBelle’s most incredible talents,”her homepage touts, is her ability to find the person responsible for loading a gun using scent from an expended bullet casing.” Indeed, she finds the “smoking gun.” Most of all, the page notes, she too is a people person.

      With the investigation going to the dogs, nearly 100 law enforcement officers gathered to watch some of their colleagues jump in a lake near where Dr. Hatfill lived, and in late January 2003, the FBI continued searching the forest in Frederick. Locals were amused that some of the ponds had been dry earlier that year. While they may seem to enjoy their dinners at Georgetown, FBI agents and surveillance specialists do not have an easy job. The public demands that they exhaustively pursue all leads, but then there is an uproar if they cross some unpredictable line and step on — or run over someone’s toe.

      December 2017 note: In his recent book, Decker says that they later realized that the bloodhounds were not reliable when they performed poorly in connection with an Ohio sniper.
      That makes for a nice revisionist history, but there was every reason to know that they were not reliable for this purpose when they were first used — and the alerts to Hatfill were excitedly leaked to the press.

  2. DXer said

    The bloodhounds reportedly alerted to Patricia Fellows, Bruce Ivins’ lab technician. See Willman, p. 200. The bloodhounds, however, did not alert to the late Bruce Ivins. Perhaps if she was told that, that would partly explain why she seems to have spun facts against Dr. Ivins, and wore a wire against him at the coffee shop. For example, the documents finallly produced under FOIA contradict her claims about the rabbit experiment in the first week of October 2001 — and make it clear that Ivins DID have reason to be in the lab on nights and weekend. Indeed, it was required for the rabbit experiment and his assistant explained that checking the animals was a one-person job and would take a couple of hours. Those documents, without more, are dispositive of the FBI’s “Ivins Theory.”

    The Fellows’ civil deposition was shredded by the DOJ — and then the DOJ paid Steve Hatfill $5.8 million, in part, for hyping the bloodhound alert as if it was a smoking gun.

    The FBI told Hatfil that the dogs had alerted positively to him. The FBI told him directly and indirectly through a nationally publicized dog-and-pony show at the home of his mentor, bioweaponeer William Patrick. It seems that it was used much in the way that polygraphs were used in television show The Wire, when the suspects were hooked up to the xerox machines and told that they were polygraphs.

    In hindsight, the FBI, instead of such techniques, might have worked harder to obtain the documents relating to the animal experiments that Dr. Ivins was working on in late September 2001 and early October 2001 — and provided copies to Fellows and Ivins so they could best reconstruct events.

    KNIGHT, one of the dogs used in Amerithrax, may have had a great nose but contemporaneous documents are king — and they don’t charge $125 an hour.

    The FBI should produce a copy of the canine deployment reports related to Bruce Ivins. It was one of the scientific methods used in the Amerithrax investigation. The FBI should also produce the training log and attempted validation of the method under these circumstances. I do not credit that the method was valid — the letters had been irradiated (which causes an odor), at least 10-16 months had passed (I believe), a perp would have been wearing gloves, the ST-100 was used etc. But it seems to have been one of the methods employed that was especially influential among some of the senior decision-makers, according to the investigators who were interviewed by Mr. Willman. Indeed, one of those decision-makers was the lead prosecutor. He was the one who pled the Fifth Amendment for leaking the bloodhound story. He was the father of the daughter who came to represent “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi for free.

    Information about the method should not be withhheld from GAO and the public used simply because it tended to be exculpatory of Dr. Ivins — that describes pretty much all the scientific methods. Handwriting, ink, paper, toner, photocopier tracks, hair, fiber, chemical analysis of Flask 1029, etc., location of the lyophilzier, documentary analysis of the experiments he was working on, computer forensics showing he attended his group sessions of the dates of the postmarks etc., the widespread distribution of the mailing envelope throughout Maryland and Virginia, the polygraphs, FBI’s expert handwriting report concluded that Ivins probably did not write the letters etc.

    The FBI did not even bother to access the computer records showing he had attended his group therapy sessions on the dates the letters were postmarked until after his suicide.

    As a federal district court judge might say, there is not a scintilla of evidence against Dr. Ivins.

    It was just a Hatfill Theory Redux. There are lots of parallels. For example, Ivins had a bulletproof vest, Hatfill had a silencer.

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

    • DXer said

      GAO, you can see a reference to the “positive scent dog hit in 2002” here. FBI should provide you the related canine deployment report so you can the scent article used and what was being tracked. The deployment report was scanned and provided the WFO by Agent Stockham’s canine unit.

      http://vault.fbi.gov/Amerithrax/amerithrax-part-54-of/view

      When queried about any affiliation with New Jersey,
      IVINS advised that his father graduated from Princeton
      University in 1928.
      [REDACTION]
      house was the subject of a positive
      scent dog hit in 2002.

      Rosemont Service Center could not provide any
      additional information about the two purchases made there
      using IVINS People’s Bank credit card on 09/17/2001. ‘Merchant
      Tire also could not provide any additional information about
      the purchase made there using the same credit card on
      10/06/2001.

      Note relatedly the mention of two purchases made using IVINS People’s Bank credit card on 09/17/2001 at the Rosemont Service Center.

      The Rosemont Service Center is located at Rosemont and Baughmans Ln. in Frederick, MD, where Dr. Ivins lives.

      If you obtain the record, you can see the amounts and glean the times through document analysis. That bill establishes that the vehicle and card user was there at those times.

      From the amounts and code used, you can determine whether it was for gas or for a car repair or something else. (The mechanics there are well reviewed on Yelp).

      Thus, through documentary discovery and analysis, it should be disclosed what time the payment was made.

      Also, note the Merchant Tire purchase on 10/06/2001. They are a tire and brake service place. At KOST Tire and SEARS and similar businesses, each location keeps a computerized record of a customer’s service.

      It saves them having to reenter the information and helps them sell products to know that you last had your brakes etc. done on such and such a date.

      These purchases are far more valuable than the “positive scent dog hit” at [redacted’s] house and the FBI should have done a more thorough job bearing down on what they established Dr. Ivins’ claim that he was in Frederick, not Princeton, on those dates. (The computerized records, once obtained, of his group therapy sessions, also confirmed that).

      Computer forensics was one of the scientific methods used in Amerithrax.

      It was only after Dr. Ivins’ death that the FBI acknowledged and confirmed he went to his group therapy session the evening of 9/17 on 10/8 — just as he had claimed. Why didn’t they corroroborate and acknowledge such a critical fact sooner?

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 11, 2012
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/it-was-only-after-dr-ivins-death-that-the-fbi-acknowledged-and-confirmed-he-went-to-his-group-therapy-session-the-evening-of-917-on-108-just-as-he-had-claimed-why-didnt-they-corroroborate/

      The Psychiatrists Consulting With the FBI Confirm That Dr. Ivins Attended His Regularly Scheduled Group Therapy Session on October 8, 2001 (17:00-18:30)
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 18, 2011
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/the-psychiatrists-consulting-with-the-fbi-confirm-that-dr-ivins-attended-his-regularly-scheduled-group-therapy-session-on-october-8-2001-1700-1830/

      DXer: The big picture may seem complicated. But, most simply, Dr. Ivins in fact had an alibi on 9/17. That was when his group therapy met.
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 22, 2011
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/dxer-the-big-picture-may-seem-complicated-but-most-simply-dr-ivins-in-fact-had-an-alibi-on-917-that-was-when-his-group-therapy-met/

      DOCUMENTS and computer forensics rule. KNIGHT drools.

      • DXer said

        Illustrating the power of document analysis relative to the use of bloodhounds are the receipts obtained from Walmart.

        The FBI does not provide the dates but armed with the credit card and telephone call bills, GAO, you could create a timeline showing the dates purchases were made and calls placed.

        For example, the only call placed to New Jersey was to the College Board.

        “Wal-Mart provided copies of all receipts for
        purchases made there during September and October 2001 using
        People’s Bank credit card. A purchase of two 30 quart
        snaptop containers was made on 09/26/2001, however
        investigation revealed that these containers were not of the
        same size as the Sterilite container found during the December
        2002 pond search.”

      • DXer said

        The scent was extracted from the Leahy letter on December 9, 2001.

        To: Washington Field
        From Washington Field
        Re: 279A-WF-222936-USAMRIID, 12/01/2004

        http://vault.fbi.gov/Amerithrax/Amerithrax%20Part%2001%20of%2059

        “12/09/2001

        The letter and envelope were heat sealed in a clear plastic bag, and released at 6:30 by _______ to SA _______ along with the Daschle, Post and Brokaw letters. The transfer was witnessed by Captain ___________.

        SA _________ transported the letters to FBI Headquarters and released them at 8:05 a.m to SSA _____Trace Evidence nivt.

        At 11:00 am, FBI employee _______ (now a Special Agent) extracted scent from the Leahy letter and envelope at FBI Headquarters.”

      • DXer said

        Illustrating tracking human scent, here is an FBI video of a negative and positive canine response in connection with a 3 hour old trail.

        http://www.fbi.gov/news/videos/?b_start:int=104&selected=a8c87d419b6488430be4d87dc20bd4ff

      • DXer said

        Does your husband fart under the covers before you get in bed and then deny it? You too can train your dog for human scent detection.

        Scent Detection Workshop: DON BLAIR (FBI, S.W.A.T. Dog, Military Trainer), August 22, 2014
        http://feest-ca.com/Scent-Detection-Workshop-DON-BLAIR-FBI-SWAT-Dog-Military-Trainer-Sherwood-Park-08-22

    • DXer said

      Hatfill was asked about the reaction of bloodhounds at a conference sponsored by Cliff Kincaid. Hatfill stated, I’m not supposed to answer things against . . . but let me tell you something. They brought this good-looking dog in. I mean, this was the best-fed dog I have seen in a long time. They brought him in and he walked around the room. By the way, I could have left at anytime but I volunteered while they were raiding my apartment the second time, I volunteered to talk with them. The dog came around and I petted him. And the dog walked out. So animals like me (laughter). “

      Hatfill’s early spokesman, Pat Clawson, also freely relayed to the press that bloodhounds had been presented to Hatfill during the investigation Clawswon Depo. at 200: 15-19.

      But this was long after the lead Amerithrax prosecutor, speaking anonymously, had hyped the story to Newsweek.

      It caused a serious derailment of the investigation.

      In early August 2002, the head of the FBI District of Columbia Field Office initiated a leak investigation related to Amerithrax information. The first leak investigation concerned leak of bloodhound story to Newsweek (according to email discussed in deposition of lead prosecutor Daniel Seikaly in which he repeatedly pled the Fifth Amendment). A memo from DC Field Office head Van Harp read:

      TO: OPR
      NSD
      From: Washington Field
      ADIC’s Office: Harp Van A (202) xxx-xxxx
      ***
      Title: UNSUB
      UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE AND/OR
      MEDIA LEAK IN CONNECTION WITH THE
      AMERITHRAX INVESTIGATION

      ***

      [REDACTED]

      [REDACTED]

      The appearance of this information in the media affects the conduct of this investigation as well as the morale of the dedicated personnel who have expended enormous energy and effort on this investigation.

      As such, I am requesting that either a media leak or OPR investigation be initiated. In the event a leak investigation is initiated then the enclosed LRM should be hand delivered to AAG Chertoff. [REDACTED]

      The investigation was closed in October 2002. The memo read:

      Date: October 8, 2002
      To: Mr. H. Marshall Jarrett
      Counsel
      Office of Professional Responsibility
      United States Department of Justice

      From: David W. Szady
      Assistant Director
      Counterintelligence Division
      Subject: [REDACTED[

      The purpose of this memorandum is to notify your office of the closing of the FBI’s criminal investigation of the captioned media leak matter. It is the understanding of the FBI that your continUed investigation of this matter will be pursued by your office.

      [REDACTED]

      ***
      After a January 9, 2003 “exclusive” report by ABC’s Brian Ross that the FBI was focusing on Hatfill and was going to conduct a second round of interviews with other former and current government scientists so that they might rule them out by the process of elimination, the FBI initiated a second media leak investigation. This time it was to proceed with “extreme zeal.”

      The memo read:

      Precedence: PRIORITY Date: 1/13/2003

      To: Director’s Office
      Washington Field
      From: Washington Field
      Contact Richard L. Lambert 202-xxx-xxxx
      Approved by: Harp Van
      Lambert Richard L
      Title: AMERITHRAX
      MAJOR CASE 184
      00: WFO

      Synopsis: To request the opening of new OPR media leak investigation regarding captioned case.

      [large redacted passages]

      To demonstrate the seriousness with which the FBI views this matter, it is requested that the OPR inquiry commence with an interview of IIC Rick Lambert who will waive all Fifth Amendment privileges and accede to a voluntary polygraph examination to set a tone of candor, forthrightness and cooperation.

      [redacted]

      The instant matter is the second unauthorized media disclosure to occur in this investigation. Its potential detriment to the effective prosecution of the case is substantial. Accordingly, in the interests of both specific and general deterrence, the Inspector in Charge requests that this OPR inquiry be pursued with unprecedent zeal.”

      A June 2003 email then shut the barn door long after the horse had left the barn door:

      From: DEBRA WEIERMAN
      To: Lisa Hodgson
      Date: Wed, June 4, 2003 12:18 PM
      Subject: AMERITHRAX INVESTIGATION

      Lisa: Please disseminate to all WFO employees. Thanks, Debbie
      For the information of all recipients, Director Mueller has ordered that no one discuss the AMERITHRAX case with any representative of the news media. The WFO and Baltimore Media Offices have released several media advisories, which were coordinated with the US Attorney and FBIHQ, to explain specific milestones in the case. However, NO FBI WFO EMPLOYEE, INCLUDING MYSELF AND INSPECTOR RICK LAMBERT, WHO IS IN CHARGE OF AMERITHRAX, IS TO RESPOND TO ANY MEDIA INQUIRIES, THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS DEBBIE WEIERMAN IN THE MEDIA OFFICE. All inquiries from reporters or journalists received by any WFO employee are to be immediately referred to Debbie at xxx-xxxx, and she will handle.

      I thank everyone at WFO for their dedication to the job and to this office. I also thank you for your cooperation in this very important matter.

      Mike Rolince

      In October 2007, the former Criminal Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Daniel Seikaly — Al-Timimi’s pro bono counsel’s father — was deposed in the civil rights action by Steve Hatfill about whether he was the source of leaks relating to Steve Hatfill in connection the use of bloodhounds in the anthrax investigation and the draining of ponds in Frederick, Maryland. Key stories appeared in Newsweek and Washington Post. Attorney Seikaly pled the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination in connection with most substantive questions.

      Here are some excerpts from the deposition:

      “Q. … calls this article, quote ‘An exclusive look at the search for the perpetrator of America’s worst bioterror attack.” Did you tell Mr. Klaidman [of Newsweek] that you were giving him an exclusive on this information?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q. Did you tell Mr. Klaidman that the FBI was acting on a tip when it searched the pond in Frederick?

      Q. Did you tell Mr. Klaidman that FBI agents had interviewed the acquaintance of Dr. Hatfill’s that was supposedly the tipster?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q. Did you tell Mr. Klaidman that the acquaintance had told the FBI that Dr. Hatfill said toxic bacteria could be made in the woods and the evidence could be tossed in the lake?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q. Did you tell Mr. Klaidman that the FBI might drain the entire pond the month after this report?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      [Lawyer defending deposition] Mark, let me say something on the record so we all understand the assertion because the manner in which — or the type of questions you’re asking here. My client has been instructed to assert the Fifth Amendment privilege regardless of whether or not the answer to the question would be yes or no, because even if the answer were to be no, if he answered no to certain questions, I think an inference could be drawn from that as to what he does or doesn’t know.

      So I just want to make sure you understand in terms of our Fifth Amendment assertion here is that he’s asserting the Fifth Amendment privilege to questions that may have a yes or no answer, and it’s not fair to assume that the answer to every one of these questions would be yes or no if he were to answer the questions. Does that make sense?

      Q. It makes sense, but we will be seeking an adverse inference as to all questions where the fifth amendment is taken.

      ***

      Q. Mr. Seikaly, do you deny any of the statements attributed to you by Mr. Klaidman with respect to the [Newsweek bloodhound story]

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q Is it actually even true whether the search of the pond was prompted by a tip?

      Q. Are you aware of any information that might have been used as a predicate for the pond search having been obtained as the fruits of electronic surveillance?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q Did you tell Mr. Klaidman that agents might be looking for a wet suit that could have been used to dispose of — that could have been used and disposed of by the anthrax attacker?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      ***

      Q. Did you give Allan Lengel of The Washington Post any information reflected in this article?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q. Mr. Lengel has testified that you told him the FBI search of the pond in Frederick was tied to Steven Hatfill and that it was triggered by a hypothetical statement Dr. Hatfill has made about anthrax; is that correct?

      A. That Mr. Lengel testified about that?

      Q. Is it correct that you told Mr. Lengel about those things?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q. How did you know that the FBI’s search of the pond in Frederick was tied to Steven Hatfill?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      ***

      Q. Why did you decide to disclose information to Mr. Lengel about the pond search?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      ***

      Q Did you tell Mr. Lengel that the items recovered from the pond up to that point included a clear box with holes that could accommodate gloves?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      ***

      Q Did you tell Mr. Lengel that the items recovered from the pond up that point included vials wrapped in plastic?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q. Do you specifically deny making any statement that Mr. Lengel has attributed to you?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      ***

      Q. How did you know that tests for the presence of anthrax bacteria on the equipment were continuing after two rounds of tests produced conflicting results?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      Q. Why did you disclose that information to Mr. Lengel?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      ***

      Q Did you tell Mr. Lengel that the search of the pond in Frederick netted nothing but a hodgepodge of items that did not appear to be linked to the case?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      ***

      Q If we take the dates from Exhibits É, it appears that you disclosed investigative information to Mr. Lengel for articles that appeared in January 2003, May 2003, June 2003 and August 2003. Is that right?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

      ***

      Q. É Do you know whether you ever saw this e-mail before?

      A. I don’t believe I have.

      Q. Okay. Let’s look at the partially redacted paragraph. It says, quote, “WFO [Washington Field Office] has opened a leak investigation in an attempt to find out who spoke to Newsweek Magazine over the weekend about the bureau’s use of bloodhounds in the anthrax investigation,” closed quote. Do you see that?

      A. I do.

      Q. And the date of the email is August 5th, 2002.

      A. That’s correct.

      Q. The investigation that’s referenced here is about the story that you gave Mr. Klaidman, is it not?

      A. Assert my Fifth Amendment Privilege in response.

      ***

      Q. Okay. In the bottom e-mail, when Blier begins, “here is a summary of my conversation with Glen about the anthrax leak investigation.” Now, Bill Blier worked for you, did he not?

      A. Yes.

      Q. Did you know what Mr. Blier was referring to when he referred to, quote, the anthrax leak investigation?

      A. I believe that it was an investigation involving the possible compromise of classified information is my understanding. I did know about an investigation in that.

      ***

      Q And do you know whether that had anything to do with bloodhounds or Newsweek?

      A I don’t believe it did but I don’t know.

      ***

      Q You were aware of an anthrax investigation, yes?

      A. I was — I was aware that there was a discussion of an investigation involving the compromise of classified information arising from the anthrax investigation, the Amerithrax investigation. I do recall knowing that we were — we and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department were concerned about this and were seeking to find out who compromised the classified information.

      ***

      Q. Did you think it remarkable in any way that bloodhounds could track a scent from anthrax letters that were ten months old to a Denny’s in Louisiana where someone had eaten the day before?

      [deponent invokes Fifth Amendment]

    • DXer said

      That’s right. Bruce Ivins cooperated fully with the investigation and answered all questions.

      The lead Amerithrax prosecutor pled the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

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