DXer’s recent post …
I don’t think of the FBI’s performance as being pathetic up to July 2008.
I just see it as being mistaken. I think an Ivins hypothesis was just as reasonable as a Hatfill hypothesis. I’ve yet to see any critic demonstrate that they could do better.
It does come to be immoral, though, when mistakes are not corrected — and we all make mistakes. For example, we now know that Dr. Ivins did have reason to be in the lab those nights and weekends. He had an experiment with 52 rabbits in the B3. It took years to obtain the documents under FOIA — which have been uploaded. (If you haven’t read them and still subscribe to an Ivins Theory, it is evidence your theory is uninformed or that you have a reading comprehension problem). Where does Vahid Majidi in his ebook correct himself? That book is all about urging that his former supervisor Comey has his back. That is as CYA as it comes.
It only becomes outrageous when the FBI scientists and prosecutors do not correct themselves — and when the scientists like Vahid Majidi continue to make the same fraudulent points about the two-person rule, the imagined code etc.
It only becomes outrageous when the FBI withholds documents about Adnan El-Shukrijumah. When it continues to withhold information about the second lab that Rauf Ahmad visited. When it withholds documents about the CIA’s finding of Ames in Afghanistan. When the FBI does not disclose that the boots on the ground did not recover the bottle of anthrax spore concentrate harvested in April 2001, before he set up Yazid Sufaat’s lab in May 2001 upon delivery of the new equipment. It only becomes outrageous when conflicts of interest are allowed to run rampant — and samples are thrown out and key results discarded.
It only becomes outrageous when there is no transparency on these issues of conflict of interest.
It only becomes outrageous when the FBI scientists and consultants market and sell books that rely on the counselor who says she was controlled by an alien who had implanted a microchip in her butt — and argue that the Ivins case represents a case study of relying on unreliable personnel. She thought she was being pursued by murderous astral entities attached to her clients.
It only becomes outrageous when the FBI scientists fail to disclose the forensics on the photocopier toner — while the report drops a footnote with innuendo about Ivins’ time in the library where there was a copier. The forensic report being withheld shows that copier could be EXCLUDED. Or when they fail to disclose the forensics on the ink and paper — all of which was exculpatory of Ivins.
It only becomes outrageous when they withhold the handwriting comparison showing Ivins probably did not write the letters for years — and then pretend that there was another overriding opinion.
But as for how they all came together upon Ivins suicide? I think the scientists were somewhat aghast that they were pushed to the front and expected to defend closing of the case…. when they hadn’t even been privy to investigative aspects. Then they understandably wanted credit for developing science in the emerging field of microbial forensics. And all these scientists strike me as darn smart.
AUSA Lieber got reprimanded for visiting a jihadi in jail. Superiors said a “deal had been cut.” And so I even credit her good faith — she was in a difficult position given what she faced in that office and the turmoil during that period.
And so I think we can credit the FBI’s good faith and efforts up until the time that they failed to acknowledge mistakes after they were pointed out. Then it is not merely pathetic but outrageous and immoral.
I’m a big fan of the FBI and CIA — precisely because they so often correct their mistakes. The recent audit of the evidence handling is a good example. That demonstrates an organization commitment to integrity.
If you trace back some comments, you will find that information has remained classified and/or withheld to avoid embarrassment to a third country.
That of course is unacceptable reason to withhold any of the information described above.
As Senator Leahy has said, when governments screw up, they just mark the documents SECRET. That allows the government workers to go on to lucrative second careers and be promoted within government.
Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense