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

* The Pentagon Anthrax Scandal Is Getting Worse by the Day … * The new edition of CASE CLOSED could not come at a more opportune time.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 11, 2015

Update 7/28/15 …

  • Department of Defense said 106 additional labs had been sent the bacteria

  • They were added on top of the 86 facilities they previously knew about 

  • Investigation now covers seven countries, all 50 states and three territories

***

Update 7/11/15:  85 labs sent live anthrax …  Italy most recently added to list …  DOD to release report soon.

***

DoD Anthrax Update: Live Samples Sent To Mississippi 78 labs have received live anthrax and counting…

http://www.talkradionews.com/pentagon/2015/06/29/dod-anthrax-update-live-samples-sent-to-mississippi.html#.VZGxbuvuj2Q U.S. Defense Department officials said on Wednesday that a total of 51 laboratories in 17 states, the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries have received potentially dangerous samples of anthrax from a U.S. Army lab in Dugway, Utah — dramatically expanding the scope of a scandal that raises serious questions about the Pentagon’s ability to properly oversee its stocks of deadly pathogens. So far, a total of 10 samples tested in the United States have come up positive for live anthrax, a sharp increase from the single case at a Maryland laboratory that was disclosed last week. Pentagon officials have continued to insist that the miscues pose no risk to the general public, but Defense Department officials have had to repeatedly acknowledge that their earlier statements about the extent of the problems have proven false. While the number of potentially affected labs has shot from 12 to 51 over the past day, “we expect this number may rise” as more testing is done, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday. The samples sent to Canada, South Korea, and Australia are also being tested. Domestically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are scrambling to test a total of 400 separate “batches” of anthrax at four Defense Department labs, though so far all of the positive samples have come from the one in Dugway, Work said. While all shipments of anthrax from government labs have been halted, no one at Dugway has yet been reprimanded for the shipments — though many there may eventually be disciplined. Investigators have been told to report back to Work by the end of June with their findings, and he said decisions about how to move forward will be made then. Work stressed that at this point in the investigation, “there is absolutely nothing to indicate” that the shipments were an act of terrorism or were done deliberately. That isn’t terribly reassuring, since it would mean that the samples were instead sent out because of simple inattention or incompetence.

“This incident makes a complete hash” of the stringent security protocols put in place since the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 that left five people dead and sickened 17 others, Richard Ebright, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University told Foreign Policy.

It takes an extremely small amount of live anthrax to produce “a limitless quantity of the material,” he added. That, in turn, means “that every institution that received this received live anthrax, and every individual who had access to the material had the ability to remove, transfer, sell, or use the seedstock for biological weapons. This is the real scandal here.”

Work was joined at the briefing by the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, Frank Kendall, and U.S. Navy Cmdr. Franca Jones, who oversees the department’s chemical and biological defense office. None of the officials could identify what exactly went wrong at Dugway in the process of killing the anthrax spores and testing them before shipment, but Jones did note that samples have been heading out of the lab since 2005, which gives a sense of the sheer scope of the task facing the government in tackling the issue of ultimate responsibility, and what protocols need to change. Al Mauroni, director of the U.S. Air Force’s Center for Unconventional Weapons Studies, also believes there was little chance that “Something was going to get loose to the public. The risk to the public is much less than some make it out to be.” But the number of labs that are working with chemical and biological materials has swelled since 2001, with the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services issuing a number of grants to labs for medical-biological countermeasures, he said. Kendall said that government and commercial labs have different safety and security protocols for how they conduct their work, and that the investigation will look at the possibility of bringing them more into line with one another, thus making oversight easier. The Defense Department issued new guidance in 2008 as to how U.S. military labs should handle materials like anthrax and other biological warfare agents, but it is unclear if the workers at Dugway failed to follow these guidelines.

These regulations stem from the aftermath of the 2001 attacks, in which five envelopes containing live anthrax were sent to news outlets and two more to Democratic Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The FBI eventually accused Dr. Bruce Ivins, a former Army researcher who worked with anthrax at Fort Detrick, of sending the envelopes, but he killed himself before he could be formally charged. The new guidance, Mauroni said, was “very stringent.”

The Pentagon Anthrax Scandal Is Getting Worse by the Day • BY PAUL MCLEARY  • JUNE 3, 2015 – 5:20 PM https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/03/pentagon-anthrax-scandal-is-getting-worse/

***

case closed new cover

The new edition of CASE CLOSED could not come at a more opportune time.

Just a few days ago, on June 3, 2015, the Pentagon reported that 51 laboratories received shipments of live anthrax, across 17 states (plus D.C.) and three foreign countries over a period of at least ten years. The Defense Department admitted it didn’t know everywhere it had sent the toxic bacteria. This is happening fourteen years AFTER the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed 5 Americans and paralyzed our country. What would you speculate about controls over anthrax BEFORE the attacks? Right, they were virtually non-existent.

Yet the FBI, in the face of no credible evidence of any kind, still insists that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of those attacks. The FBI’s case offers no physical evidence, no witnesses, no scientific evidence, and an impossible time line. Both the NAS and the GAO have conducted independent reviews which concluded the FBI’s claims to scientific evidence are not valid.

So we are left with two questions, both of which have important national security implications. Who really did carry out those attacks in 2001? Why does the FBI stick to its demonstrably false assertion?

The story of CASE CLOSED is told through the activities of a team of DIA investigators who re-trace the steps of the FBI, find many of the same flaws that have been exposed in real life, and then develop a scenario of why the FBI did not solve the case and who was responsible. This latter is of course fictional, but many informed readers, including one highly placed in the US Intelligence Community, have concluded that CASE CLOSED is more plausible than the story the FBI has concocted.

***

CASE CLOSED is available in paper ($14.95) and ebook ($3.99) at …

amazon … (http://www.amazon.com/Case-Closed-Lewis-M-Weinstein-ebook/dp/B00YIC331Y/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433425899&sr=1-2&keywords=weinstein+case+closed&pebp=1433438167533&perid=1M7V72CVS1R475C6A1CY),

Barnes and Noble … (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/case-closed-lewis-m-weinstein/1016943061?ean=9780692452653),

… Absolutely Amazing Ebooks … (http://www.absolutelyamazingebooks.com/bookpages/caseclosed.html).

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78 Responses to “* The Pentagon Anthrax Scandal Is Getting Worse by the Day … * The new edition of CASE CLOSED could not come at a more opportune time.”

  1. DXer said

    News Transcript

    Department of Defense Press Briefing by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook in the Pentagon Briefing Room
    Press Operations

    Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook
    September 10, 2015

    http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/616811/department-of-defense-press-briefing-by-pentagon-press-secretary-peter-cook-in

    Q To follow up on Jamie’s question, are you saying that live samples of bubonic plague were detected at one of the four DOD labs, and were any of those samples inadvertently shipped, like the anthrax was?

    MR. COOK: So my understanding of the situation and bubonic plague, I’m not even sure medically speaking or scientifically speaking is the exact substance we’re talking about here.

    My understanding is that there was a sample at a DOD facility that was — as part of this program, was a form of plague and that it was in — not in a containment area, but in a freezer outside of containment area, but within a controlled setting.

    And the question was raised by the CDC whether or not this was an infectious agent, infectious form of plague, or a noninfectious, and that the testing done by the Army has determined that was noninfectious and that a additional testing is being conducted to try and verify once and for all whether or not it was labeled correctly and placed in the right location or whether or not it did have some infectious threat.

    And I think that’s the scientific work that’s being done at this particular time determining exactly what happened there and whether or not, again, there was mislabeling, if it was catalog issues there.

    The CDC’s raised some concerns all throughout this process. I think they’ve done so again here, and we’re continuing to work collaboratively with the CDC.

    Q: (inaudible) — was found in one of the Maryland labs.

    MR. COOK: It was the — and let me make sure I’ve got the location correct for you — the — the Edgewood facility.

    Q: Any indication that that sample was shipped anywhere else?

    MR. COOK: I — at this point, I think the investigation — I think our folks, the Army in particular is trying to determine whether or not any other forms of that, any other samples went to any other location. I don’t have a definitive answer for you there. That’s something we hope that this investigation will determine once and for all.

    Q: When and how did this come to life? Did the Army or DOD or whomever find — figure out that — (inaudible)?

    And also, I think there’s — the report also said there was two strains of encephalitis that were also — so how — how did — how did the Army determine this?

    MR. COOK: My understanding is that the way this first came to light was a CDC spot inspection of this facility and that the CDC looked at the freezer area where this sample was being held and then checked against the inventory logbook and raised questions about whether or not what was listed in the inventory as noninfectious was, in fact, noninfectious, and that started this testing process.

    Q: And when did that occur?

    MR. COOK: That happened, as I understand it, on the 17th of August.

    Q: And then the — the encephalitis, are you aware of the — the circumstances around that? Was — was any of that shipped specifically overseas or to non-DOD facilities?

    MR. COOK: Yeah. This — this is, again, something still under investigation right now. This goes to CDC’s own assessment of inventory logs being held by the Army.

    I might have to refer you to the Army on all of the details here in terms of those logs, where they’re being kept, but the questions about the other substances has to do with inventory, whether or not things were labeled properly as infectious or non-infectious and that the scrutiny being exposed — the scrutiny to these other samples deals with sort of the same issue, whether or not they were labeled properly in the first place.

    Q: So this whole new — these new allegations that have come to light about plague and encephalitis are solely about storage and not about any shipping, like the anthrax one, right?

    MR. COOK: I can’t tell you with 100 percent certainty. I think one of the things they’re doing right now is trying to assess whether any of these substances, first of all, pose any sort of threat; second of all, whether these substances were shipped to any other laboratories. And I think that’s consistent with the — sort of what happened with the anthrax situation.

    Comment: As RHE once remarked to me recently in connection with a development earlier this month, “it’s deja vu all over again.”

    ***

    Q: — activities at these labs, the Pentagon specifically referred to anthrax, but it didn’t mention Ebola or encephalitis, despite the fact that you knew about that on August the 17th and the fact that the Army now says that was directly responsible for the moratorium. Why wasn’t it mentioned last week?

    MR. COOK: Tom, I think the statement that came out last week did reference questions about inventory and mislabeling. And at that time, and I think still at this point, there’s been no indication, no testing done definitively that shows that this, in fact, was mislabeled as a threat versus something that non-infectious.

    So we’re still waiting for those results back, and I think we’re trying to, out of an abundance of caution, first of all, put that moratorium in place. Secretary McHugh, the Army, doing that out of an abundance of caution. We don’t know yet exactly whether or not this substance did pose a threat, and I think that was reflected in that statement. And that’s why at this — the moratorium was put in place at that time.

    ***

    What’s really important here is, again, based on the Army’s assessment, the CDC’s assessment, there’s been no public health threat and no threat that we’re aware of to the workers themselves, and that’s what we’re trying to get to the bottom of as well through the Army’s investigation as well as the CDC’s.

    Q: For the sake of transparency and openness, what — shouldn’t you have mentioned the fact that those agents were possibly in the wrong places and that that led to the moratorium?

    MR. COOK: I think — Tom, I think what we’re trying to do here is verify — wait for these test results to come back to determine once and for all whether or not these were indeed mislabeled or whether they hadn’t. And so I think we’re trying to be as forthcoming as we can be right now without alarming the public.

    And again, this investigation is ongoing, and this remains a concern. We want to be as transparent as possible going forward.

    Q: And one final question.

    MR. COOK: Sure.

    Q: Is Ebola another concern, another agent that you’re tracking?

    MR. COOK: I have — I personally have not been told that it is on the list of substances in question here. And if that’s not the case, then I’ll — certainly, we’ll let you know. But my information at this point is that Ebola is not on the list.

    Q: Are there any other agents other than the ones that we now know about?

    MR. COOK: What I’m aware of are, of course, the original anthrax revelations. Now there’s concern about plague and equine encephalitis as well.

    Q: Peter, have any DOD personnel been reprimanded or lost their jobs as a result of these various incidents?

    MR. COOK: As you know, there’s an accountability review that is still ongoing. We expect the results of that in October, and so I can’t point to anyone at this point who has faced any sort of repercussions, if you will, as a result of what’s happened, but that’s an ongoing review, and so my suggestion would be let’s — let’s see what happens in October.

    Q: It seems as though that you know an awful lot — enough to talk at the podium — about what’s going on, and, as you said, the secretary has pointed out that this is an issue, as well.

    It seems kind of strange that no one has been reprimanded for doing things that are obviously wrong, and — and I wonder why that — that — that we have to we have to wait for this accountability.

    MR. COOK: We want to do this right. This is complicated — complicated material. This is difficult for the scientific and medical community to determine everything that’s happened here, and I think, we want to get this right. We want to have a thorough investigation.

    We want to get this program in the right place. Remember, the purpose of this program, in large measure, is to make sure that we are able to address these bio-threats, these hazards, for our servicemen and women, for the general public as well. This is an important program, needs to be done right, and that’s the goal of this investigation.

  2. DXer said

    Anthrax scandal: US army orders new toxins crackdown
    • 20 minutes ago
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34148002

    “Anthrax entered the US national consciousness in 2001, when shortly after the 9/11 attacks, letters containing powdered anthrax arrived at news organisations and the offices of US senators. Twenty-two people were sickened and of those, five people died.”

    Comment: Yet, analysis was truncated and only included shipments post -911. Do none of the reporters know enough about Amerithrax to appreciate the significance of this fact? … to know enough to ask the hard question:

    what about the shipments thought to have been irradiated prior to 911?

  3. DXer said

    Anthrax lab scare now even worse than first thought as Pentagon admits it sent live samples to all 50 states and nine countries
    • Department of Defense says number of labs sent anthrax is now up to 194
    • Samples sent to nine countries from the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah
    • Report in July said workers had failed to kill bacteria before shipping it off
    By JULIAN ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE
    PUBLISHED: 05:59 EST, 3 September 2015 | UPDATED: 05:59 EST, 3 September 2015
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3220877/Anthrax-lab-scare-worse-thought-Pentagon-admits-sent-live-samples-50-states-nine-countries.html

    Comment:

    How many labs were excluded in the Amerithrax analysis because what had been sent was irradiated?

    Yet the former FBI people in charge of the DOD review (Hassell and Majidi) are not following the implications of their own findings.

    Thus, the DOD in fact is not taking responsibility for the institutional failure. Specifically, the former FBI people leading the DOD review are truncating analysis and not testing the irradiated Ames seized from Ivins in 2007.

    The DOD is acting as if the science pre-2001 was certain and that Dugway just suddenly forgot how to do it right.

    The irradiated Ames that Bruce Ivins distributed to numerous other researchers was not available for the recent DOD review conducted at USAMRIID because it had been removed from USAMRIID by the FBI in November 2007
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 4, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/the-irradiated-ames-that-bruce-ivins-distributed-to-numerous-other-researchers-was-not-available-for-the-recent-dod-review-conducted-at-usamriid-because-it-had-been-removed-from-usamriid-by-the-fbi/

    If and when Dr. Ayman Zawahiri attacks the US with anthrax it will be a massive institutional failure all right — on the part of DOD and the FBI and also the CDC.

  4. DXer said

    I no longer can access the DOD Laboratory Review website (re anthrax shipments).

    http://www.defense.gov/Home/Features/2015/0615_lab-stats

    This is what it looked like on July 20, 2015.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150720203401/http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2015/0615_lab-stats/

    Am I right that there a new URL upon a shift to a new hosting platform? Is there a new update today? Last week I’m told that two countries were added.

  5. DXer said

    Report: Research monkeys escaped several times

    By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
    PUBLISHED: Monday, August 10, 2015 at 12:05 am
    http://www.abqjournal.com/625966/news/report-research-monkeys-escaped-several-times.html

    Federal inspectors reported that monkeys used in research projects at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute escaped from their cages at least six times over the past year.

    The monkeys, nearly all rhesus macaques, were all recaptured without injury to the animals or staff, often by using food to luring them into enclosures, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said in inspection reports.

    The reports do not indicate that any of the monkeys were able to get outdoors or escape into public areas.

    ***

    A USDA report written in June 2014 noted that a monkey involved in a biosafety level 3 research escaped its primary enclosure and had to be recaptured. None of the subsequent reports listed escapes by animals involved in biosafely level 3 research.

    Comment: I met socially with a chemical engineer this week who worked at Sandia, living at the Hilton. He said that they kept secret the fact that they had monkeys because of the controversy elsewhere at the time — I believe he may have been referring to the Silver Spring monkey case or the infectious disease epidemic in monkeys in VA. Or perhaps he was referring to animal rights controversy more generally. He said that they kept the monkeys long term, letting them die off of natural causes.

    It was a coincidence, I believe, that he was working on a decontamination agent for anthrax.

    Having gone to the zoo yesterday and seen the monkeys, I can appreciate that they have a mind of their own.

  6. DXer said

    Number now, as I recall, is up to 193.

    More laboratories affected by live anthrax shipments from U.S.Updated: 2015-08-07 09:15:21 KST

    Norway was newly added to the list.

    http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=182112

    • DXer said

      I had dinner with a chemical engineer last night who explained that the Army tested his decontamination agent using live anthrax south of Buffalo in 2000. I believe he said it was dispersed by helicopter. The method of identifying locations where there was virulent Ames was wholly inadequate for the task.

  7. DXer said

    This January 2001 article “Bacillus Spore Inactivation Methods Affect Detection Assays” by Edgewood authors about inactivation methods discusses Delta Ames supplied by the Battelle-managed Dugway, subtilus, and use of sheep blood agar.

    “DISCUSSION

    The data demonstrate that inactivation methods can affect the sensitivity of nucleic acid-based detection and immunoassays for the detection of Bacillus spores. We have observed a differential effect based on the type of assay employed. The need to avoid handling and testing large amounts of potentially harmful spore preparations dictates that we understand the effects of inactivation procedures. We have studied two common spore inactivation procedures and demonstrated how they affect three types of biodetection assays. These effects should be taken into consideration when comparing laboratory results to data collected and assayed during field deployment.”

    Bacillus Spore Inactivation Methods Affect Detection Assays, Received 12 January 2001/Accepted 25 May 2001
    • Jessica L. Dang1,*,
    • Karen Heroux1,
    • John Kearney2,
    • Ameneh Arasteh3,
    • Mark Gostomski3, and
    • Peter A. Emanuel3
    http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/full/67/8/3665

    Growth and processing of Bacillus cultures.Inactivation and biodetection protocols were conducted using B. anthracis NNR1 (pX01+ pX02−), B. anthracis ΔAmes (pX01−pX02+), B. anthracis ΔSterne (plasmid free), and two negative controls,Bacillus subtilisstrain 1031 and Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. Bacillus cultures were generously provided by Alvin Fox (University of South Carolina Medical School) and Bruce Harper (Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah).

    • DXer said

      I read this 2001 article about irradiation as indicating Edgewood got Ames from Harper at Dugway and X01 plasmid was removed at Edgewood (after receipt)

      Years ago, I emailed Peter Emmanuel about whether Edgewood to confirm that Edgewood had virulent Ames but he did not respond.

      “DISCUSSION

      The data demonstrate that inactivation methods can affect the sensitivity of nucleic acid-based detection and immunoassays for the detection of Bacillus spores. We have observed a differential effect based on the type of assay employed. The need to avoid handling and testing large amounts of potentially harmful spore preparations dictates that we understand the effects of inactivation procedures. We have studied two common spore inactivation procedures and demonstrated how they affect three types of biodetection assays. These effects should be taken into consideration when comparing laboratory results to data collected and assayed during field deployment.”

      Bacillus Spore Inactivation Methods Affect Detection Assays, Received 12 January 2001/Accepted 25 May 2001
      • Jessica L. Dang1,*,
      • Karen Heroux1,
      • John Kearney2,
      • Ameneh Arasteh3,
      • Mark Gostomski3, and
      • Peter A. Emanuel3
      http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/full/67/8/3665

      Growth and processing of Bacillus cultures.Inactivation and biodetection protocols were conducted using B. anthracis NNR1 (pX01+ pX02−), B. anthracis ΔAmes (pX01−pX02+), B. anthracis ΔSterne (plasmid free), and two negative controls,Bacillus subtilisstrain 1031 and Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. Bacillus cultures were generously provided by Alvin Fox (University of South Carolina Medical School) and Bruce Harper (Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah).

  8. DXer said

    192 labs… but 575 separate shipments.

    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2015/07/cdc-dod-anthrax-errors-involved-575-shipments

    CDC: DoD anthrax errors involved 575 shipments
    Filed Under: Anthrax; Biosecurity Issues
    Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Jul 28, 2015

    “The inadvertent transfer of potentially live Bacillus anthracis (BA) samples by a US Army lab in Utah over the past decade involved a total of 575 separate shipments to other labs, including those that received the materials indirectly, a federal health official testified today.

    ***

    Demske commented that no federal agencies have been fined for [Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) ] violations, because monetary penalties would only result in moving money from the agency’s budget to the general fund, and the government would incur the cost of negotiating or disputing the penalty.”

  9. DXer said

    http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF02/20150728/103816/HHRG-114-IF02-Wstate-SosinD-20150728.pdf

    “On May 22, 2015, after being advised by a laboratory that live anthrax was detected in a sample from Dugway that was supposed to have been inactivated, CDC initiated outreach to what has amounted to 183 domestic laboratories (164 of which are not DoD labs) to track 575 shipments of presumed inactivated anthrax material (that turned out to include live anthrax) coming from Dugway. (There were an additional nine labs in seven foreign countries that received lots from Dugway, making for a total of 192 labs that received hot lots, but CDC’s outreach was only to domestic labs).”

    Source:

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and
    Investigations Committee on Energy and Commerce U.S. House of Representatives
    Review of Department of Defense Anthrax Shipments
    Daniel M. Sosin, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P. Deputy Director and Chief Medical Officer
    Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  10. DXer said

    Excerpt from statement at hearing today of Gregory E. Demske, Office of Counsel to the Inspector General:

    https://oig.hhs.gov/testimony/docs/2015/demske-0728.pdf

    “Dugway: 2007 Anthrax Violation

    In April 2007, Dugway shipped anthrax to a research facility. The shipment included a certification that the anthrax was nonviable. The research facility tested the material upon receipt and found the presence of a low concentration of viable anthrax.
    DSAT investigated and concluded that Dugway used a scientifically acceptable inactivation method to kill the anthrax, but that method was not part of Dugway’s Standard Operating Procedures. DSAT also found that Dugway used a scientifically acceptable viability test, but that Dugway ignored the outcome of the test, which showed that viable anthrax was still present.

    DSAT referred the potential violation to OIG for review on November 16, 2007. After considering all the evidence, OIG concluded that Dugway shipped viable anthrax without obtaining prior DSAT approval. On December 2, 2009, OIG issued a Notice of Violation letter to Dugway stating that OIG had determined Dugway had violated FSAP by making an unauthorized transfer of anthrax. The letter also stated that Dugway should examine its current policies and practices, take corrective action, and monitor its safeguards on an ongoing basis.”

    • DXer said

      “In April 2007, Dugway shipped anthrax to a research facility. The shipment included a certification that the anthrax was nonviable. The research facility tested the material upon receipt and found the presence of a low concentration of viable anthrax.”

      Comment:

      A March 27, 2007 email titled “Meeting this Morning,” indicated that USAMRIID similarly had not worked out what was needed for 100% sterility — in connection with the use of formalin, that led to the 2007 violation.

      Bruce wrote: “We still need to work out how much formalin treatment is needed to ensure 100% sterility in a spore preparation. A “killing curve” could be used to predict how fast spores are inactivated in certain concentrations of formalin.”

      https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch75/20070324_batch75(redacted).pdf

  11. DXer said

    Pentagon blames live anthrax shipments on sloppy work, poor procedures

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article28438900.html

    Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, who headed a review whose findings were released Thursday, expressed shock at the weak and inconsistent testing protocols the probe uncovered in the unit charged with developing ways to counter the use of biological weapons by enemy forces.

    “By any measure, this was a massive institutional failure with a potentially dangerous biotoxin,” Work said.

    While the review found no evidence of purposeful malfeasance, Work directed Army Secretary John McHugh to determine whether any military scientists should be punished for the loose handling and shipping of the deadly pathogen.

    Anthrax has been an ongoing focus of health concern in the United States since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when spores sent through the U.S. mail killed five people and sickened 17 others. The source of the letters was never proven, but the FBI accused a deceased worker at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, Md., of sending them.

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article28438900.html#storylink=cpy
    ***

    When Dugway scientists were asked about the problem before the eview, they said that 2 to 3 percent of their anthrax samples had live spores. When the Pentagon team went through the center’s raw testing data, it found the true rate was 20 percent. Live samples were found in 17 of the 33 anthrax batches in Dugway’s inventory.

    Obviously, when over half of the anthrax batches that were presumed to be inactivated instead proved to contain live spores, we have a problem,” Work said.

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article28438900.html#storylink=cpy

  12. DXer said

    https://books.google.com/books?id=_iyyCQAAQBAJ&dq=anthrax+FBI&source=gbs_navlinks_s

    Trojan Horses: A Story of Homegrown Terrorism

    Sheldon Cohen
    AuthorHouse, May 22, 2015 – Fiction – 194 pages

    Ben Marzan Searching for meaning in his life, Marzan studies with the Imam and converts to a radical sect of Islam. He’s the perfect candidate for a homegrown terrorist—American born, assimilated, and eager to embrace Jihad. Anatoly Shenko A disaffected Russian scientist working in Siberia, Shenko is one of the world’s top experts on biological warfare. But his wife and son are in ill health, and he’s in desperate need of money. Abdul Saidadov A former Chechen rebel, Saididov aligns himself with terrorists in hopes of spreading the message of Allah throughout the world. Marzan, Shenko, and Saidadov, along with other conspirators and the terrorist hierarchy, are part of a terrorist plot to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into the United States. To keep America off balance, they are prepared to sow chaos in Chicago. Anthrax and smallpox are successfully disseminated throughout the city, and as Chicagoans die in ever-increasing numbers, the city soon learns that a nuclear bomb is next. Will a young Chicago emergency room physician, a team of FBI agents, and a Chicago police detective be able to abort the coming attack?

  13. DXer said

    Exclusive: Pentagon Blames Anthrax Fiasco on…No One at All by Nancy A. Youssef
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/16/pentagon-blames-anthrax-fiasco-on-no-one.html

    For over a decade, the U.S. military shipped a deadly biological agent around the globe. But the Pentagon can’t find a single ‘root cause’ for this monumental goof.A Pentagon report designed to explain how a military lab sent live anthrax to 86 locations worldwide could not find a “single root cause” for the worst biosafety mishap in decades. Nor does the report finger any individual or group for the blunder, The Daily Beast has learned.

    Instead, the report blames the shipments of deadly bacteria to 21 states and seven nations over the last decade on the lack of a common scientific standard for killing anthrax, also known as bacillus anthracis. It’s a claim that some experts rejected as an attempt to whitewash sloppy military practices.

    A highly anticipated 38-page draft report viewed by The Daily Beast focused on aDugway Proving Ground, the Army base that produced all the activated anthrax spores sent around the globe. The report concludes that “a single root cause for shipping viable BA [bacillus anthracis] could not be identified” but considers the “primary systematic issue” a lack of “specific validated standards to guide the development of protocols, processes and quality assurance measures.”

    The report finds that Dugway failed to use enough radiation to kill anthrax and it did not correctly conduct subsequent tests to confirm the anthrax was dead. In footnotes throughout, the report dwells on how difficult it is to kill anthrax. On that, outside scientists and the Pentagon agree. But the scientists also note that commonly accepted procedures, when used correctly, would not allow a lab to unknowingly send activated anthrax spores, as Dugway did for a decade.

    Richard Ebright, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University, rejected the Pentagon’s claims that the shipment of live anthrax spores was solely the result of a lack of scientific consensus. Indeed, he called Dugway’s practices “criminally negligent.”

    To Ebright, Dugway’s use of such practices over a decade, despite numerous signs that the methods were insufficient, indicates an unsafe lab.

    Ebright believes the Pentagon is hiding behind a lacking scientific consensus and a federal standard to avoid making changes at a dangerous facility.

    “The errors had nothing do with scientific uncertainties. This was a mismanaged industrial operation,” Ebright said. “The errors were avoidable at many different steps.”

    “Dugway runs an industrial production program—not a science program,” Ebright added. “The recipients of the spore samples were military contractors and military bases—not scientists.”

    ***

    The Pentagon report said there were “deficiencies” in the lab’s radiation dosing, which refers to the amount of radiation used to inactivate the spores.

    Dugway took procedures that had been shown in the scientific literature to be barely sufficient to inactivate a million anthrax spores and applied them to production batches containing trillions (millions of millions) of anthrax spores.

    ***

    “Dugway not only failed to inactivate their production batches of spores properly. They also failed to test their production batches properly,” Ebright said.

    The report refers to “scientific uncertainties” in “sample sizes” for testing and in “incubation periods” between irradiation and testing. In other words, Dugway didn’t know exactly how much anthrax it was blasting with gamma rays—or how long the bacteria should sit before scientists examined it.

    But Ebright contends that these “scientific uncertainties” cannot account for the failure of Dugway’s quality control testing to detect that spores still were viable. He notes that Dugway produced hundreds of batches of spores over a decade-long interval and consistently failed to detect live spores. “This massive, consistent failure cannot be accounted for, or explained away by, minor technical issues such as sample sizes and time periods between irradiation and testing,” Ebright said.

    “It is hard to believe testing actually was done. If it was performed, it was performed in an appallingly bad way,” he added.

    The report also noted deficiencies in Dugway’s “aseptic” procedures for keeping unwanted microbes—microbes other than anthrax itself—out of production of anthrax spores. Ebright said sloppiness with sterile techniques at Dugway is not surprising, given the other practices at Dugway, But it does not by itself account for the shipment of live spores.

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

  14. DXer said

    ALL HEADLINESAll Headlines
    (EDITORIAL from Korea Times on July 17)
    2015/07/17 06:55

    http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2015/07/17/0200000000AEN20150717000600315.html?input=rss

    Anthrax doubts

    Honesty is best policy for US to keep alliance strong

    Officials of Korea and the United States Wednesday renewed their determination to find ways of preventing a recurrence of the delivery of lethal samples of anthrax to Osan Air Base, an hour’s drive south of Seoul.

    Wednesday’s meeting followed the formation Sunday of the Joint Working Group, led by major generals, one from each side, and composed of experts from related agencies which will conduct an on-site inspection this month.

    These events came after U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) revealed on May 28 the mistaken delivery from a military lab in Utah in April. Two days later, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter expressed his regret over the incident.

    So far, the allies have made a good start in handling the aftermath of this horrific mistake, which apparently and fortunately caused no casualties. But they still have more than a few challenges ahead, considering the many aspects of this mistake.

    First and foremost among them is an incredible fact that the samples were moved through FedEx, a U.S. package delivery service. When the U.S. discloses the results of its investigation, a clearer picture is expected to emerge and provide directions on how to fix the flaws, human or systemic.

    But more importantly, the Korean government was kept in the dark about the transfer of this hazardous material into its country.

    History shows this occurrence can be taken by the Korean public as an example of U.S. unilateralism, and there is a remote chance it might turn into a severe test of the two countries’ alliance, like what happened following the deaths of two girls crushed by a U.S. armored vehicle during training in Yangju, north of Seoul, in 2002.

    Regarding the so-called Yangju Highway Incident, not just the U.S. but also the Korean government at that time was responsible for failing to foresee the potential backlash evidenced by months of candlelight protests. Then U.S. President Bill Clinton apologized, albeit belatedly.

    Now, the alliance has by most accounts matured so much since then. But for the allies, it is better to err on the side of caution.

    For that, the U.S. should come clean and keep the host country informed at all times when it brings in hazardous materials. Korea gives USFK the privilege of customs clearance exemptions for mail and parcels, because they are believed to help its operations. It is only natural that the accumulation of cases of abuse, by mistake or intentionally, will be grounds for revocation.

    How to ensure a transparent process, whether through a revision of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) or other means, should be left to the best intention of the negotiators.

    We acknowledge that living next door is the wackiest dictator, who reportedly ordered the testing of anthrax on his own people.

    We also agree that the mistaken delivery took place as part of U.S. Operation Jupiter aimed at boosting bio-surveillance against North Korea, which has successfully weaponized a variety of bacteria.

    We suggest that any transfers of hazardous materials be conducted only when extremely necessary and under the safest possible circumstance, and, when they are moved, the two sides be fully consulted.

  15. DXer said

    Off-topic:

    Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez is the name of the Chattanooga shooting suspect according to the latest reports by CBS.

  16. DXer said

    The to-be-released DoD report attributes DPG’s problems with radiation dosing viability testing, and aseptic procedures to “scientific uncertainty” concerning dose levels and time intervals between irradiation and viability testing; Bruce Ivins experienced the same thing at USAMRIID

    Bruce Ivins at USAMRIID found it amazing that 6 million rads wasn’t killing the spores
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 13, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/bruce-ivins-at-usamriid-found-it-amazing-that-6-million-rads-wasnt-killing-the-spores/

    Bruce Ivins experienced repeated irradiation failures with virulent Ames anthrax
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 13, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/bruce-ivins-experienced-repeated-irradiation-failures-with-virulent-ames-anthrax/comment-page-1/#comment-39950

    “More bad irradiation news” – USAMRIID’s Bruce Ivins found that sometimes samples that had tested negative then upon retesting came up “hot”
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 19, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/more-bad-irradiation-news-usamriids-bruce-ivins-found-that-sometimes-samples-that-had-tested-negative-then-upon-retesting-came-up-hot/

    See also

    USAMRIID today produced an “Information Paper” explaining production of gamma-irradiation sterilized dried Ames anthrax spores pre-9/11
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 26, 2014
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/usamriid-today-produced-an-information-paper-explaining-production-of-gamma-irradiation-sterilized-dried-ames-anthrax-spores-pre-911/

    • DXer said

      USAMRIID today produced an “Information Paper” explaining production of gamma-irradiation sterilized dried Ames anthrax spores pre-9/11
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 26, 2014

      “All the B. anthracis dried spores were destroyed over a year ago due to lack of quality assurance documentation.”

      “Two vials were tained, one of which was used to compare to the spores from the Senator Daschle and Senator Leahy letters and the second has remained unopened, at the request of the FBI, for future analysis.”

      ***

      “All dried materials were sterilized by gamma-radiation prior to drying.”

  17. DXer said

    Off-topic:

    Governor Cuomo: Hailing from Syracuse, let me celebrate the opening of the new amphitheater on the lake by news that you and the NYS DEC won’t shoot my daughter’s swans.

    Absent a change course by the DEC, the kill plan will not survive an Article 78 challenge.

    SUFFOLK CLOSEUP

    Sign The Bill To Save The Swans
    BY KARL GROSSMAN

    http://olive.pressnewsgroup.com/olive/odn/ehpress/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=EHP%2F2015%2F07%2F15&entity=Ar00806&sk=1714AB66

  18. DXer said

    Anthrax Lab’s History of ‘F-ing Around’ With Explosives

    The same facility that accidently shipped live samples of the deadly pathogen was mixing powerful bomb-making ingredients with everyday kitchen tools, investigators found.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/13/anthrax-lab-s-history-of-f-ing-around-with-explosives.html

    It came as a shock when the U.S. military came clean about one of the worst biodefense screw-ups on American soil in decades — the release of live, lethal anthrax to more than 85 unsuspecting labs. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been a complete surprise, given the anthrax’s source.

    Dugway Proving Grounds — a massive, 1,300 square mile Army research and testing facility in remote, northwestern Utah — has had throughout its history a number of alarming safety lapses involving deadly chemicals, biological agents, and high explosives.

    Internal Army documents obtained by The Daily Beast show that Dugway’s handling of dangerous explosives was so slipshod that Defense Department inspectors in 2014 recommended that a bomb-handling course be “suspended.” Those inspectors discovered that staffers at Dugway were mixing together potentially lethal “primary” explosives in everyday pots and pans — the kind of gear you’d find in your kitchen, not in a cutting-edge military research facility. And these staffers had no coherent rationale for why they were so casually handling explosives that made nitroglycerin look like Play-Doh.

    “People were shocked… It was like: What are you guys doing out here?” a source familiar with the investigation said. “No one could adequately explain why they needed to be f-ing around, making these exotic explosives.”

    ***

    And of course, the live anthrax release tells a different story. In May, a Maryland biotech firm disclosed that it had discovered an anthrax sample that it believed to be dead was, in fact, alive. And that was a matter of some concern, because anthrax can be fatal. Its spores can make their way into the human bloodstream, unleashing a pair of toxins. One triggers a fluid buildup in the central chest cavity, squeezing the heart and lungs. The other assaults white blood cells that serve as the body’s natural defenses. That’s how five people were killed during the anthrax attacks of 2001.

    Thankfully, no one was killed — or even injured — in that still-undisclosed Maryland lab. (Many biodefense experts believe the risk to public health was minimal, in fact.) But when investigators began examining the source of the live samples, they found that they came from Dugway, and that Dugway had been shipping other live samples around the world for a decade.

    ***

    1968, things took an even stranger turn, as the website io9 recounts. An aircraft sprayed droplets of VX nerve agent over one of Dugway’s test sites. A strong gust carried the droplets over neighboring farms. Nearly 4,000 sheep died as a result. It took the Army decades to admit what happened.

    The next year, according to a history website run by the Utah state government, “rare antibodies of a disease called Venezuelan Encephalitis were found in birds, cattle, sheep, and rodents around the base. During the same year Air Force pilots flying over Dugway identified an entire region as highly contaminated.”

  19. DXer said

    Isr Med Assoc J. 2015 May;17(5):269-73.
    Lessons to be Learned from Recent Biosafety Incidents in the United States.
    Weiss S, Yitzhaki S, Shapira SC.
    Abstract
    During recent months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the occurrence of three major biosafety incidents, raising serious concern about biosafety and biosecurity guideline implementation in the most prestigious agencies in the United States: the CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). These lapses included: a) the mishandling of Bacillus anthracis spores potentially exposing dozens of employees to anthrax; b) the shipment of low pathogenic influenza virus unknowingly cross-contaminated with a highly pathogenic strain; and c) an inventory lapse of hundreds of samples of biological agents, including six vials of variola virus kept in a cold storage room for decades, unnoticed. In this review we present the published data on these events, report the CDC inquiry’s main findings, and discuss the key lessons to be learnt to ensure safer scientific practice in biomedical and microbiological service and research laboratories.
    Comment in
    http://www.ima.org.il/FilesUpload/IMAJ/0/146/73128.pdf

    ” There is no substitute for adherence to up-to-date protocols, communication policies and transparency.”

  20. DXer said

    Is Germany on the list or not? I don’t read German but today’s news seems to indicate it perhaps should be on list.

    Last Official Public Update: 85 labs sent live anthrax — Italy most recently added to list. DOD to release report soon.
    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/07/08/us-armys-mistaken-anthrax-shipment-fiasco-keeps-growing.html

    But compare:

    Rough translation of news coming out of Germany – (strain, I believe, from one of the articles was reported to have been Ames)

    Deadly chemical weapons may still be active
    US Army is said to have anthrax used in Germany
    11/07/2015, 12:06 pm
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.t-online.de/nachrichten/deutschland/militaer-verteidigung/id_74678432/us-armee-setzte-anthrax-in-deutschland-ein.html&prev=search

    This is apparent from an email exchange between the German Embassy in Washington and the US military on 24 June 2015 reported the “Bild” newspaper.

    ***

    Thus were in the years 2007, 2009 and 2010 spores of the deadly anthrax -Erregers been delivered to the laboratory of the US Army in the Rhineland-Palatinate Landstuhl.

    Biokampfstoff “may still be active”

    Under “several NATO exercises”, these samples were then used “to identify” chemical, biological and nuclear warfare, writes the paper.

    ***

    Bundeswehr members allegedly not endangered

    The German Defense Ministry said, according to “image” that Bundeswehr -Labore had not been supplied with the highly contagious germs. “Bundeswehr staff are not at risk according to the current state of play,” the paper quoted a spokesman of the Ministry.

    • DXer said

      http://www.germandailynews.com/bericht-57417/bericht-us-armee-operierte-bei-nato-uebungen-in-deutschland-mit-anthrax.html

      Bericht: US-Armee operierte bei Nato-Übungen in Deutschland mit Anthrax
      Autor: GDN | Berlin/Washington, 11.07.2015, 08:42 Uhr

      GDN – Die US-Armee hat angeblich mehrfach mit aktiven Sporen des Biokampfmittels Anthrax bei Nato-Übungen in Deutschland operiert. Das gehe aus einem Mailwechsel zwischen der deutschen Botschaft in Washington und den US-Militärs vom 24. Juni 2015 hervor, aus dem die “Bild” (Samstag) zitiert.

      Danach seien in den Jahren 2007, 2009 und 2010 aktive Anthrax-Sporen an das Labor der US-Armee in Landstuhl in Rheinland-Pfalz geliefert worden. Sie sollen im Rahmen “mehrerer Nato-Übungen als Proben zur Identifizierung” chemischer, biologischer und nuklearer Kampfstoffe eingesetzt worden sein. Nach Angaben der US-Militärs war es bei der Inaktivierung der Keime durch das US Labor “Dugway Proving Ground” vorab zu “Unregelmäßigkeiten” gekommen, schreibt die “Bild” weiter. “Möglicherweise könnten einige Sporen noch aktiv sein”, heißt es demnach in dem Mailwechsel. Das Verteidigungsministerium habe erklärt, dass Bundeswehrlabore mit den hoch ansteckenden Keimen nicht beliefert worden seien. “Bundeswehr-Mitarbeiter sind nach jetzigem Sachstand nicht gefährdet worden”, sagte ein Sprecher des Verteidigungsministerium der “Bild”. Anthrax-Sporen verursachen Milzbrand und können mehrere Jahrzehnte aktiv bleiben.

      – See more at: http://www.germandailynews.com/bericht-57417/bericht-us-armee-operierte-bei-nato-uebungen-in-deutschland-mit-anthrax.html#sthash.qBuq8Hzk.dpuf

      The original Bild article appears to require a subscription:
      http://www.bild.de/bild-plus/politik/inland/us-army/operierte-mit-biowaffen-in-deutschland-41731226,var=a,view=conversionToLogin.bild.html

      Schock bei der Bundeswehr!
      Die US-Armee hat offenbar versehentlich mehrfach mit aktiven Sporen des Biokampfmittels Anthrax (verursacht Milzbrand) bei NATO-Übungen in Deutschland operiert.
      Das geht aus einem Mailwechsel zwischen der deutschen Botschaft in Washington und den US-Militärs vom 24. Juni 2015 hervor, der BILD vorliegt.

      Note: I may be mistaken that it was reported to have been Ames — that may still await being first reported.

    • DXer said

      I’m finding it hard to know what really happened as to this Germany incident. But here is an english version. On a minor separate point, I wish reporters would start getting right the difference between a biological and chemical weapon — and bacteria and viruses. If they get those aspects wrong, I would be slow to credit a claim that the anthrax was in fact been found to be live.

      http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150711/1024501984.html

      The investigation revealed that several of the US military exercises on German soil involved “incidents” in which live anthrax spores were released. The incidents took place in the town of Landstuhl, near France, Luxembourg and the Ramstein military base. The US military previously sent live anthrax spores to South Korea.

      The German defense ministry told the newspaper that the spores were not sent to any German military laboratories. The US military previously admitted that since 2005 it sent anthrax spores to South Korea, Australia and Canada, but not Germany.

      “According to current information, Bundeswehr servicemen were not put in danger,” the German defense ministry claimed in an inquiry to Bild.

      The spores were supposed to be neutralized at the Dugway Proving Ground in the US state of Utah before being sent to the exercises, but the incident made “some spores even more active,” according to the newspaper.

  21. DXer said

    Congressional watchdogs demand names, details of sanctioned bioterror labs
    Alison Young, USA TODAY5:57 p.m. EDT July 6, 2015
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/06/bioterror-lab-sanctions/29768513/

    Alison Young’s article links the July 6, 2015 letter:

    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2158399-house-energy-commerce-letter-to-hhs-oig-6july2015.html

  22. DXer said

    Pentagon Completes Review on Mistaken Anthrax Shipments, July 6, 2015
    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/07/06/pentagon-completes-review-on-mistaken-anthrax-shipments.html

    “The Department will publicly provide the comprehensive review report and an overview of the next steps by mid-July,” Badger said of the review that was led by Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall.

    ***

    The number of impacted laboratories has been climbing steadily since the incident was first discovered. Pentagon officials now acknowledge that as many as 84 laboratories in 20 states and Washington, D.C., as well as five foreign countries are now known to have received the live anthrax samples.

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/07/06/pentagon-completes-review-on-mistaken-anthrax-shipments.html

  23. DXer said

    America’s biolabs need greater scrutiny
    Editorial Board
    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/opinion/editorials/2015/06/30/americas-biolabs-need-greater-scrutiny/29533693/

    Comment: My friend RHE would argue, in contrast, that the US should very dramatically cut the number of labs working with such pathogens.

    I don’t have an opinion on the policy question. Reasonable people can disagree on the issue. As an activist in the past on other issues relating to public health (liike soda in schools, benzene in soda etc,) I admire RHE’s fierce advocacy on the subject. I think that many people could agree that the world is less safe, not more, by the uncontrolled proliferation of labs and pathogens that we’ve witnessed since Fall 2001.

    Like the invasion of Iraq, there were dire unintended (but foreseeable) consequences. Proliferation of labs and pathogens was the wrong move. After scientists have been drawn to careers in the field, addressing the issue has become increasingly difficult.

    This is one reason why it is important to have clarity and confidence in the resolution of Amerithrax. The FBI’s Dave Hardy — notwithstanding the press of his many responsibilities managing the FBI’s FOIA operation — should make it a priority to see that Lab Notebook 3655 is located and produced.

    For starters, Ken Dillon has been known to litigate over FOIA issues. He is the Fonzie to my Richie –and his motorcycle just pulled into the parking lot.

    The FBI took Lab Notebook 3655 from Bruce Ivins in April 2007 and then didn’t give it back. The law of the land, FOIPA, requires that the FBI deliver it to USAMRIID so that USAMRIID can produce it under FOIA. Any redactions required by FOIA, of course, can then be made.

    I believe the notebook related to Ivin’s Flask 1030, which contained a silicon signature and multiple morphs found in the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001. I believe it related to aerosol experiments conducted in Building 1412. Maybe Patricia Fellows or Henry Heine could confirm this, I don’t know.

    • DXer said

      USFK planned experiments to detect airborne benign microbes
      Posted on : Jul.1,2015 17:13 KST Modified on : Jul.1,2015
      http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/698387.html

      Civic groups asking for confirmation that planned tests didn’t also include anthrax, which the US shipped to South Korea

      US forces in South Korea were planning to carry out an experiment to detect benign microbes that had been released into the air, according to one analyst. Benign microbes are symbiotic microorganisms that live inside the human body, but some want the US military to make clear whether it had plans to move on to outside experiments with anthrax and other deadly pathogens.

    • DXer said

      June 30 Column by Thomas J. Ridge and Joseph I. Lieberman are co-chairs of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense

      We need to strengthen biodefense now
      http://marshfieldmail.com/opinion/we-need-to-strengthen-biodefense-now/article_038ca212-1e7f-11e5-a315-8778ed1bb72d.html

      Terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have stated that they intend to acquire biological and chemical weapons — and use them against America.

      Unfortunately, our nation is dangerously unprepared to prevent or respond to such attacks. Whether the actor is another country, a terrorist organization or even Mother Nature, the consequences are potentially catastrophic.

      ***

      It’s as if our government has forgotten what it learned from the anthrax attacks in 2001.

      Comment:

      If the government forgot the lesson, perhaps it is because Senator Lieberman has done nothing to force disclosure of the documents that the FBI’s former lead investigator says are being concealed by the FBI.

      And it happened under Thomas J. Ridge’s watch while head of Homeland Security.

      These folks — encouraged by highly paid lobbyists still dizzy from the revolving door — push for millions in funding… when a walk to a xerox machine and a dime per page would serve nicely in lending clarity to the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

      For example, withholding the lab visited by Rauf Ahmad constitutes the continuing obstruction of justice.

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

    • DXer said

      Health Experts: Animal Diseases Can Be Used As Biological Weapons
      http://www.hngn.com/articles/105565/20150701/health-experts-animal-diseases-used-biological-weapons.htm

      During a conference in Paris, experts around the world have decided to raise awareness on the possibility of using animal diseases to create biological weapons, calling out to people to help stop the spread of such diseases

      Comment:

      I’ve uploaded the memo from Dr. Ayman to Atef explaining that they only got the idea of using anthrax after repeatedly being told how easy it would be.

      The press should instead emphasize that the hadiths forbid the use contemplated by Yazid Sufaat. The murder of elderly Ottilie Lundgren will cause the perpetrator’s soul to be lost forever under the belief system of the jihadis.

      If Yazid Sufaat were exposed as the soulless murderer he is, it would be a deterrence to others.

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

  24. DXer said

    Before turning to the current Dugway matter, author Jen J. Danna has a very informative explanation of a July 2014 incident at CDC involving the unsuccessful irradiation of anthrax. Ms. Danna is from Toronto, ON and is Canadian forensic crime fiction author,

    Biosecurity Incidents In Top U.S. Labs—What, Me Worry? Anthrax Edition
    Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 03:00AM | by Jen J. Danna
    http://www.jenjdanna.com/blog/2015/6/30/biosecurity-incidents-in-top-us-labswhat-me-worry-anthrax-ed.html

    Does CDC have a conflict of interest?

  25. DXer said

    Maybe the Government Shouldn’t Put a Pathogen-Research Lab in Tornado Alley
    Slate Magazine‎ – 2 hours ago
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/06/national_bio_and_agro_defense_facility_government_puts_pathogen_research.html

    Just this month, U.S. defense officials revealed that an Army lab mistakenly sent live samples of anthrax to at least 52 labs in 18 states and three countries.

    This article originally appeared in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

    Laura H. Kahn is a general internist and works on the research staff of Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security.

  26. DXer said

    13News Now Investigates: Inside America’s secretive biolabs
    http://www.13newsnow.com/story/news/2015/06/15/inside-americas-secretive-biolabs/28215407/

  27. DXer said

    Committee leaders expand inquiry into anthrax shipment
    Monday, Jun 15, 2015 @ 5:15pm by BioPrepWatch Reports

    Leaders from both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee requested documents relating to biosafety inspections of the Dugway Proving Ground on Friday.

    Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent letters to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG) requesting documents dating back to 2006 relating to safety inspections.

    “We remain deeply concerned by the issue of inactivation protocols and procedures for studying dangerous pathogens in our federal research laboratories, an issue that this committee has been overseeing since similar incidents occurred at the CDC more than a year ago,” they said in the letters. “We understand that Dugway was inspected a number of times in the past decade by the CDC’s Division of Select Agent and Toxins as part of the federal select agent program. We are requesting copies of all inspection records, referrals of enforcement action to the HHS OIG, and any corrective action plans issued to Dugway.”

    It has been reported that samples of live anthrax spores were accidentally sent to 69 labs nationwide and in five countries from the Dugway facility.

    – See more at: http://bioprepwatch.com/stories/510549434-committee-leaders-expand-inquiry-into-anthrax-shipment#sthash.UFxU50NO.dpuf

  28. DXer said

    Bruce Ivins found it amazing that 6 million rads was not killing the spores. “Irradiation sterilization failure … again.” Emailed dated June 13, 2007.

    https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch78/20070611_batch78(redacted).pdf

    As he famously said in a June 13, 2007 email: “Some thing is not right.”

    • DXer said

      Oops. What Ivins said was in response: “And what’s not right is all that’s left.”

      Before 9/11, virulent Ames was being irradiated with 5 million rads.

      The FBI’s entire analysis was based on the scientifically unvalidated assumption that irradiation was effective and only samples not irradiated needed to be included in the genetic analysis.

      https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch6/20000321_Anthrax%20spores.pdf

      From: To: Subject: Date:

      (b)

      (6)

      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID (b) (6) USAMRIID

      Anthrax spores
      Tuesday, March 21, 2000 7:50:34 AM

      Yesterday, 20 MAR 00, B. anthracis Ames spores were irradiated by your department with 5 million rads. The samples were plated out onto Tryptic soy agar and found to be sterile.

      – Bruce Ivins Bacteriology Division

    • DXer said

      Before 9/11, they were killing virulent Ames spores with 5 million rads.

      Then they came to sometimes use only 4 million rads.

      But then in 2007, to Ivins’ alarm, they found that 6 million rads was not working.

      But they also sometimes killed by formalin.

      https://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch71/20061030_batch71(redacted).pdf

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      To:
      Cc:
      Subject: FW: Given to for Irradiation Date: Friday, November 03, 2006 5:18:53 PM

      Who do I give the material to, and when? Also, I have the Delta Sterne spores below which have NOT been irradiated. They can be given out. Also, (b) (6) has said that she’d be willing to learn (b) (6) procedure for formalin killing, so we could give them the various isolates killed by formalin.

      Bruce Ivins

  29. DXer said

    http://www.mycentraloregon.com/2015/06/12/cdc-finds-live-anthrax-in-all-test-samples-shipped-by-military/

    CDC Finds Live Anthrax in All Test Samples Shipped by Military

    iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON)

    — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now believes that there was live anthrax in all of the samples mistakenly sent by the U.S. military to 69 laboratories in 19 states, Washington D.C. and five countries. It has instructed the labs to destroy any remaining anthrax still in their possession.

    CDC testing found low levels of live anthrax in all 22 samples it had received from affected laboratories.

    ***

    “We are assuming any samples that were derived from lots prepared at Dugway contain live material,” said CDC spokesman Jason MacDonald. “There is no need to test those samples further. The priority is to secure the samples and destroy the material.”

    Accordingly the CDC has instructed any laboratories that may have received anthrax sample shipments from Dugway between 2004 and 2015 to destroy their existing samples.

    ***

    “If the labs are able, destroy the samples in accordance with standard procedures and with an approved method (e.g., autoclave). The destruction must be completed within 7 days and evidence of the destruction provided to CDC,” said MacDonald.

    If the lab is unable to destroy the samples on their own they are to be transferred to a more capable ”select agent registered site” that can handle and destroy the spores. The CDC and the FBI would assist with the transfer.

    A third option would be for labs classified as a select agent registered entity to register their sample with the Federal Select Agent Program and retain it.

    Meanwhile the military continues to test the more than 400 lots of supposedly dead anthrax it keeps at four military facilities. Some 11 of 91 lots have tested positive for anthrax, and all of those are from the Dugway facility.

  30. DXer said

    Alison Young deserves an award for this article.

    Army lab cited eight years ago for failing to properly kill anthrax samples
    Alison Young, USA TODAY

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/06/12/dugway-live-anthrax-shipments/71093540/

  31. DXer said

    Pentagon sent live anthrax to Japan in 2005
    WASHINGTON
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/12/us-usa-japan-anthrax-idUSKBN0OS21F20150612

    The sample was sent to the U.S. military base of Camp Zama about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Tokyo in 2005 and was destroyed in 2009, said Defense Department spokesman Colonel Steve Warren.

    Warren said the anthrax, which was sent to Japan for the purpose of testing detection equipment, came from a master lot that was thought to have been inactive but turned out to be active when tested.

    • DXer said

      World | Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:07pm EDTRelated: WORLD, UNITED NATIONS, NORTH KOREA
      North Korea accuses U.S. of targeting it with anthrax
      UNITED NATIONS | BY MICHELLE NICHOLS

      North Korea accused the United States of targeting it with anthrax and asked the United Nations Security Council to investigate Washington’s “biological warfare schemes” after a live anthrax sample was sent to a U.S. base in South Korea.
      ***

      He attached a statement from North Korea’s National Defense Commission, which urged the world to consider the anthrax shipment “the gravest challenge to peace and a hideous crime aimed at genocide.”

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/12/us-usa-northkorea-un-anthrax-idUSKBN0OS1N820150612

      Comment: I do not find the suggestion plausible or the characterization at all accurate.

      Instead, for Lew’s next spy thriller, perhaps he could imagine espionage through sabotage of radiation equipment delivered to Dugway. It would be simple to change the calibration and hard to detect.

  32. DXer said

    CDC has blocked USAMRIID from responding to my FOIA. CDC will deny production directly. I will appeal under the precedent previously cited because only Sandra has earned my deference.

  33. DXer said

    Accidental anthrax shipments follow a familiar pattern
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-pathogen-mishaps-20150612-story.html

  34. DXer said

    I recently obtained quotes for a new roof for my house. But I asked the wrong questions. Contractors answered the question I asked them. But because I asked the wrong answer, I would have ended up with the totally wrong roof had someone not pointed out my error.

    Consider this article.

    Bobbie-Jo Webb-Robertson, Courtney Corley, Lee Ann McCue, Karen Wahl, Helen Kreuzer, “Fusion of laboratory and textual data for investigative bioforensics,” Forensic Science International, 2013, 226, 1-3, 118

    Chemical and biological forensic programs focus on the identification of a threat and acquisition of laboratory measurements to determine how a threat agent may have been produced. However, to generate investigative leads, it might also be useful to identify institutions where the same agent has been produced by the same or a very similar process, since the producer of the agent may have learned methods at a university or similar institution. We have developed a Bayesian network framework that fuses hard and soft data sources to assign probability to production practices. It combines the results of laboratory measurements with an automatic text reader to scan scientific literature and rank institutions that had published papers on the agent of interest in order of the probability that the institution has the capability to generate the sample of interest based on laboratory data. We demonstrate the Bayesian network on an example case from microbial forensics, predicting the methods used to produce Bacillus anthracis spores based on mass spectrometric measurements and identifying institutions that have a history of growing Bacillus spores using the same or highly similar methods. We illustrate that the network model can assign a higher posterior probability than expected by random chance to appropriate institutions when trained using only a small set of manually analyzed documents. This is the first example of an automated methodology to integrate experimental and textual data for the purpose of investigative forensics.

    Helen Kreuzer consulted for Amerithrax. Did Yazid Sufaat’s publish any papers on the production of anthrax? Would you expect a surreptitious lab to publish papers? If not, is a dramatic and fatal bias introduced into such an analysis?

    Separately, did the NAU genetics analysis fuse the textual data about the inactivation of Ames? Wasn’t the analysis limited to samples known to be virulent without testing the premise that samples inactivated had been successfully inactivated?

    Even the FBI’s own expert consultant, John Ezzell, was saying that the science on irradiation had not been done.

  35. DXer said

    David M. Englelthaler writes in the Arizona Daily Sun:

    “An investigation that would last for years and result in the indictment of an Army scientist who would go on to kill himself just prior to his arrest.”

    Under the microcope: Flagstaff’s bioscience dividend
    June 09, 2015 7:00 am • DAVID ENGELTHALER Special to the Daily Sun
    http://azdailysun.com/news/opinion/columnists/under-the-microcope-flagstaff-s-bioscience-dividend/article_5ba26711-cce6-5c08-b417-673bd7e3e865.html

    This is patently false.

    It would be unacceptable not to correct a false published claim that someone had been indicted for a crime when he had not been. The matter reportedly was weeks away from even being presented to a grand jury.

    (BTW, he killed himself after being swabbed for DNA after semen-stained panties were found again put out in his garbage).

    While the Pentagon sorts out the ineffective inactivation of mailed samples of anthrax — and thus addresses the entire flawed genetics analysis in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings — let’s at least correct basic misstatements of facts about the legal procedure.

    Errors tend to be perpetuated in the media once left uncorrected. The entire problem in Amerithrax has been the FBI’s failure to correct its mistakes.

  36. DXer said

    11 live anthrax lots found at Dugway lab so far
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/11/11-live-anthrax-lots-found-dugway-lab-so-far/

    Col. Steve Warren, Pentagon spokesman, said that 26 lots have been tested so far at Dugway. Of those, 11 have contained live anthrax.

    In total, 91 lots have been tested from three military labs. The only positive samples have come from Dugway, he said.

    The testing is part of a Pentagon review that was spurred by a civilian Maryland lab receiving live anthrax last month in a sample that was supposed to be killed by radiation. The Maryland lab contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is conducting its own investigation independent of the Defense Department.

    The Pentagon investigation is testing every Defense Department anthrax sample to check for live bacteria as well as looking for how the radiation process, as well as a culture test to ensure the sample was dead, failed to catch the live bacteria.

    Defense officials had previously estimated that there were more than 400 lots to test, but Col. Warren said Thursday that that number may not be correct.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/11/11-live-anthrax-lots-found-dugway-lab-so-far/#ixzz3cmE4Bjg7

  37. DXer said

    “We need to take this where the facts lead us. Obviously there’s a significant problem here and we all need to know why,” panel chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said Wednesday during a press conference before the Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee received a closed-door breifing on the Pentagon’s investigation.

    “This is something you’ve got to take really seriously. Something did not go right here. And we all have to find out what did not go right,” he added.

    Rep. Jim Langevin (R.I.), the subpanel’s top Democrat, said it’s important to figure out where the breakdown occurred.

    “Was this a human failure? Was it some type of systems failure, or some kind of mechanical failure? These are all the tough questions we are asking right now,” Langevin said.

    ***

    Emerging Threats chairman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) said the Pentagon has briefed several Armed Services members individually about the anthrax distribution but Wednesday’s classified session would be the first time in a formal setting.

    He said he planned to ask why such potentially hazardous research couldn’t be done at a central location.

    Thornberry said that, as far as he is aware, DOD has taken no disciplinary action yet because the agency is focused on “preventative action to keep any further mishandlings from happening.”

    “You don’t mess around with this,” he added. “This is serious business.”

    Comment:

    The policy implications are beyond the scope of the blog.

    Limiting myself to the “whodunnit” of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, it would be a huge mistake to not take the probe back to the late 1990s. Do people think that Dugway knew how to do it right and then forgot? Is that it?

    And do they think that others were doing anything different?

    When the Oakland Children’s Hospital was sent live anthrax in 2004 by Southern Research Institute in MD — where the B3 was headed by Bruce Ivins’ former assistant — it was thermal inactivation that was used.

    In 2001, Dugway didn’t even have the equipment to irradiate anthrax.

    John Ezzell — the FBI’s key anthrax consultant in the late 1990s — had always said that the research had not been done on irradiation.

    • DXer said

    • DXer said

      A blog’s entry from a couple weeks ago:

      Return to Sender: The Biosafety of Unknowingly Shipping Live Anthrax
      May 28, 2015
      http://www.trackingzebra.com

      “I don’t believe anyone will be sickened by this lapse (those exposed who were not vaccinated are received post-exposure prophylaxis) but it is concerning chiefly because there clearly is a biosafety problem that remains at the nation’s labs and each lapse, when it is splashed across the front pages, alarms the public who understandably may begin to question what is very vital research.

      Meticulous biosafety at government labs tasked with doing such important research is essential given that the FBI’s (somewhat disputed) conclusions regarding the source of the anthrax employed during the Amerithrax attacks (see an interesting new twist on this here).”

      The blog links:

      “Former F.B.I. Agent Sues, Claiming Retaliation Over Misgivings in Anthrax Case
      By SCOTT SHANEAPRIL 8, 2015
      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/us/ex-fbi-agent-claims-retaliation-for-dissent-in-anthrax-inquiry.html?_r=0

      Now, a former senior F.B.I. agent who ran the anthrax investigation for four years says that the bureau gathered “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins that remains secret. The former agent, Richard L. Lambert, who spent 24 years at the F.B.I., says he believes it is possible that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax mailer, but he does not think prosecutors could have convicted him had he lived to face criminal charges.”

  38. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins committed suicide after semen-stained panties were found again in a search. He previously had told the FBI (in November 2007) that was why he was so upset. He was so upset a doctor had to come and sedate him.

    No surprise that when he commits suicide, the investigators and prosecutors with the newest theory would want to close the case without persuasive evidence.

    Sometimes we need to speak up for the mute swan even when vilified by those on the hunt who only know shooting the odd birds.

    “Another anthrax threat”
    Jun 9 2015 12:01 am

    “In the latest instance, the number of individuals who might have been exposed to the anthrax spores could total in the thousands. Like the CDC error, the Army’s breaches of protocol in its handling of anthrax raise serious public health issues. They also bring unwelcome memories of the domestic terror attack in 2001 using live anthrax in which five people died and 17 were taken ill. In that case anthrax spores later traced to an Army laboratory in Maryland were mailed to media and political figures. The events exposed the highly volatile and dangerous nature of anthrax. Two postal workers and two other random individuals were among the victims.

    Despite a seven-year investigation, the perpetrator was never positively identified, although the FBI asserted that he was likely a researcher at the Army lab who committed suicide before he could be arrested.”

  39. DXer said

    Pentagon says British lab received live anthrax samples
    By REUTERS
    PUBLISHED: 12:33 EST, 9 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:33 EST, 9 June 2015
    WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Tuesday added Britain to the list of countries that received live anthrax samples from the U.S. military.

    The samples were sent to a company in Britain in 2007, a spokesman for Britain’s Health and Safety Executive said. The agency declined to name the company.

    Besides the lab in Britain, another in Massachusetts was added to the list of laboratories that received live anthrax samples, said Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Defense Department spokesman, raising the total number of labs to 68.

    “The company has informed us it destroyed samples shortly after testing,” the British Health and Safety spokesman said in a statement. “On this basis we do not believe there is any continuing health risk to staff or to the public.

    “We look forward to speaking with the US Department of Defense to understand how this issue arose in 2007 and how they will ensure similar situations are avoided in the future.”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3117225/Pentagon-says-British-lab-received-live-anthrax-samples.html#ixzz3caUu0fgU

  40. DXer said

    I will be out of pocket as weather permits. These are the issues that need updating:

    1. Lambert v. US

    What is status of docket in the case brought by the former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard L. Lambert? I don’t envy him going up a formidable team of spinning DOJ attorneys determined to win. See PACER.

    NYT interview of former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert: “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins remains secret
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 9, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/nyt-interview-of-former-lead-amerithrax-investigator-richard-lambert-a-staggering-amount-of-exculpatory-evidence-regarding-dr-ivins-remains-secret/

    2. Ali Al-TImimi defense

    What is status of massive filing by self-described “anthax weapons suspect” Ali Al-TImimi in his matter? Are they any new, formerly classified documents of note? Is there any discussion of anthrax beyond the previous mentions in defense counsel’s filing? See PACER.

    Background:

    Mary Beth Sheridan, “Hardball Tactics In An Era of Threats,” September 3, 2006
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/02/AR2006090201096_5.html

    The agents reached an alarming conclusion: “Timimi is an Islamist supporter of Bin Laden” who was leading a group “training for jihad,” the agent wrote in the affidavit. The FBI even came to speculate that Timimi, a doctoral candidate pursuing cancer gene research, might have been involved in the anthrax attacks.
    On a frigid day in February 2003, the FBI searched Timimi’s brick townhouse on Meadow Field Court, a cul-de-sac near Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. Among the items they were seeking, according to court testimony: material on weapons of mass destruction.

    3. USAMRIID FOIA re Dugway shipments

    What is status of USAMRIID’s FOIA production on the Dugway shipments? My main concern is that in considering any systemic failure that the Pentagon go back in time to 1998. The Pentagon should consider whether such systemic failure existed also in 2001 and the years immediately prior to that. Ask the wonderful USMRMC FOIA official after tomorrow (or better yet, check the wonderful USAMRIID FOIA Reading Room).

    4. Yazid Sufaat’s ongoing trial in Malaysia

    What is schedule in Yazid Sufaat’s trial in Malaysia? In written correspondence with me. Yazid Sufaat did not deny responsibility for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. (He pled the Fifth). Does the FBI have the cooperation of Malaysian authorities with respect to statements made in interrogation? Have they had direct access? Check for the next update on google news pr check his wonderful daughter’s twitter feed.

    5. Mute swan bill

    What will the vote on the mute swan bill today in the New York State Assembly? (I predict they will pass it by a vote of about 100-25 but I won’t count my cygnets before they are hatched.) An Article 78 judicial challenge is planned as the NYS DEC’s decision-making has been demonstrably “arbitrrary and capricious.” Don’t call Cymbrowitz or Heastie’s office; just check the website. Their office staff is busy enough.

    • DXer said

      1. Lambert lawsuit – Plaintiff has a motion to amend his Complaint pending.

      In the Lambert lawsuit, Plaintiff seeks to add a Bivens claim under F.R.Civ. P. (Consent to the amendment was not forthcoming).

      2. Al-Timimi – Briefing has slipped to July.

      Here is an update on the Ali Al-Timimi docket.

      05/18/2015 46 MOTION by Appellant Ali Al-Timimi (for stay or, in the alternative) to extend filing time for opening brief and appendix. Date and method of service: 05/18/2015 ecf. [999584980] [14-4451]–[Edited 05/20/2015 by CB] Jonathan Turley

      05/22/2015 48 ORDER filed [999589292] granting Motion to extend filing time [46], updating/ resuming briefing order deadlines. Opening brief and appendix due 07/08/2015. Response brief due 08/05/2015. Copies to all parties.. [14-4451] (CB)

      3. Dugway anthrax debacle – They’ve added UK as a country that received live anthrax by mistake. In 2007, I believe.

      4. Yazid Sufaat – I don’t see reporting on any development.

      5. Mute swan – It was #90 on the agenda today. The live stream of proceedings has been like watching paint dry. Just a few minutes ago, it was “laid aside.” As part of a Plan B, I am closing this week on a small parcel where a tripod and camera will be set up to film the shooting of the pair of swans.

      Any shooting caught on film will go viral just like the police shootings have of late.

      • DXer said

        The mute swan bill passed Assembly 86-5 (I believe though I haven’t confirmed it by a list of who voted how) — after passing the Senate 60-1. The bill requires that the DEC prioritize non-lethal means and establish that its management methods are justified by the harm that it claims.

        The four swans in my county — two that hang out near my lounge chair and two others that I paddle by each day — do no harm at all.

        To the contrary, to the extent they eat, they eat the invasive seaweed that risks making the river impassable. The NYS DEC is motivated by money — not science. For example, they introduce 1.8 million highly invasive non-native brown trout — and 120,000 pheasants The pheasants are non-native and steal the nests of other birds. I’ve got nothing against brown trout or pheasants. But it is entirely hypocritical for the DEC to want to shoot the 200 upstate swans. DEC urges that only because they do not make money for the DEC. NYS DEC is killing for a bigger paycheck and has long since been captured by hunters. DEC has not well- served the broader public interest of the people of the State of New York on this issue.

        I look forward to the day I can go back to being a big fan of the DEC for their good work on other issues.

  41. DXer said

    By Jacqueline Klimas – The Washington Times – Monday, June 8, 2015
    The Defense Department said Monday that its ongoing investigation has revealed that 66 labs may have received live anthrax, up from 52 last week.

    ***

    Mr. Work also said he expected the number of affected labs to continue to grow as the investigation continues.

    Mr. Work promised to be transparent with the review and said the department would be posting updated numbers as the investigation continues at http://www.defense.gov/labreview. As of Monday at noon, however, the website had not been updated with the numbers released today by Col. Warren.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/8/more-labs-suspected-receiving-live-anthrax-19-stat/#ixzz3cUVr1wal

  42. DXer said

    The Proper Care and Handling of Anthrax
    2 JUN 8, 2015 8:00 AM EDT
    By The Editors
    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-06-08/anthrax-accidents-are-troubling-for-military

    This led the Army to test 400 more batches, and the first four turned up positive.

    ***

    Its use as a weapon exploded into the public consciousness shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when letters containing powdered anthrax were mailed to members of Congress and the news media, killing five and infecting 17 others.

    Comment: I have not excerpted the policy recommendations. Policy is beyond the scope of my interest. My focus is on the true crime analysis of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. I will leave the differing views on such issues in the good hands of people like RHE and MHJ.

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

  43. DXer said

    This is a good article.

    ANTHRAX SCARE: REMAIN CALM! ALL IS WELL!
    Al Mauroni
    June 8, 2015
    http://warontherocks.com/2015/06/anthrax-scare-remain-calm-all-is-well/

    But on a key point germane to this blog, I believe it is seriously mistaken.

    There is no reason to assume that the problem began in 2008.

    See, e.g.,

    Anthrax sent to the Pentagon in 2006; ‘most likely’ live
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/06/02/anthrax-sent-to-pentagon-in-2006-official-says/
    Published June 02, 2015
    FoxNews.com

  44. DXer said

    Utah lab that shipped anthrax has a long history with the disease and weapon
    By NATE CARLISLE | The Salt Lake Tribune
    First Published 7 hours ago • Updated 6 hours ago
    http://www.sltrib.com/home/2563809-155/utah-lab-that-shipped-anthrax-has

    It was 1955. Dugway, the U.S. Army testing center in Utah’s West Desert, wanted to know how lethal anthrax could be. So anthrax was loaded into bomblets. The bomblets were dropped from an airplane in the vicinity of 285 monkeys that were brought onto Dugway.

    A 2010 report by the Environmental Protection Agency raised questions about the scientific quality of the tests. (There was no discussion of the ethics.) The EPA said it didn’t know the distance at which the bomblets exploded and how long the monkeys were exposed to anthrax. The Army also didn’t document whether it decontaminated the monkeys after exposure.

    Desert test chamber

    The U.S. military, particularly the Army, is fascinated with anthrax, either as a weapon to deploy or guard against. Part of the allure is that the bacteria cannot be spread from person to person. In nature, anthrax is transmitted through infected meat or animal skin. But anthrax can be converted into a liquid or dry form and its spores can be targeted.

    A study published in 2000 in MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory Journal shows the kind of advantage Dugway provides. Scientists tested sensors that would alert them to an anthrax attack. Sensors tested at sites in Atlanta and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., detected anthrax every time, but also issued one false alarm per day, the study said.

  45. DXer said

    Latest anthrax scare points to dangerous lack of accountability, experts warn
    Epidemiologist notes possible ‘systemic issue’ as scientists fear similar accidents with other pathogens could have devastating results for CDC and Pentagon
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/07/anthrax-cdc-accountability-pathogens

    One week after the terrorist attack in New York on 9/11, another attack on the US began. Letters containing spores of anthrax, a weaponised bacterial agent, were posted to the offices of several newspapers and two Democratic senators. Twenty-two people were infected. Five died. …

    The difference is this: the first incident was a terrorist attack. The second and third were accidents. Samples of the pathogen that were supposed to be inactivated were sent to laboratories by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014 and the Department of Defense most recently.

    After the 2001 anthrax attacks – known to some as “Amerithrax” – there was a 20- to 40-fold increase in the number of institutions and individuals working with biological weapon agents like anthrax, according to Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist and biosecurity expert at Rutgers university.

    In response to questions from the Guardian, a spokesperson for the CDC said there were 181 “organizations or entities” such as Dugway registered as working with live anthrax, and 321 in total working with live pathogens.

    Within those 321 entities, according to the Government Accountability Office, there are some 1,495 laboratories accredited under the Federal Select Agent Program to work with live pathogens such as anthrax, and a much larger number working with inert versions of the same pathogens.

    There is no official government body to oversee production and research of bioweapons that does not – as the CDC does – engage in its own active pathogen research, and no apparent fixed official guidelines regarding their handling. …

    Morse, who also worked at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) between 1995 and 2000 on biodefence, speculated that the process by which machines irradiate the live pathogens, inactivating them, might be “poorly calibrated”.

    “Luckily for us, human beings are relatively resistant to anthrax compared to smallpox,” said Morse. “But that’s not something we should rely on.”

    Indeed, according to Ebright, military contracted laboratories across the US routinely work with other, more dangerous pathogens than anthrax – including several virulent strains of avian flu. A mistake with one of those, instead of anthrax, could have devastating results, including “a global pandemic”. ..

    “Even one spore is a sufficient seed stock from which an amount could grow to mount a biological weapons attack,” Ebright said. “The sad circumstance is that this massive effort since 2001 has dramatically increased the chances of a biological weapon attack on the US, precisely by distributing a highly lethal strain of the agent with no structure and no ability to record where they have gone.”

    “The major concern is the security breach, that the material will be transferred to domestic terror and international terror and be used as the seed source for a bomb or weapon,” said Ebright.

    “It would be disappointing if the Department of Defense becomes the supplier for al-Qaida that enables a bioweapon attack.”

    Comment: My friend RHE, quoted above, is very bright. I first came to know about him decades ago from reading as a kid a feature in BOYS LIFE about this wunderkind Eagle Scout.

    His field is microbiology and policy analysis — rather than true crime or intelligence analysis. But I am looking forward to this famous and oft-quoted expert Eagle Scout earning his next merit badge in intelligence analysis.

    If we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.

    Advertisement:

    Today is international Animal Rights Day

  46. DXer said

    CDC sent around a memo noting that it wants to screen all FOIA production and may want to invoke Exemption 7A.

    The first subpart of Exemption 7 of the Freedom of Information Act, Exemption 7(A), authorizes the withholding of “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that production of such law enforcement records or information . . . could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”1

    CDC is neither the originating agency nor a law enforcement agency.

    The USMRIID documents are not “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes.”

    • DXer said

      Here is another handwriting sample of Bruce Ivins — this one discussing the planned visit by the former Zawahiri associate being supplied virulent Ames in early May 1998
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 7, 2011
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/here-is-another-handwriting-sample-of-bruce-ivins-this-one-discussing-the-planned-visit-by-the-former-zawahiri-associate-being-supplied-virulent-ames-in-early-may-1998/

      * tracking Dr. Ivins’ RMR-1029 anthrax; Dr. James Baker says [ no virulent Ames ] at the University of Michigan
      Posted on June 27, 2009
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/tracking-dr-ivins’-rmr-1029-anthrax-dr-james-baker-says-none-at-the-university-of-michigan/

      from DXer … the lifelong friends of Dr. Tarek Hamouda, supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins, actively denounce their former medical school associate Ayman Zawahiri as a fanatic – one serving as President of CAIR-St. Louis and the other as author of INSIDE JIHAD.
      Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 7, 2010
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/the-lifelong-friends-of-dr-tarek-hamouda-supplied-virulent-ames-by-bruce-ivins-actively-denounce-their-former-medical-school-associate-ayman-zawahiri-as-a-fanatic-one-serving-as-president-of-ca/

      http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/oip/legacy/2014/07/23/exemption7a.pdf

      As time permits, I will try to find cases involving the CDC where the documents were generated by a third party and the FOIA request was made not to CDC but to that third party.

      USMRMC FOIA has been so steadfast and patient over the course of years, that I will be not filing any administrative appeal whatever the FOIA officer decides. At some point, an agency or specific individual earns a level of trust where they simply are entitled to trust and deference.

      I’m am working through the precedent out loud so that I can better understand 7(A) under these facts — given that my request was submitted to USAMRIID, not CDC.

      If the request had been submitted to a law enforcement agency, determining the applicability of this Exemption 7 subsection thus requires a two-step analysis focusing on (1) whether a law enforcement proceeding is pending or prospective, and (2) whether release of information about it could reasonably be expected to cause some articulable harm.FN 1

      Further, even after an enforcement proceeding is closed, courts have ruled that the continued use of Exemption 7(A) may be proper in certain instances. One such instance involves “related” proceedings, i.e., those instances in which information from a closed law enforcement proceeding will be used again in other pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings — for example, when charges are pending against additional defendants /FN 2 or The extent of protection in such a circumstance, however, varies; some courts have limited Exemption 7(A) protection to only the material not used at the first trial,FN 3 while other courts in some cases have extended Exemption 7(A) protection to all of the information compiled during all of the law enforcement proceedings.

      FN 1/ See, e.g., NLRB v. Robbins Tire & Rubber Co., 437 U.S. 214, 224 (1978) (holding that government must show how records “would interfere with a pending enforcement proceeding”); Juarez v. DOJ, 518 F.3d 54, 58-59 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (explaining that government must show that its ongoing law enforcement proceeding could be harmed by premature release of evidence or information); Sussman v. U.S. Marshals Serv., 494 F.3d 1106, 1113-14 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (discussing dual elements necessary to invoke Exemption 7(A): reasonably anticipated law enforcement proceeding and harm if information released); Lion Raisins, Inc. v. USDA, 231 F. App’x 565 (9th Cir. 2007) (stating that applicable standard met where “criminal investigation remains ongoing” and release of information could “jeopardize that investigation”); Lion Raisins, Inc. v. USDA, 231 F. App’x 563 (9th Cir. 2007) (finding that agency submissions described “ongoing proceedings and explained how disclosure” could interfere); Manna v. DOJ, 51 F.3d 1158, 1164 (3d Cir. 1995) (“To fit within Exemption 7(A), the government must show that (1) a law enforcement proceeding is pending or prospective and (2) release of the information could reasonably be expected to cause some articulable harm.”); Campbell v. HHS, 682 F.2d 256, 259 (D.C. Cir. 1982) (stating that agency must demonstrate interference with pending enforcement proceeding); EDUCAP, Inc. v. IRS, No. 07-2106, 2009 WL 416428, at *5 (D.D.C. Feb. 18, 2009) (explaining that Exemption 7(A) permits government to withhold documents related to ongoing proceeding where release could harm case); Cozen O’Conner v. U.S. Dep’t of Treasury, 570 F. Supp. 2d 749, 783 (E.D. Pa. 2008) (stating that to “fit within Exemption 7(A), the government must show” pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding and that release of information could “cause some articulable harm”); Radcliffe v. IRS, 536 F. Supp. 2d 423, 437 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (noting that standard met where agency established that release of information could interfere with ongoing investigation); Estate of Fortunato v. IRS, No. 06-6011, 2007 WL 4838567, at *3 (D.N.J. Nov. 30, 2007) (explaining that “agency must demonstrate” that law enforcement proceeding is pending or prospective and release of information “could reasonably be expected to cause some articulable harm”); Stolt- Nielsen Trans. Group, Ltd. v. DOJ, 480 F. Supp. 2d 166, 179 (D.D.C. 2007) (reiterating necessity of pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding and “some articulable harm” caused by release of information), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 534 F. 3d 728, 733-34 (D.C. Cir. 2008 ) (agreeing that while Exemption 7(A) is applicable, reiterating that “agency cannot justify withholding an entire document simply by showing that it contains some exempt material'” (quoting Mead Data Cent. Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Air Force, 566 F. 2d 242, 260 (D.C. Cir. 1977)) and remanding for agency to segregate); Owens v. DOJ, No. 04-1701, 2007 WL 778980, at *6 (D.D.C. Mar. 9, 2007) (noting that agency must identify “concrete prospective law enforcement proceeding” and demonstrate that release of “documents could reasonably be expected to interfere”); Long v. DOJ, 450 F.2d 42, 73 (D.D.C. 2006) (reiterating that “agency must demonstrate” that enforcement proceeding is pending or prospective and that “disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to cause some articulable harm to the proceeding”); Beneville v. DOJ, No. 98-6137, slip op. at 22 (D. Or. June 11, 2003) (explaining that simply satisfying law enforcement purpose “does not establish the remainder of the requirement . . . that disclosure of the documents could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings”); Franklin v. DOJ, No. 97-1225, slip op. at 7 (S.D. Fla. June 15, 1998) (magistrate’s recommendation) (two-part test), adopted, (S.D. Fla. June 26, 1998), aff’d, 189 F.3d 485 (11th Cir. 1999) (unpublished table decision); Hamilton v. Weise, No. 95-1161, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18900, at *25 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 1, 1997) (same). But see Goodrich Corp. v. EPA, 593 F. Supp. 2d 184, 193-94 (D.D.C. 2009) (limiting harm to law enforcement proceeding to destruction of evidence or fabrication of alibis by targets of investigation, with no consideration of harm to government’s case in court).

      FN 2 See Solar Sources, Inc. v. United States, 142 F.3d 1033, 1040 (7th Cir. 1998) (explaining that although government has “closed” its cases against certain defendants by obtaining plea agreements and convictions, withholding is proper because information “compiled against them is part of the information” in ongoing cases against other targets); New England Med. Ctr. Hosp. v. NLRB, 548 F.2d 377, 385-86 (1st Cir. 1976) (finding Exemption 7(A) applicable when “closed file is essentially contemporary with, and closely related to, the pending open case” against another defendant; applicability of exemption does not hinge on “open” or “closed” label agency places on file); DeMartino v. FBI, 577 F. Supp. 2d 178, 182 (D.D.C. 2008) (explaining that case remains open and pending because co-defendant is “scheduled to be retried” and “other unindicted co-conspirators” remain at large); Hidalgo v. FBI, 541 F. Supp. 2d 250, 256 (D.D.C. 2008) (finding “although [plaintiff was] convicted long ago . . . ongoing search for — and possible future trials of — indicted and unindicted fugitives satisfies” standard); Givner v. EOUSA, No. 99-3454 slip op. at 3, 7 (D.D.C. Mar. 1, 2001) (explaining that although plaintiff is “serving his sentence,” withholding is proper because “release of prosecutorial documents could potentially jeopardize” pending trial and habeas action of co conspirators); Cucci v. DEA, 871 F. Supp. 508, 512 (D.D.C. 1994) (finding protection proper when information pertains to “multiple intermingled investigations and not just the terminated investigation” of subject); Engelking v. DEA, No. 91-0165, slip op. at 6 (D.D.C. Nov. 30, 1992) (reasoning that information in inmate’s closed file was properly withheld because fugitive discussed in requester’s file is still at large; explaining that records from closed file can relate to law enforcement efforts which are still active or in prospect), summary affirmance granted in pertinent part, vacated in part & remanded, No. 93-5091, 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33824 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 6, 1993); Warmack v. Huff, No. 88-H-1191-E, slip op. at 22-23 (N.D. Ala. May 16, 1990) (finding Exemption 7(A) applicable to documents in multi-defendant case involving four untried fugitives), aff’d, 949 F.2d 1162 (11th Cir. 1991) (unpublished table decision); Freedberg v. Dep’t of the Navy, 581 F. Supp. 3, 4 (D.D.C. 1982) (holding that Exemption 7(A) remained applicable when two murderers were convicted but two other remained at large). But see Linn v. DOJ, No. 92-1406, 1995 WL 417810, at *9 (D.D.C. June 6, 1995) (explaining that statement that “some unspecified investigation against a fugitive, or perhaps more than one fugitive, was ongoing . . . without any explanation of how release” of information would interfere with “efforts to apprehend this (or these) fugitive (or fugitives) is patently insufficient to justify the withholding of information”), appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 97-5122 (D.C. Cir. July 14, 1997).

      FN 3See Pons v. U.S. Customs Serv., No. 93-2094, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6084, at *14 (D.D.C. Apr. 23, 1998) (ruling that disclosure of information not used in plaintiff’s prior trials could “interfere with another enforcement proceeding”); Hemsley v. DOJ, No. 90-2413, slip op. at 10 (D.D.C. Sept. 24, 1992) (holding that Exemption 7(A) protection applied when “only pending criminal proceeding” was appeal of denial of new trial motion; “[k]nowledge of potential witnesses and documentary evidence that were not used during the first trial” could “genuinely harm government’s case”); cf. Senate of P.R. v. DOJ, 823 F.2d 574, 578 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (relying on language of statute prior to 1986 FOIA amendments to remand case for additional explanation of why no segregable portions of documents could be released without interfering with related proceedings); Narducci v. FBI, No. 93-0327, slip op. at 3-4 (D.D.C. Sept. 22, 1995) (explaining that Exemption 7(A) remains applicable “in light of retrial, not yet scheduled, of several defendants,” when agency had “adequately identified” how disclosure would interfere with retrial; however, agency must release all “public source documents”).

      • DXer said

        Exemption 7(A) ordinarily will not afford protection when the target of the investigation has possession of or has submitted the information in question.

        See, e.g., Lion Raisins v. USDA, 354 F.3d 1072, 1085 (9th Cir. 2004) (stating– in a situation in which investigatory target already possessed copies of documents sought — that “[b]ecause Lion already has copies . . . USDA cannot argue that revealing the information would allow Lion premature access to the evidence upon which it intends to rely at trial”); Estate of Fortunato v. IRS, No. 06-6011, 2007 WL 4838567, at *4 (D.N.J. Nov. 30, 2007) (explaining that because information appears to be either in plaintiff’s possession or known to plaintiff, agency “has not met its burden of justifying the withholding of these documents under Exemption 7(A)); Dow Jones Co. v. FERC, 219 F.R.D. 167, 174 (C.D. Cal. 2002) (stating that there cannot be harm, because “each target company has a copy . . . and therefore is on notice as to the government’s possible litigation strategy and potential witnesses”); Scheer v. DOJ, 35 F. Supp. 2d 9, 14 (D.D.C. 1999) (declaring that agency assertions of harm and “concern proffered . . . cannot stand” when agency itself disclosed information to target); Ginsberg v. IRS, No. 96 2265-CIV-T-26E, 1997 WL 882913, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 23, 1997) (reiterating that “where the documents requested are those of the [requester] rather than the documents of a third party . . . ‘it is unlikely that their disclosure could reveal . . . anything [the requester] does not know already'” (quoting Grasso v. IRS, 785 F.2d 70, 77 (3d Cir. 1986)); see also Oncology Servs. Corp. v. NRC, No. 93-0939, slip op. at 17 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 7, 1994) (finding that agency may not categorically withhold transcribed interviews, conducted in presence of requester’s attorney, for interviewed individuals who consented to release of their own transcripts); cf. Campbell v. HHS, 682 F.2d 256, 262 (D.C. Cir. 1982) (discussing legislative history of Exemption 7(A), and distinguishing between records generated by government and those “submitted to the government by such targets”).

    • DXer said

      Editorial: Secrecy around biolab violations adds to safety fears
      The Register’s editorial
      http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/editorials/2015/06/06/biolabs-anthrax-secrecy/28592107/

      Six years ago, the federal watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office outlined a serious problem with the nation’s biolaboratories.

      In its 2009 report, the GAO pointed out that no one knew exactly how many “BSL-3” laboratories — those that deal with agents such as anthrax that can cause serious illness or death when inhaled — existed or were planned, since only some of the facilities were registered with the Centers for Disease Control. That said, the number of BSL-3 labs that were registered had more than tripled in the previous five years, the GAO reported.

      In fact, although the number of labs dealing with deadly pathogens was rapidly increasing, no federal agency knew whether that number met or exceeded the nation’s security needs, or even whether that many labs could be operated safely.

      Six years later, not much has changed.

      In a special report last week on biolab security, USA Today found that over the past 12 years, more than 100 labs experimenting with potential bioterror agents had been cited by regulators for serious safety and security violations.

      During that time, the CDC referred 79 labs for enforcement action, resulting in fines totaling $2.4 million.

      But don’t ask which labs failed to meet these standards or where they are located. Citing a 2002 bioterrorism law, the CDC and USDA say they can’t identify them.

      Yet this federal law didn’t stop the CDC from announcing this year’s suspension of the Tulane National Primate Research Center. The research center’s accidental release of a bioterror bacterium was already the subject of news reports, so the disclosure of that sanction, when coupled with the secrecy surrounding the others, seems entirely self-serving.

      Obviously, the federal government needs to maintain security at these labs, so a certain amount of secrecy is to be expected. But the current lack of public accountability is all but certain to undermine those efforts.

      After all, some of the violations are directly related to security problems that have put the public at risk. Keeping that information secret is bad policy. Doing so in the name of public safety is scandalous.

  47. DXer said

  48. DXer said

    Pentagon’s Anthrax Scare Is Only 1% Over
    In-Depth-Daily Beast-

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/03/military-shipped-around-anthrax-they-swore-was-dead.html19 hours ago

    “We expect this number may rise,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told reporters Wednesday.

    That’s because every single lot, or master collection, of bacillus anthracis that has been tested so far has came back positive for live, activated anthrax spores, the Pentagon said Wednesday. That the initial tests were all positive hints at a widespread crisis in which the Pentagon sent live anthrax to an untold number of recipients. And only 1 percent of the samples have been tested so far. There are another 396 military lots yet to go.

    In his briefing, Work sought to minimize the health risks to the public, noting the quantities sent out were too small to affect most—and were not dried, like the anthrax in the 2001 attacks that killed five people.

    But Ebright said there was a larger, indirect danger. The labs working with anthrax could have sent out the samples to subcontractors without informing the Defense Department. Therefore, “There is no way they can put a ceiling” on how many received anthrax, he said.

    “It is a massive security breach,” Ebright added.

    The Defense Department had established a website with what it promises will be regular updates on the anthrax. But the Pentagon has yet to reveal which labs received the live spores.

  49. DXer said

    The FBI’s entire analysis in the 2001 anthrax mailings (which served to limit the pool of suspects to less than 300 (plus anyone they could have given it to) depended on a number of unsupported assumptions:

    (1) any anthrax thought to be inactivated was in fact dead;

    (2) the perp would voluntarily submit a sample of the anthrax, even if he had surreptitiously obtained it; and

    (3) if a scientist had transferred Ames to someone without doing the required paperwork under a law in 1997, they would have voluntarily come forward and admitted to the crime; and

    (4) the detection of Ames in Afghanistan and in a hijackers remains were the result of sloppy, unpersuasive lab work.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    This happened AFTER the stringent protocols were put in place. In 2001, Dugway didn’t even have equipment to irradiate anthrax.

    The Pentagon Anthrax Scandal Is Getting Worse by the Day
    • BY PAUL MCLEARY
    • JUNE 3, 2015 – 5:20 PM
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/03/pentagon-anthrax-scandal-is-getting-worse/

    “This incident makes a complete hash” of the stringent security protocols put in place since the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 that left five people dead and sickened 17 others, Richard Ebright, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University told Foreign Policy.

    It takes an extremely small amount of live anthrax to produce “a limitless quantity of the material,” he added. That, in turn, means “that every institution that received this received live anthrax, and every individual who had access to the material had the ability to remove, transfer, sell, or use the seedstock for biological weapons. This is the real scandal here.”

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