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

* US Army Shipped Same Virulent Anthrax Strain Used After 9/11 Attacks

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 26, 2015

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25 Responses to “* US Army Shipped Same Virulent Anthrax Strain Used After 9/11 Attacks”

  1. DXer said

    Toxin Concerns Prompt Safety Review at Pentagon Biodefense Labs
    by COURTNEY KUBE and ELIZABETH CHUCK
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/safety-issues-prompt-pentagon-freeze-work-biodefense-labs-n421267

    Army Secretary John McHugh has called for an immediate review of Department of Defense labs that handle toxins, and the Pentagon has extended a moratorium on production and shipment of dangerous materials amid safety concerns.

    A Pentagon official confirmed to NBC News that McHugh ordered a 10-day review of the nine labs and other facilities that handle toxins following widespread mishandling of live anthrax spores.

    ***

    “Prior to resuming the activities prohibited above, laboratories must seek and receive my approval,” McHugh wrote in an Army memo. “I understand that these measures will affect ongoing research activities, and I expect to grant waivers in appropriate circumstances.”

  2. DXer said

    Pentagon Now Says Army Mistakenly Sent Live Anthrax to All 50 States

    Sep 01, 2015 | by Richard Sisk
    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/09/01/pentagon-says-army-mistakenly-sent-live-anthrax-all-50-states.html

    The number of countries that received live anthrax went up from seven to nine — Japan, United Kingdom, Korea, Australia, Canada, Italy, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, according to the Pentagon’s updated accounting of the shipments through Sept. 1.

    On June 1, during a visit to Vietnam, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter pledged to find out who was responsible for shipping the anthrax and “hold them accountable.” At the time, the Pentagon said that live anthrax had gone to 24 labs, 11 states and two countries.
    The Pentagon boosted the count on June 10, saying it was 68 labs in 19 states and four countries. When the department issued its 30-day review of the scandal on July 23, Work said, “We know over the past 12 years, 86 laboratories in 20 states, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries ultimately received what were supposedly inactivated spores that originated at Dugway.”

    Work called the incidents at Dugway and throughout the system a “massive institutional failure.” He said then that he expected the numbers to climb as the Centers for Disease Control investigated for possible “secondary” shipments by the primary labs which received anthrax shipments.

    The samples were from the so-called Ames strain, a particularly virulent form of the bacteria used in the 2001 Anthrax attacks.

  3. DXer said

    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

    Source: November 19, 2007 email by Bruce Ivins, titled “Material taken from [B3] suite during the evening of 1 NOV 07.

  4. DXer said

    The FBI, for example, excluded the possibility of access at Bioport because the Ames that Bioport received had been irradiated. The FBI’s entire analysis was based on a false premise that irradiation was 100% effective.

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2011/07/19/doj-these-arent-the-bioport-spores-youre-looking-for/
    DOJ: These Aren’t the BioPort Spores You’re Looking For
    Published July 19, 2011 | By emptywheel

    A justice department spokesperson explains that BioPort never got any active anthrax spores. “The only RMR-1029 spores which Bioport received were irradiated/dead/non-viable/harmless. Battelle is the only private research facility which received viable RMR-1029 spores.”

    Comment:

    You may recall Bioport as the lab that gave Admiral Crowe 10+% interest — and his defense was that he didn’t have to do anything for the gift and so it didn’t violate conflict of interest regulations

    Company Led by Top Admiral Buys Michigan Vaccine Lab …
    http://www.nytimes.com/…/company-led-by-top-admiral...

    The New York Times
    Company Led By Top Admiral Buys Michigan Vaccine Lab
    http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/08/us/company-led-by-top-admiral-buys-michigan-vaccine-lab.html
    Jul 8, 1998 – The State of Michigan yesterday approved the sale of the nation’s only … Admiral Crowe’s newly formed company, the BioPort Corporation, …

    http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/08/us/company-led-by-top-admiral-buys-michigan-vaccine-lab.html

    The former Ambassador said he had put no personal assets into the plant’s purchase and would be compensated only when, and if, the plant made money. And he acknowledged that his personal experience in pharmaceuticals was limited to once having served on the board of Pfizer, one of the world’s leading drug companies.

    But he said his knowledge of the Defense Department would prove useful, because BioPort would soon be negotiating with the department, the laboratory’s main customer, over the purchase price of future batches of vaccine.

    • DXer said

      As I recall, my friend Richard confirmed that Bioport had irradiated Ames (through correspondence with Bioport).

      The DOJ discusses Battelle and Bioport in court filings, clarifying that Battelle was allowed to distribute the Flask 1029 Ames that it was given.

      It was Battelle that ran Dugway’s Life Sciences facility. Wasn’t it?

      Is there a reason to think that Battelle got things right in Ohio but royally messed up at Dugway?

      The DOD review only addressed the military facilities, not private facilities allowed to distribute Flask 1029.

    • DXer said

      Whose fingerprints and DNA were on the Bioport papers found in possession of Al Qaeda?

      Papers on BioPort [Anthrax Vaccine Maker] found in office of terrorist suspects
      AP | 11-29-01 | AP

      Papers on BioPort found in office of terrorist suspects

      LANSING, Mich. (AP) BioPort Corp., the nation’s only manufacturer of an anthrax vaccine, confirmed Thursday that information on the company was found in an office in Afghanistan used by two retired nuclear scientists from Pakistan.

      The men are being questioned by Pakistani authorities about whether they helped Osama bin Laden make chemical weapons with anthrax.

      The New York Times reported Wednesday that an office the men used in the Afghan capital of Kabul contained documents about the history of anthrax and the Pentagon’s plans to immunize members of the U.S. military against anthrax.

      The documents included a military report describing plans for anthrax vaccine production at BioPort in Lansing.

      BioPort spokeswoman Kim Brennen Root said Thursday that the report was a publicly released environmental study completed in 1998, just before BioPort purchased the labs it now owns from the state.

      “It would have been accessible through libraries or the Internet,” Root said. “It’s not unexpected that a sophisticated organization like al-Qaida would be looking for information from several sources.”

      Root said the documents were probably used to get information about the military vaccination program. At one time, the military planned to inoculate 2.4 million U.S. troops with BioPort’s vaccine, but that program was put on hold because of manufacturing and supply problems at BioPort.

      BioPort is hoping the vaccination program will resume after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspects the company’s labs in mid-December.

      Root said BioPort has no plans to increase security at its labs. National Guard troops have been on the property since early October.

      The Pakistani men, Sultan Bashir-ud-Din Mehmood and Abdul Majid, both worked for Pakistan’s Atomic Energy Commission until retiring in 1999. They made several trips to Afghanistan and met with bin Laden, but say they were simply doing charity work.

    • DXer said

      Both former FBI Laboratory Director Christian Hassell, who has led the DOD review, and former FBI WMD Director Vahid Majidi, who chaired the DOD review committee, must appreciate that correcting mistakes is the hallmark of good science.

      Failure to correct mistakes is the hallmarks of bad science.

      Erratums are part of the process of maintaining credibility and being authoritative as an expert — even if they come years later.

      For Dr. Hassell and Dr. Vahidi not to acknowledge the importance of testing the samples of Ames irradiated by Ivins and his assistants prior to 9/11 is wrong.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26225719

      J Forensic Sci. 2015 Jul;60(4):1114-1116. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12806. Epub 2015 Jun 3.
      Erratum.
      Moretti TR1, Budowle B2, Buckleton JS3.
      Author information

      Erratum for
      • Population data on the thirteen CODIS core short tandem repeat loci in African Americans, U.S. Caucasians, Hispanics, Bahamians, Jamaicans, and Trinidadians. [J Forensic Sci. 1999]
      PMID: 26225719 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

      • Lew Weinstein said

        Is it still possible to do the tests? … Why do you think they refuse to acknowledge the value of the information? … Is somebody insisting the CASE CLOSED should not be reopened? … Why? … To my mind, these questions are equal in importance to the question of who actually carried out the anthrax attacks. The failure of the FBI and other agencies to be held accountable is a disgrace.

        • Lew Weinstein said

          Perhaps the best answers are still to be found in my novel CASE CLOSED … http://www.amazon.com/Case-Closed-Lewis-M-Weinstein/dp/0692452656/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442146793&sr=8-1&keywords=weinstein+case+closed

        • DXer said

          “Is it still possible to do the tests?”

          Unless they destroyed the evidence in what was billed one of the most criminal investigation of all time — in a case that has involved a sharply disputed conclusion and an ongoing national security threat. (Dr. Ayman is an audiotape gave his usual exhortation of lone wolf attacks in the US.

          “Why do you think they refuse to acknowledge the value of the information?”

          I won’t presume to answer for Vahid Majidi. I emailed for an explanation but he did not respond.

          I don’t think I emailed Dr. Hassell to ask. Congressional members should have asked Christian Hassell when they had the opportunity.

          We need outside experts who better understand the issues and analysis than Dr. Majidi and Dr. Hassell — such as Bruce Budowie — to weigh in also. I emailed him this morning.

        • DXer said

          As an example, Ames sent to Bioport in Michigan was excluded because it was irradiated. There, samples would be left outside of doors by messengers. No process of elimination analysis is sound where large numbers of people were excluded on the grounds that the Ames that had been sent had been irradiated.

          As another example, Edgewood was supplied irradiated Ames in a soil suspension.

  5. DXer said

    In contrast to my earlier understanding, the gamma irradiated Ames strain provided the Aberdeen/Edgewood researcher (see November 2000 publication) was provided by the FBI’s expert at USAMRIID, John Ezzell. He was the scientist who made the dried powder out of the Ames from Ivins’ Flask 1029.

    The work done with live Ames spores by the Aberdeen researcher at Dugway.

    The flow cytometry of Bacillus anthracis spores revisited †
    • Peter J. Stopa*
    Article first published online: 13 NOV 2000
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0320(20001201)41:4%3C237::AID-CYTO1%3E3.0.CO;2-3/full

    “Work with gamma-irradiated spores of BA and other strains of Bacillus was performed at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC) under Bio-Safety Level 1 (BSL-1) practices. Work that required the use of live BA spores was performed under Bio-Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) practices at the Baker Lifesciences Test Facility (BLTF), U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground.

    Bacterial Stocks
    Gamma-Irradiated spores of BA (strains: Sterne, Ames, and Vollum) were obtained from Dr. John Ezzell of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). BA was grown as described in Ezzell et al. (12), harvested, and allowed to sporulate. Media were then removed by centrifugation and the pellet was resuspended in water with 0.1% phenol as a preservative. Spore concentration was estimated by dilution plating methods. The spore suspensions were then frozen and gamma irradiated. Samples were then safety tested by standard techniques.

    Live spores of BA were provided by Dr. Lloyd Larsen (BLTF) for experiments that were conducted under BSL-3 conditions at Dugway Proving Ground. Spores were prepared as described above and supplied as stocks of 108 CFU/ml in water. Log-fold dilution series from 107 to 102CFU/ml were then prepared using flow cytometer sheath fluid (Iso-Flow; Coulter).

    For cross-reactivity studies, Bacillus globigii (BG; now known as Bacillus subtilis var. niger) was obtained from Dr. Bruce Harper (BLTF). BG was supplied as either a dry powder or as spore suspensions in water. Additional cultures of Bacillus species and other bacteria used in this study were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC; Rockville, MD).

  6. DXer said

    According to the literature, American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) which shared facilities with the DARPA Ames anthrax researchers, had irradiated Ames prior to 911.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0320(20001201)41:4%3C237::AID-CYTO1%3E3.0.CO;2-3/full

    If you don’t already know that Ali Al-Timimi had access, just ask FBI’s JB, who was collection scientist at ATCC.

    The flow cytometry of Bacillus anthracis spores revisited †
    • Peter J. Stopa*
    Article first published online: 13 NOV 2000

    The goats were then immunized intramuscularly (IM) with 1 ml of an equivolume mixture of irradiated Ames…

    For cross-reactivity studies, Bacillus globigii (BG; now known as Bacillus subtilis var. niger) was obtained from Dr. Bruce Harper (BLTF). BG was supplied as either a dry powder or as spore suspensions in water. Additional cultures of Bacillus species and other bacteria used in this study were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC; Rockville, MD).

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

    • DXer said

      Question: Was the head of ATCC correct when he once publicly claimed that ATCC never had the Ames strain?

      Or did ATCC provide irradiated Ames to the researcher at Edgewood as reported in the literature.

      (Or is the discrepancy explainable by the fact that the Ames that they had was irradiated.)

      Compare

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0320(20001201)41:4%3C237::AID-CYTO1%3E3.0.CO;2-3/full

      The flow cytometry of Bacillus anthracis spores revisited †

      • Peter J. Stopa*

      Article first published online: 13 NOV 2000

      The goats were then immunized intramuscularly (IM) with 1 ml of an equivolume mixture of irradiated Ames…

      ***
      For cross-reactivity studies, Bacillus globigii (BG; now known as Bacillus subtilis var. niger) was obtained from Dr. Bruce Harper (BLTF). BG was supplied as either a dry powder or as spore suspensions in water. Additional cultures of Bacillus species and other bacteria used in this study were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC; Rockville, MD).

      with

      A NATION CHALLENGED: THE ANTHRAX TRAIL; U.S. Inquiry Tried, but Failed, To Link Iraq to Anthrax Attack
      By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID JOHNSTON
      Published: December 22, 2001

      Raymond H. Cypess, president of the germ bank, said recent investigations had disproved the mislabeling idea. ”We never had it,” he said of the Ames strain, ”and we can say that on several levels of analysis.’’

      http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/22/us/nation-challenged-anthrax-trail-us-inquiry-tried-but-failed-link-iraq-anthrax.html

    • DXer said

      If you study the documents relating to Southern Research Institute’s work for Hadron/Advanced Biosystems (Alibek’s firm) as subcontractor, you will see that it was contemplated that SRI would do the work on virulent Ames for Alibek. When I spoke with Alibek, he would not identify the area — just said it was in the region. It turned out that the lab was SRI, based on archived press releases from the company accessible through the Wayback Machine.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  7. DXer said

    “Almost 200 labs in all 50 states affected by live anthrax shipments,”
    Jacqueline Klimas – The Washington Times – Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/28/almost-200-labs-50-states-affected-live-anthrax/

    A private lab in Maryland discovered earlier this year that its sample that was supposed to be inactive was actually live, sparking an investigation that found more than half of all samples from Dugway contained live spores.

    D. Christian Hassell, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for chemical and biological defense, said …

    “ we remain fully committed to complete transparency of information.”

    Comment:

    If that were true, Mr. Hassell would have addressed the FBI’s analysis in Amerithrax — under which all individuals with access only to irradiated Ames were excluded.

    (He was the head of the FBI Laboratory and should have known that the method of irradiation was not validated; the FBI’s leading anthrax consultant, John E, told me in 2007 that it was recognized that it had not been done.)

    Moreover, if that were true, Mr. Hassell would have expressly acknowledged that Bruce Ivins experienced the same problems — I would not have had to point it out and upload Dr. Ivins’ emails on the subject.

    Instead, DOD claimed that USAMRIID didn’t keep the data.

    Finally, if that were true, he would recommend to FBI Director Comey that Amerithrax be reopened.

    p.s. If that were true, the FBI would not have withheld key notebooks involving the transfer of virulent of Ames anthrax strain under FOIA.

    Someone is obstructing at justice.

  8. DXer said

    Daily News:
    Number of labs that received live anthrax from U.S. military increases to all 50 states and 7 foreign countries
    BY JOEL LANDAU NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, July 28, 2015

    Eighty-six primary labs [and] 106 secondary labs received the contaminated shipment …

    The 106 secondary labs, which received the materials from the primary labs, were added to the website Monday night, Buzzfeed reports.

    The affected labs, which include commercial companies, academic institutions and federal facilities, are located in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It also reached seven foreign countries: Japan, United Kingdom, Korea, Australia, Canada, Italy and Germany, the department reports.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/number-labs-live-anthrax-increases-article-1.2306589

  9. DXer said

    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

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/the-pentagon-anthrax-scandal-is-getting-worse-by-the-day-the-new-edition-of-case-closed-could-not-come-at-a-more-opportune-time/

    Oops! Pentagon quietly DOUBLES the number of labs it mistakenly sent anthrax – and now the number is 192

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3177434/Oops-Pentagon-quietly-DOUBLES-number-labs-mistakenly-sent-anthrax-number-192.html#ixzz3hCKPVVFL

    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

  10. DXer said

    Al Mauroni makes points worth considering in this piece below. I would add, however, that a focus on punishment leads to a cramped consideration of the implication of the scientific uncertainties. it leads to the truncating of the consideration of the implications of the scientific uncertainties. People simply are not going to come forward with information if it is going to get them in trouble.

    The same irradiation problems existed relating to the distribution of Ames by both Dugway and USAMRIID PRE-911.

    For example, even Bruce Ivins sometimes experienced the same problems relating to irradiation — as evidenced by some emails this blog has uploaded. The Review Committee makes no mention of them, finding that USAMRIID did not keep the documentation.

    Moreover, the Review Committee make no mention of the batch of Ames at Dugway prior to 911 that had been irradiated and in fact was distributed prior to 2001. To limit analysis to events dating to 2003 is irresponsible.

    The Review Committee Chair, Vahid Majidi, was the head of the FBI investigation who concluded Bruce Ivins was guilty based on a process of elimination. Under the FBI’s analysis, hundreds known to have access to virulent Ames were (speciously) claimed to have been excluded. (The FBI’s entire analysis assumes that the person who acquired the Ames is the same person who processed and/or mailed it which is on its face specious).

    An additional number, however, had access to Ames that had been irradiated (which was merely assumed to be dead). While claiming lessons have been learned, the DOD in fact avoided addressing the central lesson that cries from the back of the room urged should be taught. It was as if Vahid had taught an introductory chemistry course without telling his students about the mole concept.

    It is more important that the “lessons be learned” (and the country be kept safe) than a scapegoat found.

    The Al Qaeda lab director Yazid Sufaat in written correspondence does not deny responsibliity for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. If Dr. Ayman Zawahiri attacks the US with anthrax, it will be Vahid Majid’s fault because he was in charge of a “lessons learned” and did not press the analysis to include distributions and irradiation that occurred prior to 2001.

    Everyone makes missteps — few people get such a tremendous opportuntiy to have set things right.

    RELAX ABOUT THE ANTHRAX
    Al Mauroni
    July 27, 2015 ·
    http://warontherocks.com/2015/07/relax-about-the-anthrax/2/

    Holding one person accountable is challenging since there is no oneperson in charge. There were six Army chemical officers (full disclosure: all of whom I know personally) acting as commanders at Dugway Proving Ground between 2003 and 2015. They were all superb leaders, hand-picked for what is considered a plum position within the Army Chemical Corps. No, they did not have PhDs. The Army stopped insisting that its Chemical Corps leaders possess hard science-based PhDs in their resumes in the late 1970s after the branch was nearly disestablished because it emphasized promoting technical expertise over combat leadership. One of those Dugway commanders is now a one-star general. Should we offer him as a sacrificial lamb for the sake of satisfying the general public that someone has been held accountable?

    Or maybe we need someone higher up the chain. Maybe a general officer leading the Army Test and Evaluation Command should be cashiered — but again, if the shipments took place throughout 2003 to 2014, which one leader over the last decade bears the responsibility? All of them? What about the civilian leadership, one of the many Assistant Secretaries of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, maybe we need to ask Mr. Andy Weber what he knew and when he knew about the biodefense program’s techniques and practices?

    As you can hopefully understand, it becomes a ridiculous charade to try to pin responsibility on one person or one agency. The investigative report properly notes that protocols were in place that were validated, approved, and then followed. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Army Inspector General have traveled to Dugway many times to review and approve the lab’s protocols. This is a fixable problem — a problem intrinsic to science. We learn from trial and error. This is called “experimentation.” Academia, private industry, and government research all have these issues.

    Additionally, journalists covering this story have generally overlooked role of CDC in this incident. The CDC is required by law to oversee the inspection of entities to evaluate whether they meet federal regulatory requirements regarding the shipment of select agents and toxins. No one has asked the tough question about why the CDC has not yet recommended a standard protocol for the shipment of inactivated biological organisms. Given that it has been more than a decade since the Amerithrax attacks, more progress should have been made in this area.

    On to the next question: Why should anyone trust the Department of Defense to fix this issue? One might start out by reading the list of the members of the review panel at the end of the report. Of the twenty committee members, only two were from the Department of Defense. There is no bias in selection, just an excess of scientific minds and a dearth of policy wonks. No one is going to shut Dugway down — it is a national treasure. The Department of Defense cannot verify and validate that our military’s chemical biological defense gear will work in the field without using Dugway’s unique testing facilities.

    ***

    Like every other investigation, this will blow over and the Army will get back to work. The investigation does come with a cost, as Dugway’s important work is sidetracked and blanketed in investigations. Critically, the larger context here requires examination: What does the U.S. government consider “countering WMD” and how does the “whole of government” support that mission? Do we lack the clear and concise guidance required to manage the many conflicting agendas and programs that involve WMD? How do we ensure that the U.S. government adequately oversees the development of protective capabilities for facing WMD threats in major combat operations, irregular warfare operations, and homeland security? We have a limited set of technical experts and a lot of responsibilities assigned to them. The need for policy leadership in this area is constant and unrelenting.

    Al Mauroni is the Director of the U.S. Air Force Center for Unconventional Weapons Studies. The opinions, conclusions, and recommendations expressed or implied within are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Air University, U.S. Air Force, or Department of Defense.

  11. DXer said

    I wrote Dr. Majidi (former FBI WMD head) and Dr. Beecher (FBI microbiologist) addressing what I understand to be the implications. (My email for Dr. Beecher was not current; feel free to forward it to him if you have his current email).

    “Dr. Majidi and Doug, note scientific uncertainties relating to gamma irradiation undermined FBI’s good faith analysis in Amerithrax – under which individuals known only to have access to gamma irradiated Ames were excluded.

    John Ezzell noted to me in 2007 that the research had not been done.

    I am forwarding emails showing Bruce Ivins experienced the same irradiation problems (it is small comfort that USAMRIID did not keep the same data as Dugway). FBI’s analysis in AMERITHRAX rested on false premise that irradiated anthrax could reasonably be excluded.

    Both USAMRIID and Dugway distributed gamma irradiated Ames pre 911 — to include the gamma irradiated Ames (rendered into a powder by the FBI’s expert John Ezzell) to numerous DARPA researchers.

    The true “lesson learned” from the recent Dugway developments is that Amerithrax should be reopened because it rested on a scientific analysis that turns out to have been based on an unvalidated premise.

    This is not a time to find fault, point fingers or be defensive. It is a time to acknowledge that often scientific uncertainty does not reveal itself when it is convenient.

    In written correspondence with me, Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat does not deny responsibility for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

    Whatever you decide,

    Best regards,

    Ross …

    p.s. Let’s hope Ayman Zawahiri and history does not prove you mistaken in your analysis. As a poker player cognizant of “pots odds” (which takes into account what is at stake), I think Amerithrax should be reopened on the grounds of these newly apparent scientific uncertainties.

    Given the quality of the FBI’s work product, there is little reason to think anyone could have conducted the investigation better — but sometimes a difficult mystery thought solved still needs to be more persuasively solved…. and the demonstrated scientific uncertainties addressed.

    https://vault.fbi.gov/Amerithrax/amerithrax-part-40-of/view

    On four (4) polypropylene tubes containing Bacillus anthracis
    Ames for use in fermentor production runs. On the first
    spore production run of the 19 total runs that would be initiated
    for shipment to between 04/23/1997 and 09/03/1997.
    ***
    70ml of irradiated spores, concentration 5.0×107 spores/ml, dated 09/23/1997 were recovered in a consensual search of the Lothar Salomon Life Sciences Test Facility at the Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, Utah on 06/30/2004.

    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/

    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/

    Is CDC going to tell USA Today’s Alison Young about the 2007 probe of the earlier misshipment of anthrax? Bruce Ivins asked: “Does this refer to any material that DPG sent here for irradiation, then was sent back?”
    Posted on June 18, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/is-cdc-going-to-tell-usa-todays-alison-young-about-the-2007-probe-of-the-earlier-misshipment-of-anthrax-bruce-ivins-asked-does-this-refer-to-any-material-that-dpg-sent-here-for-irradiation-th/

    Dugway anthrax irradiation scandal – USAMRIID’s Bruce Ivins in 2008 recognized that a 50% check of samples “leaves us ‘better safe than sorry’ ” (as opposed to other’s insistence that only 10% was necessary)
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 13, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/usamriids-bruce-ivins-in-2008-recognized-that-a-50-check-of-samples-leaves-us-better-safe-than-sorry-as-opposed-to-others-insistence-that-only-10-was-necessary/

    Did North Korea provide Al Qaeda/Moro Front and Dr. Ayman Zawahiri anthrax as claimed in 1999 testimony in Egypt by the shura members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 4, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/did-north-korea-provide-al-qaeda-and-dr-ayman-zawahiri-anthrax-as-claimed-in-1999-testimony-in-egypt-by-the-shura-members-of-the-egyptian-islamic-jihad/

    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/

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

    • DXer said

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

      Note how the Former head of the FBI Laboratory, Chris Hassell, did not have the Ames samples — assumed to be dead in accusing Dr. Bruce Ivins — tested. DOD only retested samples irradiated from 2003 onward.

      This does not constitute a a credible attempt at “lessons learned.”
      .

      Opening Statement

      Dr. David C. Hassell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs
      Hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee On Shipment of Inactivated Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax)
      July 28, 2015

      “Since 2003, the four DoD laboratories irradiated a total of 149 batches of live anthrax spores and reported them as inactivated and safe for subsequent testing. Every one of those batches have been accounted for and either tested or destroyed.

      Fifty three of the 149 batches are no longer in DoD inventory. Of the remaining 96 samples available to test, 17 of those 96 tested positive for the regrowth or presence of live anthrax, and every one originated from Dugway Proving Ground.

      In other words, of the total batches in Dugway’s inventory, 17 of 33 batches tested positive, which is over 50%.”

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