* DXer: How can DOD do a meaningful review of distribution of Ames anthrax at USAMRIID without these notebooks? Answer. They cannot
Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 20, 2015
DXer commented on * Why hasn’t the Army uploaded Bruce Ivins’ Lab Notebook #4010 relating to his distribution of the Ames b. anthracis genetically matching the mailed anthrax spores that killed 5 people?
The US Army has not uploaded the lab notebook of Bruce Ivins that relates to the virulent Ames shipped from Dugway to USAMRIID and put into Flask 1029.
Nor have they uploaded 3655 which relates to Flask 1030, which had genetically matching Ames AND a silicon signature.
Some (to include US Attorney Taylor) have given Flask 1029 the sensationally and intentionally misleading name “the murder weapon.”
Question: Why hasn’t the US Army uploaded Notebook 4010 relating to Flask 1029 along with the other dozen notebooks uploaded?
Answer: The wonderful official who oversees the USAMRIID operation previously reported that it was because the FBI removed it from USAMRIID.
Question: But how can DOD do a meaningful review of distribution of Ames anthrax at USAMRIID without these notebooks?
Answer. They cannot. If CDC and Army say that there has been transparency and accountability, that’s not true. The Army has not even taken the steps necessary to obtain the best contemporaneous evidence relating to the distribution of Ames b. anthracis.
For example, how can it be determined who was sent irradiated Ames from Flask 1029 without the notebook? How can it be determined if there was distribution in violation of regulations without the notebooks?
The two former FBI officials who guided the DOD review — Christian Hassell and Vahid Majidi — were respectively the heads of the FBI Laboratory and the FBI WMD director who guided the closing of Amerithrax upon Bruce Ivins’ suicide. How can the Army claim that there is transparency when it knows that the FBI has played hide-the-ball with the relevant lab notebooks? Why did the Army review — led by former FBI officials Hassell and Majidi — truncate the inquiry to relate to only post-911 shipments?
The most relevant shipments of all were the Ames from Flask 1029 which the USG/ FBI says killed five people. How is that transparency? How is that accountability? Hide the ball if you must but don’t try to get credit for transparency and accountability — CDC or the Army — if you do not reach this issue of distribution of the Ames anthrax that killed five people.
It turns out that I don’t know how many pages are in Lab Notebook 4010. I only know there were 88 pages through April 27, 1998 when a former Zawahiri associate visited Bruce Ivins B3 lab and worked along Bruce, Pat Fellows and Mara Linscott in the B3.
The scientist and I have a mutual friend who I’ll call “Tawfiq” Hamid. The scientist’s childhood and medical school friend “Tawfiq” was recruited by Dr. Ayman Zawahiri and withdrew when he was asked to bury a security officer near the mosque.
I unsuccessfully tried to get Lab Notebook 4010 from AUSA Lieber. But rather than help with the FOIA request, she and public affairs announced the principle that requesters were going to get all that they were ever going to get. Yet, that is not what the FOIPA law mandates.
Ivins himself made plain the importance of these notesbooks. By email dated March 19, 2004, Dr. Ivins wrote:
“I am sending you information requested over the telephone this morning.
USAMRIID Notebooks 3655 and 4010 contain information pertaining to Ames spore preparations RMR (Reference Material Receipt) 1030 and RMR 1029.” The importance of notebook 3655 and 4010 cannot be overstated:
By email dated August 30, 2004, Dr. Ivins wrote:
“I’m still looking for the im challenge data. Unfortunately, the FBI has some of my notebooks that contain the data.”
30 pages from LAB NOTEBOOK 4010 were disclosed to the NAS — it is Batch 326, item #13. Flask 1030, you may recall, not only was genetically matching but had a silicon signature.
The FBI continues to refuse to provide me 3655. Most recently, the FBI pretended that they did not receive the last request that they provably did.
At the same time, Ken Dillon features Notebook 4010 and Notebook 3655 — being wrongfully withheld by the FBI — prominently in his June 19, 2015 Freedom of Information Appeal.
The FBI took what I’ll call the AUSA Lieber-crafted view: Requesters have received all they are ever going to get. (Commonly, in boilerplate they bizarrely claim it has already been provided.)
This has remained FBI’s position even while the former FBI lead Amerithrax investigator has claimed in a lawsuit that the FBI has intentionally concealed information exculpatory of Bruce Ivins.
Dr. Dillon should bring a lawsuit that bears down on identifying who has been responsible for what amounts to an obstruction at Justice. Scott Nelson at Public Citizen: Your country needs you.