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

* Oct 28, 2015 Biodefense Report:  “In 2001, anthrax was illicitly removed from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute on Infectious Disease and used in the perpetration of the anthrax attacks that year.”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 30, 2015

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6 Responses to “* Oct 28, 2015 Biodefense Report:  “In 2001, anthrax was illicitly removed from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute on Infectious Disease and used in the perpetration of the anthrax attacks that year.””

  1. DXer said

    Shut down all biodefense labs until the USG stops playing hide-the-ball about AQ’s anthrax program — to include both the strain Yazid Sufaat was using and the identity of the second lab that infiltrating scientist Rauf Ahmad visited on his mission to acquire virulent anthrax. Transparency and accountability has been just a PR slogan for the DOD on these two issues.

    Tom Ridge, former Homeland Security Director from 2003-2005, says that Al Qaeda was doing experiments on anthrax in animals.

    What is his sourcing? Al Qaeda anthrax lab Yazid Sufaat, in a written interview I conducted with him, declined to tell me the strain he and his assistants were using. And he refused to tell me what Abu Khabab (Midhat Morsi) was using in his experiments on animals — rabbits, I believe — in August 2001. (He complimented that question though). The famously filmed dog experiment involved something else. What does Yazid Sufaat’s vaccinated lab assistant — secretly detained in Israel for years — say?

    Why should another dollar be spent on biodefense if the USG cannot — 15 years later –identify the anthrax strain being used by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or where the AQ went on his the mission to acquire virulent anthrax that he pronounced to Dr. Ayman had been successful? The money is being misspent all right.

    • DXer said

      Assessing the State of Our Nation’s Biodefense

      October 28, 2015

      Statement for the Record
      The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman The Honorable Thomas J. Ridge

      Excerpt:
      “We are particularly concerned about the biological threat. We did not pick up this mantle lightly – we knew the problems were great. We also understood that the federal government and its many partners began laying a foundation for biodefense before and particularly after the anthrax attacks of 2001 (fourteen years ago this month). Many in Congress well remember the events that autumn. Just a few feet away, in the Hart Senate Office Building, events unfolded that would permanently alter the trajectory of U.S. biodefense. Letters laden with anthrax spores caused the shutdown of that building for three months. Additional letters wreaked havoc in other locations up and down the East Coast. This led, of course, to far more than reduced business productivity and extreme financial costs for the nation – five Americans died and 17 more were sickened with anthrax.

      We are hardly the first to come to you with concerns that the United States is not taking the biological threat seriously enough and that as a result, it is not ready to deal with a biological event. The U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century raised the issue fourteen years ago, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States raised it eleven years ago, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction raised it ten years ago, and the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (WMD Commission) raised it seven years ago.”

      Statement of Ranking Member Tom Carper “Assessing the State of Our Nation’s Biodefense”

      Wednesday, October 28, 2015

      As prepared for delivery:

      Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing on the state of our nation’s biodefense.
      I’m delighted to welcome two of my former colleagues—Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge. They have been – and remain – two of my very favorite people in the world, and here they are side by side! My heartfelt thanks to both of you for being here and for your extraordinary and continued service to our country on the issue we’ll be discussing today and on many others, as well.

      In recent years, public officials and academic experts alike have sounded the alarm about our ability to deal effectively with biological threats. Since 2000, several commissions, including the 9/11 Commission, have affirmed the danger that the release of a biological agent poses to all of us. In doing so, they’ve urged us to devote more attention and resources to detecting, preventing, and responding to such an incident.

      ***

      The reports of deadly pathogens being mishandled or misplaced is concerning and underscores the need for more rigorous oversight both here and in the Administration.

      Opening Statement of Chairman Ron Johnson “Assessing the State of Our Nation’s Biodefense”

      Wednesday, October 28, 2015

      As submitted for the record:

      The impact could be widespread, and attacks could go on for days before the medical community notices. After authorities conclude an attack has taken place, stopping the perpetrators is no small task and one to which we are unaccustomed. Consider that in the case of the anthrax mailings of 2001, it took six years for the FBI to identify their chief suspect.

  2. DXer said

    “A blue ribbon panel recommended that the vice president assume authority for U.S. biodefense efforts‑-but will it happen?

    At a Nov. 2 hearing on the report by the full House committee on Homeland Security, which I also covered, members said that they appreciated the idea behind the recommendation. But Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) asked Ridge, “Can you imagine a vice president coming to testify before this committee?”

    Thompson may have been referring to the question of how much a congressional committee could brow-beat and grill the vice president of the United States. The image of that also brings to mind the issues of executive privilege and separation of power.

    Lieberman responded that the panel had “kind of backed into the choice of the vice president.” Ridge suggested that something could be worked out. “Maybe he could have the head of the Office of Management and Budget testify for him,” he said.

    We will see. The recommendation about the vice president was just one in 33 in the report, which also had nearly 100 action items.”

    http://www.bna.com/panel-says-vp-b57982063283/

    The Vice-President was here this week. Vice-President Biden delivered remarks Thursday at Syracuse University as part of the “It’s On Us” week of action.

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

  3. DXer said

    Threat level: Unknown
    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/opinion/op-ed/article41997360.html

    Comment:

    Perhaps the threat level remains unknown only because the pharma-funded “Blue Ribbon” panelists like Ridge (former HHS Secretary), Parker (former head of medical research at RIID), Lieberman (Senator), Wainsten (former adviser to Bush and key DOJ Amerithrax person) and Daschle (former Senator and anthrax letter recipient) did a piss-poor job at getting to the bottom of the Fall 2001 anthrax letters. Notably, in their report they don’t ask for a hearing on the Fall 2001 letters — and yet call for countless hearing on this or that manner of spending taxpayer money.

    Taxpayers: Cut off the gravy train and all biodefense funding for so long as transparency and accountability is just a bullshit PR slogan. Inside the beltway it is all about money and CYA. Enough.

  4. DXer said

    Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) chaired a full committee hearing on biodefense on Wednesday. Testifying were former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, co-chairs of the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.

    http://bioprepwatch.com/stories/510645547-senate-committee-hears-testimony-on-status-of-american-biodefense

  5. DXer said

    As an example of a FOIA/PA operation that might serve as a model on these issues, consider the excellent electronic reading room of U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

    http://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/index.cfm?pageid=foia_reading_room.overview

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