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

* The White House is demanding transparency, swift incident reporting and accountability to the public at biolabs

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 30, 2015

white-house

White House advisers call for greater accountability, safety at biolabs
Alison Young, USA TODAY
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/10/29/white-house-memo-lab-safety-select-agents/74695652/
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5 Responses to “* The White House is demanding transparency, swift incident reporting and accountability to the public at biolabs”

  1. DXer said

    Lab screw-ups with smallpox and anthrax show we must rethink biosecurity
    Self-regulation by biologists was successful in the past but may now be too risky.

    by Diana Gitig – Dec 21, 2015 12:10pm EST
    http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/12/lab-screw-ups-with-smallpox-and-anthrax-show-we-must-rethink-biosecurity/

  2. DXer said

    USAMRIID’s Special Pathogens Branch would send out more b.anthracis (to places like UAB and IITRI and University of Maryland) than was requested and would lyophilize the excess amount of the secondary stocks to avoid temperature requirements in shipping. 279A-WF-22236-USAMRIID, FBI 302, dated 4/17/2003, page 5.

    University of Maryland, however, was never was sent virulent Ames because they did not have a BL-3.

    https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/anthrax-amerithrax/USAMRIID%20Section%209.pdf

  3. DXer said

    The wonderful ever-efficient USAMRMC FOIA Officer wrote yesterday to note:

    “I have updated your request to add ” the irradiation records relating to the August 28, 2000 175 ml Ames shipment and the June 27, 2001 340 ml. Ames shipment — and any related outgoing shipment records.”

    Note that a FOIA Officer “processes” documents under FOIA. She doesn’t “produce” them. That’s what happens (or not) at USAMRIID in Frederick.

  4. DXer said

    I have emailed the official who I am guessing still to be the USMRMC FOIA officer to ask that he authorize the wonderful and ever-efficient FOIA officer to loosen up on the application of the (b)(6) redactions under FOIA and the cited December 2013 policy. Under the new policy announced yesterday by the White House, redaction should not be made where there is a keen public interest in disclosure — and thus no “clearly unwarranted invasion” of personal privacy.

    There is a keen interest in public disclosure with respect to some of these documents and unnecessary (b)(6) redactions. Even under the DOD 2013 policy, it would remain a balancing act under the statutory language. Whether redaction should be made or not will depend on the particular document.

    FOIA/PA is not an easy statute to apply. It is fortunate we have such dedicated FOIA experts applying the broad statutory language and considering the issue and where balancing of interests is needed.

    Politics | Thu Oct 29, 2015
    White House issues report on improving biosafety at federal labs
    CHICAGO | BY JULIE STEENHUYSEN
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/29/us-usa-whitehouse-biosafety-idUSKCN0SN34F20151029

    “The White House issued a 187-page report on Thursday designed to improve biosafety following a series of safety breaches at federal laboratories charged with handling dangerous pathogens such as anthrax,,,

    ***

    In the past, he said, incidents were “kept secret in the name of national security,” which prevented scientists from learning from the mistakes of others.

    ***

    The White House also plans to hold semi-annual reviews to ensure the recommendations are implemented.”

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

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