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

* USAMRIID did not produce any irradiation records relating to the August 28, 2000 175 ml Ames shipment and the June 27, 2001 340 ml Ames shipment – and has not produced any records that the Ames was ever shipped back out

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 14, 2015

1173989381_110615_101300

Advertisements

5 Responses to “* USAMRIID did not produce any irradiation records relating to the August 28, 2000 175 ml Ames shipment and the June 27, 2001 340 ml Ames shipment – and has not produced any records that the Ames was ever shipped back out”

  1. DXer said

    Of the 515 ml. of virulent Ames that Dugway sent to USAMRIID on those dates, I now see a form produced today by USAMRIID that 300 ml. of gamma irradiated Ames was sent from USAMRIID to Dugway in August 2001. The level of irradiation used is indicated on the form that will be uploaded.

    Is there record that it was in fact received (and not diverted)

  2. DXer said

    The wonderful and ever-efficient USAMRMC FOIA Officer writes today advising:

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: NONE

    From USAMRIID Safety Officer:

    “We tried to locate irradiation records but unfortunately were not successful in locating any older than the 2002 timeframe. The FBI during their Amerithrax investigation removed many types of documents and these most likely were included”.

  3. DXer said

    Was the missing 340 ml. of virulent Ames sent in June 2001 ever irradiated? Or, instead, was it used by someone in the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

    The FBI scientists have publicly emphasized that laboratory technician Terry Abshire played the key role in the entire case. Yet — contrary to the spin of the FBI scientists — her observation was that the mailed anthrax looked like HER spores. She was the long-term assistant to John Ezzell. John Ezzell played a key role in the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit (HMRU).

    Trail of Odd Anthrax Cells Led FBI to Army Scientist
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/26/AR2008102602522.html

    “In late October 2001, lab technician Terry Abshire placed a tray of anthrax cells under a microscope and spotted something so peculiar she had to look twice. It was two weeks after the country’s worst bioterrorism attack, and Abshire, like others at the Army’s Fort Detrick biodefense lab, was caught up in a frenzied search for clues that could help lead to the culprit.

    Abshire focused her lens on a moldlike clump. Anthrax bacteria were growing here, but some of the cells were odd: strange shapes, strange textures, strange colors. These were mutants, or “morphs,” genetic deviants scattered among the ordinary anthrax cells like chocolate chips in a cookie batter.

    Unknowingly, Abshire had discovered a key to solving the anthrax case. ”

    __________

    Comment: When in late October 2001, and Terry Abshire noticed that the mailed anthrax looked like her spores, hadn’t she perhaps found the key to solving the anthrax case?
    But when it pointed to the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit and the FBI’s Special Pathogens Branch, might her observations been lost to history by FBI scientists eager to strike a CSI pose?
    Look how the FBI investigator spun her observation:

    “[Ivins] wasn’t an expert. He was the expert,” said a senior FBI investigator, who answered questions about the still-open case on the condition of anonymity.”

    Really? Wasn’t John Ezzell THE expert? He was the one making a dried powder out Ames for DARPA, not Ivins. Terry Abshire had told the FBI that it looked like HER spores and the FBI was spinning things in the still-open investigation away from the spores of the FBI HMRU’s unit? This does not seem transparent and accountable at all.
    __________

    “Many outside experts and some lawmakers dismiss the government’s case against Ivins as circumstantial, while Ivins’s former colleagues and friends argue that he was incapable, technically and constitutionally, of committing an act of mass murder. “Bruce Ivins was a victim of a vicious plot,” said Ayaad Assaad, a toxicologist who once worked with Ivins at Fort Detrick, in Maryland.”

    ***

    “The finished product, a muddy, off-white liquid in a glass flask the size of a small coffee pot, was the greatest single concentration of deadly anthrax bacteria in the country, FBI investigators said.”
    Really? Ivins had what — about 333 ml. of virulent Ames. The scientist working for the FBI’s Special Pathogens Branch had just been shipped 340 ml. — on top of the 175 ml. previously shipped.
    “Top FBI officials hoped that science could provide a link to the bioterrorist, but they soon grasped the difficulty of the task. They searched for traces of human DNA in the anthrax powder, and in the envelopes, but found none.”

    __________
    Comment: Oops! Now is that a big lie? According to the former lead Amerithrax investigator in a Complaint filed in federal district court, the FBI Laboratory DID find human DNA. But that it was someone who worked for the FBI. But the lead investigator alleges that FBI Laboratory (incredibly) did not tell the investigators — did not tell the lead Amerithrax investigator Rick Lambert. I guess the advantage of spinning a perp’s guilt in an open case — while speaking anonymously — is that you are not bound by what the documents still being wrongfully withheld by the FBI (see, e.g., Notebook 3655) in fact establish. The human DNA was from a female technician working for the FBI, wasn’t it? (Yes). Whose DNA was it? (I don’t know; it has never been disclosed but it should be in a Congressional hearing that is needed on the subject).
    __________

    “The breakthrough the FBI sought came not from a big-name scientist but from a technician who had spent years studying anthrax bacteria under a microscope.”

    “Terry Abshire had been tasked with growing colonies of anthrax bacteria from spores recovered from one of the mailings. When the 56-year-old Frederick resident studied the cells, she noticed that a few colonies were different in subtle ways, so she allowed the bacteria to grow for a longer period so as to check again.”

    “They looked different — different colors, different textures,” said Richard Langham, an FBI scientist who was assigned to work at the Fort Detrick lab. He said it was Abshire’s 20 years of experience that allowed her to spot the subtleties.”

    “A new postdoc working with anthrax probably would not have noticed,” he said.

    “The FBI was fortunate: Not only were there multiple mutations among the attack strain, but they also were the kinds that led to easily detectable physical changes.”

    Comment: Yes, and what Terry Abshire told the FBI was that it looked like HER spores. Why on earth did the FBI scientists not disclose that? Why on earth did former FBI Laboratory head Christian Hassell and former FBI WMD head Vahid Majidi — now in charge of things at the DOD — truncate the recent DOD interview so as to not reach this pre-911 mailing?

    I don’t know and I will presume their good faith. But I know the DOD is not acting with transparency and accountability. So I think it is important that Christian Hassell and Vahid Majidi stop pretending that they are.

    This is the same CYA hide-the-ball game so famously played by folks inside the beltway. Enough is enough.

    • DXer said

      Former lead Amerithrax investigator Lambert explains to me:

      “[t]he quantity of DNA detected on the envelope was, according to the FBI Lab, too small in quantity to yield a profile. As a consequence, we set out on our own to find another lab that might help us. We eventually found a lab in California which was perfecting a technique called Whole Genome Amplification. It was that company which was ultimately able to develop a profile suitable for matching. And yes, you are right, the DNA matched that of the FBI Lab Examiner under scrutiny – another instance of cross contamination. The quandary I always struggled with is why the FBI Lab’s leadership would assign such an important examination to an employee they knew was already under scrutiny for cross contaminating samples.”

      “As to your question about the identity of the two FBI PhD Agents who were transferred to a training assignment – the Privacy Act prohibits my disclosure of their identities without their permission.”

      [It is discernable from open sources which two FBI PhD Agents were sent abroad to Israel to learn Arabic. Guess who the two FBI PhD agents were and what they had learned in the course of interviews?]

      • DXer said

        What does Ms. Jacqueline Blake say about any work she did on Amerithrax? That would be a fascinating interview. Perhaps the way it would work is scrapings are given to the lab tech to analyze and then inadvertently there was a transfer of a speck of her skin. Is that it? Was it Ms. Blake’s DNA on the envelope rather than Ms. Abshire’s?

        More Wrongdoing Found at FBI Crime Lab, Associated Press, by John Solomon.

        April 15, 2003

        WASHINGTON (AP) – Reformed after controversy in the mid-1990s, the FBI crime lab is dealing with new wrongdoing by employees that has opened the door for challenges of the lab’s science in scores of cases involving DNA and bullet analysis, internal documents show.

        One FBI lab scientist, who connected suspects to bullets through lead analysis, has been indicted after admitting she gave false testimony, and a technician has resigned while under investigation for alleged improper testing of more than 100 DNA samples, according to records and interviews.

        In addition, one of the lab’s retired metallurgists is challenging the bureau’s science on bullet analysis, prompting the FBI to ask the National Academy of Sciences to review its methodology, the records obtained by The Associated Press show.

        FBI Lab Director Dwight Adams said detection of the problems illustrates that reforms are working.

        “The difference is these are being caught and dealt with swiftly. Our quality assurance program is in place to root out these problems, incompetence and inaccurate testimonies,” Adams said in an interview. “These weren’t fortuitous catches; they were on purpose.”

        Defense lawyers are already mounting challenges in high-profile cases handled by the two employees and are questioning the FBI’s project to build a national DNA database that will help law enforcement identify suspects based on their genetic fingerprints.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: