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

* 300 ml. of gamma irradiated Ames was sent from USAMRIID to Dugway in August 2001; is there record that it was in fact received (and not diverted)?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 2, 2015

unnamed (25)

14 Responses to “* 300 ml. of gamma irradiated Ames was sent from USAMRIID to Dugway in August 2001; is there record that it was in fact received (and not diverted)?”

  1. DXer said

    Live anthrax? Not a big deal, says the Utah lab that got some
    By NATE CARLISLE | The Salt Lake Tribune
    First Published 5 hours ago • Updated 5 hours ago
    http://www.sltrib.com/home/3496121-155/live-anthrax-not-a-big-deal

  2. DXer said

    Expert warns of anthrax repeat without security improvements, By Wyatt Olson
    Stars and Stripes
    Published: February 4, 2016

    http://www.stripes.com/news/expert-warns-of-anthrax-repeat-without-security-improvements-1.392324

    “America’s civilian and military laboratories “have made mistakes and, if left uncorrected, will contribute to the nation’s biological risk,” and the security breach at Dugway “illustrates this point,” said Parker, who is an ex-officio member of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, a bipartisan group that issued recommendations last fall for dealing with emerging chemical and biological threats.”

    “The Army lab’s technicians believed they were sending out anthrax spores that had been inactivated and posed no threat.

    “As it turns out, there is an incomplete scientific understanding of the inactivation process,” Parker said. “There are no standardized protocols for inactivation, and the checks that Dugway had in place were insufficient.”

    ***

    “A far greater and impending biological threat, however, comes from terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq, which are “making concrete plans for the use of these weapons,” Kenneth L. Wainstein, a member of the blue ribbon panel, told the House subcommittee.

    “Specific intelligence indicates that they’re actively trying to recruit scientific experts; they’re seeking control of labs; they’re making concrete plans for the use of the weapons,” said Wainstein, a former Homeland Security adviser under President George W. Bush.”

    “We believe it’s not a matter of if, but rather when and how soon a biological attack will be launched on our nation, our people or our allies,” he said.

    The fundamental question is whether the U.S. is equipped and prepared to handle such a threat, Wainstein said. “Sadly, our panel found that the answer to that question is no.”

    Despite a wake-up call in fall 2001 when anthrax spores were used in terrorist attacks in Florida, New York and Washington, D.C., the U.S. has “failed to develop the coordinated and comprehensive biodefense that’s necessary to meet and defeat this threat,” he said.”

  3. DXer said

    Gamma-irradiated Ames was used at U.S. Army Edgewood under Bio-Safety 1 (BSL-1).

    Did Dr. Lloyd Larsen send the Stern, Ames and Vollum to Dr. John Ezzell in August 2000 and June 2001 for Army-funded biodetection and decontamination experiments at Aberdeen in 2000 and 2001?

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

    Article first published online: 13 NOV 2000

    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.

    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). …

    Live spores of BA were provided by Dr. Lloyd Larsen (BLTF) for experiments that were conducted under BSL-3 conditions at Dugway Proving Ground.

    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.

    The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center, 5183 Blackhawk Road, AMSSB-RRT-DD E3160, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010-5424 …

  4. DXer said

    U.S. Army Releases Findings of Anthrax Investigation
    Jan 15, 2016
    http://radio.foxnews.com/2016/01/15/u-s-army-releases-findings-of-anthrax-investigation/

    (Ostrowski) “We went to the archives into the freezers of everything that we had at Dugway and what we were able to find is 33 separate lots since 2004 that we had thought had been inactivated.”

    Instead, 17 of those lots were able to grow during testing. Army Major General Paul Ostrowski:

  5. DXer said

    AR 15-6 Investigation Report – individual and Institutional Accountability For the Shipment Of Viable Bacillus Anthracis From Dugway Proving Ground, December 17, 2015
    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2691592-Dugway-Proving-Ground-Anthrax-Shipment-AR-15-6.html

  6. DXer said

    In anthrax shipment report, Army cites deep flaws at biodefense lab
    By ROBERT BURNS
    Associated Press
    Published: January 15, 2016
    http://www.stripes.com/news/us/in-anthrax-shipment-report-army-cites-deep-flaws-at-biodefense-lab-1.388932

    “The report said that during his time as Dugway commander King had a duty to “think strategically” about how a series of flaws and mistakes at the lab during his tenure were related, to notice that they had widespread implications throughout Dugway Proving Ground, and to investigate and remedy problems.

    “Colonel King failed in these duties,” the report said.”

    Comment:

    How ironic. It was Dr. Hassell and Dr. Majidi, the former Amerithrax officials who guided last year’s Army review, who failed to think strategically about how a series of flaws and mistakes at the lab post-2002 were related to flaws pre-2002.

    There is no statute of limitations on murder, however. So after ISIS or Al Qaeda attacks DC and NYC — and there is a public demand for production of the information being intentionally withheld by the FBI relating to Amerithrax — we can revisit the issues of accountability as to the Ames anthrax incident prior to 2002.

    The information being withheld goes way beyond what was property exempt under FOIA.

  7. DXer said

    Dr. Ebright: An issue in a 15-6 might have been why analysis was truncated to post-2002 shipments.

    Jan 13, 2016 | by Richard Sisk
    Army Probe of Anthrax Scandal Raises More Red Flags
    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/01/13/army-probe-of-anthrax-scandal-raises-more-red-flags.html

    The Army was wrapping up an investigation into the anthrax scandal focusing on the Dugway Proving Grounds site in Utah even as new questions emerged on the extent of live shipments of the deadly toxin nationwide and around the world.
    Pentagon officials said that conclusions of the Article 15-6 fact-finding investigation under Army regulations could be released soon, possibly later this week.
    The results could lead to disciplinary action against those responsible for the mistaken shipments, many by Federal Express, of live anthrax spores to 184 labs and contractors in all 50 states and at least nine foreign countries, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico. The number of shipments of live toxins totaled 575, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
    “It’s just unimaginable” that Dugway and DOD for more than 10 years was sending the “seed stock for a biological weapon to hundreds of entities” around the nation and the world without adequate safeguards, said Dr. Richard Ebright, head of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University.
    Many of the shipments went to private contractors and corporations seeking to develop testing mechanisms and vaccines that could then be sold to DOD. “This underscores what a boondoggle the entire system has become,” said Ebright, who has testified before Congress on the issue.
    Last May, when reports on the inadvertent shipments began to emerge, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter pledged to hold accountable those responsible. He also issued an apology to South Korea for the Army’s testing of what proved to be live anthrax at the Osan Air Force Base without the knowledge of the Seoul government.
    Last month, a joint South Korea-U.S. working group charged that U.S. Forces-Korea imported anthrax samples for tests at the Yongsan garrison in central Seoul 15 times between 2009 and 2014, apparently contradicting previous U.S. claims that the shipment to Osan was a one-off mistake.
    However, the Pentagon said that South Korea was told at the time of the Osan disclosure that biological testing had been going on in South Korea since 2009.
    The Article 15-6 investigation was one of three that began after Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work ordered a review of how DOD handles biological agents. Work’s action followed the report last May from a lab in Maryland, which found live spores in an anthrax sample from Dugway that supposedly had been irradiated and was inert.
    Operations at the West Desert Test Center at Dugway were the subject of the Article 15-6 investigation. The office of the Secretary of the Army and the CDC were conducting separate investigations of the DOD’s system for handling deadly toxins, said Marine Maj. Adrian j. Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman.
    The problem areas were not limited to the shipment and testing of anthrax. In September, the CDC investigation disclosed that DOD’s Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center in Maryland had mishandled potentially live plague samples.
    The CDC said that it found a sample of plague in a facility freezer at Edgewood “outside the containment area,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said. The CDC also raised concerns about Edgewood’s handling of a strain of equine encephalitis.
    “There was no rational basis for the shipment of these materials,” Ebright said of the distribution by DOD of anthrax samples. He said a simulant could have been used rather than live or inert anthrax samples for the testing DOD wanted to be conducted.
    As for the investigations, Ebright said “it’s not just a matter of rapping knuckles (of those responsible) and then a return to business. It’s a matter of re-assessing whether this program has value.”

    • DXer said

      Utah laboratory was decontaminated after receiving live anthrax from Dugway Proving Ground
      By NATE CARLISLE | The Salt Lake Tribune
      First Published Jan 13 2016
      http://www.sltrib.com/news/3414436-155/utah-laboratory-had-contamination-from-anthrax

    • DXer said

      Egregious safety failures at Army lab led to anthrax mistakes
      Alison Young and Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY
      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/01/15/military-bioterrorism-lab-safety/78752876/

      And some staff “regularly manipulated data” in important records certifying that pathogens being shipped to other labs were killed and safe for other researchers to use without special protective equipment, the report said. …

      Spoehr said all of the Pentagon’s biodefense labs remain under a self-imposed research moratorium while a new, unified lab oversight structure is put in place and protocols for working safely with pathogens are standardized and undergo scientific review. The process, especially creating verified kill methods for anthrax specimens — plus reliable tests to verify the spores are dead — could take another year, Army officials said.

      Restarting the biodefense research is critical in developing a wide range of tests and equipment to protect against deadly pathogens, such as those that cause Ebola, plague, botulism and anthrax, said Maj. Gen. Brian Lein, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. “We have to do this to protect our troops going into harm’s way,” he said.

  8. DXer said

    “Top U.S. lab regulator replaced in wake of incidents with bioterror pathogens,” Alyson Young, December 8, 2015
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-security-cdc-bioterror-idUSKBN0TR2CG20151208

  9. DXer said

    340 ml. plus 175 ml. — the amounts sent from Dugway to USAMRIID — equals 515 ml. There is only 300 ml. recorded as having been sent back. What happened to the other 215 ml. of genetically matching Ames anthrax that was shipped to the FBI’s anthrax expert at USAMRIID, who worked in the Special Pathogens Branch?

    USAMRIID’s Special Pathogens branch was in the practice, reportedly, of sending out more than was requested and sending it out in lyophilized form. (see uploaded 302)

    So someone should ask Dr. Ezzell where the 215 ml. went.

    But first, let’s consider the 300 ml. sent back to Dugway in August 2001.

    Was the 300 ml. diverted? Could someone obtain from Dugway confirmation it was received?

    Relatedly, was the irradiation of such a large quantity ineffective? Could the FBI provide the documents relating to the sterility check?

    Background:

    Ivins calculated that it would take 300 ml of Dugway spores to make the mailed anthrax – he said that amount of spores would be noticed if it went missing.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 7, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/ivins-calculated-that-it-would-take-300-ml-of-dugway-spores-to-make-the-mailed-anthrax-he-said-that-amount-of-spores-would-be-noticed-if-it-went-missing/

    Dugway anthrax – Will it take Congressional subpoena power to fill in the blanks in the email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick via FedEx and then was shipped out and some was missing?
    Posted on July 29, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/dugway-anthrax-will-it-take-congressional-subpoena-power-to-fill-in-the-blanks-in-the-email-asking-about-weaponized-anthrax-that-came-to-detrick-and-then-was-shipped-out-and-some-was-missing/

    Was the 340 ml. of Ames anthrax sent on June 27, 2001 from Dugway to USAMRIID for irradiation the anthrax that reportedly went missing?
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/was-the-340-ml-of-ames-anthrax-sent-on-june-27-2001-from-dugway-to-usamriid-for-irradiation-the-anthrax-that-reportedly-went-missing/

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 6, 2015

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: