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

* Governmental lack of transparency relating to dangerous pathogens includes facts relating to the murder of 5 people in 2001

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 3, 2016


Mueller & Ivins composite


DXer writes in a recent post:

Newly disclosed CDC biolab failures ‘like a screenplay for a disaster movie’

Alison Young, USA TODAY 5:43 p.m. EDT June 2, 2016


USAMRIID turns out to be suffering the lack of transparency.  In a May 26, 2016 email I copied to Alison Young (USA Today) and Richard Ebright (quoted in the title of today’s article), I wrote:


It’s been a couple of weeks I asked about these (b)(6) redactions.  Has there been time for a decision on whether the names can be unredacted given the public interest involved on the precise issue of inventory control of virulent anthracis Ames during the period leading up to the five murders in 2001?”

In an earlier May 13, 2016 email copied to Alison Young and Professor Ebright, I wrote:

Sandra Rogers

Sandra, Dr. Ivins told a superior that he would not have the Ames that he should have.
If there is someone who knows of a justification for the missing virulent Ames (see produced emails) used to kill 5 people in 2001, doesn’t the public have a right to know?
In balancing the interests, why would it be an unwarranted invasion of privacy? The disclosure, instead, is clearly warranted.

DOJ gives guidance:

“Exemption 6 protects information about individuals in “personnel and medical files and similar files” when the disclosure of such information “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” …

In order to determine whether Exemption 6 protects against disclosure, an agency should engage in the following two lines of inquiry: first, determine whether the information at issue is contained in a personnel, medical, or “similar” file covered by Exemption 6; and, if so, determine whether disclosure “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” by balancing the privacy interest that would be compromised by disclosure against any public interest in the requested information.”

The emails at issue have been uploaded here.

In case you cannot access the web link, the dates and times of the 3 emails are as follows:

(1) December 18, 2006, 9:06 a.m.
(2) December 17, 2006  7::39 a.m.
(3) December 18, 2006   9:14 a.m.

If you, John Peterson or anyone else would further briefing of the applicable precedent, let me know.

It seems an issue that warrants appeal and litigation if necessary given the public interest.”


2 Responses to “* Governmental lack of transparency relating to dangerous pathogens includes facts relating to the murder of 5 people in 2001”

  1. DXer said

    John Peterson of the Army has instructed the FOIA officer not to respond to any requests that (b)(6) exemptions be removed. (The emails were requested by New York Times reporter Scott Shane). When the email was belatedly produced years later, if Mr. Peterson understands me to have been under an obligation to appeal within a certain period of time, he is mistaken. I was not even the requestor.

  2. DXer said

    The FBI FOIA Officer reports that the delay in producing the Table of Contents from the Interim Case Management Summary is that some of the material is classified — thus causing (additional) delay.

    Not even the arrest of Abdur Rauf (Rauf Ahmad) — whereupon he was promptly provided an ISIS safehouse with a servant who served tea and cookie — would have been reported had I not disclosed it over a decade ago.

    And the fact that Yazid Sufaat travelled to Pakistan upon his release in 2008 STILL has not been disclosed.

    So don’t hold your breath as to particular central revelations involving the exculpatory information being willfully withheld by the FBI — to include identification of the second lab that Rauf Ahmad visited on his mission to get virulent Ames for Dr. Ayman.

    You would be shocked.

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