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

* In suppressing exculpatory info about Ivins in Amerithrax, the FBI has failed to identify the agency or agencies with which it has to consult before producing the 16 pages, thus avoiding accountability for the continued withholding of exculpatory information

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 30, 2016


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5 Responses to “* In suppressing exculpatory info about Ivins in Amerithrax, the FBI has failed to identify the agency or agencies with which it has to consult before producing the 16 pages, thus avoiding accountability for the continued withholding of exculpatory information”

  1. dxer said

    The Chilcot report is online at iraqinquiry. I will study it tonight when I get to my bigger screen computer.

  2. DXer said

    Is someone going to obtain the Chilcot report and make it available in a searchable database? This blog should obtain and post any and all references to anthrax, to include infiltration of Porton Down by Rauf Ahmad, the scientist working for Ayman Zawahiri.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: the Infiltration of US Biodefense

  3. DXer said

    Once again the FBI’s Dave Hardy has failed to abide by the DOJ published guidance:

    “The referring agency ordinarily should advise the requester of the referral and of the name of the agency FOIA office to which it was made.”

    DOJ, OIP Guidance: Referrals, Consultations, and Coordination: Procedures for Processing Records when Another Agency or Entity Has an Interest in Them (2011)
    (advising that agencies should utilize time efficient mechanisms in conducting consultations, should provide copies of material that would assist other agency in its
    analysis, should conduct consultations simultaneously rather than sequentially whenever possible, and should provide requesters updates on status of ongoing consultations).
    See also DOJ FOIA Regulations, 28 C.F.R. § 16.4(c)(1) (2012)

    Where the agency consulted is disclosed, referrals foster efficiency and ensure consistency of responses, as well as ensure that agencies making release determinations are fully informed about the content of the records Where the agency is not identified, referrals are a means of avoiding responsibility for delay and withholding.

    The referring agency ordinarily should advise the requester of the referral and of the name of the agency FOIA office to which it was made.

    See id. (explaining that providing this information ensures that requesters understand what has happened to the documents that are responsive to their requests, are not
    disadvantaged by the referral process, and have a point of contact should they have any questions about their request)

    Moreover, it is wrong to be put at end of queue at other agency (as happened with Army MedCom this year)

    The DOJ manual states:

    “Additionally, as a matter of sound administrative practice agencies receiving referrals should handle them on a “first- in, first – out” basis among their other FOIA requests, according to the date of the request’s initial receipt at the referring agency in order to avoid placing requesters at an unfair timing disadvantage through agency referral practices.”

    But absent disclosure of the agency to which the referral was made, there is no means of assuring that the agency complies with this rule.

    See, e.g., Hall v. CIA, 668 F. Supp. 2d 172, 182 (D.D.C. 2010) (instructing agency to “take affirmative steps to ensure that its referrals are being processed”); Skinner v. DOJ , 744 F. Supp. 2d 185, 216 (D.D.C. 2010) (denying summary judgment in part “[b]ecause the results of the [agency’s] referral of records to [two age ncies] have not been explained”); Schoenman v. FBI , 604 F. Supp. 2d 174, 203

    04 (D.D.C. 2009) (requiring agency to submit a “comprehensive” Vaughn Index that will include “a complete accounting of all referrals made and indicate whether all documents so re ferred have been processed and released to Plaintiff”); Keys , 570 F. Supp. 2d at 68, 69 (stating that withholding was improper where neither referring agency nor referee agency explained nature of pages withheld on referral, and where referring agency did not explain why referee agency required requester to submit additional request for responsive public records); Hronek v. DEA , 16 F. Supp. 2d 1260, 1272 (D. Or. 1998) (noting that with respect to records referred to nonparty agencies “the ultimate responsibility for a full response lies with the [referring] agencies”), aff’d, 7 F. App’x 591 (9th Cir. 2001).

  4. DXer said
    Hundreds of safety incidents with bioterror germs reported by secretive labs

    By Alison Young, USA TODAY [July 1, 2016]

    Laboratories reported more than 230 safety incidents with bioterror viruses and bacteria last year, hundreds of workers were monitored for potential exposures and a handful of labs had their permits suspended because of violations that raised “significant concerns for imminent danger,” according to a report released Thursday by federal lab regulators in response to a White House call for greater public transparency.

    Background checks by the FBI stopped 16 individuals that posed security risks – including six convicted felons, two fugitives and a person found to be a “mental defective” — from working in labs where they’d have access to pathogens such as those that cause anthrax, Ebola, plague and botulism, the report said.

    But in their first-ever public report, regulators continue to keep secret the identities of the labs that had serious safety accidents and faced enforcement actions when working with what the government calls “select agent” pathogens because of their potential to be used as bioweapons.

    The report even keeps secret the widely reported name of the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground lab in Utah, which last year was discovered to have been mistakenly sending specimens of live anthrax – labeled as killed – to dozens unsuspecting labs across the country and around the world. The report only describes the lab as an entity of the federal government and doesn’t name the type of live pathogen that was shipped.

    The kind of aggregate information in the report “remains useless to communities who want to know how safely their local laboratories are operating and what is being done to correct problems,” said Beth Willis, a citizen lab safety advocate in Frederick, Md., where several large biodefense labs are located at the Army’s Fort Detrick. “The lack of progress toward meaningful transparency is astonishing.”

    Sosin said that providing lab-specific information, at least at this time, would have negative effects on the relationship between regulators and lab operators, potentially resulting in a reluctance to disclose incidents as required. He said the program is encouraging voluntary disclosures of incidents by labs, such as those in the federal government, who are willing to lead by example.

    An ongoing USA TODAY Network investigation that began last year has revealed that more than 100 labs working with potential bioterror pathogens have faced secret federal sanctions for safety violations, yet regulators allowed them to keep experimenting while failing on inspections, sometimes for years. Despite federal officials’ efforts to keep secret the identities of these troubled labs, reporters revealed they have included several prestigious institutions – including some of the CDC’s own labs.

    Richard Ebright, a biosafety expert at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said the report provides some interesting information. But, he said, “the failure to disclose identities of facilities with exposures. losses, suspensions, and referrals for civil and criminal investigations renders the report basically useless to state governments, local governments, and members of the public attempting to assess the safety and security of facilities in their communities.”


    Read the USA TODAY NETWORK’s full “Biolabs in Your Backyard” investigation:

    Follow investigative reporter Alison Young on Twitter: @alisonannyoung.

  5. DXer said

    I did not have Ken Dillon’s authorization or participation in this headline. I, alone, am responsible for the impatient attitude.

    But I know an inexcusable delay — and stonewalling — when I see it. There was no reason the 16 pages relating to Ivins needed to be referred to another agency — and no reason it should not have been produced separately without this additional delay.

    In contrast, the referral of the Table of Contents to the CIA was understandable and warranted.

    The fact that the CIA detected Ames and then the FBI suppressed that finding does pose some awkward issues given Les Baillie’s consulting for Amerithrax and his organization of the Porton Down conferences infiltrated by Rauf Ahmad.


    White House Goes Dark on the 9/11 Reports Secret 28 Pages

    Daily Beast-16 hours ago

    Former Sen. Bob Graham has spent years trying to get the 28 missing pages of the 9/11 report released and he’s not about to stop now.

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