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

* NYT interview of former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert: “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins remains secret

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 16, 2016

Screen shot 2015-04-09 at 8.58.30 AM

“This case was hailed at the time as the most important case in the history of the F.B.I.,” Mr. Lambert said. “But it was difficult for me to get experienced investigators assigned to it.”

He said that the effort was understaffed and plagued by turnover, and that 12 of 20 agents assigned to the case had no prior investigative experience. Senior bureau microbiologists were not made available, and two Ph.D. microbiologists who were put on the case were then removed for an 18-month Arabic language program in Israel. Fear of leaks led top officials to order the extreme compartmentalization of information, with investigators often unable to compare notes and share findings with colleagues, he said.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tennessee last Thursday, Mr. Lambert accused the bureau of trying “to railroad the prosecution of Ivins” and, after his suicide, creating “an elaborate perception management campaign” to bolster its claim that he was guilty.

***

Source: Former F.B.I. Agent Sues, Claiming Retaliation Over Misgivings in Anthrax Case
By SCOTT SHANE … APRIL 8, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/us/ex-fbi-agent-claims-retaliation-for-dissent-in-anthrax-inquiry.html?_r=0

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96 Responses to “* NYT interview of former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert: “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins remains secret”

  1. DXer said

    Anthrax: serious business

    Can we breathe easy yet? An examination of how safe we are as two local firms battle it out to develop a next-generation vaccine

    By Louis Peck
    | Published: 2012-05-01 \https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-magazine/may-june-2012/anthrax-serious-business-2/

  2. DXer said

    Trump administration to impose new sanctions on Russia for nerve agent attack in England

    by Karen DeYoung and Carol Morello August 8 at 7:04 PM Email the author
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-to-impose-new-sanctions-on-russia-for-nerve-agent-attack-in-england/2018/08/08/7c66b45e-9b3e-11e8-b60b-1c897f17e185_story.html?utm_term=.77a67ce2ea32

    Trump, who has resisted congressional insistence on additional sanctions on Russia for election interference and other activities, appeared to have had little choice in the matter, however. Under a 1991 law, he was required to act once the administration determined Russian responsibility for a chemical or biological weapons attack. …

    Russia, which was informed of the measures Wednesday afternoon, has denied responsibility for the attack.

    A State Department official said the first new sanctions would take effect in two weeks, including a broad ban on technology exports to Russia. Most national-security-related technology is already restricted, but some is permitted on a case-by-case basis. When the new ban is in place, the official said, nearly all export requests — including electronics and engines — will be denied. The official briefed reporters under a State Department-imposed condition of anonymity.

    Unless Russia agrees within 90 days to stop all use of chemical weapons and permit inspections to confirm their elimination, the law requires selection from a broad range of additional measures, including withdrawal of U.S. support for international loans and U.S. bank loans, prohibition of landing rights for Russian airlines, and suspension of diplomatic relations.

    The export bans will apply to all state-owned or state-funded enterprises in Russia, a category the State Department official said could encompass 70 percent of the Russian economy and 40 percent of the workforce.

    Once fully implemented, the sanctions could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in exports, the official said.

    ***

    The 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act “requires the President to make a determination with respect to whether a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals.” Once that determination is made, sanctions are mandated, unless the president determines it is in the national-security interest of the United States to waive them.

    Comment: I’ve been watching “The Russians” on Amazon. I recommend the show.

  3. DXer said

    WBUR And The Boston Globe Partner To Launch A New True-Crime Podcast On The Largest Unsolved Art Heist In History
    http://www.wbur.org/inside/2018/07/19/wbur-and-the-boston-globe-partner-to-launch-a-new-true-crime-podcast-on-the-largest-unsolved-art-heist-in-history

    July 19, 2018
    WBUR, and The Boston Globe, announced today they have joined forces to launch Last Seen, a weekly podcast that will debut on September 17. Hosted by WBUR’s award-winning producers and reporters Kelly Horan and Jack Rodolico, and with exclusive contributions from Boston Globe’s Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Stephen Kurkjian, author of “Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off the World’s Greatest Art Heist,” Last Seen examines the most valuable and confounding art heist in history: the theft of 13 artworks, including Rembrandt’s only seascape, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

    Comment: An interview with Jeanine, Robert Guarente’s daughter in Waterville, would be very cool.

  4. DXer said

    20th Century Fox and Steven Zaillian making ‘Mirage Man’, anthrax attacks film

    Authorities first focused on bio-weapons expert Steven Hatfill, who was eventually exonerated.

    PTI 28 Jul 2018, 04:46 AM

    https://www.devdiscourse.com/Article/93838-20th-century-fox-and-steven-zaillian-making-mirage-man-anthrax-attacks-film

  5. DXer said

    While I don’t understand Attorney Giuliani’s support for asking for Mueller to be suspended, the recent IG report illustrates well that the Agent’s bias might never have been evidenced absent production of his texts.

    Here, the FBI WON’T EVEN PRODUCE ANY OF THE EMAILS FROM SEP-OCT 2001 THAT IT QUOTED AND RELIED UPON IN CLOSING THE AMERITHRAX INVESTIGATION. THE FBI HAS MISLEADINGLY STATED THE AMERITHRAX EVIDENCE IN CLOSING THE INVESTIGATION ACCORDING TO THE FORMER LEAD AMERITHRAX INVESTIGATOR RICHARD LAMBERT WHO WROTE THE IMCS MEMO THAT IS BEING WITHHELD. THE FBI EVEN REFUSES TO PRODUCE ANY OF THE FORENSIC REPORTS EXCULPATORY OF BRUCE IVINS!

    THE REASON THEY REFUSE TO PRODUCE THE SEPT-OCTOBER 2001 EMAILS THAT THEY HAVE MISCHARACTERIZED IS THAT WANT TO AVOID BEING BLAMED FOR BRUCE IVINS’ SUICIDE — AND THE EMAILS EVIDENCE THAT HE DID, IN FACT, HAVE REASON TO BE IN THE B3 LAB FOR THE NIGHT AND WEEKEND ANIMAL CHECKS.

    BUT THE FBI OFFICIALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTINUED WITHHOLDING OF THE SEPT-OCTOBER 2001 EMAILS THAT WERE CULLED FROM JOHN PETERSON’S PRODUCTION (FROM THE ARMY) SHOULD REALIZE THAT THE COVER-UP IS ALWAYS WORSE THAN THE CRIME.

    THERE NEEDS TO BE A DOJ OR ARMY IG PROBE OF THE WITHHOLDING OF THE CULLED EMAILS AT THE DIRECTION OF THE DOJ/FBI OFFICIALS.

    Giuliani’s Call for Mueller to Be Suspended Is a Moment of Truth for the Republican Party

    By John Cassidy

    June 15, 2018

    “Tomorrow, Mueller should be suspended and honest people should be brought in, impartial people, to investigate these people like Strzok. Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week.”

    Strzok is a senior F.B.I. agent who worked on the Clinton e-mail case and the investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. In recent months, Trump and his supporters have seized on some text messages that Strzok sent, in 2016, to Lisa Page, a former employee of the bureau, with whom he was having an affair, as evidence of a “deep state” conspiracy against the President. The inspector general’s report revealed more of these Strzok-Page exchanges, including one, from August of 2016, in which Page said of Trump, he’s “not ever going to become President, right? Right?” Strzok replied, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

  6. DXer said

    R. Scott Decker wrote his analysis of the international annual conferences in a book published last year.

    “Keim helped organize an international anthrax conference every two years. The first and second had been in Winchester, England, outside Porton Down, then a third to the west in Plymouth along the Atlantic Cost. The last two had been in Annapolis…

    This year the FBI sent two particiants from its laboratory, including Doug Beecher. I attended also. We felt there was a good chance the attendees would include teh anthrax mailer, so Darin Steel and I flew out.

    ***The next morning, the hotel hosted a breakfast for conference participants — cereal, bacon and eggs, coffee, orange juice, lots of pastry.”

    [Now here’s a guy who knows what is important in true crime analysis — eating well.]

    I took a seat and waited to see if Steele would join me just as Ivins walked in. I could only stare. He wore a Zoot suit.”

    [Oh, and fashion.]

    Instead, rather than having excluded an Al Qaeda theory, without any basis, Decker should have been focused on Rauf Ahmad’s infiltration of the conferences that he had attended and presented on anthrax at.

    Many many years ago I tried to avoid precisely the course that he was taking the investigation by writing about the infiltration by Dr. Ayman’s scientist (who was a Pakistan government scientist by the way] of those conferences in England.

    Sailing The Good Ship Anthrax

    The director of SFAM … checked the records for me and confirmed years ago that Rauf Ahmad (Ahmed) went to the 1999 and 2000 conferences in England. For the next conference, USAMRIID took over control from Porton Down in organizing it. (Bruce Ivins did a lot of the planning and had attended the earlier conferences with Rauf Ahmad.)

    Did Rauf Ahmad attend the June 2001 conference sponsored by USAMRIID in Annapolis?

    What lab did he visit after which he wrote Dr. Ayman that he had successfully achieved the targets. GAO cannot possibly fulfill its mandate without answering that basic question. There is no grounds for having it remain classified (if it is) 11 years later. Rauf Ahmad made internet contacts at the conferences and had learned some tricks in processing. Who was he learning the tricks of processing from via email?

    USAMRIID released some emails by Bruce Ivins discussing the difficulties of planning the Fourth International Conference on Anthrax in Annapolis. The first of the emails was from September 1998, upon his return from the conference at Plymouth. In June 2001, the good ship anthrax sailed in Annapolis, Maryland, the “sailing capital of the world.” The 4th International Conference on Anthrax was held at St. John’s College in historic Annapolis, Maryland, June 10 – 13, 2001. The conference was organized by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and managed by the American Society for Microbiology. The 74-foot classic wooden schooner was named WOODWIND. Martin Hugh-Jones had convened the conference along with Peter Turnbull, the Porton Down scientist who had led the UK conferences attended by Ayman Zawahiri’s scientist, Rauf Ahmad. Reports of livestock and national park outbreaks were followed by a summary by Dr. Turnbull. Other anthrax notables who spoke included senior USAMRIID scientist Dr. Ezzell, who had one of the first looks at the Daschle product, and Dr. Paul Keim, who would play a key role in the genetic investigation.

    Theresa Koehler from the Houston Medical School gave a talk titled “The Expanding B. anthracis Toolbox” while Timothy Read from The Institute of Genome Research summarized research on The B. Anthracis Genome. Houston Medical School, the UK’s biodefense facility Porton Down, and Pasteur Institute each fielded three presenters. UK scientists presented on the characteristics of the exosporium of “the highly virulent Ames strain.” Researchers from Columbus, Ohio and Biological Defense Research Directorate (BDRD) of the Navy Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, assisted by Porton Down scientists from the UK, demonstrated that inoculated mice survived a challenge with b.anthracis spores. Researchers used b.anthracis containing a plasmid with a mutated lethal factor.” Dr. Phil Hanna from University of Michigan presented, as he did at the conference attending with Rauf Ahmad.

    A Kazakhstan Ministry of Health scientist presented on the re-emergence of anthrax in Kazakhstan. Upon the break-up of the Soviet Union the first job offer Ken Alibek fielded was the position of Minister of Health in Kazakhstan. He protested when he realized that his new employer just wanted to do what the Soviets had been secretly doing in an illegal and massive bioweapons program he had supervised as its First Deputy. After the KGB asked to meet with him, he asked to schedule the meeting in two weeks, so that he might visit his parents, and then found a secret expedited way of coming to the United States.

    Pakistan Rauf Ahmad had been the predator looking for the Ames strain and consulting on weaponization techniques at the UK conference. In January 2002, FBI Assistant Director Van Harp told the 40,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology that it was “very likely that one or more of you know this individual.” They very likely did.

    But it turns out that the lead science guy, Decker, was more concerned with food, fashion and his gut-level dislike of Bruce Ivins to focus on Al Qaeda’s infiltration of the past conferences.

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

    • DXer said

      I explained Rauf Ahmad’s infiltration:

      “I Successfully Achieved The Targets”:
      Assistance Of Pakistan Scientist Rauf Ahmad In 1999 And 2000

      In 1999, a scientist from Porton Down had reported to sfam members on a conference in Taos, New Mexico in August that included a talk by Tim Read, (TIGR, Rockville, USA) and concerned the whole genome sequencing of the Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. The Ames strain may have been a mystery to many after the Fall 2001 mailings, but not to motivated Society for Applied Microbiology (“SFAM”) members, one of whom was part of Ayman Zawahiri’s “Project Zabadi.”

      As described by Dr. Peter Turnbull’s Conference report for SFAM on “the First European Dangerous Pathogens Conference” (held in Winchester), at the September 1999 conference, the lecture theater only averaged about 75 at peak times by his head count. There had been a problem of defining “dangerous pathogen” and a “disappointing representation from important institutions in the world of hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms.” Papers included a summary of plague in Madagascar and another on the outbreak management of hemorrhagic fevers.

      Dr Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University presented a paper on multilocus VNTR typing, for example, of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. There were more than the usual no-show presenters and fill-in speakers.

      The Sunday at the start of the Organization of the Dangerous Pathogens meeting in September 2000, which the SFAM director confirmed to me that Rauf Ahmad also attended, was gloomy. Planning had proved difficult. The overseas delegates included a sizable contingent from Russia. The organizers needed to address many thorny issues regarding who could attend. One of the scientists in attendance was Rauf Ahmad. The Washington Post reports: “The tall, thin and bespectacled scientist held a doctorate in microbiology but specialized in food production, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.”

      Les Baillie the head of the biodefense technologies group at Porton Down ran the scientific program. Many of the delegates took an evening cruise round Plymouth harbor. The cold kept most from staying out on the deck. Later attendees visited the National Marine Aquarium — with a reception in view of a large tankful of sharks. Addresses include presentations on plagues of antiquity, showing how dangerous infectious diseases had a profound that they changed the course of history. Titles include “Magna pestilencia – Black Breath, Black Rats, Black Death”, “From Flanders to Glanders,” as well as talks on influenza, typhoid and cholera. The conference was co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

      Les Baillie of Porton Down gave a presentation titled, “Bacillus anthracis: a bug with attitude!” He argued that anthrax was a likely pathogen to be used by terrorists. As described at the time by Phil Hanna of University of Michigan Medical School on the SFAM webpage, Baillie “presented a comprehensive overview of this model pathogen, describing its unique biology and specialized molecular mechanisms for pathogenesis and high virulence. He went on to describe modern approaches to exploit new bioinformatics for the development of potential medical counter measures to this deadly pathogen.”

      Bioinformatics was the field that Ali Al-Timimi, who had a security clearance for some government work and who had done work for the Navy, entered by 2000 at George Mason University in Virginia.

      Despite the cold and the sharks, amidst all the camaraderie and bonhomie no one suspected that despite the best efforts, a predator was on board — on a coldly calculated mission to obtain a pathogenic anthrax strain. The conference organizer Peter Turnbull had received funding from the British defense ministry but not from public health authorities, who thought anthrax too obscure to warrant the funding. By 2001, sponsorship of the conference was assumed by USAMRIID. USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins started planning the conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001 three years earlier, immediately upon his return from the September 1998 conference.

      According to the Pakistan press, a scientist named Rauf Ahmad was picked up in December 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. The most recent of the correspondence reportedly dates back to the summer and fall of 1999. Even if Rauf Ahmad cooperated with the CIA, he apparently could only confirm the depth of Zawahiri’s interest in weaponizing anthrax and provided no “smoking gun” concerning the identity of those responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall 2001. His only connection with SFAM was a member of the society. He was not an employee. The Pakistan ISI, according to the Washington Post article in October 2006, stopped cooperating in regard to Rauf Ahmad in 2003.

      I have uploaded scanned copies of some 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces describing the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; and the need for vaccination and containment. He explained that the lab director noted that he would have to take a short training course at the BL-3 lab for handling dangerous pathogens. Rauf Ahmad noted that his employer’s offer of pay during a 12-month post-doc sabbatical was wholly inadequate and was looking to Ayman to make up the difference. After an unacceptably low pay for the first 8 months, there would be no pay for last 4 months and there would be a service break. He had noted that he only had a limited time to avail himself of the post-doc sabbatical. I also have uploaded an earlier handwritten letter from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided the documents to me, along with 100+ pages more, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and disease handbook excerpts.

      The Washington Post, in an exclusive groundbreaking investigative report, recounts that the FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role — and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in interrogating Rauf. Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf agreed to questioning. While the US media focused on the spectacle of bloodhounds alerting to Dr. Steve Hatfill and the draining of Maryland ponds, this former Al Qaeda anthrax operative provided useful leads. But problems began when the U.S. officials sought to pursue criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States.

      In earlier cases, such as the orthopedic surgeon Dr. Amer Aziz who treated Bin Laden in the Fall of 2001, the Pakistani government angered the Pakistani public when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda. In the case of Amer Aziz, hundreds of doctors, engineers and lawyers took to the streets to demand his release. In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. By then, I had noticed the reporting of his arrest in a local Pakistan news article about the raid of a compound of doctors named Khawaja and published it on my website. According to Pakistani officials, there was not enough evidence showing that he actually succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful. Since then, the Post reports, Rauf has been allowed to return to his normal life. Attempts by the Post to contact Rauf in Lahore were unsuccessful. Initially the government agency had said an interview would be possible but then backpedaled.

      “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” Pakistan’s information minister told the Post. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.” Yazid Sufaat got the job handling things at the lab instead of Rauf Ahmad. More importantly, Zawahiri, if keeping with his past experience, would have kept things strictly compartmentalized — leaving the Amerithrax Task Force much to do.

      George Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm says: “Al-Qa’ida spared no effort in its attempt to obtain biological weapons. In 1999, al-Zawahiri recruited Pakistani national Rauf Ahmad to set up a small lab in Khandahar, Afghanistan, to house the biological weapons effort. In December 2001, a sharp WMD analyst at CIA found the initial lead on which we would pull and, ultimately, unravel the al-Qa’ida anthrax networks. We were able to identify Rauf Ahmad from letters he had written to Ayman al-Zawahiri. … We located Rauf Ahmad’s lab in Afghanistan. We identified the building in Khandahar where Sufaat claimed he isolated anthrax. We mounted operations that resulted in the arrests and detentions of anthrax operatives in several countries.”

      Delivering the James Smart Lecture, entitled “Global Terrorism: are we meeting the challenge?” at the headquarters of the City of London Police, Ms. Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, said: “Western security services have uncovered networks of individuals, sympathetic to the aims of al-Qa’ida, that blend into society, individuals who live normal, routine lives until called upon for specific tasks by another part of the network.” She concluded: “The threats of chemical, biological and radiological and suicide attacks require new responses and the Government alone will not achieve all of it; industry and even the public must take greater responsibility for their own security.”

      Do you really think that our government can keep us safe from mass attack on Washington and New York City based on what you have read? When the FBI had not even obtained samples from the lab infiltrated by Ayman Zawahiri’s infiltrating scientist for over two years?

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

    • DXer said

      There came a time when higher-ups asked Decker and his colleagues to summarize the years of ass-scratching and work with bloodhounds and minnow traps. (He says the agents had to cancel their holiday leave to examine the plastic box that we were all telling him was a minnow trap).

      There was a deluge of “routing slips” seeking information.

      The 2000 page interim prosecution report was written. In the 2000 page memo over lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert’s name, it explained that the Hatfill Theory had been run to the ground and most everyone now thought he was innocent.

      But pray tell, what explanation did Decker and Lambert give for not collecting any of the Ames samples from the overseas lab for two years? Given that Decker knew Rauf Ahmad had infiltrated the Porton Down conferences and the British labs for Dr. Ayman Zawahiri? And that Ames anthrax had been detected in Yazid Sufaat’s lab?

      (What if I told you the second lab Rauf Ahmad visited was a CAMR lab?)

      I emailed Richard today to ask the reason Decker was allowed to collect none of the overseas Ames samples for over two years But there is no answer.

      The investigative lapse constitutes the greatest counterintelligence analysis failure in the history of the United States.

      Decker can try to spin the envelope evidence all he wants but the facts are that the envelopes were delivered right to the post offices that the hijackers and Adnan El-Shukrijumah were in the summer of 2001. (The level of scientific detail he provides is appreciated but it makes the book pretty unreadable).

      R. Scott Decker’s lack of self-awareness about his failure to collect the samples for over two years and preserve the microbiological evidence is astounding.

      Even then, there was not any of the completeness that was found necessary at USAMRIID, Battelle and Dugway.

      The entire premise of voluntary submission led to the investigative analysis and logical structure resting on quicksand.

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

    • DXer said

      Wasn’t it Decker’s failure with respect to the obtaining and testing of overseas samples that led to Rauf Ahmad (Abdur Rauf) going free? (Hey, DIA, you say potato, I say tomato.)

      Suspect and A Setback In Al Qaeda Anthrax Case: Scientist With Ties To Group Goes Free, 31, Oct 2006 Joby Warrick
      http://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-washington-post/20061031/281526516552388

    • DXer said

      Ezra Cohen-Watnick: Ask Peter Turnbull about Abdur Rauf (Rauf Ahmad)

  7. DXer said

    R. Scott Decker, in his book last year, wrote:

    “On October 29 [2001], an anonymous caller reported on one individual who quickly moved to the top of the list. The called named Steven Jay Hatfill, a doctor with an extensive knowledge of both US and Russian biological weapons.”

    Now I don’t begrudge anyone their theory. So if former CIA employee Stan Bedlington or someone else (there were about 5 musing over the possibility) thought Hatfill was the anthrax mailer, and Mueller, Comey, Lambert and the other investigators were persuaded, all I can say is that the investigation didn’t turn out well. Criticisms of the theory were made at the time of every development that was made public.

    Minor point: Anonymous? Really?

    a. “Hatfill Theory” and “Ivins Theory”: Both Are Jewells In The Rough

    “Mr. Z”: “A Person of Interest”

    The FBI official in charge of the investigation, Agent Van Harp, has said in a USA Today interactive chat and elsewhere that the speculation about foot-dragging by the FBI has no basis. “Those are uninformed outsiders,” he says. As explained in a Wall Street Journal article dated March 26, 2002, which was based on information provided by the FBI, the reason for the delay has related to the many scientific, safety and security issues implicated. He emphatically denied the suggestion by one academic activist (first made in a BBC interview) that it was a CIA experiment gone awry. Barbara Hatch Rosenberg had said: “There may be embarassing information connected with the entire event and that there may not be really enthusiasm about bringing this information out to the position.” Harp reported that all the names of the folks submitted had been investigated and did not pan out. (Five acquaintances in the field supposedly had reached the same conclusion, but note that on any electronic mailing list, there are bound to be people who might agree with any mistaken notion.) Stan Bedlington, a retired CIA counterterrorism analyst is one person who in the Summer of 2002 thought the “evidence is mounting.” Although not a scientist and not demonstrating any knowledge of bloodhound evidence, he mistakenly claimed says that the letters “obviously had some scent of anthrax.” (That’s not even what they would have been testing for given that biological agents such as anthrax apparently do not have a distinctive smell to bloodhounds) He used to have lunch once a week in McLean with Hatfill and others at a bistro. A former counterterrorism analyst, he retired from the CIA in 1994 and now arranges bus tours.

    Though Dr. Hatfill is sometimes made out to be — through wild conjecture — the drinking buddy of the likes of Dr. Mengele, reading his scientific writing leads one to a decidedly less sensational conclusion. (Actually, he’s just a lunch companion of Stan Bedlington.) For a real page turner, see Hatfill, S.J. et al., “Induction of Morphological Differentiation in the Human Leukemic Cell Line K562 by Exposure to Thalidomide Metabolites”, Leukemia Res., vol. 15, No. 2/3, pp. 129-136 (1991).

    Hatfill reports that Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times columnist who made the suggestion of murder publicly, never contacted to ask him for information on the claims he was making. A journalist or other writer should always make the attempt. I wrote Anwar Awlaki a few years ago but he didn’t respond. I don’t have Ayman Zawahiri’s email. I believe everyone else I’ve written or called. I did contact Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab directors. Raul Ahmad wanted money and Yazid Sufaat pled the Fifth.

    Hatfill’s statements were very eloquent at his two press conferences, as were the comments of his attorney Victor Glasberg and his spokesperson Pat Clawson. Admittedly, repeated false statements by him regarding the past bring to mind a saying by Thurman Arnold: “Some of the things I remember most vividly never really happened.” The commentary critical of the Hatfill conjecture tends to strike a Richard Jewell theme. Pat Clawson, Hatfill’s spokesman, is pretty direct: “Personally, I think that this is just another TV show being produced by the same company that gave us Waco and Ruby Ridge and Wen Ho Lee and Richard Jewell.”

    Long before 9/11 and the anthrax mailings, Mr. Kristof, a Pulitzer Prize winner, explained the relevant journalistic principle that applies to his series of columns: “Maybe one of the most essential principles of modern journalism is that if somebody is saying something negative about somebody else, you want to get them on-the-record with their name. You don’t want to give somebody a free shot at somebody else without going on-the-record. Indeed, that makes articles stronger; it gives them the reliability that one yearns for. … There were also a lot of occasions when we knew that we needed information and that–to serve the readers’ interest, to provide the most complete picture that we could to the public and to our readership–getting this information would endanger our sources.”

    Here, though, the remote cabin story, for example, was specious. (The story was not plausible from the start because no one would go to a cabin where they had to first take Cipro; and if it were true, the person would necessarily be complicitous and not be telling the story). More generally, he had entirely insufficient basis to not trust that the FBI was doing its job. He also might have realized the dubious value of polygraphs (whether one, two or three) — particularly when he knew there might be good, unrelated, reason that being questioned made the individual very stressed. (For example, claiming he had a PhD when he only had two Masters and an M.D.) Indeed, in an interview on CNN Newsnight with Aaron Brown, Mr. Kristof says: “Some people, even within the FBI have wondered whether his personality, which is rather combative, would cause problems with his polygraph.”

    The same skepticism should have prevailed on the question of bloodhound evidence under these circumstances. Mr. Kristof told Aaron Brown: “So they took those dogs and prepared scent packets from the anthrax letters after they had been irradiated so that they would not actually be dangerous.” Under the applicable case precedent, the bloodhound evidence will not be admissible.

    In hindsight, what Mr. Kristof might have done is to call Dr. Hatfill and ask if he had access to virulent Ames or asked if he really had a PhD as he represented in gaining access to ebola.

    b. The Greendale School: Where The 4th “R” is Railroading

    On June 26, 2002, ABC’s Brian Ross first reported on the Morning Show,

    “Hatfill, who has worked closely with the military and CIA anthrax experts, has frequently shocked colleagues with his statements and demonstrations of how easily terrorists could make biological weapons. In this photo in 1998, he demonstrated how a terrorist could make a deadly plague in a common kitchen.

    Investigators also are intrigued by the fact that Hatfill lived for years near a Greendale Elementary School while attending medical school in Zimbabwe. Greendale School, as you recall, was the phony return address used in the anthrax letters. Hatfill has told ABC News he had nothing to do with the deadly anthrax mailings, but he says he understands his background and comments make him a logical subject of the investigation, Claire.”

    That’s ironic. Dr. Bedlington, who reports that he came up with the Greendale point, in 1998 in a full-length interview argued that not only could anthrax be simply made, but could be dispersed aerially.

    In the Fall of 2001, political scientist and former senior CIA counterterrorism analyst, Dr. Stanley Bedlington, said: “Frankly, when I heard the news [of 9/11], I thought, ‘It’s got to be biochemical.” “This is frightening enough and yet, you could take a small plane and sprinkle anthrax over New York City and wipe out half the population.” He wrote a very insightful Op Ed piece in the Washington Post, dated October 28, 2001, in which he discusses the importance of piercing Osama Bin Laden’s myth of invincibility. He evidenced the sophistication of his knowledge by pointing to the influence of an Egyptian writer named Qutb on the Al Qaeda leaders.

    By August 2002 (in an interview with CNN’s Paula Zahn) he was talking about anthrax-smelling bloodhounds and the fact that Dr. Hatfill lived near a place (Greendale) used in the return address. He curiously said the “evidence was mounting.” Indeed, isn’t he the original source of the silly “Greendale” point (although to be fair, it was no more silly than what the FBI settled in accusing Dr. Ivins).

    From an August 4, 2002 interview:

    BLITZER: Stan Bedlington, take a look at this, I want to put it up on the

    screen, the return address of one of the letters. Look at this, fourth grade,

    Greendale School, Franklin Park, New Jersey, then the zip code. Greendale School

    — there is no Greendale School in Franklin Park, New Jersey. But, Greendale,

    as far as you know, did ring an alarm bell, when you heard that mention of that

    word.

    BEDLINGTON: Yes, it did. Steve Hatfill got his MD at what is now the

    University of Zimbabwe. It had another name in those days. And I looked it up

    on the Internet. And, in fact, it is located in Greendale, which is a suburb of

    Harare. So you have what I think is an amazing coincidence between the two

    names.

    Dr . Bedlington knew Dr. Hatfill from weekly lunches at a bistro in McClean where former work colleagues get together to swap stories, and once had been shown, privately, a scrapbook of mock pictures of Dr. Hatfill preparing plague in his kitchen (Dr. Bedlington recalls the discussion as relating to anthrax). It would be fascinating to know more about what Dr. Bedlington thinks about the current information given his knowledge and experience.

    There is no Greendale School in Zimbabwe — even though there are many in the United States. No Greendale Primary School or Greendale Elementary School. There never has been. ABC led the pack repeatedly getting it wrong in suggesting that there was a Greendale School that Hatfill lived nearby, in a neighborhood of Harare. ABC’s Brian Ross has relied on a source named Pete Velis who has spent his own money urging his biodefense insider theory. Hartford Courant followed, relying on ABC. I posted the City Atlas listing and the numbers of the two Greendale schools but it did little to stem the false reports. The closest in name is Greengrove, which was a considerable ways from the University. And if you started counting Greendales rather than Greendale Schools, then perhaps most people in the United States are just as closely connected to some Greendale. Most important of all, a perp simply has zero reason to use a name from his past. Indeed, the only reason to use the same address on both envelopes — which helped the second letter be identified before being received — is if something is being intentionally communicated.

    There are 18 Greendales in the US. 6 Greendale Elementary Schools. As well as a Greendale Elementary School in Maryland near Andrews AFB in Prince George’s County that was closed. Mohammed Ali, the US sergeant who accompanied Ayman Zawahiri on his travels in the US, lived near a Greendale School near Sacramento, but there would be no purpose in mentioning it. On coincidences what about “Franklin Park?” Franklin Park is the name of a small neighborhood in an unincorporated area next to Fort Lauderdale. It is sometimes called “Fort Lauderdale” but is not part of the city proper. At 2542 Franklin Park Drive is Masjid Al-Iman mosque. It is a mosque Jose Padilla of WMD (though radiological – as far as we know) fame worshiped at. Also worshipping there was Adham Hassoun among others. Coincidences can be surprising. But the Greendale conjecture always just an incredibly specious point to rely on in publicly suggesting that a medical doctor was guilty of murdering people. As Richard Spertzel, who has told the Baltimore Sun that he has met Hatfill but does not know him well, said: “He’s being railroaded.”

    Once this was pointed out, some reports modified the notion based on unspecified sources that the School named Courtney Selous was informally known as the Greendale School. The suggestion was made, for example, by an anonymous internet poster named Scorpion in soc.culture.zimbabwe (who could be determined to be posting from South Africa but otherwise was using a means of untraceable and false reference to “insect.com.” (According to his posts, he had previously lived in Zimbabwe). The identity was first created on July 9, 2001 when the existence of a Greendale School was first challenged — and then was terminated on August 17, 2001 — when he was asked for support for the proposition in light of all the people from the Greendale neighborhood who said it was untrue. And so if AP or ABC or jdo.orgor any other outlet or party wants to make the claim, they should find someone on the record who would support that claim. The number of the head of the Courtney Selous school is online and available to contact and there may even be a current email available. At the same time, the FBI on its visit to South Africa hopefully considered whether someone in South Africa (or in the US) has a grudge against Hatfill they aim to settle or some other motivation.

    Some of the more colorful theories include a notion, the subject of a full-page advertisement in the Washington Times, is that there is a 98% that the CIA is trying to frame Hatfill. It was taken out by Pete Velis — there is a Bethesda insurance man by that man. Another theory is propounded by an articulate anonymous poster whose screen name The Great Satan on The Free Republic forumover the course of two years. He argued that Project Hatfill is an elaborate psy ops program designed to distract attention from the fact that Saddam engaged in extortion by sending the anthrax, merely using Al Qaeda as mere hand-puppets (his notion extends to 9-11 event as well). Certainly, most people would immediately dismiss those ideas as provably mistaken — while totally swallowing the specious Greendale suggestion beccause it was conveyed by the eminently credible CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and ABC’s Brian Ross. On this score, Ivins Theory is just Hatfill Redux. The Greendale Theory under an Ivins theory is even stupider. Who is it does the FBI think Dr. Ivins is sending a message?

    c. The Investigation Goes to the Dogs

    For those who believe in Tinkerbelle (one of the dogs used) , while most jurisdictions allow bloodhound evidence, courts generally retain reservations about the possibility of inaccuracy of the evidence. It is evident the dog cannot be cross-examined and there is always the possibility that the dog may make a mistake. Accordingly, there are strict foundational requirements. The notion that such evidence is of slight probative value or must be viewed with caution stems at least in part from fear that a jury will be in awe of the animal’s apparent powers and will give the evidence too much weight (as the ABC and Newsweek reports amply illustrated). Putting aside for a moment use of the scent transfer device, five specific requirements are commonly required to establish an adequate foundation for dog-tracking evidence: (1) the handler was qualified to use the dog; (2) the dog was adequately trained; (3) the dog has been found reliable; (4) the dog was placed on the track where the guilty party had been; and (5) the trail was not stale or contaminated.

    For example, a bloodhound provided with the deceased tennis shoes might very reliably lead authorities to the deceased’s body in the woods. What would have been used for the scent pack here is the human scent, if any, on the letter on which the perpetrator rested his hand in writing the letter. Tennis shoes are far more likely to carry a scent than a piece of paper on which the perp rested his hand (while possibly using gloves) to write a 28-word letter. Just ask my wife. The dogs would not have been clued to the biological agent as biological agents such as anthrax tend not to have a distinctive scent.

    Here, there would be no such log because the use of the dog would not have been the subject of testing and training showing the dog performed reliably under similar circumstances. At a minimum, the “trail” would have been contaminated by the irradiation and anthrax, and would have grown stale by the passage of time. FDA concluded that irradiation can produce small changes in the taste, smell, and sometimes texture of foods and that consumers should be informed of this. Jurors should too. Remember that scene from “Miracle on 34th Street” where the official finding of the agency of the United States’ government was deemed binding on the prosecution? Imagine Attorney Connolly calling FDA scientists who found irradiation caused changes in smell, no doubt amplified by the much keener sense of a bloodhound.

    The United States Post Office explains in a FAQ that “the materials in the mail are heated and may become chemically altered. Paper dries out and may become dusty, discolored, and brittle.” Some postal workers and federal agency staff have reported symptoms such as eye, nose, throat and skin irritation, headache, nausea and occasional nosebleeds. What does the USPS do under these circumstances? Their solution includes “[u]sing hypoallergenic deodorizers to eliminate any smells.” “Testing each batch of aired-out mail to ensure no detectable amoungs of gas exist before delivery.” Alas, Tinkerbelle’s lengthy log shows that perfume does not confuse her, but likely is silent on this question of irradiated paper. The prosecution witness who might testify that a bloodhound’s sense of smell is 200 times as powerful as a human’s sense of smell would merely be helping the defense argument. No amount of log keeping or experiments after the fact would serve to permit admissibility under the court precedent. The bloodhound evidence was always a bogus and hugely prejudical diversion since the first sensational Newsweek story.

    In any event, the perp would have worn gloves and only briefly handled the letter. More broadly, there is an article that collects cases from 40 or so states and nothing approaching the delays has ever been found admissible. In a city landscape, the time period is much more restrictive. The Leahy letter, written by the perp sometime prior to the October 9, 2001 postmark, was not discovered until mid-November, and as of November 19, 2001 a protocol was still being developed for its opening. Thus, the 40 day period that had been passed by the (likely glove-wearing) perp already would have resulted in a stale trail.

    Lucy is adorable. She’s widely known to be a people person.

    There is a separate additional issue of use of the “scent transfer unit” here. A “scent transfer unit” such as used here looks like a Dustbuster, modified with a small frame at the end to secure a piece of gauze over its intake opening. The user attaches a piece of sterile gauze to the unit, activated the unit, and holds it against the item from which the scent is to be taken (such as where the person sat the night before). Depending on the jurisdiction, the scent transfer unit, which is a new technology, may be subject to the rule regarding new scientific methodology. Under that rule, the proponent of such evidence must establish the new scientific principle or technique is sufficiently established to have gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs under the circumstances of the case. Here, there is no such general acceptance as explained by Scott Shane in an excellent article in the Baltimore Sun relying on experts in the Maryland area. The purpose of the requirement is to avoid factfinders from being misled by the `aura of infallibility’ that may surround unproved scientific methods. This would constitute a possible third independent grounds for excluding the evidence. Absent a training log showing the dog performed reliably under similar circumstances, given the time period that had passed, and in light of the use of the scent transfer unit, there is nothing the FBI or trainers would be able to do to save the admissibility of the bloodhound evidence because it will be found by a court to be unreliable.

    Both of the major police bloodhound associations howl against the reliability of the Scent Transfer Unit used by the three blood handlers. Dennis Slavin is an urban planner and reserve officer with the South Pasadena Police Department. One of the other dog handlers is a civilian who runs his own bloodhound business. Shane, in his very impressive Baltimore Sun article, explained that an FBI agent, Rex Stockham, examining the technology for the FBI lab says: “It’s going to be criticized. I’m critical of it myself.” The President of the Bloodhound Association, who is critical of the technology used by these handlers, had testified 21 times, and likely will have testified 22 if the FBI attempts to rely on the evidence in a prosecution. Shane notes that a federal jury awarded $1.7 million last year to a man wrongly accused of rape after police identified him in part based on the use of Slavin’s bloodhound, TinkerBelle. Shane’s article, essential reading, gives the further example of their use in the sniper investigation, where “given the scent taken from spent shell casings, followed two false trails in Montgomery County. One led to a house, for which a search warrant was obtained and which turned out not be relevant. The other led to a dog-grooming parlor, the officer said.” Phew. I wonder if Stan Bedlington knew any of this when he said on national tv that the evidence against his friend was “mounting” based on the Lucy’s and Hatfill responding to each other. He is a ladies’ man, after all. Oh, but that’s right. He lived near a neighborhood named Greendale. The trainers reportedly tested their dogs on irradiated paper — presumably before actually doing the search but after being asked to do so. That would not pass muster that past training be substantiated by a training log.

    The New York Times also had an excellent article in December 2002 surveying the field that noted the case where dogs falsely indicated the presence of explosives in the cars of three medical students bound for Miami. The country watched the drama unfold on television as the men were held and authorities closed a major highway across Florida. No trace of explosives was found. When dog handlers are excited, dogs can overreact and give a false positive. “Dogs want rewards and so they will false alerts to get them. Dogs lie. We know they do,” an expert told the Times. “One of ‘TinkerBelle’s most incredible talents,”her homepage touts, is her ability to find the person responsible for loading a gun using scent from an expended bullet casing.” Indeed, she finds the “smoking gun.” Most of all, the page notes, she too is a people person.

    With the investigation going to the dogs, nearly 100 law enforcement officers gathered to watch some of their colleagues jump in a lake near where Dr. Hatfill lived, and in late January 2003, the FBI continued searching the forest in Frederick. Locals were amused that some of the ponds had been dry earlier that year. While they may seem to enjoy their dinners at Georgetown, FBI agents and surveillance specialists do not have an easy job. The public demands that they exhaustively pursue all leads, but then there is an uproar if they cross some unpredictable line and step on — or run over someone’s toe.

    d. Little Man By The Window Stood

    Another story focused on an imagined remote cabin that people could not visit unless they first took Cipro. The story was bogus and hugely prejudicial. As with the other “evidence”, it quickly turned out to stem from what Hafill’s attorney has fairly described as an out-of-control game of telephone. In the June 19, 2002, “The Anthrax Case: What The FBI Knows,” Dr. Rosenberg, wrote: “Remote Location-The Suspect had access to a conveniently-located but remote location where activities could have been conducted without risk of observation.” The finding that the tape used to seal all the letters came from the same roll indicates that the containment set-up used for making the anthrax and filling the letters must have remained accessible from before Sept. 18 until close to Oct. 9 (otherwise the roll used in the first instance would have been destroyed in decontaminating the first set-up). This suggests the perpetrator had confidence in his clandestine arrangements. There is also evidence,which can’t be cited publicly at this time, that the Suspect knew in October that the remote site was contaminated with anthrax.”

    The rumor being told by others by telephone and email was that there was a remote cabin he would go to — and he would only allow people to visit if they first took Cipro. The suggestion was implausible from the start. If it were true, the person would be complicitous and not telling the story. As it turns out, it was a house owned by a communications lawyer where Hatfill once joined some friends and engaged in some male banter about reasons his friends might have to take cipro. The question had arisen because Mr. Clawson’s boss, Oliver North, had received a hoax anthrax letter. The suggestion, albeit mistaken, definitely was something to communicate to the FBI. Just not publicly.

    George R. Borsari Jr., the communications lawyer who owns the house, says the “cabin” is a three-bedroom house. It does appear to be pretty remote, judging by the mapquest map for house owned by George Borsari in Fort Valley, Virginia. He told reporter Shane that he advised the agent that Hatfill had visited the house a few times but had to call from the road in October to get directions. “Boy, if it’s a safe house,” Baltimore Sun reporter Shane quoted him saying, “the CIA is way behind on the rent,” he said. This debunking of the “remote cabin” story is yet another important story Shane wrote — as the story about the little cabin in the woods and Dr. Rosenberg’s suggestion that “the Suspect knew in October that the remote site was contaminated with anthrax” was hugely prejudicial.

    “In a cabin in a wood (trace a cabin outline with your index fingers),

    A little old man by the window stood (trace a window outline)…”

    e. A Novel Approach To Warning About Bioterrorism

    Dr. Hatfill also wrote a novel. The partial, uncompleted novel, titled “Emergence,” was deposited by his co-author at the Library of Congress, and CNN has described its contents in detail and that report is used here. A terrorist with vague international ties is opposed by a brave American researcher — who fits Dr. Hatfill’s profile — who battles against government bureaucracy to solve the mystery. The novel did not involve anthrax, but plague (“Yesinnia Pestis”). The plague was cultured from the fleas of Prairie Dogs. (Not to worry, the recent outbreak in the midwest involving prairie dogs is monkey pox, not plague). The outbreak begins in Antartica but are dead before rescuers arrive. The medical investigation is then stymied the U.S. State Department and the government of South Africa, which runs the Antarctic base. The book then moves forward eight years to Washington. A Palestinian terrorist with the research skills of a cancer specialist — both Dr. Hatfill and more than one of his accusers are cancer specialists — uses fleas from prairie dog* tunnels and mice to culture the plague bacteria in hotel rooms. Cost: $387. Memories? Priceless.

    The perpetrator’s misdeeds have been financed by Iraq. The terrorist then goes on a public tour of the White House, using a specially equipped wheelchair to spray the bacteria culture on the carpet. CNN reports: “Soon, the president, his staff, members of Congress and the general public begin coming down with sore throats and dementia.” The terrorist dies from the infection in a hospital, where had had been taken after being hit by a cab. (This is implausible; in real life, it would be a beer truck).

    The novel’s protagonist, a CDC researcher from Antarctica, is then put on the case. I picture Steve Segal in the role, giving early and long lectures to his superiors about the dangers of stockpiling such weapons. He goes back to Antactica to fearlessly tackle the medical mystery, though his team members die in the process. In movie “The Patriot”, when Steve Segal’s supervisor needed to call him back to duty to save the world — with respect to a bug that conveniently broke out in Steve’s own hometown — the supervisor’s coded reference to “plastic vials” had tipped him his services were urgently needed to save the world. His CIA’s superiors stood in the background making sure the supervisor did not tip their hand. When the fellow trying to call Steve back to service was initially unsuccessful, and was told by the CIA superiors to move to the next man on the list, the beleaguered fellow said “There is no other man.” If this fellow had a hero complex, like Richard Jewell was alleged by his false accusers to have had, it was because it was warranted. (It’s true — some of us are destined to save the world).

    In the sketchy end of Hatfill’s novel, the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Baghdad. The novel by Hatfill and Akers “features long and detailed scientific passages and talks extensively about the Soviet Union’s bioweapons program.” It also makes the point that a single terrorist would have formidable hurdles to overcome in launching such an attack. In the book, the CDC is described as suffering form poor leadership and budget constraints with an irrational focus on industrial accidents and inner-city violence.

    Is the Hatfill Theory a Jewell Hero Complex theory or what? Enter the Ivins Theory… Bruce signed up for the Red Cross! Egads! Call the longtime partner of FBI Quantico, a psychiatrist, to argue in an “independent” report that Dr. Ivins wanted to be a hero.

    George Munkelwitz, quoted along with Hatfill in the 1998 “Insight” article , also wrote a novel. He said:

    “The mother of all terror will be a biological attack on the United States – specifically Washington. A single gram of anthrax would shut down the government.”

    He had written a book titled “Mother of Satan” that had to be vetted by the CIA (and may never have been published)

    Maybe it’s time that the FBI should leave the poems and novels and psychological opinions alone. Maybe literature isn’t their thing. Maybe the FBI should be relying on forensics and documentary evidence and informed intelligence analysis.

    f. Muckraking: Don’t Jus’ Keep Wishin’, Go Fishin’

    Marilyn Thompson, author of The Killer Strain, reported in the Washington Post on May 11, 2003 that in its search of the ponds, the FBI found what appears to some to be be an improvised”glove box” and also wrapped vials. She describes it as a “clear box” — other reports describe it as a plastic tub. Now, why, again, are we talking about it? There is no claim that the glove box has been tied to Dr. Hatfill or that the vials have been. The pond is located near Ft. Detrick. It certainly makes one wonder what fascinating things might lurk in the ponds of nearby parks. (All these years I’ve been wasting time with a metal detector on dry land when I perhaps instead should have taken up scuba diving).

    Ms. Dougherty, the Frederick mayor, was quoted saying that about six weeks ago FBI agents raised the possibility of emptying the spring-fed pond that is roughly an acre in size and 10 feet deep. “Obviously, they want to find other evidence,” she said. “And they think that, as I recall, they want to find other things being hidden by the muck.” The mayor’s attitude the next day was “what is the sudden big deal?” “Mayor Dougherty said that despite a Washington Post article stating that plans to drain the pond are progressing, she knows nothing of the sort and that she should know because she is in contact with the FBI on a regular basis.” Mayor Dougherty was quoted as saying, “the idea of draining the pond was something that was discussed weeks, even months ago, but I don’t think a decision has been made.” It is the ponds on Catoctin Mountain’s north side, near Gambrill Park Road and Tower Road in Frederick that reportedly of the FBI’s interest.

    “If there is anthrax in the water, I am relatively sure that the water is safe,” the Mayor of Frederick said to the local paper. Yet no trace of anthrax was found. Is this how our system of justice is supposed to work? Right or wrong, the story should never have been leaked by those involved in the investigation to the Washington Post reporters. It was misleading and hugely prejudicial. More than anything else, people who think Hatfill is guilty now think that because of this report. Any agent leaking the story may have handed Attorney Glasberg a Section 1983 claim under the civil rights statute, particularly after the similarly sourced March 9, 2003 CBS story about agents who were convinced he was guilty. If the Department of Justice permits those leaks to occur, it risks Section 1983 liability itself.

    As United States District Judge Gladys Kessler for the District of Columbia

    “Difficult times such as these have always tested our fidelity to the core democratic values of openness, government accountability, and the rule of law. The Court fully understands and appreciates that the first priority of the executive branch in a time of crisis is to ensure the physical security of its citizens. By the same token, the first priority of the judicial branch must be to ensure that our Government always operates within the statutory and constitutional constraints which distinguish a democracy from a dictatorship.”

    Here is an aerial photo of the pond relative to that intersection so that you skinny dippers know where not to go:

    POLICE LINE – DO NOT CROSS “Everybody! Watch the ponds!”

    “[P]utting this all into perspective when asked how high of a priority this is for the FBI right now, Dougherty said that it is, “certainly not at the top of their list.” Newsweek, on the plastic tub story, reported: “While some law-enforcement officials are taking the novel theory seriously, others have dismissed it as fantasy. ‘It got a lot of giggles,’ says one FBI source.” As many schoolboy knows (or at least any schoolboy with google available to him could readily learn), a rope is used to retrieve a minnow trap from the bottom of a pond. The USA Today has reported that a rope was found attached to the plastic container.

    “While some law-enforcement officials are taking the novel theory seriously, others have dismissed it as fantasy. ‘It got a lot of giggles,’ says one FBI source.”

    Clawson relying on details from their own “sources,” reportedly said it was “like a K-Mart sweater box; like a piece of Tupperware that just happened to have a hole in it.” Then he added, “From what I understand it doesn’t have anything to do with bioweapons.” School children are even taught online to study the flow of water systems using plastic sweater boxes with a hole cut in it and take it to the pond or stream.

    TOP 10 USES OF A PLASTIC SWEATER BOX FOUND AT A POND

    1. to incubate snake or turtle eggs,

    2. breeding crickets,

    3. snake feeding room,

    4. live bait dispenser ,

    5. common school project to study the flow of water systems,

    6. minnow or turtle trap,

    7. turtle transporter,

    8. breeding waxworms,

    9. RYO wet/dry filter,

    10. to ruin someone’s life while pumping up the value of his litigation claims.

    The Trentonian sets the scene:

    “A short walk down that freshly cut road off Gambrill Park Road leads to nothing more than a non-descript fishing pond about an acre in size, and about 10 feet at its deepest point.

    Several other ponds located only a few dozen yards away are also part of the mystery that may hold the keyto the secrets behind the anthrax-laden letters.

    The other ponds are smaller, and at least one of the ponds was tagged for stocking back in March, prior to the opening day of fishing season last month.

    On one pond a man was seen sitting in a chair, fishing pole in hand and passing the time. He hadn’t caught anything yet, he said.

    A short walk down that freshly cut road off Gambrill Park Road leads to nothing more than a non-descript fishing pond about an acre in size, and about 10 feet at its deepest point.

    Several other ponds located only a few dozen yards away are also part of the mystery that may hold the key to the secrets behind the anthrax-laden letters.

    The other ponds are smaller, and at least one of the ponds was tagged for stocking back in March, prior to the opening day of fishing season last month.

    On one pond a man was seen sitting in a chair, fishing pole in hand and passing the time. He hadn’t caught anything yet, he said.”

    No wonder. Perhaps he’s still annoyed that someone took his clear plastic minnow trap, that was also good for catching bluegills. Or for taking his turtle trap.

    Or perhaps he’s annoyed that the FBI took his live bait dispenser that held shiners for catching bass.

    The area they were searching is a quarter mile west of Fishing Creek Road. According to the Gambrill Park webpage, a small pond, located in the Rock Run area is popular for fishing for large mouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. As explained by one web thread “Minnow trap advice,” even bluegill can be caught using a minnow trap (not just minnows) There are many species of minnows in ponds. A common minnow is the Golden Shiner. Minnows or shiners, mostly stocked as food for bass. Newsweek reported: “While some law-enforcement officials are taking the novel [glove box] theory seriously, others have dismissed it as fantasy.’“ It got a lot of giggles,’ says one FBI source. (In legal and beltway circles, this means it did not pass the all-important “giggle test.”) The photo in Newsweek of the diver in the wetsuit from last December or January might best be captioned, as Brer Fox once asked Brer Rabbit, “Did you catch minnows or a cold?”

    If a minnow trap, was it Old Pal? Crazy Pal? Singer? Getz em? Or Ketchmor? Or unknown? For the specifications and details of each, see

    http://www.minnowtraps.com/plastictraps.html

    Sample turtle traps

    Yes, some minnow traps, like the two turtle traps above, are rectangular boxes such as illustrated by Pat No. 5,131,184 (1992) that look even more closely like a glove box (which is pictured further below). As the Baltimore Sun reported, explains, what was found was NOT a commercial glove box.

    If the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit!

    My favorite suggestion that I’ve heard though is that it relates to the infestation of Maryland ponds of the Crofton snakehead, a species ruinous to ecosystems that someone released from an aquarium. Numerous traps were set to rid Maryland ponds of the creature.

    The news stories suggest the image of someone sticking their gloved hands into the box while underwater. Well, how does water not rush through the holes? Did Hatfill stick his hands into the box outside the water, walk awkwardly into the water, then submerge the box? Water would seep through. An unanswered question in this fanciful scenario imagined by some in the press and their unnamed sources: where are the “port” or “securing ring” -like devices? If this box was used as alleged, why would these devices be taken away by the perp instead of left there too?

    In the event it turns out to have been homemade, note that frugal fishermen on the internet post to each directions on how to make a homemade minnow trap:

    “I don’t take credit for this I saw it on Rec. Ponds awhile ago Take an empty 2 liter bottle, cut off the top where it is as round athe rest. (making a funnel) invert it back into the rest of the bottle and staple it back together. Put in some food (I used bread)I also tie a string onto it by putting a small hole on the bottom and fishing the string through the funnel hole. Drop it in and wait about an hour an pull it back up. I caught about 20 per container The fish can swim in but can’t get out.”

    “A basic rule of aquatic research,” another poster explains, “is that you have to be prepared to lose anything you put in the water.”

    Please email if you know of others (including your homemade ones, especially if you started with a plastic sweater box.). Dr. Hatfill or his pal Stan may want to start collecting them.

    (Someone else might pull pictures of clear plastic live bait dispensers.)

    The way a minnow or turtle trap works is that the small fish or turtle can swim in but can’t swim out — sort of like being named a Person of Interest.

    The way a minnow or turtle trap works is that the small fish or turtle can swim in but can’t swim out — sort of like being named a Person of Interest.

    In a Washington Post article on May 30, 2003, we are treated to characterization of the false positive due to shoddy lab work as merely a conflicting lab report and the tantalizing (albeit casually dropped) new discovery of gloves wrapped in plastic. Can you imagine the leaker gleefully seizing the issue of the gloves allegedly found, challenging detractors to a duel, and saying “Take that!”

    We are also told that investigators were “surprised” not to find traces of anthrax at the places they searched. Surprised? Wouldn’t it only be surprising if you had assumed your conclusion of a person’s guilt? “Some agents fear that draining the pond, estimated to cost $250,000, could prove useless and embarrassing.” The article states: “The business acquaintance’s tip offered a clue to how the bioterrorism crimes could have been carried out.” Would that be Stan Bedlington, who used to dine weekly with Hatfill and others at a bistro in McClean? If so, Mr. Bedlington went on national tv to announce that he thought the “evidence was mounting” because Hatfill lived near a place named Greendale.

    The same suggestion that a glove box could be used — or that insertion could be made outdoors — was made by numerous people in a group called anthrax_fans@coollist.com. It would occur to anyone naturally — even though it went against the suggestion that a million dollar containment facility would be needed. The statute of limitations on Dr. Hatfill’s libel claim (dating to the first week in July 2002) arguably expires next month. . Depending on the jurisdiction, te statute is tolled by the filing of suit (and service before expiration of the period is not necessary).

    If the vials and gloves journalist Thompson and her collagues says were wrapped in plastic were related to the insertion of powderized anthrax into the letters, they would test positive, right? My source of information indicates no gloves were found –with the question being asked of the law enforcement sources both before and then again after the WP story. The inventory doesn’t in fact list gloves wrapped in plastic, does it? If not, what is the basis for the report?

    A recent USA Today report explains a rope was found attached to it, as google shows is used with a minnow trap or turtle trap. (That’s how you get the trap up from the bottom of the pond). The sources relied upon by the USA Today confirm the absence of any evidence of Hatfill’s guilt beyond exaggerations on his resume etc.

    g. No Time To Kill

    Then there’s the question of his time cards, which show him working 13 hours on each September 17th and September 18th. In the UK, there were articles on May 31, 2003 in the Observer (repeated in the Guardian) about Dr. Hatfill, along the lines of : while there is no evidence of his guilt, he lied a lot to get jobs. They are based on an earlier longer article in the magazine SEED, which was all old news. It is available on line (at FreeRepublic, for example) in PDF. But if it doesn’t bear on evidence of guilt, there seems to be no point in addressing the many aspects of his claimed exaggerations and false statements. The sections arguing that there is no evidence of responsibility for the Amerithrax crimes is not based on the truth of his statements.

    While it may lend itself to a sense of accomplishment for an investigator burning the midnight oil on a weekend to expose yet another falsehood or fabrication, it is a diversion from the task at hand. By way of example, can they break his alibi based on the September 17, 2001 and September 18, 2001 timesheets or not?

    The full timesheet for September 17 and September 18 is available on line as an appendix to a weighty article by David Tell of the Weekly Standard.

    h. Handwriting on the Wall

    Trying to read the handwriting on the wall, it’s difficult to imagine what evidence the FBI ever thought it had that was both relevant to the anthrax mailings and reliable enough so as to be admissible.

    As to handwriting, no qualified handwriting expert would give an opinion without a number of handwriting exemplar (as many as possible). In my experience with handwriting experts from the DC area, they have backgrounds in the FBI, CIA or large city police departments. I once uploaded some illustrative snippets taken from Purchase Orders obtained through FOIA apparently filled out by Dr. Hatfill, that by themselves would be wholly insufficent to render an opinion. The FBI, however, had samples from searches. Based only on lay observation of the 6 purchase orders, I note these points:

    First, he uses the European style rather than popular American style (in US government circles, the “European style” is known as the “military style” of writing dates). So instead of March 30, 1996, he renders the date 30 March 1996. The anthrax letters, in contrast, used the popular American style of writing that Hatfill does not use in the random 6 Purchase Orders reviewed.

    Second, when he writes the month using a number rather than the name of the month, he used a “/” rather than a “-” as used by in the anthrax letters. The FBI psycholinguistic profile noted that the writer of the anthrax letters “1. The author uses dashes (“-“) in the writing of the date “09-11-01.” Many people use the slash (“/”) to separate the day/month/year.”

    Third, he used 5 digit zipcodes rather than the 9 digit zipcodes used by the anthrax mailer. For example,below he uses St. Louis, MO 63178. No doubt he also uses nine-digit zipcodes as we all sometimes do, obliging the USPS, at the same time questioning the need.

    Fourth, the far right example below, he used a single number in referring to the day of the month and did not put a “0” in front of it as in the anthrax letters.

    Fifth, Dr. Hatfill on the Purchase Order pictured below just made the number one with a single vertical line whereas “[t]he FBI psycholinguistic profile noted that the writer of the anthrax letters …[i]n writing the number one, the author chooses to use a formalized, more detailed version. He writes it as “1” instead of the simple vertical line.”

    Thus, although I am not qualified to render an expert handwriting opinion, the Purchase Orders I reviewed differ in all these respects from the anthrax letters. These differences, though, demonstrate that any use of handwriting or psycholinguistic experts would not get the government far because the defense would be these major points apparently favoring that he did not write the anthrax letters.

  8. DXer said

    Watch the “Deadly Intelligence” show live tonight on the Science Go App.

    • DXer said

      As to evidence of travel, as discussed in the Deadly Intelligence episode tonight, there is no evidence — just the FBI’s baseless assumption that Ivins must have travelled all night and then reported to work the next morning — with 3 adults sleeping in the small house. Agent Decker and Agent Chacon can grapple with their conscience when Bruce’s son is some day filmed on the question. Or when the FBI complies with FOIA and produces the family’s 302s. When did one’s assumed conclusion become equated to evidence?

  9. DXer said

    Exclusive: Guilt of ‘anthrax killer’ Dr. Bruce Ivins questioned on Deadly Intelligence

    21st April 2018 April Neale

    https://www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/exclusive-guilt-of-anthrax-killer-dr-bruce-ivins-questioned-on-deadliest-intelligence/

    Science Channel series Deadly Intelligence tonight looks at the case against Dr Bruce Ivins, the key suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks — and whether he was framed in an FBI cover-up.

    Ivins was an Army scientist and was believed to have been the so-called “Anthrax Killer”, but the series looks at new evidence and has interviews with medical peers who suggest something may have been amiss in the initial FBI investigation.

    The anthrax letters, sent just after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, killed five people and left more than a dozen ill. Ivins was the key suspect but, at age 62, he committed suicide.

    His death on July 29, 2008, from a Tylenol overdose, came as federal prosecutors were just about to present their damning report to a grand jury.

    The letters were filled with refined bacterial spores and mailed to Senate Democratic leaders and various news organizations.

    Two Washington postal workers, a New York hospital worker, a supermarket tabloid photo editor in Florida, and a 94-year-old woman in Connecticut all were killed by the perpetrator’s actions.

    Why Ivins? He had spent 30 years as a microbiologist at the Army’s biological research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. His job? He was trying to develop a better vaccine against anthrax.

    But tonight you will hear from many experts who dispute his guilt, believing that Ivins was framed in an FBI cover-up.

    Scientists like Dr. Paul Keim and Dr. Henry Heine on the episode speak up for Ivins, saying the contents of a tell-tale RMR 1029 flask that the FBI traced back to Ivins was actually shared with 20 labs.

    There was reasonable doubt and a chance that Ivins was the victim of circumstantial evidence. But who was sophisticated enough to cultivate the deadly anthrax spores? Watch tonight to learn more.

    Deadly Intelligence airs Sundays at 10 pm ET/PT on Science Channel

  10. DXer said

    Britain’s Novichok Chaos Brings Back Memories of Anthrax Attacks

    • By Peter Isackson
    • • April 6, 2018
    https://www.fairobserver.com/region/north_america/novichok-sergei-skripal-poisoning-britain-anthrax-attacks-us-news-41521/

    In 2002, the FBI began investigating Steven Hatfill, an American scientist, who ended up successfully suing the government in July 2008 under the Privacy Act, receiving a settlement of $5.8 million. Sometime in 2006, the FBI began considering a new suspect, a senior biodefense researcher at the US Army medical command facility at Fort Detrick, Bruce Ivins. A month after Hatfill’s victory in the courts, Ivins committed suicide. The FBI, under instructions from its then-director, Robert Mueller, promptly called the case closed, though no serious evidence ever emerged to charge Ivins. As CNN reported at the time, “Federal prosecutors named Ivins the culprit in the anthrax attacks after his death.”

    In December 2014, Scientific American discussed the results of a US Government Accountability Office report under the headline, “FBI’s 2001 Anthrax Attack Probe Was Seriously Flawed.” The report cites Jim White, a retired molecular biologist, “and others” who “argue that the information and questions that have surfaced in recent years warrant reopening the case.”

  11. DXer said

    R. Scott Decker in his forthcoming book says they ensured that all samples were submitted because they called the lab directors to Washington and asked them if they were.

    Yet, John Ezzell’s did not submit the sample they had in THEIR lab, and this was the lab that worked closely with the FBI as part of the Hazardous Materials Response Unit. Indeed, that was the lab that had made a powderized anthrax out of the Ames in Flask 1029! Where in his book does he mention that? What he is concealing is that it was only a scientist DECKER’S group who made powderized anthrax out of the genetically matching Ames.

    So why if Scott did not even ensure that the FBI’s own experts submitted a sample, does he make the claim that everyone else in the world did — including the person who surreptitiously used it for murderous purpose?

    Agent Decker writes:

    “Rumors of the hijackers carrying improvised bombs—combined with speculation they might have had biological weapons—prompted scientists from the Department of Defense and the Secret Service to set up air monitoring stations around the Pentagon and on the roofs of executive buildings in Washington, DC. The sensors pulled air through small filters, trapping minute particles. Day and night, technicians removed samples of those particles, driving them 50 miles north to the nation’s premier biological defense laboratory: the Maryland-based United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, known as USAMRIID. On the receiving end of those deliveries was Dr. John Ezzell, a skilled scientist who had spent the prior five years developing methods for detecting and identifying the tiny signatures of biological weapons. Day after day, Ezzell and his team analyzed the trapped dust for indications of aerosolized anthrax.

    USAMRIID also had a fully staffed bacteriology division, much of it devoted to anthrax research, but its members had little to no experience in forensics and weren’t asked to assist. But the rumors that al-Qaeda operatives had biological weapons had reached their ranks as well.”

  12. DXer said

    In his memorandum sought in federal district court litigation, does former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert address the restraints under the Quran publicly advocated by scholars such as Bilal Philips? Philips’ insights about terrorism from 2001 and 2002 are available online through the Wayback Machine.

    The father of anthrax mailing suspect Adnan El-Shukrijumah had been Bilal Philips mentor. (Adnan’s father had been the Blind Sheik’s translator and testified as a character witness for one of the defendants in the sedition trial in the mid-1990s involving the blind sheik.)

    Bilal Philips, in turn, was the mentor of “anthrax weapons suspect” (to borrow his counsel Jonathan Turley’s phrase) Ali Al-Timimi. (Philips taught Al-Timimi in high school in Riyadh). Philips spoke alongside Ali- Al-Timimi in July and August 2001 in Canada and then the UK.

    Bilal Philips, Ali’s mentor and a conference participant, has explained in an interview that he recruited people from the US military to jihad.

    In 2001, Philips published this reply to critics who suggested he was guilty of terrorism.
    http://www.bilalphilips.com:80/abouthim/artic10a.htm

    He has emphasized:

    “There are strict rules regulating how war may be conducted. Prophet Muhammad forbade the killing of women, children, and old people … ”

    Islaam and Terrorism [1/2]
    http://www.bilalphilips.com:80/abouthim/artic09a.htm

    Not understanding this aspect was central to R. Scott Decker’s uninformed views in profiling an Al Qaeda Theory in the Amerithrax case. indeed, the Al Qaeda manual on deadly letters even gave instruction on how to wipe the envelope with silicon so that the mailman didn’t get hurt.

    So does former Amerithrax lead investigator Richard Lambert address the December 2001 cyanide mailings in the memorandum section on Al Qaeda that is being withheld from FOIA requestor and litigant Kenneth Dillon? Did he have a more sophisticated view than Decker whose time was occupied by retrieiving minnow traps from Maryland ponds and anthrax-smelling bloodhounds?

    Here is the official statement of Dr. Bilan Philips on his arrest in the Philippines — it discusses his banning by the various other countries.

    Official Statement of Dr Bilal Philips on his arrest in Philippines
    OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF DR. BILAL PHILIPS
    In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful
    10 September, 2014
    https://muslimmatters.org/2014/09/13/official-statement-bilal-philips-arrest-philippines/

    As to Tiger Woods, Bilal Philips has most prominently noted his gestures and raising the club upon a successful shot.

    Prophets Sunah or Tiger Woods Sunah Funny Dr Bilal philips

    So who does the learned Bilal Philips think was responsible for the cyanide mailing? And as to Amerithrax, does he think the murder of Oittile Lundgren would violate the Quran and hadiths? (He hasn’t been to the US since 1995.)

    “Interview with Dr. Bilal Philips”
    https://muslimmatters.org/2007/04/09/interview-with-dr-bilal-philips/

    On page 2 he continues:

    ” “Fight in the cause of Allaah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress the limits. Indeed Allaah does not love transgressors.” (2:190). Muslims are also enjoined to fight against tyranny. The Qur’aan states, “Why shouldn’t you fight in the cause of Allaah and for those oppressed because they are weak. Men, women and children who cry out, ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town of oppressors’” (4:75)”

    Philips spoke in Kuala Lumpur on February 2001. I don’t believe Yazid Sufaat had left yet for Afghanistan. Did Yazid Sufaat attend the lecture? Yazid Sufaat pled the Fifth Amendment when I asked him what anthrax strain he was using (Ames had been detected by both the FBI and CIA).

    Sufaat said he thought anthrax was mainly just good for sabotage that he preferred something that acted more quickly. Al Qaeda was working on developing cyanide as a weapon.

  13. DXer said

    On August 4, 2007, Bruce Ivins wrote this to the federal undercover — one of the two women who went on the cruise with him.

    Imagine having had the Commander tell everyone not to talk to Bruce but then to have the one social breath of fresh air turn out to have not been genuine.

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: NONE
    Hi, again,
    and
    I’m writing you from work. I just got in and checked my voicemails and
    emails. The work never seems to end, even when we go away for awhile. We have to take lots and lots
    of official training, and the paperwork gets more and more oppressive.

    We have several projects going on in our laboratory. Because of funding cutbacks in the last few years
    we’ve had to switch what we’ve been working on quite a bit. It used to be totally focused on anthrax
    vaccine research, but now we’re basically just making anthrax spores for other research labs to use in
    their experiments. We’re also studying how to improve the quality of anthrax spores. I had somebody
    working with me for 14 years who was just superb in the laboratory, but she left in 2002, and it’s been
    a struggle to try to bring the lab back to the level where it used to be. There are currently three people
    in the lab – myself and two others.

    I have some pictures to send you to hopefully bring you some smiles. I really hope to hear from you,
    but if you’d rather I wouldn’t email you, please let me know, and I won’t bother you. Thanks again for
    helping to make my cruise so enjoyable. You are both wonderful people. Have a fine week!!!!!!!

    The FBI also had asked Nancy Haigwood, who never liked him — she thought his pranks were over the top (as they were) — to act informally as their undercover agent.

    Ivins wrote her emails with subject lines like “For Animal Lovers,” “To brighten your day,” “Happy Monday Morning!!,” “Beware of infant terrorists!!!!”, “Happy Wednesday,” “Smiles for the weekend!,” “Cute Kittens and puppies.” One of his e-mails, “do you remember fender skirts?????,” included twenty-seven attached photographs.
    Another, “Happy Friday!!,” attached sixteen photos of various animals, most of them kittens.

    Faced with this massive abandonment and betrayal, Bruce Ivins was driven to rage and he committed suicide. Innocent? Guilty? We don’t know because the FBI is withholding the exculpatory evidence.

    To get people on the same page, all that we have asked of FBI is to produce, for example, the September 21, 2001 email to Nancy Haigwood that it has relied on in pitching his guilt. That email likely discusses comments on his work just as the email to the federal undercover quoted above does. The DOJ and FBI relied on the email in closing the case — even though no evidence pointed to Ivins and the DOJ/FBI does not even have a theory of motivation that passes scrutiny.

    Given that the former lead Amerithrax scientist says that a staggering amount of evidence exculpatory of Bruce Ivins is being withheld, is it really too much to ask that the FBI comply with FOIA and produce the emails it has quoted and cited in its Amerithrax Summary?

    Why is it wrong for the Skadden Arps attorney in the Russia investigation to have not provided the email or text — but the FBI has failed to produce these Amerithrax emails for years now … after driving Bruce Ivins to suicide by pressuring a man they knew to be emotionally fragile and suicidal since at least 1999. The FBI didn’t even bother to obtain the records showing he had been in the group counseling sessions on the nights of mailing until after his suicide, even though they had agents attending the cruise with him a full year earlier.

  14. DXer said

    Is this going to be hacked? (See Marc Goodman’s, FUTURE CRIMES, 2015). Hasn’t it already been?

    Is this the Post Office going to be sued for not also requiring a signature obtained by the mail carrier from the customer?

    Helpful or harmful: Is USPS’ Informed Delivery feature a new target for security threats?

    • CJ Lovelace
    • Nov 25, 2017 Updated 11 hrs ago
    https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/helpful-or-harmful-is-usps-informed-delivery-feature-a-new/article_dd406bf6-d21e-11e7-b4b8-4b8700797739.html

    This screenshot shows a digital photograph of a piece of mail. Users who sign up for the U.S. Postal Service’s free notification service called “Informed Delivery” receive daily email updates showing up to 10 pieces of mail, like this one, en route to their mailbox that day.

    By C.J. Lovelace

    The holiday season means a significant increase in mail as millions upon millions of letters and packages move through the U.S. Postal Service system en route to their destinations.

    For years, the postal service has taken digital photographs of mail as it moves through sorting facilities, helping make the process operate smoothly.

    But with the independent federal agency rolling out a new service nationally earlier this year that uses those photographs to let the public get a peek at what could be waiting in their mailboxes, some security experts have questioned the program’s safety and the safeguards in place to protect user privacy.

    The new free service, called “Informed Delivery,” provides daily email updates with scanned images of a user’s mail expected to arrive that day.

    “With Informed Delivery, you can see your mail before it’s delivered to your door,” said Freda Sauter, a USPS spokeswoman with the Maryland field office. “This adds a layer of transparency to the mail delivery process.”

    The postal service has reported favorable reviews among the nearly 7 million people who have signed up so far, but does it give hackers another way to dig up and potentially use your personal information?

    “The short and easy is, yeah,” said Diana Bartlett, an assistant professor in cybersecurity at Hagerstown Community College.

    After researching the topic, Bartlett said her biggest concern with Informed Delivery is how USPS authenticates users when they sign up for the service.

    To sign up, users create a username and password, then enter their home address, email address and other personal information.

    The service uses a “knowledge-based authentication” system that asks several multiple choice questions, such as a town in which a user previously lived or a school they attended.

    Bartlett said most of the answers to the personal questions are things that hackers could easily find through social media or other websites.

    “Basically, you can find those answers,” she said, adding that user feedback has shown that the system is difficult to unsubscribe from once enrolled, also a questionable issue from a security standpoint.

    “(Hackers) basically have yet another way of getting your information,” Bartlett said.

    Once in the system, a would-be hacker could gather further personal information about a user by reviewing their incoming mail, such as where the person banks or shops, as well as spot potential targets for theft from unsecured mailboxes, she said.

    Asked about security concerns, Sauter said the postal service takes privacy “very seriously” and protects the personal information of its customers.

    “The scanned images are of the external markings, showing only the exterior, address side of letter-sized mail,” she said. “Informed Delivery is in full compliance with federal privacy laws. The mail is protected by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, whose sole mandate is to safeguard the entire Postal Service system, including the employees who deliver and process the mail and millions of customers who use it.”

    The service, which the USPS has called “an innovative experience in today’s highly digital environment,” was first rolled out in Northern Virginia in 2014 then expanded to New York City in 2015. It was launched nationally in April.

    Registered users receive an email with up to 10 black-and-white images of the outside of their mail each morning. Images can be can be viewed as email notifications or accessed through the USPS online dashboard.

    The postal service has been scanning all mail as standard protocol since the deadly anthrax attacks in 2001, so the digital service does not cost anything extra for customers.

    The system allows only one user account per mailing address, which makes enrolling in the service the easiest way to safeguard yourself from possible nefarious activities regarding your mail, Bartlett said.

    “I think it’s something that personally, even looking at the research … I wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, well OK, this is really bad,'” she said. “But this raises a lot of questions.”

  15. DXer said

    Remind me: why did the public make fun of Tom Ridge’s suggestion of keeping some duct tape handy? Seems a fine idea. When the stuff hits the fan — whether a natural or man-made disaster — it seems we all need to expect to be a little more self-reliant than usual.

    CNN.com – Duct tape sales rise amid terror fears – Feb. 11, 2003
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/02/11/emergency.supplies/

    Feb 11, 2003 – Source: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and U.S. Fire Administrator … for terror attacks, emptying hardware store shelves of duct tape.
    CNN.com – Ridge launches terror preparedness campaign – Feb. 20 …
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/02/19/homeland.security/index.html

    Homeland Security Clarifies Objective Of Chemical Testing Near Newkirk
    Posted: Nov 17, 2017 7:27 PM EST Updated: Nov 17, 2017 7:29 PM EST

    This was the time they were conducting a manhunt for anthrax weapons suspect Adnan El-Shukrijumah.

    In February 2003, the FBI announced that “Jafar the Pilot” (aka Adnan El-Shukrijumah) had entered the country sometime after September 1, 2001
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/in-february-2003-the-fbi-announced-that-jafar-the-pilot-aka-adnan-el-shukrijumah-had-entered-the-country-sometime-after-september-1-2001/

    By Tiffany Liou, News 9
    http://www.news9.com/story/32240385/tiffany-liou

    He said their goal is to protect the country and its citizens from terrorist attacks. In this experiment, they will create an aerosol spray made of three different materials. This is preparation for a biological attack.

    The three materials include titanium dioxide, urea mixed with fluorescent brightener, and bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki.

    “They’re non-toxic and non-hazardous,” said Hough. He described all these materials as being found in everyday commercial items.

    According to Hough, the reason they are being used for testing is because the three particles work well with the detection systems that Homeland Security will be using. It will allow scientists to see how the aerosols penetrate into buildings.

  16. DXer said

    I’m rooting for the FBI to get a break in Isabella Gardner — and then maybe even clarity in Amerithrax that will put the FBI’s approach and decisions in a good light. History needs its heroes.

    Gardner Heist Gangster Robert Gentile Decries “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”
    http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-gardner-gentile-cruel-20171117-story.html

    The weapons offenses against Gentile — among them, an accusation that Gentile sold a gun and ammunition to a triple murderer — are the most recent in a succession of charges brought by FBI agents since he came to the attention of the investigative team searching for the art.

    Gentile has been judged to be a danger to the public and has been held without bail since 2010, either after conviction or while awaiting disposition of charges.

    ***

    McGuigan asked in his motion Friday for the judge to allow Gentile post bail and order him confined to his home in Manchester with an electronic monitoring device.

    Comment:

    It’s not unreasonable to suppose that Bobby Gentile had one or more stored in the tupperware container buried under his garage. His son said he had never seen his father so upset as when he discovered that water from a flood had gotten into the container.

    I had forgotten that Gentile has been held without bail on the grounds of dangerousness. (I worked on the decision of the constitutionality of the Bail Reform Act of 1984 when the issue was first heard before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.) It seems that is the issue that is debatable — not whether being taken from Bridgeport to Brooklyn is cruel and unusual.

    Notwithstanding his foolish attempt to sell a gun (to an informant planted by the FBI) when he should have known he was under scrutiny by the FBI, it seems that perhaps he is not so dangerous that bail cannot be named. (I suspect some Hollywood producer or gangland lawyer might step up and make it just to gain rights to the story about how he left a $250 million painting out in the rain and mud to be ruined).

    But counsel’s mental competency argument was not persuasive. Maybe bail should be granted and then he should be tried on the pending charges. On the other hand, maybe if it is denied, he’ll be motivated to move past the bogus mental competency argument.

    If granted bail, and if experience is any guide, maybe he’ll let slip what happened to the paintings — and forget that his house plant will be bugged. For example, maybe he’ll chew his son out for blabbing about how upset he was after the flooding.

    As one Putlizer Prize-winning reporter left a lengthy interview, Gentile asked to go off the record and have the recorder turned off. As to return of the paintings, he whispered something like “What’s in it for me?”

    Now I may be misremembering (or speaking out of school), but I never cared much about the paintings anyway — and cretinous nitwit thugs like this are most easily forgotten in jail. He should at least tell his story so that he is not altogether forgotten by history.

    I assume that David Turner’s cellmates have been contacted — maybe even recruited — directly or indirectly, by the FBI. But David is too smart to fall for the FBI’s undercover operations.

    Bobby Gentile is probably, for all his bluster, scared of David, who is a very lethal kind of guy. Same with everyone else with knowledge.

    • DXer said

      Man linked to Gardner art heist seeks prison release in weapons case
      https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2017/11/18/man-linked-to-gardner-art-heist-seeks-prison-release-in-weapons-case

      AP,
      1:08 PM
      HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A reputed Connecticut mobster who authorities say is the last surviving person of interest in the largest art heist in U.S. history wants to await sentencing in an unrelated weapons case at his home.

      The motion filed Friday by Robert Gentile’s attorney in federal court called Gentile’s multiple transfers to prisons “cruel and unusual punishment.”

      The 81-year-old Gentile was to be sentenced in September. But a judge postponed it after Gentile’s lawyer raised concerns about his client’s mental health, saying he couldn’t remember pleading guilty.

      Prosecutors have said they believe Gentile has information about the still-unsolved 1990 heist at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Thieves stole an estimated $500 million worth of artwork.

      The U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut declined to comment Saturday on the motion.

      Comment:

      Ah, I remember now. (I appear to have greater memory problems than Mr. Gentile claims to have.) He has already been convicted on the latest gun charge and is just awaiting sentencing. His counsel’s contrived motion about his mental competency is what caused the delay. If he was competent to help with this motion on bail, then he is competent to hear his sentence.

      The court should not be put in the position of being manipulated like this. I have also previously pointed out that I don’t approve of defense counsel’s father having a one-third contingency on return of the paintings. In my opinion, that creates an interest in the subject matter — which creates a possible conflict of interest for criminal defense counsel. But the reporters who want to curry defense counsel as a source are too timid to point that out. It would burn McGuigan as their source. For starters, it creates the perception that counsel believes there is a monetary value associated with the suggestion that his client knows about the paintings. If Gentile had been represented by appointed counsel, he could have more credibly been able to say “I don’t know anything about the paintings — I was just attempting a con when I said I could sell them.” The various players all have an eye on Hollywood over some moldy canvases. This man’s tragic life is just one of many similar back stories. Donati, Houghton, and many more.

      But forget Isabella Gardner heist altogether. He is not charged with that art heist. The judge should just sentence him straight up on the gun sale charge etc. Who knows— maybe he’ll get time served.

      The taped conversations between him and his wife, in my opinion, demonstrate that he is fully capable of assisting counsel in connection with his sentencing. So let’s get on with it and cut out the nonsense.

  17. DXer said

    R. Scott Decker, former FBI Agent and now book author, was not privy to what Richard Lambert was. He was in a highly compartmentalized squad. Let’s look at the big picture.

    John Ezzell, who made the dried powder out of Flask 1029 while in the Federal Hazardous Materials Response Unit with former FBI Agent and now book author, R. Scott Decker, is on the far left.

    Lew Weinstein, our blog host, is next.

    Ken Dillon, former CIA, with his back turned, is sitting in front of Lew.

    Then I am to the right of Lew, asking a question of John Ezzell (who I like and admire).

    Then there is a skeptical Meryl Nass, who has seen James Bannan in his swim trunks.

    Then Bruce Ivins’ attorney whose name I am blanking on.

    And then there is the dispassionate intelligence analyst James Vandevelde on the far right who once taught an intelligence analysis seminar at Yale.

    In his presentation, James said that Al Qaeda’s bio program was much more closely held than its chem program. He worked for CIA’s CTC, I infer, and his prepared remarks were vetted.

    By ginning some fake science involving itself with CT’s use of a hypnotist in the 19-year-old Jovin murder investigation, the FBI effectively (whether it is intended or not) is attempting to gain leverage over my key witness to history.

    James knows lots that never crossed R. Scott Decker’s desk. Things were compartmentalized and closely held in Amerithrax, just like in Ayman Zawahiri’s anthrax program.

    Only Richard Lambert saw everything — and he says the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of evidence that is exculpatory of Bruce Ivins. He blames the FBI Laboratory and politics for Amerithrax’s missteps. And now Scott Decker is stepping out of the shadows to claim responsibility for the decisions about what forensic methods were used.

    Some of that is currently being withheld in the form of a memo authored by Richard Lambert that is now being vetted by the CIA.

    The FBI should up its forensics game.

    I can’t even identify the 10 people that passed my public scrabble game last night — and I certainly couldn’t identify them 19 years down the road after being hypnotized.

    • DXer said

      A true crime buff shared with me years of research on the Suzanne Jovin case, involving the 1998 murder of a Yale coed. I now see how many alternative possible suspects the police have had reason to consider over the years. Now that I know what fueled the Vandevelde Theory for years, I see that it was wholly unreliable evidence and there was never any “there there.” Indeed, there are lots of theories just as good as the alternative Kohn Theory. Hopefully the authorities will catch a break on the hardcore forensics and be able to recover from past missteps. Like the Amerithrax case, the Jovin case was/is difficult and we shouldn’t confuse the conclusion that it is unsolved with the assumption that we could have done any better in real-time.

      The former investigator now overseeing the review for the State Police should overcome any past fixations and open up his mind, following the science — relying on validated and appropriately applied scientific techniques. He should leave the hypnotist and BS “repressed memories” at home.

  18. DXer said

    In the choice of investigative method, consider Connecticut State Police’s apparent determination to either indict James Vandevelde or permanently shelve the matter by the end of this year — even though they have no forensic evidence against him (and I understand that he fully cooperated with the investigation). Disclaimer: I don’t recall having any contact with JV since 2010.
    The last contact I remember (though I would have to check the date) is that he once sent a news article years ago reporting that Yazid Sufaat, upon his release from prison, promptly went off to Pakistan. That’s when I posted the milk carton graphic (done by an undercover) asking where Yazid Sufaat was.

    The plan, with FBI consulting, is to bring in a witness to shape and explore witness recollection from 19 years ago.

    Why is the FBI participating in such an effort? Is it to discredit someone who, in connection with analysis in Amerithrax, wasn’t relying on anthrax smelling bloodhounds?

    Or is it just continuing a past legacy of unrelying on unreliable and unvalidated forensic techniques?

    Psychol Sci. 2014 Feb;25(2):519-30. doi: 10.1177/0956797613510718. Epub 2013 Dec 13.

    Are the “memory wars” over? A scientist-practitioner gap in beliefs about repressed memory.

    Patihis L1, Ho LY, Tingen IW, Lilienfeld SO, Loftus EF.
    Author information

    Erratum in

    • Erratum: are the “memory wars” over? A scientist-practitioner gap in beliefs about repressed memory. [Psychol Sci. 2014]
    Abstract

    The “memory wars” of the 1990s refers to the controversy between some clinicians and memory scientists about the reliability of repressed memories. To investigate whether such disagreement persists, we compared various groups’ beliefs about memory and compared their current beliefs with beliefs expressed in past studies. In Study 1, we found high rates of belief in repressed memory among undergraduates. We also found that greater critical-thinking ability was associated with more skepticism about repressed memories. In Study 2, we found less belief in repressed memory among mainstream clinicians today compared with the 1990s. Groups that contained research-oriented psychologists and memory experts expressed more skepticism about the validity of repressed memories relative to other groups. Thus, a substantial gap between the memory beliefs of clinical-psychology researchers and those of practitioners persists today. These results hold implications for the potential resolution of the science-practice gap and for the dissemination of memory research in the training of mental-health professionals.

  19. DXer said

    Mobster suspected in Isabella Gardner Museum case may not be mentally competent
    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/09/05/mobster-suspected-isabella-gardner-museum-theft-face-judge-federal-weapons-charges/cZfaa2HlF2Rzw1K79BZijJ/story.html

    But Assistant US Attorney John H Durham suggested Gentile was faking it and revealed that authorities had recorded a telephone call he made to his wife from jail last month in which he said he needed to talk to his lawyer “because he knows where one of the paintings is.”

    Comment:

    I personally think that Elene [Guarente’s wife], Jeanine [daughter] and Early Berghman [contemporary] tried to return the paintings in late 2004 and/or early 2005 with the help of lawyer Bernie G., who had represented Earle’s son for biting off an officer’s ear. Jeanine was recruited by Bernie who had been involved by a different Berghman son from Providence.

    Earle last was known to be in the Utica, NY homeless shelter or in Mohawk, NY. Jeanine is the one who I think knows (or having been her father’s confidante has info sufficient to lead to) where the paintings are. In any event, this old hapless fellow Gentile should have had better sense and appreciated that he was under the FBI’s microscope. He should have been on his very best behavior. The wiretapped claim by him in a phone conversation with his wife that he needed to speak to his lawyer “because he knows where one of the paintings is” is certainly fascinating. These reporters have great jobs. I do, think, though, that it is unsettling that his lawyer’s father has a one-third contingency on any painting recovered. That creates, in my opinion, a conflict of interest because the lawyer would have a financial incentive (through the family) to not succeed in convincing the FBI that Gentile didn’t know anything. It would create an incentive to have the FBI succeed in gaining leverage over Gentile.

    But this does seem possibly to represent a possible breakthrough. Good luck to the museum and FBI.

    In Madison, Maine, I’ve always wanted to find the white house that is up the hill past the quonset hut past the house with all the garden gnomes up on the hill at the curve. To get to the white house, you would then out on the road (on which you take a right). [But I was unsuccessful in trying to find it and was very short on time during my brief visit.] I’m told that there was a coke bust that was hushed up in 1992 or so.

    Also in Madison, ME, I’ve pointed to the concrete slab at the abandoned Guarente homestead. I have never heard that the FBI used ground penetrating radar or dug.

    I do think the FBI could have been more active in its use of claw diggers — and not just sledge hammers. To include Gentile’s old used car lot (he was also in the concrete laying biz in 1992) in South Windsor, CT. The site is on the main drag. The site definitely evidence digging and the eagle was once seen on the premises, as I recall. The small building there was razed the same time Elene discussed Gentile before the grand jury (according to the receptionist at the construction company across the interchange).

  20. DXer said

    Fallen forensics: Judges routinely allow disavowed science, June 20, 2017
    http://www.middletownpress.com/general-news/20170820/fallen-forensics-judges-routinely-allow-disavowed-science

  21. DXer said

    Sessions’ New Forensic Science Adviser Has a History of Opposing Pro-Science Reforms

    Many types of forensic evidence have been discredited, but the attorney general has resisted higher standards.

    Pema LevyAug. 10, 2017 8:38 AM
    http://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2017/08/sessions-new-forensic-science-adviser-has-a-history-of-opposing-pro-science-reforms/

    Forensic science is an embattled field. As DNA testing has overturned hundreds of convictions based on flawed forensic evidence, scientists and lawyers are increasingly skeptical that culprits can be accurately identified by matching fingerprints, hair samples, bite marks, bullets, and tread marks to suspects. In a landmark 2009 report, the National Academy of Sciences found that nuclear DNA testing was the only reliable forensic discipline; those based on expert analysis, as opposed to laboratory testing, weren’t really science at all. The report found that crime labs nationwide lacked uniform standards, practices, accreditation, and oversight. In 2015, the FBI found that its own microscopic hair analysts made errors at least 90 percent of the time in testimony and lab reports.

    But Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resisted efforts to rein in forensic science and hold it to higher standards. And this week, he appointed a senior adviser on forensics who has a history of opposing reforms that would bring more accountability and scientific rigor to forensic crime labs and expert testimony.

    The appointment of Ted Hunt, a Missouri prosecutor, came amid a broader announcement of Justice Department initiatives to improve forensic science. As the new senior forensic adviser, Hunt will oversee a “forensic science working group” to create guidelines for forensic examiners to follow in court testimony.

  22. DXer said

    Column: Sixteen years after 9/11, the American public deserves answers, not secrecy

    • By Bob Graham and Dan Christensen, special to the Tampa Bay Times
    Monday, July 10, 2017 3:34pm

    Sixteen years is a long time to expect the American public to wait to know who was behind 9/11, the most significant act of terror in modern U.S. history. Unfortunately, the wait continues because of the resistance of federal agencies to openness, the over-classification of information and the weakness of the Freedom of Information Act.

    Vast numbers of investigative and intelligence documents related to 9/11 remain classified. The FBI alone has acknowledged it has tens of thousands of pages of 9/11 reports that it refuses to make public. To make matters worse, agencies withholding information tell what are essentially lies to make their actions seem as acceptable as possible.

    http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/column-sixteen-years-after-911-the-american-public-deserves-answers-not/2329923

    Bob Graham was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and co-chairman of Congress’s Joint Inquiry into the terrorist attacks. He served as Florida’s governor from 1979-87. Dan Christensen is an award-winning investigative reporter and the founder and editor of Florida Bulldog, a nonprofit news organization. They wrote this exclusively for the Tampa Bay Times.

  23. DXer said

    Tech & Science
    AI Vs. Bioterrorism: Artificial Intelligence Trained to Detect Anthrax by Scientists

    By Jack Moore On 8/8/17 at 11:08 AM

    South Korean scientists have been able to train artificial intelligence to detect anthrax at fast speeds, potentially dealing a blow to bioterrorism.

    Hidden in letters, the biological agent killed five Americans and infected 17 more in the year following the 9/11 attacks, and the threat of a biological attack remains a top concern of Western security services as radicals such as the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) seek new ways to attack the West.

    Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have now created an algorithm that is able to study bacterial spores and quickly identify the biological agent, according to a paper published last week for the Science Advances journal.

    http://www.newsweek.com/ai-vs-bioterrorism-artificial-intelligence-trained-detect-anthrax-scientists-647856

  24. DXer said

    A federal whistleblower complained that two key microbiologists were sent to Israel for a long period, making them unavailable to work on Amerithrax, and prejudicing the investigation.

    Who sent them?

    In 2000, the year before the anthrax mailings, Randall Murch, the fellow who headed the Amerithrax investigation (the polygraphs, the anthrax smelling bloodhounds etc) worked for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency as head of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office.

    (He worked for DTRA between two stints at the FBI’s Laboratory.)

    Stupid question: Did John Ezzell make the dried powder out of Ivins’ Ames strain for this scientist who headed the science investigation for Amerithrax?

    Dartmouth Institute hosts public discussion on threat of bioterrorism July 7
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~news/releases/2000/june00/bio.html

    Posted 06/30/00

    “Ken Alibek, Chief Scientist at Hadron Inc. and President of its Advanced Biosystems Inc. subsidiary, will head a panel of visiting experts at Dartmouth College examining the threat of biological terrorism in the United States on Friday July 7. The discussion is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room 100 of the Thayer School of Engineering.

    Alibek, author of the new book Biohazard and former Deputy Director of the Soviet Union’s biological warfare program, will open the discussion with an overview titled “Is the American Public Safe From Bio-Terrorism?” His talk will be followed by a discussion with a panel of experts including George Baer, Chairman of Strategy and Planning at the U.S. Naval War College; David Franz, Vice President of the Chemical and Biological Defense Division of the Southern Research Institute; Milton Leitenberg, Senior Fellow, Center for International and Security Studies in the School of Public Affairs, University of Maryland; Randall Murch, Director of the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Department of Defense; and Raymond Zilinskas, Senior Scientist at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies.

    The public session is part of a three-day conference and workshop sponsored by Dartmouth’s Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS) where experts from around the country will assess the threat posed by bioterrorism. Attendance at the rest of the workshop is by invitation only.”

    One of those robots taking over the world — and sending spam — mistakenly asked me to join Dr. Murch on his Linked-In Network yesterday. I took the occasion to confirm that Dr. Murch was unwilling to address this question of conflict of interest.

    What does David Franz, who headed Southern Research Institute at Frederick, MD, the contractor for Hadron who did the B3 work with the Ames strain, say about his and Alibek’s association with Randy Murch, the fellow who came to head the FBI’s science investigation?

    What does Ken Alibek and Charles Bailey (then the top DTRA biothreat assessment person) — the pair who shared a suite with convicted seditionist, Ali Al-Timimi — say?

    Gotta love those robots.

    I recall Charles Bailey in 2001 saying that he wasn’t going to talk about the detection of silica because he didn’t want to give terrorists any ideas. Oops. Too late.

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

  25. DXer said

    World anger at suspected Syria gas attack
    4:17am EDT – 01:47
    (▶ View Transcript
    http://www.reuters.com/video/2017/04/05/world-anger-at-suspected-syria-gas-attac?videoId=371424971

    Assad must pay a price over gas attack that killed dozens in Syria, says Boris Johnson
    • NIcholas Cecil
    • 4 hours ago
    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/assad-must-pay-a-price-over-gas-attack-that-killed-dozens-in-syria-says-boris-johnson-a3507771.html

    Comment:

    Russia and Syria should provide flight logs and allow for immediate access to bases to permit investigation of the facts — so as to gather evidence relating to the conflicting claims.
    (The same access should be allowed at the sites bombed).

    It is not good to leave an investigation unsolved.

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

    • DXer said

      In a NYT interview of former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert, he explained that “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins remains secret.

      Even though no FOIA exemption applies, it’s my understanding that the FBI is not going to provide Dr. Ivins’ Notebook 4282 showing the notes made on the dates of mailing (and the week prior to that Fall 2001 mailing).

      Further, the FBI has refused to expedite the request, deeming the issue not of public interest. (The request was made many, many months ago).

      People making the FOIA decisions and setting priorities should take to heart that resolution of such conflicting WMD attribution claims — and the claim made by the former lead Amerithrax investigator — are of keen public interest.

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

  26. DXer said

    Immigration hardliners Jeff Sessions and Kris Kobach are both being considered for Attorney General. Ted Cruz may be also.

    I don’t know the view of either of the three on whether Amerithrax should be reassessed.

    But I suspect that both would favor enforcement of and compliance with FOIA on the subject.

    • DXer said

      Florida State Attorney General Pam Bondi has also been floated in headlines as a possible pick for Attorney General.

      Will Trump ask FBI Director Comey to resign? I doubt it. But if he did, who would be his resplacement? Kallstrom?

  27. DXer said

    Richard L. Lambert, the former lead Amerithrax investigator, has filed an amended Complaint on October 18, 2016 relating to the fingering and railroading of Bruce Ivins in face of daunting undisclosed exculpatory evidence. Shame on FBI Director Comey’s continuing game of hide-the-ball.

    • DXer said

      Page 27 of Richard L. Lambert’s amended Complaint filed October 18, 2016 states:

      “This 60 Minutes segment was critical of FBI executive management’s handling of the AMERITHRAX investigation, resulting in the agency’s embarrassment and the introduction of legislative bills calling for the establishment of congressional inquiries and special commissions to examine these issues – a level of scrutiny the FBI’s Ivins attribution could not withstand.

    • DXer said

      Today’s news:

      Ex-prosecutor: Cayuga County DA secretly withheld key evidence in 15 cases

      http://www.syracuse.com/crime/index.ssf/2016/10/ex-prosecutor_cayuga_county_da_secretly_withholds_key_evidence_from_drug_defenda.html#incart_river_home

      Comment:

      The difference between the case described at the link above and Amerithrax is that it is no secret that the FBI is withholding exculpatory evidence in Amerithrax. It is no secret that selective presented material in support of an Ivins Theory was spun because some investigators and prosecutors wanted to further their careers.

  28. DXer said

    I was researching Thomas Dewey’s papers from his days as a prosecutor yesterday. He went to Yale Law School like Clinton and was a hard worker. It seems that if the FBI ever produces the documents on Amerithrax that exist under FOIA, she would be far better to process the info than Mr. Trump. The former lead investigator Amerithrax, Richard L. Lambert, has urged that the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of information that is exculpatory of Bruce Ivins. And so it would take a hard worker who believes in preparation to process the information.

    Newspaper editorial boards around the country recognize her superior qualification — not a single major newspaper has endorsed Mr. Trump.

    The New York Times: “Our endorsement is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience, toughness and courage over a career of almost continuous public service, often as the first or only woman in the arena.”

    Los Angeles Times: “Perhaps her greatest strength is her pragmatism — her ability to build consensus and solve problems. As president, she would be flexible enough and experienced enough to cut across party lines and work productively with her political opponents.”

    The Baltimore Sun: “One candidate stands in the broad tradition of American leadership that has made this the greatest, most powerful and most prosperous nation in history. The other would have us trade that legacy for a cult of personality. The choice is clear.”

    Houston Chronicle: “These are unsettling times that require a steady hand: That’s Hillary Clinton.”

    New York Daily News: “Heaven help America were, unthinkably, Clinton to fail. She is all that stands between the United States of America and never-before-seen proof that the Founding Fathers weren’t all that they’ve been cracked up to be.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune: “This paper has not endorsed a Democrat for president in its 148-year history. But we endorse Clinton. She’s the safe choice for the US and for the world, for Democrats and Republicans alike.”

    Corpus Christi Caller-Times: “She is not, as has been sold, a mere lesser of two evils. Her experience and intellect would make her a standout in any group of candidates.”

    The Dallas Morning News: “We don’t come to this decision easily. This newspaper has not recommended a Democrat for the nation’s highest office since before World War II — if you’re counting, that’s more than 75 years and nearly 20 elections.”

    The Cincinnati Enquirer: “The Enquirer has supported Republicans for president for almost a century … But this is not a traditional race, and these are not traditional times. … We need a leader who will bring out the best in all Americans, not the worst.”

    The Arizona Republic: “This year is different. The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified. That’s why, for the first time in our history, The Arizona Republic will support a Democrat for president.

    San Francisco Chronicle: “[This election] is a test of whether American voters have the wisdom to identify and dispel a demagogue with authoritarian instincts who is treating a run for the presidency as if it were a reality TV show where outlandishness is the coin of the realm.”

    The Berkshire Eagle: “Clinton actually offers policies, which don’t get the attention they should in an election campaign too often dominated by the latest Trump folly.”

    Portland Press Herald: “Electing the first woman president would open millions of doors to millions of women and girls – not just a symbolic victory, but also an actual step forward in the centuries-long struggle for equal rights.”

    Falls Church News-Press: “We are eager to see how the Clinton-Kaine team will continue the process of moving equality, justice and compassion forward as the cornerstones of our national interest and identity.”

    Dallas Voice: “We still have battles to fight in the name of equality, from employment nondiscrimination to transgender rights. Hillary was a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and she celebrates diversity. We stand with Hillary.”

    Akron Beacon Journal: “Hillary Clinton is the change. … She knows her way around the partisan battles. The country doesn’t need a revolution. It isn’t a wreck. It requires the right brand of change.”

    The Desert Sun: “Her efforts to help women, children and all Americans in a public life that ultimately took her on the global circuit as America’s spokeswoman make her the right choice to become our first female president.”

    Sacramento Bee: “It isn’t mere partisan hyperbole to say she is one of the most prepared candidates ever for the presidency. She can step in as commander in chief on Day One, which in this dangerous, complicated world is no small matter.”

    The Charlotte Observer: “The sum of Clinton’s flaws adds up to far less than the danger of Donald Trump. The Republican nominee is a man unfit for the presidency, and one who would steer our country toward peril.”

    Sun Sentinel: “Hillary’s toughness and clear-headedness are reasons some of America’s adversaries – Vladimir Putin, to name one – seem so eager to see Donald Trump in the White House. Hillary will look Putin in the eye and not blink.”

    Chicago Sun-Times: “Allow us, as well, a special shout-out to those who understand what a danger Trump represents but are cool to Clinton: A vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, a man who could not even pass a basic world geography test, is not a principled protest gesture. It is a retreat to the sidelines.”

    The Spokesman-Review: “The breadth of experience – from White House, to US Senate, to secretary of state – is unrivaled. Her grasp of the issues is impressive. She is not a charismatic leader, but she is tough, focused and cool under pressure.”

    The Tampa Bay Times: “Hillary Clinton is the only candidate for president with the values, experience and knowledge to meet the challenges at home and abroad.”

    Birmingham News: “We’ve watched Clinton weather every challenge — public and personal — that’s faced her over the last 30 years and, unlike Donald Trump’s late night Twitter meltdowns, Clinton has consistently remained presidential in her response and demeanor.”

    • DXer said

      It will be interesting to see what documents relating to Amerithrax — still withheld — make it to public archives. Historians need the exculpatory documents discussed by the former lead Amerithrax investigator so that they can write a solid account of what happened rather than having to rely on selective production by zealous prosecutors. Even when a wealth of documents are made available, people will make basic mistakes. For example, above, I misrembered that Dewey went to Yale Law School, when he went to Columbia. (I was thinking of some on his staff and recommendations from Yale Law School professors).

  29. DXer said

    The Anthrax Letters That Terrorized a Nation Are Now Decontaminated and on Public View

    Carriers of the deadly anthrax bacteria, these letters—on loan from the FBI—can be seen at the National Postal Museum,

    By Jackson Landers
    smithsonian.com
    September 12, 2016 2:48PM

    “Never forget,” read the bumper stickers and T-shirts after September 11, 2001. But there was another terrorist attack against the United States that began later that month, the anthrax attacks that spread through the U.S. Mail, fueled such a complex FBI investigation and resulted in such a confusing outcome that many Americans have lost track of the details.

    The first five contaminated letters were dropped in a mailbox in Trenton, New Jersey, on September 18, 2001. Those envelopes with their payloads of granular brown anthrax would take days to arrive at the addresses of the major news outlets.

    NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Post and The National Enquirer all seem to have initially ignored the strange deliveries. It wasn’t until early October that the first victim, Robert Stevens, a photo editor from the company that owned the Enquirer, was hospitalized and diagnosed with anthrax.

    At first, nobody connected the strange contents of the envelopes with illness. Government officials played down the possibility that this was the work of a terrorist. “It is an isolated case and it is not contagious,” said Tommy G. Thompson, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, at a White House briefing on October 4. “There’s no evidence of terrorism.”

    “Anthrax happens,” said a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

    Government officials stuck to this position even as anthrax panic swept a nation that was (and perhaps still is) waiting for a second shoe to drop after 9/11. People began stockpiling Cipro, an antibiotic that is typically recommended for the treatment of anthrax. Talk swirled about the possibility of a large-scale anthrax attack. What if it was scattered over a city? Blown into the ventilation system of a skyscraper?

    Surprisingly, the original anthrax letters were not destroyed. After a thorough decontamination process, several of the letters have been loaned to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. and are on view in the exhibition, “Behind the Badge: The U.S. Postal Inspection Service.”

    “We have letters to Senators Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle and Tom Brokaw (envelopes & letters) on loan from the FBI,” says Nancy Pope, head curator of the museum’s history department. “Because of their extremely fragile condition we have them in a special case that only lights up when a visitor activates it and are only displaying one at a time.”

    The museum also displays the mail collection box that the terrorist placed the letters in as well as an American flag which had hung in a mail processing and distribution center where two postal workers, Joseph Curseen, Jr. and Thomas Morris, Jr., were fatally infected.

    The question of terrorism was settled beyond a doubt when a second mailing of anthrax envelopes was addressed to the pair of senators, including then-majority-leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) with a terse, hand-written letter that famously included the line, “we have this anthrax.”

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/anthrax-letters-terrorized-nation-now-decontaminated-public-view-180960407/?no-ist

    The letter to Daschle was opened on October 15 by intern Grant Leslie, who is now the managing director of a lobbying firm.

    “It looked like baby powder,” Leslie said in an interview on the PBS program, “Frontline.” “I was wearing a dark gray skirt and black shoes, and you could see it, just vividly, on the dark colors.”

    Leslie was the first victim to see a more highly refined version of the powdered anthrax that could easily be inhaled. She was treated with antibiotics and did not become sick. But a total of 22 people did get sick with anthrax and five died.

    Now that it was undeniable that terroristic anthrax attacks were underway, a mild panic set in. Large volumes of mail were quarantined by the United States Postal Service as some postal employees became infected. Checks, bills, letters and packages simply stopped arriving. For many people and businesses that had resisted the cultural shift to email, this was the moment that pushed them online.

    Even once the mail started moving again, many Americans were too afraid to open an envelope with a return address they didn’t recognize. Businesses and government agencies purchased glove boxes to allow employees to open mail without contacting the contents. Smithsonian magazine’s then-editor Carey Winfrey had to reassure readers: “Fear not,” he wrote in 2002, “the magazine itself is mailed to subscribers directly from our printing plant in Effingham, Illinois.”

    With a mid-term election only weeks away, officials in the Bush White House pressured FBI director Robert Mueller to publicly blame Osama bin Laden. That theory fell flat. Weaponized anthrax capable of causing infections through the lungs is a sophisticated substance requiring advanced laboratories and highly specialized scientific skills. It couldn’t have been made in a cave in Afghanistan.

    Other investigators and politicians tried to pin the blame on Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. Some people imagined a lone, unibomber-type culprit.

    Meanwhile, the thrash metal band, “Anthrax,” found themselves in an awkward position. They had been using the name without controversy since 1981 but were being attacked in the media for appearing insensitive. The band issued a press release suggesting that they change their name to “Basket Full Of Puppies.”

    Before the tragedy of September 11th the only thing scary about Anthrax was our bad hair in the 80’s and the “Fistful Of Metal” album cover. Most people associated the name Anthrax with the band, not the germ. Now in the wake of those events, our name symbolizes fear, paranoia and death. Suddenly our name is not so cool.

    Hoping to help anyone searching the internet for medical advice about anthrax, they also temporarily changed the band’s website (anthrax.com) to contain information about the spread and treatment of anthrax.

    Copycat hoax letters were sent, but the letters sent to the Senate were the last of the real anthrax mailings. Nobody knew this at the time. Years of public paranoia about the mail would follow, gradually tapering off as new cases failed to materialize and a war in Iraq gave Americans new problems to worry about.

    During the course of a seven-year investigation, a prime suspect eventually emerged. Bruce Edwards Ivins, a government biodefence researcher who worked with anthrax. He committed suicide in July of 2008. Soon after, the Justice Department explained the convincing case that they had intended to bring against him.

    Curiously, the government archive of anthrax samples that could have quickly demonstrated a genetic link to the anthrax used in the attacks had been destroyed immediately after the first infection was detected.

    Many of the victims of the anthrax attacks were postal employees who were exposed to the powdered anthrax as the envelopes moved through sorting machines. More than any other group in America, postal employees were terrorized by Ivins’ attacks. The rest of us could choose not to handle mail. Postal workers had to spend eight hours a day surrounded by it.

    While the attacks of 9/11 are explained to new generations of Americans, the story of the anthrax attacks isn’t taught in school and probably never will be. Certainly far fewer people died from anthrax than by hijacked airplanes, but the anthrax letters caused a national panic which was felt by everyone in America for over a year. It was a major part of the post 9/11 atmosphere of foreboding and paranoia which, in all honesty, perhaps most of us wanted to forget.

    Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/anthrax-letters-terrorized-nation-now-decontaminated-public-view-180960407/#yj47eJi98vfsC9YM.99
    Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv

  30. DXer said

    Attorney Lambert this week reiterated to me that any and all civil discovery obtained in his litigation would be shared. This would be hugely in the public interest. I hope the federal district court judge is able to include the public interest in his calculations as to whether to allow Attorney Lambert to have his day in court on the merits of Count V of his Complaint .

    Background:

    Use of Attribution and Forensic Science in Addressing Biological Weapon Threats: A Multi-Faceted Study
    http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/48705/bioattribution-nps-report-3-14.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

    A good attribution capability is as valuable as a BW deterrence tool.  A good attribution capability requires well developed science that not only meets scientific scrutiny but also legal scrutiny.  Legal constructs act as a good lens to look at BW attribution evidence not just in the courtroom, but in the court of public opinion and in the minds of policy leaders.  Forensic determinations, while based on science principles, require collaboration with other disciplines and communities, such as legal, law enforcement, public policy, public health, and communications.  In order to be policy relevant, the science behind microbial forensics must be well accepted by the international science community, but more importantly, the non-science community.  With regards to BW, microbial forensics is a useful policy tool, but must overcome general suspicions and unrealistic expectations towards forensic science in general.

    ***

    The story of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) enquiry of the 2001 Anthrax attack (often called the “Amerithrax Attacks”) is illustrative. As
    part of the study , the FBI spent seven years and 600,000 investigator hours while consulting with 29 universities for scientific and technical support. Several accounts, including a 2011 PBS Frontline
    report, peg the FBI anthrax investigation as the United States’ most expensive and complex investigation to date, costing $100 million over 10 years.

    Still, a review of the evidence by the National Research Council concluded that it was “not possible to reach a definitive conclusion about the origins of the B. anthracis in the mailings based on the available scientific evidence alone.”13

    Comment:

    Of course, the former lead Amerithrax investigator reports that the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of information exculpatory of Dr. Bruce Ivins.

    Did the Ivins Theory pass the all-important giggle test? US Attorney’s reliance on a two-person rule –and the claim that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab — was specious and highly uninformed.

  31. DXer said

    Evan McMullin’s motton on twitter is “Standing up to run for president because it’s ever too late to do the right thing.”

    Evan McMullin
    https://twitter.com/Evan_McMullin?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Enews%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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

  32. DXer said

    Why Evan McMullin Says Donald Trump Is More Dangerous Than ISIS

    By LIZ STARK
    Aug 11, 2016

    As a former CIA operative, independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin believes Donald Trump is a major threat to America’s national security, even saying in a speech earlier this year that he poses “a larger threat to our national security than ISIS itself.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/evan-mcmullin-donald-trump-dangerous-isis/story?id=41307571

  33. DXer said

    50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘at Risk’
    By DAVID E. SANGER and MAGGIE HABERMANAUG. 8, 2016

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/us/politics/national-security-gop-donald-trump.html?_r=0

  34. DXer said

    The Guantánamo Trials: No End in Sight

    Buchalter Nemer

    USA July 28 2016

    http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=53b3be32-2d14-4975-a72c-5c81387b4ba0

    “The way litigation has unfolded,” he said, “there’s virtually no getting together and working it out.” According to one defense team member, the trial is not likely to begin before the end of 2019. Another predicted a start date “between 5 and 10 years from now.”

    The military commission hearings were intended to provide a fair trial within a legitimate judicial framework. The painful delays and seemingly endless pretrial procedures threaten to erode perceptions of legitimacy and fairness, and they must be addressed if the United States hopes to restore its standing in the international community as a champion of human rights.

    ***

    Judicial temperament. Judge Pohl is doubtless a capable jurist in many respects. He clearly is intelligent, has a firm grasp of the pleadings, and understands the issues. His reluctance to rule on motions in a timely manner, acceptance of prosecution recalcitrance in turning over documents, and possibly over-cautious navigation of admittedly uncharted legal waters, however, all add to the perception that this trial may never end.

    The Pacific Council has recommended several means by which to re-establish legitimacy of the military commission process and, beyond that, our nation’s credibility on the world stage by expediting and bringing transparency to these proceedings, most notably by appointing a federal district court judge to preside over the military commission trials. This recommendation should receive more attention.

  35. DXer said

    Russian officials blame thawed reindeer carcass in anthrax outbreak

    By Susan Scutti, CNN

    Updated 6:35 PM ET, Thu July 28, 2016

    The hospitalizations came after up to 1,200 reindeer died over the past month, which officials originally blamed on a heat wave in the region. Unusually high temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) recorded over the past month might have weakened the reindeer.
    Now, laboratory tests have confirmed that the reindeer died of anthrax, Gov. Dmitry Kobylkin’s office reported.

    However, Moscow laboratories have not confirmed that the patients’ illnesses were caused by anthrax. But in the meantime, the patients are being treated as though they have the illness, including treatment with antibiotics.

    Scientists speculated that the deer, weakened from the heat, ate the thawed remains of an infected reindeer carcass that had been frozen for many years. From there, the infection was passed to nomad herders.
    An alternate theory proposed by some experts is that the deer picked up the infection from an abandoned cemetery in Halmer, where, in following an ancient tradition, the deceased have been placed in wooden boxes and set on the ground rather than buried. Soil samples in the area do not contain the pathogen.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/28/health/anthrax-thawed-reindeer-siberia/

  36. DXer said

    Anthrax sickens 13 in western Siberia, and a thawed-out reindeer corpse may be to blame
    By Ben Guarino July 28
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/28/anthrax-sickens-13-in-western-siberia-and-a-thawed-out-reindeer-corpse-may-be-to-blame/

    Off-topic:

    Mobster turned minister opens up about stolen Gardner Museum paintings
    by: Bob Ward Updated: Jul 28, 2016 – 4:15 AM
    http://www.fox25boston.com/news/mobster-turned-minister-opens-up-about-stolen-gardner-museum-paintings/412817759

    • DXer said

      I discussed the possible Florida connection — now raised in Isabella Gardner — on this blog in 2013.

      “2. a. For the $500 million in Gardner paintings ($5 million award), trace the storage unit where Carl and Sylvia Benjamin stored their things in Florida. It’s air-conditioned. Go to Florida and await instruction. See article in Hartford Courant yesterday. The journalist does not explain the Florida connection but it was Carl Benjamin that Robert Guarente would have been going to see.

      b. Alternatively, if FBI or acting with consent of landowner, move this concrete slap pictured in the upper right up in Maine.

      http://photos.syracuse.com/yourphotos/2013/03/isabella_gardner_art_heist.html

      c. Finally, or bring ground penetrating radar to the lot across the interchange from the Hartford Truck Rental in South Windsor, CT down from Stardust restaurant. They bulldozed it last year. (Given the trail of bodies, the mob knows the paintings are best forgotten).”

      • DXer said

        “I’m not looking for someone necessarily to call me and say, ‘Go to Locker 3 in this storage facility,’” he said. “It’s like you put this puzzle together, you start with the borders, and people are giving you pieces.

        “If you do puzzles, most of the time, there’s this one piece that’s just like—hoo, okay!—now you hit this arc, now it’s falling together. So I’m not necessarily looking for the big aha! moment. I’m looking for the small aha! moments that I can piece together.”

        http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2016/07/27/gardner-heist-florida/
        Mobster Says He Heard Gardner Heist Paintings Are in Florida
        Robert ‘Bobby’ Luisi, Jr. broke his silence in witness protection and shared yet another clue.
        By Spencer Buell | Boston Daily | July 27, 2016, 2:07 p.m.

        Comment: Tony, consider that Bobby Guarente’s friend from Maine, who stayed for a brief while with his daughter in Herkimer NY a couple years ago next to my favorite Chinese restaurant, once bought a shiny, new (very) expensive car in Florida. When he was interviewed a couple years ago, he said the FBI had never interviewed him. He was the one who worked with Mrs. Guarente and her daughter (using a lawyer) to return the paintings. (This was before your time and you reportedly were never told of it).

        So if I were him, I would be down in Florida looking for the paintings.

      • DXer said

        http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-gardner-gentile-0513-20130518-story.html

        Monday said his partner paid Guarente $10,000 when Guarente said he needed the money to travel to Florida to obtain whatever art was involved. Monday said he suspects Guarente never went to Florida.

  37. DXer said

    In Amerithrax, the key to buried truth is document analysis (which requires overcoming self-interested withholding).

    Today’s news confirms that in Isabella Gardner, I think the key is that Robert Gentile (Guarente’s friend) was in the concrete slab laying business in the early 1990s.

    https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2016/07/27/former-mob-boss-turned-pastor-know-gardner-paintings

  38. DXer said

    Michele Obama and Bill Clinton both gave excellent speeches at the Democratic National Convention.

  39. DXer said

    Forrmer FBI Agent Richard L. Lambert led the FBI investigation into the contacts involving the 2 hijackers. What does Mr. Lambert have to say about the 28 pages, now that he can talk about the content? Prince Bandar, what do you have to say?

    A Saudi Imam, 2 Hijackers and Lingering 9/11 Mystery – The New York …
    http://www.nytimes.com/…/saudi-arabia-sept11-classified-2…The New York Times
    Jun 17, 2016 – … Richard L. Lambert, who oversaw the investigation into the hijackers’ contacts as the assistant agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s San Diego office …

  40. DXer said

    Mike Pence was definitely mistaken in suggesting, in a phrase, that the mailed anthrax was genetically modified. Either he or the staffer who wrote the June 2002 letter should have checked the fact made in passing (a simple google would have sufficed) before writing to Attorney General asking for more information.
    But I’m sure he would be quick to correct his mistake if it was pointed out.

    To be fair, though, Mr. Willman has failed to correct his central error in Amerithrax relating to his reliance on a key witness in his book that established the narrative about Bruce Ivins.

    Bad science when mistakes are not corrected and information is withheld — as has been the case in Amerithrax.

    Excerpts from David Willman’s key witness (from her book ASCENSION JOURNEY)
    Posted on June 18, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/excerpts-from-david-willmans-key-witness-in-his-book-mirage-man/

    the material on the CASE CLOSED blog about Judith McLean (see prior posts linked below) is relevant to an evaluation of the validity of David Willman’s conclusions in his recently published “The Mirage Man” … because Willman himself, in his publicity blurb (see below), shows just how much he relied on the psychic who says … she was granted her abilities by an extraterrestrial being … got sick in 2001 from doing astral recovery work at Ground Zero and in Afghanistan after 9/11 … and was pursued by nasty Taliban entities
    Posted on June 12, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/why-is-all-this-material-about-judith-mclean-relevant-to-an-evaluation-of-the-validity-of-david-willman%e2%80%99s-conclusions-in-his-recently-published-%e2%80%9cthe-mirage-man%e2%80%9d-because/

    In addition to helping the FBI with Amerithrax, the psychic relied upon by David Willman helped with 911 by her astral travelling and retrieval of etheric body parts at Ground Zero … She reports she was granted her psychic abilities by a being claiming to be an extraterrestial
    Posted on June 11, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/in-addition-to-helping-the-fbi-with-amerithrax-the-psychic-relied-upon-by-david-willman-helped-with-911-by-her-astral-travelling-and-retrieval-of-etheric-body-parts-at-ground-zero/

    bad science
    July 14, 2016 2:00 p.m.
    Why It Took Social Science Years to Correct a Simple Error About ‘Psychoticism’

    By Jesse Singal
    http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/07/why-it-took-social-science-years-to-correct-a-simple-error-about-psychoticism.html

  41. DXer said

    Donald Trump reportedly is considering Chris Christie as Vice President running mate.

    Chris Christie’s office was involved in the anthrax investigation. He, too, would be an interesting choice from the perspective of assessment of Amerithrax.

    As a prosecutor, he would be well-situated to consider the claims made by the former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard L. Lambert.

    Chris Christie – Anthrax Investigation (2002)

    • DXer said

      The last interview I posted was a 9 minute interview of Chris Christie. This full version is 26 minutes. He is described as the lead prosecutor in the case at the time.

      I went to the location where the letters were mailed a couple weeks ago upon touring Princeton University. (Anyone who had ever visited Princeton would know the central location.)

    • DXer said

      The former DIA head is not listed in this round-up of potential VP picks by Donald Trump.

      Here are the top vice president picks for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
      http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-clinton-trump-vp-20160708-snap-htmlstory.html

      From the admittedly narrow standpoint of document discovery under FOIA, I would tend to favor the former DIA head. He favors greater transparency so that the American public can better assess the threat the country faces. As a leader of a major intelligence agency, he is in a position to to balance the opposing considerations.

      I vaguely recall there was some recent Commission that advised that biodefense be headed by the Vice-President.

  42. DXer said

    Another leading possibility reportedly being considered by Donald Trump for Vice Presidential running mate. It seems that he is smart, hardworking a quick study and takes the issue seriously.

    What if the former DIA head Michael Flynn, former Governor and Congressman Mike Pence, or former Congressman Newt Gingrich?

    Wouldn’t they agree that the Army and FBI should prioritize providing a copy of the contemporaneous lab notebooks that Dr. Ivins used to record observations on the date of mailing and weeks prior?

    DIA head Michael Flynn, in particular, favors transparency on such an issue. But all three, if they were to consider the issue as Vice President, likely would recognize the potential value of such notes in Lab Notebook 4282. They like would tend to corroborate or debunk AUSA Rachel Lieber’s claim that Ivins had no reason to be in the B3.

    (Notebook 4282 involved a virulence study in the B3 involving small animals that required Ivins to do the night and weekend checks on which the FBI built its cotton candy Ivins theory).

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/missile/interviews/gingrich.html

    Sept. 11 — critics of national missile defense said that this proved that we were pursuing the wrong policy. Why would you need a missile defense if you’ve got a terrorist who hijacks an airplane or can get a suitcase bomb or send anthrax through the mail? So what’s the argument for missile defense post-Sept. 11?

    I think the sad answer is, you need it all. The sad answer is, you live in a dangerous world where you have active opponents who hate you and want to kill you. You had better be prepared to stop the local terrorist, you better be prepared to stop the cruise missile, you better be prepared to stop the ship-launched relatively short-range missile. And you better be prepared to stop the ICBM, because whichever one you can’t stop may be the one they use.

    You have to do all of them. That’s why I’m for a strong intelligence system and a strong defense system and a strong homeland security agency.

    We live in a much more dangerous world than people believe. We have opponents who are much more determined and much smarter than we tend to give them credit for. We live in a world where weapons of mass destruction are getting easier and easier to get and cheaper and cheaper to build, and I find that very frightening. We ought to be very serious about thinking through, if you hated Americans and you wanted to get your way, what would you do? And then we better block every single avenue, because you can’t pick and choose; your enemies won’t let you.

  43. DXer said

    http://www.fredericknewspost.com/opinion/editorial/detrick-s-anthrax-vaccine-research/article_922c3021-440d-5962-87c4-bf52b6cf2f8f.html

    Detrick’s Anthrax vaccine research

    • Barry Kissin, Frederick
    • 3 hrs ago

    Today’s (June 30) front page article “Anthrax vaccine research hopeful” contains the following: “The late Dr. Bruce Ivins, a researcher at USAMRIID, was the FBI’s main suspect in the anthrax mailings [of 2001] … [Dr. Arthur M.] Friedlander said the knowledge of those mailings still motivates his work. ‘There’s still a threat, and we’re trying to optimize the protection,’ he said.”

    Ivins worked in the same department as does Friedlander; that is, Ivins also worked on developing an anthrax vaccine. Thus, according to the official account, the anthrax attack that motivates Friedlander came out of his own program. In other words, what we have in this program at Fort Detrick is one that addresses a threat whose only manifestation came out of that same program.

    The anthrax mailings all contained letters that read “Death to America, Death to Israel, Allah is Great.” Thus, this particular “inside job” masqueraded as the work of Muslim terrorists.

    Barry Kissin

    Frederick

  44. DXer said

    There’s an article (behind a paywall) in today’s Wall Street Journal titled “FBI—for Burying Information.”

    (I believe you can sign up for a 30 day free trial subscription. 30 days of free WSJ delivered to your mailbox or door is a tremendous value.)

    As a case study, consider what you would do if you were FBI’s David Hardy and the FBI were determined to bury the exculpatory information that the former lead investigator in Amerithrax says is being suppressed. Mr. Hardy has referred the issue to other agencies but has failed to name the agencies — that is the ultimate in a lack of transparency. It allows the FBI to blame the game of hide-the-ball on other unnamed agencies.

    Look for an unrelated WSJ article by Jennifer Smith on Tuesday.

    https://twitter.com/HydropncGarden

  45. DXer said

    Richard L. Lambert, who reports there is a staggering amount of information being withheld in Amerithrax, is quoted about the “28 pages” expected to be released in the near future. He oversaw that investigation before being chosen by FBI DIrector Mueller to oversee Amerithrax.

    A Saudi Imam, 2 Hijackers and Lingering 9/11 Mystery

    By MARK MAZZETTI and SCOTT SHANE JUNE 17, 2016

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/18/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-sept11-classified-28-pages.html?_r=0

    It’s one of those cases where there are an awful lot of very troubling coincidences,” said Richard L. Lambert, who oversaw the investigation into the hijackers’ contacts as the assistant agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s San Diego office in the year after the attacks.

    ***

    Whether out of charitable instincts or at someone’s direction, Mr. Bayoumi, then 42, helped the two future hijackers settle in San Diego, in the apartment building where he himself lived. He co-signed the lease and paid the security deposit and first month’s rent, though they reimbursed him

    ***
    Mr. Lambert, the former F.B.I. official in San Diego, said he was skeptical that the assistance was given by chance. With the 9/11 plot riding on the hijackers’ ability to manage daily life, he said, Qaeda leaders would most likely have made arrangements to get them help.

    “I have to believe something was planned for the care and nurturing of these guys after they arrived,” he said. “They weren’t too sophisticated, and they didn’t speak English. They needed help getting settled and making preparations.”

  46. DXer said

    The FBI has listed the pages relating to Bruce Ivins that it has refused to produce under FOIA with the designation “Referral/Direct”

    https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/oip/legacy/2014/07/23/exemption3_0.pdf

    The FBI indicates that they have deleted Page 39 Page 57, 58, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 94, 85, 101 with the reference “Referral/DIrect”.

    What does “Referral/Direct” mean?

    Does that means there Ivins 302s that were not produced?

    Numerous other pages are suppressed due to exemption b3. Yet b3 requires that they specify the statute requiring nondisclosure.

    So it seems that they should identify that statute.

  47. DXer said

    ISIS In Kenya: Police Foil Alleged Anthrax Attack By Islamic State Group-Linked Medics

    By Morgan Winsor @MorganWinsor On 05/03/16 AT 3:39 PMBy Morgan Winsor @MorganWinsor On 05/03/16 AT 3:39 PM

    http://www.ibtimes.com/isis-kenya-police-foil-alleged-anthrax-attack-islamic-state-group-linked-medics-2363511

  48. DXer said

    The FBI’s Theory in Amerithrax about why there is no forensic evidence implicating Dr. Ivins is that he was diabolically clever and destroyed all the evidence. Well, okay, FBI. Then stop shredding things — like Patricia Fellows’ civil deposition — and disclose the traditional forensic work done relevant to an “Ivins Theory.” Produce the 16 pages on an Ivins Theory and the Table of Contents from the “Interim Case Management Summary” authored by Lambert so we can consider the traditional evidence that exists. Reporters can then request — 50 pages at a time, please — the particular traditional forensic reports of their interest. All the traditional forensic reports have been exculpatory of Ivins including some that were majorly exculpatory. The finely spun “Ivins Theory”, according to Lambert, was highly selective and its material omissions were very misleading.

    It seems in Isabella Gardner that the narrative they are developing is that Gentile burned all the evidence in his furnace. Okay. I guess if it makes them easier to declare the case solved so they can close the case. (I never cared about some moldy,heavily damaged paintings anyway).

  49. DXer said

    Facing Down the World’s Deadliest Pathogens in a BSL4 Lab

    Researchers reach a crucial milestone despite the challenges of working under astronaut-like conditions

    • By Bob Roehr on April 5, 2016
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/facing-down-the-world-s-deadliest-pathogens-in-a-bsl4-lab/

    The continued emergence of deadly infections such as Ebola, MERS and SARS, as well as the terrorist use of anthrax in 2001—when spore-laced letters sent to elected officials in Washington and the news media killed five people and sickened 17 others—made government leaders aware of the need for more and better BSL capacity, and they have since provided substantial, sustained funding to support such facilities. Still, only a few dozen labs in the world are certified as BSL4 facilities; some are very small and only work on diagnostics, or cell cultures, or a single species of animals.

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

  50. DXer said

    Kevin Cullen has an column about Agent Lambert’s succesor in Amerithrax, Vincent Lisi. Agent Lisi was a key architect of an Ivins Theory.

    Retiring FBI chief in Boston shares, yet keeps quiet
    By Kevin Cullen GLOBE COLUMNIST AUGUST 09, 2015

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/08/08/retiring-boston-fbi-chief-shares-some-things-but-not-all/BDZjxwyvJgYJvvqhJhGBzI/story.html

    On Agent Lisi’s retirement from the Boston Field Office the article addresses why this tape was not previously disclosed over the past 25 years. i don’t really understand Vincent’s comment that his face is not shown. The videotape seems as good as many of the bank robbery photos that we are regularly shown and asked to identify. I also don’t understand why the guard, Richard Abath, was not asked about the video 25 years ago (if he wasn’t).

    But moving forward, the priority is that the paintings be recovered and that Amerithrax be solved. Given the difficulty of the job and the good job the FBI does, we should not waste time finding fault rather than finding bad guys.

    In August 2008, the claim that virulent Ames was only in Building 1425 was known to be a crock — anyone involved in the investigation should have known that it was also in Building 1412 and the claims made in announcing Ivins could be determined to be the mailer based on a process of exclusion of hundreds of others was nonsense. Similarly, anyone steeped in the documents should have known that Ivins’ time in the lab in fact was explained by the experiment with the 52 rabbits.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/08/08/retiring-boston-fbi-chief-shares-some-things-but-not-all/BDZjxwyvJgYJvvqhJhGBzI/story.html

    Retiring FBI chief in Boston shares, yet keeps quiet
    By Kevin Cullen GLOBE COLUMNIST AUGUST 09, 2015

    Vince Lisi, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Boston who is retiring this month, arrived here a couple of years ago, fiercely defending the bureau against claims it didn’t share information with its law enforcement partners and the public.

    Looks like he’ll depart doing the same.

    ***

    But the past is never far removed in Boston. On Thursday, federal authorities released a surveillance video showing a security guard letting a man into the Gardner Museum the night before it was robbed of 13 priceless paintings in 1990. US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said officials hoped someone in the public might recognize the mystery man.

    How could this crucial piece of evidence just be coming out, 25 years after the city’s most infamous unsolved crime? It seemed like either a breathtaking bit of incompetence by the FBI, or more evidence of the bureau’s reluctance to share information with law enforcement partners and the public.

    When I called Lisi, he downplayed the significance of the video, and said the FBI was aware of its existence throughout the investigation.

    “This is not an aha moment,” he said. “We hope it generates something, but the focus is on recovering the paintings.”

    He said FBI agents who investigated the case had been aware of the video for years but had judged releasing it to the public of limited value, primarily because at no time is the man’s face shown on camera.

    He said the idea for publicizing the video came up as part of a standard review of an unresolved case, a process which began around the time he took over the Boston field office.

    “We know who did it. We know who went in and stole it,” Lisi said, repeating what his predecessor said two years ago, when the FBI said it believed it knew the identities of the two men who carried out the heist.

    Both of those men are dead, but the FBI has not publicly identified them. The statute of limitations for the robbery expired years ago.

    Lisi said the focus of federal authorities is on finding the paintings. “This is a recovery operation,” he said.

    Lisi said the video was sent to the FBI laboratory in Quantico for enhancement last year, again, part of what he described as a normal review process.

    Lisi is the most candid FBI leader in Boston, ever. His candor has forged better relationships with other law enforcement agencies.

    But that doesn’t mean he’s right about everything.

  51. DXer said

    Here are lengthy excerpts from US memorandum of law in further support of the defendant’s motion to dismiss the Complaint by Attorney Lambert.

    Any confusion or formatting errors were introduced by me upon a hasty cut-and-paste job — and may be related by the uncertainty of where footnotes begin and end upon being reformatted in plaintext.

    Case 3:15-cv-00147-PLR-HBG Document 23 Filed 07/24/15 Page 1 of 33 PageID #: 760

    UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE AT KNOXVILLE

    RICHARD L. LAMBERT, Plaintiff,

    No. 3:15–cv–147 v. (Reeves/Guyton)

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.
    REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN FURTHER SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS ….

    ***

    Attorneys for Defendants United States of America; Eric Holder; Robert S. Mueller III; Patrick W. Kelley (in his official capacity only); the U.S. Department of Justice; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………1

    • PLAINTIFF’S FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT
    (“FTCA”) CLAIMS MUST BE DISMISSED FOR LACK
    OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION PER RULE 12(b)(1)…………………………………2

    • Plaintiff Does Not Dispute that Sovereign Immunity Bars All
    Claims Against the Named Defendants in Their Official Capacities ………………….2

    • Plaintiff’s FTCA Claims Are Barred by § 2680(h) ………………………………………….2

    • Plaintiff’s FTCA Claims Are Barred
    Because They Arise out of Defamation ……………………………………………….4

    • Plaintiff’s FTCA Claims Are Barred
    Because They Arise out of Misrepresentation………………………………………6

    • Plaintiff’s FTCA Claims Are Barred Because
    They Arise out of Interference with His Employment……………………………8

    • The Discretionary-Function Exception Bars Plaintiff’s Claims …………………………9

    • Interpreting and Enforcing Standards of
    Conduct Constitutes a Protected Discretionary Activity ………………………..9

    • Agency Supervisory and Hiring Decisions
    Constitute Protected Discretionary Activity ……………………………………….11

    • PLAINTIFF’S COUNTS I THROUGH IV
    FAIL AS A MATTER OF LAW PER RULE 12(b)(6)…………………………………………….12

    • Plaintiff’s Legal Malpractice Claim Fails as a Matter of Law………………………….12

    • Plaintiff’s Negligent Hiring, Supervision,
    and Training Claims Fail as a Matter of Law ………………………………………………..16

    • Plaintiff’s Privacy Act Claim Fails as a Matter of Law…………………………………..17

    • Plaintiff Fails to Identify a Record in a “System of Records”……………….17

    • Plaintiff Fails to Allege an Actual
    Unauthorized Disclosure of His Agency Records ……………………………….19

    • Plaintiff Fails to Allege Facts Showing FBI
    and DOJ Intentionally and Willfully Violated the
    Privacy Act by Disclosing His Records Without Authorization ……………22

    • Plaintiff Fails to Allege that He Sustained “Actual Damages”
    as a Result of an Unauthorized Disclosure of a Privacy Act Record………23

    CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………………………………………………24

    ii

    [table of cases omitted]

    INTRODUCTION

    As explained in the United States’1 opening memorandum of law (Dkt. 15, “Mem.”), and demonstrated further below, Plaintiff has failed to: (i) carry his burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction over his Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) claims; and (ii) state any claim upon which relief can be granted. Accordingly, Counts I, II, III, and IV should be dismissed.2

    ARGUMENT3
    ***

    II. PLAINTIFF’S FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT
    (“FTCA”) CLAIMS MUST BE DISMISSED FOR LACK
    OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION PER RULE 12(b)(1)

    Sovereign immunity may dress in a petticoat (see Opp. at 5), but she is a harsh mistress. See Smith ex rel. Richardson v. United States, 509 F. App’x 436, 440 (6th Cir. 2012) (waiver of sovereign immunity “must be construed strictly in favor of the sovereign”). Rhetoric is no surrogate for legal analysis. Plaintiff’s FTCA claims must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1).

    A. Plaintiff Does Not Dispute that Sovereign Immunity Bars All Claims Against the Named Defendants in Their Official Capacities

    Plaintiff does not dispute that: (i) the FTCA allows jurisdiction only for claims of money damages; (ii) sovereign immunity bars suits for money damages against officials in their official capacity, absent a specific waiver; and (iii) no such waiver exists here. (See Mem. at 5–6 & n.9.) Accordingly, the claims against Eric Holder, Robert S. Mueller III, and Patrick W. Kelley in their official capacities should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Blakely v. United States, 276 F.3d 853, 870 (6th Cir. 2002).5

    B. Plaintiff’s FTCA Claims Are Barred by § 2680(h)

    As a threshold matter, Plaintiff argues that 28 U.S.C. § 2680(h) does not apply to this lawsuit based on the exception in 10 U.S.C. § 1054, which states that § 2680(h) does “not apply to a cause of action arising out of a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the provision of legal assistance” committed by the “legal staff within the Department of Defense . . . or within the Coast Guard.” § 1054(a) & (e). Plaintiff concedes that § 1054(e) “is expressly applicable to claims brought by employees of the Department of Defense and Coast Guard,” but argues that “Defendants field no argument that this directive is inapplicable to the other agencies of the federal government.” (Opp. at 6.) Plaintiff is wrong.

    As the United States explained in the opening memorandum, “Congress did not include the FBI in this exception to § 2680(h).” (Mem. at 9 n.12.) Indeed, Congress could have made § 1054(e) applicable “to the other agencies of the federal government.” (Opp. at 6.) Yet it chose to restrict § 1054(e) to the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard. “Where Congress explicitly enumerates certain exceptions to a general prohibition, additional exceptions are not to be implied.” Gillie v. Law Office of Eric A. Jones, LLC, 785 F.3d 1091, 1109 (6th Cir. 2015).6 Section 1054(e) only proves that § 2680(h) applies to Plaintiff’s FTCA claims.

    Plaintiff’s remaining arguments fare no better. His attempt to escape § 2680(h) through artful pleading explains some of the tortured language in his opposition.7 But it is undisputed that Plaintiff “may not use semantics to recast the substance of the claim so as to avoid [an FTCA] statutory exception.” Milligan v. United States, 670 F.3d 686, 695 (6th Cir. 2012). As in Satterfield v. United States, 788 F.2d 395 (6th Cir. 1986)—a controlling case discussed by the United States (Mem. at 7) but ignored by Plaintiff8—“[b]ecause plaintiff’s complaint set[s]

    ***

    1. Plaintiff’s FTCA Claims Are Barred Because They Arise out of Defamation

    Plaintiff represents that he “was ‘de-famed,’” but argues that the FTCA’s defamation exception does not bar this action because his alleged defamation was simply “consequent damage[]” resulting from the alleged legal malpractice, which he deems to be the “cause-in-fact” of his injuries. (Opp. at 9–10 (emphasis omitted).) Plaintiff is wrong.

    As a threshold matter, Plaintiff does not cite a single case to support his “cause-in-fact versus consequent-damages” dichotomy. And were Plaintiff’s theory correct, Satterfield would have been decided differently. In Satterfield, the plaintiff “alleged that the death of her son . . . was the direct and proximate result of the Army’s negligence in accepting his enlistment and its negligence in failing to supervise his conduct and activities and the conduct and activities of his associates.” 788 F.2d at 396. In Plaintiff’s parlance, the Satterfield plaintiff was alleging that government negligence was the “cause-in-fact,” and the battery of her son was the “consequent damage.” The Satterfield court deemed this ploy “obfuscat[ion].” Id. at 399. And in recounting the Satterfield holding, the Milligan court explained that the Satterfield court rejected this “attempt[] to sidestep the § 2680(h) jurisdictional bar” and “refused to permit the plaintiff’s mischaracterization to dictate the boundaries of sovereign immunity.” Milligan, 670 F.3d at 695 (citing Satterfield, 788 F.2d at 399–400). The same analysis applies here.

    Moreover, Plaintiff does not claim that he suffered any damages directly from the legal opinion itself. Plaintiff does not allege, for example, that Mr. Kelley’s e-mail induced him to resign from his position at UT-Battelle. Indeed, Plaintiff freely admits that he “makes no claim whatsoever of detrimental reliance on Defendants’ [allegedly] erroneous legal opinion.” (Opp. at

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    4

    8.)9 Had Mr. Kelley simply delivered the advice to Plaintiff and then dropped the matter, Plaintiff—by his own admission (id.)—would have suffered no damage. Assuming that his intended-beneficiary argument held any water (and it does not, see infra Part III.A), Plaintiff would not even have a viable claim under D.C. law in these circumstances because a plaintiff asserting legal malpractice must allege and prove, inter alia, “actual loss or damage resulting from the attorney’s malpractice.” Perez v. Goldin, 360 F. Supp. 2d 12, 16 (D.D.C. 2003).

    Rather, as Plaintiff explains in his Complaint, it was the “publication, dissemination, and proclamation of this [supposedly] erroneous legal opinion” that “decimated Plaintiff’s professional reputation, disparaged Plaintiff’s integrity, and falsely branded Plaintiff as a federal criminal, rendering Plaintiff unemployable and unable to provide for his family.” (Compl. ¶ 4.) In his attempt to disavow defamation claims, Plaintiff doubled down and made plain that “[t]he bedrock of [his] complaint is the professional and legal malpractice of Defendant Kelley . . . in issuing and publicizing a grossly negligent and erroneous legal opinion . . . [and] in . . . disseminat[ing] . . . that opinion to others.” (Id. ¶ 94 (emphasis added).) And even in his opposition, Plaintiff contends that it was Mr. Kelley’s “convey[ance]” of the legal opinion that “result[ed] in the termination of Plaintiff’s employment and the branding of Plaintiff as a federal felon.” (Opp. at 15 (emphasis added); see id. at 24 (arguing that the United States retaliated against him “by widely and deliberately disseminating [the allegedly] erroneous legal opinion”).)

    Just as in Hartwig v. United States, 80 F. Supp. 2d 765 (N.D. Ohio 1999)—a case the

    United States analyzed in the opening memorandum (Mem. at 8–9), but ignored by Plaintiff—

    Plaintiff’s “claim relies upon an allegedly false communication to a third party which harmed

    [his] reputation,” and thus “resounds in the heartland of defamation.” Id. at 771, 779; see also

    9

    This admission only further proves that Plaintiff’s claim is not one for legal malpractice.

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    5

    Kugel v. United States, 947 F.2d 1504, 1507 (D.C. Cir. 1991) (“It appears to us that the cause of Kugel’s injury was not the FBI’s execution of the investigation but its dissemination of information associated with the investigation.”). Plaintiff’s claims “aris[e] out of . . . libel [and] slander” and must be dismissed. § 2680(h).

    2. Plaintiff’s FTCA Claims Are Barred Because They Arise out of Misrepresentation

    Primarily relying on two cases from the 1970s, Plaintiff argues that this action cannot be dismissed under the FTCA’s misrepresentation exception because his primary cause of action is one “for an independent tort (i.e., legal malpractice).” (Opp. at 7; see id. at 9 (arguing that he has “establish[ed] each element” of his legal malpractice claim”).) There is a reason why Plaintiff supports his “independent tort” theory with cases that are decades old: to the extent that his theory was once plausible, it is no longer viable in light of Block v. Neal, 460 U.S. 289 (1983).

    In Neal, the Supreme Court explained that “the essence of an action for misrepresentation, whether negligent or intentional, is the communication of misinformation on which the recipient relies.” Id. at 296. “Section 2680(h) thus relieves the Government of tort liability for pecuniary injuries which are wholly attributable to reliance on the Government’s negligent misstatements.” Neal, 460 U.S. at 297. Though the misrepresentation exception does not bar claims that “focus . . . on the Government’s breach of a different duty,” the test is not whether a plaintiff can simply plead an independent tort; it is whether “the Government’s [alleged] misstatements are . . . essential to plaintiff’s negligence claim.” Id.

    This is why, as explained in Dragoiu v. United States, No. 10–11896, 2013 WL 119995 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 9, 2013)—yet another case the United States analyzed but which Plaintiff ignored—“[f]ollowing Neustadt and Neal, circuit courts have held that section 2680(h) bars any claim in which the government’s misstatements, either negligently or intentionally made, were

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    6

    ‘essential’ to the plaintiff’s claims.” Dragoiu, 2013 WL 119995, at *7 (citing cases). And it is why the Seventh Circuit in Janowsky v. United States, 913 F.2d 393 (7th Cir. 1990), found that “[i]t is immediately apparent that the claims that allege the FBI agents provided them with incorrect legal advice . . . are barred by the misrepresentation exception.” Id. at 397.10

    Plaintiff cannot plausibly argue that an alleged government misstatement is not “essential” to his claims. The phrase “erroneous legal opinion” appears on—literally—ten separate pages of his 25-page brief. (Opp. at 3, 5, 8, 10, 14, 15, 18, 21, 23, 24.) If the legal opinion were not erroneous (and it was not erroneous), Plaintiff would have no claim for legal malpractice.11 In sum, Plaintiff’s alleged “pecuniary injuries …are wholly attributable to reliance on the Government’s [alleged] misstatements.” Neal, 460 U.S. at 297. (See, e.g., Compl. ¶ 8 (“Due to the notoriety and stigma surrounding Defendants’ erroneous legal opinion and its plain implication that he is a federal felon, Mr. Lambert is currently unemployed and

    10

    11

    That being said, Plaintiff’s contention that government contractor employees are exempt from § 207(c) (see Opp. at 4), falls flat. Generally speaking, 5 C.F.R. § 2641.301 exempts just those former employees who serve “[a]s a representative of the United States pursuant to a specific agreement with the United States to provide representational services to the United States.” § 2641.301(a)(2)(ii)(A)(1) (emphasis added). This is why the lawyer hired “to represent the Postal Service” in Example 3 to § 2641.301(a) may be exempt from § 207(c) in certain circumstances (see Opp. at 4), but the FFRDC contractor employee (like Plaintiff) in Example 6 is not. § 2641.301(a), Examples 3 & 6 (emphasis added).

    Janowsky hardly “defeats [the United States’] misrepresentation argument.” (Opp. at 8.) Indeed, in recounting Neal, the Janowsky court explained—as quoted in Plaintiff’s opposition— that “[t]he misstatements by the FmHA employees [in Neal] were not essential to the plaintiff’s claims.” Janowsky, 913 F.2d at 396 (emphasis added) (quoted in Opp. at 8). Janowsky only further demonstrates that Plaintiff’s “independent tort” theory has no vitality in light of Neal.

    The Court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s FTCA claims, and even if such jurisdiction existed, Plaintiff has no standing to sue Mr. Kelley for legal malpractice as a matter of D.C. law (see infra, Part III.A). Accordingly, the accuracy of Mr. Kelley’s legal opinion is not currently before the Court. Should the Court permit Plaintiff’s case to proceed (and the Court should not), the merits of Mr. Kelley’s opinion will be discussed at the appropriate time.

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    7

    unemployable.”).)12 Accordingly, this action “aris[es] out of . . . misrepresentation” and must be dismissed. § 2680(h).13

    3. Plaintiff’s FTCA Claims Are Barred Because
    They Arise out of Interference with His Employment

    Plaintiff does not dispute that: (i) claims for alleged interference with both existing and prospective employment are barred by the § 2680(h) exception for interference with contract rights; and (ii) his employer-employee relationship with UT-Battelle was contractual in nature. (Mem. at 9–10.) Further, Plaintiff represents that his “contractual employment rights were certainly interfered with.” (Opp. at 9–10.) In fact, Plaintiff’s alleged FTCA damages comprise his supposed back pay, lost future earnings, and lost pension benefits. (Compare Compl. ¶ 96(D)

    12

    Plaintiff suggests that the misrepresentation exception does not apply because he did not rely on Mr. Kelley’s legal opinion. (See Opp. at 7–8.) But reliance by Plaintiff, and only Plaintiff, is not necessary for the misrepresentation exception to apply. Neal does not speak of reliance by “the plaintiff”; rather, it frames the issue as reliance by a “recipient.” 460 U.S. at 296. “It would make little sense to find that plaintiff’s claim is barred if plaintiff relied upon misinformation, but is not barred if, by a fortuity, the reliance were by some third party with whom the plaintiff dealt.” Rich Prods. Corp. v. United States, 804 F. Supp. 1270, 1274 (E.D. Cal. 1992) (Levi, J.). “Congress’ purpose in providing for the misrepresentation exception evidently was to limit the Government’s exposure to suit based on the giving of inaccurate information. This purpose would be defeated by such a narrow reading of the reliance requirement.” Id.

    13

    Plaintiff implies that the misrepresentation exception applies only to “business decision[s].” (Opp. at 7.) The Sixth Circuit, however, has imposed no such limitation. In Fitch v. United States, 513 F.2d 1013 (6th Cir. 1975), the plaintiffs prevailed at trial on the theory that one of the plaintiffs was wrongfully inducted into the armed forces. See id. at 1014–15. The Sixth Circuit reversed: “Appellees’ complaint ‘arose out of’ a negligent misrepresentation. It occurred when Government agents misrepresented Clyde Fitch’s obligation to enter the Army, telling him that he was required to serve when, in fact, he was free from that duty.” Id. at 1016. See also, e.g., Najbar v. United States, 723 F. Supp. 2d 1132, 1136 (D. Minn. 2010) (“The FTCA’s misrepresentation exception certainly reaches commercial claims, but there is little reason to think that it reaches only commercial claims.”), aff’d on other grounds, 649 F.3d 868 (8th Cir. 2011). That said, even if the misrepresentation exception applies only to business decisions, the termination of an employee easily falls within that category.

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    8

    (demanding $2,496,211 in FTCA damages) with Ex. E, Claimant Exhibit B to Plaintiff’s Administrative Claim (calculating $2,496,211 in alleged employment-related damages).)14

    Plaintiff’s no-contractual-interference argument is the same as his no-defamation argument, and fails for the same reasons. (See supra, Part II.B.1.) Courts have not adopted Plaintiff’s cause-in-fact versus consequent-damages theory in contractual interference cases, and for good reason: in any such case, a plaintiff could argue that some general negligence constituted the “cause-in-fact” and that contractual damages were simply consequential. This would write the contractual interference exception out of the FTCA.15 In sum, this action “aris[es] out of . . . interference with contract rights” and is thus barred by § 2680(h).

    C. The Discretionary-Function Exception Bars Plaintiff’s Claims

    1. Interpreting and Enforcing Standards of
    Conduct Constitutes a Protected Discretionary Activity

    In the opening memorandum, the United States explained that the “governing administrative policy at issue in Plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim is the government’s

    14

    15

    “Because Plaintiff referred to [his administrative claim] in his [Second] Amended Complaint . . . it is incorporated by reference and may be considered without converting this motion into one for summary judgment.” Guthrie v. U.S. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, No. 09 Civ. 990(LAP), 2010 WL 2836155, at *4 n.4 (S.D.N.Y. July 7, 2010), aff’d, 421 F. App’x 120 (2d Cir. 2011). (See Compl. ¶ 15 (referring to Plaintiff’s administrative claim).)

    In Peter B. v. United States, 579 F. Supp. 2d 78 (D.D.C. 2008), for example, the court held that a contractor plaintiff’s claims—including negligent false light invasion of privacy and negligent infliction of emotional distress—were “essentially contractual in nature despite the negligence labels he employs as he alleges that he was ‘terminated . . . for unspecified reasons.’” Id. at 80, 83 (quoting complaint); see also id. at 83 n.3 (“Where the alleged damage is entirely due to and measured in reference to plaintiffs’ performance of a contract . . . plaintiffs’ claim that the wrong originated in some statutory violation does not strip the case of its contractual character.”); Cadman v. United States, 541 F. App’x 911, 915 (11th Cir. 2013) (“[T]he portion of the negligence claim alleging a ‘failure to investigate,’ which purportedly led to Mr. Cadman’s termination from Booz–Allen–Hamilton, fails because the harm—interference with contract rights—is another tort expressly barred by § 2680(h).”).

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    9

    interpretation and enforcement of its standards of conduct, such as 18 U.S.C. § 207(c).” (Mem. at 11–13.) Plaintiff does not dispute that this administrative policy, set out in 5 C.F.R. § 2638.203, is discretionary and susceptible to policy analysis. Rather, Plaintiff urges that the discretionary-function exception does not apply because Mr. Kelley allegedly did not “‘exercise that degree of reasonable care and skill expected of lawyers acting under similar circumstances.’” (Opp. at 11 (quoting Morrison v. MacNamara, 407 A.2d 555, 561 (D.C. 1979)).) In other words, Plaintiff contends that Mr. Kelley did not have discretion to act negligently.

    As anticipated by the United States (see Mem. at 12 n.13), Plaintiff does precisely what the Sixth Circuit has forbidden: he “‘collapses the discretionary function inquiry into a question of whether the government was negligent.’” Kohl v. United States, 699 F.3d 935, 941 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Rosebush v. United States, 119 F.3d 438, 442 (6th Cir. 1997)). “Negligence, however, is irrelevant to our inquiry at this point.” Rosebush, 119 F.3d at 442. See Kohl, 699 F.3d at 942 (“To characterize the issue as whether the ATF employees had discretion to operate the winch in an unsafe manner is to ask whether the employees had discretion to be negligent. As we stated in Rosebush, negligence is irrelevant at this stage of the inquiry.”). Plaintiff ignores Kohl and Rosebush in favor of appeals to “congressional oversight committees.” (Opp. at 11 & 13.) Perhaps Plaintiff can seek a remedy from the legislative branch; he can obtain no relief here.

    Yet even if this Court were to disregard binding Sixth Circuit precedent and the actual governing administrative policy in favor of Plaintiff’s impermissible negligence-based approach, Plaintiff still has not identified “a mandatory regulation or policy” that directs that the government apply § 207(c) “in [a] specific manner” and “allow[s] no judgment or choice.” Rosebush, 119 F.3d at 441–42. Nor can he. The interpretation of law is necessarily an exercise of professional judgment, as recognized in the very authority that Plaintiff cites. See, e.g., D.C.

    10

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    R. Prof’l Conduct 2.1 (“a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment”); see also Biomet Inc. v. Finnegan Henderson LLP, 967 A.2d 662, 668 (D.C. 2009) (“no claim of legal malpractice will be actionable for an attorney’s reasoned exercise of informed judgment on an unsettled proposition of law”).

    Further, Designated Agency Ethics Officials (“DAEOs”) are not just charged with remedying actual violations of § 207(c). They are empowered to remedy “potential violations” and even “appearances thereof.” 5 C.F.R. § 2638.203(b)(9)(i). Even assuming arguendo that Plaintiff was not in actual violation of § 207(c), his communication with FBI officials within his one-year restrictive window qualifies as a “potential violation” or an “appearance thereof” § 2638.203(b)(9)(i), and an agency ethics official would have discretion to take “[p]rompt and effective [remedial] action,” § 2638.203(b)(9), to avoid “even the appearance of public office being used for personal or private gain.” S. Rep. No. 95–170, at 32 (1977), reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. 4216, 4248. Plaintiff fails to identify a “specific regulation[] that would constrain the judgment exercised” Snyder v. United States, 590 F. App’x 505, 510 (6th Cir. 2014), and makes no effort to overcome the “strong presumption” that this discretion is susceptible to policy analysis, A.O. Smith Corp. v. United States, 774 F.3d 359, 365 (6th Cir. 2014); see also S. Rep. No. 95–170, at 32 (post-employment restrictions are “a statement of federal policy on this aspect of conflict of interest”). Accordingly, this action is barred. 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a).

    2. Agency Supervisory and Hiring Decisions Constitute Protected Discretionary Activity

    As the United States explained in the opening memorandum, the Sixth Circuit “has consistently held that agency supervisory and hiring decisions fall within the discretionary function exception.” Snyder, 590 F. App’x at 510 (collecting cases). (See Mem. at 13–14.) Plaintiff does not address Snyder (or any other cited authorities), nor does he identify any federal

    11

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    statute or regulation that would constrain Mr. Holder’s supposed supervisory responsibilities. As to Mr. Mueller’s supposed hiring duties, Plaintiff points to two broad provisions, neither of which directs him to act “in [a] specific manner,” “allow[ing] no judgment or choice.” Rosebush, 119 F.3d at 441–42; see also id. at 442 (similarly broad provisions “vest complete discretion” in the Forest Service). Plaintiff even concedes that hiring duties implicate judgment. (Opp. at 13.)

    Plaintiff’s only (and unsupported) argument is that these discretionary supervisory and hiring duties “were wholly skirted rather than actually performed.” (Id.) But “[t]he discretionary function exception applies to all acts and omissions that are susceptible to policy analysis, whether or not that analysis has been performed on a given occasion.” Fothergill v. United States, 566 F.3d 248, 253 (1st Cir. 2009); see A.O. Smith Corp. v. United States, No. 3:12–0429, 2013 WL 771919, at *4 (M.D. Tenn. Feb. 28, 2013) (“For the government to fall within the discretionary function exception, the deciding agent need not have actually considered any policy implications; instead, the decision must only be susceptible to policy analysis.”), aff’d, 774 F.3d 359 (6th Cir. 2014).

    In sum, “FBI hiring, supervision, training, and retention require policy judgments—the

    type that Congress intended to shield from tort liability.” Snyder, 590 F. App’x at 510.

    III. PLAINTIFF’S COUNTS I THROUGH IV
    FAIL AS A MATTER OF LAW PER RULE 12(b)(6)

    A. Plaintiff’s Legal Malpractice Claim Fails as a Matter of Law

    Plaintiff wisely abandons the argument that he was Mr. Kelley’s client. (Compare Compl. ¶ 61 (arguing that Mr. Kelley “fomented an attorney-client relationship with Plaintiff”) with Opp. at 13–18 (making no such argument).) Nevertheless, Plaintiff insists that he can bring a legal malpractice suit under the “intended beneficiary” exception to what he now concedes is “the general rule that ‘the obligation of the attorney is to his client, and not to a third party.’”

    12

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    (Opp. at 13 (quoting Needham v. Hamilton, 459 A.2d 1060, 1061 (D.C. 1983)).) Plaintiff implores that this exception “is not so rare” (id.); the District of Columbia’s highest court disagrees. See Taylor v. Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, 859 A.2d 142, 147 (D.C. 2004) (“With rare exceptions, a legal malpractice claim against an attorney [requires] the existence of an attorney-client relationship.”) (footnote omitted). And Plaintiff does not cite a single case, outside of the wills context, where the exception was successfully applied. See also Clark v. Feder Semo & Bard, P.C., 634 F.Supp.2d 99, 107 (D.D.C. 2009) (noting that “few cases . . . apply the intended beneficiary exception in other [i.e., non-wills] contexts”).16

    Plaintiff’s argument hinges on the notion that he “was the direct and intended beneficiary of [the allegedly] erroneous legal counsel because counseling Plaintiff was the end aim of the transaction.” (Opp. at 17.) Plaintiff’s vigorous attempt to jam his tortured legal malpractice claim into the “rare” intended-beneficiary exception must be rejected.

    As the United States explained in the opening memorandum, the purpose of § 207(c) and its regulations is to ensure government efficiency, eliminate official corruption, promote even- handed exercise of administrative discretion, and avoid even the appearance of public office being used for private gain. (See Mem. at 15–16 (quoting S. Rep. No. 95–170, at 31–32).) Plaintiff does not argue otherwise. Thus, to the extent that Mr. Kelley “counsel[ed] Plaintiff,” (Opp. at 17), the “end aim of the transaction” was to enforce § 207(c) and thus benefit the FBI.

    16

    Reviewing a summary judgment in favor of defendants, the court in Williams v. Mordkofsky, 901 F.2d 158 (D.C. Cir. 1990), noted that the defendant-attorney “may well have reached an understanding” with the common owner of two companies that one of the companies “was an intended beneficiary of [his] representation of” the second company. Id. at 163–64 (emphasis added). Ultimately, this factual question was irrelevant; the court affirmed the summary judgment order because there was no evidence of proximate cause. See id. at 164.

    13

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    This conclusion is borne out by the regulations. The DAEO’s duties are enumerated in 5 C.F.R. § 2638.203, entitled “Duties of the designated agency ethics official.” Section 2638.203 tasks the DAEO with “coordinat[ing] and manag[ing] the agency’s ethics program.” § 2638.203(a) (emphasis added). And “[i]n carrying out this program on behalf of the head of the agency, the designated agency ethics official shall ensure that . . . [p]rompt and effective action . . . is undertaken to remedy . . . [v]iolations or potential violations, or appearances thereof, of the agency’s standards of conduct including post employment regulations.” § 2638.203(b), (b)(9) & (b)(9)(i) (emphasis added). Plaintiff effectively concedes that his legal malpractice claim fails if the regulations “required DAEOs to counsel the agency on the applicability of post- employment conflict of interest statutes to former agency employees.” (Opp. at 17 (emphasis in original).) But that is what § 2638.203 authorizes the DAEO to do, in furtherance of “the agency’s ethics program” and “on behalf of the head of the agency.” § 2638.203(a) & (b).

    To be sure, DAEOs may speak with former employees about their post-employment obligations—but as part and parcel of the DAEO’s responsibility to “coordinate and manage the agency’s ethics program.” § 2638.203(a). Nothing in the regulations suggests that DAEOs serve as former employees’ personal criminal defense counsel. (See also Mem. at 15 n.17 (explaining that there is no attorney-client relationship between DAEOs and former employees).)

    In an effort to convince this Court otherwise, Plaintiff references another section, § 2638.202, which is entitled “Responsibilities of agency head.” Section 2638.202 tasks an agency head with selecting a DAEO whose experience demonstrates the ability to, inter alia, “[c]ounsel departing and former agency officials on post-employment conflict of interest standards” and “[c]ounsel agency personnel concerning ethics standards and programs. § 2638.202(b), (b)(3) & (b)(4) (emphasis added). Even assuming arguendo that § 2638.202

    14

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    prescribes duties to DAEOs, protecting the government’s integrity—not keeping former employees employed in the private sector and out of jail—is still the “end aim” of the DAEO’s work.

    Plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim fails for two additional reasons. First, Plaintiff does not dispute that his interests and those of the FBI diverge significantly. (See Mem. at 15–16.) But D.C.’s highest court recently emphasized that the rare intended-beneficiary exception applies only where the interests of the client and the supposed intended beneficiary are identical. See Scott v. Burgin, 97 A.3d 564, 567–68 (D.C. 2014). Plaintiff tries to avoid the Scott holding, yet what he derides as dicta (Opp. at 16), the D.C. Court of Appeals deems a “‘concern underlying the privity concept’”— “‘that attorney and client be able to control . . . their own agreement.’” Scott, 97 A.3d at 567 (quoting Hopkins v. Akins, 637 A.2d 424, 429 (D.C. 1993)). In any event, “[w]hen the state’s highest court has not decided the applicable law, the federal court must ascertain the state law from all relevant data, including . . . supreme court dicta.” Hisrich v. Volvo Cars of N. Am., Inc., 226 F.3d 445, 449 n.3 (6th Cir. 2000).

    Second, as the United States explained in the opening memorandum, “it is difficult to

    conceive of how the relationship between Plaintiff and the FBI, as alleged in the Second

    Amended Complaint, could be described as anything other than adversarial.” (Mem. at 16.)

    Plaintiff does not dispute this characterization (see Opp. at 15),17 and instead suggests that an

    entity’s adversary can assert a legal malpractice claim against the entity under D.C. law. (See

    17

    Plaintiff mischaracterizes the United States’ argument as stating that Mr. Kelley’s “relationship became ‘adversarial’ with Plaintiff after [Mr.] Kelley conveyed his [allegedly] erroneous legal opinion.” (Opp. at 15 (emphasis in original).) The United States’ position is that Plaintiff’s plausible factual allegations generally must be accepted as true at this stage of litigation, and according to Plaintiff, he has long been at odds with the FBI. (See, e.g., Compl. ¶ 49 (alleging that Plaintiff is “the target of a discrete, insular and longstanding vendetta by Defendants”) (emphasis added); see generally Mem. at 16.)

    15

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    Opp. at 15–17.) But “[t]he third party beneficiary test simply does not apply in an adversary context.” Hopkins, 637 A.2d at 429. Plaintiff offers no substantive response.

    In sum, Plaintiff does not proffer a single case standing for the proposition that he can sue Mr. Kelley for legal malpractice. Multiple controlling opinions demonstrate that he cannot. But even assuming arguendo that D.C. law is ambiguous on this point, “federal courts must be cautious when making pronouncements about state law.” In re Darvocet, Darvon & Propoxyphene Prods. Liab. Litig., 756 F.3d 917, 937 (6th Cir. 2014). “[W]hen given a choice between an interpretation of state law which reasonably restricts liability, and one which greatly expands liability, we should choose the narrower and more reasonable path.” Id. So, too, here.

    B. Plaintiff’s Negligent Hiring, Supervision, and Training Claims Fail as a Matter of Law

    Plaintiff does not dispute that his inability to establish an underlying tort precludes his ability to bring claims for negligent hiring, supervision, and training. (Mem. at 17.) Nor does he dispute that he does not “plausibly plead: (i) that Mr. Holder failed to adequately supervise and train Mr. Kelley; (ii) that Mr. Mueller failed to vet Mr. Kelley . . . ; or (iii) that any such alleged negligence was a substantial factor in causing his injury.” (Id.) Accordingly, Plaintiff’s claims for negligent hiring, supervision, and training fail as a matter of law.

    In an effort to save these barely-pled claims from dismissal, Plaintiff argues that Messrs. Holder and Mueller knew or should have known about a supposedly erroneous opinion concerning OSHA regulations, issued by Mr. Kelley over six years before Mr. Kelley sent the e-mail at issue in this case. (See Opp. at 18–19; Compl. ¶ 53(i).) But Plaintiff pleads no details about this alleged OSHA opinion, nor does he plausibly allege that Messrs. Holder or Mueller had actual or constructive knowledge of this supposed opinion. (See Compl. ¶¶ 81–85.) For these reasons, Plaintiff’s Counts II and III should be dismissed as a matter of law.

    16

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    C. Plaintiff’s Privacy Act Claim Fails as a Matter of Law

    Plaintiff’s tag-along claim under the disclosure provision of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b), should be dismissed for failure to state a claim. (See Mem. at 18–25.) Even though Plaintiff bears the burden of pleading facts in support of all elements of a Privacy Act disclosure claim, Doe v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 660 F. Supp. 2d 31, 44–45 (D.D.C. 2009), Plaintiff has failed to allege sufficient facts for every essential element.

    1. Plaintiff Fails to Identify a Record in a “System of Records”

    The Privacy Act prohibits disclosure of “any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication.” § 552a(b). To qualify as a “system of records” under the Privacy Act, the record must be “both retrievable by personal identifier and actually retrieved by personal identifier.” Paige v. DEA, 665 F.3d 1355, 1359 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (quoting Maydak v. United States, 630 F.3d 166, 178 (D.C. Cir. 2010)) (emphasis in original). Accordingly, to allege a violation of § 552a(b), a plaintiff must allege facts showing that an unauthorized disclosure resulted “from an individual’s having ‘actually retrieved’ the information from the system of records in which it is contained.” Id. (citing Armstrong v. Geithner, 608 F.3d 854, 857 (D.C. Cir.2010)). (See also Mem. at 19–20.)

    Plaintiff argues that the Complaint identifies “two sets of records” in the United States’ system of records: Mr. Kelley’s e-mail message containing his allegedly “erroneous legal opinion” and the “allegations and investigative results” of DOJ and FBI’s inquiry into whether § 207(c) limited Plaintiff’s post-federal employment. (Opp. at 21.) Both contentions are without merit.

    First, as the United States previously explained, an agency e-mail discussing a particular individual is not a record in a system of records absent factual allegations that the e-mail was formally indexed and retrieved by plaintiff’s name or personal identifier, and Plaintiff fails to

    17

    Case 3:15-cv-00147-PLR-HBG Document 23 Filed 07/24/15 Page 25 of 33 PageID #: 784

    allege any such facts with respect to the Kelley e-mail. (Mem. at 20.) In response, Plaintiff merely speculates, based on regulations requiring DAEOs to keep records on advice rendered, when appropriate, that the Kelley e-mail was maintained in a Privacy Act records system. (Opp. at 22 (citing 5 C.F.R. § 2638.203(b)(8)).) But the general requirement to keep records on advice rendered does not mean, or even suggest, that the Kelley e-mail was kept in a system of records that was retrievable by Plaintiff’s name or personal identifier. Indeed, Mr. Kelley could have met this requirement by merely archiving the e-mail. Nor does this requirement have anything to do with whether the e-mail was actually retrieved. See Krieger v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 529 F. Supp. 2d 29, 47 (D.D.C. 2008) (“[A]pplication of the rule of retrieval means, in practical effect, that even if an agency official discloses information that exists in the agency’s records, the disclosure is rarely actionable unless the official physically retrieved the information from those records.”).

    Second, Plaintiff cannot satisfy the system of records requirement by generally stating that FBI and DOJ maintain a system of records with respect to the investigation of Plaintiff’s alleged violation of § 207(c). Plaintiff argues, in essence, that a record system must exist because the DOJ and FBI conducted an investigation into whether post-employment conflict of interest statutes limited Plaintiff’s post-federal employment, and the DOJ and FBI, as a general matter, keep investigative records and provide notice of such records in the Federal Register. (Opp. at 21–22 (citing 63 Fed. Reg. 8659–02 (Feb. 20, 1998) and 72 Fed. Reg. 36,725 (July 5, 2007)).) Plaintiff’s citation to the Privacy Act notices in the Federal Register and his guess that his personal records might exist in the world of government records do not plausibly show that the FBI maintains a specific agency record, the disclosure of which would violate the Privacy Act. See New Albany Tractor, Inc. v. Louisville Tractor, Inc., 650 F.3d 1046, 1050–51 (6th Cir.

    18

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    2011) (“[C]ourts may no longer accept conclusory legal allegations that do not include specific facts necessary to establish the cause of action.”) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); Harris v. Holder, 885 F. Supp. 2d 390, 400–01 (D.D.C. 2012) (plaintiff failed to state a claim where allegations were so vague that the court could not determine whether the information alleged to be disclosed constituted a “record” or whether the information was “maintained in systems of records” as required for claim under the Privacy Act); accord Voinche v. Obama, 428 F. App’x 2, 4 (D.C. Cir. 2011); Del Fuoco v. O’Neill, No. 8:09–CV–1262–T– 27MAP, 2011 WL 601645, at *9 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 11, 2011); Young v. Tryon, No. 12–CV–6251– CJS–MWP, 2013 WL 2471543, at *6 (W.D.N.Y. June 7, 2013). Indeed, if a plaintiff could simply cite the Federal Register and surmise that his records are contained in one of the noticed systems, then the systems of records requirement would be no requirement at all.

    Moreover, Plaintiff fails entirely to address the fact he has not pleaded any factual allegations that records of the investigation, even if maintained in a Privacy Act records system, were actually retrieved. Rather, he claims that discovery will develop such facts, implicitly acknowledging his failure to plead them. (Opp. at 22.)18

    2. Plaintiff Fails to Allege an Actual
    Unauthorized Disclosure of His Agency Records

    Even if Plaintiff could identify a specific record in a system of records, to state a claim under the Privacy Act, Plaintiff must allege facts showing that DOJ and FBI improperly disclosed the protected information. Plaintiff failed to allege that records of the investigation of

    18

    In addition, and as discussed more fully below, Plaintiff’s failure to identify a record in a system of records means he cannot plausibly allege the other essential elements of a Privacy Act disclosure claim. Without alleging facts showing what federal records are at issue, Plaintiff cannot allege that the FBI or the DOJ intentionally and willfully disclosed a specific federal record without authorization in a manner that caused Plaintiff financial loss.

    19

    Case 3:15-cv-00147-PLR-HBG Document 23 Filed 07/24/15 Page 27 of 33 PageID #: 786

    his alleged violation of §207(c) were disclosed, let alone without authorization, despite complaining at length about the fact and conduct of the investigation. (See Compl. ¶ 40.) And, as demonstrated in the United States’ opening memorandum, the disclosure of the Kelley e-mail containing his ethics opinion was authorized under the “need to know” exemption of the Privacy Act. See 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b)(1). (Mem. at 20–22.)

    The individuals and offices to which Plaintiff alleges the FBI and DOJ improperly

    disclosed the ethics opinion—executive managers in the FBI Counterintelligence Division, the

    Knoxville FBI Special Agent in Charge, Plaintiff’s employer UT-Battelle, and the Department of

    Justice Office of the Inspector General—all had a need for the opinion in the performance of

    their duties.19 Under regulations governing executive agency ethics programs, the DAEO is

    responsible for coordinating and managing FBI’s ethics program. See generally 5 C.F.R.

    §2638.203. Official duties include taking “[p]rompt and effective action including

    administrative action” to remedy “[v]iolations or potential violations, or appearances thereof, of

    the agency’s standards of conduct including post employment regulations.” § 2638.203(b)(9)(i).

    The DAEO also is required to ensure that the services of the Office of Inspector General “are

    utilized when appropriate, including the referral of matters to and acceptance of matters from

    that Office concerning all ethics and standards of conduct matters including post employment

    matters.” § 2638.203(b)(12).

    19

    Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint also alleges that Defendants disclosed the legal opinion to “unknown, unnamed” individuals within and outside of FBI and DOJ. (See Compl. ¶¶ 11, 12, 37.) Plaintiff, however, does not allege any facts at all regarding the circumstances of these alleged disclosures to these anonymous individuals: he does not allege who disclosed the legal opinion to these anonymous people; when the opinion was disclosed; how the opinion was disclosed; why such disclosure was unauthorized; why these disclosures were willful or intentional; or how these disclosures caused financial loss. Plaintiff accordingly has not stated a plausible claim for relief under the Privacy Act with respect to the alleged anonymous recipients of the legal opinion.

    20

    Case 3:15-cv-00147-PLR-HBG Document 23 Filed 07/24/15 Page 28 of 33 PageID #: 787

    In light of these regulatory provisions, Mr. Kelley, as an FBI ethics official, was authorized to disclose his ethics opinion to FBI Headquarters personnel and FBI Knoxville personnel, who would need to know whether a federal criminal statute restricted Plaintiff’s communications with FBI agents. The Privacy Act’s “need to know” exemption is not limited to “officers and employees within a certain office within an agency” and instead can extend to “officers and employees of the entire agency.” Hanna v. Herman, 121 F. Supp. 2d 113, 123–24 (D.D.C. 2000); see also, e.g., Sussman v. U.S. Marshals Serv., 808 F. Supp. 2d 192, 203–04 (D.D.C. 2011) (explaining that disclosures from an agency component to another agency component can qualify as intra-agency disclosures made on a need-to-know basis under § 552a(b)(1)) (collecting cases).

    The FBI also was authorized to disclose the ethics opinion to UT-Battelle, a private government contractor that qualifies under the Privacy Act as an agency “employee” with a need to know the record. (See Mem. at 21–22 (citing, among other cases, Mount v. U.S. Postal Serv., 79 F.3d 531, 532 (6th Cir. 1996)).) As Plaintiff’s employer, UT-Battelle would need to know whether a federal criminal statute limited Plaintiff’s communications with the FBI while he was working at UT-Battelle. Finally, FBI was authorized to refer its legal opinion to the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General for investigation. Section 2638.203 specifically permits ethics officials to refer post-employment ethical matters to the OIG for investigation, §2638.203(b)(12), and the OIG has the authority to “investigate allegations of criminal wrongdoing or administrative misconduct by an employee of the Department of Justice.” 5 U.S.C. app. 3 § 8E(b)(2). See also Roberts v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 366 F. Supp. 2d 13, 24–25 (D.D.C. 2005) (granting DOJ’s motion to dismiss Privacy Act claim because allegations that

    21

    Case 3:15-cv-00147-PLR-HBG Document 23 Filed 07/24/15 Page 29 of 33 PageID #: 788

    DOJ OIG provided FBI investigative reports “fall far short of stating a claim under the Privacy Act”).

    Plaintiff fails to address this “need to know” argument—clearly set forth in the United States’ opening memorandum—in any way in his opposition. (See Opp. at 22–23.) His Privacy Act claim should be dismissed for failure to allege an unauthorized disclosure.

    3. Plaintiff Fails to Allege Facts Showing FBI
    and DOJ Intentionally and Willfully Violated the
    Privacy Act by Disclosing His Records Without Authorization

    As set forth in the United States’ opening memorandum, Plaintiff’s Privacy Act claim also should be dismissed because he does not allege facts showing Defendants intentionally and willfully violated the Act’s disclosure provision, 5 U.S.C. § 552a(g)(4). (See Mem. at 22–23.) To show intent or willfulness under the Act, a plaintiff must allege facts showing that a federal agency engaged in behavior “so patently egregious that anyone undertaking the conduct should have known it was unlawful.” Laningham v. U.S. Navy, 813 F.2d 1236, 1242 (D.C. Cir. 1987). Put another way, a plaintiff must show that the offending agency acted “without grounds for believing [its actions] to be lawful” or “flagrantly disregarded plaintiff’s rights under the Privacy Act.” Mount, 79 F.3d at 533.

    Plaintiff’s opposition fails to demonstrate that any purported unauthorized disclosure was flagrantly improper or egregious. Plaintiff argues that the ethics opinion was “grossly negligent and erroneous,” (Opp. at 24), but gross negligence does not satisfy the intentional or willful standard. See Mount, 79 F.3d at 533 (noting that Privacy Act sets forth a standard “somewhat greater than gross negligence”) (citing White v. Office of Personnel Mgmt., 840 F.2d 85, 87 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (per curiam)) (emphasis added). Plaintiff also claims that FBI issued the opinion in 2012 to retaliate against Plaintiff for his alleged whistleblower activity during FBI’s anthrax investigation in 2006. (See Compl. ¶¶ 49–56; Opp. at 24.) Speculation about a motive, however,

    22

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    is not the same thing as plausibly alleging that the FBI knew or should have known that the conduct was unlawful. As demonstrated above, the FBI had every reason to believe the disclosure of the ethics opinion was indeed authorized and lawful under the “need to know” exemption of the Privacy Act. And Plaintiff certainly has not provided any allegations showing that the disclosure of a specific agency record was so egregious or flagrant that anyone making the disclosure would know that such conduct was unlawful. Mount, 79 F.3d at 533.

    4. Plaintiff Fails to Allege that He Sustained “Actual Damages”
    as a Result of an Unauthorized Disclosure of a Privacy Act Record

    Plaintiff does not dispute that, under Supreme Court precedent, the Privacy Act does not allow recovery for non-pecuniary harms, such as loss of reputation and mental and emotional distress. See F.A.A. v. Cooper, 132 S. Ct. 1441, 1451 (2012); (Mem. at 23.) Thus, to the extent Plaintiff seeks to recover for non-monetary harms under the Privacy Act, he has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

    Plaintiff argues that “as the result of . . . Defendant’s Privacy Act violations Plaintiff suffered the termination of his employment and the resulting loss of future earnings valued at $2,496,211.” (Opp. at 24.) Plaintiff cannot satisfy the causal connection required by the Privacy Act between these alleged pecuniary damages and the alleged unauthorized disclosure, however. (Mem. at 23–24.) In particular, Plaintiff has not plausibly alleged facts showing that the legal opinion in the Kelley e-mail is causally connected to third-party UT-Battelle’s decision to terminate his employment. (Mem. at 24–25.) As noted in the United States’ opening memorandum, Plaintiff’s allegations in his 2013 action—that it was his whistleblowing activities while employed at UT-Battelle that caused his termination—cast serious doubt on his causation argument here. (Mem. at 1.) The fact that UT-Battelle terminated Plaintiff’s employment three

    23

    Case 3:15-cv-00147-PLR-HBG Document 23 Filed 07/24/15 Page 31 of 33 PageID #: 790

    months after the one-year period restricting Plaintiff’s communications expired further undermines Plaintiff’s causation argument. (Id. at 24.)

    Plaintiff fails to respond to these arguments, hanging his hat instead on his conclusory claim that he “was fired because of Defendant Kelley’s erroneous legal opinion,” asserting that this is “a statement of fact, not a conclusion of law.” (Opp. at 24 (emphasis in original).) Contrary to Plaintiff’s argument, this is precisely the type of “conclusory legal allegation[] that do[es] not include specific facts necessary to establish the cause of action.” New Albany Tractor, 650 F.3d at 1050. Plaintiff has failed to plead facts necessary to establish causation, and his Privacy Act claim should be dismissed for failure to adequately allege actual damages, along with the other reasons set forth above.

    CONCLUSION

    For all of the foregoing reasons, and for the reasons in the United States’ opening memorandum, Plaintiff’s Counts I through IV should be dismissed.

    Dated: July 24, 2015

    /s/ Matthew A. Josephson (by consent) MATTHEW A. JOSEPHSON
    (Ga. Bar No. 367216)
    Trial Attorney

    United States Department of Justice Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch Post Office Box 883
    Washington, D.C. 20044
    Telephone: (202) 514-9237

    Respectfully submitted,

    /s/ Elliott M. Davis ELLIOTT M. DAVIS (N.Y. Reg. No. 4596755) Trial Attorney

    United States Department of Justice Civil Division, Torts Branch
    Post Office Box 888
    Washington, D.C. 20044
    Telephone: (202) 616-4206 Facsimile: (202) 616-5200
    E-Mail: elliott.m.davis@usdoj.gov

    Facsimile: E-mail:

    (202) 616-8470 matthew.a.josephson@usdoj.gov

    Attorneys for Defendants United States of America; Eric Holder; Robert S. Mueller III; Patrick W. Kelley (in his official capacity only); the U.S. Department of Justice; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Additional counsel listed on front cover.)

    24

    Case 3:15-cv-00147-PLR-HBG Document 23 Filed 07/24/15 Page 32 of 33 PageID #: 791

    CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

    I hereby certify that on July 24, 2015, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of Court via the Court’s Electronic Filing System, which will provide electronic notification to all Filing Users. Any parties who are not Filing Users will be served with a paper copy of the foregoing by first-class mail, postage pre-paid.

    Dated: July 24, 2015 /s/ Elliott M. Davis Elliott M. Davis

    Case 3:15-cv-00147-PLR-HBG Document 23 Filed 07/24/15 Page 33 of 33 PageID #: 792

  52. DXer said

    The families of the Fall 2001 anthrax victims deserve the peace of knowing that the murder of their loved ones was in fact solved.

    Today a dead body was found here. One of two kayakers. I am typically at the island picture just to the right of where the body was found. I’m always there all by myself, with no one else on the island, except me and Dutch Schultz’ buried treasure. The second body, in my estimation — taking into account when a body floats based on the temperature of the water — is due to hit my lounge chair early this evening. I’m going to patrol the north and western shore tonight before it gets dark. Hopefully, the family will be able to hold a proper funeral without this continuing ordeal of looking for the body.

  53. DXer said

    NBC Anthrax Flashback
    http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nbcnews-com/flashback-anthrax-attacks-453502019666

  54. DXer said

    I respectfully disagree with the famous former wrestler and Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura — and all those who share the theory he states — for the reasons I’ve set forth. (I set out my theory, for example, as to the processor and the mailer in the past 6 graphics).

    But I agree generally with all those who recognize that the FBI has not released evidence or made argument that is persuasive of its “Ivins Theory.”

    Additional graphics explaining why the evidence put forth as supporting an Ivins theory is uploaded here.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    Jesse points to the claim that they had started to take Cipro and asks:

    “When did they come up that anthrax would be used?”

    Compare

    Judith Miller addresses her anthrax reporting in “The Story: A Reporter’s Journey” (April, 2015) ; she reports that both Bush and Cheney were vaccinated against smallpox and anthrax
    Posted on April 20, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/judith-miller-addresses-her-anthrax-reporting-in-the-story-a-reporters-journey-april-2015-she-reports-that-both-bush-and-cheney-were-vaccinated-against-smallpox-and-anthrax/

    That’s easy — see February 6, 2001 PDB. The IC knew that Dr. Ayman Zawahiri planned to attack the US with anthrax.

    DXer … if we knew what President Bush knew in February 2001, Amerithrax would be seen with entirely different eyes
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 2, 2010
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/dxer-if-we-knew-what-president-bush-knew-in-february-2001-amerithrax-would-be-seen-with-entirely-different-eyes/

    The lawyer for the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman had announced his intent — and also the motive (to retaliate for the rendering of senior EIJ leaders, to include the Blind Sheik). (I knew of the threat from reading the CIA’s open source database World News Connection.
    (containing translated foreign articles)

    DXer: The Blind Sheik’s Lawyer Montasser Al-Zayat Announced In 1999 That Ayman Zawahiri Would Use Anthrax Against US Targets To Retaliate For Imprisonment Of Senior EIJ Leaders, Most Notably Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman
    Posted on June 3, 2013
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/dxer-the-blind-sheiks-lawyer-montasser-al-zayat-announced-in-1999-that-ayman-zawahiri-would-use-anthrax-against-us-targets-to-retaliate-for-imprisonment-of-senior-eij-leaders-most-notably-blind/

    Below is Jesse’s video. In any future coverage, they should correct the spelling of Bruce’s last name. It is Ivins.

  55. DXer said

    http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/44/44710/1.html

    USA: Neue Wende im Anthrax-Fall
    Andreas von Westphalen 23.04.2015
    Der FBI-Chefermittler Lambert erhebt Anklage und weist auf entlastende Beweise, schlampige Untersuchungen und Behinderungen in der “wichtigsten Untersuchung des FBI” hin
    Zur Erinnerung: Den Anthrax-Anschlägen fielen 5 Menschen zum Opfer und 17 Menschen erkrankten zum Teil schwer. Die landesweite Dekontaminierung kostete mehr als 1 Milliarde US-Dollar. Was folgte war “die wichtigste Untersuchung in der Geschichte des FBI”, die insgesamt neun Jahre dauern sollte.

    ***
    Anthrax-Brief an Senator Daschle. Bild: FBI
    Nachdem im Sommer 2002 das FBI den Mikrobiologen Stephen Hatfill als Hauptverdächtigen benannte und offen überwachte, ohne aber eine Anklage gegen ihn zu erheben, schwenkte ab 2004 der Verdacht auf den Mikrobiologen Bruce Ivins. Ivins wurde von dem FBI ebenfalls offen beschattet, seine Familie unter Druck gesetzt, sein Haus zweimal durchsucht. Er verfiel zunehmend dem Alkohol. Am 29. Juli 2008 beging Ivins Selbstmord. Wenige Tage später bezeichnete das FBI Ivins als Person, die alleine für die Anthrax-Anschläge verantwortlich war, und präsentierte Beweise. Der Staatsanwalt erklärte, dass man anhand der existierenden Beweise die Schuld von Bruce Ivins ohne jeden Zweifel belegen könnte.
    Der jahrelang öffentlich gebrandmarkte Stephen Hatfill erhielt rund 5,6 Millionen US-Dollar Schadensersatz (Das Anthrax kam vom Militär). Im Februar 2010 stellte das FBI und das US-Justizministerium die Untersuchung zu den Anthrax-Morden endgültig ein und bestätigte, dass Bruce Ivins der alleinige Täter gewesen sei (FBI schließt endgültig Anthrax-Fall).
    Anklage des Chefermittlers
    Niemand anderes als Richard Lambert, der von 2002 bis 2006 die FBI-Untersuchung der Anthrax-Morde leitete, erklärt nun, dass das FBI eine “gigantische Menge (für Ivins) entlastender Beweise” gefunden hatte, die aber bis heute geheim gehalten wurden. Es könne theoretisch möglich sein, dass Ivins tatsächlich der Täter gewesen ist, glaubt Lambert. Aber er ist überzeugt, dass es dem FBI niemals gelungen wäre, Ivins Schuld zweifelsfrei zu beweisen, wäre es tatsächlich zu einer Gerichtsverhandlung gekommen.
    Vor wenigen Tagen reichte Lambert eine Klage gegen einige Mitarbeiter des US-Justizministeriums und des FBI ein. Er wirft den Beschuldigten Amtsmissbrauch und grobe Fahrlässigkeit vor. Während Lambert die Untersuchung leitete, stieß er auf Unnachgiebigkeit seiner Vorgesetzten, Teilnahmslosigkeit und Fehler des FBI-Labors und politisch motivierte Kommunikations-Embargos seitens der FBI-Zentrale. Dies alles habe die Untersuchung in sehr hohem Masse behindert und erschwert.
    Bereits 2006 hatte Lambert intern einen Whistleblower-Bericht an den Stellvertretenden Direktor des FBI geleitet, in dem er das Missmanagement der Untersuchung anprangerte. Die dort aufgeführten Kritikpunkte finden sich auch in der Klageschrift. So kritisierte er in dem Whistleblower-Bericht die permanente Unterbesetzung. Zudem bestand das Untersuchungsteam hauptsächlich aus Agenten, die gerade die Ausbildung beendet hatten. Die Mitarbeiter blieben durchschnittlich nur 18 Monate. 12 von 20 Agenten hätten überhaupt keine Ermittlungserfahrung gehabt. Für die “wichtigste Untersuchung in der Geschichte des FBI” kaum optimale Voraussetzungen, um den Mörder in diesem hochkomplexen Fall zu finden.
    Ein weiterer Punkt des Whistleblower-Berichts und der Klageschrift ist die absichtliche Geheimhaltung des FBI-Labors vor dem Untersuchungsteam, dass menschliche DNA auf dem mit Anthrax gefüllten Briefumschlag an Senator Patrick Leahy gefunden worden war. Ebenso die Weigerung des Labors, zügige und angemessene wissenschaftliche Analysen und forensische Untersuchungen durchzuführen.
    2008 verbot das FBI Richard Lambert mit dem Fernsehsender CBS zu sprechen, die einen Dokumentarfilm über die Anthrax-Untersuchung planten. Ein Teil von Lamberts Whistleblower-Bericht wurde jedoch in dem ausgestrahlten Bericht angeführt, der das FBI in ein sehr kritisches Licht rückte.
    Lambert schied 2012 beim FBI aus dem Dienst aus. Sein Versuch im Energieministerium eine Stelle anzutreten,scheiterte an einer Intervention des FBI. Insgesamt gelang es Lambert nicht, einen neuen Beruf zu finden, obwohl er sich auf 70 Stellen beworben hat. Daher beinhaltet seine Klageschrift auch, dass dies das Resultat einer Vergeltungsmaßnahme des FBI wegen seiner kritischen Haltung sei.

    ***

    Anthrax-Sporen. Bild: Pentagon
    Viele Gründe für Zweifel
    Seit Jahren gab es massive Zweifel an der Behauptung des FBI, Bruce Ivins sei für die Anthrax-Morde verantwortlich. Immer wieder hatten Mikrobiologen darauf hingewiesen, dass Ivins gar nicht die Möglichkeit gehabt hätte, das in den Mordfällen benutzte Anthrax selber herzustellen. Ebenso konnte das FBI nie nachweisen, wie Ivins den entsprechenden Briefkasten, in dem die Anthrax-Briefe eingeworfen wurden, auch nur theoretisch zur Tatzeit hätte erreichen können, um die Mordwaffe auf den Postweg zu bringen (Das Anthrax kam vom Militär).
    Bereits einen Tag, nachdem das FBI den toten Ivins als Einzeltäter präsentiert hatte, forderten die New York Times,die Washington Post und das Wall Street Journal eine unabhängige Untersuchung. Am selben Tag verlangten auch Senator Charles Grassley und der Abgeordnete Rush Holt eine Untersuchung der FBI-Untersuchung. Doch die US-Regierung lehnte dieses Ansinnen zuletzt im August 2010 ab.
    Geschicktes Ausnutzen politischer Möglichkeiten
    Die US-Regierung erwies ein erstaunliches Geschick, um die akute Panik, in der sich die USA nach den Anschlägen des 11. Septembers befand, für die eigene politische Agenda auszunutzen. Nur acht Tage nach den Anschlägen wurde dem Kongress die erste Fassung des US-Patriot-Act zur Abstimmung vorgelegt. Das 342 Seiten lange Gesetz, das die bürgerlichen Freiheiten massiv einschränken würde, sollte im Eiltempo durchgewunken werden. Tom Daschle, der demokratische Mehrheitsführer im Senat, war damit ebenso wenig einverstanden wie der demokratische Senator Patrick Leahy. Sie drohten, dass sie am 3. Oktober 2001 dem Gesetz die Zustimmung verweigern würden. Beide erhielten am 15. Oktober einen mit Anthrax gefüllten Brief (Poststempel: 7. Oktober). Bei der Annahme des US-Patriot-Act am 24. Oktober, auf dem Höhepunkt der landesweiten Anthrax-Angst, befürworteten die beiden Senatoren dann die neue Gesetzesvorlage.
    Es gab auch weitere Versuche, politisches Kapital aus den Anthrax-Morden zu schlagen. In den Wochen der Anschläge machte das Weiße Haus Druck auf das FBI, um Al-Qaida für die Anthrax-Fälle verantwortlich zu machen. Aber auch der Irak sollte als Schuldiger identifiziert werden. Während der damalige US-Präsidenten George W. Bush eine mögliche Verbindung zwischen Al-Qaida und Anthrax erwähnte, bemühten sich andere Falken aktiv, unter anderem der ehemaligen CIA-Direktor Jim Woolesy, Beweise für die Verantwortung Saddam Husseins zu finden.
    Das Bemühen hat einen gewissen Erfolg. Ende Oktober 2001 befürwortete eine breite Mehrheit der Bevölkerung eine Erweiterung des “Kriegs gegen den Terror” auf den Irak. Wenig später vermehrten sich aber die eindeutigen Beweise, dass das in den Mordanschlägen verwendete Anthrax aus dem militärischen Geheimlabor USAMRIID in Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA stammte. So geschickt und zum großen Teil erfolgreich das Ausnutzen der Anthrax-Morde war, so verblüffend war gleichzeitig die Behinderung und Verhinderung der Aufklärung der Morde.
    Neben den von Lambert genannten Punkten, gibt es weitere Verhaltensweisen des FBI, die Unglauben auslösen. Nur wenige Tage nach den Anthrax-Morden erlaubte das FBI die Zerstörung der Orginal-Zuchtlinie der Anthrax-Bakterien, die bei den Mordbriefen verwendet wurde. Die sogenannten Ames-Sporen befanden sich in der Universität von Iowa. Deren Zerstörung sollte jedoch, kaum überraschend, die Rückverfolgung der verwendeten Bakterien und damit die Entdeckung des Ursprungsortes deutlich erschweren.
    Manchmal zeigte das FBI ein geradezu erstaunliches Desinteresse. Ganze sieben Monate benötigte das FBI zur Überprüfung nur einiger hundert Briefkästen, um schließlich den Briefkasten zu finden, in den die tödliche Post ursprünglich geworfen worden war. Den Agenten, die Bruce Ivins rund um die Uhr überwachen sollten, entging wohl, dass er sich eine Überdosis eines Schmerzmittels besorgt hatte. Nach seinem Tod verzichtete das FBI auf eine Autopsie. Der damalige Vize-Präsident Dick Cheney war etwas aufmerksamer. Seine Angestellten wurden am Abend des 11. Septembers angewiesen, Cipro einzunehmen, ein Anthrax-Antidot.
    Eine unabhängige Untersuchung
    Ein nachgewiesener Fall von Terror, der aus den USA stammt. 5 Tote und große politische Auswirkungen, ein offenkundiges Desinteresse des FBI sowie aktive Behinderung der Untersuchung und eine Reihe von Merkwürdigkeiten. Lamberts Klage ist der letzte und größte Grund zu unterstreichen, dass die Anthrax-Morde nach wie vor nicht in einer Art und Weise geklärt worden sind, die den Ansprüchen eines Gerichtsverfahrens genügen.
    Die These, Ivins sei der Täter, ist mehr denn je nur eine unbewiesene Behauptung. Eine neue unabhängige Untersuchung, die den Ansprüchen eines Rechtsstaats Genüge tut, wäre zwingend erforderlich. Die Mordopfer und nicht zuletzt auch die Familie von Bruce Ivins verdienen eine vollständige Aufklärung, aber auch die Nation und die Weltöffentlichkeit.

  56. DXer said

    Rick, has the FBI Director Comey asked to meet with you while making the rounds to Knoxville?

    The Director was Vahid Majidi’s supervisor. In Vahid’s e-book marketed to his Linked-In contacts, he said he was confident that Mr. Comey had his back — and his spin continued unabated even after a lot of documents had been uploaded (for example, about Ivins’ experiment with the 52 rabbits explaining Ivins’ time in the lab).

    While I respect the integrity of FBI officials and agents, I think they have the same CYA instincts as most anyone does.

    FBI, local law enforcement fight terrorism
    http://www.wbir.com/story/news/2015/04/21/local-law-enforcement-fbi-fight-terrorism/26160777/

    (WBIR- West Knoxville) Director of the FBI James Comey visited Knoxville on Tuesday afternoon, speaking about the importance of the relationship between the FBI and local law enforcement to counter local terrorism efforts.

    “The terrorism threat we’ve faced has become much more dispersed,” Comey said. “Not so much focused on the complex multi-prong national landmark-directed attacks, but increasingly, especially at the hands of this group that calls itself the Islamic State, it is a dispersed spider web of efforts to reach into our country and motivate people to harm people.”

    Comey said the FBI has homegrown violent extremist investigations in all 50 states, but they also rely on local law enforcement agencies to report radical behavior since terrorism has become more widespread, not just focused in New York or Washington.

    “It is highly unlikely to be an FBI agent who first hears about somebody who’s radicalizing in their basement online or someone who’s causing a problem at an educational institution by spouting off radical rhetoric,” Comey said. “It’s going to be a deputy sheriff. It’s going to be a police officer on patrol.”

    ***

    “We need to be paying attention, and we need to – those things that we notice – we need to bring to the table so that everyone can vet it,” Rausch said.

    The FBI also encourages citizens to report any suspicious terrorist activities to the closest Joint Terrorist Task Force, located in an FBI field office.

    “Whether it’s our counter-terrorism responsibilities, our counter-intelligence work, or all of our different kinds of criminal work, it depends upon the relationships that are represented here today,” Comey said.

    • DXer said

      It would just take a wave of the hand for FBI Director Comey to have FOIA Officer Dave Hardy (who supervises 60) to produce additional traditional supplemental forensic reports under FOIA.

      No privacy act issues are implicated. There wouldn’t be names names, but it would help get people on the same page. Or would the Director prefer legislation and a Congressional probe?

      I see some advantages of Dillon’s framing of the request.

      But I think there are many traditional forensic tests that are not exempt from production and would be produced, to include those relating to:

      (a) ink, including all documents showing that there was no match with any of Dr. Ivins’ writing;

      (b) paper composition, including all documents showing that there was no match with any paper ever used by Dr. Ivins;

      (c) photocopy toner, including all documents showing that there was no match with any photocopes ever made by Dr. Ivins and that the USAMRIID photocopiers could be excluded;

      (d) fiber, including all documents showing that there was no match with any fiber used by Dr. Ivins;

      (e) all handwriting examinations of Bruce Ivins’ handwriting, and all handwriting examinations of the late Mohammed Atta and Adnan El-Shukrijumah;

      (f) CIA finding of Ames strain of b. anthracis in Kandahar that the FBI didn’t credit,

      (g) the bloodhound alert relating to Dr. Ivins (negative as to Ivins),

      (h) Ivins’ polygraphs, including all documents interpreting those polygraphs,

      (i) meglumine and diazotroate,

      (j) all documents relating to which letters were asserted to be double-lined in developing a theory of a code based on which letters were doublelined.

      The request is intended to avoid privacy exemption — so as to not seek information about other individuals who are still living. For example, I would request all handwriting examinations of Atta and Shukrijumah. Both are dead and the case is closed. So a privacy exemption and law enforcement exemption should not apply.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  57. DXer said

    DOJ, FBI acknowledge flawed testimony from hair unit over 20-year period: report
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Sunday, April 19, 2015

    In a statement released to the Post, the FBI and Justice Department vowed to continue to devote resources to address all cases and said they “are committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance. The department and the FBI are also committed to ensuring the accuracy of future hair analysis, as well as the application of all disciplines of forensic science.”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/doj-fbi-acknowledge-flawed-testimony-unit-report-article-1.2190592

  58. DXer said

    Was this former United States Attorney Chris Christie’s biggest unsolved case? Here is former NJ US Attorney Chris Christie address anthrax investigation in 2002. A FOIA should be submitted for documents at the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.

  59. DXer said

    “Former FBI Agent Claims Bureau Hid Anthrax Evidence, Accused Wrong Man”
    http://on.aol.com/video/former-fbi-agent-claims-bureau-hid-anthrax-evidence–accused-wrong-man-518761614

    Comment:

    I don’t know if Agent Lambert is really whistleblowing or just singing for his supper. But the show “Forensic Files” does great work — and if I were one of the producers there, Rick Lambert would be the person around whom I would build a show. The fact that the case is closed and yet unsolved makes it all the more interesting.

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

  60. DXer said

    Mr. Willman notes:

    “[I]t was obvious to his subordinates that Richard Lambert, with the backing of Director Mueller, was driving the investigation in one direction, toward Hatfill’s indictment.” (p. 212)

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

  61. DXer said

    There is also “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins that has been produced under FOIA and simply not reported by the overworked and mult-tasking reporters.

    DXer summarizes the documentary evidence relating to Dr. Ivins work with rabbits (nowhere mentioned by the DOJ) which demolishes the FBI’s claim that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 3, 2012https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/dxer-summarizes-the-documentary-evidence-which-demolishes-the-fbis-ivins-theory/

    Among numerous additional documents were produced after July 2012 summary. The word “rabbits” will turn them up. see, e.g.,

    The Research Progress Report Form attached to a September 20, 2001 email explains that rabbits (immunized at Covance) will be challenged with anthrax spores in October [2001]; the challenge was done in Ivins B3 after the rabbits were shipped on or about September 24, 2001
    Posted on May 13, 2014
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/the-research-progress-report-form-attached-to-a-september-20-2001-email-explains-that-rabbits-immunized-at-covance-will-be-challenged-with-anthrax-spores-in-october-2001-the-challenge-was-don/

    The “Animal Manipulations” done in connection with the rabbit / formaldehyde experiment are explained in B01-11 first produced in November 2013
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 5, 2013
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/the-animal-manipulations-done-in-connection-with-the-rabbit-formaldehyde-experiment-are-explained-in-b01-11-first-produced-in-november-2013/

    Rabbit Challenge First Week of October 2001: The Principal Investigator was Ivins and his Co-Investigators were Fellows and Little; Little “will not be handling the animals.”
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 28, 2013
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/rabbit-challenge-first-week-of-october-2001-the-principal-investigator-was-ivins-and-his-co-investigators-were-fellows-and-little-little-will-not-be-handling-the-animals/

  62. DXer said

    For years, the head of the investigation was Assistant FBI Director Michael Mason who was head of the Amerithrax investigation as head of the DC Field Office. Agent Mason explained that he regretted that Dr. Hatfill’s name had ever surfaced and noted that they could not replicate the powder — that is, they could not replicate the Silicon Signature.

    Joining the bureau in 1985, Special Agent Mason handled narcotics violations, violent crimes, white-collar crimes and public corruption. He was especially relieved the time he did not have to shoot the suicidal Elvis impersonator in a Sears parking lot. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he served as special assistant to FBI Director Robert Mueller. He assumed responsibility for Amerithrax as assistant director in charge of the Washington, D.C., field office. He oversaw the office’s massive counterintelligence efforts against foreign intelligence agents based in Washington, D.C.

    While in Buffalo, harking back to his days watching Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. on television, he addressed the portrayal of the FBI in “X-Files”, suggesting that reality was just as interesting.

    Mason was in the Syracuse office, when 2:15 a.m. one night, a 115,000-volt transmission tower came crashing down not far down the street from me. Mason investigated when the tower on the nearby Onondaga Indian reservation came 50 feet from crashing on a cigarette shop, near where the local residents buy their smokes.

    “This is a serious felony. It is more than just criminal mischief,” Mason said. The Niagara Mohawk spokesperson declined to comment on what caused the tower to fall. But a local Onondaga businessman Oliver Hill said he knew. The tower missed crushing his cigarette shop, which had been opened without the permission of the local Onondaga tribal leaders. “There has been sabotage on that tower because on each leg there are 20 to 30 bolts,” said Hill. “All the bolts were taken out on all four legs. So when the bolts are taken out, there’s nothing to hold it up so it fell over. Yes, it was sabotage.”

    I didn’t call the local FBI office about the tower incident. After all, smoking kills 400,000 people a year.

    Instead, I called the FBI office (I’m told instead that I went to the office) to tell them that a Ronald Reagan mask had been found along with a bank bag where the man lay in wait with a semi-automatic — first for my brother, and then the next week my father. The FBI agent in the small local office, who did not identify himself, said something to the effect: “We killed the Closing Time Bandit who used a Ronald Reagan mask in robbing banks. So this guy can’t be responsible for those robberies.”

    Ronald Petersen had been killed Aug. 15, 1996 by FBI agents in the Rochester suburb of Henrietta while plotting another heist. The rightist, who had been tracked by a miniature television camera on a telephone pole outside his home, died in a hail of bullets. When police searched his house in Liverpool, a Syracuse suburb, they recovered 20 guns, including two Uzis, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and a cache of explosives.

    “I know. “ I said, “This guy’s parole officer says his apartment in Watertown is covered with newspaper articles glorifying famous New York State criminals. He’s trying to make you fellows look foolish. By being a copycat and making it look like you killed the wrong guy..”

    As I best remember, the ex-convict and three-time loser who tried to take my Dad away at gunpoint that night before Christmas got something like 20 years to life, with no possibility of parole. Robbery was the apparent motive. That night, the police siren had come on in within seconds of the 911 call coming in. The gunman spent the night holed up in a nearby garage and was captured after a psychiatrist/hostage negotiator came from Syracuse and talked him out of the garage. He asked that they kneel and pray together. (I never said the gunman was very bright).

    So why have I always been such a booster of the FBI and local law enforcement (that is, until US Attorney Jeff Taylor’s performance at the August 2008 press conference and Daniel Seikaly’s calculated leaks about Hatfill before that). (Attorney Seikaly of Taylor’s same office pled the Fifth Amendment in connection with such leaks; his daughter then came to represent Ali Al-Timimi, the “anthrax weapons suspect” of the other investigative squad). Why have I always been such a fan of Director Mueller and Agent Michael Mason in particular? Because it is their job to protect our loved ones.

    Sam Stanton of the Sacramento Bee provides relevant background on Mason:

    “He has a friend in Syracuse, N.Y., who’s a felon, and when he talks about his favorite case — the successful recovery of a 2-year-old girl kidnapped at Christmas — tears come to his eyes.

    The son of a truck driver whose mother died when he was a baby, Mason knew he wanted to be in law enforcement early in childhood. As an African American growing up in Chicago, he said, he knew that many minorities said they had trouble with Chicago cops. But he said he never had a negative law enforcement experience.

    He shifted his goal from joining the Chicago police force to the FBI after seeing the old Efrem Zimbalist Jr. series “The FBI” on television.

    Mason knew many FBI agents came to the bureau with law degrees, but that wasn’t realistic given his family’s finances. So he ended up with an accounting degree from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

    After graduation, he went into the Marine Corps, serving at Camp Pendleton and ending up a captain. But he still dreamed of joining the FBI, and when his tour of duty was up with the Corps he decided the time was right.

    “I remember when I called I didn’t have any idea how one becomes an FBI agent,” Mason said. “I called and said, ‘Can I have an application?’ And the lady, an old-timer there, said, ‘Sure, honey, we’ll send you one right out.’ “ ***

    People who have worked with him before say Mason’s nice-guy image is genuine, and a sign of that is his friendship with community activist Kathleen Rumpf in Syracuse.

    Rumpf, who calls herself a “felon for peace” (and who I adore) spent several months in prison for trespassing during a demonstration against the School for the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga. She has spent years in Syracuse fighting for prisoner rights and other issues, and when Mason showed up there one of the first things he did was meet with her.

    “I’ve been treated very badly in the past by the FBI because I’m an activist,” Rumpf said.

    But Mason was different.

    “He’s quite wonderful,” Rumpf said in an interview from the Syracuse offices of the American Civil Liberties Union. “He was incredibly responsible and treated me with great respect.

    “He said to me if he ever had to arrest me he would do it, and I said, ‘Be my guest.’ But I knew I could trust this man to be professional.”

    Local law enforcement officials echo that sentiment.

    ‘He is an outstanding individual,’ said Gary Miguel, chief deputy of investigations for the Syracuse Police Department. ‘You’re fortunate to have him.’

    In Syracuse, Miguel said, Mason worked hard to get to know the community and to cooperate with local authorities.” *** [Mason said,] “I’m not complicated enough to be political. It’s too hard.”

    Once told there was CIA involvement, he responded that his superiors might not like to hear that. Attorney Seikaly, to whom the head of the investigation and Mason reported the status of the investigation, came over from the CIA to the DC US Attorney’s Office on September 29, 2001. But a student of history likely would conclude that any suppression of information is for old-fashioned reasons: CYA. At the very least, when in doubt, follow the goddamn money.

    The question of the hour is how did Ali Al-Timimi come to have the mail drop at the Center for Biodefense that for example received issuance of the patent for concentrating anthrax using silicon dioxide in the culture medium? …the one my military lab head calls a “Wow!” microencapsulation patent. That is the best explanation I’ve seen that the FBI WMD head Majidi offers for the silicon signature. Ali Al-Timimi worked for 2 months for the former White House Chief of Staff. Did he list Mr. Card on his resume? He worked with the former deputy USAMRIID Charles Bailey at SRA in 1999. Ali did mathematical support work for the Navy and had a high security clearance. What was his security clearance for? Ali then came to work 15 feet from the leading anthrax scientist in the world, Ken Alibek, and the former deputy USAMRIID, Charles Bailey. They co-invented the method using silica in the culture medium to concentrate anthrax. The silica can then be removed through repeated centrifugation or an air chamber (according to a related patent). When you focus on Pasechnik’s work with a jet mill, on which NAS panel member D.A. Henderson was briefed, it is time for some probing questions to be asked.

    I’ve always argued that the key to achieve the best balancing of interests was to have an informed debate. I’ve always argued that with people like Michael Mason advising Director Mueller, I felt both secure and confident that authorities would always continue to strive to strike an appropriate balance. I still think that: I just think that he and Director Mueller were faced with a very difficult mystery, which remains unsolved.

    For his part, Director Mueller said, in a vintage comment, that it would be mistaken to suggest that the FBI has made a mistake. Well, respectfully, I disagree. Director Mueller likely was just too busy and multi-tasking to get down to the details such as the 12 dead rabbits on October 3, 4 and 5 discussed above. He depended on briefing of subordinates such as the author of the hide-the-ball Amerithrax Investigative Summary. Jeff Taylor’s comments were demonstrably inaccurate in central respects. untrue. More broadly, during the Bush Adminsitration, the US DOJ made a mistake in allowing itself to be politicized. Men like Mason and Mueller and Comey should be among the first to agree — and to do something about it. Bring back the US DOJ that stands for the rule of law.

    Bring back Michael Mason. Better yet, bring back Frederic Whitehurst.

    We are better than the US DOJ during the 2001-2008 period insofar as Amerithrax represents their work.

    • DXer said

      When crimes go unsolved, there is greater risk that history is allowed to repeat itself. For example, did former Amerithrax head Michael Mason ever solve the case of the falling power line tower?

      A fugitive is hiding out behind my local duck pond, causing power lines to fall and schools to close.1/ (He is reportedly armed according to police; having fired shots at firemen responding to a fire — but based on a new report I expect to be peacefully resolved and expect he will be turned over to authortiies by the Onondaga Nation..

      Former Amerithrax head FBI Agent Mason was in the Syracuse office, when 2:15 a.m. one night, a 115,000-volt transmission tower came crashing down. Mason investigated when the tower on the Onondaga Indian reservation came 50 feet from crashing on a cigarette shop, near where the local residents buy their smokes.

      “This is a serious felony. It is more than just criminal mischief,” Mason said. The Niagara Mohawk spokesperson declined to comment on what caused the tower to fall. But a local Onondaga businessman Oliver Hill said he knew. The tower missed crushing his cigarette shop, which had been opened without the permission of the local Onondaga tribal leaders. “There has been sabotage on that tower because on each leg there are 20 to 30 bolts,” said Hill. “All the bolts were taken out on all four legs. So when the bolts are taken out, there’s nothing to hold it up so it fell over. Yes, it was sabotage.”

      Police: Wanted Onondaga Nation man should be considered ‘armed and dangerous’
      http://www.syracuse.com/crime/index.ssf/2015/04/police_searching_for_corey_redmond_on_onondaga_nation.html#incart_story_package

      http://www.twcnews.com/nys/central-ny/news/2015/04/11/corey-redmond.html

      Onondaga Nation leader: Fugitive is unarmed, receiving ‘spiritual healing’
      http://www.syracuse.com/crime/index.ssf/2015/04/cory_redmond_onondaga_nation_trudi_shenandoah.html#comments

  63. DXer said

    Here is a Knoxville blogger:

    http://knoxblogs.com/lady-justice-unmasked/2015/04/09/ex-chief-of-knox-fbi-exposes-claim-of-flawed-probe-of-deadly-anthrax-mailings/

    “But Lambert goes a bit further in the section of his lawsuit in which he seeks to argue the law. Typically that section of any lawsuit is boring, lots of citations to other cases and bunches of legalese.

    Lambert, though, is not only a lawyer. He’s a wordsmith. His lawsuit reads like a Grisham novel.”

  64. DXer said

    Meryl Nass blogs about the new development here:

    Tuesday, April 7, 2015

    FBI’s AMERITHRAX Case just unravelled. Ex-FBI agent who directed investigation suing FBI, turns whistleblower!!!

    http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2015/04/fbis-amerithrax-case-just-unravelled-ex.html

  65. DXer said

    I think the key is to get someone’s help in framing FOIA requests — either Attorney Lambert or Dr. Majidi or Dr. Bannan or someone else. Effective FOIA production requires effectively identifying reports so that they can be located by the agency personnel and their disclosure considered under the statutory FOIPA framework.

    Amerithrax is a difficult mystery to be sure. Reasonable people can and will continue to disagree. But the public interest favors getting people on the same page to a much greater extent. (And more people should correct past missteps and mistakes.)

    Being proactive by making a supplemental disclosure under FOIA of traditional forensic reports is the best way for the FBI to dampen what may prove a developing firestorm.

    I think a Hatfill Theory is just as reasonable (or unreasonable, if you like) as an Ivins Theory. But we still don’t know the identity of the processor and mailer. Congress and the public still needs more information.

    I think that if Al Qaeda attacks with anthrax and there has not yet been such a supplemental production, there will be some people in a lot of trouble — to include both present and former DOJ and FBI and Postal Service and CIA employees.

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

    • DXer said

      http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3758844.shtml
      Updated: 04/07/2015 6:13 PM
      Created: 04/07/2015 5:58 PM WNYT.com
      By: Steve Flamisch

      SARATOGA SPRINGS – Eileen Lawson and her son, William, stood in line at Maple Avenue Middle School on Tuesday to pick up a regimen of fake antibiotics for a simulated anthrax outbreak.
      The Lawsons, of Charlton, took part in a Point of Dispensing (POD) drill to test Saratoga County Public Health’s capacity to respond to a biochemical exposure or a large-scale disease outbreak.
      “They have all of the information on file, and they’re verifying everything as quickly as possible,” Eileen Lawson said. “They seem to be moving us right along. Their assembly-line-style seems very efficient.”
      Fruit snacks and M&M’s candy took the place of real antibiotics. Active and retired nurses, as well as volunteers, dispensed them to hundreds of people during the two-hour drill in the school’s gym.
      “They’re pretty organized around here,” said William Lawson, 13. “They’re very efficient. They’re very fast. They hand out ‘medicine’ very fast… It’s a lot faster than the doctor’s (office).”
      Efficiency is one goal of the drill. Cathi Duncan, the director of Saratoga County Public Health, said she wants to be able to get out 1,500 doses per hour in the event of a real exposure or outbreak.
      “This is really teaching us how to run it efficiently,” Duncan told NewsChannel 13. “Any problems that we have today are things that we’ll address, and then we’ll be able to be better the next time.”
      Duncan stressed that she has no knowledge of a coming attack or outbreak; the drill was an exercise in emergency preparedness. Representatives from the CDC and state Department of Health observed

      Comment: I’ve forgotten what happened to the idea of having the mailman drop it in your mailbox.

    • DXer said

      There was a drill in Ithaca this week. I’ve never understood why people wouldn’t be expected to get in the car and drive.

      Health Dept Preps for Possible Threats
      http://www.ithaca.com/news/health-dept-preps-for-possible-threats/article_d200039a-dfbf-11e4-9738-7378f4153c12.html

      At the end of last month, Tompkins County Health Department tested its ability to handle a public health emergency by holding a Point of Dispensing exercise at BOCES on Warren Road. During the 1.25 hour exercise, the Health Department practiced giving out prophylactic antibiotics in response to a simulated anthrax threat.

      ***

      In a real emergency, Lyczko said that there would be multiple dispensing points around the county, including locations at Cornell and Ithaca College.

      Comment:

      If I didn’t know of a distribution point up and running within the first hour or two, I would just head out the door and trust that a phone call to a doctor would result in a prescription being sent to some pharmacy several hours away

      In terms of outreach to the community about “resilience,” one preparedness measure would be to get your cat used to dry food rather than wet.

  66. DXer said

    The Socio-Behavioral Component Of Biosecurity Gaps In US Labs: Pathogenic Agents Being Misapplied For Terrorism Is A Grave Concern
    By: Robert E. Smith
    04/08/2015 ( 1:24pm)
    http://www.hstoday.us/industry-news/general/single-article/the-socio-behavioral-component-of-biosecurity-gaps-in-us-labs-pathogenic-agents-being-misapplied-for-terrorism-is-a-grave-concern/d864d4cade6f0a5eb7d20265f5366cc8.html

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

    Congressman Holt again seeks to establish a commission to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 17, 2009
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/congressman-holt-again-seeks-to-establish-a-commission-to-investigate-the-2001-anthrax-attacks/

    Why did FBI Agent Darin Steele think that the “T” in NEXT was double-lined in concocting his interpretation of a code?
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 17, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/why-did-fbi-agent-darin-steele-think-that-the-t-in-next-was-double-lined-in-concocting-his-interpretation-of-a-code/

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