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

* Lawsuit Letter Demands That FBI Release Wrongly Withheld Anthrax Case Documents.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 8, 2018

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66 Responses to “* Lawsuit Letter Demands That FBI Release Wrongly Withheld Anthrax Case Documents.”

  1. DXer said

    In a filing filed last Friday, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessica Liu announced that the FBI had lost — could not find — the key documents on which it had closed the Amerithrax case.

    The documents were the Sep-Oct 2001 emails quoted and relied upon in the search of Bruce Ivins residence — with those emails also quoted and centrally relied upon in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary that outlined the FBI’s “Ivins Theory.”

    Joining United States Attorney Jessica Liu in throwing up her hands that they cannot lay their hands on the documents is Daniel F. Van Horn, Civil Chief. Writing the brief is Peter Benton. The filing of the motion was the first time in all these months that the FBI or Benton had claimed that they had lost or could not locate the documents.

    They offer no Vaughn Index specifying any exemption that applies to the September-October 2001 emails — any exemption that would allow them to only selectively and misleadingly quote from those emails but not provide a copy. The emails were to and from Bruce Ivins in September and October 2001. They were at a time when Bruce Ivins was working night and weekends for scheduled animal checks. By not producing them, the FBI wants to perpetuate its “cotton candy” Ivins Theory and avoiding producing the documents that the FBI relied upon in closing Amerithrax when the documents are actually exculpatory of Bruce Ivins.

    FOX NEWS interview with RICHARD LAMBERT … Former agent claims FBI concealing evidence in anthrax case
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 22, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/fox-news-interview-with-richard-lambert-former-agent-claims-fbi-concealing-evidence-in-anthrax-case/

    NYT interview of former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert: “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins remains secret
    Posted on July 16, 2016
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/nyt-interview-of-former-lead-amerithrax-investigator-richard-lambert-a-staggering-amount-of-exculpatory-evidence-regarding-dr-ivins-remains-secret/

    There is not even any indication that the FBI searched for the word “email” in its databases or “Amerithrax Investigative Summary” (which misleadingly quotes from the emails).

    There should be an IG probe to learn why US Attorney Jessica Liu (who ironically was personally vetted by President Trump in a rare interview) thinks it is okay to lose the emails that would test whether Robert Mueller botched Amerithrax.

    If instead the DOJ actually found the emails — and are obfuscating that fact and simply want to withhold them without specifying the applicable exemption under FOIA — then the IG or Congress in a probe should find that improper.

    Hiding the ball is wrong even short of spoliation or destruction of the documents.

    I certainly do not think the emails were destroyed. That would be foolhardy. USAMRMC Official John Peterson emailed copies of them to numerous DOJ/FBI officials in allowing the DOJ/FBI to decide which ones to cull during the pendency of the criminal investigation.

    But then the Amerithrax investigation was closed and the emails should have been restored to the production.

    If the DOJ IG does not open a probe, then the Army IG should.

    October 18, 2016 filing of amended complaint by former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert, relating to fingering and railroading of Bruce Ivins in face of daunting undisclosed exculpatory evidence
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 18, 2016
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/october-18-2016-filing-of-amended-complaint-by-former-lead-amerithrax-investigator-richard-lambert-relating-to-fingering-and-railroading-of-bruce-ivins-in-face-of-daunting-undisclosed-exculpatory/

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

    • DXer said

      Dave Hardy recounts in his Afffidavit that when WFO was contacted, they did not have a copy of the 2000 page Interim Case Management Summary — but that the science people at Quantico did.

      Let’s try to read the tea leaves — and give the hard-working DOJ and FBI officials the benefit of the doubt. Let’s try to figure out how their position in Friday’s filing is in good faith — rather than a game of unprincipled hide-the-ball or incompetence.
      (I am speaking only of the Sep-October 2001 emails now that they incredibly suggest that they cannot find).

      Consider the possibility that WFO has a FISA investigation.

      Tarek Hamouda had contacts in jihad, according to his childhood friend “Tawfiq” Hamid. Indeed, Ayman Zawahiri came to the medical school each Friday to recruit.

      So did Ali Al-Timimi. He was in contact with Bin Laden’s sheiks, for example. He was convicted of sedition and shared a suite with the leading Ames researcher, Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek, and the former USAMRIID Commander Charles Bailey. The researchers were funded by DARPA and had been supplied virulent Ames. The work was done by Southern Research Institute, where Ivins’ assistant Patricia Fellows went to head their B3 lab.

      The noncitizen, Dr. Hamouda had access to virulent Ames that was genetically matching. He worked alongside Patricia Fellows and Bruce Ivins in the B3.

      But Ali Al-Timimi very likely had access to Ames provided DARPA also. (A whistleblower that was let go by ATCC said he had unfettered access to the bacteriological repository managed by Jason Bannan, the scientist who then led the FBI’s science investigation).

      Let’s support that the FBI doesn’t know who was guilty of the Amerithrax crimes — let’s credit the claim by Richard Lambert, the former lead Amerithrax investigator, that the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of information exculpatory of Bruce Ivins.

      But the FBI closed the criminal investigation — some motivated by CYA (not wanting to be sued like happened with Hatfill and some genuinely mistaken. The investigation was highly compartmentalized and so there were a lot of participants who simply did not know a lot of the evidence. Richard Lambert has said he is the only one who saw all the evidence. Information was stovepiped.

      But let’s consider that they may not have closed a FISA investigation. Senator Leahy has said “The case is not closed.” Now this is surprising given that the FBI so publicly and famously did in fact close Amerithrax.

      So what is the case that is not closed? If not Amerithrax, is it a secret FISA investigation? (I don’t know).
      Heck, do you even know the status of the Ali Al-Timimi criminal prosecution — after the remand? (Gordon Kromberg or Jonathan Turley would know.)

      ****But would that justify withholding of the emails from a FOIA requestor? No. The emails are still subject to FOIA.*****

      If it ends up that they show the FBI’s Ivins Theory was a bunch of hooey, that’s just what happens when you get up to the podium as US Attorney Taylor did and spew nonsense.

      Producing the emails would not reveal the existence of any FISA investigation.

      In that event, doing an end run and getting the documents from the Army is the best bet.

      I suspect my dear friend, the graphic artist, may work for Battelle as a contractor doing counterintelligence work domestically for the CIA.

      He wrote out of the blue Friday with his usual lame cover discussion.

      But yesterday (I believe) agreed to help in doing a graphic. I have been waiting until I read the documents and thought of the most salient issue.

      I think the two most fruitful subjects are the T of C relating to the 195 pages of forensic tests and the Sep-Oct 2001 emails.

      Why does the FBI refuse — on what grounds — to produce the table of contents summarizing the 195 pages of text describing the forensic studies?

      The portion of T of C may only be a page or two long. We already know that none of the forensic findings implicated Bruce Ivins.

      Dr. Dillon totally understands that the names of other suspects will need to be redacted, that references to sealed pen registers should be redacted etc.

      He is interested in the factual discussion in the text of the Ivins section because what it says about Ivins alibi demolishes the claim made by US Attorney Taylor, FBI Agent R. Scott Decker, Vahid Majidi and others about Bruce ivins.

      The public has a need to know that they have been bamboozled. Bruce Ivins had a reason to be in the lab due to the scheduled late night and weekend animal checks.

      The FBI is lying and FOIA is supposed to permit transparency.

      None of us may know who was responsible for Amerithrax but the public has a right to the contemporary documents from September-October 2001 that show what Bruce Ivins was doing at the time of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. The emails were centrally relied upon by the FBI in closing Amerithrax for gosh sake.

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

  2. DXer said

    In his sworn Affidavit filed in federal court this past week, FBI FOIA head has mischaracterized Dillon’s request.

    Dave Hardy writes: “I am familiar with the FBI’s handling of Plaintiff’s Freedom of Information (“FOIA”) request dated April 18, 2001 seeking all emails, laboratory notebooks, paper and computer files regarding the 2001 anthrax mailing investigation.”

    Actually, Plaintiff sought those records only from the period September and October 2001 — and only the emails to or from Bruce Ivins from that September-October 2001 email. (AFB. 24). There is a huge difference.

    Ken Dillon wrote:

    “I request, in regard to the 2001 anthrax mailings, all email messages, laboratory notebooks, paper and computer files, and information about meetings and telephone conversations IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER, 2001 OF DR. BRUCE IVINS, USAMRIID.

    Dillon already has access to thousands of Ivins’ emails — he just lacks access that the FBI had culled from the Army’s John Peterson upon the direction of some DOJ and FBI officials who shall remained unnamed absent an IG report. (But we all know who you were, right? Would you rather it leak or would you like to abide by the rule of law and produce the culled emails pursuant to FOIA).

    The September and October 2001 emails sought were all the emails that the FBI selectively and misleadingly quoted and relied upon in closing the case. Lots of emails have been produced and uploaded — just not the quoted and relied upon by the DOJ. Those instead were culled from production so that critics of the FBI’s cotton candy “Ivins Theory” would be slowed in proving that the evidence was being falsely and misleadingly spun.

    So while Hardy makes it seem Dillon — in his inaccurate characterization — is being overbroad and burdensome (in para. 2 of his Affidavit), Dillon instead is seeking to overcome the DOJ/FBI’s culling and spoliation of evidence. Dillon is seeking to overcome the loss or destruction of all the emails that the DOJ and FBI quoted and relied upon in its Amerithrax Summary (and also in the Dellefera Affidavit in support of its search of Ivins’ residence).

    Dillon explained his reason for requesting the culled emails:

    “In Para 53 of Richard L. Lambert v. Attorney General Eric Holder et al. in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, filed April 2, 2015, Lambert, former head of the Amerithrax Task Force, refers to FBI’s “efforts to railroad the prosecution of Ivins in the face of daunting exculpatory evidence” and states that FBI’s public presentations of its case against Ivins were “replete with material omissions.”

    Now the DOJ, FBI and Hardy argue that the withholding of these culled emails does not bear on the government’s conduct of its business.

    The DOJ officials argue that how the DOJ and FBI present its evidence is not of public interest.

    The DOJ officials reason that the threat of an attack using a biological weapon on the United States by Al Qaeda is not of public interest.

    The public should expect more from the DOJ’s FOIA operation. Indeed, the FBI’s botching of Amerithrax has been regularly discussed this past year — merely search “Mueller” and “anthrax” — and add “botch” or “bungled” or “unsolved.” How many more FBI officials need to be fired before the rule of law is more than just a mantra paid lip service?

    Finally, on a minor note, Dave Hardy, note that Ivins’ name is spelled “Ivins”, not Ivans. Maybe the reason your staff could not find the emails quoted and relied in AUSA Lieber’s Amerithrax Summary is that the wrong spelling was used.

    Please have your staff go find the documents that the FBI quoted and relied upon in closing Amerithrax. You might first look in the exhibits in the attached 2000 page IMCS Summary that you found but also refuse to produce.

    If the Federal Court Judge is given a copy of the IMCS memo and its exhibits, he will find many of the wrongfully withheld Ivins’ documents from Sept-October 2001 there as attachments, including documents that further establish his alibi.

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

    • DXer said

      There is a boilerplate, often copied and pasted into such motions, about the FBI’s record keeping system. The Affidavit is authored by David Hardy, who oversees many employees.

      What is conspicuously missing is an Affidavit of Rebecca Bronson who could say whether the Ivins emails quoted and relied upon by the FBI in its Amerithrax Summary — the emails to and from Ivins and his assistant Fellows (and former assistant Linscott) in September and October 2001 — were attached as exhibits to the memo.

      David Hardy has no personal knowledge of whether the emails were attached — or locatable — because he did not participate in the search. Nor apparently did he even review the ICMS and its exhibits. Where is the allegation that he reviewed the attachments of the ICMS and the emails were not attached?!

      Hardy’s Affidavit, drafted by the DOJ attorney briefing the issue, merely cuts and pastes sections on the Central Records System (“CRS”) and on Automated Case Support (“ACS”) and Sentinel, (paras. 41-48).

      But why bother? Before swearing out his affidavits, what David Hardy or the briefing DOJ attorney needed to do was to take the ICMS document in his hands and turn to the list of exhibits. There he would find the documents relied upon by the FBI in (not) considering Bruce Ivins as a suspect.

      The cut and paste of the usual boilerplate serves no purpose. What needs addressing is why the FBI thinks it can withhold those emails while selectively and misleadingly quoting from them in its summary of its resolution of the biggest case in the history of the FBI! These are factual documents and the fact that they are attached to an “interim” memo summarizing facts does not suddenly mean that Dave Hardy can say that the dog ate them!

      Not only was the search was inadequate — but the failure to submit an affidavit by Rebecca Bronson, who had the personal knowledge, evidences that inadequacy.

      All Attorney Hardy needed to do was to contact, or have someone on his staff contact (given he is busy with many responsibilities) either (1) Agent Dellefera who quoted the emails in his affidavit for a search warrant — or (2) AUSA Lieber who quoted them in her Amerithrax Summary.

      The FBI did not find the emails that it selectively quoted in closing Amerithrax because it has already been called out on its misleading presentation of evidence by the former Amerithrax lead investigator. That former Amerithrax lead investigation, Richard Lambert, is the one who conducted the key interviews of Bruce Ivins. He probed Ivins on this issue of alibi.

      The evidence is all of a factual nature — with many of those documents wrongfully withheld by an agency that purports to stand for the rule of law and for fairness.

    • DXer said

      The reason FBI FOIA head Dave Hardy simultaneously plays hide-the-ball with the emails between Patricia Fellows and Bruce Ivins from September – October 2001 — even though they were the basis for an Ivins Theory and were quoted and centrally relied upon in the Amerithrax Summary — is that the FBI selectively and misleadingly quoted the emails in closing Amerithrax and declaring the case solved.

      If provided, they will show that the FBI’s claim that Bruce Ivins had no reason to be in the B3 lab was a lie — and AUSA Lieber’s failure to so much as mention the word “rabbits” in her Amerithrax Summary was a travesty at justice.

      See, e.g.,

      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, 2012
      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/dxer-summarizes-the-documentary-evidence-which-demolishes-the-fbis-ivins-theory/

  3. DXer said

    In a filing this week, in connection with Kenneth Dillon’s request for the Interim Case Management Summary, the Department of Justice responds that it has located the Interim Major Case Summary:

    “In response to FOIA Number 1329350, the FBI conducted a CRS search using the term
    “Interim Major Case Summary” and located no records. Hardy Decl. ¶ 47. The FBI then
    conducted an index search using the term “Amerithrax” which resulted in one investigative file.
    Id. The FBI electronically reviewed the investigative file and was unable to locate the IMCS.
    Id. Next, the FBI contacted the subject matter experts at the Washington Field Office and
    requested their assistance. Id. The Washington Field Office reviewed the physical investigative
    file and was unable to locate the IMCS. Id. The Washington Field Office reached out to the
    FBI’s Laboratory Services in Quantico, Virginia, who located the IMCS and sent it to RMD for
    processing. Id.”

    • DXer said

      “By letter dated April 18, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a FOIA request seeking records on the
      2001 anthrax mailings. SOF ¶ 20. More specifically, Plaintiff sought “all email messages,
      laboratory notebooks, paper and computer files, and information about meetings and telephone
      conversations in September and October, 2001 of Dr. Bruce Ivins.” Id. In a letter dated April
      27, 2015, the FBI acknowledged receipt of the FOIA request and assigned FOIA Request
      Number 1327397. Id. ¶ 21. The FBI informed Plaintiff records responsive to his request were
      previously processed for another requester and were available on the FBI’s public website,
      http://vault.fbi.fov. Id.

      By letter dated June 19, 2015, Plaintiff filed an appeal with DOJ OIP stating the FBI “has
      never released any records responsive to my request. . .” Id. ¶ 22. Plaintiff indicated the FBI
      needs to release the following records: Ivan’s emails to or from various named individuals,
      Notebook 4010 as well as relevant pages from Notebooks 3655, 3945 and 4251, paper and
      computer files including files from Ivan’s computer, information from meetings Ivan attended, as
      well as his telephone and credit card records. Id.”

      Comment:

      I find it disturbing that for years Ken DIllon’s experience has been that Dave Hardy has repeatedly
      said that the requested documents were uploaded to the Vault when in fact they were not.

      It is incompetent to say that a document is uploaded when a simple google would show that it
      wasn’t. Moreover, it is the United States Department of Justice (not Ken Dillon) that is spelling Bruce Ivins name “Ivans”
      rather than Ivins, in briefing this matter to the federal court. Misspelling such as that would make successful
      electronic searches less likely. Why is anyone surprised that Amerithrax was botched if the FBI incorrectly
      claimed — repeatedly –that the requested documents were uploaded when they weren’t?

    • DXer said

      Ken Dillon has sought copies of the emails from September and October 2001 that the DOJ and FBI quoted and relied upon in closing Amerithrax.
      Many thousands of emails were produced by USAMRIID. But the DOJ and FBI vetted/culled emails from the production made by USAMRC official John Peterson. And now the FBI refuses to produce them. There needs to be an IG investigation.

      The claim that “all reasonably segregable material has been released to Plaintiff” is a lie. All the FBI needs to do is produce the emails that it culled from John Peterson’s production. Many thousands of other emails were produced. The IG should obtain the emails where he was directed to cull specific emails and then those officials should be fired. #bastards The only redaction that needs to be made is a (b)(6) redaction for the name of individuals (to which Dillon, I assume, would have no objection).

      Those emails will show, I venture, that Bruce Ivins was in the B3 working on the scheduled small animal experiments –in her memo, AUSA Lieber shamefully failed to even mention the challenge of the 52 rabbits that required that he be in the lab those nights and weekends.

      “C. ALL REASONABLY SEGREGABLE MATERIAL HAS BEEN RELEASED TO
      PLAINTIFF.

      Under the FOIA, if a record contains information exempt from disclosure, any “reasonably
      segregable,” non-exempt information must be disclosed after redaction of the exempt information.
      5 U.S.C. § 552(b). Non-exempt portions of records need not be disclosed if they are “inextricably
      intertwined with exempt portions.” Mead Data Cent., Inc. v. Dep’t of the Air Force, 566 F.2d 242,
      260 (D.C. Cir. 1977); Fischer, 596 F.Supp.2d at 44. To establish that all reasonably segregable,
      non-exempt information has been disclosed, an agency need only show “with ‘reasonable
      specificity’” that the information it has withheld cannot be further segregated. Armstrong v.
      Executive Office of the President, 97 F.3d 575, 578-79 (D.C. Cir. 1996); Canning v. Dep’t of
      Justice, 567 F. Supp. 2d 104, 110 (D.D.C. 2008). “Agencies are entitled to a presumption that
      they complied with the obligation to disclose reasonably segregable material,” which must be
      overcome by some “quantum of evidence” by the requester. Sussman v. U.S. Marshals Serv., 494
      F.3d 1106, 1117 (D.C. Cir. 2007). Moreover, the agency is not required to “commit significant
      time and resources to the separation of disjointed words, phrases, or even sentences which taken
      separately or together have minimal or no information content.” Mead Data, 566 F.2d at 261,
      n.55.

      • DXer said

        Question: Was the email from the DOJ/FBI official to USAMRMC Official to pull the Sep-Oct 2001 emails to and from Ivins’ assistants made by the official from his/her official email — or a personal email.

        The use of personal email tends to thwart compliance with FOIA and is not appropriate.

        Until the IG probes the culling of the emails quoted and relied upon by the FBI in its Amerithrax Summary, we won’t know how the instruction was given to John Peterson of USAMRMC, who described the procedure to me by which the DOJ/FBI reviewed the Army’s production of emails.

        IG: Comey used personal email account for FBI business – CNNPolitics
        https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/14/politics/comey-emails-ig-report/index.html

        IG Horowitz could conduct the inquiry or alternatively the Army IG could.

        Destroying evidence is wrong.

  4. DXer said

    Pat,

    DOJ has filed its motion for summary judgment and supporting documents today.

  5. DXer said

    Fired FBI Official Discovers Former Employer Sucks at Transparency

    https://gizmodo.com/fired-fbi-official-discovers-former-employer-sucks-at-t-1826798925

    Dell Cameron
    Yesterday 5:55pm

    After being fired by the attorney general in March, a former top FBI official requested records from the bureau citing the federal freedom of information law. However, he was quick to discover that the agency he led for a brief period last year isn’t really that into transparency or the rule of law after all.

    Andrew McCabe, who was the acting FBI director following the firing of James Comey last year, filed a lawsuit against the bureau on Tuesday after it failed to produce a slew of records requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FBI and the Justice Department proved less than cooperative.

    In a complaint filed Tuesday with the D.C. District Court, McCabe criticized the FBI over its “continuing pattern and practice of violating the proactive disclosure requirements of FOIA and applicable regulations.” McCabe has sought access to several documents that may be relevant to his own firing, such as internal policies for FBI-media interaction, and argued that some should have been made automatically public years ago.

    In regards to FOIA, the FBI is notoriously noncompliant. Often it takes absurd amounts of time to gain access to FBI records, even when their disclosure is clearly of public interest. Several years to process legitimate, non-exempt requests is not uncommon.

    That a career FBI official of some 22 years had the occasion to gripe about the bureau’s lack of transparency and disregard for FOIA regulations is priceless—at least, to virtually anyone who’s battled the bureau for access to public records at any point over the past several decades.

  6. DXer said

    http://www.uticaod.com/opinion/20180524/your-views-letters-to-editor

    FBI isn’t a fourth branch of government

    In 2001, five American citizens were killed by anthrax spores sent through the mail.

    The director of the FBI and a Department of Justice officer charged two different scientists with being guilty of this heinous act. Both were found innocent and the federal officials were reprimanded for “wrongful prosecution.”

    The FBI director was Robert Mueller, and the DOJ official was James Comey. Their behavior should have disqualified them from further duties, but no, instead, Mueller was appointed special counsel, and Comey was appointed FBI director.

    Now, we know from the the May 11 column by Kimberley A. Strassel on page A17 of the “Wall Street Journal” that the FBI planted a spy in the campaign staff of Donald Trump! Possibly that spy is a foreign national and not even a U.S. citizen! Mueller, Comey, and Rod Rosenstein of the Department of Justice need to be reminded that the FBI is not the fourth branch of our government!

    Mitch Pezdek, Jr., Clinton

    Comment: I don’t know of any federal officials that were reprimanded for “wrongful prosecution.” (In fact, I don’t even believe that they charged anyone at all for the crime). They tended to make their claims in press conferences.

    Taxpayers did pay $5.8 million to Steve Hatfill, however, even though he had forged his PhD certificate, drawing suspicion on himself.

    The writer, though, can be congratulated for his town’s winning a large sum for renovation of their hockey arena in a recent contest. Every vote counts (and I voted).

  7. DXer said

    Roger Stone Opens Up About Russia, Mueller, Trump and What’s Next

    A wide-ranging conversation with the longtime Trump associate and Republican operative

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/roger-stone-russia-trump-w520597

    You said Mueller might try to indict you for something pertaining to your businesses. What do you mean by that?

    We know that a federal prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. They have an amazing ability to take nothing and say it is something. I have a clear conscience regarding my businesses, my taxes, the conduct of my personal affairs. But I understand a runaway federal prosecutor with unlimited powers and no checks or balances can bring any indictment they want. Uh, you know, they could fabricate some offense by me. Three people were arrested wrongly in the anthrax scandal by Mr. Mueller several years ago. It happens.

    Ross Getman
    ross_getman@verizon.net

  8. DXer said

    Warner: It’s ‘potentially illegal’ to identify FBI source in effort to undercut Russia probe
    By Clare Foran, CNN
    Updated 1:19 AM ET, Sat May 19, 2018
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/18/politics/intelligence-sources-fbi-congress-russia/index.html

    Comment:

    This point by Senator Warner does raise an interesting legal question. It would be illegal, maybe, if he worked abroad for the CIA. But if he is just a citizen doing his civic duty for the FBI — as some suggest — I cannot see that someone cannot point that fact out, so that the information and sourcing can be assessed.

    Though reasonable people can disagree, I would call the so-called “informant” a “federal undercover” (working as a paid independent contractor). (The professor working in England had previously done work for the CIA, according to the New York Times, which does not name him.)

    The guy offered money to George P. to write a pretextual report and come to London (with expenses paid) in order to ply him for info. That’s not what informants do. That’s what federal undercover spies do. So I think of him as an FBI independent contractor.

    Relating the issue to Amerithrax, the only subject of this blog, in August 2008, the FBI sent a federal undercover to Syracuse and for years he worked on graphics.

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

    The graphics relate to a different Mueller investigation that has not yet been resolved, even though the FBI claims it is “closed.” I am solely responsible for the content — the graphic artist, although a confidence-inspiring brilliant analyst in his own right, was merely executing what I directed. Our rule of thumb and guiding principle was always to have direct cited documentary source for any factual assertion. Any errors are mine.

    I asked him if he was a federal undercover the second time I met him. He didn’t respond and instead asked me if I had ever heard of “Pegasus” (Pegasus was a DC investment fund that was being considered as maybe, possibly, having a role in the anthrax mailings or suppression of the investigation given its connection to a former Zawahiri associate who had been supplied virulent Ames by the late Bruce Ivins).

    The FBI was very confused, partly due to the compartmentalization of the investigation and partly because it was a difficult investigation. But eventually I turned the inconvenient lemons handed me into lemonade by getting years of free graphic arts done for me. (I really like free stuff).

    This undercover spy who came to Syracuse later apologized for the bad scripts his handler was writing him that first year. But we then worked closely together on a daily basis for at least a couple of years and after that first year presented at a mysteriously funded conference in DC.

    Right now, my friend, a former CIA intelligence analyst, is suing the FBI under FOIA for documents that will expose Amerithrax to have been wrongly concluded. Having it unsolved leaves the country at peril. I post on the subject at this blog under screen name “DXer” which means one who communicates wirelessly. (I got my ham license just so I could tease the FBI for never having found my secret ham radio shack).

    I knew this nice undercover who came to Syracuse — who I consider a good friend — to be an undercover from the first day I met him. I have a pretty good source of intelligence working on Amerithrax, Mueller’s other national security matter that is unresolved.

    Sometimes the FBI screws up and then just engages in CYA.

    Sometimes it is a difficult mystery and the FBI should not be faulted for failing to solve it.

    Sometimes both aspects are at play.

    My friend, the former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert, says that the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of information exculpatory of the late USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins. He believes, absent a Congressional probe, it is exempt from production for national security and privacy reasons. In contrast, I think that enough information is available under the Freedom of Information Act that at least Bruce Ivins (who committed suicide) can be exonerated.

    p.s. Now who’s with me?! Who is willing to go into Nine Mile Swamp looking for some hidden Loomis gang gold?

    And who is going to help me find Dutch Schultz’s missing loot?

    Ongoing Search For Dutch Schultz’s Missing Millions
    https://www.treasuretracer.com/dutch-shultz/ongoing-search-for-dutch-schultzs-missing-millions/

    • DXer said

      Was there really a spy inside the Trump campaign, as the president says?
      The president’s claim of a “spy” inside his campaign has been dismissed as absurd, but the FBI has been known to send informants to speak to suspects.
      by Ken Dilanian / May.18.2018 / 3:58 PM ET
      https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/was-there-really-spy-inside-trump-campaign-president-says-n875516

      “The professor who met with both Page and Papadopoulos is Stefan Halper, a former official in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations who has been a paid consultant to an internal Pentagon think tank known as the Office of Net Assessment, consulting on Russia and China issues, according to public records.

      Two sources familiar with Papadopoulos’s account told NBC News he has described being summoned to England in September 2016 by Halper, who was offering to pay him to discuss energy issues involving Turkey, Israel and Cyprus, which was his area of expertise.

      Papadopoulos told associates that Halper attended the meetings with his assistant, a young Turkish woman. Papadopoulos said he found Halper’s demeanor odd, and in retrospect believes Halper was working on behalf of an intelligence or law enforcement agency, the sources said.”

      In an email to NBC News, Page said he didn’t find his encounters with Halper concerning. Page told the Daily Caller he met several times with Halper, including on Halper’s farm in Virginia. Halper’s father-in-law, Ray Cline, was the chief CIA analyst during the Cuban missile crisis.

      “At the time, I never found his actions suspicious,” Page told NBC News. “He never offered me one cent. Just 2 foreign policy scholars having some discussions. That’s about all that I took it as.”

      Papadopoulos also told associates he was approached over LinkedIn in July 2016 by Sergei Millian, a Belorussian-American businessman who has claimed business ties to Trump, and who also has been named by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post as a source for the notorious Christopher Steele dossier.

      After Trump won the election, Papadopoulos said, Millian called him and said he assumed Papadopoulos would be working in the White House.

      Millian wanted to pay Papadopoulos as a consultant at the same time, according to Papadopoulos, hunting for business opportunities for wealthy Russian clients. Papadopoulos told associates he felt such a relationship would have been illegal, and turned it down.

      Comment:

      Has NBC violated the law by naming the fellow? I don’t know.

      Does it violate the law to name someone working for the Defense Clandestine Service as distinguished from the CIA? Without having looked, I don’t know.

      I think such types are doing important work — we don’t want to make their job harder. Most people are just getting at the truth of a matter.

      Politics should have no role in true crime or counterintelligence analysis.

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

    • DXer said

      So: when a NYS Trooper offers to meet a school board member, as a 12 year old girl? When a police officer walks the street as a potential prostitute? When informants buy drugs?
      When they offer political bribes (undercover)?

      That is legitimate law enforcement.

      Here, one issue relates to implanting in a political campaign. But I don’t see that even as an issue — Stefan Halper was NOT working for the campaign. He was plying a couple of low-level contacts, with Russian connections, with drinks. So he wasn’t “embedded”, or “implanted.” And even if he had been, there would be the issue of probable cause or reasonable suspicion. In short, he was just asking questions.

      The Russia connection I find fascinating is the one at Trump Organization, Michael Caputo, the Upstate NY fellow who had lived 20 years in Russia and wrote the talking points for the Russia meeting. It was Moscow that released Halper’s name. Michael Cohen’s work with Putin oligarch’s over a Trump Tower in Moscow, without more, perhaps would have sounded alarm bells if known.

      But there is a second issue relating to the Steele Dossier. There is an incongruity relating the Clinton campaign paying millions for the opposition research given that Steele (according to Moscow) was relying on operatives like Halper. Moscow would even say that Skripal (poisoned by nerve gas) was a Steele source and only was killed when he wrote Putin to say he wanted to come home.

      So I think it is best that we not give ourselves over fully to any point of view given the uncertainties. As to Amerithrax, the best view is that Amerithrax in resolved and we don’t know who prepared or mailed the Fall 2001 anthrax. I’ve ventured that Yazid Sufaat made it and Adnan El-Shukrijumah mailed it.

      As to Avenatti — which foolishly has come to dominate the Russia investigation — we should require that attorneys cut their expenses, buy fewer expensive watches, if the alternative is to leave in his wake such a troubled financial history.

      As for Mueller, people can criticize him if they like but I don’t know anyone else who is better suited to the challenge. Maybe the key to go his good reputation is that he keeps his mouth shut.

      One thing seems sure: We are entering a phase of Class IV rapids (rather than merely Class III). Some people will be falling out of the boat.

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

  9. DXer said

    Daniels’ lawyer: Cohen got $500K from Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg

    Michael Avenatti provided no documentation for his claims, which he posted on Twitter

    by Sarah Fitzpatrick, Tracy Connor, Tom Winter and Robert Windrem / May.08.2018
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/daniels-lawyer-cohen-got-500k-russian-oligarch-viktor-vekselberg-n872481

    Comment:

    Putting aside the issue of the Russian oligarch and whether it proves out — it is hotly disputed — what is one to make of the legal implication of these other payments?

    In the event that President Trump is forced to resign in the light of these various revelations about the First Republic account for “Essential Consultants, LLC”, perhaps Vice-President Pence (if and when he assumes the Presidency) can force the production of the emails from Sept-October 2001 that the FBI relied upon in closing Amerithrax.

    The President really missed the boat in not making the shrewd move of testing former FBI Director Mueller’s conclusion in Amerithrax. Giuliani in particular missed the boat given his familiarity with the matter.

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

  10. DXer said

    “Former agent claims FBI concealing evidence in anthrax case”

    Apr. 20, 2015 – 5:37 – Richard Lambert spent years heading up the FBI’s anthrax investigation and is now suing the agency
    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4184909385001/?#sp=show-clips

    Does former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert grossly underestimate (what should be) the power of FOIA?

    For example, take the issue of bloodhounds. Former FBI Agent Decker submitted a FOIA request for the documents on bloodhounds — work that he was centrally involved in and knows was done. Yet the FBI denied being able to find any records. Decker appealed. Then again the FBI reported they could not locate any documents. The bloodhound documents are not classified and not exempt from production.

    Now the FBI claims it cannot locate any of the Sept 2001 and October 2001 emails to and from Ivins that it quoted and extensively relied upon in closing the investigation. That’s bullcrap. If the people tasked with finding the documents cannot find the documents, then new people should take over for them and do the work.

    The emails should have been located and produced. If FBI cannot even find the documents relating to its extensive use of bloodhounds in Amerithrax, as an example, then how it can expect to locate someone who dropped an envelope into a mailbox years ago?

  11. DXer said

    When Ivins wrote these emails to Mara in September and October 2001, Ivins would regularly use his work computer for the emails.
    They were specifically culled by Decker, Stanley and their colleagues at the DOJ and FBI from the production made by John Peterson at the USAMRMC and they need to be restored.
    The FBI has no right to hide evidence exculpatory of Bruce Ivins. It is morally wrong.

    http://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Depositions/Friend%20Deposition_Redacted.pdf

    Q. Were you aware prior to reading the FBI
    report that he was using his work computer to send
    personal emails to Mara Lindscott and Pat Fellows?
    A. Yes.
    Q. How did you become aware of that over time?
    A. He would tell us. After Mara left, he would
    show us emails that he would send to Mara.
    As far as Pat went, I mean, when she was
    still working there in our office, they would go back
    and forth kind of joking around via email, so it was
    pretty obvious that he was emailing them personally.
    Q. There have been some emails that have been
    produced and reference in the FBI report that were
    fairly lengthy, and in your observation while you were
    working with him in fairly close quarters, did you see
    him spending a lot of time sending emails?
    A. Yes.
    Q. And how much time, if you can quantify it,
    would you estimate that he would spend on this type of
    activity?
    A. Well, specifically e-mailing Mara?
    Q. Yes.
    A. Several times a day.
    Q. Okay.

  12. 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

  13. DXer said

    Re: Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey in WSJ on Cohen, Mueller, Comey and Amerithrax. (By way of background, Leahy says is not really closed — and he doesn’t believe an Ivins Theory for a minute; former Amerithrax head Richard Lambert says FBI is concealing docs exculpatory of the late USAMRIID scientist, Bruce Ivins.)

    The FBI should produce the documents sought in pending FOIA litigation.

    Trump, Cohen and Attorney-Client Privilege
    The protection has limits, but is it worth testing them over a possible campaign-finance offense?

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-cohen-and-attorney-client-privilege-1524005565

    By Michael B. Mukasey
    April 17, 2018 6:52 p.m. ET

    After anthrax spores killed five people, infected 17 others, and showed up in envelopes mailed to U.S. senators and media organizations in 2001, the current special counsel, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spent years chasing and destroying the reputation of a microbiologist named Steven Hatfill, zealous in the belief that Mr. Hatfill was the guilty party. Another zealot, James Comey, then deputy attorney general, said he was “absolutely certain” no mistake had been made.

    After Mr. Hatfill was exonerated—he received more than $5.5 million in damages from the government—Mr. Mueller then decided that another microbiologist, Bruce Ivins, was the culprit. When Ivins committed suicide, Mr. Mueller pronounced the case closed. A subsequent investigation by the National Academy of Sciences suggests Ivins too was innocent.

    Mr. Mukasey served as U.S. attorney general (2007-09) and a U.S. district judge (1988-2006).

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

  14. DXer said

    PostEverything
    Perspective

    How the FBI uses the Freedom of Information Act to track down whistleblowers

    Laws designed to make information public shouldn’t be used to punish news sources.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/04/09/how-the-fbi-uses-the-freedom-of-information-act-to-track-down-whistleblowers/?utm_term=.7e377a6db8cf

    by Zack Kopplin April 9 at 6:00 AM

    Zack Kopplin is an investigator at the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower support nonprofit.

    The FBI used a Freedom of Information Act request to track down a news organization’s source. (AP)

    Late last month, the FBI arrested Terry James Albury, a longtime agent in its Minneapolis field office, for allegedly providing classified documents to the Intercept.

    ***

    (Making a FOIA request to obtain documents with advice from a source is generally better for source protection than just releasing classified documents.) However, this strategy of disguising sources can’t work in some cases because agencies, including the FBI, regularly claim to be unable to find documents without having the exact name of the document, under the rationale that the request is overly broad.

    ***

    The FBI probably considers this useful for counterintelligence.

    “Counterintelligence officials at national security agencies are more or less obliged to investigate the unexplained appearance of classified information (such as classified document titles in a FOIA request) in the public domain,” said Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists project on government secrecy. If a news organization sends a FOIA request to the government — especially to a security agency like the FBI — based on nonpublic information from a whistleblower, there is a chance that FOIA request could spark a hunt for their source.

    The FBI should end any policy of using FOIA requests in counterintelligence investigations. “It is quite disturbing that [the FBI] are scrutinizing FOIA requests in an attempt to root out whistleblowers,” said Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    FOIA requests provide a government-approved channel to access information. Requesting documents through a FOIA request or through a Mandatory Declassification Review allows the government to redact information that could legitimately endanger national security. When a news organization makes a FOIA request for a document it already possess, it is acting appropriately, and allowing the government a chance to redact information that should legitimately remain private. Instead, the government is taking advantage of the fact that news organizations attempt to follow the rules by using the FOIA requests to go after their sources, while still withholding information that could legitimately be released.

    Agencies, especially the FBI — which is one of the least transparent — stall requesters for years, even over trivial information, and only release redacted copies of documents without key information, even when they don’t have a legal right to withhold that information.

    Albury’s arrest shows the need for the FBI to reevaluate its policy of myopic secrecy and the tools it uses in counterintelligence investigations. While tracking him down, the bureau crossed a red line that will sour relationships with journalists and whistleblowers, with negative consequences for everyone.

    The classified documents in question, on their own, should concern anyone who cares about civil liberties. A set of policies and procedures, the documents outline how the FBI can access journalists’ phone records without search warrants or subpoenas approved by a judge. This is despite a 2013 promise by then-Attorney General Eric Holder to reform rules about spying on reporters after the Department of Justice secretly obtained phone records from over 100 Associated Press journalists. Holder’s reforms only applied to subpoenas in criminal investigations.

    The documents also identify loopholes in FBI rules allowing undercover agents and informants to infiltrate and spy on members of churches, political organizations and universities — something, the Intercept said, that even the FBI acknowledged was a “risk to civil liberties.” Additionally, they reveal the FBI was targeting surveillance based on race and religion.

    But worse than the material Albury turned over was the tool the FBI used to go after him for it: the Freedom of Information Act.

    [ The federal government no longer cares about disclosing public information ]

    The FBI used as evidence against Albany FOIA requests made by the Intercept. According to an affidavit for a warrant obtained by Minnesota Public Radio, “on or about March 29 and 30, 2016, a presumed U.S. Person representing an online media outlet … made two separate requests for copies of specific documents from the FBI pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.” The FBI is able to tell who accesses documents on its network. After the Intercept published the documents, the timing of the earlier FOIA request allowed the FBI to pinpoint Albury as a likely source. “Albury accessed the document on February 19, 2016, approximately one month and ten days prior to the FOIA request” and made images, the affidavit said.

    The Government Accountability Project, the whistleblower-protection nonprofit where I work, suggests news organizations protect sources when making FOIA requests by disguising insider knowledge as part of broader requests for data and documents that aren’t specifically tied to the source’s work or job responsibilities. (Making a FOIA request to obtain documents with advice from a source is generally better for source protection than just releasing classified documents.) However, this strategy of disguising sources can’t work in some cases because agencies, including the FBI, regularly claim to be unable to find documents without having the exact name of the document, under the rationale that the request is overly broad.

    In this case, the Intercept wasn’t able to avoid revealing it had an inside source. “The [Intercept’s] requests contained specific information identifying the names of the particular documents that had not been released to the public,” the affidavit said.

    The FBI probably considers this useful for counterintelligence.

    “Counterintelligence officials at national security agencies are more or less obliged to investigate the unexplained appearance of classified information (such as classified document titles in a FOIA request) in the public domain,” said Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists project on government secrecy. If a news organization sends a FOIA request to the government — especially to a security agency like the FBI — based on nonpublic information from a whistleblower, there is a chance that FOIA request could spark a hunt for their source.

    The FBI should end any policy of using FOIA requests in counterintelligence investigations. “It is quite disturbing that [the FBI] are scrutinizing FOIA requests in an attempt to root out whistleblowers,” said Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    FOIA requests provide a government-approved channel to access information. Requesting documents through a FOIA request or through a Mandatory Declassification Review allows the government to redact information that could legitimately endanger national security. When a news organization makes a FOIA request for a document it already possess, it is acting appropriately, and allowing the government a chance to redact information that should legitimately remain private. Instead, the government is taking advantage of the fact that news organizations attempt to follow the rules by using the FOIA requests to go after their sources, while still withholding information that could legitimately be released.

    Agencies, especially the FBI — which is one of the least transparent — stall requesters for years, even over trivial information, and only release redacted copies of documents without key information, even when they don’t have a legal right to withhold that information. That’s what appears to have happened with the Intercept’s requests.

    The Intercept, which already possessed the full version of the documents, decided they were newsworthy and could be made public safely, something other transparency advocates agreed with. “Nothing could even remotely be construed as ‘damaging’ to national security if it were public,” Timm said about the document showing rules for spying on journalists.

    Still, publishing documents obtained through FOIA requests is a better option.

    In this case, if the FOIA request hadn’t prompted an investigation into who the Intercept’s source was, publication of the documents launched it immediately anyway. The FBI could have controlled the release of information. Instead, it tracked the Intercept’s source, in part because the Intercept had tried to work through the system. Instead of covering up embarrassing documents and using FOIA requests for counterintelligence investigations, the FBI should work to be transparent and only redact actual national security information.

    If news organizations have to worry about the federal government prosecuting, firing and harming their sources because of a FOIA request they sent, they will obviously start publishing them without giving the government the opportunity to protect valid national security secrets.

    Comment:

    Although this raises an interesting issue, and I certainly respect the good work the GAO does, I can’t say I agree.
    Everyone should just play by the rules.

    For example, if you are a former FBI agent selling a book for $38, and the Amazon rules for review prohibit your proofreader from reviewing it, then tell your proofreader to remove his review. It otherwise greatly reduces your credibility. You no longer represent the rule of law.

    From the point of view of an outside blogger, it commonly is impossible to know what is classified. For example, the FBI and R. Scott Decker evidenced massive confusion by claiming that virulent Ames was only stored in Building 1425 — when it was common knowledge among USAMRIID scientists and FBI that it was also stored in 1412 — to include in the lab ( Ezzell/Abshire) of the FBI’s own scientist collecting the samples.

    So should I allow the FBI to mislead the public? Or, for example, do I obtain a copy of the inventory of Flask 1029 (from GA) showing it was stored in 1412. I commonly would only know if it had been stamped classified when the document comes under the transom.

    I don’t know of any document or info I’ve ever received that was classified. For example, the DIA arranged to have the correspondence between Rauf Ahmad and Ayman Zawahiri declassified and then there was a brilliant “Science” article (by JB Petro and a co-author) that went so far as drafting a FOIA request for it. (They have reason to be proud of that article).

    As for interviewing Rauf Ahmad and Yazid Sufaat, that was my right as a citizen under the First Amendment.

    Unfortunately, when the government might be embarrassed the documents never get declassified.

    Is the gossip around the water cooler but what really happened classified? Beats me.

    As for Dillon’s federal lawsuit under FOIA, the FBI should produce the emaills that it quoted and relied upon. They are highly relevant under the FBI’s own theory of the case. They are not classified.

    The fact that some federal undercover did my graphics is way beyond my paygrade to understand under the applicable rules.

    I only know that any mistakes are my own.

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

  15. DXer said

    The FBI should comply with FOIA in connection with Robert Mueller’s earlier Amerithrax investigation.

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller previously oversaw the largest “whodunnit” in history: the Amerithrax case, involving deadly letters mailed in September and October 2001 to two Senators and several newspapers. In light of the past and possibly future indictments in the Russia investigation, the public deserves to be better able to assess former FBI Director Mueller’s resolution of the Amerithrax investigation.

    The former head investigator, Richard Lambert, has publicly said that the FBI is concealing a wealth of evidence in the case that is exculpatory of the late USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins. After his suicide, the FBI claimed that Ivins had been the anthrax mailer. A federal lawsuit has been filed by a researcher, Kenneth Dillon, seeking the emails that the FBI quoted and relied in its Amerithrax Summary that the FBI released in closing the case. The FBI has failed over the course of years to produce the emails being withheld. The FBI has never claimed that the emails were exempt from production. The FBI should produce the emails it quoted and relied upon — particularly the emails from September and October 2001 — so that the public can better assess whether the Amerithrax investigation was correctly resolved.

    The emails sought were quoted and central to both the FBI’s Amerithrax Summary released in closing the case, and in an Affidavit in support of the search of Bruce Ivins’ residence. The emails provably existed and were central to the FBI’s cotton-candy and still widely disputed Ivins Theory. It should be presumed that the FBI did not destroy the emails as that would constitute spoliation of evidence.

    According to documents produced to the National Academy of Sciences, both the FBI and the CIA, in testing, detected the Ames strain at an Al Qaeda lab in Afghanistan. The Ames strain was the genetic strain used in the mailings. After seeing that he was on Facebook, I contacted Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab director, Yazid Sufaat, after his unexpected release from a Malaysian prison in December 2008. I asked him what strain of anthrax he had been using in developing an anthrax weapon for Al Qaeda. Although otherwise amiable, he pled the Fifth Amendment. (In a separate matter, he later was thrown back in jail for concealing evidence of terrorism). We should have greater clarity in the Amerithrax investigation given that it has turned out that virulent Ames anthrax was sent around the world willy-nilly. Researchers were sending out Ames anthrax that they thought was effectively irradiated but actually remained virulent.

    The FBI should comply with the Freedom of Information Act and state the exemption by which they are withholding the documents. If no exemption applies, and the investigation is in fact closed, the documents should be produced so that the American public can judge whether the FBI fairly characterized the emails that it treated as so central to its theory.

    Bruce Ivins’ defenders report that he had an alibi for the days leading up to the mailing and the dates of mailing. The FBI’s theory is that Bruce Ivins pulled an all-nighter and that on the occasion of each mailing, instead of sleeping, he left his family of three in the small home to take the 7 hour round-trip from Frederick, MD to Princeton, NJ. It is not disputed that Ivins reported back to work early each of the next mornings. Ivins’ time in the bio-level 3 lab has been explained — by documents withheld by the FBI but obtained from the Army over the course of years. The documents corroborate Ivins’ claim that he was tending to small animals who had been challenged by injected anthrax. Checking the animals was a one-person job and the associated tasks took the couple of hours reflected by his time records on those days.

    To borrow the phrase of President Trump’s defenders in the unrelated Russia investigation, the FBI’s Ivins Theory, by many learned accounts, was a big “nothing burger.” Whatever your view of the Russia investigation — and emotions run high — we should determine whether the FBI’s “Ivins Theory” was based on highly selective presentation of evidence as former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert claims. Did the prosecutors make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? The rule of law requires that the emails be produced so that observers may “get on the same page.” Any necessary redactions required by the Freedom of Information Act still may be made.

  16. DXer said

    Another conservative publication is writing today about the Amerithrax investigation.

    It is important to keep in mind that reasonable people can disagree about the resolution of a difficult whodunnit.

    Just because people disagree about a difficult true crime mystery does not mean that the person has done anything wrong.

    It’s just that the rule of law requires that under FOIA the emails quoted and relied upon in the Amerithrax Summary be produced under FOIA.

    Certainly, putting aside the partisan emotions associated with the Russia investigation, we can all agree that the FBI should produce the emails from Sept-October 2001 that it quotes and relies upon in its Amerithrax Summary.

    And if the FBI persists in saying that they cannot find them, they should try harder. Let me help: The DOJ/FBI officials had them culled from my friend John Peterson’s production (at USAMRMC) so it is as simple as contacting John and asking for them.

    The article discusses Hannity’s view of Amerithrax.

    Exposing Robert Mueller: Investigating the Investigator
    Posted by: Jim Clayton in Opinion, Trending Commentary March 22, 2018
    https://www.conservativedailynews.com/2018/03/exposing-robert-mueller-investigating-the-investigator/

    “We can see how he works if we look at how Mueller ran his second-most important investigation as FBI Director. In September of 2001, an entity began mailing anthrax through the US Postal system, hitting such prominent targets as NBC and Senator Daschle’s office. The terrorist attacks killed five and left others hospitalized. The world panicked.

    Under Mueller’s management, the FBI launched an investigation lasting ten years. They now brag about spending “hundreds of thousands of investigator hours on this case.” Let’s take a closer look at Mueller’s response to understand the context of the investigation — who his people investigated, targeted, and found guilty.

    The investigators hypothesized that the attacker was a lonely American who had wanted to kill people with anthrax for some undefined time period, but then became “mission-oriented” following 9/11 and immediately prepared and mailed the deadly spores while pretending to be a Muslim.

    Mueller’s FBI honed in on Steven Hatfill as the culprit — a “flag-waving” American, who had served in the Army, then dedicated himself to protecting America from bioterrorist threats by working in the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

    There was no direct link from Hatfill to the attacks, by the FBI’s own admission, and the bureau never charged Hatfill. The FBI did, however, spy on, follow, and harass him non-stop for years. The Department of Justice also publicly outed Hatfill as the possible terrorist.

    While Hatfill’s dignity and life was being trampled on by America’s secret police, Mueller took a stand. But on a different topic. He made front-page news for threatening President Bush he would resign over NSA policy. All while his own team was trampling on the rights of an American in the FBI’s largest-ever investigation.

    Hatfill successfully sued the government for its unlawful actions. He won almost $6 million dollars.

    The investigation was an unmitigated disaster for America. Mueller targeted an American citizen without showing a direct link. He was guilty of doing this with other Americans as well. …

    Now he’s running the Trump-Russia investigation.”

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

  17. DXer said

    The Vault has 123 pages of interviews with Ivins at Amerithrax Part 29 of 59 (attached). Pages 71-72 are an FD-302 interview of March 18, 2004 that contains a passage identifying some key emails for Sept. 17-18, Oct. 5 etc. Page 72 has at the top: 279A-WF-222936-USAMRIID, 279A-BA-C101392, 279A-WF-222936-POI. So if the FBI truly — because of inadequate management control — cannot find the emails from September and October 2001, it should start by going to the evidence folder associated with that 302.

  18. DXer said

    This February 8, 2018 Federalist article was linked today by Drudge.

    Robert Mueller Has Been Botching Investigations Since The Anthrax Attacks

    Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the anthrax attacks following 9/11 — one of the most important of his career — did not go well, to say the least.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/08/robert-mueller-botching-investigations-since-anthrax-attacks/

    The window is closing on President Trump’s ability to order the FBI to comply with FOIA. FBI Assistant General Counsel Andrew Sand, I believe, is the one overseeing the withholding (with no exemption cited) the withholding of the emails. AUSA Peterson reports (as I am told third-hand) that he is deferring to FBI counsel Sand.

    If President Trump resigns upon an indictment of his son and/or son-in-law, Vice-President could at least encourage the FBI’s compliance with FOIA in light of his previous familiarity with the investigation.

  19. DXer said

    Upon clarification, it turns out (or is reported) that AUSA Benton sent FBI Counsel Anthony Sand shortly after receiving the early February 2018 letter.

    And judging from his top credentials and experience — to include his many years of distinguished service in the US Navy — they don’t come more stand-up than Attorney Sand.

    But my intelligence source advises me that FBI Counsel Anthony Sand has never contacted USAMRMC official John Peterson to obtain a copy of the emails that were culled by DOJ and FBI officials from the production.

    John Peterson would provide them by email to a large group of officials who would take forever vetting each batch — after I repeatedly complained, the DOJ and FBI officials finally were put on a two-week turnaround.

    But then when the case was closed, the culled emails should have been restored to production — so that USAMRMC could upload them to the database.

    The buck stops with Anthony Sand and Dillon needs to do all he can to help Attorney Sand with location information to provide to FBI personnel actually having hands-on access to the documents.

    The location information for the emails has previously been provided over the course of months and years of the pendency of this request — but it needs to be gathered up and shared with FBI Counsel so he is able to provide guidance to personnel still withholding them from production.

    For example, the FBI Vault refers to “five hard copies of emails sent and received on September 17 and 19, 2001 and October 5, 2001.”

    “These original documents are maintained in 1A section of the file.”

    Note the significance of the September 17, 2001 email that was culled from production and produced only when I specifically identified and complained of its withholding.

    The federal court judge will be able to see the location and number of emails being withheld by having them produced in this sequentially numbered format.

    Throughout my childhood, I had a plaque from the USS Accoceek hanging over my head — “NOT IMPOSSIBLE, JUST DIFFICULT.”

    We should all try to be less difficult. Even Gibbs.

  20. DXer said

    Off-topic:

    FBI, treasure hunters digging in Elk County, Pa.

    by Bridget McClure
    https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-us/basic

    Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and local treasure hunters were digging in Elk County Tuesday. (WJAC)

    DENTS RUN – Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and local treasure hunters were digging in Elk County Tuesday.

    The agencies were set up off Route 555 in the community of Dents Run in Benezette Township.

    Public Affairs Specialist for the FBI Carrie Adamowski could only confirm that FBI agents were conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity.

    6 News cameras also caught Dennis and Kem Parada on site, owners of Finders Keepers.

    Finders Keepers is a lost treasure locate and recovery service.

    In 2008, Finders Keepers told 6 News the gold in Dents Run is from the Civil War era.

    Parada said Abraham Lincoln ordered a gold shipment to help pay union soldiers. He said the wagon left West Virginia with 50 pounds of gold, and came right through Elk County.

    In 2012, Finders Keepers claimed they found the gold, but federal law prevented them from digging it up.

    The FBI did not allow Finders Keepers to speak with 6 News Tuesday, but residents who live in the area said they believe officials are searching for the lost gold.

    Comment:

    History, clue-solving, buried treasure, nature, FBI … now these are the elements of a rousing good tale. The only thing that it is missing — gangsters, terrorists or thieves and a dramatic ending.

    Good luck to the FBI! (It may not seem it given that I disagree with the agency’s resolution of Amerithrax, but I’m a big fan of the FBI and always have been). I hope they someday do more digging and less head-scratching in Isabella Gardner art heist and in the case of Dutch Schultz’s missing millions. (Hoover was on the hunt for Dutch’s missing millions in that income tax evasion case).

    Success in such a case would be great for recruitment and inspiring childhood dreams. It certainly would be more fun than constantly being subject to second-guessing by amateur true crime buffs. The attraction of treasure hunting is that until you actually dig up the the gold (or whatever), there is no basis for claiming that your theory is valid.

    It also is good training for intelligence analysis — and a good way of testing that the sharing of open source intelligence is the best way to arrive at a successful solve of a difficult mystery.

    Transparency and disclosure of documentary evidence is the principled way to go — not the usual CYA bureaucratic BS spin.

    Unfortunately, in this neck of the woods, cold weather and snow thwarts getting out and looking for the gold for much of the year.

    Dutch Schultz in Fairfield County, Connecticut in 1935 : his horses, his hiding places, and his missing millions | Ross Getman and Grace Getman
    http://www.blurb.com/search/site_search?search=Dutch+Schultz+missing+millions

    • DXer said

      Reason not to poke fun of the FBI in this sort of search is that it would deter active searching/digging for better documented caches.

      … so long as they replace all divots.

      Union gold legend lives on
      Treasure hunters say Civil War bullion lies buried in Elk County
      http://www.post-gazette.com/frontpage/2008/04/06/Union-gold-legend-lives-on/stories/200804060265

      Mr. Borawski wrote there was “no credible evidence … to support any conclusions that a lost Federal gold bullion shipment from the Civil War was ever located on state forest lands in the vicinity of Dents Run, Pa., or the location Mr. Parada insists is the resting place of the lost gold cache.”

      ***

      Mr. Parada contends the state is blocking his exploration because it wants to unearth the gold itself. But DCNR press secretary Chris Novak denies that allegation, noting that DCNR officials don’t even believe the legend.

      ***

      “There’s no documentation, description, letter, official report, no paper trail,” the historian noted. Indeed, he said, Union Army records have no listing for a Lt. Castleton.

      But Helen Hughes, of the Elk County Historical Society, said she believes the legend of lost gold. Still, she noted that country residents scoff when someone claims, as folks periodically do, that he knows the location of the treasure.

      “What happened to the gold is a mystery,” she said. “People in the county are not out with shovels looking for it. Nobody’s ever going to find it.”

      • DXer said

        FBI at site where Civil War gold rumored to be buried
        Mar 16, 2018 Updated 7 min ago

        Dozens of FBI agents, along with state officials and members of a treasure-hunting group, trekked this week to a site in remote northwestern Pennsylvania, where local lore has it that a Civil War gold shipment was lost or hidden during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg.

        ***

        A department spokesman said Friday that the group previously asked to excavate the site but elected not to pay a required $15,000 bond.

        Comment: The searchers should have been required to pay the $15,000 bond and it shouldn’t take the presence of more than one or two FBI — at most, a small handful of — agents.

        It would be interesting to know if forensic work led to any sort of corroboration of the searcher’s theory. The skeletons, without more, were hardly dramatic evidence.

  21. DXer said

    The emails were identified by date a month ago to AUSA BENTON G. PETERSON. If he didn’t bother to provide the letter to FBI (as reported third-hand to me) in some sort of “law office failure”, then he is the individual responsible for the FBI not producing them.

    If he DID provide the letter to the FBI, the person who received it and did not have the emails pulled is responsible.

  22. DXer said

    The 302 interview of Bruce Ivins on March 18, 2004 (279A-WF-222936-USAMRIID) contains the copies of music lists for the church where he performed on September 16, 2001 and October 7, 2001 and an email detailing some of IVINS’ Red Cross activities during the fall of 2001.

    279A-WF-222936-USAMRIID, 279A-BA-C101392, 279A-WF-222936 POI
    03/18/2004, Page –2-
    http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/terrorism/amerithrax/847443.pdf

  23. DXer said

    FBI FOIA head Dave Hardy has always refused to expedite Amerithrax FOIA requests on the claimed basis of a lack of public interest in whether or not Amerithrax was correctly decided.
    Mr. Hardy has misapplied the standard — in fact, Scott Shane of the New York Times long ago requested the same documents being withheld (to include Ivins emails and Lab Notebook 4010).

    On information and belief, the DOJ and FBI officials culled the key emails being relied upon by the FBI in its controversial “Ivins Theory” from production — in written instructions by email to USAMRMC official John Peterson. Given that the emails have been knowingly withheld from production for the past half decade of continued pressing for the emails, there should be an investigation by the Postal Service and DOJ Inspector General about the continued wrongful withholding of these documents.

    The DOJ had justification for shredding the civil depositions of Patricia Fellows or Mara Linscott. [Or at least we know the DOJ shredded the depositions and they are not available to be produced]. But it has no justification for the continued withholding of all the emails it quoted and relied upon in its Amerithrax Summary, the lengthy document in which it spun its controversial and disputed Ivins Theory. It was on the basis of that memo that the FBI closed the Amerithrax case. Those emails have not been shredded like the depositions — that would be criminal. No FBI or DOJ official would have done that.

    Robert Mueller Has Been Botching Investigations Since The Anthrax Attacks
    Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the anthrax attacks following 9/11 — one of the most important of his career — did not go well, to say the least.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/08/robert-mueller-botching-investigations-since-anthrax-attacks/

    October 18, 2016 filing of amended complaint by former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert, relating to fingering and railroading of Bruce Ivins in face of daunting undisclosed exculpatory evidence
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 18, 2016
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/october-18-2016-filing-of-amended-complaint-by-former-lead-amerithrax-investigator-richard-lambert-relating-to-fingering-and-railroading-of-bruce-ivins-in-face-of-daunting-undisclosed-exculpatory/

    Former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert quoted today: “The only avenue for remedying the government’s wealth of material omissions in this case would be through a congressional inquiry.”
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on February 27, 2017
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/former-lead-amerithrax-investigator-richard-lambert-quoted-today-the-only-avenue-for-remedying-the-governments-wealth-of-material-omissions-in-this-case-would-be-through-a-congressional/

    Tom Ridge, former Homeland Secretary (from ’03-’05), this week said that “al-Qaida did experiments on anthrax in animals” — did AQ use the “Ames strain” like Dr. Garvey reports the CIA detected at the Afghan lab?
    Posted on November 15, 2015
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/tom-ridge-former-homeland-secretary-from-03-05-this-week-said-that-al-qaida-did-experiments-on-anthrax-in-animals-did-aq-use-the-ames-strain-like-dr-garvey-reports/

  24. DXer said

    Suspicious Package Scare Hospitalizes Trump Jr.’s Wife: Police

    Feb. 12, 2018, at 1:34 p.m.
    https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2018-02-12/wife-of-donald-trump-jr-exposed-to-white-powder-hospitalized-nypd

    U.S. authorities have been on alert for mail with white powder in it since 2001, when envelopes laced with anthrax were sent to media outlets and U.S. lawmakers, killing five people.

    ***

    Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has been in the public eye for his role in 2016 meetings with a Russian attorney and others where the Trump campaign was offered potentially damaging information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

    Congress has held probes into those meetings and whether they were part of a Russian campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Russia denies trying to influence the election. Trump dismisses any talk of collusion.

    In 2016, white powder, which also proved harmless, was sent to the home of Eric Trump, Trump Jr.’s brother.

    Robert Mueller Has Been Botching Investigations Since The Anthrax Attacks

    Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the anthrax attacks following 9/11 — one of the most important of his career — did not go well, to say the least.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/08/robert-mueller-botching-investigations-since-anthrax-attacks/

  25. DXer said

    Note that the author, Richard Lambert, has said that the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of factual information that is exculpatory of the late Bruce Ivins. Thus, the public interest in favor of that factual information is very compelling. It will not deter future deliberative process — it will merely deter withholding exculpatory information in the future.

    For example, was the Ames strain of anthrax detected in Afghanistan by both the FBI and CIA? (Yes.) That concerns a factual matter.

    As to Ivins, what did the September 21, 2001 to Nancy Haigwood email being withheld say? That concerns a factual matter and is addressed in the Ivins section. it is not a deliberative matter.

    Same with the September 26, 2001 and October 3, 2001 email to Mara Linscott being wrongfully withheld. That concerns a factual matter and should be disclosed. It is not a deliberative matter.

    The FBI should submit the outline and Ivins section to the District Court and the court can simply take a magic marker and cross out the material that is predicisional and deliberative rather than factual.

    On the question of exhibits, that material is factual, not predecisional and deliberative. For example, all of the forensics were exculpatory of Bruce Ivins but those factual reports are being withheld.

    So the approach is pretty straightforward — a judge’s clerk and a Sharpie magic marker would serve the public interest well. Dillon is interested in “Just the facts, ma’am.”

    For predecisional stuff, we have the books written by Vahid Majidi and R. Scott Decker, which lay out their predecisional thinking in depth. Decker is charging $38 for his selective, self-serving spin — god forbid that the FBI would comply with FOIA so that the American success can have access to the factual information that is being wrongfully withheld.

    We are not interested Richard Lambert’s predecisional recommendations — we are interested only in interested in the facts that Vahid Majidi and R. Scott Decker have hid from the public and refuse to disclose in their selective presentation of the factual evidence.

    __________________

    FN/

    ii. Are the Records Deliberative?

    https://www.rcfp.org/federal-foia-appeals-guide/exemption-5/ii-privileges-incorporated-exemption-5/deliberative-process-1

    A document is deliberative only when it “makes recommendations or expresses opinions on legal or policy matters.”69 It must be part of the “give-and-take” of the agency’s decision-making process.70 For that reason, records are “deliberative” only when they “reflect the personal opinions of the writer rather than the policy of the agency.”71 One relevant consideration is “whether the document is recommendatory in nature or is a draft of what will become a final document.”72

    Where possible, you should argue that the material being withheld is purely factual, as courts have held that “[f]actual material that does not reveal the deliberative process is not protected by this exemption.”73

    For example, a court rejected as “tenuous” an agency’s claim of privilege for the raw data underlying a study of goshawk nests on the basis that its release “might result in humans disturbing nesting goshawks which might affect or even invalidate [the] study which mightultimately affect the management decisions of the Forest Service.”74 The court held that since the requested data was not “a recommendation,” “subject to alteration on further review,” or “selective” facts, it did not “expose the deliberative process.”75 Similarly, another court held that documents containing “no more than summaries or graphical representations of purely statistical data” were not “deliberative” for Exemption 5 purposes.

    However, in appealing on the ground that the material sought is purely factual — and therefore unprotected — material, you should note that the factual material must appear in the document “in a form that is severable without compromising the private remainder of the documents.”77 ***

    in another case, a court ordered an agency to release the “statements of fact” contained in a report that were severable from “conclusions, recommendations, or opinions.”80 In arguing that facts are severable from a document, you should explain how releasing those facts would not reveal agency judgment calls or deliberations.

    Some other factors courts assess in the context of the deliberative process privilege include “whether the document is so candid or personal in nature that public disclosure is likely in the future to stifle honest and frank communication within the agency” and “whether the document is deliberative in nature, weighing the pros and cons of agency adoption of one viewpoint or another.”81 You should argue that the document does not contain information of a “candid,” “personal,” and/or “deliberative” nature, and that its release would not stifle agency decision making under any circumstances.

    69 Vaughn v. Rosen, 523 F.2d 1136, 1144 (D.C. Cir. 1975).

    70 Id.

    71 Morley, 508 F.3d at 1127 (quoting Coastal States Gas Corp., 617 F.2d at 866) (internal quotation marks omitted).

    72 Coastal States Gas Corp., 617 F.2d at 866.

    73 Morley, 508 F.3d at 1127 (quoting Paisley v. CIA, 712 F.2d 686, 698 (D.C. Cir. 1983),vacated in part on other grounds, 724 F.2d 201 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (internal quotation marks omitted)).

    74 SW Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Dep’t of Ag., 170 F.Supp.2d 931, 940 (D. Ariz. 2000).

    75 Id. at 941.

    76 See Ethyl Corp., 25 F.3d at 1249.

    77 EPA v. Mink, 410 U.S. 73, 91 (1973), superseded by statute, Freedom of Information Act, Pub. L. 93-502, 88 Stat. 1651 (1974).

  26. DXer said

    Too close for comfort

    Nancy Haigwood, director of the Oregon National Primate Research Center, describes her encounters with anthrax suspect Bruce Ivins.
    https://www.nature.com/news/2008/080821/full/4541039a.html

    “Why did you link Ivins to the anthrax attacks?”

    “I had been getting regular e-mail updates from him. In November 2001, two months after the attacks, he sent out e-mails and photos of himself working with anthrax at the Fort Detrick lab.”

    “Did the FBI ask you to meet with Ivins and wear a hidden recording device?”

    “Yes. I came close to setting a meeting up. I was going to have lunch with him when visiting Washington DC.”

    “Do you have any doubts that Ivins was behind the anthrax mailings?”

    “I have not seen all the evidence. But I have read the October 2007 affidavit to search his house. It tied the mailed anthrax spores to Ivins’s flask. I don’t think he intended to kill people, but to scare them. Now I know he stood to gain from business from his work.”

    “What is the most significant evidence?”

    “The genetic evidence. ..”

    “All this piles up. But the mailings from a box near the KKG house in Princeton, New Jersey, that was the icing on the cake — a diabolical little twist that is so Ivins.”

    “What should happen next?”

    “I would like to see a scientific paper published on this. I have no reason to doubt the FBI; I met a half-dozen agents, I got to know two very well. But the scientific community needs to see all the data. * [One of the agents was Dellefera who quoted and relied upon the September 21, 2001 email wrongfully being withheld by the FBI].

    Comment: This is tantamount to linking him with murdering kittens because he sent out pictures of cute kittens. The genetic evidence doesn’t link Ivins to the crime any more than the hundreds of others who had access to the genetically identical Ames. She should have known that.

    Compare her opinion to the opinion of the genetic experts who were relying on the science rather than angling for a muli-million dollar reward.

    See all the data? Heck, the FBI won’t even let us see the September 21, 2001 email to her. We’ve seen the November 14, 2001 email and it doesn’t support his guilt in the slightest. Instead it reveals her spin and assumptions to evidence a serious hostility and bias toward Ivins dating to over-the-top pranks he had pulled on her in the past.

    Dr. Haigwood’s eagerness to spin Ivins’ guilt based on the September 21, 2001 and November 14, 2001 emails in light of the FBI’s decades-old unwillingness to provide the September 21, 2001 email is outrageous. The FBI were using her to spin Ivins guilt — and he wasn’t around to defend himself. So the least the FBI could do is make the document itself available.

    • DXer said

      The evidence relied upon by Thomas Dellafera in concluding that Sacramento State alumt Yazid Sufaat work with the anthrax at the Afghanistan lab was not responsible for the anthrax mailings?

      It dates to a behavioral profile filed in early Fall 2001.

      He says he was under a lot of pressure to solve the case.

      Okay, then why didn’t the Amerithrax task force interview Yazid Sufaat when he was captured in December 2001? Why did they wait until November 2002? Is it because maybe a Postal Inspector isn’t well-suited to the mission?

      Was it because you were operating on some preconceptions based on a behavioral profile — rather than forensic evidence such as the fact that both the FBI and CIA detected Ames anthrax at Yazid Sufaat’s lab?

      Was the pressure Dellafera felt to pressure the case why he relied so heavily on the September 21, 2001 email and then has avoided its production for the past 10 years?

      https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/anthrax-files/transcript/

      THOMAS DELLAFERA, Postal Inspector: There was a behavioral profile put together that suggested that it wasn’t a foreign al Qaeda-ist actor, it was more of a domestic type threat, a— you know, a dysfunctional adult in the United States who did this.

      ***

      THOMAS DELLAFERA, Postal Inspector: We read the newspapers, we hear the news, we know what’s going on out there. That asserted a lot of pressure on us, a pressure to, “Look, guys, we’ve got to get this done.”

      THOMAS DELLAFERA: It was a very busy street corner opposite Princeton University. We then started doing searches around the street location and came up with a KKG reference. It’s about 30 to 60 feet from our box.

      NARRATOR: The KKG administrative offices were actually 175 feet from the mailbox, on the fourth floor of an office building. But to the FBI, it was more than a coincidence.

      NARRATOR: But there were no anthrax spores to be found— not in his car and not in his house.

      To the FBI’s own science consultant, it raises serious doubts.

      CLAIRE FRASER-LIGGETT: The fact that no spores were found, the smoking guns that you would have expected to see if he had been the perpetrator, weren’t there. That’s an aspect of the investigation that I think represents a big hole and really gives me pause to think about, you know, how strong was this case against Dr. Ivins?

      NARRATOR: Without spores or other physical evidence, the FBI was left with a circumstantial case— odd hours in the lab, a history of mental problems, his peculiar interest in a sorority, and a belief he had tried to mislead them.

      Now the FBI wanted a confession. And they had leverage. They knew his history of mental problems, and in his basement they had discovered his darkest personal secrets.

      NOAH SHACHTMAN: There’s women’s underwear found. There’s guns found. There’s all kinds of strange stuff. There’s lyrics dedicated to Christa McAuliffe, the astronaut who died on the space shuttle. So all kinds of strange little stuff.

      THOMAS DELLAFERA: It became apparent to us, and we became concerned of it, that he was devolving, or starting to lose composure and control.

      ***

      NARRATOR: The [NAS] report concluded the FBI overstated much of the scientific evidence against Ivins.

      CLAIRE FRASER-LIGGETT, Ph.D., Genetics consultant, FBI: This was not an airtight case, by any means. For an awful lot of people, there is a desire to really want to say that, “Yes, Ivins was the perpetrator. This case can reasonably be closed.” But I think— I think part of what’s driving that is the fact that if he wasn’t the perpetrator, then it means that person is still out there.

      Comment:

      So what did they choose to do in the summer of 2008 when they knew he was so emotionally fragile after the dozens of FBI interviews? Swab him for his DNA — although they already had it — to test against the semen-stained panties found in his basement. They had asked him in front of the grand jury whether he had any intimate personal contact — and threatened to call his family in front of the grand jury. (See “The Vault” containing “King Badger” emails) As early as 2007 when the threats were made to call his family, he explained that he felt he had no reason to keep living. See “The Vault” containing “King Badger” emails; “King Badger” was the nickname his supervisor had given him based on the name of an anthrax project another agency had worked on.) And meanwhile the FBI encouraged Nancy Haigwood to keep up correspondence (lest he send any more incriminating pictures of cute kittens).

      Just as the claim that the sorority furniture storage was 30-60 feet from the mailbox was subject to verification and debunking, the FBI and Postal Inspection service should allow us to measure and take stock of the September 21, 2001 email to Nancy Haigwood that mentioned the sorority (according to Haigwood) be assessed. The FBI expressly relied upon this emai in its Ivins Theory.

      Dellefera should allow us to check his work — because his former boss, the former lead Amerithrax investigator, says that the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of information exculpatory of Bruce Ivins.

      If it is not produced, the Inspector General of both the Postal Service and the FBI should investigate who is responsible for the wrongful withholding of the email.

      This was Robert Mueller’s biggest “whodunnit.” The American public deserves compliance with FOIA.

    • DXer said

      An agent’s googling of “Kappa Kappa Gamma” is chronicled in a report found in the FBI’s “Vault.”

      A search of “Kappa Kappa Gamma” results in 493,000 results.

      Wikipedia has a list of active and inactive chapters.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Kappa_Kappa_Gamma_chapters

      Delta Gamma (ΔΓ) is one of the oldest and largest women’s sororities in the United States and Canada, with over 230,000 members worldwide. It has 150 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada and 131 alumnae chapters. This, of course, does get into how many storage units there might also be.

      In New York, there is Adelphi, Barnard, Binghamton, Colgate, Cornell, Maris, New York University, St. Lawrence, and Syracuse University.

      In Pennsylvania, Allegheny, Bucknell, Carnegie Mellon, Dickinson, Lafayette, Pennsylvania State, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, Swarthmore, Villanova, and Washington and Jefferson.

      In California, Polytechnic at San Luis Obispo, Califonria State, Fresno, Northridge, Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Sant Barabara, Santa Cruz, Chapman, Pepperdine, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Clara, USC, and Stanford.

      At Princeton, there is no house at all. Greek-letter organizations do not have houses. The chapter obtained space a short distance from campus to store archives and other chapter possessions.

      I’ve been to Princeton a couple times the past two years and I can assure you that there is that one main street near campus — so pretty much any organization needing convenient, off-campus commercial space was going to be on that street.

      Bottom-line: When the Agent went to google to search among the 493,000 results, he was going to find a connection. It was not at all probative of murder. In fact, the theory doesn’t even make sense. The Senators and media outlets targeted had never rushed the sorority and had no connection to it.

      Did any one ever stop to ask AUSA Lieber her sorority or whether she had other relevant life experiences?

      You want coincidences? Then produce those emails and texts and let’s start brainstorming possible connections and developing theories of psychological motivation to persecute Ivins and withhold documents exculpatory of him.

      Maybe the Inspector General someday will get those emails and texts if the FBI does not voluntarily produce the September 21, 2001 email under FOIA.

  27. DXer said

    It’s been 7 years that the FBI has failed to produce the August 28, 2001 email it turns out that it was pulled from the Army production by DOJ/FBI reviewing the production of Ivins’ emails.

    And yet the FBI bases its theory, in part, on the time that Ivins spent in late August 2001. The FBI should not be culling Ivins’ emails. Period. Full stop.

    The Inspector General needs to investigate.

    http://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch33/20010821_batch33(redacted).pdf

    I posted this in March 2010 on Dr. Nass’ blog.

    “The following information is taken from the affidavit filed by postal inspector Thomas F Dellafera here:

    http://www.usdoj.gov/amerithrax/07-527-M-01%20search%20warrant%20affidavit.pdf

    From the Dellafera affidavit:

    “In the weeks immediately prior to the attacks, Ivins became aware that an investigative journalist who worked for NBC news had submitted a freedom of information act (FOIA) requests on USAMRIID seeking detailed information from Dr. Ivins Laboratory notebooks as they relate to the AVA vaccine and the use of adjuvants. On August 28, 2001 Ivins appeared angry about the request providing the following resonse in an email” “Tell Matsumoto to kiss my ass. We’ve got better things to do than shine his shoes and pee on command. He’s gotten everything from me he will get.”

    Gary Matsumoto is quoted in Newsweek:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/151784

    “Information Act requests from Gary Matsumoto, identified as “an investigative journalist who worked for NBC News” who was looking into Ivins’s work on an anthrax vaccine. “Tell Matsumoto to kiss my ass,” the affidavit says Ivins wrote in an Aug. 28, 2001, e-mail, noting that was “weeks” before the Sept. 18, 2001, anthrax mailing addressed to Brokaw. But Matsumoto told NEWSWEEK the FBI never interviewed him as part of its investigation. If it had, he says, he could have told them he’d actually left NBC News five years earlier. At the time he was bombarding Ivins’s lab with FOIA requests, he was employed by ABC. “They’re trying to connect dots that don’t connect,” he said.”

    Where did the DOJ provide a copy of the email correspondence relating to the Gary Matsumoto FOIA request? Why wasn’t it provided along with the other work emails from late August 2001? I often tell Gary the same thing (or words to that effect) and so it seems I would have remembered it.”

  28. DXer said

    The former lead Amerithrax investigator has told the New York Times and Fox News that a staggering amount of documents exculpatory of Bruce Ivins is being withheld and that the FBI’s presentation of evidence is highly selective.

    Let’s consider why the DOJ/FBI is wrongfully withholding the email from Bruce Ivins to Nancy Haigwood dated September 21, 2001 and consider whether that, without more, justifies imposition of attorneys fees and investigation by the DOJ Inspector General.

    Amerithrax Investigative Summary – Page 48 – Google Books Result

    Barry Leonard – 2011
    According to Dr. Ivins, some time after the anthrax attacks he sent Graduate Colleague an e-mail and they became reacquainted. [The former Graduate Colleague did not like Ivins and thought it suspicious that he would keep in contact]. In fact, he sent her an e-mail on September 21, 2001 – after the first anthrax letters were mailed, but before they were discovered – describing the increased security measures at USAMRIID in the …

    Comment: How can the FBI claim that the September 21, 2001 email to Nancy Haigwood does not exist when it was so important to its “Ivins Theory”?

    Dr. Haigwood had never liked Ivins and reported him to the FBI the email, she thinks, was so suspicious. So let’s see the email so that the public can judge what the FBI concluded was so suspicious about the email.

    The FBI’s theory was that it was suspicious because it asked if she was still active in her college sorority. Earlier that year he had been editing a Wikipedia entry on the sorority using his email account jimmyflathead@yahoo.com. And the sorority had a storage unit located at Princeton University near where the anthrax letters were mailed.

    With the email in hand, we’ll able to see when it was written — where he was when he wrote it etc. We will be able to better judge whether it is reliable evidence of murder that a national sorority would have a facility on a college campus that stored furniture. Maybe Ivins had a grudge against a sorority coffee table that has not yet been made clear to us.

    For those of us who lived through such stories about Steve Hatfill, we tend to yearn simultaneously for probativeness and transparency given that we have seen how a narrative can be spun — and how it can be debunked upon compliance with FOIA.

    Any and all of the emails from Friday, September 21, 2001 were pulled from the production that was overseen by the group of DOJ and FBI officials who received batches for review.

    http://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch35/20010912_batch35(redacted).pdf

    Any and all of the culled emails should be restored to the production.

    Is DOJ going to make it necessary to depose USAMRMC John Peterson whose culling (he told me) was at the direction of the DOJ and FBI officials, who I presume gave written emailed instructions rather than merely oral instructions?

    On September 21, Ivins spent 28 minutes in Building 1425. He was there from 6:10 – 6:38. Look for the withheld email to be dated within that timeframe. And then ask yourself: if what he was really doing was writing the email to someone he knew well, why did the FBI rely on his presence in the lab as evidence that he was growing and drying a deadly anthrax?

    And look to the contents of the email — to the extent it describes what he had been doing that day and previous week. Does Bruce mention to the primate researcher involved in anthrax experiments the 52 rabbits that were due to arrive at his B3? Does it describe how he was preparing the space for the arrival of the 52 bunnies? If so, that would explain why AUSA Lieber would be motivated to pull the email — because nowhere in her Amerithrax Summary does she mention the rabbits. She instead bases her entire Ivins Theory on the claim he had no reason to be in the B3 those nights and weekends.

    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, 2012
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/dxer-summarizes-the-documentary-evidence-which-demolishes-the-fbis-ivins-theory/

    • DXer said

      Like the FBI Agent R. Scott Decker, Nancy Haigwood relied on her “gut feeling” rather than evidence. She reported Ivins to the FBI in early 2002 after misremembering the date of a key email that was sent her. She mistakenly recalled the group email forwaring a photo as having been sent before the anthrax mailings rather than in early November 2001.

      Government investigators are allowed to have gut feelings so long as they comply with the law revealing that that email that served as the basis for their gut feeling be produced.

      So long as we can check the correctness of their underlying factual claims.

      Nancy Haigwood: “I Had a Gut Feeling It Was Bruce,” October 10, 2011, by Sarah Moughty
      https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/nancy-haigwood-i-had-a-gut-feeling-it-was-bruce/

      “What was he like?”

      “He was a high-energy guy, very interested in engaging with other people. Seemed quite interested in the science. And a serious scientist, but with a fun streak to him.”

      ***

      “He was a little bit of an odd duck, though. That showed up in a few more months, in that he was persistently friendly in a way that scientists typically are not. We tend to be pretty contained with our own little scientific issue and typically within our own laboratories.”

      “Can you tell me how he was annoying?”

      “I think that one word that comes to mind is obsequious. He tended to be just wanting to garner praise and wanting to overdo conversations in a way that just — people just eventually were turned off by that….”

      ***

      “He seemed to maintain regular contact. By that I mean the yearly sort of Christmas card-level-type of contact over the years.”

      “When had been the last time you talked to him? How long had it been since you’d had correspondence?”

      “But again, this is about a once-a-year type of discussion that I may have had with I’m, or exchanged family letters and things like that.”

      [She then discusses a very creepy incident when Ivins wrote a letter to the editor impersonating Dr. Haigwood to the Frederick News-Post that defended hazing by her sorority.]

      [Admittedly, this is very creepy. Not as creepy as when engineers at my undergrad had urine in the cups at the tavern and offered me a drink, but still creepy and reason for her to strongly dislike him. Or not as creepy as the engineers poured a liquid under my door and lit it on fire, but still creepy. Pranks often get out of hand.]

      But given that things that other POIs did creepy things too, we always want to remain fixed on probative evidence — such as whether Ivins had reason to be in the B3 on those nights and weekends in late September and early October 2001. For that, we want production under FOIA of the relevant documents, including emails from the period.

      [And she also hated him because she learned he had stolen a lab notebook from her and then returned it.]

      “It seems like the antics of a lovelorn individual who just maybe thinks it’s almost funny.”

      “It wasn’t the least bit funny. It was intended to be frightening, and it was. And there was no love situation whatsoever.” [Actually, women often would not know when a fellow has a crush].

      “His e-mails that he wrote you over this period of years, what would he talk about? Do you now look back at them [and see] red flags embedded in them?”

      Wow. That September 21, 2001 email but be really interesting if it was so suspicious that it prompted her to report Ivins to the FBI for murder.

      But there was another email that Fall that really made her suspicious: because scientists just don’t send out pictures of themselves.

      “Not until shortly after 9/11, when I and a group… of maybe 20 people received an e-mail from Bruce showing him working in the lab. He sent us photographs of himself working with what he claimed to be the Ames strain.

      What was remarkable to me about this e-mail was, first of all, it is very odd for scientists to send pictures of themselves at anytime to anyone, of themselves especially.”

      Nancy Haigwood says: “So it must have been before the attacks, but it was certainly around that time.”

      Huh? Oops. No, Dr. Haigwood. That email was in early November 2001, wasn’t it? The September 21, 2001 was not the group email, was it? Or did the Amerithrax Summary that confused the dates. Or am I wrong on what the respective emails said and when.

      See how helpful it is to have the actual email so that we can get our facts right?

      She says: “There were subsequent e-mails about how Bruce was involved in the investigation, that he was contacted, etc., etc. It was clear he was interested in the outcome.”

      Hm. The anthrax researcher who worked with Ames was interested in the outcome in an investigation in which he was interviewed dozens of times. Go figure.

      It was in early 2002 that Dr. Haigwood realized: “oh, my God, that’s what Bruce was doing. He’s involved. He could have even been the guy. I actually thought that at that moment. This is very early 2002.”

      Well, Dr. Haigwood, have you misremembered the date he sent you (and a score of others) that picture of him working with Ames. It was in early November 2001, not before the mailings as you recalled, wasn’t it?

      And the reason he would have sent it is because it was the subject of national news — and it was your field — so he thought it might be of interest. Are you sure the photo wasn’t one that appeared in the press? People commonly share press photos.

      I bet Dr. Ivins came to regret he ever sent you Christmas cards or sent you the occasional family news.

      • DXer said

        Didn’t Nancy Haigwood incorrectly remember — in the NPR interview she chose to give in spinning Ivins’ guilt — this photo as having been sent BEFORE the mailings rather than on November 14, 2001.

        Let’s see the September 21, 2001 email that is wrongfully being withheld so we can check the facts used in spinning Ivins guilt.

        History Commons:

        Bruce Ivins handling the Ames strain of anthrax. The timing of the photo is unknown, but he sent this picture to a friend in an e-mail on November 14, 2001. [Source: Associated Press]

        http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=anthraxattacks

    • DXer said

      Ivinss expected to receive 52 rabbits on September 24.

      Do you think he mentioned that in the September 21 email to his fellow animal research Nancy Haigwood in the September 21 email that is wrongfully being withheld and that has been grossly mischaracterized in the national media?

      And wasn’t the photo that was sent Nancy Haigwood actually sent on November 14 rather than before the mailings as she alleges?

      And didn’t the email simply read:

      “Here are some pictures of B. anthracis on blood agar that _______ took. They show growth at 12, 18 and 24 hours, as well as the tenacity of the colony material on agar.”

      Did AP take the photo? Have you ever known media to ask for posed or manipulated photos?

      For example, the article about R. Scott Decker’s consultant — the one who thinks a first grader wrote the letters — has a picture of anthrax on the computer screen behind him.

      He could tell you that was just photoshopped in for dramatic effect. And if AP asked for a photo, do you think it might have made more sense not to expose the photographer to a virulent pathogen?

      There were about 20 recipients on the November 14, 2001 email, it seems. With Nancy Haigwood just being one of many.

      It seems about 7 photos were sent. Is there really anything suspicious at all about this email, Dr. Haigwood?

      Wasn’t it sent when there was national media and attention focused on anthrax? And the origin of the Ames specifically? Wasn’t national media contacting USAMRIID scientists for background on the strain?

      And the email doesn’t even mention, Ames, does it?

      And rather than somehow involving creepiness, isn’t it just a routine sharing of items of interest?

      FOIA officer Sandra Rogers in the past has been glad to provide attachments at anyone’s request so you can see the photos for yourself, if you like.

      It really is quite remarkable that you reported Ivins to the FBI based on transmittal of the photo and then the FBI joined you in spinning a false narrative around this photo in order to make ti all fit together into a coherent theory. She obviously had a grudge against Ivins and didn’t like him because he was obsequious and needy.

      People are entitled to like whoever they want — but they are not entitled to make up facts. Produce the September 21, 2001 email from Bruce ivins to Nancy Haigwood so I can show that the FBI has mischaracterized it just like this one was mischaracterized in the interview she gave NPR.

    • DXer said

      CNN, to its credit, then gets the date of the photograph right. Though it goes off the rails on some other aspects.

      Tuesday, November 14 – Ivins sends out an email to “former colleagues and family members” that includes at pictures he took of himself in his lab. Source. CNN, October 1, 2011

      On November 14, 2001, Ivins e-mailed photos of himself to Nancy Haigwood, as well as former colleagues and family members, that showed him working with what he called “the now infamous” strain of anthrax used in the attacks. Actually, by far, most of them, almost of all of them, showed anthrax growing on agar.

      The e-mail was striking, says Haigwood, because “we publish our work. We talk about it at conferences. [But] we don’t e-mail photos with anthrax.”

      “One picture stood out: a photo of Ivins without gloves supposedly handling a sample of anthrax. Haigwood interpreted this lack of the most rudimentary protection as a bragging message from Ivins, “a sign [that] ‘I’m immune.'”
      “It was more an ‘Oh, no!’ than an ‘Aha!’ moment,” she says.
      That’s what triggered her call to the FBI in February 2002.”
      “We didn’t know [then] how it related to the crime,” says Thomas Dellafera, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service team leader on the anthrax investigation. [Um, that’s because it doesn’t]. “So, at that time, it sort of was tabled, if you will.”
      He says her information “was put in … the Bruce Ivins file” and she was asked to stay in touch with Ivins and keep everyone posted.
      Meanwhile, federal investigators began focusing on former USAMRIID researcher Steven Hatfill.”

      Comment:

      CNN, where does the email identify the strain as Ames? It doesn’t. Why do you assume it was Ames rather than Sterne (which is not harmful to humans). And why does Dr. Haigwood assume it was virulent rather than avirulent, with the virulence plasmids removed?

      She says scientists don’t send out pictures of themselves. Really? They don’t send out pictures of themselves to their friends and family? When the subject is in the national press and of worldwide attention? Facebook has quite a successful business model, even with scientists. Besides, he was sending it out to family and friends, remember? (He didn’t realize you disliked him).

      But that’s nice. The FBI asked her to keep in touch with him — and so she was betraying his confidence for years based on the mailing of these photographs of some petri dishes. Nice. In doing so at their Dellafera’s request, she was acting on behalf of the FBI. In withholding the September 21, 2001 email from the public — while mischaracterizing it, both the FBI and Dr. Haigwood are morally culpable for mischaracterizing the facts. He made the decision to kill himself when they went to test the stained panties — after he had been betrayed by the two women on the cruise, Nancy and even Pat Fellows. That’s not the FBI’s fault or Dr. Haigwood’s fault. But it’s the FBI’s fault that it is withholding the September 21, 2001 and other emails that are required under by law to be produced under FOIA.

    • DXer said

      Ivins sent Haigwood lots of emails. “For Animal Lovers,” “To brighten your day,” “Happy Monday Morning!!,” “Beware of infant terrorists!!!!,” “Happy Wednesday,” “Smiles for the weekend!,” “Cute Kittens and puppies????,” including twenty-seven attached photographs. Another, “Happy Friday!!,” attached sixteen photos of various, most of them kittens.”

      I had to shame Army JAG — which had culled these emails among 300 similar emails — into producing them here:

      http://mrmc.amedd.army.mil/content/foia_reading_room/Batch88/20000307_batch88(redacted).pdf

      So was it at all unusual for Ivins to send 7 photos on November 14, 2001? No. Hardly. He was a photo-attaching kind of guy.

      But the take-home is that the emails are in no way of a crime. And in no way is the still wrongfully withheld September 21, 2001 email either.

      Dr. Haigwood’s betrayal at the suggestion of Agent Dellefera — over the years post 9/11 — would have naturally contributed to Ivins sense of despair — and conclusion by 2007, known to investigators, that he felt that he had no reason to live. His life had been robbed of joy. The female agents on the cruise. Pat, his former prized technician. Nancy, the apple of his eye from his school days. Too much.

      Agent Dellefera might have more fruitfully spent his time getting his facts right Ivins whether or not Ivins was in the lab nights and weekends to work on the small animal experiments — Mara Linscott had explained to the FBI that it was a 1 person, 2 hour job. He might have better spent his time reconstituting the clinic’s records that proved he had attended the group therapy sessions on the nights he would have had to travel. He might have better spent his time drafting an Amerithrax Summary that disclosed the extensive time-suck of a project with the challenged rabbits. The Amerithrax Summary nowhere mentions the work and challenge of the rabbits — and THAT is what needs to be investigated by both the Inspector General of the FBI and the Postal Service.

  29. DXer said

    DXer said
    August 28, 2014 at 5:36 am

    One scientific method used was computer forensics of his computers. The FBI’s computer forensic reports have not been disclosed and should be reviewed by the GAO. I think it was the most important method — for example, if AUSA Lieber had focused on Dr. Ivins’ email she would have learned and known about Dr. Ivins’ experiment with the 52 rabbits in the first week of October 2001.

    The document analysis that would have been useful would be a chronology showing Dr. ivies’ location from September 11 – October 9, 2001.

    That could have been compiled from

    1) purchases made by his credit cards,

    1B4345 described as photocopies of ID cards & credit cards. This document had a copy of BRUCE IVINS’ drivers license; a government issued credit card; a Visa card from Farmers and Mechanics Bank, card number~I__~~______________~I~a~n~d~a Visa card issued by TJX Bank, card numberI I,

    2) the dates and times of his use of computers, including particular websites. For example, would AOL, Amazon, Washington Post, Ebay and other websites have the dates that he signed in? His AOL screen name was KingBadger7 and his password was Datsun. His Baltimore Sun screen name was KingBadger7. His password was docsivi54. There is a long list of his screen names and passwords listed here.

    http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/terrorism/amerithrax/847545.pdf

    “1B4346 described as piece of paper with usernames. This document listed the usernames and passwords for the following web sites: ASM, ABC, AOL, Amazon, Army Knowledge, Crossnet, ABC News, Real Player, MCRDP, ASM Journals, USUHS Library (this line was difficult to read), Washington Post, Anti-terrorism training, Baltimore Sun, Blue Cross, F&M, Distance Learning, voicemail, MSN, Roxio, Yahoo, AIMS, Ebay, and PayPal.”

    The FBI did not even disclose his personal emails to his lab assistants written on his computers, even though they are producible under FOIA.

    If on a particular day, you find an individual watching viral cat videos, you know he was not somewhere else making deadly letters to send in the mail.

    Instead of concrete document analysis of how he spent his time, the FBI marketed a lengthy report by psychiatrists that relied on a woman who says she was receiving her instructions from an alien each night. Jennifer Smith (former FBI, CIA agent scientist) says that the FBI does not rely on psychics but that is not true. That is exactly what the investigators and prosecutors did in Amerithrax without realizing it.

    DOJ has successfully avoided deposition of Amerithrax consultant Gregory Saathoff who extensively and uncritically relied on the Ivins’ accuser who claims she was granted her psychic abilities by an alien from another planet

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 13, 2011
    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/doj-has-successfully-avoided-deposition-of-amerithrax-consultant-who-extensively-and-uncritically-relied-on-the-ivins-accuser-granted-her-psychic-abilities-by-an-alien-from-another-planet/

    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’s-conclusions-in-his-recently-published-“the-mirage-man”-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 by Lew Weinstein 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/

  30. DXer said

    The FBI is withholding numerous other emails from Bruce Ivins other email accounts, such as “jimmyflathead@yahoo.com.”

    For example, the FBI has produced none of the emails obtained from this search warrant.

    Document Type:
    Magistrate
    Case Number: 08-494M
    Case Title: SW ELECTRONIC MAIL STORED IN ACCOUNT JIMMYFLATHEAD@YAHOO.COM
    Posting Date: Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Bruce also used the email to post on the internet.

    See, e.g., his 2007 internet post:

    “Unspamming” somebody’s email address?

    I received an email from somebody and accidentally called the email address “spam.” Now I can’t get email from them. How can I change this?
    jimmyflathead@yahoo.com

    • DXer said

      The FBI also has not produced any of the emails from Bruce’s email account

      bruceiv@yahoo.com
      or
      Kathrynpricefan@hotmail.com

      The alleged probable cause?

      “These accounts are further described in the following paragraphs and in
      Attachment A. As set forth herein, there is probable cause to believe that a search of
      the aforementioned accounts may result in the collection of evidence relevant to an
      ongoing criminal investigation into the dissemination of a Weapon of Mass Destruction
      (anthrax) through the U.S. mail system in September 2001 and October 2001 in
      violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2332(a) and 1114, which killed five
      people and infected at least 17 others, and into potential additional threats to witnesses
      in connection with that ongoing domestic terrorism investigation, in violation of Title 18,
      United States Code Section 1512(a)(2)”

      In its search warrant, the FBI noted that Bruce had made postings to YouTube using bruceivi:

      “In addition, the investigation has revealed Ivins’s use of the name “bruceivi.” An
      internet search of “bruceivi” revealed postings on You Tube with the screen name,
      “bruceivi.”

      https://www.justice.gov/archive/amerithrax/docs/08-489-m-01.pdf

    • DXer said

      Similarly, the FBI has not produced his emails obtained from Ivins’ account KingBadger7@aol.com or GoldenPhoenix111@aol.com or StanfordHawker@Yahoo.com.

      http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/unsealed-documents-in-sealed-cases/Magistrate/2013?order=field_posting_date&sort=desc

      • DXer said

        Correction. That is not accurate. The FBI has produced some emails from King Badger’s account, although they are heavily redacted.

        From: KingBadger7@aoLcom
        Date: Mon, 14
        May 2007 15:28:18 EDT

        I had to go and testify before the anthrax grand jury … twice. I’m not allowed to say anymore than it was a dreadful experience. Basically I can talk about the ride on the metro, and that’s about it. I have no enthusiasm for science at all anymore. I could be equally satisfied if I worked the graveyard shift at WalMart. Probably more so.1 1 III I can see why and how some people just reach a stage in their lives that they just don’t give a **** anymore, and I’m pretty much there. Thanks for your email. -bruce

        From: KingBadger7@aol.com Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 23:13:59 EDT
        Subject: Hi,1 IPlease don’t immediately delete ~~~ ~Phoenixlll@hotmaiLcom, jimmyflathead@yahoo.com

        Dear …. 1 __ —I Things are very stressed here allover with work issues, family issues and the investigation, which somehow seems to periodically (and nauseatingly) get pointed in my direction. Other than chemicals, there’s nothing much to turn to. You asked recently if there were anything you could do, and actually there is – be a kind, wise heart with a listenting ear, be someone who reads my emails and see how my life is going or not going. I told you I don’t get much support here I J The DOJ actually introduced in front of the jury an email from me ***

        From: KingBadger7@aol.com
        Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007

        In an email to [you-know-who, right], Ivins wrote:

        They accused me of diluting, altering or adulterating an important preparation of anthrax material. The grand jury was also very accusatory. I’m fortunately taking a lot of. medication for depression, but that’s only helping some. I also have to use a lot of caffeine in the morning, and then alcohol and sleeping pills at night. Do you realize that if anybody gets indicted for even the most remote reason with respect to the anthrax letters – something as simple as not locking up spore preps to restrict them from only people in our lab – they face the death penalty? Playing any part, even a minor part such as providing information about how to make spores, or how to make them in broth, how to harvest and purify that could wind up putting one or more hapless persons on death row. Not pleasant to think about. In one of your recent emails you said that it would all be over soon. If they indict someone, that means that innocent people are going to get dragged through the mud by both the defense and the prosecution as the pre-trial and trial procedures move forward. The FBI knows about my psychiatric woes and my family situation.

        ***

        The FBI can take the most innocent moment or incident and turn it into somethina that looks as if it comes from the devil himself. …

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

      • DXer said

        The FBI also has not produced a copy of Ivins’ Instant Messages, such as those maintained in a 1A envelope. 79A-WF-222936-BEI-280.

    • DXer said

      One email from King Badger evidences that Bruce Ivins was being driven to commit suicide by the FBI’s failure to provide him the contemporaneous documents and emails that he needed to reconstruct his time, years after the fact.

      “Thu, May 24, 2007 at 7:45 AM

      From: KingBadger7@aol.com
      Date:Wed, 16 May 2007 17:39:07 EDT
      Subject· Last week was a rough week.

      CC: goldenohoenix111@hotmail.com

      ***

      Who knows. I’m just so beat. I was at the grand jury for five hours, 3 hours on one day and 2 hours on the next. The questions were very accusatory, on so many fronts. There’s so much information that I’ve forgotten or can’t find or can’t look up, I’m just miserable.

      ***

      I’m not planning on jumping off a bridge or ~—-~~——–~~ something, so don’t think I’m going suicidal or something. I honestly don’t know what anybody can do.

      ***

      I’m going to drink lots of wine for dinner.

      ***

      ***************

      *************** I’ve been thinking more and more about retirement. As for the other matter, it’s just made life absolutely miserable. A couple of years ago they suggested that because I was having mental/emotional/psychiatric problems that I could have been knowingly involved. Very depressing. Did you ever notice how people talk about the “Funny Farm” and the “Loony Bin,” but they don’t talk about the “epilepsy farm” or the “arthritis bin?” My psychiatrist – I met with him today – described the whole thing as “Kafka-esque.” That’s so appropriate. ***

      I don’t think there’s much anybody can do. I search emails and documents, trying to find things, trying to help, and look what it gets me.”

    • DXer said

      KingBadger7@aol.com wrote:
      From:
      KingBadger7@aoLcom
      Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 23:30:39 EDT
      Sub: Grand Jury
      To:

      Hi. I’m recovering from my twin experiences before the amerithrax grand jury. The metro rides were the only enjoyable part. They asked “gotcha!” type questions and very personal questions related to email conversations between people. They __ ~ know everything about the personal and professional lives~ *** I Eventually a trial will come, and we’ll be dragged up to the witness chair to testify, and that’s when the other side will start dragging us through the dirt. It’s a lawyer’s job to sully the personal and professional reputations of witnesses on the other side. For me it means people finding out that I’m a slob, keep poor records, am lousy at math, and see a psychiatrist. There are things that others would prefer not be spread around. I’m planning on leaving at the end of September of 2008.

  31. DXer said

    The Vaughn Index should include, but not be limited to, all the emails that the FBI and DOJ officials instructed USAMRMC official John Peterson to cull from the production of emails from ivins work computer.

    • DXer said

      Off-topic (but in good-faith attempt to pay some bills):

      As I recall, the $10 million dollar reward for the Isabella Gardner paintings has been renewed. While we await filming of Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter Kurkjian’s movie, it’s worth tuning in to this podcast in the hopes in time they unearth new insights and score interesting interviews.

      This Podcast Is Trying to Solve One of the Greatest Art Crimes in History
      By Margaret Carrigan • 02/08/18 6:00am
      http://observer.com/2018/02/empty-frames-podcast-attempts-to-solve-gardner-museum-art-theft/

      Comment:

      The videotape of their focus in this first show turned out to be nothing.

      I recommend that in a future show they bear down on the attempt to return the paintings by Guarente’s daughter, wife and pal Earle Berghman in late 2004/ early 2005.

      It was Bobby Guarente’s biological daughter, J., who was his closest confidante. Bernie G., the attorney, is authorized to share what he knows.

      It was Berghman’s son from Providence that hooked the three up with Bernie G.

      The FBI testing of the paint chip submitted turned out to be ordinary house paint.

      Notwithstanding the forensic testing, is there more to the story? Might the daughter just have pulled the paint chip from where her father, Bobby, had kept the paintings temporarily?

      (He died in 2004). With the paintings now not available to her? And maybe even one or two of the major ones destroyed in the flooding after being given to Bobby Gentile in CT?

      As a possible scenario, if most of the items were buried at the hold Madison, ME homestead, J. could not dig them up without revealing that she has known where they are —
      and knew that when the FBI searched the farmhouse and grounds in 2009. That would put her in a legally precarious situation.

      Note that when the Boston attorney Bernie G. contacted the museum director, there was no indication who he was representing. So the FBI was not in a position to know that Bobby Guarante — now known to have had the paintings — appears to have shared info about the paintings with his daughter before his passing.

      I have uploaded the photos of the property here:

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

      Earle was splitting his time between Mohawk and the homeless shelter in Utica last I knew. An affable chap, he perhaps would be willing to give an interview for the show.

      Guarantee’s wife, Elene, liked Earle and enlisted his help. He then moved to my hometown, which has explained my continued earnestness.

      I gave Tony the security director Earle’s name when I went to the Maine property many years ago but have never made any headway in suggesting that the FBI bring ground penetrating radar and a claw digger to this or that property. I’ve also recommended the location of Gentile’s used parking lot in Windsor, CT where a small building was razed about the time Elene was pointing to Gentile before the grand jury.

      The property evidences digging — but there is no indication that the digging was done by the FBI. I would upload photos but basically it is asphalt, and in addition to where there had been digging, there is the outline of the razed building that had been at Gentile’s used car lot.

  32. DXer said

    Dillon’s counsel refers to specific emails relied upon by the FBI in its Ivins Theory — and solid evidence that the emails exist and are being withheld.

    But let’s turn more broadly to additional — this time, the date unknown to me — emails just before September 2001 mailings relied upon by the FBI in concocting its Ivins Theory.

    AUSA Lieber and FBI Agent R. Scott Decker apparently think that it is evidence of murder for Ivins to have told Gary Matsumoto to “kiss my ass” in September 2001.

    Now, having told Gary that myself (in so many words) in one long, late-night conversation, I don’t credit AUSA Lieber’s or Scott’s reasoning.

    To know Gary is to have sometimes wanted to express such emotions.

    The lucid-writing Gary is a touchy-feely, self-aware guy and might be the first to say that about himself.

    The Amerithrax Summary states:

    For example, just before the letter attacks, in August and September 2001, Dr. Ivins sent e-mails to a co-worker
    and a supervisor, a sample of which included, “Tell Matsumoto to kiss my ass. We’ve got better
    things to do than shine his shoes and pee on command. He’s gotten everything from me he will
    get.” The prosecution team learned more about the depth of Dr. Ivins’s animosity towards
    Matsumoto in a February 13, 2008 interview, in which Dr. Ivins stated that had actually gone to a
    Matsumoto website in recent years under the anonymous name “Guest,” and made sarcastic,
    provocative postings – one of many examples of Dr. Ivins’s ability to harbor grudges and, in his
    own words, “stir the pot.”

    God forbid I ever make anonymous sarcastic provocative postings to “stir the pot” or carried a grudge about documents being withheld under FOIA.

    Telling Gary to have kissed my ass is simply is not very persuasive evidence of murder. In fact, in Amerithrax commentary circles, among those who didn’t think Iraq was responsible,

    there once a Gary-Kiss-My-Ass-Fan-Club, which included even Ari F., the White House spokesperson (see his book).

    (I read the first chapter of Gary’s Vaccine A and have always admired the combination of his lucid writing style combined with his self-awareness at the personal level).

    R. Scott Decker, an FBI Agent who has a new book on the subject, relies on the “Kiss my ass” email in his book at page 185.

    Judging from Decker’s account, the former colleague with who Ivins apparently corresponded was Anna Johnson-WInegar, a Pentagon official.

    Now, have these all-important “kiss my ass” emails — that the FBI Agents and prosectors think so important to its Ivins Theory — been produced?

    Searching the database of emails for “kiss my ass” doesn’t turn them up. I’ve read all of Ivins thousands of emails produced and don’t recall them. You can see the gaps from September 2001 where the DOJ and FBI officials instructed USAMRMC John Peterson to cull emails.

    The FBI should produce all of the “Gary can kiss my ass emails” so that fans can frame them.

    The erudite Matsumoto won’t mind. He has co-authored important pieces on the subject by ProPublica and is a big fan of FOIA as a tool for discovering Ivins emails and laboratory notes.

    Was the FBI’s Science Good Enough to ID the Anthrax Killer?
    New testing methods could prove the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins–or lead to other suspects

    By Stephen Engelberg, Gary Matsumoto, Greg Gordon, Jim Gilmore, Mike Wiser, ProPublica on October 11, 2011

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fbi-science-good-enough-id-anthrax-killer/

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