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

Posts Tagged ‘anthrax conspiracy’

* evidence of al Qaeda 2001 anthrax plot released

Posted by DXer on August 26, 2009

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Ben Conery writes in the Washington Times (8/26/09) …

  • Documents released this week related to the CIA’s terrorist interrogation program …  explain how CIA interrogators tricked Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and Yazid Sufaat, a Malaysian scientist who was educated in the U.S., to reveal the details of al Qaeda’s ultimately unsuccessful plot in 2001 to unleash a deadly anthrax attack against Americans.
  • Yazid admitted his principal role in the anthrax program and provided some fragmentary information on his, at the time, still at-large defendants,” the report stated.
  • Authorities said Sufaat had critical knowledge about the plot as he had spent months hunkered down in a laboratory near an airport in Afghanistan trying to cook up a batch of anthrax.
  • “But it was ultimately the information provided by [Mohammed] that led to the capture of Yazid’s two principal assistants in the anthrax program,” the report said, while not naming the two other suspects.

read the entire article at …http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/26/cias-police-ploys-nabbed-terrorists/print/

LMW COMMENT …

Are we really so sure that all of al Qaeda’s anthrax attack plots were unsuccessful? If the FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is as weak as it seems, then who did send the anthrax attack letters?

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

* a plea to President Obama … make the FBI come clean about its failed anthrax investigation

Posted by DXer on July 24, 2009

WHY did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?CASE CLOSED

WHO had the power to divert the FBI from the truth?

CASE CLOSED offers a fictional scenario that answers those questions

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon

.

******

a plea to President Obama

… make the FBI come clean about its failed anthrax investigation

******

DXer, in his latest comment, raises serious and pertinent questions concerning the integrity of anthrax samples which are critical to the FBI’s conclusion that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the attacks. DXer asks …

  • Was there adequate security?
  • Did unauthorized personnel have access to the samples?
  • Was there adequate accountability (i.e., chain-of-custody, evidence storage, evidence in-processing).
  • Who tested the sample that is claimed to have been a false sample submitted by Dr. Ivins?
  • Who chose to destroy the sample submitted using a different protocol.

DXer adds that former FBI Counterterrorism Chief Ben Furman wrote to him to say that Amerithrax was a mess but that he thought most information should be kept from the public.

DXer disagrees … so do I.

LMW COMMENT …

DXer’s questions, which are related to a recent interchange on the CASE CLOSED blog between Bugmaster and Ed Lake, go to the core of what appears to be the FBI’s clumsy cover-up of its failed anthrax investigation.

  • The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is, on its face, inadequate.
  • Senator Arlen Specter, among many others, has given his opinion as a former prosecutor that the FBI could never get a conviction on the basis of the evidence they have so far made public.

There must be something that makes the FBI delay and hide and continue to make itself look foolish …

  • The FBI is not incompetent; they must know that the case they have presented makes no sense.
  • It is not unreasonable to conclude that the FBI purposely accused a dead man in a press conference in order to avoid the necessity of a trial where evidence would be presented under oath and judged by a jury.
  • It is obvious that the FBI is refusing to tell the Congress and the American people what it knows about this case of mass murder and terrorism.
  • This may be the reason why it has still not “closed the case,” which would make its evidence (or lack thereof) subject to FOIA requests.

In my opinion, the FBI’s behavior, which is the core of the problem, is not rational UNLESS they are under orders to keep Congress and the public from knowing what really happened.

Which comes back to the two questions I raise in my novel CASE CLOSED …

Who benefitted from keeping the anthrax case unsolved?

Who had the power to divert the FBI from the truth?

In CASE CLOSED, I develop a fictional scenario to answer those questions, and the corruption of the FBI investigation in my story goes to the highest levels of the American government.

  • Do I think the story I portrayed in CASE CLOSED is what really happened?
  • I don’t make that claim. I have no way to know. I made up the story presented in CASE CLOSED, with no access to secret witnesses or documents.
  • But I do believe that something like what I portrayed did happen. It’s the only reason I can think of to explain the FBI’s otherwise bizarre behavior.
  • And many of the readers of CASE CLOSED find my story disturbingly plausible.

It seems to me, and to many others, that the FBI is hiding some terrible dark secrets.

We need Rush Holt’s Anthrax Investigation Commission to get out of the House Judiciary Committee and into action.

But I think we need more.

Who has the power to make the FBI tell the truth?

  • We need our new President, who I worked hard for and continue to support, and who I believe to be intelligent, thoughtful, courageous and well motivated, to step away from his reluctance to hold the Bush administration accountable for its many heinous misdeeds.
  • So I call upon President Obama, among his many daunting challenges, to demand that the FBI come clean about its anthrax investigation.
  • The integrity of the American government has been challenged by the FBI’s failed investigation and cover-up of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Mr. President, please do what is needed to restore the integrity and pride in America which has been so wrongly debased by your predecessor.

Our country needs to know.

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

* Dr. Bruce Ivins was not the only bioweapons expert who died in a strange way

Posted by DXer on July 16, 2009


CASE CLOSED

why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?

CASE CLOSED offers a “fictional” answer

* buy CASE CLOSED

.

.

**********

Dr. Bruce Ivins was not the only bioweapons expert

who died in a strange way

**********

LMW COMMENT …

Sue Read has written a terrifying article about a series of strange deaths of bioweapons experts.

Are the questions about these deaths … Kelly – Que – Wiley – Pasechnik – Ivins the unproven rattling of conspiracy theorists? Or is there a pattern here that is truly terrifying?

The death of Dr. Bruce Ivins, and the FBI’s charge just 8 days later that he was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks, is simply too convenient to accept without full investigation. And it is quite clear to any independent observer that we have not had anything near full disclosure of the basis for either scientific or investigative aspects of the FBI’s case. New doubts arise whenever any new facts are presented.

The FBI’s case just doesn’t wash.

In my novel CASE CLOSED, I put forward a fictional scenario to explain this and other aspects of the case where the official version of the facts seem less than believable.

I don’t contend that my fictional account is what really happened, but I am convinced I have raised the right questions and that the FBI has yet to provide adequate answers.

Please contact your Congressman and demand that Rush Holt’s Anthrax Investigation Commission, currently awaiting action in the House Judiciary Committee, become a reality.

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

Sue Read writes in Mail Online, Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd, Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group (7-16-09) …

Dr. David Kelly died in Oxfordshire on July 17, 2003 …

  • To this day, there are many unanswered questions about how Dr. Kelly died
  • The day Dr David Kelly took a short walk to his death in the Oxfordshire countryside, an unopened letter lay on the desk of his book-lined study.
  • No one has ever explained why the eminent scientist and UN weapons inspector did not open the letter, but everyone close to him is convinced he knew its contents.
  • It was designed to silence him because his Ministry of Defence bosses had discovered that not only was he secretly talking to journalists, but was also preparing to write an explosive book about his work.
  • Dr Kelly had examined the Government’s ‘sexed up dossier’ which declared that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which could be activated in just 45 minutes. The claim was used by Tony Blair in 2002 as the central justification for the Iraq war.
  • In one final phone conversation he told a caller he wouldn’t be surprised ‘if my body was found in the woods’.
  • And so it was to be. The official inquiry into his death later decided that he committed suicide  –  by slashing his wrist and consuming a cocktail of painkillers.
  • But this week, 13 respected doctors declared that it was medically impossible for Dr Kelly to have died in this manner. They are mounting a legal battle to overturn the suicide verdict.
  • A new film, Anthrax War, to be released in London this weekend, also asserts that Dr Kelly had spent hours writing a tell-all book which would violate the Official Secrets Act by exposing Britain’s dubious authority for toppling Saddam Hussein.

‘You couldn’t commit suicide like that’

  • A detailed medical dossier by the 13 British doctors, however, rejects the Hutton conclusion on the grounds that a cut to the small ulnar artery is not deadly.
  • The dossier is being used by lawyers to demand a proper inquest and the release of Dr Kelly’s autopsy report, which has never been made public. Their evidence will be sent to Sir John Chilcot’s forthcoming Iraq War inquiry.

Dr. Benito Que died in Miami five weeks later …

  • Five weeks later, Dr Benito Que, a cell biologist known to Dr Kelly, was found in a coma near his Miami laboratory.
  • Dr Que, 52, was found unconscious outside in the car park of his lab and died in hospital. Officially, he suffered a heart attack  –  although his family say he was struck on the head. Police refused to re-open the case.

Ten days later, Dr. Don Wiley died …

  • Ten days after Dr Que’s death, another friend of Dr Kelly died. Dr Don Wiley, 57, one of America’s foremost microbiologists, had a U.S. Government contract to create a vaccine against the killer Ebola fever and other so-called doomsday germs.
  • His rental car was found abandoned on a bridge across the Mississippi. The keys were in the ignition and the petrol tank full. There had been no crash, but Dr Wiley had disappeared.
  • The FBI visited Wiley’s laboratory and removed most of his work. A month later his body was found 300 miles downstream, with evidence of severe head injuries. No forensic examination was performed and his death was ruled ‘accidental’.

Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik died on November 22, 2001 …

  • And there is more. The most mysterious death of them all happened to Dr Vladimir Pasechnik  –  a Soviet defector Dr Kelly knew well.
  • As chief director of the Institute for Ultra-Pure Biological preparations in St Petersburg, Pasechnik had developed killer germs. ‘I want the West to know of this. There must be a way to stop this madness,’ he told Dr Kelly in a safe house.
  • The two scientists became friends. And soon Vladimir had set up the Regma Biotechnologies laboratory, near Porton Down. He seemed healthy when he left work on the night of November 21, 2001.
  • Returning home, the 64-year-old cooked supper and went to sleep. He was found dead in bed the next day.

read the entire article at …  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1200004/Did-MI5-kill-Dr-David-Kelly-Another-crazy-conspiracy-theory-amid-claims-wrote-tell-book-vanished-death.html#ixzz0LOAkXrPX

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , | 72 Comments »

* Tracing the path of Abdur Rauf … did al-Qaeda acquire anthrax capabilities? when? where?

Posted by DXer on July 2, 2009

why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax caseCASE CLOSED

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Tracing the path of Abdur Rauf …

did al-Qaeda acquire anthrax capabilities? when? where?

handwrittenletter - excerpt

Ayman letter

"I successfully achieved ..."

handwrittenletter

"equipments and glassware ..."

Ayman al-Zawahiri #2

Ayman al-Zawahiri

^^^ click small images to enlarge ^^^

A previous post on this blog published a 1999 letter from Abdur Rauf to Ayman al-Zawahiri, (obtained by a FOIA request by a CASE CLOSED blog participant) in which Rauf wrote  … “I have successfully achieved my targets during my visit to …???…” Unfortunately, the lab where Abdur Rauf apparently completed his mission was redacted from the released document. (see thumbnail above left)

According to an article by Joby Warrick in the Washington Post (10-30-06) … Abdur Rauf, using his membership in a prestigious scientific organization to gain access, had traveled on a quest to obtain anthrax spores and the equipment needed to turn them into highly lethal biological weapons. Abdur Rauf reported directly to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri

Another 1999 letter (see above right) from Abdur Rauf to Ayman al-Zawahiri reveals that Abdur Rauf was looking to acquire lab equipment. (see thumbnail above right)

… connecting the dots ???

Marcia Chambers, in a series of posts on this blog, raised issues relating to the destruction of Ames anthrax strains at Iowa State University (ISU) just days after the first anthrax attack letters were mailed. No one denies that these strains were in fact destroyed.

Dead SilenceAuthors Bob Coen and Eric Nadler, writing in “DEAD SILENCE:  Fear and Terror on the Anthrax Trail” report (page 29) … “The USDA (in Ames, Iowa) ran a laboratory not far from the (Iowa State) university but had to retrieve its anthrax collection from a storage closet it rented in a local strip mall under less than standard biohazard safety levels. These samples — crucial baseline samples for “Amerithrax” detectives — were also destroyed (with, astonishingly enough, the approval of the FBI), making it impossible for investigators to compare them when it seemed possible later that the anthrax in the letters may indeed have been linked to Ames,Iowa as well as to the Ames strain.”

Consider …

  • ISU’s USDA BL-3 lab would be a perfectly logical choice for Abdur Rauf to visit given its agricultural orientation.
  • ISU and the FBI have yet to put forward a coherent explanation for the destruction of its Ames anthrax samples.
  • Perhaps what ISU is not reporting is that they had let Abdur Rauf, Zawahiri’s al-Qaeda operative, visit their lab.

QUESTIONS … QUESTIONS … QUESTIONS

  • Did the FBI ever follow-up leads regarding Abdur Rauf’s trips?FBI SHIELD
  • Did the FBI ever follow-up leads from Marcia Chambers?
  • Who authorized the destruction of the Ames strains at Iowa State University in 2001? Why?
  • Did the FBI consult a genetics expert when they were asked if it was okay to destroy the inventory?
  • Which lab(s) did Abdur Rauf actually visit?

America needs Congressman Rush Holt’s ANTHRAX INVESTIGATION COMMISSION … write to your Representative!

Related CASE CLOSED blog posts …

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, Ames anthrax | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

* National Geographic: Hunting for the Anthrax Killer

Posted by DXer on July 1, 2009

why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax caseCASE CLOSED

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National Geographic

***

***    National Geographic

HUNTING FOR THE ANTHRAX KILLER

***   Sun, July 26, 9:00pm


It is the worst biological attack in modern American history, and it occurs just three weeks after 9-11.
  • An anonymous killer mails deadly anthrax to the media and members of Congress.
  • When it is over, five people are dead, 17 others are sickened and many fear the worst: Al Qaeda has struck again.
  • It takes the FBI seven years, but in 2008 it makes the dramatic announcement that its agents have found the anthrax mailer.
  • The accused is not a terrorist, but a U.S. government scientist, Dr. Bruce E. Ivins.
  • But Ivins can never be charged: he committed suicide just days before the FBIs announcement.
  • Now many of his colleagues insist the FBI has got it wrong.
  • Ivins was not a killer, they say.
  • Is Bruce Ivins a murderer, responsible for the deaths of five people?
  • Or is he a scapegoat in a case that will never be solved?

Lew Weinstein

Lew Weinstein


LMW COMMENT …

The readers and contributors to the CASE CLOSED blog do not believe the anthrax case will never be solved. Together, we are advocating for Congressman Rush Hold’s Anthrax Investigation Commission, we are framing questions for the NAS to consider in their upcoming review of the FBI’s anthrax science, and we take every opportunity to spread “reasonable doubt” about the FBI’s case against Dr. Bruce Ivins.

As we move inexorably toward a refutation of the FBI’s assertion that Dr. Bruce Ivins is the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks, questions must arise:

WHY did the FBI put forward such an unsupportable conclusion?

WHY did the FBI fail to solve the case?

I don’t claim that my novel CASE CLOSED tells what actually happened. But I am certain it raises the right questions:

WHO stood to benefit from the FBI’s failure to solve the case?

WHO had the power to force the FBI to mount a monumental investigation directed away from the truth?

In writing CASE CLOSED, my author’s imagination created fictional answers to these serious questions. But readers of my novel see something more than fiction. Here are some of the comments readers of CASE CLOSED have posted on amazon.com …

  • Is it really fiction? … The author states loud and clear that this book is fiction. But, anyone who has witnessed the last eight years of American history sees great similarities in the underhanded way the last Administration dealt with issues and the way this “fictional” Administration worked. I never have given much credence to conspiracy theories but the investigation of the Anthrax attacks makes one stop and really think about it.
  • Weinstein raises some very interesting and disturbing theories. If it was not meant to make one think about the real situation, the book would still be a great read. It is suspenseful and a real page turner. Please tell me it’s not true!
  • An action/thriller that makes you think … The writing is sparse, driven by a plausible plot that allows the reader to think through the crime/mystery along with the protagonist. Despite the troubling reality of the subject matter, it is a thoroughly enjoyable and illuminating read.
  • Responsible Americans who believe in holding our government accountable for its actions should read Case Closed to be more informed of the facts of the case, regardless of whether they come to agree with the author’s theory. More investigation is needed.

What I have written in CASE CLOSED may not be real, but it could be “true,” in the sense that much historical fiction is truer than the bare historical facts.

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon

CASE CLOSED

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

* what BL-3 lab did Abdur Rauf visit?

Posted by DXer on June 29, 2009

… why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax caseCASE CLOSED

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

***

what BL-3 lab did Abdur Rauf visit?

***

Ayman letter

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) gave DXer a copy of the correspondence between the scientist helping Ayman Zawahiri infiltrate western biodefense along with 100+ pages of documents seized in Afghanistan.

Abdur Rauf … was the subject of a 2006 article by Joby Warrick in the Washington Post, titled Suspect and A Setback In Al-Qaeda Anthrax Case … Scientist With Ties To Group Goes Free.

Here are excerpts from that article …

  • In December 2001, as the investigation into the U.S. anthrax attacks was gathering steam, coalition soldiers in Afghanistan uncovered what appeared to be an important clue: a trail of documents chronicling an attempt by al-Qaeda to create its own anthrax weapon.
  • The documents told of a singular mission by a scientist named Abdur Rauf, an obscure, middle-aged Pakistani with alleged al-Qaeda sympathies and an advanced degree in microbiology.
  • Using his membership in a prestigious scientific organization to gain access, Rauf traveled through Europe on a quest, officials say, to obtain both anthrax spores and the equipment needed to turn them into highly lethal biological weapons.
  • He reported directly to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and in one document he appeared to signal a breakthrough.
  • “I successfully achieved the targets,” he wrote cryptically to Zawahiri in a note in 1999.
  • Precisely what Rauf achieved may never be known with certainty.
  • That’s because U.S. officials remain stymied in their nearly five-year quest to bring charges against a man who they say admitted serving as a top consultant to al-Qaeda on anthrax.
  • With the evidence against Rauf, some U.S. officials say they are perplexed about why Pakistani authorities have refused to further pursue him, while acknowledging that the case presents both legal and political difficulties for Pakistan.
  • The heavily redacted notes and other documents were obtained from the Defense Department through the Freedom of Information Act after they were first described in the journal Science in a 2003 article by three researchers at the National Defense University.
  • Rauf’s name was redacted, but U.S. and Pakistani officials confirmed his authorship in interviews with The Washington Post.
  • Rauf’s detention kicked off a joint U.S.-Pakistani investigation that at first was remarkably successful.
    • The FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role, and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in carrying out interrogations.
    • Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf consented to questioning and provided useful leads, U.S. and Pakistani officials said.
    • But problems began when the U.S. side sought to expand the investigation with the goal of pursuing criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States, officials from both countries confirmed.
    • In earlier cases, the Pakistani government incurred the wrath of Islamic leaders when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda.
    • In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. According to Pakistani officials familiar with the case, there simply was not enough evidence showing that he succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful.
  • Since then, Rauf has been allowed to resume his normal life.
  • “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” said Tariq Azim Khan, Pakistan’s information minister. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.”
read the entire article at … http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/30/AR2006103001250.html


Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, Ames anthrax | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

* tracking Dr. Ivins’ RMR-1029 anthrax; more questions for UM and LSU researchers

Posted by DXer on June 28, 2009

… why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax caseCASE CLOSED

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

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Dr. Bruce ivins

Dr. Bruce Ivins


tracking Dr. Ivins’ RMR-1029 anthrax;

more questions for UM and LSU researchers


The following email was sent to researchers who performed anthrax vaccine research at the University of Michigan (UM) and Louisiana State University  (LSU) in 2001 …

Dr. James Baker has graciously replied to my earlier questions, stating …

  • That work was done
    • at USAMRIID by a microbiologist under Dr. Ivins direct supervision
    • and at LSU under the direction of Dr. Hugh Jones.
  • There was never any ‘distribution’ of anthrax and all the work done at UM used simulant organisms.
  • I apologize if the citation was confusing.

Dr. Baker’s answer has been posted to the CASE CLOSED blog. There is a comment posted to that article (see … DXer said June 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm), which includes citations from various patent applications and other materials, and asks the following questions, which I am forwarding to you

  1. When was the research at USAMRIID done? What month(s) and year(s)?
  2. When was the research at LSU done?
  3. Who was the microbiologist who worked under the supervision of Bruce Ivins at the BL-3 lab at USAMRIID?
  4. Who were the NanoBio scientists who worked under the supervision of Dr. Martin Hugh-Jones at LSU?
  5. Was Bruce Ivins-supplied virulent Ames at LSU?
  6. If so, was it still in existence at the time of the subpoenas during the mid-October 2001 through February 2002?
  7. What do the LSU researchers, including FBI genetics consultant Kimothy Smith, say about whether virulent Ames was at LSU and, if so, whether any supplied by Bruce Ivins was provided in response to the subpoena.
  8. What does Pamala Coker say? (she would have taken over by the time of the subpoena from Kimothy)

You may wonder why I am asking these questions. Who am I, and what right do I have to bother you so many years after these events took place?

CASE CLOSEDI am a novelist, the author of CASE CLOSED, which presents a fictional scenario to explain why the FBI failed to solve the anthrax case. I started the CASE CLOSED blog to promote the novel, but it has taken on a life of its own as a forum for those who don’t believe the FBI’s accusation of Dr. Ivins (and a few who do) to present and argue their positions. This has stimulated me to continue to seek answers.

The FBI’s case simply does not wash. Why?

The central problem is that the FBI accused Dr. Ivins, claiming he is the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks, without ever proving its case. It is very convenient to the FBI to have charged a dead man, eight days after his alleged suicide, since this means they never have to go into court and actually prove their case.

The FBI has ever since their announcement refused to answer questions, even those from Congressmen and Senators. Many people, including scientists, journalists, Congressmen and Senators, have publicly expressed their doubts about the FBI’s conclusions. The FBI has presented no witnesses and no physical evidence to support its case against Dr. Ivins. More pertinent to the questions included here is that the FBI has never explained how it excluded other research labs as potential sources of the attack anthrax.

RMR-1029 log - p.1

RMR-1029 log - p.1

The CASE CLOSED blog has now obtained and published Dr. Ivins’ RMR-1029 inventory logs …

https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/dr-bruce-ivins-rmr-1029-inventory-records-pursuant-to-an-foia-request/

It is the intent of the CASE CLOSED blog to track down, to the extent possible, and to eliminate, to the extent possible, other potential sources of RMR-1029 anthrax which might have been diverted and modified for use in the 2001 attacks.

So … if you have answers to any of the questions above, I look forward to your responses.

LEW WEINSTEIN

Posted in * anthrax science, * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, * recent anthrax news, Ames anthrax | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments »

* letter to NAS with additional questions … and the NAS response received within one hour

Posted by DXer on June 23, 2009

CASE CLOSED by Lewis WeinsteinCC - front cover - small

explores the FBI’s failed investigation of the 2001 anthrax case …

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

**********

Mr. Kearney of the NAS Office of News & Public Information

responded to the questions below within one hour, as follows …

Lew, again, I’ll try to reply in general, and more specific answers may be available when project starts this summer.  I’d note that this study will be carried out no differently than any other study we do.  Yes, the names and bios of those nominated to the provisional committee will be posted in our Current Projects web site and there is a 20-day public comment period on the committee makeup.  As far as conflict of interest, here’s a link to our policyhttp://www.nationalacademies.org/coi/index.html.  The committee will be made up of members with appropriate expertise to carry out charge.  We never issue “progress reports” although we sometimes issue interim reports if those are called for in a statement of task that is approved by our governing board before the study starts; there is no interim report planned for this study.  A public report will be issued by committee.  We’ll let you know when committee gets posted and when first meeting will be as soon as that information is available.  I’ll be on travel for a bit, so my colleage Jennifer Walsh will let you know if I’m not around.  Bill.

***********

letter to NAS with additional questions

The following letter was emailed this morning to Mr. William Kearney in the NAS Office of News & Public Information, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. I want to thank all of the readers of this CASE CLOSED blog who contributed to shaping and refining the questions asked. These are all procedural questions. As I indicated in the letter, there are more questions related to the science, all of which came from readers of this blog, which will be organized and sent in a separate letter …

******

Dear Mr. Kearney,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply to my questions of June 19, 2009.

Along with many readers and contributors to my CASE CLOSED blog, I truly appreciate that the NAS has undertaken this difficult task, one which is vital to our understanding of what really happened in the anthrax attacks and in the ensuing FBI investigation. In fact, many are looking to the NAS as the chief hope for an impartial resolution of this now eight year old mass murder. Not many accept the FBI’s conclusion that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator, at least not on the basis of the evidence thus far made known.

Your answers have of course generated more questions.

I want to emphasize that the skepticism expressed in these questions is not related to the NAS, which is highly respected by all, but rather to the FBI, which is generally regarded as not fully forthcoming in this whole anthrax business.

Here are the additional questions …

  1. NAS-FBI contractHas NAS ever made a contract public? Will NAS consider doing so in this case? Is NAS prohibited from doing so by the provisions of the contract?
  2. Chair and Committee to perform studyWill the names and academic affiliations of the study chair and team be made public when they are appointed? Will the study team consist of a broad range of scientists from the physical sciences as well as life sciences, including chemical engineers, aerosol specialists, and analytical chemists?
  3. Chair and Committee – Conflict of interest (1) Will employment at a Battelle-managed lab constitute a disqualifying conflict of interest? Will any scientist who works for or at a lab managed by a corporation or other party that had virulent Ames be disqualified? Will any scientist who works for or at a lab managed by a corporation or other party supplied Ames by Bruce Ivins be disqualified?
  4. Chair and Committee – Conflict of interest (2) … One commenter on this CASE CLOSED blog points to a gathering arranged by the FBI and CIA at a resort in Naples, Florida … in which he says 40 biodefense or emerging disease scientists were paid to work full-time for 30 days from mid-June and mid-July 2008. Participation in the conference was kept confidential … it may even have been classified “secret.” … an FBI scientist presented the FBI’s Amerithrax genetics findings at the gathering. The government personnel socialized with the gathered scientists throughout the 30-day period and one purpose of the conference was so that their assistance could be recruited on such matters. Under NAS conflict of interest policy, will scientists who participated in that conference be allowed? If so, will those scientists be required to disclose that participation so that it can be taken into account by the public?
  5. Coordination with FBIWhat rights, if any, does the FBI have by contract to prohibit, delay or modify specific study tasks or the publication of study findings and conclusions? Is the FBI point person specified in the contract? Doesn’t NAS know who the FBI coordinator will be, or are you prohibited from releasing that information?
  6. Final ReportWill the report which is eventually released to the public be the complete report? Does the contract with the FBI allow them or anyone else to limit which portions of the report can be made public? Will all supporting findings be made public in addition to the conclusions based on those findings?
  7. Progress Reports … Has NAS issued progress reports in other studies? Is the absence of a progress report in this study the result of a specific provision of this contract with the FBI?
  8. Questions from the public … Will the study team be made available to answer the public’s and the media’s questions? Is the policy regarding public and media interaction in this study consistent with NAS policy in other studies or is it the result of specific provisions/restrictions in the contract for this study? Will NAS encourage agencies from whom it receives information to upload and make available to the public all relevant FOIA eligible documents of which NAS has become aware? Will NAS identify such relevant FOIA eligible documents, whether uploaded or not, as soon as it becomes aware of them?

Many other questions were proposed by readers and contributors to the CASE CLOSED blog. These additional questions are of a scientific rather than procedural nature. It will take longer to sort through the very substantial material submitted to the blog in the past several days and to summarize specific questions for the NAS from this material, but I will communicate again with you when this has been done.

Yours very truly,

Lewis M. Weinstein

Posted in * anthrax science, * FBI anthrax statements, * FBI refusal to testify, * NAS review of FBI science | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

* AP story mentions al-Qaida “anthrax program” … related comments by readers of this blog

Posted by DXer on June 21, 2009

Lew’s new novel CASE CLOSEDCC - front cover - small

explores the FBI’s failed investigation of the 2001 anthrax case …

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

***

AP story mentions al-Qaida “anthrax program”

***

Kathy Gannon writes for AP (6-21-09)

  • Estimates of al-Qaida’s annual budget needs vary wildly from $300 million to as low as $10 million.
  • (Juan Carlos, a former U.S. National Security Council adviser on terrorism who now works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington) … estimates al-Qaida’s needs as “modest,” said its big expenses are payments to families; food and shelter to maintain operations; travel and logistics; money for cells engaged in plots; bribes, and expenses for longer-range plans such as an anthrax program.

read the entire article at … Taliban gains money, al-Qaida finances recovering

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

Perhaps stimulated by that story, DXer has posted several very detailed comments this morning. You can read DXer’s entire comments at the bottom of the post …

nagging-questions-in-anthrax-case

extracts from comments by DXer …

  • The White House knew of the anthrax threat in a February 2001 briefing from the CIA to President Bush.Bush & Cheney
  • To begin to understand Amerithrax, the government should declassify the early February 2001 PDB from the CIA to President Bush on Al Qaeda’s interest in biological weapons.
  • President Bush (was briefed) in February 2001 about a threat to use mailed anthrax if bail was denied the Vanguards of Conquest #2 Mahmoud Mahjoub.
  • Bail was denied; anthrax letters were mailed.
  • The CIA has known of the plans by Zawahiri and the Vanguards of Conquest to use anthrax since July 1998, when the CIA seized a disc from Ayman Zawahiri’s right-hand, Ahmed Mabruk, during his arrest outside a restaurant in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • Mabruk claimed that Zawahiri intended to use anthrax against US targets.

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

  • Let’s consider the case of Kathy Nguyen (one of the 5 anthrax victims who died)
    Kathy Nguyen

    Kathy Nguyen

    • an article about her infection in the Journal of the American Medical Association explained that an epidemiological study of her workplace and residence had not turned up any explanation of how she was exposed.
    • She had worked in the stockroom of Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital (MEETH), which was a subsidiary of Lenox Hill.
  • Dr. Hassan Faraj was an intern there at the time and then finished his residency at Lenox Hill in 2004.
    • (Dr. Faraj) was listed in 2002 as an author of the AMA article about the fatal anthrax inhalation exposure of Kathy Nguyen.
    • An arrest warrant issued for Dr. Hassan Faraj on immigration charges on June 29, 2004.
    • The United States government charged Dr. Farah with providing aid to a supporter of Osama Bin Laden and making false statements.
    • Dr. Faraj formerly worked for the Al Qaeda front charity, BIF, in Zagreb, Croatia.
    • In the fall of 2004, the government discovered that the defendant (Hassan Faraj) used his fraudulently-obtained United States citizenship in January 2002 to sponsor the attempted entry into the United States by suspected foreign terrorist Amir Abdulrazzak, also known as Amir Amrush.

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

In addition, a new contributor to our blog (AS) posted two comments this morning that I’d like to repeat here.

comments by AS …

  • What is the FBI’s explanation for the fact that the White House staff was taking Cipro prior to the Anthrax mailings?
  • Are we really to believe the FBI “theory” that Ottillie Lundgren and Kathy Nguyen died from “cross contamination”? If that were possible why did we not have many casualties along the east coast from “cross contamination”?

LMW COMMENT

I don’t know any reasonable person, myself included, who believes the FBI has made its case that Dr. Bruce Ivins is the

Congressman Holt

Congressman Holt

sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks. There is so much evidence out there, including but surely not limited to the notes above, suggesting a far more complicated and frightening scenario.

We should all be writing to our representatives in Washngton demanding that they support Congressman Rush Holt’s bill to create an Anthrax Investigative Commission.

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, * recent anthrax news | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

* lack of control of Ft. Detrick anthrax inventory undercuts the FBI’s case against Dr. Bruce Ivins

Posted by DXer on June 18, 2009

Lew’s new novel CASE CLOSEDCC - front cover - small

explores the FBI’s failed investigation of the 2001 anthrax case …

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

* lack of control of Ft. Detrick

anthrax inventory undercuts …

Nelson Hernandez writes in today’s Washington Post (6/18/09) …

Fort Detrick 2

  • An inventory of potentially deadly pathogens at Fort Detrick’s infectious disease laboratory found more than9,000 vials that had not been accounted for, raising concerns that officials wouldn’t know whether dangerous toxins were missing.
  • The vials contained some dangerous pathogens, among them the Ebola virus, anthrax bacteria …
  • “I can’t say that nothing did [leave the lab], but I can say that we think it’s extremely unlikely,” Kortepeter said.
  • the overstock and the previous inaccuracy of the database raised the possibility that someone could have taken a sample outside the lab with no way for officials to know something was missing.

read the entire article at … http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/17/AR2009061703271.html

LMW COMMENT …

It just keeps getting worse. How can anyone believe the FBI’s assertion that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

In my novel CASE CLOSED, I described inventory and physical controls at Fort Detrick as being shockingly inadequate, thus allowing many people to have potential access to the anthrax that was used in the 2001 attacks. The real world, apparently, was even worse that I imagined.

Who will hold these people — USAMRIID, the FBI, Iowa State University, Battelle, others — accountable for their role in the investigation of the still unsolved case of the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Members of Congress have asked good questions of FBI Director Mueller, and have been stonewalled with no answers, or answers that were so unresponsive as to be insulting and demeaning to the Congress and to the American people. So far, there has been no meaningful follow-up by the Congress to this disgraceful arrogance on the part of the FBI.

The bottom line … Who is hiding what? Why?

RELATED ARTICLE …

* Who will lift the veil of secrecy regarding the FBI investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks?

It seems that the FBI’s stonewalling tactics are working just fine for them. Congress is accomplishing little, despite many strong statements and excellent questions, to lift the veil of secrecy which surrounds the failed FBI anthrax investigation.

grassley-holt-nadler-conyers


Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, * recent anthrax news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »