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

Posts Tagged ‘Congressman Nadler & anthrax’

* recent correspondence between Congressman Jerrold Nadler and the FBI reveals the FBI’s longstanding, continuing and apparently purposeful refusal to answer direct questions asked by the Congressman

Posted by DXer on September 18, 2011

******

Congressman Jerrold Nadler

******

Chronology (2008-2011) in reverse order

  • Congressman Nadler to FBI Director Mueller … Sept 13, 2011 (see letter below)
    • noting that the FBI’s letter of August 9, 2011 has still failed to explain why their April 2009 answer to questions asked in November 2008 was incomplete
    • noting that specific questions asked in May 2011 regarding additional samples were not answered in the FBI’s letter of August 9, 2011
  • Letter from FBI Assistant Director, Laboratory Division to Congressman Nadler … August 9, 2011 (see letter below)
  • Congressman Nadler to FBI Director Mueller … May 2011 …
    • asking why the FBI’s April 2009 letter provided incomplete information in response to Nadler’s questions asked in November 2008
    • asking specific new questions regarding the NAS report and whether certain additional samples were tested
  • FBI letter to Congressman Nadler … April 2009 … providing incomplete information in response to questions asked by the Congressman in November 2008
  • Questions first raised by Congressman Nadler … November 2008
  • FBI press conference in August 2008 announcing that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks and that the case would soon be closed

******

Congressman Nadler to FBI Director Mueller … Sept 13, 2011

******

******

Letter from FBI Assistant Director, Laboratory Division

to Congressman Nadler … Aug 9, 2011

******

******

******

******

see also …

* PBS Frontline, McClatchy and ProPublica … The FBI’s false case against Dr. Bruce Ivins, built on obviously unproven innuendos and assertions, is beginning to unravel.

 * Congressman Jerrold Nadler complains to FBI Director Robert Mueller that questions he first asked in September 2008 regarding silicon content in the anthrax in several of the 2001 attack letters were answered incorrectly … previous posts on this blog assert that the correct information may be very relevant to determining who the real perpetrator(s) of those attacks were

 * responses to Congressman Nadler’s questions of the FBI regarding the % of weight of the silicon in the powder used in the 2001 anthrax attacks

 * and then there were three … Congressman Nadler joins Holt and Bartlett in calling for Congressional review of the failed FBI anthrax investigation … waiting for Senators Grassley and Specter

* the FBI’s answers to questions posed by members of the House Judiciary Committee in September 2008 as to certain aspects of the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks are insulting and demeaning to the U.S. Congress and to the American people

* Congress tries to scrutinize the FBI’s anthrax investigation … so far with little success

 ******

LMW COMMENT …

The letters presented above show a longstanding, continuing, and apparently purposeful refusal of the FBI to answer clear, specific, and important questions asked by a United States Congressman in his official capacity.

The FBI doesn’t say the information they refuse to divulge is being withheld for security or any other reasons. They don’t say the FBI doesn’t know the answers. They simply do not answer the questions asked, some of which were asked almost three years ago. 

It is my view that no member of the U.S. government has the right to treat a U.S. Congressman in the manner the FBI has treated Congressman Nadler. 

Meanwhile, the anthrax attacks of 2001 have not been solved. After 10 years of the most expensive investigation in the FBI’s history, the American people do not know who committed those attacks. Maybe the FBI knows but isn’t saying, or maybe they don’t know either.

But in any case, the accusation of a dead man where there are no witnesses, no physical evidence, and no conclusive science, with nothing but an unsupported veneer of conjecture, should not be allowed to stand. The FBI’s case could never have achieved a conviction in court.

It is important that our country still doesn’t know who attacked us with anthrax in 2001.

It is important that the perpetrators are still out there, perhaps planning another attack.

And it is very important that the FBI respond fully and respectfully to Congressman Nadler, to the entire U.S. Congress and to the American people.

******

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

* Congressman Jerrold Nadler complains to FBI Director Robert Mueller that questions he first asked in September 2008 regarding silicon content in the anthrax in several of the 2001 attack letters were answered incorrectly … previous posts on this blog assert that the correct information may be very relevant to determining who the real perpetrator(s) of those attacks were

Posted by DXer on May 27, 2011

******

UPDATE 5/27 … Greg Gordon writes …

  • The FBI said the bureau had received the letter and would respond directly to Nadler.

LMW: let’s hope it doesn’t take 7 months to answer this time

******

UPDATE 5/27 … Jim White writes on firedoglake …

FBI Ignored, Hid Data Potentially Excluding Bruce Ivins as Anthrax Killer

  • The FBI ignored as potentially erroneous a measurement of silicon in one anthrax sample and then hid this information from Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
  • Even more importantly, the high silicon measurements in at least two samples also were coupled with high tin measurements, opening up the possibility that silicon was added to the attack material in a form that is not mentioned in any of the FBI documents.
  • Significantly, it is virtually impossible that Bruce Ivins, whom the FBI has concluded acted on his own to carry out the attacks, would have been able to perform the necessary chemical manipulations involved in this treatment of the spores.
  • Ivins likely also would not have had access to the necessary laboratory equipment to perform this treatment.

http://my.firedoglake.com/jimwhite/2011/05/20/fbi-ignored-hid-data-potentially-excluding-bruce-ivins-as-anthrax-killer/

******

Congressman Nadler & FBI Director Mueller

******

 Congressman Jerrold Nadler writes to FBI Director Mueller (5/25/11) …

Nadler specifically asked Mueller why the FBI appears to have provided incorrect information on the case to Nadler and the Judiciary Committee subsequent to a September 16, 2008 oversight hearing on the FBI.

excerpts from Nadler’s letter are shown below …

see the entire letter at … 

http://nadler.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1665&Itemid=132

******

see also …

* Greg Gordon (McClatchy): the apparent failure of the FBI to pursue this avenue of investigation raises the ominous possibility that the killer is still on the loose … Stuart Jacobsen: it is “outrageous” that the scientific issues haven’t been addressed.

* RMR-1029 was registered as #7737 in Building 1412 ; what were particulars of #7736? Was it from same seed stock? Did it have a silicon signature?

* Did the anthrax grown in soil reported at the June 2001 anthrax conference by Dr. Ezzell and his colleagues contain a Silicon Signature?

* Silicon Signature – what were samples 040030-2 and 040255-1 that showed Silicon Signature? If one was Flask 1030, what was the other? Dugway?

* the GAO review of the FBI’s anthrax investigation has begun … a report is expected to be issued by September 20, 2011 … *** UPDATE: a series of fascinating comments to this post suggest many pertinent questions that GAO might want to consider

… among many other posts and comments on this blog dealing with the silicon signature

and its often ignored significance in identifying the perpetrator(s) of  the anthrax attacks

******

excerpts from Congressman Nadler’s letter

******

  • On September 16, 2008 …  I asked you the following:  “[W]hat was the percentage of weight of the silicon in the powders that your experts examined?”

LMW NOTE: it took 7 months for Director Mueller to respond

to what was a very simple factual question !!!

  • On April 17, 2009, (the FBI) responded with the following answer:
    • FBI Laboratory results indicated that the spore powder on the Leahy letter contained 14,470 ppm of silicon (1.4%).
    • The spore powder on the New York Post letter was found to have silicon present in the sample; however, due to the limited amount of material, a reliable quantitative measurement was not possible.
    • Insufficient quantifies of spore powder on both the Daschle and Brokaw letters precluded analysis of those samples.
  • A February 15, 2011 report by the National Academy of Sciences (“NAS report”) … raises three questions about this DOJ/FBI response to me.
    • First, with respect to the anthrax on the letter sent to Senator Leahy, the NAS report shows on pages 66 and 67 (Table 4.4) that the silicon content found by the FBI was 1.4% in one sample and 1.8% in a second sample.

Nadler: Why were both figures not provided to me

in response to my questions?

    • Second, the NAS report shows on pages 66 and 67 (Table 4.4) that the FBI found the silicon content in the New York Post letter anthrax to be 10% when the bulk material was measured by mass and 1-2% when individual spore coats were measured by mass per spore.

Nadler: Why was neither piece of data provided to me

in response to my questions?

    • Third and finally, the NAS report raises questions about the appropriateness of the measurements taken of the anthrax on the letter to the New York Post.
      • (the NAS said) … additional samples should have been analyzed to determine representativeness.  
      • If such data exist, they were not provided to the committee. 
      • Lacking this information, one cannot rule out the intentional addition of a silicon-based substance to the New York Post letter, in a failed attempt to enhance dispersion.  
      • The committee notes that powders with dispersion characteristics similar to the letter material could be produced without the addition of a dispersant.

Nadler: Were additional samples tested to determine the extent

to which the ones examined were representative

of the New York Post letter material? 

If not, why not? 

  • If the FBI did do these additional tests, please provide the resulting data to me and NAS.

******

LMW COMMENT …

It seems clear from Congressman Nadler’s letter that FBI Director Mueller has been less than forthcoming to the House Judiciary Committee on crucial issues regarding the investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

The Congress and the American people need to know the truth and also why Director Mueller has avoided fully stating that truth.

The FBI’s publicly presented case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus:

… no evidence, 

…. no witnesses, 

…. an impossible timeline, 

…. science that proves innocence instead of guilt. 

So what really happened? And why doesn’t the FBI offer America a credible story?

As regular readers of this blog well know,

I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence … POSSIBLE BUT NOT SO LIKELY
  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001 … EVEN LESS LIKELY
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, for undisclosed reasons …THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO

******

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

* responses to Congressman Nadler’s questions of the FBI regarding the % of weight of the silicon in the powder used in the 2001 anthrax attacks

Posted by DXer on January 20, 2011

Congressman Nadler & FBI Director Mueller

******

******

******


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 18 Comments »

* Anonymous Scientist summarizes the FBI’s case against Dr. Bruce Ivins … if it wasn’t so serious, it would be laughable

Posted by DXer on March 10, 2010

.

The New York Times says the FBI’s anthrax case has “too many loose ends.” Find out where some of those looses ends might have originated in my novel CASE CLOSED. Sure it’s fiction, but many readers, including a highly respected member of the U.S. Intelligence Community, think my premise is actually “quite plausible.”

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

.

******

see related post …

* Questions arising from a reading of the Summary of the FBI Investigation of Dr. Bruce E. Ivins

******

Anonymous Scientist offers this summary …

It has been two weeks since the FBI announced the official closing of Amerithrax, its 8+ year investigation  into the 2001 Anthrax Atttacks – eighteen months after the “suicide” of their prime suspect.

  • Even the FBI’s head office wasn’t particularly proud of its anthrax detectives. It released the report suddenly with no fanfare, no press opportunities in the deadest of news dead zones–Friday afternoon at 4, the same day as Tiger Wood’s mea culpa. It was no contest.
  • The media spent one breathless day on it and then it was over, we had closure. The biggest FBI investigation in history ended with a whimper and it wasn’t even on the mop-up segments of cable news debating parlors. The only real traction the story  got was in the low precincts where Ivins’ off-hour  interests in bondage, blind-folded women and sororities titillated.

While mainstream reaction was muted, a hearty band of skeptics came out swinging: They say the case against Dr. Ivins, which never has to be proven in court, screams reasonable doubt.

  • There is no incriminating physical evidence.
  • Ivins had even passed his polygraph.
  • Narrative inconsistencies.
  • Hearsay quotes.
  • Scientific implausibility.
  • Selective prosecution based on circumstantial evidence requiring an X-Files like leap of faith into  Mulder and Scully-land.

Paul Kemp,  Ivins’  former lawyer, thundered:”There’s absolutely no evidence he did anything…”

Rep. Rush D. Holt, a Democrat from central New Jersey, grumbled: “This has been a closed-minded, closed process from the beginning. Arbitrarily closing the case on a Friday afternoon should not mean the end of this investigation… The evidence the FBI produced would not, I think, stand up in court. But because their prime suspect is dead, and they’re not going to court; they seem satisfied with barely a circumstantial case. The National Academies of Science review of the FBI’s scientific methods in this case won’t be released until summer, but the FBI doesn’t seem to care.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D–NY) echoed Holt’s skepticism and called for a probe of the FBI’s casework.

Sen. Leahy

But the cagey Sen. Patrick Leahy, one of the targets of the attacks and a critic of the FBI’s performance, held his fire. The Senator who’s told FBI Director Mueller directly that there was conspiracy and cover-up at the core of the anthrax murders  had no comment and refused interviews on the topic. What’s up with that?

The best detailed blog-response came from Dr. Merryl Nass, named in the report as an activist critic who drove  Ivins nuts while he was working on a controversial anthrax vaccine for the Army with the private company BioPort.

Forensically, the FBI was taken to task for sidestepping the crucial issue of ‘weaponization” of the attack powder, ignoring Army data and the FBI’s own admission of high levels of the additive silicon—a story we broke on this blog last July.

This failure to grapple with the hard science was picked up by Richard Bernstein in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune which followed veteran investigative reporter and author Edward Jay Epstein’s much discussed piece in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks prior to the closing of the case.

Bottom line, the FBI report did nothing to mollify leading mainstream opinion recently outlined by Salon’s Glenn Greenwald:

“The case against Ivins is so riddled with logical and evidentiary holes that it has generated extreme doubts not merely from typical government skeptics but from the most mainstream establishment-revering, and ideologically disparate sources. ”

******

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments »

* and then there were three … Congressman Nadler joins Holt and Bartlett in calling for Congressional review of the failed FBI anthrax investigation … waiting for Senators Grassley and Specter

Posted by DXer on March 4, 2010

 

.

Congressmen Bartlett, Holt & Nadler

******

and then there were three …

Congressman Nadler joins Holt and Bartlett

in calling for Congressional review

of the failed FBI anthrax investigation

******

 

Senators Grassley & Specter

now where are Senators Charles Grassley and Arlen Specter,

who have in the past expressed strong doubts

about the FBI’s case against Dr. Bruce Ivins

******

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, reiterated his call for an independent investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks which killed five people and sickened 17.

He issued the following statement:

  • “Despite the FBI’s assertion that the case of the anthrax attacks is closed, there are still many troubling questions.
  • For example, in a 2008 Judiciary Committee hearing, I asked FBI Director Robert Mueller whether Bruce Ivins was capable of producing the weaponized anthrax that was used in the attacks.
  • To this day, it is still far from clear that Mr. Ivins had either the know-how or access to the equipment needed to produce the material.
  • Because the FBI has not sufficiently answered such questions, I join Congressman Holt in urging an independent investigation of the case.”

******

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

* Epstein (WSJ 1-24-10) … The FBI says Ivins was the sole perpetrator, but it has presented no evidence to support that conclusion … and the largest case in FBI history is still open

Posted by DXer on January 25, 2010

CASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question … Why did the FBI fail to solve the 2001 anthrax case?

The (fictional) DIA team considers the role of the President and Vice-President in the early days of the FBI’s anthrax investigation …

“Then a curious thing happens. A second attack is made against the great country, this time with lethal anthrax powder mailed in envelopes. Is it a coincidence that this occurs within days of the launching of a massive retaliatory attack on Osama? The answer to that question is currently outside the bounds of this fable, although if it was not a coincidence, our tale becomes much, much darker.

“The very best police force in the land is assigned to track down the person or persons who prepared and mailed the lethal anthrax envelopes. But even before any evidence is obtained, the great leader announces the desired result – there may be some possible link to Saddam, he says; I wouldn’t put it past him. The great vice-leader also chimes in, saying that Saddam had henchmen who were trained in the use and deployment of these kinds of substances, so you start to piece it all together.

“I would ask you to note that these instantaneous, unsupported allegations are directed at Saddam; Osama, who sent the planes, is not mentioned.”

******

The FBI says Ivins was the sole perpetrator,

but it has presented no evidence to support that conclusion

… and the largest case in FBI history is still open

******

Edward Jay Epstein writes in the Wall Street Journal (1-24-10) …

  • The investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks ended as far as the public knew on July 29, 2008, with the death of Bruce Ivins.
  • Less than a week after his apparent suicide, the FBI declared Ivins to have been the sole perpetrator of the 2001 Anthrax attacks.
  • The FBI’s six-year investigation was the largest inquest in its history, involving 9,000 interviews, 6,000 subpoenas, and the examination of tens of thousands of photocopiers, typewriters, computers and mailboxes.
    • Yet it failed to find a shred of evidence that identified the anthrax killer—or even a witness to the mailings.
    • Eventually, the FBI zeroed in on Ivins.
    • The FBI turned the pressure up on him, isolating him at work and forcing him to spend what little money he had on lawyers to defend himself.
    • He became increasingly stressed. Then came his suicide (which) provided an opportunity to close the case.

      FBI announces - August 8, 2008 - that Dr. ivins is the sole perpetrator and the case will soon be closed

  • But there was still a vexing problem—silicon.
    • Silicon was used in the 1960s to weaponize anthrax.
    • since weaponization was banned by international treaties, research anthrax no longer contains silicon, and the flask at Fort Detrick contained none.
    • Yet the anthrax grown from it had silicon, according to the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
    • This silicon explained why, when the letters to Sens. Leahy and Daschle were opened, the anthrax vaporized into an aerosol. If so, then somehow silicon was added to the anthrax.
  • But Ivins, no matter how weird he may have been, had neither the set of skills nor the means to attach silicon to anthrax spores.
    • At a minimum, such a process would require highly specialized equipment that did not exist in Ivins’s lab—or, for that matter, anywhere at the Fort Detrick facility.
  • The FBI’s answer was that the anthrax contained only traces of silicon, and those, it theorized, could have been accidently absorbed by the spores from the water and nutrient in which they were grown.
    • No such nutrients were ever found in Ivins’s lab, nor, for that matter, did anyone ever see Ivins attempt to produce any unauthorized anthrax (a process which would have involved him using scores of flasks.)
    • Natural contamination was an elegant theory that ran into problems after Congressman Jerry Nadler pressed FBI Director Robert Mueller in September 2008 to provide the House Judiciary Committee with a missing piece of data: the precise percentage of silicon contained in the anthrax used in the attacks.
  • The answer came seven months later on April 17, 2009.
    • According to the FBI lab, 1.4% of the powder in the Leahy letter was silicon.
    • “This is a shockingly high proportion,” explained Stuart Jacobson, an expert in small particle chemistry. “It is a number one would expect from the deliberate weaponization of anthrax, but not from any conceivable accidental contamination.”
  • in an attempt to back up its theory, the FBI contracted scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs in California to conduct experiments in which anthrax is accidently absorbed from a media heavily laced with silicon.
    • When the results were revealed to the National Academy Of Science in September 2009, they effectively blew the FBI’s theory out of the water.
    • The Livermore scientists had tried 56 times to replicate the high silicon content without any success.
    • Even though they added increasingly high amounts of silicon to the media, they never even came close to the 1.4% in the attack anthrax. Most results were an order of magnitude lower, with some as low as .001%.
    • “If there is that much silicon, it had to have been added,” Jeffrey Adamovicz, who supervised Ivins’s work at Fort Detrick, wrote to me last month.
  • If Ivins had neither the equipment or skills to weaponize anthrax with silicon, then some other party with access to the anthrax must have done it.
  • So, even though the public may be under the impression that the anthrax case had been closed in 2008, the FBI investigation is still open—and, unless it can refute the Livermore findings on the silicon, it is back to square one.

Read the entire article at … http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704541004575011421223515284.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

******

LMW COMMENT …

Readers of this CASE CLOSED blog have been aware of everything in Mr. Epstein’s article, and much more, for months.

The FBI’s case has always been unfounded, and the FBI’s insistence that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator does a disservice to our nation.

It’s time for Director Mueller to fess up. Either the FBI doesn’t know who perpetrated the attacks, or they do know and they’re covering up the truth.

Which is worse?

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , | 46 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)

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

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 »

* do you want the Anthrax Commission to happen? Here’s how you can help

Posted by DXer on June 26, 2009

CASE CLOSED by Lewis WeinsteinCC - front cover - small

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

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

* see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

***

do you want Congressman Holt’s Anthrax Commission to happen?

Here’s how you can help

***

Congressman Holt

Congressman Holt

On March 3, 2009, Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ http://holt.house.gov/), whose district included the Hamilton Post Office which was infested with anthrax and subsequently closed for nearly three and a half years, introduced the Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act of 2009, legislation that would establish a Congressional commission to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks and the federal government’s response and investigation of the attacks.

Co-sponsors of the bill were …

The Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act of 2009 was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains today. The House Judiciary Committee is a busy place; there are hundreds of bills competing for attention. What can those of us who want this Anthrax Commission to happen do?

We can contact our local representatives who are

  • members of the House Judiciary Committee (see below)
  • or who sponsored the bill (see above)
  • … It is a fact of political life that Congressmen respond to people who live in their districts; most Members of Congress will not even accept emails from people who don’t live in their district.

Suggested approach to your Congressman or Congresswoman …

  • Many scientists, journalists, and other Congressmen and Senators do not believe the FBI has made a credible case against Dr. Bruce Ivins as the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks.
  • If Ivins is not the sole perpetrator (or invoved at all), then one or more perpetrators are still at large and we don’t know yet who committed that terrorist attack on America … or why
  • Does Congressman/Congresswoman xxxxxxx believe the FBI’s assertion that Dr. Bruce Ivins is the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks?
  • What will Congressman/Congresswoman xxxxxxxx do to get the  Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act of 2009 passed in the Judiciary Committee and brought to the House floor for a vote … in 2009?

You might also mention that considerable information and a variety of views on the 2001 anthrax attacks can be found at the CASE CLOSED blog at … https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/

After you contact your representative, or try to, post a comment on this blog and tell us what happened.

  • Did you get a favorable response?
  • Did you get ignored?

for members of the House Judiciary Committee or sponsors of the bill …

  • Click on the link next to your member’s name; you will go directly to that member’s web site.
  • Look on your member’s site for the ways to contact your representative
  • Contact BOTH the DC office and the local district office nearest to you.
  • Send an email, talk to a staffer, make your views known.
  • Insist on getting answers

House Judiciary Committee

Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee


Democrats

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

Hon. Conyers Jr.
Chairman
(D) Michigan, 14th

Hon. Berman
(D) California, 28th

Hon. Boucher
(D) Virginia, 9th

Hon. Nadler
(D) New York, 8th

Hon. Scott
(D) Virginia, 3rd

Hon. Watt
(D) North Carolina, 12th

Hon. Lofgren
(D) California, 16th

Hon. Jackson Lee
(D) Texas, 18th

Hon. Waters
(D) California, 35th

Hon. Delahunt
(D) Massachusetts, 10th

Hon. Wexler
(D) Florida, 19th

Hon. Cohen
(D) Tennessee, 9th

Hon. Johnson
(D) Georgia, 4th

Hon. Pierluisi
(D) Puerto Rico, Resident Commissioner

Hon. Quigley
(D) Illinois, 5th

Hon. Gutierrez
(D) Illinois, 4th

Hon. Sherman
(D) California, 27th

Hon. Baldwin
(D) Wisconsin, 2nd

Hon. Gonzalez
(D) Texas, 20th

Hon. Weiner
(D) New York, 9th

Hon. Schiff
(D) California, 29th

Hon. Sánchez
(D) California, 39th

Hon. Wasserman Schultz
(D) Florida, 20th

Hon. Maffei
(D) New York, 25th


Republicans

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

Hon. Smith
Ranking Member
(R) Texas, 21st

Hon. Sensenbrenner Jr.
(R) Wisconsin, 5th

Hon. Coble
(R) North Carolina, 6th

Hon. Gallegly
(R) California, 24th

Hon. Goodlatte
(R) Virginia, 6th

Hon. Lungren
(R) California, 3rd

Hon. Issa
(R) California, 49th

Hon. Forbes
(R) Virginia, 4th

Hon. King
(R) Iowa, 5th

Hon. Franks
(R) Arizona, 2nd

Hon. Gohmert
(R) Texas, 1st

Hon. Jordan
(R) Ohio, 4th

Hon. Poe
(R) Texas, 2nd

Hon. Chaffetz
(R) Utah, 3rd

Hon. Rooney
(R) Florida, 16th

Hon. Harper
(R) Mississippi, 3rd

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

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

Posted by DXer on June 16, 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)

* Who will lift the veil of secrecy …

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

The House Judiciary Committee (Congressmen Conyers and Nadler) received answers from the FBI to its September 2008 questions …  seven months later in April 2009. The answers were apparently never made public until I did so on this blog last Friday, after receiving a copy from the Committee staff with help from Congressman Conyer’s office.

Beyond the excessive time the FBI took in answering, the FBI’s answers are so unresponsive as to be insulting and demeaning both to the Congress and to the American people.

I again called Congressman Holt’s office (his staffer Patrick Eddington) to ask the status of the legislation that would create an Anthrax Investigative Commission. Again, not the courtesy of a return call.

I again called Senator Grassley’s office (Brian Downey at the Senate Finance Committee) to ask if Senator Grassley has ever received an answer to the 18 questions he asked the FBI last year. Again, not the courtesy of a return call.

The silence of the media on this story is also surprising.

It is a potentially blockbuster story: The FBI hides the truth in the anthrax investigation and Congress states its discontent but accomplishes little to force the FBI to come clean under oath. And what the FBI is hiding could be of huge consequence to America’s future security.

Which investigative reporter will break this story?

* related post … * the FBI’s answers to questions posed by members of the House Judiciary Committee in September 2008 as to certain aspects of the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks are insulting and demeaning to the U.S. Congress and to the American people

This post gives the House Judiciary Committee’s questions and the FBI’s verbatim answers.


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

* the FBI’s answers to questions posed by members of the House Judiciary Committee in September 2008 as to certain aspects of the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks are insulting and demeaning to the U.S. Congress and to the American people

Posted by DXer on June 12, 2009


* the FBI’s answers …

Congressman Conyers’ office referred me to Renata Strauss at the House Judiciary Committee of which Congressman Conyers is Chairman. Ms. Strauss provided a copy of the FBI’s answers, dated April 17, 2009, to questions posed by members of the Committee during testimony of FBI Director Robert Mueller on September 16, 2008. Three of those questions had to do with the FBI’s anthrax investigation.

Rep. Conyers

Rep. Conyers

Question Posed bv Chairman Conyers …

When did the FBI originally inform the Defense Department that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the prime suspect in the Amerithrax investigation?

This is the FBI’s complete verbatim response:

  • In October 2007, when Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors and FBI SAs (Special Agents) accumulated sufficient evidence to demonstrate probable cause to believe Ivins was involved in the mailings, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) was notified of this possible involvement.
  • USAMRIID was additionally notified when a United States District Judge approved search warrants for Ivins’ home, office, and vehicles, and it is the FBI’s understanding that USAMRIID immediately restricted Ivins’ access to areas containing biological agents and toxins.
  • The Department of Defense (DoD) was notified when the FBI began the anthrax investigation, well before Ivins was identified as the main suspect, and worked cooperatively with FBI investigators throughout the investigation.
  • From 2002 through 2005, the FBI had numerous contacts with USAMRIID regarding those who had access to the Ames strain of anthrax.
  • In November 2006, the focus of the anthrax investigation was on the universe of employees who had access to a flask of Bacillis anthracis spores at USAMRIID.
  • As the investigation continued, senior personnel at USAMRIID were informed in January 2007 that the spores in the letter attacks genetically matched spores at USAMRIID and that the FBI believed someone from USAMRIID was the mailer.
  • Senior officials at USAMRIID offered continued cooperation in the investigation and took steps both to increase operational security and to assist the investigation.
Nadler

Rep. Nadler

Questions Posed by Representative Nadler …

Rep. Nadler: What is the percentage of weight of the silicon in the powder used in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

This is the FBI’s complete verbatim response:

  • FBI Laboratory results indicated that the spore powder on the Leahy letter contained 14,479 ppm of silicon (1.4%).
  • The spore powder on the New York Post letter was found to have silicon present in the sample; however, due to the limited amount of material, a reliable quantitative measurement was not possible.
  • Insufficient quantities of spore powder on both the Daschle and Brokaw letters precluded analysis of those samples.

Rep. Nadler: How, on what basis, and using what evidence did the FBI conclude that none of the laboratories it investigated were in any way the sources of the powder used in the 2001 anthrax attacks, except the U.S. Army Laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland? Please include in your answer why laboratories that have publicly identified as having the equipment and personnel to make anthrax powder, such as the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Grounds in Dugway, Utah and the Battelle Memorial Institute in Jefferson, Ohio, were excluded as possible sources.

This is the FBI’s complete verbatim response:

  • Initially, the spores contained in the envelopes could only be identified as Bacillus Anthracis (Anthrax).
  • They were then sent to an expert, who “strain typed” the spores as Ames.
  • Once the strain type was identified, the FBI began to look at what facilities had access to the Ames strain.
  • At the same time, science experts began to develop the ability to identify morphological variances contained in the mailed anthrax.
  • Over the next six years, new scientific developments allowed experts from the FBI Laboratory and other nationally recognized scientific experts to advance microbial science.
  • This advancement allowed the FBI to positively link specific morphs found in the mailed anthrax to morphs in a single flask at USAMRIID.
  • Using records associated with the flask, the FBI was able to track the transfer of sub samples from the flask located at USAMRIID to two other facilities.
  • Using various methods, the FBI investigated the two facilities that received samples from the parent flask and eliminated individuals from those facilities as suspects because, even if a laboratory facility had the equipment and personnel to make anthrax powder, this powder would not match the spores in the mailed envelopes if that lab had never received a transfer of anthrax from the parent flask.

LMW COMMENT

If you carefully parse the answers to Congressman Conyers’ question, you will see that the FBI said essentially nothing. The words “prime suspect” which were the essence of the question appear nowhere in the answer. Instead there is reference to “probable cause to believe Ivins was involved in the mailings” and “numerous contacts with USAMRIID regarding those who had access to the Ames strain of anthrax” and that (in January 2007!) “the FBI believed someone from USAMRIID was the mailer.” No mention is made of the fact that Dr. Hatfill, also of USAMRIID, was considered a “person of interest” right up until the FBI paid him $5.8 to settle his lawsuit, in the summer of 2008, shortly after which Dr. Ivins is alleged to have committed suicide.

These are not answers to the simple question that Congressman Conyers asked.

Regarding the first of Representative Nadler’s question, the FBI mentions only four letters, and of those, the percentage of silicon is indicated just once. The other anthrax letters are not even mentioned, so the FBI doesn’t tell the Congressman if they knew what the silicon content was in those letters.

The FBI never answered Rep. Nadler’s question as to how other laboratories were excluded as possible sources, never mentioned any other laboratories which were investigated and then excluded, and totally ignored Rep. Nadler’s specific question regarding the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Grounds in Dugway, Utah and the Battelle Memorial Institute in Jefferson, Ohio.

If I was a U.S. Congressman asking the questions posed by Representatives Conyers and Nadler and receiving the answers given by the FBI, after six full months had elapsed, I would be absolutely furious. It is insulting and demeaning for the FBI to answer in such an incomplete and unforthcoming manner. How is the Congress to perform its constitutional oversight role in the face of such intransigence?

It is impossible not to believe that, even in these simple questions dealing with relatively small parts of the FBI’s enormously extensive and expensive anthrax investigation, the FBI is purposely refusing to tell Congress what went on.

Why does Congress, and why should the American people, put up with this refusal of the FBI to answer straightforward questions about an investigation that cost the American taxpayers millions of dollars and has failed to produce conclusions which are acceptable to almost anyone?

What dark secrets is the FBI hiding?  Why didn’t the FBI solve the case?

It is terrifying to think that the answer I proposed in my novel CASE CLOSED, a fictional scenario I invented in my imagination, with no access to any secret documents or witnesses, might indeed include elements of what actually happened.  Did the FBI fail to solve the case, and does the FBI still to this day refuse to reveal what they learned and when they learned it, because they were told not to solve the case?

That is so frightening I hope with all my heart that it is not true.

I have again asked the person I was referred to in Congressman Holt’s office (Patrick Eddington), by voice mail and email, the status of the legislation which would establish a Commission to investigate the anthrax case and the FBI investigation. But why should we believe that the FBI would be any more forthcoming at a Commission investigation than they have been so far before various committees of Congress?

******

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »