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

Posts Tagged ‘NATURE MAGAZINE: ANTHRAX CASE NOT CLOSED’

* the CASE CLOSED blog keeps questioning the FBI’s anthrax case

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 26, 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

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the CASE CLOSED blog keeps questioning the FBI’s anthrax case

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Adam Behsudi wrote several stories about the anthrax case in today’s (7-26-09) FrederickNewsPost.com. The story excerpted below, headlined Anthrax Case: Amerithrax debate lives online, shows the important role our CASE CLOSED blog is continuing to play in raising relevant questions about the FBI’s anthrax investigation …

  • For the past year, government officials have remained quiet on the case accusing Fort Detrick scientist Bruce Ivins of the deadly anthrax letter attacks.
    • Not so on the Internet, where a handful of people have turned Amerithrax into an ongoing discussion.
    • … bloggers have been filing Freedom of Information Act requests and working sources just as any experienced reporter would.
  • “I think it’s kept it alive. Its provided a place for reporters and others to go from time to time and look for facts and opinions,” said Lew Weinstein, who wrote a fictional novel based on the Amerithrax case titled “CASE CLOSED.”
  • Weinstein said the facts, or what he perceives as a lack thereof, infuriated him to the point of writing CASE CLOSED. He maintains a blog with the same name, trying to debunk the FBI case against Ivins.
  • Weinstein, who splits his time between Key West, Fla., and Collioure, France, was once a congressional candidate, has degrees from Princeton and the Harvard Business School and retired in 2005 as the CEO of a biomedical research organization.
  • “I am amazed at the level of scientific discourse that’s taking place on the CASE CLOSED blog,” said Weinstein, who called from a trip he was taking with his wife to Lithuania. “This is not simply a crime story. There’s more to it than that,” he said.

read the entire article at … http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=93061

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* Adam Behsudi (FrederickNewsPost.com)… vital questions persist in the anthrax case

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 26, 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

.

******

vital questions persist in the anthrax case

******

Adam Behsudi wrote several stories in today’s (7-26-09) FrederickNewsPost.com, including one which highlights our CASE CLOSED blog.

read the entire article at … http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?storyID=93064

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* Lew’s CASE CLOSED interview with Bill Becker on US1Radio

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 24, 2009

Lew Weinstein

Lew Weinstein

*

Bill Becker

Bill Becker

Lew Weinstein was heard this morning in an interview by Bill Becker that was available to a national audience on http://www.us1radio.com.

The interview ranged over many aspects of the real anthrax case as well as the fictional scenario Lew has imagined in CASE CLOSED to explain why the FBI did not solve the case.

*****

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click here to listen to >>>

Lew’s interview with Bill Becker

NOTE: after listening to the interview (12 min) …

CLICK RETURN KEY (<-) to come back here

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click here to >>> * purchase CASE CLOSED

CASE CLOSED

click here to >>> * see CASE CLOSED VIDEO on YouTube

NOTE: after watching the video (1.5 min) …

CLICK RETURN KEY (<-) to come back here

Posted in * about CASE CLOSED, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, Ames anthrax | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

* NAS answers to questions regarding the NAS-FBI study of science issues related to the FBI investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks lead to follow-up questions; readers of this blog are invited to help shape the new questions

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 20, 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)

***

readers of this blog are invited

to help shape the new questions

***

NAS Publications

NAS Publications

Yesterday, I sent questions to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Media Relations Office regarding the announced NAS-FBI study of scientific issues related to the FBI investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

I received a very prompt response a few hours later, in the form of an email from William Kearney, Deputy Executive Director & Director of Media Relations, Office of News & Public Information, National Academy of Sciences. Mr. Kearney has also graciously considered to entertain additional questions.

Before I send the follow-up questions back to Mr. Kearney, however, I’d like to allow readers of this blog to add your thoughts, and thus to enhance and improve the new round of questions.

When I respond to Mr. Kearney, I intend to state clearly that the skepticism expressed in the original questions and even more so in the follow-up questions has to do with what many of us regard as the FBI’s reluctance to be forthcoming in this matter, and should not in any way be taken as a reflection on the NAS.

I will emphasize how much I, and the whole country, appreciate that the NAS has undertaken a difficult but vitally important task in the effort to get to the truth of the anthrax attacks and the FBI’s investigation.

Below are my original questions (labelled Q), Mr. Kearney’s answers (labelled A), and my draft follow-up questions (labelled LMW) …

***

Q1: May I have a copy of the contract between the NAS and the FBI for the proposed anthrax related study?

A: Our contracts are not publicly available.

LMW: This is troubling. Without the details of the contract, it will be difficult to know the precise scope of the study and, more importantly, what constraints, if any, have been placed on NAS by FBI. Even if it is consistent with NAS policy to keep contracts confidential (and I have no reason to doubt that), perhaps in this case where public interest is so intense, the contract could be made public. Has NAS ever made a contract public? Will NAS considered doing so in this case? Is NAS prohibited from doing so by the provisions of the contract?

***

Q2 (two of the original questions combined): Who is heading the study for NAS and who else will be working on it? Has the study begun and if not, when will it begin?

A: We haven’t appointed a chair to the committee that will carry out this study (we expect to soon, however). We expect to appoint a provisional committee soon.

LMW: This study has been announced for some time, and was probably known by NAS before it was announced. It seems strange that the FBI would commission a study of this magnitude ($880,000) without knowing who was going to conduct it. Is it normal for NAS to accept a study and public announcement of a study without having designated the person who will head it and the team which will carry it out? Who at NAS made the decision to accept this study? When was that decision made? Will the names of the study chair and team be made public when they are appointed?

****

Q3 (three of the original questions combined): How will the study team coordinate with the FBI during the course of the study? What role will the FBI  play in directing the study? Will the FBI have any opportunity to censor or otherwise limit the course of the study or the results reported to the public?

A: We are a private, nonprofit institution.  We were chartered by Congress in 1863 to advise the government on scientific matters, but we operate independently from the agencies that sponsor our studies.

LMW: That doesn’t quite answer the questions. What 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? That’s one reason it’s so important to see the contract.

***

Q4: Who has been designated by the FBI to coordinate and monitor the study from their end?

A: You’ll have to ask the FBI who their point person is for our review.

LMW: Is this not specified in the contract? Doesn’t NAS know who the FBI coordinator will be? Or are you prohibited from releasing that information? If so, what else is the NAS prohibited from doing or saying?

***

Q5: When is the study expected to be completed?

A: It’s an 18-month study from start of contract, which arrived in April I believe.

LMW: So the target completion date is October 2011?

***

Q6: Will the complete report of the study be made available to the public?

A: Our reports undergo anonymous peer review by outside experts before they are approved for public release.  A public report will be issued at that time.

LMW: The answer doesn’t quite respond to the question. Will 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?

***

Q7: Will there be progress reports available to the public as the study goes on?

A: There is no plan to issue an interim report.

LMW: This effectively puts a lid on all information on this topic until at least October 2011 (18 months from April 2009), which will be, by the way, 10 years from the anthrax attacks of the fall of 2001. To me this is the FBI’s attempt (I’m not blaming the NAS) to put a lid on this case for as long as possible. Has NAS issued progress reports in other studies? Or is the absence of a progress report in this study the result of a specific provision of this contract with the FBI?

***

Q8: Will the study team be made available for questions and interviews?

A: The public is invited to submit material or comments to the committee during the course of the study.  All material submitted to the committee will be available in a public access file.

LMW: The answer seems to be that the study team will not be made available for public interaction. Is this true? Does this apply after the study is completed as well as during it? 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 the result of specific provisions in the contract for this study?

***

Q9: Why is the project not listed in the Current Projects System (CPS) intended to provide information about current committee activities?

A: We expect to appoint a provisional committee soon, at which point the names and statement of task will be posted to our current projects site.

LMW: Is it typical that there be a public announcement of a project as in this case, without listing that project in the CPS? Has this happened before? Are there any restrictions in the NAS-FBI contract which limit what NAS can say publicly regarding its statement of task?

Posted in * anthrax science, * FBI refusal to testify, * NAS review of FBI science, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

* details of the proposed NAS-FBI $880,000 study are (so far) difficult to come by

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 19, 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)

* details are (so far) difficult to come by …

NAS Publications

publications of the National Academy of Sciences

In May 2009, it was announced that the National Academy of Sciences would review the FBI’s anthrax inquiry. (see the stated objectives of the study below)

There is considerable difference of opinion as to what the NAS will actually review and what light it may shed on the FBI’s assertion that Dr. Bruce Ivins is the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

There is no information on the NAS website regarding the NAS-FBI $880,000 study …

  • Despite the NAS statement on its own web site … http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/ … that it provides “descriptions of project scope…” there is not a word on the NAS web site regarding the NAS-FBI $880,000 study, not even an announcement that it has been commissioned.
  • NAS says “We have established a Public Access Records Office to provide access to project materials available to the public.” As of this writing, no project materials regarding the NAS-FBI study are available to the public.

Thus disappointed in my search for information regarding the NAS-FBI $880,000 project, I sent an email (6-19-09) to the NAS News Office (news@nas.edu), asking 11 questions, as follows:

NAS NEWS OFFICE

It has been announced that NAS will be paid $880,000 to review the FBI’s science used in its investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks. Yet a search of the NAS web sites, including the site for current news, yields not a word about this study.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am an author, having written a novel CASE CLOSED about what I regard as the FBI’s failed anthrax investigation. I also maintain a blog site which has become a host for intense discussion of the anthrax attacks and the FBI’s investigation … https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/

Here are my questions …

  1. May I have a copy of the contract between the NAS and the FBI for the proposed anthrax related study?
  2. Who is heading the study for NAS and who else will be working on it?
  3. How will the study team coordinate with the FBI during the course of the study?
  4. Who has been designated by the FBI to coordinate and monitor the study from their end?
  5. What role will the FBI  play in directing the study?
  6. Will the FBI have any opportunity to censor or otherwise limit the course of the study or the results reported to the public?
  7. Has the study begun and if not, when will it begin?
  8. When is the study expected to be completed?
  9. Will the complete report of the study be made available to the public? If not, how was the decision to withhold the report made and by whom?
  10. Will there be progress reports available to the public as the study goes on? Will the study team be made available for questions and interviews?
  11. Why is the project not listed in the Current Projects System (CPS) intended to provide information about current committee activities?

NOTE: If it is not possible at this time to answer all of the questions listed above, please answer whichever of the questions can be answered at this time.

LEWIS WEINSTEIN

Media Reports (which are all we have so far) state that the NAS-FBI $880,000 study will not address the FBI’s conclusions regarding Dr. Ivins …

Science agency to review FBI’s anthrax inquiry … May 9th, 2009 By DAVID DISHNEAU , Associated Press Writer … The National Academy of Sciences said Friday it will review the lab work behind the FBI’s conclusion that Army scientist Bruce Ivins was responsible for the anthrax mailings that killed five people in 2001. The review, which was requested by the FBI, won’t assess the evidentiary value of the bureau’s detective work or the FBI’s conclusion that Ivins acted alone, the academy said. http://www.physorg.com/news161084970.html

F.B.I. to Pay for Anthrax Inquiry Review … By SCOTT SHANE … New York Times … May 7, 2009 The Federal Bureau of Investigation has agreed to pay $879,550 to the National Academy of Sciences for a 15-month review of its scientific work on the anthrax investigation, academy officials said, but the review will not assess the bureau’s detective work or its conclusion that an Army microbiologist, Bruce E. Ivins, sent the deadly letters in 2001http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/us/07brfs-FBITOPAYFORA_BRF.html

stated objectives of the NAS-FBI study …

the areas of scientific evidence to be studied include but may not be limited to:

  1. genetic studies that led to the identification of potential sources of B. anthracis recovered from the letters;
  2. analysis of four genetic mutations that were found in evidence and that are unique to a subset of Ames strain cultures collected during the investigation;
  3. chemical and dating studies that examined how, where, and when the spores may have been grown and what, if any, additional treatments they were subjected to;
  4. studies of the recovery of spores and bacterial DNA from samples collected and tested during the investigation;
  5. the role that cross contamination might have played in the evidence picture.

The committee will not, however, undertake an assessment of the probative value of the scientific evidence in any specific component of the investigation, prosecution, or civil litigation and will offer no view on the guilt or innocence of any person(s) in connection with the 2001 B. anthracis mailings, or any other B. anthracis incidents.

related post …

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


Posted in * anthrax science, * FBI refusal to testify, * NAS review of FBI science, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

* U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald calls the idea of a government cover-up of a terrorist attack “fantastically paranoid.” Really?

Posted by Lew Weinstein 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)

* U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald calls the idea

of a government cover-up  of a terrorist attack

“fantastically paranoid.”

… Really?

Cliff Kincaid writes (6/18/09) …

  • A journalist has been threatened with a lawsuit by powerful U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.  Fitzgerald
  • A five-time Emmy Award winner formerly with ABC News, Peter Lance is one of the few journalists with mainstream press credentials still raising the hard questions about how al-Qaeda agents were able to prepare terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, even while some of them were under surveillance here and abroad by various U.S. government agencies.
  • Lance argues in his book that Fitzgerald and other senior Department of Justice and FBI officials failed to properly follow up on hard evidence about al-Qaeda activities on U.S. soil and that information was discounted and suppressed about the planning and nature of some of the terrorist attacks.
  • Fitzgerald is threatening Lance and publisher HarperCollins with legal action
  • Fitzgerald calls the idea of a government cover-up of a terrorist attack on TWA 800 “fantastically paranoid.”

read the entire article at … http://www.sodahead.com/question/441007/an-honest-journalist-threatened-for-exposing-cover-ups/

http://www.1115.org reports on the same story …

  • In the past year and a half, Fitzgerald has written four letters to HarperCollins—owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.—demanding it “cease publication” and “withdraw” copies of Triple Cross, a 2006 book by ex–TV newsman Peter Lance that criticizes Fitzgerald’s handling of terror cases in New York in the 1990s.

read the entire article at … http://www.1115.org/2009/06/15/peter-lance-triple-cross-patrick-fitzgerald/

Rory O’Connor writes in the Huffington Post (6/10/09)

  • in an article titled “Patrick Fitzgerald’s Private Jihad”
  • Fitzgerald, who must have too much time on his hands now that Scooter Libby has been freed and Rod Blagojevich indicted, spent much of the last year and a half going after another journalist, Peter Lance, in an attempt to kill a new edition of Lance’s investigative book Triple Cross by threatening to sue both the author and his publisher for libel.
  • Fitzgerald’s stab at censorship is especially chilling coming from such a powerful prosecutor.

read the entire post at … http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rory-oconnor/patrick-fitzgeralds-priva_b_213807.html

LMW COMMENT …

This is a chilling story.

Is this what happens when you criticize the DOJ and the FBI?

In the face of an obvious government cover-up of the FBI’s investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks, how credible can Fitzgerald be to call even the idea of a cover-up of the investigation into a terrorist attack paronoid?

Related Comments by DXer …

  • DXer on * lack of control … A Cairo Medical school alum was Zawahiri’s tour guide on his last US tour.
  • DXer on * lack of control ... Lance Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an eye-opening profile of Khalid Dahab, a Cairo Medical School drop-out who recruited US operatives for Al Qaeda.
  • DXer on * lack of control ... The “insider” problem was addressed in Peter Lance’s important “Triple Cross” which is again is in today’s news.

Posted in * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

* are hoax anthrax attacks one consequence of the FBI’s failure to solve the case?

Posted by Lew Weinstein 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)

Here is a selection of stories about hoax attacks for just the last month or so. Would these be happening if the FBI had solved the 2001 case?

June 15, 2009


The Charleston Gazette Mon, 15 Jun 2009 20:50 PM PDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An envelope containing white powder was delivered and opened at Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.s office on Monday, but authorities quickly concluded it was not dangerous.

June 13, 2009


WKTV Utica Sat, 13 Jun 2009 10:51 AM PDT
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) – FBI agents created a stir in Schenectady when they swarmed an auction house wearing hazardous materials suits, reportedly to check out a suspicion that there might be anthrax in the trash at the building.

June 12, 2009


WRGB Albany Fri, 12 Jun 2009 10:15 AM PDT
Sources tell CBS6 The FBI has made an arrest near Congress and Broadway in Schenectady. The are suspicions the arrest may be connected to reports of anthrax.

June 4, 2009


Deseret News Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:36 PM PDT
OREM — Initial tests confirm that a white powdery substance found at Utah Valley University is not anthrax or any other…

June 3, 2009


ABC Action News Tampa Bay Wed, 03 Jun 2009 13:15 PM PDT
The federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld the six-year prison sentence of a Florida prison inmate who threatened President George W. Bush, ex-Gov. Jeb Bush and federal employees with…

May 29, 2009


The Tampa Tribune Tue, 19 May 2009 06:41 AM PDT
Law enforcement has arrested a second suspect in connection with April’s anthrax hoax.

May 27, 2009


WBAL-TV Baltimore Wed, 27 May 2009 15:07 PM PDT
Maryland State Police are trying to find the person behind the first anthrax scare they’ve had to respond to in nearly a year.

May 19, 2009


Miami News-Record Tue, 19 May 2009 08:28 AM PDT
The Miami Police Department was quarantined Friday evening after a suspected anthrax threat.

May 13, 2009


KXAN 36 Austin Wed, 13 May 2009 10:05 AM PDT
An Overland Park man has pleaded guilty of mailing the Internal Revenue Service a white powder he claimed wasanthrax. The letter was sent to the IRS in Austin and said “YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO ANTHRAX DIE!” on it.

May 2, 2009


KSPR Springfield Sat, 02 May 2009 19:40 PM PDT
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department went into lockdown after finding a white powder believed to be anthrax.

April 27, 2009


The Tampa Tribune Mon, 27 Apr 2009 11:42 AM PDT
A suspicious white powder found in an envelope at the Hillsborough County Courthouse this afternoon is notanthrax, Tampa Fire Rescue officials said.

Posted in * FBI refusal to testify, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation, * recent anthrax news | Tagged: , , , | 77 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 Lew Weinstein 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 »

* The argument rages on, but there is considerable evidence and agreement on this blog that Dr. Bruce Ivins could not have been the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks as the FBI claimed in 2008, eight days after Dr. Ivins had committed suicide.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 7, 2009

LMW …

Dr. Bruce Ivins

Dr. Bruce Ivins

  • There is a lively ongoing debate on scientific and investigative issues in this blog through the comments of Ike, DXer, Anonymous Scientist and others. The arguments are detailed and complex, but they do seem to agree on this …
    • the FBI’s contention that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks cannot be sustained by the evidence which, in all likelihood, the FBI knew when it charged Ivins (posthumously) and declared CASE CLOSED.
  • The fact that the FBI has utterly refused to answer questions raised by scientists, journalists and members of Congress only increase the suspicion that the FBI is hiding some dark secrets in this case.

Ike writes …

  • For the record, I think the thesis of Ed and DX and the FBI are all completely mistaken on basic scientific and technical grounds, let alone all the investigative issues.
  • The only plausible “lone wolf” scenario involves threat or diversion of material created as part of a biological threat assessment program in a U.S. biodefense lab, and that really rules out anyone at Fort Detrick, as they hadno aerosol weaponization capacity.

LMW: Ike is saying it could not be Ivins.

DXer writes …

The Baltimore Examiner quotes Gerald P. Andrews, director of the bacteriology division and Ivins’ supervisor from 2000 to 2003: “Knowing the layout of the BSL-3 suite, the implication that Bruce (Ivins) could have whipped out [anthrax mixture] in a couple of weeks without detection is ridiculous.”

… for 10 envelopes, 100 preparations would be required to make all the mailed material at three to five days for each preparation,” he says. “Months of continuous spore preparation without doing any other work and avoiding detection? It’s ridiculous.”

One USAMRID researcher, speaking anonymously, told The Baltimore Examiner: “It would have been impossible for Ivins to have grown, purified and loaded the amount of material in the letters in just six days. It simply could not be done.”

LMW: DXer quotes Andrews and another USAMRIID researcher who say it simply could not have been Ivins.

DXer adds …

The anthrax attack samples did contain silicon and oxygen, the elements of silica. The silicon and oxygen were not located on the outside surface of the spores. They were on an internal structure. Dr. Michael has tested material from the flask that the FBI says the anthrax materials came from, the mailings came from, and Sandia found that there was no silicon signature in these spores.

LMW: Again pointing in some direction other than Ivins.

“Anonymous Scientist” writes …

When the FBI sought a search warrant from a judge to search Ivins’ home and Detrick they stated they were looking to find evidence including spores with a unique never-before-seen silicon signature.

The silicon found in the mailed spores is very significant. The FBI admit that 1.45% silicon was found in the Leahy spores. That’s a huge amount – higher than any amount that’s ever been seen before in spore preparations – even ones where silicon has been deliberately added (which Detrick never does).

But the FBI NEVER DID FIND SPORES LIKE THIS IN DETRICK.  And yet their official story today is that Ivins must have managed to make them – somehow.

LMW: If the FBI cannot explain how the silicon got into the attack anthrax, then they have to look beyond Detrick and beyond Ivins.

CASE CLOSED

LMW: It seems incomprehensible to me that the FBI, with all of their resources and all of the manpower they put into the anthrax investigation, has come up with the feeble and unsupportable conclusion that Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator. Something else, it seems to me, is going on here, since the FBI cannot be telling the whole truth.

I don’t know what actually happened, but I am a novelist, so I let my imagination develop a fictional scenario that many are finding quite plausible. CASE CLOSED presents that scenario, providing fictional answers to the very real questions that still plague the FBI’s not-yet-closed investigation.

You may purchase CASE CLOSED at amazon.com …

* purchase CASE CLOSED (paperback)

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* a new video introducing CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein can now be seen on YouTube

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 22, 2009

CC - front cover - small 

 

a new video introducing CASE CLOSED has been posted to YouTube.

See the video at …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG6LzC_BsoQ

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