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

Posts Tagged ‘President Bush & anthrax’

* Noah Shachtman writes: Did the Anthrax Attacks Kickstart the Iraq War? … Congressman Holt is quoted in Shachtman’s article saying: The anthrax attacks “made it possible to manufacture the argument that there was WMD in Iraq and links to Al-Qaeda” … LMW adds: Here are extracts from my novel CASE CLOSED regarding the potential linkage of “Saddam’s anthrax” to the invasion of Iraq

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 29, 2011

******

Secretary of State Colin Powell at the UN on Feb 5, 2003

******

Noah Shachtman writes for WIRED (3/29/11) …

  • Did the Anthrax Attacks Kickstart the Iraq War?
  • On February 5th, 2003, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell went to the United Nations, to make the case for war in Iraq.
  • A central plank of his presentation: the anthrax attacks that killed five people and helped send the country into a panic in the days after 9/11.
  • Less than a teaspoon-full of dry anthrax in an envelope shut down the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and killed two postal workers just from an amount just about this quantity that was inside of an envelope,” Powell said.
  • “Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons..”
  • By the end of the following month, the invasion of Iraq was underway.

The anthrax attacks “made it possible

to manufacture the argument that there was WMD in Iraq

and links to Al-Qaeda,” Rep. Rush Holt said.

  • And long after any links between Iraq and the killer spores were disproven, the Bush administration used the mystery surrounding the anthrax mailer to press its case for war.
  • a few government officials (most notably, Sen. John McCain) publicly suggested that the Saddam Hussein regime may have been behind the anthrax letters.

read the entire article at … http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/did-the-anthrax-attacks-kickstart-the-iraq-war/#

******

LMW COMMENT …

  • I have long thought that the anthrax attacks, the invasion of Iraq, and the failed FBI investigation of the anthrax attacks … may in fact be linked.
  • Like my characters in the excerpts from my novel CASE CLOSED, written in 2008 … the DOJ/FBI press conference sounded so implausible that it started me thinking about what might have happened.
  • I am not making any accusations. My novel is fiction.
  • But I do believe it is a possibility worth investigation, because it explains the otherwise inexplicable failure of the FBI to solve a case that should have been solved and then subsequently accusing Dr. Bruce Ivins without any of the evidence that would have been needed to convict him, had he been alive to defend himself.

Here are extracts from my novel CASE CLOSED

regarding the potential linkage of “Saddam’s anthrax”

to the invasion of Iraq

******

… “After the nationwide panic caused by the anthrax mailings settled down, pretty much nothing happens in the FBI’s anthrax investigation. The next we hear about anthrax is in February 2003, when Secretary of State Abner Grant goes to the United Nations and holds up a vial of something – it wasn’t actually anthrax – claiming that Saddam can deliver weapons of mass destruction to the eastern seaboard of the U.S.

… Of course, we learn later that Saddam had neither WMD nor any way to reach our shores.

U.N. arms inspector Blix said something much like that a few days before we invaded Iraq.

******

… “What do we know so far?” Hamilton began, ticking off the points on the fingers of his large hand. “One, the FBI took seven years and never proved who prepared and sent the anthrax letters. Two, the President wanted to invade Iraq and was seeking justification. Three, the threat of anthrax from Iraq was used to justify the invasion.

******

… “The very best police force in the land is assigned to track down the person or persons who prepared and mailed the lethal 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 how to deploy and use 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.

******

… “Time passes. A truly massive investigation is put into ponderous motion by the greatest police force in the land. Although some think there are only a few real suspects who should be investigated, namely those people with the means and the access to actually prepare and send the anthrax laced letters, the best police force in the land looks everyplace but where these suspects are known to be. Not surprisingly, no arrests are made.

“Now why would the best police force in the land look in all the wrong places? You can answer, Aryeh.”

Kauffman answered with a question. “Because they don’t want to solve the crime?”

“Right!” Hamilton said. “At least not until the unsolved anthrax attack can be used to support an invasion of the country still ruled by Saddam. The case for invasion is made from many factors, with WMD first among them; anthrax is prominently mentioned among the supposed weapons of mass destruction. Why, the great and respected Secretary of State even goes to the U.N. and waves what looks like a vial of anthrax, scaring the shit out of everybody.

******

… “You can’t prove that the FBI didn’t want to solve the case,” Kauffman said.

“Not yet,” Hamilton said.

******

… Marilyn Sowickey spoke first. “So you think the anthrax letters were a purposeful part of the President’s deception to justify the invasion of Iraq, that he intimidated the FBI so they didn’t solve the anthrax case, and that Dr. Ingram was subsequently murdered by our government in order to finally close the case when it no longer suited the President’s need to keep it open.”

“I’m not saying that’s what did happen,” Hamilton said. “I’m suggesting it could have happened, that it’s a hypothesis worth investigating.”

******

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

******

 

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments »

* If it had become known that the Administration had allowed this infiltration — the Bush Administration would never have won a second term

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 31, 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 *

.

Al-Timini, Bailey, Card ... Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld

.

from DXer’s comment …

  • Al-Timimi had been Andrew Card’s assistant.
  • He had a letter of commendation from the White House for classified work for the Navy while at the contractor SRA at the same time as Battelle consultant Charles Bailey (the former deputy USAMRIID Commander who turned prolific co-author of Ames research).
  • If it had become known that the Administration had allowed this infiltration — the Bush Administration would never have won a second term.
  • Al-Timimi’s dad worked at the Iraqi embassy in Washington.

******

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 17 Comments »

* DXer … if we knew what President Bush knew in February 2001, Amerithrax would be seen with entirely different eyes

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 2, 2010

.

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 *

.

******

DXer …

if we knew what President Bush knew in February 2001,

Amerithrax would be seen with entirely different eyes

******

Extracts from DXer’s comment to this post (see below) …

  • The threat to use mailed anthrax was described to President Bush by the CIA in a PDB in early February 2001 that is still classified. See 911 Commission Report.
  • In January 2001, a bail hearing was announced for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest #2. A threat to use anthrax was immediately sent to those responsible for the detention and threatened deportation to Cairo. Bail was denied on October 5 and then the mailer rushed to mail the good stuff.
  • The lawyer for the EIJ spiritual guide had announced in 1999 that Zawahiri intended to use anthrax to retaliate for the rendering and detention of senior EIJ leaders — and the plan was confirmed by the detained EIJ military leader (and another shura leader who was working for Egyptian intelligence services).
  • The late January threat was sent by the same people who sent letter bombs to the people symbolically responsible for the WTC 1993 plotters.
  • It was embarrassing to the Bush Administration because not only were they given express warning, but it is the former assistant of then White House Chief of Staff who the FBI suspects of accessing the biochemistry information relating to the concentration of anthrax using silica. See filing of defendant’s defense counsel.
  • The factual question of the day relates to the culture medium used by Ivins, and why the FBI did not allege that the recipe of the culture medium he used in the lab supported the searches they did.

******


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 23 Comments »

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

Posted by Lew Weinstein 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 »

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

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 2, 2009

 

LMW COMMENT

  • It is almost 8 years since the 2001 anthrax attacks, and yet it is abundantly clear that the FBI has not solved the case. The FBI contention that the deceased Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of these attacks would really be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.
  • Members of Congress have been seeking to get the facts from the FBI for many years, and are frustrated by the stonewalling of FBI Director Meuller. There are several initiatives underway, however, which may yet throw some light on whatever dark secrets the FBI is intent on keeping hidden.
  • It is my task this week to try to get updates on the status of various Congressional inquiries into the FBI’s anthrax investigation. As a prelude to these updates (if indeed any are forthcoming), I thought it would be helpful to summarize what has been said and written on this matter. Here is what I have found so far (readers of this blog – please send me more) …

3/3/09 – Holt introduces Anthrax Commission Legislation … Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today 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 to and investigation of the attacks. … “All of us – but especially the families of the victims of the anthrax attacks – deserve credible answers about how the attacks happened and whether the case really is closed,” Holt said. … Under Holt’s legislation, the commission would be comprised of no more than six members of from the same political party. The commission would hold public hearings, except in situations where classified information would be discussed. … The Commission’s final report would be due 18 months after the Commission begins operations. … “Myriad questions remain about the anthrax attacks and the government’s bungled response to the attacks,” Holt said. “One of the most effective oversight mechanisms we can employ to get answers to those questions is a 9/11 style Commission.”

March 2009 – Nadler and Holt call for investigative commission:This week, two Democratic congressmen, Jerry Nadler and Rush Holt, whose districts were affected by the attacks, introduced legislation calling for the creation of a 9/11-style commission to independently investigate the attacks because they say the nation deserves to know whether the case is truly solved.

September 2008 – Congressman Rush Holt: ”I just see so many loose ends in the case that I question whether the FBI is in the right frame of mind to bring this matter to the kind of closure that the public needs.”

9/16/2008 – House Judiciary Committee (reported by Glenn Greenwald)

  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (Mich.) and two other Democrats on the panel have signaled they will scrutinize the FBI’s work today.
  • This month, they wrote FBI Director Robert Mueller asking about missteps in identifying the anthrax strain used in the attacks and tracing it back to Ivins.
  • But after just an hour of the hearing, it is painfully clear that — as is true in virtually all of these hearings now before a pitifully powerless Congress —Mueller won’t provide the Committee with even a single answer of import, won’t even pretend to, and the Committee has no intent to compel him to do so.
  • the hearing began with an angry statement from Chairman Conyers about the fact that the FBI, in general, simply ignores all inquiries for information and answers from the Committee for months and months and months and then shows up at these hearings unprepared to answer even the questions they are advised will be asked, knowing that each member only has five minutes and can’t actually accomplish anything.
  • (Congressman Jerrold) Nadler (D-NY) than asked one of the most central questions in the anthrax case:
    • he pointed out that the facilities that (unlike Ft. Detrick) actually have the equipment and personnel to prepare dry, silica-coated anthrax are the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground and the Battelle Corporation, the private CIA contractor that conducts substantial research into highly complex strains of anthrax.
    • Nadler asked how the FBI had eliminated those institutions as the culprits behind the attack.
    • Mueller’s response was this: I don’t know the answers to those questions as to how we eliminated Dugway and Battelle. I’ll have to get back to you at some point.
  • Nadler then ended by asking whether Mueller would object to an independent commission or other body to review the FBI’s evidence and its accusations against Ivins and whether the FBI would cooperate with such an independent inquiry.
    • Mueller pretended to answer by telling Nadler that the FBI intended to ask some members of the National Academy of Science to review the FBI’s scientific claims, but that didn’t answer the question as to whether the FBI opposed a full-scale independent review of the FBI’s case and whether the FBI would cooperate with it.

9/16/2008 – post by Meryl Nass, M.D: 

  • Eleven or twelve members attended the House Judiciary Committee’s FBI oversight hearing today.
  • Repeatedly, they expressed disappointment with the FBI’s continuing failure to answer their questions, and to respond to written questions.
  • (FBI Director) Mueller spoke in generalities, failing to answer specific questions.
  • Only Rep. Nadler asked about anthrax, and to his credit inquired pointedly about the Silicon signature and weaponization. Mueller had no answers.
  • It’s FBI’s investigation that is unsatisfactory in every way, requiring an independent appraisal.
  • Don’t be fooled by an expensive and time-consuming NAS smokescreen.

September 2008 – reported by Glenn Greenwald (salon.com) One of the two Senate targets of the attack, Sen. Pat Leahy, flatly stated at a Senate hearing last September that he does not believe the FBI’s case against Ivins, and emphatically does not believe that Ivins acted alone.  … GOP Sen. Arlen Specter, at the same hearing, told the FBI they could never have obtained a conviction against Ivins in court based on their case — riddled, as it is, with so much doubt — and he also demanded an independent evaluation of the FBI’s evidence. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/04/anthrax/ … Grassley sent a letter to the FBI a month ago demanding answers to a whole slew of questions, and as he is asking them, Mueller — as he did yesterday — continues to say that he doesn’t have the answers and will obtain them at some point. … The Senators are indignant over this, but don’t appear to intend to do anything (just as was true for the House members yesterday), though Leahy is at least demanding that Mueller obtain these answers not at some point in the indefinite future, but today, during the breaks. The bottom line is that it is quite extraordinary that the FBI has claimed it has identified with certainty the sole culprit in the anthrax attacks, but so many key Senators, from both parties, simply don’t believe it, and are saying so explicitly. … Leahy’s rather dark suggestion that there were others involved in these attacks — likely at a U.S. Army facility or key private CIA contractor — is particularly notable. … It has been crystal clear from the beginning that the FBI’s case is filled with glaring holes, that their thuggish behavior towards their only suspect drove him to commit suicide and thus is unable to defend himself, and yet, to this day, the FBI continues to conceal the evidence in its possession and is stonewalling any and all efforts to scrutinize its claims. … It takes a lot for Senators from both parties to so openly and explicitly say they don’t believe the FBI’s definitive accusations in such a high-profile case. Perhaps that will be understood as a reflection of how dubious the FBI’s case here is. … these attacks were — as our own Government claims — ones that originated from U.S. Army facilities and perpetrated by U.S. Government employees, it ought to be understood as exactly that. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/17/senate_judiciary/index.html  September 2008 – Last week, staff members for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) pressed U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor and two FBI officials to say when the anthrax case will be closed and why investigators had fixed on Ivins six months after notifying him in April 2007 that he was not a target. Investigators told congressional aides that they are still pursuing leads in the “Amerithrax” investigation, sources said.

September 2008 – Senator Grassley letter to FBI Director Mueller: Here are the 18 questions asked in Senator Grassley’s letter …

  1. What is the date (month and year) that the FBI determined that the anthrax came from a specified flask in Ivins’s lab (”RMR-1029″)?
  2. When (month and year) did the FBI determine that Dr. Hatfill never had access to the anthrax used in the killings?
  3. How did the FBI determine that Dr. Hatfill did not have access to the anthrax used in the killings?  Was that because the FBI determined that Dr. Hatfill no longer worked at USAMRIID when the powder was made?
  4. Was Dr. Hatfill or his counsel informed that Dr. Hatfill had been cleared of any involvement in the anthrax killings before the Department of Justice offered a settlement to him?  Was he informed before signing the settlement agreement with him?  If not, please explain why not.
  5. Was Judge Walton (the judge overseeing the Privacy Act litigation) ever informed that Dr. Hatfill had been eliminated as a suspect in the anthrax killings?  If so, when.  If not, please explain why not.
  6. Was Dr. Ivins ever polygraphed in the course of the investigation?  If so, please provide the dates and results of the exam(s).  If not, please explain why not.
  7. Of the more than 100 people who had access to RMR 1029, how many were provided custody of samples sent outside Ft. Detrick?  Of those, how many samples were provided to foreign laboratories?
  8. If those with access to samples of RMR 1029 in places other than Ft. Detrick had used the sample to produce additional quantities of anthrax, would that anthrax appear distinguishable from RMR 1029?
  9. How can the FBI be sure that none of the samples sent to other labs were used to create additional quantities of anthrax that would appear distinguishable from RMR 1029?
  10. Please describe the methodology and results of any oxygen isotope measurements taken to determine the source of water used to grow the spores used in the anthrax attacks.
  11. Was there video equipment which would record the activities of Dr. Ivins at Ft. Detrick on the late nights he was there on the dates surrounding the mailings?  If so, please describe what examination of the video revealed.
  12. When did the FBI first learn of Dr. Ivins’ late-night activity in the lab around the time of the attacks?  If this is powerful circumstantial evidence of his guilt, then why did this information not lead the FBI to focus attention on him, rather than Dr. Hatfill, much sooner in the investigation?
  13. When did the FBI first learn that Dr. Ivins was prescribed medications for various symptoms of mental illness?  If this is circumstantial evidence of his guilt, then why did this information not lead the FBI to focus attention on him, rather than Dr. Hatfill, much sooner in the investigation? Of the 100 individuals who had access to RMR 1029, were any others found to suffer from mental illness, be under the care of a mental health professional, or prescribed anti-depressant/anti-psychotic medications?   If so, how many?
  14. What role did the FBI play in conducting and updating the background examination of Dr. Ivins in order for him to have clearance and work with deadly pathogens at Ft. Detrick?
  15. After the FBI identified Dr. Ivins as the sole suspect, why was he not detained?  Did the U.S. Attorney’s Office object to seeking an arrest or material witness warrant?  If not, did anyone at FBI order a slower approach to arresting Ivins?
  16. Had an indictment of Dr. Ivins been drafted before his death?  If so, what additional information did it contain beyond the affidavits already released to the public?  If not, then when, if ever, had a decision been made to seek an indictment from the grand jury?
  17. According to family members, FBI agents publicly confronted and accused Dr. Ivins of the attacks, showed pictures of the victims to his daughter, and offered the $2.5 million reward to his son in the months leading up to his suicide.  These aggressive, overt surveillance techniques appear similar to those used on Dr. Hatfill with the apparent purpose of intimidation rather than legitimate investigation.  Please describe whether and to what degree there is any truth to these claims.
  18. What additional documents will be released, if any, and when will they be released?

August 2008 – Library of Congress – Senate Finance Committee – Mishandling of Anthrax Investigation  Senator Grassley has continued to follow closely the FBI investigation of the mailings of letters laced with anthrax to several targets in the United States, including members of Congress and the national media. Until late 2008, the investigation had yielded no criminal charges. Senator Grassley had been critical that the FBI’s apparent mishandling of the investigation was a result of the FBI’s institutional resistance to criticism and by the misallocation of resources toward protecting the FBI’s image rather than protecting the United States. Senator Grassley also expressed dissatisfaction with the FBI’s refusal to provide Congress with periodic briefings on the status of the investigation. He requested both a briefing on the status of the investigation and a number of documents and records relating to the case. The Attorney General responded with an initial refusal to provide either the requested documents or a briefing on the status of the investigation, citing the Department of Justice’s policy against disclosing non-public information concerning pending law enforcement activities and prosecutions. However, following additional negotiations, the FBI Director provided a briefing to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Arlen Specter, as well as Senator Grassley. The initial portion of the briefing was open to staff. However, the later portion of the briefing was Members-only. Since Dr. Ivins death, the FBI has provided several briefings for the staffs of Senator Grassley and other Members of Congress. However, given his misgivings about the FBI’s handling of the case, Senator Grassley will continue to conduct oversight of the FBI’s handling of the investigation. Significant questions remain unanswered about the scientific evidence relied upon by the FBI, why that evidence failed to lead them to Dr. Ivins much earlier in the investigation, how the FBI entrusted Dr. Ivins with samples of the attack material during the investigation, and when the FBI first learned of Dr. Ivins’ mental health issues. Senator Grassley has called for an independent inquiry to assure the public that the FBI’s decision to close its investigation is appropriate.

August 2008 – interview of Senator Grassley by Glenn Greenwald (Salon radio):    Sen. Grassley reveals that the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Pat Leahy (of which Grassley is a member), will now hold hearings to investigate the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins. Grassley demands that the FBI send officials who are able and willing to answer all questions, and also calls for full and complete public disclosure of all of the evidence in the FBI’s possession regarding its investigation.  Grassley: No, and I assume one of the reasons I haven’t (received an answer to my 18 questions) is because in the meantime, the FBI has consented to a hearing that Senator Leahy’s having, and a hearing is one instrument of doing it. If this case is solved the way the FBI wants us to believe that it’s been solved, is it closed? And if it’s closed, then everything ought to be brought out into the open. One of the problems we have right now is, with the FBI, there’s just too much secrecy. Getting all the documents out, getting all the information out is important. … That information, now that the case is closed, ought to be available to the entire public. At the very least it ought to be entitled to anybody that’s got oversight of the FBI if there’s some reason that the entire public should not be notified of it.  … in too many administrations, Republican or Democrat, there has been an effort to not fully cooperate with Congress on hearings. Now, that would tend to be a statement on my part, blaming the executive branch entirely, but I also, as a person who’s been very aggressive in oversight myself, feel that all of Congress has come up short of doing the proper checks and balances of government that our Constitution requires, and doing that through more aggressive oversight. see entire transcript of interview at … http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/radio/2008/08/20/grassley/index1.html

3/11/07 – 60 Minutes interviews Sen. Grassley Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has looked into the case and has concluded that there was leaking by top officials and that the purpose was not to shut Hatfill down, but to hide the lack of progress in the case. “I believe the extent to which they wanted the public to believe that they were making great progress in this case, and the enormous pressure they had after a few years to show that, yes, that they was very much misleading the public.” http://cbs3.com/topstories/60.Minutes.anthrax.2.281289.html

10/28/06 – Grassley says FBI needs to report on anthrax investigation  By Stella Shaffer RADIO IOWA   Senator Charles Grassley says the FBI’s failed investigation of a 2001 bio-terrorism attack on congress could signal bigger problems.  … Grassley says he’s concerned the FBI hasn’t solved the case. But he’s even more unhappy that they refuse to brief congress on the investigation. … Grassley sees only one reason for the silence: “If there were some sort of secret thing that was bringing them close to somebody and they didn’t want to let them know they were hot on somebody’s trail.”  … But Grassley says the FBI could make that clear in a report, thereby giving Congress an update and showing they were making progress. Grassley, who is a Republican, says he thinks government should be “transparent” and citizens have a right to know what’s happening particularly when FBI “headquarters is involved and trying to cover up what FBI agents at the grassroots are doing and they’re worried about the public relations of the FBI and that’s when they wind up getting egg on their faces.”  … Grassley charges that the secrecy is proof that the culture of the FBI is not changing like it should be, or as he’s been promised. … Grassley’s sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales requesting numerous documents and a full briefing on the anthrax investigation. … Grassley, who’s long been a critic of the FBI, says its refusal to submit to congressional oversight has resulted in an inability to prevent crime and terrorism, and has led to misconduct by senior staff members.

10/24/06 – Jim Popkin, NBC News Investigative Unit: 

  • Late Monday, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, sent a damning six-page letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales requesting a briefing on the FBI investigation, now five years old.  The letter faults the agency for its handling of the case, saying “the FBI has little in the way of results to show for its work.”
  • Meanwhile, in an unusual move, the FBI’s top lobbyist has informed members of Congress that the bureau will no longer brief them on the case.
  • Meanwhile, the FBI recently installed a new team of top investigators to head up the anthrax case. Sources familiar with the case tell NBC News that the new managers are looking anew at all possible suspects, with a much broader focus than before.

9/28/2006 – FBI Letter to Congressman Rush Holt: listed on FBI’s Amerithrax site but no link provided to actual letter

November 2001 – FBI Letter Addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy listed on FBI’s Amerithrax site but no link provided to actual letter

******

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

* Bush admits torture to gain information regarding the anthrax attacks

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 29, 2009

Eartha Jane Melzer of the Michigan Messenger writes (5-29-09) …

Bush & Cheney

  • Former President George W. Bush, in a nearly 90-minute-long unscripted address to the local economic development club in this down-trodden southwest Michigan city (Benton Harbor), said Thursday evening he was honored to have served during “some unusual times,” making repeated references to the challenges he faced as commander in chief amid the “fog of war.”
  • … the former president spoke indirectly of his administration’s authorization of the use of torture against detainees captured during the War on Terror, avoiding the words “torture” and “abuse.”
  • “You have to make tough decisions,” Bush said. “They’ve captured a guy who murdered 3,000 citizens … that affected me … They come in and say he may have more information
  •  …and we had an anthrax attack … and they say he may have more information. What do you do?“
  • Bush was firm and defended his record as president: “I will tell you that the information gained saved lives.”

read the entire article at … http://michiganmessenger.com/19945/bush-on-his-presidency-there-is-such-a-thing-as-the-fog-of-war

LMW COMMENT

It sure seems like former President Bush has admitted torturing a prisoner to gain information about the anthrax attacks.

How can this be reconciled with the FBI’s determination, very early on, that the anthrax used in the attacks came from a U.S. lab? Or the FBI’s current insistence that USAMRIID scientist Dr. Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 attacks?

What Bush (and Cheney) were doing, in my view, was trying desperately to tie the anthrax attacks to Saddam Hussein, in order to add another justification for invading Iraq.

If this is true, Bush and Cheney tortured, not to save lives, but to justify a war of choice that has so far killed over 4,ooo Americans and many tens of thousands of Iraqis, while advancing no discernible national interest.

CC - front cover - small

Questions that cry out to be answered.

Who was tortured in connection with the anthrax attacks?

Who did the torturing? (FBI Director Meuller has said the FBI did not torture anyone)

What questions were asked? What information was gained?

Was the information obtained by torture shared with the FBI (assuming it wasn’t them doing the torturing)? 

What was done with that information?

In my new novel CASE CLOSED, I present a fictional scenario to explain why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax case. My theory is that the FBI failed to solve the case because they were told not to. Who would have the power to squelch an FBI investigation in a mass murder carried out in a terrorist fashion? Why?

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