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joeb

Registered:
Posts: 8,262
Reply with quote  #1 
The taxpayer funded organization known as the ( I want to believe-X Files)FBI wants you to believe the case of the 911 Anthrax attack against US citizens has been solved.
FBI agents hope you will now forget about the event, as if you hadn't already , because they have now solved the crime FBI agents committed against America.
So don't dig any deeper into who used Anthrax against American citizens because
FBI agents have solved the case.
I will post the best evidence for linking FBI agents to using Anthrax as a weapon against American citizens

Fort Detrick Scientist "Commits Suicide" as Anthrax investigation closes in

by Wayne Madsen

Global Research, August 2, 2008
WayneMadsenReport.com



Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist at the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, reportedly committed suicide after ingesting prescription-strength Tylenol and codeine, as the FBI prepared to charge him in the anthrax attacks weeks after the 9/11 attack in 2001.

Ivins was part of the FBI team that investigated the anthrax sent in letters to the Senate's Democratic leadership.

In March of this year, Fox News reported: ""The FBI has narrowed its focus to 'about four' suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Army'™s bio-weapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland . . . Among the pool of suspects are three scientists '” a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist '” linked to the research facility, known as USAMRIID. The FBI has collected writing samples from the three scientists in an effort to match them to the writer of anthrax-laced letters that were mailed to two U.S. senators and at least two news outlets in the fall of 2001, a law enforcement source confirmed." It is now believed that the microbiologist in question was Ivins. The other suspects have not yet been identified. Although the FBI said the four Fort Detrick personnel were suspects, WMR previously reported that some Fort Detrick personnel were in a whistleblower status concerning knowledge of the perpetrators of the anthrax attacks.

Fox News' March report stated: "Fox News obtained an email from a USAMRIID employee describing how he was surprised to learn the powdered anthrax was produced at Fort Detrick. The e-mail written by the employee who had been asked to compare the anthrax sent through the mail with that produced at Fort Detrick read in part: "Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared . . . to duplicate the letter material . . . Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same . . his knees got shaky and he sputtered, 'But I told the General we didn't make spore powder!'"

WMR reported on July 3, 2008: "WMR has now learned from an informed source in Frederick, Maryland, the location of Fort Detrick, that the author of the email was in the highest echelons at USAMRIID. Previously, WMR learned from an official of the National Guard Bureau in Provo, Utah that the aerosolized anthrax used in the attacks was originally produced at the US Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, the location of the government's only aerosolized anthrax production facility in the country, and sent to Fort Detrick for use in the postal system attacks in 2001."

On October 5, 2005, WMR reported on the major reason behind the Army's anthrax attacks on American citizens and political leaders: "It should be recalled that Congress originally passed the Patriot Act during an anthrax attack on the offices of the Senate Democratic Majority Leader and the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although the anthrax used in the attack was traced to a strain maintained by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, the perpetrators were never found."

On April 8, 2002, this editor wrote the following for CounterPunch: "Now that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has officially put the anthrax investigation on a back burner, it is time for Americans to think the unthinkable: that the FBI has never been keen to identify the perpetrator because that perpetrator may, in fact, be the U.S. Government itself. Evidence is mounting that the source of the anthrax was a top secret U.S. Army laboratory in Maryland and that the perpetrators involve high-level officials in the U.S. military and intelligence infrastructure.

Forget unfounded conspiracy theories. The evidence is overwhelming that the FBI has consistently shied away from pursuing the anthrax investigation, in much the same way it avoided pursuing leads in the USS Cole, East Africa U.S. embassies, and Khobar Towers bombings.

On April 4, ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross broadcast on ABC World News Tonight that after six months the FBI still had hardly any clues and no suspects in its anthrax investigation. A Soviet defector, the former First Deputy Director of Biopreparat from 1988 to 1992 and anthrax expert, Ken Alibek (formerly Kanatjan Alibekov), now a U.S. government consultant, made the astounding claim that the person who is behind the anthrax attacks may, in fact, been advising the U.S. government. After having passed a lie detector test, Alibek was cleared of any suspicion.

Interestingly, Alibek is President of Hadron Advanced Biosystems. On October 2, 2001, just two days before the first anthrax case was reported in Boca Raton, Florida and a week and a half before the first anthrax was sent through the mail to NBC News in New York, Advanced Biosystems received an $800,000 grant from NIH to focus on very specific defenses against anthrax. Hadron has long been linked with the CIA. The links include charges by many former government officials, including the late former Attorney General Elliot Richardson, that the company's former President, Earl Brian, illegally procured a database system called PROMIS (Prosecutors' Management Information System) from Inslaw, Inc. and used his connections to the CIA and Israeli intelligence to illegally distribute the software to various foreign governments.

Ross reported that U.S. military and intelligence agencies have refused to provide the FBI with a full listing of the secret facilities and employees working on anthrax projects. Because of this stonewalling, crucial evidence has been withheld. Professor Jeanne Guilleman of MIT's Biological Weapons Studies Center told ABC, 'We're talking here about laboratories where, in fact, the material that we know was in the Daschle letter and in the Leahy letter could have been produced. And I think that's what the FBI is still trying to find out.'

The first major media outlet to accuse the FBI of foot dragging was the BBC. On March 14, the BBC's Newsnight program highlighted an interview with Dr. Barbara Rosenberg of the Federation of American Scientists. After claiming the CIA was involved, through government contractors, in secret testing of sending anthrax through the mail, Rosenberg, someone with close ties to the biological warfare community, has been attacked by the White House, FBI, and, not surprisingly, the CIA.

The BBC also interviewed Dr. Timothy Read of the Institute of Genomic Research and a leading expert on the genetic characteristics of anthrax. Read said of the two strains, 'They're definitely related to each other ... closely related to each other.' However, Read would not go so far as to suggest the Florida strain, known as the Ames strain, and that developed at the U.S. Army's top secret Fort Detrick biological warfare laboratory - officially known as the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases -- were one and the same.

William Capers Patrick III was part of the original Fort Detrick anthrax development program, which 'officially' ended in 1972 when President Nixon signed, along with the Soviet Union and United Kingdom, the Biological Weapons Convention. Nixon had actually ordered the Pentagon to stop producing biological weapons in 1969. It now seems likely that the U.S. military and intelligence community failed to follow Nixon's orders and, in fact, have consistently violated a lawful treaty signed by the United States.

Last December, the New York Times claimed Patrick authored a secret paper on the effects of sending anthrax through the mail, a report he denies. However, Patrick told the BBC that he was surprised that as an expert of anthrax (he was a member of the UN biological warfare inspection team in the 1990s), the FBI did not interview him right after the first anthrax attacks.

The BBC reported that Battelle Memorial Institute (a favorite Pentagon and CIA contractor and for whom Alibek served as biological warfare program manager in 1998) conducted a secret biological warfare test in the Nevada desert using genetically-modified anthrax early last September, right before the terrorist attacks. The BBC reported that Patrick's paper on sending anthrax through the mail was also part of the classified contractor work on the deadly bacterial agent.

The Hartford Courant reported last January that 27 sets of biological toxin specimens were reported missing from Fort Detrick after an inventory was conducted in 1992. The paper reported that among the specimens missing was the Ames strain on anthrax. A former Detrick laboratory technician named Eric Oldenberg told The Courant that while at Detrick, he only handled the Ames strain, the same strain sent to the Senate and the media. The Hartford Courant also revealed that other specimens missing included Ebola, hanta virus, simian AIDS, and two labeled 'unknown,' a cover term for classified research on secret biological agents.

Steven Block of Stanford University, an expert on biological warfare, told The Dallas Morning News that, 'The American process for preparing anthrax is secret in its details, but experts know that it produces an extremely pure powder. One gram (a mere 28th of an ounce) contains a trillion spores . . . A trillion spores per gram is basically solid spore . . . It appears from all reports so far that this was a powder made with the so-called optimal U.S. recipe . . . That means they either had to have information from the United States or maybe they were the United States.' (author's emphasis).

Block also told the Dallas paper, 'The FBI, after all these months, has still not arrested anybody . . . It's possible, as has been suggested, that they may be standing back because the person that's involved with it may have secret information that the United States government would not like to have divulged.'"

The "secret information" about the anthrax attacks is now leaking out in a torrent and the perpetrator, as many suspected seven years ago, is the U.S. government. So the question begs to be asked -- if the U.S. government would subject its own citizens to a bio-warfare terrorist attack, could it have also engineered plane hijackings and the demolition of the World Trade Center with the assistance of Saudi, Israeli agents, and private military contractor agents? The record now suggests the answer to that question is a clear and very loud "Yes."



Wayne Madsen is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Wayne Madsen
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joeb

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Posts: 8,262
Reply with quote  #2 
BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman ON 8/3/2008 3:01PM 
Washington Post Scrubs Friday Article That Cast Doubt on Reported 'Anthrax Killer' Case
Then Returns to Similar Questions About Ivins' Lack of Acces to 'Dry, Powdered Anthrax' in Sunday Article
New WaPo Story Begs Additional New Questions in Feds' Purported Case...

-- Brad Friedman

We're glad it's the Washington Post, and not just us "bloggers", asking questions about this anthrax case. Had we been the ones pointing to the questions that WaPo is now pointing to, we'd have been accused of forwarding "just another conspiracy theory" and the notable questions raised might have been relegated to the trash-bin of history.

Since it's WaPo raising the questions, on the other hand, the trash-bin will take an extra day or two to fill up, but we suspect the results may eventually be the same: Legend will have it that the lone "Anthrax Killer," Bruce E. Ivins, killed himself just before he was to be indicted on capital murder charges. Case closed on the previously-unsolved deadly series of terrorist attacks that occurred on American soil since 9/11.

That said, it's certainly odd the way that WaPo has been covering this story. While their top story on page A1 today is headlined "Scientists Question FBI's Probe of Anthrax Attacks" and sub-titled "Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say," the paper nonetheless managed to scrub from their website --- or at least completely replace --- a story they ran originally on Friday afternoon questioning the same points (whether Ivins had the means, ability or access to the dry, weaponized anthrax used in the attack letters against senior Democratic Senators and other perceived "liberals") with another that greatly softened concerns about those questions.

No retraction or correction notice --- unethically, in our opinion --- was given for WaPo's odd swaperoo. The Friday WaPo story we linked to that day --- which was dated "Friday, August 1, 2008; 5:46 PM" and reported that that the purported "Anthrax Killer", Bruce E. Ivins "had no access to dry, powdered anthrax" at his U.S. Army bioweapons lab in Fort Detrick, MD --- was simply swapped out with a completely different story in its place on the matter, dated Saturday, August 2, 2008. The same URL was used for both stories, but the Saturday story didn't have the bulk of the reporting which quoted named experts and colleagues questioning Ivins' ability to even carry out such an attack.

After noticing the swap/excising of the original Friday story (hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter Bruce Sims), we were set to run a story focusing on the spiked report, when we then checked today's paper to see that they were leading the Sunday edition with a story that raised many of those same questions from the Friday story again.

Fortunately, we cached the original Friday story here, before it was disappeared and replaced, and have done the same for today's story, should that one go missing as well. Comparisons between WaPo's (disappeared) Friday, Saturday and Sunday coverage is curious enough, however, --- and offers some fresh, additional unanswered questions --- that it seems worth noting all of it, and the differences in each days' coverage, for the record...

Friday v. Saturday in WaPo

As we quoted in our quick Friday coverage of the WaPo's story posted late Friday afternoon (now cached here), doubts about Ivins' ability to have created the anthrax used in the attacks, as reported in their story, were substantive and prominently filled out most of the second half of their story.

Here's what we had quoted from that story in full on Friday [emphasis added, just as we did on Friday when we first quoted it]:
[H]is name never surfaced as a potential suspect in the mailings case. "He was not on my radar," said a Senate source whose office was briefed on the FBI's progress.

He also never raised the suspicions of coworkers, many of whom remained convinced that Ivins had nothing to do with the anthrax attack.

"Almost everybody at 'RIID believes that he has absolutely nothing to do with Amerithrax," said a USAMRIID employee, referring to the FBI code name for the investigation. "The FBI has been hounding him mercilessly."

The employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation, said the FBI had visited his lab on "numerous" occasions over the last several years, seizing lab samples, records and equipment.

The constant scrutiny "really pushed this poor guy to the edge," the employee said, and noted that his colleagues were upset at the way Ivins had been treated.
...
Several scientists who worked with Ivins also question whether he would have had the technical skills to create the sophisticated powder used in the anthrax attack. Creating the kind of highly lethal, easily dispersible powder used in the 2001 attacks requires unique skills not normally associated with vaccine specialists.

"He had no access to dry, powdered anthrax, according to Fort Detrick spokespersons, who said that only liquid anthrax was used at the Fort Detrick facility in animal aerosolization experiments," said Meryl Nass, a physician and bioterrorism expert. "If he had been making dry anthrax, it would have been detectable."

In comparison, the Saturday story which took its place, using the same URL, had softened the questions about Ivins' actually possessing the means to carry out the attacks, and led early with the following, seemingly contradictory point:
As a researcher for the Army's main lab for studying bioterror agents, Ivins had easy access to anthrax bacteria, including the specific strain of Bacillus anthracis used in the attacks on media outlets and congressional offices in the fall of 2001.

What the story doesn't note (unlike Friday's) is that while Ivins had access to liquid strains of the deadly bacteria, he reportedly had no access to the dry, powdered form, which apparently is difficult to create, particularly under the watchful eye of his colleagues and other protocol at the high-security lab.

A few questions about Ivins' ability to carry out the attacks remained in the Saturday story, but just a few. They were sprinkled throughout the story. In sum, here is all of the reportage to that end from the Saturday article:
Despite the allegations --- and even after Ivins's apparent plunge into mental illness --- longtime friends and colleagues say it is inconceivable that Ivins could have been a bioterrorist.
...
Added another co-worker: "Almost everybody . . . believes that he had absolutely nothing to do with Amerithrax [the code-name for the FBI investigation]."
...
John Ezzell, a former top scientist [at Fort Detrick]...said the experiments [Ivins was involved in] did not involve anthrax in its dried form, the type found in the letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.)
...
"He was not on my radar," said a Senate source whose office was briefed on the FBI's progress.
...
[Former colleague W. Russell] Byrne said. "He is not Timothy McVeigh. He's not the Unabomber."

We're setting aside neighbor and co-worker accounts of Ivins, as found in all of the stories, describing him as a nice, caring guy who, they believe, wouldn't have been involved in anything as diabolical as the anthrax letters. Frequently, with serial killers in other such cases, co-workers and neighbors testify that they were caught unawares of the accused murderer's double-life as a psychopath. The oft-heard "he was a quiet guy who kept to himself, we never imagined he'd be capable of anything like that" sort of accounts. So we don't take away anything, in particular, from the passages describing Ivins as a swell guy by those who knew him in any of the stories to be particularly exculpatory.

Similarly, we've set aside the various reported accounts of his achievements in science and his works of good will, as described by neighbors and co-workers in both stories since, in and of themselves, we don't find those points to be particularly exculpatory either, even as they may be notable.

On the other hand, we do find it notable when we read statements from experts and co-workers making points such as "He had no access to dry, powdered anthrax" and "If he had been making dry anthrax, it would have been detectable," as the scrubbed Friday story noted.

One more point on the Friday story which, perhaps, offers a certain benefit of the doubt to WaPo. The passage we quoted in bold was an odd one. We had to read it a couple of times to make sure we had placed the quotation marks in the right place when using it in our report. Here is the passage in question again in full [sans bolding]:
"He had no access to dry, powdered anthrax, according to Fort Detrick spokespersons, who said that only liquid anthrax was used at the Fort Detrick facility in animal aerosolization experiments," said Meryl Nass, a physician and bioterrorism expert. "If he had been making dry anthrax, it would have been detectable."

In that passage, the physician/bioterrorism expert Nass is quoted as saying "He had no access to dry, powdered anthrax, according to Fort Detrick spokespersons..." which is an odd attribution, quoting someone quoting someone else. It had occurred to us that there might have been some typographical errors in the WaPo's reporting there at the time.

If that was the case, it might have made sense to either remove that passage or otherwise clear it up with a note about the correction. WaPo, however, made no such note on the story and, in fact, seem to have killed it completely and replaced it with another wholly different report at the same URL, making no note whatsoever for readers. Such a correction notice should have been a journalistic no-brainer when making such a change. Even if there is ultimately nothing nefarious in having scrubbed the original story (we don't know whether there is or isn't), that WaPo failed to note it somehow would seem to be in violation of their own editorial policies and certainly in violation of Journalistic Ethics and Transparency 101.

We have not been able to reach anybody at WaPo who can speak to that matter however, but will update (and note the update here!) if we do.

Sunday's WaPo Story

The Sunday WaPo story seems to restore many of the questions that the Friday report had originally made, however. The headline used on today's article --- "Scientists Question FBI Probe On Anthrax: Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say" --- begins again to cast doubt on the story that has been leaking out from "officials" since the news of Ivins' reported suicide first broke in Friday's LATimes.

Early in today's WaPo, perhaps for "balance", it's alleged, as it was on Saturday, that Ivins did possess the means to come up with dry, powdered anthrax:
In interviews yesterday, knowledgeable officials asserted that Ivins had the skills and access to equipment needed to turn anthrax bacteria into an ultra-fine powder that could be used as a lethal weapon.

While that makes things appear as if he coulda done it, what isn't declared is Ivins' actual lack of access to the dry form of anthrax used in the attacks.

Those "knowledgeable officials," mentioned, as in Saturday's story, are never named, of course --- unlike all of those whose names are on record, in all of the stories, speaking to Ivins' inability to have carried out this type of attack. Additionally, a close read of the details later in the story, expounding on the above, seem to quote only one unnamed official, as opposed to "officials" in plural:
One bioweapons expert familiar with the FBI investigation said Ivins indeed possessed the skills needed to create the dust-fine powder used in the attacks. At the Army lab where he worked, Ivins specialized in making sophisticated preparations of anthrax bacteria spores for use in animal tests, said the expert, who requested anonymity because the investigation remains active.

Ivins's daily routine included the use of processes and equipment the anthrax terrorist likely used in making his weapons. He also is known to have had ready access to the specific strain of Bacillus anthracis used in the attack --- a strain found to match samples found in Ivins's lab, he said.

"You could make it in a week," the expert said. "And you could leave USAMRIID with nothing more than a couple of vials. Bear in mind, they weren't exactly doing body searches of scientists back then."

Of course other such unnamed "knowledgeable officials" could have spoken to WaPo, but if so, none of them were directly quoted and thus, presumably spoke only on background.

On the other hand, the doubts about Ivins' ability to pull off the attacks, as originally averred in Friday's now-scrubbed story, are restored in large part in the Sunday story:
[C]olleagues and friends of the vaccine specialist remained convinced that Ivins was innocent: They contended that he had neither the motive nor the means to create the fine, lethal powder that was sent by mail to news outlets and congressional offices in the late summer and fall of 2001. Mindful of previous FBI mistakes in fingering others in the case, many are deeply skeptical that the bureau has gotten it right this time.

"I really don't think he's the guy. I say to the FBI, 'Show me your evidence,' " said Jeffrey J. Adamovicz, former director of the bacteriology division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, on the grounds of the sprawling Army fort in Frederick.
...
[O]thers, including former colleagues and scientists with backgrounds in biological weapons defense, disagreed that Ivins could have created the anthrax powder, even if he were motivated to do so.

"USAMRIID doesn't deal with powdered anthrax," said Richard O. Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins at the Army lab. "I don't think there's anyone there who would have the foggiest idea how to do it. You would need to have the opportunity, the capability and the motivation, and he didn't possess any of those."

Another scientist who worked with Ivins acknowledged it would have been technically possible to manufacture powdered anthrax at Fort Detrick, but unlikely that anyone could have done so without being detected.

"As well as we knew each other, and the way the labs were run, someone would discover what was going on," said the scientist, "especially since dry spores were not something that we prepared or worked with."

A Few More Questions Arise...

We don't have an opinion at this time, one way or another, as to whether Ivins is the "Anthrax Killer". We began on the anthrax beat last Friday morning after noticing that virtually all the major corporate media coverage of the story, unforgivably in our opinion, had failed to note that the majority of those targeted by the deadly letters --- such as Senators Daschle and Leahy and NBC's Tom Brokaw --- were powerful men, perceived by Rightwingers to be in opposition to the Republicanist political agenda following 9/11.

As we reported at the time, after our conversation with Ivins oldest brother Thomas on Friday, "not one" of the many reporters who had spoken to him throughout the day, even bothered to inquire into Bruce's political leanings or affiliations, as he told us when we were the first to apparently inquire.

It seemed to us at the time, and still does, that it's unlikely that any of the papers in question would have failed to note that "conservatives" had been targeted in the attacks, had the letters gone to folks like Tom Delay, Karl Rove or Bill O'Reilly originally.

Given the recent under-reported story of a church shooter who opened fire last week at a Unitarian Church, reportedly because the shooter hated "liberals," and the coinciding story that the Bush DoJ had illegally screened out perceived "liberal Democrats" from non-political career jobs, and even fired appointees believed to be lesbians, it seems particularly egregious that the corporate media continues to overlook these series of Rightwing on "Liberal" crimes.

But the additional strange questions revealed by this case, and the odd handling of them by the media, have certainly caught our eye, at least for the moment. As it's happily the WaPo who is asking some of those questions (for a change) this time, we're happy to at least note them.

There were two more passages of note from today's front page story on what --- in lieu of hard evidence forthcoming, as reportedly promised by the feds --- seems, so far, to be little more than a circumstantial case against Ivins.

In the second graf, WaPo reports today:
In tactics that the [Fort Detrick] researchers considered heavy-handed and often threatening, they were interviewed and polygraphed as early as 2002, and reinterviewed numerous times. Their labs were searched, and their computers and equipment carted away.

If that's true, then we must presume that Ivins successfully passed that lie-detector test in 2002. Otherwise, why has it taken so long to focus on him? Particularly since the FBI had been known to have focused on Ivins' colleague Steven Hatfill for years. While he had always maintained his innocence, Hatfill sued the Justice Dept. who, only last month, finally agreed to settle with Hatfill for $5.8 million, thus exonerating him of suspicion.

According to the bulk of the reportage we've looked at, the feds' current case against Ivins seems to hinge largely on the testimony of Ivins' social worker Jean Duley. She has alleged that Ivins is a "revenge killer" who "As far back as the year 2000, has actually attempted to murder several other people, [including] through poisoning," as quoted by WaPo, apparently from testimony Duley recently offered to a judge during an attempt to receive a restraining order against Ivins.

Their story then ends this way [emphasis ours]:
She described a July 9 group therapy session in which Ivins allegedly talked of mass murder.

"He was extremely agitated, out of control," she said. Ivins told the group he had bought a gun, and proceeded to lay out a "long and detailed homicidal plan," she said.

"Because he was about to be indicted on capital murder charges, he was going to go out in a blaze of glory; that he was going to take everybody out with him," she said.

As highlighted, those claims, according to Duley, were made in group therapy. Therefore, there ought to be a number of others available to corroborate the testimony from Duley concerning Ivins' alleged statements about planned "revenge killings."

We'll wait patiently for those folks to step forward to back up Duley's allegations.

But in the meantime, Meryl Nass, who was initially quoted in the Friday story as claiming that Ivins "had no access to dry, powdered anthrax," and is described by WaPo as as a "a physician and bioterrorism expert" (her full CV is posted here), has her own blog that examines the anthrax case.

Today, in an item focusing on Duley's various reported statements, Nass writes (hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "Floridiot"):
She claimed, "As far back as the year 2000, the respondent has actually attempted to murder several other people, either through poisoning. He is a revenge killer. When he feels that he's been slighted or has had — especially toward women — he plots and actually tries to carry out revenge killings," Duley said. She added that Ivins "has been forensically diagnosed by several top psychiatrists as a sociopathic, homicidal killer. I have that in evidence. And through my working with him, I also believe that to be very true."

As a physician who is called to assess psychiatric patients presenting to the ER, I find her statements troubling: if any of these psychiatrists diagnosed Ivins as homicidal, that physician would be required to start immediate proceedings for psychiatric hospital commitment. Patients who are a danger to themselves or others must not be allowed to carry out such activities. That is the law.

Furthermore, if Duley believed Ivins had attempted serial murders, she would be required to consult with her supervising physician and immediately call in the police. Was this done? Who was poisoned? If, as reported, she had only been treating Ivins for six months, what evidence did she have of more remote attacks?

Finally, patients who are actually planning murders (or have attempted them) do not usually tell other patients and a therapist about it in group therapy sessions. Someone who talks about such thoughts is trying to explain how they feel and get help.

All very good questions, and very good points.

In a final note, she goes on to claim: "One media report said Duley was no longer employed at the mental health center where she treated Ivins. Was she let go for nonprofessional behavior? We need to know more about this woman, the basis for her claims, and whether she carried out her professional duties with regard to them."

Nass did not, however, offer a cite or a link to that "one media report". So we'll put that also in the remains-to-be-seen category. We've sent her an email inquiring about where that report was originally published, and asking a few other questions about her quote in Friday's WaPo in hopes of learning whether it was a typo or not. If we hear anything back, we'll update this story appropriately and (note again to WaPo!!!), we'll note that update transparently and ethically here!

Addendum... We also noted on Friday, Glen Greenwald's must read coverage at Salon,, which exhaustively detailed the crucial importance of ABC News' false reports on the anthrax ties to Iraq, prior to our going to war with them. On Saturday, New York Times' front-pager Eric Lichtblau, who has been reporting on the anthrax case, and other DoJ matters, for the paper, was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal.

Despite repeated queries from callers about the false ABC News reports and even John McCain's own tying of the anthrax attacks to Iraq on Late Night with David Letterman way back then, Lichtblau was oblivious to the concerns, and said that he was unaware of anything noteworthy in the false connections made by politicians, reporters and columnists --- and thus, the public --- between the Iraq/anthrax ruse (which has never been retracted by ABC!) and the country's march to war. If this article gets pinged by your personal Google Alert, Mr. Lichtblau, please read Greenwald's article!

Yeesh.

With the pathetic practices exhibited by these MSM folks, it's little wonder they are having so much trouble staying afloat, even if it remains a mystery as to why folks like us have to resort to begging for donations just to stay alive, so that we can keep cleaning up their unending failures.


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joeb

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Reply with quote  #3 
2 reads about the ANTHRAX R US  guys as always funded by your tax dime


1st read
BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman ON 8/3/2008 3:01PM  
Washington Post Scrubs Friday Article That Cast Doubt on Reported 'Anthrax Killer' Case
Then Returns to Similar Questions About Ivins' Lack of Acces to 'Dry, Powdered Anthrax' in Sunday Article
New WaPo Story Begs Additional New Questions in Feds' Purported Case...

-- Brad Friedman

We're glad it's the Washington Post, and not just us "bloggers", asking questions about this anthrax case. Had we been the ones pointing to the questions that WaPo is now pointing to, we'd have been accused of forwarding "just another conspiracy theory" and the notable questions raised might have been relegated to the trash-bin of history.

Since it's WaPo raising the questions, on the other hand, the trash-bin will take an extra day or two to fill up, but we suspect the results may eventually be the same: Legend will have it that the lone "Anthrax Killer," Bruce E. Ivins, killed himself just before he was to be indicted on capital murder charges. Case closed on the previously-unsolved deadly series of terrorist attacks that occurred on American soil since 9/11.

That said, it's certainly odd the way that WaPo has been covering this story. While their top story on page A1 today is headlined "Scientists Question FBI's Probe of Anthrax Attacks" and sub-titled "Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say," the paper nonetheless managed to scrub from their website --- or at least completely replace --- a story they ran originally on Friday afternoon questioning the same points (whether Ivins had the means, ability or access to the dry, weaponized anthrax used in the attack letters against senior Democratic Senators and other perceived "liberals") with another that greatly softened concerns about those questions.

No retraction or correction notice --- unethically, in our opinion --- was given for WaPo's odd swaperoo. The Friday WaPo story we linked to that day --- which was dated "Friday, August 1, 2008; 5:46 PM" and reported that that the purported "Anthrax Killer", Bruce E. Ivins "had no access to dry, powdered anthrax" at his U.S. Army bioweapons lab in Fort Detrick, MD --- was simply swapped out with a completely different story in its place on the matter, dated Saturday, August 2, 2008. The same URL was used for both stories, but the Saturday story didn't have the bulk of the reporting which quoted named experts and colleagues questioning Ivins' ability to even carry out such an attack.

After noticing the swap/excising of the original Friday story (hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter Bruce Sims), we were set to run a story focusing on the spiked report, when we then checked today's paper to see that they were leading the Sunday edition with a story that raised many of those same questions from the Friday story again.

Fortunately, we cached the original Friday story here, before it was disappeared and replaced, and have done the same for today's story, should that one go missing as well. Comparisons between WaPo's (disappeared) Friday, Saturday and Sunday coverage is curious enough, however, --- and offers some fresh, additional unanswered questions --- that it seems worth noting all of it, and the differences in each days' coverage, for the record...

Friday v. Saturday in WaPo

As we quoted in our quick Friday coverage of the WaPo's story posted late Friday afternoon (now cached here), doubts about Ivins' ability to have created the anthrax used in the attacks, as reported in their story, were substantive and prominently filled out most of the second half of their story.

Here's what we had quoted from that story in full on Friday [emphasis added, just as we did on Friday when we first quoted it]:
[H]is name never surfaced as a potential suspect in the mailings case. "He was not on my radar," said a Senate source whose office was briefed on the FBI's progress.

He also never raised the suspicions of coworkers, many of whom remained convinced that Ivins had nothing to do with the anthrax attack.

"Almost everybody at 'RIID believes that he has absolutely nothing to do with Amerithrax," said a USAMRIID employee, referring to the FBI code name for the investigation. "The FBI has been hounding him mercilessly."

The employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation, said the FBI had visited his lab on "numerous" occasions over the last several years, seizing lab samples, records and equipment.

The constant scrutiny "really pushed this poor guy to the edge," the employee said, and noted that his colleagues were upset at the way Ivins had been treated.
...
Several scientists who worked with Ivins also question whether he would have had the technical skills to create the sophisticated powder used in the anthrax attack. Creating the kind of highly lethal, easily dispersible powder used in the 2001 attacks requires unique skills not normally associated with vaccine specialists.

"He had no access to dry, powdered anthrax, according to Fort Detrick spokespersons, who said that only liquid anthrax was used at the Fort Detrick facility in animal aerosolization experiments," said Meryl Nass, a physician and bioterrorism expert. "If he had been making dry anthrax, it would have been detectable."

In comparison, the Saturday story which took its place, using the same URL, had softened the questions about Ivins' actually possessing the means to carry out the attacks, and led early with the following, seemingly contradictory point:
As a researcher for the Army's main lab for studying bioterror agents, Ivins had easy access to anthrax bacteria, including the specific strain of Bacillus anthracis used in the attacks on media outlets and congressional offices in the fall of 2001.

What the story doesn't note (unlike Friday's) is that while Ivins had access to liquid strains of the deadly bacteria, he reportedly had no access to the dry, powdered form, which apparently is difficult to create, particularly under the watchful eye of his colleagues and other protocol at the high-security lab.

A few questions about Ivins' ability to carry out the attacks remained in the Saturday story, but just a few. They were sprinkled throughout the story. In sum, here is all of the reportage to that end from the Saturday article:
Despite the allegations --- and even after Ivins's apparent plunge into mental illness --- longtime friends and colleagues say it is inconceivable that Ivins could have been a bioterrorist.
...
Added another co-worker: "Almost everybody . . . believes that he had absolutely nothing to do with Amerithrax [the code-name for the FBI investigation]."
...
John Ezzell, a former top scientist [at Fort Detrick]...said the experiments [Ivins was involved in] did not involve anthrax in its dried form, the type found in the letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.)
...
"He was not on my radar," said a Senate source whose office was briefed on the FBI's progress.
...
[Former colleague W. Russell] Byrne said. "He is not Timothy McVeigh. He's not the Unabomber."

We're setting aside neighbor and co-worker accounts of Ivins, as found in all of the stories, describing him as a nice, caring guy who, they believe, wouldn't have been involved in anything as diabolical as the anthrax letters. Frequently, with serial killers in other such cases, co-workers and neighbors testify that they were caught unawares of the accused murderer's double-life as a psychopath. The oft-heard "he was a quiet guy who kept to himself, we never imagined he'd be capable of anything like that" sort of accounts. So we don't take away anything, in particular, from the passages describing Ivins as a swell guy by those who knew him in any of the stories to be particularly exculpatory.

Similarly, we've set aside the various reported accounts of his achievements in science and his works of good will, as described by neighbors and co-workers in both stories since, in and of themselves, we don't find those points to be particularly exculpatory either, even as they may be notable.

On the other hand, we do find it notable when we read statements from experts and co-workers making points such as "He had no access to dry, powdered anthrax" and "If he had been making dry anthrax, it would have been detectable," as the scrubbed Friday story noted.

One more point on the Friday story which, perhaps, offers a certain benefit of the doubt to WaPo. The passage we quoted in bold was an odd one. We had to read it a couple of times to make sure we had placed the quotation marks in the right place when using it in our report. Here is the passage in question again in full [sans bolding]:
"He had no access to dry, powdered anthrax, according to Fort Detrick spokespersons, who said that only liquid anthrax was used at the Fort Detrick facility in animal aerosolization experiments," said Meryl Nass, a physician and bioterrorism expert. "If he had been making dry anthrax, it would have been detectable."

In that passage, the physician/bioterrorism expert Nass is quoted as saying "He had no access to dry, powdered anthrax, according to Fort Detrick spokespersons..." which is an odd attribution, quoting someone quoting someone else. It had occurred to us that there might have been some typographical errors in the WaPo's reporting there at the time.

If that was the case, it might have made sense to either remove that passage or otherwise clear it up with a note about the correction. WaPo, however, made no such note on the story and, in fact, seem to have killed it completely and replaced it with another wholly different report at the same URL, making no note whatsoever for readers. Such a correction notice should have been a journalistic no-brainer when making such a change. Even if there is ultimately nothing nefarious in having scrubbed the original story (we don't know whether there is or isn't), that WaPo failed to note it somehow would seem to be in violation of their own editorial policies and certainly in violation of Journalistic Ethics and Transparency 101.

We have not been able to reach anybody at WaPo who can speak to that matter however, but will update (and note the update here!) if we do.

Sunday's WaPo Story

The Sunday WaPo story seems to restore many of the questions that the Friday report had originally made, however. The headline used on today's article --- "Scientists Question FBI Probe On Anthrax: Ivins Could Not Have Been Attacker, Some Say" --- begins again to cast doubt on the story that has been leaking out from "officials" since the news of Ivins' reported suicide first broke in Friday's LATimes.

Early in today's WaPo, perhaps for "balance", it's alleged, as it was on Saturday, that Ivins did possess the means to come up with dry, powdered anthrax:
In interviews yesterday, knowledgeable officials asserted that Ivins had the skills and access to equipment needed to turn anthrax bacteria into an ultra-fine powder that could be used as a lethal weapon.

While that makes things appear as if he coulda done it, what isn't declared is Ivins' actual lack of access to the dry form of anthrax used in the attacks.

Those "knowledgeable officials," mentioned, as in Saturday's story, are never named, of course --- unlike all of those whose names are on record, in all of the stories, speaking to Ivins' inability to have carried out this type of attack. Additionally, a close read of the details later in the story, expounding on the above, seem to quote only one unnamed official, as opposed to "officials" in plural:
One bioweapons expert familiar with the FBI investigation said Ivins indeed possessed the skills needed to create the dust-fine powder used in the attacks. At the Army lab where he worked, Ivins specialized in making sophisticated preparations of anthrax bacteria spores for use in animal tests, said the expert, who requested anonymity because the investigation remains active.

Ivins's daily routine included the use of processes and equipment the anthrax terrorist likely used in making his weapons. He also is known to have had ready access to the specific strain of Bacillus anthracis used in the attack --- a strain found to match samples found in Ivins's lab, he said.

"You could make it in a week," the expert said. "And you could leave USAMRIID with nothing more than a couple of vials. Bear in mind, they weren't exactly doing body searches of scientists back then."

Of course other such unnamed "knowledgeable officials" could have spoken to WaPo, but if so, none of them were directly quoted and thus, presumably spoke only on background.

On the other hand, the doubts about Ivins' ability to pull off the attacks, as originally averred in Friday's now-scrubbed story, are restored in large part in the Sunday story:
[C]olleagues and friends of the vaccine specialist remained convinced that Ivins was innocent: They contended that he had neither the motive nor the means to create the fine, lethal powder that was sent by mail to news outlets and congressional offices in the late summer and fall of 2001. Mindful of previous FBI mistakes in fingering others in the case, many are deeply skeptical that the bureau has gotten it right this time.

"I really don't think he's the guy. I say to the FBI, 'Show me your evidence,' " said Jeffrey J. Adamovicz, former director of the bacteriology division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, on the grounds of the sprawling Army fort in Frederick.
...
[O]thers, including former colleagues and scientists with backgrounds in biological weapons defense, disagreed that Ivins could have created the anthrax powder, even if he were motivated to do so.

"USAMRIID doesn't deal with powdered anthrax," said Richard O. Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins at the Army lab. "I don't think there's anyone there who would have the foggiest idea how to do it. You would need to have the opportunity, the capability and the motivation, and he didn't possess any of those."

Another scientist who worked with Ivins acknowledged it would have been technically possible to manufacture powdered anthrax at Fort Detrick, but unlikely that anyone could have done so without being detected.

"As well as we knew each other, and the way the labs were run, someone would discover what was going on," said the scientist, "especially since dry spores were not something that we prepared or worked with."

A Few More Questions Arise...

We don't have an opinion at this time, one way or another, as to whether Ivins is the "Anthrax Killer". We began on the anthrax beat last Friday morning after noticing that virtually all the major corporate media coverage of the story, unforgivably in our opinion, had failed to note that the majority of those targeted by the deadly letters --- such as Senators Daschle and Leahy and NBC's Tom Brokaw --- were powerful men, perceived by Rightwingers to be in opposition to the Republicanist political agenda following 9/11.

As we reported at the time, after our conversation with Ivins oldest brother Thomas on Friday, "not one" of the many reporters who had spoken to him throughout the day, even bothered to inquire into Bruce's political leanings or affiliations, as he told us when we were the first to apparently inquire.

It seemed to us at the time, and still does, that it's unlikely that any of the papers in question would have failed to note that "conservatives" had been targeted in the attacks, had the letters gone to folks like Tom Delay, Karl Rove or Bill O'Reilly originally.

Given the recent under-reported story of a church shooter who opened fire last week at a Unitarian Church, reportedly because the shooter hated "liberals," and the coinciding story that the Bush DoJ had illegally screened out perceived "liberal Democrats" from non-political career jobs, and even fired appointees believed to be lesbians, it seems particularly egregious that the corporate media continues to overlook these series of Rightwing on "Liberal" crimes.

But the additional strange questions revealed by this case, and the odd handling of them by the media, have certainly caught our eye, at least for the moment. As it's happily the WaPo who is asking some of those questions (for a change) this time, we're happy to at least note them.

There were two more passages of note from today's front page story on what --- in lieu of hard evidence forthcoming, as reportedly promised by the feds --- seems, so far, to be little more than a circumstantial case against Ivins.

In the second graf, WaPo reports today:
In tactics that the [Fort Detrick] researchers considered heavy-handed and often threatening, they were interviewed and polygraphed as early as 2002, and reinterviewed numerous times. Their labs were searched, and their computers and equipment carted away.

If that's true, then we must presume that Ivins successfully passed that lie-detector test in 2002. Otherwise, why has it taken so long to focus on him? Particularly since the FBI had been known to have focused on Ivins' colleague Steven Hatfill for years. While he had always maintained his innocence, Hatfill sued the Justice Dept. who, only last month, finally agreed to settle with Hatfill for $5.8 million, thus exonerating him of suspicion.

According to the bulk of the reportage we've looked at, the feds' current case against Ivins seems to hinge largely on the testimony of Ivins' social worker Jean Duley. She has alleged that Ivins is a "revenge killer" who "As far back as the year 2000, has actually attempted to murder several other people, [including] through poisoning," as quoted by WaPo, apparently from testimony Duley recently offered to a judge during an attempt to receive a restraining order against Ivins.

Their story then ends this way [emphasis ours]:
She described a July 9 group therapy session in which Ivins allegedly talked of mass murder.

"He was extremely agitated, out of control," she said. Ivins told the group he had bought a gun, and proceeded to lay out a "long and detailed homicidal plan," she said.

"Because he was about to be indicted on capital murder charges, he was going to go out in a blaze of glory; that he was going to take everybody out with him," she said.

As highlighted, those claims, according to Duley, were made in group therapy. Therefore, there ought to be a number of others available to corroborate the testimony from Duley concerning Ivins' alleged statements about planned "revenge killings."

We'll wait patiently for those folks to step forward to back up Duley's allegations.

But in the meantime, Meryl Nass, who was initially quoted in the Friday story as claiming that Ivins "had no access to dry, powdered anthrax," and is described by WaPo as as a "a physician and bioterrorism expert" (her full CV is posted here), has her own blog that examines the anthrax case.

Today, in an item focusing on Duley's various reported statements, Nass writes (hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "Floridiot"):
She claimed, "As far back as the year 2000, the respondent has actually attempted to murder several other people, either through poisoning. He is a revenge killer. When he feels that he's been slighted or has had — especially toward women — he plots and actually tries to carry out revenge killings," Duley said. She added that Ivins "has been forensically diagnosed by several top psychiatrists as a sociopathic, homicidal killer. I have that in evidence. And through my working with him, I also believe that to be very true."

As a physician who is called to assess psychiatric patients presenting to the ER, I find her statements troubling: if any of these psychiatrists diagnosed Ivins as homicidal, that physician would be required to start immediate proceedings for psychiatric hospital commitment. Patients who are a danger to themselves or others must not be allowed to carry out such activities. That is the law.

Furthermore, if Duley believed Ivins had attempted serial murders, she would be required to consult with her supervising physician and immediately call in the police. Was this done? Who was poisoned? If, as reported, she had only been treating Ivins for six months, what evidence did she have of more remote attacks?

Finally, patients who are actually planning murders (or have attempted them) do not usually tell other patients and a therapist about it in group therapy sessions. Someone who talks about such thoughts is trying to explain how they feel and get help.

All very good questions, and very good points.

In a final note, she goes on to claim: "One media report said Duley was no longer employed at the mental health center where she treated Ivins. Was she let go for nonprofessional behavior? We need to know more about this woman, the basis for her claims, and whether she carried out her professional duties with regard to them."

Nass did not, however, offer a cite or a link to that "one media report". So we'll put that also in the remains-to-be-seen category. We've sent her an email inquiring about where that report was originally published, and asking a few other questions about her quote in Friday's WaPo in hopes of learning whether it was a typo or not. If we hear anything back, we'll update this story appropriately and (note again to WaPo!!!), we'll note that update transparently and ethically here!

Addendum... We also noted on Friday, Glen Greenwald's must read coverage at Salon,, which exhaustively detailed the crucial importance of ABC News' false reports on the anthrax ties to Iraq, prior to our going to war with them. On Saturday, New York Times' front-pager Eric Lichtblau, who has been reporting on the anthrax case, and other DoJ matters, for the paper, was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal.

Despite repeated queries from callers about the false ABC News reports and even John McCain's own tying of the anthrax attacks to Iraq on Late Night with David Letterman way back then, Lichtblau was oblivious to the concerns, and said that he was unaware of anything noteworthy in the false connections made by politicians, reporters and columnists --- and thus, the public --- between the Iraq/anthrax ruse (which has never been retracted by ABC!) and the country's march to war. If this article gets pinged by your personal Google Alert, Mr. Lichtblau, please read Greenwald's article!

Yeesh.

With the pathetic practices exhibited by these MSM folks, it's little wonder they are having so much trouble staying afloat, even if it remains a mystery as to why folks like us have to resort to begging for donations just to stay alive, so that we can keep cleaning up their unending failures.

2ND READ
    




August 3, 2008 at 17:36:11

911 Plotters Bury the Evidence

by Michael Green     



Bruce E. Ivins, a bioweapons researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, died Tuesday, July 29 2008, reportedly by suicidal drug overdose just as the Department of Justice was about to charge him with the 2001 anthrax attacks. The FBI had spent nearly seven years trying to railroad Steven Hatfill for the deeds, but failed miserably, and the Department of Justice recently settled a legal action with Hatfill by compensating him with over $5,000,000 so that it could turn its attention to easier prey. Ivins' attorney, Paul F. Kemp, who has represented him for over a year, has declared Ivins innocent, regrets that he cannot clear his name in court, even while Ivins' social worker therapist obtained a court restraining order against him stating that his treating psychiatrist Dr. David Irwin, "called him homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions." These politically convenient diagnoses had not prevented the 62-year-old Ivins from enjoying a distinguished 33 year career with the Department of the Army.

I see little or no evidence implicating Ivins in the anthrax terrorism; if he has a link at all it will be minor and ancillary. Most likely, he has been chosen as the most vulnerable individual to serve as a patsy, unlike the formidable Steven Hatfill who has defended himself so very well. We should not forget the modus operandi of the FBI on political cases, say Brandon Mayfield and the Madrid train bombings. These are typically all-out frame-ups. Mayfield was an American attorney who had converted to Islam, married a Muslim woman, and provided legal help to Muslims who were being persecuted under the PATRIOT act. The FBI named Mayfield as the man whose thumb print matched the print on an unexploded detonator cap found near the train station bomb site with "100% certainty" even though the Spanish police had already told the FBI that it was not a match and that they had the actual person in custody to which the thumb print is a match. During a July 16, 2008 Q&A at the downtown Los Angeles Library with Mayfield's attorney, Steven T. Wax, I laid out the case for a deliberate and cynical FBI frame-up of Mayfield. Wax would not go so far in public, but he discreetly said that after the Spanish police announced their finding publicly, the FBI sent their agents to meet with them and then announced to the press, "The Spanish police agree with us." Wax said that he had spoken personally with the head of the Spanish police who was present at that meeting, and who advised Wax that the FBI had simply lied. I suggest that we not be deceived by the most recent presentation of "evidence" of Ivins' guilt.

What strikes me most is that this (probably genuine) suicide is designed to put a lid upon the conspiratorial facts. The August 1, 2008 Wall Street Journal reported and opined:

    The Justice Department hasn't yet decided whether to close the investigation, officials said, meaning it's still not certain whether Dr. Ivins acted alone or had help. One official close to the case said that decision was expected within days. If the case is closed soon, one official said, that will indicate that Dr. Ivins was the lone suspect.

I assure you that the Journal is the ghost of our fascist future talking, with Dr. Ivins playing the role of lone nut so certified by both his social worker therapist and his psychiatrist. But the facts say otherwise.

Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com has been conscientiously tracking the anthrax terrorism for years. In his most recent essay of August 1, 2008, Greenwald details how immediately after the anthrax attacks four "well-placed sources" independently reported to ABC that preliminary lab results definitively linked the anthrax to Iraq by tell-tale traces of the compound bentonite. ABC's Brian Ross broadcast this news loudly and long, and thereby vastly influenced public opinion linking Saddam to 9/11, but there is not and never was an iota of truth to these reports: bentonite was never detected by those tests. ABC kept the secret of this false leak until 2007; ABC knows its "well-placed sources" and refuses to tell Greenwald, who opines:

    ...if they were really "well-placed," one would presume that meant they had some connection to the laboratory where the tests were conducted -- Ft. Detrick. That means that the same [Ft. Detrick] Government lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks on Iraq.

    It's extremely possible -- one could say highly likely -- that the same people responsible for perpetrating the attacks were the ones who fed the false reports to the public, through ABC News, that Saddam was behind them. What we know for certain -- as a result of the letters accompanying the anthrax -- is that whoever perpetrated the attacks wanted the public to believe they were sent by foreign Muslims. Feeding claims to ABC News designed to link Saddam to those attacks would, for obvious reasons, promote the goal of the anthrax attacker(s). ...

    ABC News already knows the answers to these questions. They know who concocted the false bentonite story and who passed it on to them with the specific intent of having them broadcast those false claims to the world, in order to link Saddam to the anthrax attacks and -- as importantly -- to conceal the real culprit(s) (apparently within the U.S. government) who were behind the attacks. And yet, unbelievably, they are keeping the story to themselves, refusing to disclose who did all of this. They're allegedly a news organization, in possession of one of the most significant news stories of the last decade, and they are concealing it from the public, even years later.

    They're not protecting "sources." The people who fed them the bentonite story aren't "sources." They're fabricators and liars who purposely used ABC News to disseminate to the American public an extremely consequential and damaging falsehood. But by protecting the wrongdoers, ABC News has made itself complicit in this fraud perpetrated on the public, rather than a news organization uncovering such frauds. http://tinyurl.com/5mkgut

Greenwald hasn't yet understood that the media is under the general operational control of the intelligence agencies and under their full control when covert operations are involved -- that's when the actual agents with reporter's pads get the key assignments from management who is amongst, or serves the interest of, the plotters. Greenwald notes that Richard Cohen of the Washington Post admits being advised by a high-ranking government official to start taking Cipro before the anthrax attacks -- but he apparently does not know that Cheney & friends began their Cipro several weeks prior to 9/11 -- and cannot understand the media resistance encountered, i.e., complicity at the highest levels, so takes the irrelevant moral high road flogging complicity posing as dereliction or cowardice (some of which are present as the plot later reveals itself to those who either play along or pay the piper).

Michael C. Ruppert did a fine job in Crossing the Rubicon, Chapter 16, "Silencing Congress," detailing how of Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Pat Leahy, had their oral and written objections to the PATRIOT ACT -- Ashcroft had not even deigned a response to Leahy's letters -- were brought to an abrupt end by their receipt of anthrax letters that months later were quietly identified in the media as having originated "in CIA-run covert research programs." (pp. 269-271)

An especially clear integration of evidence for the anthrax being a state-sponsored false-flag operation occurs in an October 10, 2004 analysis by a blogger with the nom de plume of "Allie," who notes that targeting the necessary political enemies Daschle and Leahy provided the opportunity to take vengeance on several personal Bush enemies as well: the two newspaper editors responsible for exposing the drunken sluttish madcap behavior of the Bush twins, and NBC's Tom Brokaw for having Bill Clinton as a guest over White House objections September 18, 2008, the letter to Brokaw being mailed that very day that the White House's last-minute protests failed. http://tinyurl.com/2rjfmr As Allie summarizes, putting too much emphasis on Bush the individual:

    The anthrax attacks were concurrent with the debate of Bush's Patriot Act by Congress and the media.

    · The Senators who received anthrax letters were trying to amend the Patriot Act to protect civil liberties and the innocent.

    · Two Senate democratic leaders received anthrax letters mailed the same day that Senator Feingold blocked an attempt to rush the bill through without discussion or amendments.

    · Senator Leahy received an anthrax threat after he expressed reservations about the Bill. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he managed the debate on the Bill.
· Senate Majority Leader Daschle received the first Senate anthrax letter as he led the opposition to the original version of the Bill.

· After receiving the anthrax letter, Daschle switched from supporting a 2 year limit on the Bill, later defending a 4-year sunset clause as the "appropriate balance."


· No Republican received an anthrax letter.

· The House and Senate buildings were closed and not reopened until after the Patriot Act was passed.

· The Supreme Court was shut down with an anthrax scare the day after the constitutionally-challenged Patriot Act was signed by President Bush.

· All the contaminated letters contained the Ames strain of anthrax, the DNA of which is traced to the original batch preserved in a university lab in Ames, Iowa. This strain was "weaponized" in Utah into a potent powder with an elaborate secret technique developed at Fort Detrick, Md.
http://www.freefromterror.net/other_articles/gov_anthrax.html

Who had a motive? Who had a grudge against The Enquirer and The New York Post? Who had a grudge against Brokaw? Who wanted to frighten or manipulate Congress? First to get it to adjourn indefinitely, leaving Bush with the power of the purse. Second to get the Patriot Act Passed in all its fascist glory, without even being read. Who?

It's as plain as the nose on your face. Why is the major media pussyfooting around it? Are they still terrified? The anthrax attacks were almost certainly an attempted Operation Northwoods/Media Attack/Political Coup and its targets, as group, would only have been chosen by George Bush.

One cannot run a covert operation on the scale of 911, or even the second phase of persuading Congress to do the right thing without first controlling the media that are not merely the lapdogs of their imperialist masters, but an active branch of the intelligence community even though many of the news people themselves do not know it.



 

I am a retired forensic psychologist living in Los Angeles with enough time on my hands to have spent the past few years studying the deeds whose perpetrators pejoratively deride the correct analysis of which as "conspiracy theories," i.e., USG intelligence community domestic covert operations -- fascist politics by unconventional means.  A professor of analytic philosophy in a former career, I no longer embrace the Lotus Land argument that if you can work on your abs, then it isn't fascism.
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a species that hires bodyguards to protect them looses the ability to protect itself and is doomed to extinction


couple reads. You do know what to do?

1st read pulled from the internet....
Why was Dr. Ivins, the accused Anthrax killer who committed suicide last week, a free man at all?

No journalist has even seemed curious about why a man believed by authorities to be a 5-time serial murderer was allowed to walk free, much less why the FBI would give him advance warning of his arrest.

I would understand this gentle sort of treatment for a white-collar criminal facing indictment, but for a serial killer?

2nd read

Glenn Greenwald
Monday Aug. 4, 2008 06:32 EDT
Additional key facts re: the anthrax investigation

It's perfectly possible that Bruce Ivins really is the anthrax attacker -- that he perpetrated the attacks and did so alone. Perhaps the FBI is in possession of mountains of conclusive evidence that, once revealed, will leave no doubt that Ivins is the guilty party. But no rational person could possibly assume that to be the case given the paltry amount of facts -- many which contradict one another -- that are now known. Several points to note:

(1) Two prominent journalism professors -- Jay Rosen of NYU and Dan Gillmor at the Center for Citizen Media, affiliated with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Arizona State University and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Law School -- have added their names to the list of people calling on ABC News and Brian Ross to reveal their sources for ABC's false bentonite story that was used to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq. Rosen and Gillmor both write that ABC and Ross should answer three questions which they jointly outline, and they both set forth the reasons, grounded in widely accepted principles of journalistic ethics, as to why ABC and Ross should do so.

(2) So much of the public reporting about Ivins has been devoted to depicting him as a highly unstable psychotic who had been issuing extremely violent threats and who had a violent past. But that depiction has been based almost exclusively on the uncorroborated claims of Jean Carol Duley, a social worker (not a psychiatrist or psychologist) who, as recently as last year, was apparently still in college at Hood's College in Frederick, Maryland. Duley's scrawled handwritten complaint against Ivins, seeking a Protective Order, has served as the basis for much of the reporting regarding Ivins' mental state, yet it is hardly the model of a competent or authoritative professional. Quite the opposite.

Duley herself has a history that, at the very least, raises questions about her credibility. She has a rather lengthy involvement with the courts in Frederick, including two very recent convictions for driving under the influence -- one from 2007 and one from 2006 -- as well as a complaint filed against her for battery by her ex-husband. Here is Duley's record from the Maryland Judicial data base:



Just three months ago, Duley pled guilty and was sentenced to probation (and fined $1,000), as a result of having been stopped in December, while driving at 1:35 a.m., and charged with driving under the influence:



On April 21, 2006, Duley was also charged with "driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol," driving "while impaired by drugs or alcohol," and reckless driving, and on October 13, 2006, she pled guilty to the charge of reckless driving and was fined $580. Back in 1992, Duley was criminally charged with battery against what appeared to be her now-ex-husband (and she filed a complaint against him as well). Later that same year, she was criminally charged with possession of drug paraphenalia with intent to use, charges which appear to have been ultimately dismissed.

Prior to the restraining order against Ivins which Duley obtained two weeks ago, Ivins had no criminal record at all, at least not in Frederick. A story in today's Frederick News-Post quotes Duley's fiancee as claiming: "She had to quit her job and is now unable to work, and we have spent our savings on attorneys." But she doesn't appear to have used an attorney for her complaint against Ivins. If anything, her savings were likely depleted from attorneys' fees, court costs, and fines and probation for her various criminal proceedings (Larisa Alexandrovna has more details on Duley).

None of this is to defend Ivins, nor is to suggest that this constitutes evidence that Duley is lying or is otherwise inaccurate in her claims. As I said, it's perfectly possible that Ivins is guilty of being the anthrax attacker. I have no opinion on whether he is. The point is that nobody should have any opinion on that question -- one way or the other -- until they see the FBI's evidence.

What is certain is that Jean Carol Duley is hardly some upstanding, authoritative source on Bruce Ivins' psychological state or his guilt, nor is she some accomplished and highly credible psychological professional, notwithstanding the fact that most media depictions of Ivins are based on uncritical recitations of her accusations. The fact that her depiction contradicts not only the claims of virtually everyone else who knew Ivins but also numerous facts about how Ivins was treated even by the FBI (see below), suggests a large amount of skepticism is warranted.

(3) The initial report from The Los Angeles Times' David Willman said that Ivins committed suicide "just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him for the attacks." But an article from The New York Times' Scott Shane this morning reported that the evidence against Ivins "was largely circumstantial" and that the "grand jury in Washington was planning to hear several more weeks of testimony before issuing an indictment."

According to The Washington Post, Ivins enjoyed full-scale clearance at Fort Detrick as late as July 10 -- hardly what one would expect if the FBI were so certain that he was the anthrax attacker. And judging from an article in today's local Frederick newspaper, The Frederick-News Post Online, the FBI is still searching for evidence against Ivins, as they removed two computers from a public library there.

Members of Congress with some personal stake in this case and who have been attempting to assert some oversight on the FBI's investigation over the last six years -- Tom Daschle, Pat Leahy, Rush Holt -- have been uniformly critical of how it has been handled. Numerous experts continue to raise serious doubts about whether Ivins even had the ability to access and handle anthrax of the type that was sent to Daschle and Leahy. Maybe the FBI's evidence demonstrates that he could and did. Maybe it doesn't. But under all circumstances, it's inconceivable that anyone would be content with having the FBI simply keep its alleged evidence to itself and not have a full public airing and accounting of what has happened here, an accounting that should include the news organizations -- led by ABC -- which are in possession of vital information that they continue to conceal.

-- Glenn Greenwald
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Richard123

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For this and similar topics please see http://www.whatreallyhappened.com

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August 6, 2008

The Bush Administration, ABC News and the Scare Tactics That Lead the US to War

The Anthrax Cover-Up

By SHELDON RAMPTON

Bruce Edwards Ivins, a top anthrax researcher at the U.S. Government's biological weapons research laboratories, died of an apparent suicide last Tuesday, just as the Justice Department was about to charge him with responsibility for the September 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people in the United States. Glenn Greenwald has written an important piece for Salon.com in which he demonstrates, with copious evidence, that a major government scandal lurks behind the anthrax story.

Ivins may have acted alone in carrying out the anthrax attacks. (I don't want to presume his guilt or anything else about this case until we see further details about the government's evidence against him.) However, Ivins most certainly did not act alone in falsifying information so the attacks could be used as a pretext for war.

"If the now-deceased Ivins really was the culprit behind the attacks," Greenwald writes, "then that means that the anthrax came from a U.S. Government lab, sent by a top U.S. Army scientist at Ft. Detrick. Without resort to any speculation or inferences at all, it is hard to overstate the significance of that fact. From the beginning, there was a clear intent on the part of the anthrax attacker to create a link between the anthrax attacks and both Islamic radicals and the 9/11 attacks."

Greenwald continues: "Much more important than the general attempt to link the anthrax to Islamic terrorists, there was a specific intent -- indispensably aided by ABC News -- to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and Saddam Hussein."

ABC claimed it had been told by "four well-placed and separate sources" that the anthrax used in the September attack contained bentonite, which therefore suggested it was produced in Iraq. As Greenwald points out, "That means that ABC News' 'four well-placed and separate sources' fed them information that was completely false." In all likelihood, "the same Government lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks on Iraq. ... Surely the question of who generated those false Iraq-anthrax reports is one of the most significant and explosive stories of the last decade."

Greenwald goes on to provide details about the psychological impact that the anthrax fabrications played in influencing journalists and propagandizing the American public to support the invasion of Iraq. He also notes that John McCain and Joe Lieberman were among the first people to claim publicly, during an appearance on the David Letterman Show, that the anthrax came from Iraq. (Interestingly, the Bush White House repeatedly denied this claim, despite its overall tendency to exaggerate and fabricate evidence linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction.)

Of course, ABC News knows the identity of the "well-placed sources" who fed this false information to them and, through them, to the American public. I'll leave it to Greenwald to explain the implications:

And yet, unbelievably, they are keeping the story to themselves, refusing to disclose who did all of this. They're allegedly a news organization, in possession of one of the most significant news stories of the last decade, and they are concealing it from the public, even years later.

They're not protecting "sources." The people who fed them the bentonite story aren't "sources." They're fabricators and liars who purposely used ABC News to disseminate to the American public an extremely consequential and damaging falsehood. But by protecting the wrongdoers, ABC News has made itself complicit in this fraud perpetrated on the public, rather than a news organization uncovering such frauds. That is why this is one of the most extreme journalistic scandals that exists, and it deserves a lot more debate and attention than it has received thus far.

If indeed Ivins was the person who carried out the anthrax attack, there is one possible scenario that Greenwald does not seem to have fully considered. Perhaps Ivins himself was the person who fabricated the claim that the anthrax contained bentonite. ABC's sources might have been merely repeating what he told them. If so, however, that is an important story in itself and needs to be reported. Just as the FBI has a responsibility to share publicly its evidence linking Ivins to this crime, ABC has some explaining to do about the disinformation that it helped disseminate to the American people.

The anthrax attack of September 2001 was an act of terrorism that killed five innocent people. At the time, and for years thereafter, many people were led to believe that the perpetrators were Islamic extremists in service to a hostile foreign power. The FBI is now claiming that the perpetrator was a Roman Catholic and an employee of the U.S. army who held a position of trust that gave him access to biological weapons -- even though he was, according to his counselor, "homicidal, sociopathic." This is a major scandal by any measure. The public deserves to know how American institutions -- including the U.S. Department of Defense as well as the news media -- could have failed them this badly.

Sheldon Rampton is a reseracher at the Center for Media and Democracy (where this essay originally appeared) and co-author of two books about the war: Iraq: Weapons of Mass Deception and The Best War Ever.

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joeb

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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Richard Spertzel, head of the biological weapons division of Unscom from 1994-99, argues in this WSJ op-ed that Bruce Ivins not only couldn't have pulled off the antrax attack alone, but also that the spores used in the attack could not have been manufactured at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, where Ivins worked.
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joeb

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http://www.anthraxvaccine.org/
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joeb

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Scientists Challenge FBI to Release Data in U.S. Anthrax Probe                

By Avram Goldstein and James Rowley

                                                                                       

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Scientists challenged the FBI and prosecutors to share more data to back their allegation that an Army bioweapons expert worked alone to kill five people who handled anthrax-laced letters he put in the U.S. mail.

Researchers and legal experts questioned the reliability of novel genetic tests cited by the FBI as ``breakthrough'' evidence that pinned the 2001 crime on scientist Bruce E. Ivins. Because the FBI hasn't offered such tests in criminal cases, experts said it's uncertain the results could have been used in court as evidence against Ivins, who died July 29 of a drug overdose.

``The evidence is compelling but not sufficient,'' Luciana Borio, a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Biosecurity in Baltimore, said in an interview yesterday. ``It's a match, but what does that mean? We don't know how many samples were tested and how many weren't tested. Scientists think in terms of statistics.''

Ivins, 62, was a scientist at the U.S. biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, and helped investigators analyze anthrax samples used in the attacks. Authorities are treating his death as a suicide. He had recently learned he was about to be charged in the attacks.

In declaring two days ago that the crime was solved, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it consulted a number of scientists to develop a method of identifying a unique genetic signature for the anthrax, allowing them to trace it back to the original batch controlled by Ivins.

Non-Disclosure Agreement

One of those scientists was Paul Keim, a senior investigator at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix. He said in an e-mail that he can't discuss the research because he signed a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI. He said he will speak before the case is closed about the ``foundational science'' that formed the basis of the results.

Joseph Persichini Jr., assistant FBI director in charge of the Washington field office, told reporters Aug. 6 that the FBI lab will publish its research, though he wouldn't say how soon.

A former federal prosecutor said uncertainty about whether a trial judge would admit the test results into evidence may explain why the FBI didn't arrest Ivins. The scientist had been scheduled to meet last week with prosecutors who planned to lay out their case against him.

``They never arrested him because they wanted him to confess,'' said Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. Prosecutors knew ``there would have been all sorts of problems on the reliability of the scientific analysis.''

Close the Books

It's premature to close the book on the case until investigators share evidence with the scientific community, Borio and other scientists said.

``Microbial forensics is still a nascent field, and, as far as I know, no one has ever been convicted in a U.S. court on the basis of microbial forensic evidence,'' said Peter Hotez, a microbiologist at George Washington University. ``It's untested. In all likelihood he's the guy, but you can't say it's beyond a reasonable doubt.''

The reliability of the evidence would have been ``a major, contested battle'' if the case had gone to court, said Paul Giannelli, who teaches scientific evidence at Case Western Reserve University's law school in Cleveland.

Giannelli said the FBI was slow to share research with other scientists when its laboratory first developed DNA typing as a forensic technique for identifying suspects.

No `Openness'

``They had a group of scientists they trusted and they would share the data with them,'' Giannelli said. ``You don't have the independence and openness in forensic science'' that is found in academic science.

``The proof is going to be in an independent scientific analysis of that data,'' said Philip K. Russell, who directed emergency preparedness for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services after the attacks. ``It's pretty complex stuff and will take some experts in bacterial genetics and bacterial molecular epidemiology to opine with confidence on it.''

Ivins's lawyer, Paul F. Kemp, said the government never showed him the lab reports that officials said link the letters to the anthrax handled by his client.

``If they're so proud of these reports, why didn't they release those yesterday?'' Kemp said.

At the Aug. 6 briefing, Jeffrey Taylor, the U.S. attorney in Washington, said the ``breakthrough'' came in 2005 when the FBI developed a test that linked spores used in the attacks to a flask controlled by Ivins.

Investigators ``focused their attention laser-like onto that flask, and the person who had control of that flask,'' Taylor said. He said it took another two years to exclude as suspects others at Fort Detrick who had access to the flask.

`Telling'

DiGenova said it was ``telling'' that Attorney General Michael Mukasey and FBI Director Robert Mueller didn't attend the public announcement.

``I don't think the attorney general or the director wanted to be facially associated with the conclusions reached in the case,'' diGenova said.

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said Mukasey and Mueller ``fully support'' the investigation's conclusions and it was decided that officials most familiar with the investigation should respond to media questions.

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joeb

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When you are  the group of men and women who committed the crime and then
are charged with investigating this same crime then you can control the evidence
that appears in court.
Just ask Lee Harvey Oswald.

Feds, media convicted microbiologist before his day in court
St. George Daily Spectrum, UT - 1 hour ago
He'll never be charged, never get his day in court because he took his life a couple of weeks ago as, we're told, the FBI was "closing in" on him. ...
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joeb

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Leahy waits for anthrax answers
8/9/2009
BurlingtonFreePress.com, VT - 4 hours ago
Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Friday the FBI has not produced convincing evidence to explain why he was targeted to receive a lethal, anthrax-laden letter in ...
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #12 
For an active barometer of the cover-up of 911 committed by the so called oxymoron
911TRUTH COMMISSION view the the recent documentary http://www.911pressfortruth.com
Washington Post spins another disinformation piece for the FBI.
A Commission to Investigate the 911 Anthrax case should be formed with
Meryl Nass MD and Barbara Rosenberg PhD leading the commission created by the voters and taxpayers of America not by the perps who created 911.


2 reads

1st read
August 8, 2008 at 14:45:53    

Ivins Could Not Have Applied High-Tech Coating to the Killer Anthrax



As everyone knows, the government initially tried to blame Iraq for the anthrax attack. One of the claims made was that the anthrax contained bentonite clay, which was also used by Iraqi anthrax bioweapons makers to "weaponize" the anthrax by decreasing the tendency of anthrax spores to clump together. (Clumping makes them less deadly since clumping reduces the amount of spores which end up in the target's lungs).

The government later disclaimed that assertion. However, the FBI now claims that the killer anthrax contained silicon. Silicon can be used as an anti-clumping agent to weaponize anthrax.

For example, McClatchy notes:

    "Some of Ivins' former colleagues also dispute the FBI's assertion that he had the capability to mill tiny anthrax spores and then bind them to silicon particles, the form of anthrax that was mailed to the office of then-senator Tom Daschle, D-S.D."

And as New Scientist writes, FBI agents "mention a 'silicon signature' for the anthrax in the envelopes with no further comment. Silica may be used to weaponise spore powders."

Evidence for the theory that the anthrax used in the attacks was coated with anti-clumping agents also comes from a a 2001 CBS article:

    "When technicians at the Army biodefense lab in Fort Detrick, Md., tried to examine a sample from the Daschle letter under a microscope, it floated off the glass slide and was lost. "

Anthrax would normally clump, so the fact that it "floated off the glass slide" points to the anthrax being treated with anti-clumping and anti-static agents.

Why is this important?

It takes very sophisticated equipment and processes to coat something as small as an anthrax spore with anti-clumping agents:

    "Only a sophisticated lab could have produced the material used in the Senate attack. This was the consensus among biodefense specialists working for the government and the military. In May 2002, 16 of these scientists and physicians published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association, describing the Senate anthrax powder as “weapons-grade” and exceptional: “high spore concentration, uniform particle size, low electrostatic charge, treated to reduce clumping” (JAMA, 1 May 2002, p. 2237)."

Indeed, the anthax sent in the letters was coated with a very rare, high-tech glass polymer nanomaterial:

    More revealing than the electrostatic charge, some experts say, was a technique used to anchor silica nanoparticles to the surface of spores. About a year and a half ago, a laboratory analyzing the Senate anthrax spores for the FBI reported the discovery of what appeared to be a chemical additive that improved the bond between the silica and the spores. U.S. intelligence officers informed foreign biodefense off icials that this additive was “polymerized glass.” The officials who received this briefing—biowarfare specialists who work for the governments of two NATO countries—said they had never heard of polymerized glass before. This was not surprising. “Coupling agents” such as polymerized glass are not part of the usual tool kit of scientists and engineers making powders designed for human inhalation. Also known as “sol gel” or “spin-on-glass,” polymerized glass is “a silane or siloxane compound that’s been dissolved in an alcohol- based solvent like ethanol,” says Jacobsen. It leaves a thin glassy coating that helps bind the silica to particle surfaces.

    Silica has been a staple in professionally engineered germ warfare powders for decades. (The Soviet Union added to its powders resin and a silica dust called Aerosil —a formulation requiring high heat to create nanoparticles, says Alibek. U.S. labs have tested an Aerosil variant called Cab-O-Sil, and declassified U.S. intelligence reports state that Iraq’s chemical and biological warfare labs imported tons of both Cab-O-Sil and Aerosil, also known as “solid smoke,” in the 1980s). “If there’s polymerized glass [in the Senate samples], it really narrows the field [of possible suspects],” says Jacobsen, who has been following the anthrax investigations keenly. “Polymerized glasses are exotic materials, and nanotechnology is something you just don’t do in your basement.”

    By March 2002, federal investigators had lab results indicating that the Senate anthrax spores were treated with polymerized glass, and stories began to appear in the media. CNN reported an “unusual coating” on the spores, and Newsweek referred to a “chemical compound” that was “unknown to experts who have worked in the field for years.” When Science asked the FBI about the presence of polymerized glass in the Senate powder, an FBI spokesperson said the bureau “could not comment on an ongoing investigation.”

 (Silica is the principle component of glass. The FBI is apparently misspeaking when it is now saying that the anthrax contains "silicon").
But Dr. Ivins was a vaccine researcher, not a weapons maker. Moreover, Ivins was working in a lab where - according to his co-workers and supervisors - people went in and out all night checking on experiments (so they presumably would have seen suspicious activity by Ivins), and Ivins did not have access to the extremely high-tech equipment which would have been necessary to produce the weaponized anthrax. He wasn't one of the count-on-one-hand group of people who knew how to coat coat anthrax spores with anti-clumping agents.

Moreover, Ivins was one of the lead researchers helping the FBI investigate the anthrax murders. Remember, CBS wrote "when technicians at the Army biodefense lab in Fort Detrick, Md., tried to examine a sample from the Daschle letter under a microscope, it floated off the glass slide and was lost." This implies that the Ft. Detrick scientists, including Ivins, had never handled this kind of weaponized anthrax before.

The media is right to question whether or not Ivins knew how to dry anthrax. And his colleagues are right to question whether Ivins, a vaccine expert, could have made anthrax as pure and concentrated as the killer anthrax (for example, a former director of the bacteriology division at Ft. Detrick said the anthrax sent to Daschle was "so concentrated and so consistent and so clean that I would assert that Bruce could not have done that part").

But the media is missing another large part of the story . . . it is very doubtful that Ivins knew how to weaponize the anthrax spores with advanced anti-clumping agents.

 

George Washington



George Washington is a pen name. I am using the pen name, with the approval of the publisher, because I have received death threats due to my 9/11 research and writing. I am using a pen name to protect myself and my family.

2nd read
Holes in the Anthrax Case?
The nation and the FBI would benefit from an independent review of the investigation.
   



Saturday, August 9, 2008; Page A14

ON WEDNESDAY, the federal government made public much of its case against accused anthrax killer Bruce E. Ivins. On Thursday and yesterday, scientists, reporters and others poked holes and raised questions about the FBI's case. On Monday, the attorney general should order an independent review of the FBI's investigation and its conclusion. Such a review would serve the interests of the country and of the FBI itself.

The mailing of anthrax spores in 2001 to offices in Congress and elsewhere killed five people, injured 17 and trau matized a nation reeling from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. After a long and winding inquiry, the FBI says it is now certain that Mr. Ivins, a scientist at Fort Detrick, was solely responsible for the attacks. The case it put forward Wednesday was compelling, both as to Mr. Ivins's mental instability and his access to anthrax spores; computers seized from a public library in Frederick and materials from the Ivins house may yield more evidence. But the FBI's conclusions will never be tested in court because Mr. Ivins died July 29 of a Tylenol overdose in what has been ruled a suicide. The case is admittedly circumstantial, and questions have been raised about the reliability of the FBI's scientific evidence, the inability to tie Mr. Ivins to the handwritten notes included with the mailed anthrax, the process by which the FBI excluded as suspects others who had access to the anthrax, and more.
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"There are a lot of armchair detectives and instant experts out there formulating opinions not based on a full set of the facts," an FBI official objected on Thursday. True enough -- and all the more reason to give a full set of the facts to someone who can get out of the armchair. But to whom?

Congress definitely has a role to play. Investigative hearings could shed light on Fort Detrick's security policies and on how Mr. Ivins managed to hold on to his clearance. They could look at policy issues, such as whether the expansion of bioterrorism research has perversely increased the risk of an accident or attack. They could examine FBI methods in the agency's investigation of both Mr. Ivins and Steven J. Hatfill, another scientist who came under FBI suspicion and who eventually won a $5.8 million settlement from the government.

But Congress may not be best positioned to review the scientific and forensic details of the FBI investigation. An independent inquiry that can work painstakingly outside the limelight is called for. The Justice Department's office of inspector general, although overworked already, has shown under Glenn A. Fine that it can conduct such sensitive probes with thoroughness and fairness. Alternatively, a retired judge could be appointed to lead a commission, which could in turn draw on the National Academy of Sciences and other experts. In either case such an inquiry, if it found holes in the investigation, could document them without taint of politics. If it validated the FBI's work, it would reassure the nation that no killers were still at large and put conspiracy theories to rest.
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joeb

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Couple of reads about FBI  agents and their involvement in committing then covering up their involvement in the 911 Anthrax attacks.
Your FBI  mantra for today is " I want to believe".....right Muldaur?
No apologies for the caricature of FBI  agents at the end of this post.
3 reads


1st  read

                                                                                                                                                                       
                       
                                                                                                                                               
FBI's anthrax probe left many lives ruined
Battelle scientist died of drink, says family; others lost jobs, marriages
Sunday,  August 10, 2008 3:31 AM
THE NEW YORK TIMES
<p>Kenneth M. Berry, left, with his attorney Clifford E. Lazzaro in 2004, for a time was the focus of the FBI investigation into the origin of anthrax-laced letters that killed five people.</p>
LAURA PEDRICKTHE NEW YORK TIMES

Kenneth M. Berry, left, with his attorney Clifford E. Lazzaro in 2004, for a time was the focus of the FBI investigation into the origin of anthrax-laced letters that killed five people.

When Perry Mikesell, a microbiologist in Columbus, came under suspicion as the anthrax attacker, he began drinking heavily, family members say, and soon died.

After a doctor in New York drew the interest of the FBI, his marriage fell apart and his practice suffered, his attorney says.

And after two Pakistani brothers in Pennsylvania were briefly under scrutiny, they eventually had to leave the country to find work.

The FBI's path to Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist who committed suicide late last month as federal officials moved closer to indicting him for the 2001 anthrax-letter attacks, was long and tortuous.

Before the investigators settled on Ivins -- and his defenders still say the FBI hounded an innocent man to death -- they had focused on Steven Hatfill, another Army researcher, for years.

Eventually, Hatfill, who said his career was ruined, fought back, filing a series of lawsuits, including against The New York Times. In June, long after the government had narrowed its hunt to Ivins, the government agreed to pay Hatfill $4.6 million. On Friday, the Justice Department issued a statement exonerating him.

Along the way, however, scores of others -- terrorists, foreigners, academic researchers, biowarfare specialists and an elite group of Army scientists -- drew investigators' interest. For some, the cost was high: lost jobs, canceled visas, broken marriages, frayed friendships.

At the Army biodefense laboratory in Frederick, Md., where Ivins worked, the inquiry became a murder mystery, the cast composed of top scientists eyeing one another warily over vials of pathogens.

"It was not pleasant," recalled Jeffrey J. Adamovicz, a former official there. "There was a general sense of paranoia that they were going to get somebody no matter what."

Some critics fault the FBI's investigation as ignorant, incompetent or worse.

Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., who was a Princeton University physicist, said the disclosures linking Ivins to the crime notwithstanding, the inquiry was "poorly handled" and "resulted in a trail of embarrassment and personal tragedy."

The bureau's defenders, however, say it did what was necessary to find a killer.

"You do the best you can, and it's not always pretty," said Robert M. Blitzer, a former director of the FBI's section on domestic terrorism. "Here, you have a bunch of people dead and several diminished, and you're charged with solving the crime. You try not to step on people's toes, but sometimes it happens."

Over seven years, the anthrax investigators conducted nearly 100 searches and more than 9,000 interviews in the most complex criminal case in bureau history. They hunted an attacker who, in September and October 2001, had mailed anthrax-laden envelopes that killed five people, sickened 17 others and threw the Lnation into a panic.

Early on, with more zeal than solid information, agents turned on three Pakistani-born city officials in Chester, Pa. One, Irshad Shaikh, was the health commissioner; his brother, Masood Shaikh, ran the lead-abatement program. The third, Asif Kazi, was an accountant in the finance department.

Kazi was sitting in his City Hall office one day in November 2001 when FBI agents burst in and began a barrage of questions.

"It was really scary," Kazi recalled last week. "It was: 'What do you think of 9/11? What do you know about anthrax?'  "

Across town, an agent pointed a gun through an open window at Kazi's home while others knocked down the front door as his wife was cooking. At the Shaikh brothers' house, agents in bioprotection suits began hunting for germ-making equipment and carted away computers.

None of the three men had ever worked with anthrax. But for days, they were on national television as footage of the searches ran on a video loop and news announcers wondered aloud whether they were the killers.

The men were cleared after it turned out that a disgruntled employee had sought revenge by calling in a bogus tip. But for all three, trouble followed. The Shaikhs' path to citizenship was disrupted, their visas ran out and both had to find work abroad, Kazi said.

Kazi, already a citizen, was searched and interrogated for as long as two hours every time he traveled back from visiting his brother in Canada. His name was finally removed from a terrorism watch list about a year ago, allowing him to travel freely.

When Kazi heard that Ivins was said to be the culprit in the attacks, he had one request.

"We'd just like our names cleared," Kazi said. "There's no problem for people who know us. But out in the community, someone might still think, 'Maybe these guys were guilty.'  "

In late 2001, agents discovered that the germ used in the attacks was not foreign in origin, but a domestic strain. That prompted the FBI to focus mainly on scientists inside the United States. Casting a wide net, the bureau sent a letter to the 30,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology. "It is very likely," the letter said, "that one or more of you know" the attacker.

The bureau began looking at biodefense insiders such as Mikesell, an anthrax specialist who had worked in the 1980s and 1990s with Ivins at the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, in Frederick. He had then joined Battelle, a private, nonprofit research organization in Columbus that develops technology for industry and governments, which had become deeply involved in secret federal research on biological weapons.

In 2002, Mikesell came under FBI scrutiny, officials familiar with the case said. He began drinking heavily -- a fifth of hard liquor a day toward the end, a family member said.

"It was a shock that all of a sudden he's a raging alcoholic," recalled the relative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of family sensitivities.

By late October 2002, Mikesell, 54, was dead, his short obituary in The Dispatch making no mention of his work with anthrax or the investigation. "He drank himself to death," the relative said.

Another casualty was Kenneth M. Berry, an emergency-room physician with a strong interest in bioterrorism threats. In August 2004, agents raided his colonial-style home and his former apartment in Wellsville, a village in western New York, as well as his parents' beach house on the New Jersey shore.

"He was devastated," Clifford E. Lazzaro, Berry's attorney at the time, said in an interview. "They destroyed his marriage and destroyed him professionally for a time."

Last month, Ivins told a colleague that his experience of FBI pressure was similar to Mikesell's.

"Perry drank himself to death," the colleague recalled Ivins as saying two weeks before he killed himself.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said Friday that he is proud of the inquiry.

"I do not apologize for any aspect of the investigation," he said. It is erroneous, he added, "to say there were mistakes."

2nd read

Ex-FBI agent pleads guilty to public indecency

A.J. FLICK
                                Tucson Citizen                        
                       
A former FBI agent who was accused of masturbating in a women's restroom on the University of Arizona campus pleaded guilty Wednesday to public sexual indecency.
Pima County Consolidated Justice Court Judge Jose Luis Castillo sentenced Ryan James Seese, 34, to three years of probation and five days in the Pima County Jail.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Castillo dropped one charge each of indecent exposure and criminal trespass.
Seese also must undergo treatment as indicated in a psychosexual report.
A female janitor entered the Student Union restroom May 3 and opened a stall intending to clean it, the Citizen previously reported. She saw Seese inside the stall, ran from the restroom and reported the incident to her supervisor, police said.
The woman identified Seese to an officer taking her report. Seese fled into a parking garage north of the Student Union, where he was cited for the three misdemeanor charges and released to an FBI supervisor.

3rd  read
                                               

Glenn Greenwald

                                       
       

What's the answer to this?

       
               

A commenter here on Friday noted what appears to be a rather glaring contradiction in the case against Bruce Ivins. In response to criticisms that the FBI's case contains no evidence placing Ivins in New Jersey, where the anthrax letters were sent, The Washington Post published an article -- headlined "New Details Show Anthrax Suspect Away On Key Day" -- which, based on leaks from "government sources briefed on the case," purported to describe evidence about Bruce Ivins' whereabouts on September 17 -- the day the FBI says the first batch of anthrax letters were mailed from a Princeton, New Jersey mailbox. The Post reported:

A partial log of Ivins's work hours shows that he worked late in the lab on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 16, signing out at 9:52 p.m. after two hours and 15 minutes. The next morning, the sources said, he showed up as usual but stayed only briefly before taking leave hours. Authorities assume that he drove to Princeton immediately after that, dropping the letters in a mailbox on a well-traveled street across from the university campus. Ivins would have had to have left quickly to return for an appointment in the early evening, about 4 or 5 p.m.
The fastest one can drive from Frederick, Maryland to Princeton, New Jersey is 3 hours, which would mean that Ivins would have had to have dropped the anthrax letters in the New Jersey mailbox on September 17 by 1 p.m. or -- at the latest -- 2 p.m. in order to be able to attend a 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. meeting back at Ft. Detrick. But had he dropped the letters in the mailbox before 5:00 p.m. on September 17, the letters would have borne a September 17 postmark, rather than the September 18 postmark they bore (letters picked up from that Princeton mailbox before 5 p.m. bear the postmark from that day; letters picked up after 5 p.m. bear the postmark of the next day). That's why the Search Warrant Affidavit (.pdf) released by the FBI on Friday said this (page 8):

If the Post's reporting about Ivins' September 17 activities is accurate -- that he "return[ed to Fort Detrick] for an appointment in the early evening, about 4 or 5 p.m." -- then that would constitute an alibi, not, as the Post breathlessly described it, "a key clue into how he could have pulled off an elaborate crime," since any letter he mailed that way would have a September 17 -- not a September 18 -- postmark. Just compare the FBI's own definition of "window of opportunity" to its September 17 timeline for Ivins to see how glaring that contradiction is.

In theory (and there is no evidence for this at all), Ivins could have left Fort Detrick that night after work and driven to New Jersey, but then the leaked information reported by the Post about Ivins' September 17 morning "administrative leave" would be completely irrelevant, and according to the Post, that isn't what the FBI believes occurred ("Authorities assume that he drove to Princeton immediately after" he took administrative leave in the morning). The FBI's theory as to how and when Ivins traveled to New Jersey on September 17 and mailed the letters is simply impossible, given the statement in their own Probable Cause Affidavit as to "the window of opportunity" the anthrax attacker had to mail the letters in order to have them bear a September 18 postmark. Marcy Wheeler and Larisa Alexandrovna have now noted the same discrepancy. That is a pretty enormous contradiction in the FBI's case.

* * * * *

The FBI's total failure to point to a shred of evidence placing Ivins in New Jersey on either of the two days the anthrax letters were sent is a very conspicuous deficiency in its case. It's possible that Ivins was able to travel to Princeton on two occasions in three weeks without leaving the slightest trace of having done so (not a credit card purchase, ATM withdrawal, unusual gas purchases, nothing), but that relies on a depiction of Ivins as a cunning and extremely foresightful criminal, an image squarely at odds with most of the FBI's circumstantial evidence that suggests Ivins was actually quite careless, even reckless, in how he perpetrated this crime (spending unusual amounts of time in his lab before the attacks despite knowing that there would be a paper trail; taking an "administrative leave" from work to go mail the anthrax letters rather than just doing it on the weekend when no paper trail of his absence would be created; using his own anthrax strain rather than any of the other strains to which he had access at Fort Detrick; keeping that strain in its same molecular form for years rather than altering it, etc.).

The FBI dumped a large number of uncorroborated conclusions at once on Wednesday, carefully assembled to create the most compelling case they could make, and many people -- as intended -- jumped to proclaim that it was convincing. But the more that case is digested and assessed, the more questions and the more skepticism seem to arise among virtually everyone.

The Washington Post Editorial page -- the ultimate establishment organ -- published its second Editorial yesterday calling for an independent investigation of the FBI's case against Ivins and pointed out just some of the numerous, critical holes in that case:

The case is admittedly circumstantial, and questions have been raised about the reliability of the FBI's scientific evidence, the inability to tie Mr. Ivins to the handwritten notes included with the mailed anthrax, the process by which the FBI excluded as suspects others who had access to the anthrax, and more.
The NYT today has an excellent Op-Ed from a microbiologist (the former Chief of Fort Detrick's bacteriology division) pointing out the numerous deficiencies in the FBI's scientific assertions. Critically, that Op-Ed describes the properties of the high-grade anthrax sent to Sen. Daschle and then notes: "It is extremely improbable that this type of preparation could ever have been produced at Fort Detrick, certainly not of the grade and quality found in that envelope."

The transcript of my interview with Dr. Gigi Gronvall of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh's Medical Center -- in which she points out the complete lack of scientific data presented in the FBI's public case and explores the numerous other private and public institutions around the world engaged in high-level anthrax research -- is now available here. A senior epidemiologist who posts at ScienceBlogs has raised several other significant deficiencies in the FBI's scientific case -- here and here -- while a microbiologist and evolutionary biologist at the same site has expressed extreme doubt about one of the FBI's key molecular claims, here. Are there any scientists anywhere who find the FBI's claims impressive or convincing?

For those inclined to place faith in the FBI's professed claims of "confidence" as coming from a trustworthy and admirable institution -- the same way people placed faith in the Honorable Colin Powell's quite similar one-sided, selective disclosure of evidence before the U.N. in 2003 -- this ought to serve as a reminder of the foolishness of doing so, from ABC News' World News Tonight, October 22, 2002:

PETER JENNINGS, ABC NEWS

(Off Camera) We have an exclusive report tonight about the anthrax attacks. It has been a year since the anthrax letters were sent to a number of media organizations and politicians. And as you may recall, five people died.

(Voice Over)The FBI tells ABC News it is very confident that it has found the person responsible.

PETER JENNINGS (CONTINUED)

(Off Camera) ABC's Brian Ross is here. Brian? Same case, same individual.

BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS

(Off Camera) That's right, Peter, Steven Hatfill. And while there's no direct evidence, authorities say they are building what they describe as a growing case of circumstantial evidence.

There are so many people with motives far more substantial than Ivins' to perpetrate an anthrax attack of this sort, and so many places other than Fort Detrick where this anthrax could have been produced (if it could have been produced by Ivins at Fort Detrick at all). An independent investigation by a body with meaningful subpoena power and an aggressive and respected investigator (and an accompanying law making it a felony to provide misleading information to, or to withhold information from, that body) is imperative. Is there anyone at this point who disagrees with that?

* * * * *

Beginning tomorrow, August 11, I'll be on vacation and thus, absent some highly unanticipated event, won't be blogging for the week (until August 18). The Radio Show podcasts, however, will be posted here this week as scheduled -- Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:00 p.m. EST [at least one of those segments will entail a discussion of Friday's Accountability Money Bomb, along with the short-term and longer-term plans for Accountability Now. Friday's Money Bomb raised in excess of $150,000 (and counting), bringing the total raised around these civil liberties and Constitutional issues, when combined with the Blue America FISA/telecom immunity funds raised in the last couple months, to more than $500,000].

       
       

-- Glenn Greenwald

               
                                               
                                               
What's the answer to this?
The latest evidence depicted by the media as incriminating of Ivins is actually an alibi.
Salon Radio: Anthrax edition
Two experts -- one in bioweapons and one in journalism -- explore the numerous, still unanswered questions in the anthrax case.
Accountability Now/Strange Bedfellows money bomb
A new organization, devoted to imposing real accountability on the political class, begins today.
The FBI's selective release of documents in the anthrax case
Some preliminary observations about the FBI's evidence.
                                       



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joeb

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Reply with quote  #14 
Scully says "I want to believe the Anthrax case is closed".......
Jack on 24 says " I want to believe"......
CSI says........." I want to believe"......

a species that hires bodyguards to protect them looses the ability to protect itself and is doomed to extinction


'Anthrax killer' remains a mystery
The FBI's accusations against dead scientist Bruce Ivins are full of holes. The case may be closed but it isn't solved

o Brad Friedman
o guardian.co.uk,
o Monday August 11 2008 14:00 BST


Case closed. The FBI has found the "Anthrax Killer" and he acted alone. And now that he's committed suicide, just at the moment the Feds were about to finally snare the diabolical menace who arguably brought utter chaos in days following the September 11 attacks when he'd sent deadly letters to Democratic officials and members of the media, his guilt couldn't be clearer.

Then again, you may have also believed that whole "Mission Accomplished" thing.

The case against Dr Bruce Ivins the widely-respected bio-terror researcher at the US army's medical research institute of infectious disease in Fort Detrick, Maryland was revealed by the FBI in a press conference, following his reported suicide the previous week, several ensuing days of bad reporting, laughable evidence-free leaks from anonymous government officials to media outlets happy to repeat them, growing scepticism from experts in the field of bio-terror research, colleagues of Ivins' and anybody who bothered to pay close attention beyond the misleading headlines.

The trouble began to reveal itself on the Friday, the same day Ivins' death was first reported, when experts in the field of bio-terror research noted one simple point: Ivins, the FBI's latest supposed "Anthrax Killer" (they had just settled a lawsuit with their last one, Steven Hatfill, in June, to the tune of $4.6m dollars) had "no access to dry, powdered anthrax" at the Fort Detrick facility.

Furthermore, colleagues of his claimed, had he tried to create any from the liquid version kept at the facility, he'd not have been able to do so without being noticed. Even after the FBI finally released a limited subset of one-sided information on Wednesday, the scepticism from experts and peers has persisted.

In explaining the exceptionally complicated procedure that Ivins would have had to secretly carry out in order to turn the liquid bacteria into the dry, powdered, weaponised version said to have been used in the letters which killed five and injured 21 others, University of Illinois microbiology professor and anthrax researcher Brenda Wilson noted that "People would notice what he was doing. People would be aware of him doing it. I know what people are doing in my lab. Even if he wanted to be sneaky about it, people would know that things were done."

Remember, the lab in question is an extraordinarily high-security facility where the world's deadliest bio-weapons are stored and researched.

The FBI notes, however, that it was Ivins himself who was in charge of the vial of liquid anthrax genetically identified as the one from which the spores used in the attacks had come. They say that he had often returned to the lab after hours during the months preceding the first anthrax attack in mid-September. But a closer look reveals that, oddly enough, Ivins' late-night hours began to spike in August of that same year, well before the 9/11 attacks, when the rest of the world, including even George Bush, was largely oblivious to threats of Muslim extremist-inspired terror even though it was spelled out for him in an August 6 2001 presidential briefing paper entitled: "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the US".

But still, perhaps it's just a coincidence that both Ivins and Bin Laden had the same thing in mind in August of that year. And that Ivins was unable to adequately explain his night-time presence in the lab during that period as anything more than an escape from problems at home, is seemingly "close enough" for the FBI in building their admittedly wholly circumstantial case. That hundreds of scientists also had access to the same vial of spores also seems of little concern to the federal investigators who said they are "now beginning the process of concluding this investigation".

There is little doubt that Ivins was a troubled man. Though whether he became troubled enough to kill himself before or after the relentless hounding of investigators (who showed photos of anthrax victims to his daughter and declared "your father did this" and fruitlessly offered $2.5m to his son as enticement to turn on his own father) is yet another open question.

Then there's the therapist who treated Ivins for the last six months or so, until being encouraged by the FBI to go to a judge to seek a restraining order against him. But the social worker, Jean Duley, whose embarrassing hand-scrawled statement to the judge, declaring Ivins "homicidal" and "sociopathic" and bent on revenge killings as long as ago as 2000 and who spelled therapist as "theripist" has her own problems, including a rap sheet for drunk driving, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, and apparently no job or money for an attorney since she no longer works at the Maryland facility where she supposedly treated Ivins.

Notably lacking in the FBI's case, is corroboration of the deadly threats of revenge killings made by Ivins in group therapy, according to Duley. Nobody else from those sessions has spoken up. And if Ivins was known to have begun his killing spree in 2000, and the FBI knew about it, why was he allowed to continue working in the lab, with his high-security clearance as late as just last month? Why was he allowed to roam free for that matter?

Never mind that. A set of emails, culled from thousands on Ivins' seized computers, presumably sent to folks whose names were redacted (so we'll just have to presume they're real), reveal one particularly damning piece of evidence highlighted in the FBI's case. Ivins wrote, in the middle of a longer note on September 26th, 2001: "I just heard tonight that Bin Laden terrorists for sure have anthrax and sarin gas." And later in the same letter: "Osama Bin Laden has just decreed death to all Jews and all Americans."

That note, the feds say, displays "language similar to the text of the anthrax letters postmarked two weeks later warning 'DEATH TO AMERICA,' 'DEATH TO ISRAEL.'"

What the FBI doesn't note, is that the first anthrax letter, sent to NBC anchor-man Tom Brokaw, was postmarked on September 18, a week before the Ivins email, and read: "THIS IS NEXT ... TAKE PENACILIN [sic] NOW ... DEATH TO AMERICA ... DEATH TO ISRAEL ... ALLAH IS GREAT."

And what the media, by and large, failed to note when reporting the Fed's less-than-convincing squib of evidence, was the first part of Ivins' sentence - the part declaring that Ivins had "just heard tonight" about Bin Laden having deadly biological weapons.

We're already down into the weeds, so we'll have to get to the sorority girls nonsense at another time. Citizen journalists on the internet such as Glenn Greenwald, the folks at Talking Points Memo, Larissa Alexandrovna of at-Largely, Marcy Wheeler of EmptyWheel and even myself at the Brad Blog, have already dispatched the absurd claims from both those "unnamed government sources" presented to us in the American corporate media over the last several days, as well as the FBI's own case.

Sure, Ivins could be the man the terrorist who, all by himself, carried out multiple terror attacks on American soil after 9/11 (despite repeated claims that we've had none, made by untold supporters of Bush who argue there have been no such attacks since 9/11) as the FBI has definitively argued. But the actual evidence presented in the case falls far short of proving it. And I'm being kind.

But for most who read only the headlines, the last unsolved terrorist attack has now been sealed up and can be added to the great success of the "war on terror" where "the surge has worked" in Iraq, all is well in Afghanistan and "We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them over here," cause that's what we've been told by the government and the American corporate media (and I dare you to explain to me the difference between the two.)

Anybody who bothers to look below the headlines, to notice what America has become in the bargain an outlaw nation of organized anarchy, wholly bereft of the watchdogs in the media, the government and the courts on whom we once we relied upon in the years since those now-solved anthrax attacks is just a deluded, paranoid, conspiracy nut. Like Ivins.

Mission Accomplished.

Try not to notice the report from Associated Press last Thursday, not 24 hours after we were informed the FBI had their man. AP's lede: "The government is still searching for evidence that Bruce Ivins was solely responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks despite declaring the case solved."
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #15 

Scientsts Continue To Question Anthrax Investigation And Case Against Bruce Ivins

Scientists are stepping up among those most skeptical of the FBI's evidence implicating military microbiologist Bruce Ivins in the 2001 Anthrax attacks.

In yesterday's New York Times, microbiologist Gerry Andrews wrote an op-ed describing himself as "both disheartened and perplexed by the lack of physical evidence" against Ivins. Andrews worked with Ivins for 16 years and served as the chief of the bacteriology division at the military lab at Ft. Detrick in Maryland.

While the FBI last week released extensive documents with circumstantial evidence against Ivins, they provided almost no details of the scientific testing that underpinned the investigation.

While questions about scientific aspects of the case have been aired, they are often relegated to the bottom of news stories behind other aspects of the investigation, such as Ivins' emails around the time of the attacks or his mental problems.

Today Dr. Meryl Nass, a bioweapons expert, rattled off a long list of concerns about the case on her blog.

Editors at Science Blogs built on their initial skepticism by publishing an additional piece titled "Anthrax Case: Reasonable Doubt on the Science."

The American Society of Microbiologists, the primary professional association for the field, has not issued any public statements on the case, but is prepared to provide experts for testimony on Capitol Hill if asked, spokeswoman Barbara Hyde told TPMmuckraker.

Meanwhile, virtually nobody with a science background in microbiology has stepped forward in support of the FBI's conclusion that Ivins was likely the one and only person involved in the 2001 attacks, said Gigi Gronvall, a senior associate with the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

"[Federal officials] came out and said they'd made the case, but they didn't actually present that science. So it really can't be evaluated," Gronvall said in an interview. "They talked about the genetic signature but they didn't elaborate on what that was. We want to know how they were able to determine that that one flask contained the parent train of what was sent out."

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joeb

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Reply with quote  #16 
VISIT LINK FIRST
http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2008/08/conclusive-evidence-of-means-motive-and.html


2ND READ



Monday, August 11, 2008
Conclusive evidence of means, motive and opportunity are missing
Case Analysis in a Nutshell

1. Ivins cannot be placed at the Princeton mailbox at either of the two times he would have to have been there.
2. There are additional hoax letters that have not been discussed by FBI in the information released Wednesday; may we assume Ivins could not be placed at those mailbox locations during the requisite windows of opportunity?
3. No official evidence has come forward indicating the nature of the Daschle/Leahy spore preparation, nor whether Ivins possessed the knowledge regarding its production, or access to the necessary equipment.
4. No convincing motive has been presented, although a variety of implausible motives have been suggested.
5. Although many other people with a strong motive can be identified, there is no evidence they were investigated by FBI and exculpated
6. "The FBI sought out the best experts in the scientific community and, over time, four highly sensitive and specific tests were developed that were capable of detecting the unique qualities of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks." However, details about the microbial forensic analysis have not been released, and may not be available for months or years pending publication. Scientists doubt that any forensic analysis can do more than identify the precise strain of anthrax.
7. The pre-franked envelopes could not be identified as coming from Ivins' post office, as initially claimed, but were instead sold in multiple post offices, none of which was definitely in Frederick.
8. Ivins was not the "sole custodian" of the RMR-1029 strain; over 100 people had access to it and they may have shared it with others. How was Ivins selected as a suspect and the others exonerated?
9. Handwriting analysis has not linked him to the crime.
10. He could not be linked to the Quantico letter that fingered Dr. Assaad. He could not be linked to any efforts to finger Dr. Hatfill.
11. No physical evidence links him to the crime: this includes the tape on the letters, fibers, human DNA, spores in his car, home or personal effects, evidence of any kind he travelled to the areas where the letters were mailed, including purchasing enough gasoline for a 7 hour trip to Princeton, twice.
12. He passed two polygraph examinations at Fort Detrick.
13. Since the FBI has been unable to build a convincing case against any one individual in the 7 years since the letters were sent, why didn't it focus on identifying a conspiracy of individuals who together may have been able to perform the complex actions required to send the anthrax letters and hoax
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joeb

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August 12, 2008 at 19:13:14

What the FBI Knows: For Bruce Ivins and For Us

by Elizabeth Ferrari     Page 1 of 3 page(s)

http://www.opednews.com



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What the FBI Knows: For Bruce Ivins and for us

"I don't think the FBI knows what the FBI knows" – Richard Clark testifying before the 9/11 Commission


In the summer of 2001, two hijackers were renting lodgings from an FBI asset in San Diego, California. But the FBI couldn't be bothered to know in the same way that they ran off John O'Neill when he was "on fire" about Bin Laden and they couldn't be bothered to listen to him. The next thing you know, thousands of people are dead, John O'Neill is dead and there's a scar in the heart of Manhattan. In 2005, the FBI is sure, knows with cold institutional certainty that Steve Hatfill is the anthrax mailer and before you can turn around, they're paying out 5 million dollars for ruining the life of an innocent man and publicly, too, by pillorying him in the press. You'd think they'd have learned by now. You'd think they'd have a picture of Richard Jewell up in every single FBI office and a special promise to say silently every morning before sitting down to the day's work.

You'd think by now the FBI would have a long needed moment of ontological panic and ask themselves how they know what they know. In 2003, they mapped out every single minute of Steve Hatfill's life on the days surrounding the two anthrax mailings and they were not loathe to announce that to the New York Times. But in the last few weeks, when they were accusing Bruce Ivins in the press, they didn't seem to know that Ivins couldn't be in Frederick, Maryland at 4:30 and in Princeton, New Jersey at 5:00 p.m. on September 17th, 2001, although they seemed to know each fact separately. It's as if the FBI has had the membrane connecting the two lobes of its institutional brain slashed, isolating one working hemisphere from the other.

The FBI claims that new technology can trace DNA from the weapon to Dr. Ivins when the tech to map a genome was available in 1998 and while withholding the exact nature of that new technology. Do you believe in magic? They claim that Ivins was the sole custodian of that flask of anthrax but do not mention the origins of that anthrax at the Dugway Proving Ground and they also elide the fact that ten other researchers had access to that same anthrax at Fort Detrick alone. And that's without considering all the researchers and labs that obtained samples from Dr. Ivins over the years, or the fact that Ivins helped evaluate the letter sent to Tom Daschle. The FBI is dealing with a crime scene faceted over space and time as if it was a simple plane, or a projection, a Power Point presentation they can point to unambiguously. The FBI does not know what it knows. Richard Clarke was right.

I'd like to ask them if Bruce Ivins was so careful that he could drive weaponized anthrax two hundred miles and mail it without leaving any trace at all on his person, in his car or around his residence or, if he was so careless that he mailed anthrax to Pat Leahy and Tom Daschle and didn't know that postal machines would pound the deadly powder out into the public sphere long before the envelopes were delivered. Which is it?

The FBI has said Bruce Ivins was afraid his vaccine program would be canceled and that motivated him to mail the anthrax. How is that possible? Ivins had a new vaccine in the works. No matter what happened to the BioPort vaccine he had been hired to fix, Dr. Ivins would get work. Make no mistake about it. Even if BioPort's product went down in flames, Dr. Ivins had another vaccine in development and his expertise would be in demand. There is always work for skilled people like Bruce Ivins. As a consumer of the BioPort vaccine himself, Bruce was as motivated as anyone to get a better vaccine in place.

In 2001, the FBI knew the anthrax mailer was a loner
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 10, 2001.

By ERIC LICHTBLAU and MEGAN GARVEY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS

WASHINGTON -- The FBI is increasingly convinced that the person behind the recent anthrax attacks is a lone wolf within the United States who has no links to terrorist groups but is an opportunist using the Sept. 11 hijackings to vent his rage, investigators said Friday.

http://www.ph.ucla.edu/EPI/bioter/lonerlikelyanthrax.ht...

The FBI is still pushing the idea that Ivins fits the "loner" description. But he doesn't. He was a married man with two adopted children, with mentees and colleagues and neighbors.

Fairfield resident recalls time at Fort Detrick; worked with suspected anthrax terrorist

While civilians like Battersby work at Fort Detrick, the site has military management, she said. And some people, such as those who want to advance their careers, have stayed quiet about their experience there, according to Battersby. (Emphasis added.)

But the few people not worried about talking about their experience with the government should talk, she said. "It's painful to me on a whole bunch of levels," Battersby said. "I feel like I should tell my story because I know I can." (Emphasis added.)

http://www.eveningsun.com/news/ci_10157273

Are people who knew Bruce Ivins afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs if they disagree with what the FBI "knows"? Battersby seems to say exactly that.
The reality is that this case hinges not on what the FBI knows but what the American public can be made to fear. Again. When asked last week why the FBI didn't take Ivins into custody, a Defense Department spokesperson (spokes spinner?) said the FBI didn't want to compromise the investigation – when the whole neighborhood saw how Bruce could barely get around FBI vehicles to get into his own driveway. It's one of the few acts of solidarity seen lately between DoD and Justice. They haven't co-operated so well since the Justice Department came up with the rationale for torture and the Defense Department found the means to implement that policy. (And here there is a subtext of corruption so profound that you wonder how long, if ever, it will take to clean up the Justice Department and how long it will be before we can again believe the Defense Department deserves the respect our uniformed young people pay it by their service.)

To grease the hinge of this case, last week the FBI fronted Jean Duley, a low level mental health worker, in a much challenged recovery herself to be generous or just plain "wet" in the vernacular of alcohol rehab. She lit up the media like a Christmas tree. Instead of quietly seeking a restraining order in private, she chose to go to a public hearing and to do a very bad impression of the clinician she is not. She accused Ivins of being a revenge killer, of hating women, of being a homicidal sociopath as if that was a diagnosis in the DSM IV, which it is not.


It's worth mentioning that while Ms. Duley was making these serious accusations, Ivins had no criminal record at all but, she did.

The media lit up like Macy's on Christmas Eve when the Salvation Army bell is ringing loudest over the heads of hassled shoppers. In particular, there was a pair at the Associated Press that could not recycle these outlandish claims often enough and without a shred of skepticism. From that venerable fount, these claims were spammed all over the American press and the cable channels. The fact that Ms. Duley was only recently out of house detention for her own problems or that she had no degree in psychology or that she had only seen Ivins a handful of times over the period of six months or that she was firmly in the hands of the FBI while making these claims, never seemed to make it into even the fifth paragraph of any of these cloned stories.

Predictably, the resulting spam from the AP hit pieces wind up reducing Bruce Ivins into a stereotype at Wikipedia, where as late as last night he is described as a "conservative Catholic". Bruce Ivins was not a conservative. His letters to the Frederick News-Press are the letters of a curious, left-leaning, inclusive writer. A person with a quiet and persistent sense of humor that is often turned on himself. A thoughtful person who believes women should be included in the priesthood, that people are indeed born gay, that all people deserve the respect of their fellows. Someone who cared deeply about his community. These are not the letters of a hidebound ideologue or an abortion clinic bomber. But, like those iconographic portraits of Renaissance monarchs, Bruce Ivins the person is becoming indistinguishable from the FBI Bruce Ivins caricature at Wikipedia, illustrated but not represented.

Contrast this public misrepresentation with the issue of coerced silence brought up by Battersby who remembers the actual man. The best example of that silence may be the hundreds of people attending Ivins' two memorials last week in Frederick, ironically one private and one public, their very attendance a rejection of the official story in favor of honoring the man they knew who juggled with their children and wrote songs to celebrate their promotions.

In the middle of the Ivins tragedy and in the middle of the FBI claiming to know more than they know and more than they will tell the public, the Department of Health and Human Services took new bids for the national stockpile of anthrax vaccines from contractors in Maryland. The news item stuck in my mind because July 31st is my son's birthday.

I need to get this clear for my son, in the way that mothers always need to get danger real clear. The anthrax attacks were terrorism, not discrete attacks on individuals. Whoever mailed that anthrax meant to terrorize, not to attack specific targets. Those envelopes were all mailed to executives and anyone sophisticated enough to mail that substance was sophisticated enough to know that executives don't open their own mail. So, when the FBI makes claims about Ivins' motives regarding the addressees, it just makes them look impotently disconnected from their own purpose. Ivins had no motive to send those envelopes to those people. No one did. That mail was sent to frighten a people, not to attack anyone in particular.

And as for Dr. Ivins in particular, there is nothing in his mountain of writings that demonstrates he ever imagined hurting other people in particular or in general. When his relapse was pounding him, he drank, he wrote to his friends and he went to his doctor. He made up silly jingles about his symptoms in the way that optimists deploy humor against danger. But there is not one sentence anywhere that indicates he even considered harming another as a solution to his distress. The FBI cannot place him at the scene of the crime – not physically and not in imagination. If there is more, we haven't seen it.

This has been the the biggest investigation the FBI has taken on in its entire history second only to 9/11. What a spectacular failure. And how identically twinned that failure has been by our media's failure to interrogate, at every point and over and over, the shoddy media circus that has passed for crime solving.

Rush Holt and Pat Leahy are rumbling about Congressional hearings but as well intentioned as they are, there is no reason to have confidence that our Congress will resolve this crime against the American people, against Ivins, his family, or the Fort Detrick community just there is no reason to have confidence that appointing an independent investigative panel will mend our broken justice system. How sad is it that we cannot rely on our institutions to take care of us in this most basic way.

We have slipped so far down the rabbit hole of unaccountability, I only hope that the next time someone decides to send vectors into the public sphere, the deaths will not be too terrible and the fear will be more mercifully short. At some point, though, you have to wonder who our media believes will consume its product if we are rightfully unwilling to handle our own mail.

The anthrax attacks were deadly and we can never forget those terrible losses. It's equally true that the Bush Justice Department and its shameful media gaggle have been more destructive than the person who deliberately put that deadly substance into our mail. Between them, they misled us into bombing an innocent people – enabling hundreds of thousands of deaths, the displacing of millions and the irresolution of this case which speaks to the foundation of any government: the safety of its citizenry. There is no reason to have confidence in either the remains of the Justice Department or in the remains of our news media.

And in the meanwhile, Bruce Ivins was driven to suicide. How can anyone feel all right with that when there is not only a "reasonable doubt" of his guilt, but a doubt so big that the Grand Canyon could safely use it for a pit stop?

Who can feel safer today knowing Dr. Ivins is dead and will not get a day in court? Without that process, who can trust that this case has been closed against future harm to the American people? Some wise guy said, "Trust but verify". When did verifying the most basic elements of our system of justice become so impossible in our country? I don't trust the FBI to know what it knows. I don't see our media checking behind them. To quote Mr. Poe of Texas, "And that's just how it is".

"Gerard P. Andrews, another of Dr. Ivins' former colleagues, said he knew that Dr. Ivins was frustrated, but that he doubted that Dr. Ivins would consider such a step."

I'm with you, Mr. Andrews. A lot of us are frustrated. I don't know if Bruce Ivins did the crime that he has been convicted of in the press. I sincerely doubt it. That we allowed him to be so convicted is more destructive than the original crime.
peaceful and private expression of frustration is now a terrorist activity by implication, rumor or assertion, and without resort to a court of law, then the attacks on us, on the American people are ongoing, no matter what the FBI believes it knows or refuses to know, and no matter how cheerfully this doubtful "knowledge" is broadcast by a contaminated press.


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Headlined on 8/12/08:
FBI Frame-up of Bruce E. Ivins Made Simple

by Michael Green    



On Wednesday, August 8, 2008, the Department of Justice held a news conference announcing that Bruce E. Ivins, a former anthrax researcher for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), was the sole person responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks.  Headed by U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor and FBI Assistant Director Joseph Persichini, the presentation was noteworthy for often not answering relevant questions, but instead referring reporters to several dozen court documents they had just been provided.  After hurriedly reading one of these documents I decided to hedge my strong conclusion in an essay that the FBI had persecuted and framed Ivins in order to protect the actual perpetrators until determining enough facts to decide the matter.  I stated, "The most important question is whether Ivins was provided with fully weaponized cutting-edge anthrax that he could use by merely drying it out as the FBI case requires.  If not, then the cover-up explodes in the face of the FBI." See "911 Plotters Bury the Evidence of Anthrax as their Follow-up Punch" http://tinyurl.com/694avu  And, indeed, the cover-up had exploded in the face of the FBI and DOJ.

Richard Spertzel, UNSCOM's biological weapons chief from 1994-199, had described an exquisitely weaponized anthrax contained in the letters to Senators Leahy and Daschle that "far exceeds that of any powdered product found in the now extinct U.S. Biological Warfare Program."  These included anthrax spores of 1.5-3.0 microns necessary to make a pure spore mix, a polyglass that tightly bound hydrophilic silica to each particle (to prevent clumping) and a weak electrical charge to optimize dispersion by means of repulsion with no other propellant required.  Spertzel concluded:

    The multiple disciplines and technologies required to make the anthrax in this case do not exist at the Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.  Inhalation studies are conducted at the institute, but they are done using liquid preparation, not powdered products.

Furthermore, the FBI spent 12-18 months trying to "reverse engineer" the Daschle-Leahy anthrax without success.  The FBI case against Ivins gives him 7½ hours in the evening over the course of three days to prepare his first concoction and roughly 15½ hours over eight days to prepare the Senate anthrax.  But after reading the first DOJ document, that was suggestive and not apparently made from whole cloth, I was seized by the possibility that the FBI might have been concealing that Ivins had been working with fully weaponized anthrax in order to disguise a violation of the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory, hence the hedge in my essay (made on the final day of OPEDNEWS window for editing one's essays.)  Direct inspection of the BTWC rules out that concern.  Apparently what matters is in the heart or mind: one can make fully weaponized materials so long as the purpose in doing so is in some part defensive or prophylactic, as was Ivins's purpose in testing the efficacy of anthrax vaccines.

The question is thus whether Ivins was working with fully weaponized materials.  The answer is that he was not.  Neither the DOJ oral presentation, nor anything in any of its documents states or implies this.  In fact, the topic is sedulously avoided even though -- or precisely because -- it is essential to making the case against Ivins.  Better, Jeffrey Taylor, who seemed to have a weak grasp of the evidence, in his opening remarks gave away the fact that the anthrax in the letters did not come directly from the flask with the sample of spores "RMR-1029" that Ivins monitored and that were reportedly a genetic match to the anthrax that killed its victims.  Mr. Taylor advised:

    As the court documents allege, the parent material of the anthrax spores used in the attacks was a single flask of spores, known as "RMR-1029," that was created and solely maintained by Dr. Ivins at USAMRIID. This means that the spores used in the attacks were taken from that specific flask, regrown, purified, dried and loaded into the letters.

So, that's the game and the frame-up right there.  Regrown spores don't weaponize themselves.  They do not regrow super-small and covered with state-of-the-art anti-clumping silicon with a weak electrical charge for dispersion.  And how do we know, aside from voluminous ongoing reports that we will soon examine, that there was such silica on the spores, and that it was cutting edge technology?  Search Warrant Affidavit 07-534-M-01 (available at USDOJ: Amerithrax Court Documents) states in pertinent part, p.4:

    Microscopic examination of the evidentiary spore powders recovered from all four letters identified an elemental signature of Silicon within the spores.  This Silicon signature had not been previously described for Bacillus anthracis organisms.

This fundamental problem with the FBI case has been around for a long time, and helps us understand how covert action can take place in front of the public without being noticed.  An October 2, 2002 Washington Post article by Guy Gugliotta and Gary Matsumoto underscores how committed the FBI has been to protecting the 911 plotters from the beginning, e.g., by starting with a conviction that the perpetrator had to be a lone nutcase:

    A profile of the attacker issued by the FBI last November described an angry, "lone individual" with "some" science background who could weaponize the anthrax spores in a basement laboratory for as little as $2,500. 

Instead, the scientists who understood the spores opined as follows:

    "In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them," said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998. "And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good."
    Instead, suggested Spertzel and more than a dozen experts interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks, investigators might want to reexamine the possibility of state-sponsored terrorism, or try to determine whether weaponized spores may have been stolen by the attacker from an existing, but secret, biodefense program or perhaps given to the attacker by an accomplice. ...
    "Just collecting this stuff is a trick," said Steven A. Lancos, executive vice president of Niro Inc., one of the leading manufacturers of spray dryers, viewed by several sources as the likeliest tool needed to weaponize the anthrax bacteria. "Even on a small scale, you still need containment. If you're going to do it right, it could cost millions of dollars." ...
    Several sources agreed that the most likely way to build the coated spores would be to use the fine glass particles, known generically as "fumed silica" or "solid smoke," and mix them with the spores in a spray dryer. "I know of no other technique that might give you that finished product," Spertzel said.

    According to William C. Patrick III, the former chief of product development for the U.S. Army's now-defunct bioweapons program, U.S. government scientists made biological agents using spray dryers, but did not spray dry anthrax. ...
    In spray drying, a technician mixes fumed silica and spores with water, then sprays the mist through a nozzle directly into a stream of superheated air shooting from a second nozzle into an enclosed chamber. The water evaporates instantly, leaving spores and additive floating in space.

What do the DOJ and FBI offer us for how Ivins could have done all this?  Silence and disinformation.  The aforementioned affidavit states:

    Culturing anthrax and working safely with dried anthrax spores requires specific training and expertise in technical fields such as biochemist or microbiology.  It also requires access to particular laboratory equipment such as a lyophilizer or other drying device, biological safety cabinet or other containment device, incubator, centrifuge, fermentor, and various protective fear, all of which Dr. Ivins had readily accessible to him through his employment at USAMRIID.

The above paragraph is a carefully worded frame up.  Yes, a special drying device is needed to coat the anthrax with silicon in the right way; it is a spray dryer -- a device that works with intense heat to vaporize nearly instantly a water suspension of silicon particles that then is drawn to the anthrax.  Ivins had access to a lyophilizer, but not to a spray dryer.  A lyophilizer freeze dries liquid anthrax into a powder.  So the affidavit slips the fact that Ivins lacks even the basic tools by including "or other drying device" and states (truly and deceptively) that Ivins had access to "all of which," i.e., the unhelpful lyophilizer but not the essential spray dryer, let alone the specialized silicon and team of colleagues to make it work.  The Post continues about the requirements:

    "Surface tension will pull those little [silica] particles together onto the big one," said California Institute of Technology chemical engineer Richard Flagan. "You will end up with some degree of coating."

    Whoever made such an aerosol would "need some experience" with aerosols and "would have to have a lot of anthrax, so you could practice," Edwards said. "You'd have to do a lot of trial and error to get the particles you wanted." It would also help to have an electron microscope to examine the results.

    This would mean at least several hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment, several experts said. Niro's cheapest spray dryer sells for about $50,000. Electron microscopes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    In all, said Niro's Lancos, "you would need [a] chemist who is familiar with colloidal [fumed] silica, and a material science person to put it all together, and then some mechanical engineers to make this work . . . probably some containment people, if you don't want to kill anybody. You need half a dozen, I think, really smart people."

The following year, Gary Matsumoto wrote an article for Science 28, November 2003, Volume 302 that stated that "a schism now exists among scientists who analyzed it for the FBI."  Initially, there was consensus:

    Early in the investigation [once it took to heart the science needed to produce the spores], the FBI appeared to endorse the latter view: that only a sophisticated lab could have produced the material used in the Senate attack. This was the consensus among biodefense specialists working for the government and the military. In May 2002, 16 of these scientists and physicians published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association, describing the Senate anthrax powder as "weapons-grade" and exceptional: "high spore concentration, uniform particle size, low electrostatic charge, treated to reduce clumping" (JAMA, 1 May 2002, p. 2237). Donald A. Henderson, former assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the Department of Health and Human Services, expressed an almost grudging respect: "It just didn't have to be that good" to be lethal, he told Science.
    As the [criminal] investigation dragged on, however, its focus shifted. In a key disclosure, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft revealed in August 2002 that Justice Department officials had fixed on one of 30 so-called "persons of interest":Steven J. Hatfill, a doctor and virologist who in 1997 conducted research with the Ebola virus at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Hatfill has denied any involvement in the anthrax mailing.)

Thus, the FBI had begun with the "backyard biokiller" profile, then was forced to abandon it by the advanced design of the anthrax that points the finger where it belongs at state-sponsored terrorism, and then embraced it again once it felt that Steven Hatfill could be made to fill the role of "patsy."  But in order to convict Hatfill, the FBI would need to demonstrate how Hatfill could have produced the anthrax in the Daschle-Leahy letters, hence their effort to "reverse engineer" the process.  One lovely comparable historical example is the FBI's fantasy that the WTC was car-bombed in 1993 by dozens of committed Arabs urinating to generate the "uric acid" needed for its imaginary "home-made" bomb in order to conceal that high-grade military explosives provided by FBI mole Emad Salem were used in that event.  But those were Muslim "terrorists," easy to convict with the help of Judge Michael Mukasey, since promoted to Attorney General.  Something better was needed for Hatfill, so the FBI tried, and failed:

    Although the FBI did not spell out its theory [about Hatfill], this announcement and leaks to the media from federal investigators indicated that the inquiry had embraced the idea that a lone operator or small group with limited resources could have produced the Senate anthrax powder.

    This premise now appears to have run its course. In September 2003, the FBI's Michael Mason admitted that the bureau failed to reverse engineer a world-class anthrax powder like the Senate material and expressed regret that Hatfill had been called a "person of interest."

What about the "schism" that developed amongst scientists familiar with the Daschle-Leahy anthrax samples?  Well, Matsumoto is an establishment journalist, which means that he is not permitted to think aloud in public.  So he is careful to separate the John Ashcroft designation of Steven Hatfill in August 2002 as a "person of interest" from what follows way below in the article, and careful not to integrate the two facts into a coherent narrative, but to his full credit he does all that he can with a picture that is worth a thousand words.  Hatfill is grimacing in fury, not the furtive guilt of a trapped perpetrator:

    About-face
    By the fall of 2002, the awe-inspiring anthrax of the previous spring had morphed into something decidedly less fearsome. According to sources on Capitol Hill, FBI scientists now reported that there was "no additive" in the Senate anthrax at all. Alibek said he examined electron micrographs of the anthrax spores sent to Senator Daschle and saw no silica. "But I couldn't be absolutely sure," Alibek says, "because I only saw three to five of these electron micrographs." Even the astonishingly uniform particle size of 1.5 to 3 micrometers, mentioned in 2001 by Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), now included whopping 100-micrometer agglomerates, according to the new FBI description recounted by Capitol Hill aides. The reversal was so extreme that the former chief biological weapons inspector for the United Nations Special Commission, Richard Spertzel, found it hard to accept. "No silica, big particles, manual milling," he says: "That's what they're saying now, and that radically contradicts everything we were told during the first year of this investigation."
    Figure 5
    In the cold. The U.S. Justice Department revealed that it was investigating scientist Steven Hatfill (bottom), formerly of Fort Detrick, and searched a nearby pond for clues.

Indeed, Matsumoto gives a clear and vivid description of what was first known about the anthrax spores in 2003, that survives now in the official story as a brief and vastly under-described in the DOJ affidavit as "an elemental signature of Silicon within the spores"

    Glassy finish
    More revealing than the electrostatic charge, some experts say, was a technique used to anchor silica nanoparticles to the surface of spores. About a year and a half ago, a laboratory analyzing the Senate anthrax spores for the FBI reported the discovery of what appeared to be a chemical additive that improved the bond between the silica and the spores. U.S. intelligence officers informed foreign biodefense officials that this additive was "polymerized glass." The officials who received this briefing--biowarfare specialists who work for the governments of two NATO countries--said they had never heard of polymerized glass before. This was not surprising. "Coupling agents" such as polymerized glass are not part of the usual tool kit of scientists and engineers making powders designed for human inhalation. Also known as "sol gel" or "spin-on-glass," polymerized glass is "a silane or siloxane compound that's been dissolved in an alcohol-based solvent like ethanol," says Jacobsen. It leaves a thin glassy coating that helps bind the silica to particle surfaces.

Thus, the shift of anthrax description in the fall of 2002 occurs just in time to make Attorney General John Ashcroft fingering Hatfill seem superficially plausible to those without knowledge or memories.  Alibek, a Soviet defector, has gone over to the official government position, as have others for reasons not hard to fathom.  Reading Matsumoto's Science article with care reveals the unstated political pressures that were applied to the scientists committed to the truth with the hard data on the Daschle-Leahy anthrax, but I shall not elaborate that here.  There is not one example of a scientist who changed his mind on the crucial issue of whether the Senate anthrax could have been done by a loner for solid scientific reasons.  These political pressures are the source of the "schism."

I am not going to discuss the rest of the DOJ case against Ivins because it rests on the slimmest of hunch and speculation, distortion and innuendo, legerdemain and suppression of relevant fact, especially the central fact that has been our focus here.  The DOJ-FBI case is interesting, and in the absence of much of the actual evidence of this case that the FBI has been so busy suppressing, would be fruitful for further investigation of Ivins, but nothing more.  In the face of the actual facts, the single-minded pursuit of Ivins as the long perpetrator is a full-blown cover-up whether or not Ivins had any involvement in the 2001 anthrax attacks.  Others, especially Glenn Greenwald of salon.com have done a fine job of pointing out problems with the legal case against Ivins.  In one especially powerful post, Greenwald notes:

    The FBI's total failure to point to a shred of evidence placing Ivins in New Jersey on either of the two days the anthrax letters were sent is a very conspicuous deficiency in its case. It's possible that Ivins was able to travel to Princeton on two occasions in three weeks without leaving the slightest trace of having done so (not a credit card purchase, ATM withdrawal, unusual gas purchases, nothing), but that relies on a depiction of Ivins as a cunning and extremely foresightful criminal, an image squarely at odds with most of the FBI's circumstantial evidence that suggests Ivins was actually quite careless, even reckless, in how he perpetrated this crime (spending unusual amounts of time in his lab before the attacks despite knowing that there would be a paper trail; taking an "administrative leave" from work to go mail the anthrax letters rather than just doing it on the weekend when no paper trail of his absence would be created; using his own anthrax strain rather than any of the other strains to which he had access at Fort Detrick; keeping that strain in its same molecular form for years rather than altering it, etc.). http://tinyurl.com/6lt4fr

In that same post, Greenwald -- who apparently has knowledge of the postal pick-up times of the Princeton, N.J. mailbox from which the letters were sent -- notes that the FBI has presented an impossible theory of how Ivins could have mailed the letters in September 2001 and the FBI presents as damning evidence against Ivins what in fact exculpates him (assuming that the Washington Post has accurately reported its facts).  Again, this modus operandi is Warren Commission redux: the blue ribbon authority asserts the opposite of what its evidence reveals.  Nonetheless, Greenwald continues to suffer from the illusion that the FBI acted in good faith, preventing him from thinking, let alone saying plainly, that Ivins is the patsy chosen to protect the real conspirators, and that as in the Downey Street memorandum, "the facts were being fixed around the policy."

There are a lot of suspects in the 2001 anthrax attacks, but they are all state or corporate-state agents who were implementing neocon foreign policy and domestic repression, and hence are being protected by the FBI.  That the FBI is operating under orders from on high is the only reasonable explanation of this clumsy frame-up of Ivins.  Demonstrating the deliberate frame-up and thus exposing the motive of protecting the guilty is relatively simple provided one can follow the facts and reason clearly; solving the crime by showing just which people and institutions did just which deeds is much more difficult and much more dangerous.
As I opined originally, Hatfill proved a "formidable" opponent whereas Ivins "has been chosen as the most vulnerable individual to serve as a patsy."  And so Ivins has been.  Ivins's funeral was attended by 250-300 professional colleagues who offered their warm support, something they were not likely to have done had they believed the DOJ-FBI case against him, and they were in a position to know how strong it was, or was not.  These colleagues for the most part will imagine that the FBI has made some terrible mistake; the seemingly small step required to appreciate that no mistake was made is far too difficult for most to make, for when followed to its proper conclusions, the ground gives way beneath one.
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FBI Agrees To Release More Details From Anthrax Probe, Backpeddles On Key Elements

Remember when the FBI told us that military microbiologist Bruce Ivins gave investigators a bogus sample of the anthrax from his lab in 2002 -- suggesting an effort to mislead and cover up his own connection to the 2001 anthrax attacks?

Well, that might not be true, according to the New York Times. Ivins did give investigators a sample of his own anthrax -- which allegedly matched the strain used in the attacks -- but the FBI botched the testing process.

But F.B.I. officials acknowledged at the closed-door briefing, according to people who were there, that the sample Dr. Ivins gave them in 2002 did in fact come from the same strain used in the attacks, but, because of limitations in the bureau's testing methods and Dr. Ivins's failure to provide the sample in the format requested, the F.B.I. did not realize that it was a correct match until three years later.

That closed-door briefing came as the FBI has agreed to begin providing more details about the science underpinning its case against Ivins.

The bureau is coming forward with more information at least partly in response to the experts who have publicly expressed skepticism about the FBI's case, which concluded that Ivins was the one and only person involved in the attacks.

Last week the Department of Justice gave a private briefing to Congress and this week the DOJ plans to make the new details public, the Times reports.

According to those who attended last week's briefing, the FBI appears to be backpeddling on some initial components of its case against Ivins.

In addition to the new version regarding the anthrax sample Ivins provided in 2002, investigators now say the evelopes used in the mail attacks were more widely available than initially suggested.

Investigators said two weeks ago that the envelopes were unique and easily traced back to the Maryland post office near Ivins' home. But reports from the close-door session say that is not the case.

Many scientists are looking forward to hearing details of the investigation, but do not expect the science to persuade all the skeptics.

"I expect people to be dazzled by the science. I am worried that people will confuse solid science (and I expect the science to be very good) with a solid case," Gigi Gonvall, a senior associate at the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburge Medical Center, told TPMmuckraker this morning.

"The science will only take you so far."

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joeb

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This just in from the perps who committed the 911 Anthrax attack against America.

Destroyed the Anthrax evidence, Really!

Rice scolds Russia...Fay rattles Keys...FBI scientists destroyed...

Aug 18 2008
Associated Press


BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) Secretary of State Rice says Russia is risking its relationships with the U.S. and its allies. Rice, on her way to an emergency NATO meeting in Brussels, says the alliance will deny Russia's strategic objective by rebuilding and fully backing Georgia and other Eastern European democracies.



Washington (AP) FBI scientists early on had, but destroyed, the unique strain of anthrax used in the deadly 2001 attacks that years later would lead them to Dr. Bruce Ivins. The FBI's assistant director says the sample was destroyed because the bureau believed it might not have been allowed as evidence at trial.
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http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/18/anthrax/
Glenn Greenwald
Monday Aug. 18, 2008 08:04 EDT
Doubts over the anthrax case intensify -- except among much of the media

(updated below - Update II - Update III)

The more that is revealed about the FBI's still largely-secret case against Bruce Ivins, the more doubts that are raised about whether their accusations are true. A particularly vivid episode illustrating how shoddy the FBI's case seems to be occurred in the last several days.

Ever since the FBI accused Bruce Ivins of being the sole anthrax attacker, one of the most glaring of the many deficiencies in the FBI's case is the complete lack of evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, placing Ivins at the New Jersey mailboxes (the proverbial "scene of the crime") on either of the two dates on which the anthrax letters were sent. To respond to criticisms pointing out that huge flaw, the FBI, on August 7, leaked -- and the news media then dutifully and uncritically trumpeted -- what was supposedly a highly incriminating fact: namely, that Ivins, on September 17, the day before the first batch of anthrax letters were postmarked, took administrative leave from work in the morning and did not return until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. that day. This time period during September 17, according to The Washington Post (which was fed the leaked scoop), was the window in which Ivins drove to New Jersey and mailed the anthrax letters:

    Anthrax attack suspect Bruce E. Ivins took several hours of administrative leave from his Fort Detrick, Md., laboratory on a critical day in September 2001 when the first batch of deadly letters was dropped in a New Jersey mailbox, government sources briefed on the case said yesterday. The gap recorded on his time sheet offered investigators a key clue into how he could have pulled off an elaborate crime that involved carrying letters packed with lethal powder to a distant location for mailing, the sources said. . . .

    A partial log of Ivins's work hours shows that he worked late in the lab on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 16, signing out at 9:52 p.m. after two hours and 15 minutes. The next morning, the sources said, he showed up as usual but stayed only briefly before taking leave hours. Authorities assume that he drove to Princeton immediately after that, dropping the letters in a mailbox on a well-traveled street across from the university campus. Ivins would have had to have left quickly to return for an appointment in the early evening, about 4 or 5 p.m.

CNN mindlessly though flamboyantly trumpeted the FBI's story of Ivins' administrative leave all day as though it were definitive proof that Ivins used that leave in order to drive to New Jersey that day and mail the anthrax letters. Here's but one example illustrating how CNN disseminated this dramatic claim:


But almost immediately after the FBI leaked this theory as to when and how Ivins traveled to New Jersey undetected, it was pointed out in several online venues, including here, that this timeline made no sense whatsoever -- that, indeed, the FBI's own theories were self-contradictory. In the documents that the FBI disclosed two weeks ago, it itself defined the "window of opportunity" for mailing the September 18 postmarked letters as beginning on September 17 at 5:00 p.m. (after which letters dropped in that mailbox would have received a postmark of September 18, but before which they would be postmarked September 17). Thus, based on the FBI's own facts, it would be physically impossible for Ivins -- as the FBI claimed to the Post -- to have driven to New Jersey after taking administrative leave in the morning in order to mail the anthrax letters, since he returned that day to Maryland for a 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. meeting, and thus could not have dropped the letters in the mailbox after 5:00 p.m.

So what did the FBI do in response to that rather devastating hole in its theory being pointed out? It just leaked a completely different story to the Post about when and how Ivins mailed the September 18 letters from New Jersey. Here's the FBI's new version, from the Post on Thursday:

    Meanwhile, government sources offered more detail about Ivins's movements on a critical day in the case: when letters were dropped into the postal box on Princeton's Nassau Street, across the street from the university campus.

    Investigators now believe that Ivins waited until evening to make the drive to Princeton on Sept. 17, 2001. He showed up at work that day and stayed briefly, then took several hours of administrative leave from the lab, according to partial work logs. Based on information from receipts and interviews, authorities say Ivins filled up his car's gas tank, attended a meeting outside of the office in the late afternoon, and returned to the lab for a few minutes that evening before moving off the radar screen and presumably driving overnight to Princeton. The letters were postmarked Sept. 18.

That the FBI is still, to this day, radically changing its story on such a vital issue -- namely, how and when Bruce Ivins traveled to New Jersey, twice, without detection and mailed the anthrax letters -- is a testament to how precarious the FBI's case is. They stood up in public two weeks ago, refused to show anyone the evidence they possess, but nonetheless proclaimed that they know that Ivins was the anthrax attacker, and that he acted alone, beyond any reasonable doubt. Yet their own theory as to how and when he sent the letters was squarely negated by their own claims, and so they had to re-leak their theory to the Post once that glaring deficiency, which they apparently overlooked, was pointed out online.

This isn't some side issue or small, obscure detail. Being able to link an accused to the scene of the crime is the centerpiece of any case. That's why the FBI leaked its "administrative leave" theory to the Post and other media, which then spent all day highlighting the "incriminating fact." Yet the FBI's own theory made no sense and was immediately debunked, and so, in response, they just changed their theory to some completely different set of speculations the way political pundits have new "breaking news" every five minutes about who the likely Vice Presidential picks are. Does that behavior allow anyone to have confidence in what the FBI is saying?

* * * * *

And let's just spend a brief moment marveling at how mindless and uncritical the establishment media is in how they report on these matters. It was The Post's Carrie Johnson and Joby Warrick who first reported the FBI's leak on August 8 that Ivins had likely traveled to New Jersey after taking administrative leave in the morning, and they reported it without an iota of critical thought, and certainly didn't point out that the FBI's own timeline was impossible on its own terms. More amazingly, it was one of those same Post reporters -- Carrie Johnson -- who on Thursday printed the FBI's brand new and mutually exclusive theory -- that Ivins traveled to New Jersey at night, after work -- without even bothering to mention the most important fact: that it was a brand new theory that contradicted the one she mindlessly passed on from the FBI the week before.

To the contrary, in touting the FBI's brand new theory, Johnson wrote that "government sources offered more detail about Ivins's movements on a critical day in the case" -- as though the FBI's abandonment of its prior claim in favor of a new one comprised "more detail." The FBI didn't offer "more detail"; it offered completely "new detail" because the last "detail" they leaked to Johnson was almost instantaneously disproven -- a fact Johnson doesn't even bother to mention. Instead, she just allows the FBI's story to change radically and then serves as a vessel for that new story as though it's further incriminating proof, rather than a reflection of the fact that the FBI still has no idea whether it was Ivins who went to New Jersey to mail those letters.

That's because The Post's role here has been and continues to be what the establishment media's role generally is -- to serve government sources and amplify their claims, not to investigate their veracity. That's how it was Saddam Hussein who was the original anthrax culprit, followed by Steven Hatfill, and now Bruce Ivins. It's how Jessica Lynch heroically fought off Iraqi goons in a firefight, how Pat Tillman stood down Al Qaeda monsters until they murdered him, how Iraq possessed mountains of WMDs, and now, how Russia has assaulted the consensus values of the Western World by invading a sovereign country and occupying parts of it for a whole week, etc. etc. All of those narratives came from the Government directly into the pages of The Washington Post, which then uncritically conveyed them, often (as in the case of the Jessica Lynch lies and WMD claims) playing a leading role in doing so.

That's what the Post is doing again with regard to the FBI's case against Bruce Ivins. It was the same Post reporters who, on August 4, breathlessly touted one of the most inane FBI leaks of all -- that Ivins was clearly some sort of mad scientist because he possessed what the Post depicted as an exotic germ machine which Ivins had no good reason to possess, a lyophilizer (!), even though possession of a lyophilizer by an anthrax researcher such as Ivins is akin to possession of a pencil by an accountant (The Post headline: "Anthrax Dryer a Key To Probe -- Suspect Borrowed Device From Lab").

Similarly, here is an Associated Press article from last week, by AP's Matt Apuzzo, purporting to report on what it admits are many "meticulously researched" questions that have been raised (including by me) about the FBI's case, yet repeatedly demonizes such skepticism with these phrases, laced throughout the article: "the ingredients for a good conspiracy theory"; "skeptics and conspiracy theorists"; "armchair investigators, bloggers and scientists"; "one of the great conspiracy theories, like whether we landed on the moon or whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone"; "anti-Jewish writers blame the attack on a Zionist plot"; "You can't prove aliens didn't mail the letters."

As always, in Establishment Media World, nothing is more insane or radical than refusing to believe every word the Government says. Even after Iraqi mushroom clouds and the whole litany of Government falsehoods, the establishment hallmark of Seriousness and Sanity is accepting the Government's word. When it says Iraq was behind the attacks, then it was. When they said Hatfill was the culprit, he was. Now that they say that Ivins is, he is, and only "conspiracy theorists" -- comparable to those who disbelieve we landed on the moon -- would question that or demand to see the actual evidence. The FBI is relying, understandably so, on their mindless allies in the media to depict its case against Ivins as so airtight that no real investigation is necessary.

* * * * *

What is most remarkable is that even with a gullible, extremely accommodating press, and even though the FBI's case is still a secret -- they have only released their own conclusions about selectively highlighted evidence, but continue to conceal the evidence itself -- questions and doubts about the FBI's case have rapidly escalated since it held its accusatory press conference on August 7.

This weekend, The New York Times reported that "growing doubts from scientists about the strength of the government's case against the late Bruce E. Ivins, the military researcher named as the anthrax killer, are forcing the Justice Department to begin disclosing more fully the scientific evidence it used to implicate him." Thus:

    In the face of the questions, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials have decided to make their first detailed public presentation next week on the forensic science used to trace the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks to a flask kept in a refrigerator in Dr. Ivins's laboratory at Fort Detrick, in Maryland. Many scientists are awaiting those details because so far, they say, the F.B.I. has failed to make a conclusive case.

The circumstantial claims are proving no more convincing. As but one example, Rep. Rush Holt, despite calling for hearings after the FBI's August 7 press conference, nonetheless said in a statement after being briefed that day that the FBI's circumstantial evidence was "compelling." But now, after receiving another briefing this last week that he requested to address several unresolved questions, Rep. Holt pronounced the FBI's case less convincing that he originally thought:

    Representative Rush Holt, the New Jersey Democrat who has followed the anthrax case closely and requested this week’s briefing from the F.B.I., said in an interview that he was not ready to draw any firm conclusions about the investigation. But he said: "The case is built from a number of pieces of circumstantial evidence, and for a case this important, it's troubling to have so many loose ends. The briefing pointed out even more loose ends than I thought there were before."

The NYT article identifies several individuals who believe that "some of the government's public statements appeared incomplete or misleading," while even the Post reported on Thursday that "federal investigators probing the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks recovered samples of human hair from a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., but the strands did not match the lead suspect in the case." That's what is so striking -- the FBI's case is full of huge holes even in its most favorable, unexamined, one-sided rendition, even before the FBI has been forced to disclose the evidence underlying the case, including the evidence that undercuts their claims but which they continue to conceal.

In addition to Holt, GOP Sen. Charles Grassley, long a vocal critic of the FBI's anthrax investigation, clearly believes that more questions than answers have been triggered by the FBI's accusations against Ivins. Last week, Grassley, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee with oversight jurisdiction over the FBI, wrote a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing serious skepticism about the FBI's case and demanding answers to many of the key questions. This sort of pressure is vital to ensure that the FBI's claims receive the critical scrutiny that they so urgently merit.

* * * * *

What's so striking here is that, when it comes to garden-variety, relatively banal crimes that have some tawdry aspect, the establishment media will investigate them endlessly. The same Washington Post that has spent weeks mindlessly reciting Government claims about the anthrax attacks just completed a 12-part series on the Chandra Levy case, in which -- as the Post itself proudly announced -- its reporters "were assigned to produce an in-depth reconstruction of the case that would reexamine all avenues of the investigation":


Yet here is the first fatal biological terror attack on the U.S. in history -- one which, by our Government's own reckoning, came from a U.S. Government facility itself. Those attacks had an incalculable impact on our political climate. The list of possible suspects, with overwhelming motives to perpetrate the attack and ample opportunity to have done so, is long and high-powered. Both the public and private bio-research industry in the U.S., which was already quite substantial before 9/11 and exploded afterwards, is shrouded in almost total secrecy and operates with virtually no oversight, despite experimenting with the world's most dangerous pathogens and bioweapons, including anthrax. And much (though not all) of the establishment media is playing its now standard role of uncritically ingesting and trumpeting Government claims (even when -- especially when -- made in secret) and investigating nothing.

As always, it's vital to emphasize that Bruce Ivins may have perpetrated those attacks and done so alone. But the more one learns about the FBI's case, the less convincing that case becomes. This week's revelation of new scientific evidence will be an important event in further assessing that case, but in all events, it is inconceivable that the FBI would be permitted to continue to conceal the evidence it possesses and to avoid having to answer very probing questions from a genuinely independent and subpoena-endowed body.

UPDATE: On an unrelated note, The Wall St. Journal has an article this morning on Accountability Now and the campaign against various Blue Dogs, such as Rep. Chris Carney. I'll have more to say about that later in the week.

UPDATE II: In a truly (and characteristically) great essay, the ex-blogger Billmon looks at many of these same themes -- how the "semi-official" press behaves, the virtual evaporation of any meaningful democratic processes in the U.S., the utter disconnect between U.S. Government pronouncements and reality -- in the context of U.S. behavior leading up to the Georgia/Russia conflict. I recommend it highly.

UPDATE III: The current issue of American Conservative features an excellent cover story by Christopher Ketcham, which details several of the leading causes for skepticism in the FBI's case against Ivins, explores many of the unresolved issues surrounding the anthrax attacks (including the false bentonite story from ABC News/Brian Ross), and documents the numerous suspects who seem far more likely than Ivins to have perpetrated the attack.

Due to my vacation last week, there will be no Salon Radio today. It will return at its regularly scheduled time (2:00 p.m. EST) on Wednesday.


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August 18, 2008

FBI Admits It Destroyed Evidence In Anthrax Case



According to the Associated Press:

    "FBI scientists early on had — but destroyed — the unique strain of anthrax used in the deadly 2001 attacks that years later would lead them to Dr. Bruce Ivins...:

    ***

    [This was anthrax that] Ivins took from his Army lab in February 2002 and gave investigators"

The FBI's excuse for destroying the anthrax sample which Ivins gave them?

    "The sample kept at the FBI lab was destroyed because the bureau believed it might not have been allowed as evidence at trial."

However, every trial lawyer in the country will tell you that prosecutors don't destroy evidence just because they are not sure a judge will allow the evidence to be introduced at trial. Instead, lawyers keep all the evidence. If more bullet-proof evidence comes along, only then would a prosecutor be less attached to the earlier evidence.

But even then, he would still hold onto the earlier evidence as a backup, in case the better evidence is lost, or the authenticity, reliability or chain of custody of the better evidence is challenged in court.

The FBI's explanation is so shallow that Rolf Lindgren suggests that reporters ask the following question at the next FBI news conference:

    "Now that Dr. Ivins is dead and he won't have a trial, no evidence will ever be admitted. Have you destroyed the rest of the evidence yet?"


http://www.opednews.com/articles/FBI-sweeps-anthrax-under-t-by-Sheila-Casey-080818-921.html

August 18, 2008

FBI sweeps anthrax under the rug

By Sheila Casey


US Attorney Jeff Taylor was sweating on August 6, as he laid out his case against the late Dr. Bruce Ivins at a news conference—and with good reason. Anyone familiar with the case is well aware that Dr. Ivins was railroaded, and that the news conference was a flimsy web of lies.

Ivins had nothing to do with the 2001 anthrax attacks. The attacks were almost certainly carried out by the only group that had the means to produce the highly weaponized anthrax in the letters: the CIA, its contractor Battelle Memorial Institute of West Jefferson, Ohio., and the Army at Dugway in Utah.

The DOJ-FBI frame-up of Ivins rests heavily upon the claim of new advances in genetic testing which supposedly prove that the killer anthrax could have come only from Ivins’ flask.

Jeff Taylor stated:

The FBI sought out the best experts in the scientific community and, over time, four highly sensitive and specific tests were developed that were capable of detecting the unique qualities of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks.

This is an outright lie. No special tests were required to assess the genetic heritage of the Ames strain in the envelopes. The Washington Post reported on December 16, 2001 that “only five laboratories so far have been found to have spores with perfect genetic matches to those in the Senate letters.”

The distinguishing feature of the anthrax that killed five people in 2001 is not related to its genes. What made that anthrax unique was that it was highly weaponized. Anthrax is a common pathogen found in the soil in many places. It doesn’t become lethal unless produced in such a way that it behaves like a gas, floating easily in the air and deep into a victim’s lungs.

The anthrax used in the attacks was beyond cutting edge. Donald A. Henderson, former assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health Preparedness at the Department of Health and Human Services, told Science magazine: "It just didn't have to be that good" to be lethal.

Why the killer anthrax was so deadly

1. Precisely sized particles—1.5 to 5 microns. Anything smaller is exhaled, anything larger tends to get caught either in the nose or in the cilia in the trachea.

2. Coated with silica. The silica acted as a buffer, preventing spores from adhering to one another. The silica on the attack anthrax rested on a thin layer of polymerized glass, which is a highly advanced technique for coating anthrax spores. To do this required a “spray dryer,” the cheapest of which sells for $50,000. The lyophilizer in Ivins’ lab is used to dry anthrax, but can NOT be used to coat the spores with silica. Ivins did not have a spray dryer.

3. Highly concentrated. The letter to Senator Daschle’s office contained two grams of anthrax, about the weight of a dime. Each gram contained a trillion pure spores of anthrax, or enough to kill 200 million people.

4. Electro-statically charged. The slight charge on each spore caused it to repel the other spores and spread out into the room after the envelope was opened.

It is these attributes of the anthrax—not its genetic heritage—which made it so unique and so lethal.

The source of the anthrax was clear in 2001

US Attorney Jeff Taylor characterized a flask in Dr. Ivin’s possession as “the murder weapon.” But a Dec. 12, 2001 article in the Baltimore Sun stated:

For nearly a decade, U.S. Army scientists at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah have made small quantities of weapons-grade anthrax that is virtually identical to the powdery spores used in the mail attacks that have killed five people.

The article refers to Dugway as “the only site in the United States where weapons-grade anthrax has been made in recent years,” and also includes this:

Dugway's production of weapons-grade anthrax, which has never before been publicly revealed, is apparently the first by the U.S. government since President Richard M. Nixon ordered the U.S. offensive biowarfare program closed in 1969.

The following day, The Washington Post echoed the Sun article:

An Army biological and chemical warfare facility in Utah has been quietly developing a virulent, weapons-grade formulation of anthrax spores since at least 1992.

On Dec 16, 2001, The Washington Post corroborated the Sun report by stating that “Dugway is the only facility known in recent years to have processed anthrax spores into the powdery form that is most easily inhaled,” also stating, “Army officials in Washington said yesterday that Fort Detrick does not have the equipment for making dried anthrax spores.”

On September 4, 2001, The New York Times explained:

“Over the past several years, the United States has embarked on a program of secret research on biological weapons . . . even the [Clinton] White House was unaware of their full scope. The projects, which have not been previously disclosed . . . have been embraced by the Bush administration, which intends to expand them.”

These projects involve the CIA, Battelle Memorial Laboratories in West Jefferson, Ohio, and the Army at Dugway in Utah.

“[T]he need to keep such projects secret was a significant reason behind President Bush's recent rejection of a draft agreement to strengthen the germ-weapons treaty, [the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention,] which has been signed by 143 nations.”

Had the treaty been strengthened, the Dugway and West Jefferson sites would have been subject to international inspections. It is important to note that Battelle not only operates its own labs in West Jefferson, but also is contracted by the Army to operate the labs at Dugway.

The DOJ-FBI news conference on August 6, 2008 was a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the secret anthrax weaponization projects by pinning the crimes on a dead man. So far the DOJ-FBI have succeeded in covering up the real perpetrators of the crime, concealing the illegal weapons program, and persuading many that it is time to close the investigation.

Dr. Ivins was an immunologist; he had neither the knowledge nor the equipment to produce the silica-coated, electro-statically charged, 1.5 to 5 micron sized, one trillion spore per gram anthrax that was mailed to Senators Leahy and Daschle.

The DOJ has made much of the fact that Ivins worked 45 extra hours in September and October of 2001. Yet when the FBI attempted to reverse engineer the weaponized anthrax from the attacks, they admitted after a year of trying that they were unable to come up with a product as potent as that in the letters.

Scientists doubt FBI’s story

As far back as October 28, 2002, The Washington Post reported that bio-weapons experts were skeptical about the view that the anthrax in the letters could have come from a lone nut:

"In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them," said Richard O. Spertzel, former deputy commander of USAMRIID (the Army bio-defense facility at Detrick). "And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good."

Writing in The New York Times on Aug. 9, 2008, Gerry Andrews, an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Wyoming, described the envelopes’ contents as “a startlingly refined weapons-grade anthrax spore preparation, the likes of which had never been seen before by personnel at Fort Detrick.” He continued: “It is extremely improbable that this type of preparation could ever have been produced at Fort Detrick, certainly not of the grade and quality found in that envelope.”

Abundant evidence that Ivins is innocent

Ivins passed two polygraph tests and no link was made between his handwriting and that on the anthrax letters. Investigators were so frustrated at Ivins passing the polygraph tests that they searched his house for books or articles on how to fool a polygraph, but found none.

US Attorney Jeff Taylor stated that the investigators zeroed in on Ivins when they “conducted additional investigative steps,” and thus were “able to narrow the focus even further, exclude individuals, and that left us looking at Dr. Ivins.”

Those “additional investigative steps” were polygraph tests. Where passing a polygraph test was enough to exclude certain people, it did not exclude Ivins.

Ivins’ car, work locker, safe deposit box and house were thoroughly swabbed for anthrax spores multiple times over the space of years; not a single spore was found, although the killer anthrax was so highly weaponized that it behaved like a gas and was very difficult to contain.

None of the materials in the mailings were found at his house: not the tape, the envelopes, nor the pen used to write the letters. There isn’t one piece of evidence placing him in New Jersey at the time the letters were mailed: not a credit card receipt, restaurant receipt, nor a witness.

On August 3, 2008, Glen Greenwald wrote in Salon:

It is so vital to emphasize that not a shred of evidence has yet been presented that the now-deceased Bruce Ivins played any role in the anthrax attacks, let alone that he was the sole or even primary culprit. Nonetheless, just as they did with Steven Hatfill, the media (with some notable and important exceptions) are reporting this case as though the matter is resolved."

Bruce Ivins: juggler, Red Cross volunteer, pianist

Jeff Taylor’s case against Ivins rests heavily on claims that Ivins was mentally ill. If Ivins was truly so unhinged, why was he allowed to work with toxic substances? His security clearance was never revoked.

Certainly a brilliant homicidal serial killer who is determined to avoid detection would immediately get rid of the Ames strain with the incriminating genotype in his flask, if he had used it to make weaponized powder and kill five people. Yet seven years later, the same genotype was still in Ivins’ lab!

The DOJ and FBI ask us to believe that Ivins launched the attacks because his vaccine research was not going well and he feared he might lose his job. It’s just not a plausible motivation.

In 2003, Ivins received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service—the highest award given to the Defense Department’s civilian employees. He had been a respected scientist at USAMRIID for 35 years and had a very secure job.

Ivins had been married for 33 years. He played keyboard at his local church, he was a member of the American Red Cross, an avid juggler and founder of the Frederick Jugglers. He also played keyboards in a Celtic band and would often compose and play songs for coworkers who were moving to new jobs.

The FBI focused on him as a probable fall guy in 2006, and for two years was all over him, repeatedly questioning him, searching his home, car and office, and confronting him and his family in public with accusations that he had “killed people.” His daughter was shown pictures of dead anthrax victims and told “your father did this.” His son was promised $2.5 million and a sports car of his choice if he would implicate his father in the anthrax attacks. Who among us would not resort to drink, or drugs, or fantasies of revenge under those circumstances?

Who had the expertise to weaponize anthrax?

William C. Patrick III, and Ken Alibek.

William Patrick was the originator of the first anthrax weaponization process. He
has five patents on anthrax weaponization and wrote a paper in 1999 setting out exactly what an anthrax attack by mail would look like.

Patrick’s scenario is very similar to what actually happened in 2001. For example, he suggests no more than 2.5 grams of anthrax per envelope; the envelopes contained two grams. One footnote in his paper reveals “we now have the ability to purify to one trillion spores per gram.” William Patrick was a consultant to the CIA, Battelle, the Army, the DIA and the FBI on bio-weapons.

Ken Alibek headed up the Soviet bio-weapon programs until defecting to the USA in 1992. He brought with him the technology that was key in the anthrax attacks: using polymerized glass to attach silica to the anthrax spores. He worked for Battelle Memorial Institute in the late 90s.

These men had to have been instrumental in developing the technology used in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Who can control the FBI, DOJ and the media?

The significance of the railroading of the deceased Ivins cannot be overstated. This railroading is not a matter of incompetence. In detail after detail, the joint FBI-DOJ prosecution deliberately lies, evades and obfuscates in a desperate attempt to pin blame somewhere and close the case. (A transcript of the entire August 6 news conference is available on npr.org, titled “DOJ News Conference On Bruce Ivins.”)

US Attorney Jeff Taylor states at the news conference that the envelopes used in the attacks were “very likely sold at a post office in the Frederick, Md. area,” and that Ivins had a post office box there. This is another outright lie. Taylor’s own application for a search warrant stated:

…envelopes with printing defects, identical to printing defects identified on the envelopes utilized in the anthrax attacks during the fall of 2001, were collected from the Fairfax Main post office in Fairfax, Virginia, and the Cumberland and Elkton post offices in Maryland…

Taylor and his supervisors at DOJ must be hoping that no one will notice or care that they are blatantly lying about their evidence against Ivins.

Reading the transcript, it is striking how often Jeff Taylor and Joseph Persichini refuse to answer questions. They either refer reporters to the Department of Defense (which is not holding a news conference) or to the documents they have been given.

When asked when their all new, ground-breaking DNA research would be published, Taylor replies “I’m not going to comment on (that).” When asked a direct question about how many others were investigated other than Ivins, Taylor replies “I’m not going to get into the details.” Not only does he not get into the details, he doesn’t even give us the broad strokes. When asked how he can be so sure that there wasn’t another person involved, Taylor replies:

The evidence I described in my statement, and that I've described throughout this question-and-answer period, as I said, led us to conclude that Dr. Ivins is the person who committed this crime. We are confident, based on the evidence we have, that we could prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt.

In other words, he doesn’t answer.

Honest citizens must ask themselves: who are the FBI and DOJ protecting? Who has the ability to control and corrupt an investigation of this importance? And why, after sitting through a news conference that is obviously a hastily constructed web of lies, have so many journalists dutifully reported the story just as instructed by Jeff Taylor?

We no longer have a working government in the United States. What we have are functionaries in various departments—Congress, FBI, DOJ, CIA—who take their orders from the corporations who make vast sums of money waging war and selling vaccines. Their influence extends to the major media outlets who control the flow of information to the American people. We are increasingly enslaved, manipulated and murdered by these corporations, and very few of us seem to realize it.



Sheila Casey is a DC based journalist. Her work has appeared in The Denver Post, Buzz Flash, Common Dreams and Dissident Voice. She blogs at http://www.sheilacasey.com

Barry Kissin is an attorney/peace activist based in Frederick, MD, home of Fort Detrick.
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September 9, 2008 at 17:43:49

World's Top Anthrax Experts Say The Killer Anthrax was Weaponized

by George Washington     Page 1 of 1 page(s)

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http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2008/09/worlds-top-anthrax-experts-say-killer.html 

Some of the top anthrax experts in the world say that the killer anthrax was weaponized:


  •  * William C. Patrick III, top U.S. bioweapons expert, who holds numerous patents on the weaponization of anthrax, and former chief of the Product Development Division of the Agent Development and Engineering Directorate for the Army's Biological Warfare laboratories at Fort Detrick and consultant to the C.I.A., stated of the anthrax in the Leahy and Daschle letters:
    "It’s high-grade. It’s free flowing. It’s electrostatic free. And it’s in high concentration. It appears to have an additive that keeps the spores from clumping."

  •  * Dr. Byron Weeks, a former Air Force doctor and retired colonel who has studied infectious diseases and bio warfare for decades, stated:
"Yes, of course it was weaponized anthrax. There's no question."

  •  * Dr. John Ezzell, a top expert who has published some 60 articles on anthrax, tested the letter and concluded that, in his many years of researching anthrax, he had never seen anthrax spores so potent.Dr. Ezzell characterized the anthrax in the Daschle letter as being "weaponized."Indeed, the anthrax spores were so potent that, when Dr. Ezzell opened the Daschle letter to test it, some of its contents aerosolized instantly.

  • * The Chief of Biological Planning and Operations at the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, Dr. Kay Mereish, reported that the letter anthrax had in fact been prepared with a charge, according to a 2006 lecture at a CBRN meeting by D. Small, who had worked with the anthrax

  • * Dr. Richard Spertzel, a former biodefense scientist who worked with Ivins at the Fort Detrick lab, stated to CNN that there was "no way" a lyophilizer could have created the fine anthrax spores used in the attack letters. Spertzel stated:
    "Apparently, the spores were coated with a polyglass which tightly bound hydrophilic silica to each particle. That's what was briefed (according to one of my former weapons inspectors at the United Nations Special Commission) by the FBI to the German Foreign Ministry at the time.

    Another FBI leak indicated that each particle was given a weak electric charge, thereby causing the particles to repel each other at the molecular level. This made it easier for the spores to float in the air, and increased their retention in the lungs.

    In short, the potential lethality of anthrax in this case far exceeds that of any powdered product found in the now extinct U.S. Biological Warfare Program. In meetings held on the cleanup of the anthrax spores in Washington, the product was described by an official at the Department of Homeland Security as 'according to the Russian recipes' -- apparently referring to the use of the weak electric charge.

    *** The FBI spent between 12 and 18 months trying 'to reverse engineer' (make a replica of) the anthrax in the letters sent to Messrs. Daschle and Leahy without success, according to FBI news releases. So why should federal investigators or the news media or the American public believe that a lone scientist would be able to do so?”
Spertzel also wrote: "In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I'm one of them. And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good.”

 

http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/

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September 14, 2008

The FBI's Mail-Sorting Theory Doesn't Add Up

Diary Entry by George Washington

 


The FBI claims that mail-sorting equipment crushed the killer anthrax in the letters to Senators Daschle and Leahy down to a fine powder.

Is that possible?

Well, the anthrax spores in the Daschle letter were 1.5 to 3 microns, according to the Washington Post (and see this).

There are 25,400 microns in an inch.

Mail-sorting equipment is generally built to handle letters at least 1/4 inch thick. Correspondingly, U.S. Postal Service guidelines allow letters to be up to 1/4 of an inch thick.

 

The following U.S. Postal Service chart shows the standard size and thickness of letters that can be handled by mail-sorting machines:

Letter-Size Mailpiece Dimensions
Dimension     Minimum     Maximum
Height                3-1/2 inches      6-1/8 inches
Length               5 inches           11-1/2 inches
Thickness     0.007 inch         1/4 inch

Here is one of the U.S. Postal Service's mail sorting machines which actually processed an anthrax letter in 2001 (although not the one which processed the Leahy and Daschle letters):


What does this all mean?

1/4 of an inch equals 6,350 microns. So the FBI is trying to say that a mail-sorting machine which is designed to process letters 6,350 microns thick crushed something down to 3 microns . . . 2,116 to 4,232 times smaller than the type of envelope sorting machines are designed to handle (the smaller number is compared to 3 micron thick anthrax powder and the larger is compared to 1.5 micron powder) .

I don't know about you, but my mail isn't crushed into oblivion when I get it.

On the other hand, the LA Times hints at a more likely explanation:

 

    "Since the early 1990s, U.S. Army scientists at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah have made small quantities of weapons-grade anthrax that is virtually identical to the powdery spores used in the bioterrorist attacks that have killed five people, government sources say."

    "Dugway's production of weapons-grade anthrax, which has never before been publicly revealed, is apparently the first by the U.S. government since President Nixon ordered the U.S. offensive biowarfare program closed in 1969. Scientists familiar with the anthrax program at Dugway described it to the Baltimore Sun on the condition that they not be named."

    "Dugway's weapons-grade anthrax has been milled to achieve a concentration similar to that sent in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, according to a source. The strain found in those letters is indistinguishable from that used most often by Dugway."
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joeb

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Reply with quote  #25 
Why would FBI  agents destroy a sample of the Weaponized 911 Anthrax?
Why would  the FBI  agent in charge of the 911 anthrax investigation
Tom Carey quit his job at the FBI  and take a job running campus police at Bates College in 2002?
Why would FBI  agents continue to investigate Hatfill when they already knew Ivins was their man?

Answers to these questions will be presented on the new FBI produced TV show  called FRINGE. The episode will be called Plausible Denial.
1ST READ
http://www.anthraxvaccine.org

2nd read

Leahy doubts FBI in anthrax case; scientist admits error

Robert Roos * News Editor

Sep 19, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a target of the 2001 anthrax attacks, said this week that he disbelieves the FBI's conclusion that Dr. Bruce E. Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the attacks, according to news services.

Meanwhile, Peter B. Jahrling, a leading government biodefense scientist, told the Los Angeles Times this week that he had erred in 2001 when he told Bush administration officials that the anthrax used in the mail attacks probably had been modified to make it more lethal.

Senator doubts FBI chief
Leahy, at a Sep 17 hearing of his committee, told FBI Director Robert Mueller III that he thinks other people were involved in the attacks, but he did not explain his reasons, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. Other committee members also voiced doubts about the FBI's conclusions, according to news reports.

Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, was one of two senators, in addition to several media offices, that received envelopes containing anthrax powder in the fall of 2001. The attacks killed 5 people and sickened 17 others.

Ivins, a microbiologist who worked at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Md., died of an apparent suicide on Jul 29 as the FBI was preparing to charge him in the case. On Aug 6 the FBI announced its conclusion that Ivins was the sole perpetrator and released a number of documents, mostly search warrant affidavits.

Leahy said at the hearing, "If he is the one who sent the letter, I do not believe in any way, shape, or manner that he is the only person involved in this attack on Congress and the American people," the AP reported.

"I believe there are others who could be charged with murder," Leahy added. "I just want you to know how I feel about it as someone who was aimed at in the attack."

Mueller replied, "I understand that concern," but he defended the FBI's view that Ivins was the only culprit, the AP reported.

"We have looked at every lead and followed every lead to determine whether anybody else was involved, and we will continue to do so," Mueller said.

'An honest mistake'
One of the controversial questions in the anthrax case has been whether the anthrax powder used in the attacks was weaponized, or treated to make it spread better through the air and penetrate into the lungs. Such treatment would be difficult, making it less likely that one person was responsible for the attacks, experts have said.

A Sep 17 Los Angeles Times report said Jahrling, the senior civilian scientist at USAMRIID in 2001, had studied the anthrax used in the attacks, work that was detailed in a 2002 book by Richard Preston. Using an electron microscope, Jahrling detected what he believed to be signs that silicon had been added to the material, the story said.

Jahrling reported this to his superiors and was subsequently summoned to the White House to brief top administration officials, the Times reported.

But in response to e-mailed questions from the newspaper, Jahrling said this week that he had been wrong.

"I believe I made an honest mistake," he told the Times, adding that he had been "overly impressed" by what he saw under the miscroscope.

A virologist, Jahrling also said, "I never should have ventured into this area," referring to the study of anthrax, a type of bacteria, the story said.

He was careful at the time not to implicate Iraq or any other government in the attacks, but others used his analysis to allege that the silicon suggested possible involvement by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Times reported.

As reported previously, FBI scientists and outside experts hired by the FBI to analyze the anthrax used in the mailings announced Aug 18 that they had found silicon, but they believed it occurred naturally and was not added to the material.

Lawmakers want role in review of case
In other developments at the Senate hearing, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., demanded to have a role in choosing scientists who will conduct an independent review of the FBI's investigation, according to the AP story.

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing a day earlier, Mueller had said he would ask the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review the FBI's work on the case. In view of skepticism about the FBI findings, a number of scientists and biodefense experts have called for a review by independent experts.

The AP report said the NAS review will be handled by private scientists who were not involved in the FBI investigation and that it could take up to 18 months. Mueller told the Senate committee he would consider allowing it to suggest scientists, but cautioned that the NAS and the Justice Department would probably have to go along.

An NAS spokesman confirmed this to the AP. The spokesman, Wlliam Kearney, said the organization "would welcome input on potential committee members" from Congress, federal agencies, the scientific community, and the public. But all the nominees would have to be approved by the NAS president, he said.

Another senator at the hearing, Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said a congressional investigation of the FBI's anthrax probe will probably be necessary, according to a Sep 17 report by Congress Daily.

Grassley said the NAS review panel probably will not be allowed to review classified evidence in the case, creating a need for a congressional investigation, the report said.

 
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